Halloween carbs!

We have Cafe Scientifique on the last Tuesday of every month, which just happens to fall on Halloween this year. So we’re having appropriate content — come to the coffee shop, learn all about carbohydrates from Alyssa Pirinelli, and then go hand out carbs at home!


  1. blf says

    Indirectly related, Invasion of maize-eating caterpillars worsens hunger crisis in Africa:

    Crops that feed 200 million people at risk from destructive march of fall armyworm, as agriculture experts call for urgent action

    The crops that 200 million people rely on in Africa are under threat from a caterpillar that is spreading throughout the continent, agriculture experts have warned.

    Urgent action needs to be taken to stop the fall armyworm’s [Spodoptera frugiperda] destructive march across the continent.


    Originally from the Americas, the caterpillars eat maize, a staple in many African countries. So far, they have been found in 28 African nations – 16 more than they were detected in five months ago. If nothing is done, they could eat between 20% and 50% of the maize produced in 12 of Africa’s maize-producing countries, the report warned, and are likely to spread even further through sub-Saharan Africa. In May, Ghana declared a state of emergency in response to the invasion.

    “The armyworm is a clear and present danger,” said Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank and this year’s World Food prizewinner. “Doing nothing is not an option. What we need are urgent actions to support Africa, to rapidly address this real threat to its food security.”

    Pedro Sanchez, a soil scientist at the University of Florida, agreed. […]


    Africa has long had its own type of armyworms to deal with — Spodoptera exempta — but fall armyworms are only known to have been in the continent since January 2016, when they were discovered in Nigeria.


    African armyworms were bad enough, eating mainly maize and other cereals, but fall armyworms are worse as they have a voracious appetite for many other crops too, including beans and vegetables — and reproduce at a very fast rate. The moth can fly 100km in one night.

    They thrive in a climate where drought is followed by heavy rains — a pattern that climate change has greatly intensified in Africa.


    That certainly isn’t a treat — unless you’re a larval pest with a voracious appetite — and is a very nasty trick.

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Would be very interesting to hear the talk (my specialty was carbohydrate chemistry). But too far away.
    Had to check out the speaker’s academic pedigree. Impressive.

  3. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Caine #3:

    I always get a pang when I read these, so close and yet so far.

    Some venues have a podcast, but I didn’t find one from “Common Cup Coffeehouse”.
    Podcast: Café Scientifique, Carnegie Science Center (Pennsylvania)
    Podcast: Café Scientifique, Bell Museum (Minnesota)
    /BellMuseum includes most eps in a YouTube playlist.
    Podcast: SciCafe AMNH (New York)
    /A YouTube playlist was freshly updated and seems to be maintained by AMNHorg, but I got there with a search, not seeing it on the channel itself. *shrug*