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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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of  
Carolina Naturally
Oh, The Horror ...! 
Carolina Naturally is read in 209 countries around the world daily.   
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Today in History

Richard II, who is still a child, begins his reign, following the death of his grandfather, Edward III. His coronation takes place July 16.
The French take the French town of Thionville from the English.
Slavery is outlawed in England.
British seamen board the USS Chesapeake, a provocation leading to the War of 1812.
Confederate General A. P. Hill turns back a Federal flanking movement at the Weldon Railroad near Petersburg, Virginia.
General Alfred Terry sends Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer to the Rosebud and Little Bighorn rivers to search for Indian villages.
German bacteriologist Paul Ehrlich announces a definitive cure for syphilis.
King George V of England is crowned.
Austro-German forces occupy Lemberg on the Eastern Front as the Russians retreat.
France and Spain agree to join forces against Abd el Krim in Morocco.
A son is born to Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
Adolf Hitler bans political parties in Germany other than the Nazis.
Joe Louis floors Max Schmeling in the first round of the heavyweight bout at Yankee Stadium.
France and Germany sign an armistice at Compiegne, on terms dictated by the Nazis.
Under the code-name Barbarossa, Germany invades the Soviet Union.
A Japanese submarine shells Fort Stevens at the mouth of the Columbia River.
President Franklin Roosevelt signs the “GI Bill of Rights” to provide broad benefits for veterans of the war.
The battle for Algiers begins as three buildings in Casbah are blown up.
Nixon signs the 26th amendment, lowering the voting age to 18.
Skylab astronauts splash down safely in the Pacific after a record 28 days in space.
The Soviet Union announces a partial withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.
Mark David Chapman pleads guilty to killing John Lennon.
Nigeria’s former military ruler Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and his chief deputy are charged with conspiracy to overthrow Gen. Sani Abacha’s military government.

Descendants of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr are Friends

In 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr killed former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel. They were bitter enemies, but that's not an issue for their descendants, Alexandra Hamilton Woods and Antonio Burr.
Woods is the great great great great great ganddaughter of Hamilton. Antonio Burr is a descendant of a cousin of Aaron Burr. Both are psychologists in New York City. They met by chance several years ago and found a mutal interest in kayaking and canoeing. Now the pair paddle around together as members of the Inwood Canoe Club of Manhattan. The New York Post quotes Hamilton's descendant:
“I used to tease him about our respective history,” Hamilton Woods says. “We’ve had a number of interesting conversations. But I have great fondness and respect for Antonio.”
Both of them are members and officers in their canoe club. Although they somtimes have disagreements, they resolve them without bloodshed:
The two friends now find themselves in their own political situation. Hamilton Woods sits on the Inwood Canoe Club board as treasurer, and Burr is the president emeritus. They might have the occasional disagreement, but they settle things peacefully.
“We do a lot of negotiating,” says Hamilton Woods. “But he and I find ourselves usually on the same side.”

This Is a Cockfight Chair

The auction house Cooper Hewitt offers for sale this unusual piece of furniture. It's called a cockfight chair.
When it was made in the 1720s or 30s in England, reading was becoming increasingly popular for gentlemen. When a man wished to read, he would place a book on the back board, then straddle the chair in a Riker Maneuver. He could place his arms on the rests and keep writing implements on the small shelf.
How did it get the name "cockfight chair"? The Handbook of Antique Chairs explains that "Fops would recline on the chair between bouts and rise, straddling the saddle, to watch the bird-killing sport."

There's So Much Money on Starbucks Gift Cards That the Company Could Be a Mid-Sized Bank

Starbucks gift cards are handy. If you're not sure what to give someone for a gift, hand him a pre-paid Starbucks card. It's quick and convenient for both parties, provided that the recipient lives near a Starbucks.
If you don't actually spend your gift cards, then they accumulate. I have a couple right now that have money on them. For a worldwide company that sells $10 billion USD a year, those cards add up. Right now, about $1.2 billion is parked on Starbucks cards and its app. The Huffington Post reports:
If Starbucks were a bank, that amount of deposits would make it a respectable midsize institution.
An astounding number of customers eschew dollars for money on card and the app. Between the U.S. and Canada, 41 percent of transactions at retail locations involved a Starbucks card, and 24 percent involved the mobile app, according to Marketwatch.

The History of Rotating Restaurants

While the first rotating dining hall may have been during the reign of Nero, the first we are familiar with launched in 1959. The technology was astounding, the view of the changing landscape was charming, and dining in one of these restaurants was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And that was often because once you’ve dined in one, there’s no reason to do it again. After all, motion sickness is not the greatest appetizer.   
I surveyed some friends on what they thought of revolving restaurants. Most said they’d never tried one, while one friend summed her thoughts up succinctly: “Against. Nausea. Perverts. Bad food. ” These places, once awe-inspiring, now seem out-of-date and hokey. What was once classy is now camp.

Which brings us back to Nero. The emperor was the last of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, a line begun when Augustus took over after the assassination of Julius Caesar. The early Julio-Claudians were impressive leaders, winning wars and developing policies. Nero, on the other hand, was vestigial, an over-the-top, expensive barnacle on the empire. Suetonius writes: “Above all he was carried away by a craze for popularity and he was jealous of all who in any way stirred the feeling of the mob… He had a longing for immortality and undying fame, though it was ill-regulated.” Though Nero fostered innovation in engineering and the arts, at the end of the day, he was a self-centered egomaniac for whom the love of the people was paramount.
You can still find rotating restaurants if you want to try one. Read about the structures and the reasons behind them at Lucky Peach.

‘Traffic lights,’ calorie counts help consumers order healthier online

‘Traffic lights,’ calorie counts help consumers order healthier online

Hope for a cure for multiple sclerosis

Twenty-three patients improve after being treated with stem cells:
The trial, which is the first in the world to show complete long-term remission from the debilitating disease has been hailed by experts as ‘exciting’ ‘unprecedented,’ and ‘close to curative.’...
The new technique, which is a treatment usually used to fight leukemia, involves using chemotherapy to entirely eradicate the damaged immune system, before rebooting it with a transfusion of bone marrow cells. Out of the 24 patients who were given the treatment at least seven years ago, the majority have seen significant improvements. 70 per cent of patients saw a complete stop to the progression of the disease, while 40 per cent saw a reversal in symptoms such as vision loss, muscle weakness and balance loss...
A variation of this procedure has been used to treat leukaemia for decades, but its use for auto-immune diseases is relatively new. “This is very exciting. However, it is important to note that this therapy can have serious side effects and risks, and would only be appropriate for a small proportion of people with very active MS.” During the trial one participant died of liver failure due to the treatment and another required intensive care for liver complications. 
More details at The Telegraph (or better yet Google some key words)

Catholic Leaguer gloats over killing anti-child abuse bill

Bill Donohue on Monday gloated after he successfully helped kill a bill in the New York legislature that would have made it easier for sex abuse victims to bring cases against their accusers.

Tennessee’s Anti-LGBT Counseling Law Just Lost It $5 Million In Revenue

Samantha Bee Has Some Words To Say About Guns

Samantha Bee Has Some Words To Say About Guns
NRA, Sam Bee is comin' for your guns!

Yes, Trolling Can Be a Crime

Several wingnuts have found this out the hard way and are now serving their time in prison for harassing us here.

Dispute over yams led to assault and shooting

A man at a house party in suburban West Palm Beach, Florida, told investigators he noticed some yams growing along the fence. Curious how big they were, the 47-year-old started to dig up a few. Then Jeromey McCook approached him and told him to stop, according to a Palm Beach County sheriff’s report.
The pair began to argue. McCook pulled out a gun, hit the man over the head with it and then shot at him, according to the sheriff’s office. McCook, 32, is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail on $50,000 bail on charges of aggravated assault, aggravated battery, possession of a firearm during a felony and discharging a firearm in public.
McCook does not appear to have any previous criminal history in Palm Beach County. The man who threw the party told investigators he heard the argument, but tried to pay no attention and continued cooking. The next thing he knew, McCook was pointing a gun at the man who was digging up the yams.
Others at the party gave the same account to investigators. The injured man said after McCook hit him over the head with the gun, then pointed it between his legs and fired the weapon, not hitting him, according to the report. Deputies recovered a spent .40 caliber bullet casing near the location.

Shallow Roots

A striking visual reminder that the roots of trees do not extend deeply into the earth.  Cartoons and illustrations of trees often portray the root system as a mirror image of the above-ground branches.  Some species in arid climates can send down deep tap roots, but for the most part tree roots spread horizontally to harvest precious rainfall and inhibit competitiors.
Photo from the Photoshopbattles subreddit, where one entry depicts the hardwood under the carpet.

The Baobab Prison Trees of Australia

This is a baobab tree near Wyndham, Western Australia. Like most baobabs, it has an enormous trunk. What makes it unusual is that it has a hollow center. It's a little living cave.
This proved handy to police in the 1890s who needed to lock up prisoners while out in the bush. That's why they temporarily sealed arrested suspects inside while awaiting more permanent housing. It has about 100 square feet of interior space, which was sometimes used to hold up to 30 prisoners at a time. An iron gate sealed people inside. That's why it's called the Wyndham Prison Tree.
There is another baobab near Derby, Western Australia, which is also called a prison tree. But its use as a prison is probably apocryphal.

Perfect Rainbow over Mount Vesuvius

Redditor -yenn- snapped this beautiful photo from Naples, Italy. Here is Mount Vesuvius, a volcano, framed within a full rainbow. Enjoy the view, but don't get too close. Volcanos are sneaky, especially this one (look at what happened to Pompeii).

A New Climate Change Phrase: “Heat Dome”

All you have to do is check social media to find out who lives in the American Southwest. People in Arizona and the surrounding states are posting their local temperatures and pictures of frying eggs and melting candles. The National Weather Service has “excessive heat warnings” out for triple digit temperatures that have lasted a week already.
What’s behind the high-temperature summer kickoff? An increasingly common meteorological phenomenon dubbed the “heat dome.” Basically, heat domes are created when a high-pressure system forms in the mid- to upper-atmosphere; the air pressure pushes warm air down towards the surface and traps it there, resulting in higher — often much higher — than normal temperatures. The term first came into heavy use in 2011, according to a New York Times investigation into its growing popularity, although many meteorologists quibble with its descriptive accuracy. As Oklahoma City weatherman Gary England told the Times, “I’ve used ‘heat dome’ off and on over the years, but I think it’s a little bit misleading; it’s not shaped like that.”
“Heat bubble,” actually better describes the shape, according to experts, but it also lacks the apocalyptic connotations that many suffering through temperatures over 100ยบ probably feel is warranted.
Getting the name correct is little comfort to those who can’t escape the heat. And these heat domes are becoming more frequent as the years go by. Read more about them at Atlas Obscura. Oh, and happy Summer Solstice, everyone!

Newly-discovered 11-million-year-old exoplanet brings sheds light on how worlds are formed

Newly-discovered 11-million-year-old exoplanet brings sheds light on how worlds are formed

10 Surprisingly Dangerous Animals

Everyone knows that lions and tigers and bears (oh my) are cute but dangerous, but there are a lot of critters out there that seem entirely harmless but are actually every bit as deadly as those previously mentioned beasts.
1. Squirrels
Squirrels are adorable little fuzzballs that just want to eat nuts and play all day right? Well, for the most part, yes. But there have been stories of rogue squirrels attacking people and pets. In Florida, a three year old boy was attacked by a squirrel and he had to be hospitalized after receiving nine bites. In California, an elderly couple was sent to the hospital after being scratched and bitten by a crazed squirrel that had previously attacked at least six other people. While no humans have been killed by squirrels (that we know of) but in Russia, eight of them worked together to kill a stray dog that was barking at them -according to the newspaper report, "they are said to have scampered off at the sight of humans, some carrying pieces of flesh." If that doesn't leave you with a whole new image of the fluffy-tailed rodents, I don't know what will.
2. Giant Anteaters
You probably wouldn't be intimidated just looking at one, but giant anteaters can defend themselves surprisingly well. The large mammals have powerful , sharp claws that they use to dig up termite hills. These claws can kill humans. When they feel threatened, the animals stand on their hind legs and extend their arms in what looks like a hug -but you do not want to take them up on a cuddle.
3. Swans
They're beautiful and elegant, but they can actually be incredibly dangerous -and in rare instances, deadly. Swans are highly territorial and will attack, aggressively flapping their strong, boney wings and snapping their beaks at people. In one unbelievable story, a canoe r was drowned after a swan knocked him from his boat and then stopped him from being able to swim to shore. The man's widow even sued the lake for housing such violent and dangerous birds.
4. The African Spur-Winged Goose
If you think death-by-swan is scary, then just wait until you learn about the African spur-winged goose, the one of the most dangerous birds in the world. This strong bird has spurs on its wrists that it uses while attacking, which can actually be poisonous. They aren't always poisonous, but those that feed on a specific blister beetle carry the toxin in their spurs. As little as 10 mg is enough of this toxin can kill a human. The bird's flesh is also deadly if they have been eating the beetles.
5. Cassowaries
Widely considered the most dangerous bird in the world, the cassowary is also the third largest bird. There are all sorts of rumors of the birds using their sharp nails to gut a person, but that much isn't true. They still can kill with those talons though and the most recent death occurred in 1926 when a cassowary kicked a 16 year old in the neck, causing him to bleed to death. In the bird's defense, the teen was trying to club it to death.
Cassowaries are solitary animals and should be left alone or they may start defending their territory violently. Most attacks occur when people attempt to feed the birds, so please, if you see a giant dinosaur bird, leave it alone.
6. Beavers
You wouldn't think a little, cute beaver could do any real damage against a human, but at least one beaver has killed a person when the animal chomped on a fisherman's leg, severing an artery. These creatures are territorial and defensive and have been known to bite, though deaths are pretty unheard of. The bottom line: if you see a beaver in the wild, just leave it alone.
7. Deer
Oh sure, they look like helpless, innocent icons of a simpler time and every kid grows up crying when Bambi loses his mother to heartless hunters, but deer can be surprisingly aggressive. Generally speaking, deer will run away when they sense danger, but during mating season males can attack humans the same way they would charge another buck and once babies are born, mothers will risk their life to save their offspring. Deer have even been known to fight back after they are wounded by hunters. In recent years, people have been attacked and killed by deer in California, New Hampshire, Maine and Georgia and even more people have been hospitalized by the animals.
Even when they aren't trying to hurt anyone, deer are still the most dangerous animal in the US based solely on the number of deaths they cause. Every year an average of 130 people die in car accidents from hitting deer. That's right, you're statistically way more likely to hit a deer with your car and die than you are to get fatal attacked by a shark or bear -and that's when the deer doesn't want to attack you.
8. Cone Snails
You probably don't think of snails as dangerous whether they live on the ground or under the sea, but cone snails all carry venom that is injected with a harpoon-like tooth that punctures its prey before paralyzing it. Most small cone snails are no more dangerous than a bee, but the larger versions and some more venomous varieties can kill a human. There is still no antivenin for cone snails and the larger ones can even puncture through protective gloves. Symptoms of a bite include pain, swelling, numbness, vomiting, muscle paralysis, changes in vision and respiratory failure that can result in death.
9. Slow Lorises
This might just be the cutest, sweetest looking critter ever, but no matter how much you might want to grab one and cuddle it -don't. The slow loris though is actually one of the only poisonous mammals on earth. It produces the toxin in a gland in its armpit and the critters often rub their arms in the gland and rub the toxin on their young to protect them from predators. You might be thinking to yourself, 'yeah, but I have no intention of eating a slow loris, baby or not,' but the animal isn't just dangerous to animals stupid enough to take a bite. The primate can suck the poison into its mouth and then inject it into an enemy while biting. This poison can cause an allergic reaction in many animals (including humans) and result in death from anaphylactic shock.
It goes without saying that this is yet another reason you really shouldn't own one of these endangered animals as pets.
10. Leopard Seals
They're so cute, but they sure aren't cuddly. Leopard seals are appropriately named in that they are the stealthy predators of the Antarctic, hunting penguins fish and other seals.  In 2003, a leopard seal actually killed a biologist studying in Antarctica, dragging her under the water and holding her there until she drowned.
Remember, just because something looks innocent and cuddly, doesn't mean it can't kill you. 

Animal Pictures