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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, November 7, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of Carolina Naturally.
Beauty ...!
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Today is - Sadie Hawkins Day

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Today in History

1665 The London Gazette, the oldest surviving journal, is first published.
1811 Rebellious Indians in a conspiracy organized in defiance of the United States government by Tecumseh, Shawnee chief, are defeated during his absence in the Battle of the Wabash (or Tippecanoe) by William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana Territory.
1814 Andrew Jackson attacks and captures Pensacola, Florida, defeating the Spanish and driving out a British force.
1846 Zachary Taylor, one of the heroes of the Mexican War, is elected president.
1861 Union General Ulysses S. Grant launches an unsuccessful raid on Belmont, Missouri.
1876 Rutherford B. Hayes is elected 19th president of the United States.
1881 Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, two participants in Tombstone, Arizona’s, famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, are jailed as the hearings on what happened in the fight grow near.
1916 President Woodrow Wilson is re-elected, but the race is so close that all votes must be counted before an outcome can be determined, so the results are not known until November 11.
1916 Jeannette Rankin (R-Montana) is elected the first congresswoman.
1917 British General Sir Edmond Allenby breaks the Turkish defensive line in the Third Battle of Gaza.
1917 The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, take power in Russia.
1921 Benito Mussolini declares himself to be leader of the National Fascist Party in Italy.
1940 Tacoma Bridge in Washington State collapses.
1943 British troops launch a limited offensive along the coast of Burma.
1944 President Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected to a fourth term by defeating Thomas Dewey.
1956 UN General Assembly calls for France, Israel and the UK to immediately withdraw their troops from Egypt.
1967 In Cleveland, Ohio, Carl B. Stokes becomes the first African American elected mayor of a major American city.
1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs a bill establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
1972 President Richard Nixon is re-elected.
1973 Congress overrides Pres. Richard M. Nixon’s veto of the War Powers Resolution that limited presidential power to wage ware without congressional approval.
1975 A uprising in Bangladesh kills Brig. Gen. Khaled Mosharraf and frees Maj. Gen. Ziaur Rahman, future president of the country, from house arrest.
1983 A bomb explodes in the US Capitol’s Senate Chambers area, causing $250,000 damages but no one is harmed; a group calling itself the Armed Resistance Unit claimed the bomb was retaliation for US military involvement in Grenada and Lebanon.
1989 Douglas Wilder wins Virginia’s gubernatorial election, becoming the first elected African American governor in the US; during Reconstruction Mississippi had an acting governor and Louisiana had an appointed governor who were black.
1990 Mary Robinson becomes the first woman elected President of the Republic of Ireland.
1994 The world’s first internet radio broadcast originates from WXYC, the student radio station of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
2000 Hilary Rodham Clinton becomes the first First Lady (1993–2001) elected to public office in the US when she wins a US Senate seat.
2000 Election Day in the US ends with the winner between presidential candidates the shrub and Al Gore still undecided.

What Defines a Country?

University of Oxford geographer Nick Middleton wrote a book titled An Atlas of Countries that Don’t Exist. The world has plenty of them, some you are familiar with, and others you’ve probably never heard of. They are real places, but whether they are "countries" or not depend on what you mean by "country."
The problem, he says, is that we don’t have a watertight definition of what a country is. “Which as a geographer, is kind of shocking,” he says. Some cite a treaty signed in 1933, during the International Conference of American States in Montevideo, Uruguay. The “Montevideo Convention” declares that to become a country, a region needs the following features: a defined territory, a permanent population, a government, and “the capacity to enter into relations with other states”.
There are plenty of places that fit this definition, yet that really doesn’t help when you’re a small nation trying -and failing- to gain acceptance from other nations. Not only does a country have to be recognized, but recognized by the right nations. Look at Taiwan: it was kicked off the UN’s General Assembly when China joined. Look at the United Kingdom: it has four countries, but only one seat in the UN. Look at Lakotah, in the upper Great Plains of the U.S.: by treaty, it belongs to the Lakotah Nation,  but the U.S. reneged on the treaty long ago and doesn’t take kindly to secessionist movements. Look at Christiana, a neighborhood in Copenhagen: it considers itself sovereign, but relies on Denmark for everything. Conversely, Denmark owns Greenland, but Greenland has its own government. Read more about countries that don’t exist (or do they?) at BBC Future.

Malala Yousafzai tells Emma Watson: I hesitated to call myself a feminist until you inspired me

Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai tells Emma Watson: I hesitated to call myself a feminist until you inspired me

Better sleep and tai chi reduce inflammation and promote health

Better sleep and tai chi reduce inflammation and promote health
Better sleep and tai chi reduce inflammation and promote health
Inflammatory processes occur throughout the body, with a primary function of promoting healing after injury. However, when too active, these inflammatory processes can also damage the body in many ways, and may contribute to heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, and ...

Grown ups less happy than they used to be

Grown ups less happy than they used to be
Grown ups less happy than they used to be
Are you less happy than your parents were at the same age? It may not be all in your head. Researchers led by San Diego State University professor Jean M. Twenge found adults over age 30 are not as happy as they used to be, but teens and young adults are happier than...

Stress, Anxiety and Fear

'Oswald the Lucky Rabbit'

Mickey Mouse's ancestor unearthed: 1928 Disney film with 'Oswald the Lucky Rabbit' found
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny's long-lost, long-eared ancestor has been discovered in the National archive of the British Film Institute.
'Oswald the Lucky Rabbit' starred in the 77-year-old film “Sleigh Bells,” which just found at the BFI's National Archive in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, by a Disney researcher who spotted the title while searching the online catalog. The film has long been considered the 'holy grail' of Disney's lost rarities.
The last known copy of the 6-minute animated short made its way to the BFI from a Soho film lab that folded. The stock was dated 1931, and there was no marking on the physical object or casing to indicate that it contained the treasure it did.
Walt Disney and Ubi Iwerks created the Oswald character in 1927 for Universal, and they left that studio after a contractual dispute. The floppy-eared bunny is a bit of a rebel, and is married to a cat named Ortensia. And those ridiculous ears are a sign of what would follow at Disney: Mickey, Minnie, and the characters whose names we all know today.
From the Guardian:
The film features Oswald in an ice hockey game against a winter wonderland backdrop and has surreal touches with the rabbit at one point removing his ear to make a balloon. There’s also an elephant and a laughing donkey, who gets the puck stuck in his mouth.
Andrew Millstein, president of Walt Disney Animation Studios, said the company was thrilled to be collaborating with the BFI on restoration of the short Oswald film. “The Oswald shorts are an important part of our studios’ history and we have been working with film archives and private collectors all around the world to research the missing titles,” he said.
Sleigh Bells will get its world premiere as part of a program, called It’s a Disney Christmas: Seasonal Shorts, on 12 December.
More: BBC, THR, The Guardian, The Independent.

The Strange Realities Of Working In A Fake Colonial Town

Working in a fake colonial town drives employees batty, which isn't surprising since employees are method actors stuck in a place where they have to be "on" at all times and no trace of the modern world can be seen.
But even more unsettling than working somewhere without screens or ambient music is the fact that many fake towns stay historically accurate to a fault, like Colonial Williamsburg, where slavery still exists.
The presence of pretend slaves raises lots of questions in the minds of tourists, who are all too happy to ask whether the slaves get whipped, sold and how much it costs to buy them.
Luckily, many of the kids asking after a price say they want to know so they can set the slaves free, but imagine what must run through an actor's mind when they hear these kinds of questions!

The "Science" Behind The Plague Doctor's Mask

The strange bird-like look of the classic 17th century plague doctor mask, often seen during the Carnival Of Venice, has captured the imagination of artists who see it as equal parts creepy and visually compelling.
But did it have a practical function to match the eye pleasing form?
Here's the antiquated "science" behind the beaky shape of the mask:
The nose [is] half a foot long, shaped like a beak, filled with perfume with only two holes, one on each side near the nostrils, but that can suffice to breathe and carry along with the air one breathes the impression of the [herbs] enclosed further along in the beak. Under the coat we wear boots made in Moroccan leather (goat leather) from the front of the breeches in smooth skin that are attached to said boots, and a short sleeved blouse in smooth skin, the bottom of which is tucked into the breeches. The hat and gloves are also made of the same skin…with spectacles over the eyes.
The mask was but one element of the Plague Doctor's prescription costume, and the hat, coat, gloves and staff were equally important to keeping the doctor safe from sickness.

The Many Lives of Maria Rasputin, Daughter of the 'Mad Monk'

Who knew that Rasputin, advisor to Tsar Nicholas II, had a daughter who became a circus performer -and then an American? Maria went from a young village peasant to a life of education and high society in St. Petersburg. The murder of her father threw Maria’s life into chaos. Eventually, Maria’s entire family, as well as the Tsar’s family, were either dead or imprisoned. Maria escaped to Europe with her husband, who died in Paris in 1926. She was left alone with two young daughters to support.
Then, Maria told the Los Angeles Times, “absolutely unexpected, I got offer to be cabaret dancer in Bucharest. This was because of my name, not because of my dancing.” For several years Maria danced across Europe, allowing herself to be billed as “the daughter of the mad monk.” In 1929, she published her first book, The Real Rasputin, a strongly worded defense of her father.
Soon Maria took on another career- that of an animal trainer in a traveling circus. With her characteristic sense of humor, Maria said: “They ask me if I mind to be in a cage with animals, and I answer, ‘Why not? I have been in a cage with Bolsheviks.’”
Maria Rasputin had what you could call an eventful life, which you can read about at Atlas Obscura.

16 Stories You Might Not Know about the Titanic

The RMS Titanic was a floating city with almost every amenity from dry land that could be desired at sea. For example, the Titanic had its own daily newspaper called the Atlantic Daily Bulletin. Pictured above is an officer editing such a paper from a similar liner from the same time period.
The Atlantic Daily Bulletin offered practical information, such as the day's menus, but also entertained guests by providing society gossip, and kept people connected with the outside world by listing changing stock prices.
This is 1 of 16 unusual stories about the ill-fated Titanic that you might not know about. Read the rest at Vintage.

Department of Energy Issues New Rule: Don't Put Highly Enriched Uranium in Your Pocket

Now they tell us!
The US Department of Energy, which oversees how nuclear materials are handled in the United States, found that, on occasion, nuclear materials workers had placed highly enriched uranium in their pockets. A report on the subject informs people who work with these hazardous substances to cease pocketing them:
Further, after interviewing chemical operators and reviewing revised Y-12 procedures, we confirmed that chemical operators are no longer allowed to place samples in their pockets and must check their pockets before removing their coveralls.
The risk was, thankfully, very low. CNS News summarizes:
According to a Y-12 Subject Matter Expert (SME), the possibility of “a nuclear criticality accident occurring during the incident was very low,” because the “minimum critical mass” for such an incident is over 700 grams, while the samples in question only contained 20 grams of uranium. Also, personnel wore proper protective equipment.

Woman accused of twisting off and stealing man's prosthetic leg

A mother from Bartlett, Tennessee, is out of jail on bond after police said she got into a fight with a man at a bar and stole his prosthetic leg. The victim told police Donna Hastings, 53, attacked him while at the Dan McGuiness Sports Bar.
The victim had done some contracted work with Hastings in the past, and while at the bar, the victim said she started arguing with him over payment for previous services. When the victim refused to argue or pay for services, he said Hastings grabbed his prosthetic leg, twisted it, and pulled it off.
The victim then lost his balance and fell off his bar stool. Police said Hastings then took the prosthetic leg and tried to leave the bar, but several bystanders stopped her. She then threw the leg down and drove off. The victim's doctor said the damage to the prosthetic leg could not be fixed. It will cost $2,731.92 to replace.
Hastings is charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of vandalism of more than $1,000. Lawyer, Leslie Ballin, who is representing Ms Hastings, said the allegations are false and that he looks forward to representing his client in court. He said the victim owed his client more than $4,000 for roofing work that he never completed.



Shocking Numbers of Police Officers Have Committed Sex Crimes

'Christian' pregnancy centers freak out after California turns tables and forces them to disclose abortion rights

For years, religio-wingnuts have been placing roadblocks to make it harder for women to get an abortion, but the state of California has turned the tables.

12-Year-Old Raped In CVS Bathroom Wasn’t ‘Necessarily All That Unwilling’

Texas Detective: 12-Year-Old Raped In CVS Bathroom Wasn’t ‘Necessarily All That Unwilling’ (VIDEO)Police say that a 12-year-old girl lured from her mom and raped in a Texas CVS bathroom “was not necessarily all that unwilling.” Classy stuff, huh?

Why Do Child Models Need Federal Protection?

Quick Hits

Catholic school teacher busted after showing student picture of naked man instead of himself as Santa
Alabama woman shoots and kills man accused of abducting and raping her

Mysterious Geoglyphs

The space agency provides pictures of enigmatic giant shapes that were first spotted in 2007.

Rain on Yemen

Cyclone Chapala made landfall Tuesday and dumped an enormous amount of rainfall on Yemen's normally parched coastline.

Fire and Ice

Snowfall has mounted 30 percent in West Antarctica over the past century, but the extra powder has not spelled good news for the melting ice sheet.
Right this second, as we type and you read, there are fires burning underground all over the globe. They're a smoky mess and can render useless large tracts of land. We didn't start these fires, but can we put them out?

Supernova Twins

Supernova Twins: Making Standard Candles More Standard Than Ever
Making Standard Candles More Standard Than Ever
Less than 20 years ago the world learned that the universe is expanding ever faster, propelled by dark energy. The discovery was made possible by Type Ia supernovae; extraordinarily bright and remarkably similar in brightness, they serve as “standard candles”...

Paleontology News

Famous fossil location in South Dakota yields the 17-foot 'Dakotaraptor.'
The bigger the bite -- the better to bite the heads off prey.

Tapeworm Tumor

Stunned scientists have described the first known case of a man infected with tumors by a common parasitic tapeworm.

Elephants may use trunks like ‘leaf blowers’ to obtain inaccessible food

Elephants may use trunks like ‘leaf blowers’ to obtain inaccessible food
Elephants may use trunks like ‘leaf blowers’ to obtain inaccessible food
Two captive elephants blast air through their trunks to grasp hard-to-reach food, suggests an initial study published today in Springer’s journal Animal Cognition. This behaviour, studied in a zoo population of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), is altered...

Farting sheep forced plane to make emergency landing

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 747 was forced to make an unexpected stopover after methane gas set off the fire alarm.
The cargo flight from Australia to Kuala Lumpur, with 4 crew and 2,186 sheep on-board, was flying just to the south of Indonesia when the smoke alarms sounded.
Crew on-board SQ-7108 descended the aircraft immediately and diverted to Bali where they landed about 45 minutes later.
Emergency services didn’t find any trace of fire or smoke and identified the cause to be the result of exhaust gasses and manure produced by the sheep. The plane and its cargo were able to depart the holiday island about three hours later.

Animal News

Kangaroo farts are almost as potent as a cow's, at least when it comes to emission of methane, a known greenhouse gas.
Although it may look like a whimsical cartoon character, the axolotl is in serious trouble.

Animal Pictures