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How ants build bridges using very simple rules

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Check out these army ants building an ant bridge across a gap that suddenly widens:

Army ants have tiny brains and no one’s in charge. So how do they organize themselves into building bridges? They rely on their strength in numbers and simple rules.

To see how this unfolds, take the perspective of an ant on the march. When it comes to a gap in its path, it slows down. The rest of the colony, still barreling along at 12 centimeters per second, comes trampling over its back. At this point, two simple rules kick in.

The first tells the ant that when it feels other ants walking on its back, it should freeze. “As long as someone walks over you, you stay put,” Garnier said.

This same process repeats in the other ants: They step over the first ant, but — uh-oh — the gap is still there, so the next ant in line slows, gets trampled and freezes in place. In this way, the ants build a bridge long enough to span whatever gap is in front of them. The trailing ants in the colony then walk over it.

See also How many stupid things become smart together.
(via fairly interesting)

Tags: ants   video
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When someone says you’re getting a little too attached to your project

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Things that are more heavily regulated in the US than buying a gun

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For McSweeney’s, Sarah Hutto offers up a list of things that are more heavily regulated in the United States than buying a gun.

Building a fucking shed in your own backyard
Disposing of fucking batteries
Cutting fucking hair for a living
Watching a fucking DVD
Importing foreign fucking cheese
Transporting a bottle of opened fucking wine home from a restaurant

Discussing the Las Vegas massacre yesterday on Fox Business, commentator Kennedy said:

If that psychopath had…driven a truck into that crowd and killed 100 people would we be talking about truck control?

Many quickly found the flaw in this “argument”, including @zeddrebel:

WE HAVE TRUCK CONTROL. Special licenses. Insurance. Regulations. Weigh stations. UNIONS. Bollards. GPS tracking…

(And btw, yes, it’s that Kennedy, the former MTV VJ and host of Alternative Nation.)

Tags: Sarah Hutto   USA   guns   legal   lists
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Beckyhargis
198 days ago
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Also, KINDER EGGS.
Columbia, MO

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Rental Car

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Technically, both cars are haunted, but the murder ghosts can't stand listening to the broken GPS for more than a few minutes.
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fxer
339 days ago
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reticulating splines
Bend, Oregon
alt_text_bot
340 days ago
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Technically, both cars are haunted, but the murder ghosts can't stand listening to the broken GPS for more than a few minutes.

This Building Has Emoji Gargoyles, And They’re Brilliant

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Architecture is often perceived to be serious and reserved. But in Vathorst, a suburb about 30 miles southeast of Amsterdam, a new building takes a cheekier approach: It’s festooned with 22 emojis.

[Photo: Bart van Hoek/Attika Architekten]
Attika Architekten–a Dutch firm with offices in Amsterdam and Zutphen–designed a new mixed-use brick building and decided to punch up the design with a few choice flourishes–namely the most recognizable and understandable emoji (which happened to be faces, according to a report on the Verge).

“When we start with a project we always try to understand its context and anticipate on that matter,” architect Changiz Tehrani tells Co.Design. “We also try to add a little bit more detail in our architecture–it can be a decorative fence, a nice phrase, or the date of the [building’s completion]. In this case we wanted to add something contemporary, interesting, and recognizable on this particular facade.”

[Photo: Bart van Hoek/Attika Architekten]
To Tehrani and his team, emoji were the ideal embellishment. “Emoticons are the international language of now,” he says. “The world communicates with these iconic faces, and that is something special we think.”

Lest you write off these graphics as gimmicky or too silly, consider this: Gargoyles–those sculptures commonly found on historic buildings–feature monsters picking their noses, sucking their toes, expressing anguish, showing boredom, and more. Emoji are the perfect modern version of these figures, and undoubtedly make the building more fun.

So far the response seems to be positive. Tehrani has noticed students at the school next door taking photographs of the building. He says his clients were a bit hesitant about the idea, but trusted him to run with the idea. We’re glad they did, too.



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