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The humble fly

Macro of a colorful garden fly.
Amith Nag Photography/Getty Images
Moment RF

There are thought to be about 17 million living flies for every human alive on Earth.

They’re predators and parasites and pests, but they’re pollinators too. They help us solve crimes, heal wounds, and understand genetics and evolution. And they literally help at least one artist paint his paintings.

Also this hour: A look at David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of, you guessed it: The Fly.


  • Jonathan Balcombe: Author of Super Fly: The Unexpected Lives of the World’s Most Successful Insects
  • John Knuth: An artist
  • Gale Ridge: Associate scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Jacob Trussell: Author of The Binge Watcher’s Guide to The Twilight Zone; he published the piece “Only Jeff Goldblum Could Make Us Fall in Love with ‘The Fly.’” at Film School Rejects

The Colin McEnroe Show is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!

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Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show, which originally aired August 19, 2021.

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Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident. Jonathan can be reached at jmcnicol@ctpublic.org.
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