People make maps in Team Fortress 2 specifically for grinding achievements. Bleak, joyless rooms of endlessly spawning bots and resupply crates, where people don’t play the game, they game it. But in one of these, achievement_all_v4, the author’s added a surprise. A violent, horrific, hilarious surprise of biblical proportions.
There are some unique finds that tell us about the early lives of people. But of course there are other ways...
Mathematician Barbara Shipman speculates that a honey bee's sense of the quantum world could be as important to their perception of the world as sight, sound or smell: "the mathematics implies that bees are doing something with quarks."
Telling the Bees is a blog devoted to (obsessed with?) bees. Bee lore. Bees in 15th century art. Dogs who look like bees. Bee cakes. Bees and indie rock. Bees and comedy. Bees and Sylvia Plath. Bees and bees and bees. [more inside]
Inscentinel uses trained bees to sniff out drugs, explosives, and spoiled food.
A new genomic study posits at least a reliable genetic marker for honey bees subject to Colony Collapse Disorder. [more inside]
How do you spread your genes around when you're stuck in one place? By tricking animals, including us, into falling in love. Orchids — Love and Lies [more inside]
An alternative look at Fatherhood: a study with bees shows that females mating with random males actually have more genes in common with their sisters than they do with their own daughters. And that makes them more likely to put the good of their colony sisters over their own reproductive legacy. Would that work with humans? Well, there's a society in China where kids don't have Fathers.
The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, casually referred to as Sōkendai (a contraction of Sōgō kenkyū daigakuin daigaku), was founded in 1988 as the 96th national university in Japan. Amongst other things, it is home to the Soken Taxa Web Server which in turn hosts the first online Japanese Ant Color Image Database that currently lists 273 species of ant, the Illustrated Guide of Marine Mammals and the Marine Mammals Stranding DataBase, the Mammalian Crania Photographic Archive that currently includes 704 specimens, the Morning Glories Database that covers the many mutants of Ipomoea nil, closely related species and interspecific hybrids, the Makino Herbarium Database, which is named after the pioneering Japanese botanist, Tomitaro Makino, and the Japanese Bees Image Database.
Tree of Bees? Hills that move? A reflective humorous post about living in Southern California via mockable.org
Robots ruined the economy. But even robots are affected by bad financial times. Nonetheless, robots help relieve the stress of financial worries. There are worse things than a financial crisis.
The Insect Close-ups Flickr Pool is full of fascinating pictures. There are all kinds of wonderful images to be found, of spiders, ladybugs, hornets, aphids, grasshoppers, worms, water striders and those superstars of the insect world, bees and butterflies. You can also search a map for pictures by location. If you want to take your own bug photographer Mark Plonsky has written a short how-to guide. He has taken some pretty great photographs of insects himself.
NYC Rooftop Beekeeper - At 6:30 in the morning I met David Graves of Berkshire Berries outside a lower Manhattan building whose rooftop plays host to one of the 15 beehives he keeps on roofs around New York City... At Zina Saunder's blog filled with her portrait work. [previously]
Man attempts to kill some bees that have invaded his BBQ, ends up annihilating entire colony of honey bees.
Häagen-Dazs wants you to know they are concerned about the disappearance of honeybees through a nice little flashed website. But we all know that the real reason our bees are disappearing is because of that damned hip hop music.
Flowers are losing their smell. The discovery could be one of several factors in the "colony collapse disorder" that is wiping out honey bees around the world. Even a brief glance at the titles of the news articles on Wiki reads a bit frighteningly, as do the previous mentions here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees was the first movie on the internet. Also, allegedly the first indie movie edited on a digital non-linear system. Mostly, though it's just awesome because it features a cameo from William S. Burroughs and is just plain weird. [more inside]
Voice of the Hive is a collection of informative and well-written stories about honeybees. Half of the tales are told from a human beekeeper's perspective, and are filled with valuable knowledge for potential hobbyists. The other half are compelling vignettes of a single bee's life -- widely diverse and compelling, told from each individual bee's perspective. The two elements come together to paint a fascinating picture of this noble insect's existence.
Our Decrepit Food Factories. Michael Pollan on what sustainability is really about. [Via Gristmill.]
Meet Mojo, a runaway who was finally buried 80 years after his death. Visit with the Orviss family in their spacious mausoleum. Don’t mind the whispers; there’s no reason to be superstitious. It’s just Calvert, Texas.
Evil Bee (embedded QT) is a gorgeous & interesting animated short about a worker bee in a factory who rebels; bonus points for awesome soundtrack by menomena.
Asian Giant Hornets in action. Asian Giant Hornets on the palm of your hand. Asian Giant Hornet vs Mantis. Asian Giant Hornet vs Asian Giant Hornet.
Are mobile phones wiping out our bees? Electromagnetic waves from cell phones and other sources may be the cause behind the mysterious bee colony collapses in the US and Europe, a serious problem for food crops.
Killered Bees. The NYTimes covers the mysterious collapse of commercial honeybee colonies over the last 5-months, covering dozens of states. The disease, Colony Collapse Disorder, does not have a determined cause. The Canary Database indicates that bees can serve as "canaries in a coalmine" for human diseases, as many other animals do. Some of the suspected causative agents (as reported [pdf] by Penn State) include a immunodeficiency, the hive consumption of high-fructose corn syrup, nutritional stress, parasites, infectious diseases, stress due to colony splitting and relocation, insecticides, and antibiotic use. The die-offs are likely to adversely impact both prices and crop yields.
OH DEAR LORD! BEES! BEES! BEES!! BEES!!! mmm, honey! HUMANS ARE STUPID!! BEES ARE ANGRY! BEES! BEES!!
"There is no feeling more satisfying than tearing into a beehive with a sledgehammer." This from Trainsaw, by way of introduction to their new Choose Your Own Adventure-style...er...literary adventure. If beehives, lasers, city destruction, robots, hot scientists, and the like aren't your style, try their many rants or reviews. Those lampooned include Bob Dylan, all the cool kids, diabetes, and a smattering of everything else. Definitely indebted to Real Ultimate Power and Maddox, but...definitely different.
Ask A Man? "You have come to the right place for love, relationship and dating advice. Ask a man will provide you with the love, relationship and dating answers you seek. Our staff of amazing men have agreed to break the "man code" and tell you the absolute truth about what your man is really saying to you." For example: "Men want respect. In a man's world, men are nothing without respect. In a relationship, a man needs to know his woman respects him. "
The Vanishing. "Bees are in grave danger. So is our food supply. Why something so small matters so much."
Painted beehive panels (accompanying article here) from the Museum of Apiculture [virtual tour, flash] in Radovljica, Slovenia.
Chicken Payback [WMP streaming video; Real Player stream here.] At first, this music video from The Bees [Flash site] seems like a quick, harmless Friday diversion. Not for me, though. For me, it’s rapidly becoming a truly painful earworm, and worse: is there such a thing as an “eyeworm?”
If a young worker attempts to reproduce, she is spreadeagled by her fellows and kept immobilized for hours or even days. At the end of her sentence, the best she can hope for is a reduction in rank and loss of reproductive capability. Often she is mutilated or killed.Fascinating article about police-state behavior in insects, complete with information on mutant anarchist worker bees, ant-led coups, and parasitic self-cloning bees. (via BoingBoing.)
How would it be to be a bee? Einstein has been quoted as saying that if the bee were to suddenly disappear, mankind would survive only another four years. So, make a bow to your insect overlords, and visit this site by a neuroscientist researching bee vision to experience first-hand how a bee sees. The B-EYE software allows you to set various parameters to see how a bee would view selected images, including Einstein himself. Or test your bee communication skills at Nova's "Dances with Bees" page, where you watch the dance of a hive mate and then try to locate the nectar source that he's mapping out. If you're still not impressed, consider that bees possess higher cognitive functions, including the ability for abstract thought. Finally, find out why nice bees don't always finish last in a look at the guerrilla tactics wielded against the dreaded "killer bee" by mild-mannered Cape honeybees.