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

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

1219 The port of Damietta falls to the Crusaders after a siege.
1556 The Emperor Akbar defeats the Hindus at Panipat and secures control of the Mogul Empire.
1605 Guy Fawkes is betrayed and arrested in an attempt to blow up the British Parliament in the "Gunpowder Plot." Ever since, England has celebrated Guy Fawkes Day.
1653 The Iroquois League signs a peace treaty with the French, vowing not to wage war with other tribes under French protection.
1757 Frederick II of Prussia defeats the French at Rosbach in the Seven Years War.
1768 William Johnson, the northern Indian Commissioner, signs a treaty with the Iroquois Indians to acquire much of the land between the Tennessee and Ohio rivers for future settlement.
1814 Having decided to abandon the Niagara frontier, the American army blows up Fort Erie.
1840 Afghanistan surrenders to the British army.
1854 British and French defeat the Russians at Inkerman, Crimea.
1862 President Abraham Lincoln relieves General George McClellan of command of the Union armies and names Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside commander of the Army of the Potomac.
1872 Susan B. Anthony is arrested for trying to vote.
1911 Calbraith P. Rodgers ends first transcontinental flight–49 days from New York to Pasadena, Calif.
1912 Woodrow Wilson is elected 28th president of the United States.
1914 France and Great Britain declare war on Turkey.
1917 General John Pershing leads U.S. troops into the first American action against German forces.
1930 Sinclair Lewis becomes the first American to win a Nobel Prize in Literature for his novel Babbit.
1935 Parker Brothers company launches "Monopoly," a game of real estate and capitalism.
1940 President Franklin D. Roosevelt is re-elected for third term.
1968 Richard Nixon is elected 37th president of the United States.
1968 Shirley Chisholm of Brooklyn, New York, becomes the first elected African American woman to serve in the House of Representatives.
1995 Andre Dallaire’s attempt to assassinate Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien is foiled when the minister’s wife locks the door.
2003 Gary Ridgway, known as the Green River Killer, pleads guilty to 48 counts of murder.
2006 Former president of Iraq Saddam Hussein, along with Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, is sentenced to death for the massacre of 148 Shi’a Muslims in 1982.
2007 Chang’e 1, China’s first lunar satellite, begins its orbit of the moon.
2009 The deadliest mass shooting at a US military installation occurs at Fort Hood, Texas, when US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 and wounds 29.

5 Things That Wouldn't Be Happening If the U.S. Were a Functioning Democracy

Jurassic Bark: Ancient Irish trees brought back to life

From the scattered remnants, Ireland’s oldest oak trees are being revived as part of a global initiative to propagate the DNA of ancient woodland
Ted Cook planting Brian Boru oak with Adam O’Donovan and Tom O’Brien in August 
Down towards Gougán Barra, where the remote wilds of west Cork meet the gentle slopes of the Lee valley, Ted Cook’s home seems like a relic from a forgotten era.
A pheasant keeps sentry out front, unperturbed by visitors. Behind the gate, the grassy driveway looks like it hasn’t seen a car in a generation, if ever. It’s a sylvan idyll, nestling snugly in about an acre of mixed woodland.
Yet this quiet corner of Kilbarry, Co Cork, so rustic that you half expect Hansel and Gretel to come bounding down with cookies (five kittens do emerge), is at the cutting edge of an international campaign to help save Ireland’s forests.
At Cook’s house, in unprepossessing boxes, lie no ordinary trees. They are oaks. Moreover, these are no ordinary oaks. They contain the precise DNA of the last remaining aboriginal native sessile and common oaks around Ireland. In the US, where they were grown, they were grafted on to root stalks before being sent on to Holland and imported back home.
“The Archangel Project sent tree surgeons up to the tops of about 130 of all the oldest trees in Ireland,” says Cook, who co-founded the first community NGO in Ireland, the Macroom District Environmental Group, in 1984.
“The tops of these tree grafts are from the ancient oaks, and hazels, holly, and yew, which are all considered primary, in that they were never planted. I have them here now since early springtime. You could call them clones; we call it grafting.
“The best oaks I have that aren’t planted yet are the potted oaks from the Brian Boru, ” he says, referring to a huge live oak in Raheen, near Scarriff, Co Clare. It was reputed to have been planted by its namesake a millennium ago.
The saplings seem to be glowing with health, a bit like Cook himself, who is a sort of Gandalf figure and a repository of varied subjects, natural and supernatural, historic and prehistoric.He shows more saplings, these cut from the King Oak tree in Offaly, and also holly cut from the largest holly tree in Ireland (more than 8m in circumference), in Killarney.
The oak saplings have come via the Archangel Project, a worldwide effort to propagate the DNA of ancient forests, from ancient Ireland to ancient Greece.
As the oaks are direct descendants of the ancient Irish forests that flourished after the Ice Age, they contain the genetic material best equipped to thrive on our shores.
“We want to help Ireland reforest itself,” says project co-founder David Milarch, on the phone from Michigan. “It’s imperative to reforest the planet, and it makes sense to use the oldest, most iconic trees that ever lived.”
Californian redwoods
Last year, in a sort of tree version of Jurassic Park (Jurassic Bark?), Milarch sent genetic duplicates of giant Californian redwoods, cut down 100 years ago, to the Woodland League’s Andrew St Ledger in Feakle, Co Clare.
“The aim was to establish the sequoias in Ireland, should their natural habitat grow too hot as the climate changes,” says St Ledger. A wood sculptor from Dublin, he settled in Clare to be near ancient oak woods. “I started questioning, when I was younger: where are our forests?”
In their bid to revive aboriginal trees, St Ledger and Cook gather seeds from the final vestiges of virgin Irish forest. “We prefer seeds to grafting,” says St Ledger. “Myself and Ted have grown trees from acorns from the Brian Boru, but older trees don’t always produce viable seed.”
Scattered in tiny pockets around the country are the remnants of the post- glacial wild wood that covered much of Ireland for 9,000 years.
Due to repeated clear-felling following the Norman invasions, this unique resource now covers just 0.02 per cent of the country.
From these wooded remnants, the Woodland League hope to gather a seed bank. Together with their scientific adviser, botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger, they are preparing a next year to urge communities to collect native tree seeds across Ireland, for future planting.
“These are trees that have evolved to deal with the consequences of climate change in a way that non-native species cannot do,” says St Ledger. “Having been in the one place for 1,000 years, they have remarkable DNA, adapted to this biozone. Each native tree has developed unique relationships with insects, mammals, plants and fungi.”
One source of this seed capital is the Gearagh (from Gaoire, or wooded river), a vast flooded plain near Macroom, Co Cork. Its small wooded pockets are all that remain of 600 acres of alluvial oak and ash forest, felled in 1954 prior to the Lee hydroelectic project.
Today, at low water, the Gearagh is an eerie oak graveyard, with tree stumps visible above the waterline. In one corner, at Toon Bridge, we find oak, holly and hazel, crabapple, wild cherry, bird cherry and, a rarity, buckthorn. “Before the ESB’s clear-felling there was also yew, which along with the salmon, never returned,” says Cook. “The yew is an important component of the wild wood.”
It’s tiny, just a few acres, but the Gearagh is western Europe’s largest extant aboriginal alluvial oak forest.
Just 10 per cent of our land is covered in trees, a fraction of the EU average, which is 37 per cent. Most of it is owned by Coillte. As a commercial operator charged with making the State a profit, Coillte’s aims naturally diverge from those of the Woodland League, which seeks to revive our native species.
Coillte says new planting is a policy decision for Government. Recently the Department of Agriculture announced its own new Forestry Programme 2014-2020. Designed to encourage more commercial logging, it also talks of conserving native woodlands, and, “where appropriate”, converting from conifer to native species.
Authentic landscape
With the UN’s IPCC advocating, in its fifth report, tree-planting to counter the ravages of climate change in Ireland and elsewhere, the Woodland League wants a long-term forest plan, not more logging.
“The actual percentage of native trees in Ireland is quite low, it’s around 1 per cent,” says St Ledger. “The authentic landscape of Ireland is western Atlantic temperate rainforest, dominated by oak. Most Coillte plantations are tree farms. Our hills are covered with exotic conifers that basically acidify the soil, don’t provide much of a haven for wildlife, and deny Irish people their cultural heritage.
“The Government have done little. They restored 13 native woodland sites that were on their property, through EU funding. Bravo. But we would say there’s no long-term management plan to secure them.”
With official policy in their view lacking, the group focuses on small-scale communal planting, usually with schools. One successful example is the “treestoration” of a former quarry in Broadford, Co Limerick, that had been used as a dump. Willow was used to clean up oil slicks, while native yew trees helped to deal with the asbestos. Today it is home to over more than species, plus a 30ft canopy.
“We are optimistic our native forests will return,” says St Ledger.
“It will be a slow process and will have to be mostly achieved by the people themselves. We are a forest people without a forest. But not forever.”

Intoxicated woman hospitalized with hand injuries after sneaking into zoo to pet tiger

A woman was bitten by a tiger at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, on Sunday morning after she apparently tried to pet the big cat.
Police said the woman was intoxicated and went into an unauthorized area at around 7:20am to pet the animal, somehow getting past the fence and security before the zoo had opened. Jacqueline Eide, 33, is in the hospital with a severe injury to her left hand. She was transported to Creighton University Medical Center by a friend.
The wounds are so bad that she might lose parts of her fingers. Eide, according to a release from the Omaha Police Department, was aggressive toward staff and showed signs of intoxication of alcohol or drugs. She was cited for criminal trespass. Eide was sentenced to prison time for her third DUI in 2011.

She was arrested twice in Omaha this year and has criminal convictions, including drunk driving, graffiti, disturbing the peace, obstruction of justice and shoplifting. The incident is under investigation. It's believed that Mai, an 18-year-old three-legged Malayan tiger, was the animal involved in the biting, according to a release from the zoo.

Anti-abortion agitator insists Planned Parenthood encourages teens to have sex with animals

Image: Anti-abortion crusader Carol Everett speaks to Alan Colmes via Skype (Screen capture)Anti-abortion agitator insists Planned Parenthood encourages teens to have sex with animals

Tennessee man charged with raping wife in cult parking lot

Image: Woman in despair (Shutterstock.com)
According to WMC Action News 5, the 27-year-old Memphis man drove his wife to the church parking lot, where he confronted her with accusations of cheating on him.

Man arrested for attacking girlfriend after she returned from store with just one beer

Police in Thibodaux, Louisiana, say a man attacked his live-in girlfriend for coming back from the store with just one beer.
Investigators arrested 49-year-old Tommy Danos after he allegedly struck and choked his girlfriend when he ran out of beer.
According to police, Danos ran out of beer and told the his girlfriend, who was not identified, to go "turn tricks" to buy more. When she came back with just one beer, Danos allegedly lashed out in anger. Danos tells a different story than the woman he allegedly attacked though.
He insists that he was the victim. Danos claims he was attacked while he was asleep and said his lack of injuries is because he is "a good blocker." First responders transported Danos to Thibodaux Regional Medical Center when he complained of chest pains. Upon his release from the hospital, he will be booked with domestic abuse battery involving strangulation.

Lady left blow up doll and sex toy covered in dog poo on porch before pulling gun on two men

A woman from Fishers, Indiana, was arrested on Saturday night after she allegedly left a blow up doll and sex toy covered with dog feces on the porch of a home and then pulled a gun on two men as she tried to leave. According to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, a deputy responded to a call of a woman that had put something on a porch of a home and had pulled a gun at around 10:30pm. When the deputy pulled over the woman, he noticed her gun and had her get out of the car. She told the deputy she was trying to find a friend's house, but could not remember their first name. She said she went to school with them and wanted to play a prank on him. The woman, identified as Chrys Wimmer, 56, told the deputy she left a blow up doll and a sex toy that she covered with dog feces on the porch of the home.
She told the deputy she was then interrupted by a couple of guys, and was worried because she has been robbed before, so she pulled her gun and told them to let her leave. One of the men she allegedly pulled a gun on said he pulled his truck behind her car to block it. When he asked the woman if he could help her she said, "Get the (expletive) out of my way." When he asked again, she allegedly pointed a handgun at his face and said, "Are you going to move or am I going to move it for you?"
According to the deputy's report, she then pointed the gun at a second man, got in her car and drove off. When the deputy searched her car, he found a pill bottle with white powder. A field test determined it was cocaine. Wimmer was arrested for possession of cocaine, pointing a loaded firearm, and possession of a handgun without a license. According to the deputy's report, Wimmer's gun and ammunition is being tested and compared to a shooting from last week.

Man with cloth penis tried to eat toilet paper in unsuccessful attempt to foil breathalyzer test

After being arrested for drunk driving, a man wearing only a trench coat and “a piece of cloth that looked like a penis” attempted to eat toilet paper in a bid to foil a breathalyzer test, Iowa police report.
Police pulled over Ross McDonald, 39, after they spotted him driving the wrong way down Market Street in Conesville at around 3:07am on Sunday. According to a criminal complaint, McDonald was “extremely confused” and could not tell officers “what bar he was coming from.”
McDonald, who claimed to have consumed two drinks, had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and unsteady balance, officers noted. He also appeared to be dressed in a “flasher” costume: “Def was only wearing a trench coat and a piece of cloth that looked like a penis.” Upon arrival at the police precinct, McDonald “attempted to eat toilet paper, thinking it would mess with” the breathalyzer.
McDonald had initially refused the breath test, but “changed his mind after attempting to eat the toilet paper.” Despite McDonald’s cunning plan, his blood alcohol content was measured at .165, twice the legal limit. McDonald was arrested and charged with third-offense drunken driving, a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison. He was released from jail after posting $5,000 bond.

Freaked out wingnut parents force Kansas teacher out of his job for showing students anti-bullying video

Screencap from 'All You Need Is Love' - via YouTubeFreaked out wingnut parents force Kansas teacher out of his job for showing students anti-bullying video

Sick 'Christian' High School Principal Defends Dress Codes As A Way To Protect Girls’ Virginity

Because boys can't control themselves
No worries, parents.
This creepy 48-year-old male high school principal says he’ll protect your little girl’s virginity.

School Defies Department Of Education To Discriminate Against Transgender Student

Colorado man goes on murderous rampage after 911 dispatcher lectures panicked caller on open carry law

Naomi Bettis (ABC News)
A neighbor might have helped stopped a Colorado man from killing three people as he roamed around with a military-style rifle, but the state’s open carry law apparently prevented police from following up on her concerned report.

Grandpa Leaves Granddaughter In The Desert With A Gun To Shoot 'Bad Guys'

Grandpa Leaves Granddaughter In The Desert With A Gun To Shoot 'Bad Guys'

Police In The United States Have Now Killed 1000 People In 2015

Police In The United States Have Now Killed 1000 People In 2015Each of these individuals had friends, family and people who loved them — making the real numbers of victims of police impossible to tally.

Human News

Better eating habits can improve health and reduce the chance of premature death, but few Americans are taking the message to heart.
Perhaps we trust our bodies too much. Our brains and senses fool us on almost a daily basis. Here’s how.
Getting a chunk of uninterrupted sleep is better for your mood than getting woken up repeatedly.
Americans are so obsessed with bacon that it’s the most popular item added to our meals.

Earth News

Agriculture contributes an estimated 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
A new study by German climate scientists states that destabilization of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) has already begun, and will become irreversible at current melting rates in 60 years.

Animal News

The semi-aquatic fen raft spider, once nearly extinct in the region, is seeing benefits from a relocation program.
Yellowstone's grizzly bears have made a remarkable recovery, but some worry the bears could lose their Endangered Species Act status.
The wealthy family caring for them faces U.S. accusations of laundering money for drug traffickers.
Its translucent white shell has an average height of 0.027 inches (0.7 millimeters), breaking the previous record by about a tenth of a millimeter.
Sixty-six million years ago, a tyrannosaur may have sunk its sharp and serrated teeth into the bones of another tyrannosaur.
The eight-year-old male made a long journey to a specialist rhino sanctuary on Sumatra island from a zoo in Cincinnati.
The little-seen marine mammal was recorded off the coast of Madagascar.
Dogs are good for our health, finds a new study on over 1 million children.

Animal Pictures