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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

1064 Coimbra, Portugal falls to Ferdinand, king of Castile.
1534 Jacques Cartier sails into the mouth of the St. Lawrence River in Canada.
1790 Civil war breaks out in Martinique.
1861 Mary Ann "Mother" Bickerdyke begins working in Union hospitals.
1863 At the Battle of Brandy Station in Virginia, Union and Confederate cavalries clash in the largest cavalry battle of the Civil War.
1923 Bulgaria’s government is overthrown by the military.
1931 Robert H. Goddard patents a rocket-fueled aircraft design.
1942 The Japanese high command announces that "The Midway Occupation operations have been temporarily postponed."
1945 Japanese Premier Kantaro Suzuki declares that Japan will fight to the last rather than accept unconditional surrender.
1951 After several unsuccessful attacks on French colonial troops, North Vietnam’s General Vo Nguyen Giap orders Viet Minh to withdraw from the Red River Delta.
1954 At the Army-McCarthy hearings, attorney Joseph Welch asks Senator Joseph McCarthy "Have you no sense of decency?"
1959 The first ballistic missile-carrying submarine, the USS George Washington, is launched.
1972 American advisor John Paul Vann is killed in a helicopter accident in Vietnam.
1986 NASA publishes a report on the Challenger accident.

Holding Out For A Hero Like Buster Keaton

Joseph Frank 'Buster' Keaton (1895-1966) was an American actor, vaudevillian, comedian, filmmaker, stunt performer, and writer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname 'The Great Stone Face.'This video is dedicated to the great actor and director Buster Keaton.

Pink-haired shop worker must wear wig and cover tattoos

A woman has had to cover her tattoos and wear a wig over her pink hair to appear "more normal" while working at a Suffolk shop.
Friends said Trudy Moorhouse, from Badingham, had been at the Co-op in Laxfield for eight years without any complaints about her appearance. After a shop refit Mrs Moorhouse was asked to "dress more appropriately".
Mrs Moorhouse has now chosen to wear a black wig as she "did not want to get rid of her pink hair". She is also wearing long sleeves to cover her tattoos and has put sticky plasters on her face to cover her piercings.
A Spokesman for The Co-operative Food said: "There is a clear policy in place regarding dress code and how colleagues present themselves in our food stores. An amicable arrangement has been put in place at the store with Trudy." A petition has been set up calling for the store to change its policy. Mrs Moorhouse would not comment.

Elderly man fulfills wish to drive through garage door

91-year-old Walter Thomas’ bucket list was really short. There was only one thing on it. And that was fulfilled on Sunday.

“Every time I back out of the garage, I think about backing through the door,” said Thomas, from Woodstock, Illinois.
He mentioned his wish to his granddaughter Tanya Thomas, so she got the project going. The garage was coming down for a renovation project anyway.
The vehicle that was used was donated and bound for the scrap yard. With his grandson by his side, and at the count of three, Thomas hit the gas and they barreled through the door. “That was easy,” Thomas said afterwards.

Ram raiders initially smashed into wrong shop before stealing haul of extra small clothing

Their plan was to reverse a car into upmarket clothes shop Garment Quarter in Cabot Circus, Bristol, and make off with handfuls of designer gear.
But a gang of ram raiders got their bearings wrong and smashed the car through the window of the Kuoni travel agent next door. Undeterred, the raiders eventually careered in to the right shop and made off with £20,000 worth of designer goods. But what the bungling burglars did not release is that all the clothes were size extra small.
The clothes shop only puts out its smallest sizes and so only the most petite ladies will be able to get into the garments. Staff at Kuoni said nothing was taken and that the burglars had made a mistake reversing into their store. Derek Jones, Kuoni managing director, said: "It's a case of the thieves who should have gone to Specsavers as they reversed into the wrong shop."
The raid happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Police are looking for three men who are thought to have carried out the burglary. They said a white Jaguar car was reversed into the shop fronts at around 2am, leaving shattered glass across the street. The car, which is thought to be stolen, then made off.
There's a short video of the incident here.

Man chewed through police car seat belt as he didn't want to miss his son's birthday party

A Chicago man who was arrested on Monday is accused of chewing through a squad car seat belt because he didn’t want to miss his son’s birthday party, police said.
Lashon Stuckey, 33, was arrested just before 2pm and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of criminal damage to property, according to Chicago Police.
Police alleged Stuckey was seen conducting a suspected narcotics transaction and was arrested. He was found in possession of several bags of heroin.
While in a squad car, Stuckey chewed his way through the seat belt. Stuckey then told officers it was his son’s birthday and he didn’t want to miss it. He appeared in court on Tuesday and was held in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Man baked potato and raked leaves during break-in

A New Mexico man is facing charges after police say he walked into an unlocked home in Hobbs, stole car keys and stunned a resident who found him baking a potato and raking leaves. Patrick Lynn Waits, 45, was arrested early on Tuesday following the unusual chain of events.
A female resident awoke to noise in her kitchen, and found Waits allegedly wiping down a counter-top and baking a potato in her microwave oven, police said. "She asked him what he was doing there, and he told her he was making a potato," according to a police report.
When told to leave, a criminal complaint says Waits walked outside and left his potato in the microwave. The report said Waits then went outside to rake leaves in the front yard. The female resident convinced Waits to stay by saying she wanted to pay him for his service, police said.
The move was apparently a ploy to get Waits to stay long enough before authorities arrived, police said. Waits was found stumbling while walking, and he slurred when he talked, officials said. Waits was arrested on burglary and unlawful entry charges. He also faces several felony warrants for failure to appear in court.

Science teacher suspended for using signal jammer to block student's phones

A Florida science teacher has been suspended for using a signal jammer to prevent his students from using their cellphones in class. Dean Liptak was trying to get students to focus on lessons instead of their phones.
School board members in Pasco County approved Liptak's five-day, unpaid suspension on Tuesday. Liptak didn't contest the decision. Officials say Liptak activated the jammer in his Fivay High School classroom from March 31 until April 2. He later told a school district investigator he never intended to cause problems.
He said he thought the jammers were allowed as long as they weren't intended for malicious purposes. The district says Verizon chose not to prosecute him. Superintendent Kurt Browning wrote in a reprimand letter that Liptak had potentially violated federal law and that the signal jamming could have potentially interfered with others trying to call 911 during an emergency.

"Verizon had come to the school saying someone had a jamming device, because the cell phone service was being interrupted in the area," Pasco County School District spokesperson Linda Cobbe said. Cobbe says Liptak's jamming device blocked communication to the cell tower on the school campus.

A Circular Rainbow at Niagara Falls

Visitors to the Skylon Tower, an observation tower in Ontario that overlooks Niagara Falls, spotted this incredible meteorological find: a rainbow that arced a full 360⁰ degrees. Watch the video to see the full span. It’s a highly unusual event, but another one was photographed in 2013 in Australia.

Waterfall Of Loenen

The Netherlands is known for being a flat country, something that shows in its noticeable lack of mountainous terrain. In the so-called 'Low Country,' it doesn't take much to be declared the 'highest' anything in the country, as it the case with the tallest waterfall in the Netherlands which only drops 50 feet.
The Waterfall of Loenen, also known cheekily as the 'Niagara of the Veluwe,' is part of an artificial canal that was dug in 1869 and is almost four miles long. It was created to keep the water level of the Apeldoorns canal equal throughout the year. At some points the height difference was too great, so waterfalls were installed to prevent the stream from going too fast.

Man suffocated to death after getting trapped in rabbit hole

A man suffocated after becoming wedged in a hole at a beauty spot in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, while trying to catch a rabbit, an inquest heard. Stephen Norman Whinfrey had been rabbiting for most of his life and had carried out the hobby, which involves using ferrets and dogs to catch rabbits, alone many times before. Mr Whinfrey, aged 50, had gone to Squirrel Wood Scout Camp near Burghwallis on January 1. He was found by a member of the public shortly before 4pm on January 2. PC Richard Hall told Doncaster coroner’s court: “We found a male head first in a hole, only his legs and torso were visible.
“He was at a 45 degree angle, curved around the hole. There was a hand coming out of the hole, in between the male’s legs. I could not see the other hand. There were scratch marks on the ground. It became obvious that the man was deceased.” PC Hall said Mr Whinfrey was ‘wedged in’ the hole. “There was hardly any room at all, he was wedged in,” he said. Mr Whinfrey had taken off his wellington boots and his jacket, which were found next to the hole along with two bags, one which contained ferrets, a spade, knives and a net.
There was also a dead rabbit and a fresh mound of soil next to the hole. His dog was found tied to a tree nearby. Paramedics and fire crews attended shortly afterwards and Mr Whinfrey was pronounced dead. The court heard Mr Whinfrey, who was unemployed at the time of his death but had previously been a coal miner. Mr Whinfrey, of Skellow, had told his family he would see them for lunch at around 1pm on January 1. But when he did not arrive they became concerned and when they still had not heard from him by the following day they called the police.
Dr Susan Rodgers, who carried out a post-mortem examination, said Mr Whinfrey had died from asphyxia due to a lack of oxygen. “It is difficult to say exactly when Mr Whinfrey died. He had probably been dead for some hours by the time he was found.” She said a toxicological screening found alcohol and amphetamine in Mr Whinfey’s blood and, though it was impossible to say how much of either substance was present, they may have affected his decision making process. Assistant coroner Mark Beresford recorded a misadventure verdict and said: “Misadventure occurs when a person undertakes a task that goes unexpectedly wrong. This is what has happened in this case.”

Despite mounting fines woman won't remove screen put up to block view of neighbor's home

A woman from Thetford, Vermont, erected a 60-foot by 24-foot barrier obstructing her view of her neighbor's new home. Ruth Dwyer has lived on her 200-plus acre farm in for more than 40 years. For almost all of that time, Dwyer said she and her 150 animals had most of the surrounding area to themselves. That changed two years ago with the construction of a new home across the street, overlooking her farm. “Everything that goes on over there is taking place in a way that it distracts the livestock because of the location of all the activity, and it's very close. There never used to be any activity there. It's all normal activity for a house. It's just not normal for my livestock,” Dwyer said, adding she has no ill will towards her neighbors.
Dwyer recalled one instance when she was loading one of her horses onto a van and it was spooked by a child who had come outside to play basketball in her neighbor's driveway, which she said was clearly visible from her barn. “I knew it was going to be a problem,” Dwyer said. So she planted cedar trees on her property line, but said they’ll take years to grow tall enough to block the view of her neighbors’ activity. In November, she built what she described as a ‘temporary screen’ to shield her view. “I had a friend who's a contractor and he said, ‘You know, I could put up a piece of fabric between some telephone poles and we'll brace it and that's it,’” Dwyer said. Once the structure was up, town officials took notice.
Thetford zoning director Mary Ellen Parkman said she notified Dwyer in November that she needed to apply for a building permit for the structure. Under Thetford zoning laws, any wall or fence more than 10 feet tall requires a building permit. Dwyer said her structure doesn’t fall into those categories, therefore it does not violate any rules. “It’s not a wall, it’s not a fence, it’s a screen for livestock control,” Dwyer said. Parkman said Dwyer applied for a building permit in December, which was denied in February because “it did not fit the character of the neighborhood.” Parkman said at that point, the ‘screen’ became an ‘illegal structure.’ Dwyer said she considered other options, like installing a solar array or building a more permanent fixture, like a barn. However, she said those options aren’t economically feasible for her, and she didn’t want something to stay there long-term.

"That’s why I built a temporary structure,” Dwyer said. In early March, Parkman sent Dwyer a violation notice, fining her $200 each day that her structure remains on her property. Those fines have now accumulated to more than $15,000. Regardless of what the structure is categorized as, her neighbor, Patrick Perry, who lives across the road, said it’s an unpleasant sight. “I think it's one of those things when you first see it, you're sort of struck by the size of it,” Perry said. Perry moved into the neighborhood about 18 months ago. He said Dwyer’s screen doesn’t make him feel at home. “I think 'unwelcoming' is probably the best way to describe how it feels being on this side of the wall,” Perry said. Despite the daily fine and her neighbor's concerns, Dwyer said the screen isn’t going anywhere any time soon. She said she’s going to keep fighting to keep the structure up until her cedar trees grow tall enough to block the view of her neighbors’ activities.

Doctors used basil to coax out worm that had been living in teenager's eye for a month

Doctors in Peru have used basil to help remove a worm from a teenager's eye that had been in there for around a month. The 17-year-old arrived at the National Children's Hospital in Lima, with a very swollen left eye. Medics quickly discovered that a three-centimeter (one inch) worm was responsible for the swelling after living in his eye for weeks.
They made the discovery after taking an MRI scan of the young man, who has not been named. Ophthalmologist Caroline Marchena said the worm posed a serious risk to the boy's health because of swelling near a sensitive part of the face from which infections can spread to the brain.
She said: "The location of the worm from the lower lid, which was getting bigger, made the risks increase because the youth's tissue was swelling in an area close to the sinuses that's close to the delicate part which is the triangle of death (danger triangle of the face)."
Basil, a common culinary herb, was used as a way of attracting the worm out due to its smell. Once the hungry worm had poked its head out in search of the basil, doctors used tweezers to pull it out in its entirety. The worm did not cause any long-term damage to the teenager.

Neighbors unhappy with man who's dumped chocolate chips in bid to deter fouling dogs

A man in San Diego’s North Park community has dumped chocolate chips in an effort to deter dogs, but the act is upsetting neighbors. Frustrated with neighborhood dogs leaving waste on his lawn and a grass verge outside his home, and with dog owners not picking up after their pets, a man known as "John" recently scattered several pounds of chocolate chips. John said it was an experiment – and that it worked. Over the last several days pet owners have been steering clear of his property, with some neighbors afraid the chocolate will make their animals sick.

Why Thousands Of New Animal Species Are Still Discovered Each Year

Every spring, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry releases a list of the top ten new animal discoveries. Luckily, even after 250 years of professionals documenting thousands of new plants and animals every year, the rate at which new species are discovered remains relatively stable. Somewhere between 15,000 and 18,000 new species are identified each year.
However, that number is somewhat misleading: it also includes the correction of taxonomic mistakes, movements from one family to another, and decisions that will end up being overruled in years to come. But where would you go if you wanted to find a brand new animal species?

Eel-like fish are falling from the sky in Alaska

Fish have literally been dropping from the sky in Fairbanks, Alaska. Four eel-like fish called lampreys have been found in odd locations around Fairbanks, far from the water, according to Mike Taras of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Most were dead, but one was found alive outside a Fairbanks thrift store. “Two gentleman came in and asked if we have a bucket with water because there’s an eel in your parking lot,” said the store’s manager, Sue Valdrow. She put the fish, which was about a foot long, into a container of water and called officials.
At this point, nobody knows for sure, but the Alaska Department of Fish and Game believes the answer is gulls. The birds are likely catching the fish from the Chena River and then dropping them during their flight. “If you look closely at them, they have holes on both sides that may have been made by a gull or some other kind of bird,” notes Taras.
Even in their natural habitat, lampreys are strange fish, with disconcerting feeding habits. The young are blind and live in the mud for years, feeding on algae and microorganisms. As adults, they are parasites, attaching to other fish and relying on them for subsistence. They die soon after spawning. “I wasn’t sure what to do when lampreys fall from the sky,” Sue Valdrow added. “I’ve lived in Alaska for 12 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Raccoon took refuge from rain under umbrella

A raccoon in Kansas went to great lengths to find shelter from the rain.
Bri Smith spotted the raccoon outside her home in Topeka on Wednesday standing underneath her mailbox's cement umbrella.

The Caterpillar with Penguins on Its Back

If you look at the caterpillar of the forest tent caterpillar moth (Malacosoma disstria) with a little imagination you can see something remarkable. Found throughout North America, along the top of this caterpillar is ranged a set of what looks like dancing penguins.
This is of course one of nature's inadvertent acts of mimicry. It is a warning sign to predators that the caterpillar will not taste especially nice. Its penguin shape is coincidental but nevertheless entertaining and perhaps even charming to us.

Animal Pictures