Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Dead heat," Sept. 22, 2012

Horsing around

Not a single horse appears on Detroit's inventory, but the Motor City still employs a horseshoer. According to a consultant's report obtained by the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD) employs a horseshoer at a cost to the city of nearly $60,000 per year in salary and benefits. According to the official job description-not updated since 1967-the DWSD horseshoer is required to "shoe horses and to do general blacksmith work." Problem: No one can seem to remember the last time the water department owned a horse. A DWSD spokesman said the official department horseshoer actually works as a welder.

Man bites snake

A Nepalese farmer turned the tables on an aggressive and venomous cobra that bit him: The farmer bit back. While tending his rice paddy on the evening of Aug. 21, farmer Mohammed Salmo Miya felt a snake bite him. Calmly, Miya walked back home to his village to grab a torch to investigate the species of the snake. Once Miya returned to the field and identified the assailant as a cobra, the farmer remembered the wisdom of a local snake charmer: "A snake charmer told me that if a snake bites you, bite it until it is dead and nothing will happen to you," he told the BBC. And that's what the 55-year-old did. After killing the snake with his own teeth, Miya eventually sought medical attention at the insistence of his family.

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