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Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618)

March 25, 2008

Statue of Sir Walter Raleigh
Photo: Creative Commons

Statue of Sir Walter Raleigh in London, England. In addition to his fame for establishing the first English colony in the New World, Raleigh was also a respected writer and poet. Originally a favorite of Queen Elizabeth, Raleigh was later beheaded for treason in 1618.”

But my idea for this post came from ‘Today In Alternate History‘.

“In 1584, history’s most infamous drug dealer Sir Walter Raleigh was granted a patent to exploit the deadly tobacco narcotic in Virginia. Approximately 5.5 trillion cigarettes are produced globally each year by the tobacco industry, smoked by over 1.1 billion people, which is more than one-sixth of the world’s total population. In the year 2000, global smoking deaths reached 5 million making Raleigh the greatest mass murderer in history.”

I guess karma caught up with Walter… in advance.

Happy birthday tobacco companies… your time will come, though I’m still mystified as to how your executives got away with manifest barefaced lies uttered under Oath to The Grand Jury back in 1994… surely there aren’t two Laws, one for the rich and one for the poor, the colored and the ‘Pot heads’ who’s vice, unlike Tobacco, has NEVER been directly responsible, probably in what 10 or 20 thousand years, for a single death. mmm

Snake gets kangaroo for lunch!

November 27, 2007

King Brown Snake
Photo: Unknown

We breed some pretty big snakes here in Australia. This King Brown Snake obviously objected to the kangaroo having a swim in it’s waterhole, so it killed it and now it looks like it’s going to eat it.

Website: Aussie Cynic

Dangerous Jobs, yer but…

November 26, 2007

Dangerous Jobs
Photo: Vincent Laforel, New York Times

I want to know what Vincent was hanging on to when he took the photo!

Website: Dangerous Jobs, Stupid Ideas

Deadly Australians – Funnel-web Spiders

November 22, 2007

Australian Funnel-web Spider
Photo: Funnel-web – Atrax and Hadronyche – Wikipedia

I have two mates who were bitten by Funnel-webs before the anti-venom became available, both tell very similar stories, both had troubles convincing their respective hospitals that they had in fact been bitten by Funnel-webs… both were walked around the hospital looking for wheelchairs, one passed out in the lift and woke up with his family and Rabi by his bed!

Website: Wikipedia

Deadly Australians – Red Back Spider

November 22, 2007

Red Back Spider
Photo: Red Back – Latrodectus hasselti – Wikipedia

The Red Back not only looks like the Black Widow, it is in fact related. Though deaths are rare, the results from a Red Back bite may include extreme pain, nausea, vomiting and occasionally complications such as infections that can lead to amputations.

Website: Wikipedia

Deadly Australians – Taipan Snake

November 22, 2007

Video: YouTube

The Taipans – Oxyuranus microlepidotus are Ridgy-didge, are probably the world’s most poisonous snake, if your in the areas they inhabit and you get bitten by one of them, you’re in real trouble. They may not have killed many people, possibly because they avoid us or since we don’t generally cohabit in this vast often hostile continent. If your ‘outback’ and one of these jabs their fangs in you, you’d better have a plan real soon… a plan that doesn’t involve dialing 000 (911) on your mobile; which won’t probably work out there anyway.

Website: Western Taipan

Deadly Australians – Lots of Snakes…

November 22, 2007

Deadly Australians Common Brown Snake
Photo: Common Brown – Pseudonaja textilis – Australian Snake Bites

The Common Brown… a snake with Attitude
You get only one guess why they call it that, and what’s worse this one can be very aggressive; it will chase you if you annoy it… or if it’s having a bad hair day or something, it’s fast & big; can grow to over 2m and it’s very poisonous. I wonder if the Aussie phrase ‘Mad as a cut snake‘ relates to somehow cutting a ‘brown’?

Website: The Australian Venom Research Unit

Deadly Australians – Crocodile…

November 22, 2007

Australian Salt water Crocodile
Photo: Common Brown – Pseudonaja textilis – Unknown origin

‘Crocs’… ‘Salties’, could also be called Optimistic opportunists

There was a story once relating to a Croc which had attacked a ‘tinny’ biting the motor clean off and leaving sizable holes where it’s fangs had penetrated the gunnels. The story goes that for awhile the locals felt safe because they could hear it coming… that is until the motor ran out of petrol.

Most of us have seen ‘Crocodile Dundee’, so I’ll offer this advice, these things grow to over 7 m (23 ft) long, despite their size they are very good at hiding and are very very fast… if you swim or even camp in a tent near where they are you are really stupid.

Website: Wikipedia
Website: Australian fauna

Deadly Australians – Stonefish

November 22, 2007

Deadly Australians Stonefish
Photo: Stonefish – Synanceia verrucosa – © Australian Museum

Ugly, ugly… so ugly even a mother would have troubles loving this one. The pain if one gets stung is apparently excruciating and if they don’t get treated real quick there’s a good chance it could be fatal.

Website: © Australian Museum

Deadly Australians – Box jellyfish

November 22, 2007

Deadly Australians Box jellyfish
Photo: Box Jellyfish – Carybdea alata by David Doubilet

Also known as the sea wasp or marine stinger.

Regarded as one of the most dangerous of marine animals. The Box Jellyfish floats around almost invisible in the waters of Northern Australia; along side the Crocs, between October to April.

The venom present in the tentacles; which in some cases are almost 3 meters long, is extremely toxic and my result in cardio-respiratory dysfunction with in a just a few minutes.

Website: GBR Explorer