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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 24, 2015

The Daily Drift

Dance like nobody is watching and if they are tell them to take a picture - it lasts longer ...!
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Today in History

1208 King John of England opposes Innocent III on his nomination for archbishop of Canterbury.
1603 Queen Elizabeth I dies which will bring into power James VI of Scotland.
1663 Charles II of England awards lands known as Carolina in North America to eight members of the nobility who assisted in his restoration.
1664 In London, Roger Williams is granted a charter to colonize Rhode Island.
1720 The banking houses of Paris close in the wake of financial crisis.
1721 In Germany, the supremely talented Johann Sebastian Bach publishes the Six Brandenburg Concertos.
1765 Britain passes the Quartering Act, requiring the colonies to house 10,000 British troops in public and private buildings.
1862 Abolitionist Wendell Phillips speaks to a crowd about emancipation in Cincinnati, Ohio and is pelted by eggs.
1900 Mayor Van Wyck of New York breaks ground for the New York subway tunnel that will link Manhattan and Brooklyn.
1904 Vice Admiral Togo sinks seven Russian ships as the Japanese strengthen their blockade of Port Arthur.
1927 Chinese Communists seize Nanking and break with Chiang Kai-shek over the Nationalist goals.
1938 The United States asks that all powers help refugees fleeing from the Nazis.
1944 The Gestapo rounds up innocent Italians in Rome and shoot them to death in reprisal for a bomb attack that killed 33 German policemen.
1947 Congress proposes limiting the presidency to two terms.
1951 General Douglas MacArthur threatens the Chinese with an extension of the Korean War if the proposed truce is not accepted.
1954 Great Britain opens trade talks with Hungary.
1955 Tennessee Williams' play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opens at the Morosco Theatre in New York City.
1958 Elvis Presley trades in his guitar for a rifle and Army fatigues.
1965 The Freedom Marchers, citizens for civil rights, reach Montgomery, Alabama.
1967 Viet Cong ambush a truck convoy in South Vietnam damaging 82 of the 121 trucks.
1972 Great Britain imposes direct rule over Northern Ireland.
1985 Thousands demonstrate in Madrid against the NATO presence in Spain.
1989 The Exxon Valdez oil tanker spills 240,000 barrels of oil in Alaska's Prince William Sound.
1999 NATO planes, including stealth aircraft, attack Serbian forces in Kosovo.

Random Photos

Transparency, New Jersey style

Efrem writes, "The Jersey Journal is doing some good work during Sunshine Week, trying to publish the pay information of every public employee in the county. The results have been hilariously depressing. To whit:"
"Jersey City's school district, as one example, provided an Excel spreadsheet, but instead of emailing it, district officials burned it onto a compact disc and mailed it to The Jersey Journal's office, along with a note asking for one dollar to reimburse the district for the cost of the CD.
When the newspaper filed a subsequent, related OPRA request and alerted district officials that they could email the file over at no cost, the district again mailed a CD containing an Excel file, along with a request for a second dollar."
It actually gets more depressing from there.

News Reporter Dies of Brain Aneurysm While on Assignment

Lisa Colagrossi Dead: WABC Eyewitness News Reporter Dies of Brain Aneurysm While on Assignment at 49
WABC's Eyewitness News team has lost a friend and colleague. Channel 7 reporter Lisa Colagrossi died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 49 on Thursday, Mar. 19.
"We have some sad news to share with you about our Eyewitness News family," the news show shared on its Facebook page Friday. "Lisa Colagrossi, Eyewitness News reporter, anchor, wife and mother, has died at age 49. Lisa suffered a brain hemorrhage while returning from covering a story Thursday morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family."
Colagrossi was rushed to the hospital following a live report from Woodhaven, Queens on Thursday. "She was in the news van after finishing her live shot when she said 'Oh my God, something is wrong,'" a friend said, via the New York Daily News.
The Ohio native reported in the Tri-State area for almost 14 years, and joined WABC days after the NYC World Trade Center attacks in 2001. She previously worked as an anchor at WKMG in Orlando, Fla., and NBC station WKYC-TV in Cleveland.
Colagrossi resided in Stamford, Conn., and is survived by her husband Todd, and their two sons Davis and Evan.

Police raid club of pot activist who quit TV job on air

Anchorage police served search warrants at marijuana activist Charlo Greene's Alaska Cannabis Club after receiving reports of illegal marijuana sales.
The police took marijuana and impounded a Dodge Dakota and a Jeep Liberty on Friday, KTUU (http://bit.ly/1ARX4oU ) reported.
Greene is a former television reporter who gained notoriety when she quit her job on live TV in September with an expletive and announced she's becoming an advocate to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Alaska.
Greene, whose legal name is Charlene Egbe, told KTVA (http://bit.ly/1I7Xht7 ) the club is a medical marijuana dispensary. "We don't sell any recreational marijuana. We don't sell any medical marijuana. This is a place for cardholders to come and share their own cannabis," she said.
The residence is home to multiple medical marijuana cardholders, as well as the club, she said.
"I saw them uproot a couple of marijuana plants. They took some bongs and pipes and phones and computers, and that's pretty much it," Greene said on scene as bags of items were carried out by police.
Alaska voters last year approved a ballot measure legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. But it's still illegal to sell the drug.
Guidelines for the regulation of the marijuana trade are under consideration by the Legislature.
Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said it's "very important that people don't try to jump the gun until the state sets our other rules and protocols for the sale and commercialization of marijuana."
No arrests have been made or charges filed in connection with the raid.

Fire extinguisher factory engulfed by flames

A building on Chicago's Southwest Side that contains a fire extinguisher manufacturing business went up in flames just after 9:30pm on Thursday and was quickly engulfed.
A portion of the building collapsed under the intense flames. The fire ultimately elevated to three alarms, requiring the help of 156 firefighters and 26 pieces of equipment.
A HazMat response was called because of the materials used to make fire extinguishers. A fire official said getting enough water to the structure proved difficult.
"We had one engine feed another engine to another engine until we got water on the fire," said 1st Deputy Fire Commissioner Charles Stewart III. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Man took fire vehicle to avoid row with girlfriend

A bricklayer in New Zealand took a council fire vehicle on a 400-kilometer (250 mile) joyride as a way to avoid a confrontation with his partner. Gary Yaxley and his girlfriend were having "a very emotional and vicious domestic" at a rural property at Patoka, near Napier, on October 28, Napier District Court was told on Wednesday.
Yaxley, 27, pleaded guilty to dishonestly taking a Hastings District Council fire utility vehicle, valued at $20,000 and painted in rural fire colours with lights on the top. The vehicle was kept in a shed on the property. Its keys were kept in a location known to locals. His lawyer, Phil Jensen, said he took it to get away from the situation at home.
Mr Jensen told Judge Tony Adeane Yaxley his client took the vehicle because he had been taught the best way to deal with a domestic argument was to "get out when you can". He returned it the next day, used but unharmed. "She [his girlfriend] wanted him to pay for the petrol. He said he would but he didn't, so she's gone and had him charged so she can get the $100 reparation," Jensen said.
Yaxley had previously attended a domestic abuse course that advised him to get away from such situations. "Whilst it wasn't the most appropriate way to do it, that was his motivation." Judge Tony Adeane sentenced Yaxley to 80 hours' community work, ordered him to undertake a course on living skills, and to pay $100 reparation.

Cheating in exams taken to new levels in India

Cheating in exams is fairly common in the Indian state of Bihar, but new images show just how large-scale and blatant the practice is.
Many students smuggled in textbooks and notes into the examination centres despite tight security - and parents and friends scaled the walls of test centres to pass on answers to students during the current secondary school examinations.
The examinations, held by the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), began on Tuesday and are scheduled to go on until 24 March.

Officials say more than 1.4 million students are taking the tests. Most of the incidents of cheating this year have been reported from Saharsa, Chhapra, Vaishali and Hajipur districts.

Well, sort of ...

cognitive_skills_new570Smarter by the minute, sort of

New research is changing long-held ideas of how our minds age, painting a richer picture of different cognitive skills peaking across a lifetime, with at least one — vocabulary — […]

Pain and Itch

neurons_225x225Scientists ID spinal cord neurons that control pain and itch

Sensing pain is extremely unpleasant and sometimes hard to bear – and pain can even become chronic. The perception of pain varies a lot depending on the context in which […]

Neolithic Europe's Remote Heart

One thousand years of spirituality, innovation, and social development emerge from a ceremonial center on the Scottish archipelago of Orkney
Nestled between two lakes on the remote Orkney archipelago in Scotland, the site known as the Ness of Brodgar contains a succession of Neolithic stone buildings spanning 1,000 years—and was likely an important ceremonial center.
In 2002, Ola and Arnie Tait decided they wanted to change the view from their kitchen window. Rather than staring at a sheep pasture, they envisioned looking out onto a wildflower meadow full of poppies, cornflowers, buttercups, and singing birds. Their farm, on Orkney, a remote archipelago of 70 islands 10 miles off the north coast of Scotland, sits in a stunning natural setting, on a narrow strip of land between two sparkling lochs, and is equidistant from two of the most significant Neolithic stone circle monuments: the Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar, each less than a mile away. In 2003, the Taits plowed their field in preparation for planting that meadow. Just as they rounded the last bend, the plow brought up a surprise: a notched slab of stone. They showed the find to Orkney’s regional archaeologist, Julie Gibson, who thought it might be a side panel from a Bronze Age stone coffin. “This find implied that there were human remains under the field, so a test trench was opened,” says Roy Towers, an archaeologist at the Orkney campus of the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Years have passed and the Taits are still not looking at their wildflower meadow. Rather, they have a prime view of one of the most spectacular Neolithic ceremonial complexes ever discovered. Spanning a millennium of activity beginning around 5,000 years ago, these exquisitely preserved buildings, including foundations and low walls, are revealing how Neolithic society changed over time, and why Orkney—despite its seemingly remote location—was at the center of Neolithic Europe. “Thank goodness the Taits didn’t use a deep plow, or else we’d have been looking at a pile of rubble,” says Towers.
Instead of digging up a Bronze Age coffin in the 2003 test trench, as they expected, the archaeologists uncovered part of a finely crafted Neolithic wall. “It had sharp internal angles, beautifully coursed stonework, and fine corner buttresses,” explains Nick Card of the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology, dig director at the site, now known as the “Ness of Brodgar.”
Archaeology has more:

The People of the British Isles

Researchers have developed a map of the United Kingdom based upon genetic variation in the late 1800s, when people were less likely than today to migrate far from the region of their birth. Donnelly and his team took samples from more than 2,000 Britons of European ancestry who lived in rural areas, and whose grandparents were all born in the same region. The team found 17 different groups based upon this DNA, and these groups matched the grandparents’ geographic locations. The team also analyzed the genomes of more than 6,000 people from continental Europe to trace their ancestors’ contributions to the Britons’ ancestry, such as the Anglo-Saxons, who moved from present-day Denmark and Germany into Britain after the departure of the Romans and interbred with the local residents. “The patterns we see are extraordinary. The genetic effects we’re looking at are the result of, probably, thousands of years of history,” Peter Donnelly, director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, told Nature News. To read in-depth about Anglo-Saxons, see "The Kings of Kent."

Earth May Not Be So Special After All

Earth is in what's called the habitable zone. It's far enough from the sun that it doesn't get fried, and close enough that it gets the best of its warmth. We like to think we're special for this, but it turns out we might be pretty run of the mill.

A Good One

Giant prehistoric egg seized at Italian airport

An Italian man was caught trying to send a giant prehistoric egg worth more than €90,000 to the United States, Italian customs officials said on Thursday.
Authorities at Bergamo Airport in the country's northeast discovered the egg, which measured 50 centimeters in length and 75 centimeter in diameter, in a parcel destined for Los Angeles.
The egg is thought to be from a so-called "bird elephant", or "Aepyornis Maximus", an emu-like creature weighing half a tonne. The bird lived on the island of Madagascar during the Pleistocene era, which ended 12,000 years ago.
The sender said that his wife was Madagascan, and he had received the egg as a wedding gift. "You can find eggs like this everywhere (in Madagascar) for a few euros. My wife collects them, her family has a few of them," he said. The man could face a jail sentence and €5,000 fine for trying to export a cultural item without permission.

Police officers helped rescue skunk with head stuck in dog toy

When a skunk got into a sticky situation on Monday, two police officers from Plover, Wisconsin, went to the rescue. Combined, Officer Nate Shulfer and Officer Andrew Hopfensperger have worked in law enforcement for more than 10 years.

Slowest Chase Scene Ever

You’d be a little peeved if someone interrupted you while making sweet love. It’s the same with the giant tortoises on Assumption Island. National Geographic expedition leader Paul Rose is in the Seychelles right now. When he goes to see what’s making that sound, it breaks the romance of the moment, so to speak. The angry tortoise leaps into action to chase the intruder away. I guess he told Rose what's what, and good riddance! When he’s finally driven the interloper out of his territory, he returns to his lovely lady. He should be there in, oh, about an hour.

Piranha Feeding Frenzy

Piranhas in a Brazilian river are frenzied as they voraciously devour food being tossed to them by the locals. These people had better be careful not to lose their footing!

Animal Pictures