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

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Daily Drift

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

The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia approves the constitution for the United States of America.
President George Washington delivers his “Farewell Address” to Congress before concluding his second term in office.
The Battle of Antietam in Maryland, the bloodiest day in U.S. history, commences. Fighting in the corn field, Bloody Lane and Burnside’s Bridge rages all day as the Union and Confederate armies suffer a combined 26,293 casualties.
The Battle of Beecher’s Island begins, in which Major George “Sandy” Forsyth and 50 volunteers hold off 500 Sioux and Cheyenne in eastern Colorado.
U.S. troops are sent to Panama to keep train lines open over the isthmus as Panamanian nationals struggle for independence from Colombia.
Turks destroy the town of Kastoria in Bulgaria, killing 10,000 civilians.
Germany’s “Red Baron,” Manfred von Richthofen, wins his first aerial combat.
The German Army recaptures the Russian Port of Riga from Russian forces.
With the German army already attacking western Poland, the Soviet Union launches an invasion of eastern Poland.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill meets with Soviet Premier Josef Stalin in Moscow as the German Army rams into Stalingrad.
British airborne troops parachute into Holland to capture the Arnhem bridge as part of Operation Market-Garden. The plan called for the airborne troops to be relieved by British troops, but they were left stranded and eventually surrendered to the Germans.
James Forestall is sworn in as first the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
The Thai army seizes power in Bangkok.
The X-15 rocket plane makes its first flight.
The first federal suit to end public school segregation is filed by the U.S. Justice Department.
The Space Shuttle is unveiled to the public.
Egypt and Israel sign the Camp David Accords.
Nationwide independent trade union Solidarity established in Poland.
Vanessa Williams becomes the first black Miss America; relinquished crown early after scandal over nude photos.
The New York Stock Exchange reopens for the first time since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers; longest period of closure since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Alaska’s Fourpeaked Mountain erupts for the first time in at least 10,000 years.
Occupy Wall Street movement calling for greater social and economic equality begins in New York City’s Zuccotti Park, coining the phrase “We are the 99%.”

How to Live Like It's the Victorian Era

The Victorian era certainly looks glamorous and interesting on the silver screen, but how would you like to live like people did back then? Author Sarah A. Chrisman and her husband Gabriel did just that, and explained it all in this illuminating article over at Vox:
Every morning I wind the mechanical clock in our parlor.  Each day I write in my diary with an antique fountain pen that I fill with liquid ink using an eyedropper.  My inkwell and the blotter I use to dry the ink on each page before I turn it are antiques from the 1890s; I buy my ink from a company founded in 1670. My sealing wax for personal letters comes from the same company, and my letter opener was made sometime in the late Victorian era from a taxidermied deer foot.
There are no modern lightbulbs in our house.  When Gabriel and I have company we use early electric lightbulbs, based on the first patents of Tesla and Edison. When it's just the two of us, we use oil lamps. When we started using period illumination every day, we were amazed by how much brighter the light is from antique oil lamps than from modern reproductions.
Read the rest over at Vox.

This Bookstore Sells Only Signed Copies

The Alabama Booksmith in the suburbs of Birmingham is a rarity: all of the books it sells have been signed by the authors. Neil Gaiman, Harper Lee, Sue Grafton, Kazuo Ishiguro, Philip Roth and other famous authors have all contributed. The shelves are filled with books that are not only loved, but also personalized by the authors. Brian Barrett of Atlas Obscura talked to owner Jacob Reiss:
“If a book is not important to us, we don’t buy it,” says Reiss. “When we select a book, we’re as strong in depth with that title as any chain of stores.” There are also no interior shelves so book covers line the walls with plenty of space to roam, making Alabama Booksmith feel more like a boutique art gallery than a mini-Barnes & Noble.

The Best Twists In Movie History

There are some twist endings that you avoid talking about because you don't want to ruin them for other people, but then there are those that are so well-known they have become cliches. For example, even without seeing Soylent Green, you probably already know that "Soylent Green is people."
If you're not afraid of spoilers that everyone already knows, you'll probably dig Flavorwire's great list of the best movie twists in cinema history -from Planet of the Apes to the Sixth Sense.

The End Of Cynicism

The End Of CynicismCynicism attracts people who are looking for someone – anyone – who will validate some sort of nonsense that they desperately want to believe with all their heart.

Decline In Labor’s Share Of Corporate Income Means $535 Billion Less For Workers

Decline In Labor’s Share Of Corporate Income Means $535 Billion Less For Workers

Forcing People to Work before 10 AM is Basically Torture

Is your boss telling you to do actual work before 10 AM? If so, he's effectively torturing you by forcing you to work outside of your natural circadian rhythms. That's the conclusion of Dr. Paul Kelley of Oxford University, an expert on sleep. The National Post quotes him:
“This applies in the bigger picture to prisons and hospitals,” he added. “They wake up people and give people food they don’t want. You’re more biddable because you’re totally out of it. Sleep deprivation is a torture.” […]
Lack of sleep has been found to affect performance, attention and long-term memory and to encourage drug and alcohol use. It also leads to anxiety, frustration, anger, impulsive behavior, weight gain, high blood pressure, lower immunity, stress and mental health conditions.

There’s Not A Single U.S. County Where A Minimum Wage Worker Can Support A Family

There’s Not A Single U.S. County Where A Minimum Wage Worker Can Support A FamilyThis may not be surprising to anyone, but there is not a single county in the United States in which a minimum wage earner can support a family. Not one....

Smart People Have Dreams About THIS

by Stacy Narine
When in doubt, consult Freud for all your dream questions.
dreamsSigmund Freud captivated the world of psychology with his theory of dream interpretation.
Although science has come a long way with the use of technology to monitor people in REM sleep, in order to track the process of dreaming, we're still left with two major questions about dreaming: Why do we dream and what are our dreams trying to tell us?
With an overview on the subject done by Medical Daily, we can come up with basic answers to help you satisfy your dream curiosity.
If we take a page from Freud, then we all have a basic understanding that dreams are product of keeping our thoughts to ourselves. Followers of Freud strongly uphold the free-association technique, or lying down on a fainting couch while saying the first thing that comes to mind.
However, modern scientists are inclined to believe that dreams "actually don't exist at all." Say what?! Yeah, like Channing Tatum giving me a lap dance didn't seep into my consciousness while sleeping? Come on.
But scientists do have a theory (sigh): the "activation-synthesis hypothesis," which says that "dreams are merely electrical brain impulses that pull random thoughts and imagery from our memories, and humans construct these impulses as dreams when we awake in an effort to make sense of the confusion."
Dreams have been observed as useful indicators of what's on a person's mind. For example, a recent survey from the Dream Education group DreamsCloud found that those with higher levels of education tended to dream more about work-related situations, such as getting a promotion or dreaming about a co-worker, than less educated people.
"We dream about what concerns us most," Dr. Angel Morgan, who headed the study, explained to The Huffington Post. "When you look at education level, what concerns us most is going to be reflected and influenced in our dreams ... It just makes sense."
It's also been shown that "frequent lucid dreamers solve significantly more insight problems overall than non-lucid dreamers," Dr. Patrick Bourke explained. The more you can remember, the better you're able to solve or admit to problems in your waking state.
The vivid images we remember in our dreams can be representations of our personality traits, too. Although dream dictionaries don't always nail it on the head with their definitions, their attempts to provide them is warranted.
Ever dreamed that you killed your boss?
As Medical Daily notes, "According to LiveScience, researchers from Germany's Central Institute of Mental Health [found that] individuals who report dreams in which they commit murder tended to be more introverted, yet also more aggressive, in real life."
Although there are some nay-sayers, the link to the human consciousness and dreams is a fine one worth looking into, especially to help diagnose mental illness.
As Dr. Sander van der Linden, a doctoral researcher in social experimental psychology, wrote, "Dreams seem to help us process emotions by encoding and constructing memories of them. What we see and experience in our dreams might not necessarily be real, but the emotions attached to these experiences certainly are."
Because of dreams, we're able to recall memories of emotions without remembering the actual situation that first produced it. Therefore, we can recall feelings of love and pain without having to remember our jerk of a first love, who later gave us the experience of a broken heart.
No matter the different dream theories, whether fun or complicated, the importance of decoding them remains, and needs to be, in constant conversation.



Minions Selling Bananas on the Streets of Beijing Got Harassed by the Cops

Fame sure is fickle. One day you're a star on the big screen, the next you're selling bananas on the streets of Beijing.
Users of Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site, shared this photo of two adorable Minions selling bananas and getting hassled by urban management officers.
But don't feel sorry for the lovable guys, Shanghaiist explains how all is just a ploy to get you to watch the release of the latest Despicable Me movie in China.

You Think Football Players Have A Domestic Violence Problem?

You Think Football Players Have A Domestic Violence Problem? Cops Are Three Times WorseOne of the biggest problems with police is that simply being a part of the force gives them a PhD level training in how to get away with breaking the law....

Go Directly to Jail: Punishing the Homeless for Being Homeless

Although falling asleep, standing still and sitting down are all necessary for survival, more and more communities are treating these behaviors as crimes when done in public places by people with nowhere else to go.

Woman Says She Endured 8 Days In Psych Ward Because Cops Didn't Believe BMW Was Hers

Black farmer threatened with lynching after dispute over a cow

Court Rules Pesticide That’s Been Found To Harm Bees Is No Longer Approved In The U.S.

The court found that the EPA shouldn’t have signed off on Dow AgroSciences’ sulfoxaflor, which is sold under the brand names Transform and Closer,.

This Public Bathroom Looks Like an Enormous Dessert

Ice cream with whipped cream, berries, and syrup, all inside a structure that looks like a giant cake. This is where you want to relieve yourself. Or pig out. Or both.
The Oita Toilennale 2015 is a public art festival devoted to public toilets. The artists who contribute use nature's call as their central theme. Among the 10 major projects is "Melting Dream," an ice cream-like toilet building by Minako Nishiyama, Mika Kasahara, and Yuma Haruna.
The Fukishima nuclear accident 4 year ago inspired the project. With this structure, the artists are commenting that beneath a sweet structure, Japan is beginning to crumble.  You can see more photos of it at Spoon & Tamago.

Whimsical Mural That Transforms Into Magical Dreamscape Under The Black Light

When you're trying to add some imaginative elements to your home by painting a mural on the wall it doesn't hurt to paint in a few visual surprises, some hidden elements that delight the viewer upon discovery.
And if you really want to transport visitors and residents alike to a world of wonder you should take a note from artist Giorgi Makharashvili and add some black light reactive paint to the piece.
Giorgi was recruited to paint a transforming mural on friend Keti Sidamonidze's bedroom wall, and he delivered a piece that goes from sitting cat and simple landscape in the light to fierce tiger face and magical moonlight dreamscape under the black light. 

Woods in the Cabin

You've heard of cabin in the woods, but how about the other way around?
In Norway, there are woods in your cabin!
Flickr user Europe Trotter took this photo of an abandoned cabin near Hemsedal, Norway, that gives a new meaning to the word "treehouse."

Ozymandias and the trashing of Palmyra

Shelley's classic poem has occasionally been cited in news reports about ISIL's destruction of archaeological sites in Syria, implying that the ravages of time inevitably bring about the downfall and destruction of even the mightiest kingdoms and their symbols.
First, some background on the poem -
In antiquity, Ozymandias was a Greek name for the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II. Shelley began writing his poem in 1817, soon after the announcement of the British Museum's acquisition of a large fragment of a statue of Ramesses II from the thirteenth century BC, and some scholars believe that Shelley was inspired by this... Shelley wrote the poem in friendly competition with his friend and fellow poet Horace Smith, who also wrote a sonnet on the same topic with the very same title... Both poems explore the fate of history and the ravages of time—that all prominent figures and the empires they build are impermanent and their legacies fated to decay and oblivion.
Here's the poem -
I met a traveled from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Now, some salient commentary from an op-ed piece in The Atlantic -
If the ruined ruins of Palmyra could speak, they would marvel at our shock. After all, they have been sacked before. In their mute and shattered eloquence, they spoke for centuries not only about the cultures that built them but also about the cultures that destroyed them—about the fragility of civilization itself, even when it is incarnated in stone. No designation of sanctity, by dog or by UNESCO, suffices to protect the past. The past is helpless...
"...Wherever I cast my glance, the objects surrounding me announce death and compel my resignation to what awaits me. What is my ephemeral existence in comparison with that of a rock being worn down, of a valley being formed, of a forest that’s dying, of these deteriorating masses suspended above my head? I see the marble of tombs crumble into powder and I don’t want to die!”...
Yet as the world contemplates the destruction of Palmyra—I mean its destruction in our day, on our watch—we must resist the customary romanticism. It induces an aesthetic passivity, which would go too nicely with the West’s political passivity...
There was nothing metaphysical or inevitable about the recent detonation of the Temple of Baalshamin and the Temple of Bel. ISIS was not acting as the agent of time. It was acting as the agent of its savage ambitions. What was done in Palmyra was a crime. The crime was committed in particular circumstances and for particular ideas—in geopolitical and ideological contexts...
Palmyra, in its heyday during the first three centuries of the Common Era, was one of the ancient capitals of what scholars call syncretism and the rest of us call pluralism. It was a Middle Eastern destination on the Silk Road, a caravan city raised on an oasis in the Tadmurean desert that was situated on an important trade route. Its architectural and epigraphic remains portray a motley city formed in its character by Rome to the west and Persia to the east; Hellenistic and Central Asian influences mingled with Amorite, Aramaean, and Arab elements. In Palmyra one could find Greek sculpture and Chinese silk...

Bermuda Triangle: Ship Reappears 90 Years After Going Missing

From the Files:
by Barbara Johnson
Bermuda Triangle: Ship Reappears 90 Years After Going Missing
Havana| The Cuban Coast Guard announced this morning, that they had intercepted an unmanned ship heading for the island, which is presumed to be the SS Cotopaxi, a tramp steamer which vanished in December 1925 and has since been connected to the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. 
The Cuban authorities spotted the ship for the first time on May 16, near a restricted military zone, west of Havana. They made many unsuccessful attempts to communicate with the crew, and finally mobilized three patrol boats to intercept it.
When they reached it, they were surprised to find that the ship was actually a nearly 100-year old steamer identified as the Cotopaxi, a name famously associated with the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. There was no one on board and the ship seemed to have been abandoned for decades, suggesting that this could actually be the tramp freighter that disappeared in 1925.
An exhaustive search of the ship led to the discovery of the captain’s logbook. It was, indeed, associated with the Clinchfield Navigation Company, the owners of the SS Cotopaxi, but hasn’t brought any clue concerning what happened to the ship over the last 90 years.
cubajournalCuban expert, Rodolfo Salvador Cruz, believes that the captain’s logbook is authentic. This document is full of precious information concerning the life of the crew before the ship’s disappearance, but the entries stop suddenly on December 1, 1925. On 29 November 1925, the SS Cotopaxi departed Charleston, South Carolina, and headed towards Havana, Cuba. The ship had a crew of 32 men, under the command of Captain W. J. Meyer, and was carrying a cargo of 2340 tons of coal. It was reported missing two days later, and was unheard of for almost 90 years.
The Vice President of Council of Ministers, General Abelardo Colomé, announced that the Cuban authorities were going to conduct a thorough investigation to elucidate the mystery of the ship’s disappearance and reappearance.
“It is very important for us to understand what happened”  says General Colomé. “Such incidents could be really bad for our economy, so  want to make sure that this kind of disappearance doesn’t happen again. The time has come to solve the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, once and for all.”
The Bermuda Triangle is a loosely defined region covering the area between Miami, Puerto Rico and Bermuda, where dozens of ships and planes have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. 
Popular culture has attributed many of the disappearances to paranormal and supernatural phenomena, or to the activity of extraterrestrial beings.  One explanation, even pins the blame on leftover technology from the mythical lost continent of Atlantis.
Despite the popularity of all these strange theories, most scientists don’t even recognize the existence of the Bermuda Triangle, and blame human mistakes and natural phenomena for the disappearances.
The mysterious reappearance of the SS Cotopaxi has, however, already generated a lot of interest in the scientific community and could push some experts to change their mind on the subject.

Unsolved Mysteries Of The Wild West

The Wild West Era lasted about 60 years, but it seems like a million stories have been told about the rough riding cowboys, slick shooting gunslingers and tenacious trailblazers who settled the West.
But this grim and gritty era in American history left us with far more questions than answers, and even those who spend their lives studying the era have a hard time agreeing on things like- Did Butch Cassidy ever return to the U.S.? Did Sheriff Pat Garrett actually kill Billy The Kid? and What happened to Pancho Villa's head?
Craig S. Baker interviewed Old West historian and treasure hunter W.C. Jameson about a year ago to get his take on some of the most enduring unsolved mysteries from the Wild West.
Jameson's theories challenge "traditionalist historian" views by proposing that Billy The Kid survived the Garrett encounter and actually returned to Texas in 1950 confessing his crimes.
He also says Butch Cassidy wasn't killed by the Bolivian military after all, a fact which is supported by Butch's friends and family members who claim to have been visited by him after he'd supposedly died.
But what about poor Pancho Villa's head? Nobody knows the answer to that one, not even an old cowboy like W.C. Jameson.

Stonehenge: Myths and Conspiracies

Stonehenge has spurred many myths and conspiracy theories, some of them created by its restoration.

"Crown shyness"

Crown shyness is a phenomenon observed in some tree species, in which the crowns of fully stocked trees do not touch each other, forming a canopy with channel-like gaps. It is also known as canopy disengagement, canopy shyness, or intercrown spacing.
The term was new to us, but the concept was not; it's quite readily observable by anyone who spends a significant amount of time in the woods.  What did surprise us was the notion that the cause of this phenomenon is unknown; we had always assumed it was a manifestation of contact inhibition of growth. Apparently it's not so simple.

Body of Water Under China Desert

A massive, landlocked Chinese basin has a veritable ocean beneath it, which may help slow climate change.

'Lightning Claw'

The 22-foot, 110-million-year-old creature dates back to the Cretaceous Period.

This Sword Is Made for an Elephant

In the distant past, armies in India often used elephants in battle. Trained war elephants were like living tanks, smashing through and breaking up enemy infantry formations. They were all the more deadly when equipped with tusk swords, such as this one owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The 2-foot long blade would slip over an elephant's tusk, giving that already deadly natural weapon greater reach and piercing power. It's one of only 9 known to survive to this day.

Jaguar Chews On Ayahuasca Vines And Totally Trips Out

Taking psychedelic drugs may seem like a strictly human thing to do, but the animal kingdom is full of critters who like to blow off a little steam by ingesting mind altering substances.
These animals purposely seek out and ingest plants with psychoactive properties, and prove that tripping on psychedelic substances is as natural as can be.
The life of an apex predator can be pretty rugged, with lots of stalking, fighting and slaughtering and very little downtime.
So it's not surprising that they would be fans of ingesting ayahuasca, one of the most powerful psychedelic substances on earth, because it gives them a little time to rediscover their inner kitten.

Animal Pictures