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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, August 17, 2016

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of  
Carolina Naturally
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Today is - Black Cat Appreciation Day

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Today in History

By the Treaty of Abo, Sweden cedes southeast Finland to Russia, ending Sweden’s failed war with Russia.
Napoleon Bonaparte‘s army defeats the Russians at the Battle of Smolensk during the Russian retreat to Moscow.
The first steam ship to cross the Atlantic entirely on its own power, the Canadian ship Royal William, begins her journey from Nova Scotia to The Isle of Wight.
Union gunboats attack Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, for the first time.
Marine Raiders attack Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands from two submarines.
Allied forces complete the conquest of Sicily.
The mayor of Paris, Pierre Charles Tattinger, meets with the German commander Dietrich von Choltitz to protest the explosives being deployed throughout the city.
Upon hearing confirmation that Japan has surrendered, Sukarno proclaims Indonesia’s independence.
American Francis Gary Powers pleads guilty at his Moscow trial for spying over the Soviet Union in a U-2 plane.
Three Americans complete the first crossing of the Atlantic in a balloon.
93-year-old Rudolf Hess, former Nazi leader and deputy of Adolf Hitler, is found hanged to death in Spandau Prison.
Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq is killed in an airplane crash suspected of being an assassination.
President Bill Clinton admits to the American public that he had affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
A 7.4-magnitude earthquake near Izmit, Turkey kills over 17,000 and injures nearly 45,000.
Israel begins the first forced evacuation of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank, as part of a unilateral disengagement plan.
Moscow’s top court upholds ban of gay pride events in Russia’s capital city for 100 years.

Hidden Figures

It’s only been in the last couple of decades that we learned the history of the “human computers,” the women whose brains powered the calculations that developed software, built the atom bomb, and took us to the moon. Even less likely to be in our school history books are the black women among them.
Margot Lee Shetterly grew up in a family of black scientists, engineers, technicians, and teachers. Her new book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race goes on sale next month and is already a movie. She writes:
After the start of World War II, Federal agencies and defense contractors across the country coped with a shortage of male number crunchers by hiring women with math skills. America’s aeronautical think tank, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (the “NACA”), headquartered at Langley Research Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia, created a pool of female mathematicians who analyzed endless arrays of data from wind tunnel tests of airplane prototypes. Women were thought to be more detail-oriented, their smaller hands better suited for repetitive tasks on the Friden manual adding machines. A “girl” could be paid significantly less than a man for doing the same job. And male engineers, once freed from laborious math work, could focus on more “serious” conceptual and analytical projects.
The war also opened doors for African-Americans. In 1941, under pressure from labor and civil rights leaders such as A. Phillip Randolph, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, which created the Fair Employment Practices Committee, and prohibited race-based discrimination in the country’s defense industry. Shortly thereafter, help wanted notices began appearing in Negro newspapers around the country, looking for blacks to fill positions at Federal agencies and defense contractors. Langley advertised in Norfolk, VA’s Journal and Guide, seeking machine shop workers, laborers, janitors—and African-American women with math degrees.
These women were nearly all top graduates of historically black colleges such as Hampton Institute, Virginia State and Wilberforce University. Though they did the same work as the white women hired at the time, they were cloistered away in their own segregated office in the West Area of the Langley campus-- thus the moniker, the West Computers.  But despite the hardships of working under Virginia's Jim Crow laws, these women went on to make significant contributions to aeronautics, astronautics, and America's victory over the Soviet Union in the Space Race.
You can pre-order the book to be released September 6, and the film Hidden Figures will hit theaters in January. -

How Old Is Too Old for a Safe Pregnancy?

10 Subtle Signs You’re About to Get Canned

100 Amazing Bathroom Ideas

A bathroom is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be just utilitarian. Even if no one goes there but you, you’ll want to make it as pleasant and pretty as you can. Housely has some design tips you can run with and make them your own. They look at how you can update your bathroom with a glass shower, use tile to add color and style, make a bathroom work in a small space, and how to accessorize yours to made it personal. And there’s 100 picture to illustrate those ideas, at Housely.

Are Rotisserie Chickens a Bargain?

Grocery stores are selling a lot of rotisserie chicken from their delis. You walk in and see them immediately, or smell them, all hot and spiced and cooked just right and ready to take home for dinner. Getting one already cooked saves you time in the kitchen, especially if you aren’t confident about cooking a whole chicken. And they are often the same price as the whole chickens you see at the meat counter. How can they do that? And why?
In most stores, the cooked chickens aren’t any cheaper. They just look cheaper. The per-chicken price favors the deli counter, but the per-pound price favors the refrigerator case.
A lot of chicken went into the previous sentences—14 to be exact, one rotisserie, one from the refrigerator case, from seven separate groceries in California, ranging from Costco to Whole Foods to a Middle Eastern market. After being prepared and cooked, the refrigerated chicken almost always weighs significantly more than the rotisserie option.
Our investigation into the rotisserie chicken industry reveals that it’s not as cheap as people believe. But it is a gift to the lazy and rushed.
Pricenomics breaks down the history and process of selling grocery store rotisserie chicken, and the results of their experiment, in which the staff supposedly consumed 14 baked chickens. Read the article and the results, but be warned that you may find yourself craving a hot spiced whole chicken before you finish.

This Is What Happens When A Fly Lands On Your Food

Flies are everywhere, and even when we don't see them they're hanging around somewhere waiting for a chance to get at our food.
They aren't exactly subtle about their intentions either, and without hesitation a fly will land on our food right when we're in the middle of chowing down, making us wonder if the food is still safe to eat.
Well, here's the thing- flies eat really gross stuff like poop, rotten meat and toxic trash, and they vomit enzymes onto their food, or our food as the case may be, before they eat it.
But that's not how flies transfer some of the over 200 types of bacteria they may be carrying around, because as this DNews video shows the nasty stuff is actually sitting on the little hairs all over their legs and body.

The World's Weirdest Food Vending Machines

Looking for some caviar or live crabs, but don't have time to stop at the shop or just simply don't want to deal with people? Then hit the vending machine instead. That's right, these are some of only a few of the totally weird products you can buy in a vending machine these days. If you're not in the mood for expensive snacks, then how about some fresh baked pizza or a baguette? This Thrillist list even features vending machines that sell beer and sausages, so you can Octoberfest like a pro.

15 Surprising Facts About Marco Polo

Born in the Republic of Venice in 1254, Marco Polo was a trader, traveler, and adventurer, who (probably) journeyed to Central Asia and China in an era when vast swaths of the world were still uncharted and just traveling to a neighboring town could take you days.
When he returned from his adventures, he brought back stories that helped introduce Europeans to Asia, and contributed to demystifying the largely unknown continent. But as amazing as all that may sound, it only scratches the surface of the bizarre and exciting life of the traveling merchant. Here are 15 things you might not know about Marco Polo.

Smelliness, Anxiety, and Dominance

The Search for the Smell of Anxiety
“Induction of Empathy by the Smell of Anxiety,” Alexander Prehn-Kristensen, Christian Wiesner, Til Ole Bergmann, Stephan Wolff, Olav Jansen, Hubertus Maximilian Mehdorn, Roman Ferstl, and Bettina M. Pause, PLoS ONE, vol. 4, no. 6, 2009, e5987. The authors, at the University of Duesseldorf and several other institutions in Germany, report:
Here, we investigate how chemosensory anxiety signals conveyed by the sweat of humans (N = 49) awaiting an academic examination are processed by the human brain, as compared to chemosensory control signals obtained from the same sweat donors in a sport condition. The chemosensory stimuli were... administered to 28 participants (14 males) synchronously to breathing via an olfactometer. The stimuli were perceived with a low intensity and accordingly only about half of the odor presentations were detected by the participants. The fMRI results (event-related design) show that chemosensory anxiety signals activate brain areas involved in the processing of social emotional stimuli (fusiform gyrus), and in the regulation of empathic feelings (insula, precuneus, cingulate cortex).
Smelliness and Social Acceptance
“You Are As You Smell: The Effect of Odor and Breath Odor on Social Acceptance,” Alan R. Hirsch, Journal of Breath Research, vol. 2, no. 1, 2008, 017001. The author, at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, reports:

This article discusses the many factors that can influence odor perception, including association, expectancy and context and a good number of perceiver response variables such as age and gender as well as personality type. A historical background is included together with a wide range of references.
Personality Clue Strength: Appearance or Odor?
“Seeing or Smelling? Assessing Personality on the Basis of Different Stimuli,” Agnieszka Sorokowska, Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 55, no. 2, 2013, pp. 175-179. The author, at the University of Wroclaw, Poland, explains:
This study examines whether people can accurately assess personality on the basis of facial images and body odor and whether attractiveness influences these relationships.... Naive observers assessed neuroticism and dominance at above-chance levels based on body odor, and they assessed extraversion (and in some cases, neuroticism) at above-chance levels based on either facial images alone or body odor and facial images presented together. The accuracy differed depending on the sex of the targets and the raters. In addition, facial and body odor attractiveness predicted the targets’ personalities and the assessments of their personalities.
Some People Can Smell Your Personality Traits, Maybe
“Does Personality Smell? Accuracy of Personality Assessments Based on Body Odor,” Agnieszka Sorokowska, Piotr Sorokowski, and Andrzej Szmajke, European Journal of Personality, vol. 26, no. 5, 2012, pp. 496-503. (Thanks to Hugh Henry for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Wroclaw and at Opole University, Poland, explain:
Odor donors were given 100% cotton white T-shirts laundered in delicately scented washing powder... and were asked to wear them for three consecutive nights on one scheduled weekend.... Sixty odor samples were assessed by 20 raters each. The main finding of the presented study is that for a few personality traits, the correlation between self-assessed personality of odor donors and judgments based on their body odor was above-chance level.... Further analyses showed that... the ratings of dominance were particularly accurate for assessments of the opposite sex.

Researchers Pin Down Old Fossil Hoax To One Suspect

In 1912, the 'Piltdown Man' fossils were credited as the great 'missing link' between apes and humans, but by 1953, they had been debunked as a fraud. Since then, one thing has remained. Who created these false artifacts, and why?
Researchers from the Liverpool John Moores University in the UK decided to take on this task of finding out who was guilty once and for all. They found that the bones are really half orangutan and half human bones from two different people.

Police officer jumped onto and stopped out of control speedboat after drunk owner fell off

A man narrowly avoided being hit by his own out of control speedboat when he fell into Lake Zurich in Switzerland on Sunday.
The 56-year-old, who was later found to have been drinking, fell off his boat off the shore of B├Ąch. As he fell, he lent against the tiller, meaning the boat then started to turn in circles. The man then had to dive under the water several times to avoid it hitting him.
He was finally rescued from his predicament when a member of the Schwyz lake police, who happened to be passing, was able to stop the boat. The police officer was able to jump from his own vessel onto the errant speedboat and bring it under control.
After failing an alcohol breath test, the man’s boat license was withdrawn immediately. Swiss drink-driving laws also apply to people in charge of a boat or other recreational craft on an inland lake. The blood alcohol limit for driving is 0.5mg/ml.
You can watch the video here.

Overreaction to False Reports of Gunfire at JFK Airport Reveals the Depths of America's Fear Culture

Staring knight and his suit of shining armor detained by police

A man who had been dressed as a knight and was armed to joust was detained by police in Solna, just north of Stockholm, Sweden, on Saturday evening.
“He wasn’t doing anything; he was just sitting and staring straight ahead,” said Anders Jansson from Stockholm Police. Police found the man after receiving a tip-off from a member of the public at 6.30pm.
When police arrived they found him sitting outside a school. Beside him lay his chain mail, silver helmet and knightly sword. The man, described as being in his fifties, seemed exhausted, as if he had just been practicing some knight moves.
“I don’t know if his tournament was over or if he was out playing while drunk. There was no risk to life or limb in any case,” Jansson added.

Man caught trying to make toast with cigarette packet in empty house he'd taken a liking to

Police arrested a man they say took down a for sale sign outside an empty home and then moved in because he had taken a liking to it.
Officers were called to the house in Seattle at about 5:30am on Tuesday after they were told someone was living in a house that should be empty. Police arrived and found that someone had taken down a real estate company's sign and dumped it in the yard.
Officers entered the home through an open door and found a 23-year-old man who was trying to set a cigarette packet on fire. The man told police that he liked the house and decided to move in. Officers said the man, who appeared to be high on methamphetamine, had set up a grate over the cigarette packet.
He had then then put a piece of bread on the grate, in an attempt to make some toast. Police booked the man into the King County Jail on property destruction and trespassing charges and contacted the home's owner, who lives outside of the United States.

Antlers worth $1.5 million stolen from taxidermy shop

Police are looking for suspects after $1.5 million in moose, elk, and stag antlers were stolen from a taxidermy shop.
Investigators say that the suspects arrived at Advanced Taxidermy in Caledon, Ontario, Canada, at around 2am on Friday.
A pick-up truck was stolen, along with two trailers, one of which carried two all-terrain vehicles. The second trailer was filled with 69 sets of moose, elk, and stag antlers, valued at $1.5 million.
Police say the vehicles were stolen from the parking lot. The suspects abandoned the ATV trailer nearby, but made off with the ATVs. It is unclear at this stage how many suspects participated in the theft, and suspect descriptions are also being investigated by police.

Pond Safari

Microscopic life in a single drop of pond water.

This is How You Get Raccoons

Hey, I know! Let’s give the raccoons something else to eat, and maybe they’ll stay out of our bird feeders! You can see what this leads to- more raccoons, as they invite their siblings and cousins to the nightly smorgasbord.
Then with a regular food supply, the raccoons have plenty of free time to produce litters of more raccoons! The homeowner who recorded this says they’ve been doing it for a few years now, and he lives in a secluded area where there are no neighbors to annoy.

Animal Pictures