American History: Supplemental Reading

I talked about Cahokia and the mound builders during the first American History lecture. I just saw this recent article in Smithsonian that talks in more detail about the mound building cultures and explores the American mythology about these original mound builders and how it impacted things like justifications for Indian removal (one of the big themes in my lecture on Wednesday). For those interested in supplemental reading…

Smithsonian Magazine: White Settlers Buried the Truth About the Midwest’s Mysterious Mound Cities

u.talk coming up

Reminder that we have a u.talk scheduled for January 25th. On the schedule for this u.talk is Mya, Dani, Samantha, Joshüa, and the group of Anthony/Dawson/Will.

Don’t forget to sign up for your own u.talk on sign up sheet posted on “the door to nowhere”.

EVO: Zombie Fungus Networks Control Ant Like a Puppet

This article leads me to wonder a question about crossing the cooperation divide. How the Zombie Fungus Takes Over Ants’ Bodies to Control Their Minds

The fungus is Ophiocordyceps unilateralis. It invades an ant’s body and travels through its body as individual cells that replicate and eventually network together to act as a single parasite. This parasite controls the ant’s body to put it in a position (hanging 25 centimeters off the ground to a leaf) that allows the fungus to grow, pop out of the ant’s head and send its spores off to invade other ants.

Does this behavior (you might need to read the article to really understand what is happening) constitute some strange “crossing of the cooperation divide” as described by David Sloan Wilson?