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Listen For The Chainsaws - Find Amazing Wasps!

With all the huge (and sadly tragic, in some cases) storms we have had in mostly the middle to...

Out Of Tragedy - Illumination

On my way home last night, motoring the red Jeep down Ohio Rt 53, out in the middle of nowhere...

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Mark BermanRSS Feed of this column.

I am a Teacher and Public Speaker first, an Entomologist second, a naturalist, a videographer, a photographer, a web designer and have multiple other skills - and probably more to say than I should... Read More »

I am watching the new min-series "Life," on Animal Planet. Animal Planet and the Discover Channel remind me of FOX "News" and MSNBC networks covering politics. Um... Schlocky....
Maybe I make too much of such things but, here's what Oprah, the narrator just said. Well, something to the effect of: Every living thing needs energy. The ways it gets its energy are fascinating... [blah... blah]..." 

As she is saying this cliche bit, they are showing a beautifully lit, perfectly shot (jealous!) Venus Flytrap snatching a fly. Argh!
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: are ants bad for our health?
Date: Sun, February 28, 2010 2:00 am
To: bugman@bugs.org

We have ants and I respect their quest for food...but does their 
presence in our home have any health consequences foe us?

Hi Bruce,

Thank you for bringing your BUG-Question to P.R. Mantis and the BUG-People! We love to help people understand, respect and even appreciate the incredible world of BUGS every chance we get!
Here’s why you don’t kill the spider… why should you?
The typical, first answer is that it bites.
Or that it’s creepy.
Or that it will crawl into your mouth at night… um… well – first things first.

Spiders almost never bite people. 

Many couldn’t if they tried. Those that can, typically won’t. Spiders bite to eat. Just like we do. But it’s more than that...

When they eat, spiders bite, but they don’t chew. That’s an important thing to understand for people who are nervous about spiders (you know who you are). 

When I am out doing bug programs I am often asked (with a slow-down-to-look-at-an-accident wince); “where do you keep all these bugs? Do they stay at your house?” I explain about the shelves with the lights, or the bug room and usually digress into a shopworn lecture on respect and the difference between invited and uninvited guests.

And the position I take on respect is this: that respect is a matter of making good decisions based on your understanding of the situation. The better you understand, the more respectful your decisions will be (unless you’re trying to be bad). The less you understand, the more likely you should be to do nothing – learn more.

Here is an idea for a new energy policy: teach people what energy is and where it comes from.

Whether or not you think human activity is effecting global climate change, whether we should drill-baby-drill or hug a tree, a nature-based perspective of the challengingly intangible concept of ‘energy’ may help you better understand your political position.

First of all, what is ‘energy?’

The answer may depend on