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Nina In New York: Some Rare Good PR For Roaches

(credit: Alper Bozkurt / North Carolina State University)

(credit: Alper Bozkurt / North Carolina State University)

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
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By Nina Pajak

Here is a list of things I can’t imagine will ever bring me joy or serve a purpose in my life beyond distressing me:

  • Rats
  • Cockroaches
  • The Westboro Baptist Church
  • Photos of gruesome personal injuries shared on social media
  • Uggs + mini-skirts (Is it cold out? Is it warm? Do you live in LA where it’s always at 75°+ anyway? Probably.)
  • Bed bugs
  • Roasted red peppers (I know, I’m the only one)
  • Short-sleeved turtleneck sweaters (I defy you to name a climate in which this makes sense without at least two other outfit-modifiers.)
  • Children’s sneakers with little wheels built into them
  • Mosquitoes

Did you notice how cockroaches is crossed off the list? I know, it was a curveball to me, too. But wouldn’t you know it, some brave scientists went and found a way to make the suckers actually useful (though no less hideously disgustingly terrifying).

To boil down all the technical yakkityyakyak, I will paraphrase the NBC News story (written by someone whose name is seriously John Roach) thusly: someone invented a tiny backpack, sized to fit the bugs, which allows humans to control the roach’s movement via remote-control. I would describe it more, but looking at the picture for more than a half of a second triggers my gag reflex. I wish I was exaggerating.

Then again, if I found myself trapped under rubble after a massive earthquake or fire, I might be thrilled to find this little guy headed my way. I mean no, I think first I’d scream and do my best to frantically blow him off course lest he decide to crawl up my nose and lay eggs in my brain. But then I’d hopefully have the presence of mind to remember that he is not a cockroach as I know them to be (body-snatching flesh eating parasites, right?). No. He’s working for our team, now. For his little backpack would record my scream, thereby leading rescuers to my location where they could dig me out before I suffocated to death or before all the unemployed roaches found me. Hooray for cockroaches! Hooray for science.

Still, I if I see one in my apartment, I’m going to assume he is not an agent of a search and rescue operation and that he must die. I’m not throwing away the Raid just yet.

What do you make of the invention? Sound off below…