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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 19, 2016

The Daily Drift

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

The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, take Carthage in North Africa.
King John of England dies at Newark and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry.
The Ottoman Sultan Murat II defeats Hungarian General Janos Hunyadi at Kosovo, Serbia.
The peace of Torun ends the war between the Teutonic knights and their own disaffected subjects in Prussia.
England declares war on Spain over borderlines in Florida. The war is known as the War of Jenkins’ Ear because the Spanish coast guards cut off the ear of British seaman Robert Jenkins.
Major General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrenders to George Washington and Count de Rochambeau at Yorktown, Va. Cornwallis surrenders 7,157 troops, including sick and wounded, and 840 sailors, along with 244 artillery pieces. Losses in this battle had been light on both sides. The Revolutionary War is effectively ended.
Napoleon Bonaparte begins his retreat from Moscow.
John “The Pathfinder” Fremont moves out from near Westport, Missouri, on his fourth Western expedition–a failed attempt to open a trail across the Rocky Mountains along the 38th parallel.
At the Battle of Cedar Creek, Va., a narrow victory helps the Union secure the Shenandoah Valley.
Yale, Princeton, Columbia and Rutgers universities draft the first code of football rules.
The German cruiser Emden captures her thirteenth Allied merchant ship in 24 days.
The first doughnut is fried by Salvation Army volunteer women for American troops in France during World War I.
The Japanese submarine I-36 launches a floatplane for a reconnaissance flight over Pearl Harbor. The pilot and crew report on the ships in the harbor, after which the aircraft is lost at sea.
The People’s Republic of China is formally proclaimed.
The North Korean capital of Pyongyang is captured by U.N. troops.
Egypt and Britain conclude a pact on the Suez Canal, ending 72 years of British military occupation. Britain agrees to withdraw its 80,000-man force within 20 months, and Egypt agrees to maintain freedom of canal navigation.
Canada and the United States agree to undertake a joint Columbia River project to provide hydroelectric power and flood control.
Nixon rejects an Appeals Court demand to turn over the Watergate tapes.
In retaliation for Iranian attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf, the U. S. navy disables three of Iran’s offshore oil platforms.
British government bans TV and radio interviews with members of Irish political group Sinn Fein and 11 paramilitary groups.
The 1975 conviction of the Guildford Four is overturned by British courts; the 4 men had been convicted in the 1974 Guildford pub bombings.
Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II for her work among “the poorest of the poor” in India.
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s trial for crimes against humanity begins in Baghdad.

The Rise and Fall of the Army Surplus Store

Army (and/or Navy) surplus stores were once wonderful places to find bargains on well-made goods, if they have something you need or want. There aren’t nearly as many of them as there used to be. When I was a kid, almost every town had at least one. When a war is over or when the military changes the design of weapons, uniforms, tents, tools, or whatever, the leftovers go for pennies on the dollar. The surplus store owes its nationwide popularity to one person, Francis Bannerman. Yes, that the same Francis Bannerman who built that castle on an island in New York.
At the end of the Civil War in 1865, Francis (who, let’s keep in mind, was only 14 years old) used profits from his scrap metal business to acquire large lots of military surplus at government auctions. One particularly successful acquisition netted him over 11,000 captured Confederate guns. Because the teenage entrepreneur bought this gear at such heavily discounted prices, he was able to mark it up so the products remained a bargain for the customer, while still netting himself a nice profit.
Plenty of entrepreneurs followed Bannerman’s example in the golden age of military surplus stores. You can read the entire history of the phenomenon at the Art of Manliness.

Lost in translation ...

English is a language rich with imagery, meaning and metaphor – and when we want to express ourselves we can draw upon a canon replete with beautifully turned phrases, drawing from the language’s Latin, French and Germanic roots.


"PodRide" bicycle/car hybrid
More information here.

The Palouse

"Often referred to as the Tuscany of America, the Palouse region of Washington State offers one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the United States. The seemingly endless rolling fields of wheat, lentils and canola offer year-round beauty."
The origin of the name "Palouse" is unclear. One theory is that the name of the Palus tribe (spelled in early accounts variously as Palus, Palloatpallah, Pelusha, etc.) was converted by French-Canadian fur traders to the more familiar French word pelouse, meaning "land with short and thick grass" or "lawn." Over time, the spelling changed to Palouse. Another theory is that the region's name came from the French word and was later applied to its indigenous inhabitants.

The Risk of Being a Teenager

Dartmouth study provides insight on why risk-taking behavior increases during adolescence
Dartmouth study provides insight on why risk-taking behavior increases during adolescence
Adolescents among humans and non-human animals alike are more inclined to engage in heightened risk-taking behavior, exploration and novelty seeking. Although these attributes provide adaptive value in enabling individuals to gain importance in the world, including...

Can You Guess Which of These Spooky Urban Legends Are True?

You hear dozens of scary stories every year around Halloween, but it's sometimes hard to tell whether the stories you hear are true or false. Sometimes that can actually be part of the fun -guessing whether the story is an urban legend or a true terror tale. That's why this TopTenz article featuring ten horrifying Halloween stories is so delightful -some of the stories are just urban legends and some are entirely real. Can you guess which is which?
Be prepared -a lot of the tales truly are nightmarish.

The Smells of Politics, Danger, and Food

by Otto Didact
Political Ideology Stinks, or Smells Agreeable 
 “Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues,” Rose McDermott, Dustin Tingley, and Peter K. Hatemi, American Journal of Political Science, vol. 58, no. 4, October 2014, pp. 997–1005. (Thanks to Tony Tweedale for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Brown University, Harvard University, and The Pennsylvania State University, explain:
[RESULTS:] individuals find the smell of those who are more ideologically similar to themselves more attractive than those endorsing opposing ideologies....
In one particularly illustrative case, a participant asked the experimenter if she could take one of the vials home with her because she thought it was “the best perfume I ever smelled”; the vial was from a male who shared an ideology similar to the evaluator. She was preceded by another respondent with an ideology opposite to the person who provided the exact same sample; this participant reported that that vial had “gone rancid” and suggested it needed to be replaced.
The Dangerous Smell of Men Who Box
“You Smell Dangerous: Communicating Fight Responses Through Human Chemosignals of Aggression,” Smiljana Mutic, Valentina Parma, Yvonne F. Brunner, and Jessica Freiherr, Chemical Senses, vol. 41, no. 1, 2016, pp. 35-43. The authors, at Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, Germany; Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; and the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, report:
In study 1, we investigated whether the body odor of a stranger with the intention to harm serves as a chemosignal of aggression. Sixteen healthy male participants donated their body odor while engaging in a boxing session characterized by aggression induction methods (chemosignal of aggression) and while performing an ergometer session (exercise chemosignal). Self-reports on aggression-related physical activity, motivation to harm, and angry emotions selectively increased after aggression induction. In study 2, we examined whether receivers smelling such chemosignals experience emotional contagion (e.g., anger) or emotional reciprocity (e.g., anxiety).... Behavioral results indicate that chemosignals of aggression induce an affective/cognitive modulation compatible with an anxiety reaction in the recipients.
Garlic Dilemma
“Garlic: A Sensory Pleasure or a Social Nuisance?” Susanna Rosin, Hely Tuorila, and Antti Uutela, Appetite, vol. 19, no. 2, October 1992, pp. 133-43. (Thanks to Francesca Collins for bringing this to our attention.) The authors report that:
100 shoppers (aged 18-72 yrs) in Helsinki were interviewed to evaluate beliefs, attitudes and norms concerning the consumption of garlic. A subsequent postal questionnaire [measured] the annoyance related to the smell of garlic, compared with other social odors. The most frequent beliefs about garlic pertained to its good taste, unpleasant smell, and healthiness. Users and nonusers showed distinctly different belief patterns. Sweat and alcohol were considered the most annoying social odors, and garlic and perfume/aftershave the least so.
When Things Smell Fishy
“Something Smells Fishy: Olfactory Suspicion Cues Improve Performance on the Moses Illusion
and Wason Rule Discovery Task,” David S. Lee, Eunjung Kim, and Norbert Schwarz, Journal of
Experimental Social Psychology, vol. 59, July 2015, pp. 47–50. The authors, at the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, explain:
In many languages, suspicion is metaphorically associated with smell; in English, this smell is “fishy”.
We tested whether incidental exposure to fishy smells influences information processing. In Study 1, participants exposed to incidental fishy smells (vs. no odor) while answering questions were more likely to detect a semantic distortion (the “Moses illusion”), but not more likely to falsely identify an undistorted question as misleading. In Study 2, participants exposed to fishy smells (vs. no odor) were more likely to engage in negative hypothesis testing (falsifying their own initial hunch), resulting in better performance on the Wason rule discovery task....

Before each session, one experimenter sprayed either a .5-ounce of fish oil (fishy condition) or a .5-ounce of water (control condition) on a small piece of paper and attached it underneath the writing surface in the booth.

Wingnut Terrorists Arrested

So there's no such thing as bad publicity?

From a complaint filed in Texas in December by Mark Oberholtzer, the owner of Mark-1 Plumbing, against Charlie Thomas Ford, a car dealer.
In October 2013, Plaintiff traded in a 2005 Ford F-250 pickup truck. Plaintiff began peeling off the Mark-1 Plumbing decal located on the truck’s doors when Defendant’s salesman told Plaintiff that peeling off the decal would blemish the vehicle paint. The vehicle was sold at a Texas auto auction and exported to Mersin, Turkey. In December 2014, a member of a jihadist group operating near Aleppo tweeted a propaganda photograph of Plaintiff’s Ford F-250 with an antiaircraft gun mounted on it fighting on the front lines in Syria. Plaintiff’s logo and phone number were still on the vehicle door. Forty-eight hours later, Mark-1’s phones had received more than 1,000 calls. These calls included individuals who were: (a) irate and yelling expletives; (b) degrading to whomever answered the phone regarding their stupidity; (c) singing in Arabic for the duration of the call or voice-message recording; (d) making threats of injury or death against Mark-1’s employees, family, children, and grandchildren in violent, lurid, and grossly specific terms; and (e) directing expletive-laced death threats to whoever answered the phone. Nearly one year has passed since the news story broke. When the Islamic State commits an atrocity that is reported nationally, which occurs with distressing frequency, Plaintiff receives phone calls all over again. Reproduced in its entirety from the June issue of Harper's Magazine.

UFO researcher Max Spiers mysteriously dies after sending cryptic warning to his mother

"They are also refusing to release any paperwork about it to me because, absurdly, I don’t have his written permission."

There's a Global Crisis Looming

Soybean nitrogen breakthrough could help feed the world

Soybean nitrogen breakthrough could help feed the world
Soybean nitrogen breakthrough could help feed the world
Washington State University biologist Mechthild Tegeder has developed a way to dramatically increase the yield and quality of soybeans. Her greenhouse-grown soybean plants fix twice as much nitrogen from the atmosphere as their natural counterparts, grow larger and...

Man arrested after stuffing steak and lobster down his pants

A 57-year-old Florida man was arrested for reportedly stealing steak and lobster from the Brooksville Walmart on Thursday. Mark Alan Belkola, from Brooksville, was caught with 6 packages of steak and 2 packages of lobster in his pants.
He “was then observed passing all points of sale,” police said. The total value of the steak and lobster was $172.98.
Belkola was taken into custody without incident and is being held on $2,000 bond.

Man arrested for carrying too much sugar

A prosecutor in Cairo, Egypt, has ordered the release of a man on EGP 1,000 (£90, $115) bail after he was arrested for possessing an amount of sugar that was over the allowed limit for individuals to hold due to an ongoing sugar shortage. The man, who works as a waiter at a cafĂ©, was arrested by police in Heliopolis on Sunday as he walked down the street carrying 10 kilograms of sugar. He was accused of stockpiling sugar with the intent of profiteering by selling it at a grocery at higher than the market price.
However, the man’s lawyer, Mohamed Naeem, says his client was carrying the sugar for use at his uncle’s cafe, not to a grocery as claimed by police. The incident comes amid a widespread police operation targeting the sugar black market, with a hotline set up on Saturday for citizens to report incidents of stockpiling of sugar and rice.
Egypt's supply ministry said on Saturday that it will set the commercial price of subsidized sugar at EGP 6 (£0.50, $0.70) per kilogram to be available at the ministry's sales outlets in a move that aims to regulate the market amid a price hike and a shortage of the essential commodity. Major supermarkets in the country have stopped the sale of sugar to individuals above a certain limit.

Everybody Keep Calm

Very Hot Drinks May Cause Cancer

Fish can be fooled

Fish can be fooled – just like humans
Fish can be fooled – just like humans
Humans might have more in common with fish than previously thought, a new University of Queensland visual illusion study indicates. UQ School of Biological Sciences and Queensland Brain Institute researchers have found that triggerfish, a common Great Barrier Reef...

Animal Pictures