Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Random Researching...

It’s quiet in the office this week. While I think it’s quite lovely to have the place to ourselves while the other half of the staff is PowerPointing it up at our annual conference, it’s so quiet, it’s almost eerie.

There seem to be clusters of us in the building, spread apart by large gaps of emptiness. It’s not that bad, it’s just not what we’re used to. I think we’re going to try to liven things up over the next couple of days and have some Office Olympics- chair racing and the like. I suggested it to our receptionist who agreed it would be fun. She’s now organizing it. I don’t see why we shouldn’t. There’s no better way to boost morale than playing Paper Plate Discus Throwing with your coworkers.

Today, however, dragged on in its silence. While I have plenty of work to keep me busy, there is a part of me that wants to go back to its old ways of surfing the internet while I’m working. I broke myself of that habit since we’re always being watched. However, this week, I don’t think we’re being watched quite as much. I hope not, anyway. If so, my boss is going to discover that while legitimately surfing the net for information on the Black Widow software tool that will help me in my new job at work, I began to think about black widow spiders. This led me to Wikipedia where I discovered there are different types of black widows and not all the females eat their husbands after they’ve mated. Some of them are more poisonous than others. This made me want to know if they were less dangerous than the Australian Funnelweb spider so I had to Wikipedia funnel web spiders. While dangerous and potentially deadly, Funnelwebs are not the most venomous spider.

This of course, made me wonder what was the most venomous spider in the world. For the record, the answer is the Brazilian Wandering Spider.

Of course, I didn’t stop there. I had to know, aside from this spider, what was the most venomous creature in the world. The answer is the Box Jellyfish. The jellyfish is followed by the King Cobra and then, of all things, the Marbled Cone snail. Yes, I said snail…not snake.

This was an epiphany to me. I had no idea snails could be deadly. I always loved snails. This particularly deadly creature lives in warm salt water environments. There is no anti-venom. So far, 30 people have been killed by these snails, at least these are the recorded death.

I personally find the idea of a toxic snail somewhat less intimidating than a snake or a jellyfish. Further down the list of venomous creatures is the poison dart frog which is rather cute and very psychedelic-looking. Even though it’s a pretty frog, if I knew it was toxic, I’d believe it. I’d also be a little worried because frogs can hop quickly and, theoretically, chase you.

That sort of puts a bit of a damper on the Marbled Cone Snail, doesn’t it? I mean, seriously, unless you’re barefoot in a pool of warm salt-water, it’s not exactly an intimidating threat.

I can’t help but picture an imaginary gathering of delegates who represent the World’s Most Venomous Creatures. They’d sit in a circle and compare stats and rankings. How would you think the snail would feel? It’s venom might be so powerful it can kill 20 humans but…well…it’s a snail. That’d be a little like choking to death on a gummi bear- horrible but not an easy story to tell without having the urge to bite back an inappropriate surge of laughter.

Anyways, this is all because I was doing my job and researching software the way I’m supposed to be. On a normal week, I’d probably think about looking up more info on black widow spiders and I might do that but I’d never have the courage to go all the way through my mental process and actually find out that the Box Jellyfish is to be feared above all other creatures. Although the stonefish is a pretty cruel sea dwelling creature too. That thing is not only ugly but it’s very dangerous.

I did all this today. I did manage to get some work done but it was rather hard just because my mind isn’t quite on my job. I had a three day weekend and my brain would still like me to think it was the weekend. Personally, I’d like to think it was still the weekend but, alas, reality calls.

I’m hoping tomorrow will be better and I’ll be less distracting. Of course, it is going to be this quiet again. Hmm….I’ll have to find something else to research.

Happy Wednesday!

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