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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.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to the Friday Edition of Carolina Naturally.
It also happens to be Haunted Refrigerator Night ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 205 countries around the world daily.   
Sweet Overload ... !
Today is - National Candy Corn Day

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Today in History

1270 The Seventh Crusade ends by the Treaty of Barbary.
1485 Henry VII of England crowned.
1697 The Treaty of Ryswick ends the war between France and the Grand Alliance.
1838 Oberlin Collegiate Institute in Lorian County, Ohio becomes the first college in the U.S. to admit female students.
1899 Two battalions of British troops are cut off, surrounded and forced to surrender to General Petrus Joubert’s Boers at Nicholson’s Nek.
1905 The czar of Russia issues the October Manisfesto, granting civil liberties and elections in an attempt to avert the burgeonng supprot for revolution.
1918 The Italians capture Vittorio Veneto and rout the Austro-Hungarian army.
1918 Turkey signs an armistice with the Allies, agreeing to end hostilities at noon, October 31.
1922 Mussolini sends his black shirts into Rome. The Fascist takeover is almost without bloodshed. The next day, Mussolini is made prime minister. Mussolini centralized all power in himself as leader of the Fascist party and attempted to create an Italian empire, ultimately in alliance with Hitler’s Germany.
1925 Scotsman John L. Baird performs first TV broadcast of moving objects.
1938 H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds is broadcast over the radio by Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre. Many panic believing it is an actual newscast about a Martian invasion.
1941 The U.S. destroyer Reuben James, on convoy duty off Iceland, is sunk by a German U-boat with the loss of 96 Americans.
1950 The First Marine Division is ordered to replace the entire South Korean I Corps at the Chosin Reservoir area.
1953 US Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower formally approves a top secret document to maintain and expand the country’s nuclear arsenal.
1961 The USSR detonates "Tsar Bomba," a 50-megaton hydrogen bomb; it is still (2013) the largest explosive device of any kind over detonated.
1965 US Marines repeal multiple-wave attacks by Viet Cong within a few miles of Da Nang where the Marines were based; a sketch of Marine positions was found on the body of a 13-year-old boy who had been selling the Americans drinks the previous day.
1973 The Bosphorus Bridge is completed at Istanbul, Turkey, connecting Europe and Asia over the Bosphorus Strait.
1974 The "Rumble in the Jungle," a boxing match in Zaire that many regard as the greatest sporting event of the 20th century, saw challenger Muhammad Ali knock out previously undefeated World Heavyweight Champion George Foreman.
1975 Prince Juan Carlos becomes acting head of state in Spain, replacing the ailing dictator Gen. Francisco Franco.
1985 Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off for its final successful mission.
1991 BET Holdings Inc., becomes the first African-American company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
2005 The rebuilt Dresden Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) that was destroyed during the firebombing of Dresden in WWII is rededicated.

Obama Tells It Like It Is ...

‘Playing Like A Girl Means You’re A Badass’ 
Watch Obama Tell It Like It Is: ‘Playing Like A Girl Means You’re A Badass’ (VIDEO)
Just when you thought you couldn’t love him more…
Read more 

This Store Just Canceled Black Friday

How Long Would it Take for Vampires to Annihilate Humanity?

If a vampire must feed on human blood, how long would it take a certain number of vampires to wipe out the human population? And if those human victims then turned to vampires, how soon would vampires outnumber humans? Mathematical modeling turned to the world of the supernatural as a surprising number of researchers have tackled the complexities of human and vampire coexistence. A 1982 paper by Richard Hartl and Alexander Mehlmann titled "The Transylvanian Problem of Renewable Resources" took a look at how vampires would affect the human population.
In doing so, they divided vampires into three categories: the "asymptotically satiated vampire," the "blood maximizing vampire," and the "unsatiable vampire." Regardless of the type of vampire, though, they found that bloodsuckers can't help but face diminishing resources:

    "[W]e are facing a typical consumption-resource trade off. The vampire society derives utility from consumption of blood but in sucking the blood of a human being and in turning him to a vampire the resource of human beings is reduced whereas the number of vampires is increased. Both of these effects diminish the resource of humans per vampire curtailing future possibilities of consumption."
However, a 2007 article modeled a vampire apocalypse and concluded that “vampires would eliminate humans within three years.” Which provoked a refutation in 2008. More research has been done, but the results vary according to which vampire mythology one ascribes to. Are the vampires in Bram Stoker’s universe more dangerous than those in Anne Rice’s universe? What about the vampires in the worlds of Twilight or The Historian? Read an overview of the available research at Atlas Obscura.

Chewbacca Arrested

The elections in Ukraine are contentious enough between the pro-Russian and anti-Russian factions, but now they’ve gone and arrested Chewbacca! The Wookiee was accompanying mayoral candidate Darth Vader to a polling place. 
The Star Wars character Chewbacca has been dragged before a court in Odessa, in perhaps the most surreal episode in local elections across Ukraine that have been both hotly contested and rife with dirty tricks. The man inside the costume was fined 170 hryvnia (£5) for the “administrative offense” of not being able to produce identification documents.

A statement posted on the official Instagram account of the Ukrainian police read: “Nothing unusual here, just Chewbacca detained for being without documents while driving Darth Vader to the elections in Odessa. The Sith Lord has already claimed this was illegal as Chewbacca is his pet and general servant and thus does not require documents.”
Police had earlier dragged “Chewbacca” from a polling station and put him in a van after accusing him of disrupting proceedings. The person in the costume said he had been there to support Darth Vader, who was attempting to vote.
Other sources report that the offense was campaigning on election day. This Darth Vader is one of several people who have campaigned under the name while running for office under Ukraine’s Internet Party in the past few years. Some races have included Padme Amidala, Yoda, and Chewbacca. The party is also responsible for the new Darth Vader statue in Odessa.

We're dis-investing in infrastructure, and it's going to hurt us big-time

From Robert Reich
Today I talked to a friend who just moved into a rental unit that's eating 40 percent of his paycheck. He says he has no choice. It's the smallest apartment he could find within ten miles of where he works.
My friend isn't alone. Since 2001, the median monthly rental price in the US has climbed much faster than inflation, while the typical renter’s pretax income has fallen 11 percent. Result: The typical renter is now paying way more than 30 percent of his or her income for rent, and that percentage is rising. In some cities – San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, New York – it’s 40 to 50 percent. What’s the solution? Part of it is better public transportation – so people can live further away from where they work, in affordable housing. But rather than invest more in public transportation, America is disinvesting. We're spending a smaller percentage of our GDP on public transit now than at any time since World War II. Why? Ask Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures.

Study finds $2 million of Indiana charter school funds squandered

A national group released a study Wednesday finding that more than $2 million out of almost $20 million in federal charter school funds was squandered in Indiana.Specifically, the Center for Media and Democracy said several public charter schools that received planning and implementation grants have closed due to poor performance or never opened.
Some of these charters have failed and badly. The federal injection of money in accord with the program objective of incentivizing states where charter schools are exempt from most statutes and regulations has wasted monies on charters that failed in not unforeseeable ways, the report said.
Erin Sweitzer, spokes woman for the Institute for Quality Education, said “We are grateful for federal programs like CSP that help so many Indiana charter schools flourish and serve an increasing number of students. CSP works to foster charter school start-up and innovation, and to see that 90% of their Indiana-directed funds went to schools that opened and stayed open is a tremendous success."
She added that it is always difficult to see a school close due to poor academic performance but it is the right thing to do and is evidence that the charter accountability system is working.
The Center for Media and Democracy is a Wisconsin-based liberal think tank group that conducts investigations into corruption and the undue influence of corporations on media and democracy.
Its most recent report used public records requests under federal and state laws to see how much federal Charter Schools Program funding was given to state agencies for charters, and details of how that money was spent in 12 states including Indiana.
The group also said public information about funds received and spent by charters is severely lacking.
Unlike truly public schools, which have to account for prospective and past spending in public budgets provided to democratically elected school boards, charter spending is largely a black hole, the report said.
Indiana received the least amount of funding under the federal CSP grants for expanding the number of high quality charters among the 12 states in the investigation.
Indiana began allowing charters in 2002, starting with 11 such schools. As of the 2013 school year, Indiana had 75 authorized charter schools with more than 34,000 school children enrolled.
Here are a few troubled charters cited by the study:
- Andrew Academy in Indianapolis received $700,000 in planning and implementation grants. The charter was forced to close in 2015 because of poor student performance.
- Padua Academy in Indianapolis lost its charter in 2014 and converted to a private religious school, but not before receiving $702,000 in federal seed money.
- The Indiana Cyber Charter School opened in 2012 with a $420,000 implementation grant. Dogged by financial problems and poor student results the charter was revoked and it closed in 2015, leaving 1,100 students in the lurch.
- Via Charter School was awarded a $193,000 planning grant, but never opened.

Koch Brothers’ Plot To Privatize Education Has Already Stolen $3.7 Billion From Taxpayers

by Shannon Argueta
For years the Koch Brothers and their Republican puppets have been trying to dismantle the American public education system in favor of privatization. They, along with their nefarious advocacy group Americans For Prosperity, have poured millions of dollars into charter schools, school board elections and a number of other programs aimed to privatize education. Now, we are learning that our country has lost billions of dollars in taxpayer money that has been given to charter schools over the last two decades.
The Wisconsin-based Center for Media and Democracy released the findings of a year-long investigation into private schools in the country. The study is the most comprehensive look we have had into how our tax dollars have been “invested” the Kochs’ dreams of privatized public schools. The Center filed more than fifty public information requests and looked at twenty years of federal authorizations of charter school funding; they found that our government has spent $3.7 billion on charters and much of that money has vanished into thin air. According to the report as states continues [sic] to waste money on private schools and decrease funding for public schools, it’s becoming more difficult to find out where the money is going:
“Unlike truly public schools that have to account for prospective and past spending in public budgets provided to democratically elected school boards, charter spending of tax monies is too often a black hole.”
The reason for this “black hole” is that charter school supporters believe in “flexibility”:
“That flexibility has allowed an epidemic of fraud, waste, and mismanagement that would not be tolerated in public schools,” CMD states, noting that charters “are often policed—if they are really policed at all—by charter proponents, both within government agencies and within private entities tasked with oversight.”
At public schools, the funding comes from the state to the local school boards and then out to the schools. The funds have to all be accounted for and if they are not, they could face millions in dollars of fines from the federal government. Charter schools are not subjected to such constraints, because the people in charge of them are often those who are in favor of privatizing education anyway. Executive Director of CMD, Lisa Graves, explained:
“Neither the federal government nor the states require charters to publish that information on their websites and neither the federal or state governments we examined publish that information themselves.Even aside from serious questions about academic performance by charters—especially online charters—the lack of real accountability remains a real problem for kids and families, as more and more people and corporations have sought to get a piece of the pie, a revenue stream from taxpayer money, to operate or assist charters.”
This is why they said the money goes into a “black hole.” Many of the schools have been accused of tampering with grades, test scores, embezzling tax dollars and other illegal activities. The report found:
  • More than $4.9 million went to California charters that closed within a few years.
  • Indiana cannot account for more than $2.2 million in funds and also have “heavily segregated” the charter schools where 27 percent of African-American students attend “severely segregated” schools. And the state’s charter schools often test worse than the traditional public schools.
  • In 2011 and 2012, $3.7 million in federal taxpayer money was awarded to 25 Michigan “ghost” schools that never even opened to students. Also “more than 100 charters have closed. Many of them have closed due to lack of ‘academic viability’ (poor results) while other have closed due to lack of ‘financial viability.'”
  • $4.6 million went to charter schools in Ohio that either closed or never opened. Ohio, however, was given “the biggest one-year grant “by far” in the 2015 competition for federal funding—$32.6 million—thanks in part to a glowing endorsement from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), which CMD notes had previously referred to the charter system in Ohio as ‘broken.'”
  • Texas has been given $41 million for charter schools even though multiple schools have closed due to fraud, poor results, mismanagement and other reasons.
These are only a few of the states who have given money to these Koch-backed for-profit education organizations and then seen the money disappear. Billions of our tax dollars are being wasted on this Republican crusade to destroy public education and more often than not, it is a complete waste of money. If these funds were directed towards public schools across the country, our students would have smaller classrooms, new books, perhaps arts programs could be reintroduced where they were lost. The benefits would be astronomical, but Republicans would rather send that money to schools for wealthy children and let the rest of our youth go without opportunity or education.

After Cop Threw Student Across The Room, One Girl Came To Her Defense – And Was Arrested Too

After Cop Threw Student Across The Room, One Girl Came To Her Defense – And Was Arrested Too (VIDEO)This guy can bench press 605 pounds, and he threw that tiny girl across the room. And the one they arrest is the girl who was brave enough to stand up to him.

The Number of Male Domestic Abuse Victims Is Shockingly High ...

... So Why Don’t We Hear About Them? 
 by Jenna Birch
When you think of a victim of domestic abuse, who comes to mind?
If you’re being honest, it’s probably a woman. After all, domestic violence against men isn’t a theme of many Hollywood movies.
Yet in 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data from its National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey — and one of the most shocking statistics wasn’t just the sheer total of victims of physical violence but also how those numbers broke down by gender.
According to the CDC’s statistics — estimates based on more than 18,000  telephone-survey responses in the United States — roughly 5,365,000 men had been victims of intimate partner physical violence in the previous 12 months, compared with 4,741,000 women. By the study’s definition, physical violence includes slapping, pushing, and shoving. 
More severe threats like being beaten, burned, choked, kicked, slammed with a heavy object, or hit with a fist were also tracked. Roughly 40 percent of the victims of severe physical violence were men. The CDC repeated the survey in 2011, the results of which were published in 2014, and found almost identical numbers — with the percentage of male severe physical violence victims slightly rising.
“Reports are also showing a decline of the number of women and an increase in the number of men reporting” abuse, says counselor and psychologist Karla Ivankovich, PhD, an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, Springfield.
Ivankovich says there isn’t much buzz about these numbers or their implications, because we don’t know how to handle intimate partner violence against men. “Society supports that men should not hit women, by virtue — but the same is not true for the reverse,” she explains. “The fact is, it’s simply not acceptable to hit anyone.”
Yet, woman-on-man violence is often turned into onscreen amusement, like on a slew of reality shows — or the punch line of a larger, depressing narrative, says Anne P. Mitchell, a retired professor of family law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose (Calif.) and one of the first fathers’-rights lawyers in the country.
She points to the case of John and Lorena Bobbitt, which made national news more than 20 years ago when Lorena cut off her husband’s penis. The aftermath turned into a circus, and details would go on to reveal a volatile marriage, but Mitchell says the initial response of many radio and talk shows was just to laugh at the incident. “If something remotely similar had happened to a woman, there would have been a very different response,” Mitchell tells Yahoo Health.
Mitchell, who has legally represented numerous male victims of domestic violence, says abuse is typically difficult for men to process, let alone seek help for. “Men are brought up to believe it’s not OK to hit a woman or even hit back in self-defense,” she explains. “It is their job to protect her. Add in that you’d be a laughingstock if you said your woman hit you. So in the situation of the battered husband, they don’t know how to feel. They know it’s shameful. They do not want her to get in trouble. So they do not say anything.”
What abuse of men looks like
Physical violence carried out against men is often similar to physical violence against women, Ivankovich says, though it can differ. “Abusive women have been known to abuse in ways similar to men, including punching, kicking, biting, [and] spitting,” she says. “In some instances, to make up for the differences in physical strength, women might use weapons including bats, guns, or knives.”

The ‘war on women’ is not a war — it’s an assault

It is wingnut men, drunk on power, calling women sluts and then rolling up their sleeves and knocking us back into place.

Hobby Lobby’s 'christian' owners under federal investigation for importing looted bible artifacts from Iraq

U.S. Customs agents seized up to 300 small clay tablets shipped from Israel in 2011 to the 'christian' business owners’ headquarters in Oklahoma City.

Colorado deputy admits to raping acquaintance while on duty ...

Prosecutors in Adams County, Colorado have said they will not press charges against a 25-year-old sheriff’s deputy who confessed to committing a sexual assault while on duty.

The cult of sleep deprivation ...

Night eruption at volcano Stromboli (Shutterstock)
L. Ron Hubbard’s immensely powerful, immensely secretive religion is powered by a workforce of sleep-deprived “ministers.” And that's not the worst of it.

Musicians' Brains Are Different

Musicians get more out of music because their brain waves are better able to synchronize with musical rhythms.

Wood instead of oil ...

Wood instead of oil: Making chemical substances solely from renewable resources
Petroleum might well be replaced by wood soon when it comes to manufacturing chemical substances. Research has now made significant progress towards using sustainable biomass, like wood, as an alternative raw material for chemical production. Scientists at Johannes...

Bikini Refuge

About 1,000 displaced residents of the Bikinia Atoll want to relocate to the United States due to rising sea level.

Warming Cold Riches

Climate change will hit many nations hard, where it hurts most -- in the pocketbook

Something is on a collision course with Earth

'Burning Asteroid Hitting Earth Surface' [Shutterstock] http://tinyurl.com/pyw8rdq
The threat of a massive asteroid making a close approach to Earth on Halloween is a bit of spooky news, but there’s a new object on its way that will actually hit Earth next month.

‘WTF’ Is About To Crash Into Earth

Unidentified Space Junk Labelled ‘WTF’ Is About To Crash Into Earth 
A piece of space junk that has been given the apt name of ‘WTF’ is heading straight for Earth - and will crash into us in less than a month.No one seems to know exactly what the flying object actually is - hence the name - but they are in no doubt we are in its path.
All anyone is sure off is that it is about two meters wide and could be hollow inside - meaning it might be man-made.
But how would a man-made object be hurtling in space and on a collision course with the planet where it originated?
Astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell explained: “[It could be] a lost piece of space history that’s come back to haunt us.”
Nature News suggested that it could be a piece of rocket from a recent space mission - possibly even from Saturn V (above), the first rocket to launch astronauts to the moon.Whatever WT1190F is, we can at least hold off on any panic that it might do some serious damage to life on Earth.
If it doesn’t burn up when entering the planet’s atmosphere, it is on course to land in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of Sri Lanka, on November 13.
However, astronomy software developer Bill Gray added: “I would not necessarily want to be going fishing directly underneath it.”
Don’t worry, we have no intention of doing that.

Mammalian Regeneration

Fossils from 300-million years ago shed new light on the regenerative abilities of four-legged vertebrates.

The Hellish Conditions Facing Workers At Chicken Processing Plants

Talking Worms

Nothing gets the appetite going like a discussion of intestinal worms.

Ancient Caribbean Wildlife

Ancient fossils show effect of humans on Caribbean wildlife
Nearly 100 fossil species found in a flooded cave on Abaco Island in the Bahamas reveal a story of persistence against all odds–at least until the time humans stepped foot on the islands. Researchers say the discovery, detailed in a paper published this week in...

Paleontology News

The animals are at least 10,000 years old and are the best-preserved examples of the species ever.
Nearly a million years ago, a cave hyena could have taken down a 5-year-old mastodon weighing more than a ton.

Snakes and Blood

Snake venom helps hydrogels stop the bleeding
A nanofiber hydrogel infused with snake venom may be the best material to stop bleeding quickly, according to Rice University scientists. The hydrogel called SB50 incorporates batroxobin, a venom produced by two species of South American pit viper. It can be injected...

Distant Relatives

Siberian jays can recognize unfamiliar, distant relatives
In few mammal, birds and fish species, individuals can recognize unfamiliar siblings. Until now, however, it remained unclear whether animals also are able to identify more distant, unfamiliar relatives. Evolutionary biologists from the University of Zurich recently...

Animal News

Chickens selectively bred to be bigger over a 50-year period show that evolution can happen dramatically during our lifetimes.
As many as 25 of the critically endangered animal were observed in the Gulf of California.
The latest deaths came less than two weeks after 26 elephants died from poisoning in two separate incidents outside Hwange National Park.
A long, dangerous eel migration from Canada to waters off of Bermuda has just been tracked for the first time.

Animal Pictures