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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

17   Germanicus of Rome celebrates his victory over the Germans.  
1328   William of Ockham forced to flee from Avignon by Pope John XXII.  
1647   A new law bans catholic priests from the colony of Massachusetts. The penalty is banishment or death for a second offense.  
1670   Charles II and Louis XIV sign a secret treaty in Dover, England, ending hostilities between England and France.  
1691   Jacob Leiser, leader of the popular uprising in support of William and Mary's succession to the throne, is executed for treason.  
1736   British and Chickasaw forces defeat the French at the Battle of Ackia.  
1831   The Russians defeat the Poles at the Battle of Ostrolenska.  
1835   A resolution is passed in the U.S. Congress stating that Congress has no authority over state slavery laws.
1864   The territory of Montana is organized.  
1865   The last Confederate army surrenders in Shreveport, Louisiana.  
1868   President Andrew Johnson is aquitted of all charges of impeachment.  
1896   The last czar of Russia, Nicholas II, is crowned.  
1938   The House Committee on Un-American Activities begins its work of searching for subversives in the United States.  
1940   The evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk begins.
1946   A patent is filed in the United States for the H-bomb.  
1958   Union Square, San Francisco, becomes a state historical landmark.  
1961   The civil rights activist group, Freedom Ride Coordinating Committee, is established in Atlanta.  
1961   A U.S. Air Force bomber flies across the Atlantic in a record of just over three hours.  
1969   Apollo 10 returns to Earth.  
1977   The movie Star Wars debuts.

Blue Haired Selfie

Controversy over man's firewood for sale sign

A controversy is brewing in Noblesville, Indiana, over a sign that which states, "I love Mexican people but they do not belong in the U.S. No Mexicans on my property. C. J. Spence." The sign is advertising firewood for sale. Some people are calling it racist.
"I thought I need to send them a message," said Spence. Spence's neighbors and drivers in the area don't think the sign is welcoming. "Our Mexican-American family that have lived in our house for 30 years. I have to drive by this - my kids have to drive by this every day," said Syreeta Bravo.
"This is ridiculous. How do you explain that to your kids? You don't, you can't." Driver Kari Bundy said that the sign "just promotes hate. It says it's okay to say things like this and be hateful to other people." But Spence says the sign does have its fans. "Lots of people say, 'C.J., I like your sign'," he said. Despite the opposition, Spence says the sign is staying put.

"It's not coming down. It's not coming down," he said. He points to three things - a Mexican leaf cleaning crew dumped all their leaves on his property and twice, he says he's caught what he calls "Mexicans" fishing in his yard. Indiana Law Professor Robert A. Katz is a First Amendment expert. He doesn't think the sign constitutes hate speech, but instead is just a citizen spouting off.

Man badly burned in do-it-yourself hash oil explosion sues store and butane suppliers

In a lawsuit that appears to be the first of its kind in the US, a man who was burned over half of his body when he tried to make a batch of hash oil in his Gresham, Oregon, garage, with guidance from YouTube videos, has filed an $11 million lawsuit faulting the store that sold him the butane necessary for his do-it-yourself project. Kevin Tveisme's lawsuit blames the importers, the distributors and the Shell mini-mart that sold him the butane, alleging that they failed to warn that butane vapors are highly explosive, especially in enclosed spaces such as a garage, and that other people who have tried to make hash oil with butane have been badly burned or killed. The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, is unprecedented in the US, said Jonah Flynn, the Atlanta attorney representing Tveisme. But hash-oil explosions are not: The list of people who have ended up seriously hurt or dead after flash hash oil explosions has been growing in recent years. Hash oil has become popular in the past five years and contains a particularly potent concentration of THC.
It can be made by using butane to extract THC from marijuana. It's then smoked, ingested or vaporized to achieve a high. But the production process can be quite dangerous, with butane vapors suddenly igniting from a single spark or flame in a water heater or furnace, blowing off rooftops and literally melting the skin off bodies. The May 27, 2013, blast that injured Tveisme, who was in his late 20s, also killed his longtime friend, Joseph Westom, who was burned over 90 percent of his body. Westom, 35, died 18 days later. Westom's estate has not filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Tveisme suffered burns over 50 percent of his body, most of them were full-thickness burns, also known as third-degree burns. He was in a medically induced coma for six weeks and underwent 11 surgeries. His right index finger was amputated. His medical bills have topped $1 million. And he wasn't able to work for 16 months after the explosion, according to his suit. At the time, Tveisme was an Oregon medical marijuana cardholder – he said severe pain was his qualifying reason.
His lawsuit states that he was legally allowed to use marijuana to make hash oil. Oregon law prohibits people who aren't medical marijuana cardholders from producing hash oil. That will all change sometime after January 2016, however, when the Oregon Liquor Control Commission starts accepting applications from non-cardholders to make hash oil, said commission spokesman Tom Towslee. Tveisme, knowing he is subjecting himself to public ridicule, says he wants to warn the public about the dangers of the hash oil-making process. He said that he had researched how to make it on YouTube, and no one in the videos said it was dangerous. Tveisme bought the butane from a Shell gas station's mini-mart. It was bottled in canisters under the "Power 5X" name. A description on Amazon.com doesn't state its use, but commenters in a Q&A section wrote they use the product in butane torches and cigarette lighters. Tveisme's attorney said Power 5X's distributors market it to websites and stores that sell marijuana paraphernalia as a product that can be used to make hash oil.

Flynn said the company advises caution in refilling lighters, but has failed to warn about the dangers of the hash oil-extraction process, he said. "I appreciate that they put on there 'Don't overfill your lighter,' but one of those cans is enough to fill up your lighter for five years," Flynn said. "It's a wink and a nod. They know and everybody else knows that this product is used for the manufacture of butane hash oil. It's not a secret." The lawsuit states that the butane is odorless and can unknowingly travel a large distance. When Tveisme's home furnace clicked on, his garage burst into flames, his suit says. "You have to adequately warn of the hazards and dangers of your product in this country," Flynn said. All of the defendants listed in the lawsuit either declined comment or could not be reached for comment. They are: PacWest Energy, Jackson's Food Stores, Equilon Enterprises, Shell Oil Products US, Hai Chheng Gov, Hai's Shell Station, Hai's Shell #2, Vision International Petroleum, LPC Petroleum, Kimhong Leang, Global Lion, BK Power Imports and Bosco Kwon.

Armed police officers given training on how to use public toilets without leaving guns behind

Armed police officers in Washington DC are being trained on how to use public toilets without leaving guns behind. The US Capitol police have accidentally left their guns in the building's toilets three times in 2015. The officers involved have been disciplined. One gun was found by a child.
"We are now providing additional training on what to do when you have to go to the bathroom," Capitol Police Chief Kim C Dine told Congress. The Capitol Police are responsible for protecting senators, congressmen and women, other staff and visitors to the Capitol in Washington DC. They also police the Capitol grounds and the surrounding area.
Mr Dine was testifying to the House Administration Committee after a series of embarrassing episodes affecting the police force. He said there was no excuse for leaving guns behind in toilets and more lockers are being installed to store firearms. A first-time offender is typically suspended for five days but this could be increased to 30 days, he said.
There could be sackings for individuals who re-offend. "I would be remiss if I did not say that the officers involved in these recent weapons cases reported in the media in no way intended to leave their weapons unattended. But as noted, this is not acceptable and they will be held accountable,'' he said.

Drink driver told police he was driving because he was less intoxicated than his passenger

A drink driver in Austraila's Northen Territory told police he was driving because he was less intoxicated than his passenger.
The driver was pulled up at the Thirsty Camel bottleshop in Katherine on Thursday afternoon.
Acting Superintendent Brendan Muldoon said police noticed the vehicle when it pulled into the drive-through for some supplies at about 2.20pm.
The driver allegedly appeared intoxicated, so police decided to breath test him. He returned a .153 reading. “His excuse for driving was that he was less intoxicated than his passenger,” Supt Muldoon said.


Man who burgled homes while wearing police GPS monitor 'not the sharpest tool in the box'

A burglar who raided three homes after voluntarily agreeing to wear a police tracking tag has been described by his own lawyer as "not the sharpest tool in the box". One of Nicholas Broadley's accomplices entered the bedroom of a ten-year-old boy as the child was playing computer games. Broadley, who appeared before Hull Crown Court with 34 previous convictions, had taken drugs at a party before agreeing to join others on a crime spree on April 1. He had recently been released early from a prison sentence of three years and three months for burglary, when he entered three homes in Goole in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
Prosecutor Phillip Evans said 33-year-old Broadley, who was described as a "career criminal", had acted as a lookout, but had fallen foul of technology. He said: "The defendant is a man who had volunteered to take part in a scheme operated by Goole police, whereby he was fitted with a tracking device known as a Buddi. It tracked the defendant's movements using GPS technology. When these burglaries came to the attention of police they naturally consulted the technology and also some CCTV. The defendant was shown to be at the three addresses that were burgled."
In all three cases, Broadley had entered the properties through unlocked or open garages. His haul included three Viking bikes and a pair of Nike trainers. Broadley, of Goole, initially tried to deny being in the area at the time of the burglaries. Mr Evans said: "He said there was something wrong with the tracking device and that he had been home with his mother on the night in question – a version of events his mother did not support." Broadley pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary. Pamela Coxon, mitigating, said: "He had taken some illegal substances. It was suggested that he could pay for these drugs by doing some 'grafting'."
Acknowledging the role of the Buddi tracker in her client's downfall, Mrs Coxon said: "My client is not the sharpest tool in the box." Mrs Coxon stressed her client did not force entry to any of the properties. "These were opportunistic burglaries," she said. "He has not gone equipped to burgle." When he came to be sentenced, Broadley, who appeared before the court on a live video link from prison, stood up without being asked, which meant only his torso could be seen by those in the courtroom. Recorder Simon Kealey jailed Broadley for four years and told him he must serve about half his sentence before he is eligible for release.

Shoplifter quickly identified due to having his name printed on back of shirt

After he abandoned goods he had stolen in the car park of Tesco, a man made off, but was identified because his name was on the back of the Manchester United shirt he was wearing.
Paul Robert Benson, 24, of Lurgan, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, appeared last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court. He pleaded guilty to the theft of goods valued at £104.54 from Tesco.
The court heard that, at approximately 3pm on September 3 last year, police received a report of a male shoplifter in Tescos. Staff observed that he was wearing a red Manchester United shirt with ‘Benson 22’ on the back.
The goods were recovered in the car park where the defendant had abandoned them after seeing staff. Benson was also identified on CCTV. When interviewed by police he made a full and frank admission. District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said the defendant may as well have had a neon sign identifying himself. He imposed a 12 month probation order.

Woman arrested for assaulting her father with mouthwash

A woman has been arrested for allegedly dousing her 70-year-old father with a bottle of Cool Mint Listerine during an argument at the home they share in St. Petersburg, Florida.
According to police, Elaine Robinson, 47, became “agitated” as she quarreled on Wednesday afternoon with her father Marvin. At one point, Robinson retrieved a “one liter bottle of Listerine Cool Mint and splashed” the mouthwash all over her father’s face.
The incident, officers noted, was observed by an independent witness. The elder Robinson was not injured in the mouthwash attack. Robinson was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery and booked into the Pinellas County jail, where she is locked up in lieu of $5,000 bond.
While a police report notes that Robinson does not have any prior battery convictions, her previous convictions include voluntary manslaughter, for which she served seven years in prison. Robinson, who has been in and out of state prison over the past 25 years, has also been convicted of grand theft, cocaine sales, possession of stolen property, and disorderly intoxication.

Twin brothers arrested for throwing bricks at each other

Twin 52-year-old brothers from Orange City in Florida are facing the same charge after throwing bricks at each other during an argument, police said. James and Michael Remelius were arguing with each other in the front yard of a home at about 8:45pm on Tuesday when Michael picked up a brick and threatened to throw it at his brother, according to a police report.
James then picked up a brick in a threatening manner. Michael threw his brick and hit his brother in the leg, causing a small cut, according to the report. James then threw his brick and struck Michael in the right eye, causing bleeding and swelling.
The brothers were both charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and taken to Volusia County Branch Jail, where James is being held on $25,000 bail. Michael’s bail is set at $20,000.


Robin hatched eggs under hood of car as it was being driven

A pair of robins and their chicks are thought to have been driven for at least 250 miles after setting up home under the bonnet of a car in Somerset. Dave Marchant, of Henley, found them in the engine compartment of his Toyota Land Cruiser when he checked the oil.
He believes the nesting female and six chicks travelled more than 250 miles (402 km), before being found. Mr Marchant said he had initially found the nest of unhatched eggs after clocking up more than 80 miles (128 km) in one day. "I didn't think they'd be any good.
"I thought the mother must have flown away, so I carried on driving it," he said. After driving for up to another 170 miles (274 km), he checked the nest again. "When I looked again there were a whole heap of chicks in there and they'd all hatched out," he said.
As soon as he saw the young brood, Mr Marchant said he "stopped driving the car" and "won't use it again until they have flown the nest". "I've heard of birds nesting in old vehicles but not in one that's in use," he added. "Just goes to show how steady a driver I am."

Three-week-old lamb rescued from brothel

German police raided a brothel in Munich after it was reported that a prostitute there possessed contraband. During their search they found marijuana, other narcotics and a three-week-old lamb.
The marijuana was found in a cupboard, the narcotics were amongst the prostitute's personal possessions. But where exactly the lamb was is not totally clear. After the raid on Monday the woman was taken into custody.
The little lamb, called Birke, was taken along too and fed with a bottle by the police after they heard its stomach rumbling. Police said he soon felt at home in the police station, but was handed over to the animal protection agency later in the day.
The woman gave the police papers from the state veterinary agency in North Rhine Westphalia which showed she already had a record of keeping animals in inappropriate conditions. She was handed an immediate ban against possessing animals.

Massive kangaroo keeps residents on the hop

Residents in North Lakes, Brisbane, Australia, are being kept on the hop by a massive kangaroo. Smaller kangaroos are often seen in the area but the big buck stands out from the troop due to a distinctive tear in his left ear.
Local Linda Hellyer said he is arguably North Lakes most imposing resident. “He's very intimidating he's a big boy. He is more than two meters tall and weighs up to 95 kilograms.
“He's the last thing you would expect to run into while walking in the suburbs.” But Ms Hellyer came close. “We turned the corner and old mate jumped out he's very big and I don't want to take him on.

“He's got massive, massive muscles, big pecs and everything and he stood up because he was obviously a bit frightened of the dogs,” she said. But she made sure she kept her distance. “We didn't intend to get that close because we obviously know kangaroos can be a bit dangerous.”

Mystery of dog found alone on top of England's highest mountain

An animal welfare charity has launched an appeal to locate the owner of a dog found wandering on the top of the highest mountain in England. The black and tan male collie cross was picked up at the summit of Scafell Pike in the Lake District on Saturday by a couple of Scottish holidaymakers.
Concerned about its well-being, they took it home and handed it to the Scottish SPCA rescue centre in Glasgow. The charity now wants to locate the owner of the dog, nicknamed Scafell. The dog, which had not been microchipped, is believed to be aged between five and eight years old.
Described as "petrified and nervous" when found, it took the couple, from Maybole, South Ayrshire, about half an hour to coax it over to them. Anna O'Donnell, from the Glasgow centre, said: "At this stage it's all a bit of a mystery but we believe Scafell may have been taken up the mountain by his owner and become lost.

"There is also a chance he was abandoned and made his own way up to the top. It would be fantastic if we are able to reunite him with his owner if he has gone missing. If not, we will find him a loving new home in Scotland." At 978m (3,209ft), Scafell Pike is the highest peak in England.

Dog recovering after surviving stingray attack

Last Sunday afternoon Bill Mansbridge took Tilly the blue heeler-border collie cross for a swim near his yacht mooring at Boulder Bank in Nelson, New Zealand, when the dog was attacked, likely after accidentally stepping on a stingray while playing in the shallows. The venomous barb pierced Tilly's abdomen and she was in deep shock. Mansbridge contacted the after-hours vet and was told to keep her as comfortable as possible and then bring her ashore for treatment the next morning.
He was warned that she might not survive the night. On Monday morning his wife Binky was waiting at the marina. It was too windy for a dinghy and her husband had to take Tilly to land in the yacht. She was taken to the Victory Square Veterinary Clinic and underwent a four-hour operation to repair her torn bowel and the other damage done in the attack - the first of its type the clinic has ever dealt with. It was a life-and-death event, without surgery 15-month-old Tilly would definitely not have survived, said vet Chris Saunders.
"This fish has a sting a bit like a steak knife with a serrated edge, covered in a mucin, a jelly-like material which contains toxin. It's a bit like being stabbed with a poisoned blade," he said. Tilly would have been in a great deal of localized pain, he said, and had first undergone an exploratory operation to find out the extent of the damage. Another of the clinic's vets, Jacqui Hickman, said Tilly's injuries had required large incisions to treat, and she had "bounced back" well. Although Tilly went home on Friday she wouldn't be "out of the woods" until her stitches were removed and it was certain that she hadn't suffered long-term damage, Hickman said.
"She's very hardy. She's improving each day, she's eating, it's looking good." Binky Mansbridge said Tilly had been chasing seagulls when attacked, with only a lot of splashing to indicate what was happening. "She screamed and got out of the water and shook herself, and then deteriorated quite quickly." It had been a rough night for both her husband and Tilly, but the dog had borne her injuries bravely and even walked into the clinic, to everyone's surprise. "She is recovering incredibly. She's our baby, definitely a family member. She's more important than me."

Wandering goat followed girl onto school bus

A goat jumped onto a bus bound for North East Middle School in Cecil County, Maryland, on Wednesday morning. “He was a good size, maybe 110 pounds,” said Eric Eldreth, who was waiting with his daughter Elizabeth at around 7:30 a.m. “We saw the goat cross the street,” Eldreth said. “It actually looked both ways.” The goat kept its distance, nibbling on the leaves in the tree line nearby. As the bus approached to pick up students, the goat started to move. Eldreth offered to accompany his 12-year-old to the bus.
“But she’s in middle school. She said, ‘I got it, Dad,’” he said. “I felt comfortable once she got on.” Up until that point, the black-and-white goat, which Eldreth said was larger than his German shepherd, kept its distance. “But then it went on the bus and jumped in (the bus driver’s) lap,” he said. “To her credit, she put on the emergency brake.” Stefanie Gunter was driving the bus. She heard the students discussing the animal, but she didn’t see it at first. Intent on watching the students file in and get seated, Gunter then caught the animal from the corner of her eye.
“He did a hop on the steps, another hop and then he was in my lap,” she said. “I have to say this is the first time I’ve had a goat on my bus,” she added. She said she applied the emergency brake for fear of what the goat might do. “I didn’t know if he was going to kick, or bite or poop in my lap,” the Conowingo woman, who has been a bus driver since 2008, said. Eldreth jumped in to get the animal off the bus. “It got caught behind the seat,” he said, adding he grabbed the goat by its horns. “I was hoping it was a nice goat.”

Fortunately there wasn’t much struggle, he noted. “He followed me out, but he wasn’t happy,” he said. Gunter said the students were not fearful. “Nobody was up in a panic. It was more like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ and laughing,” she said. Once the goat was evicted, Eldreth called 911 to put out an alert for the wandering farm animal. Lt. Michael Holmes with the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy were dispatched to the scene. “The deputy could not locate the goat or its owner,” he said. Eldreth said none of his immediate neighbors have goats.

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