Sunday, June 3, 2018

Last-minute frantic planning

One Wednesday, I will leave for the long June trip. Here is a map of the Domino campaign plans; feel free to comment






Overall goals



1. Show entomology at its most sublime (magnificent scarab swarms, elaborate roach courtship dances, complex feeding hierarchy and social structure of forest invertebrates at a bait, et cetera) and build support/positivity towards it

2. "Decapitate" irresponsible organizations associated with entomological matters (fearmongering newspapers, exterminators, and "educational" groups) by unmasking their severe biases and inaccuracies



Current progress


Accomplished:
  • I have successfully illustrated the Therea roach "logo" and obtained permission for a number of insect vids/pics. There isn't enough footage yet, but my calculations indicate that acquiring/producing it should be easy.
  • Thanks to research papers (see previous post), a viable plan for goal 1 exists.

Problems: 
  • A viable plan for goal 2 does not exist, because it is a rather tricky and sensitive task
  • The research papers give some methods for 2-way feedback (between project & audience) already, but entomology faces unusually high levels of hostility/prejudice when compared to other sciences. The given methods must be modified to suit the situation
  • Strange psychological phenomena need to be studied. I have observed fear towards colorful giant moths and iridescent beetles (but almost never butterflies); on the other hand, certain online clips of "cute" but drab-colored insects get little hate
  • My biggest fear: outreach might cause unintentional and potentially disastrous cascade effects

Monday, May 28, 2018

I nearly shake with glee

For a long time, I had trouble finding research papers for the Domino campaign.


I stumbled on this though


- Emotions can defeat undeniable facts; many members of the public are NOT ignorant and stupid; effective communication designs https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/64/4/333/248218


Then, out of mere chance, I found this a while later while miserably digging around





- Bug zoo events do no apparent harm, and have at least some benefit. https://academic.oup.com/ae/article/60/2/97/6815

(My biggest fear for the project: might bug zoos and other entomology outreach techniques cause difficult-to-detect harm? If so, how can we detect and defeat such cryptic dangers?)






I struck gold after another painfully long while; a friend sent me a paper URL. That paper is not too notable, but it had links to some extremely valuable related articles:






- Vaccine aversion seems similar to certain learned bug aversions. An analysis of antivaccine sentiment https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Understanding-those-who-do-not-understand%3A-a-brief-Poland-Jacobson/0473c3474a8ace300cf2df9f04efb3f20dde0a2b






And more importantly










- A long and detailed guide to scientific outreach. Despite being somewhat similar to paper number 1, it has some extremely important bits inside. I am shaking with glee almost literally https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1084952117301933?via%3Dihub




Technical research papers may be long and hard to digest, but they are often quite fascinating and actually fun to read =)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Coniontis gets kicked out

The poor darkling became restless and stressed-looking again after winter ended; furthermore, I soon have to leave for my (previously-mentioned) long trip.

I dumped it out very carefully in leaf litter today.






Hopefully I will successfully capture some footage for Domino while abroad

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Campaigning while headless

My head has rolled off into a corner somewhere and I probably cannot last much longer

I will make sure Terminix and its friends are equally headless, though.

Introducing the Domino Project, an entomological outreach campaign


We are currently in the research phase, because human psychology is terrifyingly strange and often irrational

Saturday, April 14, 2018

More parasitoids

Unfortunately it appears that another temporary blog shutdown is underway, because parasitoid waspgrubs have eaten more than 90% of my brain tissue.















I expect my head to fall off at any moment

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Parasitoids and spring ephemerals

April 2: Gray ladybeetle is as dead as a pinned museum specimen. It is extremely suspicious that all four of my “tropical-zone” captives (cantharid-like thing, both ladies, matte darkling) have all suffered the same mysterious abrupt death. Poor gray thing seemed fine one day and was motionless the next! The fact that the gray beetle died soon after the 7spot is even more suspicious, but I cannot pin down the cause.



In any case, this is quite an addition to an already-increasing list of disasters. I shall turn white and cough up copious loads of metaphorical parasitoid wasps =(




Apr 4: At least the annual spring swarm of black diurnal scarabs has begun. Today there were at least two drowned in the pool, but I lack photos because I misplaced the corpse of one I fished out. Hoplia is a strong suspect, because there only appears to be one tarsal claw per leg.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

I hate bland mini-updates

and I must take a rest from being constantly in a foul mood every now and then.

Ecosnapshots one and (maybe) two are being filmed