Sarah Miller

Scientists are using new technology to identify zombie bees

Some of the scientists investigating the mysterious honeybee die-offs suspect zombie bees, bees that are being mind-controlled by parasitic scuttle fly maggots. Unlike human zombies, bee zombies (or, inevitably, “zombees”) do not have telltale tattered clothes or dark eye makeup. So in order to tell whether they’re dealing with bees or zombees, researchers are affixing the little guys with miniature radio trackers. Here’s how the zombee nonsense started: Last year, while San Francisco State scientist John Hafernik was looking for dead bugs to feed insects, he discovered some maggot-infested bee carcasses under a streetlight. (Picking up dead bugs that are …

An open letter to people who don’t like cheeseburgers, by a cheeseburger

Cheeseburgers have a lot of feelings, and those feelings are LIES.

New startup measures your home’s efficiency just by taking a picture

Forty percent of energy in the United States is used to heat buildings and homes. Only some of that goes to actually sparing your whiny ass from getting up and putting on a sweater, though. The rest — billions of dollars worth — just leaks out your windows and doors. But a new company could help you figure out where you’re losing energy and money, just by taking a snapshot of your house. It’s pretty important that we step up our  heating/cooling efficiency — because man, you weenies waste a LOT of energy while trying to ensure that the ambient …

How sea otters are saving the oceans

Sea otters are not only cute, they are important to the health of the ocean. This is how it works: When there are too many sea urchins, there is not enough kelp. When there is not enough kelp, there is more CO2 in the ocean, and that means that fish die and basically all hell breaks loose. But the otters eat the sea urchins, thus keeping the rest of the ocean in balance.

Another day, another animal stuffed down a man’s pants

The slender loris has endured a mighty struggle to survive. This struggle generally involves things like poaching by crazy people who think lorises can cure things like impotence and asthma, but on Monday, that struggle involved a lone loris’ attempt to breathe while inside of a man’s pants. The man in question was attempting to smuggle the loris out of India by sticking it in his underwear. Nothing would delight us more than to tell you this incident, at New Delhi International Airport, was unusual. Unfortunately, as long as there have been rare animals, there have been humans stuffing rare …

Reality TV can now give you hantavirus (Update: Or not)

You know those nice, selfless, saintly people on TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive, the ones that help their absolutely insane and generally repulsive neighbors clean out 46 years of TV Guides/foot soaking machines/animal carcasses? And you’ve always thought, shit, I would never do that, I must be a selfish asshole? Well, you may well be, but it turns out that you are also smart, because one of the people who cleaned out one of these properties in Texas contracted hantavirus in the process.