Thursday, August 17, 2006

Double Feature Night

Last night was Tivo double feature night at Jody’s.

Feature #1…..Python vs. Alligator. Complete with forensic scientists armed with digital x-rays and seriously gruesome pictures, National Geographic succeeded in bringing out my inner 8 year old barbarian who screams neat-o at the sight of a 15 foot Burmese python that “mysteriously” exploded after eating a 6 foot alligator. Like an episode of CSI Everglades, a group of biologists pieced together the mystery of exactly what went down when an introduced python was introduced to a native alligator. The conclusion seemed to be that while the python was digesting the alligator, a second alligator attacked and ripped open the snake. The local ecosystem has been taking a beating for years from aggressive introduced species. Australian pines, Brazilian pepper and meleleucas have overtaken thousands of square miles that used to be dominated by a diversity of native trees. Tilapias, cichlids and oscars ate most of the native freshwater fish. Huge poisonous cane toads from South America are killing native animals as well as backyard dogs and cats. And now, thanks to the irresponsible exotic pet trade, we have to contend with wild Burmese pythons and water monitors – which are slightly smaller cousins of the Komodo dragon and are apparently reproducing like crazy in the suburbs of Miami. When the piranhas and spitting cobras set up shop, I’m done.

Feature #2…..30 Days. What a cool show. Created by the “Supersize Me” guy, Morgan Spurlock, 30 days delves into contemporary social issues by arranging and documenting the experience of someone from one side of an issue living with a family on the other side of said issue. Kind of like a political foreign exchange program. A nice follow up to Python vs. Alligator, the episode we watched examined religion and tolerance by having a born-again Christian family from Texas host a suburban Atheist mom from Lawrence Kansas for 30 days. Non-believing mom attended church services and bible study, and calmly defended her ability to live morally and ethically without fear of retribution from the supernatural world. The faithful family reached out of their comfort zone to have dinner with a group of Atheists and hear a perspective that they had never encountered before. This show was thoughtfully done – not at all based on shock-value and with neither side being a caricature. Next week’s episode looks at the abortion issue

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Miami Heat

Here's a surprising bit of trivia: Miami is the only major city in the contiguous portion of the United States to have never reached 100 degrees. Sure, it's 96 for months on end...but, nope, never 100.

Betcha didn't know that!