Welcome to ...

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, August 19, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to the Wednesday Edition of  Carolina Naturally.
Our latest comment: 
We love the mix of Science, History and the irreverent humor that binds it all together.
~ Mark and Stephanie Lattiker
Things that make you groan ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 205 countries around the world daily.   
Be a Humanitarian  ... !
Today is - World Humanitarian Day

You want the unvarnished truth?
Don't forget to visit: The Truth Be Told

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Argentina - Canada - Colombia - Dominican Republic - Mexico - Nicaragua - Puerto Rico - United States
Austria - Bosnia/Herzegovina - Belgium - Bulgaria - Czech Republic - England - Finland - France
Germany - Guernsey - Iceland - Ireland - Italy - Latvia - Netherlands - Norway - Portugal - Russia  Scotland - Serbia - Slovakia - Slovenia - Spain - Sweden - Turkey - Ukraine - Wales
Bangladesh - Burma - China - India - Indonesia - Iran - Iraq - Japan - Korea - Malaysia - Mauritius   Pakistan - Saudi Arabia - Thailand
Cameroon - South Africa
The Pacific
Australia - Philippines
Don't forget to visit our sister blogs Here and Here.

Today in History

1493 Maximilian succeeds his father Frederick III as Holy Roman Emperor.
1587 Sigismund III is chosen to be the king of Poland.
1692 Five women are hanged in Salem, Massachusetts after being convicted of the "crime" of witchcraft. Fourteen more people are executed that year and 150 others are imprisoned.
1772 Gustavus III of Sweden eliminates the rule of parties and establishes an absolute monarchy.
1779 Americans under Major Henry Lee take the British garrison at Paulus Hook, New Jersey.
1812 The USS Constitution earns the nickname "Old Ironsides" during the battle off Nova Scotia that saw her defeat the HMS Guerriere.
1914 The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) lands in France.
1934 38 million Germans vote to make Adolf Hitler the official successor to President von Hindenburg.
1936 Spanish poet Frederico Garcia Lorca is shot by Franco’s troops after being forced to dig his own grave.
1942 A raid on Dieppe, France by British and Canadian commandos is repulsed by the German Army.
1944 In an effort to prevent a communist uprising in Paris, Charles DeGualle begins attacking German forces all around the city.
1950 Edith Sampson becomes the first African-American representative to the United Nations.
1957 The first balloon flight to exceed 100,000 feet takes off from Crosby, Minnesota.
1965 US forces destroy a Viet Cong stronghold near Van Tuong, in South Vietnam.
1974 US Ambassador to Cyrus Rodger P. Davies assassinated by a sniper of Greek Cypriot paramilitary group EOKA-B during a demonstration outside the embassy in Nicosia.
1976 Gerald R Ford, who had become Pretender after Richard Nixon resigned, wins Republican cabal’s pretender nomination at Kansas City convention.
1987 Hungerford Massacre in the UK; armed with semi-automatic rifles and a handgun Michael Ryan kills 16 people before committing suicide. In response, Parliament passed the Firearms (Amendment) Act of 1988 banning ownership of certain classes of firearms.
1988 Cease fire begins in 8-year war between Iran and Iraq.
1991 Communist hard-liners place President Mikhail Gorbachev under house arrest in an attempted coup that failed two days later.
2002 A Russian Mi-26 helicopter carrying troops is hit by a Chechen missile outside of Grozny, killing 118 soldiers.
2003 Shmuel Hanavi bus bombing: suicide attack on a bus in Jerusalem kills 23 Israelis, some of them children, and wounds 130. islamist militant group Hamas claims responsibility for the attack.
2004 Google Inc. stock begins selling on the Nasdaq Stock Market, with an initial price of $85; the stock ended the day at $100.34 with more than 22 million shares traded.
2005 Toronto Supercell: A series of thunderstorms spawn several tornadoes and cause flash floods in Southern Ontario. Losses exceed $500 million Canadian dollars, the highest ever in the province.
2010 Operation Iraqi Freedom ends; the last US combat brigade, 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, leaves the country. Six brigades remain to train Iraqi troops.

The History of Hamburgers in America

What’s more American than a hamburger? Maybe apple pie, which we’ll have after our hamburger. But the American hamburger is a symbol of the States all over the world. It wasn’t always so.
It’s easy to guess the hamburger’s geographic origin; after all, it’s right there in the name. But the original version of the now-iconic dish looked almost nothing like what’s served at drive-thrus across America.
Motz says the Hamburg steak plate was one of the most popular dishes in its native city, a major port that hosted many German immigrants on their way to the States. Consisting of “chopped beef that was turned into a patty and then, of course, pan-fried,” the dish was rounded out with onions, potatoes, and gravy, making it a cheap and easy meal for would-be Americans stuck in immigration limbo, sometimes for months.
It’s these immigrants who brought the Hamburg steak across the Atlantic, setting up carts in lower Manhattan that catered to new arrivals in search of comfort food. The vendors preserved the steak plate in its original form—an actual plate of food, served with a fork. Authentic, but as Motz notes, “not very portable at all.”
It was Americans who turned it into a sandwich, and even then there were ups and downs for the burger. Read the whole history of the hamburger at First We Feast.

Woman Learns How to Scuba Dive in Order to Propose to Her Girlfriend Underwater

Markie and Sarah have been together for over 6 years. Markie figured it was finally time to tie the knot, so she decided to propose marriage. In order to offer Sarah, a marine biologist, a special proposal experience, she secretly took scuba diving lessons. After she was certified, she swam toward the already submerged Sarah and held up placards which read:
I told you I’d go to the bottom of the ocean for your love, but right now I’m only certified to 60 feet. Would you marry me?
And Sarah said yes!

13 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Movie and TV Extras

People who make up the street scenes, parties, and general backgrounds crowds of TV shows and movies can’t tell us too much about the particular shows they work on, because producers don’t want spoilers or workplace gossip. But they can tell us about their jobs in general. Like many Hollywood jobs, it’s not glamorous at all, but hey, it’s showbiz! Meanwhile, they go through some weird stuff to make a coherent show for the audience. For example:

While posing as party-goers in bar scenes, extras need something to fill their cups. But film sets are no place for drunk actors, so the props team uses a number of tricks to fool the camera, some less appetizing than others. Apple juice is a good substitute for beer, according to Beaudreault: “Or it’ll be seltzer with a little food coloring in it. There will be bottles that have been cleaned out and their labels removed and fake labels put on.”
“Vinegar is sometimes used to approximate the texture and viscosity of booze,” Rogers says. “You’ll stand there with a glass of vinegar for eight hours.” And because filming can be a long and mind-numbingly repetitive process, nobody has time to replace melting ice cubes, so they’ll use gelatin ice cubes. Or, for the ultimate cheat, plastic wrap can be put in a cup filled with water to resemble crushed ice, according to Gale Nemec, who teaches a workshop for background actors. (This approach also apparently makes for festive centerpieces.)
It’s a real job to look “natural” while drinking vinegar with gelatin in it. But that’s only one thing. Read the rest of the list of tidbits about being an extra at mental_floss.

Model's Body Photoshopped in 18 Countries to Study Varying Beauty Standards

In a project that was based on Esther Honig's the year before, a doctor's service based in the U.K. sent the photo above to graphic designers in eighteen different countries. The designers were given the instruction to Photoshop the images to make them appeal to the citizens of their countries.
Unlike Honig's project that only dealt with head shots, these body shots put the focus on the figures most desirable by region. While neither study is scientific, they do lend insight into the beauty standards among the sampled cultures. See the results from all 18 countries here.

Mother and Daughter Reunited 71 Years after Being Separated by the Nazis

Margot Bachmann was born on October 24, 1944 in Heidelberg, Germany. Her mother, an Italian woman, was a forced laborer in that city. A German soldier impregnated her. When she was born, Bachmann was taken away. She never saw her mother.
The soldier’s family raised her while the mother vanished into the chaos of the end of World War II. Bachmann asked the International Tracing Service to try to find her mother—if she was even alive. The organization was successful. They found the 91-year old unnamed mother in her hometown of Noverella, Italy. Bachmann sent her a letter, which is excerpted here:
Dear Mum, my name is Margot Bachmann and I am your daughter, born on Oct 25 1944 in Heidelberg. All my life I asked my family about you, without being given any answers. I want to come and find you so that I can hug you once again. I’m immensely happy to be able to finally know you.
The two met in Noverella on August 8. Pictured above is a photo album that Bachmann made for her mother.

Can you believe it was forty years ago ...

You're a teaser, you turn 'em on -
Leave them burning and then you're gone.
Looking out for another, anyone will do
You're in the mood for a dance,
And when you get the chance...

You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen.
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine.
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life.
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Dancing Queen...
It's hard to believe this song is 40 years old.
"Dancing Queen" is a pop song recorded by Swedish pop group ABBA.  It was released in August 1976, and is commonly regarded as one of the most successful singles of the 1970s. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine listed it as one of the greatest songs of all time...
The recording sessions for "Dancing Queen" began on 4 August 1975... After having been premiered on German and Japanese TV during the spring of 1976, "Dancing Queen" saw its first live and domestic performance, televised on Swedish TV on 18 June 1976, during an all-star gala staged by Kjerstin Dellert at the Royal Swedish Opera in honor of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and his bride to be, Silvia Sommerlath, who were to be married the next day...
"Dancing Queen" became a massive worldwide hit, topping the charts in more than a dozen countries including ABBA's native Sweden (where it spent 14 weeks at the top), Australia, Belgium, Brazil, West Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Mexico,[citation needed] the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway (where it charted for 32 weeks (VG-lista Top 10), making it the 11th best-performing single of all time in that country), South Africa and Rhodesia. "Dancing Queen" also topped the charts in the United States, ABBA's only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was a Top 5 hit in Austria, Canada, Finland, France and Switzerland.

The Only Known Surviving Footage of the Titanic

This footage from the A.P. archive begins with the R.M.S. Titanic moored in Belfast Lough prior to leaving for Southampton. The Titanic is shown at sea where icebergs abound, and there is a shot of Captain Smith on the bridge pre-disaster. The remaining minutes show shots from before and after the tragedy in fascinating stages. The Carpathia is shown at sea with rescued passengers on board, there are various closeups of rescued crew and passengers on land, the families of the passengers are seen lined up outside the cruise line's office to hear word about their loved ones who were aboard the Titanic, and more.

Medieval Medical Experiments

There is a myth that medical science did not progress during the Middle Ages. Maybe it was because the  early Middle Ages were sometimes called the Dark Ages, although that was really more about our lack of information about the period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance than it was about its history and culture. Anyway, some believe that medieval physicians only relied on ancient knowledge passed down from Galen, but in reality, they were experimenting with medical treatments, testing drugs, and studying human bodies through dissection.
Dissection was still rare in the Middle Ages, as few people would be willing to have their deceased family members used as a cadaver. The most likely source of bodies came from condemned criminals. The Byzantine historian Theophanes (752–818) records how “an apostate from the Christian faith and leader of the Scamari, was captured. They cut off his hands and feet on the Mole of St Thomas, brought in physicians, and dissected him from his pubic region to his chest while he was alive. This they did with a view to understanding the structure of man. In this condition they gave him over to the flames.”
Meanwhile, in 1319 four medical students at Bologna were caught trying to exhume the grave of a criminal who was executed earlier that day so they could perform a dissection on him.By the later Middle Ages, those interested in anatomy would also look for the poor and elderly who had no family to give them a burial. Leonardo da Vinci himself performed more than 30 dissections, including that of a 100-year-old man he had met a Florentine hospital and befriended.
While many of the cures that medieval doctors came up were terrifying and often useless, it was the best they could do with what they had. Medical knowledge did advance in some ways. Read more about the medical experiments of the Middle Ages at Medievalist.

Woman wanted for coaching young girl how to steal tequila from liquor store

Police officers in Florida, are searching for a woman who they say taught a child to shoplift liquor from a Pembroke Park store and it was caught on camera. Surveillance video shows a woman pointing to a bottle at 24/7 Liquors.
Investigators say the woman with tattoos on her upper body took the little girl to an aisle inside the 24/7 Liquor store on Tuesday evening and it was a bottle of tequila that the woman wanted the child to steal. Video footage shows the child trying to grab the big bottle but it’s too heavy. She grabs a smaller one and walks with it behind her back. But she returns and again she tries to take the big bottle but cannot.
It looks like she tries to put the smaller bottle in a bag then decides to hide it behind her back. She gets to the front of the store where the woman blocked the clerk’s view. The girl sidesteps out of the store with the tequila and ran to a car parked outside. Paul Moutsatsos is the owner of 24/7 Liquors. “When you think you’ve seen it all you haven’t seen nothing yet,” Moutsatsos said. “This is child neglect. The way she did it looked like it really wasn’t the first time.”

Broward Sheriff's Office says customers told the clerk what happened and the clerk confronted the woman. Investigators say the woman left the store and returned saying the girl had not stolen anything. The store owner says he doesn’t care about the stolen liquor. He just wants this girl to be in a safer environment. “I feel really bad for the kid,” Moutsatsos said. “She’s gonna grow up to be a little criminal and we don’t need more criminals in this world.” Detectives want to find the woman who coached the little girl and protect the child.

Court Rejects Racist Arizona Sheriff’s Unfounded Stereotype That Immigrants Are Criminals

Police warn of evil spirit cleansing scam

Police in Ottawa, Canada, are warning of a scam that may be spreading in which a person, primarily from within the Chinese community, arrives at a resident’s doorstep and offers to drive away evil spirits for a fee.
The scam, which has become known as the “Blessing Scam” or the “Chinese Evil Spirits Scam,” appears to target elderly Chinese women. Fraudsters claim to be doctors, spiritual leaders, or healers and can help cleanse the victims of evil spirits.
The victim is then instructed to bring valuables such as gold, jewellery and cash in a bag, which are then turned over for a “blessing” to drive away the spirits. The bag is taken away and emptied and returned to the victims.

They are told not to open the bags for several days to allow the “spell” to properly take effect. According to police, the scam appears to be well organized. Anyone with information on this to this scam is asked to contact the Ottawa police organized fraud section.

Extinct Tree Grows From 2,000-year-old Seed

The Judean date palm tree thrived in Israel and was mentioned in the Bible quite a few times. But thousands of years of war destroyed the date palm groves and the palm became extinct by 500 CE. We tend to believe that when a species goes extinct, it is never coming back. But that belief doesn’t take into account how long seeds can remain dormant and stay viable.
During excavations at the site of Herod the Great's palace in Israel in the early 1960's, archeologists unearthed a small stockpile of seeds stowed in a clay jar dating back 2,000 years. For the next four decades, the ancient seeds were kept in a drawer at Tel Aviv's Bar-Ilan University. But then, in 2005, botanical researcher Elaine Solowey decided to plant one and see what, if anything, would sprout.
"I assumed the food in the seed would be no good after all that time. How could it be?" said Solowey. She was soon proven wrong.
The resulting tree is named Methuselah. Ten years later, it is not only thriving, it has produced pollen, which has been used to germinate seeds on a wild date palm. Read more about the ancient tree growing in Israel at Treehugger.

Walking on Quicksand

The television of my youth—from Gilligan’s Island to Scooby-Doo—taught me that quicksand is a routine danger of adult life. This was incorrect. As this video demonstrates, quicksand, though it is as common in real life as it was on television, isn’t dangerous. You can walk on it easily. Watch this man with Bay Search and Rescue in northern England stomp on it like a water bed.
Now try it for yourself on the nearest patch of quicksand. If you’re having trouble locating any, just start running without looking where you’re going.

Lola the Chihuahua Puppy Playing With Two Baby Goats is All Kinds of Cute

Are you in need of a smile? Check out Lola the adorable chihuahua puppy as she romps with two bouncy baby goats. Lola seems inspired by the goats hopping around and at times she almost appears to be imitating them. Even when Lola gets playfully headbutted, she's still game to keep up the playtime. Perhaps the puppy wants to be a goat when she grows up.
See another video of Lola with the goats at the Sunflower Farm Creamery YouTube channel. 

Diners scramble for the door after man brings pet boa constrictor into restaurant

Boa constrictor (Shuttershock)
A Missouri man may have been exploiting the Americans with Disabilities Act when he ate lunch at a restaurant with his “service snake."

King Lear performed with sheep instead of human actors

In a new adaption of Shakespeare's King Lear, a director tries to persuade his cast of nine sheep to perform the tragedy. Originally performed at a Sussex farm, it is now being staged at The Courtyard Theatre in Hackney, north east London, with the animals hailing from a city farm in Vauxhall. Alasdair Saksena, 24, is playing the director, and he is surprisingly unfazed about performing with sheep. “It’s the same as acting with people really,” he says. “They do sort of respond to their names. I think because they’re so used to looking out for predators that they see your eyes and they know where you’re looking,” he explains.
“So if you say their name, they’ll look back at you. They don’t have a script so they think everything’s improv.” Actor Saksena, writer Missouri Williams and producer Lucie Elven are all in their early 20s, living the thespian life in and around Hackney. “I’ve known Missouri for a few years,” Saksena says. “She came back from doing a tour of King Lear, the full play with human beings, and was very much sick of them. There’s little references to sheep within the text that I think planted the idea in Missouri’s head. And so she decided to do King Lear with sheep and me. And I thought, you can’t really say no to that, can you?”
In the original Shakespearean play, Lear decides to divide his kingdom up between his daughters Cordelia, Regan and Goneril. He only demands that each of his daughters profess their love for him. While the flattery trips off the tongue from Regan and Goneril, Cordelia refuses to be swept up. Replying that she loves him only as a daughter would, she is banished from the kingdom. “Sheep are silent and Cordelia is silent at the beginning of the play,” Saksena says. “Nothing will come from nothing and so he casts her off. And that silence is the event that tortures Lear throughout the play – drives him mad.

“Having that silence directly confronted with animals really pinpoints the absurdity of Lear’s reaction and the absurdity of Cordelia’s unwillingness to speak at the beginning,” Saksena continues. “All she needed to do was to say a few words of flattery, dishonest as they would be, and her dad could have kept the kingdom.” The ideas behind the script might be well-thought out, but ultimately the sheep lead the way in the improvisation. Saksena admits that the play is “a sort of jumble between my ideas, Missouri’s ideas, and Shakespeare’s words.” However much the director prepares and makes his actors practice, each show is a leap into the unknown. “There’s always an element of unpredictability with the sheep,” Saksena admits. King Lear with Sheep was at the Courtyard until August 16.

Whale approached fishermen for help getting fishing line and plastic bag out of its mouth

Two teenagers from Sydney, Australia, went to the rescue of a stricken whale after it swam up to their boat entangled in fishing line and a plastic bag and "asked for help".
Ivan Iskenderian and friend Michael Riggio were returning from a fishing trip on Tuesday afternoon when they came across the whale in Middle Harbor, near Manly.
Another fisherman, Ron Kovacs, was also on the water and filmed Mr Iskenderian reaching down and removing the debris. "It was right on his lip ... he seemed like he wanted it off," Mr Iskenderian said.

Freed from the potentially life-threatening irritation, Mr Iskenderian said the mammal "slapped its fin" on the water to show its gratitude as it swam away. "It was surreal, we couldn’t believe our eyes," Mr Iskenderian said.

Animal Pictures