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.
about police-state behavior in insects, complete with information on mutant anarchist worker bees, ant-led coups, and parasitic self-cloning bees. (via BoingBoing.)
posted by Vidiot
on Aug 6, 2003 -
'A colossal squid
has been caught in Antarctic waters, the first example of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni retrieved virtually intact from the surface of the ocean. ' Related (old news from January) :-
giant squid attacks boat
More squid sites :- Search for Giant Squid
a Smithsonian exhibit about a 1999 expedition. 'Whether living or extinct, on land or at sea, in literature or in life, large animals have long fascinated people. The largest animals have been known and hunted since prehistory: whales, walruses, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and large fishes... However, one large animal has gone almost unnoticed or certainly unobserved in its habitat. That animal is the giant squid. Although these animals have been found in the nets of commercial fishermen, in the stomachs of sperm whales, and washed ashore on different continents, no scientific information has been gathered by direct observations of live giant squid ... '
The UnMuseum's article on the giant squid
posted by plep
on Apr 3, 2003 -
Crackpots and the Nature of Truth
If you're a busy guy like me, you take on faith a lot what is promoted as scientific truth. But there's usually a "crackpot" minority who may find a few data points which don't fit the orthodox scientific theory and claim them as evidence of a conspiracy or mass delusion. On very rare occasions (and this is probably NOT one of them), they may even turn out to be right. For this reason, the unaligned unscientific masses find it easy to side with the crackpots.
Those within the orthodoxy often take the position that confronting the minority in a fair and open debate would unduly dignify the minority's position. Unfortunately, the orthodoxy at the same time often loudly denounces the minority's position as "unscientific," but doesn't go much beyond that. To be sure, the minority's position often is truly "unscientific" because, for instance, it's unfalsifiable. The orthodoxy seems to be missing golden PR opportunities in articles like this. If the orthodoxy is truly concerned about winning converts away from the crackpots, shouldn't they AT LEAST take advantage of these opportunities to say a few words about what science is and is not, to inject some of the basic concepts of science (hypothesis, experimentation, theory construction, falsifiability, etc.) into the popular memesphere?
posted by ZenMasterThis
on Dec 24, 2002 -
which show just how much glaciers have melted in the last century. Now that the North Pole is a swimming pool, the Ross Ice Shelf has, as the Onion put it, embarked on a world tour, and the worst flooding in 800 years is hitting Eastern Europe, aren't we maybe a little bit worried about climate change... just a little, maybe?
What freak weather phenomenon is creeping you out these days?
posted by AlexSteffen
on Aug 14, 2002 -
Unstable genes make normal clones unlikely.
Dolly the sheep celebrated her fifth birthday yesterday. Most cloned animals aren't so lucky: they rarely reach adulthood, or even birth. Another reason why cloning humans might not be a good idea, "one can't expect to have normal clones - even if they appear healthy, they may have abnormal gene expression."
posted by lagado
on Jul 9, 2001 -