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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 14, 2015

The Daily Drift

We wish to express our sympathy with the people of France who have experienced to horror of the demented lunatics who attacked their lives and to express our disgust at the domestic lunatics here attempting to turn this horrific event into their own demented political delusion 
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Today in History

1501 Arthur Tudor of England marries Katherine of Aragon.
1812 As Napoleon Bonaparte’s army retreats form Moscow, temperatures drop to 20 degrees below zero.
1851 Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick is published in New York.
1882 Billy Clairborne, a survivor of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, loses his life in a shoot-out with Buckskin Frank Leslie.
1908 Albert Einstein presents his quantum theory of light.
1910 Lieutenant Eugene Ely, U.S. Navy, becomes the first man to take off in an airplane from the deck of a ship. He flew from the ship Birmingham at Hampton Roads to Norfolk.
1921 The Cherokee Indians ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review their claim to 1 million acres of land in Texas.
1922 The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) begins the first daily radio broadcasts from Marconi House.
1930 Right-wing militarists in Japan attempt to assassinate Premier Hamagushi.
1935 Manuel Luis Quezon is sworn in as the first Filipino president, as the Commonwealth of the Philippines is inaugurated.
1940 German bombers devastate Coventry in Great Britain, killing 1,000 in the worst air raid of the war.
1951 The United States and Yugoslavia sign a military aid pact.
1951 French paratroopers capture Hoa Binh, Vietnam.
1960 New Orleans integrates two all-white schools.
1960 President Dwight Eisenhower orders U.S. naval units into the Caribbean after Guatemala and Nicaragua charge Castro with starting uprisings.
1961 President Kennedy increases the number of American advisors in Vietnam from 1,000 to 16,000.
1963 Iceland gets a new island when a volcano pushes its way up out of the sea five miles off the southern coast.
1963 Greece frees hundreds who were jailed in the Communist uprising of 1944-1950.
1965 The U.S. First Cavalry Division battles with the North Vietnamese Army in the Ia Drang Valley, the first ground combat for American troops.
1968 Yale University announces its plan to go co-ed.
1969 The United States launches Apollo 12, the second mission to the Moon, from Cape Kennedy.
1979 US President Jimmy Carter freezes all Iranian assets in the United States in response to Iranian militants holding more than 50 Americans hostage.
1982 Lech Walesa, leader of Poland’s outlawed Solidarity movement, is released by communist authorities after 11 months confinement; he would win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 and be elected Poland’s president in 1990.
1984 The Space Shuttle Discovery‘s crew rescues a second satellite.
1990 Poland and the Federal Republic of Germany sign a treaty officially making the Oder-Neisse line the border between their countries.
1995 Budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress forces temporary closure of national parks and museums; federal agencies forced to operate with skeleton staff.
2001 Northern Alliance fighters take control of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.
2008 First G-20 economic summit convenes, in Washington, DC.
2012 Israel launches Operation Pillar of Defense against the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip.

Non Sequitur


Baby Monitor Catches Toddler Singing Star Wars Music

Jonathan H. Liu recently watched Star Wars with his kids. His toddler, who is 2 and a half, really enjoyed it--especially the Imperial March, which is also known as the Darth Vader theme. After she went to bed for a nap, the cutest little Sith began singing that piece of music.
Here she is with a captured piece of Rebel equipment. At Geek Dad, Liu explains that his daughter is fascinated with Darth Vader:
When he first appeared on the screen, she started mimicking the sound of his breathing. When the Imperial March started playing, she stood up and danced! Lately she keeps asking us to sing the “Star Wars song”–sometimes she means the theme song, but quite often what she really wants to hear is Darth Vader’s theme instead.
She has chosen her path wisely.

The Art of Driftwood

Photographer and sculptor James Doran-Webb puts drift and waste wood to novel use.

The 10 Most Expensive Cognac Bottles of All-Time

Brandy is made by distilling wine. Cognac is a very specific brandy, which legally must be made in a very specific manner from specific grapes, and only in the Cognac region of France. So from the get-go, cognac is pretty pretentious. Add an artsy bottle, a few extra years of aging, and a prestigious name, and you have the ultimate in conspicuous consumption. For example:
10. Hennessy Ellipse
Our number ten spot comes from one of the most well known names in cognac production, Hennessy. Bottled in an updated version of the classic Thomas Bastide crafted Baccarat crystal decanter, which was made popular by another member of the Hennessy family and predecessor to Ellipse, Hennessy Timeless, Ellipse is said to taste of crystallized fruit, wild roses, and earth tones, a whittling down of Hennessy’s trademark taste to its barest, most essential, and most wonderful. Blending the most Spectacular eaux-de-vie Hennessy Ellipse is made by seven generations of blend masters. Bottles of Hennessy Ellipse can range from $12,000 to $13,000 online.
That’s just number ten. The prices get astronomical as you go up the list of the 10 Most Expensive Cognac Bottles of All-Time.

The Worst Cars of the 20th Century

You may have seen lists of terrible cars, but this one tells the story of each in almost poetic terms. You know the Trabant is going to be on it. Here’s what they have to say about it.
As if bleak Communism and barbed wire weren't enough to break the spirit of the East Germans, they also had to endure the Trabant. The cars had bodies made of recycled cotton and wood fibers backed into plastic called Duroplast, they lacked such fancy refinements as brake lights and they smoked like they were electing a Polish pope. The Trabant also emitted an eau du two-stroke scent, since like a chainsaw, their engines required an oil and gas mix. Getting one of these cars was as easy as putting your name on a 10-year-long waiting list at the government-run factory. Getting rid of one was as easy as waiting for the Berlin Wall to fall, puttering across the border and then running like hell away from that horrible little car toward freedom.
Believe it or not, the Trabant is only number three on the list. See the entire top ten at How Stuff Works.

Mayor To Residents: Sorry You Lost Your Homes, But I Have A Pizza Party To Attend

Mayor To Residents: Sorry You Lost Your Homes, But I Have A Pizza Party To Attend (VIDEO)A Michigan Mayor refused to hear from residents who lost their homes because he had a pizza party to attend.

Men face fines for transporting van on roof of car

Two men have been arrested after a Ford Focus was filmed driving with a white van balancing on its roof on an industrial estate in Segovia, near Madrid, Spain.
After the video was posted on YouTube, police tracked down the two men after identifying both the driver of the car and the man filming.
The pair could receive minimum fines of €500 for dangerous driving. They are due to appear in a Segovia court.

The man filming can be heard shouting in Spanish: “You have to be shitting me. You must be from Zamora!” at the car driver, who had collected the van from a local scrap yard.

Man allegedly assaulted his elderly grandmother after being denied the ability to buy cake

A Florida man pushed his 82-year-old grandmother to the ground on Saturday night after he was denied a “debit card he needed to buy cake,” police allege.
Adam Tanzer, 26, was arrested for battering the elderly victim during a dispute inside a residence in Palm Harbor, a community about 25 miles west of Tampa.
According to police, Tanzer pushed Barbara Bliss to the ground “in an aggressive way,” causing her to fall on her hands and hip. Tanzer was allegedly angry that his mother “took away his debit card he needed to buy cake.”
Bliss, officers noted, was yelling at Tanzer, so he “pushed her away from himself and caused Bliss to fall on her hip.” The report does not indicate what injuries were suffered by Bliss, who required medical treatment. Tanzer was charged with battery on a person 65 or older, a felony. He has been ordered to have no contact with his grandmother.

Couple called 911 five times to report possums and people jumping out of fridge and microwave

Police officers in South Carolina responded to several 911 calls on Sunday from a couple who said they were seeing possums and people jumping out of their refrigerator and microwave. Spartanburg County deputies said they could not find the address the couple initially gave the 911 dispatcher, but eventually found Brandon Terry and Casey Fowler. The couple said they accidentally gave the wrong address, but had called 911 several times throughout the night.
The incident report said the couple had called 911 five times during the night. The deputy who responded to the calls asked the couple if they were on drugs and they told him no. Terry and Fowler told the deputy they had pictures of worms coming out of the floor of their vehicle and had pictures of "midgets" and other people dressed in camouflage. The deputy said Terry showed him several pictures of a basketball hoop and tree. Terry and Fowler told the deputy that there was a person standing beside the tree in camouflage.
The deputy told Fowler he could not see the person and Fowler told the deputy it was because only he could see them. Officials said Terry had six felony warrants for narcotics charges and was put in investigative detention. Terry agreed to a field sobriety test. During the test, Terry stopped and said the deputy was touching his eyes. The deputy told Terry he was not and restarted the test. The deputy said Terry had rapid eye tremors. Terry admitted he had smoked marijuana in the past, but not for a month. He denied being under the influence of any drugs at the time.
EMS checked Terry and Fowler and said they had accelerated heart rates. EMS said the couple seemed to be fine mentally. The deputy spoke to Fowler's mother on the phone who said she was on her way because she thought the couple were on drugs. She told the deputy Fowler and Terry had a history of drug abuse. Terry and Fowler were both arrested. The deputy said he believed Terry and Fowler were under the influence of "gravel", also known as flakka, which has effects similar to those of bath salts. Terry and Fowler was both charged with unlawful use of 911. Terry was also charged with being a fugitive from justice.

Police seek twerking woman and her tactile accomplice accused of sexually abusing man

Police have asked for help identifying two women accused of sexually abusing a man at around 4pm on Oct. 7. in a Washington, D.C. convenience store.
The video posted by police captures an interaction on surveillance camera that shows the two women invading the space of a man. It appears the man didn’t know the women. He can be seen on camera with money in his hand, talking on the phone.
The first woman backs up on him and starts grinding and he quickly moves away from her, but another woman slides up and appears to grab at the man’s crotch several times, moving towards his money and phone. He keeps moving away from both women. The woman in red also puts her arm around him and he steps forward to try and shake her off.

Both face third-degree sexual abuse charges. The charge includes inappropriate touching and according to state code “involves actual force, threats putting the person in fear of death, bodily injury or kidnapping, or rendering the person.” The penalty for someone convicted of third-degree sexual abuse is a maximum fine of $100,000 and up to 10 years imprisonment.

Intoxicated man accused of recruiting 9-year-old driver to get barbecue sauce for chicken dinner

Police say an intoxicated man, Cory D. Mathias, 27, recruited his 9-year-old neighbor to drive him to buy barbecue sauce for a chicken dinner on Saturday night.
Employees at the Pit Stop, in Tiffin, Ohio, objected to the underage chauffeur and wouldn’t let the boy drive back home, police said. So Mathias took the wheel, but police pulled him over.
Police said Mathias had been imbibing before he went on the barbecue sauce expedition: His blood alcohol content was .300, nearly four times the legal limit. Mathias is facing seven charges, including two counts of child endangering, police said.
He’s also charged with driving while intoxicated, refusing a breath test, driving under suspension, wrongful entrustment of a motor vehicle, and obstructing official business, police said. Police said Mathias was having the child over for a chicken dinner when he realized he didn’t have barbecue sauce and decided to go and get some. The child’s parents, who are neighbors of Mathias, did not know he was drunk, police said.

Wrestling coach busted for faking cancer to get money is now charged with raping a teenage boy

Zack Jones, 21, a volunteer coach at a middle school in Howell was charged with raping a 13-year-old boy.

Ohio Woman Forced to Drive 300 Miles for Abortion—or Have a Stillborn Baby

‘Poverty pay’ leads Walmart employees to skip lunch – or steal it from coworkers

Walmart employee demonstrates for higher wages (Facebook)
Workers group Our Walmart announces 15-day fast to protest company’s wages, demanding $15 an hour and full-time schedules ahead of busy holiday season.

Greedy Megacult Pastor Builds $1.6 Million Mansion, Says Disclosing Salary Is Anti-Jesus

Image via Occupy Wall Street
This is why we should tax the megacults.

'Christian' Homeschooling Parents Abused, Starved And Imprisoned Child Because Dog

Featured image credit: video screen capture via WVUEDiana and Samuel Franklin claim locking their daughter in a chicken coop for days, withholding food and clothing, and using a dog shock collar to ‘train her’ was part of their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Texas Police Respond To Attempted Suicide, Shoot Hispanic Man, Then Learn He’s A Cop

Texas Police Respond To Attempted Suicide, Shoot Hispanic Man, Then Learn He’s A Cop (VIDEO)
Texas police shot a suicidal Hispanic man as his mother begged them not to, then later learned they murdered a fellow cop.

San Diego Cops Keep Forgetting to Turn Their Body Cameras on Before Killing People

Georgia police chief reinstated despite blaming rape claims on women ‘being stupid’

“I might sound insensitive, but I’m not. Most of these sexual assaults are women waking up the next morning with a guilt complex," Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College chief Bryan Golden was quoted as saying.

Oklahoma cop attacks woman in parked car, drags her by hair and punches her

Law enforcement officials in Oklahoma said this week that they were considering recommending charges against a Yukon police officer after witnesses said that he assaulted a woman.

Astronomers are freaking out over this newly discovered Earth-sized planet — and for good reason

by Jessica Orwig
hiresA newly discovered exoplanet has a lot of astronomers excited, and for good reason. The exoplanet, dubbed GJ 1132b, is about the size of Earth and lives in a solar system roughly 39 light-years from Earth, a team of scientists reported in the November 12, 2015, issue of the journal Nature.
Furthermore, the exoplanet is the closest rocky Earth-sized exoplanet ever discovered, by far.
The next closest is about three times farther away.
GJ 1132b's size and distance are what have astronomers like Drake Deming at the University of Maryland — who was not part of the study — saying that this planet is "arguably the most important planet ever found outside the solar system," he told The Guardian.
The reason is because GJ 1132b is close enough for astronomers to point their telescopes at it and sniff out any traces of an atmosphere.
Atmospheric signatures of life
Studying the atmospheres of exoplanets for signs of life is the next big step in the search for extraterrestrial life beyond our solar system.
But it's an extremely difficult project because most Earth-sized planets — the exoplanets that astrobiologists think are most likely to harbor life — are too distant to study in any detail. 
A crescent moon rises over the cusp of the Earth's atmosphere in this picture by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata onboard th...One of the ways astronomers determine the chemical composition of gases on planets in our own solar system is by studying the light passing through their atmospheric layers, like Earth's shown in the photo below with our crescent moon in the foreground:
Chemical compounds and molecules interact differently with different energies of light, and, as a result, each molecule leaves a unique fingerprint that scientists can see when they map out the light over what is called a spectrum. But when an object is hundreds of light-years away, it's nearly impossible to differentiate the light that's passing through an exoplanet's atmosphere from the light that's emanating from the larger, brighter host star.
A significant stepping stone
Now, GJ 1132b has changed that, offering astronomers a perfect specimen to test their instruments and methods for detecting life.
Venus"It's nearby, it's Earth-like, and its star won't interfere," Deming told The Guardian. This newly discovered exoplanet is, however, just a stepping stone.
The possibility of finding life on it is practically zero. GJ 1132b might be only 16% larger than Earth, but it's surface temperature is a balmy 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
"Our ultimate goal is to find a twin Earth, but along the way we've found a twin Venus," David Charbonneau, a co-author on the new paper and an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said in a press release. "We suspect it will have a Venus-like atmosphere, too, and if it does we can't wait to get a whiff."
The reason for these toasty temperatures is because GJ 1132b sits just 1.4 million miles from its host star — 26 times closer than Mercury is to our sun.
It takes just 1.6 days for GJ 1132b to complete a single orbit around its star, which is very different from our sun.
The most common star in the galaxy
The star is what is called a red dwarf, which astronomers suspect is the most common star throughout our home galaxy, the Milky Way.
Red-dwarf stars are cooler, smaller, and dimmer than our sun. The one that GJ 1132b is orbiting is about one-fifth the size of our sun and only emits about 1/200th the amount of light.
BrownDwarfs_Comparison_01Here's a diagram comparing, to scale, the size of our sun with a red dwarf (second from the left) and Jupiter (far right):
Just because they're different from our sun, however, doesn't mean life couldn't spawn around them. It just means that the habitable zone — the region in space where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface — is closer to the star than it is for our sun.
Some astronomers estimate that red-dwarf stars comprise 75% of all stars in the galaxy. This means that most of the exoplanets in our galaxy are likely orbiting red-dwarfs.
Whether any of those planets are habitable, however, is a subject of intense debate, which is why the discovery of GJ 1132b is so exciting. And while GJ 1132b is not likely habitable, it's possible that it has some neighbors that are.
To first spot GJ 1132b as it passed in front of the star, scientists used the MEarth-South array, a group of telescopes at the Cerro-Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.
Now that they know it's there, the researchers have requested time on the Hubble Space Telescope (which observes the same type of light we see with our eyes) and the Spitzer Space Telescope (which observes longer wavelengths than Hubble, in the infrared range) to study GJ 1132b more fully.
With the viewing powers of Hubble and Spitzer combined, the scientists could get a much broader spectrum of light to study even more chemical compounds than they otherwise would with just one of the telescopes.

800lb alligator sent to reserve after shopping center visit

An alligator dubbed Godzilla who tips the scales at more than 800lb is being taken to a gator reserve to live out his days, after being found wandering outside a Texas shopping center.
Godzilla was discovered on Saturday by people arriving for work at the center in the Sugar Land area of Houston. It’s believed he wandered over to the plaza from a nearby creek.
Christy Kroboth is licensed by the state as a “nuisance alligator trapper”. She was called to help subdue Godzilla and take him away.

She said once he was muzzled and restrained, a forklift was borrowed from Home Depot to load him on to a truck. Kroboth said Godzilla is blind in one eye and has only partial sight in the other. He was being taken to the reserve for his safety.

Woman wonders if she photographed Bigfoot in West Sussex park

A woman who snapped a mystery image whilst out walking her dog in a West Sussex park says she believes it could be Bigfoot. Caroline Toms was taking her border collie Ash through the Angmering Park Estate when she says a huge ape-like beast ran across her path.
Caroline Toms, 34, from Rustington, said: “It all happened so fast. Ash started acting a little bit bemused and barking. Then she quick as a flash shot off into the undergrowth – then I saw this big black thing flash out in front of me. I only had my camera out because I was taking pictures of Ash playing.
“She came running back quick-as-a-flash though. I don’t know what it was, but when I had a closer look at the pictures, it certainly does look like Bigfoot to me.” She said the incident was over in seconds, and she has no idea what it is that she photographed. Now she wants to ask others if they have come across the unusual sighting.

“I think it could be Bigfoot, but it happened so fast I cannot be absolutely certain,” Caroline said. “It was just luck I had the camera out. It was so big and massive, I don’t know if it could be anything else. That’s what it looked like – I don’t know for sure, but I’ve seen other pictures of supposed Bigfoot, and what I saw looks like the other ones.”

Dark Matter Dinos

We have the whole dinosaur extinction thing figured out, right? A big rock smashed into Earth and wiped them all out. But an NYU geophysicist wonders what sent the rock Earth's way in the first place and pins the deadly event on a novel culprit.

The First Beekeepers

Traces of beeswax were found trapped in the clay fabric of cooking vessels from thousands of years ago.

Caring for the Disabled

Japanese researchers discover chimps caring for disabled infant

Animal News

The pesky insect's jaws can grind five times stronger than a human.
Why eat when you can love? That appears to be the decision of many wild birds that choose loyalty to mates over food.
The distinctive, 19-year-old reptile passed his yearly physical exam at the South Carolina Aquarium.

Animal Pictures