Thursday, August 28, 2008

ludicrously inaccurate CNN article about camel spiders

This article is amazingly inaccurate.

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The family of a British soldier serving in Afghanistan has been forced from their home after a poisonous [WRONG] spider [ALSO WRONG] hitched a ride back with him and apparently killed their pet dog [I REALLY DON'T SEE HOW.].

Lorraine Griffiths and her three children, aged 18, 16, and 4, moved out of their house in Colchester, southeast England, and are refusing to return until the spider [NO] is apprehended [BECAUSE THEY ARE SERIOUSLY MISINFORMED], the UK Press Association reported.

Griffiths told the East Anglian Daily Times that the spider [NO]appeared after her husband, Rodney, returned from a four-month tour of duty in Helmand province, the arid southern Afghan frontline in the fight against Taliban extremists.

"My son Ricky was in my bedroom looking for his underwear, and he went into the drawer under my bed, and something crawled across his hand," she told the paper.

She said their pet dog Cassie confronted the creature, which they identified on the Internet [SKEPTICISM ALERT]as a camel spider, but ran out whimpering when it hissed at her.

"It seems too much of a coincidence that she died at the same time that we saw the spider," she said. [Uh, exactly how much later did the dog die, if it saw the thing and "ran out whimpering"? Maybe it died of a doggie heart attack or something.]

The desert-dwelling camel spider, actually an insect [SO VERY FUCKING WRONG]rather than an arachnid [NO, IT IS IN FACT AN ARACHNID, THOUGH NOT A SPIDER], can run up to 25 kilometers (15 miles) an hour and reach 15 centimeters (6 inches) in length. Its bite is not deadly to humans [One of the few accurate statements in the article]but can kill small animals [[Well, they are predators and they have ginormous--for their size--powerful jaws, but they can't kill animals that much bigger than they are. AND THEY ARE NOT VENOMOUS THEY HAVE NO VENOM THEY ARE NOT AN INSECT ALSKDJFLKSAJFLASKJDFKLAF SO WRONG. Laziest reporter ever. Or something. I don't even know. Is there someone I can email about this?]

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