Monday, July 11, 2011

Leaping Lizards Leaping Right Into My House

My Son Brought Home A New Friend Tonight. The new friend is not a new girlfriend, not a new pal with whom to drink beers, not someone he met at work, really a friend of a friend. I was a bit surprised when he walked in the door with her, even more surprised when he said she was going to stay for a week. I was also a bit concerned, not so much that a stranger would be staying in the house for a week but at how the dogs would react to her and as to whether or not she had mites or ticks. A quick look leads me to believe she is on the healthy side except for what looks to be a fairly fresh injury or sore on the right side of her head just below her mouth. Hopefully it is not due to illness but is just a scrape that will heal quickly. Also, a quick sniff led to my nostrils being filled with a crappy sour smell that was not good at all. A look in her traveling case/cage showed the reason, the bottom of it was pretty much smeared with lizard shit. I also noted that the cage could be how she got scraped, there are lots of sharp edges on the screening that was added to the cage to make it Iguana escape proof. The cage was probably originally meant for a rabbit or as a travel kennel cage for a cat. So, someone lined it with heavy screening or hardware cloth. The ends are not bent over and could easily stick the lizard if it rubbed against them trying to escape or if frightened by something. and making a quick move. Oh, did I neglect to mention, she is a Green Iguana!

Well, both Brendan and I cleaned out the cage, I gave it a good hosing down with the garden hose and he cleaned the accessories while the lady lizard chilled in a small Coleman cooler with the lid on tight. I knew as soon as she got in there and it was closed and thus dark inside she would calm right down. As soon as the cage was clean, Brendan put a towel on the desk in the basement then put the cage atop the towel. Then he got an extension cord for me and I plugged in the lizard's light. Within minutes it was warming itself under the heat of the very bright bulb and looking content with the improvement we added to the cage by way of a nice sized piece of cork bark for a basking platform.

I can tell you that although not the very last thing I expected to see in my house tonight, a Green Iguana has to be pretty darned close to the last thing I expected to see here. Brendan brought it home to take care of it for a friend who will be away for a week. Well, that is what he told me. It had better not be here for more than a week or I may just surprise Brendan at our next BBQ and tell him he is doing what the song, Mexican Radio, says:  "...eating barbecued iguana"! I am not too worried though, I figure he knows better than to try to sneak a new pet in the house by underhanded skulduggery and subterfuge. My biggest concern, besides it maybe having mites or an illness that could spread to my other animal, is that our dogs may go bonkers over it and somehow get it out of its cage. So, I am going to go work on making sure that even if they knock the cage off of the desk, when no one is home, the cage will remain locked and she will remain inside of it. By the way, I am only assuming it is a she, could be a he for all I know, too small to tell for sure at only about 2 to 2.5 feet long. Oh the joys of being a parent!

Later 4 U,
Glenn B

The Lack Of Education Worldwide Is Startling

I was reading news articles at FoxNews.com, this morning, and on the homepage for that site there was an article: More Than Half of Aussie High Schoolers Don't Know Nation Is a Democracy. While the statistic mentioned in the title of the article would be disconcerting if Australia was actually a democracy, such a headline it is not to be unexpected, in toady's world, because reporters simply do not seem to be of the caliber of those of past times. My understanding is that Australia is more akin to a constitutional republic than it is to a democracy. Even if you grant the reporters that Australia is a democracy, the truth is that the quality of education around the world, at least in countries that were once near the top of the socio-economic ladder, seems to be suffering. Another example of that fact was soon to become evident to me on the website of FoxNews.com.

After reading the brief article, mentioned above, I clicked on the link World  to look at additional articles on world news. Once on the page for world news, I looked at this and that and then came to a section that broke down distribution of articles as follows: Latest World News, Mideast, Europe and Asia. First of all, you may have noticed, that there are no sections covering two hot beds of news around the world: South America and Africa. Shame on FoxNews.com for excluding those two continents from the breakdown. You will note I did not say that they excluded Antarctica or Australia. The reason I did not mention Antarctica is because, let's face it, there is a paucity of news coming from the icy cold continent. As for Australia, it was not excluded by FoxNews.com but was instead, sort of, misplaced. If you visit the web page in question, and look for the column I mentioned, you may still be able to see that links to articles about events in Australia are listed under the header of Asia. The two links to articles, I found relative to Australia, under the header of Asia, were Proposed Australian Law Would Make Muslim Women Lift Veil and a repeat link to More Than Half of Aussie High Schoolers Don't Know Nation Is a Democracy. The below representation, although not exactly how it looked at FoxNews.com, is how it copied and pasted here:

ASIA

Was I saying something about the decline of he quality of education round the world and how such is in evidence at the FoxNews.com website? I think I was doing just that and now you have additional evidence, well you may have it if you visit that site quickly; due to the nature of the beast it is sure to change rapidly and those same articles, the ones I present as evidence of the decline of quality of education round the world, may no longer appear under the header of Asia. What evidence? You mean you do not know that Australia is not in Asia! For a reporter, website developer, or editor not to have known that before including articles about Australia under the header of Asia is truly discomfiting for me. If you are wondering why it is such for me, let me just say that, FoxNews.com is my favorite news source and I expected better from them. I wonder, does the person, or people responsible, for including articles about Australia under the header of Asia, realize that Australia and Asia are different continents. Maybe it just all part of the worldwide government thing that some folks seem to be wishing will become the norm but I think it is more likely due to ignorance that is seemingly imbued in students by failing educational systems around the world.

All the best,
Glenn B
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