November 3, 2015 |
Veronica is a fun-loving 10-year-old with an artistic flair. She delights in creating interesting pieces, and participates in many kinds of art projects. She proudly shows off the bracelets she crafts in pink and blue, her favorite colors. Veronica loves learning things and is intrigued by insects, particularly ladybugs. An ideal day for her would include a trip to a place where she could learn more about bugs and their habitats. She also enjoys swimming, writing, dancing, playing video games, and watching television.
November 28, 2014 |
The dreaded Khapra beetle has a voracious and varied appetite. Resistant to insecticides, it's all but indestructible. As such, it is considered one of the world's most fearsome pests of grains, rice, beans and other "stored products. " And it is high on the least-wanted list at U.S. borders. Yet, there it was. Twice in September, officials at Philadelphia International Airport discovered - and hastily dispatched - the beetle and its larvae. The insects had come into the country aboard food that passengers carried with them on Qatar Airlines flights from Qatar's capital, Doha.
November 6, 2014 |
Bad news in the bug department: The emerald ash borer, a tiny, glitter-green insect from China expected to kill virtually all ash trees in the East - unless they are treated with expensive chemicals - may have a new target. The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed recently that the borer had attacked the white fringe tree, which is in the same family as not only the ash, but forsythia and lilac. Experts don't know quite what to make of the find yet, other than that it is worrisome.
August 11, 2014 |
A small bowl made its way around an auditorium Saturday at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, with a staff member scooping treats out and into the eager hands of kids and their parents. Inside the bowl: crispy, Cajun-spiced crickets. "Are we allowed to have more?" 6-year-old Anya Geynisman of Wyndmoor asked after she'd eaten her handful. It was opening day of the academy's seventh annual Bug Fest, and amid the stuffed deer, the dinosaurs, and the mummies, displays of beetles, tarantulas, and butterflies lined the halls.
June 30, 2014 |
AKELEY, Pa. - The bats Ted Williams demanded, with their 25 growth rings per inch, came from the Allegheny Mountain forests that unfurl in all directions from this flyspeck Warren County town. So did the wide-grain models Pete Rose preferred and Dick Allen's 40-inch, 40-ounce wagon tongues. This vast and remote region, straddling Route 6 along the Pennsylvania-New York border, has long been the mother lode of baseball bats. For a century or more, nearly all those used by major-league hitters came from the white ash that grows and is milled in this bat belt.
March 17, 2014 |
Ash trees are the pride of West Chester's public parks. One majestic specimen may be a state champion. Falls Township's Lesha Drive is lined with ashes. When the houses were built, ashes were planted in every front yard. When Mark Bayer built his Buckingham Township house, he took care not to disturb the ash, so big he and his wife together can't get their arms around it. All are in jeopardy, as is every other ash tree in the region, thanks to a half-inch-long, glitter-green insect from Asia that kills nearly every ash tree in its path.
August 16, 2013 |
ALL THAT summer rain has made the flowers grow and spawned more pretty fireflies than Gizmo Guy has seen in aeons. But it's also made this an intensely good (and we mean bad) summer for mosquitoes, and sparked lots of pitches for products claiming to ward off the critters. To deal with the onslaught (of bugs and devices), I turned to my expert in all things organically outdoors, Mike McGrath, host of the syndicated radio show "You Bet Your Garden. " (It airs 11 a.m.-noon Saturdays on WHYY 91-FM.)
August 10, 2013 |
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University's Bug Fest returns on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the Masters of Deception. Now in its sixth year, the Fest will have its popular yummy insect culinary treats, such as chocolate chirp cookies, baked by Chef Zack Lemman. Cheer on your favorite roach during the Roach Race 500. At the Masquerade Bug Ball, kids can dance, get their faces painted, and have insect tattoos applied. Children can also make insect crafts.
July 8, 2013 |
PEORIA, Ill. - Here's a place where caterpillar does not refer to fuzzy little insects. The new Caterpillar Visitors Center is all about the roaring massive black-and-yellow machines that dig and lift at construction and mining sites. Caterpillar Inc., maker of heavy machinery ranging from bulldozers and excavators to tunnel-boring machines and giant generators, is based in the central Illinois town of Peoria. The company opened a nearly 50,000-square-foot visitors center last fall, investing more than $52 million dollars in the center and the Peoria Riverfront Museum nearby.
October 1, 2012 |
One of the more difficult aspects of evolution for some people to swallow is the notion that random copying errors in DNA can add up to anything useful. In two recently published projects, however, scientists show how typos can indeed lead to improvements. In numerous species of insects, they document the DNA errors that led to changes that are not only beneficial but also brilliant. Various species of beetles, aphids, butterflies, and moths have independently acquired genetic errors that allow them to eat highly toxic plants and then use the toxins to defend themselves against predators.