Around many ant colonies, laying eggs is a one-woman-show, the duty of the queen ant. It's a facet so ingrained in ants that a number of species have been known to drag females who start laying eggs out of the colony, biting and stinging them to death, a behavior that has been seen in the past as a move to eliminate competition to the queen. According to new research published this week in the journal Current Biology, though, the executions have nothing to do with competition among ants and everything to do with the health of the colony as a whole, suggesting the execution may be analogous to a cellular immune response in other animals. Read More
French animator Stéphanie Mercier has released a humorous animation titled "Girls Suck at Video Games." Don't be fooled by the title: It's a clever little ditty about how life can be tough for a woman who has to juggle a career and a baby-in-stomach -- presented in a SNES-like video game format. It brings me back to the days of Super Mario World and other side-scrollers I played as a kid, like The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse (just me?). What is it with the French, their preoccupation with sex/gender, and clever old-school-video-game-esque animations (warning: link NSFW)? Video after the jump. Read More
Social media and execution seem to be dancing hand-in-hand today, as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and cohorts find themselves the subjects of investigation regarding blasphemy against the Islam founder Muhammad.
The Register reports that lawyer Muhammad Azhar Siddique filed an application last month to launch a First Information Report on the Facebook-hosted "Draw Muhammad" page. Most contemporary Sunni Muslims forbid visual depictions of the prophet. If Zuckerberg, his fellow co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, and "Andy," the German woman who initiated the contest, are charged as criminals under a section of the Pakistan Penal Code prohibiting "use of derogatory remark etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet," they would hypothetically face life imprisonment or, worse, the death penalty.Read More
In 2010, we have the luxury of a technology like Twitter. We've seen it used to shamelessly advertise products, broadcast mundane life updates, and organize resistance to Iran's "elections" (though reportedly, not to the extent that we'd thought). But we never thought we'd see this: Earlier today, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff tweeted Utah inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner's execution by firing squad. WTF?Read More