Houston sees fire ants, rain

Thanks to Hurricane Harvey, Houston is largely underwater. (And the rest of us have to deal with that alliteration.) A few people have died, but pretty much everyone there has had their life disrupted in a way that may not be reparable. And it gets worse.

Now Houstonites Houstonians Hueguenots citizens of Houston have to deal with another threat: floating bands of fire ants that are pissed off about their situation. The ants form into giant balls that float on the floodwaters as a means of survival. That’s correct, not even historic flood levels will kill these bastards. So anyone forced to trudge through the water, aside from worrying about getting swept away, has to watch out for the ants, because if they are disturbed, they will attack, and they are called fire ants for a reason.

So if you can’t donate money, or send old clothes, send these poor people some ant spray.

Scientists create race of mutant ants, because you don’t have enough to worry about

If you read this blog, you probably know that that there are more insects than humans on this planet, and you rightly suspect that they want to overthrow us as rulers of the world. So why are we making new types of them?

This week, two different research teams openly admitted to genetically altering ants. They worked with jumping ants and clonal raider ants, which both sound terrifying on their own. They then altered the genes of the ants to affect how they interact with each other. So now we have a few new species of mutant ants that aren’t right in the head.

You fools, you’ve doomed us all!

‘Crazy ants’ hit us where it hurts: our screens

"Oh, were you going to charge that phone? Eff you!"
“Oh, were you going to charge that phone? Eff you!”

For all their preparation, ants have had it rough lately. Nobody goes on picnics, or outside at all, so they’ve been forced to live on bugs and dead stuff like it’s the Stone Age or something. It was only a matter of time before a species figured out how to still get handouts from humans. In this case, it’s crazy ants, and they’re going directly after our electronics.

Tawny crazy ants, or Nylanderia fulva, are the latest South American import ant and may soon replace the fire ant — they’re immune to the acid in fire ant stings. But, let’s not celebrate yet. They also have a weird thing for swarming and destroying electronics, including power boxes, outlets and devices like televisions. In Texas, they’ve already driven down home prices by invading and destroying home electrical systems.

So, since we wouldn’t go outside and feed the ants, they’re forcing us back out by taking away our porn and Netflix. Nature always finds a way.

Seagulls attack people because of ants, study says

Once again, the English summer is marked by crazy seagulls. We told you about gull attacks last year, but it seems they’re even worse now, and it’s all because of ants.

According to a new study, English seagulls are acting strangely because they’re eating so many ants. The weather conditions in England, America’s beta version, have produced a bumper crop of flying ants this year, and they are leaving their nests early, too. This means the seagulls can easily gorge themselves on the insects. Researchers believe the ant-laden birds act a bit drunk because of how the ants react in their bellies, which makes them more prone to attacking humans.

The science is clear: we must wipe ants from the safe of the Earth, or mankind will never be safe.

We’re making ants fat

If there’s an upside to our constant consumption of fast food, it’s that we’re giving scavengers unhealthy diets, too.

According to a new report, ants that live in cities are more likely to consume fast food than ants in less populated areas. Out in the country, ants have a diet of grasses and whatever you hit with your car, but in the city, it’s that greasy food or sugary drink that you drop on the ground.

The long game here is to give urban ants heart attacks, and we’re doing well.

You Missed It: End of 2012 edition

It's how I do my thinking.
It’s how I do my thinking.

Oh, hello there. I’m just here sitting back in my smoking jacket and enjoying a nice whiskey on the rocks (my third). You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about 2012. It really sucked, didn’t it? Stop and think about it for a minute, did anything good happen this year to anyone but Psy? Not really. However, it certainly was a wild, memorable ride. Perhaps it was the looming threat of the end of the world. It could be the heavy buzz I’ve got going, but I feel like looking back on the biggest stories of this year. Grab a drink and join me, won’t you?

January:

Swingin’ Gingrich
Marianne Gingrich made her ex-husband, Newt, look even worse by dropping the bombshell that he wanted to have an open marriage. Apparently this is worse than asking your wife for a divorce when she’s recovering from cancer treatments in the hospital. Mitt Romney didn’t see what the big deal is–you can have more than one wife, right?

Also, they battle Hitler
In a story that can only end well, scientists in New York made “supersoldier” ants. I’m not really sure why this was so important to do, but now there are ants with really large heads. Their heads are so large that they are able to block the entrances to their nest when it comes under attack. Also, they do this really cool shield-throwing trick.

Equal time rule
A year away from inauguration day, and President Barack Obama was out on the campaign trail. He was raising funds, and he’d do just about anything for your money. At The Apollo, he noted that Rev. Al Green was in the audience, and did his own version of “Let’s Stay Together,” well a few bars of it, anyway. And he’s got the chops for it, too. The American public got to hear his pipes more along the campaign trail when he sang “Red Solo Cup” in Missouri. Continue reading You Missed It: End of 2012 edition

Take it from Snee: Bonaroo Book Report

This past weekend, I went deep undercover to investigate the unwashed underbelly of the patchoulingest music festival this side of Burning Man: Bonaroo.

So as not to arouse suspicion, I traveled in an assembled “hippie herd,” including a wife and another married couple. I disguised myself in a head bandanna and body odor.

What I uncovered shocked, entertained and disgusted me, often all at the same time. I witnessed both the glorious and ugliest sides of humanity. At times, I almost lost myself in the role, but after severe deprogramming with copious amounts of red meat, I return to bring you this report. Continue reading Take it from Snee: Bonaroo Book Report

Where do we sign up?

The cane toad invaded Australia long ago. Since then, the country has been at war with the large amphibian not because it is an animal, but because it destroys crops. These toxic toads also kill off wildlife that try to eat them.

The newest weapon in the battle appears to be a cat food can. Researchers found that leaving an open can of cat food near a pond where baby cane toads dwell attracts a meat-eating type of ant. The ants also happen to be immune to the toads’ toxins, and they can successfully eat the baby toads.

If we can use the animals against each other, we might just win this thing.

Key quote: “In one spot we tested, 98 percent of the baby toads were attacked within the first two minutes,” researcher Rick Shine told Reuters. “It was a bit like a massacre.”

Let hope this doesn’t transfer over to humans

Thanks to Max Brooks, the undead have not been much of an issue lately. That, unfortunately, comes to an end today. What’s worse, is that this is where the world of zombies and the War on Animals collide.

Science has discovered a fungus that affects carpenter ants in Thailand, because in Thailand, hookers aren’t the only thing with an infection. These ants normally live high up in the trees, but when the fungus infects them, it turns the ant into a zombie and makes it crawl down the tree, close to the ground. From there, it makes the ant find a nice leaf to attach itself.

Finally, the ant dies. But rather than becoming reanimated, it instead becomes a breeding ground for the fungus, which consumes its innards as it grows. Remember: aim for the head.

The family that stays together, takes over the world together

And let’s be honest here: when your family has got roots in Europe, the U.S., Japan, Argentina and, frankly, all over the world, they’re probably on a better route of doing so than us.

Obviously, I’m talking about ants, but I’m specifically referring to Argentine ants. They’re spread all over the world, they refuse to wage war upon each other (which is humongous given that ants can be fairly territorial) and–worst of all–we’re helping them in their quest.

Yes, that’s right: you. By traveling all over the world, becoming jet-setting, high-flying, wheeling and dealing sons of a gun (W000000000!!!!!!!!), we’ve unwittingly mingled colonies with other colonies and created this super-breed.

So, what can we do to stop this? Well, obviously, we could the isolationist approach, but, frankly, I enjoy my foreign food too much to allow this to happen. The other choice?

Simple. The article mentions that ants live everywhere but in Antarctica. Clearly, the cleansing and purifying power of cold will save us. Freeze the ants! FREEZE THEM ALL!

(Courtesy of Groonk)