Smells Like Spartacus
April 2, 2009 6:49 AM   Subscribe

The Uprising Of The Ants: "Alexandra Achenbach and Susanne Foitzik from Ludwig Maximillians Universty in Munich found that some of the kidnapped workers don't bow to the whims of their new queen. Once they have matured, they start killing the pupae of their captors, destroying as many as two-thirds of the colony's brood. "
posted by The Whelk (32 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Viva La Revolution?
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:51 AM on April 2, 2009

Hail ants.
posted by gene_machine at 7:00 AM on April 2, 2009

Where's your God now, P.americanus?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:01 AM on April 2, 2009

This is simply a prelude to Phase IV!
posted by slimepuppy at 7:03 AM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

That's why we can't make farkers into slaves here (as is often suggested).
posted by HuronBob at 7:08 AM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I for one welcome our oh never mind.
posted by The Whelk at 7:10 AM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks, ants. Thants.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:11 AM on April 2, 2009 [4 favorites]

Ants are awesome.
posted by jnaps at 7:16 AM on April 2, 2009

That'll show them.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:21 AM on April 2, 2009

Somebody wrote a play about a guy called Ant who kept having run ins with a queen in Egypt or somewhere like that. I'll have to go and dig out the details. I think they both die.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:28 AM on April 2, 2009

I'm actually sitting at home right now waiting for the exterminator to come over for our latest round of "hold off the endless marauding carpenter ants." Maybe I should just hire me a few of these baby ant assassins. In fact, now that I think of it, maybe what I really need is my own insect army... Yessssssss! Egggggscellent!

*steeples index fingers, cackles evilly*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:28 AM on April 2, 2009

Thank you for leading me to a great site - something else to read in work when I'm up-to-date here.
posted by She Kisses Wyverns at 7:29 AM on April 2, 2009

Bless you, ants. Blants.
posted by Electric Dragon at 7:33 AM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I can't wait to see Ant Worker Party poster art linked here. Muscular young ants gazing over fields of fungus. Ants managing aphid farms. And so on.
posted by DU at 7:35 AM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have the theme to the Pink Panther running through my head now, for some reason.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:49 AM on April 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I hope that insect doesn't see me.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:02 AM on April 2, 2009

Heave ho, ants. Hants.
posted by davemee at 8:03 AM on April 2, 2009

That's really cool :)
posted by zeoslap at 8:15 AM on April 2, 2009

posted by sandking at 8:18 AM on April 2, 2009 [9 favorites]

oh i hate hearing about queens getting killed. can't we just get along?
posted by sexyrobot at 8:19 AM on April 2, 2009

This is simply a prelude to Phase IV!

Marvellous early 70's sci-fi. Here's the beginning sequence.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:24 AM on April 2, 2009

Also, the title of this post should be "Smells like Spantacus".
posted by DU at 8:26 AM on April 2, 2009

Heartless ants could spell doom for cane toads,25197,25267214-30417,00.html
posted by robbyrobs at 8:31 AM on April 2, 2009

Hassant-i Sabbah
posted by brundlefly at 8:34 AM on April 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

Viva La Resist-Ants!
posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:38 AM on April 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

sandking, I can't thank you enough for that link to the story "Sandkings". I've been idly looking for it for years, after reading it as a teen in Omni magazine.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:53 AM on April 2, 2009

See? This is what happens when you keep slaves. Eventually, they revolt and slaughter all your queen pupae by gathering around and pulling them limb from limb.

That's why all my ants are well paid employees with benefits.

Let this be a lesson.
posted by quin at 8:54 AM on April 2, 2009

I hope Maxis is paying attention for the sequel. (I wish)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:28 AM on April 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

This is all well and good but what I want to know is will we ever get an ant-scale redux of "Frankly Scarlet, I don't give a damn."?
posted by Severian at 9:32 AM on April 2, 2009

God, Sandkings is absolutely brilliant! I'd heard about it , but never had the opportunity to read it.


It's strongly reminiscent of an old Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser story, by the great Fritz Leiber, called "Bazaar of the Bizarre."

And speaking of the bizarre, I'd say Sandkings has deep and very strange resonances with A Song of Ice and Fire.

The envelope of the story, with the omnipotent owner of the sandkings manipulating the helpless and fundamentally innocent creatures he has enslaved in his lurid terrarium, is almost a perfect parable of an author of such genius as Martin's peering into the red-lit depths of his own unconscious and putting the denizens he finds there through all the vicissitudes his imagination can devise. The castles of the sandkings are transposed into that world almost whole, and the attack on the ASIF world by the ice beings is very like the vicious creatures Kress tossed into the terrarium to see what the sandkings would do, even down to the parallel between the coming of winter in ASIF and the way Kress changes the climate controls of the terrarium. The ceaseless warring of the sandkings, exacerbated past the point of insanity by the depraved cruelty of the psychopathic Kress, mirrors the battles of the humans in ASIF, and gives a savage mordancy to the criticisms made of Martin over the almost sadistic monstrosity of ASIF.

It's telling that the faces of Kress carved into the walls of the sandking's castles show such profound degeneration of character as time progresses, just as the pitch of violence in ASIF has risen to a scream as that story has progressed, whatever that may say about the character of Martin himself.

At the end of Sandkings, when the creatures have escaped entirely from Kress' control and he is in fact at their mercy, the sandkings all have his face.

No wonder Martin is blocked and cannot seem to finish A Song of Ice and Fire and set it free in the world; perhaps he is not able to come to terms with the prospect of looking into to his own completed work because of the danger of seeing there things about himself he does not want to know-- that he does not want anyone to know.
posted by jamjam at 12:43 PM on April 2, 2009

wow that sandkings story was good. even though i had to read it with one hand shielding my eyes like i was watching a horror movie
posted by jcruelty at 1:42 PM on April 2, 2009

Dance, ants. Dants.
posted by fairmettle at 3:59 AM on April 3, 2009

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