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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.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Daily Drift

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

Robert Guiscard and his brother Roger take Palermo in Sicily.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, is beheaded on Tower Hill, accused of acting as an enemy of the British Parliament.
King Philip V shocks all of Europe when he abdicates his throne in favor of his eldest son, Louis.
An uprising of over 400 slaves is put down in New Orleans. Sixty-six blacks are killed and their heads are strung up along the roads of the city.
General Stephen Kearny and Commodore Robert Stockton retake Los Angeles in the last California battle of the Mexican War.
Florida secedes from the Union.
London’s Underground begins operations.
John D. Rockefeller and his brother William establish the Standard Oil Company of Ohio.
Filipino leader Emilio Aguinaldo renounces the Treaty of Paris, which annexed the Philippines to the United States.
The Automobile Club of America installs signs on major highways.
Argentina bans the importation of American beef because of sanitation problems.
Two German cruisers, the Emden and the Nurnberg, suppress a native revolt on island of Ponape in the Caroline Islands in the Pacific when they fire on the island and land troops.
The world’s first flying-boat airplane, designed by Glenn Curtiss, makes its maiden flight at Hammondsport.
Germany is rebuked as the Entente officially rejects a proposal for peace talks and demands the return of occupied territories from Germany.
In Washington, the House of Representatives passes legislation for women’s suffrage.
The Treaty of Versailles goes into effect.
The United States withdraws its last troops from Germany.
German planes attack 12 ships off the British coast; sinking 3 ships and killing 35 people.
The Soviets and Germany agree on the East European borders and the exchange of industrial equipment.
Chiang Kai-shek and the Yenan Communist forces halt fighting in China.
Panama breaks ties with the U.S. and demands a revision of the canal treaty.
The United States and the Vatican establish full diplomatic relations for the first time in 117 years.
Sandinista Daniel Ortega becomes President of Nicaragua, vowing to continue the country’s transformation to a socialist state with close ties to the USSR and Cuba.
A general strike begins in Guinea; eventually, it will lead to the resignation of the country’s president, Lansana Conte.

Shostakovich's Symphony Played by a Starving Orchestra

Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his seventh symphony during World War II, inspired by the Siege of Leningrad. In the middle of that siege, Leningrad conductor Karl Eliasberg recalled the remaining musicians of the city to rehearse it. Only 15 showed up, and they were suffering from starvation.
The first rehearsal broke up after just 15 minutes, as the small band of survivors had so little energy.
"That orchestra was consisting of players who were victims of bombings and hunger and starvation and they were barely able to hold their instruments to play," says Soviet-born conductor Semyon Bychkov.
One trumpeter offered Eliasberg a profound apology after failing to produce a single note.
But reinforcements from the military were summoned, and the cobbled-together orchestra practiced six days a week. However, they were so weak that they only managed to play all the way through the entire symphony once before the public performance on August 9, 1942. The story of how that concert came together for the debilitated citizens of the besieged city is told at BBC magazine.     
You can hear a recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No.7, also known as the Leningrad Symphony, played by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in 1953.

Meditation and Brain Matter

Do we have free will?

The brain-computer duel: Do we have free will?The brain-computer duel: Do we have free will?
The background to this new set of experiments lies in the debate regarding conscious will and determinism in human decision-making, which has attracted researchers, psychologists, philosophers and the general public, and which has been ongoing since at least the...

Study of jazz pianists finds ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ music evoke different neural patterns

Study of jazz pianists finds ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ music evoke different neural patternsStudy of jazz pianists finds ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ music evoke different neural patterns
The workings of neural circuits associated with creativity are significantly altered when artists are actively attempting to express emotions, according to a new brain-scanning study of jazz pianists. Over the past decade, a collection of neuroimaging studies has...

Ending the Vicious Cycle of Wealth and Power

China's economic slowdown triggers global stocks slump

China's economic slowdown triggers global stocks slump

Rocker Sebastian Bach hilariously trolls gun nuts on Twitter

Sebastian Bach (WJBK)
Rocker Sebastian Bach tangled with gun-loving wingnuts on Twitter after he expressed support for President Barack Obama’s executive action on expanded background checks for firearms purchases.

BBC host stumps open carry gun nut agitator

Open Carry Texas president CJ Grisham - Facebook
BBC host stumps open carry gun nut agitator whose response to mass shootings is to arm ‘good guys’

Oregon 'militia' are not ‘thugs’ like black protesters because they fight ‘government gone wild’

Deneen Borelli, Martha MacCallum and Jessica Ehrlich appear on Fox News (screen grab)Fox hack: Oregon 'militia' are not ‘thugs’ like black protesters because they fight ‘government gone wild’

Fox hack mocks campus ‘rape hysteria’

Fox Business host John Stossel (screen grab)Fox hack mocks campus ‘rape hysteria’: Women don’t give ‘repeated consent’ throughout sex

Man arrested for armed robbery after taking selfie with victim then sending her a copy

Maybe it was vanity. Maybe it was a taunt. Or maybe he was just trying to make life easier for the police. Whatever the case, police say, 18-year-old Victor Almanza-Martinez of Castroville, California, is in Monterey County Jail on charges of robbery and kidnapping.
Bail is set at $170,000. Police said Almanza-Martinez and two companions, wearing bandanas, approached four people sitting in their vehicle about 1am Wednesday at Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove. They ordered the victims out at gunpoint, then moved them a short distance away and stole their property, police said.
That’s when Almanza-Martinez took a selfie with one of the victims, police said, a photograph he later sent to the female victim via text message. The photo wound up in the possession of investigators, who identified Almanza-Martinez despite the bandana. At 11:45am, detectives conducted a search of a property in Castroville, where they found Almanza-Martinez.
He was arrested without incident and booked on charges of armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of stolen property, violation of probation and gang enhancements. The other robbers remain at large. The victims’ car, a black 2013 Chrysler 200 with no license plates, is still missing.

A Chick-Fil-A Got Shut Down In NYC Over Flies In Food – Wingnuts Claim Religious Persecution

A Chick-Fil-A Got Shut Down In NYC Over Flies In Food – Conservatives Claim Religious PersecutionIt seems that wingnuts would rather die from food poisoning than miss out on a chicken sandwich.

Did The Palins Lie About When Bristol’s Baby Was Born To Cover Up The Truth?

Wow: Did The Palins Lie About When Bristol’s Baby Was Born To Cover Up The Truth? (IMAGES)There is some pretty compelling evidence that Bristol may not have been honest about some things…

Monty Python’s John Cleese DESTROYS Anti-Science Wingnuts In One Elegant Tweet

Monty Python’s John Cleese DESTROYS Anti-Science Conservatives In One Elegant Tweet (SCREENSHOTS)
Wingnuts, especially in the United States, love to pretend that science is a religion — largely because it provides them with an excuse to push...

Researchers Plan to Build 3D Model of Temple Destroyed by ISIL

The Temple of Bel in Syria was an ancient structure built all the way back Mesopotamia. It managed to survive up until August of last year, when ISIS destroyed the building. Now as both a way to honor our history and as a method of resistance against the Islamic State, researchers from Harvard University, the University of Oxford, and Dubai’s Museum of the Future are working together to transform 2D images of the temple into a 3D model that will then be 3D printed and put on display in both London and New York. The replicas will be on display as part of UNESCO's World Heritage Week in April 2016 to remind people just how important the protection of our ancient structures is.

First European farmers are traced back to Anatolia

First European farmers are traced back to Anatolia
First European farmers are traced back to Anatolia
Human material from the Anatolian site Kumtepe was used in the study. The material was heavily degraded, but yielded enough DNA for the doctorate student Ayca Omrak to address questions concerning the demography connected to the spread of farming. She conducted her...

Lighting Natural Gas under a Frozen Lake

Rune Pettersen carefully walks over the frozen lake. He taps his knife on the ice to break the surface. Then he holds a lit match next to the hole. Boom!
What's happening here? I'm not sure, but this 2014 article in Smithsonian describes a similar phenomenon at a frozen lake in Canada:
Methane bubbles form in bodies of water when dead organic matter (leaves and animals) falls into the water and sinks to the bottom, to the delight of bacteria waiting below. The bacteria munches on the matter and poops out methane, which turns to white floating blobs when it comes into contact with frozen water.
My favorite part of the video is when Pettersen uses the gas to brew coffee. This use of natural methane could be a useful survival skill.

Four New Elements Added to Periodic Table

Elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 have met criteria for discovery, making them the first elements to be added to the periodic table since 2011

Top 10 Space Stories of 2015: Readers' Choice

Find out the results of this year's readers' choice poll for favorite space story of the year! Can you guess #1?

Who Owns the Moon?

Before the first man ever landed on the moon, several nations created the basis for international space law. What does it say, and who does the moon belong to?

A Man Slaughtered And Burned 3 Of His Neighbor’s Dogs. Now The Police Are Coming To His Defense.

Deaf man rescued deer from icy river

A man rescued a deer from the frozen Kettle River in Pine County, Minnesota, last Monday. Somehow the deer had fallen into the icy waters. Steven Peterson, 50, who lives in Duluth, is deaf.
"I could see that the deer was moving frantically, trying to escape and it had icicles hanging off its face and it looked frozen," Peterson told family friend Charles Coyle using American Sign Language. Deaf all his life, Peterson knows what it feels like to be dismissed. So there was no way he was leaving this deer to the same fate. He feared it if he called 911 it would take too long.
"I had to do it myself, I know it was risky. I risked my life but this deer needed saving," he said. He set up his iPhone to capture it all not because of vanity but in case he fell in the water people would know what happened when they came looking for him, he said. After seeing the video, Coyle said he had to post it online. "From the first time I watched the video I knew it was an amazing thing. And I thought other people would think the same."
Best viewed full-screeen or at the YouTube link in order to read the subtitles.

YouTube link. Additional raw video. (Tilt head to right).
Peterson said it took about 20 minutes to pull the deer out of the water. The Department of Natural Resources has warned people about the dangerously thin ice this year, especially when it comes to rivers. Once Peterson was able to pull the deer to safety, he said he sat with it for about an hour to make sure it was okay. He snapped pictures of the two of them together, images that describe what appeared to be an unspoken friendship. "I felt a bond with this deer," he said.

Flyaway parrot reunited with family after knocking on truck window and getting a lift home

Dispatchers for emergency services are often subject to a lot of very strange calls, but when Brandon Muir called to tell them that a parrot had flown into the cab of his truck approximately 50 kilometres northwest of Toronto, Canada, they said it was a first for them. “It’s kind of outrageous to hear the whole story, really,” Muir said with a laugh. Because it was unseasonably mild, Muir had his passenger side window down and all of a sudden heard an unusual fluttering sound on the window, which turned out to be the sound of wings flapping. “I looked up, and there was a parrot standing on the outside edge of my pick-up truck!” he explained.
“He stepped right inside.” Given that it was clearly an exotic bird that was likely someone’s lost pet, once in the truck, Muir slowly put the window back up and ruffled the bird’s tail feather in the process. “So that prompted him to get onto the steering wheel,” he continued. “He seemed extremely content, like, ‘Thanks! Let’s go!’” Unsure of what to do with his unexpected new guest, Muir simply called 911 in hopes of being redirected to the police or animal control. “They forwarded me to the Caledon dispatchers and I told them they were going to think I was crazy and then explained the situation.”

After a long pause, the dispatcher admitted that it was definitely the first time they had heard reports of a parrot knocking on car windows, and ended up putting him in touch with an after hours Animal Control officer. While Muir brought his new friend to the shelter to meet the officer, his wife also managed to track down a few Facebook groups for lost birds and were able to find a match. Turns out the little green feathered beauty is a three-year-old female Quaker Parrot named Baby who had escaped out of her owners home in Bolton, Caledon, for the first time in her life three days earlier. The Dedonato family has had her since she was a few months old, and when their youngest son, Roman opened a door, Baby decided that she was going on a grand adventure.
“After she flew out the door, we were looking for her everywhere,” Roman explained. His older brother had even climbed up on a neighbor's roof, got about a foot away from Baby, and she flew away again. Roman’s mother, Carol, explained that while Baby doesn’t often approach strangers, she must have been pretty hungry by the time she found her way to Brandon, and she couldn't be more grateful to him for returning her safely. "It's amazing the way that it all worked out, he (Muir) was at the right place at the right time and someone else might have just shooed her away," she said. "I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am that he did what he did. Without him, she probably wouldn't be here today." “It’s a miracle. We’re so happy to have her home,” Roman concluded.

Budgerigar rescued after weeks spent outside braving Canadian winter

A bright green and yellow bird not built to brave a Winnipeg winter has been rescued after spending more than a month outside. The budgie was first spotted outdoors in the Island Lakes area in early November. Soon after, Sylvia Cassie noticed a bright green anomaly amid a cloud of little brown house sparrows at a feeder in her yard in Southland Park on Nov. 22. "I just stood there and looked at them and I couldn't believe in the middle of the flock was this little fellow," Cassie said. "There he was in all his glory with 50 sparrows." The bird started showing up three times a day for a week and would hang out in the cedar tree by Cassie's deck. It had been taken in by a group of sparrows, which were showing him where to feed and some of the warm spots in the area, Cassie said.
"They just seemed like a gang of buddies! We'd never seen such a big flock," said Cassie. "I felt that he was really being looked after by them, but we didn't want them leading him astray." Cassie and her husband contacted the Winnipeg Humane Society and were put in contact with Melanie Shura, president of Avian Welfare Canada. "They [budgies] enjoy being in a flock, that's their safety and security and what they're like in the wild," Shura said. "They're really rugged little birds. They can fly up to 500 kilometers in a day following thunder in their native country of Australia." Despite their relative ruggedness, budgies aren't well-equipped to survive in the wild in Winnipeg in January.
The species thrives in 20 C temperatures and gets about 12 hours of sleep a day on average, Shura said. "The stress of trying to maintain that body temperature outside with the long nights we have is astonishing," she said. "Once they've become kind of feral, which doesn't take long, about a week … and you've got a wild bird on your hands, then you need to try to reverse that process, and it's not very easy." In an attempt to rescue the bird, Shura brought a cage with a heating lamp and special bird food over to Cassie's. The cage then had a length of string attached to the door. They played the waiting game but weren't able to coax the bird into the cage. It was then seen by Shelley Corvino at her home in Southland Park in early December.
It was chumming around with a group of house sparrows at her feeder, too. "'Okay,' I said, 'That is not a house sparrow,'" Corvino said. She also got in touch with Shura, who helped her set up a cage with toys, a heat lamp, millet and seed in their yard. On New Year's Day, Corvino's husband saw the bird in the yard. It slowly made its way into the cage. "He pulled the string, which he'd MacGyver'd to capture the fellow, through the little gate on the setup here … and that was it! He was still feeding!" Corvino said, referring to her husband capturing the bird. "We high-fived and actually went and drank a toast and then we called Mel and Sylvia right away," she said. The bird, which the Corvinos have named MacGyver after the fictional secret agent who makes complex machines out of ordinary objects, slept through the night in the cage at their home. "He's going to have a nice new home," Corvino added.

Seals master saxophone playing and painting

Baikal seals have been trained in the fine arts at the Baikal Seal Aquarium in Irkutsk, Russia, with seals named Winnie-the-Pooh and Laska taught to paint and play musical instruments.
The seals, which originate from Lake Baikal in Siberia and are known as the symbol of Baikal, practice their paint strokes and brass instrument playing techniques to entertain children and adults.
As well as art, the seals also demonstrate their athletic ability with a series of flips and rolls in return for fish. A trainer at the aquarium Evgenii Baranov said that Baikal seals "Are very capable and intelligent animals.

"Probably, they are not inferior even to dolphins. They understand us well and so do we. So there is true collaboration in our aquarium." He added that the "Baikal seal was considered to be the most wild type of the seal before I started training them."

Raccoon tries to wash cotton candy, but it dissolves instantly

This raccoon found a chunk of cotton candy. When the animal dipped the cotton candy into a puddle to wet it, the chunk dissolved, and the raccoon was like, WTF? Why do raccoons dip their food into water? It's not to clean it, and it is not to soften it. How Stuff Work says raccoons wet their food as a way to give them "a more vivid tactile experience and precise information about what they're about to eat."

Animal News

The animal lives inside wild figs and evolves a different mouth form based on food availability.
Put into automotive terms, the chameleon’s tongue could go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a hundredth of a second.

Animal Pictures