Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ants and flies...

In July 2012 we caught some queen ants. After a long cold winter spent in the refrigerator (winter 2012-2013) we placed them in a new nest and they started to increase in number. Currently there are approximately 200 individuals and a huge brood pile.
Colony within test tube

Being in Sweden there is a problem with finding nice ant food throughout the year. A solution is, however, to grow your own food. I chose to try my hand at Drosophila. They are very very easy to get, feed and breed. I keep them in a plastic cup with a bit of potato and vinegar, yeast  and sugar (my special recipe is available on request). Here their population climbs to more than 500 in a few weeks (way more prolific than the ants). I make a new medium once every 2 months and transplant a few flies (I create a population bottleneck without shame). The rest of the flies are frozen served to the colonies. The Lasius ants love these frozen treats.  
Meat for my ants
The most active colony is still in the original test tube within their nest (here are pictures of all the nest I have) but they are building structures within the main nesting area. I expect they will move soon...


Monday, December 23, 2013


Carina recently gave me a couple of Tinysaurs (available at: These are like the familiar wooden kits that you assemble by slotting together the pre-cut pieces. However these are really small and a tiny drop of glue is recommended to ensure that the model remains in one piece after assembly.

Below is a time lapse video (around 5 minutes) of the T-Rex assembly. This took me 1 hour and 22 minutes to build (shorter build time estimates are however provided on the website):

A few pictures of the other models:
Matchbook size kits.

Kits and instructions on the inside.

From left: T-Rex (pre-build), Hominosaur, Woolly Mammoth and Stegosaurus. 
Woolly Mammoth closeup.
Stegosaurus closeup.
Prowling T-Rex
Hominosaur held in huge fingers.

Assembling the T-Rex:
Work area.

Enlargements of the T-Rex laser-cut pieces.

A 400x enlargement of the laser cut pieces.
These models are really fun to build but you do need a bit of patience and if possible small fingers.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lego Star Wars Christmas Fun

Carina and I like Star Wars, Lego and Christmas.

We thus found got ourselves a Lego Star Wars advent calendar (the 2011 edition since the small models seemed more awesome that the others). Here are our current favorites:

Day 5: Slave I - Bounty hunters Jango and Boba Fett's ship:

Day 6: Chewbacca: 

Day 8: Rebel pilot Zev Senesca (read more about him here)

and our current favorite!
Day 9: The X-wing starfighter (an awesome minibuild):

More Lego fun may follow...


Monday, December 9, 2013

Lego minifigures in our house

Recently Carina found a picture of a Lego minifigure that she identified with.

I thus got her this individual:

We also found one that I identified with:

We also found our this Sith Lord and Supreme Commander who we could not refuse:

More Lego fun may follow...


Friday, December 6, 2013

A sad day for first snow

Finally the snow of winter 2013/2014 arrived. The wonderful whiteness arrived on the back of storm "Sven" that swept over Sweden. Out of the 4 winters we've experienced so far in Sweden the snow this year arrived earlier than two of the years and later than two. The mood of many lifted considerably when the winter darkness of November was replaced by the bright snow. All this was happiness with a tear though, since today is a sad day for many South Africans (and other people worldwide) with the passing of a great man...