As the classic public service announcement goes, “If you see something, say something.” But adherence to this precept clearly generates a problem: if you don’t see something, you won’t say something! It is perhaps because of this mental framework that subterranean ants have received such little work in the scientific literature, compared to their aboveground sisters. Either that, or studying subterranean ants is really hard. Whatever the reason for this historical lack of premier underground ant content, a recent manuscript by Mark Wong and Benoit Guénard in Myrmecological News is exciting indeed.
Liu Xiaobo once wrote that “life is priceless, even to an ant.” We are thus very sad to learn that the life of Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who was imprisoned in China up until his medical release a few weeks ago, came to an end on Thursday, July 13th, at the age of 61. For a spirited obituary by The New York Times editorial board, see here.
Sometimes, The New York Times is depressingly anti-ant. Other times, it produces excellent ant-friendly content such as this video recently sent to The Daily Ant by Comic Correspondant Matthew Hernandez and Field Correspondant Ana Rita:
Remember, dear readers, to stay vigilant against mainstream vertebrate bias, which takes many forms (really!). Pedagogical Correspondant Anna Cox shared with us yet another example of sneaky anti-ant writing featured in a practice test, in the form of the New York Times highlighting an invasive ant species in 2013. Invasive ants give the rest of the 10,000’s of species of ants a bad name – never judge the many based on the few!
In case you’ve been living in an abandoned ant colony and missed it — floral patterned fabrics are on trend for 2017. Everyone, from Dries Van Noten to the ants in your garden, has their own take on the look. Unsurprisingly, here at The Daily Ant, our take puts a formicid-friendly spin on the trend, for ultra-cool, funky, feminine style. Florals and ants? That’s a match so perfect, it might as well have been made in a lab.
A floral print tank functions as the base of this look — the blues and purples coordinate with turquoise sandals and a peony (and ant!) print phone case. Note: coordinating is not the same as matching, and that’s okay. You want the different elements of your look to blend, but they don’t need to come together like a bunch of drones to work. Myrmecologically-themed jewelry lets you wear something that sparkles without feeling like a pupa. Without that balance, jewelry on top of florals can be overwhelming. Formicid fashion is in bloom!
Thanks to a heads up from an avid reader who recently contacted us with the news, The Daily Ant has learned that this year’s Wimbledon tournament just received a great blessing. What blessing? Why, ants, of course!
On Wednesday local time, millions of winged ants emerged to participate in a special nuptial flight the Brits call Flying Ant Day. While this should have been a cause for international celebration at this international Grand Slam tournament, the mainstream vertebrate media predictably responded with shock and horror. “Annoying” writes The New York Times. “Plague” and “menace” cries Deadspin. “Distraction” blathers The Guardian. “Anguish” and “irritation” whines The Telegraph. “Disruption” grumbles ESPN. “Bugs”, “pests”, and “irritants” vomits Reuters.
Yet the ants have emerged victorious, flying (and mating) above the slanderous fray. We here at The Daily Ant are not ashamed to voice our full-throated endorsement of these wondrous reproductives. As the world’s first publication dedicated to producing premier ant content, we also call on our vertebrate peers to retire their hateful anti-ant rhetoric. The formicid future is upon us!
Going from the lab to fab, looking as fly as a flying ant, is as simple as updating some of your wardrobe staples. Case in point, ugly sneakers (I prefer the term ‘funky sneakers’) started trending this year, and they haven’t stopped yet, but you don’t have to go full-on funk to get the look. Your basic athleisure sneak with some contemporary detailing gets the job done. Take off your lab coat, throw a moto-jacket over your favorite ant-print tee and you’ve got a look that takes you from the classroom to, well, pretty much anywhere. (And there’s fabulous vegan options here, too). A classic and comfy hoodie isn’t just a practical additional layer; it lends your aesthetic a casual cool vibe, especially when paired with denim in a modern, slim (but still not skinny), cut. So, update your basics and fly on in style.
If you’re looking for colony-quality cozy — the perfect ensemble for the comfort-loving myrmecologist, who does’t really want to dress like a comfort-loving myrmecologist — today’s post is for you. If you’re not out in the field, and you don’t need to be in the lab, what more could you want than to curl up in style on the couch with the latest from The Daily Ant and a hot cup of coffee? Maybe a cup of chai instead, if you’re our antrepid editor in chief, but pretty much nothing if you’re a Phildris nagasau. With that in mind, here’s how to look cool when you’re being lazy.
Zella leggings give you quality and comfort. They work hard (like ants, and unlike me today), so they don’t lose their shape and the color doesn’t easily fade — key to keeping lounge-wear colony-cool. These have a small pocket in the waistband, so if you decide to be a bit more antdustrious and, say, go for a run later, they’re also convenient (no one likes to hold on to their keys). But if leggings aren’t your thing, Uniqlo joggers are a laissez-fashion win (though in cooler weather, the more substantial classic sweats from American Giant are a lounging luxury). Whatever your preferred tranquility-time trouser, a Pym Technologies hoodie, ant-print socks, and a faux-fur throw come together to help you relax in colony-cozy couture. Pour a hot cup of Kona coffee in a myrmecological mug, and you’re ready for a laid-back, but stylish, Saturday.
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.
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!).
The Daily Ant hosts a weekly ant fashion series, Style Saturdays. This sixth installment is a special Mother’s Day edition! It was contributed by Pat Myers, Empress of The Washington Post Style Invitational. Enjoy!
The Amazing Nthilla
The Style Invitational, The Washington Post’s weekly humor/wordplay contest, draws witty, funny entrants from all over the English-speaking world, including the mother of The Daily Ant editor-in-chief. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard much lately from Judy Blanchard, but for a few years she was an Invitational phenom, “getting ink” 107 times.
And one of those times was for one of the “Invite’s” many neologism contests, in which you coin a new word. The 2011 contest asked entrants to take a real word, then move its first letter to the end – and define the result.
Could it have been her son’s passion for ants that prompted her to come up with “Nthilla: A grain of sand”? What a nifty joke in that short definition, evoking “nth,” for ultra-, as “to the nth degree”; “scintilla,” the tiniest amount; and the grains of sand that often form anthills.
Like the ant itself, it packs so much into a wondrous little package.
By the way, The Style Invitational still comes out every week; even if you don’t do contests, the results are always fun to read. See them here, and to get a weekly email with a link to each new contest and results, contact me at email@example.com and I’ll happily add you to the list. And join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook, and they’ll anagram your name.
Pat Myers has worked at The Washington Post since 1982 and reigned as Empress of the Style
Invitational for more than 13 years. While she confesses that she is not in love with ants, she does have a Formica countertop in her kitchen.