Oh, he just dropped in for a little swim .

A family in Botswana, Africa, found an unexpected guest in their swimming-pool a couple of days ago. Q:  How long do you allow a hippo to swim in your pool? A:  As long as he bloody well wants to! The Independent reports: Brent Reed, 47, said the giant male was discovered by a night watchman in the garden of his home in Maun, Botswana, in the early hours of 31 December. The safari director managed to capture pictures of his youngest son Troy, 11, and friend Kyle Steyn, 15, gazing down at the wild animal, which he said appeared completely at ease with

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Ewwwww!

An antiques expert in England has learned (the hard way) not to jump in where angels fear to taste. Glass specialist Andy McConnell inspected a sealed bottle from the 19th century on the BBC show [Antiques Roadshow], and decided to sample its mystery contents in front of an expectant audience. . . . Mr McConnell used a syringe to transfer a sample from the bottle to a tumbler, and sipped at the mystery beverage. “It’s very brown,” he told the audience at the time.  “I think it’s port. It’s port or red wine, or it’s full of rusty old nails and that’s

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The collapse of America’s cities into Third World conditions

It’s infuriating to be living in the leading nation in the First World, the largest or second-largest economy in the world (depending on who’s measuring, and how), and the most powerful nation in the world, and yet see Third World levels of filth, infrastructural breakdown and dysfunctional government invade many of our cities. The headlines over the past few years tell a horrifying story to anyone who values the achievements of civilization.  I won’t bother linking to actual reports here;  there are so many that simple Internet searches will find an abundance of them.  Consider these areas of concern: Public

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Rodentiferous!

Orkin’s annual survey of the “rattiest” US cities was released a few days ago.  It makes interesting reading. Orkin released its Top 50 Rattiest Cities list today, and for the fifth consecutive time, Chicago takes the top spot. New to the Top 10 cities this year are Minneapolis and Atlanta, holding the eighth and tenth spots, respectively. Orkin ranked metro regions by the number of new rodent treatments performed from September 15, 2018 – September 15, 2019. This ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments. 1. Chicago 2. Los Angeles 3. New York 4. Washington, DC (Hagerstown) 5. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose 6.

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Nature, red in tooth and claw

Tennyson’s famous phrase was (and still is) very familiar to those growing up in Africa, and I daresay in places like Alaska and other wildernesses too.  It’s the simple fact of life.  Nature is predatory and ruthless, and almost all animals die through being killed and eaten by others, sooner or later.  Those who die from other causes end up being eaten anyway! I was reminded of that by this photograph, found at SNAFU’s place.  Clickit to biggit. The Nile crocodile is endemic in Africa, with uncounted numbers infesting that continent’s rivers and lakes.  (Some idiot’s even released a few into the wild in Florida!) 

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I’ll see your backed-up toilet, and raise you

an exploding maritime convenience! Paul, Dammit!, who blogs over at Hawsepiper, tells the gruelling tale of cleaning up after the ship’s head (or toilet, for those who don’t speak nautical) exploded over the weekend.  Go read all the gory details for yourself. When cleanup involves a Tyvek isolation suit, a respirator, a hose, and bleach by the gallon, I think we can safely say it’s rather worse than the average backed-up domestic toilet! Peter

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Not approved by special snowflakes

A bear killed a deer, because it was hungry.  Normal behavior, of course;  that’s what bears do.  The difference, in this case, is that it did so in someone’s back yard – right in the middle of Colorado Springs suburbia. WARNING:  The video is VERY graphic, both visually and audibly.  Don’t play this near small kids or those who are squeamish. What’s astonished me about that video is not the fact that it happened so close to human habitation – it’s the response from the special snowflake brigade.  I’ve seen comments in some quarters about how cruel the bear was,

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