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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.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of
Carolina Naturally
Sad, but accurate ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 210 countries around the world daily.   
Ah, the staples ... !
Today is - National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day 

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Today in History

The United States authorizes the minting of the $10 Eagle, $5 half-Eagle & 2.50 quarter-Eagle gold coins as well as the silver dollar, dollar, quarter, dime & half-dime.
Haitian revolt leader Toussaint L’Ouverture takes command of French forces at Santo Domingo.
The British navy defeats the Danish at the Battle of Copenhagen.
Confederate President Jefferson Davis flees Richmond, Virginia as Grant breaks Lee’s line at Petersburg.
Karl Harris perfects the process for the artificial synthesis of rubber.
The U.S. Federal Reserve Board announces plans to divide the country into 12 districts.
President Woodrow Wilson presents a declaration of war against Germany to Congress.
Jeannette Pickering Rankin is sworn in as the first woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Virne “Jackie” Mitchell becomes the first woman to play for an all-male pro baseball team. In an exhibition game against the New York Yankees, she strikes out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
Charles Lindbergh pays over $50,000 ransom for his kidnapped son.
Soviet forces enter Romania, one of Germany’s allied countries.
The National Advisory Council on Aeronautics is renamed NASA.
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King begins the first non-violent campaign in Birmingham, Alabama.
Argentina invades the British-owned Falkland Islands.

Samuel Franklin Cody ...

or ... How a Wild West Showman Brought Man-Lifting Kites to the British Army
Around the turn of the 20th century, people were nuts about new technology, even stuff that now seems so odd you have to wonder what they were thinking. Take kites: if you had enough of them, one could lift a man high in the sky, as if he were flying. It was fun! But could it be used for military purposes? Armies used weather balloons for surveillance. Surely a man-lifting kite would be better… at least that was the view of one Samuel Franklin Cody, who modeled his Wild West Show career after Buffalo Bill Cody. Kite designer Scott Skinner, who researches the history of kites, tells us about Cody.
“While touring Great Britain he became enamored with kites,” says Skinner. Kite enthusiasm in Europe was flourishing; serious hobbyists and scientists alike read kiting magazines and gathered at annual fetes. Cody built and flew them, and finally decided to throw his effort into designing a man-lifting kite that could be turned into dollar signs and prestige.
By 1901, Cody had patented a version of a man-lifting kite, and according to biographer Garry Jenkins, was flexing his entrepreneurial muscles. “By then he has already written to the war office, offering them first option on ‘SF Cody’s Aroplaine [sic] or War-Kite: A boy’s toy turned into an instrument of war,’” he wrote in Colonel Cody and the Flying Cathedral.
The military use of man-lifting kites soon faded with the rise of the airplane, which even Cody preferred. Besides, we eventually figured out how to use airborne cameras without a photographer. Read about the fascinating Samuel Franklin Cody and his kite scheme at Atlas Obscura.

Make Your Apartment Smell Better

how to make your apartment smell better
​How to Make Your Apartment Smell Better
So, do you have a pet skunk or what?

Catholic diocese in Montana seeks bankruptcy protection in sex abuse claims

Catholic diocese in Montana seeks bankruptcy protection in sex abuse claims
They should not have the ability to hide from financial ruin for their crimes - they should have to pay and pay dearly.

Why a Bad Mood Could be a Good Thing

You Might Be Surprised Where the Leading Areas of Drug Overdose Are in the U.S.

Could This Be the End of Federal Marijuana Prohibition?

Medical Triage

1. For less than $20 you can buy a fiberoptic endoscope that attaches to your smart phone and potentially check yourself for polyps in the nose, larynx, and maybe elsewhere.
2. "Recently, research has come out strongly in support of dietary fat and cholesterol as benign, rather than harmful, additions to person's diet. Saturated fat seems poised for a similar pardon."
3. "A teenager with sickle cell disease achieved complete remission after an experimental gene therapy at Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris."  That is fantastic news.

This Man's Big Mistake Ended Up Exposing the Truth About His "Tiny" Penis

man made fun of penis size

Surprising Reason You Might Keep Waking Up to Pee

wake up to pee
​The Surprising Reason You Might Keep Waking Up to Pee
​Treating it can slash your bathroom trips

Surprising Foods Make Up the Most Salt In Our Diet

saltiest food

Rock Candy Arranged Neatly is a Visual Treat!

Adam Hillman, a self-professed "Object arranger", satisfied both sweet tooth and our inner OCD tendencies with "Rocky Road" (2017), a chromatic arrangement of rock candy sugar swizzle stick. Clever!

29 Interesting Archaeological Discoveries

What's been going on in the world of archaeology? John Green fills us in on new stuff, big stuff, and fascinating stuff in this week's episode of the mental_floss List Show. To be honest, it's mostly old stuff, though -very, very old stuff, even if it's new to you and me.
And don't forget about:
Fossil hominid skulls found in China have both human and Neanderthal characteristics.

Why Knights Fought Snails in Medieval Art

Scribes decorated medieval manuscripts with all kinds of weird thing, like rabbits, cats, Star Wars characters, and lots of snails. Snails very often appear to be doing battles with knights -or, more accurately, the knight is attempting to do battle with the snail. Vox takes a closer look at this phenomena.
It could have been a political insult at the beginning, which turned into an inside joke over time. A medieval meme, as it were.

This Little Piggy Went To Home Depot When His Fence Was Blown Down

Pigs look like carefree critters when they're laying around in their sty or wallowing in the mud, but they're only super chill when they know they're protected from the big bad wolves by a fence or a wall.So when 60 mph winds knocked down Hamlet the pig's protective fence he did the only logical thing to keep himself safe- he went down to his local Home Depot store in Portage, Michigan to look for some help.

The Ins and Outs of Exotic Animal Smuggling

The illegal wildlife trade is a rapidly expanding industry that's quietly affecting every country in the world. But why has the market gotten so big? And why are so many criminals getting into the game right now? Mental_floss has the answers.
Just how big is the international animal racket?
The black market for wildlife is second only to the illegal drug business in size. It's currently estimated to be worth more than $20 billion. Yes, that's billion with a "b." And it's not just elephant tusks that are changing hands under the table. For every type of endangered species out there, there's an eager collector waiting to shell out a lot of cash. For example, a pair of Queen Alexandra's Birdwings—the world's largest butterflies, with wingspans of up to 14 inches—sells for about $10,000. A baby chimpanzee goes for as much as $50,000. But the black market isn't just for cute critters. In March 2009, New York officials broke up a huge smuggling ring that specialized in snapping turtles, rattlesnakes, and salamanders.
Why are so many criminals getting into wildlife smuggling?
In addition to being extremely profitable, it's pretty difficult to get caught smuggling endangered animals. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is staffed with fewer than 400 law enforcement agents; by comparison, the Drug Enforcement Agency has 11,000 employees. And if you do get nabbed, the punishments are much less severe than in the drug trade. Let's say you're a narcotics dealer, and officials find you with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of heroin. Even if it's your first offense, you could face a minimum of 10 years in prison, and you'll be a convicted felon. But if you're an animal smuggler with no prior convictions and you get caught with an equivalent cache of illegal butterflies, you might not even spend the night in jail. And if you're a repeat offender, the consequences still aren't so bad. When Hisayoshi Kojima, the world's most wanted butterfly thief, pleaded guilty to 17 smuggling-related charges in 2007, he received 21 months in prison and a fine of just under $39,000. Such low-risk, high-reward conditions have led many drug traffickers to diversify into the wildlife business.
But what's so bad about dealing butterflies?
Many scientists believe that the illegal wildlife trade exacerbates one of the gravest problems facing mankind: the mass extinction of species. Biologists like Harvard's E.O. Wilson predict that half of all plant and animal species will be extinct by 2100, and that could mean dire consequences for humanity. Plants and animals pollinate our crops, filter our water, regulate the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, help decompose waste, and lead scientists to new medical breakthroughs—all free of charge. Each time a species goes extinct, we lose one of these unpaid workers. And because wildlife smugglers tend to target the species that are already the most vulnerable, they're speeding up the rate at which we're losing plants and animals.
Who's buying this stuff?
This is the question that keeps wildlife agents up at night. Although officials have scored some major coups breaking up smuggling rings, the traffickers often refuse to reveal their buyers, which makes it tough to figure out what motivates them. Consider the example of a Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizard, which can grow up to 10 feet long and has a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. It's venomous, and its saliva contains virulent bacteria. Who would want to buy that? Yet, Komodo dragons fetch more than $30,000 on the black market.
Part of the answer may lie in the psychology of collectors. Whether they're amassing baseball cards or Beanie Babies, most of them start by gathering the common items and then build to the more unusual ones. Eventually, they start seeking out the things that are truly rare. As author Bryan Christy put it in his book The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World's Greatest Reptile Smugglers, reptile collectors tend to follow a common progression. First, they get bigger species, then meaner ones, then unusual ones, and, finally, illegal species, which are also frequently venomous.
In truth, the animals that wind up living in some collector's menagerie are the lucky ones. Many trafficked animals and insects are sacrificed to dinner plates and medicine cabinets. In China, turtles are often turned into turtle soup or ground into aphrodisiac powder. Other animals are killed so that smugglers can harvest a certain organ or body part. In a number of Asian cultures, bear paws are thought to impart strength and virility, and their gallbladders are used to treat everything from cancer to hemorrhoids. A single bear gallbladder can fetch thousands of dollars. And as we all know from the Indiana Jones movies, the practice of eating monkey brains is still alive and well in many parts of the world; in the United States, though, monkeys are usually smuggled in to be pets.
So how do you smuggle a monkey through an airport?
In your pants, of course! But the trick doesn't always work. Just ask the guy who tried to smuggle two pygmy monkeys into Los Angeles in 2002. Upon landing at LAX, his brilliant plan was to discreetly stuff them into his underwear as he went through the airport. But his traveling companion blew their cover in customs, when several birds of paradise burst out of his suitcase and flew around the terminal. More recently, a smuggler was caught hiding a monkey under his hat on a flight to Peru, and another female smuggler was caught strapping a monkey to her belly and pretending she was pregnant on her way from Thailand.
For some reason, stuffing animals in one's trousers is a favorite tactic among smugglers. In 1995, two men were arrested at the Mexican border after customs officials noticed that the bulges in their pants were moving. It turns out that the slithering bumps were actually pantyhose filled with more than a dozen snakes.
Even when traffickers get caught, the stories rarely end well for the animals. Because they've been pulled from their normal habitats and potentially exposed to all sorts of diseases, stolen animals can't simply go home. Instead, they end up quarantined in zoos or in wildlife refuges. And while that isn't the worst fate that can befall an animal, it does nothing for the survival of the species in the wild. From a conservation standpoint, sneaking an animal out of its habitat really isn't any different from shooting it for its hide.
How Much for that Baby Gorilla in the Window?
Wondering if you got a good price on that creature in your basement? Here's what the world's hottest endangered species are going for these days.
Hyacinth Macaws
Native to: South America
Price: up to $20,000
Why they're so hot right now: This parrot's large size and beautiful blue feathers have made it a favorite among collectors. The poaching of macaws has devastated wild populations and driven up prices, which makes them even more popular.
Chimpanzees and Gorillas
Native to: Central Africa
Price: more than $50,000 for babies
Why they're so hot right now: Because they're cute when they're little.
Sperm Whales
Native to: the world's oceans
Price: up to several hundred dollars per pound; one whole whale could cost you a few million. Also, one sperm whale tooth can run you $500.
Why they're so hot right now: If you thought hunting for Moby Dick went out with Herman Melville, think again. Although the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale sushi is still a delicacy in Japan, and the teeth continue to be carved and sold as knickknacks.
Ploughshare Tortoises
Native to: Madagascar
Price: upwards of $30,000
Why they're so hot right now: Because they might not be around much longer. With fewer than 1,000 ploughshares left in the wild, they're some of the world's most endangered animals.
Oenpelli Pythons
Native to: Australia
Price: $30,000
Why they're so hot right now: This large python can change colors like a chameleon, shifting from dark brown during the day to pale silver at night.
Chinese Alligators
Native to: the lower Yangtze River
Price: $15,000
Why they're so hot right now: In 1999, commercial developments destroyed the alligators' habitat to such an extent that, today, only about 130 survive in the wild. Rarity like that lures the collectors.

When the Nazis Tried to Bring Animals Back From Extinction

Lutz Heck is the villain in the new movie The Zookeeper's Wife. The real life Lutz Heck (director of the Berlin Zoo) not only plundered the Warsaw Zoo, but he directed a Nazi animal breeding program. It was a continuation of the work he had begun with his brother Heinz (director of the Munich Zoo) before the Nazis came to power. They were trying to "back breed" domestic animals to recreate their wilder ancestors. One was the wisent, the European bison that was close to extinction, and the auroch, wild cattle that had gone extinct in 1627. The practice of back breeding involves selecting existing animals with some of their ancient ancestors' traits and breeding them to bring out those traits in their offspring. But the rise of the Nazi party separated the brothers. Heinz became a political prisoner, while Lutz joined the party and intrigued them with his experiments.
“Göring saw the opportunity to make nature protection part of his political empire,” says environmental historian Frank Uekotter. “He also used the funds [from the Nature Protection Law of 1935] for his estate.” The law, which created nature reserves, allowed for the designation of natural monuments, and removed the protection of private property rights, had been up for consideration for years before the Nazis came to power. Once the Nazis no longer had the shackles of the democratic process to hold them back, Göring quickly pushed the law through to enhance his prestige and promote his personal interest in hunting.
Lutz continued his back-breeding experiments with support from Göring, experimenting with tarpans (wild horses, whose Heck-created descendants still exist today) and wisent. Lutz’s creations were released in various forests and hunting reserves, where Göring could indulge his wish to recreate mythic scenes from the German epic poem Nibelungenlied (think the German version of Beowulf), in which the Teutonic hero Siegfried kills dragons and other creatures of the forest.
The idea of an forest preserve full of ancient wild animals was one reason Göring was so excited about the annexation of Poland. Read the story of Heck's breeding experiments and what happened to those animals at Smithsonian.

Wild King Cobra Politely Drinks From Water Bottle

King cobras have a bad reputation, and the mere sight of them makes many people squirm in their seats, so if they saw a king cobra dying of thirst they'd probably say "good riddance".But the animal lover in this video is from Southern India, where people have learned to live alongside king cobras despite their deadly bite. So when a thirsty king cobra came up to the animal rescue worker looking for a drink he calmly gave the snake some water from a bottle.
From the video description:
The video - shot in Southern India - shows a daring wildlife rescue worker offering water to the snake.
The 12 feet long cobra was rescued from a village in Kaiga township - where it has strayed, apparently looking for water.
Some parts of southern India have been hit by drought, making water scarce. Wildlife officials say the drought has severely affected wild animals in the region.
So when the team of rescue workers found the cobra, the first thing they did was to offer it water.

Animal Pictures