‘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.

Expect a wine shortage this year

As if 2016 wasn’t bad enough, it looks like we’re going to be short on wine this year.

It’s been a bad growing season for vineyards around the world. Harvests in South America and France are both down because of weather. That means there will be 5% less wine made this year, which also means that 5% of wine drinkers are going to have to forgo wine this year.

You can always switch to bourbon. Oh wait.

No one expects the Spanish Gallus domesticus!

"I claim this land, its gold and its scratch for España!"
“I claim this land, its gold and its scratch for España!”

If you thought Peruvian chicken was good because it’s closely related to Huli-huli chicken, then we have some bad news for you. (And if you don’t know about Huli-huli chicken, haole, then you need to learn.) Recent DNA testing of ancient and modern South American chickens shows no evidence of a direct relation to modern chickens found on Polynesian islands.

The tests were to help determine whether Polynesian explorers reached South America before Europeans, bringing with them the Original Recipe. This idea developed from finding chicken bones dating back to the 1300s in Chile, before Columbus and the conquistadors.

However, this doesn’t outright disprove the theory that Polynesians didn’t get to South America. After all, we still can’t explain how sweet potatoes — a South American plant — spread across the islands before Captain Cook arrived in the 18th Century. If Polynesians brought their chickens to South America, it could be that they didn’t last long. Especially if they were up against the Spanish Inquisition, something they’d never expect.

People *really* love this gourd

Awwwww, yeeeeeeeah! Shaved.
Awwwww, yeeeeeeeah! Shaved.

OK, so some scientists have traced the genetic roots (ha!) of the South American bottle gourd — which people have used since before Columbus to carry and store their water — and found that it must have floated over intact from Africa.

Fascinating, but not why this story came to The Guy’s attention.

No, the reason we’re sharing this with you is to launch our new post category: Copy of the Day. (For non-journos, that’s short for copywriting, or the act of writing things you don’t care about because you’re paid to do so.)

And, folks, Los Angeles Times writer Melissa Healy can barely contain herself about bottle gourds, right in the very first sentence:

The bottle gourd, beloved since pre-Columbian times not only for its voluptuous shape but for its endless uses … [emphasis ours].

Oh my.

The snows of Ecuador

When going on vacation, it’s probably best to just write off all of South America. Really, we mean the whole continent. It’s filled with lovely people and all, but it sort of seems like they target tourists wherever you go. That is, of course, except for Ecuador. They love tourists there.

A French couple arrived home after a vacation in Ecuador, and luckily, their bags arrived along with them. However, when the couple got home, they discovered that their bags had been unpacked for them somewhere in transit. They had no clothes or souvenirs, except for a very special gift from the people of Ecuador: cocaine. 20 kilograms (about 44 lbs.) of it.

That’s how you get return business.

Kidz Korner: Klassroom Edition

Hey, kidz! It’s been awhile since the court allowed us to run one of our Kidz Korner features, which is so very, very whack. But, we’re back, so it’s time for us to talk–no grown-ups allowed.

If you’re a student in Arizona, then you might have noticed your mommies and daddies frothing at the mouth a bit, especially if they’re European-Americans. It may seem a little crazy or wrong, especially when they’re trying to get rid of your Mexican-American teachers and students.

Just make sure you know that it’s not racist. Continue reading Kidz Korner: Klassroom Edition

Another America?

OK, so we’ve been quiet about President Obama’s plan to bring the 2016 (that’s pronounced “twenty-sixteen”) Olympics to Chicago, Illinois. We didn’t want to jinx it, and to be honest, Chicago’s not very good at shaking off curses.

But despite our tight-lipped efforts, Rio de Janeiro stole them from us!

We don’t blame the International Olympics Committee because we believe they were deliberately confused by that Portuguese-speaking, Amazon-bearing, cancer-curing anaconda pit that Brazilians call a country.

Knowing that the IOC wanted to give the Olympics to an American city, Rio presented themselves this way:

  • They’re also in “America.” Yes, just like how Richmond is the incest capital of West Virginia, right?
  • They hold an annual Carnival that celebrates nudity, transsexuals and bead-based economies. Yeah, we named that Mardi Gras when we invented it!
  • They even claim to be world champion football players. Really? Which Manning’s on your team?

You know what? We don’t even care about the Olympics anymore. You can have them, Rio.

(Hey, IOC! Did you hear Brazil’s trying to build nuclear weapons?)

Warriors of the Week: Cane toads

It’s always fun to watch the opposing side succumb to infighting. When it comes to the War on Animals, there is still plenty of this, not only because of a food chain and all that nonsense, but because they can’t help but kill each other sometimes.

In Australia, cane toads are all over the place, or so Discovery (Channel) would have us believe. This is a bad thing for humans in most cases (like say, if you live in Australia and want to eat things produced on a farm), but aside from making a delightful squishing sound when you run over them, cane toads are helping us in another way: they are killing off crocs.

The poisonous toads, which are native to South America, are being eaten by Australia crocodiles, and the poisons then in turn kill the killers. Really, this solves two problems for us. We have fewer cane toads and fewer crocodiles. This is a win-win situation.