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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, October 26, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to the Monday Edition of  Carolina Naturally.
 Howl at the Moon ...!
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Today in History

1774 The first Continental Congress, which protested British measures and called for civil disobedience, concludes in Philadelphia.
1795 When General Paul Barras resigns his commission as head of France’s Army of the Interior to become head of the Directory, his second-in-command becomes the army’s commander—Napoleon Bonaparte.
1825 The first boat on the Erie Canal leaves Buffalo, N.Y.
1881 Three Earp brothers and Doc Holliday have a shootout with the Clantons and McLaurys at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona Territory.
1905 Norway signs a treaty of separation with Sweden. Norway chooses Prince Charles of Denmark as the new king; he becomes King Haakon VII.
1918 Germany’s supreme commander, General Erich Ludendorff, resigns, protesting the terms to which the German Government has agreed in negotiating the armistice. This sets the stage for his later support for Hitler and the Nazis, who claim that Germany did not lose the war on the battlefield but were "stabbed in the back" by politicians.
1942 Japanese attack Guadalcanal, sinking two U.S. carriers.
1942 U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Hornet is sunk in the Battle of Santa Cruz Island, in the South Pacific.
1950 A reconnaissance platoon for a South Korean division reaches the Yalu River. They are the only elements of the U.N. force to reach the river before the Chinese offensive pushes the whole army down into South Korea.
1955 The Village Voice is first published, backed in part by Norman Mailer.
1955 Ngo Dinh Diem declares himself Premier of South Vietnam.
1957 The Russian government announces that Marshal Georgi Zhukov, the nation’s most prominent military hero, has been relieved of his duties as Minister of Defense. Khrushchev accused Zhukov as promoting his own "cult of personality" and saw him as a threat to his own popularity.
1958 The first New York – Paris transatlantic jet passenger service is inaugurated by Pan Am, while the first New York – London transatlantic jet passenger service is inaugurated by BOAC.
1967 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi crowns himself Emperor of Iran and his wife Farah as empress.
1970 Gary Trudeau’s comic strip Doonesbury first appears.
1979 The President of South Korea, Park Chung-hee, asssinated by Kim Jae-kyu, head of the country’s Central intelligence Agency; Choi Kyu-ha is named acting president.
1994 Israel and Jordan sign a peace treaty.
2001 The USA PATRIOT Act signed into law by the shrub, greatly expanding intelligence and legal agencies’ ability to utilize wiretaps, records searches and surveillance.
2002 Russian Spetsnaz storm the Moscow Theatre, where Chechen terrorists had taken the audience and performers hostage three days earlier; 50 terrorists and 150 hostages die in the assault.

In 1942 it was an honor to be termed a bigot

From Wikipedia:
A BIGOT list (or bigot list) is a list of personnel possessing appropriate security clearance and who are cleared to know details of a particular operation, or other sensitive information.
One common etymology is that BIGOT is a reversal of the code-words "TO GIB", meaning "To Gibraltar". The context of this etymology is the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942: "TO GIB" was stamped on the orders of military and intelligence staff traveling from Britain to North Africa to prepare for the operation. The majority of personnel made a dangerous journey by sea, through areas patrolled by German U-boats, however certain individuals whose contribution to the campaign or whose mission was vital were classified "TOGIB", and were flown to Africa on a safer route via Gibraltar.
Several sources state that BIGOT was a code-word for Operation Overlord, the Western Allies' plan to invade German-occupied western Europe during World War II, and that the term was an acronym for "British Invasion of German Occupied Territory". It is possible that the term, supposedly suggested by Winston Churchill himself, was a "backronym"—a phrase created to fit an acronym such as the existing "To Gibraltar" code.
The list of personnel cleared to know details of Overlord was known as the BIGOT list, and the people on it were known as "Bigots". The details of the invasion plan were so secret, adherence to the list was rigidly enforced. U.S. military adviser George Elsey tells a story in his memoirs about how a junior officer turned away King George VI from the intelligence center on the USS Ancon, because, as he explained to a superior officer "...nobody told me he was a Bigot."
Although both derivations are of British origin, the term is widely used in the United States intelligence agencies.

The Shining Hotel May Be Turned into a $24 Million Museum of Horror

The hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining may become a $24 million, 43,000-square-foot horror film center and museum, if funds can be raised by the principals. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado recently announced that plan, upon which the Denver Business Journal reported.
According to the projects' organizers, the proposed building, to be named the "Stanley Film Center," would house "multiple indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, including a 500-seat auditorium; a 30,000-square-foot interactive museum and discovery center that would feature rotating exhibits; a 3,000 square-foot soundstage; classrooms and workshop spaces; and post-production and editing suites."
While the Stanley planted the seed for writing The Shining in the mind of Stephen King, the majority of shots from the film were made at a soundstage in Hertfordshire, England. Exterior shots of the "Overlook Hotel" were done at the Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon.
See illustrated plans for the proposed center and learn more on the story via the Denver Business Journal

Statue of Lenin Replaced with Darth Vader

For decades, a statue of Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin stood in Odessa, Ukraine. But now it has been replaced with the image of Darth Vader, a Ukrainian politician. It was made of gypsum, which had been decaying for a while.
Lord Vader replaced the head and added decorative flourishes to the original, as well as a titanium cover to strengthen the structure. It's invulnerable, except for an insignificantly small exhaust port. The head is a WiFi hotspot, which Lord Vader hopes will attract visitors to his statue and his cause.

14 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Cruise Ship Workers

If you've ever taken a cruise with one of the larger cruise lines, you know the feeling of being on a massive, near-city on water. Many of the ships are so large and confusing that most passengers get lost at least once; often by the time they have the layout memorized, it's time to disembark.
So what goes on in the inner workings of such a large enterprise? Let this mental_floss listing of facts from current and former cruise workers inform you:
On most large cruise liners, the majority of staff and crew are not American. “On any given contract, you’re working with about 64 nationalities,” says Kat, who spent three years working for a major cruise line. There are a number of possible drivers behind this statistic, but one is that cruise ship employees work really long hours and almost never get a day off, which isn’t particularly appealing to Americans used to a 40-hour workweek and relaxing on weekends. “On my worst contract, I was working close to 300 hours a month,” Kat says. “Yeah, you might be in beautiful places, but you’re so tired sometimes you don’t even want to go out and explore. A lot of times they won’t even hire Americans because the rate of people quitting is so high.”
Americans are also more expensive to employ, even if they do the same work as their counterparts from developing countries. Sam, who worked on Princess Cruises for two years, says her monthly salary of $1100 was higher than that of her Filipino boss. According to Sam, the official reason the ship gave was that the dollar is worth more to people from developing countries than it is to Americans, justifying the lower salary.
When they’re not working, employees are probably drinking and partying. “We partied our asses off,” Gavin says. “We joked about how it makes a frat house look like a monastery.” The staff get their own designated watering holes on board, referred to as the crew bars, where the drinks are dirt cheap. “At the passenger bars they were charging like $15 for a drink and we’d go down into the crew bar and you could get a beer or mixed drinks for $1.25,” Sam says.

And what happens when you give copious amounts of cheap alcohol to people who are cooped up together for months at a time? “It seems like a cliche, but everyone was hooking up with each other,” Sam says. “In a lot of the crew areas there were these huge posters about STD prevention.”

The crew is regularly threatened with the possibility of random breathalyzer tests (and drug testing), but even this isn’t always enforced. “There was a strict limit on our ship of no more than .04 blood alcohol content at any time,” Gavin says, “but as long as you didn’t make a fool of yourself, you wouldn’t get randomly breathalyzed, so people would break that rule all the time.”

Drug engineered from bananas shows promise in fighting deadly viruses

A banana a day may not keep the doctor away, but a substance originally found in bananas and carefully edited by scientists could someday fight off a wide range of viruses, new research suggests. And the process used to create the virus-fighting form may help...

Why Midcentury Lawyers Spent 12 Years Arguing About Peanut Butter

America loves peanut butter. The country spends nearly $800 million a year on it. The average child in the U.S. gulps down 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before graduating high school.
In 1959 the FDA launched an 'assault on inferior peanut butters' against the Peanut Butter Manufacturers of America. The story behind the resulting 'Peanut Butter Hearings' is actually much stickier.

Woman upset about neighbor's noisy children sent notes about tasting and licking them

Police in Champlin, Minnesota, say a 38-year-old woman was arrested and has admitted sending anonymous threats to a family that said she wanted to taste and lick their children. Police say the woman was upset because the children made noise and left items in her yard. Carrie Pernula was arrested on Friday and faces possible charges of gross misdemeanor terroristic threats and stalking. Word of the threats spread quickly through social media and neighbors say both they and the family were terrified.
The first anonymous threat arrived on Sept. 27 by mail. The two short sentences said: “The children look delicious. May I have a taste?” The family lives in a Champlin neighborhood and they have two elementary school students. Terrifed, they called the Champlin Police Department and posted on a Champlin community Facebook page, saying in part, “Opened our mail today to this letter. Obviously my stomach started doing somersaults.” Then, the family began to receive magazine subscriptions.
“Instead of a name on the address label it said things like ‘tasty children’ along those lines,” Champlin Deputy Police Chief Ty Schmidt said. Champlin police traced the magazines and last Friday arrested Carrie Pernula. Police say she admitted to the threats. “She was angry because the kids were leaving things in her yard and I think being a little noisy, being kids, the way kids are,” Schmidt said. The neighborhood is full of families with young children.

Word of the threats spread quickly on social media and families were terrified for their children. Pernula was released from jail on Monday and is believed to be back at her home. Champlin police say its disturbing someone would create such fear. “In this case they went way beyond the bounds of what should be done,” Schmidt said. Pernula, when confronted by investigators, admitted to sending notes and magazines because the children at that house were “always putting stuff on her porch.” She has not been charged. The Champlin city attorney is reviewing her case.

Man admits to unsuccessfully attempting to smuggle cocaine duct-taped to his ankles

A passenger who arrived on a ship at Port Everglades, Florida, with two packages of cocaine duct-taped to his ankles and two more hidden in his luggage pleaded guilty to federal drug-smuggling charges on Tuesday. Ryan Gibson, 34, admitted he tried to smuggle slightly more than two pounds of the drug from his native Bahamas to South Florida.
He was arrested soon after arriving on the Bahama Mama day cruise from Grand Bahama Island to Fort Lauderdale on Aug. 13. When U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Broward County port found two brick-shaped packages of the drug in his suitcase, Gibson asked them to "please not say anything," Assistant US Attorney Terry Lindsey wrote in court records.
Investigators said they then patted down Gibson and found "two more brick-shaped packages taped to his ankles." Gibson, who said he was a scaffolding worker at a shipyard in the Bahamas before his arrest, told investigators he bought the cocaine for $16,000 in Freeport and planned to sell it in Broward, possibly at a flea market.

Gibson pleaded guilty to one count of importing a controlled substance and one count of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute it. The charges each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine. Gibson has no plea agreement with prosecutors, but he will likely receive a lesser punishment because authorities said he has no prior criminal record. US District Judge William Zloch scheduled sentencing for Jan. 5 in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

Man spotted lurking in bushes told police he was the creator and that it was none of their business

A 61-year-old Florida man trying to hide in some bushes was arrested for loitering and prowling after claiming he was “the creator,” according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Allen Clay Ramsey, of Astor, was arrested while trying to go back into the bushes and refusing to give his name to deputies. Ramsey is currently in the Lake County Jail in lieu of $500 bail. According to an arrest affidavit, a deputy was patrolling in Astor when he spotted a man, later identified as Ramsey, trying to conceal himself in some bushes.
The officer said it appeared that Ramsey was watching an employee at the Kangaroo Express convenience store as she picked up garbage outside the store. When the deputy asked Ramsey to come out of the bushes, he reportedly attempted to better conceal himself before eventually coming out.
The affidavit adds when asked what he was doing, Ramsey said: “I am the creator and it’s none of your business.” And when asked who he was, Ramsey said: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, look it up,” as he attempted to go back into the bushes. The deputy said due to Ramsey’s odd behaviour and his refusal to answer any questions, he was arrested. Ramsey reportedly continued to mumble about being the creator and that he owned the world during his arrest.

Pastor caught lying about ‘black robber’ busted again for pretending to be a Navy SEAL

Pastor George Hunley posing as "Mark Joston" (Screenshot/YouTube)
Pastor caught lying about ‘black robber’ busted again for pretending to be a Navy SEAL

Sweltering September

September 2015 was warmer than average by more than any month of any year in 136 years of record keeping.

Believe It Or Not


Comet Contains Alcohol and Sugar

Don't break out your cocktail shakers yet, though.
Scientists using a radio telescope at the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique in Sierra Nevada, Spain found that Comet Lovejoy contains two basic building blocks of life: alcohol and sugar. Specifically, ethyl alcohol and glycolaldehyde.
Comets often contain the earliest identifiable materials from the formation of a solar system, so these findings give us important information about the early history of our solar system. Astrophysicist Dominique Bockelée-Morvan said:
"The presence of a major complex organic molecule in comet material is an essential step toward better understanding the conditions that prevailed at the moment when life emerged on our planet," she said.
"These observations show a possible explanation for its (life's) origin on our planet," she added.

How Did Human Hearing Evolve?

What's not fun about being able to hear? Good music, good conversation, the din of construction near your house. OK, maybe not that last one. But overall hearing's pretty great. How did we develop it?

The Most Venomous Animal in the World Is a Snail

There are snakes that can kill you with a single bite and scorpions that can take you out with just one sting. But none of them have venom with the killing power of a snail. The geography cone snail (Conus geographus) has a toxin so powerful that a lethal dose for a human is just 0.029-0.038 milligrams.
There have been only 36 recorded human fatalities from it since 1670. That's because the geography cone snail lives in the ocean. But its unique venom delivery system is capable of penetrating the wetsuits of any humans foolish enough to get too close. BBC Earth reports:
To take down their targets, cone snails have modified teeth called "radulae". They are sharp, hooked and hollow, like a cross between a harpoon and a hypodermic needle. The snail launches one at an unsuspecting fish, whereupon it delivers a cocktail of toxins that target the nervous system. Once the fish is paralyzed, the cone snail can devour it.

How Do Scientists Tell Species Apart?

A new Tree of Life was just released, containing more than 2.3 million species on terra firma. What determines which species go where?

Animal News

There was a time when it rained rodents over rural Idaho.
Unmanned aerial vehicle footage helps track the health of a relative 'baby boom' in a Southern Resident killer whale population.
The first five monkeys were released in early September, a key moment in a program that has been in the works since 2010.
A new study finds the reptiles may be exhibiting a survival tactic called unihemispheric sleep.
The distinctive creature lived 76 million years ago, during the Cretaceous, in a modern-day Utah that looked more like Louisiana bayou country.
Populations of this majestic cat have declined by more than 20 percent over the past 16 years.

Animal Pictures