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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.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to the Monday Edition of  Carolina Naturally.
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~ Michael Holt
Seems to work out that way, doesn't it ...!
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Today in History

454 In Italy, Aetius, the supreme army commander, is murdered in Ravenna by Valentinian III, the emperor of the West.
1327 Edward II of England is murdered by order of his wife.
1520 Suleiman (the Magnificent), son of Selim, becomes Ottoman sultan in Constantinople.
1589 The Duke of Mayenne of France is defeated by Henry IV at the Battle of Arques.
1673 James Needham returns to Virginia after exploring the land to the west, which would become Tennessee.
1745 A Scottish Jacobite army commanded by Lord George Murray routs the Royalist army of General Sir John Cope at Prestonpans.
1863 Union troops defeated at Chickamauga seek refuge in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is then besieged by Confederate troops.
1904 Exiled Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph dies of a "broken heart".
1915 Stonehenge is sold by auction for 6,600 pounds sterling ($11,500) to a Mr. Chubb, who buys it as a present for his wife. He presents it to the British nation three years later.
1929 Fighting between China and the Soviet Union breaks out along the Manchurian border.
1936 The German army holds its largest maneuvers since 1914.
1937 The women’s airspeed record is set at 292 mph by American pilot Jacqueline Cochran.
1937 J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel The Hobbit is published.
1941 The German Army cuts off the Crimean Peninsula from the rest of the Soviet Union.
1942 British forces attack the Japanese in Burma.
1944 U.S. troops of the 7th Army, invading Southern France, cross the Meuse River.
1978 Two Soviet cosmonauts set a space endurance record after 96 days in space.
1981 Belize granted full independence from the United Kingdom.
1989 General Colin Powell is confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
1991 Armenia granted independence from USSR.
1993 The Russian constitutional crisis of 1993 begins when Russian President Boris Yeltsin suspends parliament and invalidates the existing constitution.
1999 Earthquake in Taiwan kills more than 2,400, injures over 11,305, and causes $300 billion New Taiwan dollars ($10 billion in US dollars).
2003 Galileo space mission ends as the probe is sent into Jupiter’s atmosphere where it is crushed.

This Is What English Actually Sounded Like 500 Years Ago

It’s interesting how movies make you believe that if you time travel to the middle ages you’ll understand people perfectly. But is it true? Would you really understand an Englishman from the 16th century? Hear for yourself in the video below where a 500-year-old poem is read aloud.

Tippi: The Incredible Girl Who Grew up In the Heart of Africa

Little Tippi is the real-life Mowgli, a child who made her home with the animals just as Rudyard Kipling’s young hero did in The Jungle Book. Showcased in her new book, “Tippi: My Book of Africa”, these magical images chronicle the extraordinary life of a girl living freely in the African wilderness, sharing a unique bond with some of Africa’s most beautiful wildlife.
Born in Windhoek, Namibia in 1990, Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degre traveled through Africa for 10 years with her French parents, wildlife photographers Sylvie Robert and Alain Degré.
From sitting on the back of an ostrich, lying peacefully with a lion cub or cuddling with a caracal, these amazing pictures show an unusual bond and tranquility between man and beast.
Read more about Tippi Here and Here and Here

NASA Explains the Mystery Behind Lake Tahoe’s Blueness

Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is renowned for its blueness -- various stakeholders have been working hard for years to preserve the lake's iconic cerulean hue. It was commonly believed that the lake's blueness was directly proportionate to the clarity of the water, which spurred regulations controlling construction and development along the lake's shore.
As it turns out, Tahoe's blueness is caused by a completely different factor.
According to data collected by a NASA research buoy and released today by the Tahoe Environmental Research Center, algal blooms are responsible for the varying degrees of the lake's blueness. When the lake becomes less concentrated with algae, the water becomes bluer, according to the report.
"We better understand how Lake Tahoe works, and it reinforces the importance of controlling nutrient inputs to the lake, whether from the forest, the surrounding lawns or even from the air," says Geoffrey Schladow, Tahoe Environmental Research Center director. "It's particularly encouraging that blueness has been increasing over the last three years."
The buoy is one of four operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, all of which validate and calibrate data collected by satellites.
"This particular buoy has instruments beneath the water looking up and an instrument on the buoy looking down," explains JPL's Simon Hook. "The combination of instruments in and above the water was used in this study to look at how light is being scattered and attenuated. That tells you something about both the color and the clarity of the lake."

Giant Viruses Unleashed by Arctic Thaw

Our Unhealthy Addiction to Sugar Is Harming the Poor And Making the Rich Richer

Will A Robot Take Your Job?

Lots of current jobs are at high risk of computerization over the following 20 years, according to a study by researchers at Oxford University and Deloitte. Type your job title into the search box to find out the likelihood that it could be automated within the next two decades.
If you're an air traffic controller the likelihood of automation is just 7%. But when you're a bank or post office clerk, uh oh, better watch out. The likelihood of automation in those jobs could be 97%.

This Could Have Been E.T.

Recognize the alien in this picture? Of course you don’t, because it was just a prototype that never appeared in the film. Good thing, too, because it would be hard to build a relationship with such a creature. Imagine if this was really E.T.’s race.
Fresh off a hit in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg found himself beset with requests to make a sequel, because Hollywood's problems are not new. After Close Encounters of the Third Kind 2: Closer Encounters of the Fourth Kind was shot down, Spielberg pitched a dark and gritty follow-up in Night Skies, about a group of alien scientists terrorizing a farmer's family and violently mutilating their livestock like so many kidnapped hitchhikers.
Everyone was enthusiastic except Spielberg himself, who couldn't get in the cattle mutilation mood and wanted to make something more optimistic. Luckily, Harrison Ford's girlfriend, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, was around to tell Spielberg that she thought the best part of Night Skies was the subplot where the family's young son befriends one of the younger, less mutilation inclined aliens. Spielberg, liking Mathison's vision, asked her to write the first draft of a little film that you now know as... Schindler's List.
Okay, not really. It was E.T.
The earlier version of the aliens in E.T.: The Extraterrestrial are just one of 8 Iconic Characters That Were Originally Insane, meaning very different from the product we know, at Cracked.

Bakker Using Cannibalism — Again — To Scare Idiots Into Buying His Survivalist Fare

Jim Bakker is at it again
Jim Bakker is flogging his survivalist food with fear, once again.
Your neighbors will come for your babies — oh noes!!
Better have a bucket of pizza.

Mystery USPS Clerk Stole Pagan Woman’s Books Out Of The Mail, Replaced Them With A Hymnal

This is not a good tradeA Pagan woman had 20 of her books stolen out of the USPS Mail, a baptist hymnal replacing them.  
Yes, that’s a crime.

String Quartet Performs in Traffic Jam

A horse escaped and ran down the M5 highway in the UK near the city of Taunton. Traffic shut down completely, leaving motorists with nothing to do.
Among the travelers were the members of a string quartet who were on their way home after performing at a wedding. They got out their instruments and played "Pachelbel's Canon" for their fellow stranded motorists. The Daily Telegraph (auto-start video) reports:
Alison Gillies, 37, of Bristol, who plays the cello in the group, said: "We were on our way back from playing at someone's wedding and we got caught up in the traffic jam, then one of the quartet jokingly suggested it and we thought why not?
"A crowd of people came over, and everyone seemed to like it - it was great. People seemed to just come over, they saw us unpacking and everything so it wasn't much of a surprise for them, but they got into it it was really nice.
"We were playing so we didn't really notice at the time, but there was quite a crowd. We got a round of applause at the end and a woman came over and gave us some sweets. It was the more unforgettable gig of the weekend."

Man rushing to get his children to school on time managed to park car on pole

A dad rushing to get his children to school on time on Monday morning ended up with his car on a concrete post in Brampton, Southern Ontario, Canada, Peel Regional Police say. “The driver ... didn’t want to wait for the traffic light,” Constable Lilly Fitzpatrick said.
“So he decided to take a shortcut through the parking lot of a strip plaza that was there.” The Nissan SUV appears to have collided with two bright yellow concrete poles, planted there to demarcate a sidewalk exit ramp, at around 8:30am. “They are not in the travel portion of the roadway going through that mall,” Fitzpatrick said.
“Obviously he wasn’t paying enough attention.” Speed must have been a factor, she added, because the vehicle, with two children inside, ended up balanced precariously a pole. “He actually bent the first concrete pole and then the vehicle got hung up on the second one,” she said.
No one was injured but the vehicle’s undercarriage was significantly damaged. “We had to have a special tow truck that was able to lift it up from the pole and get it down,” the constable said. Now the driver might be facing charges. “If you’re going to be late, don’t panic, don’t rush, calm down, get there safely,” Fitzpatrick added.

Quick Hits

Death toll in Utah flash floods now up to 15
Mexico pushes Egypt for answers on 'unjustified attack' that left eight tourists dead
Hewlett-Packard set to cut between 25,000 and 30,000 jobs
Tuna and mackerel populations worldwide down a 'catastrophic' 74 percent: report
Conn. man pleads guilty to shooting wife dead while children slept upstairs
Janis Joplin's psychedelic Porsche expected to sell for more than $400,000 at auction
Colorado man charged with shooting farmer as he flew light aircraft toward his cornfield

Quick Hits Part Two

The 'missing link' in evolution is a myth that comes from medieval theology -- not modern science
Schrödinger's microbe: Physicists plan to put living organism in two places at once
Your ZIP code has a huge impact on your health -- and even on your DNA

Ninth Grader Arrested for Bringing Homemade Clock to Engineering Class

Ninth Grader Arrested for Bringing Homemade Clock to Engineering Class
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is looking into claims of Islamophobia after a gifted 14-year-old student in Irving, Texas, with a passion for inventing and robotics was arrested for making a “hoax bomb” – despite acknowledgement that he told everyone who would listen that it was a clock.

A "mixture of excrement, noxious gas and a decomposing donkey"

That's one description of Skunk:
Imagine being soaked, head to toe, in a frothy mix of pureed compost, gangrenous human flesh, and road kill, and you might get some idea of what it’s like to be sprayed with Skunk, according to those who’ve had the misfortune of being doused.
Police departments in the United States have reportedly begun purchasing the spray, a non-lethal riot-control weapon concocted by an Israeli firm for use against demonstrators in the occupied West Bank. The sticky fluid, which Palestinians say smells like a “mixture of excrement, noxious gas and a decomposing donkey,” is usually fired from armored vehicles equipped using high-pressure water cannons.
Mistral Security, a firm based in Bethesda, Maryland, markets Skunk to U.S. police and military as a crowd-control tool capable of “rapidly and effectively” dispersing unruly crowds. Recommended applications include “border crossings, correctional facilities, demonstrations and sit-ins.”
Mistral Security offers a number of delivery systems for Skunk, according to the company’s website, including 60 ounce canisters with a range of 40 feet; a “skid sprayer” equipped with a 50 gallon tank and a 5 hp motor that can shoot over 60 feet at up to 7 gallons per minute; and a 40mm grenade that can fired by a 12-gauge shotgun.

Bad Cops: Fired

Image: Former Surf City, NC Police Chief Mike Halstead (Surf City gov't)
70-year-old William Wingate shortly before his arrest for allegedly threatening an officer with his golf club in July 2014. (YouTube)

Police officers in trouble for giving wheelchair man a push

Two French policemen are in trouble after a video emerged of them apparently "helping" a disabled man by pushing his broken down motorized wheelchair along a road using their police vehicle.
In the video, which was filmed last month, a woman in another car is left giggling as she films the police vehicle slowly nudging the electric wheelchair along the road in Leucate, north of Perignan, south-western France. Meanwhile, other cars zoom past in both directions.
Senior police officers are taking the matter seriously and have launched disciplinary action against the two officers. A spokesperson for the local police union saying that the actions were not only "unacceptable", but a "discredit to the entire profession". The officers themselves said the man had been willing to get the push, after refusing to get out of the wheelchair when it broke down on the roadside.
But the man's family have stood up for the two officers. The daughter of the disabled man said that rather than being punished, the officers should be rewarded. "My father is stubborn, he wouldn't have got off," she added. "Everything these officers did was for the best, our father is safe and sound, we are totally satisfied."
You can watch the video here.

Police officer surprised to find live carpet python while searching man's backpack

A police officer was surprised to find a live carpet python while searching a wanted man's backpack on a street in Melbourne, Australia.
The officer found the snake in Richmond on Tuesday morning after slipping his hand into the backpack of a 41-year-old man wanted on warrants.
He was not licensed to carry the reptile and was arrested.
He has been bailed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 29 October charged with possessing wildlife without a license. The snake was passed on to the environment department.

Deer crashed though window before charging around hotel

A hotel in York, Nebraska, had an unexpected and disruptive visitor when a deer crashed through a window in the hotel's breakfast room.
According to Don Hoehne, owner of the New Victorian Inns & Suites, the deer crashed into tables and chairs in the breakfast area before moving on to the lobby.
After a short stay there, the animal ran into the laundry room and continued to cause a commotion. The deer then ran off through the corridors as some people tried to stop it.

Eventually a guest was able to close the laundry room door and keep the deer safe inside until law enforcement arrived. No one, including the deer, was hurt.

Injured bear cub wandered into pizza shop

A bear cub wandered into a pizzeria in downtown Colorado Springs on Monday afternoon.
She entered through an open door of Louie’s Pizza at about 12:30pm and sought refuge in the kitchen.
The young bear had been seen running down the street and it is believed she was scared.
An officer from Colorado Parks and Wildlife tranquilized and inspected the cub and found it had a broken foot. Officers think she was hit by a car. She will be taken to a rehabilitation facility and released once she recovers.
There's a short video here.

Graceful Manatees Swim Right Next to Paddleboarders

Tyler and Lauren went paddleboarding in the Weeki Wachee River in Florida. While idly paddling down the nearly still river, they saw a pod of manatees swim by in the crystal clear water.
I've never been to Weeki Wachee, but I have tubed down the nearby Ichetucknee Springs, which is a similarly mesmerizingly beautiful place.

Dog is Desperate for Forgiveness

Anthony Federica Granai is upset with his Labrador mix, Ettore. Thanks to a Google translation of the Italian video site, we find what Ettore had done. "He was pretty much making a hole in the sofa.” But he is SO sorry, and he wants Anthony’s love and forgiveness SO badly.
I don’t see how Anthony held out so long against those big puppy dog eyes, that nuzzling, that begging. But everything turned out fine for Ettore. You can see an English transcript here.

Animal Pictures