News tidbits

Dollars not accepted here

The New York Times news blog, The Lede, reports that Indian officials are no longer accepting US dollars as admission to the Taj Mahah, one of the seven wonders of the world.

For years, five US dollars were the standard ticket price. Now tourists will have to pay 500 rupees, which is about $13 at current exchange rates.

Iguanas falling from trees

California may be having some Florida-type tropical storms, but do they have somnolent lizards falling from their trees?

It seems that the near freezing temperatures the past two days in Florida (even as far south as Miami) have induced a comatose state in the local iguana population. The sleeping reptiles lose their hold on their roosts and come tumbling down into backyards, convertibles, patios and pools.

Iguanas are not native to Florida. Most were pets that escaped or were turned loose by their owners. Their population has reached a level that they themselves are a threat to native plants that have become the preferred diet of the lizards.

But I want to be disenfranchised!

In the three counties surrounding Tampa, Florida, 5,634 people have switched their party affiliation to the Republican party since August 25, the day the national Democratic Pary told Florida Democrats that their votes in the January 29 primary would not count and their representatives would not be seated at the national Democratic convention because the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature moved the state’s primary to an earlier date.

Some voters who switched affiliation were genuinely attracted to Republican candidates, notably Ron Paul who seems the favorite among elderly libertarians and young computer programmers.

What seems totally illogical, however, is that an even larger number of people, 6,369, changed their affiliation to the Democratic party. Huh?

Further proof, I guess, that Florida is a state of mind.

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