SPEAKER 1: This is a production of Cornell University.
SPEAKER 2: Cornell University is, in the interest of public safety, hereby proclaimed under martial law. Do not sleep with your mouth open. Yes. Cities, nations, even civilization itself, threatened with annihilation. And what are these horrible beasts that threaten all of mankind?
SPEAKER 3: I'm a bug.
JEFF SCOTT: So this is Insectapalooza 2007. We have three floors of the building that are running with displays, almost all faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students are participating. We have exotic insects from all over the world. We started more modestly four years ago, just to see how it would work. And it exceeded our wildest expectations. And last year, we had over 3,000 visitors. And so it's one of the more spectacular outreach events that the college holds.
The activities for children start from things like building bugs, face painting, things like that. They range from displays of integrated pest management to the diversity of insects.
SPEAKER 4: They can't understand English.
SPEAKER 5: Probably not.
JEFF SCOTT: We have a handful of maggots display. That's always a very big, popular event. Almost a Fear Factor type-- do you dare to plunge your hand into this bucket of maggots?
SPEAKER 5: It's a real bug.
RHONDA HAM: We have chocolate chip cookies with roasted, salted crickets. So you ca, if you choose to eat around the cricket, you can. But we encourage people to just try it. To me, it tastes kind of like a big Rice Krispie treat. A Rice Krispie puff.
JEFF SCOTT: Well, I think another favorite is the insect zoo, because we have some things you can actually have hands on. We have, for example, some walking sticks that are enormous.
RHONDA HAM: This is a New Guinea walking stick.
SPEAKER 7: You want to touch?
SPEAKER 8: No.
SPEAKER 7: No?
JEFF SCOTT: We have several spiders that are not hands on, but they're enormous spiders. Tarantulas and others that are very interesting. We have the deadliest scorpion on the planet.
RHONDA HAM: There's sort of this fascination and kind of this fear of these insects and creatures. Spiders, especially, kind of arouse that. And I'm not sure why insects are so different than spiders. But a lot of people have this fear to spiders, that they don't necessarily have to insects. So we kind of combine them all and say, appreciate them for what they are. Look through the cage, look at them, and we explain some of the history and why they're important, why we actually need them.
JEFF SCOTT: We have the cockroach race down there.
SPEAKER 9: One, two, three!
JEFF SCOTT: You can determine which cockroach you think's getting through the track faster. And it's like NASCAR with six legs.
SPEAKER 10: Hold to the end of the stick here and we'll put this all the way up. Bzzz. You are now a honey bee.
RHONDA HAM: We hope people have fun and enjoy themselves for a day out, but we also hope they take something home and just know that the appreciation of insects and what they do for us, some of the different things that they're important in our lives for.
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Several thousand people attended the carnival-esque Insectapalooza to explore the world of creeping, crawling and flying insects. The event not only featured Cornell's insect collection of more than 5 million specimens but also zoo rooms with live specimens, a butterfly room, a ladybug room and cockroach races.
Entomology professors and student volunteers were on hand to run activities and provide information about the world of insects.