Science News Roundup: Bon Voyage, Happy Feet, and Hello, Cyberbugs

An Emperor Penguin dives into the water somewh...

Not Happy Feet... yet.

From Radio New Zealand comes word that Happy Feet, the Emperor Penguin who was stranded on a New Zealand beach last June, is finally on his way home in a specially designed ice crate. Despite encountering some rough sailing conditions south of New Zealand, New Zealand’s largest research vessel, the RV Tangaroa, is expected to deliver Happy Feet to more congenial (for him anyway) sub-Antarctic waters sometime today or tomorrow.  Safe travel, big guy. We at Caterpickles Central will miss you.

Don’t these people watch horror movies?: From Caterpickles Senior Contributing Editor Michael Howell comes an update on DARPA’s latest initiative.

File under “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” … Military research agency DARPA harvests biomechanical energy to power cybernetic flying beetles.  No, seriously.  Cybernetic beetles. Flying ones. Why do they need to harvest this energy? To power the insect-mind-control devices, of course.  Seriously? Seriously. Haven’t these guys seen a single horror movie? Ever?


Actual journal article:

We at Caterpickles Central gently submit that DARPA may wish to view some of these fine titles before getting too excited about their new line of research.

So, what about you? What’s your favorite bug-based horror flick?


About Shala Howell

Writer of things ranging from optical network switching white papers to genetic testing patient education materials to historical fiction set in an 1880s asylum. When I’m not scratching my head over pesky characters who refuse to do things how I want them done or dreaming of my next book (which will of course be much easier to write than the current one), my writerly self can be found blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at, or musing about books and the writing life at
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5 Responses to Science News Roundup: Bon Voyage, Happy Feet, and Hello, Cyberbugs

  1. Victoria says:

    I had a similar reaction to your Senior Contributing Editor last month when I heard about advances in cloud seeding for purposes of producing rain. One of the scientists involved hypothesized about trying to end the heat bubble over the Central US. Luckily the NOAA representative who was taking part in the discussion didn’t seem that keen on the idea. Seriously? Hasn’t anyone ready any kind of Sci-Fi/ Fantasy where someone tried to control or manipulate the weather?! It never ends well!


  2. Well, no bug-based horror flicks for me, but how about some other “what could possibly go wrong” news?

    Meat-eating robots? Check. (

    Teaching an AI to play a world-domination computer game by having it read the manual? Check. (


    • shalahowell says:

      The string of comments to this post read like a great plot for a new disaster movie — preferably one that culminates in a showdown between the mind-controlled sharks and meat-eating robots.


  3. Pingback: Science News Roundup: Raptors, Ammonites and Preschoolers, Oh My! | CATERPICKLES

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