They came. They Shrieked. They mated. And then they were gone. We tweated, Facebook wall-posted and blogged about them. We named ourselves after them. (E.g., CicadaMania, CicadaPhobia, BuzzCicada, etc, are all well-known Twitter handle and Internet pseudonyms.) We created new word for their visit: Swarmageddon.
But there is an eternal argument that will never go away, even long after the Brood II swarmageddon’s over. And that is the pronunciation of the word “cicada.”
So do you say si-KAY-da, or si-KAH-da? Before you jump to your quick conclusion, watch a short and fun video of Zoe and Jennifer, who cross swords in a you-say-to-MAY-to-and-I-say-to-MAH-to duel: (Scroll down to the “Book Description” section to watch the video.)
While you are here, cast your vote on whether “cicada” should be pronounced as “si-KAH-da” or “si-KAY-da.”
A reader, by the nickname of “Happy Mom,” has posted a review on “My Life as a Cicada.” It is a two-part review, with comments from her five-year-old and herself. The review can be found here: http://amzn.to/18aKPtI.
I found the five-year-old’s review particularly encouraging and inspiring. It says:
“That story is cool. The teeth on the bad termites: I didn’t like them. They scared me a little bit. The whole story is about sometimes when I meet new things, not being accustomed to them, I’m afraid like the cicada. I liked the whole rest of it, too. I wish I could see it again someday. And I love the whole story.”
In the book, I portray the termites as the street bullies and a symbol for the menace of the subterranean world. Apparently, that’s taking effect on the juvenile readers. And if I’ve ever successfully packaged a polemic message in the book, it has been summarized well by this five-year-old: it’s about our fear for strangers.
Just like what Epictetus told us: What scares us is not the things themselves; rather, it is our perception of things. With “My Life as a Cicada,” I intend to present these infrequent yet en masse visitors as vulnerable creatures.
Confucius says: Isn’t it a joy when a visitation from afar is upon us? Let us rejoice at the sight of cicadas. The swarm of these mysterious bugs reflects the wisdom of God or Nature. We should accord them the same peace and respect we do to God’s or Nature’s other creations.
The latest release from Red Lantern Press, a children’s illustration book by M. Eigh, titled “My Life as a Cicada,” has jumped to the #2 spot in the “Bugs and Spiders” category on Amazon today, as shown in the following screen capture.
Currently, the book is on a 99¢ special. You can grab a copy here if you act quickly.
Robin Lee, Robin Lee, who wears Amazon’s coveted “TOP 500 REVIEWER” badge, has read “My Life as a Cicada” together with her niece and given it a professional review. She’s given the book a 5-star rating. You can see her review here: http://amzn.to/16mmJYX.
Robin Lee, who wears Amazon’s coveted “TOP 500 REVIEWER” badge, has read “My Life as a Cicada” together with her niece and given it a professional review. She’s given the book a 5-star rating. You can see her review here: http://amzn.to/16mmJYX.
The following is the review Robin has posted on Amazon, verbatim:
I downloaded this book to read with my niece…School is over but this has been a topic the teachers have been talking to the students about in her class the last few weeks….This story about the “Cicada Bug” and it’s life cycle is adorable..It’s the easiest way to explain to little ones about these very large and loud bugs with big red eyes that they may be scared of…Especially, when they start hearing the shrilling sounds, or finding one lying on the ground…Beautiful, bright colored, large illustrations showed up really nice on her kindle….Plus the story rhymes, which are her favorite type of books and make her giggle….
The story starts out with a baby nymph, crying underground knowing she is now 17 yrs old and wishing she could be a beautiful butterfly instead….She knows once she changes she will be ugly and scary looking to people…This will show how cute they really look and how harmless they really are…The “Cicadas” tell children they more scared themselves because of natural predators like termites and birds….
This sweet book will show you that a “picture is worth a thousand words…..My niece loved it…..I highly recommend this book for all children…..
“My Life as a Cicada” by M. Eigh, free on Amazon June 21, 2013
There has been way too much hype. There has been way too much contagious emtomophobia spreading in the American populace. What is the big deal about the swarm of cicadas? Why is it that everyone feels so justified on Twitter, Facebook or other social media when they express their disgust toward the cicadas?
Confucius told us to rejoice when a visitation from afar is upon us. There is a great deal of wisdom in his advice: there is always a reason for something to be here with us, to be our company, or simply to be in our way. There is a great deal of logic in the way nature dictates how everything work together, how we humans and other animals fit into the food chain. If God created us, he/she also created cicadas. Much as we humans have a reason to be here, cicadas do too.
With “My Life as a Cicada,” I want to show the vulnerability of this bug; the vulnerability of all life forms. This book elegantly illustrates the fascinating life cycle of cicadas along the plot of a dramatized story: the long journey of a cicada nymph trapped underground for seventeen years; the friendly and hostile subterranean creatures he encounters; and last but not least, his triumphant debut in the above-ground world of the sun, the moon and open air to fly in.
This book portrays the natural drama that transpires in a periodical cicada’s mysterious life cycle. People say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, this book has about 20 pictures, and that’s worth 20,000 words!
I woke up to some blessing this morning. Robin Lee, who wears Amazon’s coveted “TOP 500 REVIEWER” badge, has read “The Cicada Survival Guide” and given it a professional review. You can see the book’s review page here: http://amzn.to/10Vk4lc.
Robin said the following about the book:
This author wrote an excellent novella in a unique way..It is a mixed recipe, of an escaped man made virus, government conspiracy, cover-ups, and the emergence of Brood II….Which Scientists predict this year, the Cicadas will be in colossal numbers….It’s not just a survival guide, but a possible real depiction of an ecological disaster…This story is dark humor, intriguing, gross, thought provoking and real horrifying….The characters could have been fleshed out more but for this part of the story they are not the main point……Each new chapter is told from the characters view point…..
Through the yrs a biological infectious agent has seeped into the fungus of the trees…The Cicadas have been feeding off this for 17 dormant years….It has been named “Troma” and the bugs are brand new mutations, that Americans are unaware of…This new species smells the scent of blood and seeks it out…If you have a open cut, you better hide, because this is a blood born pathogen of death….The symptoms are: severe itchiness, complete disintegration of your body, eventually takes command of your brain and drives you insane….It takes 72 hrs for the full effect….
This is not a zombie novel because the infected don’t reanimate, they just become deadly killers in every way….
Warning: If you see a large Cicada with bright red blood colored metallic wings, instead of their green ones, you better run fast…..
This novel was just excellent.I hope this author thinks about continuing this as a series for the summer it has really great potential..I personally would like to see a Part 2 and 3……
Any day now, billions of winged insects will rise up and swarm over the entire East Coast? Are we ready?
Troma is ready for us. She’s been underground for 17 years, while inside of her a deadly virus is slowly turning this queen cicada into a cannibalistic mastermind with one goal: To infect the human race.
It’s them against us in this fun sci-fi novella, which also includes the adventures of a CIA agent, Russian counterspy and unlucky FBI officer as they battle the swarm. Recipes are included for those inclined to culinary adventure.
M. Eigh was born in China and, before getting an MBA, he received a BSc from China’s prestigious Tsinghua University, where most modern day Chinese ruling elites obtain their academic pedigree. But the alma mater is about the only thing he has in common with the techno-dictators of today’s China.
In his younger days, M. Eigh was a published poet in Chinese; at the age of fifteen, he won the first-place award in a prefecture-wide youth literature competition. He can be found at http://m.eigh.com.
He’s on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/by.m.eigh.
He tweets at: https://twitter.com/m_eigh
“This author wrote an excellent novella in a unique way.”
Well, the full title of this post should be “The Silver Lining of a Swarmageddon for a Third World Country.” According to a White Paper released by UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), insects are perfectly edible and should make up a good portion of mankind’s diet. If everyone in America substitutes a beef burger with a handful of insects once a month, our collective carbon footprint will be reduced by a whopping 5%! (Not an official statistics, just my own guesstimate. )
The FAO report, entitled “Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security” and available online at http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e.pdf, unequivocally lists cicada as one of the premium choice of an insect diet. On page fifteen of the report, it states, under the heading of “The role of insects”:
It is estimated that insects form part of the traditional diets of at least 2 billion people. More than 1 900 species have reportedly been used as food. Insects deliver a host of ecological services that are fundamental to the survival of humankind. They also play an important role as pollinators in plant reproduction, in improving soil fertility through waste bioconversion,and in natural biocontrol for harmful pest species, and they provide a variety of valuable products for humans such as honey and silk and medical applications such as maggot therapy.
In addition, insects have assumed their place in human cultures as collection items and ornaments and in movies, visual arts and literature. Globally, the most commonly consumed insects are beetles (Coleoptera) (31 percent), caterpillars (Lepidoptera) (18 percent) and bees, wasps and ants (Hymenoptera) (14 percent). Following these are grasshoppers, locusts and crickets (Orthoptera) (13 percent), cicadas, leafhoppers, planthoppers, scale insects andtrue bugs (Hemiptera) (10 percent), termites (Isoptera) (3 percent), dragonflies (Odonata) (3 percent), flies (Diptera) (2 percent) and other orders (5 percent).
The FAO report is literally littered with the word “cicada”, “cicadas” and “cicadidae.” Apparently, in many countries or regions, cicadas constitute part of people’s regular diet. The report cites Lao People’s Democratic Republic, island of New Guinea as examples of places where people eat cicadas. The report even showcases the “diversity” of insects that go into people’s diet in the Central African Republic, where cicadas and crickets, along with some minor bugs, constitute a whopping 8% of their insectile diet.
Now that we’ve got the “are cicadas really safe to eat” question out of the way, it’s time to get prepared for the sarmageddon. As Confucius says, if you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em!
Tomorrow, I will post a killer cicada recipe. Or you can check out the many fascinating cicada recipes recorded in my Sci Fi novella, “The Cicada Survival Guide,” now on sale on Amazon.
• Place the cornstarch, eggs and bread crumbs in separate containers. Coat the cicadas with cornstarch; then eggs, then bread crumbs.
• In a deep frying pan or wok, heat oil to about 400°(if the oil starts to smoke, you’ve heated it to too high a temperature.) Fry coated cicadas in few batches, for 5 minutes or until golden brown each. Drain on paper towels.
Serve the poppers with ketchup or cocktail sauce.