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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, October 12, 2016

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of  
Carolina Naturally
It's all so clear now ...! 
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Today in History

Christopher Columbus and his crew land in the Bahamas.
Rudolf II, the king of Hungary and Bohemia, succeeds his father, Maximilian II, as Holy Roman Emperor.
The song “Three Blind Mice” is published in London, believed to be the earliest printed secular song.
Admiral Sir George Rooke defeats the French fleet off Vigo.
Shah Sultan Husayn surrenders the Persian capital of Isfahan to Afghan rebels after a seven month siege.
Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, dies under mysterious circumstances in Tennessee.
The Anglo-Boer War begins.
Apache leader Cochise signs a peace treaty with General Howard in Arizona Territory.
Despite international protests, Edith Cavell, an English nurse in Belgium, is executed by Germans for aiding the escape of Allied prisoners.
Alcatraz Island is made a federal maximum security prison.
The U.S. Fifth Army begins an assault crossing of the Volturno River in Italy.
Eugenie Anderson becomes the first woman U.S. ambassador.
Inejiro Asanuma, leaders of the Japan Socialist Party, is assassinated during a live TV broadcast.
1964 USSR launches Voskhod I, first spacecraft with multi-person crew; it is also the first mission in which the crew does not wear space suits.
Nixon announces the pullout of 40,000 more American troops in Vietnam by Xmas.
The House of Representatives passes the Equal Rights Amendment 354-23.
The Provisional Irish Republican Army detonates at bomb at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England, in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; 5 others are killed and 31 wounded.
NASA loses contact with the Magellan probe spacecraft in the thick atmosphere of Venus.
Chief of Army Staff Pervez Musharraf seizes power in Pakistan through a bloodless military coup.
Suicide bombers at Aden, Yemen, damage USS Cole; 17 crew members are killed and over 35 are wounded.
Terrorist bombers kill over 200 and wound over 300 more at the Sari Club in Kuta, Bali

Birthday boy's balloon traveled 5,000 from north east England to Las Vegas

A boy’s birthday balloon traveled an incredible 5,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to Las Vegas.
Cole Bell, nine, sent off a balloon for his birthday on July 16 from his home in Gateshead, north east England, and the helium balloon was found more than 5,000 miles away by a couple in Las Vegas. His mother Lois Bell, 32, said almost every year they send off a balloon with Cole’s name, age and other details.
Lois said: “We send off a helium balloon almost every year, I think we only missed maybe a few times. I didn’t expect to hear anything back.” Then, last Saturday a postcard arrived for Cole. “I got up for work and I saw the postcard put through the door. I don’t know anyone from Las Vegas.
“Cole was very excited and surprised it traveled so far. It is such a lovely gesture that they took the time to acknowledge it was his birthday and send a message back.” The postcard addressed from a Chase and Bernie said they found the balloon with Cole’s name on it while walking their dog. They ended their note by wishing Cole to have an awesome day.

Yes, old cannonballs can explode

I don't envy the people who lived through the most recent hurricane, but I do envy those who were able to access those beaches afterwards with their metal detectors.  They probably scooped up handfuls of gold doubloons.
But "today I learned" that cannonballs of the Civil War era are supposedly dangerous (?)
A bomb squad was at a South Carolina beach on Sunday after Hurricane Matthew apparently unearthed old Civil War cannonballs from the sand.
Charleston County Sheriff's spokesman Maj. Eric Watson said in a news release that the cannon balls were found on Folly Beach Sunday afternoon, but bomb squad members couldn't get to it immediately because of the rising tide.
Once the ocean level goes down, Watson said technicians would render the cannonballs safe. He warned residents might hear a small boom.

Why Columbus sailed SOUTH to the Americas

He sailed WEST, you say. Well... yes, but not exactly.
His goal (and his achievement) was to sail west and SOUTH. This is all explained in The Tropics of Empire: Why Columbus Sailed South to the Indies, by Nicolas Wey Gomez (M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Mass, 2008). [the page notations below are from this book]
Had Columbus actually sailed west, he would first have reached the Azores, and then a continuation on the same latitude would have brought him ashore near my cousin's home in New Jersey!
Instead, he headed southwest to the Canaries. Why the Canary Islands? They were Spain’s westernmost (and also southernmost) territory in the Atlantic and a suitable location for repairs and restocking. He then navigated west and southwest, “always following the sun, though slightly to the left.” On succeeding voyages his path followed “ever-steeper routes to the south." For the second voyage, he steered “far more to the left than on the first voyage.” And on his third voyage, “he pursued a journey toward the southern region, seeking the equatorial line.”(4)
After leaving the Canaries, Columbus reprimanded his pilots for allowing the ships to drift to the north. Carried by prevailing currents and winds “the sailors steered badly, declining toward the west by northwest and even toward the northwest; for which reason the Admiral scolded them many a time.”(396) He tried to travel directly west from the Canaries, and began veering south "the minute he felt reasonably confident that he was about to strike land."
The primary reason Columbus favored a southern route was that he believed precious resources were more likely to be found in hot regions. In his writings: “gold is generated in sterile lands and wherever the sun is strong.”(40)
He shared the belief held by Ptolemy and other geographers that places with equal latitude shared attributes.(49) Spices, medicines, and jewels were most often associated with the tropics. His proposal before departing was: “that by way of the West, toward the south, he would discover great lands, islands, and terra firma, the happiest of all, the richest in gold, silver, pearls, and precious stones and infinite peoples; and that in that direction he expected to reach land belonging to India…”(141)
It was also known that Cathay (China) had a temperate climate like Europe (per reports of Marco Polo and others) at that it was “in the line [latitude] of Spain.” India (and the islands of "the Indies") were known to be tropical.(46)
One can also note the advice given to Columbus that “all good things come from very hot regions whose inhabitants are black or dark brown...”(185)
All well-educated people of the time knew that the earth was spherical; this had been common knowledge since the time of Archimedes (250 BCE), or perhaps before that by anyone who had seen the shadow of the earth cross the moon during an eclipse. Columbus' sailors did not fear the edge of the earth; what they did fear was shallows, which they considered to be more likely in tropical waters where the heat evaporated the water.
Before he sailed to the Americas, Columbus had traveled to Ireland, where he had seen aboriginal people who had been discovered drifting on logs in the ocean – we know now that they were probably Inuit, but because of their facial physiognomy they were thought to be from Cathay (China).(355)
So sailing west to China was not an illogical plan. Where Columbus differed from others was that he thought it was also practical. Everyone else thought it was impossibly distant. In fact, Columbus grossly underestimated the distance west to China/India, and it was that false confidence of its proximity that led him to venture out and to believe that he had found the Indies when he reached the Caribbean.
I've added the "recommended books" tag to this post, although it certainly is not a book for everyone. At 600+ pages and with copious notes, it is a scholarly work, obviously the product of decades of work by this author. It also has excellent reproductions of early pre-Columbian maps.

Wait, Privacy Is Cool Again?


Coulrophobia explained.
And the etymology:
A neologism, coined in the late 1980s or 1990s. Supposedly based on Ancient Greek κωλοβαθριστής ‎(kōlobathristḗs, one who goes on stilts) (from κωλόβαθρον ‎(kōlóbathron, stilt), from κῶλον ‎(kôlon, limb) + βαίνω ‎(baínō, I go), chosen for lack of an obvious Ancient Greek equivalent of "clown", combined with the -phobia ‎(fear of) suffix.

When women are more likely to lie

When women are more likely to lie
When women are more likely to lie
Would you tell a lie to help someone else? A new study says women won’t lie on their own behalf, but they are willing to do so for someone else if they feel criticized or pressured by others. In contrast, research by Prof. Laura Kray of UC Berkeley's Haas School of...

Females react differently than males to social isolation

Females react differently than males to social isolation
Females react differently than males to social isolation
While male and female mice have similar responses to physical stress, research from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary, Canada, suggests females, not males, feel stressed when alone. The findings, to be published in the journal eLife, provide...

American workers prefer set work schedules, but would take wage cuts to work from home

American workers prefer set work schedules, but would take wage cuts to work from home
American workers prefer set work schedules, but would take wage cuts to work from home
Affordable child care and flexible work schedules have all been topics of debates in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Yet, according to a new study by Princeton University and Harvard University, the average American worker is indifferent to flexible work...

'Sexy knickers' explosives factory worker wins £25,000 following sacking over raunchy emails

A worker at an explosives factory has been awarded almost £25,000 after being unfairly sacked over raunchy emails with a supplier who nicknamed her "sexy knickers". Aileen Paterson, who worked in procurement for Chemring Energetics, was dismissed in January after 35 years' service with the firm who are based in Ayrshire, Scotland. It came after bosses discovered inappropriate messages between her and the managing director of supplier MTEC. On one occasion when the supplier referred to her nickname, she replied: "Aye and I have them on!! Lol xx." He wrote back: "Not if I was there, hon!! xxx." Ms Paterson, of Ardrossan, then added: "You are awful but I like you!!! xxx."
There were also other emails where Ms Paterson made a sexual reference to "edible sheathing" and she often referred to him as Honey or Hon and signed off with kisses. Bosses quizzed her about her relationship with the MTEC director but the married worker insisted the emails were just "banter". Ms Paterson was sacked by the firm when the emails were uncovered but eventually took her case to an employment tribunal claiming unfair dismissal and breach of contract. Employment judge Lucy Wiseman awarded her a total of £24,526, saying: "I concluded that no other reasonable employer having regard to the extent of the misconduct in this case, and having satisfied itself there was no issue of preferential treatment, and no issue of a loss of trust and confidence in the employee, would have dismissed the claimant."
The tribunal heard that bosses were carrying out another investigation, unrelated to Ms Paterson, when they discovered the emails and suspended her. She was invited to a disciplinary meeting with the firm's planning manager Alison Ranachan on November 30 last year. The purchasing worker was shown the emails between her and the director, named only as Mr Arnott, and asked "whether she was a personal relationship with him and whether she considered the language used to be professional?". A written judgment on the case states: "The claimant told Ms Ranachan that she had known Mr Arnott for many years and regarded him as a dear friend. She was not in a personal relationship with Mr Arnott. The claimant explained the content of the emails as banter and that she had a bubbly personality."
Ms Paterson was also accused of encouraging Mr Arnott to put his account on hold with the firm due to delayed payments and making derogatory remarks about a colleague to him. She also admitted receiving a bottle of wine from him at Christmas and a bottle of champagne when she and her husband first got engaged. Following a disciplinary investigation, bosses wrote to Ms Paterson in January and dismissed her for gross misconduct. They found that the "email exchanges were unprofessional, contained sexual undertones and breached the respondent's code of business principles". Judge Wiseman accepted this, but rejected the claims that she encouraged MTEC to freeze their account with the firm and that she had made inappropriate remarks about a colleague. Ms Paterson, who is now working as a cleaner, ultimately won her case but had her payout reduced by 25 per cent as her conduct contributed to her treatment by Chemring.

This Persistent Myth About Native Americans Needs Debunking

Kenya tribal warriors join movement to end 'beading' of girls for sex

In this remote, deeply traditional corner of north-central Kenya, Faith Lekupanai sits on a stone, her baby ensconced in her arms, resting her tiny frame against the only tree stump on her homestead and talking about her child.
Miss Lekupanai, 14, has a baby as a result of being “beaded” — a common practice among the Samburu community living in this region. In the semi-nomadic tribe’s tradition, a close family relative will approach a girl’s parents with red Samburu beads and place the necklace around the girl’s neck on behalf of a warrior from the tribe. When that happens, the warrior can engage in sexual intercourse with the girl — some as young as 6 — even when the warrior does not intend to marry her.
“I was beaded when I was 7 years of age,” said Miss Lekupanai, who is colorfully dressed in a red shawl, bright beaded necklaces and a headdress. “I began immediately having sex with a warrior who was 15 years my senior. It was very painful, but you can’t refuse. Our culture dictates such behavior.”
Now these girls are getting help from an unexpected quarter: Activists led by some warriors are stepping up to demand an end to the tradition.
John Leadismo, a Maasai warrior, is leading the fight against beading.
“We cannot allow this practice to continue hurting our young girls as we watch,” he said. “Most of these girls are traumatized, and some end up dying during the abortion procedure. 
“We will respect our culture as Samburu people, but we are not going to allow cultural practices [that hurt] our people to continue,” he said.
Josephine Kulea, 30, has gained international attention for her efforts running the Samburu Girls Foundation to curb the practice of beading. The foundation is credited with helping over 1,000 girls in Kenya and other African countries escape forced marriages.
The practice “is dying out around the cities because more people there have embraced education,” she told the website News Deeply. “But there are a few other areas where it is still very common, and as much as we try to spread awareness that it’s wrong, people feel it’s still part of our culture. Some girls feel it makes them beautiful because someone has given them these beads.”
Miss Lekupanai’s story is common, and thousands of Samburu girls who are ineligible to be married have been beaded in the dry heartland of northern Kenya, 350 miles from the capital, Nairobi.
It’s a paradox: The intricately beaded necklaces have become a virtual symbol of modern Kenya, but they also have come to mean hardship and regret for many Samburu girls.
After a girl is beaded, her mother builds a small hut outside their home where the male relative or warrior visits the beaded girl to engage in sexual activity at any time. The practice is cherished, although pregnancy as a result is not.
“The sad thing with this practice is that you are not allowed to get pregnant, and yet there are no preventive measures,” Miss Lekupanai said. “However, in the end, most girls get pregnant and the problems begin.”
Pregnant girls are forced to abort in crude and makeshift ways because access to health care is minimal.
“I almost died trying to abort three pregnancies,” Miss Lekupanai said. “The father of these [aborted] babies later abandoned me and looked for another small girl, whom he then beaded.”
If the pregnancies are carried to full term, the girls are forced to abandon their babies in the bush to be eaten by wild animals. A baby born out of wedlock is an outcast.
“I left my baby along the Ewaso Ng’iro river so that lions could eat it,” said 20-year-old Josper, who was 12 when she killed her child. “It hurts me a lot when I remember what I did, but I was advised by the elders to do it.”
In spite of the movement to end beading, Samburu elders are fueling the practice.
James Lesimate, 78, argues that beading has helped prevent promiscuity among girls in the region, a narrative that is supported by every elder in the community.
“We need to respect and protect our culture,” he said. “There is no way we are going to abandon this practice of beading, because it is part of us.”
Some women lament the practice.
“I can’t give birth. I can’t bear a child,” said Joyce Lenatilia, who had two abortions by age 12. “I was told that I might have terminated both pregnancies with the use of strong herbs, and so I can’t give birth again.
“I’m now an outcast, and everyone ridicules me,” she said. “I can’t talk to other women since I have no child. I’m now living alone without a child, and nobody wants to marry me.”
Mr. Leadismo said beading can spread HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. He also notes that scores of women are unable to bear children because of damage to their reproductive systems from multiple abortions.
With the help of a local charity called the Samburu Girls Foundation as well as the Pastoralist Child Foundation, some girls have become aware of their rights and are trying to resist the practice.
The foundations have rescued hundreds of girls and are helping them go to school to find ways to earn a living after being shunned by their communities.
The activists have also managed to educate some elders.
As a result, Miss Lekupanai was able to keep her child.
“I was allowed to carry my last pregnancy to full term after elders and warriors were educated on the need to respect our rights,” she said. “I’m now happy — I have a child.”

Why Body Cameras Won't Solve the Problem of Police Violence Against Black People

Teacher charged with assault after writing 'focus' on student's forehead

A teacher who had just started working for the school system in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has resigned after he was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery of a student.
Daniel Board, a 46-year-old maths teacher, got upset with an eighth-grade student at Landstown Middle School “because of questions that he asked and not focusing in class” on Sept. 16, according to a criminal complaint filed on Monday.
Board grabbed the back of the boy’s head and wrote “focus” on his forehead, the criminal complaint stated. The boy was not allowed to wipe the word off his face until he completed his work, the document said. The school system found out about the incident on Sept. 19 and began an investigation, said Eileen Cox, a district spokeswoman.

Board, who started working for the schools in August, was placed on unpaid administrative leave on Sept. 28, Cox said, and he submitted his resignation Thursday. The school educates students from sixth to eighth grade. Board’s first court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 3 in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. The student’s family declined to comment.

Man arrested after couple ordered food at drive-through then passed out before collecting it

A South Carolina man is facing a number charges after police said he and a female companion passed out in their car at the drive-through of a McDonald’s in Marathon, Florida. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office say that Kevin Yonson, 28, was behind the wheel of a white Ford with the woman in the passenger seat. They ordered food about 10:30pm on Tuesday but didn’t drive up to the window to pay to get their meal. So a McDonald’s employee went outside to find out what was going on and saw them asleep in the car, still at the ordering speaker. He called the Monroe Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Christopher Schwartz wrote in his report that when he approached the car, he saw the “female asleep, mouth open, with drool coming down her face.” He tried to wake her but she “continued to sit with her eyes closed.” She finally woke up and “looked at me as if she had no idea where she was.” She then shook Yonson awake. Schwartz told her stand behind the car; by that time, Deputy Garrett Bragg already had Yonson at the back of the car. Both smelled of alcohol, Schwartz wrote.
Bragg asked Yonson to go through a field sobriety test. At first he agreed, then decided not to. He got combative and was yelling, Schwartz wrote. The deputy wrote that Yonson resisted being handcuffed. At one point, Bragg and Sgt. Nick Whiteman “grabbed” Yonson and “secured” him against the car. Schwartz then tried walking him to his cruiser but Yonson “lost his balance and stated I pushed him over.” After a minor scuffle, the police got Yonson into Schwartz’s cruiser. It turns out that Yonson isn’t who he told police he was. He didn’t have a driver’s license and initially gave his last name as Johnson, then admitted to who he really is.
Yonson is a registered sex offender in West Virginia stemming from a Feb. 9, 2015, conviction there. He hadn’t registered in Monroe as a sex offender, as required by law. He also has three drunk-driving convictions in South Carolina, one in 2008 and two last year. The woman was taken back to her hotel. Yonson, however, was booked into the county jail, where he remains on $25,000 bond, charged with felony driving under the influence (fourth or subsequent offense), failing to register as a sex offender, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license, battery on a law officer and giving false information to a police officer. He is scheduled to appear before Acting Circuit Court Judge Ruth Becker in Marathon on Oct. 27.

Climate change is making forest fires worse

Jupiter’s spooky sounds

Listen to Jupiter’s spooky soundsListen to Jupiter’s spooky sounds
When a NASA spacecraft made its first full orbit around Jupiter, a University of Iowa instrument on board recorded haunting sounds befitting the Halloween season. The UI instrument was listening to Jupiter’s auroras, light shows similar to the northern and southern...

We're OK with Eating Pigs, but Not Dogs

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