Welcome to ...

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.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Daily Drift

Just another one of things that make you scratch you head and go, huh ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 203 countries around the world daily.   
Yeah, Root Bear  ... !
Today is - Stewart's Root Beer Day

You want the unvarnished truth?
Don't forget to visit: The Truth Be Told

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Argentina - Brazil - Canada - Colombia - Mexico - Nicaragua - Puerto Rico - Sint Eustatius/Saba - United States - Venezuela
Belarus - Bosnia/Herzegovina - Bulgaria - Croatia - Czech Republic - England - Finland - France - Germany - Ireland - Italy - Latvia - Lithuania - Luxembourg - Netherlands - Poland - Portugal - Romania - Russia - Scotland - Slovenia - Spain - Sweden - Switzerland - Ukraine - Wales
China - India - Indonesia - Iraq - Israel - Japan - Malaysia - Mauritius - Pakistan -  Saudi Arabia - Singapore - Sri Lanka - Taiwan - Thailand
Egypt - Morocco - Somalia - South Africa
The Pacific
Australia - New Zealand - Philippines
Don't forget to visit our sister blogs Here and Here.

Today in History

Sir Francis Drake claims San Francisco Bay for England.
The British take Bunker Hill outside of Boston, after a costly battle.
Napoleon Bonaparte incorporates Italy into his empire.
Austrian General Alfred Windischgratz crushes a Czech uprising in Prague.
The Red Turban revolt breaks out in Guangdong, China.
The Republican Cabal opens its first national convention in Philadelphia.
President Abraham Lincoln witnesses Dr. Thaddeus Lowe demonstrate the use of a hot-air balloon.
On the way to Gettysburg, Union and Confederate forces skirmish at Point of Rocks, Maryland.
George M. Hoover begins selling whiskey in Dodge City, Kansas–a town which had previously been "dry."
General George Crook’s command is attacked and bested on the Rosebud River by 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne under the leadership of Crazy Horse.
The German Zeppelin SZ 111 burns in its hangar in Friedrichshafen.
U.S. Marines set sail from San Diego to protect American interests in Mexico.
The Russian Duma meets in secret session in Petrograd and votes for an immediate Russian offensive against the German Army.
The Fascist militia marches into Rome.
Spain threatens to quit the League of Nations if Germany is allowed to join.
The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill becomes law, placing the highest tariff on imports to the United States.
British authorities in China arrest Indochinese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh.
The U.S. Senate defeats the Bonus Bill as 10,000 veterans mass around the Capitol.
The Soviet Union occupies Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
Yank a weekly magazine for the U.S. armed services, begins publication.
French troops land on the island of Elba in the Mediterranean.
Surgeon Richard Lawler performs the first kidney transplant operation in Chicago.
Soviet tanks fight thousands of Berlin workers rioting against the East German government.
The U.S. Supreme Court bans the required reading of the Lord’s prayer and Bible in public schools.
27 B-52s hit Viet Cong outposts, but lose two planes in South Vietnam.
North Vietnamese troops cut the last operating rail line in Cambodia.
Five men are arrested for burglarizing Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.
Millions of Americans watch former football player O.J. Simpson–facing murder charges–drive his Ford Bronco through Los Angeles, followed by police.

The Perfect Dessert For Barbecue Lovers- Cupcake Burgers

Sweet and savory can make for one delicious combination, bringing a little dessert love to your dinner, but this juicy looking burger and chunky side of fries is nothing but sweet. 
This delicious look-a-like Cupcake Burgers recipe shared by C&H Sugar consists of a brownie burger patty between cupcake buns, with shredded coconut lettuce, buttercream ketchup and mustard and a side of shortbread fries.
It’s not the kind of thing you want your family to fill up on during a barbecue, but it makes a delicious, and delightful looking, dessert to enjoy after everyone has had their fill from the grill!

First Color Photographs of China

Outside of the clothing, this picture looks as if it could have been taken yesterday, yet it is over 100 years old. The archives of Albert Kahn contain hundreds of thousands of photographs, 72,000 of them in color. Kahn used the pioneering Autochrome method of color. In 1912, he took pictures in China, which became the first photographic record of the country in color. See a half-dozen of the China pictures at Creative Roots and and some of Kahn’s photographs of Mongolia as well. 

Cowboy Boot Sandals

Everything's bigger (and more stupid) in Texas, including sandals! All that's missing from these cowboy boot sandals (cowboy sandal boots?) are a pair of socks!

Operation Choke Point

Banks And The #Pornocalypse 
Back in 2014, we wrote a little bit about Operation Choke Point, the US Department of Justice effort to intimidate banks into refusing to handle the banking business of a wide variety of politically-disfavored industries, including the adult industry. Facts on the ground were, and are, few.
We're not sure Franklin Veaux’s recent experiences with mysteriously losing his credit card processing for the Onyx sex game he sells (which looks like a fun way to loosen up a nerdy party and at least encourage it in the direction of a friendly orgy) can count as confirmation of the Operation Choke Point story, but he’s correct that his experience perfectly matches the profile:
This past April, I received notification from Best Payment Solutions that they were terminating my account. They gave no reason, other than they “sometimes terminate accounts for risk reasons.” In the thirteen years I’d been with them, I’d only had one chargeback–a rather remarkable record I doubt few businesses can match. Didn’t matter.
I was told that BPS would no longer work with me, but their parent company, Vantiv, would be happy to give me a merchant account. Vantiv’s underwriters, I was told, had looked at my Web site and had no problem with its contents.
So I did the requisite paperwork, turned it all in, and…nothing. For weeks, during which time I was effectively out of business.
Then, four weeks later, I heard back from Vantiv. We’re so sorry, they said, we thought we could give you a merchant account, but we can’t. When I asked why, the only thing they would say was “risk reasons.”
Thus ensued a mad scramble to find a new merchant account underwriter, a process that’s normally very time-consuming and tedious. I finally found another underwriter, which I will decline to name for reasons that will become obvious once you read the rest of this post, and I’m back up and running again…but not before I was out of business for over a month.
The rest of Franklin’s article reports on a backlash against Operation Choke Point, spearheaded (ironically) by the wingnut media after reports that small retailers of guns and ammo were among the thirty or so disfavored groups targeted. According to Wikipedia, Operation Choke Point has been more-or-less terminated in response to the backlash:
On January 29, 2015, the FDIC issued a Financial Institution Letter that states “The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a Financial Institution Letter today encouraging supervised institutions to take a risk-based approach in assessing individual customer relationships, rather than declining to provide banking services to entire categories of customers without regard to the risks presented by an individual customer or the financial institution’s ability to manage the risk.
The Washington Times says this letter “effectively ends Operation Choke Point.” As reported by Forbes, “a change in the political landscape, many businesses threatening legal action and a congressman with a background in banking [forced] the bureaucracy to admit to misconduct and to stop financial attacks on legal businesses that the Obama administration deems to be politically incorrect.” Reports of continued termination of services to legitimate businesses, however, continue.
They do indeed continue, as witnessed by Franklin’s recent loss of processing. The people he dealt with were pretty clear that the “risk reasons” for not doing business with him didn’t have anything to do with the actual risks posed by his business. Whatever the official status of Operation Choke Point, it sounds as if the banks are still terminating banking relationships with adult-industry businesses to avoid official disapproval, however informal.

Thousands of American kids are getting free university educations in Germany

German higher education is essentially free, even for foreign students, and many courses are conducted entirely in English.US student debt now stands at $1.3 trillion. A full semester at a top German university costs $120 -- and your student card gets you unlimited free public transit. Full health insurance is $87/month. Germans welcome foreign students in the hopes that they'll settle in the country and start businesses and provided a skilled workforce. Admission generally requires a 3.0 GPA or better.
At Hunter's university, the Technical University in Munich, 20% of students are non-German. The University president is keen to have every single graduate program offered in English, and only in English, by the year 2020.
"You can feel sad and think it's a pity that we are losing our own mothers' tongue in the technical disciplines, but that's the development in the world," says Wolfgang Herrmann.
He acknowledges that people wanting to study philosophy and other cultural sciences would still have to be taught in German.
"But in the technical disciplines you could say the world is easier."
...In the capital city of Berlin, the most popular destination for international students, the state government says it has no plans to introduce fees anytime soon.
"We will not introduce tuition fees for international students," says Krach, the Secretary of Science. "We don't want the entry to college to be dependent on your social status and we don't want that the exchange between countries is only dependent on the question of finances."

There’s No Water, Let ‘Em Drink Sand

Selfish, Rich Californians Refuse To Adapt To Drought
There’s No Water, Let ‘Em Drink Sand: Selfish, Rich Californians Refuse To Adapt To Drought
Rich Southern Californians are balking at conserving water. That’s for the peons. This attitude will cost them money, now. How will they like that?

Iowa open-carry gun nut gunned down mall worker who filed sexual harassment complaints against him

Alexander Kozak - Facebook
An Iowa mall cop, with a Facebook account loaded with open-carry and right-wing memes and photos of multiple weapons, is under arrest for shooting and killing a fellow mall worker because she filed sexual harassment complaints against him.



Love and Money

dads and moneyLove and money: How low-income dads really provide

Low-income fathers who might be labeled “deadbeat dads” often spend as much on their children as parents in formal child-support arrangements, but they choose to give goods like food and […]

The Man Who Saved Two Million Babies

Anyone who donates blood a thousand times is a definite hero. You could say they helped save a thousand lives. But James Harrison is different. He passed the 1,000 donation mark in 2011 and has donated a hundred or so times since then. But his blood has saved the lives of more than two million people! After receiving blood as a teenager in 1951, Harrison vowed to pay it back when he turned 18. And he did, but then doctors discovered something unusual about Harrison’s blood.
Remember the scary Rh factor problem (also called Rhesus disease)? That’s when an Rh negative mother has an Rh positive baby and develops antibodies against the blood type. If she has subsequent babies, her antibodies can attack the fetus. But Harrison had a rare factor in his blood that was used to develop a treatment for Rhesus disease. That's why you don't hear much about it anymore. Jemma Falkenmire, of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service says,
"Every bag of blood is precious, but James' blood is particularly extraordinary," says Falkenmire. "His blood is actually used to make a life-saving medication, given to moms whose blood is at risk of attacking their unborn babies. Every batch of Anti-D that has ever been made in Australia has come from James' blood.
"And more than 17% of women in Australia are at risk, so James has helped save a lot of lives."
What makes Harrison even more heroic is that he can’t stand the sight of blood! Yet he soldiers on. Harrison is 78 now, and must retire from donation in a couple of years. Read about James Harrison and see a video interview at CNN. 

31 Strange Medical Conditions

Warning: if you are very susceptible to the power of suggestion or have a touch of hypochondria, you might want to skip this video. John Green talks about medical conditions that are so weird, you’d think he was making them up. No, they are real, but most are rare or relatively inconsequential. This is the first of a three-part video series called “Summer Bummers,” which should make you feel lucky to be in as good a shape as you are. If they go a little fast for you, you can find a transcript at mental_floss.

Rare infectious bacteria coming to a Florida beach near you

Topless woman suntanning on the beach (Shutterstock)
Florida state health officials are warning beachgoers of a rare saltwater bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus, that has infected seven and killed two people this year, reports CBS News. Vibrio vulnificus' numbers increase in the summer months as the water gets warmer, and the bacteria can infect people in many different ways.
"People can get infected with Vibrio vulnificus when they eat raw shellfish," Florida Health Department's Mara Burger said in a statement. "Since it is naturally found in warm marine waters, people with open wounds can be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus through direct contact with seawater."
If ingested, Vibrio vulnificus can cause stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. And if the bacteria enters an open wound, it can cause infections and skin ulcers, symptoms that some liken to the so-called "flesh-eating" bacteria. Maggie Hall of the Florida Department of Health's Pinellas County office says that despite the potentially nasty effect it can have, it's best not to call Vibrio vulnificus a "flesh-eating" bacteria.
“There is no such medical term and the organism is not a Pac-man consuming pac-dots,” Hall said.
Although healthy people typically have mild symptoms treatable with antibiotics, those with weakened immune systems, particularly people with liver disease, are warned that the bacteria can be fatal, according to CBS. Vibrio vulnificus can get into the bloodstream and cause fever, chills, blistering skin lesions, septic shock and death.
The Florida Health Department advises eating only cooked shellfish and that anyone with cuts or other wounds on the skin avoid saltwater beaches. There were 32 cases of people infected with Vibrio vulnificus last year.

Hello Earth!

The European space probe Philae woke up after nearly seven months in hibernation.

Meanwhile, in Florida ...

You know how the saying "cats and dogs are living together" is used to imply things are all messed up? Okay, well, the republicans have Florida so fucked up  ... They've got coons riding gators!

Arctic Ocean rapidly becoming more corrosive to marine species

620300c1768EDNmain11239Arctic Photo Mathis NOAA 3Arctic Ocean rapidly becoming more corrosive to marine species

New research by NOAA, University of Alaska, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the journal Oceanography shows that surface waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas could reach levels of acidity that threaten the […]

Beaches invaded by giant purple sea slugs

Giant purple blobs are invading beaches and waterways in East Bay, California. They are not a danger to the people, but the slugs' big size is unusual. They are called sea hares and they can reach up to 15 pounds and almost three-feet in length.
So far they've turned up at Lake Merritt in Oakland, Crab Cove in Alameda and Miller Knox Regional Park in Richmond. Authorities have received a number of calls about the slugs. One person even called 911 because they were concerned that they had found a little purple heart on the beach. Instead, it was just this little harmless sea creature.
Alameda resident Rachyl Benitez said she didn't know what to make of the purple blobs when she saw them. She said, "They were scattered all over the beach over there. Some were alive, some were dead, some were in the seaweed. They were kind of cool looking. But then it was kind of weird because I'm like, what's going on with our water?"
They usually wash ashore in summer, so staff members at the East Bay Regional Park District say it's unusual to see these slugs show up now in the spring and over what they say is an extended period of time. "We've been seeing them wash up since September, going all through the winter and now even more in the spring. So perhaps it is because of the warmer water," East Bay Regional Park District naturalist Morgan Dill said. Dill says the sea slugs are purple because they're full of ink and they're not harmful to people.

Hundreds of grass-munching goats released to reduce fire risk

A huge herd of goats were released by the University of California, Berkeley, in the Berkeley Hills on Friday in order to reduce fire hazards.
The Berkeley Lab goats were herded to the tree-laden hill just below Blackberry Gate. The mass of goats were dispatched to reduce the risk of fire near the lab.
The goats eat the grass surrounding the lab, cutting it down short and reducing a potential fire hazard.
Motorists were treated to an impressive show as the hundreds of goats raced on their way.

Animal Pictures