April 17th, 2012


so we just hold on fast, acknowledge the past as lessons exquisitely crafted

Saw this on leesa_perrie's journal - it sounds fun, and like an excuse to spam everyone with things! My topic is going to 100 small piles of words I come across. So, you know, paragraphs or phrases or lyrics I like on that day.

Here is my first one, from my Viva reading I was doing earlier:

How ants measure distance has remained obscure until recently. Mathias Wittlinger and his collaborators addressed the problem by lengthening the legs with stilts or shortening them by cutting off the tarsi. In this ingenious way, they were able to demonstrate that the ants measure distance by counting steps.

- from "The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies" by Holldobler and Wilson.
ANTS ON STILTS, YOU GUYS. I would love to know the thought process which led to that experiment. At any rate, it massively amused me, although it's not quite as wonderful as bee swarming experiments, where the queen is in a little cage and the swarm forms around her. Then when the swarm reaches a site consensus and starts to fly off, they get a little way and then are all "nuuuuu, where is our queen???? this is terrible :O" and then they go back and swarm because they won't leave her behind and don't understand why she isn't flying with them. Am I alone in finding this adorable and also feeling sad for the poor confused bees? :P

Anyway, that is the sort of strange things I'm signing up to spam you with :D

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