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

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of
Carolina Naturally
Sad, but true ...!
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Today in History

Abd-al-Rahman is proclaimed emir of Cordoba, Spain.
King John submits to the Pope, offering to make England and Ireland papal fiefs. Pope Innocent III lifts the interdict of 1208.
English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold discovers Cape Cod.
An aristocratic uprising in France ends with the Treaty of St. Menehould.
Johannes Kepler discovers his harmonics law.
The War of Spanish Succession begins.
Following the resignation of Lord Townshend, Robert Walpole becomes the sole minister in the English cabinet.
By the Treaty of Versailles, France purchases Corsica from Genoa.
Napoleon enters the Lombardian capital of Milan in triumph.
The U.S. Congress designates the slave trade a form of piracy.
Neapolitan troops enter Palermo, Sicily.
The Union ironclad Monitor and the gunboat Galena fire on Confederate troops at the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia.
At the Battle of New Market, Virginia Military Institute cadets repel a Union attack.
Emily Dickinson dies in Amherst, Mass., where she had lived in seclusion for the previous 24 years.
U.S. Marines land in Santo Domingo to quell civil disorder.
Pfc. Henry Johnson and Pfc. Needham Roberts receive the Croix de Guerre for their services in World War I. They are the first Americans to win France’s highest military medal.
Ellen Church becomes the first airline stewardess.
The United States begins rationing gasoline.
Sputnik III is launched by the Soviet Union.
The last Project Mercury space flight, carrying Gordon Cooper, is launched.
U.S. Marines relieve army troops in Nhi Ha, South Vietnam after a fourteen-day battle.
Gov. George Wallace is shot by Arthur Bremer in Laurel, Maryland.
The merchant ship Mayaguez is recaptured from Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge.
Soviets forces begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The Woman Who Stood Between America and an Epidemic of Birth Defects

You may or may not be old enough to remember the horror of Thalidomide, a drug that caused thousands of birth defects in Britain, Canada, and West Germany in the late 1950s and early '60s. It didn't do much harm in the U.S. because the drug was never approved by the FDA. Therein lies a story, much of it the work of Frances Oldham Kelsey. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was passed in 1938, in no small part due to Kelsey's work.
Kelsey was first introduced to the dangers of mass marketed unsafe pharmaceuticals in 1937, when the FDA enlisted Geiling to solve the mystery of Elixir of Sulfanilamide. Sulfanilamide effectively combated infections, but it came in a large and bitter pill that needed to be taken in large dosages. To make the drug more appealing, especially to children, manufacturers added it to a solvent with artificial raspberry flavor.
The problem was that the solvent they chose was diethylene glycol—commonly known as antifreeze. Between September and October, the drug killed 107 people.
Geiling and his lab of graduate students, including Kelsey, set out to determine what exactly in the elixir was killing people: the solvent, the flavor or the sulfanilamide. Through a series of animal studies—which at the time were not required by federal law for a drug to go to market—Geiling and his lab were able to determine that it was the diethylene glycol that was the cause of death.
Kelsey went to medical school and joined the FDA in 1960. Read her story, and how her research on Thalidomide saved American babies, at Smithsonian.

Fascinating Facts About the Romans

We know a lot of things about the Romans given that much of our modern society is based on theirs, but even so, there are a lot of things people don't know about them and possibly even more misconceptions about their culture. Fortunately for those who want to know more and clear up the half-truths they might have in their head about the Romans, this Top Tenz article is here for you. It features ten interesting facts about the Romans ranging from whether Nero was believed to be the antichrist to the strange lives of the vestal virgins.
So head over to Top Tenz to learn more.

One Thing Amazon Got Wrong About 'I Love Dick' (and Women)

US Beef Exports to China Will Resume

Consumers are losing confidence

These Three Firms Own Corporate America

The Anatomy of a Bogus North Korea Story

Why Does America Take War Advice Seriously When It Comes Out of a General's Mouth?

Dead Man Lying

Osama bin Laden's son encourages Al-Qaeda attacks

NC Senate wingnuts punish Democrats by stripping education funding from Democratic districts in 3 a.m. vote

During a vote at 3 a.m. on Friday morning, angry wingnuts in the North Carolina state Senate cut education funding from the districts of Democratic senators.
Lily-Liveried, Chicken-Shit Cowards

Debt Collector Abuse Is Raging in the Dumbass Trump Era

‘They expected better from Dumbass Trump’

For reactionaries, “anti-war” is a branding campaign for white nationalism

Dumbass Trump White House staffers ‘better damn well’ get attorneys

“If they have information that indicates contact with Russians or attempts to interfere they better damn well,” the bureau veteran warned.

The Tale of the Toad and the Bearded Female Saint

For hundreds of years, women in several countries would leave "toad votives," candles shaped like toads, at 'christian' sites and shrines. The symbolism of the toad has to do with childbirth. And the reasons for that association are both numerous and weird.
In the medieval world, toads were charter members of the cabal of slimy, devilish creatures imbued with powers and beloved of witches—tormentors of the sinful mind. In one medieval cult sculpture motif, the femme aux serpents, the embodiment of sinful lust, toads sometimes sub in for the snakes that writhe around a woman’s body and occasionally bite her breasts. But toads weren’t as purely evil as snakes; they could be humorous, too. In one German story, a woman loses her vagina and it “is mistaken for a toad as it roams the streets,” writes Blumenfeld-Kosinski. (Eventually, the woman gets her detachable vagina back.) Toads were also thought to have the power of spontaneous generation and resurrection.
Even weirder is the association of the toad votives with toad votive, who is more of a legend than a saint. Read how a miracle saved Wilgefortis from an unwanted marriage at Atlas Obscura. That she became a patron saint of the marital bed is just more weirdness.

The Best-Preserved Fossil of Its Kind

In March of 2011, miners using heavy equipment in Alberta found a dinosaur. But this was not just any fossil. A nodosaur had been swept out to sea millions years ago and was preserved better than any other nodosaur before. The front half of the animal was recovered in a state that doesn't even have to be reconstructed. Its soft tissue, armor, and even individual scales of its skin were fossilized as well as its bones.
The remarkable fossil is a newfound species (and genus) of nodosaur, a type of ankylosaur often overshadowed by its cereal box–famous cousins in the subgroup Ankylosauridae. Unlike ankylosaurs, nodosaurs had no shin-splitting tail clubs, but they too wielded thorny armor to deter predators. As it lumbered across the landscape between 110 million and 112 million years ago, almost midway through the Cretaceous period, the 18-foot-long, nearly 3,000-pound behemoth was the rhinoceros of its day, a grumpy herbivore that largely kept to itself. And if something did come calling—perhaps the fearsome Acrocanthosaurus—the nodosaur had just the trick: two 20-inch-long spikes jutting out of its shoulders like a misplaced pair of bull’s horns.
Removing such a large intact specimen was no easy task, and the fossil broke in half as it was removed from the rock around it. But six years later, we are able to see the nodosaur, and further research may reveal what color it was and even what it ate for its last meal. Read the story, and see lots of pictures at National Geographic.

Animal Pictures