February 19, 2013 |
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 11, 2013 |
The Chinese new year, the Year of the Snake, could leave the stock market snake-bitten. Sunday ushered in the Chinese New Year but, investors may wish it hadn't. The Year of the Snake is the only one of the 12 Chinese lunar calendar years in which the Standard & Poor's 500 index has a losing record, according to researcher Capital IQ. Since 1900, the benchmark index is down an average of 2.9% in the Year of the Snake, according to Capital IQ. It has risen in only three of the nine snake years since 1900, marking the worst performance of the any of the named lunar years.
February 6, 2013 |
The very funny Dave Barry joined us for a video chat from his home in Florida. During our conversation, he turned his laptop so that we could see his pool and his writing desk, where he once found a snake sitting on his can of Diet Coke. Snakes are just one of the Florida-ific peculiarities in Barry's new novel, "Insane City. " The book, his first solo novel for adults in a decade, is what he joined us to talk about. Both hilarious and serious, it's the story of the destination wedding of Seth, a relatively ordinary guy, and his wealthy, high-achieving fiancée.
January 27, 2013 |
For those who follow the Chinese zodiac, the year of the snake begins Feb. 10. People born under this sign are thought to be more likely to be seductive, gregarious, charming, smart, good with money and, at times, a little jealous. The reptiles themselves are beautiful, sometimes dangerous, creatures that have inspired countless designers over the years. Here are some ways to incorporate the symbol of the year into your wardrobe, with no harm done to any living creature. It's hard not to turn heads in Equipment's Sloane crewneck cashmere sweater, $298 from Nordstrom, with its snakeskin print in neon yellow.
January 25, 2013 |
Las Vegas will celebrate the Chinese New Year next month, replete with dragon dances, firecrackers, fabulous food and stunning floral displays along the Strip and in downtown Las Vegas. The fun gets underway at the Fremont Street Experience at 6 p.m. on Feb. 8. Dragon dancers will perform as virtual firecrackers explode on the Viva Vision canopy overhead. Through Feb. 10, the pedestrian mall will be alive with cultural performances and vendors selling Asian food. At 3:30 p.m. Feb. 9, a dragon dance will wind its way through the Venetian . The performers will eventually make their way to the resort's Waterfall Atrium, which is already bedecked in a colorful display featuring “Sophie Chow,” an animated, 98-foot-long blue snake that welcomes the arrival of the Year of the Snake.
January 24, 2013 |
In Shanghai , guests at the Peninsula Hotel will greet the Chinese New Year by snaking through the lobby doing a lion dance. In Bangkok and Beijing , they will celebrate at the Peninsula's afternoon tea. And in Hong Kong , they will watch the city's colorful holiday fireworks show explode over Victoria Harbour while sipping Champagne on the Sun Terrace. Most of the events are taking place Feb. 10, when the Chinese New Year kicks off in Asia and around the world. Peninsula Hotels, whose history in China dates to 1866, is welcoming the Year of the Snake with special events and rates at its nine properties.
January 22, 2013 |
“Being newly single in middle age.... It's like opening one of those child's toys where the snake pops out of the can.” So goes “The Snake Can” at the Odyssey Theatre. Kathryn Graf's wry, insightful dramedy about three longtime girlfriends and their internecine midlife crises surmounts some post-larval structural blips with pertinence, humor and heart. Meet fetching, successful Meg (Sharon Sharth, funny and convincing), a twice-divorced New Yorker unable to sustain even casual relationships, and her party posse.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 2013
David R. Ellis, 60, a journeyman director and former stuntman whose credits include the 2006 thriller "Snakes on a Plane," died Monday morning in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was in pre-production on the upcoming film "Kite" with Samuel L. Jackson. The cause of death was unknown, said his agent, David Boxerbaum. Ellis most recently served as the second unit director on several upcoming high-profile films including "47 Ronin," starring Keanu Reeves; "R.I.P.D. " with Ryan Reynolds; and the adaptation of Mark Helprin's novel "Winter's Tale.
January 7, 2013 |
Journeyman director and former stuntman David R. Ellis died Monday morning in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was in pre-production on the upcoming film "Kite" with Samuel L. Jackson. The cause of death is unknown, said his agent, David Boxerbaum. Ellis was 60. Ellis most recently served as the second unit director on several upcoming high-profile films including the Keanu Reeves-starrer "47 Ronin"; "R.I.P.D. " with Ryan Reynolds; and the adaptation of Mark Helprin's novel "Winter's Tale.
October 3, 2012 |
Nobody wants to be bitten by a black mamba. One of the most dangerous snakes in the world, its venom can kill a person in less than half an hour. But a new study reports that there is something besides deadly toxin hidden inside the snake: a powerful painkiller that works as well as morphine but without the side effects. In the report, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers from France described two previously unknown pain-killing peptides extracted from the mamba toxin.