Tag: insects

The bee’s knees


diatomaceousEarth Diatomaceous earth.

To be pedantic, bees don’t really have knees, just a number of joints in their legs. But if they did, their knees would be clearly viewable with a new imaging device that combines the functions of a microscope and a cell analyser: Cytell. Follow the link to find out how it genuinely was inspired by a bee leg.

I’m mainly interested in the detailed, hypersaturated and Pixar-esque aesthetic of the images produced by the Cytell. So different from what most people would imagine when the only experience of scientific images they’ve had was their dull and probably outdated school textbooks.

mosquitoProboscis Mosquito’s head and proboscis. No… no, thanks.

lingualpapillae Lingual papillae, which are found on top of the tongue. Actually looks sort of… appetising?

MantisLeg Praying Mantis leg.

The Cytell images are also interesting to me in the slightly more narcissistic sense that real science has finally caught up with…

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Yank Beetles

Yank Beetles


AmikaeferAn East German propaganda leaflet issued during the Berlin Airlift (1948-1949), when Stalin attempted to blockade the already geographically surrounded people of West Berlin into submission. American and British crews flew in food and other supplies, thereby demonstrating both the superiority of Western air capabilities and the extremes they would go to in order to check Soviet politicking. And so began the Cold War.

This leaflet about Amikäfer (“Yank Beetles”) claims that the airlift is just a pretext for ruining East German farming by dropping “imperialist weapons”: potato-devouring Colorado beetles (Kartoffelkäfer). The back cover warns about confusing them with harmless Marienkäfer (ladybirds).

Ridiculous propaganda even by the standards of ridiculous propaganda, but I have to admit that the adaptation of the beetle’s markings into the Stars and Stripes is pretty good.

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