Would you eat a tarantula?

The other day I watched a little bit of the TV show “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern“.  I don’t usually watch it, but it can be interesting (and quite gross at times) . In the clip I saw, he was in Cambodia, and he showed people who eat tarantulas.  And of course he tried it.  I don’t think I would try that…

Yummy... NOT!

The story of how this happens is unusual also.  A husband and wife team go into the forest to catch tarantulas, then they de-fang them using a stick, a knife, and their hands, and they sell them for 12 cents apiece.  Imagine if that was your job!  It’s dangerous enough to find and catch poisonous spiders, plus the other dangers in a forest.  Then they remove the fangs and poison.  What could possibly go wrong?  And to get only 12 cents per spider… I realize the economy is on a different scale there, but that still seems quite low for the amount of risk involved.

A woman buys the tarantulas, rinses them off, seasons them with a mixture of powdered instant chicken soup, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar, then fries them.  While cooking, they make whistling noises and popping sounds (like a small explosion).  While frying the hair/fur falls off.  Supposedly they are quite tasty, with a sweet and nutty taste.  The woman sells them in town for 25 cents each, and makes about $25 a day, which is a really good living there.

Reading about it doesn’t do the story justice.  You should watch this short clip to experience it a little closer.

To answer my original question: No, I would not eat one.  I’m not scared of spiders, but I’d still rather not eat them, especially when they’re potentially poisonous.  There’s plenty of other foods I would rather eat.

crazy ingredients in Mountain Dew

Someone examined the ingredients of Mountain Dew, and it’s quite interesting.  Did you know it contains two elements that when combined are poisonous?  Fortunately there’s an ingredient that also works as an antidote.   Mountain Dew also contains a laxative.   And it also contains an ingredient that, if taken in large doses, can cause hallucinations and such.

Click here to read more.

What would life on Mars be like?

Could there be life on Mars?  Scientists have long speculated (and continue to do so), although there’s more hope than ever.  They also wonder if humans might ever have a colony there.  But now the question is more like, “Would we want to?”

One of the reasons it’s improbable to find life on Mars is that the atmosphere doesn’t contain oxygen.  And it was thought that all organic life requires oxygen.  But a few years ago an organism was found that can live without sunlight and oxygen.  It’s a methanogen.  They eat hydrogen, breathe carbon dioxide, and belch methane.  A group of these were found in Idaho, living 660 feet underground.  They also exist in the digestive tracts of humans, causing gas.  If these bacteria are what life might be like on Mars, it might be a stinky place.

But there’s more.  Mars stinks naturally.  The surface of the red planet contains a very high concentration of sulfur.  Combined with other acids and minerals on Mars, it forms hydrogen sulphide (H2S), which is that rotten egg smell you may have experienced before.  And not only does it stink immensely, but it can cause headaches, and it is also explosive and poisonous.  So if you were living on Mars, you might be tempted to light a candle to reduce the stench (as some people are accustomed to doing), and KA-BOOM!

I’m thinking I’ll just stay here on Earth.  While there’s a few bad smells to deal with here, it’s not nearly so bad as it would be on Mars.

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viewer mail, issue #6

It’s time for another installment of viewer mail.  Once again, we will look at actual search terms people used to find this site.  (We still don’t have a form setup for you to submit your questions…  our lead designer acquired a Nintendo Wii and hasn’t had much free time lately.)  This is what people like you are searching for, believe it or not.  So let’s get to it, and perhaps we can help you with what you’re interested in.

  • building my own time machine — That’s a noble idea, but there’s a flaw in the slaw.  There are some parts you need, such as a transgalactic time discombobulator, that just aren’t available yet.  If you can somehow get your future self to go back in time to our current time with the parts you need, then you can accomplish this.  But without such intervention, you’re probably out of luck.  Well, unless you’re a super-genius and can build the parts yourself, but then you probably wouldn’t be searching with such a generic phrase.
  • how to be a ninja — I’m afraid there aren’t any shortcuts to this, if you want to be an authentic ninja.  Of course you can put on a black ninja outfit and pretend to be one, but everyone will see through your facade.  I wish there was an easy way to acquire this status, but I don’t know of one.  You will have to train really hard for many years.  (Perhaps we should start a ninja training school that offers a two-year degree with part-time study via correspondence, where you can become an official ninja from the comfort of your own home.)
  • how to get super powers — This has been a popular search phrase, and rightly so.  Who wouldn’t like to have super powers?  I sure would!  So I’ll try to answer your question.  It’s rather difficult to get super powers, which is probably a good thing, or there would be much chaos in the world (because some people would use them for evil, while others are just clumsy and would make a huge mess).  One way is to be born from another planet and when you come to Earth, you get super powers from our sun or our atmosphere.  Or perhaps your race is just naturally superior to humans and then when you come here, people think you’re all that, when on your home planet you were merely normal.  Another option is to be involved in some type of nuclear accident.  Obviously this has some inherent dangers involved, in that it will likely kill you.  But, according to the historical archives (movies and comics), falling into a pit of radioactive ooze can sometimes give you super powers.  Alternatively, the safest method of becoming a superhero is to collect and master high-tech devices.  Batman did this, as well as the bad guy on The Incredibles, Syndrome.  This is costly and requires a high degree of skill, but is possible.  (Hope this helps!)
  • cool — Yep, someone searched for “cool” and found this blog.  It is more evidence that this site is cool.  You know it!
  • scorpioneating scorpions side effects — Hmm… let’s start with the knowledge that some scorpions are poisonous.  Also, all of them have stingers on their tail, which I would not recommend putting in your mouth.  Even if they are dead and cooked, I still don’t think it’s a good idea to eat them.  However, as we discussed in a previous post, some restaurants consider them an “exotic food” and will serve them to you (for $30!).  I consider this a rip-off.  Even if you can eat them and survive, there’s no way it’s as good as biscuits and gravy with fried chicken.  Just no way…
  • +”dog poop” +”text sucker” — Somebody searched for this on Christmas day last month.  I certainly don’t have a problem with randomness, even on Christmas day, but this seems odd.  I figure most people are visiting their family and eating lots of food and playing with their new presents on Christmas, yet somebody is searching for dog poop.  I don’t know…  Anyway, we do have the answer you were probably looking for — it’s called Net Disaster.  It’s fun to play around with.
  • seibu lions stadium upgrade — They got their $51.1 million, so now they can upgrade their stadium in a big way!  We recently had an interesting discussion about that, specifically concerning the $6.02 million they plan to spend on “upgrading restrooms”.  We had some really good ideas, I think.  Click here to check it out.

That’s all for this issue.  Until next time, I’m Beppo.  🙂