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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

The first serious fist fight occurs in Congress.
New Jersey becomes the last northern state to abolish slavery.
Union General Ulysses S. Grant launches a major assault on Fort Donelson, Tenn.
Charges of treason against Jefferson Davis are dropped.
The U.S. battleship Maine blows up in Havana Harbor, killing 268 sailors and bringing hordes of Western cowboys and gunfighters rushing to enlist in the Spanish-American War.
The British threaten to use natives in the Boer War fight.
The London Zoo announces it will install lights to cheer up fogged-in animals.
U.S. Congress passes the Civil Works Emergency Relief Act, allotting new funds for Federal Emergency Relief Administration.
Hitler orders that all British merchant ships will be considered warships.
British forces in Singapore surrender to Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita.
The Germans break the American Army’s lines at the Fanid-Sened Sector in Tunisia, North Africa.
American bombers attack the Abbey of Monte Cassino in an effort to neutralize it as a German observation post in central Italy.
Royal Canadian mounted police arrest 22 as Soviet spies.
Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung sign a mutual defense treaty in Moscow.
Andrei Gromyko replaces Dmitri T. Shepilov as the Soviet Foreign Minister.
Eighteen members of the U.S. figure skating team are lost in an airplane crash in Belgium.
Canada’s maple leaf flag is raised for the first time.
Thirteen U.S. helicopters are shot down in one day in Vietnam
U.S. gas stations threaten to close because of federal fuel policies.

America's Oldest Shopping Mall Is Now An Apartment Building

When the economy goes bust retail stores are often hit the hardest, because people who don't have a lot of extra money to spend tend to stay away from malls.
Couple that with the fact that online shopping is cheaper, easier and faster to deliver than ever and you've got the makings of a mall massacre.
But what is a town supposed to do with their giant, and often quite nice looking, mall carcasses?
Do like the Arcade Providence, America's oldest shopping mall, and turn a shopping center that would otherwise be abandoned into an apartment building.
The Arcade Providence in Rhode Island was in danger of being closed down for good when the Northeast Collaborative Architects decided to let some new life into the building by converting the top two floors into low cost apartments.
Each of the 48 one bedroom units in the Arcade Providence start at $550/month, and the seventeen stores on the ground floor get to stay open for business proving that, for some, shopping really is a lifestyle.

Cadbury Creme Eggs Restaurant Opens

What animal lays the Cadbury creme egg? I don't want to know. I am satisfied that it is a wonderful animal.
You can do anything with a Cadbury creme egg, including deep frying it, making a Scotch egg, a toad-in-a-hole, or eggs Benedict. It's Nature's perfect food, so I'm glad that Cadbury has chosen to open a restaurant in London that serves it in everything.
The Evening Standard described the project in January:
The ground floor is designed for those busy egg-ophiles who are short on time, and will serve Creme Egg toasties to go. Yes, you read right, that’s: Creme. Egg. Toasties. They’ll sell for just £2 a pop.
Up on the first floor there’ll be more of a restaurant vibe, with four Creme Egg dishes on offer to eat in. As well as the toasties, these will include: egg and soldiers, Creme Egg tray bake, and strawberries and creme (egg).
All dishes on the first floor will cost £4, which we'd say is well worth shelling out for the novelty alone. Tea, coffee and water will be available — no Creme Egg cocktails, alas.
On the second floor there will be an interactive ball pool — which, as far as we’re aware, won’t contain any actual Creme Eggs. It's a good opportunity for adults to splash around in a ball pool without scaring little kids and alarming their parents, though.

Looks Like The Matrix May Actually Happen

Depending on how you look at it, being able to control our minds with machines and computers could be either very terrifying or extremely awesome. However...

Could Psychedelics Help Reduce Domestic Violence?

'Christian' cabals claim religious right to hide medical options from pregnant women

Just east of San Diego in a working class neighborhood, the clinic advertises “free pregnancy testing” but like many other CPCs what they really offer is an anything-but-abortion service to women in need of health care.

Beer-battered fish explanation didn't save man from his 10th drunken driving conviction

A jury in Adams County, Wisconsin, found a 76-year-old Friendship man, who said during a traffic stop that he smelled of alcohol because he had just eaten beer-battered fish, guilty on Monday of his 10th offense of drunken driving. John H. Przybyla faces a maximum of 12½ years in prison.
Portage County Circuit Judge Alan White, acting as a substitute judge in the Adams County case, ordered a pre-sentencing investigation. No date for sentencing has been scheduled. According to court documents, at 2:27pm on Oct. 12, 2014, an Adams County deputy saw a vehicle make a U-turn on Highway 13 in Dell Prairie.
The deputy followed the vehicle and saw that it had a broken tail lamp. The deputy checked the license plate and learned Przybyla owned the vehicle, and he had a revoked driver's license. As Przybyla went around a curve in the highway, the deputy saw Przybyla's vehicle go over the center line. The deputy stopped the vehicle. The deputy noticed an odor of alcohol on Przybyla's breath and asked him how much he had been drinking.
Przybyla said he hadn't but had been at a fish fry on State 82 and had eaten beer-battered fish. The deputy arrested Przybyla and took him to Moundview Memorial Hospital in Adams. Przybyla refused to take a blood test, stating it was against his religion. The deputy got a warrant to conduct the test. A preliminary breath test showed Przybyla had a 0.062 blood-alcohol concentration. For Wisconsin residents with three or more drunken driving convictions, the legal limit is 0.02 percent.

Black College Professor: I Was Handcuffed By White Cops For A Parking Ticket

A black college professor from New Jersey is alleging that police officers detained her over a parking ticket, handcuffing her to a table and subjecting...

Portugal's Reign of Terror

Most educated people are familiar with the Reign of Terror that accompanied the French Revolution.  I was not aware that a similar tragedy had previously taken place in Portugal.
The events unfolded in the aftermath of the tragedies (earthquakes, tsunamis, great fire) of 1755.  In the social turmoil that followed, several shots were fired into a carriage, wounding the king.  Pombal, the Secretary of State, rounded up "several of the most powerful and prominent nobles in Portugal. All were interrogated and many were tortured.”  They were then tried an executed on a platform in Belem before thousands of spectators.
“The Marchioness of Tavora was the first that was brought upon the scaffold, where she was beheaded at one stroke… [three noblemen and three servants] were strangled at a stake, and afterwards their limbs broken with an iron instrument. The Marquis of Tavora and the Duke of Aveiro [illustration] had their limbs broken alive… The body and limbs of each of the criminals, after they were executed, were thrown upon a wheel… But when Antonio Alvares Ferreira was brought to the stake, whose sentence was to be burnt alive, the other bodies were exposed to his view. The combustible matter which had been laid under the scaffolding was set fire to, [and] the whole machine with the bodies was consumed to ashes, and then thrown into the sea.”
Unlike the French Revolution which lasted 11 months, the turmoil in Portugal continued for 18 years, from 1759-1777.
Quoted text (p. 351) from This Gulf of Fire: The Destruction of Lisbon, or Apocalypse in the Age of Science and Reason, by Mark Molesky. 

Riddle of cement’s structure is finally solved

So that’s why! Riddle of cement’s structure is finally solvedSo that’s why! Riddle of cement’s structure is finally solved
Concrete is the world’s most widely used construction material, so abundant that its production is one of the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Yet answers to some fundamental questions about the microscopic structure and behavior of this ubiquitous...

Ancient Persian Water Clocks

The word for an ancient water clock sounds like a name of a Greek goddess: Clepsydra. These age-old time-keeping devices are handsome and intriguing, using the gradual flow of water to measure time. Water clocks date back as far as 500 BC and served as a practical daily tool all over the world for well over a millennium.

Human evolution is more a muddy delta than a branching tree

Human evolution is more a muddy delta than a branching tree

Ripples In Space-Time May Have Been Found

Are the rumors true? Whispers about a possible detection of actual ripples in space-time have been swirling for weeks, and tomorrow, the world may find out if one of Albert Einstein's boldest predictions is true. Einstein theorized that the collision of two massive objects like black holes would cause the fabric of space-time to warp.
So far, no one has yet detected these waves. But that may be about to change. Scientists working with the National Science Foundation and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory experiment have announced a press conference scheduled for tomorrow in Washington D.C.

Big-Mouthed, Plankton-Eating Fish Discovered

Specialized jaw bones helped it open really wide for incoming food.

Breastfeeding mother amazed by orangutans' reaction during zoo visit

A breastfeeding mother has had an emotional encounter with two orangutans at Melbourne Zoo in Australia. Elizabeth was at the zoo on Sunday with her family, celebrating her three-year-old daughter's birthday. Her 13-week-old son Eli was hungry so she walked around the corner to breastfeed him in private.
That is when two orangutans came over to watch. "I went around the corner to be a bit private and I was breast feeding and this orangutan locked eyes with me and came over to check out what was going on," she said. "It started off with just one, then another one came over who seemed to be a bit older and shooed this one off for a little while.
"And she [the older one] came over and gave me a bit of a nod." Elizabeth said she felt the nod was significant because she had been unable to breastfeed her first child. "It was absolutely amazing," she said. "I felt so proud and I felt she was proud of me and … I don't know. It was just amazing."
Other zoo patrons saw what was going on, and a crowd gathered as the encounter continued. "They were all just in awe of what was going on," Elizabeth said. Her baby has red hair and Elizabeth said she thought maybe the orangutan thought she was nursing a baby orangutan. After the encounter Elizabeth and her family joined up to be members of Melbourne Zoo.

Sparrow followed woman home and has become a member of the family

A sparrow has set up home with an elderly couple in Fukaya, in Japan's Saitama prefecture, becoming the newest member of their family.
Yoshiko Fujino said she first saw the bird, named Pee Chan, in mid-November while working as a traffic guide for local school children. It followed her home, resting on her shoulder and not wanting to leave.
"He's like a family member, he's very comforting. It's fun, coming home to a sparrow," she said. "My grandchildren have grown up, and there's none who are still small, so I don't know how to say it clearly, but he's like a family member."
Fujino assumes the sparrow, which appears comfortable in the surroundings, is wild, but also says she does not rule out the possibility the bird was once a household pet.
With video. Or you can watch it at YouTube.

Man threw live alligator through drive-through window

A Florida man threw it through the restaurant’s drive-through window, according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission incident report. It happened in October, but the suspect was just taken into custody by US Marshals.
FWC officials say 23-year-old Joshua James from Jupiter, pulled up for his order and after a server handed over a drink and turned around James reached into the back of his truck and tossed the 3-and-a-half foot gator through the drive-through window at Wendy’s just east of Loxahatchee in Royal Palm Beach.
The incident report showed a picture of the gator inside the restaurant. James faces charges of aggravated assault and unlawful possession and transportation of an alligator. FWC said James admitted to picking up the gator on the side of Southern Boulevard and taking it to the fast food restaurant.

During his first court appearance on Tuesday morning a judge ordered James to stay out of all Wendy's restaurants, to avoid contact or possession with any animals other than his mother's dog, to undergo a mental health evaluation and to avoid possessing any weapons. If he fails a random drug and alcohol test his bond will be rescinded. The alligator was later released in a nearby canal.

Horses Read Emotion in People's Faces

The horse-human bond is so intense that with just a passing glance, a horse can tell how a person is feeling.

Animal Pictures