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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.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

The Sultan of Morocco launches a successful attack to capture Timbuktu.
The Ming Chongzhen emperor commits suicide by hanging himself.
At the Battle of Almansa, Franco-Spanish forces defeat the Anglo-Portugese forces.
Daniel Defoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe is published in London.
The guillotine is first used to execute highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier.
Work begins on the Suez Canal in Egypt.
Admiral David Farragut occupies New Orleans, Louisiana.
After facing defeat in the Red River Campaign, Union General Nathaniel Bank returns to Alexandria, Louisiana.
Tokyo is opened for foreign trade.
French commander Henri Riviere seizes the citadel of Hanoi in Indochina.
The United States declares war on Spain.
Australian and New Zealand troops land at Gallipoli in Turkey.
General Paul von Hindenburg takes office as president of Germany.
In Iran, Reza Khan is crowned Shah and chooses the name “Pahlavi.”
Puccini’s opera Turandot premiers at La Scala in Milan with Arturo Toscanini conducting.
A seeing eye dog is used for the first time.
U.S. and Soviet forces meet at Torgau, Germany on Elbe River.
After a three day fight against Chinese Communist Forces, the Gloucestershire Regiment is annihilated on “Gloucester Hill,” in Korea.
The magazine Nature publishes an article by biologists Francis Crick and James Watson, describing the “double helix” of DNA.
Elvis Presley‘s “Heartbreak Hotel” goes to number one on the charts.
The St. Lawrence Seaway–linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes–opens to shipping.
The first submerged circumnavigation of the Earth is completed by a Triton submarine.
A U.S. Ranger spacecraft crash lands on the Moon.
The country of Bangladesh is established.
President Jimmy Carter tells the American people about the hostage rescue disaster in Iran.
In accordance with the Camp David agreements, Israel completes a withdrawal from the Sinai peninsula.
Violeta Barrios de Chamorro begins a six year term as Nicaragua’s president.

This trans woman just posted a very important selfie to make a point about bathroom laws

by Christina Pellegrini
Sarah McBride peed the other day. But it wasn’t just any trip to the bathroom. Sarah is a transgender woman, and she chose to use a women’s restroom in North Carolina. In a government building, no less.
Sarah’s powerful act comes after North Carolina put HB2 into effect, a law that requires bathroom goers to use the restroom of their gender at birth, consequently discriminating against many in the LGBT community.
The 25 year-old trans woman and activist is the communications manager for LGBT Progress at American Progress, and she was recently in North Carolina to speak to trans people about how the law was affecting their lives.
Then, after a meeting at the Mecklenburg Government Center on Thursday, she went to the ladies’ room.
“Here I am using a women’s restroom in North Carolina that I’m technically barred from being in. They say I’m a pervert. They say I’m a man dressed as a woman. They say I’m a threat to their children. They say I’m confused. They say I’m dangerous,” Sarah writes in the Instagram caption. “I’m just a person. We are all just people. Trying to pee in peace.“
The response on Facebook was overwhelming, garnering 38,000 reactions and 13,804 shares at the time of publication.
I’m sorry for my state, Sarah. I’m hoping VERY much they see the error of their ways and repeal this piece of garbage soon. Thank you for ‘breaking the rules’ to illustrate how stupid this whole thing is,” wrote one person. “Proud to pee next to you anytime! #repealHB2,” wrote another.
“This isn’t about abstract issues or fears,” Sarah told BuzzFeed. “This is about real people being able to access the bathroom and being able to participate in public life.”
“I’m a person just trying to make it through my day,” she added in her statement. “Regardless of how I look I shouldn’t be afraid of discrimination or violence.”

Obama Tours Globe Theatre In London

Athena Image

Obama Admits His Daughters Helped Change His Position On Marriage Equality

Athena Image

A Member of the Little Rock Nine Discusses Her Struggle to Attend Central High

The National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, has an exhibition called “American Stories.” A recent donation to the museum came from Minnijean Brown Trickey, who presented the Smithsonian with her high school graduation dress, a graduation program from the New Lincoln School in New York, and a suspension slip from her previous high school. And that’s where Trickey’s story begins, of how she became a part of history in 1957 as one of the Little Rock Nine.  
Although about 80 African-American students had been approved by the Little Rock School Board to transfer to Central the following year, the number dwindled to 10 after the students were told they couldn't participate in extracurricular activities, their parents were in danger of losing their jobs, and there was a looming threat of violence. The parents of a tenth student, Jane Hill, decided not to allow their daughter to return after the mob scene on the first day.
According to Trickey, her real motivation for attending Central was that it was nine blocks from her house and she and her two best friends, Melba Pattillo and Thelma Mothershed would be able to walk there.
“The nine of us were not especially political,” she says. “We thought, we can walk to Central, it’s a huge, beautiful school, this is gonna be great,” she remembers.
“I really thought that if we went to school together, the white kids are going to be like me, curious and thoughtful, and we can just cut all this segregation stuff out,” she recalls. Unfortunately, she was wrong.
It took the 101st Airborne to get the students into the high school, but staying there was just as difficult. Read Trickey’s story at Smithsonian.

Costa Mesa Official: If You Don’t Make Enough To Live Here, Get Out

COSTA MESA, CA., SEPTEMBER 13, 2012: Jim Righeimer re–traces his steps while he tells the story of how he was being set up when a private eye made a 911 call that he was seen stumbling out of a pub and swerved between lanes. Righeimer passed a sobriety test and furnished a receipt for the two–diet cokes he purchased. Righeimer recounts his story in front of Skosh Monahan's pub in Costa Mesa September 13, 2012.  (Photo by Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
This is about as heartless as it gets.

Florida Supreme Court Halts 24-Hour Waiting Period For Women Seeking Abortions

San Franciscans Go On Hunger Strike Against Police Chief

'I Knew That Something Radical Needed To Be Done': San Franciscans Go On Hunger Strike Against Police Chief

The Federalist Runs Ridiculously Offensive Story Claiming Wingnut Women Are More Attractive

The Federalist Runs Ridiculously Offensive Story Claiming Republican Women Are More Attractive
The Federalist Runs Ridiculously Offensive Story Claiming Wingnut Women Are More Attractive
And Republicans wonder why they have such a hard time appealing to women.

Rachel Maddow absolutely destroys Maine’s teabagger moron for denying life-saving drug to overdose victims

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow -- (screen grab)Rachel Maddow absolutely destroys Maine’s teabagger moron for denying life-saving drug to overdose victims

Attack on ISIL money storage site destroys over $500 million

Attack on ISIL money storage site destroys over $500 million: Pentagon official

Republicans Write Letters Supporting Child Molester

SICK: Republicans Write Letters Supporting Child Molester
SICK: Republicans Write Letters Supporting Child Molester
Republicans have written letters in support of a child molester. Disgusting.

The Pyramids of King Sneferu

When we see the great pyramids of Egypt, we are in awe of how they built such wonderful edifices so big and long-lasting. We rarely see the early attempts, the pyramids on the short side of the learning curve. They are still standing. We just don’t see them front-and-center in movies or documentaries, and even those touring Egypt are given little explanation about them. These are the pyramids of King Sneferu.
When King Sneferu came to the throne of Egypt, the cool thing that all the pharaohs had was a Step Pyramid, like the original one built by King Djoser and designed by Imhotep (not the mummy).  King Sneferu could easily have had one one because his predecessor King Huni had died before his could be finished. All Sneferu had to do was step in and put the last few blocks on.
But King Sneferu had a vision.  He didn’t want any old Step Pyramid.  He was going to build Egypt’s first smooth-sided pyramid, and make King Huni’s pyramid way taller in the bargain.  It didn’t work.  The core of Huni’s pyramid couldn’t handle the modifications and nowadays the Step Pyramid at Meidum looks like this:
It’s not on a hill - that’s the outer layers of the pyramid that have fallen down all around it.  The name of the structure in Arabic is Heram el-Kaddaab, which means something like The Sort-Of Pyramid.
And that was only his first attempt. There would be others, with their own problems. Bitey Mad Lady tells the story of Sneferu’s pyramids in a truly amusing way.

Building for Egypt's First Female Pharaoh Discovered

Ancient stone blocks depicting Queen Hatshepsut have been discovered on Egypt's Elephantine Island.

Tooth of Extinct Killer Sperm Whale Found in Australia

The huge, five-million-year-old tooth provides the first evidence of the now extinct killer sperm whale outside the Americas.

Why 19th Century Scientists Didn't Think the Platypus Was Real

When European explorers wandered the most remote regions of the world, they brought back stories of strange creatures. One of those stories was of a bizarre hybrid animal from Australia that appeared to be part bird, part mammal, and had venomous spurs.
The platypus was just made-up, like unicorns and dragons, right? Natalie Zarrelli writes at Atlas Obscura:
In his laboratory study in 1799, biologist George Shaw stared down at his new specimen in disbelief. The creature from the colony of New South Wales came preserved in pungent alcohol, and he carefully snipped the thick, brown pelt around the creature’s beak, sure he would soon reveal the stitches where an expert taxidermist had fused the bird and beast together. It was like nothing he had seen before: the creature had the body of a furry brown cat, four short legs and sharp claws over webbed feet; the tail of a beaver, but the beak of a duck.
Shaw had met his first platypus, and did not for a moment believe it was possibly real. Despite the preserved specimens returning from Australia, many scientists continued to believe that the platypus was a hoax. Some suspected that it was an accident of nature brought about by breeding between species. It would be a century before they definitely confirmed that the platypus was indeed real and, in fact, a mammal:
In the late 1800s, Scottish zoologist William Hay Caldwell finally managed to dissect fresh platypus eggs and confirmed once and for all that the animal did in fact lay them, though the embryos partially developed inside the platypus’s body, which also nursed its young. The platypus was classified as a mammal—one of five that are known to lay eggs, in the order Monotremata.

Animal Pictures