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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Daily Drift

The perils of being sexy and good looking ...!
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Today in History

1282 The great massacre of the French in Sicily The Sicilian Vespers comes to an end.
1547 In France, Francis–king since 1515–dies and is succeeded by his son Henry II.
1776 Abigail Adams writes to husband John that women are "determined to foment a rebellion" if the new Declaration of Independence fails to guarantee their rights.
1779 Russia and Turkey sign a treaty by which they promise to take no military action in the Crimea.
1790 In Paris, France, Maximilien Robespierre is elected president of the Jacobin Club.
1836 The first monthly installment of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens is published in London.
1862 Skirmishing between Rebels and Union forces takes place at Island 10 on the Mississippi River.
1880 The first electric street lights ever installed by a municipality are turned on in Wabash, Indiana.
1889 The Eiffel Tower in Paris officially opens on the Left Bank as part of the Exhibition of 1889.
1916 General John Pershing and his army rout Pancho Villa's army in Mexico.
1917 The United States purchases the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million.
1918 Daylight Savings Time goes into effect throughout the United States for the first time.
1921 Great Britain declares a state of emergency because of the thousands of coal miners on strike.
1933 To relieve rampant unemployment, Congress authorizes the Civilian Conservation Corps .
1939 Britain and France agree to support Poland if Germany threatens to invade.
1940 La Guardia airport in New York officially opens to the public.
1941 Germany begins a counter offensive in North Africa.
1945 The United States and Britain bar a Soviet supported provisional regime in Warsaw from entering the U.N. meeting in San Francisco.
1948 The Soviet Union begins controlling the Western trains headed toward Berlin.
1949 Winston Churchill declares that the A-bomb was the only thing that kept the Soviet Union from taking over Europe.
1954 The siege of Dien Bien Phu, the last French outpost in Vietnam, begins after the Viet Minh realize it cannot be taken by direct assault.
1960 The South African government declares a state of emergency after demonstrations lead to the deaths of more than 50 Africans.
1966 An estimated 200,000 anti-war demonstrators march in New York City.
1967 President Lyndon Johnson signs the Consular Treaty, the first bi-lateral pact with the Soviet Union since the Bolshevik Revolution.
1970 U.S. forces in Vietnam down a MIG-21, the first since September 1968.
1980 President Jimmy Carter deregulates the banking industry.
1991 Albania offers a multi-party election for the first time in 50 years.

Iconic Themes

Hi cutie…
Girls and Cars

The World's Fair That Raised San Francisco From the Ashes

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco. Most people just called it the World’s Fair. The purpose of the exposition was to celebrate the Panama Canal and the ease of travel it brought, but the fair also celebrated San Francisco rising from the ashes of the devastating earthquake of 1906. What would amount to an entire city elsewhere was built for the fair, only to be torn down afterward.
All these structures and their lushly landscaped courtyards were united by an earth-tone color scheme devised by muralist Jules Guérin, the Director of Color, to reflect the California landscape. “I saw the vibrant tints of the native wild flowers, the soft brown of the surrounding hills, the gold of the orangeries, the blue of the sea; and I determined that, just as a musician builds his symphony around a motif or chord, so must I strike a chord of color and build my symphony on this,” Guérin wrote. Architect Bernard Maybeck, who designed the Palace of Fine Arts, likened the entire assemblage to a cloissoné brooch, with its many Italianate, Islamic, and French-inspired buildings all clad in faux-travertine.
The most eye-catching bauble of all was clearly the 435-foot-tall Tower of Jewels, a mishmash of architectural references whose exterior was covered by 102,000 two-inch cut glass “Novagems.” Constructed to hang on small hooks and sparkle like a coating of colorful sequins, these over-sized glass “gemstones” were also sold as souvenirs of the PPIE. Emily Post described the building as a diamond and turquoise wedding cake. The Novagem gimmick was put forth by the fair’s lighting director, Walter D’Arcy Ryan, who referred to their effect as “augmented daylight.”
There were also several fabulous light shows to dazzle visitors, exhibitions of modern technology, pavilions of foreign culture (some of which were quite offensive), stunt pilots, art, music, and a 5-acre scale model of the Panama Canal -that worked! Collectors Weekly talked to curator Erin Garcia and author Laura Ackley about the fair and what it meant to San Francisco 100 years ago.

Dreams Are Hard To Remember

Often, we wake up certain of two things: 1. We slept, or at least we think we did; and 2. We had dreams. But DID we dream? Why does remembering our dreams feel a bit like trying to grab wisps of dissipating smoke?

Believe It Or Not


Tales From Tech Support

Tech support

Link Dump

Australia’s Plant of Pain

In a country where all the animals are trying to kill you, the Gympie Gympie is a plant that just wants to make you wish you were dead. You don’t even have to touch it to hurt, because the hairlike structures that cover its leaves shed and make the ground around the plant dangerous. And don't even think about using it for toilet paper.
Many would say that endangering the Gympie Gympie is a job well begun. This innocuous-looking greenery is one of the most feared plants in the world. Its sting is so agonizing that a slight brush to the hand from one of the leaves can make a person throw up from the pain.
Not that the leaves are the only dangerous part. Only the roots of the Gympie are free of the fine hairs that lodge in the skin and deliver the sting. Every subsequent moment of pressure on the hairs causes them to put out more poison into the skin. The pain feels like fire, and it lasts. As long as the hairs are embedded in the skin, the pain keeps coming. Stings from the Gympie cause the lymphatic system to go into overdrive. A person's throat, armpits, and groin swell up and ladle on the pain as the lymph nodes expand.
Yes, it’s an endangered species. But who will step up to save the Gympie Gympie? Read more about this horrifying plant at io9.

Demantoid Garnets

Demantoid garnets - Jeffrey Mine, Canada

Earth Shots

As spring kicks in, our planet pics take a decidedly green hue, from the northern lights, to a verdant Alaskan park and a river that turns color in a flash.

Sniffing Out TB

The animals have undergone six months of training in Tanzania.

England's Wild Beavers

The animals were set free after tests confirmed they were free of bovine TB and parasitic tapeworms.

Intelligent Animals

There are some surprising entries on a new list of intelligent animals, including a small lizard and a furry animal that might be in your home now.

Making a Splash

The new addition is the 11th calf born to mom Funani since 1989.

Deep-Sea Life

A two-week-long seafaring mission off the coast of western Australia has helped illuminate an underwater abyss the size of the Grand Canyon.


A fingernail-size frog that can morph its skin texture from spiny to smooth in just minutes is the first shape-shifting amphibian ever found.

Mystery Fish Deaths

Workers at a Tokyo aquarium are scratching their heads after the deaths of dozens of fish have left just one lonely tuna roaming a once-bustling tank.

Wooly Mammoths Alive and Well?

The procedure is the latest step in longer-term efforts to 'de-extinct' a creature that has not roamed Earth in thousands of years.

Animal Pictures