The Daily Ant One-Year Antiversary: In Review

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s true. What started out one year ago from yesterday as a podunk formicid-friendly online media project with an inaugural post on loving your house ants has grown into a podunk formicid-friendly online media project with 196 published articles. Whether you’re joining us now for the first time, or have traversed the long foraging trail of myrmecological justice since the very beginning, it’s time to consider what we’ve accomplished together.

On only our second day of operations, we were blown away when our scathing editorial taking the vertebrate mainstream media to task circulated around social media, bringing 4,000 visitors to our fledgling site.

We’re proud to say that our first report on a scientific paper covered the marvelous nomadic mushroom harvesters roaming southeast Asia. Amazing then and now! Future formicid features included reports on ant spit,  turtle ants, ant toolstrap-jaw ants (three times!), blue antsexploding ants, invasive ants, big-headed ants, ant queen heads, bullet ants, ant-controlling fungus, canopy ants, lazy ants, ant navigation, ant societies, ant parasitoids, ant standards, ant butts (twice!), ant metacolonies, ant nutrition, ant functional traits, seed-harvesting ants, desert ants, ant brains, ant pharmacology, ant hierarchies, ants and lichen, spiny ant bacteria, invasive plant and native ants, fungus-farming ants, ant homes, ant babies, ant decoders, ants and plant wounds, ant lovin’, ant smells, ant architecture, termite-specialist ants, green ants, underground ants, ant poop, ant importance, ants and the solar eclipse, ants and the Powerball, ant colony optimization, ants drinking water, and ant intelligence.

Our first sports piece covered the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, but we didn’t stop there – who could forget the departure of Formiga, our discovery of Formica Atomica, America’s Next Tennis Stars (ANTS), or our editorial on Wimbledon, flying ants, and the vertebrate media?

And we’ve had some antsy thoughts along the way: These three are a nice place to start! Or this New Year’s resolution. Perhaps a thought on worldly power or a musing on the value of life suits you better. Human nature?

Now sit back and enjoy some ant artant photography, and ant animation, but watch out for fake ant photography!

Or if music is your thing, dwell on Ants in the Kitchen and “Fire Ant”.

Or if museums are your thing, check out the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and AMNH.

Or if comics are your thing, check out “Lunar Ants”, “Ant Strength”, and “ant identification”.

We’ve also celebrated several holidays together, including Hanukkah, Christmas, Valantine’s Day, Easter, and May Day.

Editorials are a staple of our news project, and besides the dinosaur tail and Wimbledon editorials, we’ve shared our thoughts on the NSA ANT Catalog, conservative vertebrates, U.S. President Trump, “No Such Thing as a Fish”, the mainstream vertebrate media, and Houston’s fire ant rafts.

On New Year’s Eve, 2016, The Daily Ant reached a new milestone when a question asked by our editor-in-chief was featured on Jezebel‘s list of 2016 favorites (and later on Buzzfeed).

And of course, we’re always concerned with social issues, whether it be the lives of nontraditional college students, Uyghur civil rights activists, South African civil rights activists, protests, leftists, or Chinese dissidents.

Sometimes, we travel out of state to spend Monday morning on the Mississippi (and give a lightning talk).

Other times, we’re a little promotional, from The Ant Network (our get out the vote efforts helped TAN achieve some funding – money well spent!) to Nomadic Ant, to La Hormiga Tortas, to Ant Financial, to our own GoFundMe campaign for “AntSongs”!

Our colony began to expand slowly in January, 2017, with an anonymous source documenting the Ant Swim School in San Jose, and eventually grew into a sizable list of regular staff and Correspondants. We’ve even had a couple one-off guest contributors, including a piece on Mooch and a sackful o’ ants by Boshua J’lanchard and a diatribe against the new iOS ant emoji by Joanie King.

We’ve learned together about the ways that ants and alcohol go together: in cocktails, in beer, in beer glasses, and in gin. And we’ve dabbled with coffee, too.

We also learned as a media venture that sometimes it’s healthy to take breaks.

The first ant film on our site (a mesmerizing short) arrived rather later than might be expected, but eventually we established an intermittent Theatre Thursdays series that has featured Empire of the Ants, Ants on a Plane, a special post-film discussion of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!, and Them!. Plus, we got our very own Film Critic, Derek Langston!

But the big screen is as important as the little screen, and our first foray into ant T.V. began with Santa Clarita Diet, continuing with Friends With Better LivesJane the VirginRick and Morty, the Kardashians, and Portlandia.

On February 18th, 2017, our editor-in-chief and Fraternal Correpondant received a shout-out on the “Unbelievable?” radio programme, hosted by antspired Christian Justin Brierley.

Then, on February 24th, 2017, The Daily Ant launched the now-popular series that represents nothing less than a complete paradigm shift: Philosophy Phridays. With 42 contributions to date and no end in sight, philosophy – and the world – will never be the same.

On April 1st, 2017, we worked a lesser miracle by initiating a Style Saturday series, pioneered by our Fashionantsa, Kathryn Pogin. Most are descriptions of exclusive fashion ensembles, but the most recent installment featured a video demo of “AntEye” by our Fashion Correspondant Rose Langston.

And then on September 4th, 2017, we worked an even lesser miracle, but a miracle nonetheless: following the passing of John Ashbery, we launched our ant poetry series, Formicid Form, which often includes a few words by our Verse Correspondant, Natalia Piland.

On September 28th, 2017, journalist Glenn Greenwald visited the Field Museum AntLab, and on November 4th, 2017, we launched Antstagram.

Then there was that one time we featured a non-ant.

But it shall always be an axiom that ants are the best thing ever.

We are proud to share our first birthday celebration with you, our dear antlightened readers. We invite all of you to stick around for Year 2!

AntHead2
The Daily Ant at day 366

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