Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Links!

Let's get started--just refuse to open or answer your door for the next hour.

From Robert, a link to a story that is so outstanding it almost sounds made up (but it's not): parasitic flies turn ants into zombies.

Yes, that is most certainly delicious. Here's an excerpt:
The flies "dive-bomb" the fire ants and lay eggs. The maggot that hatches inside the ant eats away at the brain, and the ant starts exhibiting what some might say is zombie-like behavior.

They're being tested as a way to control fire ants, in case you're wondering. Or maybe that's just a waystation on their way to world domination.

Allen Varney let me know (after I linked to Kim Graham's Troll sculpture last week) that there's a detailed account of how she constructed the troll here. Plus she just seems like an interesting artist, because there's lot's more on her home page here.

From Sirius, a link to a story over at Wired about a viral "missing link," and it's a fascinating story. Here's the lead:
A virus so large and strange that it’s redefined the very concept of a virus has been photographed for the first time. It’s even weirder than expected.

Next, the hobbits are back, and now it does look like they're a separate species.

From Jarod, a link to an epic (and I mean that in a great bad kind of way) website featuring awkward family photos. Oh, and one more photo link--to a gigapixel photograph of Vancouver. Yes, Vancouver is that beautiful, and yes, there's apparently a naked woman somewhere in the photograph. Oh, and you can keep zooming in on that image and it stays clear.

Here's a link to another amazing image--an aerial virtual tour of New York City (thanks to Julian Bell).

From Dave Alpern, a link to the "three best visual illusions" of 2008.

From Randy, a link to the works of sand artists Paul Hoggard and Remy Geerts, and they are just amazing (there's a slide show on the front page).

From the Edwin Garcia Links Machine, a link to an unexpected benefit from the new emphasis on scanning literary "treasures"--the ability to scan and read ancient texts that were once thought unreadable. And some of what's been found is incredible. Next, and this is a wonderful link, is the story of Wilson's ants. Edward Osborne Wilson is the scientist who discovered that ants used chemical signals in communication, and even this brief story is fascinating. You'll find out the story behind quite a historical oddity--"Stalin's ant."

From Dan Quock, a link to a video of more Kondo robot battles. These are hobbyist robots built using kits, and one of the robots in the first final (which is the second video on page) is pretty amazing. Also, a link to The Hunt For Gollum, a 40-minute Lord Of The Rings fan film made with a budget of $5000. Don't let the budget fool you, though--it's quite impressive.

Loren Halek of Colony Of Gamers sent me a link to a much more detailed compendium of what's happened in the world since Duke Nuke Forever was announced.

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