Thursday, December 13, 2012

Psssssst - snake round-up and other stories on the cyber highway of life

As is my habit and delight, came across some interesting and quirky-ish, “huh...what?” pieces in which I felt would or could be of interest to people dropping by this blog. I mean, these type of pieces are what makes life interesting. Right?

 “Do get on with the content Eleanor, and dispense with the commentary!”

Snowbirds, the human variety, who seek out warmer climates to avoid winter’s chill, frequently choose Florida as a popular destination. Recently, the state has been dealing with an over-abundance of interlopers that have made the Everglades their home.

Although I'm not particularly fond of snakes particularly those that tend to hug excessively, my philosophy in as far as this creature is concerned is live-and-let-live. I mean, garter snakes are sort-of cute and they don’t really hurt anyone. Sort-of long-ish worms...

 “You’re boring people, Eleanor! Get to the point!”

 On occasion, when humans interfere with the natural course of nature and introduce species that aren't natural to a particular habitat, problems arise. In this case - big problems. Take the plethora of pythons (say that fast after a few drinks), which are slowly overtaking the Florida Everglades for example, whose presence is due to humans introducing it to a habitat that is a  perfect environment for python reproduction.

As a means in which to deal with their ever-increasing numbers, Florida wildlife officials are holding a competition to see who can catch the most pythons for cash. Personally, there is no amount of money that anyone could tempt me with, to go within 100 feet of a python, never mind catch one! But I digress.

So, anyway and as an interesting means in which to cut back on their numbers, a "2013 Python Challenge" will be held starting on January 12, 2013 and run for a month, for anyone interested in participating. The slithery action will focus on a marshy area known as the River of Grass and the competition is open to both professional and non professional snake hunters. Just thinking here...what type of clothes would one wear to catch snakes? Presumably, boots that would reach the hip level, long, thick rubber gloves for anti-biting purposes but what about a cover for one's head? Do sporting goods stores sell these type of outfits? More importantly, do they come in a variety of shades? But I digress. Does anybody reading this, know?
Just to give you some type of idea of the rationale behind holding this type of challenge and according to Wikipedia, “the Burmese Python (Python molurus bivittatus) is the largest subspecies of the Indian Python and one of the six largest snakes in the world, native to a large variation of topic and sub-tropic areas of Southern and Southeast Asia. They are often found near water and are sometimes semi-aquatic but can also be found in trees.” They can reach sizes up to 19 feet. We’re talking big – and long – and slithery - and dangerous here.

Pythons are definitely not the type of creature as pet material although some people raise  smaller and non-dangerous snakes. Snakes, though, can’t be trained to do tricks or be taken for a walk on a leash. They’re just...there.
To return to the snake roundup... The purpose of the event is to reduce the number of non-native reptiles who have taken to the local wildlife in a big way. Winners will receive up to $1500 for the longest snake in addition to $1000 for the snake slayer bringing in the most snakes. Dead one presumes. As a matter of fact, a Burmese python found in August last year set a record as the largest python ever captured measuring 17 feet, 7 inches and carrying - wait for it - 87 eggs! We're talking here about 87 potential Burmese pythons! A federal ban exists that encompasses the Burmese python, the yellow anaconda and the northern and southern African pythons. Good luck to the brave snake hunters who decide to respond to this challenge. Not moi. I’ll stick to seeing them under glass in a zoo.


Not sure how many people would take advantage of this offer. Count me in as not one of them.

A coffin maker from Truskavets, Ukraine, wants to give people the opportunity to see what it’s like to lay in a coffin – while they’re alive. The logic behind it is to prepare people for the afterlife. Thinking further about this opportunity and speaking for myself, I’m in no rush to find out to be candid.

The creator calls his new service, “coffin therapy.” Coffin loungers/lay-people can relax if one can actually relax in a coffin, for approximately 15 minutes. Lid on is optional. Not sure exactly what is meant by this. In any case, as part of the experience, he has set up a room with several empty coffin from which to choose. Clients can recline while listening to the sound of a bird song or waterfall playing in the background. Pass on this offer, thank you very much. A bit too creepy for me.


Last but not least... The holiday of Christmas is a holiday in which celebrants embellish their homes with holiday decorations in addition to the religious rites. Some people celebrate the holiday in a different manner. On a government-owned piece of property in Deerfield Beach, Florida, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus are a part of a nativity scene set up at an intersection, for more than twenty years. This year, though, they are being joined by a Festivus Pole which is not to the liking of some people. TV viewers will recall the pretend holiday of Festivus held on December 23, featured in a “Seinfeld” episode.

Activist/blogger, Chaz Stevens, had been trying unsuccessfully to get permission to install it for five years to install it. The Festivus Pole, composed of 23 beer cans stacked 8 feet high, is
located six feet from baby Jesus. In order to make the pole, Stevens and a friend drained (no mentioning of drinking) 23 cans of beer, sawed off the ends of the cans and threaded on to the pole. To each her/own and different strokes for different folk.

Here is the Festivus Pole:

 How was your week?

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