Start day with peter looking under microscope to identify ants. There are apparently 20+ varieties of Azteca ants around, but there are only identification keys for 4 species. These ants I hear are also notoriously hard to tell apart, especially between workers. Queens are apparently the key to identifying species, but they are, of course, harder to sample.
Need to keep reminding self not to be bogged downby money or equipment failures,- place strict focus on the possibilities of experimenting, exploring and learning here.
Projects thought up the night before with Biologists
Despite that this may sound like wishful thinking on my part, considering much of what I study and will hopefully bundle into my thesis is about the values of situated design, but I am amazed by how much more rapid and powerful ideation and design can come forth when actually being in the field around excited, interested groups.
Leafcutter stop signs:
auto-redirect paths of leafcutters. See what sorts of gate timings going up and down provoke new paths or let them keep the same path.
Apparently scientists want to examine bee brains all the time. This means they have to cut the bees heads off. Bees like to walk in rows, why not hook servos with razor blades up to computer vision/arduino stuff.
Antotator:Adapt a temporal annoation system based on a smartphone (sort of like Documatic), to let field biologists quickly tag and collect data on their surveys. They could choose common attributes/tags, such as species, witnessed behaviors, or area descriptions, and input custom metrics like body lengths, and other environmental information like GPS coordinates, air sensors, timestamps would be included automatically!
Artifical Cecropia tree (for labs):
It would be useful to have a tree that is transparent to monitor the full colonies without having to invasively cut the trees open.
Items to purchase: Haircut, boots, fruit, machete (for peter), plastic melting soldering iron
In a way, this journal is a bit like Memento, and it’s interesting to know that odd specifics I include and exclude, will form my later comprehsions of what I actually witnessed. These slight changes to how I write things down, whether this is due to misperceptions, limitations of what I could actually write down at the time, compressed details from tiredness, or just plain lies…my future self’s knowledge of these encounters are at the whims of circumstances of writing.
Eyes feel funny last night. Have been pained since the end of florida. I’m not sure, however, if I am too aware that there may be something wrong with my eyes and psychosomatically these problems come about, or if I am just tired.