Celebrated poet and publisher, Janaka Stucky (Ascend Ascend), has launched a very unique and promising project on Kickstarter. It's called Ekphrastic Beasts.
What the hell does ekphrastic mean? Ekphrastic writing "is the vivid, often dramatic description of visual art."
Janaka has teamed up with four illustrators, Ellie Gill, Jeremy Hush, Joe Keinberger, and Nathan Reidt. Each of them will dredge up creatures from the depths of their subconscious and render what they invoke. Janaka will then take that art and create the names, backstories, and stat blocks for each creature, suitable for play in 5e Dungeons & Dragons. Hence, Ekphrastic Beasts.
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A new study reveals that the Skrillex track "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" reduces mosquitos' success in foraging, host attack, and sexual activities of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that spreads dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika fever, Mayaro, and other nasty diseases. According to the researchers from the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and their colleagues, it's all about that bass. From their scientific paper published in the journal Acta Tropica:
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Sound and its reception are crucial for reproduction, survival, and population maintenance of many animals. In insects, low-frequency vibrations facilitate sexual interactions, whereas noise disrupts the perception of signals from conspecifics and hosts. Despite evidence that mosquitoes respond to sound frequencies beyond fundamental ranges, including songs, and that males and females need to struggle to harmonize their flight tones, the behavioral impacts of music as control targets remain unexplored. In this study, we examined the effects of electronic music (Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites by Skrillex) on foraging, host attack, and sexual activities of the dengue vector Aedes aegypti. Adults were presented with two sound environments (music-off or music-on). Discrepancies in visitation, blood feeding, and copulation patterns were compared between environments with and without music. Ae. aegypti females maintained in the music-off environment initiated host visits earlier than those in the music-on environment. They visited the host significantly less often in the music-on than the music-off condition. Females exposed to music attacked hosts much later than their non-exposed peers. The occurrence of blood feeding activity was lower when music was being played. Adults exposed to music copulated far less often than their counterparts kept in an environment where there was no music.