Construction has been halted on a highway underpass that would have resolved traffic congestion in San Antonio, Tex. Why did workers stop digging? Because somebody saw a spider.
Animals have borrowed a page from the U.S. Civil War, tying up Southern transportation lines with the only weapon at their disposal: the heebie-jeebies. Good luck getting anyone to shovel dirt when any trowel-full could lead to an underground spider cave.
The spider, a Braken Bat Cave meshweaver, is an endangered species that hasn’t been seen since it was first discovered 30 years ago. It’s blind, so that means it finds its way around by touching everything with its disgusting, spindly legs and mouth parts.
What we need now is an anti-environmental judge with a really big shoe to get roadwork started again.
Every year, Michigan’s Lake Superior University and I like to take stock of the English language. The school lets students nominate words that they feel have become misused, overused and cliché, and the winners are compiled into a list for your banishment consideration. This is a valuable lesson in democracy in which students learn that they can make nominations and cast votes, while a college has the liberty of overriding their decision.
I refer to this act as “cleaning out the language gutters,” which should be performed yearly lest they fill with water and gunk, and then freeze and burst. After all, if I wanted to persist with a language full of ridiculous words, I would have continued taking Spanish in college. Continue reading Take it from Snee: Cleaning out the language gutters for 2012
There are certain rights we expect. The right to live as we wish. The right to own property. The right to pursue Happiness, Sunshine or any other optimistically-named stripper. And, of course, the right to die as we wish.
The latter part has come up periodically over the past decade since Thomas Jefferson didn’t include “death” in the list of A Few of His Favourite Things. (Also left out: kittens, strudel, warm woolen mittens.)
We’ve jailed and early-released Jack Kevorkian, a former pathologist who helped dying people die on their own terms. We’ve removed, replaced and removed Terry Schiavo’s feeding tube until we finally stopped stringing her along and sent her to the happy walking trail upstairs.
So, if actions speak louder than wishy-washy, yet well-intentioned words, then we’ve effectively decided that we do have a right to die on our own terms, to “go out with our boots on.”
So, what about animals? Continue reading Take it from Snee: Kill the pandas
Listen, animal warriors. When you tell us you’re doing your part to keep all animal life at bay, we believe you. Why? Because we thought we could trust you.
So, do you want to explain why scientists found over 1,000 new and thought-to-be-extinct species stuffed in the Mekong Delta? Did you think we wouldn’t eventually look in there?
It’s not just the deception that hurts, but look what’s been sitting in there this whole time:
- 11 million-year-old rats
- Spiders with foot long(!) legspans
- Hot pink cyanide-producing dragon millipedes
- Bright green pit vipers
- Horned bovines
It’s like you’re trying to hide the worst from us.
Fortunately, the people of the Mekong are trying to help clean up your mess.
“There are cultural obstacles to protecting rare species, too. Many restaurants serve them as food. Restaurants often have rickety bamboo floors that one can look through to see cages filled with exotic animals, [Dekila] Chungyalpa [, Director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Mekong Program,] says. The more exotic the animal, the more status it often bestows on the person who consumes it.”
Until you prove that you’re trustworthy, we’re afraid that we cannot give you nice things anymore. Now get back to work. We don’t want to see you until dinner. (It’s Ocelot Helper Night.)