Other Things

Sometimes, I have items that don’t have anything to do with the local bugs, but I’d like to post them anyway. So this is a spot for such items.

Chocolate Ozymandias Easter candy meets classic poetry.

X is for Xenarthran, a children’s alphabet book made up of nothing but xenarthrans (armadillos, anteaters, and sloths. Mostly armadillos). My attempt at curing the “X problem” that afflicts so many other alphabet books.


Science fiction story ideas I’ll almost certainly never use myself, presented for your amusement. Just because I don’t have any plots in mind to use them with, that’s no reason not to write up some of the background details, right?


So, why does a can of soda in the freezer tend to explode, anyway?


7 Responses leave one →
  1. September 5, 2012

    Hi Tim,

    This is regarding an iPad game app that teaches kids about preservation of biodiversity through insect ecology. I hope you get a chance to check it out! -Mike

    Xylem and Phloem’s Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game for iPad rolls out a truly unique educational experience


    Santa Cruz, Ca – 8/14/12 – Xylem and Phloem LLC is proud to announce Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game, for the iPad. Isopod is a deeply integrated synthesis between arcade quality gameplay and scientific encyclopedia, with the intention of inspiring a fascination with insects and their relationship to a variety of life science subjects.

    Playing the game is instant access to fun: The Isopod rolls up into ball and is then controlled by accelerometer-based “tilt-physics” that turns the iPad into a game controller. As the user rolls and bumps their way through levels, new environments filled with indigenous creatures appear. Every interactive element has it’s own set of topic pages, and new topics open as the player succeeds in gameplay.

    The free version features science and history from Santa Cruz, California USA. The game focuses on saving the Federally endangered Onlone TIger Beetle from hungry wolf spiders. The Santa Cruz level also includes the invasive Argentine ant, the beneficial Seven Spotted Ladybug, and the critically endangered Smith’s Blue Butterfly, all native to the Santa Cruz area. Topics covered include everything previously mentioned as well as a natural history lesson on the native Ohlone people, from which the Ohlone Tiger Beetle got its name.

    The full version is available $2.99, and features 24 photorealistic, interactive creatures inhabiting their natural environments.

    Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game also comes in a Teacher’s Version for $4.99, that has all environments, levels and topics already opened for immediate access to all materials.

    For even more in-depth study on the app’s topics, Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game has an integrated Pinterest board featuring videos, website links and gorgeous photographs from professional sources around the world.

    And as an additional educational feature, Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game offers a nearly-60 page printable curriculum pdf, available for free download, which includes crossword puzzles, matching tests and many other hands-on activity worksheets.

    Designed for gamers and learners ages 10 to 110, Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game for iPad explores 24 scientific topics, with a deep focus on the world of entomology and insects. Also covered are topics such as bioluminescence, mycology, camouflage and more. The topics covered are authored by a variety of professionals, entomologists, researchers, biologists, teachers as well as Xylem and Phloem LLC staff.

    Core features of Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game for iPad

    * Classic arcade-style gameplay that immediately puts a smile on your face, without compromising educational content.
    • 24 photorealistic, interactive creatures inhabiting their natural environments.
    • Over 24 natural science topics of study, authored by a variety of industry professionals.
    * Over 60 pages of educational content within the app.
    * Over 50 pages of separate, downloadable and printable curriculum, sourcing data from within the app.
    * Integrated Pinterest board with over 170 pins of support material, covering all topics within the app.

    About Xylem and Phloem LLC.

    Since 1996, Mike “Mazinga” Parisi has worked on countless video game projects for such companies as Disney, Dreamworks and Nickelodeon. Refocusing from traditional entertainment to mobile learning, Mike formed Xylem and Phloem LLC, as way to inject his expansive knowledge of game creation into the exploding genre of educational applications. It is his goal to create learning experiences that kids would voluntarily choose over mainstream games…..because they love them. Xylem and Phloem LLC was founded in 2011, and Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game for iPad, is it’s flagship product.






  2. March 27, 2017

    Not intended for publication.

    Stumbled on this site while seeking an example of a black colored caddis…just like I remember as a child on a lake near Traverse City (down b’low). Amazing site! I’ll be back to wander around some more. Thanks for the potential weeks of entertaining and educational time.

  3. December 18, 2018

    Hi Tim

    Amazing photos and interesting blogs just stumbled upon your site last week. I think I followed a link from the 6legs2many website.

    I have started a small a company focusing on tick surveillance and tick-borne disease prevention in Canada. It is called Bullseye Tick Supplies and Consulting Inc. and can be found at ticksurveillance.com . I see you have a link to Bioquip supplies noted under the ARTHROPOD WEB PAGES. Can you let me know to process to get my company listed in this section as well.
    Thank you.

    Paul Proctor


    416 346 8118

  4. Kelsey Farr permalink
    August 12, 2019

    Hello there,

    I’ve been a grand fan for quite a while now, but I can’t help but notice that you seem stressed lately. For me, when I am feeling down like a clown I like to change things up! I’m here today to suggest a name change; from Timothy to FRANK.


  5. Darlin Aviles permalink
    August 19, 2020


    How are you doing!

    I’d love to contribute an article to the Backyard Arthropod Project blog, is that possible? I’m part of the content team at Go-Forth.

    I’m happy to send over some ideas, what are you thinking?


  6. Ryan Russell permalink
    August 28, 2021

    How do I post a picture on here? I found a massive horse fly in my mid Michigan yard and I’m pretty sure it’s not only the largest one ever seen but the quality of the picture is fantastic.

  7. August 28, 2021

    I’m not set up for people other than me to post pictures.
    A better choice is to go to bugguide.net, create a free account for yourself, and upload your picture there.

    As for your specific horse fly, did it look like this one? http://somethingscrawlinginmyhair.com/2011/11/05/giant-horsefly/

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