Monday, June 12, 2006
They're Not Bad, They're Just Drawn That Way
As reported by ABC news and others, there is a new book out about fire ants that aims to set the record straight regarding apparent public misconceptions about their evil tendencies. In the appropriately-named "The Fire Ants," Walter Tschinkel, a myrmecologist at Florida State University waxes poetic about the little insects, declaring his love in an "epic" that is over 700 pages (yow). I have to admit, my curiosity is piqued regarding whether Tschinkel can turn around society's opinion about fire ants. Hey, remember that story about the guy in the nursing home...
Bonus points if you can figure out, without clicking through to the article, who wrote the foreword to the book (Hint: it's not him or him).
Extra credit to Floridian blogger thingfish23 over at Taming of the Band-Aid. He already has a post on the same subject, pointing out Tschinkel's assertion that the root of many fire ant problems is to be found in anthropogenic disturbances. Translation: it's our own darn fault.
Okay, I'll bite, or, perhaps more appropriately, I'll sting. Without having gone to the article, I am betting E.O. Wilson wrote the intro, because Wilson is self-proclaimed to be the first person to have observed fire ants after their arrival in the USA. Wilson says in his autobiography, NATURALIST, that he saw the bugs in his vacant-lot retreat in Mobile while a child.
*ding ding ding* - bonus points to biosparite :-)
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