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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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Daily Drift

Handy Tip ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 203 countries around the world daily.   
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Today in History

1289 Qala'un, the Sultan of Egypt, captures Tripoli.
1429 Joan of Arc leads French forces to victory over English at Orleans.
1624 Louis XIII appoints Cardinal Richelieu chief minister of the Royal Council of France.
1661 The Chinese Ming dynasty occupies Taiwan.
1672 King Louis XIV of France invades the Netherlands.
1813 Rubber is patented.
1852 The first edition of Peter Roget's Thesaurus is published.
1856 Yokut Indians repel a second attack by the 'Petticoat Rangers,' a band of civilian Indian fighters at Four Creeks, California.
1858 Austrian troops invade Piedmont.
1859 As the French army races to support them and the Austrian army mobilizes to oppose them, 150,000 Piedmontese troops invade Piedmontese territory.
1861 The Maryland House of Delegates votes against seceding from Union.
1862 Forts Philip and Jackson surrender to Admiral Farragut outside New Orleans.
1913 Gideon Sundback of Hoboken patents all-purpose zipper.
1916 Irish nationalists surrender to the British in Dublin.
1918 America's WWI Ace of Aces, Eddie Rickenbacker, scores his first victory with the help of Captain James Norman Hall.
1924 Open revolt breaks out in Santa Clara, Cuba.
1927 Construction of the Spirit of St. Louis is completed.
1930 The film All Quiet on the Western Front, based on Erich Maria Remarque's novel Im Western Nichts Neues, premiers.
1945 The German Army in Italy surrenders unconditionally to the Allies.
1945 The Nazi concentration camp of Dachau is liberated by Allied troops.
1946 Former Japanese leaders are indicted in Tokyo as war criminals.
1975 The U.S. embassy in Vietnam is evacuated as North Vietnamese forces fight their way into Saigon.
1983 Harold Washington is sworn in as Chicago's first black mayor.
1992 Four Los Angeles police offices are acquitted of charges stemming from the beating of Rodney King. Rioting ensues.

"I Am Big Bird"

Meet the Man Inside the Muppet
In 1969, puppeteer Caroll Spinney donned the enormous Big Bird costume for the first season of Sesame Street. He still does 45 years later. Spinney writes in The Guardian that it led to fascinating experiences:
I once got a letter from Nasa, asking if I would be willing to join a mission to orbit the Earth as Big Bird, to encourage kids to get interested in space. There wasn’t enough room for the puppet in the end, and I was replaced by a teacher. In 1986, we took a break from filming to watch takeoff, and we all saw the ship blow apart. The six astronauts and teacher all died, and we just stood there crying.
Big Bird is a complex mechanism that requires considerable skill. Spinney describes how it works:
Big Bird is actually a puppet; my right arm is his neck, and my right hand moves his head, with my little finger controlling his eyebrows, moving them up and down to show when he’s thinking. I can change his expression by tilting his head toward the camera at a different angle. My left hand is in the left wing, which is linked to the right wing with fishing wire. I can’t see anything outside the suit when I’m in it, so I wear a little monitor strapped to my chest, which shows me what the viewers see at home.
In the early days, each scene was very simple and I could memorize my lines on the spot, but the show evolved and the story-lines became much more elaborate as the years passed, so now I keep my cues and my lines taped to the inside of the costume.

Gas and Oil Permanently Harm Ecosystems

Oil and gas drilling is causing long-lasting damage to ecosystems, and it's outpacing recovery efforts.

Starting Your Own Country

Have you ever wanted to rule your own country? Of course, you have. Find out how.

Mayan Collapse and Politics

The discovery of a Mayan Water Temple may help determine the demise of Mayan culture and how leaders in general lose their place in power.

Oldest Footage Of London

This is the oldest footage of London ever. Includes amazing old footage from between 1890 and 1920, plus modern shots of the same location today. Also features maps carefully researched to show where the camera was. Arranged by location, 46 shots of classic footage with a twist and an inspiring soundtrack.

Teenager missing for four days was hiding at school eating fruit from trees

A missing 17-year-old Northern California boy, who was found on Thursday, picked fruit from trees at a high school and drank any water source he could find to survive, police said.
Connor Sullivan eluded more than 200 volunteers who searched for days as he hid on the Monta Vista High School campus in Cupertino, where he was last seen at 10am Monday, said Sgt. James Jensen of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. He slept under the school bleachers, ate from fruit trees on and around the campus, used the portable toilets and drank from fountains and faucets.
That went on for days as volunteers searched the campus and nearby neighborhoods until 9 pm on Thursday, when he finally decided to go home. “He did not want to be found,” Jensen said. It is unclear why he ran away, but sheriff’s officials said they believed he was missing.
Deputies didn’t think he was hurt, but they deemed his departure suspicious because he had never run away before. Sheriff’s officials have looked into whether they could seek restitution from the boy’s family for the search efforts but couldn’t find any laws to support it, Jensen said.

Couple unhappy about letter from HMRC saying husband was dead and may owe tax

Debbie Moore was surprised when she received a letter from the Government chasing up tax from her 'dead' husband, despite him still being alive. Now the couple are demanding an apology from HM Revenue & Customs, the department behind the correspondence. Officials had written to "the representative" of Peter Moore, sympathizing during "this difficult time". The letter then stated officials needed to ensure the 47-year-old had paid the correct amount of tax before he passed away. However Peter, of Fenton in Stoke-on-Trent, returned home while his wife was reading about his recent demise.
Debbie said: "It's really not nice getting a letter from HMRC, especially when what they're saying hasn't really happened. I was gobsmacked." Peter added: "I don't know how that kind of mistake could have been made." Mr Moore immediately phoned HMRC demanding an explanation only to be told it was 'a mistake.' He said: "I used to work away in the week so if that would have happened my wife could have really started to worry. It was addressed to the representative of Peter Wiliam John Moore, which is my full name, and it included my national insurance number so I knew it referred to me. It apologized for a recent bereavement and went on about some tax I paid before my death.
"My dad's name was Peter Moore but he died 32 years ago so I didn't think it would be anything to do with him. My wife opened the letter when I was out of the house, fortunately I came back home about five minutes after she read it so she knew it was a mistake but that might not have always been the case. I rang the tax people and the lady on the other end said she couldn't believe it." The letter states: "I am sorry to hear about your recent bereavement and recognize that this is a difficult time for you. When someone dies, I need to work out if they paid the right amount of tax before their death. In many cases, HMRC repays tax to the estate. I need to know details of the person responsible for finalizing their affairs."
Mr Moore added: "I was just really shocked, it's just all a bit strange." Mr Moore is concerned how some may respond to the letter. He added: "If a letter like this was sent to an older person or the relative of someone who was really ill it could have caused them some distress. It never should have happened." His wife Debbie had opened the letter after returning home from work. She said: "I just did what I usually did, I picked up the letters and sat down to open them. When I read it I thought it was a scam or some sort of joke. I showed it to Pete when he came in and he got straight on the phone to the tax office." A spokesman for HMRC said: "We don't talk about individual cases but when we make mistakes we aim to put them right fast and apologize."

Search for woman who stole at least seven boxes of computer components in floral dress

A woman in a floral dress walked into a Radio Shack in Weston, Florida, slipped several computer parts under her dress and walked out. The Feb. 26 theft was caught on surveillance video. It took a store employee several hours to notice that a large section of shelving was empty.
Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella said a man acted as a lookout while the woman placed at least seven computer components under her dress. It appeared that there was a bag hidden under the fabric of her dress. "Clearly she's done this before," added Moschella. "She puts them in there quickly and she's gone."
According to Radio Shack employees the female suspect was wondering around the store until she reached one particular aisle and found the more valuable items on the shelf. "The man hands the woman a pretty sizable box containing a computer component," Moschella said. On the surveillance video, the woman is seen placing at least seven boxes inside her dress, with her male accomplice by her side.

"Detectives believe she must of had a bag or something set up," Moschella said. At one moment in the video, the woman is seen adjusting her dress to make room for the loot. Authorities say they were in and out in minutes. "The images are super clear. Anyone who knows this couple can see this video and you're gonna know who they are," Moschella said. The thieves got away with $1,140 worth of merchandise.

Four-year-old boy's Nerf gun confiscated by airport security staff

Four-year-old James Hayward had his orange and yellow toy Nerf gun confiscated by "over-zealous" security staff at East Midlands Airport. His dad Phil Hayward said the following body search was "ludicrous" and that security staff should loosen up. The £6 plastic "weapon", described as a "semi-automatic soft dart gun" by its manufacturers, was taken while the family, of Doncaster, were en route to Lanzarote in Spain. The youngster was also patted down by security staff as his toy was taken from him. But East Midlands Airport, which offered to post the "gun" back to the family's home, defended the decision to uphold security.
Mr Hayward, 44, said: "Fair enough they are thorough but it just seemed a bit ludicrous to take a plastic gun away from a four-year-old. I thought it was a bit over-zealous considering how many people were trying to get through security at the time. It came at the end of an hour and a half queuing, so we didn't cause too much fuss because we didn't want to miss our flight."
East Midlands Airport apologized for the inconvenience. A spokeswoman said: "The safety and security of our passengers is our first priority and all regulations on security are set by the government. This regulation states that no items may be permitted through security that resemble a prohibited item."

Russian women jailed for ‘inappropriate’ twerking next to war memorial

Three young women in southern Russia will serve up to 15 days in prison, on charges of hooliganism, after posting a video of themselves twerking with a WWII memorial looming in the background. Two more of the six women in the video had their punishments reduced to a fine, for health reasons.
One of the dancers was under 16, and avoided punishment, which was transferred to her mother, who was reprimanded for failing to “carry out measures to ensure the proper physical, intellectual, psychological, spiritual and moral development of the child," a court in the city of Novorossiysk ruled on Saturday. After the video first surfaced earlier this week, it was brought to the attention of the mayor of Novorossiysk, where the women reside, who was “outraged” and personally charged officials with identifying the names of the performers, who posted the video to bring new recruits to their modern dance school.
“We condemn these women. Every inch of this land is covered in blood. It is inappropriate,” said Viktoriya Dikaya, the press secretary for the city’s education department. Prosecutors in Novorossiysk said they are conducting sweeping checks at the institutions were the twerkers, who were all under 30, are enrolled, to make sure they are in compliance with “programs aimed at ensuring respect for the law among their members.” The Malaya Zemlya memorial, completed in 1982, which is seen behind the twerkers, commemorates a battle to free Novorossiysk from German occupation in 1943.

There appears to be a new-found intolerance for twerking among Russian officials, despite the dance being taught to thousands of youths throughout the country. A suggestive twerking video performed by teenagers in front of their parents in Orenburg earlier this month, led to a federal investigation for “lewdness,” with the Russia’s children’s ombudsman calling the choreographers “swine.” City officials soon officially shut the dance school that put together the routine. In one notable difference with the current case, most of the twerkers in Orenburg were underage. Parallels have been drawn with the Soviet era, when the authorities disapproved of boogie-woogie, the foxtrot and other “ideologically alien” dances.

Hit and run suspect crawled into hole and covered herself in dirt after striking 5-year-old

Police in Washougal, Washington, have arrested a woman they say hit a 5-year-old then tried to flee the scene. Police said they found 36-year-old Marsha Santoro hiding in a shallow hole where she had tried to cover herself with dirt.
At around 6pm on Friday, police said Santoro was driving when a child riding a Big Wheel rolled out of a driveway and Santoro hit the child.
Witnesses told officers Santoro attempted to drive away, but when that didn't work she got out of her Ford F-150 pickup and walked off, according to police. Police said a K-9 unit tracked Santoro to the hole that she was hiding in. When officers gave Santoro a warning, she surrendered, according to police.
Santoro was booked into Clark County Jail and faces charges for felony hit-and-run, third-degree driving with a suspended license and an unrelated misdemeanor warrant. Police said they don't think alcohol or drugs played a part in the hit-and-run. Santoro's arraignment is set for Monday at 9am.

Man crossing road injured after running into car

A middle-aged man is believed to have broken his wrist after running into the side of an almost-stationary car.
The driver of the small silver Daihatsu sedan was slowly moving in traffic along Grey St in Hamilton East, New Zealand, on Friday, when the pedestrian ran straight into the passenger side of his car.
Senior Sergeant Juliet Burgess, of the Waikato District Command Center, said the man was crossing the road through stationary traffic when he bumped into the car at about 4.15pm.
"He bounced off the side of the car, onto the ground. He said that he just didn't see it and the vehicle was traveling very slowly at the time." Other road users stopped to help the man and someone called emergency services. Ambulances treated him on site. "All we know is that he was trying to cross the road to get to the other side." There were no reports of damage to the car.

Naked man arrested for attempting to carjack motorist who offered him clothes

A man was arrested in Florida on Tuesday afternoon after he was accused of trying to steal a car while naked from a man who offered him clothes.
At 3:25pm, 32-year-old Ganzo Keith Haynes was completely naked and ambling along Southwest 40th Avenue in Gainesville when he came upon a man beside a vehicle who offered him a chance to cover up.
The man told police officers he reached into his car for some clothing and Haynes grabbed his neck and began to choke him, according to a jail booking report. Haynes told the man to get on the ground and hand over the keys to the car, according to the report. Haynes’ grip eventually forced the man down, and then he told him he no longer wanted the keys.
Haynes then ran away, and GPD officers eventually caught up with him. He told them he was naked because he had been drinking and that he grabbed the man in an attempt to get away after the man tried to unbuckle his own pants, the report states. Haynes was arrested on a charge of carjacking and booked into the Alachua County jail, where he remains awaiting a bond hearing.

Comedy penis crusader gets potholes filled in

A mystery "road artist" has been drawing pictures of penises around potholes in Bury, Greater Manchester, as a way to get the council to fix them. "They [potholes] don't get filled. They'll be there for months," says the artist who goes by the name of Wanksy. "People will drive over the same pothole and forget about it. Suddenly you draw something amusing around it, everyone sees it and it either gets reported or fixed." He says his drawings have meant the potholes get fixed more quickly, although Bury Council says they already have a plan in place to deal with the issue.
A spokesman for the council has describes Wanksy's artwork as "obscene" and urges him to stop his painting. "The actions of this individual are not only stupid but incredibly insulting to local residents," the Bury Council spokesman says. "Has this person, for just one second, considered how families with young children must feel when they are confronted with these obscene symbols as they walk to school?" But Wanksy says: "It's not an actual photograph of an anatomical part, it's a drawing, it's artwork. The naked body is a thing artists have painted for years. There are sculptures that don't wear clothes. It's artistic expressions.
"To be offended by that, you must be very prudish." The council spokesman says: ""Not only is this vandalism, but it's also counter-productive. Every penny that we have to spend cleaning off this graffiti is a penny less that we have to spend on actually repairing the potholes! People are entitled to express their grievances to the council, but offending the public and wasting their council tax is not the way to resolve the situation. We understand and accept that residents are unhappy with the number of potholes in the borough, and we have a program of scheduled works to fix them.

"We have also invested substantially in new machinery which is enabling us to carry out repairs more rapidly. Painting obscenities around potholes will not get them repaired any quicker, but simply waste valuable time and resources. We urge the perpetrator to stop defacing the roads immediately, and ask anyone who sees this sort of criminal damage being carried out to report it to the police and the council." Wanksy says he has considered the legal implications of his drawings and says he makes them with paint used by professionals when they are temporarily marking the road. "It does eventually wash off. It's not graffiti spray paint. It's gone within a week or two. It's a step up from chalk."



Farmer Finds Prehistoric 'Sea Monster' On His Property

by Jacqueline Howard 
A farmer in Australia recently made a surprising discovery while tending to his land -- the gigantic fossilized jaw of a 100-million-year-old sea creature.
The creature turned out to be an extinct carnivorous marine reptile known as Kronosaurus queenslandicus.
“I was out poisoning prickly acacia and saw some objects shining in the distance," Robert Hacon, whose farm is near Neila in Queensland, said in a written statement. "At first glance I thought they were fossilized mussel shells, so I drove away. Ten minutes later my curiosity got the better of me and I turned back. I jumped out of my buggy and cast my eyes upon these enormous pieces of bone. I thought to myself ‘my gosh, what have I got!’"
kronosaurus found
Hacon uncovering the mandible (jawbone) of the Kronosaurus.
kronosaurus found
Dr. Timothy Holland, curator at the Kronosaurus Korner museum, with the fossil fragments that make the complete lower jaw of a Kronosaurus.
When Hacon realized he had found something far rarer than old mussel shells, he notified the Queensland-based Kronosaurus Korner museum.
"The scary thing is that this creature wasn’t even an adult when it died," Dr. Timothy Holland, the museum's curator, said in the statement. "It still had a lot of growing to do. If that wasn’t frightening enough, there are large indentations on each side of the mandible to accommodate enormous overhanging teeth from the upper jaw. I doubt a lot of animals would have escaped the jaws of Kronosaurus once within biting distance."
kronosaurus found
An illustration of Kronosaurus queenslandicus.
The Kronosaurus dominated Australia's great inland sea during the Lower Cretaceous period. It belonged to a group of short-necked prehistoric marine reptiles called pliosaurs. These creatures were so huge that the crocodile-like skull of a Kronosaurus could span more than two meters -- larger than the skull of T. rex -- and their curved teeth were the size of bananas.
The giant sea creature likely preyed on turtles, giant squids, and even sharks, according to Holland, and the jaws of the Kronosaurus were about twice as powerful as those of a large saltwater crocodile.
The complete fossil measures just over five feet feet in length and is seven inches deep in some places, Holland said in the statement, adding that it is "the most complete mandible of a Kronosaurus queenslandicus" ever found.
"It pretty much gives us the first really good, accurate idea of what a Kronosaurus jaw looks like," Holland told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The fossil find was put on display at the Kronosaurus Korner on April 20.

Preserved Woolly Mammoth With Flowing Blood Found For First Time

Russian Scientists Claim
A preserved fully-grown woolly mammoth with flowing blood has been found for the first time, trapped in the Siberian ice, scientists have said.
Russian scientists made the discoveries during the excavation of a 50-60-year-old female animal on the Lyakhovsky Islands, in the Arctic seas of the country’s north-east.
Woolly mammoths, which look similar to elephants, are thought to have died out between 10,000 and 4,000 years ago.
Previous discoveries of well-preserved woolly mammoth remains have resulted in some scientists raising the possibility of Jurassic Park-style cloning of the animals.
‘We were really surprised to find mammoth blood and muscle tissue,’ scientist Semyon Grigoriev told the Siberian Times.
The head of the Museum of Mammoths of the Institute of Applied Ecology of the North at the North Eastern Federal University said the finding was unique.
He said: ‘It is the first time we managed to obtain mammoth blood. No-one has ever seen before how the mammoth’s blood flows’.
‘The approximate age of this animal is about 10,000 years old. It has been preserved thanks to the special conditions, due to the fact that it did not defrost and then freeze again.
‘We suppose that the mammoth fell into water or got bogged down in a swamp, could not free herself and died.
‘Due to this fact the lower part of the body, including the lower jaw, and tongue tissue, was preserved very well.
‘The upper torso and two legs, which were in the soil, were gnawed by prehistoric and modern predators and almost did not survive.’
Despite this, he hailed it as ‘the best preserved mammoth in the history of palaeontology’.

When the blood flowed from ice cavities below the belly of the animal the temperature was 10C below zero and it was placed in a test tube and sent for analysis.
‘Yet it is great luck that the blood preserved and we plan to study it carefully,’ said Mr Grigoriev.
‘For now our suspicion is that mammoth blood contains a kind of natural anti-freeze.’
Most of the scientific community is highly skeptical that any mammoth cloning project could succeed.
Genetic material still present in ancient remains would be so degraded as to make the task impracticable, experts say.
The Roslin Institute, famous for cloning Dolly the sheep, has published some thoughts on the possibilities of bringing extinct species back to life.

Animal Pictures