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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.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to the Saturday Edition of  Carolina Naturally.
Oh, Yeah ...!
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Today is - Sweetest Day

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Today in History

1244 The Sixth Crusade ends when an Egyptian-Khwarismian force almost annihilates the Frankish army at Gaza.
1529 Henry VIII of England strips Thomas Wolsey of his office for failing to secure an annulment of his marriage.
1346 English forces defeat the Scots under David II during the Battle of Neville’s Cross, Scotland.
1691 Maine and Plymouth are incorporated in Massachusetts.
1777 British Maj. Gen. John Burgoyne surrenders 5,000 men at Saratoga, N.Y.
1815 Napoleon Bonaparte arrives at the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic, where he has been banished by the Allies.
1849 Composer and pianist Frederic Chopin dies in Paris of tuberculosis at the age of 39.
1863 General Ulysses S. Grant is named overall Union Commander of the West.
1877 Brigadier General Alfred Terry meets with Sitting Bull in Canada to discuss the Indians’ return to the United States.
1913 Zeppelin LII explodes over London, killing 28.
1933 Due to rising anti-Semitism and anti-intellectualism in Hitler’s Germany, Albert Einstein immigrates to the United States. He makes his new home in Princeton, N.J.
1941 The U.S. destroyer Kearney is damaged by a German U-boat torpedo off Iceland; 11 Americans are killed.
1956 The nuclear power station Calder Hall is opened in Britain. Calder Hall is the first nuclear station to feed an appreciable amount of power into a civilian network.
1972 Peace talks between Pathet Lao and Royal Lao government begin in Vietnam.
1989 The worst earthquake in 82 years strikes San Francisco bay area minutes before the start of a World Series game there. The earthquake registers 6.9 on the Richter scale–67 are killed and damage is estimated at $10 billion.
1994 Dmitry Kholodov, a Russian journalist, assassinated while investigating corruption in the armed forces; his murkier began a series of killings of journalists in Russia.
2001 Rehavam Ze’evi, Israeli tourism minister and founder of the right-wing Moledet party, assassinated by a member of the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); he was the first Israeli minister ever assassinated.
2003 Taipei 101 is completed in Taipei, becoming the world’s tallest high-rise.

Researchers develop vaccine to treat high cholesterol

A team of researchers at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed a vaccine to treat high cholesterol. The vaccine, which targets a molecule called PCSK9, a protein involved in cholesterol metabolism, is a...

Ways to Learn

Are you a visual learner? How about auditory? Do you like to read all of the instructions or just dive in, hands-on? It turns out there are more than 70 different styles of learning.

AI World Domination

Village hoping for tilt tourism

Villagers who believe their cult tower tilts more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa are hoping to see a rise in visitors after work to restore it. The tower of St James' cult in Dry Doddington, Lincolnshire, has recently undergone extensive repairs, costing about £100,000.
Officials said it is thought to lean due to it being built on a pagan burial site, and has a tilt of 5.1 degrees. Italy's famous tower is said to have a 3.97 degree tilt. Originally the Leaning Tower of Pisa tilted at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but this was reduced after restoration work. The Dry Doddington church was built in the 12th Century, and the tower was underpinned in 1918 to prevent further tilting.
Recent restoration work was funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Rev Sonia Barron said: "The stone work on the tower was in very bad condition and there were birds nesting inside." She said the grant had helped to restore the tower to its former glory. However, Ms Barron said there was widespread support not to make any changes to the tilt of the tower.

"People seeing it for the first time are very impressed, from certain angles you can distinctly see the lean," she said. She added: "It should be a lot more famous and perhaps it will become so, now it has been repaired. I don't think it is widely known that it leans more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa." Ian and Gill Smith, who visited the church after reading about the spire repairs, said it had an "impressive lean", but said there was still "a bit more to look at in Pisa".

Nikon Small World Photography Winners 2015

A beautiful closeup of the eye of a honeybee won top honors today at the annual Nikon Small World competition. The contest honors the beauty and technical skill shown in the tiniest parts of our world found through microphotography. See the top twenty photographs from the competition right here. Neatorama has more.
See more featured images over at Spotlight

I Would Rather Be Herod’s Pig

The History of a Taboo
When the Great Pyramid of Giza was built, food for the workers was commissioned from all parts of the Egyptian realm. Builders consumed tons of wheat and barley bread, mutton, beef, and beer. They didn’t eat pork, and the reason they didn’t sets the stage for the story of the world’s most controversial meat.
One village that provided livestock was Kom el-Hisn, located in the Nile delta about seventy-five miles downriver from the temple complex. Villagers at Kom el-Hisn raised cattle but ate very little beef: only the bones of worn-out breeding cows and sick calves have been uncovered there. Instead, the villagers ate pork: for every four cattle bones archaeologists unearthed at Kom el-Hisn, they found one hundred pig bones. It seems that the residents kept herds of pigs that foraged in the Nile delta marshes and scavenged trash on streets. Although Egypt’s rulers demanded cattle from Kom el-Hisn, along with goats and sheep from other settlements, the villagers’ pigs were spared.
The reasons for this had to do with climate and biology. Animals destined for Giza had to walk hundreds of miles through an arid landscape, feeding on grass and leaves along the way. Well suited for such a journey, cows, goats, and sheep were herded to Giza by the thousands. Pigs, however, would not have found the food or shade they needed along the way. The state couldn’t move pigs around, so it ignored them.
On the one hand, this was a good thing because it left poor isolated villages with food for themselves. On the other hand, it gave pork a reputation as the poor man’s meat. As pigs don’t travel well, and require a more reliable water supply than cattle or sheep, it makes sense that desert nomads had no use for them. In cities, pigs gained a reputation as unclean because they scavenged for food, and in an urban environment they only found waste products. Is it any wonder that several religions considered pork taboo? Meanwhile, cultures outside the deserts of the Middle East embraced pork. Read the story of how pigs became “the world’s most divisive meal” at Longreads.

The Anti-Choice Delusion Is Rife with Corruption

"Not my cup of tea"

British woman finds life under ISIL to be 'not my cup of tea'

Woman knocked out neighbor with Lambrini bottle after burning fingers during game of 'dare'

A woman knocked her neighbor out with a Lambrini bottle after she burned her fingers playing a game of dare with lighted paper. Melanie Renshaw screamed out in pain and struck Jason Britton in the face at a social gathering at his home in Bradford.
Mr Britton came round covered in blood and with a gash over his left eye, Bradford Crown Court heard on Tuesday. Renshaw pleaded guilty to unlawfully wounding him on March 11. She was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and a rehabilitation requirement.
Prosecutor Giles Grant said Renshaw, 28, who was Mr Britton's next door neighbor, was sitting on the settee with him at the gathering. They were seeing how long they could each hold a piece of burning paper before dropping it into an ash tray. Renshaw screamed out suddenly and accused Mr Britton of burning her.
She jumped up, grabbed the wine bottle with both hands and hit him with it. He sustained a wound needing six stitches and was kept in hospital overnight. Mr Britton said he had since suffered headaches and had been left permanently scarred. He had stopped trusting people and did not go out any more. Renshaw had two previous convictions for causing actual bodily harm. Her barrister, Jayne Beckett, said she had now moved away from the area.

Investigation after arrested man was booked into women's jail

A male inmate from Tennessee was placed in Shelby County's female jail over the weekend. It’s a mix-up that has the Sheriff’s Office investigating exactly what happened. Sherita Turner said her brother is a transgendered man. But when Terry Turner was arrested on Thursday, officers thought he was a woman. They booked him into Jail East, the county's women's jail. "On the picture for the warrant he is dressed like a woman and it said female, but he was telling them all along that he was a man," Sherita said. Sherita said she spoke with Terry on Friday, and he told her he told jailers several times before processing that he was a man.
They allegedly ignored him. "They said they are still going to take him to Jail East,” Turner said. The Shelby County Sheriff's Office confirmed Turner was held at Jail East over the weekend. However, they are investigating how he got there. "He used the bathroom and the lady screamed out she see his (private parts)," Sherita said.
Sherita says they believe Terry's civil rights were violated and the Sheriff's Office should be held accountable. "They just have to admit they made a big mistake,” Turner said. “They have to accept the simple fact he is what he is, and that was their fault.” Terry Turner was arrested with his cousin. They are now both at 201 Poplar, which houses male inmates, facing identity theft charges. Officers said they found 13 different ID's in the car the two were in. Both are due in court on Monday.

Happy ending after car was left with door open

A car caused quite a stir in Bath city center on Sunday evening.
The vehicle, a silver Honda, had been left parked in Kingsmead Square, but unfortunately the owner had failed to shut the driver's door.
People walking past had feared the car had been abandoned by thieves or broken into. The car was parked in Kingsmead Square next to The Stable between 6pm and 7.30pm.
At one point it attracted the attention of a parking warden. However, at around 7.30pm a couple approached the car and drove off after realizing their mistake.

Woman who fell asleep at the wheel rescued after driving 200 feet into lake

Emergency crews worked to pull a car out of a Florida lake early on Tuesday morning after rescuing the driver, according to the Sanford Police Department.
Officials said said the Chevy Avalanche ended up 200 feet offshore and came to rest on the bottom of Lake Monroe in Sanford, with only the rear of the vehicle above water.
Police said a woman walking her dog heard the driver screaming in the water and called 911. A helicopter dropped a flotation device and helped lead divers to the driver, Karen Louwsma. She was examined by Sanford Fire Rescue at the scene and was not injured.
Louwsma, 56, later told authorities that she is a nurse working two jobs and she fell asleep at the wheel. She told police that she fell asleep due to exhaustion and doesn't remember at what point she passed out. It is unclear whether she will face any charges.
There's a news video here and video of the rescue here.

Man unsuccessfully attempted to put out fire by driving over it in van loaded with ammunition

A sheriff’s deputy in Clay County, Missouri, retreated to a safe distance from a van burning in a field on Tuesday afternoon after he heard the sound of live ammunition going off inside it.
The deputy found the van burning south of Liberty at about 2:30pm, said Jon Bazzano, a spokesman for the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. The deputy had been in the middle of a traffic stop when he saw black smoke on the horizon and headed that way to investigate. Eventually, the deputy found the owner of the vehicle watching the fire from a distance.
The deputy learned that the owner had been burning garbage in the field and accidentally let the fire get out of control. In an attempt to put the fire out, he drove his van back and forth over the flames. This made matters worse, as the tires of the van caught fire. Realizing that the van was loaded with firearms ammunition and a full tank of gas, the driver evacuated the area for safety.
A crew from the Liberty Fire Department responded to make sure the fire did not spread. It was unclear what type of ammunition the owner had in the vehicle. The deputy did not immediately cite the owner, who declined to make a report for a possible insurance claim. “It seems like he’s just going to have to take a loss on that vehicle because I don’t think they’re going to cover it,” Bazzano said.

Haunted wardrobe with Satanic face blamed for ghostly occurrences in antique shop

Staff at an antique shop in Paignton, Devon, have been spooked by a series of ghostly occurrences, believed to have been caused by a haunted wardrobe. The ornate piece of furniture, which features a Satanic head carving, has had such a chilling affect the store owners are now desperate to get rid of it. Ever since the Olden Ewe antique shop bought the haunted item for £350 earlier this year they claim odd things have been happening there on a daily basis.
There have been reports of customers being unable to shut the wardrobe by someone pushing it from the inside and there have also been reports of it unlocking and opening by itself. Other customers have complained the shop is significantly colder near the wardrobe, while some also sense the presence of a ghostly child nearby. Owner Linda Bell, 54, says things have got so bad she now cannot wait to find a buyer for it.
She said the haunting reports only started when they bought the early 20th century item that features a large imposing carved head on the door. She said: "We just want to get rid of it now. Some strange things have been going on in the shop since we got this piece of furniture. Two regular customers have been to view the cupboard, and both have said that they sensed the presence of a little girl. We got the cupboard from an ordinary home, and we had no odd goings on before we had the cupboard in our shop. Customers who didn't know anything about the cupboard have complained that the end of the shop where it is is very cold.
"Other customers have tried to shut the doors and can't, as if someone is pushing it from the inside. Sometimes it unlocks itself and the doors swing open on their own." One employee, who did not want to be named, said: "Often, when I come in in the morning, the door has opened by itself, or it has locked or unlocked itself. We think that the carved head piece on the front of the cupboard may have come from the headboard of a bed. The cupboard is not original, but all of the pieces date back to the early 20th century."

Ten Haunting Documentaries That Are Stranger Than Fiction

Mugshot of Albert Fish, 1903
Documentary film is my favorite genre, and the linked list of ten documentary films compiled by mental_floss writer Sarah Watt ranges from unsettling to positively horrifying. I've seen all of these films and I found the most disturbing on the list by far to be the 2007 film Albert Fish: In Sin He Found Salvation. Based on the life of deranged serial killer and cannibal Albert Fish, the video is only for those interested in true crime and aren't "faint of heart," as the saying goes. The film incorporates graphic, repulsive confessions from Fish, vintage clips and photographs as well as creepy reenactments. Even the narrator sounds sinister.
Other seriously disturbing runner-ups on the list include Dear Zachary (2008), a frightening story of murder and madness, and the 2011 HBO documentary There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane, about the mystery surrounding what prompted a usually responsible, accomplished woman to carelessly cause the deaths of six people, four of whom were children from her own family.
Read more about the ten haunting documentaries on this list at mental_floss. But beware: it's likely that you won't soon (or ever) forget some of these stories. 

Dr. Voronoff's Plan to Use Monkey Testicles to Make Us Immortal

Dr. Serge Voronoff studied medicine in France and became obsessed with the idea of rejuvenating the human body with hormones. The best way to do that, he figured, would be to transplant animal organs that produced hormones into a human. Voronoff experimented on livestock, with promising results, and decided that when he progressed to human experiments, he would implant monkey glands, because of their similarities to humans. He claimed a 1915 transplant of monkey thyroid tissue produced improvement in a young Frenchman with developmental disabilities.
In particular Voronoff again focused on the power and impact of the sexual organs, specifically the testicles. In his 1920 book, Life; a Study of the Means of Restoring Vital Energy and Prolonging Life, Voronoff says, “The sex gland stimulates cerebral activity as well as muscular energy and amorous passion. It pours into the stream of the blood a species of vital fluid which restores the energy of all the cells, and spreads happiness.” To Voronoff, the process of taking healthy sexual gland tissue, such as bits of monkey testicle, and sewing onto the testicles of aging humans, was to inject the body with youth itself.
Dr. Voronoff’s first monkey-testicle-to-man-testicle xenograft occurred in July of 1920. He is said to have taken a small scrap of young monkey testicle just a few centimeters wide and a few millimeters thin, and sewn it right into the patient’s scrotum. Voronoff contested that the procedure could do everything from return youthful energy to curing senility and schizophrenia to radically prolonging life. An increase in sexual ability was also of course implied, and tended to become the focus of interest in his work, despite Voronoff’s repeated assertions that any romantic improvements were just a side-effect of a transformation that was healing the patient’s entire being, a process he called “rejuvenation.”
You’d think men would be a bit nervous about such surgery, but no -they clamored to have the transplants done! Voronoff did at least 300 monkey testicle grafts, and raked in the money. And he had even stranger ideas for further experiments. Read about Dr. Voronoff and his weird theories at Atlas Obscura.  

Archaeology News

The earliest unambiguous evidence for our species outside of Africa has just been discovered in China.

Astronomical News

NASA's Kepler space telescope has detected something weird orbiting a nearby star -- is it evidence of an alien civilization? Or is it just a clump of comets?
It's a virtual certainty that comets have delivered the building blocks of life to Europa's hidden ocean, according to a new study.
After creating 2 maps of Jupiter's dynamic atmosphere, astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope saw some interesting detail they they can't immediately explain.
A babbling river on Mars may have pushed pebbles along for some 30 miles -- according to new analysis of images taken by the Curiosity rover.
If you could hear the stuff that swirls around black holes, it would probably sound like the empty spaces on the radio dial.

Beautiful footage of Jupiter

Jupiter is more beautiful than ever in this footage from NASA, as used by Adrienne Lafrance to illustrate her splendid article about the gas giant.
rom far away, the planet looks vaguely beige. But its clouds are a kaleidoscope of warm colors—alternately red, orange, pink, and tan, with some blue. That may be the effect of sunlight breaking down chemicals like ammonia, but scientists aren’t sure. “We still don't know what makes the clouds the colors they are,” Simon said. “Another thing we don’t know is: Why the storms last so long.”
In the future, the people who live around Jupiter are going to be really smug, aren't they?
Its reputation was once not so grand, Lafrance adds in a follow-up that astronomers used to find the painterly, swirling surface quite unpleasant.
It was generally hoped that, in course of time, this much respected orb would see the error of his ways, and cease to assume the appearance of an inebriated planet.
Sad to relate, however, he has gone from bad to worse, and is just now showing, side by side with the red spot complained of, a number of white ones, which give his countenance an appearance truly sad to behold. No wonder that quiet, staid astronomers, who, from joking, stand aghast at such an exhibition.



Cannabis-munching feral pig led to police arresting man for drug production

A feral pig munching on a cannabis plant has led to police in Australia arresting a man allegedly growing the drug.
Police said they were called to a property at Meringandan West, north Toowoomba, Queensland, last Wednesday to investigate a disturbance.
There, they said they discovered the feral pig chewing leafy green material, which turned out to be cannabis. Due to the size of the pig, officers did not try to seize the plants.
A 1.6-metre-tall plant and 140 grams of the drug were eventually recovered, police said. A 44-year-old man will appear in the Oakey Magistrates Court on October 21 charged with drug production and possession.

Taxi driver surprised to find four foot snake in her cab

A taxi driver got the fright of her life after a customer left a snake nestling in the back of her cab. Madge Allen, 67, said the find is the strangest and most frightening she’s ever experienced in her 28-year taxi driving career. The 4ft corn snake is believed to have slithered out of a passenger’s handbag before wrapping itself around the bottom of the drivers’ seat. Madge unwittingly returned to the Stanways Private Hire taxi office in Mold, Flintshire, Wales, after dropping her fare off at Flint Railway Station with the snake in her possession.
But she was made aware of the stowaway on her return and said she flew straight out of her car, after revealing snakes rank among her worst fears. “I am petrified of snakes,” Madge said. “It is definitely the strangest thing I have found in the back of my taxi. If it had come by my feet when I was driving I don’t know what would have happened.” The taxi driver said she had picked up two young men and a young woman from the Mold taxi office to take them to Flint at about 10.30am on Monday.
Upon her return she discovered her passengers had since been in touch to explain they had left a snake in the back of the car after it had escaped from the woman’s handbag. “If I’d known they’d had a snake with them I wouldn’t have let them in the car,” said Madge. “But when I got back to the office and they told me they thought there was one in the back I flew straight out of the cab. I was so shocked. People have left plenty of mobile phones and wallets, but never livestock. I thought I’d seen it all.” A snake handler known to staff at the taxi office was then called to rescue the sleeping male reptile after it had curled itself around bars underneath the drivers’ seat.
Sharon Lewis, manager at Stanways Taxis, said: “A woman rang to say she’d left a snake in one of our cars. I thought it was a joke. She told me it was white and orange and that it wouldn’t bite. She said it had been in her handbag so I was expecting a little thing, but when Madge got back we took a torch to have a look and we could see it was about 4ft long. Madge was frightened to death. The woman said her friends would come and collect it, but nobody has been so the snake handler is looking after it. I think it is stupid to carry a snake like that in your handbag.”

Koko's 44th

The primate with serious language skills gets a special present for her 44th birthday.

Pregnant Chimp Adopts Orphan

The baby, whose name Boon means blessing, was orphaned when mum Soona died shortly after he was born at Monarto Zoo in Australia.

Early Mammal News

Tiny organs, fur, spines and a fungal hair infection are still intact in a Cretaceous Era fossil.

Baby Dino Deaths

A nest full of tiny dinosaurs froze in time a tragedy that led to their deaths around 70 million years ago.

From the Shark Files ...

An international team of researchers is shedding a little more light on a family of sharks known as Glyphis.

Animal Pictures