(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Florida

“To an artist a metaphor is as real as a dollar”*…

 

Florida attarctions

 

Before a certain mouse took over Orlando, Florida was already home to a slew of delightfully bizarre tourist attractions. You could meet menacing pirates and hoop skirt-clad Southern Belles. Or visit the circus every day. Or watch an 80-year-old man break a world record as he waterskied barefoot in a banana-yellow jumpsuit…

How did the Sunshine State use to attract tourists? Circus animals, water ski shows and a half-mile replica of the Great Wall of China: “Let’s revisit Florida’s bizarre lost theme parks from before the Disney era.”

* Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction

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As we pull over to investigate, we might recall that it was on this date in 1513 that Juan Ponce de León, the Spanish explorer who had become the Governor of Puerto Rico and Hispanola, but who believed there to be land further west, first set eyes on what he first believed was another island, which he claimed for Spain and named “Florida”… the name by which we know it still.  Legend has it that Ponce de León was searching for the Fountain of Youth; while there is no contemporary evidence that that’s true, it does seem resonant with Florida’s history thereafter…

240px-Juan_Ponce_de_León source

 

“Behold, I will smite all your territory with frogs”*…

 

In South Florida, cane toads are so numerous that they seem to be dropping from the sky. They’re overtaking parking lots and backyards, can weigh almost six pounds, and pack enough poison to kill pets. Why the surge?…

Find out at “Frogpocalypse Now.”

* God, giving Moses a message for the Pharaoh (Exodus 8:2)

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As we hop out of the way, we might recall that it was on this date in 1513 that Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon came ashore and claimed “La Florida” [the “land of flowers”] for Spain.  While it has long been accepted that de Leon landed with his three caravels near St. Augustine and became the first European of record to see the peninsula, scholars have recently challenged details of that historical account, suggesting that he actually beached near Melbourne.

Juan Ponce de Leon is commemorated on a stamp in Spain, left, while St. Augustine residents in 1923 re-enact his landing, right.

source

 

Written by LW

April 2, 2017 at 1:01 am

Not-So-Superman…

 

Florida Man Florida Man@_FloridaMan 4h

Florida Man Flees After Trying To Break Into Truck; Leaves Crocs At Scene, Pisses Pants | http://buff.ly/17foFnk 

Florida Man Florida Man@_FloridaMan 20h

Florida Man Broke Into Woman’s Home, Took iPad Photos Of Himself With Her Underwear On His Head | http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2013/jun/25/deputies-burglar-left-love-notes-photos-underwear/ …

Florida Man Florida Man@_FloridaMan 25 Jun

Police Find Florida Man Naked, Revving Motorbike In Front Yard | http://feedly.com/k/18dEvBR

A Twitter feed of headlines from Sunshine State newspapers recounting the exploits of “the world’s worst superhero”…

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As we whistle Sewanee, we might recall that it was on this date in 1997 that 18,187 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas saw Evander Holyfield jump, scream, and and move away, bleeding, from his opponent, Mike Tyson in the third round of their fight.  In a move that anticipated the coming craze for zombie stories (and in a posture that presaged vampire movies to come), Tyson had bit Holyfield in the ear…  Tyson was disqualified from the match and suspended from boxing.

 source

 

Written by LW

June 28, 2013 at 1:01 am

“Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance”*…

 

Florida is, famously, a “Stand Your Ground” state.  That ground is getting steadily dicier…

First spotted on the peninsula in 2011, Giant African Land Snails (Achatina achatina, AKA “giant Ghana snail” and “giant tiger land snail”) have taken hold in The Sunshine State, and are causing massive agricultural and social problems. Hugely destructive to crops, the creatures themselves are dangerous, in that they are able to gnaw through stucco and plastics, will eat almost any organic material, and have shells hard enough to pop tires on the freeway (and become shrapnel when run over by lawnmowers).  Believed to have migrated from Caribbean islands, over a thousand are caught each week in Miami-Dade County; and their numbers are growing as more come out of hibernation.  Oh, and they also carry a form of rat lungworm which can cause meningitis in humans, although no human cases have been reported as yet.

[TotH to Slashdot; photo sourced here]

* Lewis Carroll, “The Mock Turtle’s Song” (AKA “Lobster Quadrille”) in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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As we watch our steps, we might send send creepy crawly birthday greetings to Sir Vincent Brian Wigglesworth FRS; he was born on this date in 1899.  Perhaps the most exquisitely-appropriately named entomologist of all time, Wigglesworth pioneered in the study of insect physiology; indeed, his Insect Physiology (1934) is often considered the foundation for this branch of entomology.  Wigglesworth’s demonstration of the complexity of individual insects and their dynamic relationships with their environments paved the way for using insects – instead of mice or other laboratory animals – for some fundamental investigation of animal physiology and function.

 source

 

Written by LW

April 17, 2013 at 1:01 am

Community Countermands Commandos!…

The musical director Busby Berkeley’s attention to authenticity and detail was the stuff of legend.  Berkeley was reportedly accosted by his production accountant one day on the set:  “$2,000 for silk underwear for the girls!  Mr. B, no one can see it, no one will know that they’re wearing silk underwear!”  To which the director replied, “Not so– the girls will know…”

Surely it was this same impulse to quality that moved the City Council of Brooksville, Florida (about 45 miles north of Tampa, not too far from where you’re marooned correspondent is typing this) to pass a dress code for city employees insisting that:

* underwear is now required;
* employees must use deodorant;
* no halter tops or Spandex at work;
* no skirts worn “below the waistline”;
* no other clothing that may be “distracting, offensive or revealing”;
* only ears may be visibly pierced; and, perhaps most disturbingly,
* all cuts or wounds must now be covered.

See Lowering the Bar for the full story.

As we rethink our vacation itineraries, we might recall that it was on this date in 1633 that the Holy Office in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to recant his scientific view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe. Galileo is said to have muttered “Eppur si muove!” (“Yet, still, it moves!”).

Cristiano Banti’s 1857 painting Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition

Written by LW

June 22, 2009 at 12:01 am

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