Contraption to shoot mosquitos with laser beams

In development for several years, the Photonic Fence is an anti-mosquito laser weapon that's apparently now being tested in a real world situation. I hope when it hits the market it still looks like a crazy contraption from a 1960s science fiction film! From the company site:

One potential use of the Photonic Fence is to create a virtual fence that detects insects as they cross its plane. When an invading insect is detected, our software is able to estimate the insect’s size and measure its wing beat frequency. Using this method, not only can the system distinguish between mosquitoes, butterflies, and bumblebees, but it can even determine whether a mosquito is male or female. This is important to know because only female mosquitos bite humans. Once the software establishes that the insect is a valid target, it tracks the mosquito in flight, runs a safety check to ensure no innocent bystanders are in view, and then activates a laser to zap the mosquito. The Photonic Fence could be set along the perimeter of clinics or other strategic areas to control mosquitoes without endangering humans or other animals.

From Wired UK:

When Intellectual Ventures co-founder and former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold came up with the idea of a bug-killing fence in 2010, the intention was to use it to improve public health in Sub-Saharan Africa. Now, however, the Photonic Fence has become a commercial project with a particular target: the Asian citrus psyllid. This insect invader has reduced citrus production in Florida by at least 70 per cent over the last 15 years.

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Watch the President of Costa Rica swallow a wasp

At a recent press conference, a wasp flew into the mouth of Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solís.

"I ate it," he said in Spanish with a smile. "I ate the wasp."

As Weird Universe points out, it's similar to this memorable and unscripted moment in Raiders of the Lost Ark:

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Starship Troopers may finally be getting the sequel we wanted

Starship Troopers, the 1997 disasterpiece, is one of the most fun bad Science Fiction films of all time! Until now, all the sequels were set up to fail.. behold Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars.

Original Johnny Rico, Casper Van Dien is voicing the character again in this animated adventure. If you have seen the Starship Troopers animated series, it was clearly the best adaptation of Heinlein's books and far more fun than any of the sequel motion pictures. Also returning is Dina Meyer as Dizzy Flores.

Get ready to hunt bugs! Read the rest

You have to send away for the bugs

When will I learn? After not having the butterfly larvae on hand last time, my daughter thinks I should have pre-ordered the lady bugs. Read the rest

A Spotify bug thrashed subscribers' drives for the past five months

The Mac/Win/Lin versions of Spotify wrote hundreds of gigabytes of bad data per day to their 40,000,000 users, thrashing their drives. Read the rest

Delicious Madagascar hissing cockroach cake

Artist and baker Katherine Dey made this creepy-as-hell but probably delicious cake that looks like a Madagascar hissing cockroach. Its innards oozes with Boston cream filling. Dey made a video how-to, below. Just make sure you clean up the crumbs or else the real roaches will come and then who knows what could happen if they realize what you just ate.

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Pasta made from insects selling well in France!

Atelier a Pates, a small artisanal pasta shop in Thiefosse, France, has a booming business in radiatori, fusilli, spaghetti and penne made from seven percent pulverized crickets and grasshoppers. From CTV News:

Four years on with the addition of insect flour to the mix, "it's working so well that we will soon be able to hire a second person," (proprietor Stephanie) Richard says, proud of her weekly production now at some 400 kilos (880 pounds).

And she does not plan to stop there: she is working on a new recipe using Maroilles cheese from northern France, and plans to start making stuffed pastas.

At a little over six euros ($6.60) for a 250 gramme (about half a pound) package, insect flour pastas are more expensive than standard kinds, but Richard notes that they can replace meat for vegetarians -- or for people who prefer crickets.

"People with iron or magnesium deficiencies will also eat these products," she says.

"French pasta-maker struggling to keep up with demand for insect noodles" (CTV News) Read the rest

Why 1/1/1970 bricks your iPhone

Apple is warning people not to change the date on iPhones to May 1970 or earlier because it "can prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart." Apple has promised a software update that will prevent this from happening. In the meantime, don't try it on your late model (64 bit) iPhone, because it will likely brick it.

In the above video, Tom Scott explains why changing the date to 1/1/1970 breaks the phone.

If you can't resist setting the date back to see what happens, this video will show how to unbrick it. Be warned - you'll have to open your phone to fix it. Read the rest

Tender arthropod: mama centipede cradles her young

Ivealreadyreddit, who's working in Thailand, posted this picture of a tropical centipede cradling her newly hatched babies. Dawwww. Read the rest

Scrap-metal welded bugs

The welded scrap-metal bugs of Green Hand Sculpture are gorgeous, intricate, labor-intensive, and therefore expensive, but surely worth ever cent: Preying Mantis, Holly Blue Butterfly, Woodlouse, Peacock Butterfly and the Peacock Butterfly (chainsaw variation). Read the rest

EAT BUGS: Monetary incentives distort our perceptions of what's good for us

There are lots of transactions that we're either prohibited from making (selling kidneys), or that are strictly regulated by statute (parental surrogacy). Naturally, these rules are hotly debated, especially among economists, who generally assume that markets of informed buyers and sellers produce outcomes that make everyone better off. Read the rest

Porcelain figurines transformed into creepy-cute insects

Judith (AKA Miss Mantis) remakes kitschy-sweet porcelain figurines, transforming them with polymer clay, flocking and paint into statuettes of anthropomorphic insects going about their weird, daily business:. Some favorites: Bee Lady "Mìfēng", Fancy Dancing Mantis Gentleman, Bee Lady "Alice", Little Praying Mantis Boy, and Scandalous Mantis Dancer. Read the rest

How beetles breathe under water

From KQED Science:

Surface tension is the property of any liquid that describes how its particles stick together. In the case of water, surface tension is especially strong, enough to form a kind of film where it meets the air, whether at the surface or in a bubble...

If you’re a bug the size of a paperclip... surface tension makes a difference. Harnessing it, some aquatic beetles carry the oxygen they need underwater in the form of a temporary bubble, sort of like a natural scuba tank. Others encase themselves in a layer of air and draw oxygen from it their whole lives.

"Nature’s Scuba Divers: How Beetles Breathe Underwater" (Deep Look)

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Planthopper nymphs

These amazing guys look like living snowflakes! Read the rest

Brief history of the Cootie Catcher

Cooties are real. Apparently, "cootie" comes from the Malay word "kutu," meaning "dog tick." Fortunately, you can easily make a cootie catcher wit the added benefit that the device doubles as a fortune teller, chatterbox, whirlybird, salt cellar, etc. Read the rest

Bug-A-Salt 2.0, take arms against flying insects

The Bug-A-Salt 2.0 fires common table salt at house flies. It is much more fun, and effective, than a flyswatter.

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Gin with distilled wood ants

Each bottle of Nordic Food Lab's Anty Gin contains formic acid distilled from approximately 62 wood ants. Read the rest

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