2006_06_pinkladybug.jpgNY State legislators don't want you to think they can't do anything, so they worked on issues they could actually pass - ones about state symbols! Yesterday, they were able to determine the state insect, state reptile, and state saltwater fish. Huzzah! They can't figure out whether to give NYC the money it deserves for education, but animals - no problem. The NY Times' feature highlights the minutiae of government, like how since the old state insect, the nine-spotted ladybug, is extinct, they had to pick a new one (it's the pink spotted ladybug - very common!), and how future constituents matter - the selection of the snapping turtle was "the result of a competitive process — an election among elementary school students." Bronx Assemblyman Jeffery Dinowitz sponsored the bill:

"I said this was goofy and I didn't really want to end up in the newspaper talking about this kind of thing at the end of session," Mr. Dinowitz said, as he sat at his desk on Thursday, talking about this kind of thing to a reporter. And besides, he noted, the state already had an official muffin, so why not a state turtle?

And we have a state beverage - it's milk! (Wisconsin is calling and they saying we're, uh, "ganking their beverage.") You can see all the other official state symbols (not updated, as yet).

The graphic the NY Times has with the article is slightly disturbing - there's a snapping turtle in the middle of the road and we wonder if a car will run over him.