August 1, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 14)


Strong Points: Fairly informative
Weak Points: A bit grotesque

I’ll go off the deep end here and report on a site that has some rather grotesque images, but with the summer season upon us, it is probably appropriate. I’m referring to the Brown Recluse Spider Bite Site, whose opening page picture depicts a very ugly bite from one of these creatures. The site provides many important pieces of information, including reports from many people who have survived bites (accompanied by pictures). I found many of the pictures difficult to look at, but I suppose they do help people to recognize features of a bite if they are curious. The reports vary widely, both in terms of severity of reaction and in clarity of writing. A few are not very literate, though most are informative. There is also a section of information about the spider itself, along with a picture. I noted that many reports on the page do not involve clearly identified bites (i.e., unseen, but suspected bites) and that is probably one of the more important aspects of the site. Pets are also susceptible, as visitors will learn. Several reports of pets dying from bites dot the site. A disturbing, but informative site.

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