April 20, 2010
With Burmese pythons infesting the Everglades, the state wildlife commission turned to a formidable force to kill them: Florida's licensed hunters. "Our hunters are on the front lines," said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in a February announcement of a six-week python hunt. "And we hope, by tapping into their knowledge of the Everglades, we can make significant progress in this effort." The hunt , which began March 8, ended Saturday.
February 26, 2010 |
Reporting from The Wagah Crossing, India-Pakistan Border -- As one heads across the border from India into Pakistan at the Wagah crossing, the only thing that seems to concern the customs officer in the (essentially dry) Islamic Republic of Pakistan is whether you're bringing in booze. Heading back the other way after two weeks covering political infighting and Taliban attacks, the first thing you hear from an industrious Indian hawker is "You want to buy beer?" Welcome to Wagah, the busiest of the two land crossings linking these ever-suspicious neighbors -- in other words, not very busy.
February 15, 2010 |
Vultures circled over Everglades National Park's Anhinga Trail, where thousands of dead nonnative fish floated in the marshes. About half of the Burmese pythons that have turned up in the park recently have been dead. Dead iguanas have dropped from trees onto patios across South Florida. And in western Miami-Dade County, three African rock pythons -- powerful constrictors that can kill people -- have turned up dead. Although South Florida's warm, moist climate has nurtured a vast range of nonnative plants and animals, a January cold snap reminded these intruders that they're not in Burma or Ecuador anymore.
January 15, 2010 |
Fears of a new "super snake" emerging in the Everglades grew this week during a hunt to track South Florida's invasive python population. A three-day, state-coordinated hunt that started Tuesday had, by Wednesday, turned up at least five African rock pythons -- including a 14-foot-long female -- in a targeted area in Miami-Dade County. Those findings add to concerns that the African rock python is a new breeding population in the Everglades and not just the result of a few overgrown pets being released into the wild, according to the South Florida Water Management District.
January 6, 2010
We're getting used to spices in beer, such as the coriander in Belgian witbier and the fruitcake spices in Christmas ales. This one makes a quite different choice, ginger and fennel, along with the dash of orange peel that's been showing up in a lot of ales. But here's the thing: It's not an ale -- it's a crisp lager, so the spices are out there on their own, not supported by the forgiving musk of ale flavors. So it has a straw-yellow color with a moderate head and a grassy (three kinds of hops in there)
October 18, 2009 |
In 1969, five young British comedians and one young American animator came together to make a television show. Without much of an idea of what they were going to do, they were given a series by the BBC to do it in, and after hunting around for a name -- "Owl-Stretching Time" and "A Horse, a Spoon, and a Basin" having been bruited and vetoed -- they settled on "Monty Python's Flying Circus." The 40th anniversary of this event is being marked by an excellent six-hour documentary series, "Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut)
September 27, 2009 |
The largest snake in Africa, a powerful constrictor that consumes goats, wart hogs and crocodiles, has been found east of the Everglades, raising the possibility that it is breeding in the wild in a state already overrun with nonnative wildlife. Authorities are investigating the discovery of three African rock pythons, including a juvenile and a female with eggs, in western Miami-Dade County over the last few months. Although state wildlife officials hope these were simply released pets, they are taking seriously the danger that a second nonnative constrictor has established itself in the state alongside the Burmese python, now estimated to number in the thousands in Everglades National Park.
September 22, 2009 |
An English newspaper once described a soccer star as having "developed splendidly and then aged as well as could be hoped for." That might sum up another U.K. icon, Monty Python. Because while it's been 25 years since the seminal six-man English comedy troupe has produced any new material, its thoughtful silliness still resonates. Now the group is again among us, cheerfully exploiting its upcoming 40th anniversary with a Python-palooza of events on tap: a new play in Los Angeles based on its classic TV sketches, a six-part documentary on the IFC channel, a book describing its live performances and a rare coming together of the group's five living members for a Q&A session in New York.
August 2, 2009 |
Go ahead, stretch out in the soft grass. It's comfortable. You're surrounded by a smorgasbord of prey. You may belong half a world away, but here in the Everglades, life is good. Except you're a Burmese python, and the state wants to hunt you down and kill you. It hasn't put a bounty on your head, but it may as well have: If caught, you're decapitated. In this moonlit world of marsh, bug and fanged danger, snake hunter Jeff Fobb is top predator.