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

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Daily Drift

He never did win a race while he was alive...!
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Today in History

1505 On their way to India, a group of Portuguese explorers sack the city-state of Kilwa.
1567 Mary, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned and forced to abdicate her throne to her 1-year-old son James VI.
1701 Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac establishes Fort Ponchartrain for France at present-day Detroit, Michigan.
1704 Admiral George Rooke takes Gibraltar from the Spanish.
1766 At Fort Ontario, Canada, Ottawa chief Pontiac and William Johnson sign a peace agreement.
1791 Robespierre expels all Jacobins opposed to the principles of the French Revolution.
1847 The first members of cult of jesus christ of latter day saints (mormons) arrive in Utah, settling in present-day Salt Lake City.
1862 The eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren, dies at the age of 79.
1897 African-American soldiers of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps arrive in St. Louis, Mo., after completing a 40-day bike ride from Missoula, Montana.
1941 The U.S. government denounces Japanese actions in Indochina.
1942 The Soviet city of Rostov is captured by German troops.
1950 The U.S. Fifth Air Force relocates from Japan to Korea.
1974 The Supreme Court rules that Richard Nixon must surrender the Watergate tapes.

How Goldman Sachs Profited from the Greek Debt Crisis

The Greek debt crisis offers another illustration of Wall Street’s powers of persuasion and predation, although the Street is missing from most accounts.
The crisis was exacerbated years ago by a deal with Goldman Sachs, engineered by Goldman’s current CEO, Lloyd Blankfein.
Blankfein and his Goldman team helped Greece hide the true extent of its debt, and in the process almost doubled it. And just as with the American subprime crisis, and the current plight of many American cities, Wall Street’s predatory lending played an important although little-recognized role.
In 2001, Greece was looking for ways to disguise its mounting financial troubles. The Maastricht Treaty required all eurozone member states to show improvement in their public finances, but Greece was heading in the wrong direction.
Then Goldman Sachs came to the rescue, arranging a secret loan of 2.8 billion euros for Greece, disguised as an off-the-books “cross-currency swap”—a complicated transaction in which Greece’s foreign-currency debt was converted into a domestic-currency obligation using a fictitious market exchange rate.
As a result, about 2 percent of Greece’s debt magically disappeared from its national accounts. Christoforos Sardelis, then head of Greece’s Public Debt Management Agency, later described the deal to Bloomberg Business as “a very sexy story between two sinners.”
For its services, Goldman received a whopping 600 million euros ($793 million), according to Spyros Papanicolaou, who took over from Sardelis in 2005. That came to about 12 percent of Goldman’s revenue from its giant trading and principal-investments unit in 2001—which posted record sales that year. The unit was run by Blankfein.
Then the deal turned sour. After the 9/11 attacks, bond yields plunged, resulting in a big loss for Greece because of the formula Goldman had used to compute the country’s debt repayments under the swap. By 2005, Greece owed almost double what it had put into the deal, pushing its off-the-books debt from 2.8 billion euros to 5.1 billion.

'Your man with glasses' letter reached intended recipient

A letter addressed: "Your man Henderson, that boy with the glasses who is doing a PhD up here at Queen's in Belfast. Buncrana, County Donegall, Ireland," successfully reached its intended recipient last week - student Barry Henderson.
A friend of Barry's sent the letter in an attempt to demonstrate how small Buncrana is. The letter traveled more than 80 miles from Belfast, before being delivered to the office of Mr Henderson's wife, Roisin in the town.
Inside was a note saying: "If this has arrived, you live in a village." Buncrana in County Donegal has a population of about 7,000. Roisin Henderson said she thought the local postmen were "wonderful".
"They go above and beyond," she said. "I actually cornered the postman that came into the office this morning, but he claimed it wasn't him. I'm not sure if he was being shy or it really wasn't, but I'm going to find the postman."

Children's Cancer Is Unprofitable And Ignored

Children's Cancer Is Unprofitable And IgnoredDespite significant advances against certain pediatric cancers, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, there are still some types of cancer for which there are few or no effective treatments.

Unhappy mother claims her baby was unfairly disqualified from crawling race

Everyone agrees 10-month-old Berkley Bailey was first to cross the line in her heat at the Pan-O-Prog baby Crawl-A-Thon in Lakeville, Minnesota, last Tuesday. But because Berkley scoots and does not crawl in a conventional manner, she was disqualified from the race and not allowed to win a trophy. Rules verbally announced before the Crawl-A-Thon’s first heat indicated babies had to crawl on their hands and knees across the finish line. The rules were established to make the competition fair and give everyone a level playing field, said Pan-O-Prog President Diana Neameyer.
Berkley’s mother, Samantha Moore, said the rule is unfair to babies who have a unique way of getting around. She said she did not think the rules would disqualify Berkley, her first child who has always crawled by pulling herself forward with her left side, dragging her right leg behind her and her right arm in the air. “That’s the only way we’ve ever seen our baby crawl,” she said. “That’s all she’s ever done. The doctor told us it was a crawl.” Neameyer said the issue first arose at the race last year when a baby crawled like a bear, on his hands and feet. He finished the race first, but was also disqualified, because Neameyer said, “When you do it that way, you are a speedster.”
This year, they allowed eligibility for a baby who “army crawled” by pulling himself forward with his arms because his knees were on the floor and he was using his legs. “His belly was just dragging, that’s how I looked at it,” Neameyer said. A suggestion to hold a special race for scooters was rejected, because Neameyer said organizers do not think they will have many who only scoot. “We thought it was just a fluke that this kid wasn’t crawling,” Neameyer said. Moore said Berkley is the first child to her and husband Nick Bailey, both lifelong Lakeville residents. “It’s not necessarily like, oh my God, we needed her to win,” Moore said. “It’s just a baby crawl. It was more like she did really good and we didn’t really expect her to go that fast, but she did and then we’re disqualified.”
She said many family members took time off work to watch the competition, then were disappointed that Berkley was disqualified. “It just kind of stunk because everyone was so excited about it,” Moore said. “I didn’t think it was fair to disqualify a baby for crawling differently.” Neameyer said they will consider printing rules in the newspaper next year, but organizers never thought they needed rules before since its title indicates it is a “Crawl-A-Thon.” Neameyer said it was unfortunate that it happened, but said it was a surprise to them that some babies scoot instead of crawl. “We just try to keep it fair for everybody,” she said, “We’ve been doing this for years and have not had a problem, All of the sudden, we have people having problems with Baby Crawl-A-Thon. If it gets to be a real issue, we’ll just cancel it. It’s not worth our hassle and stress to try to appease everyone.”

Quick Hits

Breitbart hack crybaby Ben Shapiro files assault charges against trans woman who called him 'little man'
'christian' fundamentalists Florida parents want to ban books about muslim fundamentalists banning books
Georgia trans woman inmate raped again in midst of lawsuit for safer housing
Missouri sheriff stockpiled explosives and three tons of food in jail basement to prepare for the apocalypse

Disappointment after theft of honesty box

Staff who run a community facility on the edge of Dorchester, Dorset, say they are 'disappointed' that their honesty box has been taken. Future Roots at Whitfield runs a range of community projects including for older people and youngsters.
To help the not for profit organization boost funds in a small way, it had been putting plants and other items from its Countrymen's Club and group for youngsters with learning disabilities at the entrance to the site for people to purchase in exchange for a donation, which were placed in an honesty box.
Julie MacDougall from Future Roots said she was shocked to discover that somebody had ripped the box off the trolley it was on and taken the money from it. She said there was probably hardly any money in the box, so she had not reported it to police, but she was saddened that anybody could take it from an organization like Future Roots and also said she wanted to make it clear to people that there was no money kept on the site.
Mrs MacDougall said: "We really wanted to make it clear to people that we don't keep any money on site and we do rely on the generosity of the general public to keep the project going. What we earn from the honesty box and plant sales gets plowed back into our equipment and things to keep us going. It's just a bit disappointing that somebody felt the need to take that." Mrs MacDougall said it was not loss of the money, which would only have been a few pounds at most, that was upsetting but the fact that someone had taken from an organization that was trying to do some good in the community.

Drunk Off-Duty Cop Mows Down 21-Year-Old Woman, Gets Charged With Misdemeanor

Featured image credit: video screen capture CBS Local ChicagoA drunk, off-duty cop left a 21-year-old woman in critical condition on Saturday, after running her down with his vehicle. According to Illinois law, the officer should be facing felony charges, but he’s not.

Police Chief Beats Wife So Brutally She Ends Up In Emergency Room, Gets Paid Leave

Police Chief Beats Wife So Brutally She Ends Up In Emergency Room, Gets Paid Leave (VIDEO) A police chief from New York state who has turned himself in on allegations of beating his wife so brutally that she ended up in the emergency room missing...

Arizona cops illegally barge into home of showering woman and handcuff her while she’s naked

A woman is suing after an Arizona police officer barged into her home in March, handcuffed her and lectured her while she was naked.Elmerelda Rossi was showering when two Chandler police officers arrived at her home to investigate a domestic disturbance call because Rossi had an argument with her estranged husband.
Rossi said she was in the shower when her daughter told her the officers were at the door. She grabbed a towel and slung it around herself before answering. She told the officers to wait at the door so she could get a cell phone to record the encounter, and closed it behind her.
“I start to walk into my living room, I probably get maybe five steps in, and all of the sudden I just hear boots running in after me, telling me, ‘stop or I’ll arrest you,'” she said.
Rossi’s daughter started recording.
Chandler police Officer Doug Rose threatens to arrest her. When she asks what for, he grabs her arms and cuffs her, and the towel falls off, exposing her.
“I don’t want to touch you, don’t touch me. I didn’t want to touch him,” she sobs, and her daughter can be heard breaking down as things become chaotic. Rose’s partner, Officer David Selvidge, stands silently and watches with his arms folded.
“You have absolutely no clothes on?” Rose asks Rossi.
“She was in the fucking shower, what is wrong with you?” the daughter screams.
Selvidge tells the daughter to get her mother some clothes as Rose handcuffs her.
After the incident, Selvidge complained to his superiors about Rose’s conduct, prompting an internal investigation. The investigation found Rose entered Rossi’s home illegally. He also failed to document key aspects of the call, including arresting then un-arresting Rossi and the fact she was naked, according to the New York Daily News. Footage from his body camera was missing.
He hasn’t been disciplined or charged with a crime, ABC 15 reports.
Rose retired in the midst of the investigation, but Rossi, who was never charged with a crime, has filed a lawsuit.
Rossi told ABC 15 she was molested as a small child and her encounter with Rose, caused her to have a flashback.

Man leapt from wheelchair and tore off shirt in street confrontation

An onlooker caught a video of a disabled man in a heated altercation on Inverness High Street on Tuesday. The unnamed man leapt from his wheelchair, tore off his shirt, and squared up to a seated trio.
There are few clues to the grounds for the argument, as the video seems to begin in the midst of the incident. It starts with the man appearing to speak to the three men before wheeling around agitatedly for a few seconds.
He then stands from his wheelchair, removing his shirt, before shouting and appearing to challenge the men, who do not appear to react. He continues to act in an agitated manner until two police officers arrive on scene.

Having sat back down as the officers arrived, the man then stands up again before officers pull him back to his chair. The man then continues to shout as the officers guide him away from the scene. Police Scotland confirmed they had attended the scene, with a spokesman adding: “The man was spoken to and calmed down – there was no further action taken.”

Man accidentally shot roommate after teasing cat with laser

An man from Onalaska in La Crosse County, Wisconsin, is accused of shooting his roommate in the leg after using the handgun’s laser sight to tease his cat.
Vaughn Rothering, 22, told police his cat was chasing the laser on the porch of his house in Onalaska before he spun the gun in his hand, according to the complaint filed in La Crosse County Circuit Court.
The Glock 9mm handgun fired while Rothering was “messing around with it,” and lodged a bullet in his roommates’ ankle, the complaint stated. The victim was treated at Gundersen Health System.
The shooting was reported on May 11, although Rothering made his first court appearance on Friday on a felony charge of injury by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon. He returns to court at a later date.

Hotel 'celebrates' 61 years without guests

Work began on Grand Hotel San Calogero in Italy more than 60 years ago, but in spite of being renovated and inaugurated twice, the hotel has never entertained a single guest. The project was developed by the region of Sicily to promote the beauty of the area around Sciacca, southern Sicily, in particular the nearby thermal baths which have been well-known since antiquity. The site for the hotel was perfect.
Located on top of a rocky outcrop on Monte Kronio, and within walking distance of the thermal springs and the Basilica of San Calogero, the hotel was supposed to be able to offer guests the chance to experience the best of Sicily. Construction of the 300-bed, five-story hotel began in 1954 and took nearly 30 years. By the beginning of the 1980s, the hotel was finally nearing completion, but there was a hitch. No agreement had been reached over which company would manage the hotel for the coming ten years.
During that time, the hotel began to fall into ruin and so Sicily's regional authorities decided to revamp it. By 1993, the hotel was once again ready to be opened: it was even inaugurated. Finally visitors from far and wide would be able to come and admire the wonderful views from the hotel's balcony. But there was a minor hiccup. It emerged that a grave oversight had been made during the hotel's construction: after 40 years of building work, the hotel was still without a properly connected drainage system. The unfortunate oversight cost the region dearly.
In 2010 it paid €800,000 in compensation to the co-operative that had won the right to manage the hotel in 1993. The problems of 1993 set plans back a few more years. It was finally inaugurated - again - in 1998, but closed immediately. In 2000, another company was found to manage the Grand Hotel San Calogero, and plans were drawn up to finally connect the hotel's drainage system to the town. But the work was never started. Sciacca council had "forgotten" to ask for the funds needed to redevelop the hotel's drains and plans were shelved once again. After 60 years of work and billions of Lira invested, the true cost of the project in today's money is difficult to quantify. Perhaps, one day it will open.

Mystery surrounds McDonald's 'opening soon' sign in middle of desert

Covering more than 170,000 square kilometers, it is the world's largest sand dune desert and attracts thousands of tourists each year. Now a mysterious sign has appeared in the Simpson Desert Conservation Park in Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland in central Australia.
Midway along the most popular 'road' that crosses the Simpson, more than 200 kilometers into the desert, a large sign has been erected on top of a 15-metre-high dune. Easily seen for kilometers in every direction it leaves visitors to believe that some time soon they will be able to order a double cheeseburger.
Rosaline Poohey, from Bunbury, Western Australia was making the crossing along The French Line track with a group of friends recently and described the sign as an eyesore. "It's not in keeping with the value of what you think you'd find in a national park ... I think it's completely inappropriate or not the right sort of sign for a landmark," she said. And it seems, McDonald's agrees.
McDonald's spokesman Chris Grant said the sign was a mystery to the company. "This one has us all intrigued," he said. "I can assure you it is nothing to with us. The font and the style used on the sign is not consistent with our branding and it serves us no purpose. It's beyond us why anyone would go the time and effort to install a sign like this," Mr Grant said. SA Environment Minister Ian Hunter said he would have Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources staff investigate the sign and arrange its removal.

Stormy weather caused hot air balloon mishap

This is the moment a hot air balloon got caught in a freak windstorm at a festival in Wisconsin, dragging the vehicle it was tethered to into nearby tents.
Onlookers at the Waterford Balloonfest grabbed guide ropes as fierce winds swept through on Saturday.
Video shows one balloon break free, swirling into the sky before dragging a vehicle into a nearby camping area.
Those trying to control the balloons suffered minor injuries, with one person taken to hospital but not admitted.

How The World’s Climate Changed Last Year

The Atlantic Bluefish Could Be A Glimpse Into How Effective Mercury Pollution Regulations Are

A new study shows a significant decrease in mercury levels for Atlantic bluefish -- and indication that restrictions on coal emissions are working.

The Sea Sapphire Can Turn Invisible in the Blink of an Eye

The tiny sea sapphire has hexagonal guanine crystals embedded in the segments of its shell. They reflect the surrounding light in splashes of vibrant color. But you can enjoy its beauty for only a moment. When it reflects light right back at you, the sea sapphire vanishes from sight. The New Scientist describes how this little creature hides:
In blue sea sapphires, the distance between the crystals is about the same as the wavelength of blue light, so the animals appear blue.
The angle of light hitting the sea sapphire also affects the color and lets it perform its disappearing act. For the species in the video, for example, the animal’s tilt of 45 degrees causes the reflected light to slip into the ultraviolet spectrum, and the animal becomes invisible to our eyes.
Only male sea sapphires have such coloration, which they probably use to attract mates, just like how human males use fedoras.

Animal Pictures