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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.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of Carolina Naturally.
Recon ...!
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Today in History

1493 Christopher Columbus discovers Antigua during his second expedition.
1556 The Englishman Richard Chancellor is drowned off Aberdeenshire on his return from a second voyage to Russia.
1647 All Dutch-held areas of New York are returned to English control by the treaty of Westminster.
1775 U.S. Marine Corps founded.
1782 In the last battle of the American Revolution, George Rogers Clark attacks Indians and Loyalists at Chillicothe, in Ohio Territory.
1871 Henry M. Stanley finds Dr. Livingstone at Ujiji near Unyanyembe in Africa.
1879 Little Bighorn participant Major Marcus Reno is caught window-peeping at the daughter of his commanding officer—an offense for which he will be courtmartialed.
1911 President Taft ends a 15,000-mile, 57-day speaking tour.
1911 The Imperial government of China retakes Nanking.
1917 Forty-one US suffragettes are arrested protesting outside the White House.
1938 Fascist Italy enacts anti-Semitic legislation.
1941 Churchill promises to join the U.S. "within the hour" in the event of war with Japan.
1942 Admiral Jean Darlan orders French forces in North Africa to cease resistance to the Anglo-American forces.
1952 U.S. Supreme Court upholds the decision barring segregation on interstate railways.
1961 Andrew Hatcher is named associate press secretary to President John F. Kennedy.
1962 Eleanor Roosevelt is buried, she had died three days earlier.
1964 Australia begins a draft to fulfill its commitment in Vietnam.
1969 The PBS children’s program Sesame Street debuts.
1971 Two women are tarred and feathered in Belfast for dating British soldiers, while in Londonderry, Northern Ireland a Catholic girl is also tarred and feathered for her intention of marrying a British soldier.
1972 Hijackers divert a jet to Detroit, demanding $10 million and ten parachutes.
1975 The iron ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald breaks in half and sinks at the eastern end of Lake Superior–all 29 crew members perish.
1986 President Ronald Reagan refuses to reveal details of the Iran arms sale.
1989 German citizens begin tearing down the Berlin Wall.
1997 WorldCom and MCI Communications announce a merger, the largest in US history up to that time.
2008 NASA declares the Phoenix mission concluded after losing communications with the lander, five months after it began its exploration on the surface of Mars.
2009 North Korean and South Korean ships skirmish off Daecheon Island.

'Death by poverty' in Idaho

This one's on you, Chief Justice Roberts.
Idaho is one of the red states that refused Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling in 2012 that saved the law as a whole, but further politicized Medicaid and condemned millions of people to being without health insurance—and condemned some to death. Idahoan Jenny Steinke is dead, killed by an asthma attack, but more specifically killed by the Republican party. Steinke died on September 1, the day her husband's brand new insurance from the only job either of them has had that offered benefits kicked in. Steinke had been self-treating her asthma by getting short-acting inhalers when she could from a community health clinic, and by buying extra short-acting inhalers from friends. Because she wasn't being treated regularly for her asthma, here's what she didn't know.

“Several times a week I see people who have delayed medical care because they don’t have coverage, either Medicaid or insurance,” said Ken Krell, director of critical care at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
“They put off being seen until it’s really dire,” he said. “It’s a very common occurrence.” […]
“With asthma, if you use the short-acting inhalers you get some relief,” Krell said. “But if you keep accelerating the use, the effect is shorter and shorter and eventually you become refractory to it.”

Jenny’s inhaler was no longer working. She would’ve soon started to feel like she was suffocating, Krell said. She walked next door to a retired neighbor she was friends with, Richard Kelley, and asked him to drive her to the hospital. She knew she was having an asthma attack, Kelley said, but hadn’t initially seemed overly distressed or out of breath.
Just three minutes into their drive to the hospital, she was no longer breathing. She was put on a respirator for three days, but it wasn't enough. Too much damage had been done to her brain from the lack of oxygen during that asthma attack. She died a completely preventable death. It was, as her mother-in-law Clella Steinke said, "death by poverty."
"This is how poverty treats people, when they're up and down, back and forth, trying to make it," Clella said. "Without medical care, you don't make it very far."
Except it's not poverty that killed her son's wife. Indifference to poverty is what caused this random and totally preventable death, and that indifference has names and faces attached: Republicans. It's Idaho's Gov. Butch Otter, who has repeatedly refused to consider expanded Medicaid even after a working group he appointed to explore the program recommended it, twice. It's every elected Republican in the state of Idaho and all of the people who voted for them. It's Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. They killed Jenny Steinke by refusing her the simple, inexpensive luxury of getting regular treatment for her very common health condition.

Non Sequitur


Texas judge who recused herself from Perry trial shot in front of her home

Police were searching for a suspect in the shooting of a Texas state judge in the driveway of her home, authorities said.

'Christian' youth pastor accused of sexually assaulting multiple victims at California cult

Police in Orange County, California, have arrested a 'christian' youth pastor after several victims have accused him of sexual assault.

Arizona cops assault unarmed man for pulling out his phone during profiling stop

Arthur Velazquez after police encounter via Twitter
Incompetent police officers mistook an innocent man for a suspect last week, which left that man in the hospital.

Mystery explosion was man attempting to hang curtains

A loud 'explosion' which sparked frantic police activity in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday turned out to be nothing more than a man hanging curtains. Police and emergency services were called to investigate after witnesses reported the sound of a loud "explosion".
The mystery bang was heard at 11.40am around Brännkyrkagatan on Södermalm island, an area of the capital which is known for its range of trendy restaurants and hipster shops. The street was closed off while police investigated, but the cordons were lifted shortly thereafter when officers were unable to find the source of the alleged blast and there were no reports of injuries.
Nearby buildings and cars were checked but were not found to have been damaged. At the time, officers reported that one window on the street was broken, but did not believe it was connected to the incident. "The apartment owner had a broken window, it doesn't seem to be connected to any bang. He was at home himself putting up curtains," Näverberg said.
However, later in the afternoon it turned out that the apartment owner was in fact the source behind the mystery blast. The man had accidentally dropped a large drill when he was hanging up his curtains, which broke the window and fell on to a tin roof, causing the loud bang. Police were then called to the scene believing they had a hostage situation on their hands after witnesses reported seeing "a man in a window", mistaking his drill for "a gun-like object".

CIA Email Hackers Breach FBI-Run Site, Deputy Director's Private Email

Dorms for Grownups: A Solution for Lonely Millennials?

The floor plan you see here includes ten tiny one-bedroom apartments, each with its own bathroom and kitchenette, and not much storage space. They all share a common area with couches and TV, some recreational equipment, a large common kitchen, laundry facilities, and storage space. It’s an experimental living space in Syracuse, New York, called Commonspace, designed for young singles who want their own private space but don’t want to live completely alone. Owner Troy Evans and partner John Talarico hope to recruit tenants for an initial six-month lease. Will the people renting here get along? That’s the job of the “social engineer,” who will troubleshoot and arrange group activities.
The apartments will be fully furnished to appeal to potential residents who don’t own much (the units will have very limited storage space). The bedrooms are built into the big windows of the office building—one window per unit—and the rest of the apartment can be traversed in three big leaps. Residents will only have to sign up for six months to start. Evans and Talarico hope to also rent out some of the units on Airbnb to get fresh faces moving through the space.

The units will cost between $700 and $900 a month, which is slightly cheaper than the going rent for a one-bedroom in downtown Syracuse, the two say.
Would you like to live in a place like this? An article at The Atlantic compares it to dorm living, but it reminds me more of a retirement community. College dormitories don’t normally have kitchenettes or private space, and college dorms often cost more. 

Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Can Dissolve Cataracts

Cataracts can slowly rob people of their sight. But they may someday be a thing of past.
First, what precisely is a cataract? Scientific American explains:
Cataracts are caused by damaged crystallin proteins in the eye lens. These proteins start off soluble and transparent, but they are never replaced and can become mis-folded over time forming opaque, insoluble clumps that are highly stable.
So the task of cataract treatment--short of surgical removal--is to dissolve these opaque proteins. Researchers led by Jason Gestwicki of the University of California at San Francisco may have found a way to do precisely that. They've discovered that certain drugs can partially dissolve those proteins:
Their screen identified a handful of molecules – mostly sterols—that were able to decrease the melting temperature of the crystallins. The most promising—5-cholesten-3b,25-diol—could decrease it by 2°C. Further tests, including NMR experiments, revealed that it was binding to the interface between α- and β-crystallin where the two proteins formed a dimer. This, the team suggested, may stabilize the proteins and not only prevent the formation of mis-folded, insoluble forms, but actually reverse the process.

Teacher Claims to Have Solved the Mystery of Jack the Ripper

English Poet Francis Thompson (b. 1859, d. 1907)  
Yet another theory regarding the identity of English serial killer Jack the Ripper has been publicized, this time by Australia-based, English-born educator Richard Patterson. After a 20-year study of the case, Patterson believes the once revered English poet Francis Thompson was the Whitechapel Murderer.

Some of Patterson's reasoning, which he related to the Mirror in an interview, follows:
  • Thompson had surgical experience and hinted at a double life in some of his written works, in which he talked about killing people
  • The poet "kept a dissecting knife under his coat, and he was taught a "rare surgical procedure that was found in the mutilations of more than one of the Ripper victims"
  • Thompson "helped with surgery and is known to have cut up heaps and heaps of cadavers while a student" 
  • Thompson was an opium addict and maintained "close links" to at least one East London prostitute
Patterson believes Thompson snapped and began murdering prostitutes when his relationship with one ended badly.
Watch an (autoplay) video about Patterson's research and read more on this story here.

Abandoned New Slains Castle

Like a scene from Game of Thrones, a crumbling yet still imposing stone castle rises above the North Sea coastline near Cruden Bay in Scotland. This is New Slains Castle, although “new” is relative. It was built sometime after 1597.
Little more than a derelict shell, the haunting ruin of New Slains Castle cuts an imposing landmark on the windswept coastline of Aberdeenshire. The roof has long since collapsed and a carpet of grass extends throughout. Only the internal walls offer a glimpse back to the structure’s heyday. Built by Francis Hay, Earl of Erroll, at the end of the 16th century to replace Old Slains Castle, which had been destroyed on the orders of King James VI following a religious rebellion, the castle’s most distinguished visitor finally arrived some 300 years later.
Said to have been invited by the 18th Earl of Erroll, Bram Stoker walked the corridors of New Slains while visiting Cruden Bay in 1894, likely drawing inspiration for his classic horror novel Dracula, which was published three years later. The castle was abandoned in the early 20th century when financial difficulties forced the 20th Earl to sell New Slains, which was quickly gutted and left to the ravages of time.
I'm sure Dracula would feel right at home, as well as the Starks, or any number of fictional ancient clans. New Slains Castle is just one of 7 Creepy Abandoned Places in Scotland. Read about hospitals, seminaries, amusement parks, military installations, and more at Urban Ghosts.



Sheep: Masters of Camouflage

There are 50 sheep in this picture. Can you see them? If you can, don’t try to count them, or you’ll fall asleep. If you can’t see them, a series of progressively helpful pictures will lead the way. Come on, don’t be sheepish! Ewe can even enlarge them. Among all the baaad sheep jokes and puns in the comments, we got one real bit of wisdom:
You don't have to "see" sheep, you can smell them from miles away.
Now, aren’t you glad we’re just looking at pictures?

Scottish farmer has employed two alpacas to protect his turkeys

An Aberdeenshire farmer has drafted in two security guards to protect this year’s turkeys as orders come in for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Craig Michie from Lochend of Barra, Inverurie, has taken inspiration from the farming techniques of his Columbian wife’s family by employing the South American alpacas as sentries.
The farm near Oldmeldrum, is gearing up for the festive season and Mr Michie explained the benefits alpacas bring to the farm environment and ultimately the flavour of the end product. He said: “The alpacas bring added security in warding off predators, allowing the turkeys to range further for a more varied diet.
“The birds are free to roam as animals such as foxes, badgers and birds of prey are put off by the presence and smell of the alpacas.” The alpacas, named Valderrama and Higuita, after the Columbian footballers, have been patrolling the farm always alert to dangers. They typically stamp their feet and lower their heads if attackers come too close. They have become part of the family since their arrival.

Mr Michie said: “The whole family has become attached to them. They are here to stay. But the main benefit is to the turkeys. The added security allows them to reach the game cover, brassicas and grasses on the boundaries of the farm. This diet helps to enhance the rich gamey nuances of the bronzes. The turkeys are also fed on a home mix of cereals, including oats which are full of antioxidants. This also gives the meat more depth in flavor and a beautiful creamy colored finish.”

Deer emulated Bambi on slippery school floor

On Monday, a deer broke through a front window at J.T. Henley Middle School in Crozet, Virginia, but had trouble keeping its footing on the school's slippery floor.
Phil Giaramita, strategic communications officer for Albemarle County Public Schools, said the mid-sized male deer came through one of the front windows at about 3pm.
It was in the building for about a minute, slipping and sliding in a style reminiscent of the frozen pond scene from the 1942 Disney film Bambi, before staff member Mr Souradji Issotou grabbed its hind legs and guided it out a door. “It picked a good day,” Giaramita said.

“Students were off Monday and most teachers were at another location for professional development training. There was very sparse staff at all of our schools.” He said nothing like this has happened at any of the division’s schools before, and staff members think the deer may have been reacting to its reflection in the window.

Hero dog led emergency crews to elderly owner who had been missing for three days

An elderly man who had been missing for at least three days in the Hawkesbury region of New South Wales, Australia, has been found safe and well, with the help of his dog.
Emergency services launched a full aerial and ground search for the 84-year-old after around Colo after his family raised the alarm. Police Inspector Peter Jenkins said the man's English Staffordshire terrier Kiaria appeared from the bushland and led emergency crews to the man.

"His dog started barking, ran to one of the sons and ran into the bush," Inspector Jenkins said. "PolAir got a coordinate for that and start circling to find them." Inspector Jenkins said early investigations indicated that the man may have fallen while walking the dog.
"Rescue crews got to the gentleman, found him to be conscious, breathing, he had a facial injury which was consistent with him falling over," Inspector Jenkins said. "He was severely dehydrated, hallucinating and disorientated." The man was stabilized by medics on the scene before being winched aboard the air ambulance and flown to Westmead Hospital in a stable condition.

Dog unlocked door to escape before walking 11 miles over two days to return to his foster mother

A woman in Memphis, Tennessee, says she was shocked to discover that a dog she had briefly cared for had escaped a different foster home, wandered 11 miles across the city and turned up on her front porch. Rachel Kauffman says she already had two dogs of her own when she took in a White Shepherd named Hank from a shelter and looked after him for a few days before sending him, as planned, to a longer-term foster home. The story began on Oct. 22, when Tiffany Ford saw Hank's photo online. Hank was a beautiful white shepherd, but he looked sad, terrified and pitiful.
Ford got Kauffman involved, and that Saturday, Hank was out of the shelter and in her home on Cox in Cooper-Young. The plan was to keep him for a few days, then send Hank to a longer-term foster while he was treated for heartworms and fattened up a little. A woman in Middle Tennessee would then formally adopt Hank. But Rachel noticed that Hank was quickly bonding with her. He stayed by her side, wherever she went. He took to her dogs and enjoyed their walks. "When you get a new dog, they imprint pretty quickly. He would follow me around a lot, watch what I was doing," said Kauffman, a local vet tech. "I knew we had a good bond, but at that point, I couldn't predict he would do what he did."
On Oct. 30, after he'd spent six days with Kauffman, Hank was taken to another foster in East Memphis' Berclair area to spend the few months it would take to get him healthy. But on Sunday afternoon, the new foster locked Hank inside, then stepped out. When she came back, Hank had unlocked the front door and run away. "It's happened before. My last shepherd could lock and unlock the door," Kauffman said. "I've been locked out of my house a few times." Kauffman and other animal lovers quickly mobilised. They searched the Berclair area. They posted his photo on social media. Calls came in: Hank's in High Point. Hank's in Sherwood Forest. Hank's in Orange Mound.

All indications were he was heading west, but Hank remained elusive. Then, early on Tuesday evening, Nicole Douglas found herself in Cooper-Young. She looked up and there was Hank, standing in front of the Memphis Drum Shop just blocks from Kauffman's house. "I called Rachel, 'Rachel, I'm following Hank!" Douglas said, slowly driving behind Hank as he trotted down Nelson. When he got to Cox, Hank turned right. Moments later, he plopped down on Kauffman's porch. After a journey that searchers estimated at 11 miles, a meandering path from Berclair in East Memphis to Cooper-Young in Midtown, Hank was home. Truly, home. "He traveled 11 miles to get back to me ... I can't fathom how he travelled that far across town that fast to get back to me," Kauffman said. "When it's meant to be, it's meant to be."

Animal Pictures