Loyal readers of this blog know that from time to time, I like to review insect-themed horror movies. (For my previous reviews, you can search “Reel Bugs.”) I do this A) because these movies are a good way to understand the historical relationship humans have had with insects, which is a theme of my upcoming [...]
My loyal readers know that from time to time I review insect-themed horror films on this blog. It’s one way to understand the relationship between humans and insects. Today’s review: The Swarm (Warner Brothers, 1978). The Swarm is about a swarm of killer bees that terrorizes a big part of the state of Texas. Bodies [...]
According to the “pain scale” rating of researcher J.O. Schmidt, the sting of a southern paper wasp feels like “spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.”
Poor moths. They tend to be seen as poor cousins to butterflies. And when most people think of moths, they conjure up nuisance creatures that chew holes in their sweaters or that don’t have sense enough not to bash into their overhead lights on summer evenings. In fact, there are many beautiful species of [...]
The Arctic beetle can survive in temperatures below -76 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Spanishfly (known as Lytta vesicatoria to entomologists) has been thought to be an aphrodisiac for hundreds of years. In fact, it can be highly toxic, even deadly. The beetle—it’s not really a fly— emits a poisonous defensive secretion known as cantharidin, which will raise blisters if you touch it. When it’s ground to a [...]
About This Blog I’m still learning my way around the art of blogging, but now that my new site has been up for a couple of weeks, I’m starting to get the hang of this. My goal is to blog about things kids will find interesting and that have to do with history, science, the [...]
A lot of people are freaked out by bugs. You may be one of these people. Hollywood has made a lot of movies that capitalize on people’s fears. I’m working on a book about insects and their effect on human history. And as part of my research, I’ve been watching a lot of insect fear [...]