Texas techno-ants

Completely unrelated: this set of photos on flickr is really neat. Fashion students at Virginia Commonwealth University were given an assignment to design an abaya. Heard about it on The World on PRI.

Now to the main point. This is why you don’t mess with Texas. We already have fire ants, which can literally breathe fire. And now, we have ants that will eat your iPod while you watch. From the article:

Worse, they, like some other species of ants, are attracted to electrical equipment, for reasons that are not well understood by scientists.

They have ruined pumps at sewage pumping stations, fouled computers and at least one homeowner’s gas meter, and caused fire alarms to malfunction. They have been spotted at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and close to Hobby Airport, though they haven’t caused any major problems there yet.

They’re clearly saving NASA for some darker purpose.

Exterminators say calls from frustrated homeowners and businesses are increasing because the ants — which are starting to emerge by the billions with the onset of the warm, humid season — appear to be resistant to over-the-counter ant killers.

“The population built up so high that typical ant controls simply did no good,” said Jason Meyers, an A&M doctoral student who is writing his dissertation on the one-eighth-inch-long ant.

It’s not enough just to kill the queen. Experts say each colony has multiple queens that have to be taken out.

Hell yeah. I’m rooting for the ants. Let this insectocalypse begin!

Franz Kafka would like this

I got a subscription to Backyard Poultry magazine earlier this year. It’s awesome. This month’s issue led me to to the City Chicken website. And that led me to this hilarious video that chronicles one man’s quest to find out if he can raise chickens in Chicago:

Update: Cleveland Heights has an ordnance against keeping chickens. Grr. Maybe I can team with the libertarian dude down the street and make a run for city council to get this thrown out.

Funny comic about python

This about sums up my experience:

XKCD Python comic

Absurd nitpick: I’m not a fan of modules that execute code on import. I would prefer that importing antigravity doesn’t automatically do anything, and if I want to use antigravity, then I have to call a function or something like that.