Are you a pessimist or an optimist when it comes to giant snakes?

Tired of measuring your relative pessimism/optimism by half-empty and half-full glassware? Try this new method, courtesy herpetologist Michael Dorcas. Read the following quote, then decide — is this fact comforting or distressing: "We’ve walked right past a 15-foot python without seeing it." Also potentially relevant to your interests: PBS' 2012 documentary about dissecting a giant python.


  1. Comforting, because, since I’m in the area of a python, it means I’m on vacation?

    /Or I’m at an airplane engine museum?

    1. _ Pessimist
      _ Optimist
      √ Herpetologist

      (Edit to add: if you didn’t see it, maybe it’s time to visit the Optometrist.)

      1. Any question that only has two possible answers is already pretty dull and boring. 

        And this one depends a lot on context.  If I’m at the zoo, then some obvious answers are “Oh, sorry I missed it” or “Skipped the python, there are big kittehs over here!”  If I’m walking through my neighborhood, then my first reaction would be “A Python? Here? WTF?!!”, unless I’m near the bookstore, in which case “oh, they’re just drumming up a crowd because Guido’s speaking here tomorrow.”  (In your neighborhood it might be John Cleese rather than Guido.)

        And a half-empty beer glass means I’ve had time to drink part of it, and there’s room to add more!

    2.  that’s my reaction too.  I was scuba diving in the FL keys and when I got back to the boat another diver was all excited about the big white-tipped reef shark that was swimming above me and wanted to know if I thought I’d gotten any good pictures.  WHAT!!??!?

      I was in no less danger for not seeing the damn thing, but totally missed out.

    1. My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hon.

      (Because for some reason that snake is into baked goods.)

  2. If that’s the series I’ve seen, where they also dissected a crocodile, an elephant, a lion, a giraffe, and a shark, it’s a totally fantastic series. (IIRC all animals except the python had expired of natural causes in captivity – the python was culled as part of Floridian pest control)

    After watching that series, I now understand why the Victorians viewed human dissection as an entertaining spectacle. It was fascinating!

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