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Putting a bug in your gear

Justin Gershenson-Gates makes insects and spiders from mechanical watch parts. The Verge shows more pictures including one of a piece under construction, more photos are on Inhabitat, there are yet more photos at Twisted Sifter, and the artist has a personal website.
posted by bile and syntax on Apr 25, 2014 - 6 comments

Ever imagine a bug is crawling on you? I do. A lot.

A book about human reaction to insects I have trouble in the summer because I am usually suppressing the urge to scream and freak out due to the imaginary bugs that are crawling on me.
posted by Yellow on Apr 15, 2014 - 39 comments

Nostril, Lip, Penis

The worst places to get stung by a bee "It started when a honeybee flew up Michael Smith’s shorts and stung him in the testicles." Smith's painstaking study adds another dimension to the well-researched Schmidt Sting Pain Index.
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 4, 2014 - 79 comments

Entomologist Squashes the Myths in Seven Insect Horror Flicks

May Berenbaum, head of the University of Illinois' entomology department: "There are about 500 species of gerrids in the world and, as far as I know, not a single one of those 500 species is eusocial (i.e., has a complex social structure with reproductive division of labor and cooperative brood care)," she said. "I don't even know of an example of maternal care in the whole group."
posted by helpthebear on Mar 24, 2014 - 35 comments

Beautiful Eight-Legged Terrors

Macro Photos Of Cute And Cuddly Jumping Spiders by Thomas Shahan. Plus tips on how to shoot macro pictures of insects!
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 29, 2014 - 37 comments

Random Togetherness

Dennis Hlynsky is a professor of film and animation at RISD whose most recent work, titled Small Brains on Mass, looks at bird behavior, particularly how they interact when flying in groups. To better understand how flying as a flock is achieved, Hlynsky filmed the birds and then stacked the images on the same frame for a set number of frames, the results show each bird’s flight as a trail, but synchronized with the flock. The results are often pure poetry. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Jan 25, 2014 - 12 comments

Naturalis Historia

"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."
Naturalis Historia was written by Pliny the Elder between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger.
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 16, 2013 - 24 comments

Control a cockroach from your smartphone? There's an app for that.

After a TED Talk demonstration and a successful Kickstarter, Backyard Brains plans to release a kit instructing kids to strap a miniature backpack to cockroaches and insert electrodes into its brain, allowing the cockroach to be controlled by a smartphone app. Some scientists are less than pleased with the ethics of the project.
posted by meowzilla on Nov 8, 2013 - 128 comments

i want my mommy

Deadly Asian giant hornets - aka Vespa mandarinia - kill at least 41 people in China. Hundreds more have been hospitalized by these 2+ inch beasts with a sting that packs a human-tissue dissolving neurotoxin. Survivor stories are terrifying. Think you are safe in the U.S. or Britain? Nope and nope. (via @BitterOldPunk)
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 3, 2013 - 130 comments

USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab's macro insect photography

The USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program designs and develops large and small-scale surveys and identification tools for native bees. A vital aspect of the program is to create accurate and detailed pictures of native bees as well as the plants and insects they interact with. To that end, Sam Droege has curated a collection of more than 1,200 macro photos of insects and posted them to the USGS NBIaMP Flickr collection. You can also browse via sets, if the unfiltered collection is too much to take in at once. This group has also provided a guide to taking macro photographs of insects in a lab setting (PDF).
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 19, 2013 - 11 comments

Going green

If anything can turn Westerners on to entomophagy for sustainable protein (or just the perfect beer snack), surely it's an attractive, well-designed kitchen appliance. Introducing LEPSIS, a modular terrarium for growing grasshoppers as a food source in an urban home. Nominated for the 2013 INDEX: Award.
posted by naju on Jul 15, 2013 - 76 comments

Whatever you do, don't tell Tom Six about these things.

There are certainly drawbacks to living in Florida this time of year. You have to deal with the heat. You have to deal with the tourists. And you have to deal with erratically flying pairs of insects joined by their genitalia. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 25, 2013 - 50 comments

The Mad Hatterpillar

How to get ahead. Again and again. Moths and butterflies are just flying gonads that make new caterpillars. Caterpillars are feeding machines with one primary purpose: eating enough food to build the body of a future moth or butterfly. A caterpillar stuffs itself with food, but eventually is limited by its exoskeleton, which is rigid and can’t grow. ‘Pillars deal with this by splitting their external skin, shedding it, and making a new, bigger exoskeleton so they have room to grow. For some reason, this species of moth caterpillars keeps their heads and build themselves a strange “hat” that gets taller as they grow.
posted by srboisvert on Jun 15, 2013 - 16 comments

Best of the webbing

MIT Media Lab's Silk Pavilion, a geometric structure machine-woven with silk thread and then reinforced by the efforts of 6500 silkworms. Watch the beautifully-done making-of video.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Jun 6, 2013 - 16 comments

°oOOo°

Jumping spider watching you, jumping spider watching you (again), mantis eating a fly, mantis eating a fly (again), mantis watching you, mantis watching you (again), ladybird hatching, flies having sex, crane flies having sex, shepherd, WTF is that, WTF is that (again), and a really cute baby hamster. Photographs by David Jobi
posted by elgilito on Apr 20, 2013 - 40 comments

Paul "Mozchops" Phippen's Salsa Invertebraxa: imaginary insects & flora

Paul "Mozchops" Phippen has been working as a concept artist and designer for major companies in the video-game and media industries since 1996. Two years ago, he made an intensely vivid graphic novel set in an imaginary world of insects and flora, with a story in rhymes that are somewhere between Seuss and Carroll. You can see four galleries of illustrations from Salsa Invertebraxa on Behance (one, two, three, four), and read some of the poetry on io9. You can also see some more of his art on Deviant Art.
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 19, 2013 - 2 comments

Insects in Flight

Insects in Flight, a flickr set. [more inside]
posted by dhruva on Apr 17, 2013 - 4 comments

The Austerity Kitchen

The Great Hog-Eating Confederacy
Early Southerners ate a rather limited and unvarying diet. At table the famished guest seldom found more than bacon, corn pone, and coffee sweetened with molasses. Pioneering sociologist Harriet Martineau complained that “little else than pork, under all manner of disguises” sustained her during her visit to the American SouthFor the most part, slaves observed the same diet as poor white farmers. Though many kept gardens, and thus supplemented their rations of pork and corn with a wide variety of vegetables, they had otherwise little opportunity to augment their diet.. Another traveler griped that that he had “never fallen in with any cooking so villainous.” A steady assault of “rusty salt pork, boiled or fried … and musty corn meal dodgers” brought his stomach to surrender. Rarely did “a vegetable of any description” make it on his plate, and “no milk, butter, eggs, or the semblance of a condiment” did he once see.
Christine Baumgarthuber is a writer for The New Inquiry and runs the blog The Austerity Kitchen. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 22, 2013 - 58 comments

Hollywood's Bug Man

Bug Art - Steven Kutcher creates paintings using bugs as living brushes. He's probably more noted as the working entomologist on a number of Hollywood films, including Arachnophobia. Bonus: Steven's E-Z Bug Collector Method (via FLUXO)
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 2, 2013 - 5 comments

Tiny, Blind, Swarming, Ruthless, Regimented Sisters

This is a sausage fly. As soon as he steps foot on the trail he is overtaken by the sisterhood. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Feb 23, 2013 - 35 comments

Viruses That Make Zombies and Vaccines

This week the FDA announced that they were approving a new kind of flu vaccine. Nestled in the articles was an odd fact: unlike traditional flu vaccines, the new kind, called Flublok, is produced by the cells of insects. This is the kind of detail that you might skim over without giving it a thought. If you did pause to ponder, you might be puzzled: how could insects possibly make a vaccine against viruses that infect humans? The answer may surprise you. To make vaccines, scientists are tapping into a battle between viruses and insects that’s raging in forests and fields and backyards all around us. It’s an important lesson in how to find new ideas in biotechnology: first, leave biologists free to explore the weirdest corners of nature they can find. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 19, 2013 - 7 comments

Of ants and packets

The Anternet is always up. On the surface, ants and the Internet don't seem to have much in common. But two Stanford researchers have discovered that a species of harvester ants determine how many foragers to send out of the nest in much the same way that Internet protocols discover how much bandwidth is available for the transfer of data. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Aug 29, 2012 - 19 comments

Finding Colorful Beauty in the Small and Creepy

Omid Golzar and Shikhei Goh are two photographers who share a passion for a similar subject; extreme close-up macro images of insects and arachnids. [more inside]
posted by quin on Aug 8, 2012 - 10 comments

Fascinating time lapse movies of molds and fungi

"This gallery contains time lapse movies of fungi, molds, bacteria, slime molds and insects of interest to plant pathologists." Be sure and check out the peach and plum, Homer Simpson growing "hair", a rotting book and mushrooms growing and dying.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 29, 2012 - 22 comments

the self care of insects (grooming, mlyt)

Listen to the Bug Bytes episode Scrub a Dub Bug, then head on over to youtube where you can see various insects cleaning themselves: Lacewing, bumblebee, probably a bee, praying mantis, parasitic wasp
posted by oonh on Mar 19, 2012 - 8 comments

Thriller Bees

Bees have different “personalities”, with some showing a stronger willingness or desire to seek adventure than others, according to a study by entomologists at the University of Illinois.
posted by Trurl on Mar 12, 2012 - 16 comments

Bug's eye view

Photographer Ondrej Pakan takes macro pictures of insects. Pakan's portfolio on 500px. (completely SFW in spite of the "nudity" warning, unless you work with prudish insects) [more inside]
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike on Mar 11, 2012 - 9 comments

Brutal insect carnage

Watch 30 giant hornets take out 30,000 honey bees
posted by Artw on Jan 14, 2012 - 75 comments

A Visit to a Miniature Fantasy

Wonderland, by Nadav Bagim, is a lovely macro-photo series which turns a kitchen counter into a miniature fantasy-land using household objects, and various critters as models.
posted by quin on Dec 24, 2011 - 7 comments

World Record Bugs

The University of Florida Book of Insect Records (UFBIR) names insect champions and documents their achievements. [more inside]
posted by zamboni on Nov 30, 2011 - 9 comments

“Why do we eat shrimp and crawfish but not their brethren on land?”

The San Francisco Street Food Festival is an annual Summer event in the Mission District that features around 60 different Bay Area vendors and is attended by tens of thousands of foodies. This year the usual mainstays were joined by Don Bugito, which served up insect-based dishes and billed itself as the first "PreHispanic Snackeria." When the food truck commences permanent operations this month, it may be the first eatery in the country devoted exclusively to preparations involving insects. But they're not the only entomophagy pioneers in San Francisco, where Bug Cuisine is Booming. So just how tasty are insects? (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 5, 2011 - 30 comments

Zombies: The Invertebrates

Wasps create cockroach zombies, viruses produce zombie caterpillars, deep-sea zombie worms live off decaying whale bones, South American flies 'infect' ants with brain-sucking larvae.
posted by Laminda on Oct 31, 2011 - 19 comments

Though the mountains divide and the oceans are wide...

Since 1977, Nikon has held a Small World Photomicrography Competition, to showcase that which cannot be seen with the naked eye. This year's winner will be announced in November, but until October 31, we have been invited to vote for one of this years' 115 finalists to receive the 'Small World Popular Vote Award.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 26, 2011 - 13 comments

First she rises, then she hops, and then she eats you.

(Sunday night arthropod terror filter): YouTube user memutic has uploaded several dozen high-quality backyard video recordings of exotic insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and millipedes native to Central America, Southeast Asia, and the US. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Jun 26, 2011 - 20 comments

Loom

Loom. (SLVimeo) (Youtube version) (Arachnophobes should definitely skip this one.) (Via)
posted by zarq on May 26, 2011 - 14 comments

Crushing Creepy Crawlies

Freaky Friday Flash Fun, Flatting Flies: Insectonator is a top-down shooter. Well, "shooter" is a stretch; this is more of "stomp, drop things, overkill with naplam" attack on pretty much every homeowner's nightmare: a bunch of crawly bugs in the dark that avoid the flashlight. The bugs don't shoot back, so the game is just an endurance test by the player. And there are two awards for actually sticking around long enough. Weapons include a rock, your boot, various guns (including sniper rifles), rocket launchers, an anvil, naplam, and finally, a nuclear weapon. Via the ever excellent Jay Is Games.
posted by Old'n'Busted on Apr 1, 2011 - 7 comments

The Cockroach

La cucaracha, la cucaracha - ya no puede caminar - porque no tiene, porque le falta - marihuana pa' fumar. (The cockroach, the cockroach, - can't walk anymore - because it doesn't have, because it's lacking - marijuana to smoke) The records of the Dutch accordion-playing duo Henny Voskuyl & Coby Mol (known as Die Kirmesmusikanten). Cecil Adams about the lyrics to the song.
posted by growabrain on Mar 11, 2011 - 23 comments

Steampunk Insects

Steampunk Insects. "Tom Hardwidge’s Arthrobots are robotic insects — steampunk creations made from upcycled gears, nuts, bolts… and bullets!"
posted by Phire on Mar 9, 2011 - 15 comments

Insect wings

Amazing World of Insect-Wing Color Discovered "A closer look at seemingly drab, transparent insect wings has revealed realms of previously unappreciated color, visible to the naked eye yet overlooked for centuries. Until now, the wing colors of many flies and wasps were dismissed as random iridescence. But they may be as distinctive and marvelous as the much-studied, much-celebrated wings of butterflies and beetles." The paper (pdf) was published in PNAS.
posted by dhruva on Jan 5, 2011 - 10 comments

Digital Archive Project of Osaka online museum

Japanese woodblock print images | wonderful vintage commercial graphics | the Folk Museum Kawachinagano | old books | ceramics and laquerware from The Digital Archive Project of Osaka which has an interesting online museum to explore with some excellent art and illustrations. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Dec 23, 2010 - 5 comments

I, for one...

Ants mimic liquids
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 25, 2010 - 27 comments

Bug of the Day

Flickr user Urtica posts pictures of elusive luna moths, surly bees, gregarious aphids, insect eggs, and of course beetles.
Most of these she finds in her backyard in Framingham, MA. She posts a new Bug picture every single day.
I give you Urtica's Bug of the Day!
posted by vacapinta on Jul 23, 2010 - 23 comments

Bugs!

Last week, Gizmodo asked their readers to submit wallpaper-sized pictures of bugs. Today, 294 colorful images of creepy crawlies were posted to galleries on their site: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (bandwidth alert: those pages are very picture-heavy) and also to Flickr, where high-resolution versions can be downloaded. This project is part of their weekly "Shooting Challenge". Each week's results can be seen in individual sets on their Flickr account.
posted by zarq on Jul 14, 2010 - 15 comments

After the revolution, life goes on... and so do the bugs.

The Exterminator’s Want-Ad, a short story by Bruce Sterling, is a twisted first-person missive by a former K-Street lobbyist making his way in a post-collapse socialist regime of sharing. It's part of the Shareable Futures series of short stories and speculative essays at Shareable.net. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 24, 2010 - 41 comments

Anything is better than...bug day

Bugging Bugs (By Listening To Their Insides) - "A team of Clarkson University scientists led by Prof. Igor Sokolov are using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to record sounds emanating from inside living insects like flies, mosquitoes and ladybugs. " [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Jun 7, 2010 - 19 comments

Bzzzz....Zzzzzz...

Sleeping insects covered in morning dew
posted by Cat Pie Hurts on Mar 28, 2010 - 44 comments

discovering a whole tiny world

My Father's Garden brings you up close and personal with some truly magnificent garden creatures. (video short, 6:37)
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 6, 2010 - 14 comments

ascii-ly yours

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY   via   asciiworld.com
posted by not_on_display on Feb 14, 2010 - 29 comments

The life of an ant colony, with a touch of poetic license

Trailhead, the life of an ant colony, as dramatized by E.O. Wilson.
posted by shivohum on Jan 27, 2010 - 15 comments

BUGS!

Thomas Shahan's Photostream - Macro Insect Photography
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on Dec 7, 2009 - 19 comments

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