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"Exploding" Termite Species Discovered

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the needs-of-the-many dept.

Idle 158

ananyo writes "A species of termite found in the rainforests of French Guiana takes altruism seriously: aged workers grow sacks of toxic blue liquid that they explode onto their enemies in an act of suicidal self-sacrifice to help their colonies. The 'explosive backpacks' of Neocapritermes taracua grow throughout the lifetimes of the worker termites, filling with blue crystals secreted by a pair of glands on the insects' abdomens. Older workers carry the largest and most toxic backpacks. Those individuals also, not coincidentally, are the least able to forage and tend for the colony: their mandibles become dull and worn as the termites age, because they cannot be sharpened by moulting (abstract)."

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158 comments

I propose we name them... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785577)

Banelings 1.0

Exploding ants (-1, Troll)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785819)

Exploding ants aren't a new discoveries

Here's a clip from youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq3K9bE6PxY [youtube.com]

Re:Exploding ants (2, Interesting)

Eukariote (881204) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785905)

Indeed, not a new discovery. Exploding thermite has been well documented [benthamscience.com] in the past.

Re:Exploding ants (4, Informative)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786995)

What was new about this discovery is that the termites stockpile crystals in their little backpacks that intensify the toxicity of the toxins they excrete from their glands when they detonate. In another article I read, it acknowledged that suicide bomber termites are old news. Using a crystal backpack to intensify the attack is what makes this significant.

Re:Exploding ants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786127)

Informative? this is a fucking troll video you asshats.

Re:Exploding ants (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786191)

Informative...?

THIS! IS! SLASH! DOT!

*kicks Eukariote down a well*

Re:I propose we name them... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786303)

If it can dig hole, climb, build ladder and block other termites, I called it LEMMING!

maximum age crystals (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785603)

Scientists have discovered small crystals embedded in the ants' palms that turn to a different color when the ant's maximum age has been reached. However, in one colony they observed two ants trying to escape this fate by running away from the colony and finding sanctuary. Other ants were tasks with hunting down the two runners and terminating them.

Re:maximum age crystals (4, Insightful)

Master Moose (1243274) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785763)

There is no sanctuary

Re:maximum age crystals (4, Funny)

mcneely.mike (927221) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786307)

There is no sanctuary

But there is a wonderful older ant with a snow white beard who loves kisses and tickling and little girl ants that look like cats and....

Re:maximum age crystals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786881)

That's what Helen Magnus wants you to think...

This close... (2, Funny)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785647)

I was this close ( > ) to start mocking the submitter about misspelling Thermite. Luckily, for once I did read TFS.

Re:This close... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785835)

Themite doesn't come in species lol. So you shouldn't have needed to read.

We can learn from the termites how to fix Society (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785661)

These altruistic termites may not "understand" what they are doing in a conscious sense, but we could learn from them to fix our Society. They function not only as individuals but part of a greater whole. We don't need to explode to serve the greater good, however--we just need to do pool resources a bit more effectively. Sacrifice some resources if not to burst like toxic sacs.

So, as a society, why haven't we yet LEGALLY justified confiscating Bill Gates' money? Why is he allowed to keep his untold billions in unimaginable wealth when we have people DYING of fire ants in the southern US, people with non-custom pacemakers, the poor with curvilinear CRTs, and cell phone plans still being sold for phones > 0.375" thick? The fact that we haven't yet confiscated Bill Gates' money for the greater SOCIAL GOOD is a SIN and we are all CONDEMNED to HELL for it!

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (-1, Offtopic)

shinehead (603005) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785733)

Fucking Communist. Next you will be telling me it's my patriotic duty to die because Social Security is underfunded.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (2, Insightful)

meglon (1001833) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785827)

Actually, it's the fucking fascist conservatives trying to eliminate social security so you can die in the street like a dog that you should be worried about.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (0, Offtopic)

shinehead (603005) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786091)

I have recognized Social Security as threatened since the mid 1980's. And, with mounting deficits the Federal Govt. will have to cut social spending and I fully expect that SS will get the axe before welfare entitlements if for no other reason than SS recipients aren't effective rioters. In the meantime I am subjected to redistributionist taxation to support a feral demographic that has no concept of work ethic while trying to save waaay extra for retirement. I think the majority of Slashdot readership is in the same situation, squeezed between the Communists and the Plutocrats.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786233)

Funny how a fund that is protected by a law that makes it a treasonous offense to touch, yet it's in the general fund.
Whomever did that should have been executed according to the law.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786361)

SS recipients aren't effective rioters

But I bet more of them vote than welfare recipients. Which means that it won't be axed.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (0)

shinehead (603005) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786413)

I hope you are correct but it seems the politicians are deaf to the electorate on a lot of issues. What I suspect will happen is the demagogues will rant that "seniors are wealthier than younger people" and use that reasoning to cut SS. But seniors should be wealthier having saved their entire working lives.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786541)

"while trying to save waaay extra for retirement"

well if you saved waaay extra for retirement then why do you need old fart welfare? The basic fact about SS is that it doesnt account for inflation, so joe paid a tiny percentage of his 60-100$ a week paycheck and now is entitled to thousands a month till death, just for achieving the age of 65

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (0)

shinehead (603005) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786655)

I don't need welfare. Welfare competes with SS for tax dollars. Welfare provides people with disincentives to join the taxpaying economy. Etc, etc. Social Security isn't a Ponzi scheme, it's an intergenerational contract that works for everyone provided that it survives. Everyone pays in everyone benefits. Provided that it survives.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786917)

"disincentives to join the taxpaying economy." - yes but only when you are being offered starvation wages anything better is better than welfare.

Welfare has more than one purpose you know?
1. preventing starvation of useful people during depressions
2. suppressing starvation wages as standard
3. suppressing other(physically or sexually) abusive work practices,
4. preventing the formation of a slavery equivalent "indentured worker" class who have signed away their rights because it is (marginally) better than starvation.
5. reducing theft and violent crime, no steal or die situations, and allowing for stricter more punitive punishment as you can always say" you could have taken benefits instead to survive instead of crime"
5. allowing skilled workers to try for suitable jobs with reduced penalty to increase economic efficiency
6. catching people who should have other support but have been lost by the systems meant to protect them

To name just the ones I can think of right now, the indirect benefits are large so think about the knock-on affects before dismissing it

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (-1, Troll)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786999)

> Social Security isn't a Ponzi scheme,
Bullshit.

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

Being *forced* to pay for other people's mismanagement of their health and wealth is NOT sustainable.

By 2036, the program's actuaries predict, Social Security will have exhausted its reserves and will only be able to pay 77% of promised benefits.

by 2033, 21 years from now, the so-called "Social Security trust fund" will be empty. ... Is a Ponzi scheme - which is basically theft by deception - lawful just because the government runs it? The Supreme Court has said yes.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/09/08/is-social-security-a-ponzi-scheme/ [wsj.com]
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/04/26/social-security-iisi-ponzi-scheme/ [foxnews.com]

> it's an intergenerational contract that works for everyone provided that it survives.
So how did people survive for the few hundred years *before* Social Insecurity was created in 1935?

How has India managed to survive without Security Insecurity for the ~4,000 years prior to 1952?
www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v16n5/v16n5p11.pdf

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (2, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | about a year and a half ago | (#40787323)

>How has India managed to survive without Security Insecurity for the ~4,000 years prior to 1952?
By not caring if most of the people starve in the streets and being a 3rd world hell hole?
Seriously, if your go-to comparision is fucking India, maybe you ought to rethink your comparisions? Or your attitude.

No, the majority of readers here... (0)

publiclurker (952615) | about a year and a half ago | (#40787107)

are not a bunch of whiny, self-entitled brats who were not raised properly by their parents and thing the entire world exists for their benefit.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (1)

tragedy (27079) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786217)

In case you didn't notice, the GP isn't a communist, the GP is a troll.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (-1, Troll)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785845)

HINT: If we start confiscating wealth, then nobody will bother accumulating it in the first place. Your plan will work great for all of 6 months and then the entire world will be in the shitter rather than just large parts of it.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (1)

dankasak (2393356) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786009)

The OP was asking about 'confiscating' *excess* wealth. No-one wants to take your Hummer ( well OK ... I think these these should be banned too ... but that's another dicsussion ).

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (5, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786031)

ANOTHER HINT: Some of the greatest economic growth in this countries history (The USA) occurred when the top marginal tax rate was over 70%. Rich people accumulating money doesn't drive the economy to any great extent. Regular people with money to spend drives the US's economy which is 70% consumer spending.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (3, Informative)

tsotha (720379) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786727)

You're confusing tax rates with tax receipts. People didn't actually pay those higher rates. The high marginal rate was really nothing more than a subsidy for cities and counties. If you had money to invest you put it in double-tax-free muni bonds so you didn't have to pay any taxes on it. That was the real reason tax receipts went up when the tax rates were lowered - people moved their money out of munis because you could make more money even after taxes.

Not only that, but there were all sorts of ways to shelter your money from taxes that have since been eliminated. Everybody who made any kind of money had controlling interest in an money losing oil well or chinchilla farm or some other BS business. They wrote off the family car and half the house. Also, it was a hell of a lot easier to do cash business. Currency reporting requirements didn't happen until 1985, so a lot of people were completely off the IRS's radar.

In short, those high tax rates didn't hurt the economy because nobody paid them. The Economist had an article about this a few years back (behind a pay wall, unfortunately). It turns out wealthy people all over the world pay at most about 25% tax on their income, even in places with very high marginal rates like Japan and Sweden. As tax rates go higher they change their behavior. They take fewer risks and spend more time dealing with taxes and less time trying to make money. Worst case they move their money out of the country and invest it where tax rates are lower.

Look at corporate taxes. The US now has the highest corporate tax rates in the world. And yet, corporations pay almost nothing in taxes, because they've adjusted their operations to account for the tax code.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (4, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year and a half ago | (#40787085)

Tax receipts (almost) always go up regardless of how you change tax rates because of growth in the economy and inflation. The exception being major recessions like 2008/2009.

One other thing business owners did was to leave the money in the business by investment and raises for workers. Wages and salary for workers tracked productivity very well from WW II up until the 1980s when Reagan dropped the top marginal tax rate from about 74% to under 40%. After that people started living on credit which got easier because all of those suddenly wealthier individuals had gobs of money to invest. That doesn't help the middle class much.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786759)

The original AC wasn't talking about taxes, he was talking about straight-up taking all of Bill Gates wealth. The two things are quite different.

And of course people accumulating money does drive capitalism (it is very difficult to have capitalism without capitalists). Many of those goods regular people buy wouldn't exist had it not been for the millions or billions of dollars corporations sank into research and development, courtesy of capitalism. Granted, people don't need to be multi-billionaires to do that, but they do need to have enough money that they can afford to sink a significant amount of it into business capital and not every-day needs.

I'm not arguing against high tax rates for the rich, just saying the OP is a bit of an idiot.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year and a half ago | (#40787163)

Yes, the OP was out there a bit.

What drives capitalism is demand. Sometimes you can use your capital to create a new product that people didn't have demand for before but that presumes the people you're going to sell it to have enough money to buy it. The health of an economy has more to do with the rate at which money is moving through it than it does with how much wealth any individual accumulates. Right now the vast "consumer" class is holding on to their money or paying down debt if the can or is just barely holding on and not spending any money that they don't absolutely have to.

So theoretically at least if you confiscated Bill Gates wealth and distributed it to everyone ($30 billion/300,000 = $100/person) you would get a short term boost to the economy because at least half of those people would spend it immediately. Not something I advocate either but there it is.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (3, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | about a year and a half ago | (#40787225)

And of course people accumulating money does drive capitalism (it is very difficult to have capitalism without capitalists). Many of those goods regular people buy wouldn't exist had it not been for the millions or billions of dollars corporations sank into research and development, courtesy of capitalism.

Ah, be careful. There's a difference between a capitalist who takes their money and spends it on more expansion, workers and research to make more money, and one who guts companies for money to spend at the casino we call "high finance." One of these, idealized as the fabled "Captain of Industry," is an essential component in the success of a nation, the other is a parasite that brings about the destruction of nations.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786153)

HINT: If we start confiscating wealth, then nobody will bother accumulating it in the first place. Your plan will work great for all of 6 months and then the entire world will be in the shitter rather than just large parts of it.

Purely as a matter of empirical psychology(I really cannot stomach another tedious " 'communists' vs. 'free marketeers' " flamefest), I have to wonder if that is true...

As you accumulate more of it, the marginal utility of money plummets. There are only so many luxuries one can actually find oneself capable of enjoying. For that reason, I have to speculate that people who end up accumulating enormous amounts of money(especially if they do so over a number of years, rather than becoming wealthy all at once and then quitting) must have a rather weird relationship with wealth. Unless your job is also the hobby you like most in the world(or unless wealth accumulation is essentially a game that you approach with the zeal of a Korean stereotype), what kind of nutjob are you to still be busting ass at work if you've already made a big pile of money?

Given the dubious rationality of accumulating significant wealth for its own sake, it just isn't obvious that a higher effective tax rate would necessarily change much(though, given the dubious rationality, it could also turn out that spite magnifies the effect compared to the hypothetical 'rational man' scenario).

You have one data point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786773)

That data point indicate that the much higher rate was associated with a better repartition of wealth. it would be useful to have a second data point to see if there is a correlation, but seeing how the US cut taxes and go into war, you probably aren#t going to have another data point soon, as it would be plitical suicide.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786793)

One name... Scrooge McDuck.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (5, Insightful)

bronney (638318) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786805)

I can tell by observing you and me of course, that we're not rich. All my rich friends doesn't concern themselves with luxuries because as you said, there's only so much you can snort. The short-term reasons as you listed out are also valid. Namely doing what you love and money just comes in by accident, and earning it as a number game because all their friends have the Mercedes and the only way to "win" is to have bigger numbers.

Most what I've seen though, is the idea of a rich lineage. This is for both the second gen (born rich) and first gen (made rich) dudes I know. They aren't just concerned with themselves, but with godlike generations after them. It doesn't mean they'll spoil their kids with crazy luxuries. It means that their kids will have a wider range of choices in what to do with their life versus us. And their grand-kids and so on. When your objective is that, you wouldn't mind "more" money really.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (1)

Livius (318358) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786869)

It's not exactly "wealth for its own sake". For a lot of this people, it's what they do for sport. The money isn't about buying things, it's just how they keep score.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (1)

Capt. Skinny (969540) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786941)

Given the dubious rationality of accumulating significant wealth for its own sake

People accumulate vast wealth (and continue to work) as a measure of success.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (2, Interesting)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786481)

In addition to the other replies, I found myself wondering who would stop accumulating wealth. I would go to the same job every day, so that wouldn't change. Most everyone I work with probably would, too. The janitors wouldn't quit.

The sociopaths who, despite the decreasing marginal utility of extra money, nevertheless find new ways to extract money, such as complex derivative trading, might find their efforts pointless. They may go into some more productive line of work. After all, some of the most brilliant programming minds are being lured into the high payday world of finance.

People might go back to creating something of value, instead of chasing the big payday. Kinda like when the top tax rate was a lot higher.

Bill Gates was not looking for the big payday, he was selling a product that he created. The business grew beyond a BASIC interpreter, and his fortune came as a result of owning stock in his company. As long term capital gains, that is only 15% tax rate, and the top tier wouldn't kick in. He would have no disincentive for doing exactly what he did The only way to "confiscate" rich peoples' money is to raise the capital gains rate. And then the average investor has no reason to get into the market, with a typical return being 4-6%, and taxes already eat almost 1 of those points. So then you fight over things like alternative minimum, and someone has to define what "rich" means, which differs wildly by locale.

I think the higher tax brackets can be raised without anyone bailing out due to the taxes. I also think there is a way to encourage altruism, we just haven't found the right way. As much money as he has given away, it seems to be a selected bunch of private industry who benefits, and some humanitarian work accidentally gets done along the way. In other words, it looks more like a tax dodge than altruism. As a people, we can do better.

bull (1)

publiclurker (952615) | about a year and a half ago | (#40787111)

do you actually think that the parasites at the top of the heap would actually be willing to work for a living instead of paying their fair share?

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (1)

dankasak (2393356) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785977)

It's a good question, and unfortunately for you, the answer that is in the US, there is a very strong culture of competition, accompanied with a disdain for helping others. Think 'reds under the bed'. Also note the stupid wank who posted 'fucking communist'. People like that are EVERYWHERE in the US - the whole social structure is decaying. Many people still buy the whole 'if we just remove all restrains on corporations and taxes, everything will be roses and lollypops'. It will take some very severe shocks to shake people out of this mentality ... and frankly ... very severe shocks is precisely what the US deserves. Let's see round 2 of the internetional financial market collapse ...

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (0)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785979)

I know you're trolling, but some people who read your inane ranting might not know that Bill Gates has given away almost half his net work since 2007. In fact, the amount he's donated is more than the 8th richest man in the world (I think that's the number, Google it) is worth in total.

THAT is how it should work.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786669)

"THAT is how it should work."

Indeed. I want to give my tax money to stuff _I_ want, when I want it and if I want it too.
Unfortunately that works only for people who strap their dogs to the roof of their cars.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (2)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786693)

The irony here is that it's the lowly workers sacrificing themselves. And the elderly at that. I notice that the termite queen isn't blowing herself up for anyone and, in fact, is hidden safely away in the colony while others do the hard work. So much for your arguments about the common good.

The problem I've found with those I've encountered who push communistic ideals, both personally and online, is that they tend to look down on the majority of the population as stupid. The masses are too dumb to appreciate the wonders communism will bestow on us all. They seem to maintain this attitude that they're one of the enlightened, one of the elites who will sit above the rest by virtue of pushing communism so fervently.

The sad fact is that the same scumbags screwing us right now would continue to be the ones screwing us if we switched to communism. Nothing changes except that you've institutionalized misery for the masses.

Re:We can learn from the termites how to fix Socie (2)

The Master Control P (655590) | about a year and a half ago | (#40787287)

The original Communists did a good job diagnosing the problems with Capitalism... too bad their cure is worse than the disease.

And a slight nitpick, it wouldn't be the same scumbags screwing us, those would be hanging from the gallows. New sociopathic scumbags-in-waiting from the proletariat fighting to take their place (Stalin vs Trotsky, anyone?) would be the ones screwing us.

They don't explode in the video (3, Informative)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785663)

They swell up, they dribble, explode? I never saw it in the example provided.

Re:They don't explode in the video (4, Funny)

Megahard (1053072) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785755)

There's plenty other videos on the internet of things swelling up, dribbling, and exploding.

Re:They don't explode in the video (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785803)

A) Does it cure cancer
B) Does it get me high

All other answers will bore me to tears.

Titan Project - Exploding Termite! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785665)

I bet Blizzard is responsible for this 'exploding termite' product. Is Blizzard company conducting a secret experiment that we didn't know about? Is this part of the 'Titan' project? Oh No!

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

I believe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785679)

we should expect that level of Altrusim from political leaders of all parties - ship em to Afghanistan

Re:I believe (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786177)

we should expect that level of Altrusim from political leaders of all parties - ship em to Afghanistan

You don't want to go there. Among termites, the leader lies immobile, too bloated with the next generation of sterile workers to move, constantly licked and tended by fanatical servitors controlled by chemical signals.

Are there really any world leaders that you would want to imagine holed up in the basement of their respective governance structures, their bloated, naked, abdomen stuffed with fetuses to the size of a 747 fuselage, being fanatically tongue-bathed by their aides as they pour forth the next generation of citizens to serve the nation?

Re:I believe (2)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786295)

You are right. I don't want to imagine that.
However...
I can believe that some of them would find it appealing.

Re:I believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40787305)

Funny, that description made this image [photobucket.com] come to mind.

The suicide bombers of the insect world. (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785775)

Suicide bombers think they're being altruistic too.

Re:The suicide bombers of the insect world. (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785871)

no, they just want the pleasures of 72 maggots.

Re:The suicide bombers of the insect world. (4, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785951)

I laughed.

But my pedantic amateur entomologist self says that maggots are for flies. Termites have nymphs which sounds a whole lot more appealing anyway ;)

Re:The suicide bombers of the insect world. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40787273)

no, they just want the pleasures of 72 maggots.

Why would they want to meet my ex-wife?

Re:The suicide bombers of the insect world. (2)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786201)

If they strapped the vest onto some 75 year old imam, then I'd say 'Yes'. But they find the younger and potentially more valuable members to society. Or the skilled (engineers, pilots, etc.) and sent them in.

Cowards.

Re:The suicide bombers of the insect world. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786209)

Suicide bombers think they're being altruistic too.

Are they incorrect? Suicide bombing is rather... downmarket... in these days of advanced robotic munitions(and so tends to be done against, rather than for us in particular); but if accepting a mission with a near-100% fatality rate in order to advance your in-group's objectives doesn't qualify as 'altruism', it's hard to imagine what would... Nothing about the definition of 'altruism' requires that your in-group be especially large, or not a bunch of raging assholes.

Re:The suicide bombers of the insect world. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786843)

Yes, they are incorrect. How is it altruistic if a) they believe they get a large prize in heaven for their actions, b) they kill a bunch of innocent people in the process and c) they are brainwashed into it ?

Wow! God is amazing. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785795)

How could something like this come out of nothing? And people wonder why evolutionists are considered dumb.

Re:Wow! God is amazing. (2)

meglon (1001833) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785843)

"Evolutionists" are considered dumb by people who have their heads buried so far up their ass that they don't even begin to have a clue what reality is. My suggestion is try using that brain you think God gave you for once in your life, and actually learn something other that what your preacher tells you while you're n your knees in front of him.

Re:Wow! God is amazing. (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785913)

How could something like this come out of nothing? And people wonder why evolutionists are considered dumb.

No, they were made by an exploding god. Better not miss communion there. The last dude who did triggered the Big Bang.

You've been warned: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030630.html [nasa.gov]

Re:Wow! God is amazing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786121)

Just because YOU are too mentally limited to see the long chain of steps in the process of natural selection does not mean it cannot happen.

You can't see it happening because you are not as smart as other people, who can.

And people wonder why religious fanatics are considered dumb....

Re:Wow! God is amazing. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786229)

How could something like this come out of nothing? And people wonder why evolutionists are considered dumb.

The problem for 'natural theologians'(aside from, y'know, this crazy 'science' stuff that the kids are doing these days...) is that a look a nature suggests that its creator is kind of an awful person, if atypically clever by the standards of sociopathic sadists.

Regardless of whether you believe in one or not, you'll bloody well be hoping that the chap responsible for this world doesn't have control over your eternal afterlife after just a semester or so of a decent parasitiology class...

Re:Wow! God is amazing. (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786305)

I think this speaks volumes about the amazing power of evolutionary processes, especially on a big planet over millions of years.

If you're impressed, I'd say credit God with setting up such an amazing system.

The Swarm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785811)

Master Chief... where are you!

Agism in the Workplace? (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785837)

Older workers carry the largest and most toxic backpacks. Those individuals also, not coincidentally, are the least able to forage and tend for the colony: their mandibles become dull and worn as the termites age

"and get off my #@!& lawn!" KABOOOM!
   

And this news because? (4, Informative)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#40785895)

This kind of suicidal defence using bodily fluids is not unheard of among certain termite species [wikipedia.org] .

Re:And this news because? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40785997)

So now even termites are converting to Islam?

Re:And this news because? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786717)

heh you joke but if the gays always trot out the "but the animals do it!", now you have seen the justification for both suicide bombers and chemical warfare.

Funny world.

Great Idea! (2)

paleo2002 (1079697) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786033)

Splice this into humans and it'll solve the social security's financial problems AND the war on terror! Bonus: the line at the post office will move faster.

Suicide bombing by the elderly? Blue crystals? (3, Funny)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786041)

Sounds like these little guys have been watching too much Breaking Bad....

Not news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786097)

Exploding termites have been known about for quite a while. Check out wikipedia [wikipedia.org] 's page on the subject: the oldest reference cited is from 1974.

Re:Not news (2)

z3d4r (598419) | about a year and a half ago | (#40787131)

Exploding termites have been known about for quite a while. Check out wikipedia [wikipedia.org] 's page on the subject: the oldest reference cited is from 1974.

what hasnt been seen until now is that these termites are using a toxic bomb that mixes two seperate ingredients.
while the wiki link you provided does cite older references, they are only for the single ingredient toxic bombs.
the most recent references it contains are dated today, and show the dual ingredient bomb carrying termites.

the other interesting thing about these termites is that the secondary ingredient is a crystiline copper chemical that is accumulated over the workers life, resulting in older workers becoming the more deadly defenders

Virgins (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786205)

It's not altruism; it's the virgin termites.

Doesn't this violate international arms accords... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786337)

... banning binary weapons?

FROG BLAST THE VENT CORE!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786565)

Anybody else think of exploding Bobs?

Another reason /. now sucks (4, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | about a year and a half ago | (#40786721)

Why on Earth is this tagged "idle"? And why are most of the comments jokes? Well, most likely there's lots of jokes because it's "idle". Are there any actual nerds still here?

You FAIL it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786751)

sux0r status, *BSD a sad world. At copy a 17 Meg file save Linux from a FreeBSD showed clothes or be a ago, many of you than this BSD box, World's Gay Nigger give BSD credit Usenet posts. 8ew core is going found out about the continues in a about a project words, don't get baby...don't fear server crashes your own towel in obsessives and the base for FreeBSD A GAY NIGGER vitality. Like an Exemplified by questions, then OpenBSD leader Theo We strongly urge

Ant inflammatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40786835)

In the videos, they neither died nor exploded. Can you say inflammatory post title?

Reminds me of futurama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40787081)

WHAT!?!? *blows up*

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