Muffleheads - Child's Play in '04

Monday, April 12, 2004 3:26 PM
Those of you who complain about ingesting (or getting pelted with) muffleheads at the Po!nt are in for a treat this year - the 17-year cicada! Except they're not just exclusive to that peninsula in Sandusky. :)

http://www.usatoday.com/life/2004-04-11-cicadas_x.htm

I'm sure many of you remember these from '87...my question is, do any of you remember if you got up close and personal with them while riding coasters?

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Monday, April 12, 2004 3:37 PM
My parent's house/property was bombarded with these things last summer. It was ridiculous they were all over the place - exactly like that article describes 1987 being.

I wonder if those were early risers or a different variety or what?

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Monday, April 12, 2004 3:51 PM
I would imagine they were a different variety, as I have seen cicadas a few different years between '87 and now, and I remember wondering why since they're only supposed to emerge every 17 years.

There are 12 broods of 17-year cicadas, each identified by Roman numerals. There also are 13-year cicadas, and each brood has its own timetable and geographic range, mostly east of the Mississippi. They're called periodic cicadas, to distinguish them from the kind that show up every summer.
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Monday, April 12, 2004 3:51 PM
Different cluster of bugs. A group emerged last year in Pittsburgh (noisy, but kind of cool looking), and it looks like another group is due to spring up elsewhere this year.
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Monday, April 12, 2004 3:56 PM
Apparently this is the year for these little buggers down in Cincy.

Up here in the Cleveland area the year was a few years ago (2000, maybe?). I don't think that the Po!nt will have much of a problem with them.

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Monday, April 12, 2004 3:56 PM
We had them a couple years ago and the sound they make is deafening. I try to keep our windows open as much as possible (before the A/C must be turned on) and you couldn't even watch tv, they were so loud. I'm hoping they were early risers or I'm going to nuts again this year.

Never got up close and personal with one on a coaster, but I'm thinking it wouldn't feel too good be hit by one going 50+ mph.

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Monday, April 12, 2004 4:08 PM
John, according to the article, this particular brood is prevalent East of the Mississippi, and is the largest of all the periodic cicadas. The ones you saw a few years ago were a different brood.
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Monday, April 12, 2004 4:27 PM
We got a memo here where I live in Baltimore...they said that in Baltimore county in 1987 a lot of outdoor events had to be canceled since it was so noisey....they numbered up to 100,000 per square acre! They were cautioning people to be very careful booking wedding receptions, etc.

We have "regular" cicadas where I grew up in IL, but this outbreak sounds a lot worse!

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Monday, April 12, 2004 4:34 PM
Wow imagine hitting one of those buggers at 120 mph. I can see this being ten times worse than Fabio and that stupid bird.
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Monday, April 12, 2004 4:37 PM
The worst thing about them is the damage they do to trees, which in the few weeks that they exist above ground is not that horrible. They are noisy, but only annoyingly so, from what I remember.
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Monday, April 12, 2004 4:53 PM
The seasonal cicadas, which come around every summer, are green and black and about 2" long. The brood emerging this year (either brood X or IX) is black with bright red eyes and the bugs are about 1.5" long. Sometimes the noises that these bugs make sound other-worldly! Last time they emerged, we made the mistake of trying to trim the weeds in our yard, and hundreds of bugs swarmed on the weed-eater, apparently because the noise was so similar to their mating calls.
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Monday, April 12, 2004 5:13 PM
And then there are the years when the 13-year and 17-year coincide. I'm not kidding. YIKES!

mOOSH [we don't have cicadas in California]

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Monday, April 12, 2004 5:21 PM
Thankfully, since 13 and 17 are relatively prime, it doesn't happen frequently.

[You may not have cicadas, but you do have earthquakes.]

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Monday, April 12, 2004 5:23 PM
True, but we don't have cicadas ;)
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Monday, April 12, 2004 5:38 PM
"Please keep your arms and legs inside the ride, and keep your mouth closed at all times, unless you're really hungry."

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Monday, April 12, 2004 5:49 PM
On the site Vater linked to, theres another link to a map that says the worst outbreaks are going to miss Sandusky by around 50 miles. I'm sure we'll still see plenty of them, just hopefully not as many as other areas.
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Monday, April 12, 2004 9:56 PM
The memories of those things still haunts me. The sound, getting in my hair while mowing the lawn, dead insects everywhere etc. etc. My Mom tells that they were only here for about 4-6 weeks in Baltimore. That was 4-6 weeks too long. I remember one kid in my high school dared another kid to eat one and he did. Ahhh, the humble beginnings of "Fear Factor":)
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Monday, April 12, 2004 10:36 PM

Brian Noble said:
Thankfully, since 13 and 17 are relatively prime, it doesn't happen frequently.

"Relatively prime"? Is that like "sort of pregnant"?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, April 12, 2004 11:56 PM
Well, if the map on USA Today is correct, the things are going to either barely miss us or barely hit us, Bloomsburg is right on the border of the projected "invasion zone". I have always hated the things, the noise they make is worse than screaming opera singers...
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Tuesday, April 13, 2004 8:55 AM

RideMan said:
"Relatively prime"? Is that like "sort of pregnant"?

Cute...

For those playing along at home, "relative prime" numbers are numbers whose greatest common factor is 1.

So, 4 and 5 are relative primes, even though 4 is not itself a prime number.

(Everyone who's ever done any fractions in their life has used relative primes, whether they realize it or not - reducing a fraction to its lowest terms (ie turning 2/4 into 1/2) is expressing it in terms of relative primes.)
*** Edited 4/13/2004 12:57:55 PM UTC by GregLeg***

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