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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.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of
Carolina Naturally
Good Plan ...!
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Today in History

English King Richard I is killed by an arrow at the Siege of the Castle of Chalus in France.
The First U.S. Congress begins regular sessions at Federal Hall in New York City.
Granted sovereignty in the island of Elba and a pension from the French government, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicates at Fontainebleau. He is allowed to keep the title of emperor.
Joseph Smith and five others organize the Church of Latter-Day Saints in Seneca, New York.
Confederate forces attack General Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh, Tennessee.
At the Battle of Sailer’s Creek, a third of Lee‘s army is cut off by Union troops pursuing him to Appomattox.
The Modern Olympics begin in Athens with eight nations participating.
French Army Nationalists are revealed to have forged documents to guarantee a conviction for Alfred Dreyfus.
Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Henson become the first men to reach the North Pole.
The United States declares war on Germany and enters World War I on Allied side.
Four planes leave Seattle on the first successful flight around the world.
The United States recognizes Nazi Germany’s conquest of Austria.
German forces invade Greece and Yugoslavia.
President Lyndon B. Johnson authorizes the use of ground troops in combat operations.

Young Americans aren't interested in marriage

The Bittersweet Story of Vanilla

Vanilla beans are a lot harder to grow than you'd think. Did you know that the vanilla vine only blooms one day a year? If a vanilla farmer isn't there on the spot to pollinate them by hand (a tricky process), he won't see any vanilla beans. And even if he does, there's a lot of processing to go through before the flavoring is usable. But vanilla is one of the most popular spices in the world, found in at least 18,000 different products. You might be surprised to learn that the majority of the vanilla we consume today doesn't even come from vanilla beans.
In the late 19th century, scientists figured out how to derive vanillin—the dominant compound that gives vanilla its signature aroma—from less expensive sources. These included eugenol (a chemical compound found in clove oil) and lignin, which is found in plants, wood pulp and even cow feces. Today, about 85 percent of vanillin comes from guaiacol that’s synthesized from petrochemicals. This isn’t something many of us realize, because labeling can be confusing.
In short, vanilla is the plant. Vanillin is one of up to 250 chemical compounds that make up the flavor we know as vanilla. The Food and Drug Administration broadly defines “natural flavors” as those derived from “a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material … whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.” Artificial flavoring, on the other hand, is defined as being derived from substances outside of those parameters—even if the chemical composition of the two products are similar.
So a product containing "natural" vanilla might come from something other than vanilla beans. However, producing vanilla beans is still a lucrative business. Read about the history and the process of producing vanilla at Smithsonian.

The McPizza Exists!

The Loch Ness monster, Big Foot, McPizza ...
Intrepid searchers have looked for a long time for these mythical things, and thanks to a podcaster named Brian Thompson, we now have proof of the existence of the elusive McDonald's Pizza:
Like many worthwhile quests, Thompson’s started as a late-night joke. “[The demise of McDonald’s pizza] is something I’ve always had in the back of my mind,” he says. “Every few years it would pop up and I would think about it.” One night, discussing the recent wave of true-crime podcasts, he decided it might make a good topic for a satirical investigation. So he opened his laptop, plugged in a microphone, and dialed up his local McDonald’s. The resulting, fruitless calls became Episode 1.
Thirty-four unlikely episodes later, Thompson has chased his titular question through complicated corporate dial-up menus, across gulfs of conflicting information, and finally all the way to Pomeroy, Ohio, one of only two locations in the United States that still has a pizza oven fired up. (The other is in West Virginia.)
Read the rest of the story over at Atlas Obscura.

10 Amazing Accidental Discoveries

Here's a video in which we learn the utility of finding new uses for existing products, particularly if the original use didn't work out. And honestly, some of these accidental discoveries came from pure research, which is more useful than it gets credit for.
Yes, we've posted about a few of these before, but you still will encounter something you didn't know.

Fox 'News' Is Crumbling As 16 Advertisers Have Dumped O’Reilly

Fox 'News' Is Crumbling As 16 Advertisers Have Dumped O’Reilly
Fox 'News' is going to take a massive financial hit as many as 15 advertisers have pulled their ads from O'Reilly's show The O'Reilly Factor, in the wake of a new wave of sexual harassment revelations.…

Revenue-Hungry Cities Mess With Traffic Lights to Write More Tickets

Big Pharma's Anti-Marijuana Stance Aims to Crush the Competition

U.S. Health Care System Is Condemning Thousands of Americans to an Early Death

What Happens If Mom and Dad Get Deported?

Dumbass Trump Voter Upset the Border Wall Will Put Her House on Mexico Side

'Nothing Is Off The Table'

Welcome to the new geopolitical landscape, where Dumbass Trump's nuclear code finger itches daily.

Dumbass Trump Uses Syria Attack To Slam Obama, And Twitter GLEEFULLY Shows The Problem With That

Dumbass Trump Uses Syria Attack To Slam Obama, And Twitter GLEEFULLY Shows The Problem With That
Dumbass Trump clearly doesn’t think about these kinds of things.

Cassini spacecraft to dive inside Saturn's rings for mission finale

Pet Food Has a Massive Ecological Footprint

World's First Bridge Built Only for Squirrels

The city of Longview, Washington, is famous for the "Nutty Narrows Bridge," a bridge built solely for squirrels.In 1963, resident Amos Peters decided that there were too many squirrels flattened by cars when running across the street to the park, so he built a mini-suspension bridge to keep the squirrels safe. A local councilwoman named it the "Nutty Narrows Bridge" after the state's Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and the name stuck.
To date, the Nutty Narrows Bridge has the title of the World's Narrowest Bridge and also the World's Narrowest Animal Crossing. It was also the world's first bridge built just for squirrels!

Einstein the Parrot Turns 30

Einstein the African grey parrot at Zoo Knoxville is 30 years old today. (They call it his "hatch day.") In honor of the occasion, the zoo released a video of Einstein showing off his impressions, sound effects, and singing. He has quite a repertoire!
Einstein was donated to the zoo in 1992, so we don't know how they determined the day he was hatched, but also, who cares. Einstein is an ambassador for the zoo, has appeared on TV, and even gave a TED talk in 2006.

Real Life Sharknado

Technically, it's a cyclone ... but why quibble?
WIN News TV journalist Philip Calder was out reporting in Ayr, a coastal town in the state of Queensland, Australia, that got hit by Cyclone Debbie last week, when he ran into a bull shark stranded in the middle of a road. “He must’ve gotten caught in a torrent and confused, beached himself on the side of the road,” Calder told news.com.au.
"Think it's safe to go back in the water? Think again! A bull shark washed up in Ayr. Stay out of floodwater" tweeted Queensland Fire & Emergency. (Wait, was that a quote from Sharknado? We're going to need a bigger movie!)
The meter-and-a-half (5 ft) bull shark was quite dead when it was discovered by passersby - no mascara shotgun needed.

Animal Pictures