October 18th, 2021


The Continuing Crisis

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Nov. 2, 2015

The Continuing Crisis

"Let me get this straight," wrote an incredulous commenter in September. "(T)hose who oversee" the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, Michigan, have the park "populated with snakes that can bite and inflict serious wounds." The remark was in response to a visitor's having been bitten by one of at least 27 rattlesnakes loose (by design) on the grounds. (The Eastern Massasauga rattler is protected by state law.) On the other hand, the park has posted many snake warning signs, and the woman who was bitten had removed her shoes to walk in the lush grass. [Detroit News, 9-15-2015]

Aluminum Foil Makes a Comeback: (1) City officials in Tarpon Springs, Florida, scrambled in May to find an ordinance that artist Piotr Janowski might have violated when he covered two palm trees, and then three sides of his rented home, in heavy-duty aluminum foil, to the consternation of neighbors. Janowski is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his work has been shown in that city's Polish Museum of America. (2) National Forest Service officials announced success in fire retardation in August by protectively sealing a remote structure near an Idaho wildfire in multi-ply foil. (3) And then there is Arthur Brown, 78, also "successful" in having kept his house in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, free of "aliens" by sealing it in foil (although neighbors griped in September about falling property values). [Tampa Bay Times, 5-29-2015] [KREM-TV (Spokane), 8-27-2015] [WKBN-TV (Youngstown, Ohio), 9-10-2015]

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