Monday, July 7, 2008

The Praying Mantis - Friend of Sunflower

(copied over from June 16th entry of Sunflower Report 2.0)

Ok, so I wanted to try raising praying mantises before I made the connection that the mantis is the friend of the sunflower — but that’s really cool — and it is true that praying mantises are voracious insect eaters.

I happened to be at a store called American Science and Surplus, a wonderful, dangerous place, with parts and odds and ends and some scientific and biological doodads from time to time — and I couldn’t help but notice a praying mantis “kit” from Worlds Alive. Then about a year later I got it out and actually ordered the mantis egg case — hmmm, about 2 months ago — and the first egg case was a dud — but they sent me another.

The package below is what you get in the mail — just an egg case — and then there’s the brochure from the original kit.

But if/when this second egg case actually results in praying mantises, then it will make for some interesting shenanigans.

Since you were kind enough to read this blog post, you might also enjoy taking a peek at — a game that a student from a class I taught last year created.

Over the course of the summer I suppose I’ll dig into the digital archives and dust off some of the ideas that were floating around my head last fall and winter for sunflower, mantis and other “characters”. And then it will become a little clearer. And I’ll categorize this entry as a “Pronkle” entry; and gradually things will start to make sense.

But just so you don’t think I’m kidding, here is a preview of one of the characters, “Grond” — basically a 3d drawing by Alexandra Constantin (who is a wonderful 3d artist, and who is available for freelance). And Grond, or Grondlet, was inspired by the sunflower of the same name from last summer. (see

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