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October 18, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Into every generation a sketch comedy (sometimes two or three or more) is born. Indeed, we can write the cultural history of our times in their names, from Sid Caesar's "Show of Shows" to the variety shows of Carol Burnett and Flip Wilson, to "Saturday Night Live" and "SCTV," to "Kids in the Hall" and "In Living Color" and "Mad TV," to "Key & Peele" and "Incredible Crew," with many more in between and yet to come. The latest link in this chain of laffs is "The Birthday Boys," premiering Friday on IFC. Its eponymous stars work out of the L.A. Branch of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (see also: "Upright Citizens Brigade," the late-'90s Comedy Central series that featured UCB co-founder Amy Poehler)
August 6, 2013 | By Alexandra Zavis
Authorities in Canada are investigating the deaths of two young brothers who are believed to have been killed by an escaped python in an apartment in the New Brunswick city of Campbellton. The Globe and Mail newspaper reports that the boys -- identified as Connor and Noah Barthe, aged 7 and 5 -- were found early Monday morning in an apartment above an exotic pet store called Reptile Ocean. An autopsy was scheduled Tuesday. The two boys were sharing a room at a sleepover with the child of the shop's owner, police told local news outlets.
May 21, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
A record-setting Burmese python nearly 19 feet in length was captured and killed in a rural part of Miami-Dade County, officials announced this week. Measuring 18 feet 8 inches, it is the longest Burmese python that has ever been found in the area. The snake was discovered by Jason Leon, 23, a marine biology student at Florida International University. Leon was riding all terrain vehicles with friends in Florida City, about 35 miles south of Miami, when he spotted 3 feet of the python poking out of the brush, the Sun Sentinel reports . Having kept Burmese pythons as pets, Leon knew to grab it from behind the head when he tried to pull it out. That's when the snake started to wrap its lengthy body around Leon's.
February 20, 2013 | By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times
BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE, Fla. - Strapped to Billy Bullard's hip was a machete he'd bought at a yard sale. In his fist were 4-foot-long metal snake tongs. Attached to the tongs was a high-resolution waterproof camera he called a "snake-cam. " All he had to do now was find a Burmese python. Bullard had been invited, along with just about anyone else willing to pay a $25 fee, to plunge into swampland and kill the fat, generally docile snakes that have been threatening the Everglades' ecosystem.
February 19, 2013 | By David Zucchino
A Burmese python may be a huge, fat, lumbering beast of a constrictor snake, but it's not easy to find in the wild. Nearly 1,600 professional and amateur snake hunters recently stomped through Florida's Everglades in the state's first Python Challenge. They caught exactly 68 pythons out of the tens of thousands of Burmese pythons that are believed to have infested the Everglades since the early 1980s. "They're gosh-darned hard to find," said Frank Mazzotti, a professor at the University of Florida who helped organize the month-long challenge, which ended Feb. 10. The contest is designed to raise public awareness of the pythons, an invasive species that crushes and eats native birds, mammals and reptiles.
February 1, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Who wins a Pulitzer Prize for being funny? Dave Barry, that's who. Technically, he won the prize for commentary for his columns at the Miami Herald -- where his job was, and is, "to write about issues ranging from the international economy to exploding toilets. " Barry has just published his first solo novel in a decade, "Insane City. " The book is about a groom on his way to his wedding when things begin to go wrong. "Things" include angry strippers, Russian gangsters, a refugee on the run, a very large pimp and a gigantic white python.
January 19, 2013 | By Andrew Khouri
They slither through the Florida Everglades, wreaking havoc on the ecosystem. They can grow to more than 17 feet in length. They're also really hard to find. Florida's monthlong “Python Challenge” kicked off last Saturday , and so far 21 Burmese pythons have been reported killed, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The event runs through Feb. 10, and updated totals will be provided every Tuesday and Friday. The snakes' brown-spotted bodies blend easily into the brush, stymieing many of the gun- and knife-toting hunters looking to bag a python and a cash prize.
January 12, 2013 | By Andrew Khouri
Guns in hand, groups of camouflaged hunters trudged through the Florida Everglades on Saturday hoping to bag a giant Burmese python and a cash prize. Florida's Python Challenge began Saturday afternoon, a monthlong event officials hope will help end the terror the invasive species has inflicted upon the environment. Nearly 800 people from more the 30 states have signed up for the challenge. Two competitions will be held. A small fraction of the contestants are professional python slayers who will compete among themselves.
August 14, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
A giant Burmese python found in the Florida Everglades has set a record for its size, spanning 17 feet 7 inches, and weighing almost 165 pounds. But it wasn't just the outside that set records: Scientists discovered the python was carrying 87 eggs. Previous records for Burmese pythons captured in the area were 16.8 feet long and 85 eggs, according to the University of Florida. The snake is just the latest evidence of Florida's growing problem with the exotic, highly adaptable species that has a  foothold in Everglades National Park and increasingly threatens native wildlife.
May 17, 2012 | By Katherine Tulich, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Nothing seems to stop "Jungle" Jack Hanna. Facing down dangerous animals and persnickety late-night hosts, the congenial wildlife expert and dedicated conservationist in the trademark khaki suit has been TV fixture for the last 30 years. Now, despite having just undergone a double knee replacement, Hanna is doing a national theater tour that comes to the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach on Saturday. "As long as I don't have to run around too much after any animals I will be fine," he laughed by phone from his home in Montana, where he is recuperating.
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