978-0-309-07081-2 / 9780309070812

Buzzwords: A Scientist Muses on Sex, Bugs, and Rock 'N' Roll


Publisher:Natl Academy Pr



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About the book:

What sort of person devotes her life to the study of bugs? How do you picture your average everyday entomologist? In Buzzwords, May Berenbaum blows away any stereotypes you might have with wild and witty short takes on all things entomological.

One of the nation's leading entomologists, Berenbaum is not only fascinated by insects but also shares her long-standing enthusiasm with a brand of humor rarely encountered in a serious scientist. She'll have you laughing out loud -- and nervously checking for bugs crawling up your sleeve.

Whether discussing the longevity of ants (the oldest one on record is 15 years old), the sexual habits of dragonflies (the whole thing is often so brutal that it leaves the female disfigured and the male clinging to life), termite flatulence (cows can't -- and shouldn't -- hold a candle to these bugs when it comes to methane production), or how best to remove a cockroach from the ear canal (two schools of thought: freeze 'em versus flood 'em), Berenbaum's delightful new book is equal parts humor and science.

Berenbaum, a noted scientist in a field that doesn't always gets the respect it deserves, shows us that there's a fun and even freaky side of life with insects. From the role that insects play in popular culture to the creepier crawlier bits of insect lore, you'll chuckle all the way to the last page. But Berenbaum has the last laugh, giving powerful lessons in the spectacular diversity of the insect world and the nature of scientific discovery, cleverly packaged as amusing observations on subjects far and wide.

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