We kick off season 6 talking about bugs with a very special guest: Suzanne. She is a lover of nature and languages, among other things. Check out her ventures:
IG - @recipesforenglish
Twitter - @englishsmarts
Nature Blog - Nature Enchants Me Spain
website - recipesforenglish.com
I hope you enjoy our convo on bugs and "get bitten by the bug bug".
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welcome to for your info engl you got it you got it hello hello hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another exciting edition of FYI for your English and I can't believe it this is the first episode of the sixth season it's mindblowing that this show started in my daughter's bedroom and here we are hundreds of episodes later hundreds of thousands of downloads later and I am truly truly grateful and and thankful so thank you FYI ERS thank you so much for being a part of it and remember to send me your suggestions for upcoming episodes for season six and we're going to kick off the episode the season with a very special guest and I mean really special because she was the first guest we ever had on the show so ladies and Gentlemen please welcome a great friend who I've never met in person but we are great friends nonethe Le please welcome suzan Hey there okay Applause everyone yes uh well thanks for having me I I didn't know was the first guest ever so I'm I'm honored I'm pretty sure you were the first guest possibly but anyway should I tell you a little bit about myself yeah sure well first yeah now now I imagine some people know who you are if not on social media your English smarts well you know what I'll let you tell us a little bit about yourself as a person and also professionally who are you Suzanne who am I so I'm Suzanne Edy I'm a nature nerd I would say that first and foremost that's what I am and professionally and English teacher I have a website with resources for learning English and teaching English as a foreign language and it's called recipes for english.com you can also find me on Instagram at recipes for English and also Twitter and Facebook where my handle is English smart so that's two different names I know that's confusing but there it is what else um I've also been studying digital marketing the last few years um and I tried try to use what I've learned over the years through my own experience on Twitter which is where I have most of my experience um to advocate for for nature that's that's my passion really um I also have a little passion project on Instagram and if people would like to know about that well then they can send me a DM and I shall send them the link everything that you're saying Suzanne I'm sorry to cut you off to interrupt you but and I want you to continue but I'm going to put links to all this stuff in the show notes so you guys will be able to click on the links and check out uh many of suzan's Ventures perfect thank you Alberto so yeah um I am really honored that you've uh uh invited me on again and to talk about such an amazing an amazing topic I've been researching it since the summer and it's amazing that I'm not even I'm not yet dreaming about insects because yeah they're on my mind all the time in a moment well I know our first episode that we did together was a nature episode and it was on cats uh more of a domestic but it's still nature when did your love of nature start I mean it seems like it's grown since I've known you tell us a little bit about that yeah as as most people I had a lot of interest in nature as a a kid um I didn't have that fear that you have as an adult I would pick up like frogs that I found toads I don't think I'd do that today I'm still interested in them but you wouldn't find me just picking them up I think I'd be a bit more reserved about it but I don't know uh so where it really really kicked off I think is when we lived in Cyprus and in our back Garden um I mean it was full of nature it wasn't a particularly big Garden but we had um that's where I saw my first chameleon and there were lizards and butterflies and the the odd snake well not in the garden but I saw I did see uh snakes now and then it was it's it was a nature Paradise I hope that it continues to be and birds that I'd never seen before such as flamingos saw those there so yeah that's that's where I would say it originated like really took hold what what about you when did you get the nature I kind of like yourself I mean it has to do with my upbringing I grew up in the middle of the mountains the Appalachian Mountains I had a Brook running through my backyard we had bears and deer playing in the yard it you know we nature was everywhere butterflies bees what I mean we if you didn't like nature you were living in the wrong place that sounds idilic so I mean not as exotic as yours but uh but I've always been surrounded by nature and my dad being a farmer from a family with Farmland they've always been close to Nature they live off nature they need to even know the weather uh what mosquitoes will kill your crops you know they they have to become little experts if you will that's right that's right wow I didn't know that about your family yeah yeah we uh we've always been nature lovers uh innately I think my great-grandfather and and we still the good news we still have that land down in Al media where we have fig trees and things like that and my father still lives in the place where there are bears in fact this summer we were just chilling in the living room and a bear ran by and uh that's common place there but we're not here to talk about bears we're talking about a love of smaller smaller creatures that can be as deadly as Bears too if I'm not mistaken that's right uh the deadliest creature on the planet is the mosquito in terms of fatalities because it kills Millions doesn't it because of malaria and other very nasty diseases but did you know that it's only a very very small percentage of mosquitoes that cause problems most of them are aren't harmful to humans anyway I mean we always decide what's harmful depending on you know how it affects humans don't we so sure sure well I tell Lara she goes oh poppy there's a spider I go yeah but that spider's doing something he's part of the ecosystem of our garden and if we take him out maybe another animal doesn't have its food and you know it's the the food chain the the ecosystem and it's a delicate thing you can throw it off we've seen how many times just a little change in the atmosphere or the weather can throw off and maybe even make a species go extinct sadly absolutely yeah it is everything is is interconnected and we we're still learning we haven't even identified all the the creatures that exist on the planet apparently it'll take another 400 years so we're not going to see that let's get down to the nitty-gritty now I'm here to talk about bugs insects mosquitoes wait are those the same thing thing what do you know Suzanne I know you did some research what did you come across okay uh well I just I know before I did my research that we just use the words interchangeably bug and insect in in English um but incorrectly but it isn't it isn't a big deal because we can't expect people to be you know experts entomologists before I did my research though I did think uh centipedes were insects but they're not in insects I think you know how to define them more or less insects is it antenna I I always look it up it's part of the FYI we always try and break things down and Define it like what is a movie even something simple because it brings up other vocabulary and it it also gets you right into the mindset where you need to be and as you said if we want to split hairs there is a difference between an insect a mosquito and a bug for all intents and purposes native speakers use the terms interchangeably as Suzanne said but we often use the word bug to mean any small creature with legs so wait a second Lara is a bug I'm joking she's a small creature she has legs that may include insects as well as many other animals that are not insects such as spiders and centipedes a true bug see there's true ones a true bug is a type of insect that has a mouth shaped like a straw insects are a class in the philm arthropoda I don't know if I pronounced that correctly but they are small terrestrial invertebrates which have a hard exoskeleton There It Is defined textbook definition very good very good now I also looked into because as you can imagine there are many many different species how many different species do you think there are I'm asking the FYI Suzanne as well how many that have been described and discovered I know from my research but I think people might be surprised to know that there I believe there's two is it two million described was it one million that described it's around one million described one million described different species and that is more than half of all known living species yeah translation they may be over 90% of animal species on Earth incredible it is absolutely astounding and we we kind of I don't say we ignore them we don't ignore them when they're being pests but we don't pay them as much attention as we might Tigers polar bears you know because they're little things and very often we can't see them so no it's it's quite astounding it's the planet of the insects if if you have to go by numbers strength and numbers well insects are the largest group of animals on Earth by far by a landslide they've gotten us all beaten elephants move over elephants Tigers bees sorry cats you thought you were the king it's the insects and they're here to take over now the good thing is it's like with everything and we're going to talk about this a little bit later everything has its pros and cons as you said they can be deadly but they're also a very important part a vital part of our planet do you know the name of someone who studies bugs I imagine you know this you're asking yeah do you know it I don't know I I didn't know it I looked it up entomologist is someone who studies bugs and they say not to get it mixed up with ET is it atmology which is the study of words entomology yeah that's right but I don't know what it mean I don't know what the if you break up the word what it means but any anyway well I'm sure it's it's definitely got a Latin root like many many words but an entomologist yes is somebody who studies bugs as I said in every episode I'm learning as well so I didn't I didn't know that I would have said the bug doctor or the bug scientist you know the insectologist I don't know be creative but no it's an it's an entomologist and these people literally travel around the world and observe bugs in their natural habitats which as we just said is everywhere from the rainforests to the plains to high you know up on top of the mountain ranges I mean there's nowhere there are even bugs that live and breathe in water that's right that's right it's very small percentage I think it was three to four% I did discover something really amazing there is an insect that's out at sea oh wow I just didn't think that was possible it's called I think the sea Strider um do you know what a water boatman is it sounds familiar you know when you're um by a pond and you've got those insects that skate across the top I think they're I don't know if they're related to that to those well they look like them but anyway they they skate across the water they sea and um because of some amazing adaptations they they are able to cope with um this uh extreme it's an extreme environment being out in the turbulent ocean and you don't want to get wet you know they they they can't get they can't I think there's not they can cope with getting a little bit wet so these insects demonstrate why insects are the most successful group of animals on the planet one of the reasons is because they are able to adapt to really extreme environments thanks to Evolution yeah they really are amazing creatures I mean the one you were just describing I had a feeling that was the bug you were talking about the one that walks on water and if you think about it I mean it's a miracle it's God like this is biblical it's you know who can walk on water how many species how many animals can walk on water not very many now the good news is new species are being found every day so just when we think we've got it all under control it reminds me of the bottom of the ocean it's the unknown ABS absolutely that we're always discovering and as I said before it's going to take us many many more years to to discover to identify and we won't identify everything and and new things will evolve so watch this space yeah but that's also what makes it interesting that it's constantly evolving like the bugs themselves they adapt as you said they evolve and they're a perfect example of survival of the fittest as you said Darwinism I the first thing that comes to mind is cockroaches nuclear war now I don't know if that's an old wives tale but you know I've seen in New York it's really tough to kill cockroaches now that's one of the insects I just I can't I can't bear I can't bear we had one in the house this summer and uh yeah they they really they really creep me out but one of the one of my missions while I was researching this is to find out what benefits insects have um because we all know bees yes and we're gonna talk about that we're GNA talk about those benefits in just a moment as well as the dark side oh yeah who likees Cockroaches cockroaches are the pigeons of insects you know if you think about birds they're the pigeons are the birds nobody likes right all right well you just mentioned before that bugs are useful or can be beneficial perhaps because let's be honest bugs get a bad rap when you think of the word bug he's bugging me right you know we SWAT the the Flies away if you think of flies as something annoying uh so you know let's be honest bugs you said it earlier in the show Bugs aren't man's best friend let's say that's right some of them are um at the very least a nuisance you know when we have a picnic and we've got wasps nobody wants them around and they really do bug you they're they're extremely annoying but there are so many things that insects do that I I just didn't know until I started researching I knew that bees pollinated and that was about the extent of my knowledge and I'm supposed to be a nature nerd um but I learned that it's not just bees that pollinate wasps pollinate so think about that next time you might not want to swat the WASP if it's not really bugging you just leave it alone because they are pollinators as well flies are pollinators I did not know that oh and you mentioned fig trees earlier I discovered that fig trees are pollinated by wasp I didn't know that white Anglo Saxon Protestants I'm sorry I had to you had to get that one wasp is also a term we say white Anglo-Saxon Protestant but wow you're blowing my mind Susan we're we are getting into some fun facts already and we're going to get a lot of fun facts in the bonus episode if you guys want to join us in the bonus episode all you have to do is join my Curious community on patreon and you can get tons of bonus content that means an extra episode every week it means PDF documents with all the vocabulary expressions and structures and if you're in our higher levels you can get a weekly group class with me and if you're in our Interstellar level you get all of that and a monthly private class with me if you want more information you can go to patreon.com Alberto Alon feel free to ask me any questions I can give you samples but I've got to say I am so proud of each and every one of my students so a shout out to all of you especially my super duper students Lena Havier Paco Roberto Jose Maria and Mila and don't forget about my Interstellar students Carmen Issa Paco David and Ed God keep up the great work guys and if you want to find out more FYI as I always say if you're hungry for more then go on over to patreon.com Alberto Alonso so where were we right that they pollinate so they're breeding life flies something that most people find gross or disgusting yeah we do think a lot of insects are gross um you know like cockroaches and and stuff like that but let's focus on all the amazing things uh they do they are the unsung heroes they really are for example aside from pollination they give us pest control for example dragonflies eat a lot of mosquitoes uh wasps are apparently spectacular pest controllers um I think Farmers might use them um to uh help uh keep their their crops free of of pests another thing they recycle decaying plants and they put nutrients back into the soil they give us uh I think you were going to say they give us things like honey right sure well that's the that's I guess that's the the one everybody knows but I didn't know about all these other benefits and uh what else don't forget one that I find fascinating forensic entomology oh okay I don't know if any of you watch CSI but um you know when they are examining like the corpse and and I think if a corpse has lay there for quite a while undiscovered it helps to have forensic entomologists who can come in and uh and study what insects uh what life cycles of insects are on the body and apparently insects will visit a cadav in a certain order making it easy to know how long they've they've been there which is important because if you have a suspect and you know and he has an alibi for a certain day and then you say well um actually the body was been there for a longer I mean they have solved crimes they have solved crimes it's it's it's a very very I I do encourage people that are interested in that kind of you know True Crime to to check it out it's very very interesting and a couple more things uh they have inspired inventions I think we have wasps to thank for paper and Dr Chainsaw the drones the drones yeah yeah I think they use uh dragonflies to study they study dragon flies to uh give them ideas and that's what we should do Nature has been evolving all these millions of years much longer than us and they have fantastic systems sure sure and what about silk sure moths uh they make silk which is a precious fabric you know a very expensive fabric that's right and we also mustn't forget how important uh for example fruit flies are in science um because we share 64% or something DNA with them scientists use them to learn more about human health and disease so oh wow there's definitely a lot to to think about and flies well insects are not to be sneezed at oh nice expression so don't let bugs bug you because they're not there to bug you they also have many beneficial things as well as we just heard food clothing and so on and so forth and we're going to wrap up the first part but Suzanne any let's go to cuz we're going to look at a lot of fun facts in the second part we're going to look at some idiomatic expressions with bugs and insects but let's wrap with a fun fact each of us H before we head off to our bonus episode okay this was quite amazing that the economic contribution of insects regards pollination is worth billions of dollars and they are doing it for free they're doing it for free I mean think about that okay next time you want to swat a fly it really it really gives another definition to the the word worker be exactly very good what's your fun fact all right well mine's kind of a trivia question and I guess I expect you to know it on two levels being a Brit and also being a nature lover what is the largest bug in the UK a stag beetle yeah ladies and gentlemen give her a cigar yeah I saw one a couple of years ago I think I've got it my phone I'll see if I can dig it up wow they can grow to around 8 cm so all right well we'll look at more fun facts and lots of idiomatic expressions and so much more in the bonus episode of today's FYI a