Thursday, March 28, 2013

No I Did Not Make That Up: Flesh Eating Beetles

(Photo: Kyle McDaniel, The Wisconsin State Journal)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the following sentences may be among the greatest opening lines ever written . . .

Beneath the soil where college students trod each day, there is a chamber that creeps and crawls and writhes. Here, the humid air is sweet with the odor of rotten flesh and thousands of bugs devour once-living animals, piece by piece.

Now that's what I call journalism!

If you've read The Darkness Dwellers then you know there's a scene involving dermestid beetles. These ravenous little creatures can strip the tissue off a carcass in no time. They can also "crawl into cracks and crevasses where human hands cannot reach." Awesome, right?

Hungry for more? Check out this article, which includes photos and a video of the dermestidae in action!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Welcome Back! Why Thank You! Where Were You? Nowhere Special. Shall We Get Back to Business? Yes, Please. Excellent.

In 1990, two men dressed as police officers stole $500 million in art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The thieves were never caught (though police may finally have a suspect), and the daring heist has become the stuff of legend. And I don't say that last part lightly. The theft helped inspire key scenes in The Empress's Tomb!

Want to know more? Of course you do. The magnificent Chart Girl has put together this lovely diagram that will give you all the key details. How are Matt Damon and Ben Affleck involved? Well you'll just have to read it and find out!

Click here for a readable chart! BTW, aren't charts wonderful? (Advance warning: There's a teensy bit of foul language. So avoid if you're not a fan of four letter words.)