Sunday, July 15, 2012

Spider Sunday 7-15-12

A few spidery links today:

Brown widows replacing my favorite spiders: A link to one of many stories. Here's another. As I said the other week, yes, I've heard the news. Incidentally, I think I may have been, um, using the facilities beneath some brown widow egg sacs the other day at the lake. For now, it's still black widows at home.

What really happens when a spider bites you: Sorry, Spider-Man. Radioactive or no, you're not getting superpowers. (You will notice that I spelled and hyphenated the name correctly, though! None of this "Spiderman" nonsense.) A brief rundown on a few notorious spiders and the effects of their bites. The upshot: Be careful, and you'll probably be fine. Bonus points for nerdy comic book/movie tie-in. Points off for use of "poisonous" instead of "venomous."

Man decides "kill it with fire" is a good idea; it goes about how you would expect: A man decided blasting cobwebs with fire was the best course of action. Some brush ignited and spread a fire to the attic. Firefighters responded promptly and no one was hurt (unless you count massive damage to the family's home), but suffice it to say, maybe you should reach for a broom instead of a blowtorch if you want to clear out cobwebs.

OMG FLYING SPIDERS!!: The words "flying spiders" appear in a few articles, and everyone panics. Sigh. The Hilton Magnificent Miles Suites hotel in Chicago provided free nightmare fuel with turn-down service warned guests to avoid the "annual influx of flying spiders spinning mini-masterpieces as high as 95 stories." The note did specify that it's natural behavior, and ballooning rather than soaring and diving, but I think all people saw was "flying" and spiders. Spiders balloon all the time. The air currents this time of year seem to make these particular spiders a local phenomenon (to some, anyway; several Chicagoans seem to never heard of it) -- but come on. Keep your windows shut tight "to avoid the annual migration of high rise flying spiders?" Surely the hotel was trolling folks. Remember those cute, gently floating spiders at the end of the animated Charlotte's Web? That's what they do. They're not attacking high rises.

Treating muscular dystrophy with spider venom: A story of a grandfather's love, the Internet's ability to connect people, some really interesting medical research, and spider venom. Scientists from University at Buffalo think that the complex molecules in the venom of Chilean rose tarantulas may help reinforce cellular structures in patients with muscular dystrophy. Stockbroker Jeff Harvey, whose son has the disease was looking for some way to support research. The scientists needed funding. A Google search later, everyone came together. It's not a cure, but it might be a treatment. And the tarantulas aren't even radioactive. More, and much better explained, at the link.


JMD said... Best Blogger Tips

I left a comment in June and never received a reply. Do you know someone that can help us identify a snake we found in Arizona?

Kimberly Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

Eep; sorry! If you still can't reach me by e-mail (, you can always private message me on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook. I'd be happy to take a stab at any critters you have!

Kimberly Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

Well, that sounded awful. Obviously I meant I'd be happy to hazard a guess as to the ID of any critters you have. :-)