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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.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of  
Carolina Naturally
Yeah ...! 
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Today in History

King Edward I defeats Scots under William Wallace at Falkirk.
Emperor Maximilian and Vladislav of Bohemia forge an alliance between the Hapsburg and Jagiello dynasties in Vienna.
Prince Conde’s rebels narrowly defeat Chief Minister Mazarin’s loyalist forces at St. Martin, near Paris.
Thomas Jefferson becomes the first head of the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs.
A British army under the Duke of Wellington defeats the French at Salamanca, Spain.
Five Indian tribes in Ohio make peace with the United States and declare war on Britain.
The first volume of The War of the Rebellion: A compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, is published.
The first automobile race takes place between Paris and Rouen, France.
American gangster John Dillinger is shot dead by FBI officers outside a Chicago cinema.
The Third Reich issues special identity cards for Jewish Germans.
Palermo, Sicily surrenders to General George S. Patton‘s Seventh Army.
B-52 bombers hit the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Vietnam for the first time.

Is Coconut Sugar the Perfect Alternative Sweetener?

Add Water to This $230 Toaster

Truly perfect toast is expensive. You need more than just top-tier bread. You also need to cook it the right way. And the Balmuda from Japan is the best machine for the job.
At $230, it's expensive by toaster standards. But it comes with a novel approach to toasting: adding water. Bloomberg reports on how Gen Terao invented it:
It was at a company picnic on a rainy day, warming bread on a grill, that company founder Gen Terao and his band of product designers accidentally made great toast. After the showers stopped, they tried to reproduce it in a parking lot and realized that water was the key. Thousands of slices later, they figured out that steam traps moisture inside the bread while it's being warmed at a low temperature. The heat is cranked up just at the end, giving it a respectable crust.

Millenials are not afraid of socialism

A recent Reason-Rupe survey found that a majority of Americans under 30 have a more favorable view of socialism than of capitalism. Gallup finds that almost 70 percent of young Americans are ready to vote for a “socialist” president...
Indeed, the criticism most heard against the millennial generation’s evolving attachment to socialism is that they don’t understand what the term really means, indulging instead in warm fuzzy talk about cooperation and happiness. But this is precisely the larger meaning of socialism, which the millennial generation—as evidenced in the Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements—totally comprehends...
While banks were bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars, the government was not interested in offering serious help to homeowners carrying underwater mortgages (the actual commitment of the U.S. government was $16 trillion to corporations and banks worldwide, as revealed in a 2011 audit prompted by Sanders and others). Facing crushing amounts of debt, millennials have been forced to cohabit with their parents and to downshift ambitions. They have had to relearn the habits of communal living, making do with less, and they are bartering necessary skills because of the permanent casualization of jobs. They are questioning the value of a capitalist education that prepares them for an ideology that is vanishing and an economy that doesn’t exist...
...the Keynesian insight that a certain level of equality must be maintained to preserve capitalism has been abandoned in favor of a neoliberal regime that has privatized, deregulated, and “liberalized” to the point where extreme inequality, a new form of serfdom, has come into being...
But millennials are done with blind faith in the market as the solution to all human problems. They question whether “economic growth” should even be the ultimate pursuit. Ironically, again, it is the extreme form capitalism has taken under neoliberalism that has put millennials under such pressure that they have started asking these questions seriously: Why not work fewer hours? Why not disengage from consumer capitalism? Why trust in capitalist goods to buy happiness?  More at the Salon link.

Bunkers Disguised as Quaint Swiss Villas

What’s the best way to disguise a military bunker? Put something rather prosaic on top of it. Like a normal home, or better yet, a vacation home so that no one would get suspicious about it being empty. Photographer Christian Schwager identified and documented hundreds of “fake chalets” in Switzerland that were cleverly-hidden military installations of one kind or another.
Until 2004, camouflaged bunkers were a well-kept military secret in Switzerland and many Swiss residents had no idea that there were weapons compounds sitting in the middle of the villages where they grew up until Schwager’s book of photographs went public.
Christian estimates there are at least 250 bunkers hiding behind well-disguised facades that have gone unnoticed for years, sometimes sitting right on the main streets of town. He has visited photographed over a hundred of them, mainly from World War II when aerial reconnaissance and espionage was rife and the government began dressing up their not-so-subtle concrete bunkers.
After Schwager published a book of his photographs, more fake chalets were uncovered, and some, like the Villa Rose pictured above, were opened to the public as historical artifacts. See many more of the disguised military bunkers at Messy Nessy Chic.

Half the population of Mongolia

Live in just two towns ...
"The population of Mongolia is just under 3 million. The northernmost dot is the city of Ulaanbaatar, with a population of over 1.3 million. The second dot is Darkhan, with 180,000 people."

Labor Intensive: The Way Childbirth Used to Be

Childbirth is no picnic. 
But at least it no longer involves chickens and weasels.
Giving birth is hard. Or so I’ve heard. I don’t have the proper equipment, so when my children were born my job was restricted to feeding my wife ice chips and telling her she was a trouper. But after witnessing the sounds and faces she made, I’m assuming birth is hard.
That said, I’m incredibly grateful that my kids were born in the last decade. Because childbirth in centuries past was almost incomprehensibly harder, more painful, and more dangerous than it is in modern-day America.
Not only that: It was also a lot stranger. For starters, it involved far more animals than you might expect. According to the book Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy, French midwives would place a chicken on the belly of the pregnant woman. The idea was that the scratchy claws would somehow speed up labor.
Cassidy also writes that women in the Hopi Native American tribe were encouraged to snack on weasels. They hoped the fetus would absorb the weasel’s skill of digging its way out of holes. Other women were told to eat eels to make the birth canal slippery.
Sometimes it wasn’t just strange—it was downright brutal. (Well, more brutal than childbirth tends to be of its own accord.) German midwives were known to flog expectant women in a hearty attempt to scare the baby out of the womb.
And then there was the machinery. If you want to lose some sleep, check out the diagram of a 20th-century baby-extraction contraption that involves forceps, ropes, and pulleys. (It can be found at London's Wellcome Library). Or just take my word for it and get your beauty rest.
Other tools would fit right in at Christian Grey’s dungeon. As Randi Hutter Epstein describes in Get Me Out, “a few looked like fireplace stokers, and one looked like a gigantic cast-iron corkscrew.”
Even though they were busy squeezing human beings out of their bodies, it was still important that women act like proper ladies and hosts. In colonial times, women in labor were expected to provide “groaning beers” and “groaning cakes” to their guests.
Since they looked unseemly squatting or with their feet in the air, Victorian women were encouraged to lie down during birth. Unfortunately, as Epstein writes, the pose “may look ladylike but does not work very well for the mechanics of labor”—not to mention, it can be “excruciating.”
Now, consider the odd ritual known as “couvade,” once practiced by several societies, including the Basques of Northern Spain. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the father would get into bed with his wife and simulate childbirth. That is, he pretended to undergo labor, just like the baby’s mother. And then, the mother would sometimes get to her feet hours after giving birth and wait on the father.
By the way, don’t even think about asking for pain relief. According to Genesis 3:16, agonizing childbirth was punishment for Eve’s sin: “In pain shall you bring forth children.” And according to Sanjay Datta’s book Childbirth and Pain Relief: An Anesthesiologist Explains Your Options, in 1591, a Scottish woman named Euphaine Macalyane was burned to death for having the gall to ask her midwife for a remedy to alleviate her labor pains.
Perhaps even worse: In traditional Siberian culture, it was thought that labor was a convenient time to interrogate the soon-to-be mom about any potential infidelities. She was told that the birth would be even more painful if she lied.
It’s not even all ancient history. Fifty years ago, retired mining engineer George Blonksy and his wife, Charlotte, were granted a U.S. patent for their “Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force,” which Jennifer Block describes in the book Pushed. Also known as “The Blonksy,” it was a floor-to-ceiling, cast-iron carousel of doom. The mother-to-be would be strapped in and spun around, generating a force seven times that of gravity to “counteract the atmospheric pressure opposing the emergence of the child.” The doctor stood by, ready to employ an emergency brake if necessary.
So all in all, today’s birthing process is an improvement. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: “Easy for you to say, Mr. Breathing Coach.”

The Surprising Reasons Women Get Hooked on Narcissists

‘More than 20’ women now accuse Fox 'News' chief Roger Ailes of sexual harassment

The accusations have been steadily rolling in since Gretchen Carlson announced two weeks ago that she was leaving the network and suing her former boss.

The Astounding Amounts Hospitals Charge to Process Rape Kits

Man in wheelchair spotted zooming past traffic

A wheelchair user has been spotted overtaking cars in Barcelona, Spain. The man was filmed by a fellow road-user, a motorbike rider who was traveling just behind the wheelchair.
“We are aware of this incident but unfortunately there were no police officers or traffic police there at the time to tell the person to slow down,” a spokesman for Los Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s police force said.
“It is definitely illegal to ride a wheelchair in such a dangerous way , putting the safety of other road users, as well as yourself, at risk,” he added. Catalan police confirmed they had not yet identified the man.

Legally, motorized disability scooters should travel on the pavement. However, motorized scooter users may use the road, providing they do not stop other vehicles from passing.

Oklahoma Police Show up at 5-Year-Old's Birthday Party—and Shoot His Dog in the Head

Police Shoot Black Therapist As He Helps His Patient

An unarmed black man was shot by police while attempting to help a suicidal man with autism in North Miami, Florida, officials said.
Cellphone video from the scene showed 47-year-old Charles Kinsey, who is an employee of an assisted living facility, had laid on his back with his hands in the air while speaking with officers, who had drawn their guns.

Naked toothless woman threatened police with lighter and propane tank

A naked woman held a lighter to a propane tank in front of deputies before being taken into custody on Thursday, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office in Florida said. The woman resisted arrest and bit the left hand of one of the deputies, but she failed to cause damage because she doesn’t have any teeth, according to police.

How to catch sea turtle egg poachers

"A conservation group has created 3D printed sea turtle eggs containing GPS trackers. The eggs are set to be deployed this fall in Central America during an arribada, or mass nesting event when 90 percent of eggs will be poached from certain beaches...
 The group plans to create a tracking map on the movement of eggs to help law enforcement officials and activists to crack down on the big players involved in poaching...
Sea turtle eggs are considered a delicacy and aphrodisiac in various cultures. Millions of sea turtle eggs are stolen each year with each one costing anywhere from $5 to $20 apiece causing severe threat to the endangered species. "
Hopefully just publicizing this maneuver will deter some of the poachers.  I hope law enforcement will focus on the enablers behind the poaching rather than just punishing the cowboys who take the eggs.
And it's amazing how every exotic or threatened species is considered an "aphrodisiac" by someone.

How Dogs React To A Voice Actor Barking

Some voice actors are so good their mimicry abilities can fool anyone, even animals.
Rudi Rok is one of these incredibly gifted voice actors, and he's so good at barking, panting and other dog vocalizations he drives those poor poochies wild in this video by Jose Ahonen.
It seems dogs who hear a perfect imitation of a dog bark start barking, I wonder what they're saying to Rudi...

The Animal Version Of "Brother From Another Mother"

You're probably familiar with the “brother from another mother, sister from another mister” concept regarding people you meet in life who look like they could be your next-of-kin...or you.
This spooky similarity often goes beyond merely looking the same, as you discover you share interests, taste and mannerisms in common with your doppelganger.
The same thing can happen with animals, only their “brother from another mother” similarities can cross species, making a dog and a cat look like they were separated at birth.
Perhaps this doppelganger effect exists so every animal species on Earth will learn to get along with each other, whether we're hairless apes or hairless critters.

Wild boar emerged from the sea before chasing after beachgoers

Beachgoers in Poland scrambled for safety after a wild boar emerged from the ocean and began attacking people as they lay in the sun.
The sunbathers looked out into the waves at Karwia Beach on the Baltic Sea as the giant pig swam ashore.
The moment it hit land the boar broke out into a sprint towards higher ground. But when it realized it had been penned in by a fence the frightened and angry boar started to ram people.

It knocked over screens and sunbathers alike before a group of men armed themselves with poles and other objects to chase the porcine invader towards nearby woods.

Animal Pictures