March 7, 1989 |
The story goes that Mikhail Baryshnikov, the big-time ballet dancer from Bolshoi country, was in Paris some months ago concurrently (but not necessarily concomitantly) with Roman Polanski, the big-time film director. Neither was doing what he is famous for. Mikhail was sitting in a theater, watching a play. And Roman was up there on the stage - acting, not directing. It was a part that Roman might have been born to play: a man who who goes to bed one night feeling a little peaked, and awakens in the morning to find he has changed into a beetle.
August 2, 1998 |
The United States, its borders growing more porous by the day, is under constant assault and, to hear the front-line fighters tell it, the battle against the minuscule attackers is slowly being lost. "The rate of introduction of these organisms is increasing, and the efforts that we use to exclude them are decreasing," is how Vic Mastro, the director of the United States Department of Agriculture's Plant Protection Center, puts it. "These organisms" are, for the most part, bugs.
July 30, 1998 |
The 30-year-old maple tree, its canopy carrying the full green of midsummer, is tall enough to scrape the third-floor windows of Mike Marinelli's house. Looking into its leafy crown, Marinelli, 66, wonders if he will live long enough to see the tree that replaces it grow to such a size. "My son was born about the time they planted them," Marinelli said of the neighborhood's maples. "He grew right along with the trees. I'm too old to watch one grow up again. " Come fall, city crews will cut down Marinelli's maple and dozens, perhaps hundreds, more in an effort to eradicate the Asian longhorn beetle, a scourge that has infested the tree-besotted Ravenswood neighborhood on Chicago's north side.
June 26, 1999 |
Except for the bare spots - the places where the 809 trees were felled - the once-leafier, once-greener Chicago neighborhood of Ravenswood does not look like ground zero of a major ecological war. But look closer, where the mature trees - cut, chipped up, carted away and burned - have been replaced by saplings, and you find a long-settled north-side neighborhood that in the last year has been transformed by the Asian longhorned beetle. The beetle, potentially one of the most damaging insects ever to invade this country, was found in Ravenswood last summer.
October 8, 1999 |
For the last 19 years, the Postal Service issued commemoratives promoting October as National Stamp Collecting Month. The focus has been to attract youngsters to the hobby. Last week the Postal Service issued a sheet of 20 stamps that should also catch the glance of older letter writers. The 33-cent stamps depict 16 insects and four spiders, all crawling in the designs. The gum side of each stamp includes text describing the subjects, which are: the black widow, elderberry longhorn, lady beetle, yellow garden spider, dogbane beetle, flower fly, assassin bug, ebony jewelwing, velvet ant, monarch caterpillar, monarch butterfly, eastern Hercules beetle, bombardier beetle, dung beetle, spotted water beetle, true katydid, spinybacked spider, periodical cicada, scorpionfly and jumping spider.
March 30, 1998 |
Cats may have nine lives, but Beetles live forever. In spirit and style - if not substance - the new Volkswagen Bug has arrived here, riding the old Bug's huge nostalgia wave. In its first days in Philadelphia-area VW showrooms, the Beetle is drawing crowds that haven't been seen since the 1970s. Seems like everyone wants to sit in it, look at it, turn the steering wheel . . . and most of all, tell their own personal Beetle stories. Usually the listener has a Beetle story or two, too. "It's a little bit of everyone," said Vince Evans, sales manager at Holbert's Volkswagen in Warrington, Bucks County, one of the area's premier dealerships.
August 1, 2011 |
Like any good scientist, entomologist Daniel Otte has keen powers of observation. Unlike most, he is highly skilled at rendering those observations with a paintbrush. Otte, a preeminent expert on grasshoppers and crickets, has long been painting insects and other creatures for use in scientific articles and texts. Starting Saturday, 32 of his images are to be displayed as art in a new exhibit at his workplace: the Academy of Natural Sciences. The illustrator-scientist, not one to hog the limelight despite having identified more than 1,500 species in his career, is a bit taken aback by the focus on his paintings.
March 30, 1998 |
The Volkswagen Beetle first officially landed on American shores in 1949. It was hardly a beachhead. On Jan. 8 of that year, two Beetles - the total sales for the year - were shipped from the Netherlands to New York. Max Hoffmann, a Fifth Avenue importer who also marketed another car new to Americans that year - the Jaguar - sold the Beetles for $800 apiece. Although the "Beetle" label had been stuck on the car more than 10 years earlier, these two pioneers weren't even called Beetles.
August 27, 2012 |
Grasshoppers whose rainbow-colored wings look like something from Dr. Seuss. Trays full of locusts, thought to be the same species as in the biblical plague in the book of Exodus. A horned beetle bigger than an ice-cream sandwich. If you have made it this far without squirming, then step behind the scenes at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. In the midst of its bicentennial year, the nation's oldest natural history museum is offering the public a chance to ogle some its millions of scientific treasures that normally are stored out of sight.
May 31, 2014 |
A landscaper found the first signs of the destructive pest last week. He was checking the health of ash trees at a strip shopping center in Bridgewater, Somerset County, when he spotted the telltale damage. He alerted state officials, who shared specimens with a federal lab, which confirmed everyone's suspicions: The emerald ash borer had come to New Jersey. An invasive beetle that has killed tens of millions of ash trees across the country, the insect had already been detected in nearby Pennsylvania and New York counties.