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

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

Montezuma II is murdered as Spanish conquistadors flee the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan during the night.
Charles Dickens reads from A Christmas Carol at St. Martin’s Hall in London–his first public reading.
Jean Francois Gravelet aka Emile Blondin, a French daredevil, becomes the first man to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
A mysterious explosion, possibly the result of a meteorite, levels thousands of trees in the Tunguska region of Siberia with a force approaching twenty megatons.
Adolf Hitler orders the purge of his own party in the “Night of the Long Knives.”
Margaret Mitchell’s novel, Gone With the Wind, is published.
John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley demonstrate their invention, the transistor, for the first time.
Alfred Hitchcock’s film, Psycho, opens.
Three Soviet cosmonauts die when their spacecraft depressurizes during reentry.

Engineering new forms of life

Before human beings wrote books or did math or composed music, we made leather. There is evidence hunter-gatherers were wearing clothes crafted from animal skins hundreds of thousands of years ago, while in 2010 archaeologists digging in Armenia found what they believed to be the world’s oldest leather shoe, dating back to 3,500 B.C. (It was about a women’s size 7.) For a species sadly bereft of protective fur, being able to turn the skin of cows or sheep or pigs into clothing with the help of curing and tanning would have been a lifesaving advance, just like other vital discoveries Homo sapiens made over the course of history: the development of grain crops like wheat, the domestication of food animals like chickens, even the all-important art of fermentation. In each case, human beings took something raw from the natural world—a plant, an animal, a microbe—and with the ingenuity that has enabled us to dominate this planet, turned it into a product.
The natural world has its limits, though. Tanned animal skin may make for stylish boots, motorcycle jackets and handbags—supporting an industry worth about $200 billion a year—but it’s still animal skin. That would seem to be an insurmountable problem if you’re one of the hundreds of millions of vegetarians around the world, or even just someone who worries about the environmental impact of raising tens of billions of animals for clothing and food. But it’s not the animal skin that makes leather leather—it’s collagen, a tough, fibrous protein that is a major biological component of animal connective tissue, including skin. If there was a way to manufacture collagen alone, it might be possible to produce leather that even the most dedicated animal-rights activist could love.
And that’s exactly what’s happening on the eighth floor of the cavernous Brooklyn Army Terminal on New York’s waterfront, where Modern Meadow has its labs and offices.

The World's Oldest Known Temple Was Home to a ‘Skull Cult’

Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey is a temple that has been dated to more than 11,000 years ago, making it the oldest known temple in the world. Recent findings there include human skull fragments from three individuals that were intentionally carved, painted, and even had holes drilled into them. What was the purpose? Could this be evidence of a skull cult? Paleopathologist Julia Gresky gives us some insight.
Microscopic analysis of the bone revealed that the markings were created by stone tools, probably a short time after the skulls' owners died. Gresky and her colleagues suggest two possible explanations for the modifications: Ancestor veneration, or "branding" of perceived enemies for display. The grooves may have acted as "a track for a cord" to mount the skull, she said, and the drilled hole on the top of the cranium may have been used to suspend the skull like a mobile.
"Maybe they put feathers on the skull to make it more impressive and then presented it somewhere in the structures," Gresky said. "It's all speculation at the moment, but hopefully we'll find some more fragments or maybe also primary burials, so it will be more clear what happened in these monumental buildings."
Though this is the first evidence for skull cults at Göbekli Tepe etched in bone, the structure is filled with artistic representations of headless people, so it's not too much of a stretch to imagine these folks may have been cranially obsessed.
Read more about Göbekli Tepe and the skulls found there at Motherboard.

The Most Zen City In The U.S.

Castle in the Air Berkeley California
This Might Be The Most Zen City In The U.S.
Get your 'om on in Berkeley, California.

Frequent Diarrhea Can Put You At Risk Of an Incurable Brain Disease

diarrhea brain damage​How Frequent Diarrhea Can Put You At Risk Of an Incurable Brain Disease
​Your immune response to the dreaded stomach bug can have a dark side

These Foods Might Actually Stop Cancer From Spreading

foods might stop cancer from spreading
​These Foods Might Actually Stop Cancer From Spreading
​People who ate more of them survived longer with the big C

Plant Protein That Can Help You Lose Weight

Reports of Nasty Side Effects From Cosmetics Are Way up

Many Women Are Fantasizing About Their Coworkers

this is how many woman fantasize about coworkers
​This Is How Many Women Are Fantasizing About Their Coworkers
​And here's how many of them actually went through with it

Wingnut forced to explain to colleagues why maternity care also benefits men

A wingnut senator has asked that maternity care not be cut from the Obamacare repeal effort because both men and women are affected by pregnancy.
Addressing the press in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Cassidy said he did not want to see a health care bill that removed the responsibility of insurers to provide maternity care, despite arguments from other Republicans that men are paying for a service they don’t use.
"You end up with policies that don't cover maternity. And as best I can tell, women don't get pregnant without sperm,” Cassidy said in comments carried by The Hill, refuting the idea that men do not have any use for maternity care and prenatal care in their policies

Wonder Woman Is an Excellent Film, but Will It Inspire Viewers to Take Action?

Lunatic fringe cabal buys boat to disrupt migrant rescues

An anti-immigrant, lunatic fringe cabal in Europe wants to disrupt rescue missions and try to prevent migrants from reaching the continent. Defend Europe, whose members classify themselves as "identitarians" who want to protect Europe’s "identity" from immigration, raised money to purchase a ship via a crowd funding campaign and secured €65,000 to attempt to enact its “no way policy” on immigration.

Missouri trooper plea bargains down to misdemeanor in drowning death of hand-cuffed suspect

Under the felony charges, Piercy was facing seven years in prison, a year in county jail or a fine of $5,000 as punishment, or any combination of those, if convicted of the felony. Now Piercy is only facing possibility of up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Public Schools In Kentucky Can Now “Teach” The Bible

The religio-wingnuts are at it again — this time by passing a bill that will allow public schools in Kentucky to teach the bible.
This is so wrong on every level.

Lunatic fringe wingnut extremists have fallen in love with Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh

To most Americans, Timothy McVeigh is the perpetrator of the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history, a murderer whose 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City took the lives of 168 innocents, children included.

Allowing teachers to carry guns on school ground

Pennsylvania Senate approved a bill Wednesday that will allow teachers to have guns on school grounds. After an hour-long session, the law was passed by a 28-22 vote, according to the Associated Press. The bill, also known as Bill 383, will advance to seek approval from the House of Representatives.
Bad Idea Gone Bad

Yale University sues Connecticut over gender-neutral bathrooms

Yale University has sued the state of Connecticut over rules it says limit the number of gender-neutral bathrooms it can designate on campus, the latest skirmish in the broader U.S. fight about gender identity.
The Ivy League school said in the lawsuit it wants to designate all single-occupant restrooms at its law school as gender neutral, but the plan would run afoul of the state building code, which does not count gender-neutral bathrooms when it assesses whether a public building has enough toilets.
The suit was filed on Friday in Connecticut Superior Court in New Haven, after the university received complaints from law school students. Yale has asked the state to drop requirements that single-user restrooms have an assigned gender label.

Disabled LGBT man attacked in Chelsea neighborhood of New York by suspect shouting homophobic slurs Disabled LGBT man attacked in Chelsea neighborhood of New York by suspect shouting homophobic slurs

Police report that a 44-year-old disabled LGBT man was attacked by a man shouting anti-gay slurs at him in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City Monday.
The attacker rode up to the man on a bicycle and shouted a homophobic slur. He then punched the man several times, CBS New York reported. The attacked man had a sticker supportive of the LGBT community on his walker.
The suspect then fled the scene and the victim was transported to the hospital where he is expected to recover.
Police reveal that the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident.

Woman says she was kicked out of apartment's pool over fears her swimsuit would 'excite' teen boys

An East Tennessee woman claims that she was kicked out of her apartment complex’s pool over fears that her swimsuit would “excite” teenage boys who lived there.
Tori Jenkins tells local news station WTVR that she was asked to leave the pool recently by a woman who complained about her pink one-piece bathing suit.
“She basically told me that if I didn’t have kids, I wouldn’t understand,” Jenkins explains. “If her kids were at the pool she wouldn’t want me in that swimsuit, how inappropriate I looked.”
She claims the woman then told her she needed to either put on shorts or go to a part of the pool where she was less visible.

US lists China among worst human trafficking offenders

The US hit China Tuesday over its rights record, listing the country alongside Sudan and North Korea on a list of the world’s worst human trafficking offenders.
The State Department downgraded China in its annual “Trafficking in Persons Report,” saying Beijing is doing little to combat trafficking or protect victims.
It pointed to ethnic Uighurs, a Muslim minority in China’s west, being coerced into forced labor, and to Beijing’s wholesale repatriation of North Koreans without checking to see if they were trafficking victims.

Florida woman charged with raping 11-year-old boy

Authorities in Hillsborough County said Marissa Mowry was 22 years old when she had sex with a boy half her age, and the encountered resulted in pregnancy.

USA Gymnastics Apologizes To Sexual Abuse Victims In Open Letter

Australian police charge Vatican treasurer over historical sexual assaults

Australian police have charged the Vatican's treasurer, Australian Cardinal George Pell, with multiple sexual assault offenses.
"Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offenses," Victoria state police deputy commissioner Shane Patton told a news conference in Melbourne.
"There are multiple complainants relating to those charges," he said. Pell was charged by summons to appear before Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18, Patton said.
Pell's Vatican spokesman and a spokeswoman for the Australian Catholic church did not respond immediately to emails seeking comment.
Patton gave no other details of the charges and would not take questions from the media.
Pell, 76, was a priest in the rural Victorian town of Ballarat before he was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne. He has lived at the Vatican since 2014.

‘This can’t be real’

‘This can’t be real’: Chilling 911 call reveals father’s raw emotion after fatally shooting daughter

Researchers say we have three years to act on climate change before it's too late

If we want a smooth transition into a sustainable future, we need to act fast.

Gun nut agitators aim to take firearms into zoos

Gun nuts are demanding people be allowed to carry firearms into public zoos nationwide.
Their calls for packing pistols while viewing caged animals were setback on Friday, however, when a judge in St Louis ruled in favor of retaining a ban on firearms at the St. Louis Zoo.

The Cheetah Meow

Lions roar, cougars scream, and cheetahs …meow? We know that cheetahs don't roar, and can purr like house cats, but did you know that a cheetah will sometimes meow? Cheetah's Meow

To Buzz or to Scrabble?

To Buzz or to Scrabble? To Foraging Bees, That’s the QuestionTo Foraging Bees, That’s the Question
Imagine going to the supermarket to stock up on groceries but coming home empty-handed because you just couldn’t figure out how to work the shopping cart or figure out how to get to the ice … Read more

Animal Pictures