Not all squatters are greedy. Noonan's friend Dave Mazzaferro of Torrington, Conn., says he collects URLs because they're "like one-of-a-kind trading cards." Not long ago he snapped up jimcalhoun.com in honor of the UConn basketball coach. "No one's ever gonna buy that one," says Mazzaferro, "but it's fun having it."
In a nightmare he had on July 1 in Cincinnati, Diamondbacks pitcher Brian Anderson found himself standing naked in the corridor outside his locked hotel room. Still worse was the moment when Anderson, who had dozed off and sleepwalked into the hallway, realized that this was no dream.
"When the door closed behind me, I woke up and panicked," he says. "I grabbed the DO NOT DISTURB sign from the door and tried to slide it between the door and its frame the way we did in college, but it didn't work. Then I saw a USA Today on the floor. I grabbed a couple of sections and put one in front of me and the other behind. Finally I saw a guy cleaning the workout room. He gave me a towel and called a security guard who let me back in my room." The next day Anderson survived a scare in St. Louis-two homers by Mark McGwire—to beat the Cardinals 9-5.
Hikers and bikers beware: Dead rattlesnakes can bite. That's the news from toxicologists Frank LoVecchio and Jeffrey Suchard of the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix. Their study of Arizona rattler attacks showed that 15% occurred after the animals had been mortally shot, bludgeoned or even beheaded.
Zombie snakes have long been part of Southwestern folklore, but LoVecchio and Suchard turned up true rattler tales that sound like the stuff of fright films. One man shot and decapitated a snake, then waited five minutes before picking up the severed head—which lunged and bit him once on each hand. Another victim was holding a dead rattler's severed head with its fangs pointed away from him when the snake suddenly shifted its jaw and sank its teeth into one of his fingers, which had to be amputated.
According to LoVecchio and Suchard, touch sensors in a rattler's skin and the heat-seeking pit organ between its nostrils and eyes can trigger a strike-and-bite reflex for up to an hour after the animal dies. Suchard's advice: Treat a decapitated rattler as "a very short snake."
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]