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March 07, 2009

Overnight Open Thread. Friday Night Menagerie (Marlin “genghis” Perkins)

So whatever tickles your fancy, floats your boat, inflates your balloon, sucks your…well, you get the picture. Sorry…no P-I update tonight. Here’s a collection of heartwarming animal-related stories to keep you mesmerized. Or to ignore. The P-I stuff has pushed these critical articles to the back burner for a couple of days. On tonight’s episode of Mutual of Ace of Spade’s Wild Kingdom:

First: Snakes in a Car! Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes? (Here’s the cobra story I kept promising you Methos)

”A couple drove 170 kilometres (100 miles) from South Africa's famous Kruger National Park with a highly venomous spitting cobra in their car, the Beeld newspaper reported on Wednesday.”

“Gordon Parratt, 69, felt the 85-centimetre (33-inch) long snake wind itself around his leg while he was driving.”


Second: Here’s Cracked’s list of 7 Insane Attempts to Weaponize Animals. Since there’s really not much anyone can add to a Cracked article to make it funnier, I won’t bother trying. They do have links to a couple more animal-related articles at the end of this one: “8 Animals With Real Superpowers” and “The 6 Deadliest Creatures (That Can Fit in Your Shoe.)”

A few more below the fold:


Third: Hey look! It’s an actual Seattle P-I story after all! Well, an AP story at the P-I. Indonesia’s Psychedelic Fish Named a New Species. No really, they actually named it “Psychedelica,” o’ Haters and Doubters.

”JAKARTA, Indonesia -- A funky, psychedelic fish that bounces on the ocean floor like a rubber ball has been classified as a new species, a scientific journal reported.”
“The fish - which the University of Washington professor has named "psychedelica" - is a member of the antennariid genus, Histiophryne, and like other frogfish, has fins on both sides of its body that have evolved to be leg-like.”
“The fish, which has a gelatinous fist-sized body covered with thick folds of skin that protect it from sharp-edged corals, also has a flat face with eyes directed forward, like humans, and a huge, yawning mouth.”

Which is, I think, about all anyone could ask for in a psychedelic fish. Then again, it could just be a Cthulhu precursor. So far, live specimens returned to the lab have turned out to be remarkably resilient as they’re undergoing study. According to researchers:
”They seem to be impervious to the effects of bong smoke and “The Dark Side of the Moon” played on an endless loop,” according to one researcher. “We haven’t exposed them to black light tests yet, but we have high hopes they’ll adapt to that as well, by glowing. What’s really trippy is when they start to talk to you, late at night, when you’re alone in the lab. They really are the philosopher-kings of the fish world. Now if you’ll excuse me I really need to finish off these Doritos.”

Fourth: When not using their tentacles to violate various orifices of female Japanese anime characters, octopi can be quite entertaining, sometimes even getting inside lunchboxes. This is about Truman the octopus who lives at the New England Aquarium in Boston: (article has a picture of Truman in said box)
”Aquarium workers often place food inside locked boxes for the intelligent animals to crack open. It's what the aquarium calls an "enrichment activity," but it didn't go as planned Thursday. In this case, crabs were locked in a smaller box inside the bigger box, which is 14 inches per side. The impatient Truman bypassed the locks and squeezed his body through a 2-inch hole in the exterior box. He spent about 30 minutes inside before slithering out, delighting staff and guests who witnessed the spectacle. He never did get the smaller box open.”

Umm…wait…what was the point of this story again? And Truman’s efforts were a total failure? Guess staff and guests are fairly easily delighted around there.

Fifth: (And mercifully last) This is the honest-to-gawd true headline that AP (or the P-I) put on this story out of New Castle, PA.: “Gator Accused of Starting Fire at Abandoned School.” What were its possible motives? Guess we’ll have to wait until the trial since it’s lawyered-up and refuses to make any public statements.

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to xgenghisx@gmail.com. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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