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Monitor Lizard; Plus, New Google Search
(Cross-posted at the Zoo Torah blog)
I recently acquired a new specimen for my forthcoming "Jewish Museum of Natural History." In the Torah's list of sheratzim - small creatures that transmit ritual impurity when dead - one of the creatures is called koach. According to some scholars, this refers to the monitor lizard. Monitors grow to be very large - the desert monitor in Israel grows to around four feet, while in other parts of the world monitors can reach ten feet or more. Accordingly, koach, which means "power," is a worthy name.
The monitor that I acquired is a Savannah monitor. Fully grown, it can reach 4-5 feet in length, but the one that I purchased is just a baby, no more than six inches long. He's incredibly vicious - when I open the cage, he jumps up with an open mouth and tries to bite - but when I hold him for a while, he calms down, and hopefully he will become tamer in due course.
Anyway, the day after I got him, I saw the following e-mail posted to the local Bet Shemesh mailing list:
Subject: Baby Monitor
Date: Wed May 9, 2012 10:07 am
Hi i am looking to buy or borrow a baby monitor from somebody. If anybody has one available please respond to this email.
Thank You, Yossi
Wow, I thought, isn't that a strange coincidence? The day after I get a baby monitor, somebody else wants one! And why does he want one, anyway?
Then I realized that he wasn't looking for a baby monitor. He was looking for a baby monitor!
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While we're on a light note, you might find the following amusing. Google has made some changes to its search engine; when you search for the name of a person, it now displays a picture, some biographical info, and also some pictures and names of associated people. This is what it displays for "Rabbi Slifkin":