From slithering serpents to creepy crawlies, Valerie Williams’ vast array of cold-blooded pets would make even the bravest person cringe.
But Williams wasn’t nicknamed the “Snake Lady” for nothing.
Turning 80 this March, she has been all over Ontario educating adults and kids about reptiles, amphibians and insects since 1969.
“A lot of people are scared of cold-blooded animals and often overlook how important they are,” said Williams, who lives in right here in London.
Williams’ fascination for cold-blooded animals started when she was a young girl in her native England when, at four years old, she was given her first pet snake.
“My dad was an environmentalist and he’d just give me pets to take care of so I really appreciated them early on and was never really scared,” she said.
Several decades after, Williams’ interest has shown no signs of waning. She now keeps 20 rodent-eating snakes, from ball pythons and king snakes to milk snakes and her favourite, corn snakes, which can grow up to five feet long and come in ever colour except blue.

police21Zero tolerance weapons policies at schools continue to be ridiculous. Between Pop Tarts bitten into gun-like shapes and drawings of guns being treated as severely as the real thing, schools enforcing these policies (forced on them by the government’s decision to tie funding to weapons policies) have slid into cartoonish parody of discipline.
In news that should come as a surprise to almost no one, two eleven-year old boys at a Flint, MI school were arrested and charged after bringing a toy gun to school. (via The Blaze)
Two Doyle-Ryder Elementary School students were arrested Wednesday after a “toy gun” was found at the school.
The two male students were arrested on disorderly conduct charges about 8:45 a.m., Feb. 5, at the school at 1040 N. Saginaw St., according to a Flint police report. The boys were released to their parents.
The boys are now facing charges of disturbing the peace being brought by the county prosecutor. His statement seems to indicate he’s filing charges as part of his ad hoc “scared straight” program rather than as a result of any danger they posed to their school.
Leyton says whether it’s a real gun or a toy gun – this is still a serious matter.
“It’s always your concern that a young person can get his hands on a real gun and bring it to school. There is no reason to bring a gun to school. Bringing a gun, even if it’s a toy gun, to school causes all sorts of chaos and I think these youngsters need to be brought into the courthouse and we need to get their attention so that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.
imagesT9NE4YQCBecause fake guns are real guns in the eyes of the school and the county prosecutor. And any child that can’t see the difference needs to have it “brought to their attention” via criminal charges.

No one involved in this incident seems to know exactly what sort of gun was being wielded by the students. Police called it a “toy gun.” Superintendent Larry Watkins “believed” it was a BB gun. Prosecutor David Leyton simply described the gun as “orange and plastic.”
He also noted it was “inoperable.”

A New York sports bar is taking a stand against Canadian beer, banning Molson Canadian, Labatt Blue and La Fin du Monde during the Olympic men’s hockey semi-final on Friday.
Amherst Pizza & Ale House posted a flyer to Facebook and Twitter on Thursday, saying: “We will not be serving Canadian beer during the USA vs Canada men’s Olympic hockey game on Friday, 2/21/14. This is a patriotic matter, thanks for your understanding.”
John Bona III, owner of the bar, said he wanted to “create a buzz amongst our customers and a little patriotism.”
A deep freeze has settled in over the Great Lakes this winter and a new image released by NASA shows the astonishing extent of the ice cover as seen from space.
NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of the lakes on the early afternoon of February 19, 2014. At the time, 80.3 percent of the five lakes were covered in ice, according to the NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research

Laboratory (GLERL).
Earlier this month, ice cover over the Great Lakes hit 88 percent for the first time since 1994. Typically at its peak, the average ice cover is just over 50 percent, and it only occasionally passes 80 percent, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory.

Read more:


We will get to the dog story in a minute, but FIRST ……………………………., remember that story of a WOLF in the athletes dorm at the Socki olympics?


NOW: Devoted dog owners often claim that their pets understand them. A new study suggests they could be right.
By placing dogs in an MRI scanner, researchers from Hungary found that the canine brain reacts to voices in the same way that the human brain does.
Emotionally charged sounds, such as crying or laughter, also prompted similar responses, perhaps explaining why dogs are attuned to human emotions.
The work is published in the journal Current Biology.
Lead author Attila Andics, from the Hungarian Academy of Science’s Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, said: “We think dogs and humans have a very similar mechanism to process emotional information.”

AND NOW, NEWS ABOUT MAN’S SECOND BEST FRIEND: Polygamy, stoning of adulterers, virginity testing, and laws that protect batterers are on the rise in increasingly conservative nations.
An Afghan law that protects perpetrators of domestic violence, new sharia criminal laws in Brunei that allow stoning, sexual assaults in Arab Spring countries, and proposed “virginity tests” in Indonesia.
These are just a few examples of a rollback of women’s rights in recent years, even where revolutions and political transitions have been hailed in the West.
“We’ve seen a rollback of women’s rights in Arab Spring countries like Egypt, where women have been at the heart of the civil society movement pressing for the rights of all Egyptians from the beginning of the transition process,” Hendra says.
“We’re extremely concerned by reports of the high prevalence of sexual assaults against women in public spaces. Rates of violence and harassment are extremely high,” he added. Women’s rights groups confirmed 186 sexual attacks on women in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during one week in June and July 2013.

US President Barack Obama will meet exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama today, US officials say.

With the Dalai Lama will be his cousin ……………………………., Fernando Lama!
AND FINALLY: The Oscars are coming up folks, and with that in mind we here at Perspective wish to give you a quick re-cap of some of the favourites!