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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.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Daily Drift

It happens to be Hot Air Balloon Day today ...!
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Today in History

1595   Henry IV's army defeats the Spanish at the Battle of Fontaine-Francaise.  
1637   American settlers in New England massacre a Pequot Indian village.  
1783   Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier make the first public balloon flight.  
1794   The U.S. Congress prohibits citizens from serving in any foreign armed forces.  
1827   Athens falls to Ottoman forces.
1851   Harriet Beecher Stow publishes the first installment of Uncle Tom's Cabin in The National Era.  
1856   U.S. Army troops in the Four creeks region of California, head back to quarters, officially ending the Tule River War. Fighting, however, will continue for a few more years.  
1863   The Confederate raider CSS Alabama captures the Talisman in the Mid-Atlantic.  
1880   Wild woman of the west Myra Maybelle Shirley marries Sam Starr even though records show she was already married to Bruce Younger.  
1900   British troops under Lord Roberts seize Pretoria from the Boers.  
1940   The German army begins its offensive in Southern France.
1944   The first B-29 bombing raid strikes the Japanese rail line in Bangkok, Thailand.
1947   Secretary of State George C. Marshall outlines "The Marshall Plan," a program intended to assist European nations, including former enemies, to rebuild their economies.  
1956   Premier Nikita Khrushchev denounces Josef Stalin to the Soviet Communist Party Congress.  
1967   The Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt, Syria and Jordan begins.  
1968   Sirhan Sirhan shoots Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy after Kennedy's victory in the pivotal California primary election.  
1973   Doris A. Davis becomes the first African-American woman to govern a city in a major metropolitan area when she is elected mayor of Compton, California.

First Known Murder

Murder dates back to at least the Middle Pleistocene, according to a new study that suggests early Neanderthals weren’t always a peaceful bunch.

Student fights punishment after being given detention for giving 'ghost pepper' to classmates

A student at Centereach High School on Long Island, New York, is fighting his punishment, after being disciplined for taking hot peppers to school. Nick Lien, 16, and his mother have spoken about the incident involving bhut jolokia, or ghost peppers, which are among the hottest chili peppers on the planet. Ghost peppers pack 400 times the mouth-numbing heat of Tabasco, and Lien orders them online – three peppers for $12. “My friends saw that I had the new ghost pepper with me, and they all wanted to see how spicy it really was, because everybody thought that basically they could handle it and it was nothing,” Lien said.
“So they all tried a piece.” But two of Lien’s classmates left gym class, and landed in the nurse’s office with red faces, stomach pains, and burning tongues. And the next thing he knew, Lien was called to the carpet. “I was shocked, because I didn’t realize that giving someone a pepper could get me into as much trouble as I was in,” Lien said. Lien said he was told he was to serve after-school detention for two days, or else in-school suspension for a day. Nick Lien’s mother, Sharon Lien, also received a call. “I ran to the school to wonder why. I didn’t know what it was,” she said.
“I asked if it was pepper spray, peppers on sandwiches, and she said it was my son brought a pepper to school – which I happen to have. We eat hot peppers, so it’s, like, no big deal. I eat hot food. My family eats hot food,” she said. “It’s just in our blood.” And the Liens were shocked and mystified when they said the school likened the peppers to psychedelic drugs. “I was told that it’s equivalent to giving someone LSD,” Nick Lien said. The Liens do not believe passing out peppers warrants suspension or detention. “Students’ rights cannot be violated by dictating to them what they can and can’t bring in for lunch, so it’s an outage,” said attorney Ken Mollins.

School is out in three weeks, and Nick Lien said being suspended would be detrimental. “All the work that we have now is all getting bunched together, and if I lose two days of school, then it’s really going to affect my grades,” he said. But the superintendent of the Middle Country School District said she does not tolerate any action that compromises the health of their students, and said she has determined that the hot peppers do pose such a threat. She said she stands by the detention. There are no New York state regulations yet on ghost peppers in schools.

Woman charged with driving under the influence of whipped cream

Police in Franklin, Tennessee, say a woman who used aerosol whipped cream cans to get high was charged with driving under the influence after crashing her car into a man’s mailbox. Anna Thomas, 28, was hospitalized after crashing into the mailbox.

82-year-old man slashed 88-year-old woman's tires because she sat in his favorite bingo seat

Police arrested an 82-year-old Florida man for slashing a woman's tires because he claims she was sitting in his favorite bingo seat. Fred Smith was charged with criminal mischief to a vehicle last week when, police say, he took an ice pick to Ethel Britt's van. She celebrated her 88th birthday on Friday and has since been questioning why Smith targeted her car.
"I didn't think anyone would be low enough to do that to my car because I didn't know I had any enemies in my life,” she said. “I thought everybody was my friend, but undoubtedly I have one enemy.” Police say Smith stormed out of a weekly bingo game at the Lake Ashton Club House and punctured two of Britt's tires because she was sitting in a chair he usually sits in.
"I didn't know it meant that much to him to do that to my tires," Britt continued. "It's quite frankly a childish-type crime," offered Lake Wales Deputy Chief Troy Schulze. "The man admitted to it when the officer told him what he was there to investigate. He was apologetic. He said he was embarrassed.

"He regretted doing it, but he took ownership of it and said that even in the embarrassment he had to face consequences." Those consequences could include about $500 in tire damage and restitution back to Britt. She said she has no hard feelings, but she's still a bit puzzled. "I'm not mad, no. I would like to have my tires paid for because that took every dime I had in the bank," she added.

Court orders vegetarian mother to feed her son meat

An Italian court has ordered a vegetarian mother to cook meat for her son at least once a week after the boy's father complained that his son wasn't being given a proper diet.
The mother in Bergamo, northern Italy, started her son on a macrobiotic diet, which is typically a vegetarian diet consisting of whole grains, cereals and vegetables, in 2006.
But the father, who is divorced from the mother, complained that she had made the decision without consulting him and that the diet put his son’s health at risk. Despite the mother’s dietary regime, the father took his son out for meals at McDonalds and prepared desserts, meat and dairy dishes on weekends, when he had custody of the child.
The father’s mother, the boy’s grandmother, also fed him foods which broke the diet, including gorgonzola and sausages. According to the child's mother, the boy would come home after the weekend with a stomach ache. The father eventually took the matter to court so that the boy’s diet could be decided once and for all.

Crying Onions

Have you ever chopped and onion, and you couldn't stop yourself from crying? Why does chopping an onion make you tear up?

American Farms and Immigrants

Migrant workers are sometimes referred to as the backbone of the U.S. agricultural industry. So, what would happen to farms without these immigrants?

Indian Heat Claiming Lives

A heat wave that is affecting India may be killing many thousands more than has been officially reported, one researcher says. It already has killed thousands ...

China's Artifical Islands

Reefs and marine life stand being destroyed by China's effort to build islands to boost their political power.

Earth News

El Nino can raise sea levels along the U.S. West Coast, on top of warming-caused sea level rise.
There are some under-appreciated, San Andreas-like faults off Los Angeles that could unleash large quakes and tsunamis. But it's nothing like Hollywood's version.
El Nino will likely keep hurricane activity tamped down this season, which marks 10 years since Katrina.
Mount Everest and the surrounding peaks could lose nearly all their glaciers by 2100.
Plankton bloom in the eddies of the Gulf Stream in a new satellite image of the North Atlantic taken in May 2015.
After 35 years, the scars of the Mount St. Helens volcano eruption are still clearly evident in a satellite image.

Farmer Is Breeding Pigs with More Ribs

Jeff Braun, a farmer in Mount Gambier, South Australia, has bred pigs for the past 30 years. Pigs are unusual in that they can vary in the number of ribs, ranging from 13 to 17 ribs. Braun wants to breed pigs to have 16 or 17 ribs, which increases their meat capacity. Additionally, longer sows have larger udders that produce more milk. ABC reports:
"A sow has double the butter fat and double the milk solids in its milk compared to a dairy cow and when we look at the 21-day litter weights we are now achieving, it has to produce more milk solids in a day than the best dairy cows in the world," Mr Braun said.
"We can alter the length and the capacity of that udder as we change the length of the middle.
"By selecting for sows with 16 to 17 ribs we can get 30 per cent more udder capacity."
Most sows at Myora Farm now deliver 21-day litter weights of more than 100 kilograms.
"Europe is typically averaging 80 kilograms," Mr Braun said.
"This has enabled us to now produce a 100 kg live weight animal by 16 weeks of age, which is also some of the highest growth rates of animals in the world."
Myora Farm pigs are also resistant to E. coli and the next goal is to eliminate all respiratory diseases, along with the need to administer vaccinations.

The Dragons of Xanadu

A colorful dragon head made of clay was found in a palace at Xanadu.

From The Shark Files ...

The discovery of bone in a shark fossil shows that the fish once had bones, but evolved to have cartilage.

Animal hoarder found with hundreds of pigeons living inside his home

A man in Schwechat, near Vienna, Austria, was found hoarding between 150 and 200 pigeons in his house, in appalling conditions. His windows were so dirty hardly any light came through, leaving the house in constant darkness, the Vienna Tierschutzverein animal welfare group have said.
His furniture, and the walls and floors of the house were covered with pigeon feces, feathers and dirt. A Tierschutzverein team had to carry out three rescue operations, wearing face masks and protective suits to protect them from germs and dirt. They saved 73 pigeons but around 30 birds, along with 66 eggs, did not survive.
"The stench was unbearable and there was the risk of being poisoned by breathing in the excrement,” the Tierschutzverein said. Tierschutzverein experts believe that the birds had been kept for several years. All the pigeons were examined by veterinarians. "Some of them were severely malnourished, had parasites and eye damage.
"In addition, they were severely dehydrated and had probably had no water for days,” they said in a statement. The Tierschutzverein is now looking for a pigeon fancier who can keep the birds in proper conditions. The case only came to light after the occupant of the house fell over and called an ambulance. Paramedics and police were then shocked to discover the birds and the horrific living conditions.

Fox cub with head stuck in jar freed

A fox cub has been freed after getting its head stuck in a plastic jar. The animal, thought to be about seven weeks old, was spotted on waste ground with the tub covering its head by residents in Eastbourne, East Sussex.
A team from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) trapped the cub on Tuesday evening and cut the jar off using surgical scissors. WRAS founder Trevor Weeks said the fox was potentially hours away from dying.

It is now being treated by the WRAS. "We didn't want to give up, as we were worried the cub might develop breathing problems and was probably already becoming dehydrated and hungry too. We knew the longer we left the fox the worse condition the cub would be in.
"There was a chance the fox could be dead by the morning," he said. The cub also received anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics at the service's casualty care centre where it is recovering. "Luckily the wounds were not too serious and we hope that he will be a quick turn-around and back to mum," said Mr Weeks.

Cheeky badger broke into home through cat flap before stealing Bakewell tart from fridge

A badger sneaked into a home through a cat flap before opening a fridge and helping itself to a Bakewell tart. Geoff Taylor captured the footage after his was woken by the nocturnal animal in the middle of the night at his rural home in West Middlesex.
And the bold badger burglar is a repeat offender, as the night before it was caught red pawed raiding the same fridge, on that occasion it had managed to eat its way through six eggs, including their shells.
On its first visit it shuffled in under the cloak of darkness, waking Mr Taylor from his slumber when he heard the sound of someone or something in the kitchen. Upon seeing Mr Taylor, the badger ran back out through the cat flap.
Then, when Mr Taylor was woken up at about 3.30am the next night, he reached for his camera. Even with the light on, the badger did not stop eating the Bakewell tart - and only ten seconds later did it finally spot that it had been caught. Undeterred, even after being scared off it tried to come back moments later, but found the cat flap locked.

Pakistani spy pigeon arrested in India

A pigeon has been arrested by police in India on suspicion of being a spy from Pakistan. The bird was seized on Thursday after being spotted carrying a "stamped message" on its body. The message was written partly in Urdu, the official language of Pakistan.
It also contained a Pakistani phone number, according to reports. The bird was discovered by a 14-year-old boy in the village of Manwal, around 4km from the Pakistani border. He took it to the nearest police station where the bird was X-rayed.
Although police confirmed nothing unusual was found they "have kept the bird in our custody", according to one senior local officer. The bird has been logged as a "suspected spy" in the area's official police diary. "This is a rare instance of a bird from Pakistan being spotted here. We have caught a few spies here.

"The area is sensitive, given its proximity to Jammu, where infiltration is quite common," local police superintendent Rakesh Kaushal said. The area where the bird was found sits close to Jammu and Kashmir, an area which is claimed by both India and Pakistan, and is the scene of regular military exchanges.

Animal Pictures