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Ant-Man and the Wasp: The Complicated Love Affair [VIDEO]

Marvel Studios Ant-man and the Wasp logoIf you haven’t heard, Marvel Studios is coming out with another potential blockbuster of a movie: Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Honestly, I’m a huge movie buff but I’ve never been much of a super Marvel hero fan beyond an occasional Spiderman flick. I did recently attend a showing of Avengers: Infinity War. It had a lot going on that kept you from falling asleep, but I didn’t care much for the leaves-you-hanging type of ending. If you didn’t have a good back history of all of the characters (which I heard amounted to about 25), then you’d miss out on a lot of important references. Because of this, I set a goal to go back and watch past Marvel movies in order so that I could get up to speed and better understand what was going on.

In Avengers: Infinity War, there were some bug-themed characters that I noticed including Spider-Man, Black Widow and Mantis. After seeing the movie, I read that two important Avengers characters were left out (bug-themed at that): Ant-Man and Wasp. Come to find out, that the Ant-Man and the Wasp have their own movie being released on July 6, 2018. I’m excited to see how they use their buggy superpowers.

Incidentally, in the first Ant-Man movie (released in 2015), Ant-Man was shrunk down to being knee-high to grasshopper where he could communicate with other ants. The concept was loosely based on quantum physics. However, when doing a little more digging into the physics behind Ant-Man, you’d find he’d be deaf, blind and funny-talking if it had been real life. On a positive note, he would gain a little power due to Galileo’s square-cube law, relatively speaking. After all, ants are capable of lifting 50 times their weight. Limited to human strength though, his power amounted to not much of anything except for instances when he took on the persona of Giant-Man or Goliath.

Wasp, a female superhero (girls rock!), also has the ability to shrink due to a substance that morphed Ant-Man (Pym particles). She debuted in the first Ant-Man movie and showcased her ability to fire energy blasts (“wasp stings”). In fact, she’s credited with coming up with the name for the Avengers. She and Ant-Man became two of the founding members. Their relationship, though seemingly loving, would be categorized as “it’s complicated.” They were involved in a love triangle involving another superhero, Yellowjacket… but things aren’t always as they seem. I wonder what’s in store for them in the upcoming movie (?).

Read more about their strange relationship => Ant-Man And The Wasp: 15 Dark Secrets Fans Never Knew

6 Ways to Avoid Being a Mosquito’s Dinner

Don’t be a hyperactive old dirty obese beer drinker with Type O blood sporting dark-colored swag.

Seriously though, there was a research study that found that 20% of people have the propensity for Mosquitoes Bites. This was linked to a person’s blood type and genetics, among other things. In addition, mosquitoes are attracted to certain body odors, body temperature and even clothing color.

Mosquito bites are annoying and itchy but, most importantly, they transmit serious and life-threatening Illnesses like the Zika virus, yellow fever and malaria. In fact, the World Health Organization reported 429,000 malaria deaths in 2015 and the National Institute of Health reported 1 million deaths annually. You may be at risk if you live in or travel to areas known to harbor disease-carrying mosquitos.

Tips to Avoid Being a Mosquito Magnet

When genetics and other factors for which you have no control are at play, it can difficult to avoid mosquito bites. There are many reasons why mosquitoes might be attracted to you but here are a few tips that might help you to avoid being a mosquito magnet:

Tip 1: Never Grow Up for Skeeter’s Sake!

Some studies have found that Mosquitoes Detect People who emit higher levels of carbon dioxide. This is common in people with a high metabolism or are overweight, as well as pregnant women. Kids emit smaller amounts of carbon dioxide so they get bitten less frequently than adults.

My Recommendation: If you’re overweight, you can workout but let it be known that mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid produced by your body when exercising. If you have a high metabolism, you may just have to wear a gas mask. If you’re old, maybe someone will find the fountain of youth before it’s too late.

Tip 2: Don’t Stay Thirsty, My Friend

Mosquitoes are also attracted to warm bodies and it’s speculated that having a cold brewsky makes you warmer. It’s also believed – but yet to be proven – that ethanol in beer attracts mosquitos. Either way, ncbi research shows that you’re more likely to get bitten if you drink beer.

My Recommendation: You probably love your beer, so it’s probably best to stay inside of your man cave. Otherwise, sideline it just like the Most Interesting Man in the World. (Beer tastes nasty anyway, IMO!)

Tip 3: Be a Type A

Pubmed research study found that, of all blood types, people with Type O were twice as likely to attract mosquitoes than Type A. Type B was moderately attractive. It’s believed that certain blood types emit different chemicals that mosquitoes can sense.

My Recommendation: If you’re Type A like me, you’re in luck (unless you travel to the rain forests of Belize or the savannahs of Guyana – I literally got “to’ up from da flo’ up”)…or, you could opt for a Bone Marrow Transplant.

Tip 4: Revoke Your Man Card

In addition to body odors, mosquitoes are attracted to certain colors and movement. If you wear clothes that are dark blue, red or black and you can never sit still, you might be setting yourself up as a moving mosquito target. They have good aim!

My Recommendation: I hate to say it but, I’d suggest revoking your ManCard and going for whitey-whites and pastels. Besides, real men wear pink, right?

Tip 5:Rub a Dub Dub

Our bodies are naturally covered with all kinds of microorganisms that make up the skin microbiome. Although mites are the creepiest, it’s actually certain types of bacteria that you need to worry about. Mosquitoes are drawn to you if you’re covered with a select few types of bacteria, which are most often found around the ankles.

My Recommendation: If you have large numbers of different bacteria on your skin, you’ll actually repel mosquitoes. To be on the safe side, I’d stock up on antibacterial soap and wear knee socks.

Tip 6: Make Yourself Unpalatable

Well, dousing yourself and clothes with mosquito repellant is the obvious deterrent.DEET is typically considered to be the most effective way to stop mosquito bites, although they may still land on you. Repellants containing picaridin has been found to be the Best Way To Keep Mosquitoes From Biting and coming near you. Permethrin can be applied to clothing and lasts through multiple washes (as many as 25).

My Recommendation: Unfortunately, researchers have also found that mosquitoes are able to become Immune to DEET After Just a Few Hours of Exposure.Not sure about picaridin. For a chemical-free, eco-friendly and long-lasting approach, oil of lemon eucalyptus works wonders. It’s a great stain remover for clothes too.

So… depending on where you stand for all factors related to being a mosquito magnet (I only covered several of the most common ones), you just might be screwed!

Sorry.

 

This question and answer originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. More questions:

Bugs on Your Plate… Bugs in Your Teeth… Bug Appétit!

Mealworms and crickets and waterbugs, oh my!

giant water bug

(click photo for slideshow)

Saturday marked opening day for the Franklin Park Conservatory’s “Hungry Planet: Local Food, Global View” weekend exhibition. The exhibit was designed to encourage people to “explore local and global food culture through art and horticulture displays, children’s interactives and a full menu of programs for all ages.” And Jiminy Crickets, were the attendees in for an eyeful AND a mouthful! One of the highlights of the program offerings was “Man Eating Bugs” with Mark Berman of Bugman Educational Entoprises. Mark (aka Bugman) is a Columbus entomologist (and chef extraordinaire) who introduced attendees to the world of entomophagy (bug eating) through his entertaining stories about bugs and onsite cooking demonstrations.

Entomophagy (pronounced “en-tuh-mof-uh-gy”) is defined as the consumption of insects as food by humans. Non-human species that eat insects are called insectivores. Believe or not, eating bugs is nothing new. People have been eating arthropods (insects, scorpions, spiders, centipedes and others) throughout time all over the world. It is believed that early man at insects before they learned how to make and use tools to hunt and farm. In many cultures today, insects are a main staple of the local diet. In fact, it has been documented that over 1000 insects have been eaten in 80 percent of the world’s nations. Bug eating is popular in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania. The most common arthropods eaten include ants, beetle grubs (like mealworms), caterpillars (like waxworms and silkworms), cicadas, crickets, grasshoppers, scorpions and tarantulas. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for those with weak stomachs and no sense of adventure), in the Western World and similar societies, eating bugs is considered to be uncommon, taboo or downright disgusting.

Why people consider bugs to be ‘yucky’ is beyond me. Who doesn’t love eating seafood like crawfish, lobster, crab and shrimp? Well, guess what? Those are all arthropods. As a matter of fact, if you have shellfish allergies it’s suggested that you avoid eating bugs as you may have similar reactions. But when it comes to eating, shellfish aren’t lumped in with the other arthropods when it comes to entomophagy. But let’s take a serious look at eating bugs – and I don’t mean Fear Factor style (that shows gives bug eating a bad name and bugs can be good, actually yummy!). First, insects are nutritious! They are very high in protein, low in fat, economical to harvest and do not come with all the problems associated with farming and processing beef, pork and poultry. Minilivestock, the intentional cultivation of arthropods for human food, is starting to catch on and has been the subject of a number of organizations, research institutes, entomologists… and even chefs. Second, everybody eats insects every day whether they like or not. I’m sure you’ve seen the TV programs that talked about the number of insects and parts allowable by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).

If you’d like to learn more about entomophagy, check out the interesting videos listed on the Entomophagy of the Future webpage on World News Network. You can also read about eating insects in two popular books, which include recipes, Man-eating Bugs and Eat-a-Bug Cookbook. Both also feature insect recipes and stories about people who eat bugs around the world. And, wouldn’t you know… when it comes to eating bugs, there’s also an Eat Insects app for that!

Bug appétit!

 

 

 

(This article was originally posted on the now defunct Examiner.com.)

When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best… Make It Green

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and you may already be out shopping for your sweetheart. And, on average, you will be expected to spend $116.21 on gifts, meals and entertainment. But before you do any last minute shopping, consider how much of a potentially negative impact just one day can have on the environment.

Greeting cards are the most popular gift given on Valentine’s Day. Who doesn’t like to receive those heartfelt declarations of love? Unfortunately, those are like bleeding hearts for trees. According to the Greeting Card Association, 190 million cards are given to loved ones every year. Christmas is the only other holiday when people give more greeting cards. Though some cards may be kept as keepsakes, most just end up in a refuse dump. If you must buy a card, buy those labeled as recyclable and/or made out of recycled paper. Or, better yet, send an e-card or make your own on the computer and secretly place it on your partner’s computer desktop. If you receive any cards, be sure to place them in your recycle bin or send your cards the St. Jude’s Ranch for Children Recycled Card Program.

Red roses have always been a symbol of love and a popular gift for Valentine’s Day. In fact, more fresh flowers are bought for Valentine’s Day than any other holiday. The Society of American Florists estimates that 198 million roses were produced for Valentine’s Day last year. Many flowers are grown using harmful fertilizers and pesticides. These chemicals can cause pollution and biodiversity loss of various plants and animals. In addition, most flowers are imported which requires the use energy during transportation. When purchasing flowers, consider buying local, organic and/or fairtrade plants like at . Once the flowers have died, don’t throw them in the trash – compost them!

And then we have the ever-so-popular heart-shaped candy boxes. According to American Greetings, more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold. The problem is that a lot of the cocoa in the chocolates is produced using forced child labor. Some of these children are taken from their families and live on cocoa farms where they are often abused and live under inhumane conditions. When buying chocolates, purchase from Fair Trade and organic retailers. Once the candy has been eaten, send the wrappers to be recycled or get creative and make it into a long-lasting heart clock.

I’ll spare you any more gory details! But don’t despair, when it comes to Valentine’s gifts, there are always green alternatives… it just takes a little ingenuity and insider secrets.

 

 

Earth Expeditions Registration Open Through January 28, 2014

2014_EarthExpeditions_Flyer_Online-1I have had the most unforgettable experiences through the Earth Expeditions program. I traveled to Costa Rica, Belize and Guyana while pursing a master’s degree in biology with a focus on global ecology and environmental education. My personal studies and missions delve into insect conservation. It helped me to become motivated and have a vision for Green Matter. I highly recommend the program for anyone that wants to see the world, learn about conservation and find ways to make an impact.

Earth Expeditions offers global conservation and education programs through courses, degree programs and collaborations with other organizations in Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. The aim of the program is “to build an alliance of individuals with firsthand knowledge of inquiry-driven, community-based learning for the benefit of ecological communities, student achievement, and global understanding.”

The program is offered online so you can participate from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access. Students spend 10-11 days during the summer at one of 13 locations around the world – Kenya, Belize, Namibia, Guyana, Costa Rica, Thailand, India, Baja, Hawaii, Borneo, Australia, Amazon, Mongolia.

In addition to individual global field courses taken separately or abroad studies with undergraduate coursework, you can also opt to enter several master’s degree programs.

To learn more about this unique Web experience, visit.. Dragonfly Workshops

Download and share the Earth Expeditions flyer.. 2014 EarthExpeditions Flyer

New Initiative: My Bug Story – Global Digital Storytelling Community [VIDEO]

We want people all over the world to tell their stories!

Green Matter has recently launched a new initiative created to get people all over the world talking about bugs that they experience – My Bug Story.

Why?

Because bugs are everywhere and everybody’s got a bug story! So tell us your bug story by recording your own personal video and submitting it at MyBugStory.com. Be sure to check out the other bug story videos. Many are funny, educational, entertaining, gross and just plain weird.

What’s your story?

My Bug Story is on Facebook and Twitter too! Feel free to listen to other people’s stories and engage in fun conversations. You can add to and/or catch up on some stories by using our unique social media hashtag #mybugstory on Facebook, Twitter and other places that support hashtags.

 

How Green is Your State?

Ever wondered how green the state is where you live and/or work?

MPH Online, an independent online resource for public health students, published a cool, interactive map that shows each state’s rankings on seven environmental categories including mass transit, renewables, recycling, water quality, air quality, gas, carbon dioxide and overall.

Here you can see the environmental rank ratings for Ohio, my home state:

how green is your state (ohio results)

Click the map to find out your state’s environmental impact and let us know what you think.

 

“Entomology Inspires” at the USA Science and Engineering Festival

USA Science and Engineering FestivalInsects make up the largest and most diverse group of organisms on the planet. They are a critical part of the global ecosystem as well as nearly every aspect of biotechnology from agriculture to biomedical science. Also, insects are one of the best tools for inspiring an interest in science and nature in children and the general public.

Aaron T. Dossey, PhD, biochemist, post-doctoral entomological researcher and founder of All Things Bugs, is bringing together entomological organizations and institutions from across the country to show off everything that entomology and insects have to offer at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in D.C. from April 27-29, 2012. This is the first entomology section at what is considered to be the nation’s largest celebration of all things science and engineering!

Read about our ento section on SCIENCE BLOGS!

Over the past year, Green Matter, along with The Entomological Foundation, Daniella Martin of Girl Meets Bug and others, has partnered up with All Things Bugs in its search for entomology contributors, sponsors and volunteers… and we still need any help we can get. Donations of any kind – time, monetary, entomological and educational materials, brochures, etc. – are welcome and encouraged! 

>> CLICK HERE TO DONATE <<

Some of the sub-topics that will be covered by the themes of our booths include the following.

  1. Bees and Pollinators
  2. Insect Zoos and Live Insect Displays
  3. Cutting-Edge Insect Technology (cyborg beetles, genomics, biomedical science and agriculture)
  4. Insects as Human Food
  5. Biodiversity, Systematics and Taxonomy
  6. Entomological Education and Outreach

Share this information with other bug lovers and then plan that road trip to see all the cool bug stuff! To offer assistance or for more information, feel free to contact Michelle Harris at michelle@greenmatter.org.

 

All Things Bugs

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas – Santa’s Carbon Footprint [Infographic]

The boots that Santa has to fill for Christmas leave a HUGE footprint behind in the winter snow in December. Ethical Ocean took a look at Santa’s environmental impact and tried to help him run a slightly more eco-friendly operation. Learn the dirty truth about Santa’s 122 million-mile trip and the ways he and his elves can make more of a Green Christmas.

Santa's Carbon Footprint infographic

(click for larger view)

Autumn: A second spring where leaves are flowers

Autumn is in the air and there are many signs that are a cause for celebration! No longer is green the “in” color, but when it comes to autumn, that’s a good thing. Read more…

What are your favorite things about the fall season?

 

“Autumn is a second spring
when every leaf is a flower.”
~Albert Camus

fall leaf

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." ~Albert Camus