brucine (broo'-seen), 1) n. Pharm., Chem. a bitter, poisonous alkaloid, C23H26N2O4, obtained from the nux vomica tree; 2) n. Bruce Bortin's 'low-impact' weblog

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Raft of Ants

LIFEBOAT from Science News on Vimeo.
I was led to this video by Lynda Barry's excellent tumblr, BB sez check it outski.

  • Max Tubman plus 10 months ago
    ants holding on to each other to form a raft i think, where they are coming from i dont know.

  • bruce bortin 9 minutes ago Delete / Edit
    Some quick-witted antologist bought a bunch of ants, then formed them into a ball. To do this, I'd imagine he (and let's face it folks, it was a 'he') smeared the inside of a tennis ball with sugar water or Mountain Dew or whatever it is that lab-ants like, let the ants out of their packaging, and waited for the ants to fill up the up the ball.

    He put the ant-filled ball (you understand that the ball has been bisected at its equator, hinged, and it has a 3/8" circular port cut into it to allow the ants to get in there, right?) in the fridge to stupefy the little fuckers. After about an hour or so, he got out his video camera, trained it on an under-lit tank of water, and emptied the now solid ball of ants into the water.

    We're watching the ants as they transform themselves from a loosely coagulated, rapidly de-hibernating sphere into a floating planar raft, with a lot of fractal-y dendritic rule-based behavior action. Isn't it pretty?

Did you watch to the end? I'm sure I don't know what "Snout Utensil" refers to. Oh fiddlesticks. Watched it. Now I know. Thanks a heap, internet.

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