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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, August 12, 2016

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of  
Carolina Naturally
Oh, my head ...! 
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Today in History

30 BC
Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt, commits suicide.
At the Battle of Ascalon 1,000 Crusaders, led by Godfrey of Bouillon, route an Egyptian relief column heading for Jerusalem, which had already fallen to the Crusaders.
At the Battle of Mohacs, Hungary, Charles of Lorraine defeats the Turks.
The British capture Cuba from Spain after a two month siege.
Black slaves on the island of Santo Domingo rise up against their white masters.
British commander the Duke of Wellington occupies Madrid, Spain, forcing out Joseph Bonaparte.
Confederate raider William Quantrill leads a massacre of 150 men and boys in Lawrence, Kansas.
After a week of heavy raiding, the Confederate cruiser Tallahassee claims six Union ships captured.
Gold is discovered near Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada. After word reaches the United States in June of 1897, thousands of Americans head to the Klondike to seek their fortunes.
The Spanish American War officially ends after three months and 22 days of hostilities.
Henry Ford‘s first Model T rolls off the assembly line.
The home of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C. is dedicated as a memorial.
President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Social Security Bill.
French Marshal Henri Philippe Petain announces full French collaboration with Nazi Germany.
The erection of the Berlin Wall begins, preventing access between East and West Germany.
American installations at Quan-Loi, Vietnam, come under Viet Cong attack.
As U.S. troops leave Vietnam, B-52’s make their largest strike of the war.
Steven Biko, leader of the black consciousness movement in South Africa, is arrested.
Space shuttle Enterprise makes its first free flight and landing.
Tel al-Zaatar massacre at Palestinian refuge camp during Lebanese Civil War.
Massive book burnings by press censors begin in Iran.
Computer giant IBM introduces its first personal computer.
Highest in-flight death toll as 520 die when  Japan Airlines Flight 123  crashes into Mount Takamagahara.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is concluded between the United States, Canada and Mexico, creating the world’s wealthiest trade bloc.
Russian Navy submarine K-141 Kursk explodes and sinks with all hands during military exercises in the Barents Sea.
An LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) sniper mortally wounds Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, at the minister’s home.
Summer Olympics come to a close in London.

Off The Grid On A Homemade Island

Floating off the coast of Vancouver Island is a sustainable island fortress complete with a dance floor, art gallery and garden. For artists Catherine King and Wayne Adams, this is home: a labor of love 24 years in the making.

Why Men Give Women Diamond Engagement Rings

by Eddie Deezen
A guy giving his girlfriend a diamond engagement ring would seem to us to be a intrinsic part of America and Americana. It is a time-honored American tradition, like watching television, going to McDonald's for lunch, kids riding bikes, or beer and hot dogs at the ballgame. And it is, but it's not quite as old as you might imagine.
While engagement rings have been around for centuries, diamonds are a fairly late addition to the party. For many years, there just weren't that many diamonds on the world market, so diamond engagement rings were pretty rare.
The rock Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy in 1477 was a rare exception, creating a huge buzz around the globe. Despite that high-profile ring, things stayed pretty quiet on the diamond front until the late 19th century.
As recently as the late 19th century, some American women received thimbles as signs of their engagement. After the wedding, they would cut the bottom off the thimble and bride would wear it as a ring. In England, one contemporary practice involved the man and the woman breaking a piece of gold or silver and each keeping half. Then they'd drink a glass of wine and the engagement would be on.
In the 1870's, miners began discovering huge veins of diamonds in South Africa, and ice started flowing onto the world market. Diamonds went from being a scarce gem to a fairly common commodity. This, of course, was bad news for anyone who had diamonds and wanted to make as much dough as possible. The diamond mine owners knew they'd have to get clever to get rich. And it didn't take long for these gentlemen to come upon a plan.
In 1888, several major South African mines merged together to found "De Beers Consolidated Mines.” This merger created a cartel that could effectively control the flow of diamonds from South Africa onto the world markets. As diamonds became scarcer they grew more valuable, and their popularity as a gem in engagement rings increased too.
Okay, this explains how diamonds rose in price and created an illusion of scarcity. But how did diamonds become such an integral part of the marriage process? Depending on your point of view, you can either thank or curse De Beers for this too. While many of us may think of the diamond engagement ring as an ancient "time-honored tradition,” it really is just the end result of a fairly recent (and brilliant) marketing plan used by De Beers in the late 1930's.
In 1938, De Beers executives were in a tight spot. Diamond prices and demand had been on a steady decline since 1919. The tanking economy had caused most wedding-minded men to give their betrothed ladies modest engagement rings that included intricate metalwork rather than fancy gems. De Beers and the cartel needed a way to jump start its revenues.
De Beers approached New York ad agency N.W. Ayer and asked for a marketing campaign designed to convince Americans they desperately needed diamonds. The campaign they came up with was definitely one of the cleverest and most effective in advertising history.
N.W. Ayer started a multi-pronged attack that completely revolutionized Americans' view of diamonds. The agency got Hollywood's biggest stars to wear diamonds and encouraged fashion designers to talk up diamond rings as an emerging trend. The plan worked beautifully. In the first three years of the campaign, diamond sales shot up by over 50%.
While these results were both successful and lucrative, the "masterstroke" had yet to take place. In 1947, an Ayer copywriter named Frances Gerety penned the slogan "a diamond is forever.”
This apparently simple four-word catchphrase caught on with the public like wildfire. It is so popular, it is still used as the main catchphrase of De Beers diamonds to this day, over 60 years later. It is, without question, one of the most successful slogans in the long and storied history of advertising.
The slogan helped to underscore a diamond as an unbreakable, eternal symbol of love. Future brides loved the romantic timelessness of the phrase. Sales of diamond engagement rings shot through the roof.
Within 20 years, 80% of American brides were sporting rocks. Diamond engagement rings quickly became an accepted custom. And receiving a diamond engagement ring (and/or, of course, a diamond wedding ring) remains one of the happiest, most memorable days in most women's lives.
And since I am not a woman, but I know plenty of women, I will omit any commentary on the happiness level of the years following the reception of their respective rings.

10 Unsolved Mysteries You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

No matter how many mysterious stories from history you hear about, there are always more to discover. Some events remain mysterious because of a lack of witnesses. Others give us facts that don’t add up. And of course, things that happened a long time ago were probably once common knowledge, but the details have been lost in time. Like the mystery of the Temple at Baalbek.
Local legend tells of how the ancient temple at Baalbek, in modern-day Lebanon, was built to hide Cain from the wrath of God, and that it became known as the Tower of Babel. Other stories claim that it was built by djinns, supernatural beings of Arabian and Islamic mythology who abandoned some of the massive stone blocks at the site when they went on strike.
Legend, lore and religion aside, who really ordered the construction of the temple at Baalbek, why it was built and how some of its vast megaliths came to be abandoned, remain unsolved mysteries. We know that it was an absolutely epic undertaking, begun 2,000 years ago and requiring the movement of stone blocks 40 times larger than those used to build Stonehenge. One, reported by the New Yorker as the largest stone block from antiquity, weighs in at a staggering 1,650 tons. The megalith itself weighs around three million pounds.
Though some suggest it was cut by the Romans (who knew Baalbek by its Greek name, Heliopolis), the reason for its immense size – and why it was ultimately abandoned – remain unsolved mysteries. German researchers labelled Baakbek as “unnecessarily large”, and it was one of the most widely photographed places of the 19th century.
The common sense answer would be that they quit building because moving those stones was too hard, but we might never know for sure. Urban Ghosts gives us ten obscure mysteries that include murders, prophesies, natural phenomena, and unknown people.

What Penis Theft Tells Us About Belief, Culture, and Our Brains

New TV Series 'Take My Wife' Dares to Suggest That Lesbians Can Be Funny

How Lady Buggs Farm Is Bringing Healthy Food and a New Urban Landscape to the Rust Belt

Big Oil Didn’t Borrow Big Tobacco’s Playbook to Lie to the Public About Climate Change—They Actually Wrote It

Why a Tax on Wall Street Trades Is an Even Better Idea Than You Know

Sorry You Lost Your Home ...

Rampaging Debt Collectors Are Committing Highway Robbery

Man celebrated new car purchase with a ride on the vehicle's roof

Police in Houston, Texas, arrested a man on Friday afternoon who rode on the roof of his moving car while his 5-year-old son was in the back seat.
According to police, officers spotted 36-year-old Donald Slaughter riding on the roof of a vehicle. Police said that when they pulled the vehicle over, they discovered that the passenger was steering the car.
Slaughter’s son was riding unrestrained in the back seat. When asked why he was riding on the roof, Slaughter told officers that he was celebrating the purchase of the new vehicle, police said. Slaughter was arrested on some outstanding warrants, police said.
He was also charged with endangering a child in connection with Friday’s incident. After posting $15,000 bail, Slaughter was released from jail. He’s scheduled to again appear in court on Sept. 21. Police said the boy was released to the custody of his mother, who came to the scene.

Man cut down tree to steal bicycle

A man went to extreme lengths to steal a bicycle, by cutting down the tree it was chained to.
CCTV captured the incident in Changsha city, in central China's Hunan Province in the early hours of Monday morning.
In the clip, the man is seen approaching the bicycle, which appears to be safely attached to the tree. He then took out a saw and began hacking away at the trunk.

Eventually the tree crashed to the ground. He then quickly unhooked the bike from the tree trunk, before putting it on the back of his motorcycle and riding off down the street.

Robbers cut open roof of moving train coach to steal cash

In a daring robbery, unidentified people managed to gain entry into a coach on a moving train which was carrying used currency notes worth Rs 342 crore (£39,260,000, $51,050,000) being transported from Salem, a western city in Tamil Nadu, southern India, to the state's capital Chennai, and made off with Rs 5.78 crore (£665,000, $865,000). Forensic staff are now checking along the railway tracks for clues of the culprits. "A special team has been formed under Railway police SP Vijayakumar and three DSPs will be assisting him in the investigations" said M Ramasubramanian, Inspector General. A total of four boxes were found broken, with cash in one of the boxes entirely missing. Another box was half-empty and the third box had been opened, but cash in the box was just left scattered, not missing.
This might have been because the cash in the last box was of smaller denominations. The police stations from Salem to Chennai have been alerted and all police inspectors have been roped into the investigation. "The incident came to light when RBI officials opened the coach on its arrival (in Chennai) and found the currency notes lying scattered inside," said the IG. The currency reportedly belonging to a few public sector banks was being transported in a train from Salem to Chennai to be handed over to Reserve Bank of India. It is not clear at which spot the thieves managed to sneak out the cash boxes in the nearly 350-kilometre-long journey that the train took on Monday night. According to police sources, the heist came to light only after the Salem Express reached Chennai at around 3.55am on Tuesday. A hole, large enough for a person to enter, was found on the top of the railway coach in which the currency was stored in 226 boxes.
Sources said the boxes contained used currency collected from various branches in and around Salem. The consignment was being transported with heavy security, including by a team headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police. It is unclear how the thieves could have cut the hole on the roof of the coach, given that the electric cables would have been right above the coach. Police suspect the burglars exploited a few stretches along the route which are not yet electrified. According to railway sources, a High-capacity parcel van (VPH) has been leased out by the Railways for carrying the cash from Salem to Chennai Egmore station. During transportation, as per records available with the Railways, 15 RPF personnel had been deployed for security. Some of the armed RPF personnel had been put into the general compartment before the VPH parcel van, while a few of them traveled in the Guard Coach, attached behind the VPH.

The VPH parcel had been be sealed during transportation. There was no RPF armed people inside the VPH, however. The theft is likely to have taken place between Salem and Vridhachalam as the 138-km section was non-electrified. Sources added that the train reached Vridhachalam station at 11.50pm and left the station at 12.15am. At the station, the engine of the train was changed from a diesel locomotive to an electrical one, as the Vridhachalam-Chennai Egmore section is completely electrified. The train is now stationed in a yard near Egmore railway station in Chennai. A railway police source said since the cash boxes were being transported in the cargo section, it would fall under the jurisdiction of the Railway Protection Force, which will investigate the case. Police are trying to verify if the train was halted anywhere else during its journey or if the thieves had managed to enter the coach before the train began its journey.

Man threatened people with blowtorch before he and female accomplice stole their hammocks

A man and woman were arrested in connection with the unusual theft of hammocks from a south Minneapolis park, apparently with the help of a blowtorch, authorities said.
Andrew Sobaski, 28, and Johnna Vanguilder, 27, were charged with first-degree robbery in the July 31 incident in Triangle Park. Sobaski is accused of stealing the hammocks and threatening people with a blowtorch, saying he was going to "burn your faces off," according to a criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County district court on Friday.
He remains in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail, with a court date of Sept. 27. Vanguilder, who also remains jailed, is scheduled to appear in court the following day. "Victims, a group of friends, were in Triangle Park with when they were approached by a man bearing a blowtorch who said he was going to 'burn your faces off,'" the complaint read.
Police say that the blowtorch-wielding thieves burned "the ropes suspending" the hammocks before fleeing with their haul, which included the hammocks, a Starbucks gift card and bug spray. The pair were arrested four days later when a neighbor recognized them from a blog post about the incident.

Police hunt armed men who stole three boxes of Honey Buns

Police are investigating an armed robbery at a gas station in Detroit, Michigan. The thieves stole pastries at gun point. Police are now on the look out for two men who stole three boxes of Honey Buns.
Detroit Police Sgt. Mike Woody said, "I wouldn't necessarily call them dumb, but I would tell you this much - it's a very dumb thing to be doing." Early on Sunday morning, two men drove up in a grey car at a Citgo station. One of the men went inside and collected three boxes of Honey Buns.
Police say the other man stood by the door, holding a gun. When the security guard tried to stop them , the second suspect pulled out the weapon and they both got away. "We very much so want to get here suspects in custody as quickly as we can," says Sgt. Woody. The suspect with the gun is around 25-years-old, 5'11", 150 pounds and has a dark complexion.

The man who took the Honey Buns is around 25-years-old, 5'7", 165 pounds and has a fair complexion. "Most of the businesses in this city are very giving to their community and so I'm sure if they had just would have asked they could've gotten most of they really wanted. There is no need for this level of violence," says Sgt. Woody. If you have any information, call Detroit police.

Jupiter Does Not Orbit the Sun, Technically

While Jupiter does revolve around in an oval-shaped orbit, just like the rest of the planets, the central point of that orbit is not the sun. Jupiter throws its weight around in the solar system, affecting the sun itself, so there’s a tug-of-war that has both bodies revolving around the barycenter, a point just above the surface of the sun.
The sun is about 1,000 times more massive than Jupiter, and these two bodies affect one another proportionally, so the amount Jupiter's gravity pulls on the sun is one-thousandth the amount the sun's gravity pulls on Jupiter. And Jupiter's orbit takes 11.8 Earth years to compete, and the sun travels around the barycenter takes the same amount of time.
The explanation is pretty cool, but the part about using this knowledge to study other stars and their possible planets we can’t see is …out of this world!

Cockroach Milk May Be the Next Big Thing

Animal Pictures