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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.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Daily Drift

Editor's Note: Beginning Monday May 4th, We will be heading an Archaeological Dig and teaching a University extension class in Field Archaeology for the next ten weeks. This will not interfere with the postings to this blog, although it might influence the actual publishing time on any given day.
Teacher's Pet ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 203 countries around the world daily.   
Lemonade  ... !
Today is - Lemonade Day

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Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Niteroi, Paulo Alfonso, Rio de Janeiro, Tupa, Vitoria and Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil
Chelsea, Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg, Canada
Santiago, Chile
Bogota, Colombia
Cuenca and Guayaquil, Ecuador
Cayenne, French Guiana
Boaco, Nicaragua
Tacna, Peru
San Juan, Puerto Rico
The Bottom, Sint Eustatius-Saba
Magnolia, Neenah, Omaha, Pierz, Syracuse and Wanaque, United States
Barquisimeto, Caracas, Venezuela
Vienna, Austria
Minsk, Belarus
Mostar and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Glavinitsa, Ruse, Sofia and Varna, Bulgaria
Zagreb, Croatia
Horni Pocernice, Prague and Stare Mesto, Czech Republic
Cambridge, Colney, London, Manchester and Sandbach, England
Cerny, Champs-sur-Marne, Ivry-sur-Seine, Lyon, Meudon, Paris and Rouen, France
Tbilisi, Georgia
Berlin, Frankfurt Am Main and Hurth, Germany
Athens and Marousi, Greece
Reykjavik, Iceland
Dublin, Ireland
Bari, Milan, Pisa, Ravenna and Rome, Italy
Riga, Latvia
Vilnius, Lithuania
Amsterdam and Doetinchem, Netherlands
Gjerstad, Norway
Srem and Warsaw, Poland
Moscow, Mosrentgen, Ryazan and Vladivostok, Russia
Edinburgh, Scotland
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Leganes, Madrid and Valencia, Spain
Gislovs Lage and Lulea, Sweden
Baar, Switzerland
Ankara and Umraniye, Turkey
Kiev, Ukraine
Hook and Wrexham, Wales
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The Pacific
Homebush and Sydney, Australia
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Today in History

495 Pope Gelasius asserts that his authority is superior to Emperor Enanstasius.
1568 French forces in Florida slaughter hundreds of Spanish.
1855 Macon B. Allen becomes the first African American to be admitted to the Bar in Massachusetts.
1859 France declares war on Austria.
1863 The Battle of Chancellorsville rages for a second day.
1865 President Lincoln's funeral train arrives in Springfield, Illinois.
1926 U.S. Marines land in Nicaragua.
1952 The first airplane lands at the geographic North Pole.
1968 After three days of battle, the U.S. Marines retake Dai Do complex in Vietnam, only to find the North Vietnamese have evacuated the area.
1971 James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King's assassin, is caught in a jail break attempt.
1979 Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman prime minister of Great Britain.
1982 A British submarine sinks Argentina's only cruiser during the Falkland Islands War.

"There's A Good Deal That's Very Strange" About The Trial For The Men Who Tried To Kill Malala

"This is the message [Pakistan] would like to send the world: it's tough on extremists. And yet, what we're witnessing here is that it's very selective," Marvin Weinbaum of the Middle East Institute said.

Texting friends or strangers during surgery reduces pain

textingImagine a hand-held electronic device – accessible, portable and nearly universal – that could reduce pain and discomfort for patients, and allow doctors to use less powerful and potentially risky […]
Texting friends or strangers during surgery reduces pain

Polygamy and Heart Disease

Interesting, but it is only one study. More studies finding similar results would be helpful. 

How To Be A Good Storyteller

Ami Vitale didn’t get to be a National Geographic photographer by just being in the right place at the right time. A tourist snapping pictures might bring home a decent souvenir, but in order to tell a story in photographs, it takes a lot more.
Although I spent a couple of days with 13-year-old Subita Devi and her family, we were never alone. She was constantly surrounded by hundreds of digital cameras. Subita told me how de-humanising the impact of eager tourists and their cameras were on her. She said this made her feel “like an animal”. No one had even said “namaste” to her. She was like the prize in the hunt for a good image. If some of the people who surrounded Subita had spent even a few hours with her, learning a bit more about her life, they would have had a story, not just images. Here Subita is carrying one of my cameras; she wanted to learn about it. I printed copies of these portraits and gave them to Subita. I find this leaves a good memento—it’s the least we can do when people open their lives to us.
That’s just one of the things that make a good story in photos. Rest the rest at Nat Geo’s Intelligent Traveler magazine.

Photographer's Series "Beauties" Documents Plastic Surgery Obsessed Youths of Colombia

Manuela Henao is a London-based photographer whose latest project entitled "Beauties" documents the dismaying state of feminine beauty standards in Medellin, Colombia. It is typical for very young women to begin saving up for the multiple plastic surgeries they plan to have, starting in their teens and twenties. Risky procedures such as liposuction and injections are de rigueur for the young females of this culture, which seems to have far surpassed America's sometimes oppressive beauty standards.Henao's subjects include Estefania, 18, who opted for liposuction at 15 and breast implants at 18, and Alejandra Remirez, 23, who models and sells weight loss pills. Remirez began saving for breast implants, nose surgery and liposuction when she was 18.
See all of Henao's thought provoking series at her website.

You Cannot Ride This 'Backwards Brains Bicycle'

Destin riding a bike
Or at least that what Destin of Smarter Every Day believes after he frustratingly tried to get it going himself.
See, the “backwards brain bicycle” was mechanically tweaked to turn left when you turn right, and vice versa. He thought it would be easy to ride, since he had the knowledge of how it worked. What he didn't have was the understanding of how to ride it, causing him some deep frustration.
Can he wrap his head around how to ride it properly?
Watch and learn:

Running through the streets naked and hallucinating

Flakka, synthetic drug behind increasingly bizarre crimes
by Curt Anderson
Synthetic Drug Flakka Triggers Bizarre EpisodesOne man ran naked through a Florida neighborhood, tried to have sex with a tree and told police he was the mythical god Thor. Another ran nude down a busy city street in broad daylight, convinced a pack of German shepherds was pursuing him.
Two others tried separately to break into the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. They said they thought people were chasing them; one wound up impaled on a fence.
The common element to these and other bizarre incidents in Florida in the last few months is flakka, an increasingly popular synthetic designer drug. Also known as gravel and readily available for $5 or less a vial, it's a growing problem for police after bursting on the scene in 2013.
It is the latest in a series of synthetic drugs that include Ecstasy and bath salts, but officials say flakka is even easier to obtain in small quantities through the mail. Flakka's active ingredient is a chemical compound called alpha-PVP, which is on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's list of the controlled substances most likely to be abused. It is usually made overseas in countries such as China and Pakistan.
Flakka, a derivative of the Spanish word for a thin, pretty woman, is usually sold in a crystal form and is often smoked using electronic cigarettes, which are popular with young people and give off no odor. It can also be snorted, injected or swallowed.
"I've had one addict describe it as $5 insanity," said Don Maines, a drug treatment counselor with the Broward Sheriff's Office in Fort Lauderdale. "They still want to try it because it's so cheap. It gives them heightened awareness. They feel stronger and more sensitive to touch. But then the paranoia sets in."
Judging from the evidence being seized by police around Florida, flakka use is up sharply. Submissions for testing to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's crime labs have grown from 38 in 2013 to 228 in 2014. At the Broward Sheriff's Office laboratory, flakka submissions grew from fewer than 200 in 2014 to 275 already, in just the first three months of this year, according to spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion.
"It's definitely something we are watching. It's an emerging drug," said Chad Brown, an FDLE supervisory special agent.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Florida appears to be the nation's hot spot for reports of flakka, also known as gravel. News reports have also cited flakka or gravel appearing in Ohio, Texas and Tennessee.
This Feb. 12, 2015 photo made available by the Broward …In one recent case, 22-year-old Jaime Nicole Lewis was charged in a DEA complaint with conspiracy to distribute flakka after DEA agents based in London intercepted U.S.-bound packages of the drug that were made in Hong Kong. An undercover DEA agent posing as a delivery company employee then brought the packages to Lewis' home in Palm Beach County, according to a court affidavit.
"Synthetic drugs are illegal and present a grave danger to our community, particularly our children," said Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer.
Lewis is being held without bail and is due to enter a plea next week. Her attorney, Paul Lazarus, said prosecutors will have to prove she knew the packages contained illegal drugs. A man believed to be the flakka ringleader in this case also is charged, but has not been arrested.
New cases keep coming: On Thursday, police in Boynton Beach arrested 20-year-old Qushanna Doby on child neglect charges after officers found her 1-year-old daughter, crying and shivering in a soiled diaper, outside an office building along a busy road. Doby told officers she had had smoked flakka, and suffered hallucinations from the drug in the past. It wasn't clear if she had an attorney.
James West, a 50-year-old homeless man, was caught on surveillance video in February trying to kick in the heavy glass front door of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, finally cracking it with large rocks. Bleeding above one eye, West told officers that he was desperate for help from police because "he was being chased by 20-25 individuals and he didn't know why." He later told police he had smoked flakka.
In March, Shanard Neely got impaled through the buttocks on the department's 10-foot-high security fence while trying to climb over, convinced he was being pursued and that "he needed to go to jail or they would kill him," police said. Neely, 37, also told officers he had smoked flakka. It took hours for rescuers to cut him down.
And in Palm Beach County, a SWAT team had to talk Leroy Strothers, 33, off a rooftop in January. He had fired a shot from up there, claiming he was being followed by a Haitian gang that had threatened his family. Strothers, who was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, told officers he had smoked flakka and could not remember how he got on the roof.
"I'm feeling delusional and hallucinating," Strothers said, according to a sheriff's report.
The FDLE's Brown said his agency is training police to better recognize flakka and the symptoms it can cause.
One challenge is that flakka manufacturers make subtle changes to its chemical makeup, foiling efforts to test for the drug, and it is frequently mixed with other substances, such as crack cocaine or heroin, with unknown effects, said Maines, of the Broward Sheriff's Office.
With prolonged use over as little as three days, behavioral changes can be severe.
"It actually starts to rewire the brain chemistry. They have no control over their thoughts. They can't control their actions," Maines said. "It seems to be universal that they think someone is chasing them. It's just a dangerous, dangerous drug."

Rape and Murder

Thief being fed bananas to recover stolen gold necklace

An thief in India who swallowed a gold necklace is being fed bananas and special liquids in the hope that he will expel it in his excreta. Anil Yadav was arrested in Mumbai on Monday after a chase by the police and public when he snatched the necklace, worth 63,000 rupees (£648, $995), from a woman. He was put on the special diet after X-ray scans of his body showed the necklace lodged in his food pipe. The necklace, which has a large pendant, has now reached his stomach.
Mr Yadav, 30, snatched the necklace weighing 25g (0.06lbs) from a 52-year-old woman as she was walking home in Mumbai's Sion area, police official Rahul Pawar said. "After the lady screamed for help, our police patrol and members of the public gave him a chase and caught him," Mr Pawar said. "We searched him thoroughly in the police station but did not find the necklace. Then some people who had caught him told us that they had seen him swallowing something," he added.
Mr Yadav was taken to Sion hospital where an X-ray revealed the necklace inside his body. Mr Pawar says doctors are now feeding him the special diet and once the pendant is retrieved, it will be handed over to the owner. Doctors, however, say bananas do not really work as laxatives. "The only thing bananas will do is add bulk in his stool," Delhi-based doctor Debangshu Dam said. "Eating lots of bananas will cause gastro-colic reflex which will make him pass stool.
"But it's a very primitive method, it's not a scientific thing to do. I can understand if it happened in a police station in rural India, but I can't understand why would they feed bananas in a hospital when they can easily use laxatives?" Dr Dam says an endoscopy could be a much easier way of retrieving something from a person's stomach. But then, it would require a gastroenterologist and the use of the operating theatre for at least half an hour and that would cost money. "So this is probably the cheapest and the simplest way - but also the dirtiest way."

Police seek vandals who bricked up train door

Vandals in Hamburg, Germany, apparently broke into the train depot at Barmbeck in the north-east of the city and bricked up the door of an S-Bahn train on Tuesday afternoon.
Once they were finished, an accomplished looking wall of breeze blocks, eight rows high and glued to the door frame with expanding foam had completely blocked an entrance. A spokesperson for the Bundespolizei (federal police) said that, having studied CCTV evidence, they believe the door was already bricked up when the train left the depot at 3.10 pm.
The depot was not guarded and its fences could easily be traversed, he said. The overground train seems to have been in operation for quite some time before anyone noticed the unusual irregularity. When the driver was finally alerted the train had reached Sternschanze in the west of the city.
The train was then evacuated and driven to Ohlsdorf where the police arrived to carry out their investigation. The police spokesperson said that there was no clue as to why the perpetrators had carried out the act. “There was no message left behind,” said he confirmed. Investigators will continue to study the CCTV footage to gather evidence.

Modern Stone Age

Stone Age people caught eels using three-pronged spears with a center point for spearing fish.

Police rescued giant tortoise from railway lines

Police in Germany saved a giant tortoise from grave peril after it wandered onto railway lines near Munich.
An S-Bahn driver reported spotting the reptile on the tracks between Schwabhausen and Bachern at about 7:30 pm on Monday.
Federal police officers rushed to the scene in a patrol car and found the tortoise strolling blithely along the track near a crossing with the road. They picked up the 20-kilo beast and found that it was unharmed despite its dangerous choice of escape route.
Workers from the Munich Reptile Society then took the chelonian into their expert care. The police weren't able to identify the species of the tortoise or who it belonged to, but have asked the owner to get in touch.

Paratrooper punished for jump with his pet fish

A paratrooper who celebrated his upcoming departure from the Army by jumping with his pet Siamese fighting fish will serve 12 days of extra duty before closing out his time in uniform. Spc. Matthew Tattersall, who is assigned to 2nd Battalion, 505th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, received a company-grade Article 15, with the extra duty as punishment. "The way I see it, if you do the crime, you'd better be willing to do the time," Tattersall said. "They certainly, if they absolutely wanted to, the punishment could have been far worse, so I'm not upset about anything. I understand that there were going to be consequences for it."
Tattersall, who had already written a 1,000-word essay about the importance of airborne safety and professionalism in the Army, also could be bumped down to E-3 if he breaks any more Army regulations. "If I make one mistake, they take my rank," he said. "They tossed me a bone when it comes to not taking my rank." When handing him his punishment on Tuesday, Tattersall said his battalion commander explained that his actions were unsafe. "It wasn't a laughing matter," Tattersall said. "And the essay I wrote, I didn't take the essay very seriously, which I should have."
Tattersall, an infantryman, joined the Army in 2011, shipping to basic training in January 2012. He will complete his enlistment on May 20. To mark his last jump on April 11, Tattersall decided to take his fish, "Willy MakeIt", along for the ride. "It was a daytime combat jump, but with me being so close to getting out, I didn't have any gear, so it was a Hollywood jump for me," Tattersall said shortly after the jump. He and his friends had long talked about doing something special or unique for their last jump, but "no one actually went through with it," he said at the time. So when his turn came, "I wanted to make it awesome, and I did just that," he said. On the day of the jump, no one knew what Tattersall was planning, he said.
As he jumped from the C-17 and fell to the ground under the canopy of his parachute, Tattersall took a quick selfie. He was careful to make sure no other jumpers were nearby, he said. Tattersall and Willy MakeIt made it safely to the ground, and the hardy fish earned a middle name. He's now Willy Did MakeIt. Tattersall, who will spend his evenings and weekends until May 9 doing everything from cleaning hallways to moving boxes, said he is relieved that he will be able to transition out of the Army as scheduled. Tattersall is expected to start his transition leave on May 20, and he has a job lined up to begin on May 28. "I'm just relieved I'll be able to go home on the 21st," he said. "That's really all I was worried about in the first place." He also wishes Willy had been punished as well. "He thinks that this is the funniest thing in the world, and it's not," Tattersall said.

Villagers rescued baby elephant trapped in well

An elephant calf trapped in an abandoned well has been rescued by villagers and forestry officials in southern India.
The two-year-old animal accidentally fell in while walking with its mother and the rest of its herd. Locals went to the scene in the Kuttampuzha Forest Range in Kerala state after hearing the sound of distressed elephants.
Residents dug a makeshift slope in the ground towards the well and also put a rope around the calf. They then helped pull it to safety as it climbed back up.

The animal, which was uninjured, ran back into the forest but it is not known if it was reunited with the rest of its herd.

Puppy With Hiccups Tries to Frighten Them Away

This ridiculously cute, eight-week-old Heeler puppy named Buck has the hiccups, and it's obvious that he sees them as some sort of alien invader. He barks and puppy growls to scare away the demon within, but finds no relief. Good luck, Buck!

Bat Wing Super Sensors

Future generations might never experience a turbulent flight thanks to new research on bats and their super sensitive wings.

How to Perfectly Crack a Nut

Some clever monkeys in the wild have devised an anvil and stone hammer method for quickly cracking nuts.

Animal Pictures