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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.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of  
Carolina Naturally
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Today in History

The Catholic princes of Germany form the Dessau League to fight against the Reformation.
King Henry VIII of England watches his flagship, Mary Rose, capsize as it leaves to battle the French.
Prices plunge on the Paris stock market.
The Rosetta Stone, a tablet with hieroglyphic translations into Greek, is found in Egypt.
The first Women’s Rights Convention convenes in Seneca Falls, N.Y, organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
France declares war on Prussia.
German U-boats are withdrawn from positions off the U.S. Atlantic coast due to American anti-submarine countermeasures.
More than 150 B-17 and 112 B-24 bombers attack Rome for the first time.
Apollo and Soyuz spacecrafts dock in orbit.

First World Malnutrition

Malnutrition shaping up to be a first world problem

Sued Artist Insists He Didn't Make Multi-Million Dollar Painting

Peter Doig is a world-renowned artist in high demand by art collectors. His paintings have sold for as high as $25 million. Does his body of work include this desert scene? Doig, as quoted in the Seattle Times, says no:
“I said, ‘Nice painting,’ ” he recalled in an interview. “ ‘Not by me.’ ”
That's the problem. Robert Fletcher says that 40 years ago, while still a teenager, Doig was incarcerated for LSD possession at a juvenile prison in Canada. At the time, Fletcher worked as a guard there. He says that Doig painted the scene and sold it to him for $100.
As a Doig painting, it's potentially worth millions of dollars--but only if it's an authentic Doig painting. And Doig says that it's not his work. So Fletcher is suing Doig for $5 million and asking a US federal court to declare the painting authentic:
Art-law experts say they can’t recall anything like it, certainly not for a major artist like Doig.
“To have to disprove that you created a work seems somehow wrong and not fair,” said Amy Adler, a professor at New York University Law School.
Fletcher's case has great challenges. For one, there are no records indicating that Doig was ever imprisoned at the facility where Fletcher worked.

The Most Sophisticated Robotic Rectum in the World

Do you remember Patrick, the proctology exam simulation dummy? He wowed the world with his almost lifelike representation of the human rectum. But in the intervening year, scientists and engineers have made even greater advances in the field of human rectal simulation.
Researchers at Imperial College London have developed a robotic rectum that feels almost exactly like the real thing. It provides responsive haptic feedback so that as the medical student searches for and examines the prostate, the flesh-like rectum responds appropriately.
Additionally, this robotic rectum is programmable. Not all rectums are alike and doctors have to get used to the feel of different rectums. This one can provide that same variety of experiences. Quartz reports:
Doctors learn what a cancerous prostate feels like through experience. The trouble is that people don’t easily volunteer for such a probing. In the UK, there’s just one registered “rectal teaching assistant,” as volunteers are known. […]
Rectums come in all shapes and sizes, so the device presented at the Eurohaptics conference this week can be programmed, allowing the anatomy to be altered each time. The current simulation is based on scans of the UK’s only rectal teaching assistant.

Benefit card misprint gives users sex line surprise

An unsuspecting man in Maine got a shock when he dialed the phone number on the back of his electronic benefit transfer card. Trying to check his benefit balance, he got through to a sex line instead.
In an unfortunate misprint on some cards, the number to report lost and stolen cards put callers through to a live chat line. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services said it was aware the number was wrong by one digit.
When LJ Langelier, 25, called the number a recorded voice gave him an unexpected invitation: "Welcome to America's hottest talk line. Ladies, to talk with interesting and exciting guys free, press one now." "I was like, 'Wow, I must have messed that number up somehow really bad'," he said. "I look at the card, I dial it the exact same way again, and it keeps happening.
"I thought it was just hilarious." When he checked with friends, they turned out to have the same misprint. In its defense, the human services department says the company that operates the sex line searches for phone numbers that are very similar to widely published government phone numbers and buys them to take advantage of consumers misdialing. It said the number was being corrected on all new cards.
You can watch LJ Langelier's Facebook video where he calls the number here.

This Sexist Company Invented a Smartphone Just for Women

Murdochs Planning To Fire Roger Ailes

City That Ran Debtors’ Prison Will Have To Pay Millions To The Poor People It Jailed

Jail for Sharing Your Netflix Password?

Getting away with murder in Pakistan

The strangling of Pakistani social media starlet Qandeel Baloch by her brother has once again cast a spotlight on the custom of “honor killings”, which claims around a thousand lives in Pakistan every year.
What are honor killings?

'Christian' extremist shoots trans woman in the face — but in Pence’s Indiana it’s not a hate crime

When is a hate crime not a hate crime? If it happens in vice pretender nominee Moron Pence’s state of Indiana, it cannot be a hate crime.

Teen knocks on the wrong front door – and gets shot to death by a lover of the Second Amendment

A Massachusetts man, who used his Facebook page to promote the Second Amendment, is being held without bail after shooting through his front door and killing a teen who mistakenly knocked thinking it was a friend’s house.

The Railroad Women of World War II

Railway use ramped up even before the US entered World War II, because the war in Europe was interrupting shipping lanes, so more cargo went by train. Then wartime gasoline rationing caused an uptick in passengers using trains. Meanwhile, men were being shipped off to fight, so women were hired to work on the railroads. By the beginning of 1944, there were some 116,000 women railroad workers. Some of these women were photographed in 1943 by Office of War Information photographer Jack Delano. See a collection of images of women railroad workers at Mashable. 

What Lava Does to a Tree

Kawika Singson was exploring and photographing a lava flow from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island when he found this glowing hole, and several others like it. The hole in the lava was in the shape of a tree that was no longer there. It’s an artifact of the weird way in which lava destroys trees.
When hot, fluid lava engulfs a “moist, cool tree,” according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, “the layer of lava next to the trunk chills and solidifies,” creating a circular mold of cooled lava around the trunk.
Eventually, the tree burns to ash or “bakes into charcoal,” as explained by the Observatory.
Sometimes, the lava around the tree will drain away to a lower area, creating a mold of the tree that stands above ground, like the ones seen along the Lava Trees Loop Hiking Trail.
You can see those and learn more about how lava changes the landscape at HuffPo.

Tiny Puppy Tries To Fetch The Newspaper

People love to teach their pets how to do tricks, and some pets love to perform tricks because they get extra treats and extra attention from their humans.
Dogs are (arguably) the easiest pets to teach, because tricks such as the army crawl, speaking and fetching just click with them on an instinctual level.
But just because they have the ability to do these tricks within them doesn't mean those tricks come easy to them!
Watching tiny Gracie struggle to fetch a Sunday edition-sized newspaper is truly inspirational, although something tells me she's going to be just fine with the death of the printed page.

Ducklings Are as Clever as They Are Cute

Newly-hatched ducklings are known for “imprinting,” or latching on to the first thing they see as their mother. That way they know who to follow and who will protect them. Imprinting is considered to be instinct, and ducklings have been known to imprint on animals and even objects that are not their mother. A recent experiment hijacked the imprinting period to determine how intelligent ducklings are, as in whether they can distinguish the abstract concepts of “same” and “different.”
To explore how ducks think, researchers exposed newborn ducklings to a variety of objects, showing them pairs that were either the same or different, in characteristics like shape or color. Later, when shown completely different objects, three-fourths of the ducks got up and followed the pair that had the same relation they'd originally seen—whether it was one of color or shape, sameness or difference—parading after them the same way they'd line up and follow Mrs. Mallard.
For example, newborn mallards who were first exposed to two spheres (same), later chose to follow a pair or triangles (same) rather than a cube and a cuboid (different). “We hatch them, we give them about 12 hours to dry off, and once they able to walk they are able to do this and learn it with great accuracy,” says Antone Martinho a cognitive scientist at the University of Oxford and co-author of the new study.
This kind of relational matching behavior has been observed in certain primates, like monkeys and apes (and of course humans), and a few other birds, like parrots and crows. But again, these animals are all generally considered to be far more intelligent than ducks.
This experiment brings up a few thoughts. 1. Who is going to care for those experimental ducklings and show them how to duck? B. If newborn ducklings can distinguish same from different, maybe that concept isn’t really “abstract thought.” 3. Could this have been an ancient observation that led to the story of The Ugly Duckling? After all, the ducklings were aware of how different the cygnet was. Read more about the duckling experiment at Smithsonian.  

Kids Swim with Giant Python

This is Sumatra, a giant albino Burmese python. She works with Redding Reptile Parties, an event service in Redding, California that brings reptiles to parties. In this video, Sumatra enjoys a hot summer day in the pool with two young friends.
Don't worry about the girls! They're safe. Corey Williams, Sumatra's owner, describes how gentle she is:
She has been to over 500 birthday parties and many schools, she has been around kids since she was a baby, she has never killed anything she even likes our dogs and cat. funny story I have found the most humane way to kill a rabbit or chicken is to give them a strong hit to the back of the neck with a hard object this normally kills them instantly for I don't like to see any animal suffer. Anyway I came in later to see if Sumatra had eaten and the chicken was walking around her cage, she would not touch it unless it was dead so I killed it for sure this time and she ate it right away.

Sssay hello to Costa Rica’s new venomous snake

An international team of scientists has solved a case of mistaken identity and discovered a new species of venomous snake.
The newly discovered Talamancan Palm-Pitviper is a striking green-and-black snake living in some of the most remote regions of Costa Rica. The coloring is a characteristic it shares with its close relative the Black-Speckled Palm-Pitviper. In fact, these two species look so similar that the Talamancan Palm-Pitviper went unrecognized for more than 100 years. It is a case of cryptic speciation, where two species look almost identical, but are genetically different.
Sssay hello to Costa Rica’s new venomous snake

Animal Pictures