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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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Daily Drift

Get your Irish on ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 201 countries around the world daily.   
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Today is  - Saint Patrick's Day

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Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Buenos Aires and Santa Catalina, Argentina
Belo Horizonte, Poaco de Pedras, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil
Henry Farm, North Bay, North Vancouver and Quebec, Canada
Agua de Dios and Bogota, Colombia
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Mexicali, Mexico
Boaco, Nicaragua
Lima, Peru
Catano, Puerto Rico
Alief, Bronx, Cochituate, Gahanna, Kissimmee, Lenoir, Livonia, Neenah, Phelan and Visalia, United States
Minsk, Belarus
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Sofia and Varna, Bulgaria
Buddinge, Denmark
Horsell, Lancaster, London, Milton Keynes, North West London and Southend-on-Sea, England
Chace, Mesanger, Meudon, Montpellier, Rouen and Velizy-Villacoublay, France 
Hamburg and Unterpfaffenhofen, Germany
Athens, Greece 
Reykjavik, Iceland
Milan and Ravenna, Italy
Riga and Ventspils, Latvia
Vilnnius, Lithuania
Gevelija and Kavadarci, Macedonia
Bydgoszcz, Poland
Lisbon, Portugal
Druzbha and Ryazan, Russia
Barcelona, Eixample, Madrid, Magala and Valencia, Spain
Lulea, Sweden
Zurich, Switzerland
Kryzhanivka, Ukraine
Rangoon, Burma
Bhubaneshwar, India
Tabriz and Tehran, Iran
Tokyo, Japan
Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Perai, Malaysia
Doha, Qatar
Ad Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Bangkok, Thailand
Constantine, Algeria
Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa
Zanzibar, Tanzania
Tunis, Tunisia
The Pacific
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Today in History

Britain repeals the Stamp Act.
British forces evacuate from Boston to Nova Scotia.
Napoleon Bonaparte and his army reach Mediterranean seaport of St. Jean d'Acra, only to find British warships ready to break his siege of the town.
The first postage stamp canceling machine patent is issued.
John Joseph Montgomery makes the first glider flight in Otay, Calif.
Twenty African Americans are killed in the Carrollton Massacre in Mississippi.
The British steamer Utopia sinks off the coast of Gibraltar.
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, marries Franklin D. Roosevelt in New York.
The Camp Fire Girls are founded in Lake Sebago, Maine.
Russia increases the number of active duty military from 460,000 to 1,700,000.
Four Douglas army aircraft leave Los Angeles for an around the world flight.
Mob boss Al Capone is released from jail.
The Nazis begin deporting Jews to the Belsen camp.
The U.S. Eighth Air Force bombs Vienna.
The Dalai Lama flees Tibet and goes to India.
The United States increases military aid and technicians to Laos.
The Soviet Union asks the United States to pull out of South Vietnam.
A U.S. submarine locates a missing H-bomb in the Mediterranean.
The Army charges 14 officers with suppression of facts in the My Lai massacre case.
Nixon asks Congress to halt busing in order to achieve desegregation.
Twenty are killed in Cambodia when a bomb goes off that was meant for the Cambodian President Lon Nol.
First POWs are released from the "Hanoi Hilton" in Hanoi, North Vietnam.
Ronald Reagan agrees to a joint study with Canada on acid rain.
White South Africans approve constitutional reforms giving legal equality to blacks.

Confessions of a Nashville Bathroom Attendant: "You are Nasty!"

Jo Piazzaby Jo Piazza
 Confessions of a Nashville Bathroom Attendant: "You are Nasty!"
There are few jobs as thankless as a bathroom attendant in a honky-tonk bar. That’s why I had to ask “Cora,” the woman in the bathroom of a Nashville bar on Broadway to tell me everything about her job — the good, the bad, and the ugly… the really ugly. 
imageWhen we met, Cora was watching the movie “Bridesmaids” on a portable DVD player while perched on her stool next to the bathroom sink around 4:30 in the afternoon, right as happy hour was kicking off. The dulcet tones of a wannabe Alan Jackson crooned from inside the bar. Cora works on tips and profits from the items she sells in the bathroom, like gum, single cigarettes, condoms, and even flip-flops. The flip-flops cost $20, the condoms $10 a piece, and the single cigarettes are $3.  Make no mistake: Cora is watching your every move and she is indeed judging you. The first thing she told me, without prompting: “Girls that come in here are nasty. NASTY!”  Here are a few other choice revelations:
1. She broke the paper towel dispenser. Yup. Cora broke the paper towel dispenser so that you have to come over to her to get a towel to wipe your hands. What about the soap dispenser? Yup, she broke that, too.
2. She wants you to feel guilty. When you don’t give Cora a couple bills, she wants you to hear her mumble, “cheap,” under her breath.  
3. She knows you won’t “get her next time.” When you look sheepishly at her and tell her that you will give her a tip next time you come to the bathroom, she knows you are lying. And she hates you for it.  
4. Don’t buy those condoms. They’re way past their expiration date and she bought them wholesale. Congratulations on making a baby in Nashville!  
5. Flip-flops have the best margins. Cora buys them at the dollar store, which means she makes a sweet $19 per pair. She sells about 10 pairs a night. 
image6. Don’t even think about stealing a cigarette. The drunk girls always steal the cigarettes, and Cora is ready to smack your hand if she sees you taking a single without giving her a few bucks.
7. Don’t touch her. The drunker the girls get, the more they want to hug Cora and take selfies with her. They think Cora is as much a novelty as the statue of Elvis out on Broadway. She’s recently started charging $5 for a selfie. Some people actually pay it. 
8. She can be bought. Want to sneak into a stall for some hanky-panky? She’ll keep her mouth shut — for $100.

Requests work better than orders, even when we’re asking or ordering ourselves

We like to be in control of our own lives, and some of us have an automatic rebellious streak when we’re told what to do. We’re less likely to do a task if we’re ordered to do it than if we make the choice of our own volition. It seems that this effect is so…

Big Business And christianity: The Reason Behind The ‘christian nation’ Lie

Image created by Rika Christensen/Liberalistics The U.S., according to our founding fathers and our supreme law of the land, is not a christian nation. It’s not a religious nation of any type....

6 insane ways the Cult of Scientology has tried to silence its critics

DFree / Shutterstock.comLawsuits, death threats and smear campaigns are just a few of its tactics.

Scammers Posing As IRS Agents Bilk Millions

Scammers Posing As IRS Agents Bilk Millions
Don't be fooled by anyone calling and pretending to be an IRS agent collecting back taxes.

New documentary exposes the corporate-backed ‘experts’ who lie about climate change

Climate denialist (Shutterstock.com)Directed by Robert Kenner, best known for the hard-hitting Food, Inc., and backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, the Merchants of Doubt film exposes the tactics of climate change “experts”, who are often in the employ of think-tanks funded by industries invested in maintaining the status quo.

Random Celebrity Photos

Gina LOllObrigida
Gina Lollobrigida

Do You Bite Your Nails?

Carolyn Gregoire Headshotby Carolyn Gregoire
It Might Mean You're A Perfectionist
Are you mindlessly twisting your hair or biting your nails as you read this article? New research from the University of Montreal suggests that compulsive behaviors like these might say more about your personality than you think.
People who are generally impatient, or who get bored or frustrated easily, are more likely to engage in repetitive body-focused behaviors such as skin-picking, nail-biting or eyelash-pulling, the researchers found.
The study, published in the March issue of the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, points to perfectionism -- a trait that can be more damaging than many people realize -- as an underlying cause.
“We believe that individuals with these repetitive behaviors may be perfectionistic, meaning that they are unable to relax and to perform task at a ‘normal’ pace," Dr. Kieron O'Connor, professor of psychiatry at the university and the study's lead author, said in a press release Tuesday. "They are therefore prone to frustration, impatience, and dissatisfaction when they do not reach their goals. They also experience greater levels of boredom.”
In the study, the researchers worked with 48 participants, half of whom regularly engaged in these types of behaviors. The other participants, who didn't engage in these behaviors, acted as a control group. The participants were asked questions about the extent to which they experienced emotions like boredom, anger, guilt, irritability and anxiety. Then, each participant was exposed to situations designed to provoke particular feelings (including relaxation, stress, frustration and boredom). In the boredom scenario, for instance, the subject was simply left alone in a room for six minutes.
Participants with a history of fidgety, body-focused behaviors reported greater urges to engage in those behaviors when they were feeling stressed and frustrated. But they didn't report feeling those urges while they were relaxing.
If you do bite your nails from time to time, there's no need to worry -- you're probably not doing much harm. In fact, the researchers say that such behaviors serve a temporary purpose when we're not able to channel our energy more productively.
"The positive effects of the habits are stimulation and a (maladaptive) way of regulating emotion," O'Connor said in an email to The Huffington Post. "What triggers the habit is largely frustration and impatience so the action substitutes for more constructive action."
But when the habits are difficult to stop and they interfere with daily life, they can become habit disorders. Actress Olivia Munn, for instance, has spoken about her struggle with trichotillomania, an anxiety disorder characterized by compulsive eyelash-pulling.
"I don't bite my nails, but I rip my eyelashes," Munn told the New York Daily News in 2012. "It doesn't hurt, but it's really annoying."
So how could these behaviors be treated? Currently, there are two possible avenues -- a behavioral treatment that involves replacing the habit with a competing action, and a separate approach that focuses on the underlying factors that create tension, such as perfectionism and other negative beliefs, according to O'Connor.
"We look at all the thoughts and behaviors present in situations at high risk for the habit and change them through cognitive therapy to more resemble the thoughts and behaviors in low risk situations," O'Connor told HuffPost. "We do not address the habit directly so the person does not need to learn a competing response to replace the habit."

"Cat eye syndrome"

(bilateral colobomas)
A coloboma (from the Greek koloboma, meaning defect,) is a hole in one of the structures of the eye, such as the iris, retina, choroid, or optic disc. The hole is present from birth and can be caused when a gap called the choroid fissure, which is present during early stages of prenatal development, fails to close up completely before a child is born. The classical description in medical literature is of a key-hole shaped defect. A coloboma can occur in one eye (unilateral) or both eyes (bilateral). Most cases of coloboma affect only the iris. People with coloboma may have no vision problems or may be blind, depending on severity. It affects less than one in every 10,000 births.
One manifestation of colobomas is as part of the Cat eye syndrome, "caused by the short arm (p) and a small section of the long arm (q) of human chromosome 22 being present three (trisomic) or four times (tetrasomic) instead of the usual two times."

Breeding Strongmen

As the country of India grows into a global power, a village on the outskirts of New Delhi has gained a reputation as the strongest village in the country, a literal hub of muscle men.

Why Creatives Don’t Succeed In Traditional, 9-To-5 Work Environments

Brian Lawrenceby
FlickrFull-time jobs are not for everybody. Sure, to most of the workforce, they’re seen as amazing opportunities to take care of expenses and responsibilities and prepare for the future (children, retirement, your own home, etc.), but they also provide a sense of security that does nothing for the free-flowing creative, nor the risk-it-all entrepreneur.
The people in these two categories love the struggle of bootstrapping businesses and stretching resources to do the impossible, even if they can’t pay the rent.
Here’s why nine-to-fives have no place in the lives of the super creative:
1. Too Much Structure
If artists have too much structure, especially structure someone else dictates, they go crazy. I’m not talking about “method-to-the-madness” crazy, I mean damn-near-killing-people-for-no-reason crazy.
Entrepreneurs and creatives crave the abstract, free flowing of things.
They prefer to have pieces to a puzzle so they can determine which pieces fit in their lives best. They also don’t mind open spaces in that puzzle because that’s exactly how they want it.
2. Little To No Flexibility
If a creative can’t decide what to do with his or her time and resources, he or she won’t be a happy camper.
Creatives love when you give them a budget for resources, an abstract of what you need done and the time in which you need it completed.
They’ll produce awesome work for you afterward. Heck, they’ll even provide you with a multitude of options to choose from so you won’t ask them to change anything in a particular piece.
3. Creatives Need To Work At Their Own Pace
Pressure a creative to finish a piece in a time-frame with which he or she isn’t comfortable, and you better be prepared for a nuclear explosion.
Work this group completes does not, and usually cannot, have an exact time-stamp.
And, even if he or she can estimate how long it will take to complete a project, he or she would much rather you trust the project will reach completion within the specified time-frame.
A creative will also let you know, before knowing your preference, how long he or she feels it will take to do it.
If you don’t like the timeline, a creative has no problem moving on to another client or another struggle.
I can’t imagine holding a corporate position that mandates short deadlines and constant pressures throughout the day.
4. Creatives Crave Autonomy
Creatives need to have the responsibility for a job they do left up to them. You need to give them all the requirements for what needs to happen and, also, the freedom to do it, without constantly looking over their shoulders.
Trust me, if creatives want help, they’ll either ask for it or Google it.
There’s no point in interrupting the focus of someone in this group. It will just take a longer time to complete and you may just get sub-par work. Then, no one is happy.
5. Their Motivation Can’t Be Held To A Certain Time Of Day
Expecting creatives and entrepreneurs to be motivated all throughout the day is unrealistic. That shouldn’t be expected of anyone, really.
Whereas most workers will try to push through a task even if they don’t feel like it, the creative will not pick up a task until he or she knows it’s of interest, then will amps him or herself up to take it head on.
Things need to get done, I know, but creatives know themselves well enough to pinpoint when they get motivated, and what to do to get themselves to that point.
6. Routines Don’t Make Sense To Them
Doing the same thing, or set of things, day-in and day-out, drives creatives nuts.
Creatives prefer to view their days as blocks of time, when they can have different meetings or complete tasks when it’s convenient for them.
With that in mind, you might think most creatives shirk responsibility when it doesn’t fit what they like, but they’re quite the opposite.
Creatives are very committed people. Once they decide to do something, they usually see it through.
7. Most Creatives Prefer To Work In Non-Traditional Industries
Banks, law firms, factories and the typical office aren’t able to keep this type of person for too long. These environments don’t utilize the strengths of creatives enough, and so, they get frustrated and work hard to find ways out of that environment.
Don’t be surprised if these people leave before the probationary period is even up.
Creatives need environments that are comfortable for them. They need the flexibility to do projects that challenge them with wide autonomy, so they can keep themselves grounded and focused.
It’s unlikely traditional, full-time jobs cut it for these folks.

A photograph of Mozart's widow?

"Her hair severely parted, Constanze Weber Mozart looks unsmilingly away from the camera. She appears to be staring at her feet. Next to her is Max Keller, a Swiss composer and old family friend, surrounded by his daughters and the rest of his family. In the background is a cottage with two garden-facing windows.
The newly discovered black and white image is the only photograph ever taken of Constanze Mozart, the widow of the Austrian composer and genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The previously unknown print was discovered in archives in the southern German town of Altötting, local authorities said on Friday, and has now been authenticated as including Mrs. Mozart, on the far left.
More details at The Guardian.  The Wikipedia entry on Constanze Mozart notes that not everyone agrees with the identity of the woman in the photo:
...it is claimed that the image was taken with a short exposure that, for technical reasons, was not yet possible in 1840. Selby (1999) states that there is no evidence in any of Constanze's extensive diaries and letters that she had contact with Keller after 1826, and that she could not have traveled to visit Maximillian Keller during the period when the photograph was taken, as she suffered from crippling arthritis at the time.

People in History

I wonder if he knew what the future held in those early days…
John Lennon

What? You've never heard of a meat raffle?

They are very popular in Minnesota, as the StarTribune explains:
The meat raffle: a quintessential Minnesotan bar tradition that plays out every night of the week in one working-class neighborhood’s watering hole or another. Though its origins are unknown, its existence is as homegrown as tater tot hot dish. Buy a ticket for a dollar — the proceeds go to charity — and get a chance to win a shrink-wrapped packet of raw, pink flesh from a table at the back of the bar.
Once only found in rural areas, they are now happening all over the metro area, from dive bars to hipster haunts. Even high-end establishments have gotten in on the action...
Meat from Thielen’s family’s butcher shop (Thielen Meats) in the small Minnesota town of Pierz has been on offer at meat raffles for as long as she can remember. She’ll still go to raffles in Nevis, Minn., with her aunt, who gets dressed up for the occasion. “I’m like, ‘Why are you putting curlers in your hair?’ and she’s like, ‘Amy, we’re going to the meat raffle!’ ”...
Grumpy’s Northeast has spun the meat raffle on its head by merging it with another popular bar game. Instead of cash or gift cards, at T-Bone Bingo winners get — you guessed it — T-bone steaks.

Fast food logos unconsciously trigger fast behavior

Like it or not, the golden arches of McDonalds are one of the most easily recognised icons of the modern world. The culture they represent is one of instant gratification and saved time, of ready-made food that can be bought cheaply and eaten immediately. Many studies have looked at the effects of these foods on…

Documents Reveal Sugar Industry Influenced National Health Policy

Boy Eating Marshmellows We've long known that many industries work hard to influence federal research and policy, putting profit before the public health. And now, recently uncovered documents show that the sugar industry spent over a decade fighting federal research on tooth decay.
According to a new analysis published in the journal PLOS Medicine, internal memos from the 1960s reveal that major sugar companies were able to successfully manipulate the federal research funding priorities of the U.S. National Institute of Dental Research, a branch of the National Institutes of Health. More

McDonald's menu, 1973

A different red-blue split in the U.S.

"This map produced by NOAA shows the land-surface temperature anomaly: how the temperature deviated from normal, on average, over the month. The darkest red areas were 12 degrees Celsius (22 degrees Fahrenheit) above average, while the darkest blue areas were 12 degrees Celsius below average."
The thermal anomalies are the result of a deeper jet stream curvature, the genesis of which is explained as follows:
The jet stream is generated by a combination of Earth’s rotation and the flow of air down atmospheric gradients between high-pressure, mid-latitude warmth and low-pressure Arctic cold. Over the last several decades, the Arctic has warmed faster than any other region; during periods of especially heightened warming, as occurs when melting sea ice exposes dark, sunlight-absorbing waters, the north-to-south temperature difference shrinks. The pressure differences flatten.

This decreased gradient slows down the jet stream—and as it slows, it also seems to become wavier, plunging south or veering north when encountering atmospheric obstacles it would once have coursed straight through. “The best analogy is to think of a river. When it’s flowing down a steep mountainside, it flows fast and straight,” says Francis. “When it gets to the coastal plain where there’s little slope to the land, it flows slowly and is easily deflected from its path.”

Unlikely hydrogen bond discovered

Unlikely hydrogen bond discoveredUnlikely bonding in Copenhagen lab. Henrik G. Kjaergaard and his team discovered positive hydrogen bonding to positive Phosphorus As with magnets and alternating current, positively charged molecules never aim for one another. Indeed, similarly charged poles are repelled. Nevertheless, a team from the University of Copenhagen's Department of Chemistry has managed to become the first to bond positively charged phosphorus atoms with positively charged hydrogen ones. Their insight may prove pivotal to understanding how biologically important molecules such as DNA and proteins form properly. PhD student Anne Hansen, Post-Doctoral fellow Lin Du and Professor Henrik Kjærgaard discovered the unlikely hydrogen/Phospherous bonds in their shared lab at the University of Copenhagen, physical chemistry section. Their findings were published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.
Function follows form where proteins are concerned. Whether they serve as signaling agents, catalysts or biological building blocks, proteins are only effective if their molecular structure is spot on. Their composition is largely dependent on hydrogen atoms in the molecules, and the ability of these to create hydrogen bonds with other elements.
Previously, researchers assumed that positively charged hydrogen could only create hydrogen bonds with negatively charged elements like oxygen, fluorine and nitrogen. That positive hydrogen can also be bound to positive phosphorus opens up a world of fresh insight into biological processes. It also provides the basis for an entirely new understanding of how atomic charge works. Thus, it may come as no small surprise that Professor Henrik Kjærgaard is proud of their discovery.
"It was thought that atomic charge was global, that is, as something that was uniform and spherically shaped. But our experiment demonstrates, as clear as day, that charge is asymmetric – that small areas of positive charge exist upon atoms which are in fact negative," explains Kjærgaard.
The discovery was worked on in Professor Kjærgaard's Quantum, Spectra and Dynamics group. The group specializes in combining spectroscopic analyses with theoretical modelling and computational chemistry.

Inside an Ancient Fishing Technique That’s Still Feeding People Today

by Paul Rose
Beach seine netting has fed the people of the Seychelles probably since they first arrived here, and their ancestors elsewhere for millennia before that.
(Photo by Manu San Felix)

These days we might spend a fortune on carbon-fiber, Kevlar, stainless steel, highly tuned, expensive fishing gear. And let’s face it, it feels good to have the latest kit, but when it comes to actually catching fish for a living then it’s useful to remember that you don’t need much—only a couple of friends, a simple net, the knowledge of where the fish might be. And in my experience, it helps to be hungry!All these lessons came home as we arrived in the Seychelles for the latest Pristine Seas expedition this week. We’re here to study and film the incredibly abundant and diverse life under the waves, but we know well that the things down there, feed the people up on land. Thankfully, here the local communities practice age-old techniques in sustainable ways.
To get fresh mackerel to the local market the fishermen at Beau Vallon use beach seine netting—a wonderful thing to be part of. It’s simple, profitable, and because the Seychellois know their seas so well, it’s sustainable.
The materials are new, but the actions are old.
(Photo by Manu San Felix)We have been beach seine netting since the Stone Age and after eleven thousand years the only thing that has changed is that the nets are now made from lightweight nylon rather than flax, grass, and root fibers.The technique is exactly the same. As we watched, an ancient tradition continued before our eyes. The pirogue was heaved into the surf, rowed 100 yards out and then parallel to the beach until instinct and experience told them where to drop the seaward central part of the net. Ropes fastened to each end of the net were then brought ashore about 200 yards apart. Three men held each rope and facing the sea they love, they began a rhythmic, steady, powerful pull. It’s a big net dragging a lot of water combined with the weight of the catch so only the relentless pressure of this pull can bring the net in.
As the net, still under the waves, came closer to shore, the fishermen moved closer together. With all the fish jumping at the surface it was clear they had a big catch. Soon the net emerged and was slowly dragged up the beach full of wonderful mackerel.
It doesn’t get much fresher than this.
(Photo by Neil Gelinas)There is no shouting or rushing around in this type of fishing. It’s slow, purposeful, and peaceful—work as old as humanity itself naturally synchronized to the ancient rhythms of the ocean. This kind of fishing isn’t too far off from what large predators extract from the ocean themselves, and it’s a far cry from the mechanized industrial work of big fleets throughout the ocean.With sustainable local practices like these, humans and marine life can live in harmony, and benefit each other in many ways.

Getting a dressing down from Grandma

Rescued puppy credited with saving family's life two weeks after adoption

From the Archives: 1-Year Ago Today ...
A puppy who was adopted from the Michigan Humane Society is credited with saving the lives of his new family members. Hunter, a 3-month-old Husky-mix alerted them to a gas leak at their Grosse Pointe Woods home in the middle of the night, hours after a burner was inadvertently left on enough to emit gas, but not enough to light it.
Hunter, who was adopted just two weeks prior, woke his adoptive mother, Jill McLarty, by whining non-stop. Thinking that Hunter needed to go outside, Jill let him out. She was surprised that Hunter simply sat outside and continued to whine. Jill let him back in and brought the pup back into the bedroom, where she and her husband were sleeping.

Hunter wouldn’t stop whining and eventually began running in circles in the hallway before leading Jill into the kitchen. When she turned the light on, she saw Hunter sitting next to the stove, and noticed that one of the gas stove burners was on low, without a flame, causing gas to leak into the house.
The McLartys estimate that the gas had been on since they had cooked dinner, nearly six hours before Hunter woke them up. “He is the first dog we ever adopted and I would recommend it to anybody,” said Tim McLarty, Jill’s husband. McLarty said the family nearly opted to adopt Hunter’s sibling, but the puppy won them over at the first glance. He said he strongly believes that decision saved his family. “As cliché as it sounds, the life you save may save yours,” he added.

Newfound Fossil Octopus and Squid Were Giants

A good fossil squid is hard to find. The invertebrates are too squishy to leave much behind, and only in truly exceptional circumstances do paleontologists get to see much more than the chitinous supports the cephalopods kept on the inside. Octopus are even more confounding. Without any remnants of an internal shell, the eight-armed quick-change artists are like prehistoric ghosts. But do not despair. The jaws of ancient coleoids give us reason for hope, and have just revealed a pair of prehistoric cephalopods that may have rivaled today’s ocean giants in size.
Described by Kazushige Tanabe and colleagues in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, the two lower jaws were found in roughly 80 million year old rock around Hokkaido, Japan’s Haboro-futamata Dam. Both were preserved in three-dimensional detail, providing Tanabe and coworkers with enough anatomical clues to figure out that they were left behind by previously-unknown species.
Octopus and squid beaks can be very informative fossils. That’s because marine biologists have spent a great deal of time studying the chitinous beaks of modern cephalopods. (Not much more than beaks and hooks are left in the guts of squid-eating whales, for example.) So by comparing the shape of the fossil lower jaws with those of fossil and modern cephalopods, Tanabe and coauthors were able to narrow down what sort of creatures the fossil beaks represent.
One of the jaws, assigned to the new species Nanaimoteuthis hikidai, most closely resembled those of today’s vampire squid. Don’t be thrown by the name. The lineage actually falls on the octopus branch of the cephalopod family tree. All the same, based on the relationship between beak size and body length in the modern species, Tanabe and colleagues estimated that their fossil octopus had a mantle length – or, the body minus the arms – of over two feet. That might not be It Came From Beneath the Sea proportions, and it’s assuming that the fossil species was similar to its only living relative, but it’s still pretty big for an octopus.
The lower jaw of Haboroteuthis poseidon. From Tanabe et al., 2015.
The lower jaw of Haboroteuthis poseidon. 
The other fossil beak sat in the mouth of an even larger cephalopod. Named Haboroteuthis poseidon by the researchers, the creature was a Cretaceous member of the lineage that contains modern squid. And from its jaw size, it was quite an impressive invertebrate.
Measuring a ridge that runs up the front of squid beaks, Tanabe and coworkers found that Haboroteuthis had a “crest length” of about 2.4 inches. A 25-foot-long giant squid caught off New Zealand, by contrast, had a crest length of only 1.8 inches, and a Humbolt squid with a mantle length of almost five feet had a crest length of 1.9 inches. Haboroteuthis was at least comparable to these modern heavyweights. We may never know for sure exactly how large Haboroteuthis was, but, if its jaw is anything to go by, it was as big as some of today’s undersea giants.

Teens Cruelly Shoot And Tie Dog To Train Tracks Because She Wouldn’t Participate In Dogfights

Image via facebookThere’s a special place in hell for people who treat animals cruelly, but these two teens deserve far worse for the evil way they treated a sweet dog who they deemed too nice to be involved in dog fighting.

White Whales at Russian Sea Animals Scientific Station at Pacific Coast

A few photos that Yuri has made on his trip to a Russian scientific center situated on the Pacific Coast. They train there white
whales. Not much text in this one but very, very cute creatures are those whities! See inside and big thank to Yuri:

Diving bell spider

Argyroneta aquatica, is the only species of spider known to live entirely under water... found in northern and central Europe and northern Asia... Females build underwater "diving bell" webs which they fill with air and use for digesting prey, molting, mating and raising offspring. They live almost entirely within the bells, darting out to catch prey animals that touch the bell or the silk threads that anchor it.
The replenishment of air is unnecessary in well-oxygenated water, because the bell permits gas exchange with the surrounding water; there is net diffusion of oxygen into the bell and net diffusion of carbon dioxide out. This process is driven by differences in partial pressure. The production of carbon dioxide and use of oxygen by the spider maintains the concentration gradient, required for diffusion. 

Japanese paradise flycatcher

"A recent survey detected a steep decline in part of the Japanese breeding population which has presumably occurred because of forest loss and degradation in its winter range."  
That seems to be true for everything beautiful and awesome in our natural world.  Our grandchildren will have to be satisfied with jellyfish and cockroaches.

Animal Pictures