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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Daily Drift

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Carolina Naturally
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Today in History

The Roman Emperor Nerva names Trajan, an army general, as his successor.
Henry VIII of England dies and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Edward VI.
Ahmed Shah, the first King of Afghanistan, occupies Delhi and annexes the Punjab.
Rebellious slaves in Santo Domingo launch an attack on the city of Cap.
Surrounded by Prussian troops and suffering from famine, the French army in Paris surrenders. During the siege, balloons were used to keep contact with the outside world.
The U.S. Coast Guard is founded to fight contraband trade and aid distressed vessels at sea.
The German navy attacks the U.S. freighter William P. Frye, loaded with wheat for Britain.
Albert Einstein startles Berlin by suggesting the possibility of measuring the universe.
The Japanese attack Shanghai, China, and declare martial law.
A fellow prison inmate slashes infamous kidnapper, Richard Loeb, to death.
French General Charles DeGaulle‘s Free French forces sack south Libya oasis.
Chiang Kai-shek renames the Ledo-Burma Road the Stilwell Road, in honor of General Joseph Stilwell.
The U.S. Congress passes a bill allowing mobilization of troops if China should attack Taiwan.
The Soviets down a U.S. jet over East Germany killing three.
Israeli fighter jets attack the suburbs of Cairo.
The space shuttle Challenger explodes just after liftoff.

War Bride Schools of the 1950s

While the U.S. occupied Japan after World War II, between 30,000 and 50,000 American GIs married Japanese women. To prepare these brides for life in the US, the American Red Cross opened "bride schools" starting in 1951 to teach them what they would need to know to fit in as an American housewife. 
The instructors were usually American wives of stationed military men. Their lessons covered cooking, baby care, etiquette, and everything in between—but despite the educational intentions, the schools took on an unmistakably patronizing tone. “The war bride schools are a great vehicle for neatly encapsulating what we thought of ourselves as Americans at that time and place,” says Lucy Craft, a co-director of the documentary Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides. “We won the war and decided that not only had we won the war, but that everything about us was superior to every other civilization, particularly the people who lost the war.”
While a minority of Japanese brides took the classes, those who did became very familiar with tuna casserole and eyeliner. Read about those bride schools, which were later reproduced in other countries, at Atlas Obscura.

From Hospital Gowns to Paper Couture

From Hospital Gowns to Paper Couture: The Unlikely Origins of '60s Disposable Dresses
When I first heard of paper dresses, I was confused. How would you wash a paper dress? I was a young child, and didn't realize these dresses were supposed to be disposable. Throw away a dress? That sounded wasteful, but they were only $1.25, whereas a nice fabric dress would run you $3 or $4. Paper dresses were popular with young women who wanted to be on the cutting edge of fashion. You have to wonder whose bright idea this was in the first place.
Like many great things, it all started with toilet paper: In the spring of 1966, the Scott Paper Company, a major manufacturer of disposable household paper goods, launched a promotion for its colorful new line of bathroom tissue, napkins, paper towels, and other products. Along with a couple of proofs-of-purchase, customers could redeem a mail-order coupon for a preposterous new concept, a paper dress. The advertisements offered two designs, a red paisley bandana pattern or a black-and-white Op Art print, both at the low price of $1.25 including shipping.
While wearable items had been made from paper in the past—think paper folding fans, crepe paper costumes, or paper soda-jerk hats—they’d never truly caught on as mainstream fashion. But Scott’s “Paper Caper” dresses were a surprise hit, and by the year’s end, the company had received nearly half a million orders. Several other businesses jumped on the disposable clothing bandwagon, as hip young women clamored for the cheap paper shifts advertising their favorite political candidates or candy bars, or featuring groovy patterns and modern photography. Yet like these disposable garments, the trend was also short-lived; by the end of the Go-Go Sixties, the fad was already passé.
Well, to be honest, by the end of the "Go-Go Sixties," women needed fewer everyday dresses because they were wearing pants. Read the fascinating history of the '60s paper dress fad at Collectors Weekly. Don't miss the gallery of groovy dresses at the end.

Sci-Fi holograms one step closer to reality

McDonald's to Test a Big Mac Vending Machine

They're calling it a Big Mac ATM, which indicates that someone doesn't know what ATM stands for. But this is really happening. On January 31st, hungry people in Boston will have the opportunity to order McDonald's Big Macs from a vending machine. You can select from a Big Mac, a Mac Jr, or a Grand Mac. If no one likes the experiment, they'll call it a publicity stunt. If it goes over, you'll eventually see these in McDonald's outlets all over, and there will be no need for front counter staff. That means the fast food industry will no longer have to hire as many unemployed factory workers or overqualified college graduates.

The Glass Doorknob Caused a House Fire

You probably already know that you can start a fire by focusing beams of light -the same way a magnifying glass can be used to burn insects. But it's easy to forget that concept while buying home accents and one home owner found that out the hard way when sunlight hit her glass doorknob just right and caught her house on fire. Fortunately, the family was home at the time and was able to put the blaze out quickly and safely. Read more about the incident here.

'Doomsday clock' is now at two-and-a-half minutes to midnight

We May Be Closer Than We Thought to Dangerous Climate Thresholds

The Worst Bosses in History

Yours doesn't even come close.
The devil may wear Prada. But the devil also wears bowler hats, togas, and codpieces. In other words, history is overflowing with horrible bosses, many of whom would make Miranda Priestly look like a softy.
Let's start with the Control Freak Boss. First prize goes to 19th-century railroad baron George Pullman, whose company manufactured sleeping cars. He built an Orwellian town for his workers to live in, complete with schools and a cult, but no fun stuff (like taverns or nonsanctioned newspapers). His inspectors would march into homes to make sure they’d been properly cleaned. Pullman even replaced American currency with Pullman money, so he could control the prices of food, rent, and supplies. As one unhappy worker put it, “We are born in a Pullman house, fed from the Pullman shops, taught in the Pullman school, catechized in the Pullman Cult, and when we die we shall go to the Pullman Hell.” When workers staged a strike in 1894, Pullman refused to negotiate, and the crisis spiraled, leading to gunfire and the death of several workers.

Then there's the Sadistic Boss. Consider Caligula. According to Roman historian Suetonius, the emperor (who ruled from 37 to 41 CE) sawed his subordinates in half, tossed them to the beasts, threw them in cages, branded them, flogged them, disemboweled them, and condemned them to work in the mines; sometimes the punishments were simply for criticizing his gladiator shows. That’s not to mention daily humiliations his staff endured. According to Suetonius’s book The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Caligula’s highest-ranking senators were forced to “run in their togas for several miles beside his chariot and to wait on him at table, standing napkin in hand.”
The Machine Age produced loads of sadistic bosses. Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, owners of the Triangle Waist Company in New York, paid terrible wages to immigrant women and girls. To quell a strike, they hired female prostitutes to beat up the mostly female workforce on the picket line. In 1911, they reached a new level of villainy. A fire broke out in the factory, but the women couldn’t escape because the doors had been locked. The fire killed 146 workers. The families of the deceased sued and were awarded $75 per person. Meanwhile, Blanck and Harris earned $400 per person from their insurance company.
Other sadists: The bosses of the “radium girls.” In the early 1920s, hundreds of young women spent their days in a factory painting watch dials with glow-in-the-dark paint. They were even urged to sharpen paintbrush hairs between their lips. The paint was so radioactive that they suffered a host of ills, like bone fractures, eroded jaws, and anemia. The bosses of the U.S. Radium Corporation tried to cover this up, accusing the women of having syphilis, but a group of them sued, and eventually won $10,000 each.
Not nearly as horrible but but still infuriating is the Credit Hog Boss. A prime example: scientist Jonas Salk (yes, the man who helped develop the polio vaccine). In 1955, Salk gave a press conference that was both historic (a terrible disease had been cured) and notorious (he failed to mention his many collaborators). According to Wharton professor Adam Grant’s book Give and Take, Salk’s team left the conference in tears. He’d failed to give credit to his peers, and one of his scientists, Julius Younger, blasted Salk for doing “the most uncollegial thing that you can imagine.”
The Frisky Boss has been a cliché since the dawn of reproduction. If you believe the Bible, King David was severely lacking in impulse control. The ancient monarch fell in lust with a woman named Bathsheba after spotting her taking a bath. Being the king, he bedded her and got her pregnant. The glitch? She was already married to one of King David’s soldiers, Uriah. So King David sent Uriah on a fatal mission.
Let's wrap it up with some Ungrateful Bosses. Louis XIV liked his butt kissed—but only to a point. His finance minister Nicolas Fouquet threw a lavish party in the king’s honor. Annoyed by the huge amount of money his employee had spent, Louis had him imprisoned the next day for embezzling. Fouquet spent the rest of his life in solitary confinement.
Then there’s Ivan the Terrible. In Russian, his nickname is actually closer to “Ivan the Formidable.” But rest assured, he did lots of awful things to his employees, including throwing an insubordinate aristocrat to a pack of dogs—when he was 13 years old! And that’s not to mention his demand for a piping-hot latte on his desk every day when he arrived (with two raw sugars and almond milk).

British Companies Are Using a Tracking Device That Monitors Their Workers' Voices, Steps and Stress Levels

Why So Many People Loathe Congress

Texas Wingnuts Launch New Wave of Assaults on LGBT Rights

America Has Officially Been Downgraded to a 'Flawed Democracy'

And we can thank Dumbass Trump and the wingnuts for it.

Dumbass Trump Sycophant Who Shot Anti-Fascist Protester Set Free ...

Dumbass Trump Is Basically a Scientologist With His Hostility Towards the Media

Explaining the 'Collapse' That Gave Us Dumbass Trump

Amazon shoppers send buckets of pig fat to NC wingnut after she compares women’s brains to ‘lard’

In a tweet over the weekend, wingnut state Sen. state Sen. Joyce Krawiec blasted “crazies” who protested Dumbass Trump by marching for women’s rights. “Message to crazies @ Women’s March — If Brains were lard, you couldn’t grease a small skillet."

The Secret History of the First Cat in Space

The Soviets sent the dog Laika and other animals into space before humans. NASA sent chimpanzees into space to pave the way for astronauts. The French, a little behind the superpowers, sent a cat into space.
On October 18th, 1963, the Centre national d’études in France was set to send a small cat named Félix into space. After lagging behind its Soviet and American competitors, France was eager to stake its claim in the space race—with cats, for some reason. But on launch day, the mischievous little beast went missing—and an accidental heroine stepped in to take his place. Her name was Félicette.
From the streets of Paris, this tuxedo kitty—nicknamed “Astrocat”—would reach heights never achieved by feline kind. On October 24th, 1963, Félicette jetted 130 miles above Earth on a liquid-fueled French Véronique AG1 rocket, soaring high above the Algerian Sahara Desert. She returned just fifteen minutes later, already a decorated heroine for her nation.
Read about the French space program that launched a kitty at Gizmodo.

Animal Pictures