Welcome to ...

The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts, yeah, we're talking to you ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
Dragon Parade ... !
Today is  -  Chinese New Year Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog: NNN
Don't forget to visit: It Is What It Is

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Braislia, Curitiba, Porto Alegre and Sao Paulo, Brazil
Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec and Toronto, Canada
Willemstad, Curacao
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Quito, Ecuador
Mexico City, Mexicali and Tijuana, Mexico
Boaco, Nicaragua
Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Mechelen, Belgium
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Sofia, Bulgaria
Branik, Prague and Stare Mesto, Czech Republic
Copenhagen, Denmark
London, England
Rouen and Sotteville-les-Rouen, France
Eschborn, Leipzig and Nuremberg, Germany
Marousi, Greece
Reykjavik, Iceland
Dublin and Waterford, Ireland
Florence, Genoa, Milan, Pisa, Ravenna, Rome and Venice, Italy
Riga, Latvia
Roosendaal, Netherlands
Arendal, Norway
Gydnia, Krakow, Ostrow and Sicienko, Poland
Porto, Portugal
Botosani and Bucharest, Romania
Vladivostok, Russia
Belgrade, Serbia
Bratislava, Slovakia
Madrid, Torrent, Spain
Eskilstuna, Kista and Stockholm, Sweden
Kiev, Ukraine
Bangalore, Bikaner, Coimbatore, Gaya, Mahiari, Mumbai, Patna, Shillong and Trichur, India
Tehran, Iran
Netanya, Israel
Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Putatan and Sandakan, Malaysia
Karachi, Pakistan
Doha, Qatar
Najran and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Bangkok, Thailand
Lagos, Nigeria
Cape Town, South Africa
Lusaka, Zambia
The Pacific
Heidelberg, Strathfield and Sydney, Australia
Makati, Mandaluyong City and Manila, Philippines

Today in History

1408   The revolt of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, against King Henry IV, ends with his defeat and death at Bramham Moor.  
1701   Philip V of Spain makes his ceremonial entry into Madrid.  
1807   Vice President Aaron Burr is arrested in Alabama for treason. He is later found innocent.  
1847   Rescuers finally reach the ill-fated Donnor Party in the Sierras.
1861   Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom.  
1902   Smallpox vaccination becomes obligatory in France.  
1903   The Austria-Hungary government decrees a mandatory two year military service.  
1915   British and French warships begin their attacks on the Turkish forts at the mouth of the Dardenelles, in an abortive expedition to force the straits of Gallipoli.  
1917   American troops are recalled from the Mexican border.  
1919   The First Pan African Congress meets in Paris, France.  
1925   President Calvin Coolidge proposes the phasing out of inheritance tax.  
1926   Dr. Lane of Princeton estimates the earth's age at one billion years.  
1942   Port Darwin, on the northern coast of Australia, is bombed by the Japanese.  
1944   The U.S. Eighth Air Force and Royal Air Force begin "Big Week," a series of heavy bomber attacks against German aircraft production facilities.  
1965   Fourteen Vietnam War protesters are arrested for blocking the United Nations' doors in New York.  
1966   Robert F. Kennedy suggests the United States offer the Vietcong a role in governing South Vietnam.  
1976   Britain slashes welfare spending.  
1981   The U.S. State Department calls El Salvador a "textbook case" of a Communist plot.  
1987   New York Governor Mario Cuomo declares that he will not run for president in the next election.

Meet the people who have volunteered to die on Mars

Thousands of people are competing to be the first humans to travel to Mars and colonize it. The only catch--they can never come back. Ever.
Mars One, an interplanetary travel nonprofit, will soon select the next round of wannabe astronauts from the nearly 700 current finalists. While making a short movie about the competition for The Guardian, we at Stateless Media had a chance to speak to a few people vying for one of the coveted seats on a Mars One Spaceship. I learned the following: they are all really smart, incredibly brave, and a little bit crazy.
Actually, they're a lot of bit crazy. And that’s a good thing. Because it takes a certain kind of person to choose to live the rest of their lives stranded on a desert planet with no breathable air, no Netflix, no Snapchat, no Game of Thrones, no General Tso's Chicken, and no long, romantic walks on the beach. Oh yeah, and no sex. Like I said, crazy.
Since the dawn of the Space Age, we have always selected our best and brightest, our most physically fit, and our most Tom-Hanks-like humans to be our ambassadors in outer space. Mostly because leaving earth has been hard. Astronauts needed to know how to fly jets, fix computers, and conduct all sorts of science experiments--all in zero gravity and in space suits that look really tricky to get on and off.
But while the challenges of space travel remain unfathomable to your average selfie-snapping, Starbucks-swilling Downton Abbey fan (raises hand), they are now much more manageable. Enough so that the future colonists of Mars do not need to be pulled from the highest ranks of the Air Force. With current technology we can rocket humans to Mars in about nine months, about the same time an astronaut spends on the International Space Station. Not a walk in the park, but it will not require any year-long naps in a cryo-chamber. And thanks to decades of reconnaissance by Curiosity, Opportunity, and the rest of NASA’s band of Merry Rovers, we know most of what astronauts will need to survive on Mars once they get there: souped-up spacesuits to protect against massive dust storms and sub-freezing temperatures; tons of freeze-dried food; housing pods that can shield against radiation; and a big drill to unlock the frozen water beneath the Mars surface. It's not easy living, but not too unlike, say, Minnesota.
The hard part will not be staying alive but staying sane. You laugh now about your old AOL dial-up connection in college, but how about 20 minutes just to refresh your Twitter feed? You may be able to survive without oxygen, but can you live without bagels? Sex? Love? Our first colonists on Mars will have to be more than just brave and smart. They will have to be weird enough to handle extreme isolation.
Here is a proposed Survival Guide to Life on Mars. Do you have the right stuff to make it on the Red Planet?
What you’ll have to live without:
  • Sex. Colonists will be discouraged from intercourse because supplies won’t support the arrival of a space baby.
  • Beer. Sorry, carbonated beverages won’t survive the low atmospheric pressure of Mars.
  • Grass fed venison burgers with black truffle oil and chopped prosciutto. And any other food that can’t be freeze-dried.
  • Your loved ones. You think Skype on earth is annoying? Wait until you’re 35 million miles away.
  • Your 2026 World Cup tickets.
What you’ll need:
  • Curiosity. Thinking about all those schools and post offices that will be named after you may not be enough to sustain your sense of mission. To avoid the extreme loneliness I’ll call the Matt Damon syndrome, a future Mars colonist will have to possess a true fascination with the unknown.
  • A tablet with plenty of books, including Travis Taylor's Introduction to Rocket Science and Engineering and perhaps, How To Win at Bridge
  • Healthy self-esteem. There are no mirrors in space.
  • Meat glue, aka transglutaminase, to turn the pre-fab protein they serve up there into a real meal.
  • Your friend’s HBOGo password for finally catching up on The Wire.
  • Scotch.
  • Condoms. Because who are we kidding? You’re really going to pass up space sex?

Random Celebrity Photos


Yvonne de Carlo, mid-1940s.
Yvonne de Carlo, mid-1940s.

Three Links

the conservative grifter problem
the super-rich can't hide from the rest of us

Arkansas bans non-discrimination laws

by Jon Green 
Buzzfeed reported that Arkansas’ House of Representatives passed SB202, a bill that blocks localities in the state from passing anti-discrimination legislation of their own.
The bill does not limit itself to blocking protections for the gay community, and instead preempts any effort by a city or county in the state to pass non-discrimination protections not already granted by state law.
With the bill’s passage, Arkansas joins Tennessee in becoming the only two states with laws that actively ban non-discrimination on a local level.
One of the reasons the bill is, as Arkansas ACLU legal director Holly Dickson put it, “designed to permit as much discrimination as possible in the state,” because it’s illegal to pass a bill specifically prohibiting LGBT protections. That’s been true since the Romer v. Evans ruling in 1996, in which the United States Supreme Court held that a Colorado amendment preventing LGBT citizens from having protected status in state anti-discrimination bills violated the Equal Protection Clause.
In other words, if you want to pass an anti-anti-discrimination bill, you have to allow for equal discrimination under the law, and that’s exactly what SB202 does.
Governor Asa Hutchinson has said that he will neither sign nor veto the bill, thereby allowing it to go into effect automatically. Hutchinson’s explained his “pocket signature” of the bill as follows:
I recognize the desire to prevent burdensome regulations on businesses across the state. However, I am concerned about the loss of local control. For that reason, I am allowing the bill to become law without my signature.
The allusion to “burdensome regulations” references the pretense for the bill’s passage, as the bill’s sponsors expressed concern that the presence of anti-discrimination protections in a given city or county would discourage businesses that would otherwise wish to set up shop in Arkansas. Nevermind that, as Arkansas Democrat Charlie Tucker pointed out, an overwhelming majority of Fortune 500 companies have anti-discrimination policies of their own.
After all, businesses in competition for labor know that fewer and fewer workers want to live in communities where it’s illegal for themselves and their coworkers to be protected from being fired due to their race, religion or sexual orientation.
So, if anything, Arkansas’ new bill discourages large companies from coming to the state.
Furthermore, it does so by preventing local communities’ from protecting their citizens from discrimination. This makes SB202 the epitome of paternalistic, big-government encroachments that the patriotic, freedom-flinging Republicans of Arkansas are supposed to rise up against.
But of course, the motivation for the bill has nothing to do with economics or limited government and everything to do with assuaging red state voters’ concerns that they might not get to bully people they don’t like.
But not everyone in Arkansas is going along with their state’s new pro-discrimination policy. Earlier last week, the Arkansas town of Eureka Springs stood up to the state senate’s passage of SB202 by rushing through an anti-discrimination bill specifically protecting LGBT individuals. When warned that right-wing groups would likely sue the town for violating the newly-passed SB202, Eureka Springs city councilor Mickey Schneider responded: “Bring it on!

Preventing homegrown terrorism within the United States

Bianna Golodrygaby Bianna Golodryga
This weekend’s terror attacks in Copenhagen, Denmark, are the latest in a string of violence targeting some of Europe’s largest cities. Those behind the attacks share a common thread — young, local Muslims who have been radicalized by events taking place thousands of miles away in the streets of Syria, Iraq and Libya. And while recent attacks have been carried out in other countries, U.S. law enforcement officials warn that American cities are targets as well. What worries them most is that, like in Europe, Canada and Australia, would-be perpetrators are likely citizens within the country. Thwarting homegrown extremism has quickly become one of the biggest priorities for counterterrorism agencies. So much so that this week, President Barack Obama will host a counterterrorism summit in Washington — the first of its kind — alongside other world leaders.
The Department of Homeland Security has estimated that at least 100 Americans have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS. Nearly a quarter of those men are from the Minneapolis area, which is home to about 100,000 Somali immigrants, the largest concentration of Somalis in the country. A majority of them are Muslim.
Since 2007, the FBI has been investigating the city’s Somali community in an effort to better understand the reason that there is a growing number of men turning to radical Islam and, in particular, sympathizing with the Islamic State. Investigations like these have landed the city in the middle of a national debate as to whether muslim communities within the U.S. are breeding grounds for extremism and so-called “no-go” zones, alleged communities where non-muslims are not welcome and where Sharia takes precedence over federal law. Louisiana repugican Bobby Jindal has warned of them, as has Tony Perkins, president of the Anti-Family non-Research cabal, which is based in Washington, D.C. Perkins went on to specifically call out such areas in Minneapolis and Dearborn, Michigan.
In response, Minneapolis Rep. Keith Ellison, who also happens to be the country’s first muslim elected to Congress, responded to Perkins’ comments, inviting him for a personal tour of one of the city’s muslim communities.
While Perkins said he would take Ellison up on his offer when the weather is warmer, Yahoo News decided to visit and see for ourselves.
Along with Ellison, we spoke with leaders in the Somali muslim community, including local business owners, religious leaders, women and college students. Among the topics discussed, we explored: why is there growing concern over radicalization within their communities, how are they responding and what does it mean for them to be Americans while not giving up their religious and cultural roots?

Wingnut judge stalls Obama's executive action on immigration

The White House promised an appeal Tuesday after a wingnut judge in Texas unconstitutionally blocked President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration and gave a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit aiming to permanently stop the orders.
Andrew Hanen's decision late Monday puts on hold Obama's orders that could spare from deportation as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally. In response, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it would halt preparations for a program to protect parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents until further notice.
In a memorandum accompanying his order, Hanen said the lawsuit should go forward and that the states would "suffer irreparable harm in this case" without a preliminary injunction.
"The genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle," he wrote, adding that he agreed that legalizing the presence of millions of people is a "virtually irreversible" action.
In a statement early Tuesday, the White House defended the executive orders issued in November as within the president's legal authority, saying the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress have said federal officials can establish priorities in enforcing immigration laws.
The White House said the U.S. Department of Justice will file an appeal, which will be heard by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department was reviewing the ruling and was confident the matter would ultimately be taken up by a higher court, possibly the U.S. Supreme Court.
"We have to look at this decision for what it is: It is a decision by one federal district court judge," Holder said.
The first of Obama's orders — to expand a program that protects young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children — was set to start taking effect Wednesday. The other major part of Obama's order, which extends deportation protections to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for some years, was not expected to begin until May 19.
Joaquin Guerra, political director of Texas Organizing Project, called the ruling a "temporary setback."
"We will continue getting immigrants ready to apply for administrative relief," he said in a statement. The nonprofit says it promotes social and economic equality for low to moderate income Texans.
The coalition of states, led by Texas and made up of mostly conservative states in the South and Midwest, argues that Obama has violated the "Take Care Clause" of the U.S. Constitution, which they say limits the scope of presidential power, and that his executive actions would be difficult to undo once immigrants started to apply for deferred action. They also say Obama's order would force increased investment in law enforcement, health care and education.
Boehner said Monday's ruling wasn't a surprise and underscores that Obama acted beyond his authority. McConnell echoed the sentiments, adding that Obama has repeatedly acknowledged "he doesn't have the authority to take the kinds of actions he once referred to as 'ignoring the law' and 'unwise and unfair.'"
Both called on Senate Democrats to relent in their opposition to a Homeland Security Department spending bill that overturns Obama's action. The department's funding expires Feb. 27 and Congress has only a few legislative days to act.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the decision a "victory for the rule of law in America" in a statement late Monday. Texas repugican Greg Abbott, who led the state into the lawsuit when he was the state's attorney general, said Hanen's decision "rightly stops the President's overreach in its tracks."
Hanen, who's been on the federal court since 2002 after being nominated by the shrub, regularly handles border cases but wasn't known for being outspoken on immigration until a 2013 case. In that case, Hanen suggested that Homeland Security should be arresting parents living in the U.S. illegally who induce their children to cross the border.
Congressional repugicans have vowed to block Obama's actions by cutting off Homeland Security Department spending for the program. Earlier this year, the repugican-misled House passed a $39.7 billion spending bill to fund the department through the end of the budget year, but attached language to undo Obama's executive actions. The fate of that House-passed bill is unclear as repugicans in the Senate do not have the 60-vote majority needed to advance most legislation.
Among those supporting Obama's executive order is a group of 12 mostly liberal states, including Washington and California, as well as the District of Columbia. They filed a motion with Hanen in support of Obama, arguing the directives will substantially benefit states and will further the public interest.
A group of law enforcement officials, including the Major Cities Chiefs Association and more than 20 police chiefs and sheriffs from across the country, also filed a motion in support, arguing the executive action will improve public safety by encouraging cooperation between police and individuals with concerns about their immigration status.

Historical Truth, Nazis and the Corruption of the Federal Judiciary

by Mike Lofgren
There was a time when it was permissible to think that the chief purpose of the judicial branch of government was to protect our constitutional rights as a check on runaway legislative majorities or executive overreach. To fulfill that duty, a judge is insulated from partisan maneuvering by a grant of lifetime tenure and a constitutionally guaranteed salary. In return, the federal judge must show discretion, decorum and above all, an unwillingness to be drawn into partisan quarrels. This behavior is known as having a judicial temperament.
The tradition of apolitical judges has come under strain recently, given the habit of even Supreme Court justices to pop off like opinionated customers in a saloon (I'm thinking of you, Tony Scalia). But new ground has been broken in partisan mudslinging by Justice Laurence H. Silberman, an appellate judge appointed by ronny raygun. He has taken to the pages of Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal to attack as dangerously irresponsible the millions of Americans who believe George W. Bush lied about the presence of weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for invading Iraq.
How does Silberman know this? He writes on the authority of having been cochairman of The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. This commission, appointed by Bush, found no intent by the president to mislead Congress or the public about the presence of WMD; after all, the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate made the claim about Iraqi WMD, not Bush.
That conclusion is hardly surprising, because the commission's scope was so narrowly defined as to preclude examining whether the president and his advisers put pressure on the intelligence community to produce the worst NIE (national intelligence estimate) in history. The failings of the commission and Silberman's misrepresentation of its findings have been covered more than adequately elsewhere. It is worth mentioning though, that the commission was stacked with partisan Republicans (can one imagine Senator John McCain, who was on the panel, performing a dispassionate analysis of anything?). Among the token Democratic panel members was the cochairman, former Sen. Charles Robb, a walking vacuum.
Whatever his other cognitive weaknesses, Bush certainly knew what he was doing when he appointed Silberman to run the commission. In 1980, Silberman was a cochair of presidential candidate Reagan's foreign policy team. Later, when on the federal bench, he overturned Colonel Oliver North's conviction on three felony counts in the Iran-Contra case. He upheld key portions of the Patriot Act, an unconstitutional statute that had been stampeded through a panicked and fearful Congress. As a judge who served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, he is a member in good standing of the Deep State. No wonder Bush awarded Silberman the Medal of Freedom; that little spangle was the customary gold watch for George Tenet, L. Paul Bremer and all the other hired help who cleaned up after the president's messes.
Distasteful as it may be for someone to flaunt his judicial credentials while claiming to adjudicate the historical truth of a subject on which he has a partisan conflict of interest, that is hardly the limit of his transgression. What is truly insulting is for Silberman to compare critics of the war who believed Bush lied to Nazis. He writes: "I am reminded of a similarly baseless accusation that helped the Nazis come to power in Germany: that the German army had not really lost World War I, that the soldiers instead had been 'stabbed in the back' by politicians."
One hardly knows where to begin with this historical falsification. The "stab-in-the-back" myth, the "Dolchstosslegende," was concocted by far-right Germans, including Nazis, in an attempt to justify rather than discredit the war. They claimed the German army could have continued fighting, but was stabbed in the back by pacifist politicians. Critics of the Iraq war, by contrast, always believed the war should never have been fought in the first place. German critics of their country's participation in World War I, like Karl Liebknecht or Rosa Luxemburg, ended up being murdered for their views. One shudders to think that a federal judge has so much difficulty sorting out facts and evidence.
The stab-in-the-back myth has been a standard right-wing refrain throughout my lifetime. The slippery politician Harry S. Truman stabbed General MacArthur in the back over Korea by refusing to let him win. Dirty hippies and the media stabbed our boys in the back as they fought in Vietnam. And now, of course, ISIS is Obama's fault because he withdrew troops from Iraq. Never mind that Obama withdrew them precisely according to Bush's already-negotiated timetable and that ISIS was the bastard child of our invasion. Yet Silberman smears critics of war, rather than chickenhawk proponents of war, because it fits so neatly into his worldview.
Judicial corruption does not require a cash nexus. The justices of the federal judiciary, who have lifetime tenure and fixed salaries, receive no bribes to rule the way they do. What Laurence Silberman has shown us is the fact that intellectual corruption can be as corrosive to the integrity of the bench as a cash bribe.

When a black German woman discovered her grandfather was the Nazi villain of 'Schindler's List'

An odd series of events led Jennifer Teege to discover that her grandfather was none other than the notorious Nazi Amon Goeth.
by Avner Shapira
Jennifer Teege / Amon Goeth
Jennifer Teege / Amon Goeth
In the mid-1990s, near the end of the period during which she lived in Israel, Jennifer Teege watched Steven Spielberg’s film “Schindler’s List.” She hadn’t seen the film in a movie theater, and watched it in her rented room in Tel Aviv when it was broadcast on television.

The Truth Be Told


Police questioning techniques make it easy to elicit false accusations

Horrified psychologists discontinued a study into how police interrogation tactics can create unshakable false memories of crimes; but it turns out that police questioning tactics are even better at eliciting false accusations of crimes that never even occurred.
In a forthcoming study in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, Brian Cutler and Danielle Loney document how, with just a few minutes of "forceful questioning" that included threats of censure for failure to cooperate, they were able to coerce false eyewitness accounts of a crime that never occurred from student subjects.
Compared with suspects, witnesses may actually be more susceptible to coercive interrogation techniques because there are fewer, if any, consequences for implicating another person.
They may also be driven by a desire to please the interrogator. As the researchers note in their study, “we are often susceptible to the influence of those who seek our compliance.”
“We know that if you trap somebody in there, and persuade them enough, they’ll tell you what they think you want to hear, whether it’s true or not,” Cutler said. “And that’s the real risk.”
Developed by American police officer John Reid in the 1950s, the Reid technique assumes the subject of the interview is guilty or there is a strong likelihood of guilt. The chief purpose of the interview is therefore to extract a confession or incriminating evidence.
The questioning is confrontational and accusatory, meant to convince the person being questioned that to deny responsibility is futile. Often, the investigator says he or she knows the suspect is guilty and hints there is strong evidence proving guilt, even if that is exaggerated or made up.

Man, jailed for 3 months, released after "drugs" turn out to be vitamins

keystone-kopsMinnesota cops pulled over Joseph Burrell for driving out of a grocery store parking lot without turning on his headlights.
This led to a search of his car, where police found a bag of powder. The cop's crappy field test kit indicated methamphetamine, and Burrell was arrested.
Prosecutors pressured Burrell to plead guilty, and when he refused, bail was set at $250,000. He couldn't afford it, so he languished in jail while prosecutors took their sweet time retesting the powder using a more accurate method. The powder was vitamins, just as Burrell had explained when he was arrested on November 14.

Lance Armstrong loses $10 million fraud dispute

lanceweb11s-1-web A Dallas arbitration panel today ordered Lance Armstrong and Tailwind Sports Corporation to pay $10 million in a fraud dispute with a promotions company. The court called Armstrong and Tailwind's actions an “unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy” that covered up the cycling and cancer hero's use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Hapless takeaway burglar fell on to knife before becoming trapped by flames

Police in Ireland are investigating after two criminals on an unusual crime spree set fire to a takeaway shop. It is understood one of the men suffered severe burns and self-inflicted knife injuries during the incident on O'Connell Street in Dungarvan, Co Waterford.
The events unfolded at around 2am on Sunday after staff at the take-away reported finding a burning handbag in the toilets. It is believed workers identified the two men who they thought to be responsible and contacted the gardaí after a brief altercation. The pair, who are in their late teens and early 20s, fled the scene before gardaí arrived.
However, they returned shortly after 7am in a bid to "take their revenge" following the earlier row. Shortly after breaking in, the men turned on fryers and grills and started cooking burgers and other food before causing some minor damage to the property. While one of the men was cooking, the other reportedly took a large knife that he used to try to pry open a jukebox in a bid to get the money locked inside.
But in his haste, the man slipped and injured himself with the blade. "When one lad saw the other had been cut, he made a run for it and left his pal at the scene spewing blood," revealed a source. A blaze then took hold of the premises, caused by the unattended fryers, leaving the injured man trapped inside. A passer-by called the emergency services after seeing smoke. The injured man was taken to hospital. Gardaí are hunting for the second suspect.

Man arrested after being accidentally shot by his 4-year-old daughter

A 4-year-old Indiana girl accidentally shot her father from the back seat of the family's car, and now he faces felony charges. David J. Paulson, 35, of Hamlet was free on $750 bond after he was arrested on Sunday afternoon on charges including two felony counts of neglect of a dependent, according to Marshall County court records.
Paulson was shot on Jan. 31 when his daughter, who wasn't in a child restraint seat, pulled the loaded .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun from the pocket of her dad's overalls, according to a probable cause affidavit, prosecutors said. It went off and hit Paulson in his upper right arm.
County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman Jr. said in a statement that Paulson initially lied to investigators, telling them he accidentally fired the gun when he reached into the back seat for his overalls. When he was told that investigators had determined that that couldn't be true based on the trajectory of the bullet as indicated by his entry and exit wounds, along with the fact that his overalls didn't show any bullet hole at all, Paulson acknowledged that it was possible that his daughter shot him.
Chipman said he had a responsibility to charge Paulson to "maximize public safety in our own community," even though it was an accident and Paulson was okay. There has been a rash of incidents across the country where children have innocently gained access to loaded firearms and by clear accident discharged them severely wounding, and sometimes tragically killing, family members, he added.

Truck driver threw his shoes and socks and a refrigerator at police during pursuit

A truck driver is facing charges after he led police on a 34-mile chase that ended on the Pennsylvania Turnpike early on Saturday morning. State police said Christopher Boyer, 47, of Mifflentown, called 911 at about 2am claiming he was going to wreck the tractor-trailer he was driving.
When troopers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on State Route 70 near Arnold City, Boyer kept driving. A pursuit ensued, ending on the turnpike in Westmoreland County. During the pursuit, Boyer threw numerous items from the cab of the tractor-trailer, including his shoes and socks as well a steel canister and a refrigerator, police said.
The steel canister struck a police car, rendering it inoperable. Spike strips were used to stop the truck just after 3am, but Boyer refused to get out despite orders from police. That’s when troopers broke the truck’s windows to enter the cab and used a Taser on Boyer. The glass from the windows cut Boyer’s feet, police said.
He was taken to Monongahela Valley Hospital, where he was treated and a blood sample was taken. According to police, indications were that Boyer was under the influence of Xanax. Boyer is facing charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, fleeing or attempting to elude, driving under the influence, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and multiple summary traffic violations.

Man who drank gin as pain reliever before driving to hospital lost drink-driving appeal

A man from the Port Willunga suburb of Adelaide, Australia, who consumed gin as a painkiller after a chainsaw accident and then drove to a hospital for treatment has failed to have his drink-driving conviction overturned. Timothy Michael Withrow recorded a blood-alcohol reading of .175 when he was pulled over by police for failing to stop at an intersection in February last year. In his judgment dismissing the appeal, Justice Nicholson said Withrow had cut a “gaping wound” in his hand while using a chainsaw to clear some trees so workmen could fix his air conditioning unit.
He said Withrow had called Noarlunga Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre - but was told there could be a 10-hour wait for treatment so he decided to self-medicate by drinking the gin. Justice Nicholson said Withrow had then become concerned that, if left untreated, there was a serious risk his wound would become infected and he could not afford an ambulance to collect him. “He found a large sewing needle and some fishing line and commenced suturing the wound himself,” he said.
“Not having any antiseptic in the house, the appellant used gin to wash the wound. The process of stitching the wound was, not surprisingly, quite painful. The appellant therefore also drank the gin which proved to be an effective form of pain relief.” He said Withrow had called his doctor who had advised him to see a surgeon. Justice Nicholson, however, agreed with the sentencing magistrate that Withrow had other safer options than to drive himself to the Flinders Medical Center. “The appellant’s evidence was that he could not afford the cost of calling an ambulance which he estimated at approximately $800.”
However, the Magistrate observed that, as conceded by the appellant under cross-examination, he also had the option of calling a taxi. “I add that there also were the options of asking one of the workmen (before they left) to drive the appellant to the hospital or a medical center or investigating whether a neighbor was available.” He dismissed the appeal and said Withrow’s decision to drive could have been dangerous. “Furthermore, the appellant’s very high blood alcohol content, combined with the fact that his journey, had it been completed, would have required him to traverse a main arterial road on a Friday afternoon, meant that he posed a clear danger not only to himself but to other road users.”

Motorist arrested on suspicion of drunk-driving shortly after parking his car up two pole wires

A man was arrested on suspicion of DWI after his car made its way up two wires connected to a pole on Saturday night.
The incident occurred at around 8:00pm in Springfield, Missouri.
Police say the driver was leaving the parking lot of Midnight Rodeo when the incident happened.

Witnesses say they helped the man out of the car. They say he was not injured but was taken away in handcuffs by officers.

Random Photos

Funeral director jailed for faking deaths to claim insurance payouts

A funeral director from Adelaide, Australia, who faked the deaths of clients to cash in their pre-paid funeral plans has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail. Robin George Knight, 46, misappropriated more than $700,000 from 196 clients between 2003 and 2013, Holden Hill Magistrates Court heard. At the time he was the director of Knight Funeral Homes at Para Hills, also known as Knight Brenton James Funeral Directors. The company has since closed down. Knight pleaded guilty to nearly 200 theft and dishonestly charges.
The court heard he falsely claimed clients had died and used their funeral money for bills and other business costs. Representing himself in court, Knight told the sentencing magistrate he deeply regretted his offending and would do all he could to repay the victims. "It is a daily struggle to live with the consequences of my actions, particularly how a number of people have been let down and left with a severe disadvantage," he said. "I deeply regret my actions and apologize to everybody concerned I assure you it was never my intention, even though my actions were incredibly wrong and misguided."
Knight said he would not re-offend and his case would likely deter others from similar behavior. "I do take full responsibility for my actions and I deeply regret any persons that have been disadvantaged. I fully understand the sensitivities, I understand the breach of trust and it is a daily struggle to deal with what I have done and live with myself in terms of the affect I have had on other people's peace of mind," he added. Knight said his assets had been frozen and his hands were largely tied in civil action for compensation. The age of the victims who took out pre-paid funeral plans ranged from 37 to 99, with the majority in their 80s.
Magistrate Cathy Deland said Knight's offending was serious and warranted a prison term. "I note that this money has not gone into funding a luxurious lifestyle for you, it has gone into your attempt to keep the business afloat when obviously it was not able to recover," she said. "Nevertheless the offending amounts to a breach of trust. I doubt the people who have lost their money are particularly interested in what happened to it, they have suffered regardless." She sentenced Knight to four-and-a-half years in jail with a non-parole period of three years. She also ordered the maximum amount of compensation the magistrate's jurisdiction allows, of $20,000.

Residents urged to be cautious of roadside cuppers

The Ministry of Health in Dubai have urged residents to stay cautious of roadside practitioners who offer treatments for unconventional medicine such as Hijama (cupping therapy). A senior health official said in a statement that offering such services was illegal.
“To give treatment for unconventional medicine such as Hijama, practitioners must follow conditions approved by the ministry,” said Dr Amin Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing who is also Head of the Licensing of Complementary and Alternative Medicine committee. “Hijama should only be practiced at authorized medical centers under direct medical supervision.
“It must not be practiced at homes or herbal shops, or by so-called ‘road cuppers’ who move from one place to another,” said Dr Amiri. “Whoever practices without the ministry’s approval is scientifically, technically and legally considered an unqualified person,” he stressed. Wet cupping or Hijama was a common practice of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions for the treatment of a range of ailments.
Blood is drawn by vacuum from a small skin incision for therapeutic purposes into cups that helps detoxify and stimulate formation of new blood cells. Hijama, an ever popular form of treatment in the Arab world, is considered to give successful results for ailments such as constipation, diarrhea, headache, backache, injuries, depression, skin problems, arthritis, weight loss and much more.

Strep was something else

270px-StreptococciWhen strep throat is something else

Forgotten bacterium is the cause of many severe sore throats in young adults New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests that Fusobacterium necrophorum more often causes severe […]

Alzheimers and Type 2 Diabetes

These are microscopic images of a brain section (bottom: overview. top: enlarged view of the visual cortex), obtained from an APP23xPS45 Alzheimer mouse, in which the beta-amyloid plaques are labeled with Thioflavin-S.Amyloid formation may link Alzheimer disease and type 2 diabetes

The pathological process amyloidosis, in which misfolded proteins (amyloids) form insoluble fibril deposits, occurs in many diseases, including Alzheimer disease (AD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D). However, little is […]



Life 3.2 billion years ago

Ancient rocks show life could have flourished on Earth 3.2 billion years agoAncient rocks show life could have flourished on Earth 3.2 billion years ago

A spark from a lightning bolt, interstellar dust, or a subsea volcano could have triggered the very first life on Earth. But what happened next? Life can exist without oxygen, […]

Nearing Marathon Finish Line

NASA's rover Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004 and was only supposed to last 3 months. But more than a decade later the plucky vehicle is close to crossing the 26.2-mile mark in land traversed, despite a few senior technical moments along the way.

Puzzling Landscape

NASA's Dawn probe is slowly closing in on its final destination and new observations of the dwarf planet Ceres are revealing a fascinatingly complex little world.

Family goat helped catch animal abuser

A family's goat alerted them to a criminal hiding in the brush behind their house in Fountain, Colorado. In an ironic twist, the suspect was already wanted on an unrelated animal abuse charge. Joseph Hargett, 22, also known as Joseph Kimsey, is behind bars at the El Paso County Jail facing a list of new felony charges after he tried to escape troopers during an attempted traffic stop south of Fountain on Friday morning.

Animal Pictures