Oh No! The Main Street bridge is crawling with spiders


But this is no Halloween tale. The $60 million bridge that spans the Scioto River and connects Downtown to Franklinton really is infested with thousands of orb weavers spinning intricate webs up and down the hand and guardrails.

If you pay close attention during the day, you can see the sun playing off the silk strands woven round and round on nearly every open span on the steel structure.

But at night, you can really see the webs, snagging thousands of flying insects that live in and around the river. (You can tell how successful the hunters are at night by all the repair work being done during daylight.)

“It’s the night lights there (on the bridge),” said David Shetlar, an Ohio State University professor of urban landscape entomology who toured the site one night this week.

“All the midges, mayflies and caddisflies go up to the lights. Spiders aren’t dumb — they go to where the food sources are.”

One is an arabesque orb-weaver, which is known for its graceful weaving. Another is something out of a arachnophobe’s nightmare — it’s called a long-jawed orb weaver.

“It looks like it has four jaws,” Shetlar said. “They are bizarre-looking things.”

Shetlar estimated that the bridge is currently home to 5,000 to 10,000 spiders.

Jim McCormac, a naturalist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, toured the bridge as well.

“The guard rails are made perfectly for orb-weaving spiders,” he said. “You see spider webs on bridges, but not to this degree.”

He said the sheer number likely speaks to the health of the river, which has seen a transformation in recent years.

A $35.5 million project narrowed the river to expose an area that is being morphed into a 33-acre park with 800 trees and 75,000 plants.

“There is more insect life,” McCormac said. “And that spawns the spiders. If they don’t have things to eat, they are not going to be there.”

Spiders typically hatch in spring and fall. To get around, tiny spiderlings cast a bit of silk into the air and let the wind take them far and wide. It’s called ballooning.

If there is plenty of food where they land, they’ll stay. If there isn’t, they’ll balloon again.

The Main Street bridge has both mature spiders and spiderlings, which means some showed up in the spring, some are newcomers and some likely lived through this past winter.

“Most adult and larger immature spiders can survive down to 20 to 25 degrees,” Shetlar said. “ Spiderlings, on the other hand, convert some of blood into a type of antifreeze … and will hunker down in cracks and crevices.

“They can withstand temperatures to about 10-below.”

Richard Bradley, an entomologist and professor emeritus at Ohio State, said infestations are not rare in spots where there are a lot flying insects, such as midges and mayflies.

There are areas along Lake Erie where boat docks and houses are covered in spider webs.

“We tend to notice them when they grow to be mature,” said Bradley, who wrote the book on spiders. (He really did — it’s called Common Spiders of North America.) “And that means they are successful.”

Terminally ill man set to be first to undergo the world’s first full head transplant


AN Italian surgeon is set to become the first in the world to transplant a human head on to a donor body.

The pioneering operation by Dr Sergio Canavero is to be carried out on a 30-year-old computer scientist who is suffering from a fatal muscle wasting disease.

773495-927dcab0-e170-11e4-9fcd-1eb8ac734e9bValery Spiridonov has admitted that the prospect of going through with the operation is terrifying.

“I am afraid, but what people don’t really understand is I don’t really have many choices.

“If I don’t try this out my fate will be very sad. With every year my situation is getting worse.”

The man from Russia, who is battling the rare genetic Werdnig-Hoffman muscle wasting disease, added: “My decision is final and I do not plan to change my mind.”

Dr Canavero said he’s received many emails and letters from people seeking the procedure and he had already decided that the first patient would be someone suffering from a muscle wasting disease.

The procedure has some medical precedent as it was recently reported that Chinese scientists had carried out a head transplant on a mouse.

But most medical experts say a human head transplant is pure fantasy.

Dr Hunt Batjer, president elect of the American Association for Neurological Surgeons, told CNN: “I would not wish this on anyone. I would not allow anyone to do it to me as there are a lot of things worse than death.”

Firstly he would have to cool both the body and head so the cells won’t die when deprived of oxgyen through the process.

Next, the neck of the patient is severed and all the crucial blood vessels are hooked up to tubes while the spinal cord on both the head and the body are severed.

“The recipient’s head is then moved onto the donor body and the two ends of the spinal cord are fused together,” said Thomson.

“To achieve this, Canavero intends to flush the area with a chemical called polyethylene glycol, and follow up with several hours of injections of the same stuff. Just like hot water makes dry spaghetti stick together, polyethylene glycol encourages the fat in cell membranes to mesh.”

Canavero told Thomson the last stage of the lenghy process would be to stitch up the muscles and blood supply.

The patient would then be put into a three or four-week coma to let the body heal itself while embedded electrodes stimulate the spinal cord to strengthen the new nerve connections.

The patient won’t be able to get up and walk around after the surger Dr Canavero said telling the New Scientist that the damage to the spinal cord would take about 12 months to heal fully. The patient would however keep their old voice, he adds.

Only time will tell if the body rejects the new head or not.

Woman Charged With Contaminating Families Milk With Shavings of Dead Skin From Her Feet



Sarah P. Schrock, 56, of Mechanicsville was arrested on on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 by Deputy First Class Jaime Davis of the St. Mary’s sheriff’s Office.

Charging documents allege that Schrock contaminated milk served to family members at her home, with shavings of dead skin from her feet.

Schrock was placed under arrest and transported to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center, where she was charged with poisoning/contaminating of food, 3 counts of assault and failure to comply with a peace order.

The poisoning/contaminating of food charge is a felony punishable by up to 25 years in jail.

Woman finds cocaine wrapped in her granola bar


San Antonio police are investigating how a packet of cocaine ended up inside a wrapped Nature Valley granola bar.


Cynthia Rodriguez of San Antonio says she was eating the bar when a small, green bag emblazoned with dollar signs fell out. Rodriguez contacted manufacturer General Mills Inc, thinking she had won a prize. Company officials told her to call the police.

Rodriguez contacted police on 18 March and investigators determined the bag contained cocaine.

Sergeant Javier Salazar says authorities are trying to determine how the package got inside the granola bar wrapper.

A General Mills spokesman said on Thursday that the Minneapolis-based company is confident the cocaine wasn’t packaged with the bar at a company facility. Mike Siemienas declined to say where the bar was produced.

Lawnmower Shoots 3.5-Inch Metal Wire Into Louisiana Man’s Skull


When Bill Parker cut his grass last Sunday, he was the one who got sliced and diced.

Parker, 34, was mowing in front of his home in Gulfport, Mississippi, when the lawnmower shot a 3.5-inch piece of metal straight into his left nostril.

“At first I thought a rock had flew out and hit me and struck me in the face,” Parker, 34, told SunHerald.com. “It threw me back a little bit and it hurt real bad. I felt my face but I didn’t feel any disfiguring or anything. I saw blood, so I knew I got a bloody nose.”

At first, Parker thought he had a broken cheekbone, but decided to have it checked out at a local hospital.

A CT scan revealed the thick wire had embedded itself in Parker’s sinus cavity beneath his eye socket and next to his jaw hinge.


“The metal had somehow made its way through a tangle of really important nerves and arteries and finally rested about a millimeter from both carotid artery and my jugular vein,” Parker said, according to CBS News. “Guess it just wasn’t my time yet.”

The wire was removed in about 20 minutes, and Parker was back at work as a restaurant chef by Wednesday, a little bruised and on antibiotics, ClarionLedger.comreports.

Under normal circumstances, Parker enjoys mowing his lawn. This Sunday, he plans to relax and find someone else to do the dirty work, according to the Associated Press.

Counterfeit condoms with holes recalled by Groupon Australia


Groupon Australia is recalling condoms that it had offered on its website after it was discovered that the condoms were counterfeit and may have had holes in them.

condomThe counterfeit condoms were advertised as Durex brand and sold through the Groupon website between March 12, 2015 and April 10, 2015.

“It has been identified that the condoms sold are counterfeit goods and may have defects such as holes in the latex. Defects may result in the condoms failing to prevent pregnancy and protect users against sexually transmitted infections,” said a notice posted by the Australian Government Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration on its website.

Groupon Australia is contacting customers who bought the condoms.

“Counterfeiting is a problem for all major condom brands and consumers should be alert for potential fakes. Signs that might indicate a potential counterfeit products include suspiciously low prices, poor quality of printing on the packaging and whether information on the foil packaging of individual condoms match that on the box,” said the TGA in the notice on its website.

Police Tase And Arrest Man Over His Big Beach Umbrella


The attorneys of a mentally ill homeless man want the FBI to investigate his Venice Beach arrest after cellphone footage shows a different version of events than the police report.

Samuel Calhoun Arrington, 52, is a homeless man who suffers from bipolar disorder. His attorneys say he has been repeatedly brutalized by LAPD officers for over a year now. One of these incidents was caught on video and Arrington’s lawyer, Nazareth Haysbert, said the video differs greatly from the officers’ report of the incident, for which Arrington was jailed for over one month on charges of resisting arrest.

On August 7, 2014, Arrington was sitting in a chair on the Venice boardwalk near Sunset Avenue and Ocean Front Walk, under an umbrella he had tied to a bench, KTLA reports. LAPD officers said in their report that they had told him earlier that he could not solicit donations, which he was doing by placing an open backpack near him where people who passed by could drop money, according to Buzzfeed. At the time of his arrest, officers were attempting to cite him for numerous violations that included his umbrella being the wrong size, “vending outside of a designated space,” and tampering with property that belonged to the City, among other equally small infractions.

When an unarmed Arrington refused to accept the ticket—and also began yelling about God—officers decided to arrest him. The officers are seen surrounding Arrington and taking him to the ground. It’s difficult to see what exactly the officers are doing, but Haysbert said Arrington was hog-tied, punched and tased. You can hear the taser in the video. Onlookers are heard shouting at the officers, including the woman filming who gets pretty heated, screaming, “You do not need to tase him!” One bystander can be heard calling the officers “evil.”

Warning: The video may be graphic for some viewers, and there is profanity in the language.

Haysbert said that the account of events the arresting officers provided in their report is much different from the video. In the report, Arrington is accused of lunging at an officer and grabbing for his belt. The video also shows LAPD Sgt. Skinner recording at least part of the incident on his own cellphone, but Haysbert said the report does not mention this footage as part of the collected evidence.

Haysbert said in his letter to the FBI yesterday that his client was taken to a hospital following the arrest, then booked on charges of felony resisting arrest. Arrest records show Arrington being booked on August 8, then released on September 17.

Haysbert also said that Arrington was beaten by officers on two other instances, one on January 5, 2014 and the other June 27, 2014. Arrington’s family says that his repeated run-ins with officers and police brutality have worsened his illness.

Arrington used to work for the Parks Department as a coach for children, but fell on hard times after his long-time girlfriend kicked him out of the house where they lived with his two children. Arrington’s mental illness became more severe, and he eventually lost his job and driver’s license, ultimately becoming homeless. His sister told Buzzfeed he decided to remain in L.A., despite having no immediate family there, because he enjoyed the beach and the warm weather.

Former LAPD Sergeant Cheryl Dorsey, who used to work on Venice Beach, told Buzzfeed, “What was the urgency? What was the exigent circumstance that caused [the officers] to act right now? There was none. If he don’t want to sign the damn ticket today, really how big of a deal is that? Can we finesse him into cooperating and not just bully him?”

Earlier this week, LAPD Officer Richard Garcia was charged with Battery Under the Color of Authority after the arrest of a 22-year-old South L.A. man was caught by a nearby surveillance camera.