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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, February 20, 2016

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

Pope Julius II dies. He will lay in rest in a huge tomb sculptured by Michelangelo.
New Hampshire militiamen partake in the first recorded scalping of Indians by whites in North America.
The U.S. Postal Service is created.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the power of the federal government is greater than any individual state in the Union.
Polish revolutionaries defeat the Russians in the Battle of Growchow.
Confederate troops defeat a Union army sent to bring Florida into the union at the Battle of Olustee, Fla.
J.F. Pickering patents his airship.
Russian troops seize large portions of Mongolia.
President Woodrow Wilson opens the Panama-Pacific Expo in San Francisco to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal.
The Soviet Red Army seizes Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine.
Hitler demands self-determination for Germans in Austria and Czechoslovakia.
The United States sends war planes to the Pacific.
Lt. Edward O’Hare downs five out of nine Japanese bombers that are attacking the carrier Lexington.
German troops of the Afrika Korps break through the Kasserine Pass, defeating U.S. forces.
The Ford Foundation gives a $25 million grant to the Fund for Advancement of Education.
The FCC applies the equal time rule to TV newscasts of political candidates.
Mercury astronaut John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth.
Moscow offers to allow on-site inspection of nuclear testing.
Ranger 8 hits the moon and sends back 7,000 photos to the United States.
North Vietnamese army chief in Hue orders all looters to be shot on sight.
Young people protest having to cut their long hair in Athens, Greece.
Carnegie Hall in New York begins $20 million in renovations.

Persephone, Not Snow White, Was the First Disney Princess

Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was a huge success when it came out in 1937 and remains popular to this day. Snow White's place among the pantheon of Disney princesses is firm. But she was not the first of them.
3 years before Snow White premiered, Disney produced an animated short that retold the Greek myth of Persephone. The main character from the 1934 film The Goddess of Spring was the first realistic but idealized depiction of a beautiful young woman. Erin Blakemore writes for Smithsonian magazine:
Alyssa Carnahan, open studio coordinator at the Walt Disney Family Museum, writes that the project was a chance for Disney’s animators to work on bringing a human character to life. The studio had focused primarily on wacky animals, though early silent shorts featured a real-life girl with long curls named Alice. As they worked on Persephone’s princess-like look and action, animators also developed standards like the model sheet, which allows cel animators to keep character attributes consistent throughout the film.
A look at Persephone shows plenty of similarities to Snow White, from her habit of holding her skirt and twirling, to her proclivity for adorable animals and diminutive people. Persephone might be a goddess, but she’s also the daughter of Zeus and thus a princess, as well—one who exhibits the same characteristics of curiosity, peril and redemption that her later sisters will mirror.

Americans’ support for science remains strong

Despite the wingnuts best efforts ...
Americans’ support for science remains strong
Americans’ support for science remains strong
A large majority of Americans have favorable views of science and scientists, believing that the benefits from science outweigh any negatives and agree that science and technology will create more opportunities for future generations.

One Time Zone to Rule Them All

Are time zones obsolete in a globally connected world?

Flint is what happens when ‘reckless’ public officials put dollars before people

The two social crusaders noted that Michigan state officials “ignored resident complaints and some tried to hide the health threat from Flint residents,” because it mainly affected a poor and minority-heavy community.

Air Pollution Kills More People Than Malnutrition And Unsafe Sex

Republican candidate and decorated vet ripped for participating in Air Force LGBT pride fun run

A decorated vet running for a hotly contested congressional seat in Texas has come under attack from one of his wingnut primary opponents for participating in a pride fun sponsored by an Air Force base gay rights group.

Who Was America’s Fittest President?

George Washington on a horse
Who Was America’s Fittest President?
Americans like to choose presidents who represent their dreams and aspirations. Occasionally that gives us a true athlete-in-chief

Fox News hack Carlson pouts about plus-size models

Ronda Rousey, Ashley Graham, and Hailey Clauson appear on 'Sports Illustrated' covers (Fox News/screen grab)
Fox News hack Carlson pouts about plus-size models: ‘Keep politics out of my swimsuit issue’
Someone needs to get a Life, badly!

Sleep apnea takes a toll on brain function

Sleep apnea takes a toll on brain functionSleep apnea takes a toll on brain function
One in 15 adults has moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder in which a person’s breathing is frequently interrupted during sleep — as many as 30 times per hour. People with sleep apnea also often report problems with thinking such as poor...

Eating breakfast could help obese people get more active

Eating breakfast could help obese people get more activeEating breakfast could help obese people get more active
Eating breakfast causes obese people to be more active, according to the latest research published from researchers at the University of Bath (UK). The study, from health scientists based within the University’s Department for Health and published in the leading...

How Studying The Minds Of Cultural Icons May Combat Mental Illness Stigma

Marilyn Monroe had "textbook characteristics" of borderline personality disorder, a new book claims.

Mystery Illness Closes 57 Schools in Bangladesh

A mystery illness that sickened hundreds of students in Bangladesh is very likely mass hysteria.

'Christian' religio-wingnuts push child marriage with creepy meme comparing girls to apples

White girl lies on the ground with apples (Shutterstock)
“Girls are like apples on trees. Their fathers are the farmers, whose job is to care for them. He must protect his apples from pests and disease. He must guard them against thieves who may pick his apples prematurely. Neither those at the top nor those at the bottom can help their location. But, when each reaches peak ripeness, it is the farmer’s job to harvest that fruit and give it to..."

Kentucky wingnuts advance bill to force ultrasounds and make women listen to description of the fetus

By a vote of 11 to 1, the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee approved Senate Bill 152, which proponents say is necessary for women to have “informed consent” before going through with an abortion.

Psychic whose home business was destroyed by truck says she knew it was going to happen

A psychic in Orange County, California, said she had a premonition something was going to happen – and it did when a truck plowed into her home business in Anaheim on Friday.

Man drove past speed camera at almost twice the limit then returned to run it over

A man from Mandurah in Western Australia has been charged with deliberately running over a speed camera after it allegedly clocked him driving at almost twice the legal speed limit.
Police allege the man was behind the wheel of a utility caught traveling at 157 kilometers per hour in an 80km/h zone on Mandurah Road in Madora Bay on Thursday night.
"A few minutes later the vehicle returned and intentionally drove over the speed detection camera, smashing it," Western Australia Police said. Police said damage to the speed camera was estimated at $97,000.
The man, 29, has been charged with criminal damage and reckless driving. He is due to appear in the Mandurah Magistrates Court later this month. The man's vehicle was impounded by police for 28 days.

Package thief duped into stealing dirty cat litter

A West Seattle neighborhood is so fed up with package pirates, they're fighting back. Megan Holt from Greenbridge put a box out as bait.

Wedding guests playing bagpipes and wearing full Highland dress sparked brawl in McDonalds

A pair of wedding guests sparked an early morning brawl in a McDonald's restaurant after walking in wearing full Highland dress and playing the bagpipes. Calum Graham and Allan Gilruth had been at a wedding earlier in the day where one was performing and they decided to pipe themselves into the fast food outlet in Perth, Scotland. Other diners were not impressed with the musical accompaniment at 4am and told the duo to pipe down. That led to a heated argument and Graham and Gilruth both threw punches at other diners, leading to two men being injured.
At Perth Sheriff Court on Thursday, the two men were fined £630 each after they admitted assault in the wake of the Valentine's Day wedding. Gilruth, 25, and Graham, 25, who has performed with the Pitlochry and Blair Atholl Pipe Band, were both told they could have caused serious injuries to their victims. Mechanic Gilruth from Pitlochry admitted assaulting Craig Menzies in McDonald's at Broxden on February 15 last year by punching him on the head. He admitted causing his victim to fall and strike his head on a seat to his injury. Plumber Graham, also from Pitlochry, admitted attacking Euan Fuller and punching him on the head to his injury during the same incident. A further charge against Graham of assaulting a staff member was dropped by the Crown.
Fiscal depute Jim Eodanable told the court: "At around 3.40am a group of four arrived at McDonald's at the same time as the accused. One of the accused engaged in conversation with the other group and they formed a clear impression that he was under the influence of alcohol. One of the parties made a comment which was taken the wrong way and Mr Gilruth punched the complainer. He falls to the ground and on the way down strikes his head off a seat in the booth. That complainer's friend then comes over to assist and the second accused then steps forward and swings a punch at him. The blow was deflected but it does strike the complainer. Fortunately for all concerned the injuries were not serious. Police were contacted."

Solicitor Billy Somerville, defending, said: "They were in full Highland dress because they had been at a wedding and one of them had been performing bagpipes at it." He said they decided to pull into McDonald's for something to eat and had taken the bagpipes in to play some tunes as they approached to order food. Some of the other diners obviously didn't appreciate their quiet meal being disturbed at 4am and they were asked to stop which led to an argument," Mr Somerville added. Sheriff Gillian Wade said: "The injuries were minor but they could have been more serious as one man hit his head as he fell to the ground. It is important this matter is put behind you and is not hanging over you for any period of time. I consider your behavior to be broadly the same so you will both be fined £630."

Man's who called police after losing key to handcuffs during 'kinky' night handcuffed again

A man who called police after he lost the key to handcuffs after an intimate night with his wife was re-handcuffed when police found he had a felony warrant.
Dustin G. Taylor, 21, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, was arrested on a felony warrant for first-degree criminal mischief on Tuesday at about 1:30pm after he called police to his residence, according to the Fort Smith Police Department.
He told police he and his wife were doing some “kinky” things the night before with handcuffs and at some point that night, the key was lost, according to a report. When he met police the following day, he still had the handcuffs on, according to the report. He asked police to help him remove the handcuffs.
When police ran Taylor’s name in a crime information database, it showed him to have a felony warrant, according to the Police Department. An officer wrote in the report that he removed the cuffs Taylor had on and put his on. Taylor was released on Wednesday from the Sebastian County Detention Center on a $1,500 bond.

Cannabis grower avoided jail sentence because he wasn't very good at it

A cannabis grower has been spared from jail because he wasn't very good at it. The judge and prosecutor and even his lawyer all agreed that Joshua Hughes’s 40 cannabis plants were too puny to ever be worth harvesting. The 20-year-old from Stockton-On-Tees in north east England, paid £200 for the growing kit and he tended them every day. But police photographs of them at his rented flat failed to impress the Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, who said: “Well, I’m not going to say that it was a commercial grow”. Hughes’s landlord called police in on July 13 last year after he investigated a water leak at the locked flat. They found over 40 plants with a set-up for watering, ventilation and lighting, and the electricity meter had been bypassed, which engineers had to make safe. Hughes said that he was trying to save money buying the drug from dealers because he had a habit of 20 cannabis cigarettes a day. He said that he had rented the flat a year ago and he bought the cannabis growing kit from a car boot sale for £200, and he followed a YouTube video to set it up.
He said that one lot of plants died, and he tried to get some chemicals to feed the rest. Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Teesside Crown Court that there was no evidence of any successful grow, and Hughes denied that he was the person who tampered with the electricity supply. Duncan McReddie, defending, said that it was Hughes’s first experience of the criminal justice system. He added: “He had been struggling with cannabis use for a time before he started this enterprise, and he thought it would ensure that he would have a supply so that he did not have to use drug dealers..
“But he had neither the wit, expertise or dedication to maintain the growth. It was an inept attempt to cultivate for his own use. The mitigation is the timely plea and the fact that it is not a commercial grow because it did not come to fruition.” The judge told Hughes: “This was an incompetent grow from start to finish. You may have had high expectations and high ideas, but anyone who seeks to produce cannabis will risk a sentence of imprisonment. I am suspending it because of your early guilty plea, lack of previous convictions and incompetence.” Hughes was given a six months jail sentence suspended for two years and 100 hours unpaid work after he pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis.

Smell of marijuana led police to crocodile

Investigators in Wisconsin answering a call to search a house that smelled of marijuana found pot and a crocodile when they got inside.
The Manitowoc County Metro Drug Unit searched the house after receiving information from Manitowoc County Sheriff's Office personnel, who smelled marijuana while at the location to find a man wanted on a local warrant.
Six teenagers were inside the residence, and about a half pound of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and items indicative of drug sales were found. All of the teens admitted they were smoking marijuana, Metro Drug Unit Lt. Dave Remiker said. An approximately 3-foot-long crocodile also was discovered in the basement of the residence.
Investigators determined the reptile, which is not permitted within city limits, was neglected and possibly in poor health. Officers removed the crocodile from the residence and turned it over to Wildlife of Wisconsin. The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending, Remiker said.

Giant bird browsed in the Arctic twilight 50 million years ago

Giant bird browsed in the Arctic twilight 50 million years ago
Giant bird browsed in the Arctic twilight 50 million years ago
Strange as it may seem, a bird bigger than Big Bird once lived above the Arctic Circle. The flightless bird, known as Gastornis, roamed Ellesmere Island next to Greenland about 50 million years ago, even during the twilight months of winter. Once thought to be a...

Dog that can read helps school pupils

A dog has become the star pupil at a primary school after he learned how to read. Fernie a two year-old chocolate Labrador, was introduced to classes as part of a national scheme to give young children motivation and confidence. But since starting at Winford Primary School, near Bristol, Fernie has been taught to recognize commands on four flashcards. Owner and headmaster Nik Gardner says Fernie can read the words ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘roll over’ and ‘spin’. And Nik claims that with further training Fernie could learn up to 20 more words. He said: “Training Fernie to recognize words was surprisingly simple.
“For his initial training I used the clicker technique, where the dog learns to associate a treat with the distinctive sound made by a clicker when he responds correctly to a command. Then, while still using the clicker technique, I started showing him simple commands on a flashcard, which he recognizes as a shape, whilst giving him the spoken command, so he learned to associate the two. After a while, I stopped using the spoken command and just used the flashcard on its own, because he had learned to read it.” Nik added: “If children can see that the dog can read the flash cards, then they can do it too – so it’s a huge motivation for them.”
The words Fernie recognizes are all written in the same black typeface on identical sized and shaped flashcards. Nik has been training Fernie since he was a pup and has taken him to work each day since he was five months old. The friendly pooch snuggles up for a story with pupils, improving their reading skills by giving them extra motivation and confidence. He is an educational assistance dog and is being trained as part of a national scheme called Dogs Helping Kids. The Devon-based charity uses highly trained dogs to teach children non-violence, empathy and trust. Research shows dogs can improve children’s literacy, behavior and self-esteem, as well as teaching them to respect and care for animals.

Nik added: “Fernie is incredibly calm, and has been socialized around children from a very early age. We find he has a very positive effect on children’s learning. For example, after he sits with pupils to listen to them read, which the children love, because they don’t feel ‘judged’, they get to do some training with him and reward him with a treat. He’s also on hand for children who might feel nervous or anxious during the school day – a few minutes of cuddles really helps to cheer them up.” Fernie also gets to enjoy a lunch time walk with his owner and pupils while they learn road safety skills. “Being able to read is only a small part of what Fernie brings to the school,” said Nik.

Violet the Goat's Adventures on the Day She is Born

At the Catskill Animal Sanctuary lives one criminally cute baby goat named Violet. On her very first day of life, she's pretty much a baby goat rock star. Tiny striped shirts are being sported. Baby goat compatibly sized rocks are being climbed. Kisses are being received. Looks like the first hours of baby goat life at CAS aren't rough ones. Enjoy, little Violet.

Jilted elephant took frustration out on 15 cars

After losing out on his love interest, a wild elephant turned his attention to cars.
Authorities in Yunnan Province, southern China, say the male elephant wandered out of a reservation area on Friday after a failed courtship and started playing with cars parked along a highway, damaging more than a dozen vehicles.
The government of Xishuangbanna prefecture said the animal recently lost to another male elephant in a battle for the affections of a female, and that his temperament was moody.

They said the elephant did not hurt any of the tourists who had crowded the area during the Lunar New Year holiday, and who were very excited to see the elephant. It said 15 cars were dented and that the elephant later returned to the reservation area.

Animal Pairs Prove Love Is Blind

Many unlikely bonds have formed between animals that normally have nothing to do with each other.

Six Cheetah Cubs

You’ve read enough about cheetahs right here at Neatorama to know that more than two cubs in a litter is unusual. A cheetah named Addison at the San Diego Zoo gave birth in November to a litter of six cubs! She’s a prolific cheetah -her only other litter had four cubs. The zoo says the number was a surprise.
Although Addison’s previous litter was good-sized, this one came as a little bit of a surprise. “A radiograph had shown she was definitely carrying three cubs, and possibly a fourth,” explains Jillian King, a senior keeper at the Cheetah Breeding Center. But when the staff arrived on November 21, 2015 and checked the closed-circuit cameras in the den, they counted half a dozen squeaking, squirming, bitsy bundles of spotted fluff.
At twelve weeks of age, the cheetahs are beginning to show signs of growing up.

Animal Pictures