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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, May 7, 2016

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

The dome of the cult of St. Sophia in Constantinople collapses. Its immediate rebuilding is ordered by Justinian.
The Second Council of Lyons opens in France to regulate the election of the pope.
Joan of Arc breaks the English siege of Orleans.
The German peasants’ revolt is crushed by the ruling class and church.
Indian chief Pontiac begins his attack on a British fort in present-day Detroit, Michigan.
Congress divides the Northwest Territory into two parts. The western part will becomes the Indiana Territory and the eastern section remains the Northwest Territory.
Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” premiers in Vienna.
The American Medical Association is formed in Philadelphia.
Confederate troops strike Union troops at the Battle of Eltham’s Landing in Virginia.
The Battle of the Wilderness ends with heavy losses to both sides.
Indian chief Sitting Bull enters Canada with a trail of Indians after the Battle of Little Bighorn.
The German submarine U-20 torpedoes the passenger ship Lusitiania, sinking her in 21 minutes with 1,978 people on board.
The German Condor Legion arrives in Spain to assist Fransico Franco’s forces.
In the Battle of the Coral Sea, Japanese and American navies attack each other with carrier-launched warplanes. It is the first time in the history of naval warfare where two fleets fought without seeing each other.Two crucial battles in 1942 marked the turning point of the war in the Pacific.
The last major German strongholds in North Africa–Tunis and Bizerte–fall to Allied forces.
Germany signs an unconditional surrender, effectively ending World War II in Europe.
In Korea, Communist POWs at Koje-do riot against their American captors.
French troops surrender to the Vietminh at Dien Bien Phu.
Howard Johnson sets an aircraft altitude record in F-104.
Leonid Brezhnev becomes president of the Soviet Union.

1913: The First Bollywood Film

The worldwide film phenomenon known as Bollywood began with this 1913 silent film Raja Harishchandra. Govind Phalke, who is sometimes known as the "father of Indian cinema," produced this, the first Indian feature film.
It tells the story of Harishchandra, a legendary Indian king. The Public Domain Review describes him as well as the film made in his memory:
The story centres around the hero Harishchandra, a noble king, who, to honour his promise to the sage Vishwamitra, sacrifices his kingdom, his wife, and eventually also his children. By the end, however, having pleased the Gods with his actions, Harishchandra’s former glory is restored.
Phalke was apparently inspired to make films after watching the French film The Life of Christ (1902), twice in one day. He quit his job at a printing press and went to London to learn the technical ins and outs of making a film. Returning to India, he pledged in his life-assurance policies and his wife sold her jewellery to raise the capital needed.
Embedded above is an 11-minute synopsis. You can watch the full 40 minutes that survive at the Public Domain Review.

32 Facts about New York City

How much do you know about the USA’s biggest city? Probably quite a bit, since it’s been a major entry point for immigrants for hundreds of years, and it’s a hub for business, finance, and entertainment. But there’s always more to learn, which you’ll do when you watch this week's episode of The List Show from mental_floss.

Why Saudi Arabia Is Suddenly in Serious Trouble

How High Fat and Sugar Diets Can Hack the Body to Prevent You From Feeling Full

Physicians explain why America needs single-payer universal health care

Obamacare isn't enough: Physicians explain why America needs single-payer universal health care

Worker Seeks $414,000 in Compensation for His Boring Job

You think that you've got it rought? Just listen to the nightmarish life of Frédéric Desnard, formerly a manager at a perfume company in France:
“I was ashamed of being paid for doing nothing,” he said.
There was simply nothing for him to do for his 4 years at the Interparfums company:
The 44-year-old said his “descent into hell” was similar to a burnout, but less interesting. […]
Desnard complained that between 2010 and 2014 he was mise en placard, or put in the cupboard by his then employer Interparfums, a French phrase that involves giving employees little or no work, or menial tasks.
He told Agence France-Presse he was relegated to doing tasks that had nothing to do with his job and deprived of his original responsibilities. This, he alleges, left him “destroyed” and with “serious depression”.
So, The Guardian reports, Desnard is seeking compensation and damages from Interparfums for approximately $414,000:
In what is believed to be the first case of its kind in France, Desnard is seeking €360,000 (£282,000) in compensation and damages – including holiday pay, he says, is due.
It's the least they can do for him.

Residents concerned about rock-stacking man

Residents in Desert Hot Springs, California, say a man is stacking piles of rocks on medians and sidewalks along Palm Drive near Pierson Boulevard. "He stacks them pretty good," resident Jesse Rodriguez said.

It's easier to be a Sex Offender in Alabama than it is to be a woman

A new Alabama law would make life easier for sex offenders than women's clinics

Man named Avril Lavigne arrested on suspicion of not registering as a sex offender

A man from Portland, legally known as Avril Lavigne, is in trouble for not registering as a sex offender in Oregon. He claims it's all a big misunderstanding and told a Multnomah County judge that in court on Tuesday. "I'm already properly registered. I filled out the papers in January, in jail," Lavigne said in court. While Lavigne protested that there is confusion over his sex registry status, the prosecutor questioned the legality of his name. "I do have a question first, judge. He said that this is his correct full name, 'Avril Lavigne.' Is that his true name?" asked the prosecutor. "That is the true name I was given," replied the public defender. Court records show a judge approved Lavigne's request to change his name from "Romany Yves Mesina" to "Avril Lavigne" in November of 2014. The records don't indicate why he chose that name, or wanted to change his own name. Portland police arrested Lavigne on Monday night. Investigators put out a warrant for Lavigne's arrest because they discovered he didn't properly register as a sex offender after they received a tip that he was following young women and teens on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, taking photos of them, and posting them online.
Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said it's his understanding that Lavigne didn't include a correct address when he registered. Simpson said sex offenders, even non-violent offenders such as Lavigne, are required to register every two years and include a current address. Lavigne said in court he is registered. "I've already filled out the sex offender registration in January, in jail, and I got released. I got brought back because they thought I failed to register and then they found out I did register and they let me out again," he explained to the judge. In 2009, Lavigne, who then went by Mesina, was convicted of attempted rape and sex abuse. "We plead not guilty. We request new court dates. And we do wish to be heard on release," the public defender told the judge.
Court records also show police have arrested Lavigne more than a dozen times since that 2009 arrest. He was convicted of reckless burning and spent two weeks in jail in 2014. He also didn't complete an anger management class, according to court records. Still, Lavigne begged the judge to let him out of jail on Tuesday afternoon. "Will you let me out tonight?" Lavigne asked. "No!" said the judge. The judge did give Lavigne an exception to that no. He told Lavigne he could get released early if pre-trial release services reviews his case and approves his release. Lavigne said in court he's homeless. The prosecutor said he has a history of not showing up to court appearances, so it's possible he will stay in jail for now. He's due back in court on May 11.

'Jacuzzi of Despair'

A strange 'lake' of super salty dense water is discovered on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, where salt deposits bubble up along with methane.

Einstein's Equivalence Principle Put to Test

An orbital experiment is about to test to see if objects really fall at same speed in a gravitational field -- or wither some exotic physics may be detected.

Primate Fossil 'Mother Lode' Shows Our Ancestors' Rough Past

Newly found primates help to tell the story of primate evolution, shedding light on why our earliest ancestors migrated from Asia to Africa.

China Bug Declared World's Longest Insect

A stick insect measuring 62.4 centimeters (24.6 inches) found in the southern province of Guangxi has broken the record for insect length.

Why You Accidentally Call Your Relatives by Your Dog's Name, But Not Your Cat's

That person who lives in your house--the one that you've known all of his life--what's his name? Precision is difficult, so just run through the roster and see what sticks.
We've all done this before: call one family member by another relative's name. You may even address your husband or child with your dog's name.
But not your cat's name.
Why? Futurity summarizes research from a Duke University doctoral student named Sparky Samantha Deffler. She explains that it's because dog names have greater significance in families:
In addition to mixing up sibling for sibling and daughter for son, study participants frequently called other family members by the name of the family pet—but only when the pet was a dog. Owners of cats or other pets didn’t commit such slips of the tongue.
Deffler says she was surprised how consistent that finding was, and how often it happened.
“I’ll preface this by saying I have cats and I love them,” Deffler says. “But our study does seem to add to evidence about the special relationship between people and dogs.
“Also, dogs will respond to their names much more than cats, so those names are used more often. Perhaps because of that, the dog’s name seems to become more integrated with people’s conceptions of their families.”

Squirrel Absconds with GoPro Camera

Viva Frei took his GoPro to a park in Montreal to record the friendly squirrels. One got bold enough to take the camera! The squirrel jump up a nearby bush, but when he sees the man coming for his camera, the squirrel takes off and finds a bigger tree.
Does he get the camera back? Duh, you’re watching the video.

This Little Pet Owl Loves To Take Baths

Wild owls bathe every once in a while, mostly by splashing a bit of water on themselves since their featers aren't as , but some wild owls don't seem to like to bathe at all.
It's unclear how little Trude would act in the wild, but in captivity Trude is a big fan of baths, and loves to float around in the bath like a wide-eyed rubber ducky.
Trude's human Kimora Hidetoshi enjoys sharing videos of the strange little bathing owl online so people can see what it's like to have a floating sack of feathers stare at you when you're lying naked in the tub. *shivers*

Dog Saves Hummingbird's Life ...

Now They're Best Friends.
Rex the dog has come a long way.
He was a stray who lived a hard life of fighting other dogs and killing cats on the streets. Then Ed Gernon of Whittier, California rescued him.
Having been rescued, Rex pushed on the cycle of kindness. He brought Gernon's attention to a sick hummingbird, lying on the ground and covered with ants.
The pair nursed the bird, whom they named Hummer, back to health. Now Hummer lives with Gernon and Rex. She's Rex's constant companion. You can read more about them at CBS News Los Angeles (auto-start video).

Animal Pictures