How curious!

September 29, 2007 at 3:00 am Leave a comment

Let’s forget the surveillance society stuff for a moment and take a look at how odd and curious this fascinating world of ours can sometimes be. For your enjoyment – a collection of stories that strike me as very curious.

Take that, you nasty snake! Should you be enjoying a leisurely stroll with your beloved canine and unexpectedly come across a giant Burmese python, don’t worry. Follow these simple instructions. Simply fling yourself at the snake whilst your pet dog is being twisted and crushed by the python. Pull your dog’s legs out of the python’s grip. Have another dog nearby yapping away – this will distract the python whilst you’re tussling with it and give you encouragement. Since a python can weigh up to 100kg, you should probably not be a stick insect. Grapple with the snake until it’s had enough and slithers away.

Believe it or not, this close up and personal with a snake happened recently in Hong Kong. Catherine Leonard and her dog, Poppy, were minding their own business when a slithery Burmese python spoilt their day. Poppy was rescued by her fearless owner. Source: Mail & Guardian Online.

Or…find a squirrel. If you can’t stomach the notion of flinging yourself at a giant python, then quickly look around for a squirrel to do your dirty work for you. Squirrels have a very curious capability – they can heat up their tails to fend off snakes, rattlesnakes to be precise. Not sure if this works with all snakes. The thermal-signalling of the squirrel causes angst for the rattlesnake as they are heat-sensitive. The squirrel vigorously waves its tail, which signals the snake “watch out, I’m ready to rock and roll”. Source: National Geographic.

Have goat, will travel. Qantas may want to follow Nepal Airline’s practice of sacrificing a goat or two should there be technical problems. A Boeing 757 was apparently experiencing an electrical fault, so a couple of goats were sacrificed in front of the plane before it took off for Hong Kong from Kathmandu airport. It arrived safely in Hong Kong. The goats were sacrificed to appease a Hindu god. Next time I board an aircraft, I’ll take a moment to check out the tarmac. Source: BBC News.

Throw away your tinfoil hat. You’ve probably heard that some conspiracy theorists think that tinfoil hats may prevent the Government from reading your thoughts. Hey, I don’t think the Government is that smart anyway. But in February 2005, a group of scientists from MIT conducted rigorous tests on the mind-ray blocking powers of the tinfoil hat and found…..while tinfoil hats mostly had a modest attenuating effect, they in fact amplified signals on certain frequencies, namely 1.2 – 1.4 Ghz – the range allocated to the US government. Yikes! Just when I was going to order a tinfoil hat in hot pink! Source: Fortean Times.

Should you encounter a burglar in your house. Offer a glass of wine and a group hug. A group of friends were dining on the back patio of their house in Washington, when a masked robber suddenly appeared, brandishing a gun and demanding money. After some stunned silence, one guest asked “Why don’t you have a glass of wine with us?“. The intruder (clearly no idiot) had a sip of their Chateau Malescot St-Exupery and said, “Damn, that’s good wine” and also nibbled on some Camembert. Obviously delighted by the hospitality, the intruder announced that he had clearly come to the wrong house and asked for a group hug. The five adults complied and the group hug was followed by the would-be burglar dashing off into the night. Source: CBS News.

Lock up your cat. Just in case “fur with attitude” (aka domestic cat) is mistaken for a feral cat, you’d better lock up the moggy if you live in Australia. We have a problem with feral cats that roam the Outback. No issue really: we Australians are a pretty innovative bunch and we love our culinary delights. The solution? Cook up some wild cat stew. Recently, a contest in Alice Springs featured a wild cat casserole recipe. Not having snacked on a wild cat, I can’t give you first hand experience of the taste, but it is apparently a cross between rabbit and chicken. I’m intrigued by the recipe. I can’t find step by step instructions, but somehow you’ve gotta go out and track your cat, wrestle it to the ground and then….well, let’s just say the meat is added to a pot with lemon grass and quandong (sweet desert fruit).Simmer for 5 hours then serve up garnished with bush plums and mistletoe berries. Very timely recipe: now I know what to serve up at my next dinner party. Source: BBC News.

National Geographic imageI, Clawdius? Forget the cats inhabiting the Forum in Rome. There’s a whole bunch of fearless crabs lurking in the ruins. The Roman crabs—of the species Potamon fluviatile—were discovered in in 1997. They must like life amongst the ruins because they grow to around 8 cm long, whereas crabs in the wild grow to around 5 cm. Gigantism is an animal response to isolation. Apparently, they’ve been there for at least a thousand years before the complex was completed in AD 112. Source: National Geographic.

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Entry filed under: Animals, Curiousity, How curious!. Tags: , , , .

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