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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Daily Drift

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Carolina Naturally
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Today in History

King Wenceslas of Poland is murdered.
Charles IX of France signs the Treaty of St. Germain, ending the third war of religion and giving religious freedom to the Huguenots.
The invading armies of Spain, Austria and Bavaria are stopped at the village of St.-Jean-de-Losne, only 50 miles from France.
Ibrahim, the sultan of Istanbul, is thrown into prison, then assassinated.
Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard become the first men to climb Mont Blanc in France.
Brigham Young is chosen to head the Mormon Church, succeeding Joseph Smith.
Confederate President Jefferson Davis refuses General Robert E. Lee‘s resignation.
Thomas Edison patents the mimeograph.
The first household refrigerating machine is patented.
The first national congress of the Ku Klux Klan opens.
The Japanese Army occupies Beijing.
The German Luftwaffe attacks Great Britain for the first time, beginning the Battle of Britain.
U.S. Marines capture the Japanese airstrip on Guadalcanal.
U.S. forces complete the capture of the Marianas Islands.
The Soviet Union declares war on Japan.
U.S. troops repel the first North Korean attempt to overrun them at the Battle of Naktong Bulge, which continued for 10 days.
England’s “Great Train Robbery;” 2.6 million pounds ($7.3 million) is stolen
Nixon resigns from the presidency as a result of the Watergate scandal.
Pioneer-Venus 2 is launched to probe the atmosphere of Venus.
Iraq’s president Saddam Hussein executes 22 political opponents.
Brigadier General Efrain Rios Montt is deposed as president of Guatemala in the country’s second military coup in 17 months.
Angola, Cuba and South Africa sign a cease-fire treaty in the border war that began in 1966.
NASA Space Shuttle Columbia begins its eighth flight, NASA’s 30th shuttle mission.
Iraq annexes the state of Kuwait as its 19th province, six days after Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait.
The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley is raised to surface, 136 years after it sank following its successful attack on USS Housatonic in the outer harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.
An EF2 tornado hits Brooklyn, New York, the first in that borough since 1889.
Georgia invades South Ossetia, touching off a five-day war between Georgia and Russia.

White House to get a makeover soon

The White House is set to undergo a major renovation ...

10 Things You Learn When You Go Backpacking In A Wheelchair

Amy Oulton uses a wheelchair due to a connective tissue disorder. After a year-and-a-half of planning, she and her friend Steph backpacked through Asia, visiting Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Japan. Although her experiences would not necessarily hold true for other people who use wheelchairs, she shares some things she learned along the way, including some rather personal travel details.  
1. You can take a wheelchair just about anywhere…although you won’t always be in it.
I took my wheelchair places I never thought I could go, including wheeling into a river to wash an elephant with a tiny bucket. I found that often the only way to accommodate my wheelchair was to separate myself from it; I had to bum-shuffle into and around my chosen method of transportation. By bungee-cording my wheelchair to vehicles, I managed to travel on boats, tuk-tuks, and motorbikes. This did mean I spent most of the trip with a brown-stained bum and quickly realized the flashing hazards of the dresses I had brought.
2. Things can get really personal.
There’s nothing quite like your wheelchair being strapped to the roof of the Mekong boat you’ll be on for two days, weak legs and appalling stability even on steady land, a heavy flow, a Mooncup, a squat toilet, and no running water to bring you closer to the friend you’re traveling with.
Read the rest of Oulton's list and see pictures of the trip at Buzzfeed.

Locals From 14 Countries Reveal The Most Annoying Things Tourists Do

If you've ever lived somewhere where a lot of tourists visit, then you know how annoying they can be when they don't respect your local customs and habits. Travel and Leisure talked to people from 14 different countries and asked them what the most annoying thing tourists do when visiting.One Italian, for example, complained that "Foreigners are pretty convinced that Italy is a lovely land without laws [...] and they think they can do everything they want. Well, let me tell you a tiny little thing: YOU CAN'T. You can't have a bath in the Trevi Fountain. You can't pee in the streets in the middle of the night. You can't climb the several statues that adorn our historic centers (they were made by Bernini, Canova or Michelangelo you fools, have some respect for our geniuses!)."
A common complaint by people across the globe is about travelers who treat the local poor like tourist attractions to be photographed and gawked at. You can read the rest of the comments over at Travel and Leisure.

Two tourists arrested in Germany over Nazi salute

German police on Saturday arrested two Chinese tourists for making illegal "Heil Hitler" salutes in front of the historic Reichstag building, Reuters reported.
Berlin police officers said they detained the two men, aged 36 and 49, after they were seen striking the Nazi-era pose and photographing each other with their mobile phones.
They face charges for "using symbols of illegal organizations", police said in a statement quoted by Reuters. They were released after posting bail of 500 euros each.
Germany has strict laws on hate speech and symbols linked to Hitler and the Nazis.

'I feel way more happier now that I know who I am'

Rebekah Bruesehoff hasn't always been comfortable in her own skin.
Around the age of 7, she talked about not wanting to be alive, her mother, Jamie Bruesehoff, said.
"She didn't enjoy anything, she had anxiety, was really distressed and depression came with that," Jamie said. "She just kind of lost the light in her."
It wasn't until after Rebekah hit a crisis point that her family became aware of the reason for the distress -- her gender. She'd been born a boy, but in her heart, she knew she was a girl.
Two years after her transition, Rebekah says much has changed.
"I feel way more happier now that I know who I am," she said. "I feel me." 

Americans might be having less sex due to 'helicopter parenting'

Sex appears to be available more easily than ever before, with numerous dating apps cropping up every day and allowing people to schedule their next hook-ups with just a swipe on their phones. Then there are the committed couples who are assured of a "sure thing" every night, which is also known as "the marriage advantage."

The Essentials

Doctor Murdered for NOT Prescribing Opioids

Well-Intentioned Phrases Ruined By Obnoxious People

Most phrases we use all the time didn't start out with any sort of bad intention behind them, because they were coined for the sake of safety and self expression not to piss people off.
But, like every other well intentioned thing in this world, some jerks just had to take phrases like "does it have gluten in it?" or "think of the children!"  and ruin them for everyone else.
People once asked about gluten because they have celiac disease, and eating gluten filled foods like wheat, barley or rye can make them really sick, but then the diet fad began and made "gluten" a jerk word.
Likewise "won't somebody please think of the children?" began as a well-meaning phrase designed to get people to think about what kids are exposed to, so strippers and sailors would tone it down around the kiddos.
But now it's a PC battle cry yelled by those who seek to "protect children" by whitewashing the world, making the world a safer place by censoring the crap out of everything.

‘America’s toughest sheriff’ reduced to begging for money after being found guilty of contempt of court

Days after being found guilty of criminal contempt, former Maricopa County Sheriff  Arpaio is sending out blast emails begging for financial support.

The Cronies Behind the Energy Industry's Deliberate Misinformation Campaigns

From Boy Geniuses to Mad Scientists ...

... How Americans Got So Weird About Science
Science is the most interesting part of the school day, and it's the easiest way to get a child interested in their own education. That's one reason we encourage in interest in science among children, but it's not the only reason. At different times in our history, we've become very excited about the idea of our kids growing up to eventually make the world a better place. Historian Rebecca Onion, author of Innocent Experiments: Childhood and the Culture of Popular Science in the United States, tells us about how our changing views of science affect how we encourage our children to learn about it. Wartime particularly shaped public opinion, because great innovations come from wartime research, for good or evil.
After World War II, Americans embraced the bounty of wartime scientific advances and a thriving economy: They now had cheap goods made out of high-tech plastic, streamlined appliances, and home TV sets. But they were also haunted by the specters of the A-bomb and the H-bomb. The burgeoning Cold War with the U.S.S.R. raised fears that workaholic Soviet scientists, laboring relentlessly under Communism, were making progress faster than American scientists, a competition that played out in the Space Race. Mainstream American pop culture attempted to assure people with images of the perfect suburban family defeating Communism through consumerism. However, American B-movies, comics, and pulp fiction were overrun with evil robots, monsters from space, radioactive mutants—and “mad scientists.” All of this affected how Americans regarded scientific education.
“The fears spiked in Postwar America at particular moments,” Onion says. “When Sputnik became the first spacecraft launched into orbit in 1957, Americans panicked, like, ‘Oh my God, the Soviets have it over us. Whatever the great powers of science and technology are, they’re better at them.’ That launch created a lot of apprehension and fear that kids absorbed and processed. Tons of postwar popular culture addressed that combination of wonder and fear, especially about nuclear technology and space travel.”
But the pendulum swings both ways, and not always in a straight line. Girls and minority children were left out of the public push for science education until recently. Science fiction and horror movies gave us reason to fear science. And when a child reaches a certain age, an interest in science can brand them as nerdy. Read an overview of how our culture had shaped science education for kids over time at Collectors Weekly.

The Darker Side of The Total Solar Eclipse

The solar eclipse that will cross the U.S. on August 21 will be confined to a 70-mile wide path. Cities and towns inside that path are gearing up for a huge number of visitors, and the chaos that can come with them. City officials, emergency workers, and engineers are making plans to deal with the influx of people and the conditions peculiar to an eclipse. Hospitals are stocking up on medicine to get ahead of delivery problems. Emergency dispatchers are practicing to deal with people who don't know what's happening. And the biggest problem will be traffic.  
Gridlocks are expected across the U.S. for several days before and after the eclipse.
“It is similar to what would happen for an evacuation for a hurricane,” said Howard Duvall, councilman for Columbia, South Carolina.
To help the public grasp the size of these traffic jams, Duvall said it’s easier, and less frightening to compare the impact to a football game, even if no football game aside from the Super Bowl can really get close to the scale of traffic. “This is going to be like having 10 Carolina-Clemson football games on the same day,” Duvall said.
Read more about what to expect if you live in the zone of totality at City Lab.

NASA is Still Tracking Voyager I and Voyager II

NASA launched Voyager I and Voyager II in 1977, on a 12-year mission to study and send back data from Jupiter and Saturn. That was the stated mission, as that was all that the U.S. government was willing to fund. However, scientists and engineers at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Lab had higher hopes for the probes. Forty years later, the two spacecraft are still sending back data, Voyager I from interstellar space, and Voyager II as it is crossing the the boundary of the solar system. Possibly even more surprising is that NASA engineers are still monitoring the mission.
All explorations demand sacrifices in exchange for uncertain outcomes. Some of those sacrifices are social: how many resources we collectively devote to a given pursuit of knowledge. But another portion is borne by the explorer alone, who used to be rewarded with adventure and fame if not fortune. For the foreseeable future, Voyager seems destined to remain in the running for the title of Mankind’s Greatest Journey, which might just make its nine flight-team engineers — most of whom have been with the mission since the Reagan administration — our greatest living explorers. They also may be the last people left on the planet who can operate the spacecraft’s onboard computers, which have 235,000 times less memory and 175,000 times less speed than a 16-gigabyte smartphone. And while it’s true that these pioneers haven’t gone anywhere themselves, they are arguably every bit as dauntless as more celebrated predecessors. Magellan never had to steer a vessel from the confines of a dun-colored rental office, let alone stay at the helm long enough to qualify for a senior discount at the McDonald’s next door.
Read about the engineers who've dedicated their lives to the Voyager mission at the New York Times. You can also keep up with the V-gers themselves by reading NASA's status page on the mission.

Could Going Vegan Become Your Path to Happiness?

British Caterpillars Are Being Killed By A 'Zombie' Virus That Makes Them Explode

Most "zombie" viruses that affect insects are pretty horrific, and they almost always result in the death of the host insect, but it seems the oak eggar caterpillars afflicted with the baculovirus have it worst of all.That's because the baculovirus changes the caterpillar's instinct to stay out of the sun, making them climb towards the sun until their exoskeleton disintegrates and they explode, spraying their virus-filled guts all over the forest.
Mosslands manager from the Wildlife Trust in Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside Dr. Chris Miller has been looking in to the exploding 'pillar problem:
'It's like a zombie horror film. I was carrying out a large heath butterfly survey on Winmarleigh Moss and noticed a caterpillar hanging from the end of a branch of a small bush. Later on I saw another one hanging from a tall blade of grass - both were dead but otherwise intact.
Birds will often eat the zombified corpses as they hang from the tops of plants and spread the virus via their feces. 'It's pretty gruesome when you think about it,' Dr Miller said.
'I've never seen it in eight years working with the Wildlife Trust, and my colleague hasn't in 25 years, so it's an unusual thing to witness,' Dr Miller told MailOnline. 

Anti-Vaxxer Dog Owners Are Now Putting Their—and Your—Pets' Health at Risk

Animal Pictures