Seven Black Widow Spiders


I spotted Black Widow spiders number six and seven in my laundry room. One through five appeared last summer. I managed to wrangle most of them, unfortunately six and seven eluded capture. This is not good. Laundry is in the basement, fingers crossed black widows like basements.

Growing up in rural B.C. we were taught to be on the lookout for two things – rattlesnakes and black widow spiders. Not once did I encounter either. Here I am 40 years later, encased in urban sprawl with black widows everywhere. Hard to call it surprising – I never saw a coyote, skunk, or raccoon either, and all of them are regular occurrences in my city yard.

This leads me to ponder evolution and adaptation of species. Why my house in the middle of a city is besieged by an infestation of spiders remains unanswered. Not just any spider, but black widows with potential to deliver a very bad day. Spiders that are supposed to reside in a climate far different than rainy Vancouver. I guess my dry basement offers  warm haven – small comfort in the face of possible flesh eating bites.

It could be worse; the bite of a black widow won’t kill you, only melt your flesh. If Brown Recluse were the problem, I’d be packing my bags instead of writing. All the same, I’d like them to move out – seven black widows in less than a year doesn’t make me happy.

Advertise in Space


I suppose it was only a matter of time before space became a billboard. Earth to Sky Calculus is a group of high school students in Bishop, California –  run by Dr. Tony Phillips  from NASA. These are the people responsible for “space chicken” and “bobble head Obama” being launched to the edge of space via a helium weather balloon.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m fan of space chicken and bobble head Obama, I even posted about both events. My ponder stems from their latest venture – an opportunity to advertise in space. On April 22, which just happens to be “Earth Day“, they will launch your product or billboard into space. Perhaps float would be a better description than launch, as yet again it would travel by weather balloon to an altitude of 120,000 feet. It would then be photographed against the backdrop of our planet.

The United Nations has treaties governing the use of space for the benefit of all mankind. I see no benefit in placing billboards along the Karman line, when Photoshop would do quite nicely. Space should be spared the clutter of marketing campaigns – I’m not impressed by Earth to Sky’s gimmick.