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Insects have been shaping our ecological world and plant life for over 400 million years. In fact, our world is essentially run by bugs – there are 1.4 billion for every human on the planet. In Bugged, journalist David MacNeal takes us on an off-beat scientific journey that weaves together history, travel, and culture in order to define our relationship with these mini-monsters.
MacNeal introduces a cast of bug-lovers – from a woman facilitating tarantula sex and an exterminator nursing bedbugs (on his own blood), to a kingpin of the black market insect trade and a "maggotologist" – who obsess over the crucial role insects play in our everyday lives.
Just like bugs, Bugged is global in its scope, diversity, and intrigue. Hands-on with pet beetles in Japan, releasing lab-raised mosquitoes in Brazil, beekeeping on a Greek island, or using urine and antlers as means of ancient pest control, MacNeal's quest appeals to the squeamish and brave alike. Demonstrating insects' amazingly complex mechanics, he strings together varied interactions we humans have with them, like extermination, epidemics, and biomimicry. And, when the journey comes to an end, MacNeal examines their commercial role in our world in an effort to help us ultimately cherish (and maybe even eat) bugs.
1. A Cabinet of Curiosity
2. Buried Cities
3. "Even Educated Fleas Do It"
4. The Art of Epidemics
5. Vamonos Pest!
6. You Just Squashed the Cure to Cancer
7. The Smallest Witness
8. RoboBugs, Microdrones and the Insect Engineers
9. Executives of Big Bug Biz
10. How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Eat the Bug
11. Tracing the Collapse
David MacNeal is a journalist orbiting the fringes of science, technology and culture. His articles have appeared in Wired, Outside, 5280, and other publications. Aside from geeking out over comic books, he bakes exquisite pies (especially blueberry) and drinks an array of whiskey. Sometimes the glass contains bugs. He currently lives in Denver.
"Entertaining [...] [Macneal's] enthusiasm for insects is contagious."
– Science Magazine
"A joy-filled dose of science."
– Library Journal
"An enjoyable and important immersion [...] MacNeal brings boundless enthusiasm to this survey of the insect world."
"MacNeal delivers a joy-filled dose of science, reminding readers that the strange and alien creatures in our midst are not to be feared, but celebrated."
– Publisher's Weekly
"The world of insects as described in magnificent detail in Bugged is creepy, beautiful, icky and amazing."
– Penny Le Couteur, author of Napoleon's Button