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beetles

  1. Actual Beetles Killed Actual Beatle George Harrison’s Memorial Tree

    What will become of Monroe Yoder's memorial beet farm?

    The Beatles' George Harrison had a tree planted in his memory in 2004 in Los Angeles where the musician spent the last few years of his life. In a strange twist of fate, the tree was recently infested with real, actual, non-musical beetles and died.

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  2. European Forest Cockchafer Keeps Gut Microbes Through Metamorphosis, Has Hilarious Name

    The European forest cockchafer -- which no, I can't type without giggling, thank you for asking -- lives on a diet of rough, woody, cellulose-heavy food. It can't digest much of the tough material on its own, but relies on a community of hard-working microbes to process its meals. A new study by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, though, has revealed some surprising facts about the cockchafer's microbial community -- namely that the microbes it carries are persistent through its metamorphosis from larvae to beetle. That means that the microbes in its gut somehow survive the process of moving from grub to adult, which sees the animal's internal organs transform into entirely new structures.

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  3. Researchers Harvest Beetle's Wing Energy to Power the Mind Control Chip in Its Brain

    As you may or may not have been aware, DARPA and other organizations have been trying to make small aircraft that are modeled on insects. The problem they ran into, however, was that these little aircraft needed something to power their wings, and the weight of a power source was prohibitive. Did they give up? No. Instead, they gave real beetles mind control implants that allowed them to be remotely controlled. The problem they ran into there was that the mind control implants needed to be powered and batteries were still problematic. Of course, the next logical step researchers in Michigan took was to fit the beetles with piezoelectronics on their wings so that they power their own mind control implants through flight. Yes. This is a thing that is happening.

    If you aren't familiar, piezoelectronics allow pressure to be converted into electricity. Remember those light-up shoes? The same technology could also be used to create laptops that charge by typing, or mind controlled beetles that perpetuate their enslavement with every flap of their wings, for example.

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  4. Pictures from Iceland’s Latest Volcanic Eruption

    On May 22, Iceland's most active volcano Grímsvötn began erupting in the east of the country. It was a spectacular eruption, sending a massive ash plume 12 miles into the air. From the Christian Science Monitor:
    The eruption of Grímsvötn, Iceland’s most active volcano, on Saturday evening is believed to be far more powerful than that of Eyjafjallajökull last year. Experts estimate that Grímsvötn produced between 100 and 1,000 times more material per second when it exploded. The plume it generated was twice as high as Eyjafjallajökull’s.
    The ash is expected to blow towards Northern Ireland and parts of the U.K. over the next few days, though it is not expected to choke off air travel as Eyjafjallajökull did last year. It's also much, much easier to pronounce. Read on below for more pictures from this dramatic eruption, and how it's affecting the Icelanders.

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