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Many people in America don’t give insects a second thought other than how to remove them from their homes. But in many other parts of the globe, human cultures have a more complex, a more intimate relationship with the hordes of six legged invertebrates. In China, cricket fighting is an arcane and beloved sport that goes back many centuries. In Japan there is a mania for raising large rhinoceros and stag beetles supported by beetle stores, magazines, manga and even a popular Sega game. A once popular and beloved celebration of spring in Florence Italy, home of the writer of Pinocchio and the “grillo parlante” (talking cricket), has now vanished because of a ban enforced by the Green Party. In Niger, farmers battle hordes of locusts that devastate their crops, while at the same also time depend on other species of grasshoppers for sustenance. These are just some of the complex and marvelous topics HUGH RAFFLES, teacher of anthropology at the New School, writes about in his stunning new book INSECTOPEDIA. This book is one of the most profound looks at how humans use and make sense of the natural world . Be sure to tune in tonight for a far-ranging and always interesting conversation about crickets, beetles and even lice.