Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Spaz



Spaz is a song by funk rock/hip hop group N.E.R.D released as the second single from their third studio album Seeing Sounds. The song peaked at number six on the U.S. Billboard Bubbling under Hot 100 Singles chart upon release in 2008. The song was also performed at the 2008 BET Hip-Hop Awards with special guest appearances from Common, Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, T-Pain, & Swizz Beatz. All of them did not rap, but instead danced to the song onstage. The song was featured on NBA 2K9 & NBA Live 09 & Zune AD.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Pentatomidae


Pentatomidae, Greek pente meaning five and tomos meaning section, is a family of insects belonging to order Hemiptera including some of the stink bugs and shield bugs. The scutellum body is usually trapezoidal in shape, giving this family the name 'shield bug'. The tarsi are 3-segmented. The forewings of stink bugs are called hemelytra, with the basal half thickened while the apex is membranous (as are the hindwings). The name stink bug derives from their tendency to eject a foul smelling glandular substance secreted from pores in the thorax when disturbed; in some species the liquid contains cyanide compounds with a rancid almond scent. This is a form of antipredator adaptation.

The idiomatic term "stink bug" is also applied to distantly related species such as Boisea trivittata, the "boxelder bug", and entirely different types of insects such as beetles in the genus Eleodes ("pinacate beetles").

Many stink bugs and shield bugs are considered agricultural pest insects, because they can create large populations, they suck plant juices and damage crop production, and they are resistant to many pesticides. However, some genera of Pentatomidae are considered highly beneficial: the anchor bug, which can be distinguished by the red-orange anchor shape on the adult, is one example. It is a predator of other insects, especially Mexican bean beetles, Japanese beetles, and other pest insects.

Spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris preying on larvae of Epilachna varivestis

Anchor bug (Stiretrus anchorago) valued as a predator on crop pests.
They also are commonly eaten in Laos, and are regarded as delicious due to their extremely strong odor. The insects are sometimes pounded together with spices and a seasoning to prepare cheo, a paste mixed with chilies and herbs.

There are several subfamilies, of which the Australian Aphylinae is often given family status, but is here retained as a subfamily, following Grazia et al. (2008).

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Rufous-crowned Sparrow


The Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Aimophila ruficeps, is a smallish American sparrow. This passerine is primarily found across the Southwestern United States and much of the interior of Mexico, south to the transverse mountain range, and to the Pacific coast to the southwest of the transverse range. Its distribution is patchy, with populations often being isolated from each other. Twelve subspecies are generally recognized, though up to eighteen have been suggested. This bird has a brown back with darker streaks and gray underparts. The crown is rufous, and the face and supercilium are gray with a brown or rufous streak extending from each eye and a thick black malar streak.

These sparrows feed primarily on seeds in the winter and insects in the spring and summer. The birds are often territorial, with males guarding their territory through song and displays. Flight is awkward for this species, which prefers to hop along the ground for locomotion. They are monogamous and breed during spring. Two to five eggs are laid in the bird's nest, which is cup-shaped and well hidden. Adult sparrows are preyed upon by house cats and small raptors, while young may be taken by a range of mammals and reptiles. They have been known to live for up to three years, two months. Although the species has been classified as Least Concern, or unthreatened with extinction, some subspecies are threatened by habitat destruction and one may be extinct.