The Sideshow
  • Family fights highway off-ramp in their backyard

    When the Dodge family bought a modest home in Clark County, Wash., a decade ago it was tucked away at the end of a quiet dead-end street.

    Now a highway ramp is yards from the family's backyard.

    "Come here. Stand in our yard," Melissa Dodge told the Columbian newspaper as cars whizzed off Highway 500 to a ramp just on the other side of a white fence in her backyard. "Imagine your children playing here."

    The newspaper notes that the couple worry that a car or truck exiting the highway too quickly could crash through the guardrail and fence into their yard where their two children, 6-year-old Dylan and 19-month-old Lucas, play.

    "She's in a tough spot, there's no doubt about it," said Abbi Russell, Washington State Department of Transportation spokesperson told the Columbian.

    Russell said measurements of noise levels at the Dodge home are not loud enough to justify a sound-barrier wall to be build along the family's property. WSDOT built a sound-barrier wall at a neighboring mobile home

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  • Ryan Hart surfs through the middle of a flooded U.K. town. (YouTube)In the age of ridesharing, people are always coming up with new ways of getting to work. But Ryan Hart tried a unique approach, when he hitched a surfboard to the back of a pickup truck and surfed through the streets of a flooded English town.

    'There were four of us and we thought we'd have a change and do some outdoor surfing," Hart told Metro U.K. "Me and a friend put a rope on the car and went for it. We didn't think it would work but it worked like a dream."

    In the first section of the video, Hart rides his board upright through the flooded streets of Castleford, West Yorkshire, which, reported, recently suffered the worst storms in more than three decades.

    Of course, a water-based jaunt through your local town square is not without its inherent risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that floodwaters often contain sewage and can be full of dangerous bacteria.

    The World Health Organization adds that floodwaters can contain some very specific diseases, including typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis, hepatitis A, malaria, dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever, yellow fever, and West Nile fever.

    Watch Hart's full voyage:

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  • A 17-year-old Australian boy is in serious condition after being bitten by what most reptile experts believe is the world's most venomous snake.

    According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the boy was admitted to a hospital in the town of Kurri Kurri with a snakebite on his left hand. He was later transferred to Calvary Mater Hospital in Newcastle.

    The snake, which was brought still alive to the hospital by the boy's friend, was identified as an inland taipan. The snake is native to western New South Wales—about 600 miles from where the boy was bitten.

    A spokesman for the Taronga Zoo in Sydney told the paper that a drop of the snake's venom "can kill 100 adult men and 250,000 mice."

    [Related: Kids keep 2-headed snake as pet]

    Julie Mendezona, head zookeeper at Australian Reptile Park, told the paper that reports of inland taipan bites are extremely rare, and that there have been about 100 in Australia's history. A bite will effectively "start shutting down the function of messages going to your brain, to your vital organs, your lungs and your heart and even your muscles," she said. "So, paralysis is usually what happens with the patient. Because it can act so fast, being a neurotoxin, that's what makes it such a deadly animal. It can kill someone within maybe 45 minutes. There have been reports of people experiencing effects of venom within half an hour as well.

    "It also contains an anticoagulant," she added, "which means it will interfere with the blood clotting, so therefore you can experience bleeding out as well."

    Barry Martin, a veteran snake catcher who was called in to identify the inland taipan, told the Daily Telegraph it's known as a "fierce snake."

    "They [used to be] called the 'two-step snake' as in it bites you, you take two steps and you're dead," he said.

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