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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of  
Carolina Naturally
Today also happens to be Don't Step On A Bee Day ...! 
Carolina Naturally is read in 209 countries around the world daily.   
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Today in History

The Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes is driven from Tenochtitlan and retreats to Tlaxcala.
The Catholic states in Germany set up a league under the leadership of Maximilian of Bavaria.
The British crown claims New Hampshire as a royal colony.
The statue of King George III is pulled down in New York City.
In support of the American Revolution, Louis XVI declares war on England.
Millard Fillmore is sworn in as the 13th president of the United States following the death of Zachary Taylor.
Wyoming becomes the 44th state.
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performs the first successful open-heart surgery, without anesthesia.
The trial of Tennessee teacher John T. Scopes opens, with Clarence Darrow appearing for the defense and William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution.
Germany begins the bombing of England.
General Carl Spaatz becomes the head of the U.S. Air Force in Europe.
American and British forces complete their amphibious landing of Sicily.
U.S. carrier-based aircraft begin airstrikes against Japan in preparation for invasion.
Armistice talks between the United Nations and North Korea begin at Kaesong.
Belgium sends troops to the Congo to protect whites as the Congolese Bloodbath begins, just 10 days after the former colony became independent of Belgian rule.
The satellite Telstar is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, beaming live television from Europe to the United States.
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” becomes the Rolling Stones’ first No. 1 single in the USA.
Singer Bobbie Gentry records “Ode to Billie Joe,” which will become a country music classic and win 4 Grammys.
In Seveso, near Milan, Italy, an explosion in a chemical factory covers the surrounding area with toxic dioxin. Time magazine has ranked the Seveso incident No. 8 on its list of 10 worst environmental disasters.
Coca-Cola Co. announces it will resume selling “old formula Coke,” following public outcry and falling sales of its “new Coke.”
Boris Yeltsin is sworn in as the first elected president of the Russian Federation, following the breakup of the USSR.
Kenyan runner Yobes Ondieki becomes the first man to run 10,000 meters in less than 27 minutes.

Beethoven: The First Rock Star

Thumbing his nose at authority and whipping crowds into a frenzy, he changed music forever.
Ludwig van Beethoven was often mistaken for a vagrant. With wads of yellow cotton stuffed in his ears, he stomped around 1820s Vienna, flailing his arms, mumbling as he scribbled on scraps of paper. Residents would frequently alert the police. Once, he was tossed in jail when cops refused to believe he was the city’s most famous composer. “You’re a tramp!” they argued. “Beethoven doesn’t look like this.”
The city was crawling with spies—they lurked in taverns, markets, and coffeehouses, looking to suss out anti-aristocratic rebels. Since Beethoven seemed suspect, these spies followed him and eavesdropped on his conversations. But authorities didn’t consider him a real threat. Like the rest of Vienna, they thought he was crazy. It had been nearly 10 years since he wrote his Symphony No. 8, and just as long since he’d last given a public concert. “He is apparently quite incapable of greater accomplishments,” the newspaper Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung concluded.
Little did they know, Beethoven was composing like a man possessed. At his apartment, he stomped out tempos and pounded his piano keys so hard the strings snapped. Sweat-stained manuscripts littered the room. He was so focused, he often forgot to empty the chamber pot under his piano.
The piece would be his grandest yet: Symphony No. 9 in D minor. With it, he planned to give those spies reason to worry—not only would the piece be political, but he intended to play it for the largest audience possible. The music, he hoped, would put the nobility in its place
Born to a family of Flemish court musicians in 1770, Beethoven had no choice but to take up music. His grandfather was a well-respected music director in Bonn, Germany. His father, Johann, was a not-so-well-respected court singer who gave young Ludwig piano lessons. Some nights, Johann would stagger home from the tavern, barge into Ludwig’s room, and make him practice until dawn. The piano keys were routinely glazed with tears.
A decade earlier, 7-year-old Mozart had toured Europe, playing music for royal courts and generating income for his family. Johann dreamed of a similar course for his son. He lied about Ludwig’s age to make him appear younger, and for a time, even Ludwig didn’t know his real age.
But the Beethovens saw neither fame nor fortune. Johann’s drinking debts were so deep his wife had to sell her clothes. When Ludwig turned 11, his family pulled him from elementary school to focus on music full-time. The truncated education meant he never mastered spelling or simple multiplication.
By the time he was 22, Beethoven’s world had changed. His parents passed away, and he left Bonn for Vienna, where Mozart, the aristocracy’s most cherished entertainer, had recently died too. The nobles were desperate to find his replacement, and Beethoven, who improvised at the piano for royal soirees, quickly became regarded as one of Vienna’s most talented musicians—and Mozart’s heir.
But the more Beethoven hobnobbed with aristocrats, the more he despised them. Musicians were treated like cooks, maids, and shoe shiners—they were merely servants of the court. Even Mozart had to sit with the cooks at dinnertime.
Beethoven refused to be put in his place. He demanded to be seated at the head table with royalty. When other musicians arrived at court wearing wigs and silk stockings, he came in a commoner’s clothes. (Composer Luigi Cherubini said he resembled an “unlicked bear cub.”) He refused to play if he wasn’t in the mood. When other musicians performed, he talked over them. When people talked over him, he exploded and called them “swine.” Once, when his improvisations moved listeners to tears, he chastised them for crying instead of clapping.
Most musicians would have been fired for this behavior, but Beethoven’s talent was too magnetic. “He knew how to produce such an effect upon every hearer that frequently not an eye remained dry, while many would break into loud sobs,” Carl Czerny wrote in Cocks’s Musical Miscellany. So Archduke Rudolph made an exception: Beethoven could ignore court etiquette.
But Beethoven wasn’t alone in his resentment. A few hundred miles to the west, in France, aristocrats were being queued up for the guillotine, and a stiff anti-royalist air was sweeping in toward Vienna. While not a fan of bloodshed, Beethoven supported the Revolution. He loved the free thought it encouraged, and he toyed with the idea of setting music to Friedrich Schiller’s poem “Ode to Joy,” a call for brotherhood and liberty.
But he never wrote the piece. Harboring revolutionary sentiments left him in a pickle: His career depended on the people he wanted to see uprooted. So he kept quiet. As the decade wore on, Viennese nobility continued to lionize him—he rose to be one of the city’s biggest celebrities. Then his ears began to ring.
It started as a faint whistle. Doctors advised him to fill his ears with almond oil and take cold baths. Nothing worked. By 1800, his ears were buzzing day and night. Beethoven sank into depression, stopped attending social functions, and retreated to the countryside, where loneliness drove him to consider suicide.
Music kept him going. “It seemed to me impossible to leave the world until I had produced all that I felt was within me,” he wrote. At 31, he was known as a virtuoso, not as a composer. But it seemed he had little choice. He snuffed his performing career and dedicated himself to writing.
Artistically, isolation had its benefits. Every morning, he woke at 5:30 a.m. and composed for two hours until breakfast. Then he wandered through meadows, a pencil and notebook in hand, lost in thought. Sketching ideas, he mumbled, waved his arms, sang, and stomped. One time, he made such a ruckus that a yoke of oxen began to stampede. He often forgot to sleep or eat, but did pause to make coffee—counting precisely 60 beans for each cup. He sat in restaurants for hours, scribbling music on napkins, menus, even windows. Distracted, he’d accidentally pay other people’s bills.
He started grumbling more openly about politics. He admired Napoleon and planned on publicly naming his third symphony for the general. It was a daring move: Napoleon was imperial Austria’s enemy. But when Napoleon declared himself Emperor of the French, Beethoven was disgusted. “Now he will trample on all human rights and indulge only his own ambition. He will place himself above everyone and become a tyrant,” he wrote, ditching the dedication. In 1809, Napoleon’s troops stormed into Vienna. The booming of his cannons hurt Beethoven’s eardrums so much he retreated to the cellar and buried his head under pillows.
In 1814, Napoleon’s empire collapsed and Austria’s nobility attempted to restore order. Within a few years, Prince Klemens von Metternich had established the world’s first modern police state. The press was banned from publishing without the state’s blessing. The government removed university professors who expounded “harmful doctrines hostile to public order.” Undercover cops infested Vienna. Beethoven’s contempt for power grew.
Although he still had royal patrons, Beethoven had fewer friends in high places. Many were missing or dead, and his ordinary friends were just as unlucky—briefly jailed or censored. Thankfully, Beethoven wrote instrumental music. For years, listeners considered it an inferior, even vulgar, art form compared to song or poetry. But as tyrants returned to power, Romantic thinkers like E.T.A. Hoffmann and Goethe praised instrumental music as a place for solace and truth. “The censor cannot hold anything against musicians,” Franz Grillparzer told Beethoven. “If they only knew what you think about in your music!”
That’s when the composer made the brash decision to return to Schiller’s “Ode to Joy.” Censors in Vienna had banned Schiller’s works in 1783, then reauthorized it 25 years later only after some whitewashing. (The original says, “Beggars will become the brothers of princes.” Beethoven had stronger feelings, writing in his notebook, “Princes are beggars.”) Adding words to a symphony would destroy the safety net of ambiguity that instrumental composers enjoyed, spelling Beethoven’s motives out for all to hear.
On May 7, 1824, Vienna’s Karntnertor Theater was packed. Beethoven had spent months preparing for this moment, corralling nearly 200 musicians and dealing with censors who quibbled over a religious work on the program. They did not, however, complain about Symphony No. 9. No one had heard it yet.
Beethoven took the conductor’s baton, beating time for the start of each movement. The musicians’ eyes were glued to his every move, but in reality, none of them followed his lead. They had been ordered not to. Stone deaf, Beethoven was an unreliable conductor, so a friend actually led the orchestra.
The piece was four movements long and lasted a little more than an hour. The first three movements were purely instrumental; the last contained Schiller’s ode. But when one of the movements finished, the hall exploded with applause. Modern audiences would scold such behavior, but during Beethoven’s lifetime, a public concert was more like a rock show. People spontaneously clapped, cheered, and booed mid-performance.
As the audience hollered for more, Beethoven continued waving his arms, oblivious to the cheering and sea of waving handkerchiefs behind him. The applause was so loud, and lasted for so long, that the police had to yell for silence. When the performance finished, a teary-eyed Beethoven almost fainted.
The Ninth was a hit. But not with the aristocracy, who never showed up. Undeterred, Beethoven kept with tradition and dedicated the Symphony to a royal, King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia. He sent the King a copy of the score and, in return, the King sent Beethoven a beautiful diamond ring. It appeared to be a gift of gratitude, but when Beethoven took the ring to a jeweler to sell it, the jeweler had bad news: The diamond was fake. Beethoven had clearly pushed some buttons.
The Ninth would be Beethoven’s last, and most famous, symphony. When he died in 1827, some 20,000 people filled the streets for his funeral. Schools were closed. Soldiers were called to ensure order. Five years later, people suggested erecting a Beethoven monument in Bonn. In the 1840s, Bonn celebrated its first “Beethoven Festival.” Salespeople hawked Beethoven neckties, Beethoven cigars, and even Beethoven pants.
All of it was groundbreaking. Never before had a musician garnered so much attention. It indicated a larger cultural sea change: A society that reveres artists and makes them celebrities. In a way, Beethoven was the world’s first rock star.
Beethoven-worship changed the course of art history. Isolated. Autonomous. Rebellious. Sublime. He was Romanticism’s posterboy, and his stature elevated the meaning of artist: No longer a skilled craftsman, like a cook or carpenter, an artist became a person who suffered to express emotions, genius, or—in drippier language—their soul. Beethoven’s success helped cement ideas that now define Western art.
And, of course, his influence on classical music is vast. The bigger, stronger modern piano emerged partly to accommodate his pieces. The first professional orchestras appeared in his wake, many with the goal of preserving his work. He was one of the first musicians to be canonized. Some argue the movement to immortalize his work eventually made classical music turn stale.
Before Beethoven, the works of dead composers were rarely played. But by the 1870s, dead composers owned the concert hall. They still do today. Aaron Copland would complain that “musical art, as we hear it in our day, suffers if anything from an overdose of masterworks.” John Cage bemoaned that “[Beethoven’s] influence, which has been as extensive as it is lamentable, has been deadening to the art of music.” Indeed, attending a classical music concert can be like visiting a museum.
It’s often forgotten that the piece that secured Beethoven’s status as an icon and reshaped the course of classical music was, at its heart, a powerful work of politics. In concentration camps during World War II, prisoners took solace in Beethoven’s message of freedom. In one heartbreaking tale, a children’s choir rehearsed “Ode to Joy” in Auschwitz’s latrines. It’s been sung at every Olympic Games since 1956. When the Berlin Wall fell, Leonard Bernstein conducted the Ninth with musicians from both sides of the divide. Today, it’s the national anthem of the European Union, and the message remains relevant. The same problems that plagued Vienna nearly 200 years ago—war, inequality, censorship, surveillance—have not disappeared. Perhaps it’s naive to believe that “all men will become brothers,” as the piece proclaims. But Beethoven, who never heard his own symphony, didn’t write it for himself. He wrote it for others. It’s our job to not only hear his message, but also to truly listen.

The Rise and Fall of Chloroform

James Young Simpson didn’t invent chloroform, but he championed its use as a surgical anesthetic. He opened a container of it during a meeting of physicians in 1847 and laughed at the giggling, snoring results. Chloroform was better than the ether then in use, as ether was very flammable and often left the patient thrashing about in their sleep. But any anesthetic was suspicious, because people were afraid of not waking up afterward. And no one really understood how it worked.  
More questions about chloroform arose, mostly because the substance was ill-understood: some, for example, believed it could be strictly a respiratory depressant. But such concerns were set aside for the demand created by the Civil War, which required a fast-acting anesthetic on the battlefield. Of the 80,000 operations surveyed by Union physicians, all but 254 used anesthetic of some kind — usually chloroform, and sometimes a mixture of ether and chloroform to help mitigate the risks of either.
Any fears about induced sleep were quickly mitigated by the searing pain of a shrapnel-fed leg. The patient would inhale and the vapor would first numb the senses. Relaxation would set in, followed by a feeling of impairment. The patient would cease to move, to feel and to have any awareness of the scalpels digging into their flesh. In short, it was just what they needed.
Occasional cardiac death aside, chloroform was a wonder drug. And any lingering doubts the general public had about its administration ended in 1853, when Queen Victoria gave birth without feeling a thing.
As chloroform grew in popularity for surgery, it was also used for entertainment at parties and for private highs. But all it took was for one person to accuse a doctor of impropriety while a victim was unconscious from chloroform, and the substance gained a reputation as a crime tool. Read about chloroform during its heyday at Van Winkle’s.

After 20 Years and Many Billions, Pfizer Finally Admits That Opioids Are Addictive

This College Building Looks Like a Toilet

Choose your major wisely because you don't want to just flush your money away. The new building for the North China University of Water Conservancy and Electric Power in Heinan, China is, appropriately, shaped like a massive toilet. The Chinese central government is circulating photos of it to describe its recent move to ban "weird buildings."
Proper architecture, the government argues, does not try to imitate other objects, such as cell phones or human genitals. You can see photos of other weird Chinese buildings at Shanghaiist.

The Last Prince of Italy Runs a Food Truck in Los Angeles

His Royal Highness Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, Prince of Venice, is the grandson of King Umberto II, the last King of Italy. That nation abolished its monarchy in 1946 and exiled the royal family. So Prince Emanuele has lived most of his life abroad.
Lately, he's been in Los Angeles. He learned that the food truck business was booming there and saw an investment opportunity. So he created an Italian cuisine food truck called The Prince of Venice, which is one of his formal titles, and painted it with the colors of the House of Savoy. The Telegraph reports:
“I came to Los Angeles six months ago for an event and I realized there were various Mexican and Asian food trucks around, “ the prince told Italian magazine, Chi, in an interview.
“I thought ‘why don’t I try it?’ With a food truck with fresh Italian pasta that is loved around the world.” […]
The would-be heir, who was born in Geneva and is married with two children, says his new business is flourishing and he’s relishing the role.
He has hired a chef, Mirko Paderno, and sells dishes like fettucine with shrimp and clams or linguine with truffles for as little as $15.

From Almonds to Zucchini

Caffeine could make your temporary hearing loss permanent

The loudest sound in the world can be fatal for you to hear

It turns out there’s good reason people reportedly vomited at loud concerts of bands like My Bloody Valentine.

Woman sentenced for having sex so loudly that it 'shook her neighbor's furniture'

A Pennsylvania woman pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for having such loud sex that it shook the furniture in a neighbor’s home, and then threatened her neighbors for complaining about it. Red Lion residents who shared a row house wall with Amanda Marie Warfel, 25, had complained of sex noises, loud music and threats coming from her home on March 21.
The sounds and bangs coming from Warfel’s apartment became so loud that her neighbour’s own bed and dresser shook, according to an arrest affidavit. When her neighbor knocked on the common wall and asked for quiet, Warfel yelled back and became louder, the court document said. She pleaded guilty on Wednesday.
During the hearing, Warfel said that she wished that her neighbors were in the court so she could apologize. Warfel was ordered to spend 45 to 90 days in York County Prison. She's already served that sentence, but is being held on a detainer from Lancaster County. It is not immediately clear why that's in place.
She was also ordered to pay court costs and was told not to have contact with her neighbors under any circumstance. “I will not,” Warfel said. Police said Warfel’s neighbor had dealt with this issue before on February 17 and again on February 26, when she yelled obscenities and racial slurs at her neighbor in response. Warfel pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and harassment charges in that incident.

Man's attempt to steal boat thwarted when he forgot to untie it from dock

A Florida man was arrested after police said he attempted to steal a boat, but forgot about untying it from its dock.
Jimmie Shuman, 42, almost got away with the heist outside the waterfront restaurant Sailor’s Return in Stuart when he tried to make off with the 23-foot boat at around 10pm on June 24.
However, while attempting to ride off, Shuman didn’t realize that the boat was still tied to the dock. “The victim stated he saw the defendant on his boat trying to drive it away, but the boat was still tied to the dock at Sailor’s Return,” an affidavit states.
The man whose boat he was trying to take, a retired law enforcement officer, detained Shuman until police arrived. He told police he wished to prosecute Shuman before officers took him to jail. Shuman, of Stuart, was arrested on charges including grand theft of a boat and battery on a law enforcement officer.

Unfazed kebab shop owner ignored armed bandit and carried on serving customer

A kebab shop owner calmly carried on making souvlaki while a gunman attempted to rob his store in Christchurch, New Zealand. CCTV footage posted by Canterbury police shows Said Ahmed bagging up a souvlaki when a masked and armed robber enters the the Egyptian Kebab House shortly before 11pm on May 28.
Unfazed, Mr Ahmed finished the order, reaching right past the offender to hand it to a customer. Mr Ahmed then calmly turned around and walked away. The would-be robber then left as well, without taking a thing. "He was surprised from my reaction - 'I have come to rob him and he is walking away from me, so what can I do?'" Mr Ahmed said. "I was sure he would not shoot me.
"He came to rob me, not to kill me." Mr Ahmed said at first he thought the man was a customer, smiling at him like he would anyone else. "When he came closer I realized he was wearing a mask on his face, I could see just his eyes." The man retrieved a gun from his backpack, pointed it at Mr Ahmed and demanded money. "When I saw the gun I thought, oh this is different, this is a robbery."
Mr Ahmed walking away seemed to confuse the man, who hesitated, then left the shop. "When he found this reaction from me, I ignored him, I walked to the kitchen and called the police - nothing he can do. He didn't scare me ... he failed, unsuccessful night." Canterbury police posted the video on Thursday afternoon, asking members of the public to help them identify the gunman.
You can watch the CCTV video footage here and a follow-up interview with Mr Ahmed here.

Anti-Trans Campaign Fails To Collect Enough Signatures To Advance

Nearly Half Of U.S. States Are Now Fighting To Discriminate Against Transgender Students

How Fox 'News' Is Trying To Cover Up Its Harassment Lawsuit

Lawyers working on behalf of Roger Ailes, the chairman of the wingnut Fox 'News' Channel, filed a legal motion on Friday that would hide the details of...

West Virginia man accused of making more than 400 hoax bomb threats since May

This Robot is Both Animal and Machine

Kevin Kit Parker, Sung-Jin Park, and their team of scientists have built a real-life cyborg, a robot consisting of both artificial and biological components. While not yet Terminator level, it’s both fascinating and scary. The medusoid has a body made of silicone, with a gold skeleton, covered with genetically-engineered rat heart cells that provide its movement.
The process is explained further at Science.
Infected with a virus that delivers the gene encoding the optogenetic molecular switch, the modified cardiac cells twitch  when blue light shines on them. But translating that effect into coherent motion took months of tweaking; simply getting a robot ray to move forward when light stimulated the front of its fin took Park 200 tries. Ultimately, he built 100 more robots and showed they could navigate underwater obstacle courses. To negotiate turns, Park guides a ray with two light sources, one pointed at each fin. Changing the frequency of the light slows or speeds up the contraction rate; by making one side beat faster than the other, he steers the robot left or right.
See another video at Popular Mechanics.

Bornean orangutan and two shark species moved to extinction 'red list'

Animal Pictures