NPR's food blog gets wordy: for the origins of "pie," look to the humble magpie
. Though the etymology of pie
doesn't present one clear path, the possibilities are fascinating. English surnames point to pie and pye as a baked good in the 1300s, with a Peter Piebakere in 1320 and Adam le Piemakere in 1332
. Chaucer referred to "pye" as both a baked good and a magpie (Google books)
. Or perhaps the fillings were like a magpie's collection of bits and bobs, similar to haggis. You know, like the French "agace," or magpie (Gb)
, and similar to chewets
, those baked goods, or another name for jackdaws (Gb)
, relative of the magpie
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Nov 22, 2011 -
Dr. Justin O. Schmidt likes insects of the persuasive sort, the ones that bite, sting or squirt venom in your eyes
. In the course of his entomological studies all over the world, he has met the defenses of about 150 different insects
, and he has rated them, creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index
. On the low end: sweat bees, whose sting is "light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm." On the high end: Bullet ants, whose venomous bites cause "pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like fire-walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch rusty nail in your heel." And it can last for hours, leaving you "quivering and still screaming from these peristaltic waves" [of pain]. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 4, 2011 -
The Uprising Of The Ants:
"Alexandra Achenbach and Susanne Foitzik from Ludwig Maximillians Universty in Munich found that some of the kidnapped workers don't bow to the whims of their new queen. Once they have matured, they start killing the pupae of their captors, destroying as many as two-thirds of the colony's brood. "
posted by The Whelk
on Apr 2, 2009 -
by Frank Phillips. ". . .I always keep in mind the goal of capturing the bug from an angle that we humans don't normally see...and I believe that it shows in my work."
posted by Feisty
on Mar 9, 2004 -
The Itsy-Bitsy Spider.
I was looking online to try and identify the freaking huge spiders I saw today (possibly wolf spiders), and I came across this hand spider identification chart. Slightly unnerving when the spiders randomly wiggle. Perhaps more so if you have a problem with spiders.
posted by kayjay
on Aug 8, 2003 -
If a young worker attempts to reproduce, she is spreadeagled by her fellows and kept immobilized for hours or even days. At the end of her sentence, the best she can hope for is a reduction in rank and loss of reproductive capability. Often she is mutilated or killed.
about police-state behavior in insects, complete with information on mutant anarchist worker bees, ant-led coups, and parasitic self-cloning bees. (via BoingBoing.)
posted by Vidiot
on Aug 6, 2003 -
'Provided for your delight are a small number of the world's butterflies and moths, taken from Dru Drury's three-volume monograph entitled Illustrations of Exotic Entomology.'
Related :- Schreber's Fabulous Beasts.
'In 1774 Johann Christian Dan Schreber authored a multivolume set of books entitled Die Saugthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen. Focusing on mammals of the world, these books were lavishly illustrated with 755 hand-colored plates ... '
posted by plep
on Jul 5, 2003 -
Some of them look like the spawn
; others, however, resemble fruit
fridge magnets or a beautiful jewel
from Ancient Egypt, and some are so bizarre they simply defy any description
. You can also think of them as natural Rorschach inkblots (consider this
) or even Moore/Gibbons' Rorschach
Those are some of Poul Beckmann's 128 hi-res, magnified, close-up studio pics of beetles
, complete with binomial nomenclature and the critters' origins.
via Clifford Pickover's weirdlog, RealityCarnival
posted by 111
on Jan 26, 2003 -
Sometimes I think I made the right Career
move. People complain about having to write papers
, study, and do too much home work, but, how would you like to hold your hand in a cage full of mosquitoes to determine if they are ready to feed in order to get your degree (in entomology)?
Don't worry, the mosquitoes used in the tests are raised in captivity and do carry not any diseases suchas the West Nile Virus
If you're like me, you asked yourself, What do entomologists do
posted by Blake
on Aug 9, 2002 -