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My fear of heights
Posted: 21 February 2012 12:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Crafty Dragon - 20 February 2012 09:02 PM

My mom has said many times that she would some day love to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, while I think that’s completely insane.  However, I’d love to go hang gliding, which she thinks is nuts! LOL

If I buy an apartment it will be on the perfectly good ground floor.

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Posted: 21 February 2012 01:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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As long as I know I’ve got a solid floor beneath me, I’m fine. I can’t stand ladders because I don’t trust them.  At least height is a sensible thing to be nervous of. I’m also scared of spiders, which in the UK are virtually harmless.

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Posted: 21 February 2012 02:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I recall reading an article some time back where it was discovered that the one thing that consistently produced the strongest fear reaction in the most people was ‘a spider crawling over their foot while half asleep’. Makes you wonder what evolutionary process resulted in such a strong instinct.

Here in the US, most spiders are harmless. Larger spiders can bite painfully, and tarantulas have half-inch fangs of doom, but the only deadly ones are Black Widows and Brown Recluse spiders. And even those aren’t nearly as deadly as some folks fear.

Black Widow bites are generally no worse than a bee sting… the first time. The trick is the body is sensatized after that, so subsequent bites are increasingly nasty. You’ll be seriously ill your second time, and third and subsequent bites are probably gonna kill you unless you’re right outside the ER.

As for Brown Recluse, they’re nasty in a whole ‘nother way. The inital bite is barely noticable, but then everything turns into a pus-filled volcano of necrotic tissue and gangrene. I really cannot emphasize just how nasty it is.

Thankfully, both species are downright shy. Just make sure you look where you’re putting your hands when you go to grab wood from the pile, or are cleaning out the attic.

Of course, that’s peanuts compared to some of the tropical spiders out there, and then you get to the Aussie ones. Did you know that some of the spiders have proteins in their venom that *specifically* target primates? Despite, you know, there not having been any over there until relatively recently, and there being no reason for them to have it? Scary.

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Posted: 21 February 2012 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Since ‘phobias’ typically seem baseless, I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re actually caused by something that happened in a previous life ............................... and that seems perfectly logical to me…. **grin**

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Posted: 21 February 2012 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Robin Bobcat - 21 February 2012 02:46 AM

Of course, that’s peanuts compared to some of the tropical spiders out there, and then you get to the Aussie ones. Did you know that some of the spiders have proteins in their venom that *specifically* target primates? Despite, you know, there not having been any over there until relatively recently, and there being no reason for them to have it? Scary.

Actually, apart from the funnelweb, our spiders aren’t that much worse than your black widow and brown recluse (ours are just called redbacks and white-tails).  In fact, I believe that black widows and redbacks are closely related.

And I’m going to stop looking up spiders now… gulp

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Posted: 21 February 2012 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Robin Bobcat - 21 February 2012 02:46 AM

I recall reading an article some time back where it was discovered that the one thing that consistently produced the strongest fear reaction in the most people was ‘a spider crawling over their foot while half asleep’. Makes you wonder what evolutionary process resulted in such a strong instinct.

I don’t believe a word of it, but for what it’s worth, I read a theory that throughout most of our evolutionary history, from the oceans to our first steps on land, spiders and their close relatives have been among our primary threats. As the oxygen content in the atmosphere dropped, arthropods got smaller, and then our mammalian ancestors grew too big to be prey to arthropods anyway, but for some of us the genetic memory of spiders being a threat remains.

Robin Bobcat - 21 February 2012 02:46 AM

Black Widow bites are generally no worse than a bee sting… the first time. The trick is the body is sensatized after that, so subsequent bites are increasingly nasty. You’ll be seriously ill your second time, and third and subsequent bites are probably gonna kill you unless you’re right outside the ER.

You’d think it’d be the other way around. What happened to, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’?

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Posted: 21 February 2012 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Paul Taylor - 21 February 2012 08:06 AM
Robin Bobcat - 21 February 2012 02:46 AM

I recall reading an article some time back where it was discovered that the one thing that consistently produced the strongest fear reaction in the most people was ‘a spider crawling over their foot while half asleep’. Makes you wonder what evolutionary process resulted in such a strong instinct.

I don’t believe a word of it, but for what it’s worth, I read a theory that throughout most of our evolutionary history, from the oceans to our first steps on land, spiders and their close relatives have been among our primary threats. As the oxygen content in the atmosphere dropped, arthropods got smaller, and then our mammalian ancestors grew too big to be prey to arthropods anyway, but for some of us the genetic memory of spiders being a threat remains.

Well, the odd thing is, it’s not just ‘some’ of us; apparently it’s practically universal, so we’re talking Homo Habilis at best. My money is on there having been a nasty spider back in the day that liked to bite humans. Not as prey, but perhaps territorial or defensive or just ‘being an eight-legged jerk’. Anyway, it’s one of those sources for rampant speculation that behavioral scientists are fond of.

Robin Bobcat - 21 February 2012 02:46 AM

Black Widow bites are generally no worse than a bee sting… the first time. The trick is the body is sensatized after that, so subsequent bites are increasingly nasty. You’ll be seriously ill your second time, and third and subsequent bites are probably gonna kill you unless you’re right outside the ER.

You’d think it’d be the other way around. What happened to, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’?

It’s my understanding that it damages the nerve endings in a way that makes them more susceptable to subsequent bites. My father’s Judo sensei found this out the hard way…

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Posted: 21 February 2012 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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My garage is crawling with Black widow spiders, I wouldn’t want to be bit by one, but we let our cats roam out there.

I think we also have brown recluses. I think I chucked one out the other day, but I’m not sure enough about what they look like to be certain. (It was a big brown spider in the kitchen :( )

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Posted: 21 February 2012 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Sharruma - 21 February 2012 10:37 AM

My garage is crawling with Black widow spiders, I wouldn’t want to be bit by one, but we let our cats roam out there.

I think we also have brown recluses. I think I chucked one out the other day, but I’m not sure enough about what they look like to be certain. (It was a big brown spider in the kitchen :( )

They tend not to share too much territory. Odds are, if it’s in your house, in an area that people use, it’s NOT a Brown Recluse.

They’re mostly south and mid-western spiders. Quoth Wiki:

The brown recluse spider is native to the United States from the southern Midwest south to the Gulf of Mexico. The native range lies roughly south of a line from southeastern Nebraska through southern Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana to southwestern Ohio. In the southern states, it is native from central Texas to western Georgia and north to Kentucky.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d7/Brown-recluse-2-edit.jpg/250px-Brown-recluse-2-edit.jpg

An easy solution is to call the local exterminator. Ask them if Recluses are in the area.

Again, they’re both utterly non-agressive. Unless you actually put your hand on one, you’re fine. Amusingly, Widows are not the top of the spider food chain - wolf spiders love eating ‘em.

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Posted: 21 February 2012 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I love spiders and wolf spiders are beautiful babies too.

This is one I did of one a few years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPD9eyG6JZA
The Wolf and The Dwarf Spiders - Backyard Critters

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Posted: 21 February 2012 08:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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We’ve gopt a particularly cute variety of garden spider around here. Fuzzy little guys, with white and blakc stripes, and *SAPPHIRE* eyes. They’re really gorgeous.

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