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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.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of  
Carolina Naturally
The 10th Xmas Tree ...! 
Carolina Naturally is read in 210 countries around the world daily.   
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Today is - Nobel Prize Day

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Today in History

Mississippi is admitted as the 20th state.
Kentucky is admitted to the Confederate States of America.
The U.S. House of Representatives passes a bill creating the state of West Virginia.
Governor John Campbell signs the bill that grants women in Wyoming Territory the right to vote as well as hold public office.
The United States and Spain sign the Treaty of Paris, ceding Spanish possessions, including the Philippines, to the United States.
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the International Red Cross.
U.S. troops are called to guard Berlin as a coup is feared.
Captain Ross Smith becomes the first person to fly 11,500 miles from England to Australia.
Japanese troops invade the Philippine island of Luzon.
The siege of Tobruk in North Africa is raised.
Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill that postpones a draft of pre-Pearl Harbor fathers.
Allied forces bomb Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
150,000 French troops mass at the border in Vietnam to prevent a Chinese invasion.
Dr. Ralph J. Bunche becomes the first African-American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
On UN Human Rights Day, the Soviet Union places 20 prominent dissidents under house arrest, cutting off telephones and threatening to break up a planned silent demonstration in Moscow’s Pushkin Square. Soviet newspapers decry human rights violations elsewhere in the world.
President of Egypt Anwar Sadat and Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Democracy is restored to Argentina with the assumption of Raul Alfonsin.
Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announces the establishment of Mongolia’s democratic movement that changes the second oldest communist country into a democracy.
The Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland, East England, closes, marking the end of the County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages.

Editorial Comment

In blog news ...
Our readership is growing and we appreciate our readers, thank you.
We have decided on a couple of minor updates to the daily postings for the new year, neither of which will be noticed by the vast majority of our readers but we're going ahead with them anyway.
One major decision was made to continue to not post comments.
There are just too many spam postings posing as comments and not enough time or inclination to wade through the morass to find the pearl(s) of legitimate comments. (That along with the trolls trying to pervert and subvert this blog just like all other blogs and websites they slither onto.)
In other words ...
Scissors and tape in hand - Today is "Xmas present wrapping day", at least according to the Mrs., it is ... so it's wrapping we go.
The fireplace is roaring and the dogs are jumping in to rolls of wrapping paper and spreading them around the room even before the first snip is snipped so you know if the presents are not wrapped just right the dogs get the credit.
Remember, as always ....
Have Fun and Be Happy

World Record Rube Goldberg Contraption Lights Up Xmas Tree

The municipal Xmas tree in Riga, Latvia, was switched on by a process that took 412 steps and ten minutes to complete. The video is much shorter because the part where they brewed coffee was condensed, and there may have been other shortcuts for the video.
You have to imagine how frustrating all the tests were for this, and how nervous the builders must have been to make it perform perfectly, not just for the waiting crowd outside, but in front of Guinness judges. The company Scandiweb sponsored the record-setting chain reaction that Guinness has enshrined as the World's Largest Rube Goldberg Machine

How "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" Became a Holiday Staple

The most despised song from my entire radio career (1982-2006) was "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." It wasn't because there was anything inherently wrong with the song, except for the dead grandmother. What ruined the song for me was the dozens of requests for it every hour, even right after I had played it. Every hour, every December, for decades. Every year, a new cohort of children decide that's the one Xmas song they want to hear. Now it's a Xmas classic, with its own history.
It begins, like all Xmas fables should, with a blizzard. It was December 1978, and a San Francisco veterinarian named Elmo Shropshire, a.k.a. Dr. Elmo, was booked at the Hyatt in Lake Tahoe with his then-wife, Patsy. The couple had a comedy-bluegrass duo called Elmo & Patsy, and just before taking the stage, they got a visit from one Randy Brooks, a Texas singer-songwriter who’d played the hotel before them and gotten stuck there by the snow.
"I was never what I’d consider to be much of a singer," Dr. Elmo tells mental_floss from his home in California. "I always sang novelty songs, so it didn’t matter if I could sing or not. At the time, we were doing a lot of funny songs. Randy saw our show and said, 'I’ve got this song I think would be perfect for you.'"
That was the very beginning. It took years for the song to really take off, but when it did, it changed everything for Dr. Elmo. Read the story from the man who made it at mental_floss.

Why do Dwarves Sound Scottish and Elves Sound Like Royalty?

When parents tell stories to their children, we get an image of fantasy creatures that's all our own.  Later we become more attuned to the pop culture depictions of them, like the elves from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the dwarves (or dwarfs) from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. But in 2016, mentions of these characters are most likely to make us think of Lord of the Rings. The movie version, where hobbits, orcs, elves, dwarves, and men all have their distinctive accents.
Throughout The Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the reams of related histories Tolkien wrote about Middle Earth, he established whole societies, histories, and languages for a handful of races that still inform how they are depicted today. Elves are ancient, beautiful, and have pointy ears; dwarves are short, tough, and love to use axes; orcs are filthy brutes who live for destruction.
Of course the original readers couldn’t hear what Tolkien’s creatures sounded like, but the intense focus he placed on developing their languages gave people a pretty good idea. “Tolkien was a philologist,” says Olsen.“This is what he did. He studied language and the history of language and the changing of language over time.”
Tolkien would create languages first, then write cultures and histories to speak them, often taking inspiration from the sound of an existing language. In the case of the ever-present Elvish languages in his works, Tolkien took inspiration from Finnish and Welsh. As the race of men and hobbits got their language from the elves in Tolkien’s universe, their language was portrayed as similarly Euro-centric in flavor.
Tolkien was only partially responsible for the accents of his creations. He did establish that they sounded different from each other, but what those languages sound like changed over time as various interpreters added their own ideas. Did you know that Tolkien imagined dwarves sounding like Israelis? Read about the evolution of fantasy characters and how they speak at Atlas Obscura. 

6 Unsettling Mysteries of the Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Civil War saw the death of a half-million people between 1936 and 1939, but outside of Spain, it gets little space in history books because of World War II. That's also why many war crimes and shady dealings did not get proper documentation or an adequate investigation at the time. In the decades since, these mysteries remain. For example, what really happened to Dick Sheepshanks?
Dick Sheepshanks was a 27-year-old Reuters war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War, and his life was the stuff of a Hollywood blockbuster. Sheepshanks headed for Spain in 1937 with several other journalists to cover Franco’s Nationalists, but he was killed in December in the Republican shelling of the village of Cudete. When news of his death reached London, Sir Roderick Jones (who headed the Reuters News Agency and unknowingly shared a love interest with Sheepshanks) paid him all the tributes as befitted a national hero.
Then things get weird. According to some who had known him – including Jeanne Stourton, the aforementioned love interest – Sheepshanks had become suspicious of one of his fellow journalists, and the only one of the group to survive: Kim Philby. If that name sounds familiar, it’s for good reason – Philby went on to gain infamy as Britain’s most notorious traitor during the Cold War.
According to Stourton, Sheepshanks had grown increasingly suspicious of Philby’s motivations, and Philby took it upon himself to take Sheepshanks out of the picture. A comparison between eyewitness reports and photographic evidence has raised a number of unanswered questions, and it’s been suggested that Philby may have had a hand in the attack. What exactly happened to the Reuters journalists remains undetermined, and the death of Ernest Richard Sheepshanks has become a compelling Spanish Civil War mystery.
Read about five other such mysteries from the Spanish Civil War at Urban Ghosts.

The Real Story Behind The Myth Of Area 51

What exactly goes on inside of Area 51 has led to decades of wild speculation. There are, of course, the alien conspiracies that galactic visitors are tucked away somewhere inside. Well, there are no aliens at America's most famous top-secret military base, but what is there is just as interesting.

“BRAAAM!”: The Sound that Invaded the Hollywood Soundtrack

The sound is a bit reminiscent of a foghorn blast, but was actually recorded with brass instruments and piano. You heard it in the 2010 movie Inception, and in almost every movie trailer since then. It's known in the business as "BRAAAM!” How in the world did one discordant blast become so ubiquitous in Hollywood? A good bit of the credit goes to composer Hans Zimmer.
Part of it is the way his soundtracks are put together: Zimmer’s approach resembles the sampling we’re used to from pop music — themes are not simply repeated by musicians, but instead montaged by the composer. Over the last few decades Zimmer has created something of a cottage industry that churns out soundtracks at a Herculean clip: In 1989 he founded Media Ventures, which was later rechristened Remote Control Productions, a kind of soundtrack workshop where Zimmer and about forty collaborators crank out sample-based soundtracks that are largely created in-studio (their combined list of credits is too staggering to list here). If you’ve ever wondered why Batman Begins sounds like Pirates of the Caribbean, which sounds like The Da Vinci Code, Remote Control is the reason.
But that isn't the whole story. To understand, you need to know more about how Hollywood scores are designed, and how they evolved over the past few decades.

GoPro Video Footage From Inside A Dishwasher

We knew people would use GoPro cameras to film every kind of physical activity imaginable, but the GoPro is showing us so much more than extreme sports and stunts.They're letting us take a look inside stuff like never before, satisfying our curiosity with video footage from inside places where full grown adults simply won't fit- like inside a dishwasher while it runs through a full wash cycle.
YouTuber Bito posted this video he shot with his Hero3 GoPro camera a few years back, and all I have to say is- fill that dishwasher up before you run it, Bito, or you're wasting water!

A Blueprint to Stop the Hemorrhaging of Jobs from the U.S.

Dictionary.com's Word Of The Year Is ...

Dictionary.com's Word Of The Year Is...

Victoria's Secret Catches Woman Shoplifting, So They Throw Out Two Innocent Black Customers

The Criminalization of Black Homelessness

Firefighter Charged With Arson, Blames Black Lives Matter

Firefighter Charged With Arson, Blames Black Lives Matter

Famed Holocaust Attorney Sues Over FBI Electioneering

Famed Holocaust Attorney Sues Over FBI Electioneering: It Could 'Lead To Impeachment'
E. Randol Schoenberg, an attorney renowned for recovering artworks stolen by Nazis during the Holocaust, filed a lawsuit against the FBI this week to get answers about why Director James Comey falsely suggested that Hillary Clinton committed a crime just days before the 2016 election.

Voting Rights Activists Pursue Federal Lawsuit in Wisconsin

What The Fahrenheit?

When winter looms, we start to pay more attention to the thermometer. The Fahrenheit thermometers in the U.S. are altogether confusing for folks in most of the rest of the world.

Do Vegetarians Really Live Longer Than Meat Eaters?

Animal Pictures