Saturday, September 5, 2015

Getting Up Close with Roaches

Norrabhudit - iStockphoto/Getty Images

There’s something about cockroaches that makes most people squirm with disgust and many even fear them. I suppose this katsaridaphobia is understandable but I venture to suggest that is because we are ignorant about these maligned insects.

A zoo in Yamaguchi in western Japan is trying very hard to show the cockroach in a different (read, positive) light. Yup, the world’s most hated insect is getting a makeover.

At Shunanshi Tokuyama Zoo, a cockroach exhibition has just opened. The noble objective is to try to persuade the general public that cockroaches aren’t really all that bad.

After all, they’re extremely fast, famed (and reviled) for their ability to survive a nuclear holocaust and have been around since the dinosaurs. More importantly, they’re actually playing an often-overlooked but crucial role in the food chain consuming decaying carcasses and dead plants.

Just so you know, there are a whopping 4,000 species of cockroach on the planet. The zoo has about 200 individual cockroaches from 15 different species on display, and staff say the exhibition is already a hit with the public.

Visitors can go up close to a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (Scientific name: Gromphadorhina portentosa) that can grow up to an enormous length of 7 cm – and even watch five-way roach races. Isn’t that awesome?

Image credit:

On Tuesday, I attended the Speecom Toastmasters meeting in KL’s Sri Damansara Club. I was a speech evaluator. And I obtained the most votes for Best Evaluator and Best Table Topics Speaker. Kindly, check out photos of the said meeting:

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