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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.

Monday, June 1, 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.
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Today is - Say Something Nice Day

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Today in History

193   The Roman emperor, Marcus Didius, is murdered in his palace.
1533   Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's new queen, is crowned.  
1774   The British government orders the port of Boston closed.  
1789   The first U.S. congressional act on administering oaths becomes law.  
1812   American navy captain James Lawrence, mortally wounded in a naval engagement with the British, exhorts to the crew of his vessel, the Chesapeake, "Don't give up the ship!"  
1862   General Robert E. Lee assumes command of the Confederate army outside Richmond after General Joe Johnston is injured at Seven Pines.  
1864   The Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, begins as Confederate general Robert E. Lee tries to turn Union general Ulysses S. Grant's flank.  
1868   James Buchanan, the 15th president of the United States, dies.  
1877   U.S. troops are authorized to pursue bandits into Mexico.  
1915   Germany conducts the first zeppelin air raid over England.  
1916   The National Defense Act increases the strength of the U.S. National Guard by 450,000 men.  
1921   A race riot erupts in Tulsa, Oklahoma, killing 85 people.  
1939   The Douglas DC-4 makes its first passenger flight from Chicago to New York.
1941   The German Army completes the capture of Crete as the Allied evacuation ends.  
1942   America begins sending Lend-Lease materials to the Soviet Union.  
1958   Charles de Gaulle becomes premier of France.
1963   Governor George Wallace vows to defy an injunction ordering integration of the University of Alabama.  
1978  The U.S. reports finding wiretaps in the American embassy in Moscow.

Did Lady Godiva ride naked in Coventry?

In legend, Lady Godiva was willing to ride naked through the streets of Coventry to persuade her husband to lower taxes – but did it actually happen?

Lady Godiva sculpture by J Thomas, 1861.
The naked truth of the matter is that: no, she didn’t. Lady Godifu (or Godgyfu) was a real woman and she was married to one of the wealthiest men in Anglo-Saxon England, Earl Leofric of Mercia.
Less famously, the pair were generous patrons of monasteries, and Godifu (which should actually be pronounced Gud-geef-uh), in particular donated much gold and silver to make crucifixes.
Despite both dying roughly around the time of 1066, the story of her naked ride through Coventry was first recorded by the chronicler Roger of Wendover in the 1200s, so isn’t considered reliable by historians.
Indeed, Wendover only says Leofric offered to lower taxes on the poor if his wife mounted her horse in the nude, but he doesn’t make clear if she went through with it.
Nevertheless, the tale became well-known, and in the 1600s, the extra element of Peeping Tom – who leered at her body while the townspeople respectfully shut their eyes – was added for an extra bit of juicy drama.

How to Build a Living Summer Shade Structure

There’s something very relaxing about a rose-covered arch, a pergola festooned with wisteria, or a leafy arbor. Here’s another way to make a shady place to sit and enjoy nature: a willow dome. The structure support itself is alive! Willow branches have a particular feature that makes building a dome or other garden structure fairly easy. 
Willow trees have an unusual trait: freshly cut branches will sprout roots and grow into new trees when merely plunked into the ground and watered. By taking cuttings from an established willow tree, “planting” them strategically and weaving the supple young branches together as they grow, any number of structures—such as a gazebo, pergola, play hut, party dome, sweat lodge, art cave or even a shady area for your livestock—can be created on your land.
Now I really want a willow tree! You can buy cuttings or a kit or even hire someone to build a willow structure for you, but you can also do it yourself with some guidelines from Modern Farmer.

24 Really Strange Scientific Studies

Can pigeons distinguish between good and bad art? Does a full bladder make you more confused? Is yawning contagious …in tortoises? John Green tells us about scientific research that makes you want to scratch your head, but often the aim is to determine ideas -or even parts of ideas- that aren’t evident on the surface. Another question: does John Green have as much trouble saying “dental floss” correctly as I do?

We all remember the 1970s, right?

The Last Words of 24 Famous People

by  Eddie Deezen
Some are funny, some touching, some fitting. Always interesting. The final words of 24 famous people.
1. “I’m bored with it all." -Winston Churchill
2. “Love one another." -George Harrison
3. “I love you, honey. Good luck with your show.” -Desi Arnaz (said on the phone to ex-wife Lucille Ball)
4. “Is everyone else alright?" -Robert F. Kennedy
5. “I’m going away tonight" -James Brown
6. “That's funny" -Doc Holliday (Looking at his bare feet. As a gunslinger, he always thought he would die with his boots on.)
7. “Is it not meningitis?" -Louisa May Alcott
8. “Water" -Ulysses S. Grant
9. “This is absurd, this is absurd." -Sigmund Freud
10. “Okay, I won't" -Elvis Presley (Replying to his girlfriend who told him not to fall asleep in the bathroom.)
11. “Does nobody understand?" -James Joyce
12. “Leave me alone. I’m fine." -Barry White
13. “Please don't let me fall" -Mary Surratt (Said just before being hung. She was the only woman convicted in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. She was the first woman to be executed by the U.S. government.)
14. “Lord help my poor soul." -Edgar Allan Poe
15. “Don't turn down the light. I’m afraid to go home in the dark." -O. Henry
16. “Leave the shower curtain on the inside of the tub." -Conrad Hilton
17. “Yeah, I am.” -John Lennon (Asked in the ambulance if he was John Lennon.)
18. “How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?" -P.T. Barnum
19. “I want to go. I’m ready to go. dog take me.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower
20. “I just drank 18 whiskies. I think that's a record.” -Dylan Thomas
21. “Why not? Why not? Why not? Why not? Yeah." -Timothy Leary
22. “Please don't leave me. Please don't leave me." -Chris Farley
24. “I never should have switched from scotch to martinis." -Humphrey Bogart
25. “Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him." -John Barrymore

Horror Movies That Seemed to Actually be Cursed

If you're even a little familiar with film history, you know there are a number of films that people have claimed to have been cursed -the most famous of which is perhaps Poultergiest. While some stories are simply urban legends, other production histories are so frought with accidents you have to wonder if they truly were the subject of a hex. The stories seem even more creepy when they involve horror flicks, which is why this Flavorwire article featuring 10 jinxed scary movies is so darn intriguing.

Amazing Movies That Were Never Made

There are tons of movies out there that make you shake your head and wonder "how did they actually green-light something that stupid?" But sadly, there are also tons of movies that should have been made that just weren't. For example, while John Carter was a great movie, but an animated version that would have predated Snow White as the first full-length feature film could have been even more amazing and may have even changed film history.
Learn about nine other awesome movies that should have been made in this TopTenz article, or just watch the video above.

Random Celebrity Photos

Sisters - Lillian and Dorothy Gish

The Myth of the Hero Cop

Police officers earn more than you think for a job that’s less dangerous than you imagine. .
by David Feige
Baltimore’s streets are quiet again. Baltimore’s state’s attorney Marilyn J. Mosby moved quickly in securing indictments against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, and her decisive action has calmed the city for now. But getting a grand jury to indict police officers is a lot easier than getting convictions at trial. That’s because like any prosecutor trying to hold cops accountable, Mosby will be working on an uneven playing field. To prove her case, she won’t just need sufficient evidence. She will also have to overcome a number of deep-seated structural impediments to convicting police officers of crimes—no matter how guilty they are.
It’s hard to prosecute cops. There are two main reasons for this: The first is the special deference that jurors, judges, and prosecutors show officers thanks to the widespread perception that they are heroic public figures valiantly trying to protect us. The second is the bevy of special laws around the country that are designed to shield police officers from the very tactics the police regularly use on ordinary suspects. For example, in most states, law enforcement officers cannot be questioned until they have been given a few days to get their stories straight. And many states have passed laws—such as Section 50-a of New York’s Civil Rights Law—that are specifically designed to make it almost impossible to obtain or use at trial records of a police officer’s prior brutality or misconduct. These two factors can make convicting police officers extremely difficult, and it is no accident; it is the direct result of the sustained effort by police unions to protect officers from even the most deserved discipline or prosecution.
It is far safer to be a NYPD officer than an average black man in Baltimore.
While the rules that unfairly protect the police must be changed, it is also high time to re-examine the foundation of these policies: the public perception—lovingly curated by police unions—of the very nature of police work.
For the last three decades, police unions have managed to portray their members as indispensable heroes in a deadly and dangerous war. Fallen officers, like Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate, who were shot in Mississippi on May 9, or Brian Moore, whose funeral in New York was a few days earlier, are uniformly described as heroes. One need only listen to the fife and drums, witness the squadron of NYPD helicopters flying the missing man formation, or gaze at the image of tens of thousands of white-gloved officers standing at attention to understand the profound nature of their particular brand of heroism.
But as we read the heartrending newspaper coverage and weep at the pomp that attends a line-of-duty death, we can become a party to a false and dangerous narrative that does more to rend our society asunder than heal our legitimately broken hearts. That’s because the story of the hero cop is also used to legitimize brutality as necessary, justify policies that favor the police, and punish anyone who dares to question police tactics or oppose the unions’ agendas. Quite simply, in the years since the Sept. 11 attacks, the story of the hero cop has become so powerful and pervasive that even questioning police behavior is decried as disloyal, un-American, and dangerous.
Just last week a third-grade teacher at Forest Street Elementary School in Orange, New Jersey, was lambasted for promoting “anti-police sentiment.” Her offense: having her third-graders write get-well cards to Mumia Abu-Jamal, a man serving a life sentence for killing a police officer nearly 34 years ago. The simple display of sympathy—Jamal was recently hospitalized due to complications from diabetes—was decried by Chris Burgos, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey, as “brainwashing” and promoting an “anarchy driven agenda.” Richard Costello, political director for the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, described the get-well cards as “psychological child abuse.” Both unions demanded the teacher be fired, and the school district obeyed.
The hero cop narrative is also belied by the facts. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, police work does not crack the top-10 list of most dangerous jobs. Loggers have a fatality rate 11 times higher than cops, and sanitation workers die in the line of duty at twice the rate that police do. Yes, police officers are sometimes shot and killed, but this is a fairly rare phenomenon. Indeed, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, of the 100 officers killed in the United States in the line of duty in 2013, far more crashed their cars or were hit by cars than were shot or stabbed. In fact, if you compare the murder rate among police officers with the murder rate in several American cities, you find that it is far safer to be a NYPD officer than an average black man in Baltimore or St. Louis.
Moreover, we pay our police officers handsomely in New York City. It costs taxpayers more than $8.5 billion a year to pay for the NYPD, and between salary, overtime, and the value of their benefits, the average beat cop costs the taxpayers more than $150,000 per year. That is not an argument for paying police officers less, just that we already pay these civil servants a lot more money than most people realize to do a job that is a lot less dangerous than most people imagine.
We should appreciate the value and sacrifice of those who choose to serve and protect. But that appreciation should not constitute a get-out-of-jail-free card for the vast army of 800,000 people granted general arrest powers and increasingly armed with automatic weapons and armored vehicles. 

Winguts Troll The Spelling Bee

Online trolls gripe that immigrant kids aren't 'American' enough for National Spelling Bee
OK, come on you insipid mealy-mouthed troglodytes it's a freaking spelling bee.
Give it a rest.

Mooresville man wanted on 24 child sex charges

The Iredell County Sheriff's Office is searching for a man accused of sexually assaulting a minor girl.
The Sheriff's Office has issued 24 warrants for 45-year-old Rudolph (Rudy) Anthony Prickler, Jr., 12 each for indecent liberties with a child and first-degree sex offense with a child.
The investigation into Prickler began in late-April. The victim told investigators of multiple occasions in which Prickler had sexually assaulted her, authorities say. The child stated Prickler would also show her pornographic materials, and that Prickler would take pictures of her unclothed.
Detectives searched Prickler's home and seized numerous items.
Following the search, 24 warrants for Prickler's arrest were issued. His whereabouts are unknown.
If you have any information that may be helpful in this case, you're asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (704) 878-3100.

Meanwhile ...

Man who took cat canoeing drowned trying to save it after it jumped overboard

A 46-year-old man died while canoeing in Loon Lake in the northern suburbs of Illinois on Monday after he jumped in the water to try and save a cat.
Officials with the Lake County Sheriff's office were called to the scene in Antioch a little after 7:30pm. The man was in a canoe with another man and woman on Loon Lake when the cat, also in the canoe, jumped into the water, police said.
The man tried to save the cat but went under the water, according to authorities. His body was recovered shortly after midnight. The identification of the man, who police say is from Ingleside, has not yet been released.
Police said alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the incident. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is investigating the death. It is not known what happened to the cat.

Farmer spells out drought frustration with sheep

The mood is low in drought-ravaged North Canterbury, New Zealand, so one farmer has recruited his sheep to motivate a struggling community. Parnassus sheep farmer Mike Bowler has been hit hard by the drought, which has crippled farming operations in the area. The harsh conditions have scorched his fields, requiring Bowler to drop thousands of dollars of feed each day for his stock.
To vent his frustration, each day he scatters the feed into a different pattern, manipulating his sheep into a giant roadside billboard. One day it was the shape of a kiwi; other days it has been the names of his grandchildren. Bowler's most popular design expressed in simple terms what many of his fellow farmers are thinking – "bugger".
His sheep art had been a useful way for dealing with his frustration, he said. "I feel that if I'm pouring that much money into the ground I might as well get some benefit from it, even if it is just a smile from somebody going along the road." He does not hang around to see the reaction to his art but has spotted a few drivers slamming the brakes to jump out and take photos.
The drought had been tough, he said. In a usual year, he would go through 10 tonnes of grain; this year, he has already gone through 120 tonnes. About 10 millimeters of rain fell on Sunday night, the first double digit rainfall since December, but frosts meant it was too late for any recovery. Bowler planned keep his chin up and let his sheep do the talking. "If you've got stock, you've gotta feed 'em, simple as that. It's definitely hard . . . It's the same old thing every day but we'll get there."

Dog used trampoline to jump fence and follow owner to work

A dog surprised its owner on a train after escaping from its garden by using a trampoline to bounce over a 6ft fence. Thomas McCormack, 34, was left puzzled when his pooch Paddy unexpectedly followed him on his morning commute to work. The male labrador collie cross had traced him to a railway station before boarding the same carriage and jumping in a seat beside him. Thomas couldn’t make sense of how his canine friend had escaped its fenced garden kennel or how it managed track him down on Friday morning.
But neighbors revealed they had seen Paddy bouncing on the trampoline and jumping over the fence after Thomas left the house. Thomas from Croy, North Lanarkshire, said he was left with no choice but to take the dog into work for the day. He said: “I was just on my way to work and went to the train station. I jumped on the train and the next thing I know Paddy comes in and sits on the seat next to me. I was shocked. He just looked at me as if he was saying ‘Where are you going?’
“I was confused, but laughing. The neighbor told me he was bouncing on the trampoline and came flying over the fence. That’s how he got out. He is some dog. He obviously followed my scent all the way to the station and jumped in the seat next to me. It’s the only explanation I have.” Paddy is usually kept in the house and stays in the back garden when his owner leaves for work around 8am. But Thomas was baffled when his dog began waiting outside the family’s front door on his return from work in recent days.

The mystery was only solved when neighbors revealed they had seen Paddy jumping on the trampoline and bouncing over the fence. Thomas said: “I’ve been coming home from work and he was sitting outside the front door. He’s sitting there and I was thinking ‘How did he get over there?’ He was in a kennel in my back garden and the fence is six feet, so he can’t jump it. But he’s bouncing on the trampoline with the kids all the time, that’s where he must have learned it. He’s a clever dog. I think he’s been following me to work. My guess is that he’s made the journey a few times, but never managed to find me until the other day. That morning he obviously caught me. I had to take him to work.”

Wandering seal that relaxed on man's driveway visited car wash overnight

A gathering crowd applauded as a seal was herded into a cage after coming ashore for the second day in a row. The seal spent Monday morning wandering about the New Zealand suburb of Papakura, before emergency services guided it towards an estuary.
It was loaded onto a Department of Conservation (DOC) vehicle and taken away from its south Auckland sleeping spot on Tuesday afternoon. Auckland Zoo head vet James Chatterton described the seal as being "calm and gentle". The seal was found asleep in a car wash building in Papakura on Tuesday morning.

Police came across the seal at a road intersection in the suburb at about 2am, Inspector Chris Money said. The seal then made its way into the car park of a nearby medical clinic. From there it entered the Uwash car wash building, where it fell fast asleep. It woke up at around midday, and waved a flipper at the crowd of about 50 people who were watching.
The increased activity prompted DOC staff to move people further away from the lost mammal. The large fur seal's city excursion ended when he was coaxed into a crate. He was then loaded into a vehicle and was driven to Karioitahi Beach, southwest of Auckland, where he was released by Department of Conservation and Auckland Zoo staff.

Hungry bear scaled power transmission tower to raid raven's nest

A group of bison hunters visiting Wood Buffalo National Park in north eastern Alberta, Canada, watched a bear climb a power transmission tower and raid a ravens' nest earlier this month. Linda Powell of Greensboro, North Carolina, shot the photos and video on May 10.
"We were in a clearcut, where there were actually power lines and towers and I had noticed earlier there were nests at the top of them. I was sitting there and glanced over and happened to see a black bear on its hind legs at the base of the tower and my first thought that went through my mind was: that bear's gonna climb the tower but I didn't really think that it would."
She says everyone in her party was so shocked at first, they didn't grab their cameras until the bear was near the top of the tower. "Over the next few minutes we watched him very skillfully climb the tower while the ravens were diving at him pecking at him, squawking, trying to do everything they could to discourage him, and he just climbed right to the top." Powell is the director of media relations for O.F. Mossburg and Sons, a U.S. company that makes firearms.

She had brought two hunters with decades of experience to the area to field test some of the company's hunting guns. "None of us had ever seen anything like that in all of our years or our time out in the field hunting," she says. After raiding the nest for eggs, the bear struggled a little on the descent but made it down safely, she says. Later, the ravens just sat by the nest "almost like they were in mourning." Other than the great bear story, she says the group didn't have much luck hunting.

Animal Pictures