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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.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of Carolina Naturally.
Our twenty-first Xmas Tree of the month ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 205 countries around the world daily.   
Blessed Yule ... !
Today is - Yule

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Today in History

Vespian, a gruff-spoken general of humble origins, enters Rome and is named emperor by the Senate.
The Pilgrims land at or near Plymouth Rock.
French forces seize control of the eastern shore of Newfoundland after winning a victory at St. John’s.
Samuel Slater opens the first cotton mill in the United States (in Rhode Island).
The U.S. Congress authorizes the Medal of Honor to be awarded to Navy personnel who have distinguished themselves by their gallantry in action.
Indians, led by Red Cloud and Crazy Horse, kill Captain William J. Fetterman and 79 other men who had ventured out from Fort Phil Kearny to cut wood.
Over 2.5 million plague victims are reported in the An-Hul province of China.
President Calvin Coolidge signs the Boulder Dam bill.
German troops surround the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne in Belgium.
General George S. Patton dies at the age of 60 after being injured in a car accident.
An earthquake and tidal wave kill hundreds in Japan.
The Turk minority riots in Cyprus to protest anti-Turkish revisions in the constitution.
Great Britain’s House of Commons votes to ban the death penalty.
Four pacifists are indicted in New York for burning draft cards.
American draft evaders gather for a holiday dinner in Montreal, Canada.
500,000 Chinese students gather in Shanghai’s People’s Square calling for democratic reforms, including freedom of the press.
Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York explodes in midair over Lockerbie, Scotland, an hour after departure. All 259 passengers were killed in the explosion caused by a bomb– hidden inside an audio cassette player — that detonated inside the cargo area when the plane was at an altitude of 31,000 feet. A shower of airplane parts falling from the sky also killed 11 Lockerbie residents.
Popocatepetl, a volcano in Mexico spews forth gases and ash after nearly a half-century of dormancy.
The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control.
A suicide bomber attacks the forward operating base next to the US military airfield at Mosul, Iraq, killing 22 people; it is the deadliest suicide attack on US soldiers during the Iraq War.

No Sequitur


Forget the Gingerbread House ...

This is the Age of the Pizza House!

Carrie Dennis of Thrillist recalls a fond childhood memory of Xmas: every year, her mother would make an elaborate gingerbread house—a task that would take 3 full days. That was great, Dennis affirms, “But I am not my mother.” So she built a pizza house using plain cheese pizzas and a wide array of traditional toppings.

Neighborhood Puts Decoy Packages on Doorsteps to Deter Thieves

It's a simple and common crime: a parcel delivery serivce leaves a package on the doorstep of a home for the resident. A thief drives by, jumps out of his car, grabs the package, and runs.
That's how your Christmas presents get stolen.
This crime has frustrated residents of the Daybreak community of South Jordan, Utah. They've come up with a clever solution: they put fake packages on their doorsteps. The boxes are filled with junk or rocks. When the thieves open their loot, they find that they've wasted their time. Kroger Menzer, a resident of Daybreak, explained the strategy to KSL News:
"The goal isn't to catch them in the act, that's for the police," said Menzer. "The goal is to make it confusing and frustrating. So they come and steal a box, and they get home and it's a bunch of rocks, there's a good chance that they're probably not going to come back to steal another box."
It's a strategy that works best when a large number of residents--ideally most of them--are participating.

Wingnut NY terrorist who plotted to kill Muslims with radiation gets 8 years in prison

X-ray (Shutterstock)
A man accused of acquiring a device intended to kill Muslim people with radiation will spend eight years in prison, CBS News reports. Eric Feight, 57, of upstate New York, was arrested in 2013 along with Glendon Scott Crawford, and both were charged with providing material support to terrorists.

Live report on bank robbery interrupted when suspect runs by

KIMT's Adam Sallet (YouTube/Screenshot)
Live report on bank robbery interrupted when suspect runs by

An Unbelievable Story Of Rape

An Unbelievable Story Of Rape
Was she or wasn't she? 
A real-life detective story.

Hollywood's First Gay Marriage

In another excerpt from Karina Longworth's outstanding podcast You Must Remember This, about "the secret and forgotten history of 20th-century Hollywood," the story of actor William Haines is discussed.
Widely regarded as the first openly gay movie star in Hollywood, the article explores truth and fiction surrounding the legend that Haines was fired by Louis B. Mayer for refusing to abandon his male partner and marry a studio-suggested female ingénue. From the article:
"From 1926 to 1931, thanks to hits like Brown of Harvard and Tell It to the Marines, Billy Haines was ranked as one of the Top 10 box office stars in Hollywood. By 1929, his studio boss, MGM’s Irving Thalberg, was holding up Haines as both the prototypical symbol of male youth of his day, and also the new model of a male romantic star. “The idealistic love of a decade ago is not true today,” Thalberg said. “William Haines, with his modern salesman attitude to go and get it, is more typical.”

By the time Thalberg made that speech, he and everyone else in the Hollywood community knew that Haines was, for all intents and purposes, married to a man. In 1926, on a trip to New York while on the cusp of his superstardom, Haines had a whirlwind fling with a 21-year-old former sailor names Jimmy Shields. When Haines returned to L.A., he brought Shields with him, and moved his new boyfriend into his house and got him work as an extra at MGM. Following the example of his friends from his days in New York’s Greenwich Village, Billy was intent on living with Jimmy without embarrassment or apology.

That Haines was living openly with another man, thereby destroying any possibility that he might not be gay, initially did absolutely nothing to impact Haines’ popularity around town or at his home studio. They were one of the few couples to make it into Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst’s inner circle, meriting invitations to San Simeon nearly weekly. And the local movie press knew, too, but nobody had any incentive to publish an exposé about it or anything. If any journalist had, he would have been frozen out of MGM for the rest of time. And at this point in time, as long as they weren’t hurting anybody, which they weren’t, nobody cared. Sometimes Billy would get asked a softball question about his love life, which he was always able to deflect with a wisecrack. Journalist and subject would wink at each other, the actor would be classified in print as an eligible or confirmed bachelor, and everyone would move on." 

"Star Wars" Music Makes Colonoscopies More Effective

Dr. Said S.M. Ardalan and his colleagues at Austin Health in Melbourne, Australia conducted a study about the effectiveness of colonoscopies at detecting polyps. For the Value of Audio Devices in the Endoscopy Room (VADER) study, they played music while examining patients. They hypothesized that Star Wars music would be superior to other compositions. The authors write in the Medical Journal of Australia:
The soundtracks from such movies often contain uplifting musical tracks associated with glory, success and large-scale victory. Given we are avid fans of the Star Wars movies (Lucasfilm Ltd), and with the imminent release of the latest instalment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we felt it would be important and timely to evaluate the effect of music from the Star Wars soundtrack in colonoscopy. Therefore, we hypothesised that Star Wars music (SWM) would be superior to endoscopist-selected popular music (PM) when measuring quality outcomes in colonoscopy

Their research validated their hypothesis. But why?
As Star Wars fans, we must suspect that the Force was also involved, enhancing our Force-sensitive abilities to detect polyps, despite an overall more hostile luminal environment. Akin to Luke Skywalker’s destruction of the Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV A New A Hope, despite being pursued by Darth Vader and TIE fighters, we trusted the Force to guide us through the murky colonic waters to locate and destroy polyps.

When "Return of the Jedi" Was Stolen at Gunpoint

My, how things have changed since 1983. That was the year Return of the Jedi hit theaters, and the year that Larry Dewayne Riddick, Jr. decided to make a fortune by stealing the film and selling it to bootleggers who would copy it to newly-popular VHS tapes for profit.
Riddick, 18, stood in the parking lot of the Glenwood Theaters in Overland Park, Kans. and watched as John J. Smith exited the building. Smith was the projectionist; Jedi was finishing its sixth week as the most popular film attraction in the country. It was after midnight. As Smith walked to his car, Riddick came up beside him and flashed a gun. He had come for the movie.

Smith told him roughly 20 people were still inside the theater. Riddick stewed in Smith’s car for 20 minutes, waiting for the last patron to leave. Once inside, he forced Smith to unspool the 70mm film print from the large metal canisters and into a series of portable containers. It took over an hour.
Riddick was far from the only one with the idea of stealing Return of the Jedi from a theater. Read how that case, and others, turned out at mental_floss.

Reasons Why "Star Wars" Spaceships Make No Sense

Practically every movie we see requires the audience to suspend disbelief in one respect or another. In what they call "an exercise in overthinking a great sci-fi series," Popular Mechanics deconstructs some of the spaceships in the Star Wars franchise, pointing out flaws in design. For instance, here's what the author has to say about the TIE Fighter:
Mainstay of the Galactic Empire's fighter force, the TIE fighter is a pretty menacing aircraft. The Twin Ion Engine (TIE) fighter has two such engines—somewhere—and like a World War II Stuka attack plane makes a menacing screeching noise as it passes by.

The biggest drawback of the TIE fighter are the flat panels on both sides that make it look like an eyeball suspended between two playing cards. This is a large vertical surface area that seemingly serves no purpose—except to be a large aiming point for Rebel Alliance fighters. 

Another problem with the panels is they restrict pilot visibility. The F-16 Viper has excellent visibility, thanks to a bubble canopy with the pilot in the center. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has poor visibility, but the Distributed Aperture System helmet is expected to help the pilot "see" 360 degrees. 

The poor TIE fighter pilot on the other hand has two large panels on both sides of him, preventing him from seeing anything more than perhaps a 50 degree cone in front of him. He would be unable see other TIE fighters flying abreast of him, or even in a staggered formation—unless he had a Distributed Aperture System helmet, too.

100 Years of Toys

The latest in Mode’s 100 Years series is a look at the hot toys for Christmas. While the oldest toys are indeed classic, they were all new and innovative at one time. Even though I was a child in the 1960s, I remember getting Tinker Toys, and a doll house, and a top, and the Mr. Potato Head features that you used on your own vegetables.
One thing I wanted, but never got, was a Barbie doll. That’s possibly because I never came out and asked for one. Oh well. Which of these toys do you recall from your childhood?

Light up Seesaws

Luminothérapie is an annual event at the Quartier des Spectacles in Montreal. It is a celebration of light at night. The firms Lateral Office, CS Design, and the EGP Group offer this contribution called Impulsion. 30 giant seesaws with lights and speakers activate when one person sits on each end. Totter back and forth to emit mesmerising displays of light and sound. They're on display until January 31, 2016.
You can see a video of these wondrous seesaws in action here.

It’s Still Illegal to Wear a Suit of Armor inside the British Parliament

But that may change. A British government task force is looking through 44,000 pieces of legislation, some dating back to the 13th Century, to identify obsolete laws for Parliament to eliminate. Among them are laws about wearing armor inside the Houses of Parliament and beating rugs outside. Stephen Castle writes in the New York Times:
Over the centuries, rules have piled up to penalize those who fire a cannon within 300 yards of a dwelling and those who beat a carpet in the street — unless the item can be classified as a doormat and it is beaten before 8 a.m.
The commission has also debunked many popular myths about laws that are allegedly still on the books:
The commission has found no evidence, for example, of any law stating that, in the city of Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless in public except while working as a clerk in a tropical fish store.
Nor is it true that a man may urinate in public, providing he does so against the rear-passenger-side wheel of his vehicle, with his right hand placed upon it.

Bejing’s Air Pollution Is So Bad, The Chinese Are Buying ‘Fresh’ Rocky Mountain Air In A Can

Bejing’s Air Pollution Is So Bad, The Chinese Are Buying ‘Fresh’ Rocky Mountain Air In A CanNo, this is absolutely not an Onion article but you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is.

Abandoned Old Cult Turned into Beautiful Mural-Covered Skate Park

An architect named Manuel del Busto designed the majestic old cult in 1912. It gracefully served the community for decades. But for many years afterward, the Cult of Santa Barbara in Llanera, Asturia, Spain had been abandoned.
It's found new life and a new purpose, thanks to artist Okuda San Miguel and Red Bull. The interior is covered with fractal murals of abstract forms, human faces, animals, and skulls. It's an eruption of color that caps a skateboarding pipe in what is now called El Kaos Temple. You can see more photos at Design Boom.

Mommy Frog Covered with Baby Frogs

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists)This beautiful maternal scene suggests that little frogs are erupting out of a larger frog, like the chestbursters in Alien. Your warm fuzzies of the day are courtesy of the Cryptobatarchus boulengeri, a frog species that lives near freshwater sources from California to Colombia. Mommy Cryptobatarchus likes to carry her babies on her back until they're ready to leave home.

Hop the Kangaroo and His Cat Friend

These two clips, uploaded by YouTube user P Ces, present playtime adventures between their pet kangaroo Hop and their cat. It looks like the two animals are well acquainted, even friendly. Yet there's only so much a cat can take from this exuberant marsupial.
In the clip above, the cat goes from tolerant to crabby to gone. After the cat escapes his attention, Hop's expression says "What? Was it something I did?" In the video below, the kitty patiently endures Hop's good natured ear grooming.

Animal Pictures