Monday, August 20, 2018


Christopher Spata

Christopher Spata

Christopher Spata is a web producer and features writer for the Tampa Bay Times, focusing on entertainment, pop culture, social media and things to do. He also contributes to The Feed blog. A lifelong Floridian, he previously worked as a web producer and entertainment reporter for the Tampa Tribune, and covered sports for the Ocala Star-Star Banner. He graduated from the University of South Florida in 2011, and joined the Times in 2016.

This yacht built by Cubic Yachts has been drawing a lot of attention in Tampa Bay waterways.[Photo from Charlie Beech]

What’s up with that crazy, steel cube yacht that ran aground on Gandy Beach?

It has been spotted frequently in Tampa Bay recently, both in the water and on social media. It’s gigantic, strangely cube-shaped and according to the many who have gawked at it, very cool.
Published: 08/14/18
Behind James Pendergraft is a fiberglass construction of a megalodon's jaws. The display features 184 fossilized teeth of the prehistoric shark, which went extinct about 2 million years ago. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]

Still in the hunt: Largo paleontologist’s passion turns to new journeys

An amateur paleontologist keeps building a collection.
Published: 08/12/18
This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows a scene from the film,

Long before 'The Meg,' the hunt for megalodon teeth has been on in Florida

You can find their giant teeth, sometimes worth thousands, in several spots in Florida.
Published: 08/09/18
Roxane Gay will appear at the Straz Center for a free lecture this fall. [Photo by Jay Grabiec, courtesy of]

Roxane Gay will give free talk in Tampa

Bestselling author Roxane Gay will speak at the David A. Straz Jr. Center For the Performing Arts on Sept. 27 as part of the University of South Florida’s Frontier Forum lecture series.No tickets are required for the free event...
Published: 08/08/18
Smash Rooms, ax throwing and dodgeball: Ways to blow off steam in Tampa Bay

Smash Rooms, ax throwing and dodgeball: Ways to blow off steam in Tampa Bay

Looking for ways to blow off some steam in the Tampa Bay area? Here are five options for releasing some aggression.SMASH ROOM
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/08/18
Smash Room Lakeland has been in a soft opening for several weeks, but will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday. The business provides face shields and protective vests for those who want to smash electronics, glassware and other items. [Photo courtesy of Smash Room Lakeland]

Smash Rooms opening in Lakeland and Tampa, for when you feel like breaking something

Ever feel like breaking something? Now there’s a place to do it without the mess, regret or possibility of scaring your pets.Smash Room Lakeland celebrates its grand opening Saturday, and according to its Tampa-based owners, will be followed...
Updated one month ago
How to watch free standup comedy in Tampa Bay, or try it yourself

How to watch free standup comedy in Tampa Bay, or try it yourself

Want to try standup?
Updated one month ago
A large sturgeon leaps from the water June 15, 2007 on the Suwannee River at Branford, Fla. These fish reach a length of 8 ft., weighing 200 lbs., and  have been responsible for a number of injuries on the Suwannee River when they jump into recreational boats.  (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

Rabid otters, flying fish, brain-eating amoebas: Here’s how Florida can kill you

Many people know that Florida is one of the more dangerous places to live in terms of intense tropical weather. We’re one of the world’s most hurricane-vulnerable regions (80 indirect storm deaths in 2017), and often noted as the lightning capital of...
Updated one month ago
Hummel figurines on display at the Schrader home in Tampa, Fla. on July 11, 2018. Mary Schrader collects Hummel figurines as well as cookie jars and currency. Dennis Schrader has a collection of nearly five thousand autographed baseballs currently on display at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. The Schraders have over two thousand Hummel figurines. MONICA HERNDON | Times

1,100 cookie jars. 2000 Hummels. 23 chamber pots: This Tampa Bay couple collects... well, everything.

TAMPA — To be a large, clumsy person in Mary and Dennis Schrader’s house is to feel fear.You tread lightly upstairs, but even so, every step in the room containing row after row of cookie jars brings the sound of ceramic lids rattling on their...
Updated one month ago
Wait, are stingrays cute? ZooTampa's rays predict a World Cup winner

Wait, are stingrays cute? ZooTampa's rays predict a World Cup winner

Lots of animals are in the mix predicting the World Cup in 2018, including some in Tampa. Because sure, why not?
Updated one month ago