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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, July 3, 2015

The Daily Drift

The answer is 3 ...!
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Today in History

George Washington takes command of the Continental Army.
In Paris, the Marquis of Condorcet proposes granting civil rights to women.
American ambassador Caleb Cushing successfully negotiates a commercial treaty with China.
Confederate forces attack the center of the Union line at Gettysburg, but fail to break it.
John Wise flies the first dirigible in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
The Wild Bunch, led by Butch Cassidy, commits its last American robbery near Wagner, Montana, taking $65,000 from a Great Northern train.
The first cable across the Pacific Ocean is spliced between Honolulu, Midway, Guam and Manila.
The U.S. First Army opens a general offensive to break out of the hedgerow area of Normandy, France.
U.S. troops land at Balikpapan and take Sepinggan airfield on Borneo in the Pacific.
U.S. carrier-based planes attack airfields in the Pyongyang-Chinnampo area of North Korea in the first air-strike of the Korean War.
Food rationing ends in Great Britain almost nine years after the end of World War II.
Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
North Vietnamese soldiers attack South Vietnam’s only producing coal mine at Nong Son.

How to Hold a Baby

New Zealander Jordan Watson has a baby, and has classified 17 different ways to hold her. He’s glad to share them with you in this instructional video. He must be doing it right- the baby never hit the ground and never started wailing in terror. My favorite is the Superman.

The Richest Have Claimed More Of The Country’s Income Than They Did In The Roaring 1920s

‘Antonin Scalia is a Douche’ brunch special sells out in record time

A Philadelphia diner’s topically titled menu items were such a hit with customers this past weekend, the restaurant couldn’t keep up with demand.

Captive virgins, polygamy and sex slaves

The bible delusionists are beside themselves about the prospect that marriage norms and laws are changing, but let me tell you a secret about bible delusionists - most don’t actually read their bibles.

Fox News Hack Calls Women A 'Biological Accident' To Argue Against Correcting Gender Bias

Fox News Host Calls Women A 'Biological Accident' To Argue Against Correcting Gender BiasA Fox News hack argued this past weekend that a college professor was trying to correct gender bias just because a "biological accident" had made her into a woman.

Why racism is not backed by science

"Asiatiska folk, Nordisk familjebok" by G. M├╝tzel - Nordisk familjebok (1904), vol.2, Asiatiska folk [1] (the colour version is available in this zip-archive).Nordisk Familjebok has credited the image to Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
As we harvest ever more human genomes one fact remains unshakeable: race does not exist

How evolutionary psychology may explain the difference between male and female serial killers

Zodiac Killer - Wikipedia
Researchers such as psychologist Marvin Zuckerman have long noted the morbid curiosity of humans; there’s just something about horror and terror that captures our attention.

Police officer seen stuck in his patrol car window

A Texas Department of Public Safety officer was spotted while stuck in the driver's side window of his patrol vehicle in Edinburg.
He was seen waving his legs about desperately trying to break free.
It's unclear what happened to the officer during the incident that happened on June 19.

The Texas Department of Public Safety did not respond to a request for comment.

Couple's $1.7million life insurance scam went astray when man refused to jump in front of train

Esther Maree Vella had a $700,000 debt on her property in Strathfield, Sydney, Australia, she was determined to be rid of. So she concocted a plan in which her long-suffering partner Peter Siskos would increase his life insurance to $1.723 million, name her as the sole beneficiary, and then commit suicide. But the plan backfired spectacularly when Siskos, a 49-year-old security guard "chickened out" of throwing himself in front of a train. Instead, he disappeared from work and slept rough for a week-and-a-half until he was spotted in a Burwood Park. Several people then came forward to police to say Vella, a 51-year-old school teacher and boarding house owner, had let slip details about the macabre plan. Vella and Siskos were charged under the common law of conspiring with each other to defraud an insurance company, OnePath.
The Crown case was that Vella and Siskos deliberately omitted to inform OnePath of Siskos' intention to commit suicide despite knowing they had a duty of disclosure when taking out the policy. The couple pleaded not guilty but were convicted by a District Court jury in October 2013. Vella was sentenced to six-and-a-half years' jail with a non-parole period of four years and nine months, while Siskos was imprisoned for two-and-a-half years with a non-parole period of 15 months. Vella and Siskos appealed their convictions and sentences. Last week the Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed the appeals, noting the case was "extremely unusual". During the trial the jury heard the couple had been in a "tumultuous relationship" since 1989, characterized by Vella's utter domination of Siskos. Several witnesses testified Vella repeatedly said Siskos was to blame for her financial situation and she "wished he was dead".
In March 2010 she told a woman renting a room in a boarding house she owned in Cabarita that Siskos "should kill himself to pay for the debt". The boarder was so alarmed she made contemporaneous notes of the conversation, which she later provided to police. Vella also told friends and acquaintances she was due to receive a large amount of money from an inheritance from her family in Malta. The Crown said this was to cover the money she expected to receive after Siskos committed suicide. The policy was taken out in July 2010. In October 2011, shortly after the 13-month suicide preclusion period expired, Siskos didn't show up for work. He was reported missing 10 days later. The following day he was found, looking disheveled, in Burwood Park.
Questioned by police, Siskos said he'd been "riding the trains". He denied intending to harm himself or having discussed collecting on his insurance policy. The following day, one of Vella's tenants, Tony Appleby, went to police and confessed to helping Vella destroy incriminating evidence. He agreed to meet Vella wearing a listening device and police recorded a conversation in which they discussed suicide involving a train, destruction of incriminating evidence and her lost opportunity to claim an insurance payout. "So what happened to Peter, he just chickened out, did he?" Mr Appleby asked. "Yeah … he's always been a coward," Vella replied. Siskos continued to deny the conspiracy at trial and even carried out work at Vella's boarding houses while he was on bail and she was on remand. However the jury, and subsequently the Appeals Court, found the case proven beyond reasonable doubt. Siskos will be eligible for parole on July 3.

Man arrested after living for months with his mother's decaying corpse on couch

A Florida man is in jail after deputies discovered his mother's months-old remains on his living room couch, according to a Sheriff's Office arrest report. On May 13, a deputy was dispatched to a residence in Pace to check on the welfare of 81-year-old Joyce Willis.
Willis' son, Michael Eugene Sticken, 60, had reportedly been rebuffing family members' attempts to call or visit his mother since January. When the deputy arrived at the residence he immediately noticed a foul odor. Upon entering the house, he found two couches pushed together with blankets piled on top.
Under the blankets, the deputy found a female who was so badly decomposed as to be unrecognizable. The Medical Examiner's Office estimated that Willis' had been dead for between one and four months at the time of her discovery. The Medical Examiner's Office is working to determine her cause of death. In an interview with deputies, Sticken said he had not been responsible for his mother's death, calling her "his best friend," the report said.
By reviewing bank records, investigators found that Sticken had been making withdrawals from a joint bank account he shared with his mother. The only deposits made since January were Willis' monthly $1,400 Social Security payments, all of which had been withdrawn by Sticken. Investigators found significant cause to charge Sticken with grand theft and failure to report a death. He was booked into Santa Rosa County Jail on Thursday morning on $6,000 bond.

Guards resign after taking prisoner to pub

Two prison guards in Australia's Northern Territory have resigned in disgrace after taking a prisoner they were in charge of to an outback pub. An internal NT Department of Correctional Services (NTDCS) investigation began after a member of the public complained about seeing a prisoner at a pub in Nhulunbuy in Arnhem Land in April.
The prisoner, who was deemed of low risk and non-violent, was wearing his prison clothes in the pub and became drunk. A complaint about the situation was made in May. It was understood the two guards were in charge of the prisoner who was being housed at the Datjala prison work camp in the town.
Department spokesman David Harris confirmed two officers resigned after breaching the NTDCS Code of Conduct. "Following an internal investigation, the officers were asked to show cause [as to] why their employment should not be terminated," he said. "They then tendered their resignations."
He said the internal investigation did not find any evidence the prisoner had been drinking alcohol while at the pub. On Friday, a spokesman for Correctional Services Minister John Elferink said the actions of the guards had been a "brain freeze" and a "gross dereliction of duty" and had been dealt with appropriately.

Dine and dash spree brothers face charges after one was unceremoniously stopped in his tracks

Two brothers accused of dining and dashing at restaurants in Cleveland, Ohio, face misdemeanor charges. Matthew Gareau, 30, and Scott Gareau, 40, are each charged with defrauding a restaurant, a first degree misdemeanor, according to affidavits filed in Cleveland Municipal Court on Friday.
While restaurateurs have alleged the men ripped off as many as six restaurants in a three-day span, the men are only charged in connection with a June 17 incident at Crop Bistro in Ohio City. Owner Stephen Schimoler said the brothers ordered about $160 worth of food and drinks. Towards the end of the meal, the men got up and walked outside to have a smoke.
They left without paying, Schimoler said in the affidavit. Matthew Gareau was arrested on June 19 at Johnny's Downtown in the Warehouse District, after manager David Flowers wrestled him to the ground. Flowers recognized Gareau from a photograph Schimoler posted on Facebook, and said Gareau was trying to leave Johnny's without paying.
A bartender at Red, the Steakhouse said the brothers had come in for dinner the night before, ordered and consumed $284 worth of food and drinks and went outside to smoke. They never returned, the bartender said. Schimoler said that employees believe the men did the same thing at Bar Cento minutes before going into Crop Bistro. The brothers are scheduled to appear in court at 8:30am on July 10.

17 Facts You May Not Know About The Daily Show

lOn February 10, 2015, Jon Stewart announced that he would be leaving his hosting gig on The Daily Show; later it was announced that Trevor Noah would be Stewart's replacement. Stewart's last show will be on August 6, 2015, but in his time as host, he's won much praise and acclaim. The Daily Show has won numerous awards, including two Peabodies and 18 Emmys.

Yet in his first days after taking over for previous host Craig Kilborn, Stewart nearly quit. As noted in the linked collection of facts about The Daily Show,
"In an interview with Stephen Colbert, Stewart admitted that he had a hard time adjusting to working with Kilborn’s team and that he very seriously considered quitting the show altogether. Though he had some definite ideas on how to take the show in new directions, they were met with strong resistance. 'I walk in the door, into a room with the writers and producers, and the first thing they say is 'this isn’t some MTV bulls*** … And then I was told not to change the jokes or improvise,' Stewart recalled. Immediately, he called his agent and told him to get him out of the deal. 'I had to be talked down from a moderately high cliff,' he admitted."
Read sixteen more facts about Stewart and The Daily Show — including who he rates as his best and worst guests and what disgraced politician he used to room with — in this article.

Hacked Typewriter Plays Typewriter Music

In 1950, composer Leroy Anderson wrote "The Typeriter"--a short and funny orchestral piece that uses a typewriter as a musical instrument. You can watch a performance of it here. And you should because it's really amusing.
In that version, a professional percussionist played a mechanical typewriter. Chris Gregg and Bruce Molay, however, programmed an electrical typewriter to do the same thing and type a specific, coherent message in the process! Hack A Day describes how it works:
An Arduino Uno converts serial over USB output to a bit stream ready to clock into the shift registers. On the computer side, [Chris] wrote up a basic CUPS driver which allows him to print from his Macbook. The perfect demo for this project turned out to be musical. Click past the break to see The Smith Corona perform “The Typewriter Symphony”, by Leroy Anderson. This may be the first time this particular piece of music has been performed with actual words being typed, rather than random keys.

The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes

An interactive map by Andrew Kahn shows the origins and destinations of ships that transported slaves from Africa to the New World (and some other countries) between 1540 and 1860. Nothing much happens at first, but soon the action becomes a flurry and then a flood.
The dots—which represent individual slave ships—also correspond to the size of each voyage. The larger the dot, the more enslaved people on board. And if you pause the map and click on a dot, you’ll learn about the ship’s flag—was it British? Portuguese? French?—its origin point, its destination, and its history in the slave trade. The interactive animates more than 20,000 voyages cataloged in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database. (We excluded voyages for which there is incomplete or vague information in the database.) The graph at the bottom accumulates statistics based on the raw data used in the interactive and, again, only represents a portion of the actual slave trade—about one-half of the number of enslaved Africans who actually were transported away from the continent.
If you learned about slavery from American history classes and TV, you might be surprised to see how many slave ships actually went to the U.S. as compared to other destinations. The number of transports to America is dwarfed by those sent to the Caribbean and to Brazil. Watch the map in action at Slate.

Ecuador Releases 201 Tortoises on Galapagos Island

The tortoises have been released on Santa Fe Island, where a similar subspecies went extinct more than 150 years ago.

Python Realized That Eating a Whole Porcupine Is Actually a Very, Very Bad Idea

Just because you can eat it, it doesn't mean that you should eat it. This 12-foot-long python sure learned that lesson the hard way.
Earlier this month, a cyclist named Jean-Claude Chanu was riding along a mountain bike trail at the Lake Eland Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, when he found an engorged African Rock python that obviously ate something huge. Chanu snapped a few photos that went viral on social media.
"We’ve been keeping an eye on the snake since we got word from the rider; it’s moved about a metre from where the rider found it," Shona Lawson of the Lake Eland Game Reserve told eHowzit. "These snakes move away from trails as soon as it hears cyclists or cars approaching. In this case, it essentially couldn’t move due to the weight of the animal in its stomach."
Park rangers were speculating what the snake had swallowed for dinner, with guesses including a small warthog to baby impala. Meanwhile, the snake had become somewhat of a celebrity for the wildlife sanctuary - people were visiting in hope of catching a glimpse of the swollen snake.
Days later, park rangers found the python dead near the bike trail and decided to cut it open to see what it ate. They found a whopper of a snack inside the belly of the snake: a 30-lb (13.8 kg) porcupine, quills and all!
General manager Jennifer Fuller told LiveScience that pythons actually eat porcupines all the time in the wild. They also ate much larger animals, including a 50-lb adult oribi antelope. She suspected that the python was killed when it fell off a rocky ledge, and the porcupine's quills pierced the snake's digestive tract and killed it.

Animal Pictures