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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.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome the to Weekend Expanded Edition of  Carolina Naturally.
Enough Said ...!
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Today in History

1306 King Wenceslas of Poland is murdered.
1570 Charles IX of France signs the Treaty of St. Germain, ending the third war of religion and giving religious freedom to the Huguenots.
1636 The invading armies of Spain, Austria and Bavaria are stopped at the village of St.-Jean-de-Losne, only 50 miles from France.
1648 Ibrahim, the sultan of Istanbul, is thrown into prison, then assassinated.
1786 Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michael-Gabriel Baccard become the first men to climb Mont Blanc in France.
1844 Brigham Young is chosen to head the mormon cult, succeeding Joseph Smith.
1863 Confederate President Jefferson Davis refuses General Robert E. Lee’s resignation.
1876 Thomas Edison patents the mimeograph.
1899 The first household refrigerating machine is patented.
1925 The first national congress of the Ku Klux Klan opens.
1937 The Japanese Army occupies Beijing.
1940 The German Luftwaffe attacks Great Britain for the first time, begining the Battle of Britain.
1942 U.S. Marines capture the Japanese airstrip on Guadalcanal.
1944 U.S. forces complete the capture of the Marianas Islands.
1945 The Soviet Union declares war on Japan.
1950 U.S. troops repel the first North Korean attempt to overrun them at the battle of Naktong Bulge, which continued for 10 days.
1963 England’s "Great Train Robbery;" 2.6 million pounds ($7.3 million) is stolen
1974 President Richard Nixon resigns from the presidency as a result of the Watergate scandal.
1978 Pioneer-Venus 2 launched to probe the atmosphere of Venus.
1979 Iraq’s president Saddam Hussein executes 22 political opponents.
1983 Brigadier General Efrain Rios Montt is deposed as president of Guatemala in the country’s second military coup in 17 months.
1988 Angola, Cuba and South Africa sign cease-fire treaty in the border war that began in 1966.
1989 NASA Space Shuttle Columbia begins its eighth flight, NASA’s 30th shuttle mission.
1990 Iraq annexes the state of Kuwait as its 19th province, six days after Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait.
2000 Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley raised to surface, 136 years after it sank following its successful attack on USS Housatonic in the outer harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.
2007 An EF2 tornado hits Brooklyn, New York, the first in that borough since 1889.
2008 Georgia invades South Ossetia, touching off a five-day war between Georgia and Russia.

Jon Stewart’s Final Message To Fox: ‘Adios, Motherfuckers’

Jon Stewart’s Final Message To Fox: ‘Adios, Motherf*ckers’
This is why we love and will miss Jon Stewart.
Read more

The neuroscience of meditation — and the virtues of just shutting up

Woman practicing yoga in grassy field (Shutterstock)
In theory, having more real-time data about our bodies means we can better mold them according to our will. But in practice, it may not be working out that way.

Harvard Researchers Link Spicy Food to Lower Risk of Death

Chili Peppers
Break out the chile peppers! 
A Harvard study finds that daily consumers of spicy food have a 14% lower risk of death.
The study, which is published in the August 4th edition of the journal BMJ, also finds that consumers of spicy food have a lower chance of dying from heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases.
Researchers followed nearly 500,000 registrants of the China Kadoore Biobank for seven years, tracking their eating habits and mortality rate. Among the nearly 20,000 deaths reported during the study, fewer came from regular consumers of spicy food.
Fresh and dried chili peppers were among the most commonly consumed spices by study participants. Previous research has suggested that capsaicin, a compound found in some peppers, could reduce obesity, inflammation and cancer rates, although researchers have not yet definitively linked the compound to lower mortality rates.
Your chile-infused tequila, however, might not be quite as beneficial: researchers indicate that alcohol consumers had a slightly higher mortality rate than their sober counterparts.
"The findings are highly novel," remarked study co-lead author Lu Qi. "To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first reporting a link between spicy food intake and mortality."

Australia walks away from Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal talks

The world’s biggest regional trade deal – Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – is still within reach despite Australia walking away empty-handed from the latest talks, the federal government says.
The trade minister, Andrew Robb, confirmed that a conclusion was not be reached on the $200bn deal during the latest round of negotiations in Hawaii.
“Australia had made some excellent progress but unfortunately some difficult issues were not resolved,” he said on Saturday.
Robb has laid the blame for the failure to come to an agreement with the “big four” economies of the US, Canada, Japan and Mexico. “The sad thing is, 98% is concluded,” he said.
“While we didn’t quite get there, we are definitely on the cusp.”
Concerns around automotives, data protection of biologics, dairy and sugar remain sticking points, but they are not impossible to resolve, Robb said.
“From my reading, the issues are not intractable and there remains a real determination to conclude the TPP among all parties.”
Farmers were disappointed by the outcome but said it was important to get a good deal. National Farmers Federation deputy chief Tony Mahar told Sky News: “We really hope that we can get a successful agreement for farmers within the next few months.”
Robb faces a tussle at home over the deal, with Nationals MPs demanding a decent deal for sugar farmers. Half a dozen federal Nationals indicated they would cross the floor when the agreement comes before the parliament if only a token result is achieved.
The US allows sugar imports based on a quota system, with Australian cane farmers now allowed to send about 100,000 tonnes there a year. The farmers would like to raise this to more than 500,000 tonnes but the Americans are holding out.
The agreement involves 12 nations including the US, New Zealand, Japan and Canada, and covers about 40% of the global economy. Talks are expected to resume in November.
Failure to seal the agreement will be a setback for the US president, Barack Obama, given the trade pact’s stance as the economic arm of the administration’s pivot to Asia and an opportunity to balance out China’s influence in the region.
The talks, which drew about 650 negotiators, 150 journalists and hundreds of stakeholders to the Hawaiian island of Maui, had been billed as the last chance to get a deal in time to pass the US Congress this year, before 2016 presidential elections muddy the waters.
The deal seeks to meld bilateral questions of market access for exports with one-size-fits-all standards on issues ranging from workers’ rights to environmental protection and dispute settlement between governments and foreign investors.
Negotiators from the 12 TPP members had worked through the night and officials said great strides were made in many contentious areas.

What Do the Richest People in America All Have in Common?

A look at the common traits of the richest Americans. .
There are 513 billionaires in America, according to Forbes, though only 400 of those make its annual list of the richest Americans. It's just one of the many signs that the rich just keep getting richer. In fact, the wealth of the top 400 richest Americans totaled an astounding $2.29 trillion last year, which is $270 billion higher than the year before. Meanwhile, the average member of that list has a net worth of $5.7 billion, which is $700 million more than the previous year. Suffice it to say, the richest Americans are better off than they have ever been.
Strangely familiar stories
Driving their staggering net worth is one undeniably common trait. They each own business assets that have become "compounding machines," as Warren Buffett likes to call them. Some of them started these businesses themselves, while others inherited or acquired their wealth creating businesses. What is clear from looking over the list is that no one on the list became a billionaire by being a salaried employee, unless of course that salary carried with it copious stock options giving them an outsized ownership stake in the business.

Netflix Announces ALL Employees Can Take A Year Paid Leave To Raise A New Child

Netflix Announces ALL Employees Can Take A Year Paid Leave To Raise A New Child
Netflix is giving an amazing perk to its employees: The gift of being able to watch their child grow up.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Has The Absolute Perfect Comeback For Racists Who Compare Black People To Monkeys

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Has The Absolute Perfect Comeback For Racists Who Compare Black People To MonkeysLook in the mirror before comparing black people to apes.

Woman claims to have photographed fabled Lizard Man

A fabled swamp creature known as the Lizard Man, of Bishopville in Lee County, South Carolina, appears to have surfaced again on Sunday afternoon. Sarah, a Sumter woman who says she went to church with a friend on Sunday morning, stepped out of the sanctuary to see the Lizard Man running along the tree line.
So she took a picture with her phone. "My hand to God, I am not making this up," she said. "I'm so excited!" She says they were just a mile or so from Scape Ore Swamp, the area where most of the Lizard Man sightings over the last 30 years have been focused. The first sighting was in the summer of 1988.
Known as the Davis sighting for the witness Christopher Davis, the then-17-year-old Davis stopped on a road bordering the Scape Ore Swamp to change a flat tire at 2am. He heard noises, turned to see a 7-foot beast charging at him, so he ran for the safety of his car. The Lizard Man jumped on the roof as Davis tried to drive away. There were scratch marks on the roof and one of the side mirror had been damaged.
Since then the Lizard Man sightings have trailed off. One of the last alleged encounter with the Lizard Man came in 2011 when a Bishopville couple reported their car had been mauled overnight. There were teeth marks in in the metal and saliva coating several discarded parts. There have been plaster casts of the mythical beast's claw. There have been million-dollar rewards to capture the Lizard Man alive. But the creature has not been seen in more than a decade - until now.

Blame The FDA For Your Sunburn

This Economist Just Solved Income Inequality In One Simple, Easy To Understand Facebook Post

This Economist Just Solved Income Inequality In One Simple, Easy To Understand Facebook PostIt really could be this simple, and if imposed, corporations will be rushing to raise wages as fast as they can.

Denver man charged with seven felonies for handing out ‘jury nullification’ fliers outside courthouse

A Denver man has been charged with multiple felonies after he was caught distributing fliers to educate potential jurors about the practice of “jury nullification.”

NC county commissioner storms out of meeting during muslim prayer

Liars Behind Planned Parenthood Videos Linked To Antiabortionist Terror Group

Image via video screen captureThese ties really aren’t that surprising – just more sensationalism from a group that exists on extremist tactics.

Florida neighborhood watchman shoots suspicious 16-year-old boy, neighbors say it’s ‘awesome’

Investigators in Florida said this week that a Lake County neighborhood watch volunteer had a right to use deadly force after he shot a 16-year-old boy who he claimed was robbing a neighbor’s home.

For the second time this week, white man opens fire on Jade Helm training site in Mississippi

A man matching the same description as yesterday’s shooter, white and driving a red or maroon pickup truck, opened fire around 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Clarion-Ledger reports.

Anti-‘Jade Helm 15' nuts arrested in North Carolina after hoarding weapons and making bombs

Suspects Walter Eugene Litteral, Christopher James Barker and Christopher Todd Campbell (L-R) [WTVD-TV]
Three idiots were arrested in Gaston County, North Carolina after amassing an arsenal and making their own bombs out of fear that the government was about to enact martial law.

Anti-Government Terrorists Arrested For Building Bombs, Won’t Be Called Terrorists

Anti-Government Terrorists Arrested For Building Bombs, Won’t Be Called Terrorists
Will it be called what it is – terrorism?
Of course not.
They’re white.
Read more 

Alabama Cop Plotted To Murder Black Man, Hide Evidence — Still On Patrol Duty

Image from The Guardian 
Forget fired, why isn’t this guy in jail?
Oh, I know.
He’s a white cop, and his victim is a black man.
Read more

Lunatic Cop Pulls Gun On Man Who Was Recording Police Harassment In His Own Driveway

Lunatic Cop Pulls Gun On Man Who Was Recording Police Harassment In His Own Driveway (VIDEO)
This is insane.
Read more



Brave police officer rescued young skunk with head stuck in yogurt pot

Police officer Merlin Taylor from Rochester in Michigan could have just kept on driving. He could have called in animal welfare workers. He could have procured a hazmat suit or a telescopic tool of some sort to keep him out of harm's way.
Instead, he walked right into the danger zone with a single rubber glove. There would be no gushing, grateful pet owner at the end his uncommonly courageous act. Just the confused stare of a young skunk.
Taylor spotted the frantic skunk on West Third Street in Rochester on Sunday morning. It had its head stuck in a yogurt pot. Exhibiting no initial signs of fear of being sprayed, Taylor walked right up to the animal.

The skunk then began running in circles until the officer snatched the pot off its head and nimbly hopped away from the range of fire. The police department released the video via its Facebook page on Monday, noting that Taylor was lucky it was a young skunk, less likely to have the firepower of an adult.

Pellet gun-wielding Michigan woman spews N-word at neighbors in fight over dog poop

Image: Mugshot of Judy Lorraine Syrek (Kent County Jail)
56-year-old Judy Lorraine Syrek was charged with felonious assault and ethnic intimidation over the altercation.

Men arrested after shooting barramundi in hotel lobby pond with spear gun

A man who allegedly took a spear gun into a luxury hotel and shot a barramundi swimming in a pond in the lobby has been charged.
The 18-year-old and two friends allegedly went to the Hilton Double Tree in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, last Wednesday and shot the meter-long fish. Police say the trio then took the fish to a house where they cleaned and filleted it.
But it's believed they didn't get the chance to eat the fish, which police say had been living in the fresh water pond for years. The shooter allegedly returned the following day and was recognized by hotel staff who called police.
The two other men were located on Thursday afternoon and the trio were each charged with one count of trespass and unlawfully injuring an animal by night. The three are due to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court on August 21.

Italy cracks secret sheep code to arrest Mafia henchmen

Italian police on Monday arrested 11 suspects linked to the fugitive head of the Sicilian mafia, including a former boss who ran a secret message system for the mobster using a sheep-based code. Matteo Messina Denaro, 53, who has been on the run since 1993, used a farm in Mazara del Vallo to communicate with his henchmen via the aged-old method of "pizzini", paper containing messages often written in cipher, police said. Among those arrested was former boss Vito Gondola, 77, whose job it was to call the clan members to alert them to each new message, which was placed under a rock in a field at the farm and often destroyed on the spot after reading.
"I've put the ricotta cheese aside for you, will you come by later?" he would say on the telephone - a phrase investigators said had nothing to do with dairy products. "The sheep need shearing ... the shears need sharpening" and "the hay is ready", were among other code phrases used to alert the gang to a new message hidden in the dirt. The police investigation, which followed the passing of messages between 2011 and 2014, used hidden cameras and microphones around the farm near Trapani in western Sicily to follow the movements of the clan - and discover Denaro's fading glory.
Gondola is caught in one conversation telling another mobster that Denaro - once a trigger man who reportedly boasted he could "fill a cemetery" with his victims - was losing control over the latest generation of criminals, who "disappear without saying anything". Three of those arrested were over 70 years old. The only known photos of Denaro date back to the early 1990s. He is believed to be the successor of the godfathers Toto Riina and Bernardo Provenzano, who are both serving life sentences, but less is known about him. The 11 suspects arrested "were the men who were closest to Denaro right now," said police official Renato Cortese, adding that it was "too early to say" whether the sting would help investigators close in on the fugitive.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi thanked the investigators, saying "onwards all, to finally capture the super-fugitive boss," insisting "Italy is united against organized crime" despite a recent slew of corruption scandals in the country. "The state wins, the Mafia loses," Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said. Gondola, who despite his age rose every morning at 4am to tend to his flock, is believed to have once been a right-hand man to Riina. In the 1970s he belonged to a gang used by the Mafia to carry out kidnappings, according to Italian media. The Sicilian Mafia, known as "Cosa Nostra" or "Our Thing", was the country's most powerful organised crime syndicate in the 1980s and 1990s, but has seen its power diminish following years of investigations and mass arrests. It also faces fierce underworld competition from the increasingly powerful Naples-based Camorra and Calabria's 'Ndrangheta.

City center drug dealers fled after mistaking stray Labrador for police sniffer dog

A stray Labrador scared off suspected drug dealers in Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens after officers took it for a walk and they feared it was a sniffer dog.
The dog had been handed in the force’s city center pod after being found by a member of the public who was concerned that it had been abandoned. But when they decided to take it for a stroll through the gardens, well-known for dealers peddling cannabis, they spotted a couple of people making a quick getaway.
Inspector Phil Spurgeon, from the city center policing team, said: “After being handed in to us, the staff at the pod took it for a walk. Quickly after setting off, they saw a couple of lads scurrying off thinking it was a sniffer dog. The dog has now been passed on to our contracted team of vets who will now send it on to a dogs home.”
Inspector Spurgeon added: “We do take the drug issue in Piccadilly Gardens seriously and are still making arrests and getting results in court for people who push drugs in the area. But staff are doing it day in day out so they have to have those little moments of irony or farce that keep them smiling while working in a challenging area.”

Man stole neighbor's dog and dumped it miles away because it wouldn't stop barking

A businessman's wish for peace and quiet made him steal a constantly barking dog and dump it nearly 30 kilometers (18 miles) away. David John Belcher, from Manawatu, New Zealand, was at the end of his tether when he drove the dog from Colyton to Woodville, the Palmerston North District Court heard on Monday.
Belcher, 57, had pleaded not guilty to stealing the dog at an earlier appearance, but changed his plea on Monday. According to a police summary of facts, Belcher was at his shrub business in Colyton, Manawatu, on April 24 when he heard the dog barking at a neighboring property. At 11am he went on to the property, unchained the dog and drove it to Woodville, which is on the other side of the Tararua and Ruahine ranges. He took the dog's collar off and dumped the dog.
A Tararua District Council animal control officer found the dog, and a test of its microchip revealed where it belonged. Belcher told police he had taken the dog because he was sick of it barking all day. Defence lawyer Marina Anderson said the dog had been barking all day, every day. Belcher's employees were getting frustrated and he called the council six times, she said. "He left messages, but got no response. He was fed up. He now knows he can ring the SPCA for things like this."
The dog was chained up in a small area and in obvious distress, Anderson said. Belcher told Judge Gregory Ross the dog was about 30 meters away from his business. "It is quite a mongrel, your honour." Police prosecutor Sergeant Chris Whitmore said police may consider diversion, as Belcher had no convictions since 1998. A restorative justice conference could shed more light on the situation, he said. The judge did not enter a conviction and remanded Belcher until mid-August to see if restorative justice could take place.

Rare white wallaby spotted in Northamptonshire

A rare white wallaby has been spotted hopping around the Northamptonshire countryside. The wild mammal, which hails from Australia, was spotted by horse riders in some fields at Salcey Forest, near Roade, on Friday afternoon. One of the shocked riders was Caroline Phillips, who owns the fields where the albino wallaby was seen. And coincidentally, Caroline is actually from Australia herself. "It was extremely bizarre especially with me being Australian," she said. "We all thought it was very surreal but felt so privileged as well."
Describing the sudden turn of events while out with her friends riding horses, Caroline, 41, said: "My friend Florence was riding her stallion in one of our fields at around 3.30pm, when she came back telling me there was a white kangaroo in the field. She didn't seem excited at all when she told me, she may as well have told me she saw a blade of grass she was so calm. Needless to say, I had thought she was obviously mistaken or crazy ... so I thought I'd humor her and go back with her to see the 'mysterious creature'". Heading out into the unknown, Caroline said the first thing she saw was a 'white thing' at the very bottom of her 16 acre field.
"I walked towards it for ages and had still thought it was probably a bit of plastic stuck on the hedge," she said. "Florence was adamant it was a kangaroo, I was sure it wasn't. I come from Australia where most Australians don't see kangaroos in the wild so it was not likely to happen in England was it? Especially a rare white one. I then decided to go back to the stables and get my phone and my husband. In Australia, when someone's sanity is in question there is a saying .. 'They've got Kangaroos in the top paddock'. My husband always thought I did. We headed back with our phones and the 'white thing' was still in the same place - surely a bit of plastic.

"We walked towards it and when we got close enough we could see it was an animal of some sort, I still didn't think I was going to find a kangaroo. Then it hopped away. Luckily I was filming. We got quite close to it and stayed in the field watching for at least half an hour. We had thought it may be an escaped pet but apparently there have been sightings of wild wallabies before, but as far as I know no one has ever photographed a white one though." Caroline added: "Thankfully we filmed it or no one would believe us." In the UK there are small colonies of wallabies living in rural areas of the British countryside, including the Lake District, parts of the Peak District and around Loch Lomond in Scotland. However, white wallabies are very rare indeed.

Animal Pictures