Summer is unofficially here in most parts of the country and that means that bugs are here also. In my home state of Missouri, the brood of cicadas that come through in Biblical swarms every 13 years are back, clouding the sky and haunting the dreams of mammals. Below is a picture of my parents front porch:

Once David Cronenberg and William Burroughs were having a conversation and Cronenberg asked Burroughs if he was interested in insects. Burroughs misheard him and thought he said “incest.”According to legend, Burroughs was actually kind of disgusted. He was not interested in incest. But in insects? Of course. In Cronenberg’s film version of Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, William Lee’s typewriter turns into a giant beetle-like insect. The Smithsonian this week posted a picture of the largest known Beetle (and one of the largest insect species in the world), which it has in its collection but it is not on display.
In other news from the arthropods, the artist Ekaterina Smirnova has released an illustrated guide to cockroaches. What began as a contest to see who could come up with the most visually arresting series of infographics about either the banal or the disgusting transformed itself into a stunningly designed book that is as interesting visually as the subject is intellectually. Who doesn’t want to learn about the the things that will be their only neighbors after the nuclear holocaust? In fact, there’s probably a cockroach within 100 ft. of you right now. Learn about her!




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