Mazda recalls vehicles because of a spider problem, again!

In what might be the weirdest reason for a car recall, Mazda is contacting car owners because of an issue with spiders. On April 5, Autoblog reported on the latest Mazda recall. They say the issue has to due with a specific spider that is attracted to the fuel systems in the car.

The Yellow Sac spider is plaguing Mazda yet again. Just three years ago the car manufacturer was forced to recall some 52,000 of their cars for the same exact problem. The issue here though is that the problem isn’t faulty equipment, it is the wildlife.

The newest recall applies to the 2010 through 2012 models of the Mazda6 sedan. According to Mazda, the Yellow Sac spiders are somehow getting into the vent lines in the fuel systems because they are attracted to the hydrocarbons in the gas tank. The problem with the pesky spiders is that their webs are blocking the ventilation systems and causing pressure to build up in the gas tank.

The recall only applies to the Mazda6 vehicles with the 2.5 liter engines. Even more interesting, the spider problem has only been found in vehicles that came from the Flint, Mich. plant. Many speculate that the spider problem originated at that specific plant and made it’s way into the fuel systems due to mature spiders laying their eggs inside the cars.

Does this latest spider related recall mean that Mazda should redesign the fuel system of the Mazda6 altogether? That might be the only solution since other Mazda vehicles haven’t been impacted and no other auto maker is reported a fuel tank issue caused by spiders.

Maybe they should be doing something about an excess of Yellow Sac spiders in their Flint factory?

Last time my only comment was about a spring-loaded solution to the invasion.

Myths and misconceptions about the Gulf oil spill

In the months and years following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, telling fact from fiction regarding seafood safety and ecosystem health was supremely difficult. Is Gulf seafood safe to eat or not? Are there really deformed shrimp and black lesion-covered red snapper? Will the Gulf ever be clean again?

A large part of the confusion was due to the connected, yet distinct, seafood issues surrounding the spill. Whether the seafood was safe for humans to eat was mixed with stories of the future of Gulf fisheries; harm done to wild fish was conflated with health of the seafood supply.

To clear up some of the confusion, here are seven topics of concern, some still unresolved, about the Gulf Oil Spill, brought to you by the Smithsonian Ocean Portal and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). These should help you better understand the spill’s effects on seafood and wildlife.

#1: Once oil enters the Gulf, it will stay there indefinitely.

#2: If a fish or other animal eats oil, it will remain in its body forever and get passed up the food chain.

#3: All oil is poison.

#4: The mixture of oil and dispersant is more toxic than either one alone.

#5: The oil is mutating fish, destroying their populations, and putting our country’s seafood at risk.

#6: If fisheries were going to crash, we would have seen it by now.

#7: Anything bad that happens in the Gulf can be attributed to the spill.

Quite a long article summing up everything scientifically-valid about the oil spill and results from that spill. To date. Worth reading to update what you know about the spill. I certainly found it useful.

If you’ve relied on the usual news sources, this is especially useful. Traditionally conservative scientific methods produce reliable information albeit often containing a good deal less shock and awe than ideologues of any stripe may find appealing.

Fly me to Sochi or I’ll attack you with this chocolate bar!


Something else for TSA to take away from passengers

A passenger on board a Hong Kong-bound Cathay Pacific flight, armed only with a Toblerone chocolate bar, demanded the plane fly to Sochi so he could watch the Winter Olympics, a court heard.

Antti Oskari Manselius, 23, from Finland, also made a false bomb threat on the February 14 flight from Amsterdam and said he was robbing the plane…

Two flight attendants told the court that they saw Manselius walking towards the cockpit. He had two economy-class blankets wrapped around his head and was wearing another like a cape. He held the Toblerone chocolate bar “like a sword”…

“He said, ‘I am robbing the plane now. I want to see the Olympics in Sochi and I need to get off the plane now,” attendant Leung Hiu-lun was quoted as telling the court. “He was furious. He made me feel like he was trying to endanger the aircraft.”

Leung said the passenger was not violent, only waving the bar as he talked. Leung told him the service was a direct flight and would not stop in Russia.

Manselius was later handcuffed under the orders of the captain.

“A Finnish passenger, a former policeman and an aircrew safety trainer handcuffed Manselius with the help of a cabin crew manager. They also cuffed his legs and fastened his chest with an extra seatbelt,” the Post said…

Manselius was arrested in Hong Kong and sent to a psychiatric center

Aside from all the healthful attributes of chocolate consumption I get to post about with delightful frequency it appears chocolate can still pose a danger – in the wrong hands.