The Chinese year of the snake officially kicks off Jan. 24, and the reptiles seem restless with anticipation. Around the globe, apodes have been lurking in the news.
SUPER BOWL SAVIORS The NFL's turf consultant, George Toma, announced plans to deploy inflatable snakes on the field of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., when it is seeded this week for the Jan. 28 Super Bowl. These will be in addition to inflatable owls and remote-control cars that are used to scare off seed-gobbling birds.
STUNNING SERPENTS The world's largest reptile zoo, in Tula, Russia, is attempting to improve its occupants' less-than-lovable image by holding a snake beauty contest.
SAFER WITH SCIENCE French pharmaceutical company Aventis Pasteur released a new antivenom against the most dangerous species of African snakes.
SORCERY A pregame onfield ritual featuring Yoruba priestess Ava Kay Jones and a boa, below, is being credited with helping lift a curse on the New Orleans Saints, who won their first play-off game in 34 years.