Bananas from supermarket carried hundreds of baby spiders

Banana spiders

A British family said they had to abandon their home for three days when hundreds of baby spiders hatched from a bunch of bananas.

Jamie Roberts of Staffordshire, England, said he initially thought the bananas he purchased from his local One Stop store had mold on them, but he soon discovered the white spots were not mold when hundreds of baby spiders started crawling out, the Independent reported Tuesday.

It was like something out of a horror film because suddenly the window sill was moving with hundreds of these spiders,” Roberts said.

Roberts, who suffers from arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, said he, his wife and their two children were put up in a hotel for three days by One Stop, which also paid for a pest control company to fill the home with toxic fumes to take care of the spiders.

The spiders were too young for the pest control workers to accurately identify, but Roberts and his wife said they are concerned the creatures could have been Brazilian wandering spiders, a species believed to have been involved in a similar incident last November.

Brazilian wandering spiders are listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s most venomous spiders.


Senator Feinstein says CIA spied on Intelligence Committee

The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee torched the Central Intelligence Agency in a floor speech Tuesday morning, charging the agency with spying on her committee’s computers in a possibly illegal search that has been referred to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution.

During her speech, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she learned in January that the Central Intelligence Agency improperly searched committee computer files, confirming several media reports. She said the incident has been referred to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution. But Feinstein was also riled by a separate referral by the CIA to the Department of Justice suggesting that the committee staff had improperly received classified information…

The CIA, it seems, was trying to figure out whether the committee staff had managed to gain access to an internal review of CIA interrogation methods that came to be named after now-former CIA Director Leon E. Panetta.

CIA hacks are crapping their drawers over the possibility of payback for torture on behalf of the Bush/Cheney invasions in the Middle East. They presumed assurances of torture being OK were good till the end of time. Not just the end of the Bush Administration.

Feinstein had been quiet about previous press reports, preferring to avoid creating a firestorm and deferring answering questions from reporters at the Capitol in recent weeks about the incident, but she said Tuesday on the Senate floor that was no longer possible. She said the CIA has not answered repeated questions from the committee about the incident, raising questions of illegality.

“I have grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the United States constitution, including the speech and debate,” Feinstein said…

Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., appeared on the floor shortly after Feinstein’s lengthy speech to praise her comments, calling for all senators to stand behind her.

“If we do not stand up for … the protection of the separation of powers and our ability to do oversight, especially when conduct has happened that is in all likelihood criminal by the part of a government agency, then what do we stand for?” Leahy said.

Warms the cockles of my heart to see chickens come home to roost in the crap-filled coop called Congress.

Ed Snowden’s reaction to Feinstein’s self-righteous speech is completely to the point – and he made it inclusive, to the world view of our government and the “coalition of the willing”:

“It’s clear the CIA was trying to play ‘keep away’ with documents relevant to an investigation by their overseers in Congress, and that’s a serious constitutional concern,” said Snowden in a statement to NBC News. “But it’s equally if not more concerning that we’re seeing another ‘Merkel Effect,’ where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it’s a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them.”

U.S. Senate passes military sex assault bill 97 – 0

The U.S. Senate voted 97-0 on Monday to pass reforms in how the military handles sexual assault cases, but it probably will be months before the changes become law.

The measure must still be approved by the House of Representatives, where Democratic and Republican aides said it is unlikely to be up for a vote until later in 2014.

Backed by Senator Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, the bill includes significant changes such as eliminating the “good soldier” defense allowing a court to reduce the sentences of offenders who have strong military records.

It also strengthens prosecutors’ role in advising commanders on whether to go to court martial. But it falls short of shifting the decision on whether to pursue assault cases from top commanders to independent military prosecutors…

The Senate is bipartisan in being chickenshit!

High-profile military sexual assault cases, some involving defense officials responsible for prosecuting sex crimes, also contributed to charges that the Pentagon has not been serious enough about stopping an epidemic of sexual assaults seen as a “cancer” in the armed forces…

The bill that was passed on Monday is unlikely to go to the House as a standalone measure. Instead it is likely to be included as part of a bill expected later this year that authorizes Pentagon spending.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, offered a tougher bill which would have taken responsibility out of the good ol’ boy network. She couldn’t get enough Dems to support it to press past Senate Republicans.

I don’t know anyone who expects much of anything useful to happen in the House – controlled as it is by Tea Party misogynists and cowardly lion Republicans. They may allow the proposal to be passed back to Senate as an amendment – after the midterm elections in November.

Scientists find 4 new ozone-destroying chemicals in atmosphere

Four new man-made gases are helping deplete the ozone layer, researchers from the University of East Anglia, in England, claim in a new study — the details of which were recently published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

“Our research has shown four gases that were not around in the atmosphere at all until the 1960s which suggests they are man-made,” lead researcher Dr. Johannes said in a news release.

The four gasses are chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases, which were invented in 1920s for use in refrigeration and aerosol sprays. These types of gases have been banned globally since 2010, and regulated since the 1980s, but loopholes still exist.

“CFCs are the main cause of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica,” the researchers write.

Scientists say they’re unsure of where these new gases are coming from. “Possible sources include feedstock chemicals for insecticide production and solvents for cleaning electronic components,” the study’s authors surmise.

The study claims the new chemicals break down very slowly, so even if emissions are curbed, these gases are likely to stick around in Earth’s atmosphere — eating at the ozone — for several decades.

The ozone layer sits in the lower portion of the stratosphere, some 12 to 19 miles above Earth’s surface, and blocks roughly 97 percent of all the sun’s ultra violent rays — rays that could otherwise prove biologically harmful for animal and plant life.

Not so’s you’d notice if you’re making money from their production or use. Of course.