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Ant (formicidae) social ethology

Ant (formicidae) social ethology

A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by patterns of relationships (social relations) between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent of members. In the social sciences, a larger society often exhibits stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups.

Societies construct patterns of behavior by deeming certain actions or speech as acceptable or unacceptable. These patterns of behavior within a given society are known as societal norms. Societies, and their norms, undergo gradual and perpetual changes.

Insofar as it is collaborative, a society can enable its members to benefit in ways that would otherwise be difficult on an individual basis; both individual and social (common) benefits can thus be distinguished, or in many cases found to overlap. A society can also consist of like-minded people governed by their own norms and values within a dominant, larger society. This is sometimes referred to as a subculture, a term used extensively within criminology, and also applied to distinctive subsections of a larger society.

More broadly, and especially within structuralist thought, a society may be illustrated as an economic, social, industrial or cultural infrastructure, made up of, yet distinct from, a varied collection of individuals. In this regard society can mean the objective relationships people have with the material world and with other people, rather than "other people" beyond the individual and their familiar social environment. (Full article...)

Selected article

The Chaser pantomime horse stunt performed on 5 September 2007
The Chaser APEC pranks constituted a series of comic stunts that targeted the 2007 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Summit, which occurred from 2–9 September, in Sydney, Australia. They were coordinated and performed by the Australian satire group The Chaser for the television series The Chaser's War on Everything. The most prominent prank was the breach of an APEC restricted zone in the heart of Sydney's CBD on 6 September. Julian Morrow directed a fake Canadian motorcade, which was allowed through the restricted zone by police and not detected until Chas Licciardello alighted, dressed as Osama bin Laden. Although pranks that involved public locations, figures, and organisations were always a feature of the series, the APEC pranks yielded unprecedented local and international publicity, both positive and negative. Some team members faced charges for breaching the APEC zone, but these were dropped because police had allowed their entry in the restricted zone. Other less controversial and less publicised stunts were also shown on The Chaser's War on Everything, with ratings peaking at almost three million Australian viewers for the APEC wrap-up episode.

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Punch (magazine)Credit: Artist: John Tenniel; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

"Our New 'First Lord' at Sea", an 1877 editorial cartoon from Punch mocking the appointment of William Henry Smith (right) as First Lord of the Admiralty, the governor of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. Smith had been a household name thanks to the W H Smith chain of booksellers and newsagents, and he had been a Member of Parliament for the previous ten years, but he had no naval or even military experience whatsoever. The following year, Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore would satirise him on similar grounds, and he became known as "Pinafore Smith" throughout the course of his three years in the post.

Did you know...

An emaciated child and adult

  • ... that emaciation (pictured) is referred to as "shosha roga" in India, where more than 200 million people are affected by malnutrition?
  • ... that the Prison Officers Association threatened a job action when it was announced that both Birmingham and Oakwood Prisons were to be contracted to security company G4S?
  • ... that Albanian philosopher and poet Arshi Pipa was imprisoned for ten years because he antagonized the communist regime in Albania with his recitation of a verse by Goethe?

Anniversaries this month

Foot binding

Selected quote

Aristotle
Aristotle, Politics

Selected biography

Terry Fox
Terry Fox
Terry Fox (1958–1981) was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete and cancer research activist. He was a distance runner and basketball player, and continued both pursuits after his right leg was amputated upon being diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 1977. His experiences in chemotherapy inspired Fox to attempt the Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run, in the hopes of raising C$1 for every person in the country for cancer research. He began on April 12, 1980, at St. John's, Newfoundland, and ran west for 143 days and 5,373 kilometres — the equivalent of a marathon a day — until forced to stop near Thunder Bay, Ontario, after cancer returned in his lungs. Fox captivated the country; he was named Newsmaker of the Year in both 1980 and 1981, and was the youngest person ever named a Companion of the Order of Canada. His run and subsequent battle with the disease united the nation and led to millions of dollars in donations. He inspired the Terry Fox Run, held in over 60 countries and the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over $500 million have been raised in his name. Considered a national hero, many buildings, roads and parks have been named in his honour across Canada. (Full article...)

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  • An 1890 recording of Walt Whitman reading the opening four lines of his poem "America", from his collection Leaves of Grass.
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