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Come in to my parlor... #117775
12/16/03 12:25 PM
12/16/03 12:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 428
Cape Cod, MA, US
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Flatlander Offline OP
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Flatlander  Offline OP
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So, as you may have heard, a certain individual that the US government has a few questions for was discovered in what officials and the press call a "spider hole". My question is why is it called that? I seem to recall that there is one species of spider that lives in a hole in the ground, but most of the eight-legged buggers have rather different accomodations. I could see "ferret hole" or "weasel hole" (the latter seems particularly apt), but I don't understand "spider hole". Anyone care to dig into this one?


Re: Come in to my parlor... #117776
12/16/03 12:30 PM
12/16/03 12:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,400
rego park
of troy Offline
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rego park
I seem to recall that there is one species of spider that lives in a hole in the ground

really? funnelhole spiders are unique to living in the ground? i didn't know that.

but spiders live in holes in wood, (and under bits of bark) and in other creavases. they live in small dark places...
and i guess too, they are scarier to come across than a ferret.. (don't know of any poisonous species of ferret!)


Re: Come in to my parlor... #117777
12/16/03 02:06 PM
12/16/03 02:06 PM
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Faldage Offline
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I seem to recall that there is one species of spider that lives in a hole in the ground

At least one. The term dates back at least to the VietNam war. The original definition was a hidey-hole made for the purpose of lying in wait for a victim to ambush. The technique was used by the Japanese in WWII, but it is uncertain if the term was used at the time. The usage in reference to a hidey-hole for purposes of evading capture seems to be an extended meaning, but the term "rat hole" has also been used to describe the Saddam situation.

The metaphor of the spider hole is from the actions of the trap door spider.

http://www.everythingabout.net/articles/biology/animals/arthropods/arachnids/spiders/trap-door_spider/



Re: Come in to my parlor... #117778
12/16/03 03:02 PM
12/16/03 03:02 PM
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Posts: 428
Cape Cod, MA, US
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Flatlander Offline OP
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The usage in reference to a hidey-hole for purposes of evading capture seems to be an extended meaning

I think this is what was troubling me. I knew the trap door spider used a pit to ambush its prey, but this seemed to be more of a defensive situation. Thanks for the clarification.


Re: Come in to my parlor... #117779
12/16/03 07:58 PM
12/16/03 07:58 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 2,788
Seattle, Washington, USA
Father Steve Offline
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Re: Come in to my parlor... #117780
12/17/03 01:03 AM
12/17/03 01:03 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 866
Perth, Western Australia
stales Offline
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Ah - Oz - welcome to the land of creatures that'll kill you; no matter how many legs they do (or don't) have. That reminds me of a funny story - but I digress.

Most common hole dwelling arachnids in Oz are the Funnel Web, Trapdoor and Mouse spiders. All can be fatal - of course!

And now the funny story....was at Rottnest Island (19km off the coast of Perth) a couple of weekends ago. Went for the bus trip around the island tour - it doubles as a shuttle bus service for the various beaches and residential areas around the island - as well as a sightseeing opportunity. A large party of young Japanese tourists disembarked at one of the popular beaches....their leader, the last off, turned to thank the driver. The driver replied, "Thanks mate, be careful of the sharks", closed the door and drove off. Those of us inside were in stitches with his (arguably mean) trick; playing upon the fears of visitors to our shores. I don't think there's been a shark attack at "Rotto" in white history.

stales


Re: Come in to my parlor... #117781
12/17/03 01:09 AM
12/17/03 01:09 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,230
Te Ika a Maui
sjmaxq Offline
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Te Ika a Maui
Aah, that sophisticated, intellectual Aussie humour shining at its brightest! Congratulations on a stunning effort in Adelaide, btw.


Re: Come in to my parlor... #117782
12/18/03 01:12 AM
12/18/03 01:12 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,065
Jakarta
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Bingley Offline
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Jakarta
You know, I kept reading it as Rottenest Island, and wondered whether this wouldn't be a bit off-putting for potential tourists.

Bingley


Bingley
Re: Come in to my parlor... #117783
12/18/03 01:52 AM
12/18/03 01:52 AM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Louisville, Kentucky
Jackie Offline
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Jackie  Offline
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Heavens, I read--well, interpreted--it as rat nest; hardly an improvement!


Re: Come in to my parlor... #117784
12/18/03 01:57 AM
12/18/03 01:57 AM
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wwh Offline
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Dear Stales: sharks are bad enough. But how about the small jellyfish whose stings can kill a child. How common are they?


Re: Come in to my parlor... #117785
12/18/03 12:17 PM
12/18/03 12:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 428
Cape Cod, MA, US
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Flatlander Offline OP
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I know I'm replying to myself, but for others who might be interested, Safire chimes in on the origin of "spider hole" here:

http://www.sltrib.com/2003/Dec/12162003/commenta/120316.asp

The relevant snippet:

[safire]Another useful bit of information is the origin of "spider hole," a phrase used by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez to describe the dugout hiding place in which the fugitive Saddam was cowering.
This is Army lingo from the Vietnam era. The Vietcong guerrillas dug "Cu Chi tunnels" often connected to what the GI's called "spider holes" -- space dug deep enough for the placement of a clay pot large enough to hold a crouching man, covered by a wooden plank and concealed with leaves. When a U.S. patrol passed, the Vietcong would spring out, shooting. But the hole had its dangers; if the pot broke or cracked, the guerrilla could be attacked by poisonous spiders or snakes. Hence, "spider hole."[/safire]

Cardhouse (http://www.cardhouse.com)doesn't buy his logic:

[cardhouse]That seems like an awfully long road to travel to get to the term "spider hole." Why not "snake hole"? Why would American forces name things from the perspective of a clay pot-hiding VC? "Hey, I found one of those dead clay pot VCs ... looks like he died from a bunch of spider and/or snake bites! I thus call this hole and all subsequent holes formed in the same fashion ... a .... a spider hole!" It couldn't have possibly derived from the fact that spiders actually dig holes in the ground or that VC tunnels were sometimes "guarded" by a ton of spiders? [/cardhouse]


I dunno... #117786
12/18/03 12:39 PM
12/18/03 12:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
lower upstate New York
AnnaStrophic Offline
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I'm thinking that Sanchez and many of the other commanders and guys-in-charge were probably Viet Nam-era soldiers. This is the first big war for them since then and maybe they're just trotting out their old jargon. Probably now that there's such a large group of soldiers together they'll update that slang.


PS Thanks for the Safire take, Flatlander. Last I read him he was splainin "exit strategy."

Re: Come in to my parlor... #117787
12/20/03 12:33 PM
12/20/03 12:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 866
Perth, Western Australia
stales Offline
old hand
stales  Offline
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Perth, Western Australia
And "Rat Nest Island" it is Jackie; thanks to the early Dutch explorers. Named after the ever so cute Quokkas (miniature wallabies) that reside there.

stales


Picture of a quokka #117788
12/20/03 02:01 PM
12/20/03 02:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Louisville, Kentucky
Jackie Offline
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Jackie  Offline
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