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

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

1261 Constantinople falls to Michael VIII of Nicea and his army.
1385 John of Portugal defeats John of Castile at the Battle of Aljubarrota.
1598 Hugh O’Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, leads an Irish force to victory over the British at Battle of Yellow Ford.
1760 Frederick II defeats the Austrians at the Battle of Liegnitz.
1864 The Confederate raider Tallahassee captures six Federal ships off New England.
1872 The first ballot voting in England is conducted.
1914 The Panama Canal opens to traffic.
1935 American comedian and "cowboy philosopher" Will Rogers dies in an airplane accident, along with American aviation pioneer Wiley Post.
1942 The Japanese submarine I-25 departs Japan with a floatplane in its hold which will be assembled upon arriving off the West Coast of the United States, and used to bomb U.S. forests.
1944 American, British and French forces land on the southern coast of France, between Toulon and Cannes, in Operation Dragoon.
1945 Gasoline and fuel oil rationing ends in the United States.
1947 Britain grants independence to India and Pakistan.
1950 Two U.S. divisions are badly mauled by the North Korean Army at the Battle of the Bowling Alley in South Korea, which rages on for five more days.
1969 Over 400,000 young people attend a weekend of rock music at Woodstock, New York.
1971 Richard Nixon announces a 90-day freeze on wages and prices in an attempt to halt rapid inflation.
1986 Ignoring objections from Ronald Reagan’s junta, US Senate approves economic sanctions against South Africa to protest that country’s apartheid policies.
1994 US Social Security Administration, previously part of the Department of Health and Human Services, becomes an independent government agency.
1994 Infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal captured in Khartoum, Sudan.
2001 Astronomers announce the first solar system discovered outside our own; two planets had been found orbiting a star in the Big Dipper.
2007 An earthquake of 8.0 magnitude kills over 500 and injures more than 1,000 in Peru.

The Amazing Chapman Stick Is Like 2 Electric Guitars in 1

It has either 10 or 12 strings. With them, it’s possible to play a broader range than either the standard guitar or bass can do individually. Author Dave Hunter says that Emmett Chapman invented it in the 1970s to offer jazz players more options:
Its range runs the gamut from the bass’ low to the guitar’s high. Traditional tuning, if you can call it that, goes low E, A, D, G, C, although the bass strings progress upward—that is, the reverse of those on a standard bass guitar, from highest pitched string at the top to the lowest pitched at the middle of the tapboard; the treble strings run conventionally downward, tuned F#, B, E, A, D.

8 Amazing Isolated Places to Stay the Night

We all wish we could live in our own little bubble sometimes and that's why our newest Homes and Hues post rounded up some of the most isolated homes, lodges and monasteries out there.
Sure, not all of them are full-time residences, but all of them are equipped with beds for staying the night -and they're all fantastic places to fantasize about leaving the rest of the world behind.
In fact, fantasizing about staying in these incredible isolated locales is often better than actually trying to hole up there, as many of these places are so out there that they've actually become tourist attractions!
So don't miss the full list over at Homes and Hues: 8 Amazing Isolated Lodges, Homes and Monasteries

The Rise of Artisanal Cash

Take a trip to Bixton, a trendy neighborhood in London. At many popular, independently owned cafes and shops, you can pay in the local currency. That’s not the British pound. It’s a locally produced and accepted bill called the Brixton pound. It reflects a trendy new fashion: artisanal currency. Dan Crane writes about it in the New York Times:
These are small-batch currencies designed by locals and lovingly handled by millennials, who came of age during the rise of the Internet, the meltdown of the stock market and Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency revelations, and would be forgiven for becoming more wary of credit and debit cards. […]
Many of the new alternative currencies have the look and feel of the regular legal tender accepted at such places. Most include anticounterfeiting measures like holograms and serial numbers. But they are more eye-catching.
These paper bills lack government backing, but they’re accepted in communities that want to keep their money local:
The local currency, though, is intended not as collectible but to encourage trade at the community businesses where they are accepted, rather than chain stores, where money taken in tends to flow out of town and into the coffers of multinational corporations. (Compare it to the farmers’ market: Homegrown lettuce now has a whole new meaning.)

KFC’s Pink Burgers Are Tempting

Brian Ashcraft of Kotaku informs us that Kentucky Fried Chicken locations in China are now offering chicken-like meat burger semi-food objects that feature bright pink buns. Why? And what makes them pink? You ask too many questions. Begin eating immediately.

The Coolest Superhero Vehicles of All Time

I don't know about you guys, but I fell in love with Black Beauty (the Green Hornet's car, not the horse) the second I saw it. How could you not love a gorgeous black Chrysler adorned with weapons and gadgets? Of course, a Batmobile would also be pretty incredible as far as style and gadgetry are concerned.
Honestly, I'd pretty much love any of the amazing superhero vehicles on this great TopTenz list, but I'm curious, which one would you prefer?

Documentary About The Real Life Gangs That Inspired "The Warriors"

There were a lot of far out gangs in Walter Hill’s dystopian thriller The Warriors, but most of them were nothing but imaginative flights of gangland fancy and never truly existed on the mean streets of New York.
However, The Warriors themselves, as well as the Turnbull ACs, The Rogues and a few of the less gimmicky crews, are based on real life NY gangs from the 60s and 70s.
These “neighborhood clubs” are the focus of the 1993 documentary Flyin’ Cut Sleeves, an in-depth look at the gangs that ruled New York City which you can watch in full on YouTube:
It’s a stone groove that'll take you back to the days when the boppers ruled the Bronx, and every club in town was cuttin’ off their sleeves to show their love for the street life. Can you dig it?

DEA Approves Ecstasy For Anxiety, MDMA Trials Begin In California

by Sean Adl-Tabatabai
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has approved the first clinical trial of MDMA to treat anxiety and other psychological illnesses, amid a growing resurgence in therapeutic psychedelic drug usage in the medical community.  
Aljazeera.com reports:
“The tide has changed for psychedelic research,” said Brad Burge, the communications director for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a California-based nonprofit research group that studies medicinal uses for psychedelics and marijuana and is sponsoring the study. The DEA approved the project on Friday, he said.
Unlike Ecstasy or Molly — names for MDMA sold on the street and often mixed with dangerous adulterants — pure MDMA has been proved “sufficiently safe” when taken a limited number of times in moderate doses, MAPS says on its website. The DEA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
MDMA can be useful in psychotherapy for people suffering from anxiety due to life-threatening illnesses because it produces in users a sense of calm, trust and confidence, Burge said. Unlike psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin, MDMA does not produce hallucinations, he added.
The clinical trial will be held in Marin, California, in a psychologist’s office, as opposed to a hospital setting, Burge said. The patients will lie on a couch with a therapist nearby for support and conversation.
In the trial, 18 subjects diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses will attend months of psychotherapy, with MDMA being used in a few sessions in order to facilitate the process, he said. The outcome will be measured by whether using the psychedelic helps reduce people’s anxiety, which will be determined at the end of the sessions by the patient’s feedback and the therapist’s assessments.
Researchers hope that using MDMA alongside psychotherapy will let subjects confront their situation more clearly and allow the positive steps they take during the therapy to “stick,” Burge said. “It opens them up and makes them more comfortable with the therapist while reducing fear and making them more able to talk about difficult emotions.”
If the pilot is successful, MAPS plans to continue with further studies involving more subjects and different approaches. For now, researchers hope to establish basic safety and effectiveness, he said.
The trial is part of a larger $20 million plan to make MDMA an FDA-approved prescription medicine by 2021, Burge said. MAPS is the only organization in the world funding MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials, he added.
The institute has carried out successful pilot studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, adding to the drug’s scientific credibility, he said. Other research by the institute includes ayahuasca-assisted therapy for drug addiction, LSD for cluster headaches and psilocybin for nicotine addiction.
Researchers hope to back up growing evidence that psychedelics have legitimate therapeutic uses — and to counter the narrative that has demonized them as mind-destroying drugs.
“That’s what the really good science shows, despite decades of propaganda and government misinformation,” Burge said. “Just a couple weeks ago, a phenomenal study showed that there are no long-term associations between psychedelic use and mental illnesses.”
That study was published this month in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. In addition, a recent report by Johns Hopkins Medicine, a leading U.S. medical institution combining the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Hospital, showed that the use of psychedelic drugs — primarily psilocybin and LSD — could reduce psychological distress and suicidal thinking.

Michigan Court Rules Gun Nut Parents Can Open Carry In Elementary Schools

Michigan Court Rules Gun Nut Parents Can Open Carry In Elementary Schools. What Could Go Wrong?There is no question that when America has decided that the rights of a few gun lovers usurps the safety of its children, the country has crossed the...

ABC Execs Forced Rosie Perez To Apologize For Calling Out Racism – Perez Tells Network ‘Kiss My Ass!’

ABC Execs Forced Rosie Perez To Apologize For Calling Out Racism – Tells Network ‘Kiss My A**!’Rosie Perez is DONE with the folks at ABC and their willingness to openly condone racism.

Religio-wingnut Thinks First Amendment Allows 'christians' To Persecute Everyone Else

Image via screen capture Anti-gay agitator Scott Lively went after—you guessed it—marriage equality (and abortion) by saying that it means 'christians' have lost their First Amendment Rights...

Detained Migrants Were Abused, Neglected, And Traumatized

Judge convicted of lying about toilet lid attack outside court

A former village judge from Seneca County, New York, has been convicted of falsely claiming two men attacked him with a toilet tank lid outside his courtroom two years ago. Roger Barto, 54, was convicted on Friday by a jury of insurance fraud, falsifying business records, defrauding the government and falsely reporting an incident. Barto told police in August 2013 he was attacked from behind while locking up village court.
He claimed he was choked with something and hit over the head with a heavy object. Village police found the shattered lid of a toilet tank at the scene. The evidence from a two-week trial in Seneca County Court indicated Barto concocted the story as a way to get prescription painkillers through a workers' compensation claim, according to Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch. "The jury heard evidence that this was a way for him to get a lifetime supply of painkillers," Porsch said. After Barto's claimed assault, he spent nine days on a pain pump at a Rochester hospital, Porsch said.
Doctors and nurses testified in the trial that Barto did not sustain any external or internal injuries from choking, a blow to the head or any kind of assault, Porsch said. Seneca County paid $41,500 for Barto's hospital care, Porsch said. Barto's medical records showed that before the incident he'd been on prescription painkillers for lower-back pain and for gout throughout his body, Porsch said. Barto, who is not a lawyer, had 20 to 30 previous insurance claims for alleged accidents, Porsch said. Barto had no known employment other than the acting village judge position, Porsch said.
The state Court of Appeals suspended Barto from the bench in July 2014 as a result of his being indicted. Barto faces up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison when he's sentenced Oct. 13. Despite the Waterloo Police Department's determination in December 2013 that Barto's assault claim was false, the village board appointed him to another one-year term as acting village judge. The board also appointed him sexton at the village-owned cemetery. A grand jury indicted Barto last year in connection with the claimed assault, and on charges of stealing gasoline from the village in his job as cemetery sexton. He's facing another trial on those charges.

Cyclist swerved in front of car causing it to hit him before carjacking the female driver

A South Australian man has been arrested after allegedly swerving his bicycle in front of a car, causing it to crash into him and then carjacking the female driver.
Police were called to Murray Bridge, southeast of Adelaide, at about 11.20am on Tuesday after reports of a multi-car crash. They found several damaged cars, including one that had been slammed into a pole.
A man was arrested at the scene after witnesses told officers he had swerved his bicycle in front of a car, causing it to crash into him. The rider is then said to have pulled the female driver out of the car and stealing the vehicle. But the alleged carjacker slammed into several other cars before crashing into a pole.

The alleged offender was taken to hospital for treatment of injuries suffered during the initial collision. The man has been charged with robbery, attempted theft, driving in a dangerous manner, aggravated assault against a police officer and resisting arrest. He was refused bail and will appear in the Murray Bridge Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Burglar caught after naked householder hit him over head with bottle of washing-up liquid

A naked householder who chased and grabbed a burglar has been praised for his bravery by a judge in Teesside. Drink and drug-addled intruder Neville Holdsworth got more than he bargained for when he was confronted by a nude 64-year-old man. The householder caught the burglar in his garage and hit him over the head with a bottle of washing-up liquid. Then he dragged the offender back into the house in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough and shouted for his partner to call the police.
Judge Michael Taylor ordered he should receive £200 from public funds, saying: “He is a very brave man. He is to be commended for what he has done. It was public-spirited. It was extremely brave.” The householder, who asked not to be named, saw the burglar jailed for three-and-a-half years at Teesside Crown Court on Monday. Afterwards the former local government officer said: “I don’t think I was brave. I think it was just a reaction, adrenaline and anger.” He said he jumped out of bed when he heard footsteps on the stairs and realized there was an intruder in his partner’s home of 35 years.
He chased the burglar Holdsworth, a criminal with 169 offenses on his record, through the house and into the garage. He grabbed the disorientated invader and found the bottle of washing-up liquid was “the first thing that came to hand”. He said: “I thought, what do I do now? I’m in the garage, I’m naked, I’ve got him, I can’t let go of him. I had to drag him through the house and shout to my partner who was fast asleep.” Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said the householder asked Holdsworth what he was doing in the home during the confrontation at about 10pm on July 10. Holdsworth replied feebly: “I’ve got the wrong house mate... I only wanted to use the toilet.”
Police arrived and found a stolen mobile phone, an iPod and speaker in his jacket. Holdsworth, of Pallister Park, Middlesbrough, admitted burglary. His criminal record, stretching back to his youth, also included numerous non-home burglaries and thefts. Judge Taylor told Holdsworth his addictions might be an explanation, but were no excuse. He said: “You can’t keep out of other people’s property and you can’t stop stealing things. “The time has come when you need to be kept away from the public for a lengthier period of time, so that hopefully it will shake you out of this form of offending.” He jailed Holdsworth for three-and-a-half years, saying he hoped it would bring the victim some closure.

Lucky escape for thrill-seekers after elastic rope on fairground slingshot snapped

Thrill-seekers somehow escaped largely unscathed after an elastic rope snapped on a "slingshot" ride at a theme park in southern France.
Video captured the exact moment one side of the elastic snapped on a slingshot ride, also known as a reverse bungee, at Luna Park, at Cap d'Agde.
After the slingshot catapulted its passengers into the air, the elastic snapped on the way down, violently jolting the cable as the crowd below gasped and cried out in shock. The cable car then continued to bob up and down, smashing into the stanchion to the right of the screen before eventually coming to a stop.
Paramedics were soon on the scene, with a 24-year-old woman suffering from a broken leg. The other person on the ride was not seriously injured. Theme park officials blamed the accident on a "manufacturing defect" in the elastic. An investigation has been launched.

Family threatened with jail by homeowner’s association over purple playground

A purple playground has become a problem for a family from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, after their homeowner’s association is threatening them with fines, sanctions and even jail time if it’s not removed. The playground which was built by the family ended up getting a purple paint job as a compromise. The kids wanted pink, but settled on purple.
Marla Stout said they found a purple-tinted wood stain from Home Depot. The Raintree Lake Neighborhood Homeowner’s Association wasn’t happy about the compromise. “We got a notice that we were being fined by the HOA," Stout said. That was last year. The family fought it and won, but the dispute wasn’t over yet. The family received more letters outlining more serious consequences.
“(The letters said) that if we didn’t remove the swing set from the subdivision in a couple of weeks, we go to jail,” Stout said. She said the family talked to all of the neighbors who could see the playground from their homes and asked them to sign a petition saying that the color didn’t bother them. Stout said that the homeowner’s association told them it wasn’t good enough. “I think it’s ridiculous,” said Dillen Steeby, who lives next door.
He said he sees the purple playground quite a bit and the homeowner’s association’s opposition to it has him seeing red. “I’m really perturbed that they would waste money pursuing something like this,” Steeby said. “Money on court costs and lawyer’s fees to attack really good people like this and go after a swing set.” HOA guidelines require a playground to be “subdued and within harmony with other colors of the community.” The homeowner’s association did not respond to a request for comment. The Stout family said the next step will be a trip before a judge. There is to be a community meeting soon.

Teddy bear shot in drive-by shooting

Drive-by shooters took aim at a giant stuffed teddy bear being used as a driveway marker in a residential neighborhood of Juneau, Alaska, early on Thursday morning. Police received a secondhand report of the shots fired at about 5am and later learned that the homeowner had found a “small tiny bullet hole” in the stuffed animal’s face.
“It looks like what happened was someone drove in, saw the teddy bear, took a couple of shots at it and drove off,” Juneau Police Department spokesman Lt. David Campbell said. The homeowner, 34-year-old Brian Weed, said that he thought his house was being targeted because of his work. He’s a correctional officer at Lemon Creek Correctional Center.
“I’m a correctional officer; people threaten to kill me and my family like every other day,” he said. However, he later said it was probably more likely that the shooting was a “freak incident” by either kids or a drunken driver. The incident scared Weed’s wife, who was alone at home at the time, he said. She didn’t see the suspect vehicle but heard four or five gunshots in a row, then heard the vehicle drive off. A neighbor also heard the gunshots, police said.
Police do not have any evidence that the shooting was related to Weed’s job at Lemon Creek, Campbell said. “We haven’t received any other information that it was targeting him because of his profession,” said Campbell. “It looks like the shots were aimed at the stuffed animal.” Drive-by shootings aren’t unheard of in Juneau, but they are not common. Weed is offering an award for anyone who has information about the shooter that leads to his or her arrest.

For Adventurous Travelers: Container Ship Tourism

Never mind a cruise ship. Those are like floating 5-star hotels. A more offbeat approach to sea travel is to book passage on a freighter. This is called “container ship tourism.” Most large freighters have cabin space for a few passengers. For a few thousand dollars, you can book a month-long journey across the ocean. Andy Wright of Atlas Obscura has a fascinating article about this very old yet largely unknown form of travel. He talked to Julie Richards, a travel agent who specializes in this field:
Ships departing Australia often make their way to Asia, the United States or Europe. Ships sailing from the west coast of the United States head to China or Hong Kong, while those from the East Coast or Savannah frequently sail to Europe. Trips may last just a few days, although some travelers sign on for 60 days or even around-the-world journeys. Meals are provided, rooms are cleaned once a week and passengers do their own laundry. Once in port, travelers can go ashore to explore; it’s their own responsibility to make it back to the ship in time for departure. Richards says most of her clients are single men, and the typical cost is about $120 a day.
You’ll probably get a reasonably comfortable cabin. But you’ll have to entertain yourself. A container ship offers nothing like the cruise ship experience. And according to freighter travel enthusiast Robert Rieffel, the food varies widely:
Passengers dine with the officers, and the cuisine is often dictated by the officers’ country of origin. Every day the Rieffels were offered a traditional European breakfast of sliced cheese, hard bread, butter and marmalade favored by the mostly Ukrainian officers. There was juice and coffee, eggs and bacon. One day, Rieffel writes in his book, dinner consisted of “salad, soup, beef tips in gravy, potatoes, green beans, a potato salad with calamari, cheese, cold cuts, bread, butter, wine cake and coffee.” Spittler’s German and European officers had a proclivity for hearty meals like pot roast. Alcohol, candy bars and other treats can usually be procured from duty-free shops. Spittler stocked up on Bacardi rum and Teacher’s scotch, parlaying his leftovers into a party for the crew towards the end of his voyage.

Two Gymnasts on One Surfboard

Surfing is difficult enough, but these folks had to go and add ballet and gymnastics to the sport!
Chuck Inman and Lauren Oiye are champion tandem surfers. I guess if you’ve developed the incredible balance necessary for surfing, you may as well harness that balance further. See several more of their videos at Daily Picks and Flicks.

Mystery hole re-appears at beach

A mystery hole has appeared for a third time on a popular Devon beach. An area has been cordoned off after people reported water and bubbles spurting from the sand at Orcombe Point, near Exmouth. Previously it sent plants and snails shooting into the air.
It is more than 6ft (1.8m) wide and believed to be up to 10ft (3m) deep - and could be caused by a spring or outfall pipe beneath, authorities said. East Devon District Council cordoned the area off around the hole and said it was investigating. Nick Christow, from the council, said its appearance seemed to be linked with heavy rainfall.
"We don't know the full extent of what the dangers could be. Our advice is to take precautions, use a bit of common sense and stay out of the area," he said. "We believe there may be a spring underneath there...and we're also investigating the possibility that there might be an outfall pipe as well that may have been cracked or blocked."
Sharon Sweeny, who lives nearby, said she spotted "something bubbling up" on Monday morning. "There's something going on, it's weird. It's never been like this before this year." She said she hoped authorities would find out what was going on as a matter of urgency, in case someone was hurt. "It could be like sinking sand," she said. "There's got to be something underneath."

The Biggest Treehouse in the World

This massive treehouse, located in Crossville, Tennessee, is thought to be the largest in the world. The 80-room structure is four stories high, 97 feet tall and is supported by six trees in all, the largest being an 80-foot-tall white oak. It was closed to the public due to being a fire hazard, but there are hopes that necessary changes will be made so that visitors may once again be allowed to enjoy the fanciful building. **************

The Gates of Hell

We set our thermostats down in the winter because we don’t want to waste gas. Meanwhile, a big hole in the ground in Turkmenistan has been burning natural gas for over 40 years, just to get rid of it.
Its officially  called the Darvasa Gas Crater but everyone calls it the Gates of Hell. Dylan from Atlas Obscura tells the tale.

Baby and Bulldog Born on Same Day are Inseparable

Ivette Ivens of Chicago adopted a French bulldog pup when she realized that he was born on the same day as her infant son Dilan, thinking it was a sign that the pup should be in her family. Ever since, the bulldog, which the family named Farley, has been like a brother to little Dilan. Ivans said,
 “I’m pretty sure Dilan thinks they’re both the same species, as they walk at the same level and are both going through the stage of chewing on everything.” Ivans is a photographer specializing in family shoots. She has a book on breasfeeding coming out soon called Breastfeeding Goddess. See more adorable photos of Dilan and Farley here. Keep up with Ivens' projects at her websiteFacebook and Instagram.

Myth dispelled as kangaroo spotted in Austria

A Viennese man was surprised to stumble upon a kangaroo during a break in Upper Austria’s Mühlviertel region - dispelling the myth that “there are no kangaroos in Austria”.
At first Martin Helmstedt thought he was being pranked by local youths but realized the kangaroo was real and very much alive after he almost tripped over it whilst walking in a field of corn in St. Oswald bei Haslach.
The kangaroo hopped off and then sat looking at him from a distance of around ten meters, he said, adding that it seemed very tame.
A team from Radio Upper Austria then made inquiries with the local police and fire departments but nobody had reported a runaway kangaroo and no marsupials are missing from the local zoo.

Elephant families take shortcut to mango tree

Each year at Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia some very special guests pay a visit. Whole families of elephants have been regular guests at the lodge for a number of years, visiting between late October and mid-December to feast on the fallen fruits from the large wild mango (Cordyla africana) tree in the lodge grounds.
The fact that a large safari lodge is built around this delicious food store is of no concern to them. Why walk the extra few metres to go around, when there are some nice steps and a tiled reception lobby to saunter through each day? At least three generations of one particular elephant family return annually.

Two-Headed Cobra Found by Breeder in China

Two-headed cobra A South China man who breeds snakes for a living made an extraordinary discovery when he came across a baby two-headed Chinese cobra, the People's Daily Online reports.
The unusual find at first seemed to the breeder like it would net him a tidy sum. But soon he realized the strange creature would neither eat nor take water, and he decided to give the snake to specialists at the Nanning Zoo.
The snake, pencil-thin, with a dark brown backside, still has yet to eat on its own, a Nanning Zoo official told the website. It is about 20 centimeters long and has been alive for 10 days, having shed its skin once, they noted.
Because each head has its own brain, the two halves can move independently, and Nanning Zoo experts say the two heads often come together, as if they are going to fight. But scientists there say that's because the typical cobra will move in an "S" shape, and the two heads will naturally butt.
The rare snake could conceivably grow to a typical Chinese cobra length of about 1.2 meters, but zoo doctors are unable to tell how much longer it might live if it doesn't begin to eat on its own, and they also worry about its potentially low resistance to infection.

The Truth About The Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse spiders (Loxosceles reclusa) are tiny but deadly. However, they don’t go around biting people as a habit, and they don’t live all over the U.S. The fear of being bitten by one is akin to the fear of plane crashes, Ebola, or shark attack: the consequences are bad, but the odds of it actually happening are smaller than you think.  
A study was done about ten years ago to see how bad people were at identifying Brown Recluse spiders. People, focusing on people who should know or claimed to know, were asked to send in their spiders. Brown Recluse spiders were submitted from 49 of the US states and from Canada. They exist, however, in only 17 states and not at all in Canada. There is a spider that lives in California, a very common house spider that had never been properly studied. It does look a bit like a Brown Recluse. So many of those were sent in (California is NOT one of the 17 states Brown Recluse spiders live in) that spider experts were able to use the collection of those spiders, not Brown Recluse but some other species, to do the first major study of its anatomy.
Dang it, wouldn’t you know that I have to live in a brown recluse habitat? There’s plenty more you should know about not worrying about these spiders in Greg Laden’s review of the book The Brown Recluse Spider by Richard Vetter at ScienceBlogs.

Animal Pictures