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Monthly Archives: April 2012

The world’s largest crocodile can be found in the Philippines. His name is Lolong and at 20 foot 3 inches hes is the biggest crocodile of all time. Lolong is a native of Bunawan, Philippines where he was terrorizing villagers, he is the suspected killer of several fisherman.Last September, the locals decided enough was enough and stalked the croc for three days. It took a team of 100 men to take croc alive. After capture he was taken to the Bunowan Ecopark, where his status as the largest crocodile in captivity was confirmed.

ImageLolong is a saltwater crocodile, the largest species of the crocodilians. The previous title holder was an Australian saltwater crocodile named  Cassius who comes in at 17 foot 10 inches. Many experts and crocodile hunters believe there are even larger crocodiles out there though. The hunters who captured Lolong said that in the same Bunowan marshes, there are larger crocodiles to be found.

Saltwater crocodiles are found across southeast Asia and Oceania. In all there are 12 species of crocodiles and they can be found across the globe.

In America, the American crocodile is found across South Florida. Its range also includes the Carribean and the north coast of South America. So it’s not just gators in the states we have crocodiles who are even bigger and more active. I would be more afraid of a croc than a gator, and a gator is the scariest animal I’ve come across.

In the Amazon, you can find a relative of the crocodile called the caiman. It is much smaller than crocodiles and even alligators. Its diet includes fish and capybaras, but it gets preyed on by huge anacondas as well as jaguars. Like gators, caiman nearly went extinct due to extensive hunting for leather. Extensive conservation work has brought them back to health numbers, and caiman is more commonly used in leather work than the old standard, the american alligator.

Perhaps the funniest looking of the crocodilians is the gharial of India. The gharial has an extremely thin snout, ideal for hunting schools of fish. Gharials were at one time common all over south India and the Ganges river delta. Now they are among the most endangered of all the crocodilians.

Gigantic crocodiles like Lolong prove that the world still kind of has its dragons. Just because they arent cute doesnt mean we shouldnt look out for these magnificent creatures, support worldwide sonservation efforts so we can see even bigger crocodiles. 

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It has been two years since the BP oil rig Deep Horizon busted and oil spilt everywhere, but the effects are still being felt. 

The Gulf of Mexico is home to more than 40% of the nation’s seafood yield, and finding show that many species have been significantly harmed by the oil spill. Fishers are reporting finding shrimp with no eyes or even no eye sockets. White shrimp are being pulled up with tumors and pregnant females with abnormally developed offspring. Blue crabs are in big trouble as well, fishers are pulling up crab with no claws and soft rotting shells. While crustaceans have it the worst, lots of fish aren’t doing so hot either. Fish with abnormally developed gills as well as oozing lesions. What most fishermen and processors are saying is the same, theyve never seen anything like this before.

It’s not certain at this point how the sealife is being harmed, but it could have something to do with the chemicals BP used to sink the large amounts of floating oil. The solvent called Corexit was the most commonly used dispersant. It is known to be toxic to humans, but its effect on ecosystems is thusfar undocumented. It is suspected that the way the chemical’s residuals linger in the water could be the cause of the abnormalities we are seeing in sealife. Also the way it works with oil is not altogether a clean process. It sinks large deposits of oil and usually renders the stuff harmless, but often it allows large tarballs to form, and these are being pulled up in crab traps more often than ever. Tarballs are known to kill crabs, practically rotting them from the inside out.

The issue is that BP may have used a chemical that they werent entirely familiar with. It is possible that Corexit will be just as deadly to marine life as the oil it was supposed to clean up. While the FDA inisists that Gulf Seafood is healthy and safe to eat, it is uncertain whether the marine life there is safe and living healthily. As events unfold we will see how the Gulf can recover. In the meantime anyone can help the Gulf by buying local seafood available in grocery stores to help the struggling fisherman, and those whose livelihoods depend on one of America’s greatest assets.

Today is April the twentieth, a date cannabis enthusiasts across America mark on their calenders. The date is celebrated as a holiday for smoking weed and is referred to as “Four-Twenty”. The festivities of the day include smoking a lot of pot and generally slacking off. Across the nation there will be some huge smokeouts as the clock strikes 4:20 p.m. Among the largest of these gatherings will be University of Michigan’s annual Hash Bash and the smoke out on Colorado at Boulder’s campus. While the holiday is primarily an American observance, it is celebrated worldwide with people in Canada, Australia and New Zealand getting in on the act. 420 is more than a holiday celebrated on April twentieth its stoner lexicon for all sorts of stuff, you can say it to just add marijuana connotations to something. For example if you wanted to ask somebody discretely if their parents were okay with you smoking in the house you could say “are they 420 friendly?”.

There are all sorts of theories as to where 420 came from, and theyre all wrong, except for one. 420 is not the number of chemicals in pot. Its not the highway that the original kush pushers trafficked on. Its not the day Jim Morrison, Jimmy Hendricks, or Janis Joplyn died on. Its not any sort of police radio code. To find the origins of 420 we must travel back in time to 1971 San Rafael High School in San Rafael California.

There was a squad of stoners who would meet by a statue of Louis Pasteur at 4:20 and smoke doobies and stuff. They started to use the saying “420 Louis” as an all purpose discrete pot reference. They could use it during class to ask each other if they were down later, or if they looked stoned, or what their bud game looked like. The authenticity of this claim has been repeatedly been authenticated by High Times Magazine, a counter culture authority.

Happy 420!

The New Orleans Saints have named assistant/linebackers coach Joe Vitt interim head coach going into the regular season. This comes after speculation that the Saints might try and lure Bill Parcells out of retirement. It’s a little bit of a surprise because Joe Vitt must serve a six game suspension to begin the season. The Saints say that they will choose a coach to serve in his place during his suspension, the decision is expected to come during training camp. Potential candidates include offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

The move caught some flack because Vitt is not a well known name across the league, he’s not necessarily a high up position like Carmichael or Spags(Spagnuolo). I was watching ESPN First Take and Skip Bayless was talking about how the Saints chose Vitt to appease Goodell. He didnt have a high opinion of Vitt and he didn’t think Goodell would either, as opposed to getting a big figure like Parcells. He suggested that it would all be on Drew Brees this year because the Saints would be without the same degree of coaching benefit.

While I kind of agree that there won’t be the same kind of coaching presence this year for the Saints, I don’t think he understands what the Saints will be getting from Joe Vitt.  Joe Vitt may not be one of the biggest name positions and the linebackers may have been spotty these past couple of years, but Vitt is a well respected figure in the clubhouse. Sean Payton had Joe Vitt named his assistant head coach when he came to New Orleans, even though Vitt had been in talks with the Jets about the head coaching job. Vitt service included many years as a defensive assistant, and an interim gig as head coach for the 2005 Rams. Head coach Mike Martz was unavailable due to illness, and Vitt stepped in during week 5 and coached the remainder of the season.

This is pretty good experience for the job he’s got this year. The guy has interim head coach experience. He is a no-nonsense type of guy with a motto of “no excuses, play like a champion”. He knows how Payton’s system works and it’ll be his job to make sure that system of winning is working properly. I think that with the team and staff we’ve got, he’ll be well equipped to successfully complete his task.