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The SOUND of Millions of Monarch Butterflies! - YouTube
"How many butterflies does it take to make a noise in the woods? A few million. Watch (and listen!) as these monarchs put on a show at their overwintering site in Mexico.

This was filmed while leading a trip to visit the monarch migration with Atlas Obscura."
sound  multispecies  morethanhuman  butterflies  monarchbutterflies  2019  audio  mexico  nature  insects 
may 2019 by robertogreco
Why Aren’t Figs Considered Vegan? | TASTE
Sorry if this ruins figs for you.

Like those of dumplings and sandwiches, the definition of veganism isn’t set in stone. Some practitioners eschew honey and sugars refined with animal-bone char, since both involve products derived from animals. Others avoid Italian aperitifs like Campari dyed with carminic acid, which is derived from crushed beetles. And then there are figs, which in and of themselves are obviously not animals, but are technically in part derived from them.

Botanically, figs aren’t fruits; they’re flowers that bloom internally, and like many flowers, they’re pollinated and propagated by insects. Specifically, fig wasps, one unique species per each of the 8,000 or so species of fig.

In the last days of her life, the female fig wasp subsists solely on figs before climbing through the tiny opening of one inverted flower to lay her eggs. Having accomplished her evolutionary purpose—not to mention having ripped off her antennae and wings when she squeezed her way inside the fig’s narrow entry—the wasp dies inside the fig while her babies gestate. Once hatched, the larvae wriggle free of the fig to continue the cycle of life. But the mother wasp is enzymatically digested by the fig until it becomes one with the plant that killed it and birthed her young. The whole routine is gross enough to turn some vegans off of figs completely, though of course this varies from person to person. But don’t worry—those crunchy bits in a fig are seeds, not wasp limbs. At least, most of the time."
fig  fruit  vegan  2019  campari  food  insects  wasps  flowers 
april 2019 by robertogreco
An Essay by Miho Nonaka | Kenyon Review Online
[So good. There's really no good way to quote this one, so here are just a few sections.]

"Heavenly Worm

Mrs. Itō, our fourth-grade teacher, drew a new kanji character on the board: 蚕. “Worm from heaven,” she announced, “as you can see.” Heaven splits open like a curtain (天) and inside it dwells the worm (虫). For each student, she took out five worms from her basket and put them in a small paper box to take home. Having just hatched from their eggs, these worms were still covered in little black hairs. That’s why at this stage they are called kego (hairy baby), Mrs. Itō told us. To feed these dark babies, julienne your mulberry leaves first."



"Platinum Boy, 2006

After decades of research, Japanese silkworm breeders discovered a reliable method of hatching exclusively male silkworms. Female silkworms eat more, sleep more, take up more space, and are measurably less efficient in transforming mulberry leaves into silk. The verdict was clear: female silkworms are inferior for silk production.

Silk spinners and kimono weavers are unanimous in their praise of male silk: their thread is consistently finer, sturdier, glossier, whiter, and their cocoons are easier to harvest when boiled.

The birth site of Platinum Boy is literally black and white. When you look at a piece of paper where silkworm eggs are laid, white eggs are the empty shells from which male larvae have already hatched. They will thrive on the diet of tender mulberry shoot which, combined with their spit, will eventually turn into raw silk, translucent like frosted glass. The dark eggs contain female larvae that will never hatch and only keep darkening."



"Ten Thousand Leaves I

Compiled in the mideighth century, Man’yōshū (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) is the oldest Japanese anthology: more than forty-five hundred poems in twenty books. In the sweltering heat of the attic, I wasn’t looking for any particular motif when I happened on poem No. 2495, composed by Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, a low rank courtier and one of the “Saints of Japanese Poetry”:
like my mother’s
silkworms confined
inside cocoons,
how can I see my love
who lives secluded at home?

Poem No. 2991 is almost the same poem by another poet, simply tagged “unknown”:
like my mother’s
silkworms confined
inside cocoons,
sadness clouds my heart
when I cannot see her

The motif of a silk cocoon as the inaccessible, lyrical interior goes back to the dawn of Japanese poetics. The cocoon encases the image of the beloved, the poet’s longing that keeps building inside, and in my poem it holds the mother as a mythical seamstress, stitching blue in each wrist of her unborn daughter."



"職人 I

I used to blame my grandmother on my father’s side, who was described to me as fierce, frantic, funny, a destructive visionary and unsuccessful business entrepreneur during the critical times of the Second World War. When I felt defeated by the radical pull of my own emotion, I would attach them to the face of the woman I had never met in person, only in a fading picture where she stands next to my young father without glasses, still a student with surprisingly gentle eyes.

My father recently told me during one of our late-night international calls from Tokyo: “Your grandfathers were both shokunin (craftsman), remember? It’s in your DNA, too.” His father had come from a large family of silk farmers. After he left home, adopting the newly introduced Singer sewing machines, he began manufacturing Japanese cloven-toed socks, the traditional kind that used to be hand-sewn, and during the war, he took the assignment to sew parachutes for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. While he worked under dimmed light, my young father put up his primitive drawing of warplanes on the wall, covered in fine grains of sand."



"Small Things

They say (I love the convenience, but who are “they”?) that attention to detail is a characteristic of the Japanese. I am drawn to small things: tadpoles, silica beads, star sands in a vial, a notebook the size of a thumbnail, fish scales, a nativity scene inside half a walnut shell. I am terribly myopic like my father, and I like things that are near. Large things loom over and terrify: airports, Costco, churches in Texas, the Tokyo Skytree, Mount Rushmore (those granite faces I once believed had surfaced in response to the historic atomic bombing), and that elusive word “global.”"



"Komako

It didn’t occur to me until I tried translating a few passages from Snow Country that the young geisha’s name Komako (駒子) means Pony Child. What inspired the author Kawabata to portray his heroine as a woman of equine grace? We don’t know her family name. On the other hand, we don’t know the first name of Shimamura, who is referred to only by his last name.

I imagine if your family name is a gate to the house, your first name must be its interior. In the days when the first book of Man’yōshū was composed, asking a maiden’s first name was synonymous with proposing to her. Knowing it meant possessing the person.

Komako’s body is translucent like a silkworm, and an unearthly room encloses her fruitless passion like a white cocoon. While writing Snow Country, Kawabata says he distanced himself from Shimamura, who serves merely as a foil to Komako. “As an author, I entered deep inside the character of Komako, but casually turned my back to Shimamura,” he writes in the afterward. “Especially in terms of emotion—Komako’s sadness is nothing other than my own sadness. . . .” And so it is; his heart has become subsumed into her heart."



"Body

I find it impossible to talk about the body (mine and everyone else’s) without sounding embarrassed or oddly distant. I don’t mean to self-deprecate, but it has been almost too fashionable, too charged a topic for me to feel safe around. (A cowardly thing to say—the truth is, no one is safe.)

I won’t pretend my body is a plain blockhouse, or a slab of flesh aching with desire or lack thereof. Who could have taught me to stay at home in my own body all the while I traveled from one country to another, turning from the spontaneous, if careless, music of my mother tongue to the cautious economy of English, reaching out, in the hope of actually reaching and being reached?

For the subjects most critical to me, I find no teachers. Perhaps there is not enough demand? I believe I am badly behind everyone and that I missed an opportunity to ask questions long ago. People my age in this country sound fluent in the body, discussing it with just the right amount of sarcasm and laughter without revealing much, like they have been on intimate terms with it since they learned to speak. I suppose I should have listened to the body harder, without ulterior motives."
mihononaka  silk  essays  canon  howwewrite  2017  silkworms  multispecies  japan  japanese  language  gender  via:ayjay  poetry  writing  fabric  textiles  srg  glvo  insects  history  cocoons  craft  translation  languages  childhood  change  materials  process  form  details  weaving  texture  morethanhuman  shinto  bodies  body  small  slow 
february 2019 by robertogreco
Brooklyn Bugs
"Brooklyn Bugs' mission is to raise appreciation and awareness of edible insects through delicious, fun, and creative programming. After producing NYC’s first festival dedicated to edible insects over Labor Day Weekend in 2017, Brooklyn Bugs received notable press that shared its interest in promoting the gastronomical, sustainable and ecologically friendly aspects of entomophagy or the human consumption of insects.  

We are committed to educate and encourage people that this is not a food trend, but a movement that will continue to grow worldwide."
bugs  insects  food  nyc  brooklyn 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Photographing the Real Life of Bees | National Geographic - YouTube
[See also:

"Amazing Time-Lapse: Bees Hatch Before Your Eyes | National Geographic"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6mJ7e5YmnE

"The first 21 days of a bee’s life | Anand Varma"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-tqiaPoS2U ]
bees  flight  classideas  video  videography  photography  anandvarma  2018  insects  nature 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Sally-Ann Spence on Twitter: "Tucked away in a drawer in @morethanadodo's entomological collection there is a little unassuming brown note book. In it observations are en… https://t.co/JFVpu2rmRo"
"Tucked away in a drawer in @morethanadodo's entomological collection there is a little unassuming brown note book. In it observations are entwined with a fleeting moment of a very human story...
(thread)

Beautifully written by hand with meticulously pressed specimens, this book records the observations of leaf cutter bees in the summer of 1852

Each plant used by the bees that summer was recorded & pressed. It would have required hours of careful observations & every plant was individually researched to correctly identity it

Detailed notes on the bees nesting behaviour was also recorded & observed. Tubes were diligently made, carefully fixed to the wall & patient hours spent watching the insects at work...

There are many important things to be drawn from this little note book. Data on insect behaviour supported by plenty of evidence certainly, but also a story that resonates with so many today & is something we are examining & studying right now

William was an inmate of Hanwell Asylum, the first purpose-built public asylum for the pauper insane in England & Wales opened in 1831. A little note by the warden accompanying his notebook tells of the benefit of this personal project to William & other patients mental wellbeing

So here is an example of real entomological data, an historical object in itself, evidence that supports modern day research & a very human story all contained in the corner of a drawer in a museum within a little unassuming brown notebook.

There is quantifiable evidence that in our rapidly urbanising world spending time in natural areas immersing ourselves in nature has positive affects on our mental health. I believe William found this in that summer of 1852."
insects  plants  classdieas  leafpressing  science  1852  entomology  collections  observation  inmates  data  evidence  research  nature  sally-annspence 
december 2017 by robertogreco
These photos show some unexpected friendships between humans and their animals - The Washington Post
"Over the summer, The Washington Post partnered with Visura in an open call for submissions of photo essays. The Post selected three winners out of more than 200 submissions. We are presenting the second winner today here on In Sight — Diana Bagnoli and her work “Animal Lover.”

Bagnoli is an Italian freelance photographer based in Turin and has always loved and lived with animals. What started as a personal project in her free time has blossomed into an award-winning personal series.

“I wanted to explore the special relationship that people establish with what I would call ‘unusual pets.’ I had a feeling that I would discover interesting situations and be able to document how someone can be involved in a different kind of friendship,” she said.

Bagnoli finds her subjects in the countryside near her home town in northern Italy. She visits animal sanctuaries, meets animal activists and finds everyday animal lovers, each with a unique story and special connection.

“One man entered in a factory with a balaclava in the middle of the night to save a pig, and another one explained to me how he deeply loves toads because he’s so proud of their survivor spirit,” Bagnoli said.

She photographs her subjects where they are most comfortable, at their homes. She chooses a location that might yield an interesting interaction and show the animal’s connection to the world of the humans who care for them. Bagnoli says her subjects are always happy to share their stories and how passionate they are about their animals.

She recently started a new chapter of her series dedicated to insect lovers. She discovered an unexpectedly large community of people who bred insects or had them as pets. She found them to have an even more personal and tender relationship with their insects, valuing their beauty, character and how important they are to the planet. Her most unusual subject so far is Andrea Bonifazi and his stick insect, Phasmid. Andrea has bred stick insects for 10 years and spends most of his free time observing them.

“They’re like a living book, it’s enough to watch them to understand how their world works,” he said.

Bagnoli learned that pigs squeal quite loudly when they are not coddled and that Alpacas are faithful companions, but most of all that the animals she photographed sought affection and companionship from their humans and vice versa. She is not sure that her series has changed perceptions about our relationships with animals, but she hopes it will."
multispecies  animals  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations  photography  2017  geese  alpacaspigs  sheep  bees  turtles  rabbits  cats  butterflies  insects  chickens  classideas  donkeys  goats  snakes  birds  via:anne  dianabagnoli  italy  italia 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Lens of Time: Secrets of Schooling - bioGraphic
"Shimmering schools of fish have dazzled scientists for centuries with their synchronized maneuvers. Now, high-speed video is revealing how—and why—they do it."



"Collective behavior is embodied in swarms of insects, flocks of birds, herds of antelope, and schools of fish. In each of these cases, individuals move through their environment and respond to threats and opportunities almost simultaneously, forming an undulating enclave that seems to operate as a single entity. Such coordinated movement requires the rapid and efficient transfer of information among individuals, but understanding exactly how this information spreads through the group has long eluded scientists. Studying this behavior in schools of fish has been incredibly challenging, because the cues that drive it occur at lightening speed, come from multiple directions and sources, and of course because all of it takes place underwater. Now, Iain Couzin and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology at the University of Konstanz, Germany are using new observation techniques and technologies—including high-speed video, motion-tracking software, and advanced statistical modeling—to reveal the mysterious mechanics of schooling fish. Their findings may shed light on the evolution and benefits of collective behavior across the animal kingdom."
nature  animals  multispecies  collectivebehavior  fish  birds  herds  antelopes  insects  science  iaincouzin  video  towatch  motion  movement 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Insects Unlocked - Entomology for Everyone
"Insects Unlocked is a public domain project from The University of Texas at Austin’s Insect Collection. In 2015, our team of student and community volunteers crowd-funded a campaign to create thousands of open, copyright-free images. From more than 200 small contributions, we built an insect photography field kit and photo studio. This website holds discussions of the small animals we encounter, updates from the project, and other entomological miscellanea.

To view our galleries, visit Insects Unlocked on flickr. [https://www.flickr.com/photos/131104726@N02/ ]"

[via: "The Entomologist Giving Bugs Their Close Up"
https://www.wired.com/story/insects-unlocked-alex-wild-bug-photography/ ]
insects  biology  classideas  science  photography  nature  via:subtopes 
july 2017 by robertogreco
The Edgeless & Ever-Shifting Gradient: An Encyclopaedic and Evolving Spectrum of Gradient Knowledge
"A gradient, without restriction, is edgeless and ever-shifting. A gradient moves, transitions, progresses, defies being defined as one thing. It formalizes difference across a distance. It’s a spectrum. It’s a spectral smearing. It’s an optical phenomenon occurring in nature. It can be the gradual process of acquiring knowledge. It can be a concept. It can be a graphic expression. It can be all of the above, but likely it’s somewhere in between.

A gradient, in all of it’s varied forms, becomes a catalyst in it’s ability to seamlessly blend one distinct thing/idea/color, to the next distinct thing/idea/color, to the next, etc.

In this sense, it is the gradient and the way it performs that has become a model and an underlying ethos, naturally, for this online publishing initiative that we call The Gradient.

Similarly, it’s our hope that this post—an attempt to survey gradients of all forms and to expand our own understanding of gradients—will also be edgeless and ever-shifting. This post will evolve and be progressively added to in an effort to create, as the subtitle says, an encyclopaedic and evolving spectrum of gradient knowledge."
gradients  art  2017  ryangeraldnelson  color  blending  spectrums  nature  design  gender  genderfluidity  computers  music  photography  graphics  graphicdesign  thermography  iridescence  brids  animals  insects  snakes  cephlalopods  reptiles  chameleons  rainbows  sky  math  mathematics  taubaauerbach  science  tomássaraceno  vision  brycewilner  alruppersberg  germansermičs  glass  ignazschiffermüller  lizwest  markhagen  ombré  rawcolor  samfall 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Dumpster Honey – BLDGBLOG
"In a poem I clipped from The New Yorker a while back, Davis McCombs describes what he memorably calls “Dumpster Honey.” It remains a great illustration of altered natures—and the fate of food—in the Anthropocene.

McCombs shows us bees wandering through a rubbish heap “of candy wrappers and the sticky rims / of dented cans, entering, as they might / a blossom, the ketchup-smeared burger // boxes,” mistaking a stained world of “food-grade waxes / mingling with Band-Aids” for healthy flora.

Hapless bees slip their little bodies past “solvents / and fresheners,” picking up industrial food dyes and “the high-fructose / corn nectars” of artificially processed edible waste.

With this in mind, recall several recent examples of bees feasting on edible chemicals in urban hinterlands, in one case actually turning their honey bright red.

As Susan Dominus wrote for The New York Times back in 2010, a stunned Brooklyn beekeeper “sent samples of the red substance that the bees were producing to an apiculturalist who works for New York State, and that expert, acting as a kind of forensic foodie, found the samples riddled with Red Dye No. 40, the same dye used in the maraschino cherry juice” being mixed at a nearby factory.

This had the dismaying effect, Dominus writes, that “an entire season that should have been devoted to honey yielded instead a red concoction that tasted metallic and then overly sweet.” (Amusingly, Brooklyn’s cherry-red honey also inadvertently revealed an illegal marijuana-growing operation.)

Or, indeed, recall a group of French bees that fed on candy and thus produced vibrant honeys in unearthly shades of green and blue. This honey of the Anthropocene “could not be sold because it did not meet France’s standards of honey production,” perhaps a technicolor warning sign, as the very possibility of a nature independent of humanity comes into question.

In the post-natural microcosm of “Dumpster Honey,” meanwhile, McCombs depicts his polluted bees “returning, smudged with the dust / of industrial pollens, to, perhaps, some // rusted tailpipe hive where their queen / grew fat on the the froth of artificial sweeteners,” a vision at once apocalyptic and, I suppose, if one really wishes it to be, ruthlessly optimistic.

After all, perhaps, amidst the litter and ruin of a formerly teeming world, some new nature might yet spring forth, thriving on the sugared colors of factory sludge, beautifully adapting to a world remade in humanity’s chemical image.

It’s worth reading the poem in full. It stands on its own as a vivid encapsulation of these sorts of overlooked, peripheral transformations of the world as we forcibly transition an entire planet into a new geo- and biological era."
bees  environment  anthropocene  insects  multispecies  2017  geoffmanaugh  bldgblog  davidmccombs 
june 2017 by robertogreco
The Self-Medicating Animal - The New York Times
"What can we learn from chimps and sheep and maybe even insects that practice medicine on themselves?"



"Animals of all kinds, from ants and butterflies to sheep and monkeys, use medicine. Certain caterpillars will, when infected by parasitic flies, eat poisonous plants, killing or arresting the growth of the larvae within them. Some ants incorporate resin from spruce trees in their nests to fend off pathogenic microbes, employing the same antibacterial compounds, called terpenes, that we use when we mop the floor with the original Pine-Sol. Parrots and many other animals consume clay to treat an upset stomach; clay binds to toxins, flushing them out of the body. “I believe every species alive today is self-medicating in one way or another,” Huffman told me recently. “It’s just a fact of life.”

Capuchin monkeys use poisonous millipedes and citrus as insect repellent. With howler monkeys, self-medication may veer into social engineering. Ken Glander, an emeritus scientist at Duke, thinks that female howlers sometimes seek out foods that change the acidity of their reproductive organs after mating. By changing the pH balance, he told me, these females may promote the success of male over female sperm, resulting in more male offspring. Should one of those males rise in a troop and sire many children, his mother’s genes are also spread with them.

Is what seems to be self-medication simply another instinctual behavior, like the urge to procreate or eat when hungry? Or is it a skill that animals acquire through experience? Most scientists I spoke to pointed out, almost bashfully, that natural selection could produce self-medicating behaviors without the humanlike learning and sharing of expertise that we associate with medical treatment. Animals that happen to eat medicinal plants at the right time might survive more successfully than those that don’t, causing that behavior to spread.

Smaller-brained animals, like caterpillars and ants, are probably self-medicating as a matter of instinct. Even monkeys, with their larger brains, seem to use insect repellents automatically: some drool, writhe and fall into what looks like a trance whenever they encounter a millipede. And yet sheep, which are often considered dimwitted compared to primates, seemingly learn from experience what medicinal plants to draw on and when. There appears to be no hard line in our imagined hierarchy of the animal kingdom, below which self-medication is instinctive and above which medicinal behavior derives from learning.

Chimps and other great apes differ, of course, from many other animals. They have culture that we recognize as such — and Huffman considers medical knowledge part of that cultural inheritance. Young chimps closely watch what their mothers eat, and he suspects that this is how they learn what plants to make them better. Chimps in other troops chew different plants than Chausiku did, suggesting that their medicinal knowledge is specific to their environs, not hard-wired. But not everyone thinks the science is settled.

Moreover, it’s still unclear how an infant watching its mother learns to associate bitter-tasting plants with physical relief, given that the mother, not the infant, is the one experiencing it and that the effect may not be felt until a day or more after dosing. “That’s the puzzle,” the well-known primatologist and author Frans de Waal told me. And how do they discover medicinal plants to begin with, particularly given their usual bitter taste? “It doesn’t sound logical to me,” he said, “but it must have happened, because we see animals flock to certain resources when they’re sick.”"



"It’s worth considering the ways that animals, precisely because of their more limited intellects, might be more doggedly scientific than we are. After all, while animals seem to attend closely to cause and effect, learning from experience, people sometimes indulge a penchant for spinning out grand theories from scant (or no) evidence and then acting on them. Bloodletting, for example, persisted for hundreds of years in Europe even though it almost certainly weakened and killed the sick. It was based on the ancient humoral theory of disease: Illness arose when the body’s “humors,” or essential fluids, were out of harmony, an imbalance corrected by draining blood, among other acts. Other ineffectual and even dangerous treatments include smoking to treat asthma and sexual intercourse with virgins as a cure for syphilis.

Animals no doubt blunder in their attempts to self-medicate. But humans seem to be unique in their capacity for clinging to beliefs and theories about the world, even when facing evidence that refutes them. Consider those religious sects that refuse modern medicine altogether, favoring prayer instead, and whose believers sometimes die as a result. Chausiku and her kind would probably never err in this way, simply because the medicine that chimps practice derives from what they’ve learned through trial and error, not from untested explanations for how the world works.

Historically, some currents within evidence-based medicine — treatment rigorously based on what has been shown to work — can be regarded as tacit recognition of this human shortcoming. Even modern doctors, with their years of training and conditioning, can find it hard not to venture beyond the evidence or get carried away in extrapolations. In a way, the evidence-based mantra is partly an exhortation to be more animal-like. Don’t rely too heavily on theories, assumptions or grand cosmological narratives. Instead, be empirical and focus on what’s right in front of you"
multispecies  animals  nature  wildlife  biomimicry  moisesvelasquez-manoff  2017  medicine  insects  sheep  chimpanzees  instinct  self-medication  michaelhuffman  biomimetics 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Lifetime of a Dynastes Hercules Rhinoceros Beetle - Incredible Metamorphosis Timelapse - YouTube
"he Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules, Dynastinae) is a rhinoceros beetle native to the rainforests of Central America, South America, Lesser Antilles, and the Andes. They are large beetles, with some males reaching 17.5 cm including the horn, and a slightly iridescent coloration to their elytra, which also vary in color from beetle to beetle, and even depending on the humidity. Dynastes hercules is highly sexually dimorphic, with only males exhibiting the characteristic horn. Several subspecies have been named, though there is still some uncertainty as to the validity of the named taxa. Reports suggest the Hercules beetle is able to carry up to 850 times its body mass but actual measurements on a much smaller (and relatively stronger: see square-cube law) species of rhinoceros beetle shows a carrying capacity only up to 100 times their body mass, at which point they can barely move.

Life cycle

The larval stage of the Hercules beetle will last one to two years, with the larva growing up to 4.5 inches (11 cm) in length and weighing more than 100 grams. Much of the life of the larva is spent tunneling through rotting wood. After the larval period, transformation into a pupa, and moulting, the beetle then emerges as an adult.

Diet

The larval stage of the Hercules beetle will feed on rotting wood during this two year stage.The adult Hercules beetle feeds on fresh and rotting fruit. They have been observed feeding on peaches, pear, apple, and grapes within captivity."
beetles  classideas  insects  science  metamorphosis  2017 
may 2017 by robertogreco
moths by neilson
"play as a moth — global game jam 2017. open on your PC, use your mouse. press space to go somewhere else."

[via: https://twitter.com/molleindustria/status/851971964591894528 ]
multispecies  moths  insects  games  gaming  videogames 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Why This Animal's Pee Smells Like Hot Buttered Popcorn
"Southeast Asia's bearcat has a movie-theater aroma, but it's not the only animal that smells like snack foods.



POPCORN
Binturongs, or bearcats, are neither bears nor cats. These Southeast Asian mammals are actually related to small forest predators like fossas, civets, and genets. They also happen to smell like hot buttered popcorn.



CORN CHIPS
Binturongs aren't the only beasts that smell of snack food. Paws of the domestic dog have a rep for smelling like corn chips.



LEMON DROPS
Ants love candy, so it's only fitting that the aptly named citronella ant, found throughout the United States, should smell like this lovely confection.



ALMONDS AND CHERRY COLA

You can find this nice combination of scents from the flat millipede of the U.S., which gives off a defensive spray that people compare to cherry, almond, or cherry cola. The smell is due to the insect's production of cyanide, which helps deter predators.



MINTS
After all these nibbles, you'll need a mint.

The white admiral butterfly of the northeastern U.S. and Canada seems to smell like wintergreen—a group of aromatic plants—for a reason."
smell  scents  animals  food  nature  insects  2016 
december 2016 by robertogreco
Senegalese Designer Selly Raby Kane's Timeless Looks & Futuristic Sounds From Dakar Okayafrica.
"The new Alien Cartoon soundtrack is a collaboration with Senegalese hip-hop mainstay Ibaaku. He mixes sounds of swarming insects and cartoon sound effects with triumphant synths. The result is complex, futuristic and earthy. Selly Raby Kane imagines that the explosive Alien Cartoon cosmos look and sound like a future Dakar."

[Direct link to SoundCloud playlist: https://soundcloud.com/i-man-2/sets/alien-cartoon ]
music  sellyrabykane  aliencartoon  ibaaku  insects  cartoons  2015  senegal  africa  synth 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Multispecies.net | A blog and resource hub for Multispecies Ethnography and Anthropology
"Emergent multispecies perspectives are currently challenging scholars to reconsider established approaches to pressing social, political, and environmental issues. With this in mind, we hope multispecies.net will provide a forum for creative thinking, critical commentary, and debate about relationships between humans and all other forms of life; animals, insects, plants, fungi, and microbes.

We welcome submissions which consider how humans shape, and are shaped by, relationships with other species, and which attend to the agency, subjectivity, and interests of life beyond human species bounds."
via:anne  multispecies  anthropology  ethnography  animals  nature  humans  society  environment  politics  insects  plants  fungi  microbes 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Field Recordings by Gastropodcast
"Plants that can hear themselves being eaten. Microphone-equipped drones that eavesdrop on sick chickens. Lasers that detect an insect’s wing-beats from dozens of feet away.

In this James Bond-inspired episode of Gastropod, we listen to the soundtrack of farming, decode the meaning hidden in each squawk, moo, and buzz, and learn how we can use that information to improve our food in the future. Tune in now for this special broadcast of the barnyard orchestra!"

[via: https://digg.com/2015/field-music

"This is the first of a two-part series exploring the relationship between sound and food." ]
sound  fieldrecordings  plants  cows  insects  nature  science  farming  gastropod  nicolatwilley  cynthiagraber  food  multispecies  animals  animalwelfare  agriculture 
july 2015 by robertogreco
More-Than-Human Lab. » Pt I, Companion animals (and belonging)
"I’ve started pulling together my paper for the Losing Ground – Gaining Ground session at the RGS Conference in Exeter in September, where I’ll be presenting on what it means to belong in the valley in which I live.

Part of this involves sorting [Edit: casual (iPhone)] photos I’ve taken of the plants, animals and elements around us, and thinking about how I’ve learned the differences between native and endemic, abundant and protected, introduced and invasive species.

I started by choosing a set of representative images I’ve taken since moving here in mid-September last year. I didn’t select them to represent a linear progression of time, but sorted them by type of animal–cat, sheep, bird, insect, other–and selected my favourite ones.

Below are the photos and my notes."
animals  multispecies  annegalloway  cats  sheep  newzealand  birds  landscape  insects  invertebrates  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Knowing is Not Naming by Xiaowei Wang | recaps
"We never spoke about the end of empires, but when it happened, we had not seen each other for years. Somehow it escaped our taxonomy of the world, in between the causally symmetric balances and the notes you kept in the cabinet of a northeast institution, in a town with any latitude and longitude. Like our speech to each other, you defied my intuition, kept order and categories until rationale was exhausted.

It happened first on your end of the world, when you gave a night’s walk and noticed the trees full of luminaries. You said to me over the phone how it began on Mott St., an intersection with waning gingkos and brick clad buildings. You thought they were off season holiday lights; decorations for no one’s party.

You knew no one better to call, so it was the first time I heard your voice in years. I was alone in an apartment without furniture, body pressed against the floor, monitoring tiny earthquakes against the house’s wood frame as you hurriedly conspired with me about the emergence of these little creatures: Lux meridiani.

The aftershock of your voice arrived when I could count time in non-linear cycles again. Measurements and miles, the ratio of one encoded word to another were forgotten. I built systems of knowledge with others, in gardens and warehouses, gallery walls and sheets. The small radio you gifted me playing Brigitte Fontaine no longer held sound or gravity.It was those insects that arrived first in your port. Our classification scheme made during my aftershock became a world itself, a procedure that was defined after it had happened. It was a fidelity of information that could only ascribe the certainty of persistent learning, a final becoming of what one so deeply desired. A difficulty in routine.

I saw you weeks later on the TV screen at the deli, on a show filled with gleaming smiles, taut faces and perpetual ticker. You looked tired, thin, with less hair and more gravitas. The reporter asked your opinion on the plight that was at full rage in all known urban areas of North America. My eyes were ready for the invasion in sunny California, where endless summer and relentless beauty overwhelmed my walks and daily reckonings.

New York was first hit the hardest – a glowing light in all street trees on darkened winter days to evenings: persistent radiance. I imagined you from the confines of a light drenched “day”, tracing cartographic vectors of botanical disease, examining shipping container seals, in entomology departments echoing with rubber soled shoes and wool, practicing progressive devotion at the altar of naming.

I wrote all that I could follow, sending you messy notes on maps, telling you it was the geography of will that could only manifest such an insect plague. An alienation of latitude, a degree of material difference in fate that marked us unable to comprehend emergence any more than the life of the pharoah ant or the dragonfly. We exhausted our reserves of trade, wrote: it would be enough to accept defeat from this false economy into the next period of unnamed exchange.

It was my last letter to you that allowed me to forget our geographies and Linnaean schemes. You had stopped replying and I had found the perpetual light of evenings past, a blanket to sleep in periods of short duration. What did time or hours mean anymore, when I had forgotten dusk as a category and day as a known escape?

We awaited your team’s verdict, exactly where Lux meridiani appeared or evolved from, and which numbered crate from a precise longitude or latitude it arose. My neighbors went on with their hours. There were no more lights inside houses, only black curtains drawn tightly. Pundits and scientists enjoyed showing satellite images of the world at “night”, composited into one gleaming beacon where every pixel of continent was white. Days of rain were welcomed as relief to our thirst for some darkness, some contrast in quiet.

A year later, without any results, conclusions or reports with modest covers, you disappeared with all your notes and books. It was then I recalled clearly the first time you looked at me, lips curled asking if I only tolerated bad news.

It was this bad news that made our fiction: The first time you kissed me next to the sundial, during the autumn when sundials still signified movement. A roccoco frame, gold, 4cm in width and height, shaded behind a velvet cloche. Olfactory dislocation, the ancient image of darkened alleys where mystery might have kept itself, a time when engines of recoding were somewhere between ecology and industry, and the rustle of plastic and tinny coos of zippers. A time when projections of desires still existed in the last coordinate of black. The melancholy of pleasure: placed between lines of parameters, poetry and disaster.

“Knowing is not naming”

This workshop/teach-in will focus on the notion of the Anthropocene and the underpinnings of environmental change as a geographical issue, generated by the tension between classification, remote sensing and ground truthing.

Through specific case studies of “natural disasters”, we will look at the systems of land use classification and how ideology is embedded in these ways of categorizing and ordering nature. Beginning with the earliest botanical gardens as a method to classify novel fauna from imperial conquest to the technologic determinism that continues to imbue indices of urbanization and human extents, we will understand hierarchies created by floristic maps more deeply and develop new ways to reconfigure some of the most embedded categories we have towards land use.

Lux meridiani accompanies this workshop as a cartographic fiction built on existing data. By playing with thresholds in the geographical data and reorienting certain land use classifications, Lux meridiani takes the continuous exchange of invasive insects through global trade to imagine the emergence of a new, unknown species that infests street trees in urban areas with relentless luminescence. In this fable, Lux meridiani explicitly states what has been happening all along; that the recoding of our environment has been an economic rather than ecological engine all along."
xiaoweiwang  art  taxonomy  names  naming  cartography  luxmeridiani  anthropocene  2015  landuse  categorization  classification  nature  geography  insects  environment 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The word-hoard: Robert Macfarlane on rewilding our language of landscape | Books | The Guardian
"For decades the leading nature writer has been collecting unusual words for landscapes and natural phenomena – from aquabob to zawn. It’s a lexicon we need to cherish in an age when a junior dictionary finds room for ‘broadband’ but has no place for ‘bluebell’"



"Eight years ago, in the coastal township of Shawbost on the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis, I was given an extraordinary document. It was entitled “Some Lewis Moorland Terms: A Peat Glossary”, and it listed Gaelic words and phrases for aspects of the tawny moorland that fills Lewis’s interior. Reading the glossary, I was amazed by the compressive elegance of its lexis, and its capacity for fine discrimination: a caochan, for instance, is “a slender moor-stream obscured by vegetation such that it is virtually hidden from sight”, while a feadan is “a small stream running from a moorland loch”, and a fèith is “a fine vein-like watercourse running through peat, often dry in the summer”. Other terms were striking for their visual poetry: rionnach maoim means “the shadows cast on the moorland by clouds moving across the sky on a bright and windy day”; èit refers to “the practice of placing quartz stones in streams so that they sparkle in moonlight and thereby attract salmon to them in the late summer and autumn”, and teine biorach is “the flame or will-o’-the-wisp that runs on top of heather when the moor burns during the summer”.

The “Peat Glossary” set my head a-whirr with wonder-words. It ran to several pages and more than 120 terms – and as that modest “Some” in its title acknowledged, it was incomplete. “There’s so much language to be added to it,” one of its compilers, Anne Campbell, told me. “It represents only three villages’ worth of words. I have a friend from South Uist who said her grandmother would add dozens to it. Every village in the upper islands would have its different phrases to contribute.” I thought of Norman MacCaig’s great Hebridean poem “By the Graveyard, Luskentyre”, where he imagines creating a dictionary out of the language of Donnie, a lobster fisherman from the Isle of Harris. It would be an impossible book, MacCaig concluded:

A volume thick as the height of the Clisham,

A volume big as the whole of Harris,

A volume beyond the wit of scholars.

The same summer I was on Lewis, a new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary was published. A sharp-eyed reader noticed that there had been a culling of words concerning nature. Under pressure, Oxford University Press revealed a list of the entries it no longer felt to be relevant to a modern-day childhood. The deletions included acorn, adder, ash, beech, bluebell, buttercup, catkin, conker, cowslip, cygnet, dandelion, fern, hazel, heather, heron, ivy, kingfisher, lark, mistletoe, nectar, newt, otter, pasture and willow. The words taking their places in the new edition included attachment, block-graph, blog, broadband, bullet-point, celebrity, chatroom, committee, cut-and-paste, MP3 player and voice-mail. As I had been entranced by the language preserved in the prose‑poem of the “Peat Glossary”, so I was dismayed by the language that had fallen (been pushed) from the dictionary. For blackberry, read Blackberry.



I have long been fascinated by the relations of language and landscape – by the power of strong style and single words to shape our senses of place. And it has become a habit, while travelling in Britain and Ireland, to note down place words as I encounter them: terms for particular aspects of terrain, elements, light and creaturely life, or resonant place names. I’ve scribbled these words in the backs of notebooks, or jotted them down on scraps of paper. Usually, I’ve gleaned them singly from conversations, maps or books. Now and then I’ve hit buried treasure in the form of vernacular word-lists or remarkable people – troves that have held gleaming handfuls of coinages, like the Lewisian “Peat Glossary”.

Not long after returning from Lewis, and spurred on by the Oxford deletions, I resolved to put my word-collecting on a more active footing, and to build up my own glossaries of place words. It seemed to me then that although we have fabulous compendia of flora, fauna and insects (Richard Mabey’s Flora Britannica and Mark Cocker’s Birds Britannica chief among them), we lack a Terra Britannica, as it were: a gathering of terms for the land and its weathers – terms used by crofters, fishermen, farmers, sailors, scientists, miners, climbers, soldiers, shepherds, poets, walkers and unrecorded others for whom particularised ways of describing place have been vital to everyday practice and perception. It seemed, too, that it might be worth assembling some of this terrifically fine-grained vocabulary – and releasing it back into imaginative circulation, as a way to rewild our language. I wanted to answer Norman MacCaig’s entreaty in his Luskentyre poem: “Scholars, I plead with you, / Where are your dictionaries of the wind … ?”"

[via: http://caterina.net/2015/02/27/bluebells-and-buttercups/ ]
robertmacfarlane  2015  language  glossaries  dictionaries  childhood  words  english  nature  landscape  lexicon  flora  fauna  insects  rewilding  taxonomy  dictionary 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Beetles so bright, you gotta wear shades - life - 15 August 2014 - New Scientist
[Compare to "Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it"
https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:e722164008e3 ]

"What is whiter than white? These beetles, apparently – because their scales make them whiter than paper. No human technology can match their brilliance using such thin material.

The scales of the Cyphochilus (pictured above) and Lepidiota stigma beetles, which are native to South-East Asia, contain tight, complex networks of chitin filaments (see image below). Chitin is a substance with a similar molecular structure to cellulose, and it builds the cell walls of fungi and the shells of crustaceans as well as insect exoskeletons.

On their own, the chitin filaments reflect light poorly. But researchers at the University of Cambridge and the European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy in Florence, Italy, have found that the geometry of a filament network makes the whole thing reflect light extremely efficiently. It reflects light of all colours anisotropically, meaning that it bounces the light in one direction only. That makes the beetles' scales appear bright white.

"These scales have a structure that is truly complex, since it gives rise to something that is more than the sum of its parts," said team member Matteo Burresi of the Italian National Institute of Optics in Florence. "A randomly packed collection of its constituent elements by itself is not sufficient to achieve the degree of brightness that we observe."

What sets the brilliant beetles apart from artificial reflectors, though, is that the scales are ultra-thin. Their individual chitin filaments are just a few thousandths of a millimetre thick, minimising weight and so reducing the energy the beetles need to fly. It may not be too long before these beetles are inspiring a host of new materials that will be whiter than white too."
white  color  insects  beetles  reflection  light  2014  brightness  materials  nature 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Open-Assembly No:1. Loughborough. Insects, Worms, Mushrooms, Birds and Students | Dismal Garden
"An outdoor meeting and discussion place commissioned by Radar, Loughborough University that offers a situation where new associations between a variety of local actors can be explored. These actors include birds, insects, mushrooms, worms and students. The sculpture incorporates design elements from defensive street furniture, the ecology movement and the middle class British garden."
2010  nilsnorman  multispecies  multispeciesdesign  ecology  place  birds  animals  insects  mushrooms  worms  gardens 
july 2014 by robertogreco
The sound of one ant walking – inside the world of a wildlife audio expert | Radio Times
"Chris Watson, who has worked on Attenborough's Frozen Planet and Life in the Undergrowth, shares a remarkable insight into sound recording, some exclusive clips - and his feelings about music in wildlife shows"



"The only way that Watson was able to capture sound in such detail was thanks to the help of Peng Lee, a man with perhaps the greatest job title in the world – Principal Investigator of Insect Acoustics at the University of Mississippi.

Lee was researching how to record within ants' nests and had made a highly specialised piece of equipment to do so. When Watson told him he was making a programme about ants at the same time, Lee sent over two of his strange, home-made devices.

“They're literally like black box devices with a knitting needle on a wire. But they were actually classified at the time and we had to battle to get clearance to have them exported from US customs.”

Deploying new technology to interesting effect is something Watson has been doing all his recording life. The first step he took on his journey into sound happened back in the 60s, during his early teens, after his parents had bought him a reel-to-reel tape recorder. It involved a kind of aural epiphany, and is something he describes in detail in the Radio 4 documentary The Listeners (available on BBC iPlayer here).

One day he was standing in the family kitchen watching starlings feeding at the bird table in the garden, when he realised he was merely watching; he could hear nothing of the birds' activity.

“I was watching through a large picture window that gave it a large CinemaScope frame. But it was like watching a silent film.”

Realising he could use his new present to rectify this, he attached the tape recorder and microphone to the bird table, pressed record and waited. The results were a revelation.

“I was just amazed at what I heard. This was the sound of another world. A world where we cannot be because our presence would affect it. All this beautiful, exquisite, fascinating detail came out.”"



"Though there may be certain places on Earth you just can't hear, such as volcanos, Watson is one person who has gone further than any in uncovering hidden worlds of sound.

One of his favourite pieces is from another David Attenborough documentary, Frozen Planet. It's the sound of Weddell seals singing under the sea ice.

“It is another world, but it does sound as if it's from outer space, this wailing voice. But because it's recorded under the sea ice, there's no wave action, so it doesn't sound underwater but there are these haunting voices that are absolutely amazing.”'
ants  audio  sound  nature  recording  via:shannon_mattern  2013  chriswatson  davidcrawford  wildlife  insects  soundtracks  soundscapes  penglee  acoustics 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Cornelia Hesse Honegger: Chernobyl [and elsewhere]
"Field studies in the nuclear fallout areas from Chernobyl
 
As a scientific illustrator I had worked for Prof. Hans Burla, a geneticist at the Zoological Institute of the University of Zurich. In 1967 he gave me the assignment to draw Drosophila subobscura flies that had been mutated in the laboratory by adding a poison (EMS) to their food. For my own interest I also painted these mutated flies, which were called quasimodo.

In 1985 I painted a housefly, Musca domestica, mutation called aristapedia — mutated by x-rays in the laboratory. The dean of the Zoological Institute gave the mutant flies to me when I asked him for permission to paint them. This work trained me to detect morphological disturbances in Heteroptera true bugs, which live in the wild at the edge of forests and in meadows."

[via: https://twitter.com/anabjain/status/428389515363774464 ]
animals  insects  drawings  corneliahessehonegger  nature  chernobyl  zoology  flies  mutations  science 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Insectopedia — Hugh Raffles
"A New York Times Notable Book, Winner of the 2012 Ludwik Fleck Prize from the Society for Social Studies of Science, Shortlisted for the 2012 De Groene Waterman Prize, Winner of the 2011 Orion Book Award, Winner of a Special Prize for Extending Ethnographic Understanding from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology, Best Science Book at the 2010 Green Book Festival.

A stunningly original exploration of the ties that bind us to the beautiful, ancient, astoundingly accomplished, largely unknown, and unfathomably different species with whom we share the world.

Organized alphabetically with one entry for each letter, weaving together brief vignettes, meditations, and extended essays, Insectopedia travels through history and science, anthropology and travel, economics, philosophy, and popular culture to show how insects have triggered our obsessions, stirred our passions, and beguiled our imaginations."
hughraffles  insects  nature  history  anthropology  science  economics  philosophy  books  humans  via:annegalloway 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Design for the New Normal (Revisited) | superflux
"I was invited to talk at the NEXT Conference in Berlin by Peter Bihr, as he felt that a talk I gave last year would fit well with the conference's theme Here Be Dragons: "We fret about data, who is collecting it and why. We fret about privacy and security. We worry and fear disruption, which changes business models and renders old business to ashes. Some would have us walk away, steer clear of these risks. They’re dangerous, we don’t know what the consequences will be. Maintain the status quo, don’t change too much.Here and now is safe. Over there, in the future? Well, there be dragons."

This sounded like a good platform to expand upon the 'Design for the New Normal' presentation I gave earlier, especially as its an area Jon and I are thinking about in the context of various ongoing projects. So here it is, once again an accelerated slideshow (70 slides!) where I followed up on some of the stories to see what happened to them in the last six months, and developed some of the ideas further. This continues to be a work-in-progress that Superflux is developing as part of our current projects. "

[Video: http://nextberlin.eu/2013/07/design-for-the-new-normal-3/ ]
anabjain  2013  drones  weapons  manufacturing  3dprinting  bioengineering  droneproject  biotechnology  biotech  biobricks  songhojun  ossi  zemaraielali  empowerment  technology  technologicalempowerment  raspberrypi  hackerspaces  makerspaces  diy  biology  diybio  shapeways  replicators  tobiasrevell  globalvillageconstructionset  marcinjakubowski  crowdsourcing  cryptocurrencies  openideo  ideo  wickedproblems  darpa  innovation  india  afghanistan  jugaad  jugaadwarfare  warfare  war  syria  bitcoins  blackmarket  freicoin  litecoin  dna  dnadreams  bregtjevanderhaak  bgi  genomics  23andme  annewojcicki  genetics  scottsmith  superdensity  googleglass  chaos  complexity  uncertainty  thenewnormal  superflux  opensource  patents  subversion  design  jonardern  ux  marketing  venkateshrao  normalityfield  strangenow  syntheticbiology  healthcare  healthinsurance  insurance  law  economics  ip  arnoldmann  dynamicgenetics  insects  liamyoung  eleanorsaitta  shingtatchung  algorithms  superstition  bahavior  numerology  dunne&raby  augerloizeau  bionicrequiem  ericschmidt  privacy  adamharvey  makeu 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Cicada Tracker | WNYC
"WNYC invites families, armchair scientists and lovers of nature to join in a bit of mass science: track the cicadas that emerge once every 17 years across New Jersey, New York and the whole Northeast by building homemade sensors and reporting your observations."
arduino  crowdsourcing  data  diy  wncy  cicadas  insects  2013  sensors  newjersey  newyork  northeast 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Dung Beetles, Dancing to the Milky Way : The New Yorker
"The cosmos is nothing if not egalitarian; we are all equally small. It seems fair that Earth’s sanitation workers should benefit from the Milky Way, as the rest of us do. And dung beetles likely aren’t alone; crickets, moths, nocturnal bees, and other insects probably share their ability to navigate by the Milky Way and by polarized moonlight. “I’d be surprised if they were the only insect,” Warrant said."

"We suppose that we are superior to dung beetles, but are we really? At least dung beetles recycle. We scavenge, hoard, consume…what? Crap, mostly. It piles up around us; increasingly we live on a ball of it. Even light we waste; designed to illuminate, it now obscures. As our celestial guides recede, we risk losing our bearings and will have ever less to consider but ourselves."
milkyway  astronomy  navigation  skies  sky  dungbeetles  insects  2013  nature  animals  via:anne  cosmos  egalitarianism  science  biology  sight  vision  light  sun 
january 2013 by robertogreco
David Byrne's Journal: 12.14.11: "You 'Da Boss?" Collective Creation
"Others have preferred to view the social insects, not as social cities composed of individuals, but as single super organisms—more like one being made up of millions of semi-autonomous crawling “cells.” This would mean that these towering termite mounds and the tunnels of the ant colonies might represent the clothing or shell that belongs to a collective whole being…

If we make that leap, then we too can be seen as sophisticated works of “soft” architecture. Just like the cities of the ants, bees and termites, one would never imagine that our little cells would be able to individually make and organize a structure as complex as we are. If we reorient our viewpoint, and can see ourselves as a kind of ant colony, we get a frightening insight that maybe our sense of free will is not much more than that of the ants and termites. Our most beautiful cities, and maybe we too, are not much more sophisticated than those of the social insects."
deborahgordon  wikipedia  collective  collectiveaction  collectivecreation  nature  insects  occupywallstreet  ows  creation  art  music  indeterminacy  terryriley  johncage  buddhamachine  madlibs  williamsburroughs  exquisitecorpse  yvestanguy  joanmiro  manray  bernardrudofsky  hivemind  consilience  2011  freewill  timbuktu  architecture  socialinsects  networks  organisms  cities  creativity  collectivism  politics  society  economics  davidbyrne 
december 2011 by robertogreco
A bees-eye view: How insects see flowers very differently to us | Mail Online
"To the human eye, a garden in bloom is a riot of colour. Flowers jostle for our attention, utilising just about every colour of the rainbow.

But of course, it is not our attention they need to attract, but that of insects, the perfect pollinating agents.

And as these remarkable pictures show, there is more to many flowers than meets the eye - the human eye at least. Many species, including bees, can see a broader spectrum of light than we can, opening up a whole new world.

The images, taken by Norwegian scientist-cameraman Bjorn Roslett, present a series of flowers in both natural and ultraviolet light, revealing an insect's eye view."
bees  flowers  light  physics  color  sight  animals  nature  perception  insects 
december 2010 by robertogreco
REVERENCE by zana briski — Kickstarter
"Reverence is a project that brings together film, music and photographs of insects in a nomadic museum -- a temporary structure inspired by the exquisite shape of praying mantis ootheca, or eggpod. It's called Reverence because that is the state in which I photograph and that is what I want to communicate through my work."
insects  film  documentary  zanabriski  photography  nature  museums  nomadic  prayingmantises  music 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Cicadas mating
"Many potential predators have 2-5-year life cycles. Such cycles are not set by the availability of cicadas (for they peak too often in years of nonemergence), but cicadas might be eagerly harvested when the cycles coincide. Consider a predator with a life-cycle of five years: if cicadas emerged every 15 years, each bloom would be hit by the predator. By cycling at a large prime number, cicadas minimize the number of coincidences (every 5 x 17, or 85 years, in this case). Thirteen- and 17-year cycles cannot be tracked by any smaller number."
biology  evolution  cycles  mating  reproduction  insects  predation 
august 2009 by robertogreco
BBC - Earth News - Ant mega-colony takes over world: A single mega-colony of ants has colonised much of the world, scientists have discovered.
"Argentine ants living in vast numbers across Europe, the US and Japan belong to the same inter-related colony, and will refuse to fight one another. The colony may be the largest of its type ever known for any insect species, and could rival humans in the scale of its world domination.
insects  ants  argentineants  colonies  supercolonies  biology  nature  animals  ecology  earth  genetics  science  environment  evolution  emergence 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Adam Smith, Disproved - Economix Blog - NYTimes.com
"Adam Smith, in his famous pin factory description, wrote that labor specialization improves productivity. He should have specified which species he was referring to.

A new paper finds that ants that specialize are no more productive than ants that don’t. The author, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona named Anna Dornhaus, studied how efficiently rock ants completed their tasks of brood transport, collecting sweets, foraging for protein and nest-building. An ant was considered more specialized the more it concentrated its work on one particular task.

She found that the ants that specialized in these tasks did not perform them more efficiently than ants that remained “generalists,” and in some cases performed their tasks less efficiently."
generalists  economics  specialists  specialization  animals  ants  insects  adamsmith  sociology  evolution  productivity  science 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Insects Use Plant Like a "Telephone"
"Dutch ecologist Roxina Soler and her colleagues have discovered that subterranean and aboveground herbivorous insects can communicate with each other by using plants as telephones."
animals  insects  communication  nature  plants 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Interview with Paul Pope - "tend to get my best work done at night...anywhere between eight and four or five in the morning..."
"...Also I think your body temperature drops at night by a degree and I notice in my hands if they're drier it's easier to work, that there's a certain way that your hand moves stylistically as an artist. I'm just trying to find a way to tame it"
paulpope  comics  video  interviews  howwework  work  cv  creativity  illustration  drawing  fashion  insects  camouflage 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Coming Soon to a Cellphone Near You: Isabella Rossellini Mounting a Housefly
"Each of the one-minute shorts explains how insects copulate. Shot on high-definition video, and featuring cartoonish sets and costumes, the simple colorful shorts are designed to hold up well on portable video devices."
art  insects  video  isabellarossellini  film  animals  mobile  phones  humor  bugs  cartoons 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Twitch - Isabella Rossellini Does Bug Porn.
"Green Porno is a series of very short films conceived, written, co-directed by and featuring Isabella Rossellini about the sex life of bugs, insects and various creatures."
art  insects  video  isabellarossellini  film  animals  mobile  phones  humor  bugs  cartoons 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Toy Robots Initiative (projects) - insect telepresence
"miniature camera controlled by a human....in colony of insects...human gain whole new perspective on insects and their biology. Blow up image to scale down human appropriately, amplify insects sounds...you have a complete telepresent experience"
insects  presence  research  cameras  behavior  animals  science  nature  biology 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Bed Bug Registry - Check Apartments and Hotels Across North America
"The Bedbug Registry is a free, public database of bedbug infestations in the United States and Canada. Use it to check for bedbug reports before booking a hotel room or renting an apartment."
travel  health  bedbugs  mapping  insects  maps  housing  hotels  participatory  apartments  bugs  maciejceglowski  maciejcegłowski 
january 2008 by robertogreco
From Ants to People, an Instinct to Swarm - New York Times
"By studying army ants — as well as birds, fish, locusts and other swarming animals — Dr. Couzin and his colleagues are starting to discover simple rules that allow swarms to work so well."
animals  behavior  swarms  groups  intelligence  ants  fish  insects 
november 2007 by robertogreco
radi designers
rubber stamp darts and gun for decorating wallpaper
design  wallpaper  interiors  toys  guns  insects 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Swarm Behavior - National Geographic Magazine
"A single ant or bee isn't smart, but their colonies are. The study of swarm intelligence is providing insights that can help humans manage complex systems, from truck routing to military robots."
ai  animals  bees  behavior  biology  bugs  business  chaos  cognition  collaboration  collective  collectivism  crowds  insects  intelligence  leadership  math  nanotechnology  nature  networks  psychology  politics  research  science  socialscience  sociology  stevenjohnson  technology  systems  structure  swarms 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Bad Mojo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The player is cast as Roger Samms, an entomologist planning to embezzle money from a research grant to escape his sordid life above an abandoned bar. An accident with his mother's enchanted locket unleashes the bad mojo, turning him into a cockroach."
games  videogames  play  cockroach  insects  pc 
may 2007 by robertogreco
David Byrne Journal: 4.24.07: Begone
"though it was not mentioned in the tangerine article I asked myself if the two articles could be related — if GM agribusiness could be trying to eliminate bees. Call me a conspiracy nut, but it sure sounds likely to me."
bees  agribusiness  agriculture  nature  environment  insects  animals  sustainability  global 
april 2007 by robertogreco
Mike Libby - Insect Lab
"Insect Lab is an artist operated studio that customizes real insects with antique watch parts and electronic components."
animals  art  sculpture  science  insects  mechanics  electronics  robots  components  technology 
january 2007 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | In pictures: Desert shrimps, Locust ritual
"In Nigeria’s far north-eastern Borno State, man is biting back against the desert locust, reports the BBC News website's Senan Murray."
food  africa  nigeria  insects  adaptation  environment 
january 2007 by robertogreco
UF Book of Insect Records
"The University of Florida Book of Insect Records names insect champions and documents their achievements. Each chapter deals with a different category of record."
insects  science 
december 2006 by robertogreco
Garnet Hertz - conceptlab.com
"Garnet Hertz is an artist, maker, builder, and theorist whose work explores themes of DIY culture, technological progress, creativity, innovation and interdisciplinarity. Hertz is Artist in Residence and Research Scientist in Informatics at UC Irvine, faculty in the Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design, and Assistant Director of the EVOKE Lab at UCI. He has shown his work at several notable international venues in thirteen countries including SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, and DEAF and was awarded the 2008 Oscar Signorini Award in robotic art. He is founder and director of Dorkbot SoCal, a monthly Los Angeles-based lecture series on DIY culture, electronic art and design. His research is widely cited in academic publications, and popular press on his work has disseminated through 25 countries including The New York Times, Wired, The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, NBC, CBS, TV Tokyo and CNN Headline News. More info: http://conceptlab.com/ "

[Update December 2012, an interview on wmmna: http://we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2012/12/garnet-hertz.php ]
art  biology  animals  insects  portfolio  design  digital  diy  electronics  engineering  experiments  science  robots  research  projects  programming  technology  media  interactive  future  artists  garnethertz  diyculture  ucirvine 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Insectopia
"Insectopia is a new kind of cell phone game where the real world spills into the game world. Players roam the cityscape searching for and catching a multitude of different insects. Each insects in the game world is generated by using the available blueto
arg  games  play  mobile  phones  contextual  cities  animals  insects  location-based  place  nature 
september 2006 by robertogreco
pasta and vinegar » Insectopia: context-aware gaming
"insectopia (developed by the Game studio, a lab of the Interactive Institute in Sweden) is a mobile phone game that rely on context-awareness:"
arg  games  play  mobile  phones  contextual  animals  insects 
september 2006 by robertogreco
we make money not art: Insect art exhibitions
"Charles Saatchi is to open his new gallery with miniature skeletons and dead insects."
art  animals  insects  biology 
december 2005 by robertogreco

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