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

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to the Thursday Edition of  Carolina Naturally.
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~ Francis O'Naill
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Today in History

1788 After having been dissolved, the French Parliament of Paris reassembles in triumph.
1789 Congress passes the Judiciary Act of 1789, establishing a strong federal court system with the powers it needs to ensure the supremacy of the Constitution and federal law. The new Supreme Court will have a chief justice and five associate justices.
1842 Branwell Bronte, the brother of the Bronte sisters and the model for Hindley Earnshaw in Emily’s novel Wuthering Heights, dies of tuberculosis. Emily and Anne die the same year.
1862 President Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus against anyone suspected of being a Southern sympathizer.
1904 Sixty-two die and 120 are injured in head-on train collision in Tennessee.
1914 In the Alsace-Lorraine area between France and Germany, the German Army captures St. Mihiel.
1915 Bulgaria mobilizes troops on the Serbian border.
1929 The first flight using only instruments is completed by U.S. Army pilot James Doolittle.
1930 Noel Coward’s comedy Private Lives opens in London starring Gertrude Lawrence and Coward himself.
1947 The World Women’s Party meets for the first time since World War II.
1956 The first transatlantic telephone cable system begins operation.
1957 President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends federal troops into Little Rock, Arkansas, to protect nine black students entering its newly integrated high school.
1960 The Enterprise, the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, is launched.
1962 The University of Mississippi agrees to admit James Meredith as the first black university student, sparking more rioting.
1969 The "Chicago Eight," charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intent to incite a riot, go on trial for their part in the mayhem during the 1968 Democratic Party National Convention in the "Windy City."
1970 The Soviet Luna 16 lands, completing the first unmanned round trip to the moon.
1979 CompuServe (CIS) offers one of the first online services to consumers; it will dominate among Internet service providers for consumers through the mid-1990s.
1993 Sihanouk is reinstalled as king of Cambodia.
1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty signed by representatives of 71 nations at the UN; at present, five key nations have signed but not ratified it and three others have not signed.
2005 Hurricane Rita, the 4th-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, comes ashore in Texas causing extensive damage there and in Louisiana, which had devastated by Hurricane Katrina less than a month earlier.
2009 LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device) "sonic cannon," a non-lethal device that utilizes intense sound, is used in the United States for the first time, to disperse protestors at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Non Sequitur


I Hear Voices in My Head ...

How Do We Stop The Price Of Prescription Drugs From Skyrocketing?

Native American child sent home by Utah school for wearing traditional Mohawk hairstyle

A Native American child was sent home from school for wearing a traditional Mohawk hairstyle because the school said it was against dress code.

With Stepped-Up Syrian Intervention, Putin Is Playing A Greater Game

With Stepped-Up Syrian Intervention, Putin Is Playing A Greater GameThe arrival of substantial numbers of troops on the ground represents a major escalation in Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict.

Redditors Having More Photoshop Fun With Kim Jong-Un

Original image 
Will Redditors ever be done poking Photoshop fun at Kim Jong-Un? I don't know about you, but I hope not. This time, the original image (above) is of the North Korean dictator on the arms of some of his weeping military devotees. Ready, set, Reddit, and we have:
Kim Jong-Hunk by TheBlazingPhoenix 

Anti-Gay Bed And Breakfast Loses Discrimination Suit To Same-Sex Couple

NC bar owner kicks out gay couple over kiss

How anti-choicers talked themselves out of recognizing the humanity of actual people

Court Allows Casino To Punish Employees For Gaining Weight

Swedish business tries out a six-hour working day

Swedish business tries out a six-hour working day -- and finds an increase in productivity

The Long, Sweet Love Affair Between Cops and Doughnuts

Police officers have been associated with doughnuts so long that it’s become an easy cliche. Of course, that cliche is based on reality, and even cops occasionally have fun with the stereotype. There are plenty of practical reasons for law enforcement officers to hang out at doughnut shop and take advantage of the offerings, but the connection goes back further than you might think. 
Stare harder into the hole, though, and the cop-doughnut relationship isn’t just a marriage of convenience—it’s deeper than that. In fact, we’ve officially stuffed the protecting-and-serving citizens of our country with sugary pastries since at least World War I, when the Salvation Army sent female volunteers to France to cook doughnuts and bring them to the front. The originator of this tradition, a young ensign named Helen Purviance, knelt before a potbelly stove to make the first batch in a frying pan. “There was also a prayer in my heart that somehow this home touch would do more for those who ate the doughnuts than satisfy a physical hunger,” she said later. For a while, U.S. soldiers were actually called “doughboys,” and though they may have originally gotten this nickname some other way, the millions of doughnuts certainly didn’t hurt.
The history of doughnuts is entwined with the history of urban (and eventually, rural) police work. Altlas Obscura looks at the connection between police and doughnuts in depth.

Police Brutally Assault Teenage Boy For Jaywalking

We’re Lazy by Nature

A new study says we naturally take it easy.
by Theresa Fisher 
Successful startups — full-blown industries, even — have capitalized on our predilection for moving our legs as little as possible, otherwise known as laziness. Why walk across the street to pick up pad thai when you can Seamless? Why hobble downstairs to hail a cab when you can Uber?
While we should certainly hang our heads in shame (there’s a fleet of available taxis directly outside), our reticence to move those stumps of flesh and atrophied muscle we call legs may have some biological basis. A new study, published in the journal Cell, suggests that we continuously adjust our gaits as we walk to exert a minimum amount of energy, even when the payoff is nearly null.
Movement science novices, take note: A central, decades-old principle in the field says that “people prefer to move in energetically optimal ways” and, according to some modern theories, “will adjust their movements to continuously optimize energetic cost.” But, while previous studies have shown that people do in fact fine tune how they move so their bodies work more economically, the goal underlying the fine tuning isn’t so clear. It’s possible that our nervous systems prioritize a different goal, such as stability or accuracy, and that decreased energy output is merely a byproduct.
So, in the current study, researchers focused on what they saw as a likelier reflection of energy conservation: step frequency, a “fundamental characteristic of gait.” We all have natural gaits — you’ve got your shufflers and strutters; leaden-foot stompers and brisk-paced striders — and, absent some compelling reason, our bodies cling to those gaits.
People who volunteered for the study donned robotic exoskeletons. After getting strapped in, they hopped on treadmills and stepped as they normally would. Then, researchers increased resistance on the exoskeletons, so participants felt as though they were lugging around heavier bodies. Participants were randomly assigned to receive one of two levels of resistance.
Researchers kept pressure low enough to allow relatively normal walking, because, as they explained in the study, saddling participants with bone-crushing weight would have made it hard to tell if they changed their gaits to save energy or to minimize the pressure load.
At one point in the study, participants spent 15 minutes walking around. Researchers told them to explore their “novel energetic landscape” at higher and lower step frequencies, as well as match their steps to a variety of steady metronome beats. Then, after forced exploration ended, participants walked however they pleased, at which point, the study says, they quickly adapted to energy-conserving step frequencies. And these preferred frequencies differed from their stepping styles both pre-exoskeleton and after researchers increased resistance (to see how they stepped to accommodate heavier weight).
Basically, researchers made them step in every which way, and measured changes in frequency.
“Subjects achieved most of the cost savings immediately after the exploration period,” wrote researchers, “yet they continued to fine-tune their step frequency for vanishingly small energetic savings.”
So there you have it: We may be wired to be lazy, even when we’re hardly saving energy. But don’t blame your nervous system when your Seamless bill rivals your rent. All you need to do is start moving your legs, and your body will make your walk as effortless as possible.

Rising Seas Threaten San Francisco Bay And Delta Wetlands And Land

Climate Change And Over-Fishing Are Driving The World’s Oceans To The ‘Brink Of Collapse’

Scientists discover that giraffes "hum" at night

Giraffes aren't known for their vocalizations, a limitation thought to be caused by their long necks, but biologists have know determined that they do "hum" at night. According to cognitive biologist Angela Stöger at the University of Vienna, the animals produce a low frequency hum with "a complex acoustic structure." Hear it below!
"It could be passively produced – like snoring – or produced during a dream-like state – like humans talking or dogs barking in their sleep,” Stöger told New Scientist.
Stöger adds that the hum could also be how giraffes communicate with each other when it's too dark to see.

Animal Pictures