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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Daily Drift

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Carolina Naturally
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Today in History

The Treaty of Stolbovo ends the occupation of Northern Russia by Swedish troops.
The Russians take Danzig (Gdansk) in Poland.
Connecticut becomes the 5th state.
Napoleon Bonaparte marries Josephine de Beauharnais in Paris, France.
Swedish Pomerania is seized by Napoleon.
Congress passes the Land Act, paving the way for westward expansion.
The French Academy of Science announces the Daguerreotype photo process.
The rebel slaves who seized a Spanish slave ship, the Amistad, in 1839 are freed by the Supreme Court despite Spanish demands for extradition.
The first and last battle between the ironclads U.S.S. Monitor and C.S.S. Virginia ends in a draw.
General Ulysses Grant is appointed commander-in-chief of the Union forces.
The funding for five new battleships is added to the British military defense budget.
The Germans take Grodno on the Eastern Front.
Mexican bandit Pancho Villa leads 1,500 horsemen on a raid of Columbus, N.M. killing 17 U.S. soldiers and citizens.
Eamon De Valera is elected president of the Irish Free State and pledges to abolish all loyalty to the British Crown.
The German press warns that all Jews who vote in the upcoming elections will be arrested.
Czech President Emil Hacha ousts pro-German Joseph Tiso as the Premier of Slovakia in order to preserve Czech unity.
Britain frees captured Italian coal ships on the eve of German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop’s visit to Rome.
British authorities arrest and deport Archbishop Makarios from Cyprus. He is accused of supporting terrorists.
Egyptian leader Nasser bars U.N. plans to share the tolls for the use of the Suez Canal.
The Barbie doll is unveiled at a toy fair in New York City.
The first Ford Mustang rolls off the Ford assembly line.
Svetlana Alliluyeva, Josef Stalin‘s daughter defects to the United States.
General William Westmoreland asks for 206,000 more troops in Vietnam.
Iraq launches an offensive against the rebellious Kurds.
Navy divers find the crew compartment of the space shuttle Challenger along with the remains of the astronauts.

Statue Of Liberty Goes Dark

Statue Of Liberty Goes Dark

How a News Story Becomes a Hoax

You may have seen viral "weird news" story over the weekend about a man in Japan who died when his six tons of pornography fell on him. It was exactly the kind of story that goes viral. The problem is that it did not happen, or more accurately, it did not happen that way, but was "sexed up" to grab headlines.
So what really happened? Recently a Japanese man was found dead in his apartment. The man lived alone and had been dead for a month before he was discovered. The coroner ruled that he’d died of a heart attack. How do we know the real story? It was reported in Nikkan Spa in Japan on February 28, 2017. The Daily Mail story was published on March 3rd, 2017.
The Daily Mail story doesn’t link out to Nikkan Spa, or acknowledge at all where its information came from. The average reader would assume that all the information presented in the Daily Mail story was collected by the Daily Mail alone. It appears that nothing in the Daily Mail’s version contains original reporting, aside from the sensationalist errors that it introduced.
Yes, the man had a porn collection, and it factored into the story, but not in the way it was circulated. The story of how it got changed along the way is even more interesting than the viral hoax. Gizmodo looks at how the story became something it's not and the importance of digging deeper when something doesn't pass the smell test.

The Witty Epitaphs of Key West Cemetery

Key West, Florida, has long been the home of quirky folks with a sense of humor. That humor is reflected even in gravestones. The Key West Cemetery is famous for its many one-liners, some with backstories that are still available, others for which one must use one's imagination. The gravestone shown here is for Thomas Romer, 1783-1891. The epitaph says he was a good citizen for 65 years. That's nice, but he died at age 108. That's just one of many witty one-liners found at the cemetery, some with pictures, that you'll find at Amusing Planet.

The Traffic Sounds of the Future

Electric cars are eerily silent. Hybrid cars will give you a start when they go from gas to electric or vice-versa, because we are used to the sounds go a gas engine. We've read about how car manufacturers are adding artificial sound to make electric cars sound real, but that will become even more important in the future when there are self-driving cars on the streets.
As a pedestrian, it’s been pretty great being able to hear if a car’s coming. But with the rise of electric vehicles, pedestrian accidents have increased. These problems will only get exacerbated once self-driving cars go mainstream. The computers behind the wheel will need a way of alerting others to their surroundings — Google’s autonomous car team has already said their cars will “honk patiently,” but there’s no denying the fact that computers will have to make up for even more of the noises missing from traditional cars.
With a series of regulations set to come into force, car manufacturers are getting ready: the next generation of cars are going to need to make noise, and somebody has to come up with them.
Read about the need for those regulations and the technology that is being developed for car sounds in the age of self-driving vehicles at Inverse.

Polluted Ghost Towns Caused by Environmental Disasters

Wingnuts may hate the EPA, but it was created for one very good reason and that is that pollution and environmental disasters can not only destroy the planet, but everyone living on it. This All That is Interesting article shows just how dangerous pollution can be by featuring five different ghost towns that have been destroyed by environmental disasters. For example, Centralia, Pennsylvania, a small town that has been burning since the coal mines below the city caught fire in 1962:
While exact causes of the fire remain disputed, analysts agree that a 1962 fire tore through the town’s abandoned coal mines and has not yet stopped. Residents became aware of the fire decades later, and in 1984 Congress allocated more than $40 million to relocate Centralia residents — many of whom did not see the risk that the fires posed.
Then-governor Bob Casey condemned all Centralia estates in 1992, but backlash from Centralia citizens kept Centralia’s zip code alive until 2002.
So check out the full story of Centralia as well as four other cities destroyed by environmental disasters over on All That is Interesting.

Brain-controlled Robots

MIT developed a system to control robots with electroencephalogram signals. The robot is tasked to sort objects, while the subject wearing an EEG cap watches. The robot is looking for an error-related potential (ErrP) signal that a human brain emits when the person sees the robot about to commit an error. That's why the robot appears to make a selection and then pause to see if it's correct before dropping the object in a basket.
While the robot itself is not all that impressive, the interface between the brain and the action is almost supernatural. That an EEG can actually sort these kinds of messages is amazing. Read about the experiment in the original MIT paper.

How your brain constructs emotions

The Best Breakfast Spot in All 50 States

Yes, of course, "best" is always a subjective word, and a list of the best of anything is going to cause a little controversy. However, you cannot argue that these breakfast diners aren't good.
If you like meat with your breakfast, Gold Rush Cafe is the place to go. Their bacon cheeseburger skillet omelet and breakfast burger melts are rich and decadent, but the meatloaf omelet is truly an original. It comes with meatloaf bits, veggies, cheese, and barbecue sauce. If the thought of that much breakfast meat is giving you the sweats, try the bread pudding waffles with baked cinnamon apples on the side.
Check out the list of the best breakfast restaurants in each state at mental_floss, let us know how well they picked the best from your state, and if you've got a road trip planned, you might want to make notes on breakfast for your traveling days ahead.

The Loneliest Five-Star Restaurant in the World

Concordia Station is a French-Italian research facility in Antarctica. It is roughly halfway between the Antarctic coast and the South Pole, which makes it pretty isolated from anything. However, the French and Italians care greatly about the food served to the station's crew. Luca Ficara spent a year as the station's chef.
Each year, the Italian National Program for Antarctic Research (which maintains the base along with the French Polar Institute Paul Emile Victor) holds a lottery to determine who will be spending the next year as the resident chef at Concordia. This lottery system has won the station something of a reputation for its food, which received a nod in the Lonely Planet as a place "considered by many to enjoy Antarctica's best cuisine, with fine wines and seven-course lunches on Sundays."
While Ficara didn't really expect to end up in the Concordia Kitchen, he turned out to be the perfect fit for the job given his diverse culinary repertoire. The chefs chosen by the PNRA must demonstrate not only proficiency as cooks, but also a robust knowledge of international culinary practices so that they can cater to the tastes of the 13-person Concordia winter crew, who hail from England, Switzerland, France, and Italy.
Ficara was challenged with feeding 75 people during the summer (November to February) and then providing interesting meals for 13 during the long dark winter, using an inventory of supplies that must last eight months, with no assistants. And for the Sicilian Ficara, another challenge was that the wine is all French. Read about how he worked with what he had to create amazing meals at the bottom of the world.

Brunch Drunk Love

Marijuana Should Be Legalized in the U.S.

In world first, Iceland to require firms to prove equal pay

by Jill Lawless
Iceland will be the first country in the world to make employers prove they offer equal pay regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality, the Nordic nation's government said Wednesday — International Women's Day.
The government said it will introduce legislation to parliament this month, requiring all employers with more than 25 staff to obtain certification to prove they give equal pay for work of equal value.
While other countries, and the U.S. state of Minnesota, have equal-salary certificate policies, Iceland is thought to be the first to make it mandatory for both private and public firms.
The North Atlantic island nation, which has a population of about 330,000, wants to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022.
Equality and Social Affairs Minister Thorsteinn Viglundsson said "the time is right to do something radical about this issue."
"Equal rights are human rights," he said. "We need to make sure that men and women enjoy equal opportunity in the workplace. It is our responsibility to take every measure to achieve that."
Iceland has been ranked the best country in the world for gender equality by the World Economic Forum, but Icelandic women still earn, on average, 14 to 18 percent less than men.
In October thousands of Icelandic women left work at 2:38 p.m. and demonstrated outside parliament to protest the gender pay gap. Women's rights groups calculate that after that time each day, women are working for free.
The new legislation is expected to be approved by Iceland's parliament because it has support from both government and opposition lawmakers. The government hopes to implement it by 2020.
Viglundsson said some people had argued the law imposes unneeded bureaucracy on firms, and is not necessary because the pay gap is closing.
"It is a burden to put on companies to have to comply with a law like this," he acknowledged. "But we put such burdens on companies all the time when it comes to auditing your annual accounts or turning in your tax report.
"You have to dare to take new steps, to be bold in the fight against injustice."

NC Democrats introduce bills to raise minimum wage to $15/hr, ensure equal pay for women

by Beairshelle Edmé
N.C. Senate and House Democrats introduced bills to raise the minimum wage (Beairshelle Edme/CBS North Carolina) They want to raise the minimum from $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour and from $2.15 per hour to $5 for tipped wage employees.If passed, House Bill 238 and Senate Bill 174 would add paid sick and family leave, as well as ensure women have equal pay for equal work.
Sen. Ben Clark (D-Cumberland and Hoke), is also pushing to ban the box, an effort to remove application questions about a person’s criminal past.
These lawmakers say all the provisions in the bills will benefit North Carolina families and the state’s economy.
“We want the people in our state to both survive and thrive and this minimum wage is not even at the survival level,” said Sen. Angela Bryant (D-Halifax, Nash, Wilson, Vance and Warren).
Democrats are also proposing to add several tax credits, including earned income, childcare and dependent care.

States Turning K-12 Scholarships Into Money-Laundering Schemes

90% of American Households Lost an Average of $17K in Wealth to the Plutocrats in 2016

Amid Wingnut Attacks on Health Care, the Movement for Single Payer Is Growing

Rhino at Paris zoo shot and killed for horn

Animal Pictures