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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, March 20, 2016

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of Carolina Naturally.
Today also happens to be Ostara - the First Day of Spring ...! 
Carolina Naturally is read in 206 countries around the world daily.   
The Storyteller has them rapt ... !
Today is - World Storytelling Day

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Egypt - Senegal
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Today in History

Henry IV of England is succeed by his son Henry V.
In India, Nadir Shah of Persia occupies Delhi and takes possession of the Peacock throne.
The Great Fire of Boston destroys 349 buildings.
In Paris, the Legislative Assembly approves the use of the guillotine.
Napoleon Bonaparte enters Paris and begins his 100-day rule.
Edgar Allen Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue, considered the first detective story, is published.
Harriet Beecher Stowe‘s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published.
Army officers in Russia mutiny at Sevastopol.
The French call off the Champagne offensive on the Western Front.
The Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union ask for American aid to rebuild their army.
President Warren G. Harding orders U.S. troops back from the Rhineland.
The German dirigible, Graf Zepplin, makes the first flight to South America on regular schedule.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt names William O. Douglas to the Supreme Court.
The British Royal Air Force conducts an all-night air raid on the Nazi airbase at Sylt, Germany.
The Allies attack Field Marshall Erwin Rommel‘s forces on the Mareth Line in North Africa.
President Lyndon B. Johnson orders 4,000 troops to protect the Selma-Montgomery civil rights marchers.
Senator Edward Kennedy calls on the United States to close all bases in Taiwan.
Patty Hearst is convicted of armed robbery.
U.S. scientists return from Antarctica with the first land mammal fossils found there.
The United State approves AZT, a drug that is proven to slow the progress of AIDS.

And I Quote

Scientists Reveal Cause Of Red Spots Ruining Leonardo Da Vinci's Self-Portrait

Inside the pages of the oldest comic in the world

Here’s a good pub quiz question: what was the world’s first comic? 
If you’ve no idea, don’t feel too foolish. 
It wasn’t even recognized by experts until a few years ago and is still debatable today.

The Witch

From The Wizard of Oz to Harry Potter, Macbeth to Bewitched, witches have long been a part of popular culture.
The Witch allows us, modern viewers, to see how easy it would be for our ancestors, driven by misapplied faith and pressed by calamity, to believe in and persecute witches – and why people still do so in some places today. 


The World's Smallest Kingdom
The story goes that in 1807, Giuseppe Bertoleoni, a man from Genoa, was facing bigamy charges. He fled the city with the pair of sisters that he had married and made his way to Tavolara, an uninhabited island off the coast of Sardinia. It's about 2 square miles of rocks and goats.
In 1836, King Carlo Alberto of Sardinia came to the island to hunt the goats. He met Paolo Bertoleoni, the son of the original settler, who introduced himself as the King of Tavolara. King Tonino, the current monarch, shared the story with BBC Travel:
“When he landed, Carlo Alberto introduced himself by saying, ‘I’m Carlo Alberto, the King of Sardinia,’” Tonino said. “And so my great-grandfather replied, ‘Well, I’m Paolo, the King of Tavolara.’”
After killing several goats and feasting for three days at Paolo’s home, Carlo Alberto was so delighted that he said, “Paolo, you really are the King of Tavolara!” before sailing off, according to Tonino. Joking or not, Carlo Alberto later confirmed that the far-flung island had never officially been part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, and he sent Paolo a scroll from Carlo Alberto’s royal family, the House of Savoy, that certified the monarchy’s status.
Perhaps King Carlo Alberto was joking. But the Bertoleoni family took this proclamation very seriously and claimed the tiny island as their own independent kingdom.
King Tonino, 83, has ruled the island and its 11 inhabitants for 22 years. He also owns and operates the only restaurant on the island. It's a humble royalty:
These days, when he’s not fishing for squid or gardening outside his squat bungalow, his majesty lords over Tavolara's 11 part-time residents, 100 nimble mountain goats and a few species of endangered falcons that live atop the island’s 565m limestone peak. For the past 40 years, Tonino has been personally escorting visitors to his family’s island palace – first by rowboat, and now via a 25-minute ferry that he operates from Porto San Paolo.
“My family may have had a beautiful past,” Tonino said in a soft voice, “but we work hard and live simply, just like everybody else.”
In fact, running the kingdom is very much a family business. While the king and his nephew, Nicola, captain the summer ferry, the prince and princess in waiting, Giuseppe and Loredana, now run the beachside restaurant. Giuseppe’s nephew, Antonio, wakes up early to go fishing every morning and supplies most of the clams, lobster and fish that fly out of the kitchen each afternoon and evening.

Five Myths About What You Should and Shouldn't Eat

Simulation Explains Polling Errors

During election season, we see poll after poll taken by various groups that sometimes hit the mark, more or less, and sometimes are just plain wrong. Maarten Lambrechts produced an interactive graphic called Rock ’n Poll that explains why polls don’t line up with real-world results. Click the check button to advance the graphic. Through the simulation, we take political preference polls in the fictional country of PollLand, which has a million voting citizens, represented by a thousand dots, and eight political parties, each represented by a bright color.
The exercise illustrates the margin of error in imaginary polls in which sampling is perfectly representative and everyone cooperates and tells the truth. If errors creep into polls in PollLand, you can imagine how hard it is to get correct results in the real world.

Stop shaming mothers who want to breastfeed their babies

A woman breastfeeds her son in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 5, 2014 [AFP]
Stop shaming mothers who want to breastfeed their babies

Hundreds of Thousands of Women in America Are Now Forced to Attempt Risky At-Home Abortions

Experimental Treatment Shrank Breast Cancer Tumors "Dramatically" in Just 11 Days

Medical researchers in the UK gave this treatment to 257 women who had a particular type of breast cancer, affecting about a tenth of breast cancer patients. These women took two drugs: lapatinib and trastuzumab. The results surprised doctors. The BBC reports:
But by the time surgeons came to operate, there was no sign of cancer in some patients.
Prof Judith Bliss, from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, said the impact was "dramatic".
She told the BBC News website: "We were particularly surprised by these findings as this was a short-term trial.
"It became apparent some had a complete response. It's absolutely intriguing, it is so fast."
The tumors completely disappeared for 11% of the patients and shrank considerably for another 17% of participants in the study.

Bogus therapists tried to ‘cure’ gay teen by forcing her to wear a backpack full of rocks

Alex Cooper (via Facebook)
Bogus therapists tried to ‘cure’ gay teen by forcing her to wear a backpack full of rocks

Lawmakers Want To Crack Down On Bosses Who Steal Money From Their Workers

This House Resolution in support of magic is WAY too real

Pete Sessions and The Alliance of Magicians. Thanks to James N. for the photo.This House Resolution in support of magic is WAY too real
A group of anti-science Republicans are trying to pass a resolution literally promoting magic. Seriously.

Senate Is on Verge of Passing Dangerous Pro-Monsanto Food Labeling Law

Wingnut calls on bankers to ‘neuter’ Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks during a hearing (Screenshot)
Senior House Financial Services Committee wingnut Luetkemeyer (R-MO) told a conference of bankers Wednesday morning that they needed to “find a way to neuter” Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Police officers charged with stealing snacks during marijuana dispensary raid

Three police officers in Santa Ana, California, were charged on Monday with petty theft, nine months after being caught on camera allegedly stealing at a pot shop during a raid. Brandon Matthew Sontag, 31, Nicole Lynn Quijas, 37, and Jorge Arroyo, 32, each is charged with a misdemeanor count of petty theft. They raided Sky High Holistic along with several other officers on May 26, 2015.
Sontag, Quijas and Arroyo are accused of taking protein bars and cookies from the break room, eating them and handing them out to fellow officers, prosecutors said. Sontag was also charged with vandalism for allegedly smashing five security cameras. Orange County prosecutors said the marijuana dispensary had 16 surveillance cameras that were shut down legally during the search, but there was a hidden four-camera system that continued to record the officers.
Marla James, a volunteer, said she was taunted by officers during the raid of the marijuana dispensary for operating without a permit. “We don’t want to see these people get fired. These are professionals, and they should be acting professional. They shouldn’t be playing darts. They shouldn’t stealing products,” James said. “I’m happy they’re going to be held responsible to some degree,” dispensary volunteer David James said. The James were two of 13 people working in the store when the raid happened. The dispensary is suing the officers, the Santa Ana Police Department and the city.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office said: “There was no evidence that any SAPD personnel consumed any edible marijuana items available at the dispensary.” The dispensary’s attorney, Matthew Pappas, argued “For the district attorney, they simply don’t have sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that those were marijuana edibles. I still believe that they were.” But he said the charges filed were one step in the right direction. A Santa Ana police spokesperson said the department has co-operated fully with the investigation. The officers, who are still out on paid leave, face up to six months in jail.

Crack pipe fell from woman's bra as she flashed an officer during traffic stop

An Ohio woman was arrested on Friday after police say a crack pipe fell out of her bra when she flashed an officer during a traffic stop.
During the stop in Elyria, an officer reported seeing 49-year-old Elizabeth L. Johnson place her hands under her shirt and shove something in her bra. The officer ordered Johnson out of the car. The report says Johnson locked the door and refused to come out.
After the officer convinced Johnson to get out of the car, the report says she was still yelling and uncooperative. She told the officer she was carrying nothing illegal. Johnson finally screamed “fine, you want to see what I have,” and lifted up her shirt and bra, according to the report.
The officer said upon doing so a crack pipe fell from her bra. The officer said he immediately asked Johnson to cover herself before seizing the crack pipe and putting it in his cruiser. Johnson was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine, obstructing official business and possession of drug paraphernalia. Johnson was then taken to the Lorain County jail.

Colonels of Truth

You might know of Colonel Harland Sanders as the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC. But the story of the man is much more interesting than the story of the chicken franchise. Sanders bounced from job to job in the early part of the 20th century before (sort of) settling down in Corbin, Kentucky, to sell gasoline along 25W, the main route from Ontario to Florida. He constantly tried new ideas to make money, and many of them failed. Along the way, he figured in plenty of colorful stories.
In Corbin, according to Harland Sanders, “Bootleggin’s, fights, and shootin’s was as regular as a rooster’s crowing in the mornin’.” Whether or not this excessive chicken noise informed Sanders’ future career is impossible to say, but Corbin is where he began his gradual transformation into the future famous food icon. The only thing Sanders seemed to enjoy more than swearing was experimenting with cooking. He decided to put a big oak table in a former storeroom and reopen as “Sanders’ Servistation and Café.” Hungry travelers were drawn in by the big advertisements Sanders painted on roadside barns north and south of town. Sanders hired some waitstaff, but he made a point to pay them a living wage, and strictly forbid them from accepting tips. Using the kitchen in the apartment in back, Harland and Josephine cooked up such fare as steak, country ham, potatoes with red-eye gravy, grits, and hot biscuits. Chicken was not often on the menu—it took too long to cook it to Sanders’ satisfaction. But he experimented with it constantly.
It was around this time that Sanders met his beloved Claudia Price, a young divorced woman who lived in Corbin. At Harland’s suggestion, his wife Josephine hired Claudia to help around the café, and it soon became something of an open secret that Claudia was equal parts waitress and mistress. But this silent scandal was marginalized by the growing success of the restaurant. Sanders added a small luxury motel to the property in 1937, the first one east of the Mississippi, according to Sanders. He even rubbed elbows with renowned food critic Duncan Hines of modern cake mix fame, who gave Sanders’ place a glowing review in his travel book.
For entertainment, Sanders would occasionally take customers around back to listen to a braying jackass—an actual braying jackass that occupied an adjacent lot, not a New Yorker. “HEE HAW,” the jackass would say. This was, from all reports, a thigh-slappingly good time. Affordable diversion was scarce in the Great Depression.
In a biography at Damn Interesting, we also find out how Sanders survived a bridge collapse, instigated a shootout over advertising, and gained as reputation as a midwife. The story of the franchise is there, too, in which we find out why FKC isn’t as good as it was in the 1960s.

Ghost-hunters rescued from haunted house

Two ghost-hunters had to be rescued after becoming trapped in a notorious haunted house in Derry, Northern Ireland. A number of ghostly tales have for many years been associated with Boom Hall which was built in 1779 on the banks of the River Foyle at Culmore. The historic building has been vacant for decades and has fallen into such a state of disrepair that the building and the area has been cordoned for a number of years because of fears that it could collapse. However, it has emerged that the fences around Boom Hall have not deterred would-be ghost-hunters from having a look around the building. Two men recently became trapped in the dilapidated building while on the lookout for ghosts in the dead of night.
A fire crew was called to the scene to help the two men to safety. The incident happened on Saturday, February 13, but details of the incident have only just emerged, The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that the rescue operation had taken place. A spokesperson said: “We received a call at 7:24pm to a report of an incident at premises at the Culmore Road area of the city on Saturday 13th February. One fire appliance from Northland Fire Station was deployed to the scene of two men requiring rescue assistance from a property in the area. Firefighters were able to rescue the two men using keys provided by the property’s keyholder. Both men were uninjured.” The NIFRS said the rescue operation lasted for around one hour.
It is understood the two men told their rescuers they were interested in ghosts and that’s why they were within the walls of Boom Hall. When built, the building was named after the boom which had been placed across the Foyle during the Siege of Derry in 1689. The boom was broken by ships which relieved those who had taken part in the siege within Derry’s Walls. Throughout its history, Boom Hall was home to some of the local area’s best known families. However, for many years, the building has been neglected although there are plans currently being discussed for its regeneration. In relation to the ghost stories associated with Boom Hall, a number of them were outlined in a booked by Madeline McCully called Haunted Derry which was published last year.

One story involved a girl who was a relative of the family who lived at Boom Hall at the time. She had been sent to Boom Hall to remove her from the attention of a young groomsman employed in her own home in England. However, the young man followed her and hid out in the stables where they had secret trysts. When they were discovered the girl was locked in an upstairs corner bedroom but the young man got away. The girl pined and a few weeks later the bedroom went up in flames. The family frantically tried to get into the room but to no avail. When eventually the flames were extinguished the ashes were searched for the body of the young girl but nothing was found. Legend has it that the ghost of the girl can be seen walking along the corridor at the top of the house.

10 Ghost Towns, Brothels, and Derelict Places in Nevada

Nevada is known for Las Vegas, but there’s so much more to explore in the state. Its wide-open spaces were a big part of Wild West history. Boomtowns sprung up around the silver mining industry and then died. Other spots flourished temporarily around gold, borax, and even coal mining. Mormon settlers came and went. The US Army selected Nevada as a nuclear testing site because it was so sparsely inhabited. And the legalization of brothels brought a more recent business boom that only lasted a few years. Urban Ghosts has a vacation recommendation for urban explorers with this mini-tour of abandoned Nevada, and a virtual tour for the rest of us.

Jerry Lewis' Lost Film: "The Day the Clown Cried"

by Eddie Deezen
Man at a 2001 press conference: "when are you going to release The Day the Clown Cried?"
Jerry Lewis: "none of your goddamn business!"
Jerry Lewis' The Day the Clown Cried is one of the most famous "never released films" in movie history. In 1971, while appearing at the Olympia theater, Jerry was approached by "producer" Nat Wachsberger. Wachsberger told Jerry of his idea for a film called The Day the Clown Cried. Written by Joan O’Brien and Charles Denton, the film's story (the following is pretty much the gist of it) told of Helmut Doork, a circus clown in nazi Germany who was recently fired.
Helmut gets drunk at a local bar, pokes fun at Hitler, and is taken to prison camp. After his act bombs with his fellow prisoners, Helmut goes out alone to the prison yard and tries out his shtick. There, he overhears some children laughing at him. Helmut is given the job of putting new prisoners on the train to Auschwitz, the nazi concentration camp.
Like the Pied Piper, he leads a group of children on to the train, and at the film's conclusion he leads kids to their death in the gas chamber. He goes to entertain the kids, but feels remorse, so he steps inside the gas chamber to join them. As Helmut is inside the gas chamber and has the children laughing inside with him, the movie ends. (This is actually the film's story- more or less. No kidding!)
Dick van Dyke, Milton Berle, and Bobby Darin had all been approached about playing Helmut in the film and all had (wisely) declined. But Jerry, probably to his eternal regret, decided to take the role (and agreed to take the directing helm to boot). Reportedly, he dropped 40 pounds to play Helmut, by going on a six-week all-grapefruit diet.
To prepare himself for his role, in February of 1972, Jerry toured the remains of both Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps in Germany (the film's concentration camp scenes were actually shot in a Swedish military compound).
Billed as Jerry Lewis' first "serious" movie, filming began in Stockholm, and trouble started almost from the word go. Film equipment was either lost or delivered late and the necessary money was nowhere in sight.
Ostensibly the film's producer, Nat Wachsberger did not appear on the set. He ran out of money, giving the production just $5,000 and failing to come up with the $50,000 he'd promised prior to production. Although he kept promising Jerry that "the money was coming,” Jerry eventually ended up footing the bill for the movie himself. Wachsberger had also neglected to pay Joan O’Brien for the rights to her script.
Jerry had re-written much of the O’Brien's original draft anyway, changing Helmut's character, trying to make him into a more sympathetic “Charlie Chaplin-like" figure. Both O’Brien and fellow writer Charles Denton hated the changes Jerry gave to the Helmut Doork they had created and envisioned.
Cast members working on the film recall Jerry as being "distracted, nervous and preoccupied with money.” Not much is known about the actual production of the film, adding to its cloak of mystery.
After production had ended, Jerry claimed (rightfully so) that Wachsberger had failed to make good on his promise of financial obligations. Incredibly, Wachsberger threatened to file a breach of contract suit against Jerry and claimed he had enough footage to finish the film without its star. The studio held the film's negative, but Jerry took a rough cut of the film for himself.
After production, Jerry claimed that the film was invited to be shown at the Cannes film festival and would be released sometime in 1973. Neither of these two events ever came to pass.
As late as 1982, in his autobiography, Jerry said he was was hopeful The Day the Clown Cried would someday be released. But various lawsuits between various involved parties stopped any hope the film would ever see the light of day. Joan O’Brien, the film's writer, saw a rough cut and said it "was a disaster.”
In the early 1980's, Europa Studios announced their plan to edit the negative of the film and finally release it. But O’Brien (and Denton) stopped this from happening, saying it could never be released.
Interestingly, Jerry has screened the film, for a very, very select few Hollywood insiders over the years. Harry Shearer (of The Simpsons) is one of the rare people to have actually seen The Day the Clown Cried. (Note: James Neibaur, author of The Jerry Lewis Films and a close friend of Jerry's, vehemently disputes Harry's claim and says he never saw the film at all.)
In Harry's words: “This was the perfect object. This movie is so drastically wrong, it's pathos, it's comedy, are so wildly displaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it is. ‘Oh my God!’ That's all you can say.” Shearer told Jerry, after the screening, that the film was "terrible." Jerry, says Harry, was furious.
Jerry's original motive in making the film was to make more people aware of the horrors of the Holocaust, a noble goal. But since the film was made, other movies, most notably the two multiple oscar-winners Life is Beautiful (1997) and Steven Spielberg's now-classic Schindler's List (1992) have been made and the purpose Jerry wanted to serve with his movie would seem to have been amply served. Life is Beautiful appears to be strikingly similar to Jerry's concept in The Day the Clown Cried (it may have been wholly or partly based on the film) with Roberto Benigni, like Jerry, both starring and directing.
Although a few decades ago, Jerry thought “The academy can't ignore this,” about The Day the Clown Cried and vowed in his autobiography that “One way or another, I’ll get it done,” he has definitely soured on it over the years. Jerry keeps his copy (the only copy of the film on video cassette) locked up in his vault to this day. Nowadays, he refuses to discuss any facet of the movie with any reporters or pretty much anyone else.
In 1980, The Day the Clown Cried was Nominated for a “Golden Turkey Award" (the precursor to today's “Razzies,” awards for the worst films). It was nominated in the "worst movie you never saw" category, but it couldn't even win that, losing to Billy Jack Goes to Washington -which, in contrast, was eventually released on DVD.
To this day, when Jerry is ever ever asked about the film by any reporter or fan, he usually bristles. It is obviously a sore spot for him.
How many people have ever actually seen The Day the Clown Cried? According to Shawn Levy, who wrote an excellent biography of Jerry Lewis (King of Comedy), the figure may be as low as eleven, and may be as high as a few hundred.
Jerry Lewis has had a brilliant, delightful and unforgettable movie career. And the truth is, The Day the Clown Cried is a minor blip on the screen, a small bump on a golden road of wonderful laughter and hilarity. Nonetheless, The Day the Clown Cried, much like JFK’s assassination, Amelia Earhart's disappearance, or the Shroud of Turin, in the eyes of us Jerry Lewis fans, remains a great "mystery,” unseen, and unsolved in our minds and in our hearts.

"Planet of The Titans"

The Star Trek Movie You Never Saw
Between 1975 and 1977, Paramount and Gene Roddenberry planned to make a Star Trek movie, but it turned out to be anything but easy. What would it be about? Plot ideas in included time travel, snake people, God, black holes, and the titans of ancient Greek mythology. Writer after writer took a turn at coming up with a story.
With the Star Trek movie project still hobbling along by the autumn of 1976, producer Jerry Eisenberg brought in Chris Bryant and Allan Scott, who'd written the adapted screenplay for Nicolas Roeg's horror film, Don't Look Now. Bryant and Scott went away and wrote up a 20-page treatment which took the idea of a cinematic Star Trek and ran with it.
They imagined that the Titans of Greek legend actually existed on a distant planet. Spock, leading an expedition searching for a missing Kirk, finds this planet hovering on the brink of a black hole. With Klingons hot on his heels, Spock touches down, finds Kirk, and also discovers that a race of evil aliens called Cygnans have destroyed the last of the ancient Titans. The story would have ended with Kirk and Spock escaping into the black hole in the Enterprise, before emerging in Earth's orbit at an early point in our history.
But there were too many people who had to approve. There was no way to please everyone involved in the project, and Planet of the Titans and all the other ideas were rejected. The whole idea of a Star Trek film was completely dropped -for a while. Read the frustrating story at Den of Geek.

Dueling Climate Cycles May Increase Sea Level Swings

Dueling Climate Cycles May Increase Sea Level SwingsDueling Climate Cycles May Increase Sea Level Swings
The tropical Pacific Ocean isn’t flat like a pond. Instead, it regularly has a high side and a low side. Natural cycles such as El Niño and La Niña events cause this sea level seesaw to tip back and forth, with the ocean near Asia on one end and the ocean near...

All we are is dust in the interstellar wind

All we are is dust in the interstellar wind
All we are is dust in the interstellar wind
Cosmic dust is not simply something to sweep under the rug and forget about. Instead, National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded astronomers are studying and even mapping it to learn more about what it might be hiding from us, where it comes from and what it’s...

Pleistocene Puppy Found Frozen in Russian Permafrost

Scientists perform an autopsy on the well preserved remains of a 12,400-year-old dog.

Plane forced to abort landing due to a badger on the runway

A badger on an airport runway forced a passenger plane to abort its landing. The flight from Gatwick to Newquay in Cornwall was an estimated 300ft (90m) off the ground when the wild animal was spotted.
Passenger Pete Atkinson said there was a tense five-minute gap between the aircraft climbing sharply away from the runway and the pilot announcing the badger's presence. The airport said it was a case of being "cautious in the interest of safety".
Mr Atkinson said: "We were on the final approach when all of a sudden the under-carriage was lifted back up and the engines revved up. People went quiet and started to look out of the window as we headed out over the sea." About five minutes later, the pilot announced the diversion of the aircraft carrying about 60 people was due to a badger being seen on the runway.
Mr Atkinson said passengers then laughed and made jokes about roadkill. FlyBe flight 806 was due to land at 9:15pm on Sunday was delayed by around 15 minutes. A spokesman for Cornwall Airport Newquay said there was "a suspected badger sighted on the runway by the bird control unit". The spokesman said the aircraft landed safely following a full check of the runway.

Storks Ditch Migration for Year-Round Landfill Life

The baby-deliverers of folklore overwinter in Spain and Portugal, opting for a stable junk food diet over the annual trip to Africa.

Animal Pictures