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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 28, 2015

The Daily Drift

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

48 BC On landing in Egypt, Pompey is murdered on the orders of Ptolemy.
855 The Emperor Lothar dies in Gaul, and his kingdom is divided between his three sons.
1066 William, Duke of Normandy, soon to be known as William the Conqueror invades England.
1106 King Henry of England defeats his brother Robert at the Battle of Tinchebrai and reunites England and Normandy.
1238 James of Aragon retakes Valencia, Spain, from the Arabs.
1607 Samuel de Champlain and his colonists return to France from Port Royal Nova Scotia.
1794 The Anglo-Russian-Austrian Alliance of St. Petersburg, which is directed against France, is signed.
1864 Union General William Rosecrans blames his defeat at Chickamauga on two of his subordinate generals. They are later exonerated by a court of inquiry.
1874 Colonel Ronald Mackenzie raids a war camp of Comanche and Kiowa at the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, Texas, slaughtering 2,000 of their horses.
1904 A woman is placed under arrest for smoking a cigarette on New York’s Fifth Avenue.
1912 W.C. Handy’s "Memphis Blues" is published.
1913 Race riots in Harriston, Mississippi, kill 10 people.
1924 Three U.S. Army aircraft arrive in Seattle, Washington after completing a 22-day round-the-world flight.
1928 Sir Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin when he notices a bacteria-killing mold growing in his laboratory; it remained for Howard Florey and Ernst Chain to isolate the active ingredient, allowing the "miracle drug" to be developed in the 1940s.
1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agree on a division of Poland; Warsaw surrenders to German troops.
1958 France ratifies a new constitution.
1959 Explorer VI, the U.S. satellite, takes the first video pictures of earth.
1961 Military coup in Damacus ends the Egypt-Syria union known as the United Arab Republic that was formed Feb. 1, 1958.
1963 Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art work Whaam!, depicting in comic-book style a US jet shooting down an enemy fighter, is exhibited for the first time; it will become one of the best known examples of pop art.
1995 Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat sign an interim agreement concerning settlement on the Gaza Strip.
1996 Afghanistan’s former president (1986-92) Mohammad Najibullah tortured and murdered by the Taliban.
2008 SpaceX launches the first private spacecraft, Falcon 1.

People Who Desperately Need to Pee Are Better Liars

Want to lie more effectively? Drink a lot of water an hour before the deed. That's one takeaway from a recent study by Dr. Iris Blandón-Gitlin of California State University at Fullterton and her colleagues.
They placed research subjects in 2 groups. Members of one group drank 5 glasses of water. Members of the other drank 5 sips of water. After an hour, the subjects were asked to lie persuasively about their opinion on a topic. Reviewers were more likely to judge people who, by this point, really needed to go to the bathroom, as truthful.
These results may be the result of the inhibitory spillover effect. The need to carefully control one's bladder reinforced the need to carefully control one's expressions and mannerisms. Popular Science explains:
This result adds evidence to something called the inhibitory spillover effect. If you are already using one type of self-control, it’s easier to be self-controlled at other things. However, this only works for simultaneous tasks. Other research has found that resisting the cupcakes at the office can deplete your inhibitory control resources, making it harder to ignore that post-dinner ice cream siren song.

New Insights into Aspirin’s Disease-Fighting Abilities

aspirinNew Insights into Aspirin’s Disease-Fighting Abilities

A research team that includes a Rutgers professor has found that the main ingredient in aspirin targets the activities of an inflammatory protein associated with a wide variety of diseases... […]

Wall Street Journal less focused on climate change than New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today

SONY DSCWall Street Journal less focused on climate change than New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today

When it comes to reporting on climate change, the nation’s four most widely read newspapers are being influenced by management’s political positions, despite the tradition in American print journalism that […]

You Are Free to Sing “Happy Birthday”

The song we know as  “Happy Birthday to You” has been around since the 19th century, with various lyrics. The version we know was first published in 1911, and was copyrighted in 1935. Warner/Chappell Music acquired that copyright in 1988. You may have noticed that restaurant chains don’t sing that song when it’s your birthday, and you rarely see it in movies. That’s because Warner/Chappell Music wants to collect royalties every time it’s performed in public. But that changed today, as a federal judge declared the song to be in the public domain.
The class action lawsuit that produced Tuesday’s ruling began when documentary filmmaker Jennifer Nelson was told she would have to pay $1,500 to use “Happy Birthday to You.” The suit claimed that the song was actually in the public domain.
According to [Attorney Mark] Rifkin, the “smoking gun” in the case turned up when Warner/Chappell Music handed over documents that included a publication of the song from the early 1920s. That publication predates the 1935 copyright.
The final result was that the judge ruled Warner/Chappell Music’s copyright extends only to specific arrangements, not to the song itself.
Rifkin said the next phase in the case will be determining whether or not Warner/Chappell Music has to pay back the money it collected over the years from exercising the copyright.
Read more about the song’s history and today’s ruling at Buzzfeed.

The Donut Hole Shrinkage Theory

Is there any truth to the rumor that donut holes are getting smaller? Or is it just a crackpot conspiracy -a “donutspiracy,” if you will. Phil Edwards takes a look at the historical record and concedes that yes, the holes in donuts appear to be much smaller in the 1950s than they were during World War I. Since a hole is a negative space, that’s a good thing. And there are a few possible reasons for the shrinking holes, which you can read about at Vox.

The Stories Behind Eleven Different Regional Soft Drinks

Whether you call it a soft drink, a carbonated beverage, a soda, a pop or you just call them all Coke there's no denying that soft drinks are appealing.
People often disagree about which type or brand of soft drink is best, but if you live in an area that has a regional brand you'd better at least pretend to like it too, because folks there are probably mighty attached to their regional brand.
These regional favorites are seen as a part of people's lives in these areas, but many residents have forgotten where these particular soft drink brands came from, not to mention why they're so popular in their region.
Take Moxie for instance- it's a big hit in New England, especially in Maine where Moxie has been the official state soft drink since 2005, and yet it tastes a bit too medicinal for most folks.
That flavor comes from the fact that the drink's inventor, Dr. Augustin Thompson, originally intended Moxie to be a tonic that "nourishes the nervous system, cools the blood, tones up the stomach, and causes healthful, restful sleep."
The soft drink craze was just taking off, so the doc decided to market Moxie as a soft drink, and the rest is New England beverage history!

Babies Suckling on Junk Food Remind Nursing Mothers to Eat Healthy

The Pediatric Society of Rio Grande in Brazil wanted to remind new mothers that, for the sake of the babies that they nurse, they should eat healthy food. Body paintings of junk food on the breasts of nursing mothers communicate that mothers are feeding their babies bad food when they eat it themselves.
It's a clever advertising approach by the ad agency Paim. But I'm curious about whether it makes any medical sense at all.

McDonald's Straws Are Designed to Mimic the Experience of Breastfeeding

Get a freshly poured McDonald's shake. Stick a straw in and suck. It's a very soothing feeling--almost primal. It's specifically designed that way. The straws used at McDonald's outlets in Japan are  reflect the experience of breastfeeding. Rocket News 24 quotes Den Fujita, the founder of McDonald's Japan, in his book Den Fujita's Business Strategies 2: Overwhelming Business Strategies:
When humans drink something, the speed that produces the most delicious feeling is the speed at which babies nurse…McDonald’s straws are designed so that when used with a shake, the speed will be the same as that of an infant drinking breast milk.
Drinking a McDonald's shake is supposed to reflect an essential infantile experience of pleasure.

How Occupy Wall Street And #BlackLivesMatter Changed The Country

Anonymous is winning the war against the Klan. Now they have declared their opposition to the Ferguson Police as well. Will the hacktivists' targets heed the warnings?

Image Credit: The Raw Story A few days ago, I put a post on Facebook condemning the violent arrest of a terrified teen. Within minutes, I had a cop apologist whining at me. His big...

Killing A White Person Is Almost The Only Reason Murderers Ever Receive The Death Penalty

Police arrest naked-jogging Alabama couple after finding sunburned, bug-bitten baby alone on beach

Cody and Monique Bourgeois (Screenshot/KPLC)Police arrest naked-jogging Alabama couple after finding sunburned, bug-bitten baby alone on beach

'Stolen' cemetery gates hunted by police had been taken away for repairs by the council

Detectives launched an appeal to track down thieves who “stole” cemetery gates only to find they had been taken away by the local council for refurbishment. North Wales Police issued an alert after a member of the public reported that the black wrought iron gates had been taken from St Margaret’s cemetery in Rhewl, Mostyn.
The appeal by officers said: “The gates are made of black wrought iron and are 6ft high and 4ft wide with spikes along the top. This theft, which happened sometime between Thursday, September 17, and 12.30pm on Sunday 20, would have required a vehicle to remove the items.”
However, the mystery was solved by former Greater Manchester Police detective and Flintshire county Councillor David Roney. Cllr Roney told how last Monday he had seen council employees working on the gates. It has now emerged that the gates were not in fact stolen, but the council took them away because they were in poor condition and needed to be sandblasted and repaired.
Cllr Roney said: “This could have been a grave concern and it is good that a diligent member of the public took the time to alert police. However it a shame that the police did not check to find out where the gates had gone, before putting out an appeal.” Flintshire County Council later confirmed the gates were removed for repairs.

Man arrested for choking girlfriend who was reading her ex-boyfriend's obituary

A Florida man assaulted his live-in girlfriend because she was reading an obituary for a former boyfriend, police say. According to a probable cause affidavit, Jason Tackett, 38, was sitting on the couch with the victim on Thursday when he became curious as to what she was looking at on her phone.
Tackett, officers allege, took the woman’s phone and “noticed she was looking at an obituary of an ex-boyfriend. The defendant became upset that she was looking him up (even though he is deceased).” The 43-year-old victim told police that Tackett then threatened her and “began tearing the house apart.”
When the woman tried to “get her phone back,” Tackett allegedly shoved her to the ground and “held his hands over her mouth and nose.” The woman, police noted, said she was “unable to breathe when he was smothering her.” When Tackett got up, the woman said, she ran from the Bradenton residence and screamed for neighbors to call 911.
Tackett, who has lived with the victim for three months, was later arrested for domestic battery by strangulation, a felony. He was freed from custody on Saturday after posting $10,000 bond. As a condition of his release, Tackett has been ordered to have no contact with the victim. According to court records, Tackett has previous convictions for robbery, fraud, and dealing in stolen property, as well as drunk driving.

Buddhists at retreat came to blows over cup of tea

A weekend of peace and tranquility at a Buddhist retreat in the Scottish Highlands boiled over into violence following a row over a cup of tea. Two followers of the religion, Robert Jenner, 50, and 47-year-old Raymond Storrie, from Glasgow, joined fellow worshipers traveling from the Central Belt to enjoy a calming weekend retreat near Nairn. However Inverness Sheriff Court that there was animosity between the pair before they arrived at fellow Buddhist Andrew Newlands’ home at Hazelwood, Laikenbuie, in May. The acrimony continued on the morning of May 9 while Mr Jenner was in the kitchen making a cup of tea and Mr Storrie walked in. Then row about the cup of tea then escalated into violence and Mr Jenner was accused of assaulting Mr Storrie by punching him in the face. He denied the charge, saying he had acted in self-defense. Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood found the charge not proven. Mr Storrie told Sheriff Fleetwood: “He poured boiling water into his cup but not mine. I swore at him and called him ignorant. I grabbed his cup and poured the water into mine, spilling some of it. I didn’t see him again until later that night when he came up to me wanting to talk about the incident. I was calm by that time although I must have still been upset. I was having another cup of tea and a smoke of my e-cigarette and didn’t want to talk to him. I did not swear at him and moved back towards the building. It was then that he assaulted me. He punched me several times on the head. I had swelling on my face and my lip was burst. It later required stitches.
“I hit him over the head with my cup and asked him, is this how you practice the dharma? (In Buddhism, dharma is the doctrine of universal truth practiced by all). “Then he said that I had attacked him. I showed no aggression towards him whatsoever.” Mr Storrie later told police: “It must have been ego-driven insecurity. I am a bit intellectual and Robert is dyslexic. I have always felt he had a bit of an issue towards me.” But Mr Storrie later admitted to defense lawyer Raymond McIlwham that he had threatened to “kill” Mr Jenner while he was on the way to hospital for treatment after the alleged assault. He added: “I was still very, very angry at this point.” Their host for the weekend, Mr Newlands, told the court that his home, Hazeldean, is not an official Buddhist retreat.
Instead, he said he invited “people of like mind” to his home. Mr Jenner, of Glasgow, denied assaulting Mr Storrie, lodging a special defense of self-defense, claiming that he was first attacked by Mr Storrie with the teacup. He declined to give evidence on his own behalf. No-one else witnessed the alleged assault and Sheriff Fleetwood found the charge not proven. He said: “How can I be sure I know what happened outside the house and that it was the accused who was the aggressor? The charge has to be not proven.” After the case, Mr Jenner refused to comment. Mr Storrie said: “It is unusual to have a violent incident at a Buddhist retreat. I have been going to them for over 20 years seeking some peace and tranquility but it didn’t work out that way on this occasion.”

Elderly man punched in face by excessive Nutella waffle-sampling shopper

A 78-year-old man was punched in the face at the Costco store in Burbank, California, on Sunday morning.
The man had told another shopper that he had taken too many samples from a Nutella waffle sample cart.
Burbank resident Derrick Gharabighi, 24, had taken several samples when the elderly shopper told him to take just one, said Burbank Police Officer Cindy Guillen.
That’s when Gharabighi reportedly punched the man in the face, leaving him to be hospitalized with a one-inch cut and swelling above his eye. Gharabighi was arrested on suspicion of elder abuse and is due in court later this week.

Quick Hits

The Ganges River is dying under the weight of modern India
Coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish can be killed with household vinegar: scientists
Scientists discover 'Lost World' of cold-weather dinosaurs who roamed the Arctic
The Islamic State is facing a cash crunch in the Caliphate
Scots have more words for snow than Inuit: researchers
Intelligent car seat detects driver's stress level

The Smoking Hills of Canada

The Smoking Hills are located near Cape Bathurst on the Arctic Coast of the Northwest Territories. When Royal Navy Captain Robert McClure explored the area in the 1850s, he thought that the smoke on the shore came from a large number of campfires. Upon further exploration, he found the smoke emerging from vents in the ground. This stretch of land has rich veins of lignite near the surface. As the land erodes, the lignite spontaneously catches fire when exposed. The CBC explains:
Here, vast deposits of lignite  -- concentrations of carbon-rich shale and pyrite rich in sulphur - literally ignite spontaneously when the hills erode and the mineral veins are exposed to the air, producing a constant smoke. […]
The sailors are said to have returned with a sample of the smoldering rock, and when they set it down on McClure's desk it burned a hole in the wood.

Animal Pictures