Editorial: No Such Thing As A Fact?

Antrepid reader Megan Mitchell recently sent us the following note:

Ant facts featured on this week’s (episode 169) “No Such Thing as a Fish” podcast! Relevant bit starts at 27:36. [Link]

At first, as we began to listen, we were excited. The story begins with a nice quote about giant ants in India, from the 3rd century B.C.E. Thus, the vertebrate podcast members draw listeners in unawares, deceiving them into thinking they are enjoying a pleasingly pro-ant audio bit. But then… the Vertebrate Agenda is unmasked – these “ants” are really marmots! The hosts then rub boric acid into the wound by cheerfully agreeing that “myrmecology” must share an etymological root with “marmot”.

And the horror doesn’t stop there. Later on, one vertebrate podcast member confidently states that the bullet ant, Paraponera clavata, is the largest ant in the world and can “exceed 4 cm”. You don’t need to be Kellyant Conway to recognize this “alternative fact”. Readers of The Daily Ant already know, via our Style Saturdays series, about Dinoponera, which is actually the largest ant in the world. Then later, a different vertebrate podcast member even admits to being “a bit ant racist”.

In light of these recent developments, we believe it is time for this anti-invert podcast to change it’s name to “No Such Thing As A Fact”.

Style Saturday: Creepy, Crawly, and Golden

Editor’s Note: The Daily Ant hosts a weekly ant fashion series, Style Saturdays. This eleventh installment is by our Fashion Correspondant Kathryn Pogin, who is also an Executive Producer of our popular Philosophy Phridays series. Ms. Pogin is now also an official staff member for this series, so these header attributions will henceforth cease. Enjoy!


When the Queen’s away, the alates will play! Our beloved Editor-in-Chief is travelling at the moment, so I’m going to take this opportunity to do a late-night post on formicid formal wear. This look marries myrmecological magic with a touch of apiarist awesomeness for a look that’s overall creepy, crawly, and golden.

If you want a dress that works for a conference presantation but doubles as formal wear, you can’t go wrong with a draped piece from Alexander Wang. Classic, subtle, yet interesting. Thrown on a pair of retro golden Charlotte Olympia sandals, ignore the two-legs-too-many reference on the sole, and focus instead on how beautifully they pair with the Anu bracelet from Alolo’s Genesis collection. Complement your wrist-wear with earrings from the same collection, which pull gold and black together in delicate ant metal-work on polished marble. Store your wallet and phone in an ant-print clutch, or better yet, grab Dolce & Gabbana’s entomologically-embellished phone cover in coordinating tones, too — and you’re ready for a night out with the colony.

Creepy, crawly, and golden

 


Gold handbag
society6.com

Dolce Gabbana tech accessory
$605 – harrods.com

Anu jewelry
alolojewellery.com

Marble jewelry
alolojewellery.com

Philosophy Phriday: Of the Ant

The Daily Ant hosts a weekly series, Philosophy Phridays, in which real philosophers share their thoughts at the intersection of ants and philosophy. This is the seventeenth contribution in the series, submitted posthumously by the Right Honorable Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle.


[Editor’s note: a〈◊〉symbol indicates missing text]

Of the Ant

Mark but the little Ant, how she doth run,
In what a busie motion 〈◊〉 goeth on:
As if the ordered all the Worlds Affaires;
When tis but onely one small Straw shee bearcs.
But when they find a Flye, which on the ground lyes dead,
Lord, how they stir; so full is every Head.
Some with their Feet, and Mouths, draw it along,
Others their Tailes, and Shoulders thrust it on.
And if a Stranger Ant comes on that way,
Shee helpes them strait, nere asketh if shee may
Nor staies to ask Rewardes, but is well pleas’d:
Thus paies her selfe with her owne Paines, their Ease.
They live as the Lacedemonians did,
All is in Common, nothing is forbid.
No Private Feast, but altogether meet,
Whole some, though Plaine, in Publick do they eat.
They have no Envie, all Ambition’s downe,
There is no Superiority, or Clowne.
No Stately Palaces for Pride to dwell,
Their House is Common, called the 〈◊〉 Hill.
All help to build, and keep it in repaire,
No ‘speciall work-men, all Labourers they are.
No 〈◊〉 keep, no 〈◊〉 they have to sell,
For what each one doth eat, all welcome is, and well.
No Jealousie, each takes his Neighbours Wife,
Without Offence, which never breedeth 〈◊〉.
Nor fight they Duels, nor do give the Lye,
Their greatest Honour is to live, not dye.
For they, to keep in life, through Dangers run,
To get Provisions in ‘gainst Winter comes.
But many loose their Life, as Chance doth fall,
None is perpetuall, Death devoures all.


MargbigRight Honorable Margaret Newcastle, Duchess of Newcastle is a 17th-century English philosopher also known for her poetry, science fiction writing, and scientific work. For more on the Duchess, check out her academic website.

Style Saturday: Ants on the Beach

The Daily Ant hosts a weekly ant fashion series, Style Saturdays. This tenth installment is by our Fashion Correspondant Kathryn Pogin, who is also an Executive Producer of our popular Philosophy Phridays series. Enjoy!


James Comey’s testimony this week has really forced my hand: here at Style Saturdays, there’s something we just can’t ignore any longer. There’s something funky about Marco Rubio’s suits. Now, I know. In the spirit of charity and understanding, there’s something there that you almost want to like, but the truth is you’d need to be an entirely different, perhaps robotic, kind of person to actually do it. Of course, he might benefit from the advice featured in our previous Ants on a Tie post (though what he needs the most help with is his collar and suit sizing), but since some of our dear Senators would do the world more good if they spent their time relaxing in the Florida sun, pondering the importance of science and our formicid friends than trying to justify obstruction of justice — we’re going to talk about how to take your myrmecological style from the lab to the beach, instead. Hopefully Rubio will join you.

A pair of Grey Ant sunglasses pair with formicid-themed flip-flops in a “come hither blue” to complement a trendy Triangl bikini or Vilbrequin trunks. Lay back and relax on a over-sized beach towel with an abstract-ant print, and keep your cool with a fashionable travel mug (even when things are melting, myrmecological progress marches on!).

Ants on the Beach

Special Edition: Spiders and Space

This week was an odd one. It featured Theatre Thursday on Wednesday, Philosophy Phriday on Thursday, and an endorsement of ants by a key public defender of James Comey the same week the latter testified before Congress (oh, and that was weird too). So, we’ve decided to continute the oddity with a special edition post featuring a NON-ANT ARTHROPOD! In particular: spiders.

The Daily Ant typically maintains a #twolegstoomany policy in relation to spiders, but we nevertheless respect the creatures, and we can admit when arachnids amaze. Recently, Celestial Correspondant Andrew Burkhardt shared with us two spider stories that are out of this world.

The first is a story about how spider eyes are like Galilean telescopes, and thus are likely able to resolve the moon in the night sky. Check it out!

The second is live documentation by Correspondant Burkhardt of a spider that’s been in space. This spider is now housed in the Air and Space Museum, after a stint on the Skylab space station participating in an experiment on whether or not spiders can spin webs in zero gravity. Even though ants have also been to space, this space spider is pretty cool!

imagejpeg_2

A space spider. Photo: Andrew Burkhardt

 

 

Philosophy Phriday: Ants and the Problem of Evil

The Daily Ant hosts a weekly series, Philosophy Phridays, in which real philosophers share their thoughts at the intersection of ants and philosophy. This is the sixteenth contribution in the series, submitted by Dustin Crummett.


Ants and the Problem of Evil

Theists are people who, like me, believe in an all-good and all-powerful God. Theists face the problem of evil: the problem of explaining why, if God is good and all-powerful, the world is such a miserable place. Philosophers considering the problem of evil focus overwhelmingly on the suffering of human beings, and, somewhat less frequently, the suffering of easily likeable non-human animals, such as fawns. But some people have asked why God would allow what they took to be the suffering of insects and similar creatures. Charles Darwin told his contemporary Asa Grey[1] that he could not understand why a good God would create Ichumonidae wasps, some of which lay their eggs within caterpillars, their larvae eating the caterpillars from the inside out upon hatching. And Robert Frost, in his poem “Design,” relayed seeing a spider eat a moth, writing:

What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?—
If design govern in a thing so small.[2]

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Theatre Thursday: Empire of the Ants

The Daily Ant is establishing an intermittent ant film series, Theatre Thursdays. This inaugural installment is by our Film Correspondant Derek Langston. Enjoy!


Six-legged Celluloid Presents…
A review of Empire of the Ants: “Ant Misbehavin!”

Directed by Bert I. Gordon, Empire of the Ants is one of many films among Gordon’s giant/mutated/deformed abominations against humanity genre. It is based on a short story of the same name by H.G. Wells. Gordon has also filmed 2 other movies based on Wells’ works including Village of the Giants (starrring Beau Bridges and Ron Howard) and one of my childhood favorites, The Food of the Gods (starring literally no one you have ever heard of), both based on “The Food of the Gods and How it Came to Earth”. Interesting side note: The Food of the Gods was unfairly awarded the title of “Worst Rodent Movie of All Time” by the Golden Turkey Awards. Though in all fairness this was before the release of the highly overrated Pixar film Ratatouille (Yes I said it, Food of the Gods is better than Ratatouille). However, I digress.

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Style Saturday: Marvel-ous Ants

The Daily Ant hosts a weekly ant fashion series, Style Saturdays. This ninth installment is by our Fashion Correspondant Kathryn Pogin, who is also an Executive Producer of our popular Philosophy Phridays series. Enjoy!


If you love matriarchal societies, taller-than-average Amazonians, or general badassery, you’re certainly already a fan of Dinoponera — but you might enjoy Wonder Woman, too. Strictly speaking, it doesn’t seem to contain any ants, but it’s a bit implausible there was no myremcological inspiration involved (like, really, DC?). Anyway, as long as we’re all geeking out and in the comic book mood, I thought this week would be a good time to take a look back to the wonderously-gripping Ant-Man for a bit of fashion-fancy (especially since here at The Daily Ant we have our own Ant-Man).

Pair your Marvel-ous ant wear with vintage denim, fantsy accessories, and flip-flops in a throw-back comic print. The DC folks might not love your Marvel wear, but we don’t love their failure to cite Dinoponera, so we’ll call it even!

Marvel-ous Ants

Retro shoes
cafepress.com

Ant Man Retro
pinterest.com

REI
alolojewellery.com

Philosophy Phriday: Ants and the Hiddenness of God

The Daily Ant hosts a weekly series, Philosophy Phridays, in which real philosophers share their thoughts at the intersection of ants and philosophy. This is the fifteenth contribution in the series, submitted by Dr. Michael Rea.


Ants and the Hiddenness of God

If God loves us, why doesn’t God openly communicate with us?  This question resonates with a lot of people. My first clue as to the depth of its impact came in college, when a friend of mine broke down in tears over it.  “I have served God my entire life,” she said, “and God is supposed to be my heavenly father. So why can’t he, just once, whisper ‘I love you’?”

God

An ant’s search for God. Image: Andrea Lucky/Myrmecos

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Style Saturday Sunday Monday Memorial Day Edition: Picnic Perfect Ant-cessories

The Daily Ant hosts a weekly ant fashion series, Style Saturdays. This eighth installment is by our Fashion Correspondant Kathryn Pogin, who is also an Executive Producer of our popular Philosophy Phridays series. Enjoy!


In these trying times, hosting a Memorial Day picnic when you could be planning a day of action is flirting with gaucheness (of course, just like wearing white after labor day, there are always exceptions) — but if you’re going to a celebration rather than a resistants meeting, you might as well show up in style. If you’re not sure how to look sophisticated eating your food while sitting on the ground, a little formicid fashion might be just the thing (and what could be better suited to the great outdoors?). This week, we’re looking at a picnic-ready ensemble with fabulous antcessories.

This gingham-top says, “I love picnics, but not so much that I want to look like I’m picnicking on my way to the Emerald City“. Balance your gingham out with a denim skirt in a streamlined pencil cut and distressed finish. A pair of wedges give you a little height but are practical for walking pretty much anywhere. And since no picnic is complete without ants, top this look off with a beautiful pair of earrings that are feminine and formicid-themed, creative rings that show ants hard at work, and a tote for carrying extra food (or protest signs, just in case).

Picnic Perfect Ant-cessories

Chicwish wrap shirt
chicwish.com

IRO mini skirt
intermixonline.com

Tech accessory
zazzle.com

I Ant Picnics Tote Bag
cafepress.com

Band jewelry
franceswadsworthjones.com