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What the heck is this plant bubble thingy?

What the heck is this plant bubble thingy? It's sitting in a vase at a restaurant in Bloomington, Indiana next to some little purple flowers (probably a different plant). It's pale green and purple with little hairs on it. It's about the size of a racquetball. [more inside]
posted by ErWenn on Oct 28, 2012 - 3 answers

What were these bugs that we called "bloodsuckers"?

There is this insect/arachnid I remember from my childhood in Las Vegas. It had a body about the size of a raisin, only it was quite flat. They were red with black spots (larger than ladybugs, but flatter), and the kids in the neighborhood called them "bloodsuckers" for some reason. (I have no idea if they bit or not.) I don't remember them flying, but I could be wrong about that. What insects were they? Scientific name or common name is fine, anything I can use to find out more info.
posted by ErWenn on Nov 7, 2009 - 13 answers

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