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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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Daily Drift

Dragon Nerds ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 204 countries around the world daily.   
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Today is - There is no particular celebration today

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Today in History

1520 Montezuma II is murdered as Spanish conquistadors flee the Aztec capital of Tenochtilan during the night.
1857 Charles Dickens reads from A Christmas Carol at St. Martin’s Hall in London–his first public reading.
1859 Jean Francois Gravelet aka Emile Blondin, a French daredevil, becomes the first man to walk across Niagra Falls on a tightrope.
1908 A mysterious explosion, possibly the result of a meteorite, levels thousands of trees in the Tunguska region of Siberia with a force approaching twenty megatons.
1934 Adolf Hitler orders the purge of his own party in the "Night of the Long Knives."
1936 Margaret Mitchell’s novel, Gone With the Wind, is published.
1948 John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley demonstrate their invention, the transistor, for the first time.
1960 Alfred Hitchcock’s film, Psycho, opens.
1971 Three Soviet cosmonauts die when their spacecreaft depressurizes during reentry.

Non Sequitur


Take A Look Inside Mexico City's Massive, Gorgeous Library

Biblioteca Vasconcelos in Mexico City is gigantic. The gorgeous structure holds more than 470,000 books. Designed by Alberto Kalach, the library features transparent walls, hive-like bookshelves, and mismatched floors.
The giant library, which took three years to build, is actually five libraries melded into one, with each section dedicated to some of Mexico's greatest thinkers. It's hard not to feel miniscule when walking through this unusual, massive structure.

Migration Crisis: The EU's Shipwrecked Refugee Plan

by Ullrich Fichtner, Maximilian Popp, Christoph Schult and Alexander Smoltczyk
Migration Crisis: The EU's Shipwrecked Refugee Plan
When 800 refugees drowned on their way to Europe this April, leaders promised to act. Just over two months later, the EU's attempts at real reform have all but failed -- and thrown up some dark moral questions. More...

Lifting the Veil: How Working Women Are Remaking Saudi Arabia

by Juliane von Mittelstaedt and Samiha Shafy
Lifting the Veil: How Working Women Are Remaking Saudi Arabia
A growing number of women in Saudi Arabia are joining the workforce and chipping away at discrimination enshrined in its laws. But they face conservative opposition and -- even now -- a ban on driving. More...

Residents surprised by wheel from jet crashing through their kitchen ceiling

Residents of an apartment building in Montreal, Canada, say they were shocked when a jet wheel fell from the sky, crashing through the roof and leaving a hole in one woman’s kitchen ceiling. People living in the building, located in the city’s Saint-Laurent neighborhood, said they heard a loud thud just before 2am on Wednesday. A woman living on the top floor found a hole in her roof and a jet wheel in her apartment.

Family flees new home and sues after receiving frightening letters from 'The Watcher'

Terrifying letters forced a New Jersey family to flee their new home, and what happened left residents in a quiet community more than a little unnerved. The large six-bedroom home in Union County is being watched, according to a lawsuit filed by its new owners. They paid $1.3 million for their "dream home" in the picturesque town of Westfield.
They claim the previous owners were aware of a man who calls himself "the Watcher" but they never said anything. "I would be pretty upset if I bought a house and found out that the previous owners knew about it," said Robert Hagen of Westfield. Since moving in, the owners said they have received numerous letters from the mysterious person.

"The Watcher" claimed the home "has been the subject of my family for decades" and "I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming." The new owners have several children, and other letters asked, "Have they found out what's in the walls yet?" and "I am pleased to know your names now, and the name of the young blood you have brought to me." The bone-chilling letters were enough to send the new family packing.

The incident was so unnerving that Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky addressed the issue at a Town Council meeting on Tuesday night. "Our police department conducted an exhaustive investigation based on the factual circumstances and evidence available," Skibitsky said. No charges have been filed in the case. Whether the owners have any legal case remains to be seen. The mayor said under New Jersey law, the letters are classified as a disorderly person's crime.

Whole Foods Under Investigation After Hugely Overcharging Customers For Food

Whole Foods Under Investigation After Hugely Overcharging Customers For Food

Lowest Water Levels EVER In Lake Mead May Trigger Rationing

Lowest Water Levels EVER In Lake Mead May Trigger Rationing: Still Think Climate Change Is A Hoax? (IMAGES)
Still Think Climate Change Is A Hoax? 
Lake Mead, the reservoir behind Hoover Dam, is at its lowest level ever. People in Las Vegas may be looking at rationing if this continues.

What We Can Learn From A Massive Meteor Crater

50,000 Years ago, a dense chunk of nickel and iron, over 100 feet across, entered the Earth's atmosphere. It slammed into the lush woodlands of North America. The impact left a giant hole - 590 feet deep and three-quarters of a mile wide - in the landscape of what is now northern Arizona.
Today, we know the site as Meteor Crater. It has fascinated generations of people, but we are still only just beginning to understand asteroids, the phenomenon that excavated this remarkable location. To really get the scope of this natural wonder, Popular Science sent extreme science correspondent Jake Roper to take us on a video tour.

Nasa Spots 'Intriguing' Pyramid On Dwarf Planet Ceres

Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, which lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. New images taken by Nasa's Dawn spacecraft have captured an odd, pyramid-shaped peak protruding from the flat surface of Ceres.
Although there are yet to be any explanations for the pyramid's origins, previous studies of the planet have revealed a whole host of active phenomena on its surface, from landslides and rock flows to remnants of crumbled (natural) structures.

Random Celebrity Photos

 Recognize this young lady - her name is Norma Jean - 
you might know her as Marilyn Monroe

A guide to penis worm teeth

Palaeontology has published a detailed study of the teeth of priapulids in the Burgess Shale.
"As teeth are the most hardy and resilient parts of animals, they are much more common as fossils than whole soft-bodied specimens," he explained. "But when these teeth - which are only about a millimetre long - are found, they are easily misidentified as algal spores, rather than as parts of animals. Now that we understand the structure of these tiny fossils, we are much better placed to a wide suite of enigmatic fossils."
Not familiar with penis worms?  An article in Nature explains that understanding the anatomy of the priapulids is central to a proper understanding of evolution:
...a major step in evolution occurred when an embryonic ball of cells formed two indentations as opposed to one, giving way to a separate mouth and an anus rather than the single opening that creatures such as jellyfish and sea anemones have. In 1908, animals with a mouth and anus were divided into two groups. In the protostomes (from the Greek for ‘mouth first’), the mouth formed first, and the anus second. In the other, the deuterostomes (‘mouth second’), the mouth formed after the anus...

Today, the protostomes include priapulids and most other invertebrates. The deuterostomes include vertebrates such as humans and a few spineless animal lineages... Now, using molecular techniques to analyse gene expression, Hejnol and his team have revealed that a primitive protostome, the priapulid Priapus caudatus, develops like a deuterostome...
More details at the link, and at the Washington Post, where there is a video of a penis worm.  You learn something every day.

Man arrested for illegal possession of ferrets

A 23-year-old Santa Ana man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of illegally possessing 16 ferrets, which are banned in California.
Sebastian Alexander Swisher was arrested at his home where he was cited and released for the importation and transportation of live restricted animals, Santa Ana police said.
Santa Ana police received a tip that Swisher had been buying the ferrets in Nevada and bringing them back to California, where they are banned, to sell.
The 16 ferrets were taken to OC Animal Care.

Exotic animal auctions

As reported in the Texas Observer:
The crowd, a couple hundred strong, oohs and ahhs as the wallaby hops from one side of the enclosure to the other. A woman asks her family, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have one of those?”...
Kifaru is one of a handful of exotic animal auction houses in Texas, part of a robust billion-dollar U.S. trade in exotic animals... Saturdays are reserved for exotic hoofstock (blackbucks, fallow deer, zebras, giraffes, oryx, gazelles), domestic farm animals such as goats and alpacas, and primates and other unorthodox pets. Sundays are for birds—some exotic, some less so—and small animals including reptiles and rodents...
Exotic animals in Texas—including but not limited to monkeys and primates that don’t fall under the state’s dangerous wild animal laws—are in a sort of legal blind spot. Pet capuchin and macaque monkeys are often purchased as infants, but when the males reach sexual maturity and become aggressive, many are either handicapped (by removing their teeth and nails), chained or discarded. The lucky ones end up in animal sanctuaries. The Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary alone houses nearly 20 big cats, almost all of which came from private owners or facilities condemned by the USDA. According to Executive Director Patti Clark, the Austin Zoo receives lots of calls about exotic birds; she said buyers often don’t understand how long the birds live, how loud they can be and how messy they are...
Provost said that though he tries to weed out inexperienced or unqualified bidders, he can’t stop people from doing what they want with their money. “I would say there are probably some irresponsible purchases, but you can do that at Walmart. You can do that anywhere else, and I don’t know how to control or stop that other than what I do, which is to [warn people about special requirements]. However I can help the situation, I certainly do that verbally,” he said. “But if a 90-year-old grandma wants to come in and buy that big, bad water buffalo bull, it’s her money and this is America and she’s free to do that.”

"Goldfish the size of dinner plates are multiplying like bunnies."

The Alberta government is launching a campaign this summer to stop people from flushing their aquariums down their toilets. Goldfish the size of dinner plates are multiplying like bunnies from Lethbridge to Fort McMurray, the province says...
In one case, the municipality of Wood Buffalo pulled 40 of the domestic fish species from a stormwater pond.
"That's really scary because it means they're reproducing in the wild, they are getting quite large and they are surviving the winters that far north," said Wilson.
Further details at CBC News

The Secret To How Parrots Talk

Scientists have discovered how parrots talk, as they believe it's down to the wiring in their brains. And the same brain region controls movement which may explain why some parrots 'dance' to music.
Scientists of Duke University found key structural differences in the brains of parrots that may explain the birds' unparalleled ability to imitate sounds and human speech. The findings could lend insight into the neural mechanisms of human speech too.

Wild goat apparently believes he's a kangaroo

A wild goat in south Adelaide, Australia, appears to be suffering an identity crisis, believing he’s a kangaroo.
Nestled comfortably alongside the boomer, or dominant male of the mob, the horned goat has been spotted living among the community of about 60 kangaroos in a large paddock in Seaford Meadows. After years of believing the mystery resident was a donkey, Naomi Will this week captured a photo of the goat and his best mate.
“He hangs around this big male kangaroo and the two of them are tight as, when I took that photo a couple of days ago it’s the first time he was sitting up and looking at me because normally he’s lying down fast asleep,” Ms Will said. Ms Will said she believed the unlikely friendship between goat and kangaroo was a lesson for humans. “Black and white, that sort of thing.
“Two completely different animals that in the real world shouldn’t get on, but they do, which is a great thing,” she said. Ms Will said she and other residents were hoping the goat would be left to live out his days among his adopted mob. “I’m told the council has tried to get him a couple of times, and I tell you what there would be an outrage if they ever did do anything to him, because it’s just so amazing ... he’s almost a protected species down here,” she said.

Animal Pictures