Anika Hazra Interviews Myrmecologists on Collective Intelligence

In a recent episode of the (wonderfully named) Science for the People podcast, University of Illinois – Chicago PhD student Anika Hazra interviewed myrmecologists Stephen Pratt and Simon Garnier. You may remember Hazra, also a myrmecologist, from her great antforgraphic on ant colony optimization! Now check out her engaging and informative interview of Pratt and Garnier, on ant intelligence, here.

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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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EXCLUSIVE: Glenn Greenwald Visits Field Museum AntLab

The Daily Ant is excited to report that Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and prominent leftist critic Glenn Greenwald visited the Field Museum’s AntLab midday on Tuesday, participating in a special tour arranged by our very own editor-in-chief, Benjamin Blanchard.

Although in Chi-Town for a speaking and book signing event at the University of Chicago, Greenwald, who is also a co-founder and editor of the media outlet The Intercept, heroically arranged his time in order to fit in the hour-long tour at the Museum. Meeting Blanchard and his advisor, Dr. Corrie Moreau, at the steps of the Museum’s expansive South Entrance, the journalist confessed to Moreau that he calls Blanchard “the nation’s most enthusiastic ant fan”.

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Ask Rivka Anything: Submit Questions Today!

The Daily Ant is thrilled to announce that we will be conducting a video interview with none other than Dr. Rivka Weinberg (Scripps College) for our popular Philosophy Phridays series! Weinberg (no relation to Justin Weinberg) has agreed to take questions from our many readers, even including “unfair questions”. So, please let us know any question you have by writing in the Comments section of this post or by emailing your query directly to us! The ant-ier the better!

Weinberg’s work focuses on procreative ethics, moral obligation, and the metaphysics of birth and death. Her recent book, The Risk of a Lifetime: How, When, and Why Procreation Might be Permissible, presents intriguing moral challenges to the act of procreation, arguing in favor of expanding our view of procreation beyond welfare risks to include serious moral risks. How much of a moral burden do procreative parents carry? Are gametes hazardous material? What do ants have to do with this? These are just some of our questions, but we want to hear yours, too!

RivkaWeinberg

T.V. Tuesday: The Kardashiants

We start this post with an unusual sentence: A recent headline in New York Daily News caught our attention. What was the headline?

“Fire ants could be used to help Kim Kardashian”

It turns out that a component of the chemicals released in a fire ant sting also may alleviate some symptoms of an auto-immune disease called psoriasis. And Kim Kardashian has psoriasis. Thus, fire ants could be used to help Kim Kardashian.

But our story does not end with this New York Daily News article. Investigative reporting by The Daily Ant has revealed that the Kardashian family is remarkably antlightened. There are at least two other occasions of Kardashians dabbling in the world of Formicidae. Consider this scientific inquiry by both Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian:

Or, dwell on this myrmecological musing by Kanye West, husband of Kim Kardashian, during a lecture at Oxford University (video here):

People say it takes a village to raise a child. People ask me how my daughter is doing. She’s only doing good if your daughter’s doing good. We’re all one family. We have the ability to approach our race like ants, or we have the ability to approach our race like crabs.

Thus, The Daily Ant is surprised to report that Keeping Up with the Kardashians by association, is one of the most ant-friendly shows currently on television.

UPDATE (09/13/2017): Public Relations Consultant Natalia Piland suggests that The Daily Ant ought to answer Kourtney’s and Khloé’s noble inquiry. The answer is: Yes, basically. In ants, as in other insects, it’s called an aedeagus.

In Memory of John Ashbery

Poet John Ashbery died late Sunday, at the age of 90. In honor of the polarizing poet, we present his 1979 poem, “Late Echo”:

Alone with our madness and favorite flower
We see that there really is nothing left to write about.
Or rather, it is necessary to write about the same old things
In the same way, repeating the same things over and over
For love to continue and be gradually different.

Beehives and ants have to be re-examined eternally
And the color of the day put in
Hundreds of times and varied from summer to winter
For it to get slowed down to the pace of an authentic
Saraband and huddle there, alive and resting.

Only then can the chronic inattention
Of our lives drape itself around us, conciliatory
And with one eye on those long tan plush shadows
That speak so deeply into our unprepared knowledge
Of ourselves, the talking engines of our day.

And Ashbery was antsy to the end. An excerpt from his 2016 poem, “Sitting at the Table”:

It wasn’t always this way.
Somewhere, ants were taking control
of earth’s blistered pulse.
Peanuts were jettisoned from the nacelle
of the montgolfière, all moyenâgeux and thrifty
as it came to be about. I ask only for staples
for my staple gun.

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AMNH to Enter the Future

The Daily Ant is thrilled to report that the American Museum of Natural History is poised to truly live up to its name. Although announced on January 11, 2017, we were previously unaware of this historic development: AMNH will soon house an insectarium! Marvel at the gorgeous artistic rendering of the plans:

Insectarium.jpg

The renovations are led by architect Jeanne Gang, who has strong ties with Chicago, and are expected to be completed in 2020. For more, check out coverage in the New York Post.

Naturally, we anticipate that ants will receive their due in this exhibit. Watch this space in three years for our review!

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