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Snakes on a... yeah, the joke's already getting old

Nonetheless, in honor of the event we've all been waiting for -- Snakes on a Plane comes out today! -- here are ten bits of snake trivia for your (and your moviegoing pals') amusement, courtesy of UKTV:

1. Terrible teeth. Unlike regular teeth, the fangs of a venomous snake are hollow. This means they can act inject their toxin with the efficiency of a hypodermic syringe. And they don't need much... the venom of a cobra could kill an elephant.

2. Particular poisons. Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins that, once unleashed, rapidly spreads through the victim's body. Neurotoxic venom, which destroys the nervous system, is the variety that will kill you quickest.

3. Cannibalism. Many snakes are only too happy to gobble each other up. Some, such as the ravenous California Kingsnake, like nothing more than to feast upon others of their own species.
4. British snakes. If you thought all poisonous snakes stuck to sunnier climes than ours, think again. Britain boasts the adder, and though its bite is rarely fatal, it's more than capable of giving you a nasty, limb-swelling dose of venom.

5. Pythons. Blessed with massively flexible jaws and hugely muscular bodies, pythons can and will crush and eat just about anything. A large meal, say, a human being, will sustain a snake for a year or more.

6. The fastest. The swiftest snake on land is the Black Mamba, a notorious African monster that can reach speeds of up to 12 miles per hour. And they're amongst the most deadly too.

7. Spitting snakes. Spitting cobras actually spray their venom from their fangs with quick muscular contractions that can send their toxin up to three metres away. Worse still, they'll be aiming at your eyes when they do it.

8. Snakes' young. Baby snakes are often more dangerous than their parents. While adults carefully ration out their venom, a baby snake lacks such self-control and will unleash a much higher dose of venom in its bite.

9. Dead but still deadly. A dead rattlesnake can still bite if you get too close, because the snake's heat sensors remain active until rigor mortis is complete, a day or more later. Placing a warm object, such as your hand, near the snake's mouth will still cause it to have a go!

10. Most poisonous. Cobras and Mambas get all the notoriety, but the most toxic snake of all is the Inland Taipan of Australia. It could kill 100 people with a single bite, but thankfully it reserves its wrath for rats.

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9 Things You Should Keep in Mind Around Someone Observing Ramadan
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To mark the ninth (and most holy) month in the Islamic calendar, Muslims around the world observe Ramadan. Often compared to Lent in Christianity and Yom Kippur in Judaism, Ramadan is all about restraint. For one month, Muslims observing Ramadan fast during the day and then feast at night.

By abstaining from food and water (as well as sex, smoking, fighting, etc.) during daylight, Muslims strive to practice discipline, instill gratitude for what they have, and draw closer to Allah. To be respectful and not annoy observers, here are nine things you should never say or do to someone observing Ramadan.

1. DON'T JOKE ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS.

A traditional iftar meal.
A traditional iftar meal.
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Although it might be tempting to joke about Ramadan being a good excuse to lose weight, it is a time for spiritual reflection and is a serious matter. Observers undertake the challenge of fasting for religious and spiritual reasons rather than aesthetic ones. And, once the sun sets each night, many Muslims prepare a hearty iftar (the meal that breaks the fast) of dates, curries, rice dishes, and other delicious foods. The suhoor (the pre-dawn meal) is often fresh fruit, bread, cheese, and dishes that are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. So the idea of a cleanse is pretty far from their minds.

2. DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.

An Indian Muslim student recites from the Quran in a classroom during the holy month of Ramadan.
NOAH SEELAM, AFP/Getty Images

There are approximately 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, but not all of them observe Ramadan the same way. Although most observant Muslims fast for Ramadan, don't assume that every Muslim you meet has the same methods, traditions, and attitudes towards fasting. For some, Ramadan is more about prayer, reading the Qur'an, and performing acts of charity than merely about forgoing food and drink. And for those who may be exempted from the daily fasting, such as pregnant or nursing women, the elderly, or those with various health conditions, they might not appreciate the reminder from nosey busy-bodies that they aren't participating in the traditional way.

3. SAY "RAMADAN MUBARAK" INSTEAD OF "HAPPY RAMADAN."

A sign which reads
A sign which reads "Ramadan Kareem" in Arabic is seen pictured in front of the Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai.
GIUSEPPE CACACE, AFP/Getty Images

Rather than wishing someone a happy Ramadan, being more thoughtful with your choice of words can show that you understand and respect the sanctity of their holy month. Saying "Ramadan Mubarak" or "Ramadan Kareem" are the traditional ways to impart warm wishes—they both convey the generosity and blessings associated with the month. The actual party comes after Ramadan, when Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, an up to three-day festival that involves plenty of food, time with family, and gifts.

4. DON'T BE A FOOD PUSHER.

Muslim woman saying no to an apple.
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Even if the idea of not eating or drinking all day might be unfathomable to you, don't push food onto anyone observing Ramadan. While fasting all day for a month can cause mild fatigue, dehydration, and dizziness, don't try to convince participating Muslims to eat or drink something—they are fully aware of any side effects they may feel throughout the day. Instead, be respectful of their decision to fast and offer to lend a hand with something like chores, errands, or anything unrelated to food.

5. ACCEPT THAT WATER ISN'T ON THE MENU.

Dates and a glass of water.
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Muslims who observe Ramadan don't sip any liquids during daytime. No water, coffee, tea, or juice. Zilch. Going without water is even harder than going without food, so be aware of the struggle and accept it. It's all part of the sacrifice and self-discipline inherent in Ramadan.

6. RESPECT PEOPLE'S PRIVACY.

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Some Muslims choose not to fast during Ramadan for medical or other personal reasons, and they may not appreciate being badgered with questions about why they may be eating or drinking rather than fasting. Children and the elderly generally don't fast all day, and people who are sick are exempt from fasting. Other conditions that preclude fasting during Ramadan are pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menstruation (although, if possible, people generally make up the days later).

7. BE MINDFUL OF ENERGY LEVELS.

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Eschewing food and drink for hours at a time can cause lethargy, so be aware that Muslims observing Ramadan may be more tired than usual. Your Muslim friends and coworkers don't stop working for an entire month, but they may tweak their schedules to allow for more rest. They may also stay indoors more (to prevent overheating) and avoid unnecessary physical activity to conserve energy. So, don't be offended if they aren't down for a pick-up game of basketball or soccer. We can't all be elite athletes.

8. DON'T OBSESS OVER FOOD AND HUNGER.

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One of the worst things you can do to someone on a new diet is to obsess over all the cheeseburgers, pizza, and cupcakes they can't have. Similarly, most Muslims observing Ramadan don't want to have in-depth conversations about all the food and beverages they're avoiding. So, be mindful that you don't become the constant reminder of how many hours are left until sundown—just as you shouldn't joke about weight loss, you shouldn't call attention to any hunger pangs.

9. DON'T BE AFRAID TO EAT YOUR OWN FOOD.

Coworkers discussing a project on couches.
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Although it's nice to avoid talking about food in front of a fasting Muslim, don't be afraid to eat your own food as you normally would. Seeing other people eating and drinking isn't offensive—Muslims believe that Ramadan is all about sacrifice and self-discipline, and they're aware that not everyone participates. However, perhaps try to avoid scheduling lunch meetings or afternoon barbecues with your Muslim colleagues and friends. Any of those can surely wait until after Ramadan ends.

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