bug_girl's Posts


Signs of Spring: Hummingbirds

Finally, signs of spring are beginning to show here in New England. Birds are singing, and hopefully some of our tiny, shiny little migrants will be returning soon. There is a Citizen Science project you can participate in that will help document the migration of hummingbirds in the spring: Starting March 15, 2013, the Audubon Society needs citizen scientists to track, report on, and follow the sp... »

Unplugging Day Logo

AI: National Day of Unplugging

I’d like to claim there was no post yesterday because we were observing the National Day of Unplugging. Um, did you even know there was a National Day of Unplugging this weekend? “The National Day of Unplugging is a 24 hour period – running from sunset to sunset – and starts on the first Friday in March. The project is an outgrowth of The Sabbath Manifesto, an adaption of our ancestors... »


Spider-Man’s Penis and Science Communication

Last year I wrote a post about Spider-man, and how his anatomy may not be…err, as PG as one might wish. In less than 500 words, I tried to write an entertaining post about how actual spider anatomy is not analogous to Spider-Man the superhero’s anatomy. I did not expect to enrage Fanboys all over the internet quite as much as I did, but over all counted it as a science communication wi... »

Big Foot!

Sasquatch Genetics! Or…Not.

You might have seen some news coverage of a Sasquatch genome paper recently: “A team of eleven scientists with expertise in genetics, forensics, pathology, biochemistry, and biophysics has sequenced three whole nuclear genomes from a novel, contemporary species of hominin in North America. The study, “Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associ... »


AI: Tea made of Insect Poop

You might have heard of Kopi Luwak or Cat Poop Coffee, an Indonesian coffee made from beans digested and excreted by civet cats. I love coffee. I mean, I LOVE COFFEE. I would inject it if I could. But…no. No to civet cat poop, for a wide variety of reasons. But insect poop tea? Well, actually, that sounds pretty interesting. I noticed this new publication this week: Xu L., Pan H., Lei Q., Xi... »

Ant Nest

How to make a giant aluminum ant nest

The internets have been abuzz with this photo today (Click for the full size version). It’s a photo of an aluminum cast of an ant nest made by Walter Tschinkel, a Florida entomologist–but there haven’t been a lot of additional details. The nest you are looking at is one of a Florida harvester ant, and appeared with many other photos and casts in a 2004 paper about nest architectu... »

Pubic Lice are NOT going extinct

Pubic Lice are NOT going extinct

Argh! I woke up to 20 emails asking for my opinion on pubic lice. How did your Monday Morning coffee go? Alas, this story is making the rounds again: Brazilian Bikini Waxes Make Crab Lice Endangered Species Pubic lice, the crab-shaped insects that have dwelled in human groins since the beginning of history, are disappearing. Doctors say bikini waxing may be the reason.  Waning infestations of the ... »

What is Evolution?

What is Evolution?

I am a huge fan of Bird and Moon Comics, so I was super excited to see this video with illustrations used to explain evolution! Enjoy. »

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