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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 31, 2015

The Daily Drift

Editor's Note: We will be lecturing at a seminar on Tuesday June 2nd, so we will be taking what other's have termed a 'Blogcation' for that day with no posts for the day but will return to our regular posting on Wednesday June 3rd.
It isn't hard to do ...!
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Today in History

1433   Sigismund is crowned emperor of Rome.  
1678   The Godiva procession, commemorating Lady Godiva's legendary ride while naked, becomes part of the Coventry Fair.
1862   At the Battle of Fair Oaks, Union General George B. McClellan defeats Confederates outside of Richmond.  
1879   New York's Madison Square Garden opens its doors for the first time.  
1889   Johnstown, Pennsylvania is destroyed by a massive flood.  
1900   U.S. troops arrive in Peking to help put down the Boxer Rebellion.  
1902   The Boer War ends with the Treaty of Vereeniging.  
1909   The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) holds its first conference.  
1913   The 17th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for direct election of senators, is ratified.  
1915   A German zeppelin makes an air raid on London.  
1916   British and German fleets fight in the Battle of Jutland.  
1928   The first flight over the Pacific takes off from Oakland.  
1941   An armistice is arranged between the British and the Iraqis.  
1955   The Supreme Court orders that states must end racial segregation "with all deliberate speed."  
1962   Adolf Eichmann, the former SS commander, is hanged near Tel Aviv, Israel.  
1969   John Lennon and Yoko Ono record "Give Peace a Chance."
1974   Israel and Syria sign an agreement on the Golan Heights.  
1979   Zimbabwe proclaims its independence.  
1988   Ronald Reagan arrives in Moscow, the first American president to do so in 14 years.

Kelly Clarkson Wants Legal Weed And President Hillary Clinton

Kelly Clarkson Wants Legal Weed And President Hillary Clinton – Conservatives Go Nuts (TWEETS) Country music, once thought to be dominated by jingoistic religio-wingnut 'christian' Republicans, is beginning to show itself as diverse, open-minded and in some...


German Sex Ed

Germany has made sex education part of the school curriculum. Parents support the plan ...

Arresting Kids

Angry little girl (Shutterstock)
From throwing Tootsie Rolls to burping, small children have been arrested for totally normal misbehavior.

Robber Gets Caught With Her Pants Down … Literally

The saying, “Caught with their pants down,” is supposed to be metaphorical. But for this robber, it wasn’t just an idiom. It was literally an aspect of her “brilliant scheme.”

She also got caught with her mask up, which is probably more problematic.

Street Artist Makes Building into Set of Wind-up Teeth

The building used to be the Dolphinarium discotheque in Tel Aviv, Israel, until it was the site of a suicide bombing in 2001. Israeli street artist Dede saw something promising in the shell of the structure- a giant set of of choppers, or wind-up teeth. He says,
30m wide x 10m high piece, The abandoned Dolphinarium, Tel-Aviv, 2015

Without any doubt the biggest art challenge I have ever had. This piece was hard to achieve.
Stormy nights, high rollers from the ground, the all deal. But it had to be done, I had this vision for almost a year now.

This landmark is found in the middle of continuing ownership arguments, another real estate bite in Tel-Aviv's view.
Note the wind-up key at the right. It’s not as big as it should be for the building, but that’s fixed with a little forced perspective

Retro Photos

The Dark Side

Burials recovered at the site of a Medieval convent reveal a nun's life wasn't so idyllic.

Eerie, Mysterious Island Tales

The beach at North Seymour Island in the Galapagos
There is a spellbinding story that is part of the history of the Galapagos Islands. The settlers who braved the mostly uninhabited islands during the 1930s were a colorful mix of flamboyant, private and eccentric personalities. Friedrich Ritter, a German dentist, was first. He fled to the islands after beginning an affair with a patient of his. Incredibly, prior to Ritter and his paramour departing for the islands, they removed most of their teeth and had them replaced with one stainless steel false set they shared!
Heinz Wittmer was another early Galapagos settler. Then there was the showy, bombastic Baroness Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bosquet. Not one but two lovers accompanied the Baroness, Rudolf Lorenz and Robert Philippson. She and her boy toys declared their intent to build the first hotel in the Galapagos. The Baroness, with her habit of traversing the tropical terrain in silk lingerie, brought worldwide attention to the islands. The international newspaper coverage incensed Ritter, who enjoyed the admiration he received for his public profile as a rugged settler. Wittmer, always the quiet, private one, lived without incident with his wife and sons as Ritter and the Baroness publicly feuded. If their fighting wasn't bad enough, the lovers of the Baroness began to feud as well. The Ritters accused the Baroness of stealing their mail and spreading false rumors about them.
This tropical soap opera continued unabated until March 1934, at which time the Baroness and her lover Philippson disappeared. The Wittmers claimed that friends of the Baroness had arrived and taken her with them to visit Tahiti, yet no sightings of a ship near the islands had been made on the day of the couple's disappearance. The Baroness also left behind essential personal effects, which was unlike her. The lovers never reached Tahiti and were never seen again.
Ritter and his girlfriend maintained that the other lover of the Baroness, Lorenz, had killed her and Philippson. Lorenz left the islands after their disappearance; he asked a fisherman to ferry him to the mainland. Yet both he and the fisherman were found dead of hunger and thirst several months later on Marchena Island. A short time afterward, Ritter died of food poisoning; some believed that his lover poisoned him after their relationship grew argumentative. She returned to Germany, leaving the Wittmers as the sole settlers left.
If you think this sounds like the basis of a movie, you're not alone. A 2014 documentary film was made about the settlers, the trailer of which is below. It's currently avaiable to stream on Netflix. While I haven't yet seen it, it seems to be generally well reviewed and I look forward to watching it.
But this isn't the only story of intrigue taking place on islands. Read nine more such stories here.  

Ozone Treaty

A treaty to protect the ozone layer has prevented a surge in skin cancer in Australia and Europe, a study published on Tuesday said.

Sea Salt

The ocean is salty, but most lakes and rivers are not.
Why is this? 

Wisconsin’s pine barrens disappear

pinebarrens1Starved for fire, Wisconsin’s pine barrens disappear

A century spent treating wildfires as emergencies to be stamped out may have cost Central Wisconsin a natural setting that was common and thriving before the state was settled. Pine […]

Deciphering prehistoric climate changes

CIA Stops Sharing Climate Change Info

The intelligence agency quietly has shut down a program that provided climate researchers with data from spy satellites and other sources.

Life's Ingredients

NASA on Tuesday selected nine science instruments it believes will best address the burning question about whether Jupiter’s ocean-bearing moon Europa has indications of life.

New Species

See some of the most unusual and noteworthy discoveries.

Early Mammoths

Animal Pictures