Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Vive les papillons migrateurs!

I have a big birthday coming up soon. A very big one, in fact. One of those large, round numbers that makes people want to buy you black party hats. Or, in my case, perhaps a big red one.

My husband and I aren't normally very impulsive people, but on his own Very Big Birthday about seven weeks ago, we flew out to his hometown and celebrated with my in-laws. My ceremonial birthday visit to my own relatives will be less elaborate, and has been scheduled for a future weekend. So, he felt it was only fair to semi-impulsively line up a big trip for my own big day.

So he's going to take me to a place where I've always wanted to go.

The big question: Where do you take an antenna-head for a romantic whirlwind birthday getaway?

Well, provided our promised wireless-internet access holds up during the trip, Stridulations will be blogging from just such a place in the very near future.

The Insectarium de Montréal.

During the Monarch Odyssey.

I couldn't have picked a better birthday. Or a better husband!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Here's the buzz....

Have a look here.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The first rule of Ant Fight Club is -- You do not blog about Ant Fight Club!

Ah, yes, but I'm not a member of Ant Fight Club. I'm not even an ant. So, I'm free to blog away, and here's the latest installment of our Ant TV series. Many thanks to Rick for turning my raw footage into this short video, as well as for adding photos of his own and some original music facilitated by GarageBand clips. The "video" was all taken on our two digital still cameras, pressed into service to record the ant action.

This Tetramorium battle, by the way, has been going on outside our apartment for six days (these things usually seem to resolve within a few hours, but this one's a notable exception). If it goes on much longer, I'm going to contact Jimmy Carter. In the meantime, here are our battling neighbors, captured on camera.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Still in migratory phase

Stridulations returns from the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, where I'm attending the XV Congress of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects. Myrmecos, who presented a summary of some of his recent research here, has reminded me that I've been remiss in the blog-upkeep department. Much of this has been due to lots of travel, both personal and professional, over the last few months.

This will be my last trip for a while, so I should be able to settle back down to a normal schedule in Rochester soon. However, this trip is a terrific way to end my summer travels before buckling down to my lab work again. First of all, the conference has been an exceptional one -- perhaps the best entomological conference I've ever attended. Second, this morning, while eating brunch in a local coffee shop with a fellow attendee, I encountered the indefatigable DC-based journalist Chris Mooney of The Intersection fame. Having also met some of the most respected names in both social-insect research and blogspace this week, I feel no need to ever go prowling for celebrities in places like Hollywood. Showbiz celebs just don't seem anywhere near as interesting to me as scientists are.

As for the title of this post: Check out this army ant resource from the California Academy of Sciences, and, of course, these photos by Myrmecos.

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