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.

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Theatre Thursday: Them!

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


Six-legged Celluloid Presents…
A review of Them!: “We like big ants and we cannot lie, you vertebrates can’t deny!”

An-unfortunately-exploitative-poster-for-the-classic-THEM-

To my faithful readers and fellow cinematic antficianados, I wanted to both reward you, and thank you for your patience as you suffered with me on my previous 2 trials by film. At last, I present an ant centric film that will not make you want to pull off your geniculate antennae! Them!, released by Warner Bros in 1954, was one of my favorite giant creature features to watch when I was growing up. After my first viewing of the original Gojira (USA release Godzilla, also from 1954, also about an atomically enhanced creature), I watched a lot of really terrible kaiju and giant insect films, most of which were instantly forgettable. Them!, however, stood out as a shining example of a monster melodrama that was clearly a labor of love and not just stamped out of some generic mold to capitalize on the current film trends.

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New iOS Ant Emoji Enrages Entomologist

A guest post by Joanie King.


I am antsy over the new ant emoji (iOS 11.2). Yes, I am restless and agitated. This is no ant. I am all for cartoons: the previous ant emoji (iOS 11.1) was a cartoon, but it did not suffer from such a horrible morphological representation. It was simpler.

Antmoji

Ants are a major part of our world. Knowing who they are can help us know what roles they are playing. Knowing who they are starts with a basic understanding of morphology. What does an ant look like? Certainly not like the spider mimic-looking 11.2 version emoji – with its tarantula-like legs, lack of petiole, half-effort bent antennae, and huge wasp-like eyes (though, this would work if they were going for a Pseudomyrmex sp. look). The only thing that 11.2 has over 11.1 are the bent antennae; however, they appear to bend and slightly curve, rather than be elbowed (which entomologists call geniculate antennae). All ants have elbowed antennae. This is exemplified by the image below (which is from a blog post I wrote on Ask an Entomologist about ant mimics):

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Theatre Thursday: Field Museum’s Shauna Price at Music Box Theatre

The Daily Ant hosts an intermittent ant film series, Theatre Thursdays. This is the third installment. Enjoy!


On Tuesday, denizens of the Music Box Theatre in Wrigleyville, Chicago were treated to something truly special: A showing of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and a post-film discussion with Dr. Shauna Price, a postdoctoral researcher in the Moreau AntLab at the Field Museum of Natural History. We sent a reporter to the scene who captured some of the action live on our Twitter feed. Click the tweet to see the thread of commentary – with pictures!

Public myrmecology owes a debt of gratitude to Shauna price, as we note in our final tweet:

 

Formicid Form: Be Beautiful, Noble, Like the Antique Ant

The Daily Ant maintains “Formicid Form”, a Sunday ant poetry series. When possible, our Verse Correspondant, Natalia Piland, provides a short commentary at the end of each poem. Enjoy!


Be Beautiful, Noble, Like the Antique Ant

By Jose Garcia Villa

Be beautiful, noble, like the antique ant,
Who bore the storms as he* bore the sun,
Wearing neither gown nor helmet,
Though he was archbishop and soldier:
Wore only his own flesh.

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Formicid Form: “I Light the House on Fire and Lie Down”

The Daily Ant recently launched “Formicid Form”, a Sunday ant poetry series. When possible, our new Verse Correspondant, Natalia Piland, will provide a short commentary at the end of each poem. Enjoy!

Also, contribute to our ongoing GoFundMe campaign to bring classic ant tunes to life!


I Light the House on Fire and Lie Down

By Natalie Scenters-Zapico, in The Verging Cities

on my kitchen floor to feel the ants march
the hidden sugars on my body. They are
a crown at my head. Above me, leaves

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BREAKING: Daily Ant Launches GoFundMe Campaign: “AntSongs”

The Daily Ant is thrilled to report that we have launched a historic GoFundMe campaign: “AntSongs: A Daily Ant Experience“.

Bring such remarkable tunes as Tom Waits’ “Army Ants”, Frank Sinatra’s “High Hopes”, and Calle 13’s “El Hormiguero” to life! The Daily Ant will partner with Jordan Blanchard, a singer-songwriter from Michigan, to produce interpretive covers of these underappreciated classics.

If you would like to support this formicid-forward campaign, donate today!

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T.V. Tuesday: Portlandia

Portlandia is a pretty good show. But it always had a fatal flaw: no ants. Then everything changed.

Earlier this year, Episode 8 of Season 7 aired. It’s title? “Ants”.

There are a number of excellent ant sequences in the episode that are not featured in this clip, but for a taste of “Ants”, watch this:

 

Fraternal Correspondant Joshua Blanchard contributed to reporting

Formicid Form: “A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto”

The Daily Ant has launched “Formicid Form”, a Sunday ant poetry series. When possible, our new Verse Correspondant, Natalia Piland, will provide a short commentary at the end of each poem. Enjoy!


A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto

By Czesław Miłosz, recipient of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Bees build around red liver,
Ants build around black bone.
It has begun: the tearing, the trampling on silks,
It has begun: the breaking of glass, wood, copper, nickel, silver, foam
Of gypsum, iron sheets, violin strings, trumpets, leaves, balls, crystals.
Poof! Phosphorescent fire from yellow walls
Engulfs animal and human hair.

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