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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.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Daily Drift

Smart Mother ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 204 countries around the world daily.   
America's Clown ... !
Today is - Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama (S.C.U.D.) Day

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Today in History

1099 Christian Crusaders march around Jerusalem as Muslims watch from within the city.
1608 The first French settlement at Quebec is established by Samuel de Champlain.
1663 The British crown grants Rhode Island a charter guaranteeing freedom of worship.
1686 The Austrians take Budapest from the Turks and annex Hungary.
1709 Peter the Great defeats Charles XII at Poltava, in the Ukraine, effectively ending the Swedish empire.
1755 Britain breaks off diplomatic relations with France as their disputes in the New World intensify.
1758 The British attack on Fort Carillon at Ticonderoga, New York, is foiled by the French.
1794 French troops capture Brussels, Belgium.
1815 With Napoleon defeated, Louis XVIII returns to Paris.
1822 29-year old poet Percy Bysshe Shelley drowns while sailing in Italy.
1859 The Truce at Villafranca Austria cedes Lombardy to France.
1863 Demoralized by the surrender of Vicksburg, Confederates in Port Hudson, Louisiana, surrender to Union forces.
1864 Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston retreats into Atlanta to prevent being flanked by Union General William T. Sherman.
1865 Four of the conspirators in President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination are hanged in Washington, D.C.
1879 The first ship to use electric lights departs from San Francisco, California.
1905 The mutinous crew of the battleship Potemkin surrenders to Rumanian authorities.
1918 Ernest Hemingway is wounded in Italy while working as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross.
1941 20 B-17s fly in their first mission with the Royal Air Force over Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
1943 American B-24 bombers strike Japanese-held Wake Island for the first time.
1960 The Soviet Union charges American pilot Francis Gary Powers with espionage.

The Declaration of Independence Is A ‘Scientific Paper’

That includes all wingnuts

The Only Video in Existence of Mark Twain

Edison's Original Clip
YouTube Link
This, the only film footage of Mark Twain ever recorded, was originally posted  some years ago. I think it bears repeating, not only due to its level of interest, but also since there's now a digitally remastered version (below). The footage was shot in 1909 by Thomas Edison. It was captured at Twain's Connecticut estate, Stormfield, and features his daughters Jean and Clara.
Digitally Remastered Version
YouTube Link
The remastered version the assholes won't let be embedded. It isn't an improvement anyway. But you have to go to the link to view it.

The Light Show in the Great Smokey Mountains

Today, the rare Smoky Mountain fireflies are a tourist attraction. 
Twenty years ago, science didn’t believe they existed.
At exactly 9:27 P.M., when dusk slips into darkness in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the “light show” begins. It’s June, and for two weeks in Elkmont, Tennessee, the fireflies pool their efforts. Instead of scattershot blips of light in the summer sky, the fireflies—thousands of them—pulse this way for hours, together in eerie, quiet harmony. It’s as if the trees were strung up with Christmas lights: bright for three seconds, dark for six, and then bright again, over and over. It continues this way for hours.
As a child, Lynn Faust would huddle with her family on the cabin porch to watch the spectacle. They’d sit, mesmerized by the “drumbeat with no sound.” And though they’d appreciated the show for generations, Faust never thought the event was newsworthy. “I’d assumed there was only one kind of firefly and thought they did a nice show in the Smokies,” she says.
The natural world has long enchanted Faust. In college, she majored in forensic anthropology and minored in forestry. In her twenties, she circumnavigated the globe for three years, visiting islands you could only get to by boat, learning about cultures before they disappeared, pursuing underwater photography. Today, at 60, she’s a naturalist who writes scientific papers and field guides about fireflies. But she wasn’t always obsessed with the insect. In fact, her academic interest began only in the ’90s, when she read an article by Steven Strogatz, a Cornell mathematician, in which he marveled at a species of Southeast Asian firefly that synchronized its flashes. Highlighting how rare this phenomenon was, Strogatz noted that there were no synchronous fireflies in the Western Hemisphere.
This struck Faust as odd. It contradicted the light shows she had seen growing up. As she dug deeper, Faust found that while there had been more than 100 years of colloquial accounts of North American fireflies flashing in sync, scientists discounted those reports, attributing them to lore or optical illusion. Faust knew the truth: that her Tennessse fireflies were every bit as special as the species in Asia. But how could she prove it?

"He endured being called a girl..."

He endured being called a girl, playing sports with waist-length hair and attracting disapproving looks from adults — all for a child in need he's never met.
Eight-year-old Christian McPhilamy grew out his blond hair for more than two years so he could donate it to kids who have lost their locks. More at the Today parenting column.

It Was Bound To Happen ...

Nation’s First Gay Divorce Firm Opens 
It Was Bound To Happen – Nation’s First Gay Divorce Firm Opens (VIDEO)
Is this lawyer a sleazy opportunist or is he offering a necessary service?
Read more 

You know, that is a very good question ...


Link Dump

Video of the world-record-holding limbo queen.
Don't swim in this blue lagoon in a limestone quarry (the water of which has a pH of 11).
The mass of a supermassive black hole measured in suns (gif).
If you get hacked or your identity stolen, there is a way to change your Social Security number.
The geomythology of Great Flood legends - this article focusing on Tibetan history
The oldest human footprints in North America.
It is now believed that there was water flowing on Mars at a time when proto-humans first appeared on Earth.
The biology of the ACHOO Syndrome (sunlight-induced sneezing).

Mystery over man dressed as undertaker paddling coffin across lake

Mystery surrounds a man dressed as an undertaker in a coffin who has been spotted gliding through the morning mist on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, Australia.
Fellow paddlers on the lake were baffled by the sight of the man and his vessel, which had been decorated with brightly-colored plastic flowers. Jeanne Mclauchlan was one seasoned paddler who spotted the man during an early morning venture to the lake on Saturday morning.
"In the distance, we noticed a figure emerge from the thick fog," she said. "It was a figure of a man dressed in a tuxedo and top hat on a stand-up-paddle coffin, complete with flowers, paddling toward us. We asked 'coffin man', 'Where are you going'?
"His response was, 'To Queanbeyan cemetery as I have a 3pm grave site to prepare'." The man's appearance didn't thrill everyone who saw him. It is understood some relatives of patients at Clare Holland House, which sits on the edge of the lake at Barton, felt the sight of the coffin kayaker out the hospice's windows was inappropriate and insensitive.

Teenager who stole more than 70 guns through roof of store made getaway on tricycle

Neal Crasnow described the gun heist from his store on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, Florida, early on Tuesday like a scene out of a movie.. The burglar ripped a hole in the ceiling of Al's Army Navy store, shimmied down a rope and climbed back up with two bags filled with more than 70 guns. "It must be Spider-Man," Crasnow said. "I can't think of who else [could have done this]." The burglary happened sometime after midnight without setting off any alarms. "He dropped in the middle of the floor where there aren't alarms," said Crasnow.
Blood found on a pipe on the outside of the building appeared to show "how the suspect was able to get on and off the roof," the police report stated. Shortly after 2am Orange County deputies in the area investigating a series of car burglaries instead found 19-year-old Gary Jahmel Shaquan Elliott, who was bleeding from a wound on his right arm. According to a sheriff's report released on Wednesday, a deputy first spotted Elliott dressed in dark clothing and pedalling a heavily loaded tricycle. That's when the teenager made an abrupt turn behind a duplex residence and disappeared.
The tricycle was found abandoned with a backpack and two large black bags filled with guns. "Inside...I saw multiple handguns with Al's Army-Navy price tags and serial numbers," Deputy Matthew Vinson wrote. "There was also spray can bottles and (a) crowbar in one of the bags. I also could see blood on most of the handguns as well as the handlebars of the bicycle." Elliott was caught as he tried to walk away from the area. The deputies contacted the Orlando Police Department and held Elliott. A check of the gun shop did not find immediate signs of the break-in.
But an officer looked through the front door and saw the hole in the ceiling that a sheriff's helicopter crew also spotted. After the door was unlocked, three glass display cases were found shattered. And black paint was sprayed on the floor in an attempt to cover blood. Elliott was charged with armed burglary of a structure with a firearm, third-degree grand theft of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and criminal mischief. He remains held without bail on an additional charge of violating probation on his felony conviction for robbery with a dangerous weapon. The teen has been arrested five times before on various charges. All but four pistols of about 75 handguns and long guns stolen in the burglary were recovered.
There's a news video here.

Waste Water Vegetables

California Farmers Are Using Oil Waste Water To Water Our Vegetables
Used on Boing Boing http://www.boingboing.net/2010/05/11/uss-growing-dependen.html
More deadly than the drought?
Read more

LED Farming

Could 'targeted' LEDs be the future of extraterrestrial horticulture? According to researchers, these tiny electrical components could lead a revolution in fine-tuning food production off (and on) Earth.

Fireworks You'll Never See

At last, here's a possible explanation for those strangely shaped bursts of light that appear above storm clouds 50 miles up.

Appeals court rules that man's therapy ducks violate village law

Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that a man violated village law by owning ducks he deemed therapeutic. Darin R. Welker, of West Lafayette, said he plans to appeal that decision. Welker, 36, was cited on June 23, 2014, for owning 14 ducks in his backyard.
He was charged with owning farm animals inside West Lafayette limits. He later gave away eight of his ducks. Last Oct. 29, Coshocton Municipal Judge Timothy France found Welker guilty of that charge, a minor misdemeanor, fined him $50 and assessed court costs. Welker appealed that decision to the Fifth District Court of Appeals, which heard arguments in May and handed down its ruling last week.
That ruling was filed on Monday in Coshocton County Common Pleas Court. Appeals court Judges Scott Gwin, Sheila Farmer and Patricia Delaney ruled there is no indication that Welker’s life is in danger without the ducks or that he has no alternative to avoid greater harm, such as an alternative therapy or different type of support animal not prohibited by village law.
Welker had argued that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression from his year of service on ground vehicle maintenance in Iraq during 2004 and 2005. He served in the Ohio National Guard from 2004 to 2008 before receiving a medical discharge. He contended that his ducks were registered as emotional support animals and that they help boost his spirits. Last October, the village amended its ordinance to allow residents to own up to two therapy pets.

Man says he was fired for joking about marrying his dog on Facebook

A Florida man says he was fired for something he posted about his dog on Facebook. Ryan Uhler from Cape Coral says he was inspired by the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage.
"Gay marriage was passed in all 50 states and I thought it be funny to post a picture of me and the dog," says Uhler. It was the caption, "How is marrying a dog different if you love them?
"Today, I hope we can focus on doggy style love. I love my dog rocco, and he loves me. Hopefully one day we can be married...", that got him into trouble. Uhler says he was fired over it. He says his employers at Grace Advisory Group in Fort Myers didn't find it funny and fired him. Uhler said: "What happened was, they took it out of context."

Trial lawyer, Scot Goldberg said the company is justified. "I think going to the point where they're firing someone is a little bit over the line. I think they have the ability to do that in the legal recourse to do it." Goldberg adds Florida is an "at will" state meaning employers don't need to give a reason for firing without notice.

Seafaring Spiders

Spiders can travel the world by sea, air and land, covering vast distances with ease

Three Bear Cubs Up in a Tree

Wildlife photographer Valtteri Mulkahainen snapped this photo of three bear cubs climbing up a tree in Suomussalmi, Finland, while mama bear waited below.
No, the cute cubs aren't playing hide-and-seek with their mom. Rather, they were actually hiding from a male bear that's nearby. Mulkahainen told Ilta-Sanomat that the three cubs climbed up the tree for safety, while the female bear stayed on guard below. The cubs stayed in the tree for quite some time, but the male never showed up.

The Concrete Jungle

Concrete jungle: Cities adapt to growing ranks of coyotes, cougars and other urban wildlife  

Animal Pictures