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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.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to the Friday Edition of  Carolina Naturally.
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Today in History

1260 At the Battle of Montaperto in Italy, the Tuscan Ghibellines, who support the emperor, defeat the Florentine Guelfs, who support papal power.
1479 After four years of war, Spain agrees to allow a Portuguese monopoly of trade along Africa’s west coast and Portugal acknowledges Spain’s rights in the Canary Islands.
1781 Los Angeles, first an Indian village Yangma, is founded by Spanish decree.
1787 Louis XVI of France recalls parliament.
1790 Jacques Necker is forced to resign as finance minister in France.
1804 USS Intrepid explodes while entering Tripoli harbor on a mission to destroy the enemy fleet there during the First Barbary War.
1820 Czar Alexander declares that Russian influence in North America extends as far south as Oregon and closes Alaskan waters to foreigners.
1862 Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army invades Maryland, starting the Antietam Campaign.
1870 A republic is proclaimed in Paris and a government of national defense is formed.
1881 The Edison electric lighting system goes into operation as a generator serving 85 paying customers is switched on.
1886 Elusive Apache leader Geronimo surrenders to General Nelson A. Miles at Skeleton Canyon, Ariz.
1893 Beatrix Potter sends a note to her governess’ son with the first drawing of Peter Rabbit, Cottontail and others. The Tale of Petter Rabbit is published eight years later.
1915 The U.S. military places Haiti under martial law to quell a rebellion in its capital Port-au-Prince.
1941 German submarine U-652 fires at the U.S. destroyer Greer off Iceland, beginning an undeclared shooting war.
1942 Soviet planes bomb Budapest in the war’s first air raid on the Hungarian capital.
1943 Allied troops capture Lae-Salamaua, in New Guinea.
1944 British troops liberate Antwerp, Belgium.
1945 The American flag is raised on Wake Island after surrender ceremonies there.
1951 The first transcontinental television broadcast in America is carried by 94 stations.
1957 Arkansas governor Orval Faubus calls out the National Guard to bar African-American students from entering a Little Rock high school.
1967 Operation Swift begins as US Marines engage North Vietnamese Army troops in Que Son Valley.
1972 Mark Spitz becomes first Olympic competitor to win 7 medals during a single Olympics Games.
1975 Sinai II Agreement between Egypt and Israel pledges that conflicts between the two countries "shall not be resolved by military force but by peaceful means."
1998 Google founded by Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

The True Story of Kudzu, the Vine That Never Truly Ate the South

A few years ago, Alex posted about kudzu, a peculiar invasive species of fast-growing vine that has become a symbol of the South. Photographs of kudzu covering trees, telephone poles, and abandoned houses are impressive to those not familiar with the plant. We who live with it make enough jokes about it to add to its mystique. In popular literature, it became “the plant that ate the South.”
Though William Faulkner, Eudora Welty and others in that first great generation of Southern writers largely ignored kudzu, its metaphorical attraction became irresistible by the early 1960s. In the often-cited poem “Kudzu,” Georgia novelist James Dickey teases Southerners with their own tall tales, invoking an outrageous kudzu-smothered world where families close the windows at night to keep the invader out, where the writhing vines and their snakes are indistinguishable. “I thought the whole world would someday be covered by it, that it would grow as fast as Jack’s beanstalk, and that every person on earth would have to live forever knee-deep in its leaves,” Morris wrote in Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood.
For the generations of writers who followed, many no longer intimately connected to the land, kudzu served as a shorthand for describing the Southern landscape and experience, a ready way of identifying the place, the writer, the effort as genuinely Southern. A writer for Deep South Magazine recently gushed that kudzu is “the ultimate icon for the South...an amazing metaphor for just about every issue you can imagine within Southern Studies.” One blogger, surveying the kudzu-littered literature of the modern South, dryly commented that all you have to do to become a Southern novelist is “throw in a few references to sweet tea and kudzu.”
But that’s not the way it is. The oft-quoted statistic of kudzu covering nine million acres came from a  dubious source that has since been debunked. In fact, there are many myths about kudzu that just ain’t necessarily so, that you can read about at Smithsonian.

Cleverly Designed Olive Oil Bottle

Gino Haddad operates Gino's Garden, a brand of gourmet olive oil. In a mere six hours, he picks Lebanese olives, presses them, and bottles the perfect oil that results. His product is very fresh, so he wanted a package that expresses how close diners are to the original olive groves.
Designer Marios Karystios responded with these flasks, reminiscent of olives as well as the ancient amphorae that transported olive oil across the Mediterranean thousands of years ago. You can see more photos at Design Boom.

Found after 108 years: Message in a bottle set afloat for science

Found after 108 years: Message in a bottle set afloat for science One of Bidder's original bottles, along with his notes. Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
George Parker Bidder may not be a household name, but he's getting some modern-day recognition for a series of experiments performed between 1904 and 1906 in the UK.
He set 1,020 bottles stuffed with postcards out into the North Sea between the UK and Norway and tracked the responses to learn more about ocean patterns.
All these years later, one of Bidder's bottles rolled onto shore at the island of Amrum in Germany. The couple that discovered it, Marianne and Horst Winkler, had to break the bottle to get at the message inside. It instructed them to to send the postcard back to the Marine Biological Association of the UK in exchange for a shilling reward.
The Marine Biological Association -- Bidder was its president from 1939-1945 -- is still around and was thrilled to receive the postcard. The organization kept its end of the bargain and sent the couple an old English shilling in return. Shillings are no longer in circulation as currency in the UK, so the Winklers now have a coin worthy of being in a collection.
Guinness World Records has been asked to confirm the note as the oldest message in a bottle ever found, according to The Independent. The current record holder was found in 2013 and spent over 99 years in the water. That bottle, too, was used as part of an experiment to chart water currents.
The Marine Biological Association shared the history of Bidders's bottles and how he used them to track bottom water movement. The bottles were designed to be caught in trawling fishing nets. His reports show that the sealed glass capsules "were trawled up by the fishermen at the rate of 55% per annum." That means quite a few bottles slipped through the nets. The postcards inside asked the finders to report the location of where they were found.
"Bidder's experiment revealed a number of interesting results, one being that it confirmed the view of naturalists who supposed that bottom feeders tend to move against the current," the association notes.
The most popular image of a message in a bottle is as a romantic notion, a note about love or connection tucked inside. Bidder's bottles-for-science show another side to the phenomenon, one of discovery and ingenuity and how an experiment from the past can still resonate today.

This could change everything: Secretive California company advances towards unlimited fusion energy

Fusion (Shuttershock)
Scientists using a machine the size of two city buses came one step closer to creating abundant, cheap, clean energy.

When Rent Became Too Expensive, This College Student Started Living on Trains Full-Time

Leonie Müller, 23, is a college student in Cologne, Germany . . . sometimes. She goes to college in Cologne, but doesn't live there. When her apartment rent reached $450 per month, she found a way to save money. She bought a $380 train pass that lets her ride as many trains on Germany's fast and effecient rail service as she wants for an entire month.
So when Müller is done for the day at college, she gets on a train. The destination isn't really important--just as long as she's back in Cologne by the morning. The Washington Post reports:
Now, Müller washes her hair in the train bathroom and writes her college papers while traveling at a speed of up to 190 mph. She says that she enjoys the liberty she has experienced since she gave up her apartment. "I really feel at home on trains and can visit so many more friends and cities. It's like being on vacation all the time," Müller said. […]
"I read, I write, I look out of the window and I meet nice people all the time. There's always something to do on trains," Müller told German TV station SWR in an interview. Since risking the move, Müller's life fits into a small backpack in which she carries clothes, her tablet computer, college documents and a sanitary bag.

U.S. Told To Clear Out Of Key Strategic Base – Keys Being Handed To China

PD image of Chinese sailors honoring SECNAV Ray Mabus, courtesy US NavyThe United States built a naval base in the small African nation of Djibouti in 2009, and now has been asked to vacate for new tenants.

The First Quadriplegic to Complete the Tough Mudder

It's the toughest race on Earth. Oh, it's shorter than a marathon. The Tough Mudder is only 5 miles long. But along that race, contestants are dunked in freezing cold water and electrically shocked. They have to crawl through mud and climb over high and slippery obstacles. And once they finish the course, they do it again. And again. Whoever completes the most number of laps in 24 hours wins.
21-year old Rob Camm of Breadstone, Gloucester, UK, wanted to do the Tough Mudder. But 2 years ago, he was in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. That didn't stop him, though. Camm just completed the race in an off-road wheelchair that he controls with his chin. The Daily Telegraph reports:
His specially-made Extreme X8 electric wheelchair can reach speeds of 10km per hour - and Rob has even been able to clear tree branches and tow his dad's 4x4 with it.
It took him through a course which is made up of Britain's "deepest, darkest mud and soul-crushing terrain", according to Tough Mudder organizers.
Rob added: "I do nowhere near as many physical outdoor challenges as I used to do and it is a huge thing for me to have that challenge again."

NRA Suing Seattle For Having The Audacity To Take Action Against Gun Violence

NRA Suing Seattle For Having The Audacity To Take Action Against Gun Violence
How DARE Seattle want to stop gun violence! The nerve!

Mayor wants to ban personal flamethrowers

The Mayor of Warren in Michigan, Jim Fouts, wants to see the fires from flamethrowers put out in his city for good.
"This is something that is so potentially dangerous that it's just unacceptable," he says. He's supporting a proposed ordinance that would ban the storage, possession and use of flamethrowers in Warren.
Exceptions include law enforcement and armed forces. Violations would be a misdemeanor with up to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine or both. Fouts says he's not opposed to the right to bear arms.

However, he's against people being able to buy flamethrowers without anything to prohibit the sale to minors or those with criminal records. Warren city council discussed the proposed ordinance last week, but there's no date set on when the proposed ordinance could go up for a vote.

Ten Companies That Treat Their Employees Worse Than Amazon

With the recent New York Times article regarding Amazon's poor treatment of its employees, much talk about corporate workplace environments has taken place of late. Comparisons of policies are being made and former and current employees are telling horror stories. Certainly, Amazon isn't the company with the worst ever policies concerning employees; there are other corporations that are major offenders as well.
The article linked below lists ten companies that rival or even surpass Amazon in their bad treatment of the workforce they employ. One example the writer cites is Sears, backing up his claims with the following terrifying tale:
"In 2003, horrendous working conditions were discovered in a Samoan factory used for outsourcing by Sears and JC Penney. Workers (mostly from Vietnam and China) were taken to the factory at a cost that left them deeply in debt. They also had their pay cut on the slightest provocation and received about $500 for nine months’ work. Food was so scarce that 251 people had to subsist off a single 1-kilogram (2 lb) chicken at mealtimes. When workers complained, management shut off the electricity, making temperatures soar to dangerous levels.

Worst of all, the investigation found that torture had been used to keep workers in line. In November 2000, the factory owner authorized management to make an example of a Vietnamese seamstress. In front of her coworkers, she was dragged from her workstation and had her eye gouged out with a plastic pipe.
When the revelations broke, JC Penney announced that it would financially compensate those involved. Sears refused to give them a single penny."

910-pound woman rescued from apartment in a net attached to crane now hopes to lose weight

As her world shrank, Marie Bowman grew. With every loss - her son, her mother, her grandmother - the woman from Harlem in New York gained weight, becoming so large, she stopped being able to walk or even move her own legs. But it wasn’t until Friday, when Bowman felt ill enough to call 911, that she realized just how bad things had become. She was unable to make it out of her own front door. In order to get Bowman to the hospital for treatment, the FDNY had to use a crane to lift the 910-pound (65 stones, 412kg) woman through the window of her second-floor apartment.
It “was the first time I discovered I couldn’t get out of my apartment,” Bowman said. “I had grown too big. And that was frightening, because you don’t think, never once, that I wouldn’t be able to get through my door.” But now Bowman, 70, is ready for a second chance. “I am determined to get better. Weight reduction, exercise. It’s scary to know that you can pick up that kind of weight.” When emergency responders took Bowman to St. Luke’s Hospital on Friday, it was the first time she had been outside her apartment in nearly a year.
Firefighters had tried to get her outside by removing the door of her home, but even that wasn’t enough. “They tore out the frames and all the knocking and hammering, only to find I’m still wider than the frame,” she said before dissolving into tears. “Oh, God.” Emergency responders were then able to wrap a yellow netting around Bowman and manoeuvre her outside. Bowman had last left her home in September. She has been able to survive with the help of aides who visit her home daily, but says that as she got larger, they failed to help her.

“It got to the point where the aides wouldn’t even try to lift me anymore,” she said. Doctors are trying to figure out just what kind of toll her weight has taken on her body. They’ve told her she likely has lymphedema, a condition where fluid fills the fat cells. Bowman is hoping that with proper medical help and a prescription diet, she will finally be able to lose weight and get her life back - before it’s too late. “I’m hoping that they can help and I’ll be able to walk again,” she said. The traumatic experience of having a crane lift her from her home was not without its silver lining, she said. “Feeling the sun on my face again never felt so good.”

Woman who asked her romantic boyfriend for flowers received twelve bags of flour instead

A woman from Llantrisant in south Wales had an unusual delivery when she asked her boyfriend for flowers. Paige-Ellen Williams, 22, was surprised when a Tesco delivery man knocked on her door last Monday morning - with 12 bags of flour.
Thinking he had the wrong address Paige sent him away, only to discover her boyfriend, 29-year-old Richard Selway, had organized the delivery. She said: “I was teasing him a few weeks ago telling him I deserved to have flowers delivered to the house after a pretty challenging day. I completely forgot I’d said anything to him about it.
“On Monday there was a knock on the door and I answered it to find the Tesco delivery driver there.I told him he had the wrong address because I hadn’t ordered anything from Tesco and we never do online grocery shopping and he went back to his van. A little while later, he came back insisting the delivery was for me as he’d just spoken to my boyfriend Richard.
“I was so confused when the delivery driver put the bags on the table and I spotted that one of them was full of flour. It wasn’t until the delivery driver left that I realized every single carrier bag was full of flour and the penny finally dropped. He’s usually very romantic and thoughtful and he’s a great daddy to our daughter Hazel. But he has a wicked sense of humor. He’s very lucky I find him so funny.”

Gay Man Tells His Wingnut Family He’s Engaged, Receives This NASTY RESPONSE

Gay Man Tells His Conservative Family He’s Engaged, Receives This NASTY RESPONSE (IMAGES)
Being a gay man in a very religious family is harder than you might think. Instead of being accepted, his father gave him this very ugly response.

Texas Radio Ad Is A Hate Crime Against Transgender People

New Texas Radio Ad Is Basically A Hate Crime Against Transgender People (AUDIO)
The people that this ad is about aren’t disgusting, but the ad is.
Read more

Jared Fogle’s Non-Profit Seems To Have Been Just A Fancy Way To See Kids Naked

Jared Fogle’s Non-Profit Seems To Have Been Just A Fancy Way To See Kids Naked: ReportApparently, Jared Fogle’s nonprofit didn’t issue a single grant — ever. So what purpose did it serve?

Perverted Priest Convicted Of Fondling Woman On Plane, Headed To Prison

video screen capture from http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Priest-Convicted-of-Sexually-Assaulting-Woman-During-Flight-305542911.html
Finally! A Catholic priest actually goes to jail for molesting someone.

Jail for latex-masked teenager who attempted to rob jewelers due to exam stress

A teenager who attempted to rob a jewelers wielding an imitation gun due to "exam stress" has been jailed. Benjamin Barton, 18, of Bideford, Devon, was wearing a latex mask and sunglasses when he tried to raid Coopers Jewellery in Barnstaple.
But he "picked the wrong man" and was chased out by the 71-year-old owner. Barton admitted attempted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm and was sentenced to three years and eight months at a youth offenders institute.
The shop owner, David Bruce, who has a black belt in judo, chased him out of the jewelers after hitting him with a baseball bat. He told Barton he had "picked the wrong man" when he stormed into his shop on 28 May.

At Exeter Crown Court, Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC said Mr Bruce would have "feared for his life" because he would not have known it was an imitation gun. Judge Mercer described the offense as "serious, but out of character" and added that Barton was suffering stress because he may not have done well in his A-Levels.

Man admits fishing for deposits from bank

A man from Wanganui in New Zealand has admitted using nylon, adhesive and a washer to fish money from bank self-deposit boxes. Adam Charles Travis appeared in the Whanganui District Court having pleaded guilty to charges relating to stealing bank deposits. In the early hours of May 15 and May 18, Travis and a female entered the internal lobby of an ANZ bank which is open to customers after hours by bank card swipe access.
"Once the two were inside the lobby, the defendant produced a fishing type contraption ... he attempted to fish posted deposits out of the safety boxes," police prosecutor Sergeant Rachel Willemsen told the court. "He's done this using the adhesive on the back of the safety deposit bags and wrapped the adhesives around a metal washer ... and tied the washer to the nylon dropping it into the boxes." Travis managed to snag deposits which he put in his jacket.
He attempted the same thing at ASB Bank on July 2 but did not obtain any deposits. He tried it again at ASB on July 8 entering the lobby with a glove, nylon, metal washers and craft knife. "A security guard watched him doing this," said Ms Willemsen. Travis' lawyer, Anna Brosnahan, said Travis' financial problems had prompted his offending. "He'd recently lost his job, he separated from his partner of a substantial period of time and things weren't looking that good for him in terms of finances.
"It was period of desperation which is why he's done this all of a sudden, out of the blue." Judge David Cameron said it was 'very serious offending.' "This involves going into banks for illicit purposes." Judge Cameron hinted at imprisonment as a starting point for sentencing. "Otherwise it's not sending a sufficient message to the community that it won't be tolerated," he said. "The whole methodology has to be looked at. We've got someone cruising around targeting banks for personal gain." Travis was remanded on bail until September 7 for sentencing.

US arrests CEO, employees of largest online male escort service

Police appeal following theft of artificial lawn

Police are appealing for information regarding the theft of an artificial lawn. Mair Ingman has spoken of her disbelief after waking up to find a section of her front lawn had been stolen. Ms Ingman says she cannot believe brazen thieves “had the cheek” to roll up a 90sqm section of her £2,100 artificial lawn from her garden in Wrexham, north Wales.
She said: “I opened my blinds as normal and could see lots of sand at the bottom of the lawn and I wondered what it was. At first I just thought that someone had dumped loads of sand, because you don’t think anyone would take your lawn. But then I realized they had stolen it.” Ms Ingman says she was given the lawn as a gift from a friend last November and was “upset” to discover it had been stolen.
She added: “I was very proud of my lawn so was upset it was gone, but more than anything shocked. I’ve never heard of anyone stealing someone’s lawn before. It does make me scared that they might come back.” After discovering the theft, she called police who sent round officers who took measurements and photographs of footprints in the sand.
A North Wales Police spokesman said: “Police are appealing for information after an artificial lawn was stolen from the front garden of a property in Wrexham. It is believed the 90sq meter lawn was rolled up and taken sometime between 11pm on August 18 and 10.30am on August 19. Anyone who witnessed the lawn being taken or who may know of its whereabouts is asked to contact the Investigation Support Team.”

Dog-walking, gun-carrying man with parrot on shoulder arrested after 'sullying' of car interior

A man from Ashburn in Loudoun County, Virginia, walking with a parrot on his shoulder was arrested on Thursday for carrying a concealed weapon while attempting to break into parked cars.
Loudoun deputies were first alerted to the suspicious man just after 8:30am when a resident reported seeing a man with a parrot on his shoulder, walking a dog and carrying a firearm looking into vehicles.
Deputies searched the area but found nothing suspicious. At 1pm deputies were called by a resident nearby who reported that someone entered a vehicle and “sullied”, or defecated in, the interior, according to the sheriff’s office report.
Several additional calls came in from other nearby residents who reported seeing the man attempting to enter vehicles. Joseph A. Tira, 25, was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon. The Department of Animal Services was called to care for the parrot and the dog.

Playful Bear Rolls down a Hill

Like a young child, this bear is easily entertained. Visitors to Denali National Park in Alaska recently spotted a resident bear idly rolling down a hill. It looks like fun! Let's go out and join him.

These Black-Footed Ferret Babies Are Absolute Charmers

The black-footed ferret litter shown above isn't just cute and cuddly; it also represents great strides in bringing the species back from extinction. Black-footed ferret populations drastically diminished in the 20th century due to the Great Plains being converted for agricultural purposes. At that time, prairie dogs – the ferrets’ primary food source – were eradicated.
Black-footed ferrets were considered extinct until a small population of nine was discovered in South Dakota in 1964. The last ferret in captivity died in 1979, and the species was again thought to be wiped out until a group of 18 black-footed ferrets was discovered living in Wyoming in 1981. At that point, the species was labeled "critically endangered." Since then, however, wildlife conservationists have increased the numbers of the species to more than 2,600 in the wild.
This summer, a breakthrough by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute involving artificial insemination from cryopreserved samples further increased and will continue to grow the number of black-footed ferrets.
Don't miss the adorable video below, and see additional photos and read specifics about the process of artificial insemination to increase the numbers in the species at Zooborns.

Goat made dash for freedom at airport after escaping during loading

A runaway goat sparked a chase at Adelaide Airport in Australia on Monday morning. The goat managed to escape while it was being loaded into a crate at about 7.30am.
An Adelaide Airport spokesman said it took authorities 15 minutes to recapture the goat. The sight caused amusement for those waiting for flights as they watched the chase.
The spokesman said the goat incident did not cause major flight delays, despite claims from some passengers that there were 'longer-than-expected' delays.
"There were no disruptions to services and the goat remained mostly on a regional tarmac towards the back of the terminal," the spokesman said. It's believed the goat was bound for export aboard an aircraft headed to either Malaysia or Singapore.

Dog Frolics With Baby Elephant

Yindee, a baby elephant who lives at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand, warmed up to a canine friend who was interested in romping around with him in the spirit of playtime. With his elders looking on, Yindee is able to safely experiment with leisure encounters of the canine kind, and the two oddly matched playmates seem to enjoy each other.

Baby elephant rescued from dry well

A baby elephant was rescued after falling into a dry well in Ramakuppam, Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India, on Sunday.
Villagers gathered around the pit and tried to rescue to distressed animal. With help from Forestry Department, the baby elephant was rescued.
A Forestry Department vehicle dug up the soil from the dry well, making way for the baby elephant to escape.

As soon as the soil was cleared and a path was made, the baby elephant slowly climbed up the slope and was saved.

Chameleons Change Color To Stand Out, Not Blend In

There's a misconception that chameleons change their color to blend in to their surroundings but research shows the opposite is true. In fact, chameleons' baseline color is camouflage and they naturally blend in.
It's when chameleons want to express themselves that they dramatically change their color. The secret are iridophores, a layer of cells just beneath the chameleon's skin. And the faster they change their color, the more excited they are.

Animal Pictures