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17-Year Brood II Cicadas Emergence Update: They’re Nearly Heeeere!

By JOHN METCALFE

17-Year Brood II Cicadas Emergence Update: They're Nearly Heeeere!

The red-eyed chittering horde that is 2013’s Brood II cicada swarm has been busy since we lastchecked in on them at the start of May.

Back then, the first bugs had mostly been spotted along the I-95 corridor, as if they were headed into the office in the world’s grossest commute. Look at the insectoid explosion that’s occurred in just the past few days, as visualized by the Magicicada Mapping Project:

Each virtual critter on this map marks a place where somebody’s spotted a nymph or adult cicada or the skin that the bugs throw off like divas jettisoning threadbare robes. There are cicadas waving stumpy antennae as far south as Tampa, cicadas thrumming tymbals way out west in Omaha and Austin, and cicadas absolutely crawling over the face of the East Coast. Check out this blown-up view of New York and its surroundings:

And here’s the even buggier lands around Washington, D.C.:

The six-legged horde will only spread more and grow larger as ground temperatures coax it from stasis. The soil in eastern America is reaching prime warmth for cicada-birthing, as shown in this temperature map from New York Public Radio:

If you own a dog in infested burbs, chances are it’s eaten at least three cicadas right before it last licked you. (Just my scientific guess.) In New Jersey, where the creatures are just now beginning to emerge, the ground is squirmy with boisterous young cicadas crawling from their subterranean dens:

Imagine trying to sleep through this wall of noise in Columbia, Maryland. Some TV journos have likened the sound to a “zombie apocalypse,” showing once again the media’s woeful ignorance of the sound flesheaters make (it’s RAAAWWGGH, for the record):

What should you do when these things come out in your neighborhood? Probably not whisk bunches of them into muddy water to make a delicious “soup,” as I did with childhood play-pals. (Kids can be so evil.) It’s best to let them go about their business, which boils down to having sex and dying soon after. You might even grab one of the harmless bugs to verify a Fun Cicada Fact: Between their bulging crimson eyes – which give them a goofy, Buscemi-esque expression – there are actually three more eyes, called ocelli, arranged in a trigon:

And if you’re the kind of person who refuses to go outside during cicada season for fear that one might fly into your hair, please satisfy any curiosity you have about these insects with this lovely montage from Cicada Mania. (It depicts a 2008 swarm in Ohio.) Warning: video contains grody footage of bugs missing body parts you’d assume are critical to life:

Top photo courtesy of Reuters/Nancy Hinkle/University of Georgia

John Metcalfe is a staff writer at The Atlantic Cities

Will The Great Gatsby Finally Score Leonardo DiCaprio His First Oscar?

With the film receiving it’s US release this weekend the race is on for the 2014 season

Great Gatsby fever is sweeping the US after the film’s release this weekend. With Baz Luhrmann’s movie set to open in UK cinemas next week could all the hype translate to awards glory for the big screen adaptation and Leonardo DiCaprio’s first Oscar win?

Early box office estimates for the US Gatsby opening have shown the movie to be on course for a $40 million first weekend. Mixed reviews from critics seemingly haven’t put off the punters with the likes of Kim Kardashian tweeting their 140 character reviews today.

But will all they hype lead to Oscar glory? The critical reaction to Luhrmann’s fifth feature film has been far from great with The Warp declaring “Baz Luhrmann sucks the life out of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s immortal novel and replaces it with empty filigree and overbearing style.” Ouch.

Will Jay Gatsby score Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar? (WENN)

Whilst the overall film has divided the critics, most have been universal in their praise of Leo’s lead performance with Newsday summing up the early awards buzz surrounding the actor:

“As for Leonardo DiCaprio, he is now the Gatsby to beat. Despite a borderline comedic entrance — haloed by fireworks and accompanied by Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” — DiCaprio nails this maddeningly enigmatic character.” They added “DiCaprio helps save the movie from its excesses and misstep.”

Baz’s film has been in the Oscars frame since last year, with the film originally scheduled for a December 2012 release date and therefore a shot at the 2013 Academy Awards. The movie’s spring release may hinder it’s prospects for 2014, with most major studios keeping their gong seekers back until the winter before the January/February awards season.

With so much hype surrounding the film though, surely Leo is in with a chance of Oscar glory after three failed nominations? Despite a number of critically acclaimed roles in recent years Leo has missed out on the coveted gong, with his nods for Blood Diamond, The Aviator and his 1994 break out What’s Eating Gilbert Grape going unrewarded.

And what about all the roles he’s even failed to score a nomination for such as his heavily praised performance in Quentin Tarantino’s 2013 blood fest Django Unchained?

Like Tarantino the Academy has traditionally snubbed Baz’s crowd-pleasing movies but perhaps with Quentin setting the precedent in 2013, 2014 could finally be Luhrmann AND Leo’s year?

The Great Gatsby hits cinemas on May 16th (Photos: Warner Bros/PR)

The Great Gatsby hits cinemas on May 16th (Photos: Warner Bros/PR)

The Great Gatsby hits cinemas on May 16th (Photos: Warner Bros/PR)

The Great Gatsby hits cinemas on May 16th (Photos: Warner Bros/PR)

The Great Gatsby hits cinemas on May 16th (Photos: Warner Bros/PR)

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