It's Scorpion Season

http://www.krqe.com/video_player/swf/EndPlayVideoPlayer_v1_4_FP10_2.swf?v=080912_0

I missed this KRQE news story last week “Scorpion season brings fright, stings” which indicates it’s the time of year to see scorpions.

Entomologist Alan Feuer says scorpions are born earlier in the year, and by now they have grown to 2 or 3 inches becoming much more aggressive, so people are seeing them now.

In the video they say that this year is not unusual for the number of scorpions.

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Scorpion Antivenom For $83,046

A woman in Arizona was stung by a Scorpion and billed $25,537 after insurance paid $57,509 for antivenom according to the azcentral article “Scorpion sting leaves Ahwatukee woman with a big bill

The 52-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills woman had never felt a scorpion sting before that day. She had no intention of seeking medical help, but within an hour of the sting, Edmonds’ mild tingling sensation worsened with throat tightness, blurry vision, darting eyes and tense muscles. She could not walk and had trouble breathing.

With the help of a friend, she called Poison Control and was advised to go to the nearest hospital that had scorpion antivenom, Chandler Regional Medical Center. At the hospital, an emergency room doctor told her about the antivenom, called Anascorp, that could quickly relieve her symptoms. Edmonds said the physician never talked with her about the cost of the drug or treatment alternatives.

Having had experience with Chandler Regional Medical Center, I would have avoided going there if possible. My favorite part of the story

“We believe no one should delay seeking needed medical care because they lack insurance or have high medical costs,” the hospital’s statement said.

That’s easy to say when you don’t have to be the one paying. Had I been in the same situation and they told me how much it would cost I would have tried to live with the effects venom instead of paying $25,000. Although the article doesn’t say I suspect the woman was stung by a bark scorpion, which is different and more dangerous than the ones I get in my house.

Largest Scorpion Found So Far

Largest scorpion found in the house to date by gregjsmith, on Flickr
Largest scorpion found in the house to date by gregjsmith, on Flickr

I haven’t had very many scorpions in the house this year compared to previous years. The one I found last night may have been the 3rd one I have seen this year but it’s by far the largest I have ever seen.

Apparently Scorpions Can Get People High

First scorpion of 2013

A Suburra.com article titled “Getting High on Scorpions: The Afghan Drug War” notes from David Macdonald, Drugs in Afghanistan, book:

As an example, Macdonald notes that in Afghanistan even the ubiquitous scorpions can be used for intoxication. Tartars in Bamiyan province prepare scorpions by smashing them between stones and letting them dry. The main part of the tail, with the sting, is then crushed into a powder and smoked with tobacco and/or hashish (marijuana).

A friend of Macdonald’s who witnessed a man smoke scorpion in the Afghan town of Peshawar described the reaction:

The effect was instantaneous with the man’s face and eyes becoming very red, “much more than a hashish smoker” …. He also seemed very intoxicated but awake and alert, although he stumbled and fell over when he tried to rise from a sitting position …. the smoke tasted “sweeter” than that of hashish, although … it smelled foul, and the intoxicating effect lasted much longer. (1, p. 247)

As with most drugs, anecdotal reports of scorpion’s effects vary widely. It is likely that the numerous Afghan scorpion species have divergent psychoactive properties. Scorpion has been reported to keep one awake, cause severe headaches, and rival the effects of a “strong mescaline trip.” (1, p. 248) One Kabul man who had smoked between 20 and 30 times reported the effects to last three days. During these periods he had difficulty opening his eyes, his head spun, and he had constant visual hallucinations.

No Hockey This Winter At The Santa Ann Star Center

The Santa Anna Star Center was built in Rio Rancho to primarily be a venue for the New Mexico Scorpions hockey team. Not only are the New Mexico Scorpions not playing there, the New Mexico Mustangs won’t be playing there either according the the Rio Rancho Observer “Mustangs ‘inactive’ for season“.

The New Mexico Mustangs, who called the Star Center home for the past two seasons of North American Hockey league competition, were officially “granted inactive status” by the NAHL and will not compete in the league in the 2012-13 season.

A ticket to a Mustangs’ game wasn’t exactly the hottest item in town: The team drew an average of 802 fans for each of its 29 home games in 2010-11 and then 721 fans for each of its 30 home games in the just-completed season.

The situation with the Santa Anna Star Center was covered by the New York Times in 2011. The company that convinced the city to build the center, Global Entrainment, went around the country getting a lot of cities to build similar arenas making promises that didn’t come true.

A Scoprion's Body Might Act Like A Giant Eye

From a Wired Science article titled “Glowing Scorpion Exoskeletons May Be Giant Eyes“:

Scorpion bodies are studded with eyes, sometimes as many as twelve — and scientists may have found one more.

A scorpion’s entire exoskeleton may act as one giant light receptor, a full-body proto-eye that detects shadows cast by moonlight and starlight.

That’s still just a hypothesis, but it would help explain why they glow so brilliantly under ultraviolet light.

Twelve eyes? TWELVE! Little bastards.

Rio Rancho Scavenger Hunt And Winterfest

The Rio Rancho Economic Development Corp is having a “scavenger hunt”. In an attempt to get people to check out local business, they are providing maps of 20 business and get a stamp. After having 20 stamps from each business there is a drawing for a Apple iPad, iPod Touch, iPod Nano or a gift certificate.

The stamps have to be collected before the Rio Rancho Winterfest 2011 on Saturday, 10 December. The Winterfest sounds interesting enough I might actually get off my butt and go, At least for the free ice skating and preview of the concessions. If they would just get the New Mexico Scorpions back.