Navel-Gazing

Myrmecos

Category archives for Navel-Gazing

Linguistics

I would like to point out that when an Australian says “pot plant“, they mean house plant. We had some issues with this linguistic distinction when Mrs. Myrmecos first moved here from Melbourne and started telling everyone about the great pot plants we were growing on the porch. I do congratulate the fine folks at…

Mingus the Cat

This shot was taken in the natural ambience of our living room with the soft light of a rainy dusk filtering through the windows. I coaxed Mingus the Cat to the top of the bookshelf with some treats and waited for him to check out the boquet. Owing to the lack of light I used…

A: If, at birthday parties, the featured game is “pin-the-stinger-on-the-bee.” your intrepid blogger, circa 1985 You may thank my mother for sending along this, um, interesting photo.

From the “I-never-thought-I’d-use-this-class” file, I took a semester course once from an oil spill expert. Professor Ed Gilfillan had studied the response of Prince William Sound to various clean-up regimens following the wreck of the Exxon Valdez, and we spent weeks learning about chemistry of oil spills and the factors involved in ecological recovery. The…

Cephalotes varians, up close

Blog posts are long, thin things. One could, for example, use a blog to post a high-resolution map of Chile. Or a single strand of spagetti. Any image up to 500 pixels wide, for as long as it goes. In that vein, here’s a Cephalotes varians turtle ant: Just wait until I find a stick…

What Happens to Women in Academia?

Earlier, while noting greater rates of pseudonymous blogging by women, Morgan Jackson raised the topic of why the majority of tenure-track science positions go to men. It’s a striking pattern, especially considering that at the graduate student level women predominate in many fields- including entomology. The obvious culprit is that women face discrimination in hiring…

The phylogeny of bug blogging

What happens if you score bug blogs for various characters and crunch them through a phylogenetic analysis? Morgan Jackson investigates: Although Morgan’s exercise was tongue-in-cheek, he did uncover a pattern worthy of further exploration: The last thing I want to comment on is the huge skew between male and female insect bloggers. Of the 58…

Topless Cannibal Ants

Although this paper is several years old, I still read through it for a good laugh now and again. It’s a bold attempt by Aussie myrmecologist Alan Andersen to remedy the dearth of ant common names. Hilarity ensues. As we know, ants are too small and too numerous for most species to have caught the…

I apologize for the slow blogging. I’ve been under the weather this weekend, and what energy I could muster went to more pressing things. Like patching an unfortunate hole in the kitchen wall from when the doorstop failed. I also had some minor paperwork. I am being contracted to work remotely for a University in…

Monday Night Mystery

What’s this? Five points for picking the family, five points for the genus.  And infinity points for figuring out what the those balloon-like structures are for. I have no idea.