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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.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of Carolina Naturally.
Our seventeenth Xmas Tree of the month ...!
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Today in History

1399 Tamerlane’s Mongols destroy the army of Mahmud Tughluk, Sultan of Delhi, at Panipat.
1861 The Stonewall Brigade begins to dismantle Dam No. 5 of the C&O Canal.
1886 At a Christmas party, Sam Belle shoots his old enemy Frank West, but is fatally wounded himself.
1903 Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft.
1927 U.S. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg suggests a worldwide pact renouncing war.
1938 Italy declares the 1935 pact with France invalid because ratifications had not been exchanged. France denies the argument.
1939 In the Battle of River Plate near Montevideo, Uruguay, the British trap the German pocket battleship Graf Spee. German Captain Langsdorf sinks his ship believing that resistance is hopeless.
1943 U.S. forces invade Japanese-held New Britain Island in New Guinea.
1944 The German Army renews the attack on the Belgian town of Losheimergraben against the defending Americans during the Battle of the Bulge.
1944 U.S. approves end to internment of Japanese Americans. U.S. Major General Henry C. Pratt issues Public Proclamation No. 21, declaring that Japanese American "evacuees" from the West Coast could return to their homes effective January 2, 1945.
1948 The Smithsonian Institution accepts the Kitty Hawk – the Wright brothers’ plane.
1950 The French government appoints Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny to command their troops in Vietnam.
1952 Yugoslavia breaks relations with the Vatican.
1965 Ending an election campaign marked by bitterness and violence, Ferdinand Marcos is declared president of the Philippines.
1981 Red Brigade terrorists kidnap Brigadier General James Dozier, the highest-ranking U.S. NATO officer in Italy.
1989 The Simpsons, television’s longest-running animated series, makes its US debut.
1989 Fernando Color de Mello becomes Brazil’s first democratically elected president in nearly 30 years.
1990 Jean-Bertrand Aristide wins Haiti’s first free election.
2002 Congolese parties of the inter Congolese Dialogue sign a peace accord in the Second Congo War, proviidn for transitional government and elections within two years.
2010 Mohamed Bouazizi immolates himself, the catalyst for the Tunisian revolution and the subsequent Arab Spring.

Non Sequitur


Saudi Arabia prepares for first-ever election open to female candidates and voters

Saudi Arabia prepares for first-ever election open to female candidates and voters

Aggressive Pushback at Evil NRA Is Working

Top Demagogues Through History

Some demagogues have risen to power and become dictators, others were relegated a footnote to history. Here are a few.

Here’s Who ISIL Is Most Terrified Of, And It’s Fucking Awesome

Here’s Who ISIS Is Most Terrified Of, And It’s F*cking Awesome (VIDEO)
Pathetic assholes.
Read more 

Man arrested in fire-bombing of California mosque after cops receive tip

A 23-year-old man was in jail on Saturday, a day after he was arrested on suspicion of carrying out a hate crime and arson in connection with a fire at a Southern California mosque.

‘Pharma Bro’ Poised To Increase ANOTHER Drug’s Cost — By Around 99,900%

‘Pharma Bro’ Poised To Increase ANOTHER Drug’s Cost — By Around 99,900%Martin Shkreli bought the rights to another decades-old drug, and he’s going to gouge that price, too!

Did Abusive Baby-Hoarding Kansas Councilman Steal A Child From Lesbians?

Remember Topeka Councilman Jonathan Schumm, and his sad wife, Allison, and how they were IN JAIL for felony child abuse of at least one of their 16 children?

South Korean pop group sent home after US Customs at LA airport accuse them of being sex workers

The K-pop group, Oh My Girl (OMG), were detained for over 15 hours before giving up and taking the long flight home after extensive questioning and concerns about their visas.

Violent assaults against women rose 168 percent in this North Dakota town

'We’ve had violence against women increase by 168 percent, particularly in the area of rape. We have 14-, 15- and 16-year-old girls that are willingly going into man camps and selling themselves.”

Superbug Named 'Phantom Menace'

Make a disease name 'clickable' and it gets eradicated more quickly, say health experts.

Walnuts Have Fewer Calories than the Label Suggests

Walnuts Have Fewer Calories than the Label SuggestsWalnuts Have Fewer Calories than the Label Suggests
USDA scientists have found that walnuts have 21 percent fewer calories than previously thought, which is good news for the weight-conscious nut lover! Researchers with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service fed volunteers a controlled diet consisting of walnut halves...

Roman 'Ketchup'

The second-century ship contained thousands of jars containing the ketchup of the ancient Romans -- a fish-based seasoning known as garum.

Is Nefertiti Hidden in King Tut's Tomb?

The world has long been agog to know all it can about Egypt's legendary Queen Nefertiti. One interesting question goes something like this: Where's her body?! Some archaeologists think she's been hiding out in King Tut's tomb all along.

Want to feel really small?

Meet UY Scuti, the largest star in the universe
by Brendan Hesse
Looking up at the sky inspires deep moments of introspection and curiosity. It’s easy to feel small under a starry night sky, but in order to begin to grasp just how small we truly are, we must know what our relative size is compared to the larger celestial bodies of the Galaxy — and what makes a better point of comparison than a star? Enter UY Scuti, a bright red supergiant variable star that resides within the Scutum constellation and is currently believed to be the largest star in the Milky Way galaxy.
German astronomers originally discovered UY Scuti at the Bonn Observatory in 1860, but it wasn’t until astronomers observed UY Scuti through the Very Large Telescope in Chile’s Atacama Desert in 2012 that the star’s true size became well documented. Following this discovery, UY Scuti was officially named the largest known star in the galaxy, surpassing previous record holders such as Betelgeuse, VY Canis Majoris, and NML Cygni.
While there are stars that are brighter and denser than UY Scuti, it has the largest overall size of any star currently known, with a radius of 1,708 ± 192 R☉. That figure amounts to somewhere between 1,054,378,000 and 1,321,450,000 miles in size, which is about 1,700 times larger than our Sun’s radius and 21 billion times the volume. Wrapping one’s head around such number can be difficult, so let’s break this down a bit.
Consider the Following.
From our point of view, Earth is pretty big compared to the size of a single human. But compared to even some of our close neighbors, our home is incredibly tiny. Let’s imagine for a moment that the Earth were an 8-inch diameter ball. At that scale, the Sun would be about 73 feet in diameter, which is a few feet more than the height of the White House. Our enormous, distant friend, UY Scuti, would be 125,000 feet in diameter, which is just a smidge under 24 miles. Remember that crazy Redbull-sponsored stunt a few years ago performed by Felix Baumgartner, who jumped from the outermost limit of Earth’s atmosphere back to the surface? That was 24 miles in the air. Now imagine a sphere that large. That’s how big UY Scuti is.
So, what would happen if UY Scuti were to swap positions with our Sun? The Star would engulf the the entirety of Jupiter’s orbit, swallowing the Sun, the first five planets of our solar system, and the asteroid belt without so much as a belch. Some speculate the star may be even larger, enough to surpass the orbit of Saturn. Not only that, but the UY Scuti’s gravity would gobble up the larger planet and distant planetoids of our solar system like a interstellar Pac-Man, and whatever remained unconsumed would take thousands of years to complete a single orbital rotation around the luminescent giant.
This video from Youtuber J Dude simulates what such an event would look like:
Hopefully, it’s beginning to sink in just how enormous UY Scuti is. We haven’t even touched the distance between us and the supermassive star — approximately 2.9 kiloparsecs, or 9,500 light years — but that’s a topic for another day.
It must be stressed that we’re constantly exploring, observing, and discovering new things about our galaxy and the trillions of celestial bodies that populate it. It stands to reason that we could uncover yet another, even larger star in the future. Our perspective, on a universal scale, is infinitesimally small. Even if UY Scuti is the largest star in the Milky Way, there could be enormous other stars in far away galaxies that dwarf those of our own, somewhere within this indescribably vast universe. Alas, we will may never know.

Crabs Get a Bridge to Cross a Road Safely

Tens of millions of Christmas Island Red Crabs (Gecarcoidea natalis) migrate across Christmas Island in the south Pacific Ocean. Although they live in the forests on the island, they must go to the sea to breed. To help them cross safely, the people of Christmas Island take a variety of precautions, such as closing roads occasionally. In recent years, they've really stepped up their game by building underpasses and bridges to guide the crabs and move them safely along. The Daily Telegraph reports:
More than 20 kilometers of plastic barriers are in place to direct the crabs away from the island’s roads and into 31 crab underpasses - as will as a five meter-high crab bridge crossing one of the areas busiest roads, which has apparently become something of a tourist attraction in its own right.
These pathways also make it easier to see the crabs in large numbers, so they've become popular tourist attractions:
“Sydney can have its Harbor Bridge and San Francisco its Golden Gate Bridge," says Linda Cash of the Christmas Island Tourism Association, "but it’s our crab bridge which is currently wooing tourists from all over the globe.”

Animal News

Genetic data indicates that birds' common ancestor lived in South America some 95 million years ago.
Once sickly and orphaned, the rescued and rehabilitated animal has at last found her prince.
It could be trouble ahead for the endangered Bermuda skink, a lizard that may soon have to share its turf with the invasive Cuban brown anole.

Animal Pictures