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    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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A Sign of Stupidity

Posted by Richard Conniff on June 21, 2012

I saw this billboard recently while driving in Northern Virginia.  You would think that someone in the extermination business would know that the animal in the middle (“…ugh!”) is not in fact a “bug” at all.

It’s a spider.  (“Lemme see, oh yeah, eight legs.”)

And spiders generally do a better job than exterminators at getting rid of insect  pests.

Maybe that’s why they want to kill them?

2 Responses to “A Sign of Stupidity”

  1. hanmeng said
    Definition of BUG
    1a : an insect or other creeping or crawling invertebrate (as a spider or centipede)

    • An ignorant definition, especially from a business that claims to specialize in the topic. Here’s another readily available definition that gets much closer to the taxonomic point:
        Example Sentences Origin
      1    [buhg] Show IPA noun, verb, bugged, bug·ging.
      Also called true bug, hemipteran, hemipteron. a hemipterous insect.
      (loosely) any insect or insectlike invertebrate.
      Informal . any microorganism, especially a virus: He was laid up for a week by an intestinal bug.
      Informal . a defect or imperfection, as in a mechanical device, computer program, or plan; glitch: The test flight discovered the bugs in the new plane.
      Informal .
      a person who has a great enthusiasm for something; fan or hobbyist: a hi-fi bug.
      a craze or obsession: He’s got the sports-car bug.

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