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 28, 2015

The Daily Drift

Hell Yeah, What He said  ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 203 countries around the world daily.   
Damn, Straight  ... !
Today is  There is no special celebration today

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

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Vinhedo, Brazil
Chelsea, Greater Sudbury, Henry Farm, Longueil, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, Canada
Santiago, Chile
Bogota, Colombia
Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico
Boaco, Nicaragua
Lima, Peru
Lamboglia, Pajaros and San Juan, Puerto Rico
Barquisimeto, Venezuela
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Brussels, Belgium
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Glavinitsa and Sofia, Bulgaria
Broumov, Horni Pocernice, Karlin and Stare Mesto, Czech Republic
Chester, Colney, London, Manchester and Waterloo, England
Tallinn, Estonia
Helsinki, Finland
Cerny, Lyon, Roubaix, Rouen and Vigy, France
Tbilisi, Georgia
Hurth, Germany
Athens, Greece
Reykjavik, Iceland
Florence, Milan, Palermo, Pisa, Ravenna, Rome and Vicenza, Italy
Riga, Latvia
Vilnius, Lithuania
Steinsel, Luxembourg
Valletta, Malta
Amsterdam and Diemen, Netherlands
Elblag and Olsztyn, Poland
Porto, Portugal
Ivanovo, Krasnoznamensk, Saratov and Vladivostok, Russia
Barcelona, Madrid and Tarragona, Spain
Lulea, Sweden
Ankara, Turkey
Kiev, Ukraine
Yerevan, Armenia
Dhaka and Tungi, Bangladesh
Bangalore, Calicut, Chennai, New India and Shillong, India
Jakarta, Medan, Pontianak and Purwakarta, Indonesia
Petah Tikva and Tel Aviv, Israel
Kyoto, Japan
Seoul, Korea
Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur and Kuching, Malaysia
Muscat, Oman
Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Colombo and Kurunegala, Sri Lanka
Bangkok, Thailand
Algiers, Algeria
Gaborone, Botswana
Shubra El-Kheima, Egypt
Zinder, Niger
Cape Town and Roodeport, South Africa
Lusaka, Zambia
The Pacific
Adelaide, Grogan, Homebush, Strathfield and Sydney, Australia
Makati and Manila, Philippines
Don't forget to visit our sister blogs Here and Here.

Today in History

357 Constantius II visits Rome for the first time.
1282 Villagers in Palermo lead a revolt against French rule in Sicily.
1635 Virginia Governor John Harvey is accused of treason and removed from office.
1760 French forces besieging Quebec defeat the British in the second battle on the Plains of Abraham.
1788 Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the constitution.
1789 The crew of the HMS Bounty mutinies against Captain William Bligh.
1818 President James Monroe proclaims naval disarmament on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain.
1856 Yokut Indians repel an attack on their land by 100 would-be Indian fighters in California.
1902 Revolution breaks out in the Dominican Republic.
1910 The first night air flight is performed by Claude Grahame-White in England.
1916 British declare martial law throughout Ireland.
1919 Les Irvin makes the first jump with an Army Air Corps parachute.
1920 Azerbaijan joins the Soviet Union.
1930 The first organized night baseball game is played in Independence, Kansas.
1932 A yellow fever vaccine for humans is announced.
1945 Benito Mussolini is killed by Italian partisans.
1946 The Allies indict Tojo on 55 counts of war crimes
1947 Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl and five others set out in a balsa wood craft known as Kon Tiki to prove that Peruvian Indians could have settled in Polynesia.
1953 French troops evacuate northern Laos.
1965 The U.S. Army and Marines invade the Dominican Republic.
1967 Muhammad Ali refuses induction into the U.S. Army and is stripped of boxing title.
1969 Charles de Gaulle resigns as president of France.

Woman Builds Tiny 186-Square-Foot House to Avoid High Cost of Housing

Isabella Mori, 50, is a resident of Vancouver, Canada, and she found the price of housing in her home town overwhelming. Unsurprising, since Vancouver has the second most unaffordable housing in the world. Her solution? Build her own home at a cost of only CAD $39,000 (USD $30,995).The attractive, light-filled dwelling, which Mori calls "Thousand Crow," is equipped with well-planned features such as a fan to vent the cat litter box and a number of built-in, space-saving storage solutions.
See many more interesting pictures of Thousand Crow at Isabella Mori's Imgur post.

Brain’s Source of Power

0945498580_brain plug_4307_485x353Study Sheds New Light on Brain’s Source of Power

New research published today in the journal Nature Communications represents a potentially fundamental shift in our understanding of how nerve cells in the brain generate the energy needed to function. The […]

Non Sequitur


Kansas kid corrects anti-drug teacher, cops raid his house

The 11-year-old son of medical marijuana advocate Shona Banda spoke out in his Kansas classroom to correct his teacher's misinformation about pot; then the state of Kansas raided his house and took him away from his mother.
After her son spoke out about medical marijuana, he was detained, and police launched a raid on Shona Banda’s home. “Well, they had that drug education class at school that was just conducted by the counselors… They pulled my son out of school at about 1:40 in the afternoon and interrogated him. Police showed up at my house at 3… I let them know that they weren’t allowed in my home without a warrant… I didn’t believe you could get a warrant off of something a child says in school.” Banda continued, “We waited from 3 o’clock until 6 o’clock. They got a warrant at 6 o’clock at night and executed a warrant into my home. My husband and I are separated, and neither parent was contacted by authorities before [our son] was taken and questioned.”
“They subsequently conducted a raid and then called me when the raid was over letting me know that there was a list of items they took on my kitchen table, I was allowed to go home, and [an officer] gave me his word I would not be arrested in person or at work and that charges would be given to me in a postcard in the mail. I have not been charged with anything at this point, but I have a hard time believing that it’s OK for them to interrogate my child without parental consent for hours,” said Banda. A report by The Human Solution International notes that officers found 2 ounces of cannabis and an ounce of cannabis oil during the raid.
Banda then described the actions that the State of Kansas began to take in an effort to take her son from her, “On the 24th, he was taken into custody. That was on a Tuesday. He was taken out of town Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Friday we had a temporary hearing… and temporary custody was granted to my ex. Now the only reason why temporary custody was granted to my ex is because the judge said something to the effect that the amount of cannabis found in my home was going to possibly be felony charges and it was pointless letting the child return home to his mother.” She believes that the state is trying to take her son away and said, “The state is trying to deem it to where [Shona's ex-husband] is not fit and I’m not fit and they’re trying to take custody of our child.”

Firefighters rescued man who got stuck in wall of his home while attempting to evade police

Steven Shuler, 44, from Monrovia, Indiana, tried to hide from police but ended up getting stuck between the walls of his home. On Monday, officers with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office went to Shuler’s home to serve him an arrest warrant. When officers pulled up, they saw a woman coming out of the home.

Burglar tried to make getaway on wheelchair he had stolen from victim

A 54-year-old man allegedly broke into a man’s apartment in Hillcrest, San Diego, early on Thursday and rode off on a stolen electric wheelchair, but was arrested nearby after being bitten by a police dog, authorities said.
Stanley McQuery allegedly confronted 79-year-old William Ballard at his apartment shortly after 3:30am, pushed him out of his wheelchair and took his phone, San Diego police Officer Frank Cali said.
Ballard, who has only one leg, suffered minor injuries. McQuery then attempted to ride the electric wheelchair to freedom, but police officers caught up to him a couple blocks away, Cali said.
He then ditched the wheelchair and tried to run off, but was bitten by a police dog and taken into custody. Locked up in the San Diego Central Jail in lieu of $105,000 bail, McQuery has been charged with two felonies (robbery and burglary) and several misdemeanors, including elder abuse.
There's a news video here.

Man who stole entire cooler full of ice cream as store clerk slept arrested

Police in Florida apprehended a man on Wednesday suspected of stealing a Good Humor ice cream cooler from a gas station in Oakland Park, Broward County.
Dennis Norman, 25, who moments before the robbery looked up to extend his middle finger at surveying cameras, was arrested and charged with grand theft. Surveillance footage shows a “swaying and spitting” Norman walking into the store on April 2 at 4:09am through the rear parking lot.
After minutes of browsing around, Norman noticed the gas station attendant, Beauvais Guisman, sleeping behind the counter. Norman then cautiously pushed the ice cream cooler away from the register and from a sleeping Guisman, who was just inches away behind a window.

Approximately 15 minutes later, Norman pushed the cooler, valued at $2,500, through the store’s doors. Police believe that Norman fled the same way he entered the store, on foot. Details leading to Norman’s final arrest are not available but police say they had reason to believe that he was a member of a nearby gym and lived in the area.

Chinese Government Cracking Down on Funeral Strippers

The Chinese Ministry of Culture announced Thursday that the government and police will join forces to stop the popular practice of hiring strippers for funerals to entice more mourners to attend. After pictures circulated online of a funeral in the city of Handan in which a dancer took off her bra with children in the audience, the Ministry of Culture denounced the behavior as obscene and warned that a crackdown would follow. To flex their muscle on the issue, they revealed that after the Handan funeral, the people responsible for hiring the dancers were fined 70,000 yuan (approximately $11,300 USD).The Chinese believe that one measure of the deceased is the number of people who show up at their funeral. As a result, large, flashy funeral processions that look more like parades with music, bands and dancers (as in the screen shot above) are common. Hiring exotic dancers and strippers for funerals is also popular in Taiwan, which is where the video footage below was shot by National Geographic.
Video Link
Read more on the topic at the Wall Street Journal.

Redesigning the World's Most Remote Human Settlement

Tristan da Cunha, in the middle of the southern Atlantic Ocean, is the world’s most remote human settlement. The nearest big city is Cape Town, South Africa, which is 1750 miles away. The 270 inhabitants of the island live a slow-paced life without much of the modern connectivity the rest of us are used to. Ships bring scientists and tourist to the island, but not very many of them.
Only trouble is, life there isn’t very sustainable. The island—battered by high winds, rough seas and occasional volcanic activity—grows its own potatoes and lobster, but otherwise relies heavily on outside resources. (The fishing company that operates the lobster processing plant provides diesel-powered generators, which are the sole supply of electrical power, and bottled gas is shipped in for cooking and heating.) The European Union has funded some electricity and water upgrades, but residents want to become more self-reliant. And so, in honor of the 200th anniversary (in 2016) of the island’s occupation by the British, which led to its permanent settlement, the local government has teamed up with the Royal Institute of British Architects to host a design competition with sustainability in mind.
Do you have any great ideas for sustainable architecture and energy sources for the island? The particular needs for the people of Tristan da Cunha are explained in an article at Smithsonian.  

Christina in Red

The picture above looks like it is part of a particularly artful fashion shoot at the beach. You might be surprised to know that this color photograph was taken in 1913 -over a hundred years ago!  
Mervyn O'Gorman was 42 when he took these pictures of his daughter, Christina O'Gorman at Lulworth Cove, in the English county of Dorset. He photographed Christina wearing a red swimming costume and red cloak, a color particularly suited to the early color Autochrome process.
Autochrome was one of the first color photo technologies, which used glass plates coated in potato starches to filter pictures with dye.
O’Gorman wasn’t even a professional photographer. This is one of a collection of family photographs he took. You can see more the photos at Mashable, including one of Christina wearing a hoodie that looks as if it could have been taken yesterday. 

Hunt for ancient royal tomb in Mexico takes mercurial twist

Handout file photo shows tunnel underneath the Quetzalcoatl temple in the ancient city of Teotihuacan
An undated graphic shows the tunnel that may lead to a royal tombs discovered underneath the Quetzalcoatl …
by David Alire Garcia
A Mexican archeologist hunting for a royal tomb in a deep, dark tunnel beneath a towering pre-Aztec pyramid has made a discovery that may have brought him a step closer: liquid mercury.
In the bowels of Teotihuacan, a mysterious ancient city that was once the largest in the Americas, Sergio Gomez this month found "large quantities" of the silvery metal in a chamber at the end of a sacred tunnel sealed for nearly 1,800 years.
"It's something that completely surprised us," Gomez said at the entrance to the tunnel below Teotihuacan's Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent, about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Mexico City.
Some archeologists believe the toxic element could herald what would be the first ruler's tomb ever found in Teotihuacan, a contemporary of several ancient Maya cities, but so shrouded in mystery that its inhabitants still have no name.
Unsure why the mercury was put there, Gomez says the metal may have been used to symbolize an underworld river or lake. Previously uncovered in small amounts at a few Maya sites much further south, it had never been found in Teotihuacan.
Handout file photo of a tunnel at the ancient city …
A view of a tunnel that may lead to a royal tombs discovered at the ancient city of Teotihuacan is s …
Difficult to mine and prized for its reflective properties, mercury was rare in ancient Mexico. Archaeologists believe may have lent it a supernatural significance for ritual ends.
Deeper into the complex comprising three chambers, Gomez expects to find the elusive last resting place of a king.
If Gomez is right, it could help settle a debate over how power was wielded in Teotihuacan, a city boasting massive stone pyramids that was home to as many as 200,000 people and the heart of ancient empire that flourished between 100 and 700 A.D.
Teotihuacan, or "abode of the gods" in the Aztec language of Nahuatl, was distinct from the Mayan civilization. Its inhabitants left behind no written record, abandoning the city long before the Aztecs came to power in the 14th century.
Handout file photo of INAH archaeologists working at … 
National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) archaeologists work at a tunnel that may lead … 
 Spaniards dug at Teotihuacan in the 1670s, but rigorous scientific excavation of the site did not begin until the 1950s.
Gomez's six-year slog in the tunnel has already yielded tens of thousands of artifacts including stone sculptures, fine jewelry and giant seashells leading to the three chambers. The painstaking excavation has slowed due to extreme humidity, mud, and now, the need for protective gear to avoid mercury poisoning.
George Cowgill, a U.S. archeologist who has spent more than four decades excavating Teotihuacan, says the mercury find increases the odds of finding a tomb.
"But it's still very uncertain, and that is what keeps everybody in suspense," he added.
Mexican archeologist Linda Manzanilla believes that at its peak, the city was ruled not by a single king, but a council of four lords, and that Gomez may find the remains of one of them.
To bolster her argument, she cites the absence of a single palace or the presence of kings in any of the city's many murals.
The excavation of the chambers should be finished by October, Gomez said, with an announcement of findings by the end of 2015.

Bronze Owl Brooch

The striking bronze, enamel and glass brooch dates back to the Iron Age.

Biodiversity and Multitasking

amphipods_475Biodiversity promotes multitasking in ecosystems

A new study of the complex interplay between organisms and their environment shows that biodiversity — the variety of organisms living on Earth — is even more important to the […]

Pocket shark is only the second ever seen

by David Strege
The second-ever pocket shark was collected off Louisiana. It sort of looks like a small whale. Photo courtesy of FishWatch.gov
The second-ever pocket shark was collected off Louisiana. It sort of looks like a tiny whale.
A pocket shark—the rarest of sharks with only one specimen ever seen before—has been discovered by scientists, and in the most unusual way.
A male pocket shark measuring 5.5 inches long was collected during a 2010 midwater trawl survey 190 miles south of Louisiana by NOAA/NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center while studying prey of sperm whales.
The dead specimen was collected with other sea creatures, bagged up and stored in a giant freezer at NOAA’s lab in Pascagoula, Mississippi, until they could be identified, according to the Associated Press.
NOAA fisheries biologist Mark Grace, lead author on a just released study, has spent more than 30 years going through bags of fish to identify them. It took him three years before coming across the pocket shark.
Associated Press called it a small miracle that the pocket shark hadn’t been tossed out after NOAA’s freezer lost power a couple of times.
The pocket shark measured 5.5 inches. Photo courtesy of FishWatch.gov
The pocket shark measured 5.5 inches.
“I wasn’t really sure what it was,” Grace told the Associated Press. “That pocket over on the pectoral fin, I had never seen anything like that on a shark.”
Grace recruited Michael Doosey and Henry Bart, Tulane University researchers, and NOAA Ocean Service genetics expert Gavin Naylor to help him study the rare sea creature, the results of which were published Wednesday in Zootaxa.
“It’s cute,” Doosey told the Associated Press. “It almost looks like a little whale.”
Pocket shark was collected in 2010 but not discovered in the lab until three years ago. Photo courtesy of FishWatch.gov
Pocket shark was collected in 2010 but not discovered in the lab until three years ago.
The specimen, determined to have just been born, was identified and subsequently sent to New York and France for high-tech examinations.
The first pocket shark was found 36 years ago on the Naska Submarine Ridge in 1,083 feet of water in the southeast Pacific Ocean off Peru. The female specimen is 17 inches long and is currently housed in a Russian museum.
The latest pocket shark will be part of the Royal D. Suttkus Fish Collection at Tulane University’s Biodiversity Research Institute in Belle Chasse, Louisiana.
“Discovering him has us thinking about where mom and dad may be, and how they got to the Gulf [of Mexico],” Grace said in a statement on NOAA’s site.  “The only other known specimen was found very far away, off Peru…
“There’s others,” he added via Associated Press. “We just haven’t caught them yet.”

Swiss municipality bans tourists taking photos with St Bernards

The municipality of Zermatt in Switzerland decided on Thursday to ban the taking of tourist photos with St Bernard dogs in the mountain resort town in the canton of Valais. The measure came after concerns were raised by animal rights activists over the ordeal faced by the dogs, who were forced to pose for hours on end without moving and sometimes had to carry children on their backs.
The Swiss Animal Protection (SAP) association congratulated the municipality for taking the action. The organization had earlier filed complaints for several years about the conditions in which the dogs were kept. By putting an end to the use of these dogs to pose with tourists, the municipality of Zermatt is showing that “it likes animals”, the SAP group said.
The association recently issued a report about the poor conditions allegedly faced by the St Bernards, used as props for tourists to pose with against the backdrop of the Matterhorn. The report follows investigations by SAP in 2012, 2014 and from January 26th to February 4th this year when representatives of the group closely observed the conditions the dogs underwent.
The St Bernards were tied up extensively, were not taken for walks and often went without food and water for long periods, said the report, which singled out a photo agency as the worst offender. The report maintained the animals were kept in cruel conditions that violated Swiss laws for animal protection.

Kangaroo thinks he's a dog

Two-year-old Dusty the kangaroo is convinced he is a dog. Ashley Stewart and his family farm at Wittenoom Hills, 60 kilometers north-east of Esperance, in Western Australia. Mr Stewart rescued the joey after its mother was killed when hit by a car in a road accident.
"We weren't sure he would even survive but we fed him and of course he's just taken off from there," he said. "He lives on the back patio. We've actually had to go and buy a third dog bed for him to sleep in because he used to pinch one of the beds from the dogs."
Mr Stewart said Lilly the golden retriever and Rosie the border collie loved their kangaroo. "He thinks Lilly is his mum, he's always grooming her, they're always together and if Lilly goes out of the yard he pines for her and sort of hops up and down the fence until he's let out to go with her." Mr Stewart said Dusty wore a collar like a dog.
"When he was little we let him out during the day and then we'd get him at night and lock him back up in the backyard and we couldn't find him because they don't make any noise and they just sit very still so I'd have to go out in the dark with a torch. So I got a collar and I put some reflective tape on it so it would shine out in the torch light and I could find him."
There's an audio interview with Mr Stewart here.

Dog rescued after 13 days under concrete slab

Lucy the miniature dachshund, who went missing on April 3, was pulled from underneath a concrete slab in her own backyard in Derby, Kansas, last Thursday after being trapped for 13 days. “It really is a miracle that God gave me back Lucy right before her birthday, and if she could talk, we’d be able to write a book about it,” Felix said of Lucy, who turned 4 years old hours after she was rescued. Felix said she left town April 2 to tend to an ill family member, so her husband was in charge of watching the dogs. He would let their two dogs, Lucy and Thor , a Jack Russell terrier-chihuahua mix, outside during the day in their fenced-in yard while he went to work.
And then Lucy went missing. “I was devastated,” Felix said. “Our assumption was that she got out, but we couldn’t find anywhere where she could have gotten out.” Lucy had gone around to the side of the house and dug a hole in the dirt under the home. After digging deep enough, she made a turn and dug four feet underneath a concrete slab that was supporting the house’s air-conditioning unit. She was stuck. “Every day we would go out and walk the yard and call her, hoping if she was anywhere near, in the area, she would hear us and maybe bark,” Felix said. “We heard nothing.” After about 10 days, she said, Thor led them to the spot where Lucy was buried underground, but Felix could not figure out why he was insisting they look there.
Then, last Thursday, when they were searching, they heard a quiet arf come from under the concrete. Felix’s husband used an app on his phone to play a high-pitched dog whistle, and he heard another arf from underneath the concrete. Her husband dug deep enough on the other side of the concrete to see Lucy’s nose and one closed eye. When he called her name, she opened the eye, which had developed ulcers from all the dirt she was trapped in. He called 911. Firefighters with the Derby Fire Department and Derby police officers came to the house and were able to extract Lucy from underneath the concrete. From there, Lucy was taken to the Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital of Wichita.

Veterinarians there diagnosed her with “starvation and dehydration,” and “severe corneal ulceration.” She was treated and transferred to Rainbow Valley Veterinary Clinic in Derby, where she goes for regular check-ups. “We can’t believe there was no organ failure,” said Kelly Miller, a veterinarian at Rainbow Valley Veterinary Clinic. “Fourteen days without water, you expect the kidneys to have not survived through that. She somehow managed to make it. It’s amazing.” Lucy has returned to Rainbow Valley a few times since her rescue so that veterinarians can monitor her recovery process. She has a patch of skin on her back that has turned dark after being pressed against the concrete for so long - the cells were beginning to die, Felix said. Other than that, it is difficult to tell that Lucy recently spent so long trapped underground. “I don’t know how it happened,” Felix said. “It had to be divine intervention.”

Animal Pictures