Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ZooKeys: new online journal edited by Terry Erwin

From their website:
"ZooKeys is a peer-reviewed, open-access, rapidly produced journal launched to support free exchange of ideas and information in systematic zoology.

All papers published in ZooKeys can be freely copied, downloaded, printed and distributed at no charge for the reader. Authors may retain all other rights on their works. Authors are thus encouraged to post the pdf files of published papers on their homepages or elsewhere to expedite distribution.

Papers are published both online and in the traditional printed format, in full compliance with the current requirements of ICZN."

The abstract from the editorial opening paper:
"Publishing taxonomic and systematics studies in the digital era faces major challenges and requires new approaches, many of which are currently stimulating spirited discussions amongst taxonomists and systematists. New amendments to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature are expected to regulate electronic publishing of new taxa and create a standard form for their registration (ZooBank). Responding to a perceived need, this editorial announces establishment of ZooKeys – a new online and print journal in zoological taxonomy and systematics, which aims to quickly respond and adapt to the newest developments in taxonomic publishing. Open Access is accepted as mandatory for ZooKeys. Th e rationale for and concept of ZooKeys is discussed in detail."
Check it out here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The 2009 Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Awards

Photo from terpenstra

From The Dispersal of Darwin blog:
I am happy to announce this information from George Keremedjiev and Bozeman's American Computer Museum. In 2006, biologist Edward O. Wilson visited, gave a lecture, and signed books in Bozeman, as part of accepting the 2006 George R. Stibitz Computer and Communications Award for his proposal to create an electronic encyclopedia of all life (EOL, and see this TED talk).

Now, Bozeman and Montana State University will host in 2009 the first ceremony for recipients of the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Awards, which, according to the website, "will will be presented by Dr. Wilson in person to honorees who have pioneered, invented, developed or used modern technology to help advance the biodiversity of life on planet Earth."

A free public forum in the afternoon and a tickets-required awards dinner in the evening are scheduled for Thursday, April 9, 2009.

Four honorees have been announced so far:

  • Dr. Jane Lubchenco Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology, Distinguished Professor of Zoology, Oregon State University
  • Dr. Steve Running Professor & Director, Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group (NTSG), College of Forestry & Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT
  • Dr. Michael SoulĂ© Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Dr. David Ward Professor of Microbial Ecology, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State UniversityBozeman, MT

Updates about the awards, the events, and its honorees will be updated on this website.
[Photo credit: E.O. Wilson signing books in Bozeman, Montana, 2006]

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Kurt Kuene Antpage

By the way, when I was hunting around on the internet for random Fluon facts, I stumbled across this guy. That is like the coolest ant farm ever! He has detailed drawings, descriptions, and photos of the development of this thing from year to year. It is amazing. Check it out here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Where do you get your Fluon from?

One of my favorite ant-related products is Fluon. Liquid Teflon. The thing that keeps all of our ants from running amok (well, most of them anyway). Apparently the company that we usually get our Fluon from has gone out of business and our dealer sent us a replacement that was not so good. Where do you get your Fluon from?

Some interesting facts about Fluon (taken from a very old post on The Ant Farm's message board):

  • Its slipperiness declines over several months in warm, humid conditions, such as during summer in many places, or in tropical climates. In dry conditions, it may last over a year.
  • Some arboreal ants can climb over it.
  • Unused Fluon should be agitated, either shaken gently with a circular motion, or merely turned upside down two or three times, about once every ten days or two weeks. Otherwise, the polymer will settle out of suspension and become useless.
  • If you are a smoker, be sure NEVER to inhale combusted Fluon, such as might rub off on a cigarette. This can result in severe flu-like symptoms, known as "polymer fever". Wash it off your skin very thoroughly after use.
For all you thrifty ant keepers out there -- here is a 2007 article on how diluted Fluon works just as well as undiluted Fluon:
And for the historically minded -- check out this 1956 article mentioning Fluon (perhaps for the first time?) as a tool in the control of insect movement: