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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.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of  
Carolina Naturally
This has to change ...!
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Today in History

Heraclius restores the True Cross, which he has recaptured from the Persians.
Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is burned at the stake at Oxford after retracting the last of seven recantations that same day.
Pocahontas (Rebecca Rolfe) dies of either small pox or pneumonia while in England with her husband, John Rolfe.
Almost the entire city of New Orleans, Louisiana, is destroyed by fire.
Lewis and Clark begin their trip home after an 8,000 mile trek of the Mississippi basin and the Pacific Coast.
The Battle of Bentonville, N.C. ends, marking the last Confederate attempt to stop Union General William Sherman.
Emperor Tu Duc orders that Christian priests are to put to death.
British forces in India lift the siege of Lucknow, ending the Indian Mutiny.
Ohio passes a law that prohibits hazing by fraternities.
Frenchman Henri Farman carries a passenger in a bi-plane for the first time.
The U.S. Senate grants ex-President Teddy Roosevelt an annual pension of $10,000.
The Germans launch the ‘Michael’ offensive, better remembered as the First Battle of the Somme.
President Calvin Coolidge presents the Congressional Medal of Honor to Charles Lindbergh, a captain in the US Army Air Corps Reserve, for making the first solo trans-Atlantic flight. On June 11, 1927, Lindbergh had received the first Distinguished Flying Cross ever awarded.
Singer Kate Smith records “God Bless America” for Victor Records.
The last Italian post in East Libya, North Africa, falls to the British.
Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall reports that the U.S. military has doubled to 2.9 million since the start of the Korean War.
Alcatraz Island, the federal penitentiary in San Francisco Bay, California, closes.
The United States launches Ranger 9, last in a series of unmanned lunar explorations.
Two U.S. platoons in Vietnam refuse their orders to advance.
As North Vietnamese forces advance, Hue and other northern towns in South Vietnam are evacuated.
President Jimmy Carter announces to the U.S. Olympic Team that they will not participate in the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow as a boycott against Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.
A Soviet submarine crashes into the USS Kitty Hawk off the coast of Japan.

Why Chess Fans Hate the Movies

It's pretty well known that military service members have a problem with war movies, in that every little mistake stands out for them, such as the way a uniform is worn or a weapon is handled. Scientists are used to seeing science mistakes in film that the rest of us would never catch -so much that they've developed a consulting system. Most experts are excited to see their specialty in a movie, then are disappointed in the actual portrayal. And then there's chess. Filmmakers seem to always get chess wrong on one way or another, often in many ways, and that's bothersome to those who love the game.
Chess errors come in a few different flavors, these experts say. The most common is what we’ll call the Bad Setup. When you set up a chessboard, you’re supposed to orient it so that the square nearest to each player’s right side is light-colored. (There’s even a mnemonic for this—“right is light.”) Next, when you array the pieces, the white queen goes on white, and the black queen goes on black. “When I teach six-year-old girls, I say ‘the queen’s shoes have to match her dress!’” says Klein.
Six-year-olds may get this, but filmmakers often do not. Along with The Seventh Seal, movies that suffer from Bad Setups include Blade Runner, Austin Powers, From Russia with Love, The Shawshank Redemption, and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. Shaft and What’s New Pussycat may not have much in common, but they do both feature backwards chessboards.
That's only the beginning of the grievances chess players have with movies. Read about quite a few others, some with video evidence, at Atlas Obscura.

The Academy Where Butlers Are Born

The International Butler Academy in Simpelveld, Netherlands, is where professional butlers learn everything they need to know to assist their employers in genteel living. Every aspect of service is done just so, and they need to look good doing it, too.
Who knows? Graduates might end up running a household for a reclusive billionaire who fights crime in his off hours. Or an eccentric old lady with spoiled cats. Or a judge with a houseful of teenagers in California. Someone like that has no time to run a household themselves. Great Big Story takes us through the 10-week course that prepares new butlers for a career.

29 Healthy Foods That Are Incredibly Cheap

Your Insurance Company Pay for Medical Marijuana

Has the Tech Bubble Peaked?

Detective X

Secret Crimefighter
Wilmer Souder was a farm boy from southern Indiana who earned a PhD in physics in 1916 and went to work in the materials lab at the the National Bureau of Standards (later renamed the National Institute of Standards and Technology). His specialty was precise measurements. By day, this mild-mannered scientist made a name for himself for his studies of dental fillings. But he was also an anonymous crimefighter known by the mysterious named Detective X. Recently-uncovered notebooks revealed his alter-ego and the many cases he worked on.
Indeed, it seems that sometime early in Souder's career, someone called on the bureau to come up with a systematic way to do handwriting and typewriter analysis, probably to detect fraud. Souder, whose specialty was taking exacting measurements and making precise comparisons, was a perfect fit.
The notebooks show that over the years, Souder worked on all kinds of cases brought to the bureau by the Post Office, the Department of the Treasury, and various other government bodies. In addition to appearing in court as an expert witness, he helped pioneer some of the techniques used in modern forensics in America.
He used a recently invented microscope for comparing bullets to see if they might have come from the same gun. He advised the founder of the FBI's forensic lab. For the Lindbergh case, he analyzed the handwriting on the ransom notes and compared them to suspects' writing, finding a match with Bruno Hauptmann, who was eventually convicted and executed.
Souder sounds like the inspiration for a comic book series! Read about Souder's secret work at National Geographic. 

Sicilian Archbishop Banned the Mafia from Becoming Godfathers

In the movie The Godfather, Don Vito Corleone said that "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
But recently, an archbishop in Sicily has given the real world mafia an unmistakeable "Sicilian message" by banning them from becoming real godfathers and participating in baptisms.
"The mafia has always taken the term godfather from the Church to give its bosses an air of religious respectability," Archbishop Michele Pennisi said as reported by the BBC, "Whereas in fact, the two worlds are completely incompatible."
Pennisi, a vocal anti-mafia critic, decreed that anyone convicted of "dishonorable crimes" is banned from acting as a godparent.

Information Avoidance

Information Avoidance: How People Select Their Own RealityHow People Select Their Own Reality
We live in an unprecedented “age of information,” but we use very little of it. Dieters prefer not to look at the calories in their tasty dessert, people at high risk for disease avoid screenings … Read more
In case of wingnuts it is a total denial of reality itself not just their "own" reality.

Gerrymandering for the NRA

Woo Hoo! Party Like It's 1939!

Woo Hoo! Party Like It's 1939!

Woody Guthrie on Dumbass Trump

The advice folksinger and political activist Woody Guthrie would be giving to us in the Dumbass Trump era

‘No One Is Safe’

I don’t feel welcome in Dumbass Trump’s AmeriKKKa

Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s leading scientists, has said he no longer feels welcome in the United States under Dumbass Trump’s junta.

Dumbass Trump Sycophant Threatens To Slaughter Black People

Dumbass Trump Sycophant Threatens To Slaughter Black People Because A Guy Was Mean To Him On Facebook
“We’re done with Black Lives Matter…we’re going to start cleaning it up.” This guy needs to be locked up!

Dumbass Trump Sycophants in Rural Georgia Are Waking Up to His Cruelty

Earth Original Crust Found

Sticking Around

The La Brea Tar Pits
How much do you know about the Angelenos of the Pleistocene?
Hancock Park, an affluent area of Los Angeles, is well known for its celebrity sightings, million-dollar homes, and the famous Hollywood sign in the distance. But some of the neighborhood’s “residents” are even cooler. World-famous fossils—like the extinct dire wolf, saber-toothed tiger, and Columbia mammoth—are among the millions of specimens that have been excavated from the La Brea tar pits. Located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile, the tar pits contain one of the richest deposits of late Pleistocene era (the last ice age) fossils in North America. The fossils date from 10,000 to 40,000 years ago, and more than three million of them—including plants, mammals, birds, lizards, and insects—have been excavated since paleontologists first began digging there in the early 1900s.
The tar pits on display today were once excavation sites where workers dug for asphalt or scientists dug for fossils. Over the years, humans dug more than 100 pits throughout Hancock Park, but most of them have been refilled with dirt, debris, asphalt, and water. About 13 tar pits remain—the largest, called the Lake Pit, measures 28 square feet and is approximately 14 feet deep.
The La Brea tar pits formed thousands of years ago, when gas and oil beneath the ground came under pressure. The molten mixture pushed up through vents in the earth’s crust. Once it reached the surface, the oil pooled in natural depressions aboveground. The lighter part of the pooling oil evaporated—left behind was a heavy, sticky oil. Then rain and underground springs added water, forming ponds and lakes on top of the oil and creating what we now call the tar pits.

The water on the tar pits’ surface was especially attractive to thirsty animals, and during the warm spring and summer, the thick oil underneath was especially sticky. Animals that ventured into to the pits couldn’t escape. Often predators chased their prey into the pits and got stuck too. Paleontologists once found a large bison fossil surrounded by a pack of fossilized wolves. The dead animals eventually sank completely, and their bones and teeth turned brown from the oil. But otherwise, they were almost perfectly preserved for more than 30,000 years.
Hundreds of years ago, local Native Americans used the thick oil at the tar pits as waterproof caulking for their baskets and canoes. When the Spanish arrived in the 18th century, they used it to waterproof their houses. In 1828 the tar pits were part of a Mexican land grant called Rancho de la Brea (brea means “tar” in Spanish). When the United States took over California in 1848, the area was part of the deal, and ultimately, it came into the possession of lawyer and surveyor Henry Hancock and his family. The Hancocks sold the oil from the tar pits, and their workmen often found fossils, which they assumed to be the bones of unlucky cattle. It wasn’t until 1875 that a geologist identified a collection of bones as belonging to a saber-tooth tiger that had been extinct for 10,000 years.
By 1906 a paleontologist from UC Berkeley named John C. Merriam was busily excavating fossils from Rancho de la Brea. He published a paper on his findings and listed so many different types of prehistoric animals that the tar pits became a focus of study for paleontologists around the world. In 1913 fossils from the La Brea pools went on display at the newly opened Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science, and Art, and three years later, the Hancock family donated the tar pits to Los Angeles County. Scientists have been studying them ever since.

So many fossils have been discovered at the La Brea tar pits that scientists call the last 300,000 years of the Pleistocene era the “Rancholabrean land mammal age.” Thanks to the sticky pits, we now know that, during the ice age, creatures like saber-tooth cats, mammoths, long-horned bison, horses, bears, wolves…even camels and lions once prowled what is now Wilshire Boulevard. In 2006 workers were digging up ground along Wilshire Boulevard to enlarge a parking lot when they found Zed, a Columbian mammoth skeleton that was 80 percent complete, resting in what used to be a riverbed. Work on the parking lot was halted to allow the creature (and his 10-foot tusks) to be excavated.
But it’s not just the exotic animal fossils that excite scientists. Tiny bugs, with their wings still attached, have been preserved in the oil. And the partial skeleton of an 18-to 25-year-old woman shows that humans were living in L.A. more than 9,000 years ago. The skeleton from the tar pits is known as “La Brea Woman,” and she’s earned the distinction of being “the oldest Californian.”
Plant fossils are also important. The oldest La Brea fossil is a piece of wood that dates back 40,000 years. By examining the plant material (even pollen has been preserved in the oil), scientists are able to tell that, during the last ice age, Los Angeles was cooler and moister than it is now. Redwoods that prefer the foggy climate of the Northern California coast once thrived in Hancock Park.
Of course, what all these great discoveries of La Brea have in common is that they’re dead. Very few things actually live in the tar pits—there is an insect called the oil fly that lays its larvae there. But in 2007, environmental scientists at UC Riverside found another living creature where it wasn’t expected.
The researchers were studying the large bubbles of methane that appear on the tar pits’ surface. They took samples of oil from the pools and looked to see if they could find any bacteria that might be creating the methane. To their surprise, they found more than 200 types of as-yet-undiscovered bacteria living in the oil. These bacteria were eating the oil and excreting methane gas that bubbled up to the pits’ surface. One of the bacteria is related to a type that survives 50 miles above the surface of the earth, where ultraviolet rays sterilize almost everything else. Another resembles bacteria that can withstand high levels of radiation. Scientists hope these bacteria will help them understand how life can exist in extreme environments, including those on other planets. Researchers also hope that studying the oil-munching bacteria may lead to their use in cleaning up oil spills. And so it seems that even after decades of excavation at the tar pits, scientists still never know what they’ll dig up next.

Animal Pictures