Museum Month: Cockroach Hall Of Fame & Museum, Plano, Texas

We’ve covered some pretty weird museums this month here on Gadling. One that may take the prize for the weirdest is the Cockroach Hall Of Fame & Museum in Plano, Texas.

Museum curator and professional exterminator Michael Bohdan opened the museum so he could educate people about a bug that’s got a serious knack for survival. As Bohdan points out, cockroaches have been around more than 350 million years and survived a lot of Earth’s upheavals that have killed off lesser species, so we might be able to learn something from them.

Wearing his roach-lined fedora, Bohdan takes visitors around the displays, showing off little dressed up bugs such as Marilyn Monroach and Ross Peroach. There’s even a Liberoachie that plays the piano. More serious displays tell about roach biology and the amazing ways they’ve adapted to a wide range of habitats.

For more strange educational experiences, check out more of our articles on weird museums!

Name a cockroach after your lover: Valentine’s Day at the Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo has come up with a good way to show that special someone you care–name a giant cockroach after them.

The BBC reports that for ten bucks you can buy the rights to one of the zoo’s 58,000 giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches and name it after that special someone who bugs you more than anybody else. The zoo says they sold 1,000 dedications in the first day of the promotion. Perhaps their tagline helped: “Flowers wilt. Chocolates melt. Roaches are forever.”

Indeed they are. They’ve been around since before the dinosaurs and they’ll probably be around after we’re long gone. The Bronx Zoo has some interesting facts about the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, like that they can grow to three inches long and the hiss they make can be as loud as a lawnmower.

They’re nutritious too. Check out our 8 bug-eating videos including two on eating cockroachs. Also check out the far less disgusting but much more educational the video below.

[Photo courtesy user Husond via Wikimedia Commons]

From the New Europe: Eating bugs and worms because you can afford it

The luxury restaurant market in the Czech Republic is apparently looking for new, creative ways to cater to their clients and be “distinguishable from others.”

The strategy? Putting insects as an item on luxury restaurants menus, the Prague Daily Monitor reports. The Brno restaurant manager Martin Kobylka says: “We want to shock people. A lobster, a crab or a crawfish are offered everywhere, but a cricket in caramel or a chocolate cake with a cockroach are unavailable in this country for now.” (I love that the name Kobylka actually means grasshopper in Czech. It is about the coolest name for a guy who wants to market mainstream insect-eating.)

Chocolate cake with a cockroach sounds like a delightful way to end a first date. Especially if you are really not that into her.

Blogger Kent Wien

Introducing the newest member of the Gadling team… Kent Wien

Since air travel is such a significant part of most of our lives, we’re bringing on Kent to share his experiences as a commercial pilot with Gadling. Kent will be writing about each of his trips, giving you an idea of what life is like at the pointy end of an airliner. Keep an eye out for his “Cockpit Chronicles” feature, and follow along with him in the air and on the ground.

1. Where was your photo taken:
38,000 feet, on the way back from San Juan to Boston in a Boeing 757.

2. Where do you live now: Exeter, New Hampshire

3. Scariest airline flown: I was once a flight engineer (3rd pilot who sits sideways) on a 727 for a small charter/freight company that operated out of Dallas. We were contracted to fly within Alaska for a summer to haul fish and cargo throughout the state. Due to what was later blamed on improper maintenance, we landed in Kotzebue with all main tires locked up. The tires never moved while we skidded down the runway. That got my attention. I left shortly after and a few weeks after my departure the FAA shut the airline down for a month due to maintenance violations.

4. Favorite city/country/place: I suppose most people have a soft spot in their heart for their hometown. I was lucky enough to grow up in Anchorage, Alaska.

5. Most remote corner of the globe visited: A Soviet ice camp 160 miles north of Barrow, Alaska. We brought two Norwegian scientists to this huge floating complex complete with temporary buildings that had telephones between them, a cafeteria and dozens of Russians who traded with us relentlessly. I suppose I’ll have to post a feature on that experience — just in case anyone else happens to find themselves floating on a Russian ice camp.

6. Favorite guidebook series: Since I occasionally get called out at the last minute on a trip somewhere that I’ve never visited, I like to load up the page of that city on my laptop or iPhone and take it with me. I’ve found that Wikitravel cuts right to the important points of a city and it’s a good start when looking for something to do.

7. Worst hotel experience: During training in Texas I once found nearly 20 cockroaches in a florescent light fixture above my bed. I took the light apart and dumped them into the toilet. The next day there were 20 more. I did this ritual every day for the entire month I was there. We stay in some pretty nice hotels while on trips, but for some reason our training hotels rate at the bottom of the scale.

8. Leeches or mosquitoes: Mosquitoes have a new talent. They’re killing people. Even when I was living on a lake as a kid, I would’ve preferred leaches over mosquitos any day.

9. Worst place to catch a stomach bug: In the cockpit on a flight from Las Vegas to Dallas with the above mentioned charter airline. It was my one and only experience with food poisoning. I doubt it was fun for the other two pilots.

10. How did you get started traveling? I was fortunate enough to have a dad who was also an airline pilot when I was growing up. One day he got a call to deliver a 737 from Seattle to London. My sister and I convinced him to take the trip, since we knew it was our opportunity to fly in an empty jet and even get a chance to ride in the cockpit. We spent a few days in London, saw some plays and really enjoyed our first taste of international travel. I later went to France for summer exchange student program and it was these two experiences that inspired me to fly internationally for a living.