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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, February 25, 2016

The Daily Drift

Special Notice: The Weather Gods got it right and wrong. North, East, South and West of us got hammered by high winds and flooding rains. We however, had a bright calm, sunny day, yesterday. Guess that living correctly pays off in many ways.
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The Wisdom of Pooh ...! 
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Today in History

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued an edict outlining his calendar reforms. (The Gregorian Calendar is the calendar in general use today.)
In 1803, in its Marbury v. Madison decision, the Supreme Court established judicial review of the constitutionality of statutes. In 1912, the American Jewish women's organization Hadassah was founded in New York City.
In 1920, the German Workers Party, which later became the Nazi Party, met in Munich to adopt its platform.
In 1938, the first nylon bristle toothbrush, manufactured by DuPont under the name "Dr. West's Miracle Toothbrush," went on sale.
In 1946, Argentinian men went to the polls to elect Juan D. Peron their president.
In 1955, the Cole Porter musical "Silk Stockings" opened at the Imperial Theater on Broadway.
In 1966, Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, was overthrown in a military coup while he was visiting Beijing; he was replaced by Joseph Arthur Ankrah.
In 1975, the Congressional Budget Office, charged with providing independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues, began operating under its first director, Alice Rivlin.
In 1986, the Supreme Court struck down, 6-3, an Indianapolis ordinance that would have allowed women injured by someone who had seen or read pornographic material to sue the maker or seller of that material.
In 1988, in a ruling that expanded legal protections for parody and satire, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned a $150,000 award that the Rev. Jerry Falwell had won against Hustler magazine and its publisher, Larry Flynt.
In 1996, Cuba downed two small American planes operated by the group Brothers to the Rescue that it claimed were violating Cuban airspace; all four pilots were killed.

Shopping Mall Has a 5-Story Slide

Forget the stairs or the escalator. This shopping mall in Shanghai has a great new way to travel from the top floor to the bottom. It's a winding slide decorated to look like a dragon. The trip through his gullet takes 16 seconds. It's free, although you do have to be at least 3 years old and 3 and 1/2 feet tall. It's open for transport on the Lantern Fesitival, which is on February 22. Shanghai Daily reports:
The slide attracted big crowds taking photos at the Pujian outlet of Printemps Department Store this afternoon.
"It looks fun and my son was too curious," said Yao Jin, who brought her five year old son to the store.
"My son was excited and very interested to have a try, but I still have some concerns on its safety," said Yao, who lives near the store.
Another visitor, Jack Shen in his 20s, said he will not take a ride.
"It is a stunt of the department store, and the slide seems to be very dangerous," he said.
That's fine. Then he won't take up space in the queue.

Red kidney bean poisoning

Many people are unaware that kidney beans, if consumed raw, contain a dangerous toxin... The toxin is named phytohemagglutinin (PHA), a member of a very common class of proteins called lectins. Lectins are glycoproteins that are present in a wide variety commonly-consumed plant foods, particularly in the seeds. In most cases, they are not harmful and possibly beneficial, but some lectins are known to be toxic. One of the most dangerous poisons known, ricin, is a lectin derived from the seeds of the castor bean Ricinus communis (not a true bean and totally unrelated to the legume family Fabaceae); this is not, however, the same lectin found in beans and other legumes...
PHA is known to be an insecticide, and plants probably developed it to keep their seeds from being destroyed by pests. In humans and other susceptible mammals (those of us without compound stomachs) PHA attacks and disables the epithelial cells lining the intestine. The body reacts to the threat by emptying the entire digestive tract as rapidly and completely as possible, to rid itself of the toxic substance...
For the safest results in cooking dried kidney beans, they should first be soaked for several hours, the soaking water discarded, then brought to the boil in fresh water and cooked for at least ten minutes...
Gardeners, in particular, should be a aware of the potential dangers of raw beans if they like to "graze" in their gardens, eating the fresh raw seeds directly from the shell. The level of PHA in all varieties is not known.
Green beans (snap beans) are a questionable matter. Many people do like to eat young green beans raw, and overcooking green beans until mushy is widely regarded as a sin against the vegetable. I can find no clear evidence that raw green beans have PHA levels high enough to make them unsafe for most of the population. It should be noted that the level of PHA is highest in seeds, and green beans are usually consumed for the sake of the green fleshy pod, at a stage when the seeds are only beginning to develop.
And from another source:
The syndrome is usually caused by the ingestion of raw, soaked kidney beans, either alone or in salads or casseroles. As few as four or five raw beans can trigger symptoms. Several outbreaks have been associated with "slow cookers" or crock pots, or in casseroles which had not reached a high enough internal temperature to destroy the glycoprotein lectin.  It has been shown that heating to 80 degrees C. may potentiate the toxicity five-fold, so that these beans are more toxic than if eaten raw. In studies of casseroles cooked in slow cookers, internal temperatures often did not exceed 75 degrees C.

The First Artificial Insemination Was an Ethical Nightmare

Experimental artificial insemination was attempted as early as 1855, when J. Marion Sims tried it out on slaves without their consent. Of the six women involved, only one got pregnant, and she miscarried. Then in 1884, Philadelphia physician William Pancoast treated a couple for infertility. He determined that the husband had no sperm, but he let the couple think he was going to cure that little problem.
Instead of disclosing any of this information to the couple, though, Pancoast scheduled another “examination” for his patient. Here’s how the first successful artificial insemination took place: In front of six medical students, Pancoast knocked out his patient using chloroform, inseminated her with a rubber syringe, and then packed her cervix with gauze. The source of the semen was one of the medical students in the room, determined to be the most attractive of the bunch.
The medical students were sworn to secrecy, and a healthy baby boy was born. Read the story of those secrets and how they finally came out in the open, at the Atlantic.

Florida Teen Bluffs His Way Into Being A Doctor By Opening His Own Medical Clinic

Many kids who grew up in the 80s and 90s dreamed of becoming a young doctor like Doogie Howser, because he made the whole thing look so cool. But there's a reason most doctors have to go through nearly a decade of schooling before the lives of patients are put into their capable hands, and that's because untrained doctors can lead to untimely deaths. However, those thoughts never entered 18-year-old Malachi Love-Robinson's mind when he set up the New Birth New Life Medical Center and Urgent Care LLC in Palm Beach, Florida. His bio at the website says,
Dr. Malachi A. Love-Robinson is a a well rounded professional that treats, and cares for patients, using a system of practice that bases treatment of physiological functions and abnormal conditions on natural laws governing the human body. Dr Love-Robinson utilizes physiological, psychological, and mechanical methods, such as air, water, light, heat, earth, phototherapy, food and herb therapy, psychotherapy, electrotherapy, physiotherapy, mechanotherapy, naturopathic corrections and manipulation, and natural methods or modalities, together with natural medicines, natural processed foods, and herbs and nature’s remedies.
Not only did he set up the website, he was also seeing patients! According to the Charlotte Observer, the Florida Department of Health sent him a cease-and-desist order, but Love-Robinson continued to practice.
The health department called the Sheriff’s Office and members of the Palm Beach Narcotics Task Force to investigate. They sent in an undercover officer. After that officer received a medical exam and advice from the young doctor, they arrested him.

Last year, Love-Robinson was briefly detained by West Palm Beach police after he was found wandering around St. Mary’s Medical Center wearing a doctor’s coat and interacting with patients. Kent said Love-Robinson, then 17, was in his office and introduced himself as an anesthesiologist, but Kent became suspicious because of Love-Robinson’s youthful looks.
The teenager’s grandfather said it was a big misunderstanding, and that Love-Robinson never claimed to be a medical doctor, just a holistic doctor, for which he had online degrees. Now Love-Robinson has been arrested and charged with practicing medicine without a license, and with any luck Malachi will get to play doctor again...with his cellmate!

Why Would You Lose a Lawsuit on Purpose?

Because that's how you can escape financial regulators.
The Chinese government limits its citizens to moving $50,000 per year overseas. But as the Chinese economy is shaky, many investors would like to smuggle their money out of the country to more secure locations.
The Wall Street Journal reports on a clever new way that Chinese capital managers are trying to do precisely that. First, set up a shell company overseas. Then have that company sue you. Settle the lawsuit and pay the company, thus moving your money to the shell company, beyond the reach of Chinese government regulators:
In a post published on Sunday on Seattle-headquartered law firm Harris & Moure’s China Law Blog, Mr. Harris detailed his conversation with an adviser to a Chinese company. The adviser had called him essentially to ask Harris & Moure to help the Chinese company deliberately lose a lawsuit for a phony breach of contract that would result in a payout of $3.5 million, which the Chinese company would then send to the U.S.
The money, as it turns out, would be paid to entities in the U.S. controlled by the Chinese company itself.
Mr. Harris told China Real Time that the company, a privately-held Chinese manufacturer, wanted to pursue such a fake arbitration, rather than fake a simple legal settlement for the same amount of money, because it was concerned about convincing government regulators who have been closely scrutinizing offshore remittances.
“They wanted it to look really official,” he said in a phone interview. “Arbitration also moves quickly, so they could conceivably do it within three months.”

The Dos And Don'ts Of Funeral Etiquette

With virtually every death comes the funeral service, where people get together to bid the dearly departed farewell and hopefully get a bit of closure from the whole experience.
But these memorial gatherings also make people feel mighty anxious, as they wonder what to wear, who to bring, and whether they should attend if they're of a different faith.
As a rule the dress code is conservative and earth toned, you should bring kids because they'll brighten spirits at the service, and out of respect for the dead you should leave your religious hangups at home.

‘New Atheists’ and religio-wingnuts are both wrong

A new book attacks the notion that religion is “hardwired” into humanity.

Quick Hits

California girl wins right to wear 'Nobody knows I'm a lesbian' T-shirt at school
WATCH: Indicted Texas mayor gets arrested for disrupting meeting seeking his ouster
'Pastafarian' wins right to wear colander in Wisconsin driver's license photo

Why Was A Nazi Sympathizer Just Buried At Arlington Cemetery?

Why Was A Nazi Sympathizer Just Buried At Arlington Cemetery?Why Was A Nazi Sympathizer Just Buried At Arlington Cemetery?
This is why a Nazi sympathizer was just buried next to heroes at Arlington National Cemetery.

Federal grand jury pursues charges against Cliven Bundy over 2014 standoff

Cliven Bundy speaking at a forum hosted by the American Academy for Constitutional Education (AAFCE) at the Burke Basic School in Mesa, Arizona (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday with conspiracy, assault on a federal officer and obstruction of justice in connection with a 2014 standoff on federal land near his Nevada ranch, prosecutors said.

Texas woman arrested for waterboarding disabled son and tying rope around his genitals

Christi Howell is also accused of beating the boy with a stick to punish him for not having “good form” doing push-ups. A separate arrest warrant was issued for the suspect’s 45-year-old boyfriend, Casey Shackleford, who allegedly took part in the abuse.

'Christian' radio hack busted for slapping woman’s ‘butt cheek’ inside Target restroom

Mark Wayne Howington (Screenshot/ABC13)'Christian' radio hack busted for slapping woman’s ‘butt cheek’ inside Target restroom

LAPD officers accused of raping women while on duty

LAPD officers accused of raping women while on duty

Man committed thefts to keep his 7 girlfriends happy

A 26-year-old Indian man has been arrested by the police in Maharashtra's Buldhana district on charges of theft and burglary. The man, police say, had seven girlfriends and committed these crimes "to keep them happy". Omprakash Rangnath Khandave has been arrested in connection with nine burglary cases.
Police say he is alcoholic and likes to live a luxurious life. Omprakash always dreamed of living life like the ultra rich and always traveled in the air-conditioned coach of trains, police said.
Officers recovered 17 mobile phones and Rs 4.5 lakh (£4,600, $6,600) from him. There were complaints against Omprakash in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Wardha, Bhusawal and Pune in Maharashtra. The Maharashtra Police formed a team to lay a trap for Omprakash and arrested him. He is now in police custody.

Naked man rescued from storm drain

Fire crews rescued a naked man from a storm drain in Tucson, Arizona, on Tuesday morning.
Fire Capt. Barrett Baker said students from Tucson High could hear cries for help and called 911. Once on scene, Tucson Fire Department was able to access the man after removing the storm drain cover.
Baker said the man was very disoriented and could not confirm how long he was stuck inside the drain. The man told paramedics he thought he had been in the drain for at least two days.

The man was transported to a local hospital. Tucson Fire wants to remind the public that storm drains are dangerous and should never be entered.

Postal worker trapped in truck by wild turkeys forced to call for help

A mail carrier in New Jersey called for help after he said his truck was surrounded by wild turkeys - and he couldn't get out.
The local post master called Hillsdale police just after 12 pm on Tuesday, saying the letter carrier was unable to get out of the truck on Esplanade Drive.
Tom Smith of the Hillsdale Police Department, who responded to the call, said: “I don’t know if he’s had a run-in with these turkeys before.” Smith ended up blasting his police car’s sirens, causing the birds to scatter.

A statement from the US Postal Service said the letter carrier was "attacked by a flock of turkeys" and it caused the interruption of mail delivery to three homes. The mail worker was not injured in the ordeal.

Toilet containing frozen raccoon left on driveway of home

Mansfield Township police in New Jersey responded to a report of vandalism at an undisclosed location in the township on Monday.
But the vandals chose an unusual way to act: They heaved a porcelain toilet onto the driveway of a private residence. With a dead, frozen raccoon inside the tank.
Sgt. Shawn Bates confirmed the incident, saying police investigated it as more of a prank than a threat. The dead raccoon was stuffed inside the toilet's tank.
Bates said police have turned over the matter to the township's Animal Control Officer and the state Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Animal Pictures