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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.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Daily Drift

More like two weeks, but who's counting ...!
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Today in History

585 BC   A solar eclipse interrupts a battle outside of Sardis in western Turkey between Medes and Lydians. The battle ends in a draw.  
1805   Napoleon is crowned in Milan, Italy.  
1830   Congress authorizes Indian removal from all states to the western Prairie.  
1863   The 54th Massachusetts, a regiment of African-American recruits, leaves Boston, headed for Hilton Head, South Carolina.  
1859   The French army launches a flanking attack on the Austrian army in Northern France.  
1871   The Paris commune is suppressed by troops from Versailles.  
1900   Britain annexes the Orange Free State in South Africa.  
1940   Belgium surrenders to Germany.  
1953   Melody, the first animated 3-D cartoon in Technicolor, premiers.
1961  Amnesty International, a human rights organization, is founded.

These Kids Were Banned From Their School Carnival For Being Poor

via PS 120 You either have an event for all students or you don’t have the event at all, especially if you are supposedly a public school. The reason schools...

A Bomb In DC

Bomb Squad Detonates Pressure Cooker Near US Capitol, 1 Arrested
But it may just have been a pressure cooker and little more.
Bomb Squad Detonates Pressure Cooker Near US Capitol, 1 Arrested

Debunking the Myths of OCD

People and pop culture latch onto psychological terms and extrapolate them to people they know. Even themselves! Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is one of the more recent psychological fads. The real disorder is way more serious than we commonly think, and doesn’t fit the descriptions we see in the movies. This TED-Ed lesson by Dr. Natascha M. Santos explains the real OCD.

Genetically-engineered yeast is the future of flavor

Why does grape candy taste so fake? What on earth is blue raspberry, anyway? And what is the difference between natural and artificial, at least when it comes to flavor?
Throughout human history, if you wanted to make a dish taste like strawberry, you had no choice but to add a strawberry. But in the 19th century, scientists began to understand how to synthesize flavor chemicals, whether from plants or from byproducts of coal processing, to evoke familiar flavors. While the technology to evaluate the flavor molecules of a particular food have become increasingly sophisticated in the past century, the basic concept of synthetic flavor has remained unchanged. Until now.

6 Things You May Not Know About Holography

If a 2D picture is worth a thousand words, then a 3D image is worth a million. With holography, it is possible to reconstruct 3D images using holograms, and the process is unlike anything found in traditional display technology.
Even though it was invented over 70 years ago, holography remains the best candidate for achieving true 3D displays. Here are 6 things you may not know about the strange and wonderful world of holography.

Man wearing only underpants and socks left taped to traffic lights

An unfortunate man was left taped to traffic lights at Hazel Grove in Stockport, Greater Manchester on Saturday morning.
Motorists were left bemused when they pulled up at the lights to see the half-naked man attached to the metal pole.
Wearing just a pair of patterned briefs and socks, the man was strapped with his hands behind his back using duct tape and cling film.
It is not known how long he was left taped to the lights.

Anger over kitchens on first floor of new homes

Internal changes to a new housing development have created tension between a developer and neighboring residents. Developer Bramber Construction Co Ltd has built four three-story houses in Shoreham, West Sussex, with kitchens located on the first floor. The original planning application for the site included kitchens on the ground floor of the properties and the changes were made before an amendment application was submitted. Angry residents have hit out at the developer’s conduct and believe if the internal layout of the houses is not changed back it will make a mockery of the planning system.
Jose Enticknap, 59, said: “I think this sets a precedent. If we’re told the developer can do what they want where do we stop? I’m gobsmacked with all of it really.” The development backs onto Mrs Enticknap’s Grade Two listed house. Concerns include overlooking, additional noise, smells and disturbance. Mrs Enticknap and her husband Kevin said none of the above were issues in the approved application. The couple have lodged a formal complaint against Adur District Council for ‘neglecting their duties in overseeing the development being built to the agreed plans put in place by Adur planning office’. Bruce Williams, chairman of Bramber Construction Co Ltd, lives in Shoreham and said there was ‘no way’ he would be party to something he should not be doing.
“The whole thing is unbelievable,” said Mr Williams. “We were advised to put them on the first floor by local agents who had quite a few people interested who wanted kitchens on the first floor. It costs more money to put them on the first floor. We are incredibly disappointed actually that it’s got to this stage.” The Shoreham Society had planned to present Bramber Construction Co Ltd with a plaque for the development being ‘exemplary’, but it will now withhold the award. Gerry Thompson, an architect and member of the Shoreham Society’s building and planning sub committee, called the alteration ‘significant’ and said the society objected to developers applying for retrospective planning approval. He said: “The developer has not built in accordance with planning approval. We are very strongly against that.”
Mr Williams submitted an application for variation of an approved application to Adur District Council on March 27. A council spokesman said: “The council is currently negotiating with the developers to reduce the amount of overlooking caused by relocating the kitchens to the first floor of this development.” He said the council relied on developers to build in accordance with approved plans, and for them to notify the council if internal layout elements are changed. The spokesman continued: “The developer has submitted a retrospective planning application for these amendments and the application will be assessed on its planning merits, having regard to all representations received from adjoining occupiers. The council remains hopeful that a compromise solution can be found to address the concerns of neighboring properties.”

Classic Combos

Train company apologizes for 'callous and tasteless' death announcement

A rail company has apologized after a staff member told passengers the train was delayed because someone "couldn't be bothered to live any more". Passengers aboard a train to Plymouth were delayed after a fatality on the line. Esmee Phillips, 21, complained to First Great Western, saying "the shocking and callous" loudspeaker announcement left people "completely open-mouthed".
The company has apologized for "any distress caused". Its services were disrupted on Friday after a man was killed by a train between Slough and Reading. Miss Phillips was traveling back from Oxford to Plymouth on a delayed service and said a female staff member made two loudspeaker announcements about the fatality. She said the announcement said: "Our delays are due to someone who couldn't be bothered to live any more.
"Because of this, there are severe delays. Some of you have missed your connecting flights for the Bank Holiday." Miss Phillips said she and other passengers "cringed" at the message. "It was shocking as it was said in a very callous and tasteless way, especially as you don't know what personal experiences other passengers have gone through," she said. Fellow passenger Jay Young said the announcements, made once near Westbury and again just before Exeter, made passengers in his carriage "gasp".
First Great Western said: "We expect high standards from our on board teams, who are trained to make clear announcements about delays. When this involves a fatality this should be done with sensitivity and care. We're sorry for any distress caused to customers yesterday and can confirm that this incident is under investigation."

Mystery over cremated remains from Michigan that washed up on Scottish beach

Morag Paterson was going for a swim near Inverness on Friday morning when something on the beach caught her eye. A plastic bag sat near the water and was full of a greyish powder.
The bag was sealed and attached to it was a round metal tag that said simply, “Central Michigan Crematory Battle Creek MI” with a five-digit identification number. And so the mystery began. Paterson tried to email the crematory, run by Brutsche Concrete Products, but could not get through, so she contacted the Battle Creek Enquirer instead to make known what she had stumbled upon.
When they contacted the company’s Mickey Brutsche, he said they know who the remains belong to through the ID number. He has no idea how the remains ended up in Scotland but said remains have been known to show up far from where they might be expected. “It does happen somewhat often,” he said.
“They found the remains in Ireland (actually in the north of Scotland) and we are working with our records and the funeral home and letting them know. It happens a couple of times a year.” Brutsche would not identify the funeral home that handled the service and he said it would be the funeral home’s responsibility to notify the family. “But this is someone’s loved one so it’s up to them if they want it to be public or not,” he said.

Man named Bacon arrested after becoming involved in sausage dispute

A man from Madison, New Jersey, was arrested recently for assaulting another person during a dispute over sausage.
On May 12 at 3:32am, Officer Lisa Esposito responded to a residence for a reported dispute in progress.
When Officer Esposito arrived, she found that Thomas Bacon, 19, had allegedly assaulted another person inside the house over eating a piece of sausage.
Because of the sausage, Bacon was charged with simple assault and released pending an appearance in the Madison Municipal Court.

Woman hit self on head with bowling ball as cover for robbery

A 30-year-old employee of Pla-Mor Lanes bowling alley in Decatur, Illinois, triggered a massive rapid response from police when she reported she was knocked unconscious by a robber with a bowling ball who emptied the company's safe. However, when police looked at the surveillance video, it told a different story. At 9:25pm on Thursday, eight officers responded to the report of the robbery, many of them using their emergency lights and traveling at "an increased rate of speed," said an affidavit by patrol officer James Weddle.
Jamie L. Gordon said "she had been struck in the head with a bowling ball and all of the money, $2,100, had been stolen out of the safe," Weddle wrote in his statement. She said she did not see her assailant because she was struck from behind and knocked unconscious. When a manager arrived at the bowling alley, he granted Weddle permission to view the surveillance video. "I observed Jamie walk into the office. Jamie walks over to the counter in the office and picks up a red bowling ball with her left hand and a cash drawer with her right hand," the affidavit said. "Jamie proceeds to strike herself twice in the back, left side of her head with the bowling ball."
Gordon then "dropped to the floor," where she remained for 13 minutes, waiting for another employee to discover her. After informing Gordon that he "just watched her strike herself in the head with a bowling ball twice on video," he asked her where the money was. "Jamie sighed and stated, 'Some of it is in my car.'" She led the officer to her car "where she pulled out a Hello Kitty brand bag full of money. The bag contained $439." When asked where the rest of the missing money was, Gordon said she had gambled it away in the bowling alley's slot machines.
During an interview, Gordon said she recently gambled away her pay check. After that, "she began taking money from the drawers and safe." She said she "already owed Pla-Mor Lanes $250" as a result of the other missing cash. "Jamie admitted to striking herself in the head with the bowling ball in an attempt to make it look like she had been robbed. Jamie advised she struck herself with the bowling ball so that she would have a knot on her head when police arrived." Gordon, who has no prior criminal record, was booked into the Macon County Jail, where she was being held on $7,500 bond.

Random Photos

Photographer Follows His Girlfriend Through the Wonders of India

Photographer Murad Osmann and his girlfriend Natalie Zakharova love to travel around the world. Once, while in Barcelona, she wearied of him taking pictures of everything. So she grabbed his hand and dragged him along. This launched a project that made him famous: photos of his girlfriend leading him everywhere.
The results are beautiful and have only gotten better since they journeyed to India. Zakharova wore traditional Indian clothing and pulled Osmann through scenic parts of that country, including famous landmarks such as the Taj Mahal and the Jama Masjid mosque. Neatorama has more.

Welcome To Ordos

The World's Largest Ghost City
Built for over a million people, the city of Ordos was designed to be the crowning glory of Inner Mongolia. Doomed to incompletion however, this futuristic metropolis now rises empty out of the deserts of northern China. Only 2% of its buildings were ever filled; the rest has largely been left to decay, abandoned mid-construction.

Grand Canyon Steam Train

Running between Williams, AZ and the Grand Canyon's south rim, a distance of 64 miles, the Grand Canyon Railway has become a major tourist attraction and people mover since its re-opening in 1989.
Built in 1901, the line is now owned by Xanterra Parks and Resorts. While the railroad canceled its regular steam operations in 2008, they still run ex-CBQ 2-8-2 4960 on select weekends throughout the year.

The world's first bumblebee highway created in Norway

The Norwegian capital Oslo has inaugurated the world's first 'bumblebee highway', a corridor through the city pollen stations every 250 meters. “The idea is to create a route through the city with enough feeding stations for the bumblebees all the way,” Tonje Waaktaar Gamst of the Oslo Garden Society said. ”Enough food will also help the bumblebees withstand man-made environmental stress better.”
Bumblebees and other pollinating insects struggle in urban environments where there are few flowers rich in nectar, effectively starving them. Gamst and his team have placed flowerpots on rooftops and balconies along a route from east to west through the city. During the last few years, bees, bumblebees and other insects have suffered, with many colonies dying out, causing damage to agriculture that depends on the insects.
Six out of 35 Norwegian bumblebee species are close to extinction. Oslo's municipality is co-operating with environmental organizations, the public, and and companies, who are asked to plant bumblebee friendly flowers on their property. To help the insects along, the organization ByBi (Bee Town) has created an app, where the public can see the “grey areas”, long stretches with no food for bees, in order to encourage the planting of flowers in areas that don’t have nearby parks.
“It will be easy to see barriers and obstacles on the map. The goal is to inspire people to fill these gaps.” Agnes Lyche Melvær of ByBi said. The public will also be able to upload pictures of their projects to improve the situation for bees and bumblebees, such as flowerpots and bee hotels. ”Some bee species like to live in solitary rooms. They need small hollows like a crack in an old tree truck. It’s very important to have some old wood lying around,” says Melvær.

Animal Pictures