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.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Daily Drift

Cool ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 203 countries around the world daily.   
Aw, So, Cute... !
Today is  - National Dolphin Day

You want the unvarnished truth?
Don't forget to visit:The Truth Be Told

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, Brazil
Brampton, Henry Farm, Ottawa and Quebec, Canada
Bogota, Colombia
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Boaco, Nicaragua
Lima, Peru
San Juan, Puerto Rico
The Bottom, Sint Eustatius-Saba
Des Moines, Eau Claire, El Cerrito, Ellicott City, Fair Oaks, Isle of Palms, La Crosse, Las Vegas,
Little Rock, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Mount Pilot, New York City,
Old Town, Port Chester, Saint Cloud, saint Louis, Stone Mountain, Sugar Land, Sun City,
West Hartford and Yuba City, United States
Christiansted, Virgin Islands
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Glavinitsa, Bulgaria
Karlin and Stare Mesto, Czech Republic
Chester, London and Sheffield, England
Cerny, Ivry-sur-Suene, Paris, Roubaix and Rouen, France
Meria, Georgia
Bonn, Frankfurt Am Main, Hamburg, Hurth, Rothe Erde and Wuppertal, Germany
Athens, Greece
Reykjavik, Iceland
Dublin, Ireland
Milan, Prato and Ravenna, Italy
Riga, Latvia
Chisinau, Moldova
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Gjerstad and Oslo, Norway
Warsaw, Poland
Braga and Lisbon, Portugal
Bucharest, Romania
Ryazan, Russia
Belgrade, Serbia
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Madrid, Spain
Gislovs Lage and Lulea, Sweden
Ankara, Turkey
Chernihiv, Ukraine
Chongging, Dalian and Shanghai, China
Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar, Calicut and Kolkata, India
Jakarta, Indonesia
Tehran, Iran
Petah Tikva, Israel
Beirut, Lebanon
Bayan Lepas, Johor Bahru, Kula Lumpur, Kulim and Sandakan, Malaysia
Doha, Qatar
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Bangkok and Phang Khon, Thailand
Bloemfontein, Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa
Lusaka, Zambia
The Pacific
Girilambone, Homebush and Sydney, Australia
Cebu City and Rodriguez, Philippines
Don't forget to visit our sister blogs Here and Here.

Today in History

1471 The Earl of Warwick, who fought on both sides in the War of the Roses, is killed at the Battle of Barnet with the defeat of the Lancastrians.
1543 Bartoleme Ferrelo returns to Spain after discovering a large bay in the New World (San Francisco).
1775 The first abolitionist society in United States is organized in Philadelphia.
1793 A royalist rebellion in Santo Domingo is crushed by French republican troops.
1828 The first edition of Noah Webster's dictionary is published.
1860 The first Pony Express rider arrives in San Francisco with mail originating in St. Joseph, Missouri.
1865 President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated in Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth.
1894 Thomas Edison's kinetoscope is shown to the public for the first time.
1900 The World Exposition opens in Paris.
1912 The passenger liner Titanic–deemed unsinkable–strikes an iceberg on her maiden voyage and begins to sink. The ship will go under the next day with a loss of 1,500 lives.
1931 King Alfonso XIII of Spain is overthrown.
1945 American B-29 bombers's damage the Imperial Palace during firebombing raid over Tokyo.
1953 The Viet Minh invade Laos with 40,00 troops in their war against French colonial forces.
1959 The Taft Memorial Bell Tower is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
1961 The first live broadcast is televised from the Soviet Union.
1969 The first major league baseball game is played in Montreal, Canada.
1981 America's first space shuttle, Columbia, returns to Earth.



Tourism Troubles

Berlin Cracks Down on Vacation Rentals
by Ann-Kathrin Nezik
Tourism Troubles: Berlin Cracks Down on Vacation Rentals
Last year, Berlin passed a law banning unregistered vacation rentals in the city because of a shortage of residential housing. A sharp increase in tourism and the popularity of renting private apartments is exacerbating a serious problem. More

A Monumental Day in the Fight Against Polio

Sixty years ago on April 12, 1955, Dr. Thomas Francis of the University of Michigan made the announcement that a polio vaccine had been created. The nation immediately celebrated the life-changing news.
If it is difficult now to understand why that was so momentous, credit the vaccine announced that day, and another one revealed soon after. In the United States, polio killed or paralyzed thousands of children every summer. In 1952, the worst year on record, it attacked 58,000 American kids, closing pools and movie theaters, turning streets into ghost towns as families fled crowded cities for sparsely settled summer colonies where they imagined they would be more safe. Around the world, hundreds of thousands more every year were mowed down by it; in societies with few resources to treat the illness or support the disability that followed, they faced a lifetime of mistreatment and poverty.
Scientists had been working on the problem of polio for years, and while millions of vaccinations ended the terror of the disease in the U.S., it took decades to do so. Polio still exists in some parts of the world, and the battle to eradicate it continues. Mary McKenna of the science blog Germination talked to one of the pioneering “polio warriors,” Dr. John Sever. Sever knew both Dr. Jonas Salk and Dr. Albert Sabin, the inventors of two polio vaccines, and was the founder of Rotary International’s campaign against polio.

John Sever: I was working on a PhD in microbiology and an MD at Northwestern Medical School in the 1950s, so I was aware, of course, of polio. My father had been a practicing physician in the Chicago area, and I had a cousin who had polio paralysis of her legs, so it was very much a personal experience as well as professional. I remember that parents with newborns could buy “polio insurance” against the possibility their child would develop polio, so they could pay for the cost of care. It was on everyone’s mind, that children would be paralyzed and have to be in “iron lungs,” or die.
In the interview, he tells what those early days of polio vaccination were like and how it grew from an emergency measure to a global eradication project. Read the story of the polio breakthrough, and then take a minute to be thankful for the miracle of modern science.

A Visual Overview of Early Supercomputers

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
- Popular Mechanics (1949)
Computers have been around a long time: exactly how long depends on how you define “computer.” However, the development of computers took off big time in the past 100 years. Before transistors, they were incredibly massive, and before microchips they were too big for home use. Now just about everyone carries one around in their pocket. We’ve come a long way, baby. Dark Roasted Blend takes a look back at some of the famous early supercomputers -at least the ones that were photographed. Shown above is an IBM model from the 1960s that stored data on reels of tape. Yes, all that is one computer.

Ain't it always the way ...

Far from being a romantic scene, the burial represent a human sacrifice in which the man was killed to be entombed with the woman.

Earth's 'Great Dying'

Death by acid was the fate of the sea monsters that perished in Earth's biggest mass extinction, some 251 million years ago.

In The Shadow of Galaxy's Black Hole Beast

Despite the harsh environment created by the monster black hole lurking in the center of the Milky Way galaxy, new observations show that stars — and, potentially, planets — are forming just two light-years away from the colossal giant.

Link Dump

Towering 'Terror Bird' Stalked Prey by Listening for Footsteps

by Laura Geggel
Towering 'Terror Bird' Stalked Prey by Listening for FootstepsAbout 3.5 million years ago, carnivorous birds with hooked beaks standing 10 feet (3 meters) tall roamed parts of South America in search of prey. Now, researchers have found a nearly complete skeleton of a new species of these so-called terror birds, and are learning surprising details about their hearing and anatomy.
Researchers found the fossil in 2010 on a beach in Mar del Plata, a city on the eastern coast of Argentina. To their delight, the fossil is the most complete skeleton of a terror bird ever found, with more than 90 percent of its bones preserved, said the study's lead researcher, Federico Degrange, an assistant researcher of vertebrate paleontology at the Centro de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Tierra and the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina.
The scientists named the new species Llallawavis scagliai: "Llallawa" because it means "magnificent" in Quechua, a language native to the people of the central Andes, and "avis," which means "bird" in Latin. The species name honors the famed Argentine naturalist Galileo Juan Scaglia (1915-1989).
Given its extraordinary condition, the fossil has helped researchers study the terror bird's anatomy in detail. The specimen is the first known fossilized terror bird with a complete trachea and complete palate (the roof of the mouth). It even includes the intricate bones of the creature's ears, eye sockets, brain box and skull, providing scientists with an unprecedented look at the flightless bird's sensory capabilities.
An analysis of L. scagliai's inner ear structures suggests the terror bird likely heard low-frequency sounds, an advantage for predators that hunt by listening for the low rumble of their prey's footsteps hitting the ground, the researchers said. The new findings also suggest that the terror bird communicated using low-frequency noises, the researchers added.
"That actually tells us quite a bit about what the animals do, simply because low-frequency sounds tend to propagate across the environment with little change in volume," said Lawrence Witmer, a professor of anatomy?at Ohio University? who has worked with Degrange before, but was not involved in the new study.
"Low-frequency sounds are great for long-[distance] communication, or if you're a predator, for sensing the movements of prey animals," Witmer told Live Science.
This skill puts L. scagliai in good company. Other animals that can or could hear low-frequency sounds include Tyrannosaurus rex, crocodiles, elephants and rhinos, Witmer said.
The researchers also looked at the bird's skull, and found that it was more rigid than in other birds. This could have been to the bird's advantage, the scientists said, since a rigid skull could have helped the terror bird slam prey with its large beak.
"Terror birds didn't have a strong bite force, but they were capable of killing prey just by striking up and down with the beak," Degrange said.
The incredible, near-complete fossil shows that terror birds were more diverse in the Late Pliocene epoch than had been previously thought — an interesting fact given that the Late Pliocene falls toward the end of the birds' reign. Terror birds emerged about 52 million to 50 million years ago, and lived until about 1.8 million years ago, Degrange said. (Some scientists say that terror birds lived until 17,000 years ago, but evidence for this is dubious, he said.)
The researchers plan to study the terror bird's eye bones, brain case and skull in the coming years, with hopes of learning more about the animal's vision and other sensory capabilities, the scientists said.
The findings were published April 9th in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.


They weren’t in the delivery room, but researchers at Yale University and the University of Toronto have discovered a new birth story for a gigantic marine lizard that once roamed […]

Firefighters called out to rescue dog stuck in tree

Tippi the dog climbed 5 meters up a tree and needed to be rescued by volunteer firefighters. The 11-year-old canine tree climber clawed her way up a tree in Northland, New Zealand, at about 11.30am on Sunday, leaving herself stranded and perched on a branch.
Owner Robyn Martinovich said it was too high for her to climb as she had just been released from hospital and her husband was away working. "I didn't have any other options so I rang 111. It was really embarrassing telling the operator I had a dog stuck in a tree." After confirming that yes it was a dog stuck in a tree the volunteer firefighters from Dargaville were alerted.
"The firemen all turned up smiling and were really awesome. I don't think they get to many callouts like that." On arrival a ladder was extended into the branches with one firefighter climbing high. He was able to tuck the tan-and-white colored Jack Russell cross under his arm and safely deliver her to the ground again. Ms Martinovich said she suspected Tippi had been hunting for birds when she got stuck.
Tippi has history of tree climbing. Last year she also ascended a tree. Ms Martinovich said on that occasion she was able to climb the tree herself and reach Tippi but then found herself stuck and had to wait in the branches for about 20 minutes until her husband returned home and the duo could both be rescued. She said tree climbing wasn't something she could stop her dog from doing. "Hopefully if it happens again I'll be in a state to rescue her."

Search for man who abducted wild peacock

Bloodcurdling screams are fairly routine in the Beckley Club Estates neighborhood of east Oak Cliff in Dallas, Texas. That’s because the area is home to a large flock, or ostentation, of peacocks, whose mating call sounds vaguely like a human scream. But the commotion Saturday evening was enough to alarm even longtime resident Tisha Crear. She ran out onto her porch just in time to see a man slam the door of his vehicle on some tail feathers and drive away with a peacock. “I couldn’t believe it,” Crear said. “I was screaming.”
She wasn’t the only one screaming. A stream of peacocks ran after the man’s black Chevy Tahoe, yelling in futility after the alpha male of the group. The peacock was taken at about 7pm from a flock that has roamed the neighborhood for more than 20 years. The stolen bird was the largest and oldest male of the group. Crear said the birds have lived in the neighborhood ever since one of her neighbors bought two peafowl and a few other wild birds, Crear said. The whole community feeds them and looks after them.

But on Saturday night, someone else was watching them. Lisa Solis’ home security system recorded the bird being snatched. She said the video shows the man stalking the birds for about 20 minutes before making his move. The man approaches the bird just as it fanned its feathers and began calling for mates. “That’s part of what makes this so sickening,” said Solis, noting that the peacock was at its most vulnerable. Crear said the man clearly knew what he was doing, grabbing the peacock by its feet and quickly lifting it upside down.

“Who knows how to capture a peacock?” she said. “I sure don’t.” The suspect was described as a Hispanic man wearing a white T-shirt and a baseball cap, and the surveillance video also captured images of his black Chevrolet Tahoe. Solis filed a report with Dallas police and planned to call animal control, too. “We just want him to see that we know what he did,” Solis said, “and that we care.” She said she’s concerned that the male won’t be around to fertilize any eggs this season, possibly throwing off the flock’s dynamic. “We all think of the peacocks as our own,” Crear said. “They grow up in the neighborhood and we hope to keep the generations coming.”

Authorities request that well-meaning people stop accidentally drowning tortoises

People in Florida are accidentally drowning baby tortoises by mistaking them for turtle hatchlings and "releasing" them into the water. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) says it knows of three "well-intentioned good Samaritans" who have made the error.
It is now giving advice to help people spot the difference between sea turtles and gopher tortoises."Gopher tortoises cannot swim well and can easily drown," it says. "Because gopher tortoises often nest in dunes adjacent to sea turtle nesting beaches, correct identification of these terrestrial animals is important before deciding what action, if any, is necessary."
You can tell whether you are looking at a tortoise or a turtle, by just looking at their limbs from a distance - and the conservation group has released some photos to help. "Gopher tortoises have toes, with claws on each toe. Sea turtles have flippers with only one or two claws present on each foreflipper," says the commission.
They say it is important that people do not touch or handle the animals. "All five species of sea turtles found in Florida are federally endangered or threatened and managed under the Endangered Species Act as well as under Florida Statutes. The gopher tortoise is listed under state law," the commission explains. "If you spot any of these species in danger on the beach, please do not disturb the animal."

Stolen dog flagged down RSPCA van 100 miles from home

A stolen dog flagged down an RSPCA van on a deserted road more than 100 miles from his home. Alfie the Yorkshire terrier, taken in a raid on his owner’s home in Wednesbury in the Black Country, last month, forced charity inspector Stephanie Law to stop by barking in front of her vehicle in deepest Buckinghamshire. And then Alfie jumped in when she braked and opened her door to investigate. A scan of his microchip identified the seven-year-old dog as missing and he was reunited with his owner Kirsty Mitton.
But Alfie’s pal Lillie, a five year-old unneutered female taken in the same burglary, is still missing. Stephanie said she was amazed when the dog emerged from woodland in Gerrards Cross. “I have had plenty of people wave me down for help but I have never been flagged down by a dog in need of rescue before,” she said. “I saw Alfie run towards me, clearly trying to attract my attention. He ran right in front of the van, barking.
“As soon as I stopped and opened the door he bounded in, jumped onto the seat and looked at me. It was as if he recognized my uniform and knew I was there to rescue him. We can only assume he had been dumped in the woods and came running out when he heard me drive along. He’s a lovely, friendly dog, despite his ordeal, and I am so pleased he got the happy ending he deserved. Very sadly, Lillie is still missing.” The dogs were taken in the burglary on March 21.
Kirsty, 23, said: “We are over the moon to have Alfie back. We didn’t think we would see him again, but so sad that Lillie is still missing. I jumped straight in the car to drive the 112 miles to be with him as soon as I heard he was safe. Thank goodness we had Alfie microchipped, as there’s no way we would have been traced without that. Sadly Lillie had not been chipped so we would really appreciate it if anyone who recognizes her lets the RSPCA know. We’ve learned the hard way how important it is to have your pets chipped.” Anyone with any information about Lillie should call the RSPCA.

Goat not ghost responsible for turning lights on at college

A goat fooled staff at a college in Wales into thinking they were being haunted by ghosts. Turning off lights to save energy is common practice at Coleg Cambria’s Northop campus yet caretakers kept reporting lights were regularly being left on in the rare breeds center’s goat barn.
But staff were adamant they are turning them off and a baffled animal center manager Wendy Gacem began to suspect a ghost or intruders were to blame. This week the truth was revealed after Jake the Bagot Billy Goat was caught red-handed flicking the switch. Staff were working in the barn when the lights came on and turned around to see Jake had climbed on his hay-rack and pushed the switch with his horns.
Wendy said: “It is a relief that we do not have intruders or a ghost, and animal care staff are relieved that they are no longer being grilled about leaving lights on. Jake has been a cheeky character since he arrived and will often jump on to a wheelbarrow to be pushed around.” Wendy says rare breed Jake has been forgiven for his cheeky antics after becoming a proud father to twin girls last week.
A college spokesman added: “Coleg Cambria takes its responsibilities seriously by encouraging staff to reduce energy consumption. This has been recognized across the UK through the Carbon Trust and Green Dragon sustainability awards. The college is proud to be breeding this very rare goat which are classed as endangered on The Rare Breed Survival Trust Watchlist.”

Climbing routes closed by pine marten

A female pine marten has closed off two popular climbing routes near Inverness after building a den at the top of the crag. The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) said the Ephemeral Artery and Venus Return routes on Moy Rock should not be used.
It said it was an offense to harm pine martens or their dens. Females can give birth to up to five young during April. The MCofS said the routes were closed until further notice. At this time of the year the council usually gives advice on climbs to be avoided because of nesting birds, with ravens having previously nested at Moy Rock.
It said it was unusual to be issuing a warning about a mammal. Pine martens were once found all over Britain before their numbers fell because of persecution in the 19th Century. By the 20th Century they were only found in remote forests and rocky moorland in north west Scotland.
They were given full legal protection in 1988. Scottish Natural Heritage said numbers have recovered since. Climbs on the crag are listed by UK Climbing and Scottish Climbs. Other routes on the rock include ones named Scooby Doo, The Dark Side and The Ticks Ate All the Midgies.

A Chimp is the Next Animal Species to Have Zero Drone Tolerance

In this video footage filmed at Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands, a chimp has more frustration toward the annoying, buzzy thing in his face than he can shake a stick at. Fortunately, shaking a stick seems to eradicate the problem. The drone was killed, but the camera lived on to provide cautionary tales to other humans pulling the ol' drone trick on their captive animal species.

Animal Pictures