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

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Daily Drift

Yeah, meanwhile ...!
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Today in History

1242 Russian troops repel an invasion by Teutonic knights.
1614 Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe.
1792 George Washington casts the first presidential veto.
1843 Queen Victoria proclaims Hong Kong a British crown colony.
1861 Gideon Wells, the Secretary of the Navy issues official orders for the
1865 As the Confederate army approaches Appomattox, it skirmishes with Union forces at Amelia Springs and Paine's Cross Road.
1908 The Japanese Army reaches Yalu River as Russians retreat.
1919 Eamon de Valera becomes president of Ireland.
1930 Mahatma Ghandi defies British law by making salt in India instead of buying it from the British.
1941 German commandos secure docks along the Danube River in preparation for Germany's invasion of the Balkans.
1943 The British 8th Army attacks the next blocking position of the retreating Axis forces at Wadi Akarit.
1951 Americans Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are sentenced to death for espionage.
1955 Winston Churchill resigns as British prime minister.
1986 A bomb explodes in a West Berlin disco packed with American soldiers.

Eight Italian Travel Tips for Visiting America

Before traveling to Italy for the first time, I was only given one piece of advice that I can remember: be prepared for Italian men, for they are aggressively flirtatious and handsy. It turned out to be great advice. As I wasn't armed with any more key pieces of information about spending time there, I winged it the rest of the way through.
But what of these bits of Italian advice to travelers who are planning their first trip to the United States? A list at Mental Floss features the following "heads up":
8. AMERICANS ARE IGNORANT, BUT NICE. Of course not all Italians think Americans are nice. Yahoo poster bg says that “The average American has a low level culture and education, most only know English and that inadequately. With the excuse that they are the first country in the world, their arrogance does not allow them to recognize that there are other cultures. The strength of their culture is sports, junk food and Hollywood.”
But, as poster Alessandro notes, “The ignorant are everywhere, but at least in the U.S. they are friendly.”
See eight other Italian tips for those traveling to the United States here.

1947: Bill in US Congress Would Offer Statehood to Iceland

Bertrand “Bud” Gearhart (R-CA) was a member of the US House of Representatives from 1935-1949. In the early years of the Cold War, he was concerned about Soviet international ambitions, especially as the French and British empires receded. He thought it prudent that American strength should reach out to confront the Soviets. Gearhart was particularly concerned about the north Atlantic. So, in 1947, he introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would seek to purchase Greenland from Denmark and offer statehood to Iceland, which had been an independent nation for nearly 3 years. An Associated Press report from that time quotes him:
“Americans must give thought to the ramparts we watch, not merely to the ramparts we once watched,” Gearhart declared in the house. “It is time we give some consideration to the ever avaricious outside world.”
“With Russia extending herself in all directions and England and France clinging tenaciously to their respective empires,” Gearhart added, the islands should be acquired to ensure the defense of the U.S. and possessions “before the last flicker of gratitude among our erstwhile allies dies out.”
I can find no evidence that the House passed the bill.
“U.S. Expansion Aim of Measure.” The Oregonian 25 Feb. 1947: 4. America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-2000. Web. 1 April 2015.

Texas Winds Spread Disease

The answer may not actually be blowing in the wind, but drug-immune bacteria apparently are.

Underground Moon Cities

The moon's lava tubes could be large enough to house structurally stable lunar cities for future colonists.

Martian Mineral Jackpot

As far as rocks on any planet go, this formation looks fascinating -- but these rocks are on Mars and they hold clues to TWO periods of water on the red planet.

Non Sequitur


Man spent six hours getting a tattoo of jesus before running off without paying

A man with no regard for the eighth commandment spent six hours getting a tattoo of jesus, before running off without paying. A tattooist at RedINC in Luton, Bedfordshire was stunned when the ‘customer’ claimed he had already paid another member of staff for the work and then used the confusion to skip out on a £250 bill. CCTV footage seems to show that an hour before that the man took advantage of the tattooist locking up a back door to steal £1,000 from the front counter, which he stuffed into his jeans before sitting down to get his artwork finished.

Couple both dead after disagreement over $500 winning lottery ticket

An argument over a winning $500 scratch-off lottery ticket apparently led a man to shoot his live-in girlfriend on Saturday morning, then turn the gun on himself, police in Fort Worth, Texas, have said.
“We received information that the suspect had won $500 on a Texas lottery scratch-off ticket and that the victim wanted half of the proceeds,” homicide Sgt. Joe Loughman said. “The suspect didn’t want to share it with her.” Though critically injured from a gunshot wound to the chest, Laurice Hampton, 48, was able to call 911 at about 6:30am to report the shootings by Terry Martin, 46.
“She told them that she had been shot and that he had shot himself after he shot her,” Loughman said. Responding officers found the couple inside a master bedroom of their home. Martin was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the head. Hampton was taken by ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital and died a few hours later.
Loughman said the couple had known each other since childhood and had lived together for several years. They were known to have a “very volatile relationship,” he said. Tarrant County court records show Martin was sentenced in July 2012 to a day in jail and fined $214 for assaulting Hampton in their home in November 2011.

Smuggler hid cannabis in lamb pot roast

A drug smuggler attempted to hide 20g of cannabis in a lamb pot roast, police in Australia's Northern Territory say. "A quick X-ray revealed seasoning of a completely illegal nature," a police statement said. The sealed plastic bag of cannabis had been inserted into the lamb which had then been re-wrapped in heat-shrunk plastic, Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Malogorski said.
"In an Indigenous community you're looking at $100 for 1 gram," he said. "You're looking at $2,000." Sergeant Malogorski said the pot roast had been delivered to a company at Darwin Airport as freight consigned for the Tiwi Islands 100 kilometers to the north.
Illegal drugs such as cannabis command exorbitant prices in many Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory and suppliers find "ingenious" ways to smuggle and hide them, he said. Unlawfully supplying cannabis to another in the Northern Territory attracts a maximum five years imprisonment.
"It is a small amount of cannabis," he said. "The problem you have is on Indigenous communities where people haven't got a large amount of money and the dealers are trying to rip the community off. They can't afford to pay that sort of money for that type of rubbish." The lamb roast was destroyed while the cannabis has been sent to the forensics center for testing, he said.

Woman being strangled with bra fought off attacker with ceramic chicken

Police in Lexington, Kentucky have arrested a 31-year-old woman after she strangled a stranger with her bra. "I thought I was going to die,” said the victim, Patricia Leece.
She survived the bizarre attack but the 61-year-old says it will take a long time to recover. Her face is bruised and scratched, her arms are scraped and she is missing patches of hair. "It happened at about 12:30 the other night. Someone came to my doors, banging, screaming and hollering." Leece says she opened the door to her home because she thought it was her granddaughter.
Instead, she says that the woman standing there was Ashley Sies. Leece says Sies old pushed her way inside and wrapped her bra around her neck. "She choked me down and we fought for a good 15 to 20 minutes. Finally I saw one of my (ceramic) chickens on the floor so I picked it up and started bashing her on the head with it," Leece explained.

After she knocked her out, she called police. Investigators say Sies appeared to be on drugs and thought she was being followed when she showed up on Leece's porch early on Monday morning. "She was going door to door hoping someone would let her in. Of course it was me," said Leece. Sies is charged with first-degree burglary but more charges could be on the way because Leece says she will press charges.

Search on for stolen ten foot tall metal rooster

Rocket the Rusty Rooster has flown the coop, and Athens-Clarke County police in Georgia are looking for his captor. The rooster is roughly 10 feet tall and weighs in at more than 300 pounds of scrap metal. For two weeks, Rusty was perched in front of a store called Lexington Vintage.
The metal bird was stolen sometime between 9:30pm on Friday and 8am on Saturday. Bonnie Harris is the owner of Lexington Vintage, a place for artists to showcase their work in Athens. Harris said she has only been open for four months and the rooster was an attention getter for passing motorists.
Harris said her husband thinks some type of tool was used to cut Rusty away because part of one foot was left in the ground. The bird was anchored into the ground with rebar stakes. Since the rooster was worth $3,000, Athens-Clarke County Police said the person/s responsible would face felony charges.

Harris said she hopes whoever took the rooster doesn't destroy it for a couple dollars worth of scrap metal. “I hope it is somebody who recognized, hey this is a really cool piece of art and they took it impulsively and would see this and bring it back. However, I know I can't rely on the integrity of a thief,” Harris said.

Dog saved life of man choking on pickled onion by performing the Heimlich manoeuvre

A man who nearly choked to death on a pickled onion says his pet dog saved his life by unwittingly performing the Heimlich manoeuvre. Alan Spencer, 67, of Withernsea, Yorkshire, was tucking into his dinner when a piece of skin from the pickled vegetable blocked his windpipe. Mr Spencer staggered towards his front door to get help from neighbors but collapsed in his hallway. As he choked on the pickle he said he felt his life slipping away.
But, just as he started to black out, Mr Spencer's 18-month-old Labrador Lexi jumped heavily on his back, dislodging the onion. "People will say they are only animals and they don't know what they were doing, but Lexi is so clever, she is very canny," said Mr Spencer. "She saved my life most definitely. If it wasn't for her I honestly don't think I would be here. Normally I don't speak like that, but looking back on the whole situation if it wasn't for her actions I would be dead, lying in that passageway dead."
Mr Spencer, who lives alone, spent three tortuous minutes frantically trying to dislodge the vegetable from his throat before seeking help. "It went straight down my throat and blocked the air completely," he said. "I was absolutely petrified. I was coughing and choking and leaping about trying to get it free. I got out the living room and tried to get down the passage to open the door to get someone's attention outside. I felt myself going completely. I felt the life going out of me." As Mr Spencer struggled to breathe, his pet Labradors Lexi and ten-month-old Nancy grew anxious.

He said: "The poor dogs didn't know that was going on. They were going mad. I fell to the floor and I was fighting and fighting for air and to get to the door. The small dog Nancy was jumping on my legs and Lexi was licking my face." Mr Spencer became convinced he was going to die when Lexi sprang into action. "All of a sudden out of the blue I felt this almighty crash on my back and it was Lexi," said Mr Spencer. "She had just jumped straight up in the air and landed right in the middle of my back. All of a sudden the piece of onion shot out of my mouth and I could breathe again."

Jockey escaped unhurt after spectacular fall at final fence

18-year-old amateur jockey Lewis Ferguson was riding the 4/7 favorite Merrion Square in the 4.20 John Dufosee Memorial Open Hunters’ Chase at Wincanton on Wednesday and everything seemed to be going to plan as he approached the last fence in the lead.
But things started to go wrong as Ferguson was just about to reach the hurdle, with his horse appearing to change direction at the last moment, throwing him out of the saddle. He then fell into the fence and flipped over twice, before landing on his back further down the course.
Officials began to get the screens out, anticipating Ferguson would require medical assistance, but he remarkably got to his feet and walked away unscathed. Wincanton clerk of the course Barry Johnson described it as “the worst fall I’ve ever seen.”

He said: “Lewis is absolutely fine, unbelievably. He walked into the parade ring and was chatting away as if nothing had happened, calm as you like. It was amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it. It was certainly the worst fall I’ve ever seen and I’m just glad he’s all right because I feared the worst.”

Man waiting at bus stop bitten by beaver

A man who was bitten by a beaver at a bus stop in Tyresö, south of Stockholm, Sweden, has been describing the attack.
Pentti Savola, 57, was among a group of early morning commuters waiting to get a bus to work when the animal came up to him and bit his leg last week. "It was lightning fast. I never thought that an animal that looks so clumsy could be so crafty," he said.
He said that he may have stressed the animal out as he took some photos of it. The wound on his leg was bleeding a lot but Mr Savola did not need antibiotics. "It has now healed nicely, I hold no grudge against the beaver", laughs Mr Savola.
He said he wanted to tell his story to warn children that they should not pet beavers without knowing more about the animals. The beaver was hunted to extinction in Sweden by the end of the nineteenth century but was reintroduced during the 1920s and 1930s after eighty of they were imported from Norway, in what is often cited as one of the most successful animal conservation efforts in history.

Poachers Are Becoming Elephant Protectors

In Zimbabwe, the transformation from poacher to elephant savior isn't just a personal choice, it is a financial one.

Clumsy Tarantulas

The tarantula is a fast-moving spider, but it's not always a coordinated one, a new study finds.

Clues to Longer Life

When fat-tailed dwarfs of the species hit the hibernate button, they increase their overall longevity.

Animal Pictures