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

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

1676 Sudbury, Massachusetts is attacked by Indians.
1775 American revolutionaries Paul Revere and William Dawes ride though the towns of Massachusetts warning that "the British are coming."
1791 National Guardsmen prevent Louis XVI and his family from leaving Paris.
1818 A regiment of Indians and blacks is defeated at the Battle of Suwanna, in Florida, ending the first Seminole War.
1834 William Lamb becomes prime minister of England.
1838 The Wilkes' expedition to the South Pole sets sail.
1847 U.S. forces defeat Mexicans at Cerro Gordo in one of the bloodiest battle of the war.
1853 The first train in Asia begins running from Bombay to Tanna.
1861 Colonel Robert E. Lee turns down an offer to command the Union armies.
1885 The Sino-Japanese war ends.
1906 A massive earthquake hits San Francisco, measuring 8.25 on the Richter scale.
1923 Yankee Stadium opens with Babe Ruth hitting a three-run homer as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 4-1.
1937 Leon Trotsky calls for the overthrow of Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
1942 James H. Doolittle bombs Tokyo and other Japanese cities.
1943 Traveling in a bomber, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor, is shot down by American P-38 fighters.
1946 The League of Nations dissolves.
1949 The Republic of Ireland withdraws from British Commonwealth.
1950 The first transatlantic jet passenger trip is completed.
1954 Colonel Nasser seizes power in Egypt.
1978 The U.S. Senate approves the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama.
1980 Zimbabwe's (Rhodesia) formal independence from Britain is proclaimed.
1983 A suicide bomber kills U.S. Marines at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon.

First Ever Sketch of Wonder Woman Goes on Sale

H.G. Peter's first sketch of Wonder Woman, recently recovered from his estate, is now up for sale. Peter was the original artist for the character when she got her start in William Moulton Marston's December 1941 All Star Comics #8. What makes the artwork more interesting (and likely more valuable) are the notes between Peter and Marston underneath it.  Read the text of their notes, more details about the item and see another photo at the sale listing at ComicLink.

Nottingham’s Maze of Medieval Caves gets fully surveyed

For the first time, the entire network of 549 caves underneath Nottingham has been fully surveyed, revealing new details about what lies under the surface of the English city.Sandstone steps in the caves at Nottingham Castle - photo by Lee Hayward / Flickr
The Nottingham Caves Survey, which is run by Trent & Peak Archaeology and supported by a variety of organizations including English Heritage, carried the project using a 3D laser scanner to produce a full measured record of the caves in three dimensions. These caves are all man-made, as the ground underneath the city is made up of sandstone, which can be easily dug into.
The Anglo-Saxon writer Asser referred to Nottingham as Tigguocobauc = “the house of caves” and some of the caves date back over a thousand years. During the Middle Ages, some of the caves served as a tannery, chapel, kilns for malt and pottery and a secret entrance into Nottingham Castle.
More caves were created in modern times. Historic England reports, “The Victorians also used the caves as stables, for cold and fireproof storage, or as tourist attractions, follies, and summerhouses. In the 20th-century there were catacombs, garages, and air-raid shelters. There is even an underground skittle alley, with a slot carved in one wall for your ball to return through.”
In the mid-20th century efforts were made to preserve the caves, and they now serve as one of the main tourist attractions for Nottingham. The survey hopes to analyze which of the caves might be made publicly accessible, as well as used as filming locations, art spaces or coffee shops. The project is also working on a smartphone app to allow people walking through Nottingham to discover which caves are underneath them.
For more details, please visit the Nottingham Caves Survey website.

Ancient skeletons found in India

The skeletons have been unearthed in India's Haryana state

Archaeologists in India say they have unearthed four human skeletons dating back to the oldest civilization in the subcontinent.
The ancient Harappan civilization dates back around 4,000 years and was first discovered at Mohenjo Daro in what is now Pakistan in the 1920s.
The remains recovered from a cemetery in the northern state of Haryana are of two adult males, a female and a child.
Scholars hope the latest find will shed new light on the Harappan people.
Archaeologists and scientists from India and South Korea have been carrying out excavations at the cemetery at Rakhigarhi village in Haryana's Hissar district since 2013.
South Korean scientists will examine the DNA obtained from the skeletons
Archaeologists say the skeletons have been 'well preserved' Archaeologist Ranvir Singh said scientists from South Korea at the site, equipped with advanced technology, would now attempt to reconstruct the DNA of the skeletons.Nilesh Jadhav, another archaeologist working at the site, told The Hindustan Times that they had also found "some items like pottery with food grains and shell bangles near the skeletons, which enabled us to believe that the settlers believed in reincarnation".
Mohenjo Daro is the world's oldest surviving city and dates back to the pre-Hindu Indus Valley civilization.

What Happens If A Cemetery Goes Under?

Cemeteries are supposed to be peaceful and even sacred places, but there are made out of real estate and business. The business generates income by selling burial plots -which is not the same as selling real estate in most places. Eventually, all the plots will be sold. Cultures have developed different ways of dealing with this problem, from emptying graves to stacking more coffins on top. But what if the business of the cemetery goes bankrupt?
If the process of a foreclosure or a bankruptcy starts, the rest of the operations at the cemetery screech to a halt. So the maintenance of the grounds, the burial of individuals who prepaid for their plots, and other day-to-day goings on stop while the courts and banks work out what will happen next to the business and land.
Families and friends of those who prepaid for their burial end up faced with a difficult decision. They can wait for the bankruptcy or foreclosure issue to be resolved, find and purchase a new burial plot elsewhere, or, if the courts allow it, hire someone with the machinery to dig the grave in the plot they already paid for. Care of loved ones’ graves also falls to them during that time.
From here, what happens next varies widely on a case by case basis.
Laws and customs for dealing with bankrupt or abandoned cemeteries vary from country to country, and from state to state. The procedure for those already buried there can be quite complicated, depending on many factors. Today I Found Out goes over the problems of sustaining cemeteries through unexpected circumstances.

This Nuclear Powered Rocket Would Have Been "A Flying Chernobyl"

In 1957, the United States began secretly developing a new type of aircraft. This was the Atomic Age, when nuclear energy seemed to offer unlimited energy in numerous ways. Nuclear reactors provide enormous potential, which is why America put them into submarines and aircraft carriers at this time. It seemed only reasonable to apply this power to aircraft.
Scientists envisioned the Supersonic Low Altitude Missile as a drone that would travel at 2,500 miles per hour over the Earth, dropping multiple hydrogen bombs over the Soviet Union. It would not need to refuel, as conventional aircraft do.
The US had already experimented with putting a nuclear reactor inside a modified B-36 bomber. But the shielding necessary to protect the crew from radiation created weight problems. So developers went in a different direction: a nuclear-powered drone aircraft. Steve Weintz writes for Medium:
While the nuclear aircraft program wrestled with complicated plumbing and tons of shielding, the SLAM project dispensed with the crew and pursued a simple but scary idea—the nuclear ramjet.
A ramjet is a jet engine that moves so fast, the air entering its combustion chamber becomes hot and dense enough to ignite fuel. The resulting explosion of hot gas pushes the ramjet—and its attached vehicle—to supersonic or even hypersonic speeds.
Though simple in design, a ramjet is tough to build and operate. Rockets and conventional turbojet engines must first accelerate a ramjet-powered aircraft fast enough before the ramjet can kick in. Ramjets also require special materials to resist intense heat and pressure. And they gulp fuel like a drag racer.
But if made small, light and tough enough, a nuclear reactor could solve the fuel consumption problem and give a ramjet-powered vehicle enormous range.
It's a great idea. Unless, of course, the nuclear reactor explodes:
Suppose the guidance system failed and a missile roared over friendly territory? If the range-safety officer destroyed it in flight, you still had a supersonic nuclear mess on your hands.
Even if the missile worked as designed, it also violated the recently-signed Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty. An open-cycle engine like the nuclear ramjet exhales radioactive air and dust-sized bits of nuclear fuel as it roars along, and no technology available then or now could clean it up.
Though one scientist who worked on the project described it as "like zany science fiction," the nuclear ramjet soon became obsolete. New intercontinental ballistic missiles could accurately deliver their payloads within minutes--a much shorter period of time than the nuclear ramjet drone offer.

This Vibrating Bed Is Designed to Remove Kidney Stones

The wife of Zhu Qinghua, a rice farmer in Jiangxi, China, has kidney stones. She has already lost one kidney, so it is imperative to keep the other one healthy.
Her doctor said that she should stand on her head periodically in order to dislodge the stones. To make that easier, Zhu designed and built this bed, which holds a patient at different angles. It has a driving wheel from a tractor which vibrates the bed as his wife lies in it. This is supposed to shake the kidney stones loose.
Zhu has patented his invention and hopes to soon begin mass producing it.

Driver-less train with 150 passengers traveled backwards for 27 kilometers

A train traveled for 27 kilometers backwards on Sunday, passing through three stations in Rajbari, central Bangladesh, without its driver. The Faridpur Express was finally be stopped near Pangsha station thanks to a ticket checker's presence of mind. With the help of some passengers, the ticket checker undid the air-brake hoses between three carriages, which put the brakes on and stopped the train. Some 150 passengers were on board the runaway train.
According to railway officials, minutes before the train was to leave Rajbari station for Faridpur at around 8:00am, its driver Mohammad Ali, who was not in the locomotive, sent his assistant Faisal Hossain to check the engine. Faisal did something wrong that made the train roll backwards on the Rajbari-Poradaha route. Ali was chewing betel leaf on the platform. “Before I could realize what was happening, the train shot out of the station,” the driver later said.
Failing to control the train, the assistant jumped off the moving train. “The train ran up to Pangsha Railway Station without any driver on board,” Bangladesh Railway Director (Traffic) Zahurul Islam said. It took quite some time for the passengers to realize that something was wrong. “I didn't understand what was going on. I got frightened when I learned that the train was without the driver,” said passenger Azbor Uddin, 52.
As panicked passengers started screaming, ticket checker Anwar asked them to calm down and help him stop the train, Azbor added. The train was then traveling at around 30km an hour. After some effort, they managed to stop it near Pangsha station at around 8:55am. By that time, it had passed through three stations. Driver Ali, his assistant Foysal and guard Subhas Chandra Sharma were suspended in connection with negligence of duty. The railway has formed a five-member team to probe the incident.

Cockiness of Runner Loses Him the Race in Final Seconds

A runner competing in the Pepsi Team Invitational in Eugene, Oregon learned that a cocksure attitude displayed too soon may be a recipe for loss. Oregon runner Tanguy Pepiot thought he had the race in the bag and slowed, raising his arm in a gesture to elicit cheers from the crowd. During his display, Washington runner Meron Simon passed him and finished first.
A chagrined Pepiot told Oregon paper The Register Guard,
"I think it was the first time it happened to me. I’ll make sure it’s the last time."

Good Samaritan given parking ticket after stopping to help elderly lady lying on pavement

A student was given a parking ticket as he rushed to help an old lady who had fallen over. Drew Hollinshead, 21, was driving in Winton, Dorset, when he noticed an elderly lady lying on the pavement. He swiftly pulled over to help. When the woman was safely back on her feet, he returned to his car where he found a Bournemouth Council parking warden issuing a £70 fine for stopping in a disabled parking bay without a permit.
He said: "I saw an old woman fall down and stopped for around 30 to 45 seconds at the most to help her. I went back to my car and there was a parking officer who was giving me a ticket. He must have seen what was happening and that I was helping the old lady. I asked him why he was still giving me the ticket and he said: 'It gives me no great satisfaction to give you this ticket'. Any normal person would have turned a blind eye when they saw why I had stopped as I just got out, helped this old lady to get up and went back to my car."
Drew said that he ripped the ticket up half in the heat of the moment and threw it in the bin, but later retrieved it. "It says that it costs £70 if paid within 28 days of the date that it was issued or £35 if paid early, within 14 days, but it's not the cost that matters, it's the principle of it. I tried to do something good and then something bad happened because of it. I stopped in the disabled bay as it was the nearest place to where the old lady was.
"There was space for about four cars and it was completely empty, so it wasn't like somebody was waiting to use it and I was blocking the space. Under the circumstances, I think it's ridiculous." A spokesperson for Bournemouth Council said that they are not able to comment on individual cases. Margaret Leslie, Operations Manager for Parking Services, said: "Any motorist receiving a fine can appeal against a ticket through the contact details given on their Penalty Charge Notice. We give full consideration into all individual cases and take mitigating circumstances into account."

Car park weight-lift prankster hunted by police

A prankster who performed weight-lifting moves on a car park barrier is being hunted by police.
British Transport Police (BTP) officers are appealing for information after the man allegedly damaged the car park exit barrier at Nottingham railway station.
A CCTV image has been released of a man officers would like to speak to about the incident, which took place on the ground floor of the multi-story car park at around 6.55pm on Saturday, 14 March.
PC Michael Wearmouth is investigating. He said: “The man repeatedly lifted the barrier up and down causing substantial damage.” Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police.

Man faces several charges after breaking into neighbor's home and microwaving his wallet

A Florida man forced his neighbor on to a balcony at their Tampa apartment tower before he microwaved the man’s wallet and tried to start a fire, according to Tampa Fire Rescue officials.
Firefighters responded on Sunday morning to a report of a fire on the 30th floor of the Element apartment tower where a resident was said to be trapped on a balcony. When they arrived at around 8:45am, firefighters found smoke, but no active fire, officials said.
According to a fire marshall’s report, Mohammed Almarri, 21, illegally entered his neighbors apartment and threatened the owner of the apartment until he retreated to the balcony. From the balcony, the owner, who was not identified, watched as Almarri put his wallet in the microwave and turned it on.
He then piled his collection of lighters next to a small electric heater and turned that on, officials said. Almarri was arrested and charged with first-degree arson, assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, armed burglary of a dwelling and false imprisonment. The owner of the apartment was not injured. Damage was estimated at $1,000.

Thief arrested after programming his home address into stolen car's GPS

When Sheriff's deputies in Jefferson County, Alabama, tried to track a stolen car left at the scene of another crime on Saturday night, they found a strange address programmed into the vehicle's GPS system under the category 'Home.' It was the address, they say, of the car thief. Deputies were dispatched at about 9pm to a home in Pinson to investigate a report of a car break-in.
The victim told deputies he caught a man breaking into his truck. When he confronted him, the man ran away, said Chief Deputy Randy Christian. The suspect, however, left a car in front of the victim's home. Deputies called the car's registered owner, and found out it had been stolen. A tracking dog was brought in to help hunt the suspect. The dog tracked to an area of nearby Crossbrook Lane.
A GPS device located in the stolen car showed an address of 6700 Crossbrook Lane as "home," Christian said. Deputies went to the address and found the suspect hiding under the porch in the backyard. The suspect told deputies that he wanted to turn himself in for "making a bad choice and stealing a car."
Authorities charged Donnie Jaydon Terry, 18, with first-degree theft of property, unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle and criminal mischief. He remains in the Jefferson County Jail with bonds totalling $20,300. "This was good work by the person reporting and our deputies,'' Christian said. "I'm not thinking he would have offered the 'made a bad choice' revelation short of being caught, but apology accepted anyway."

Police seek man who made lewd comments through letterboxes before stealing knickers

A man who made sexually suggestive comments through the letterboxes of two women before stealing a pair of knickers is being hunted by police. The knicker thief struck at around 2am on Saturday, when women at two separate houses in Hapton, Lancashire, were disturbed by him banging on their doors. Police said the man made the comments through the letterbox after they refused to open up to him before stealing a pair of knickers from one of the victim's washing lines.
Officers said he was wearing dark clothing, although detectives investigating the 'unusual incident' did not have a more detailed description. Patrols have been stepped up in the area in a bid to reassure the public and to try and find the person responsible. Cllr Joanne Greenwood, who represents the area on Burnley Council, said: "It sounds laughable but I'm sure it was very frightening and not funny for the two women involved.
"It's really bizarre. It sounds almost funny but it's absolutely serious and not funny at all for the victims. I'm sure when the police finally track down this guy, they will find he has issues because to steal underwear is just odd." DS Alisa Wilson, from Burnley CID, is urging anyone who witnessed a man acting suspiciously in Hapton on Saturday to contact them. She said: "This is an unusual and isolated incident which has left the two women shaken and distressed.
"I believe the man responsible may have been in the area for some time and I am appealing for anyone who may have seen him loitering to make contact with police." Cllr Jean Cunningham, who also represents the area on Burnley Council, said: "This is quite a disturbing thing to have happened. It's not something that I have ever heard of happening before and it gives me great concern. I hope that the the police's investigation can be helped by anybody who can."

Woman who hit man on head with baseball bat says she didn't want to to be his girlfriend

A woman from Marion County, Oregon, has been arrested after police say she struck a man on the head with a baseball bat, fracturing his skull. Haley Fox, 24, of Turner has been arrested and charged with Assault I. Police say the 26-year-old Alabama man began a relationship with Fox via the internet, sometime in 2013.
According to detectives, in April of 2015 he agreed to move to Oregon and live with her. On April 8th, he went to Fox's residence, to meet her for the first time in person. When he arrived Fox led him to a table outside of the residence where he sat down to drink wine. Police say Fox then asked the man to close his eyes.
Detectives determined that while he had his eyes closed, Fox walked behind him and struck him on the head with a baseball bat. As a result of the attack the victim suffered cuts to the head that required staples and a fractured skull. Fox told investigators that she decided to hurt the man because she did not want to be his girlfriend.
During the assault investigators learned that an additional party was present and may have witnessed the assault. A 26-year-old woman has been interviewed and her exact involvement is still being determined, according to the report. On April 9th, Fox was arrested and later charged with Assault I. Since her arraignment she has posted bail and was released from custody. The Alabama man has been treated and released from Salem Hospital.

Woman attacked husband with knife because of the terrible smell he left in toilet

A Japanese woman allegedly attacked her husband with a kitchen knife because of the terrible smell he had left in the toilet.
Police say Emi Mamiya, 29, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after apparently slashing her husband’s face with the knife.
Mamiya was reportedly incensed by the smell left behind after her 34-year-old partner emerged from the bathroom.
Her anger was further fueled when he tried to help their 3-year-old son use the toilet “without washing his own hands first,” she said.

Gay penguin story again on list of disputed library books

A picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin has again made a list of books to have received the most complaints from library users. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell came third in a list of titles the American Library Association said had received the most complaints from parents and educators.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian came top of the list. Sherman Alexie's tale of a young Native American at a predominately white high school was first published in 2007. Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, a graphic novel about a young Iranian girl growing up in the years after the country's Islamic Revolution, is ranked second.
The list of titles, all of whom have been the subject of a formal written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting they be removed, is compiled annually by the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom. The alleged "cultural insensitivity" of Alexie's novel is one of the reasons cited in complaints calling for its removal. And Tango Makes Three, based on a real-life story of two male penguins who hatched an egg at the New York Zoo, is accused of promoting a homosexual agenda.

Other titles on the list include Toni Morrison's debut novel The Bluest Eye, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and A Stolen Life, a kidnapping memoir by Jaycee Dugard. The remaining books cited by the library association were Robie Harris' It's Perfectly Normal, Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples, Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Raina Telgemeier's Drama. The ALA counted 311 challenges in 2014, roughly the same as were lodged in 2013.

Mother-in-law hit by bullet that killed armadillo

Authorities say a woman in Lee County, Georgia, was accidentally shot by her son-in-law while he was shooting an armadillo. The incident had a lot of people scratching their heads, including law enforcement. "Just the circumstances, just all the way around, the whole situation was unusual," said Investigator Bill Smith with the Lee county Sheriff's Office. The shooting happened on Sunday night. Lee County Sheriff's deputies said 54-year-old Larry McElroy was outside when he fired his 9 mm pistol at the armadillo.

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