The Biggest War in Animal History, an Incredible DIY Arcade Cabinet, and Thousands of Free NASA Images

An unassuming story of the greatest and ongoing war in animal history, your next desktop wallpapers courtesy of NASA, the airline that wants you to join the mile-high club, and more at Lifehacker Brain Buffet this week.

The biggest war in animal history (including humans)

You might think that humanity may be responsible for the biggest conflicts raging on the surface of the Earth, but we have nothing humble about this humbleLinepithema . This Quora talk explains why she holds the crown:

Once upon a time there was a tiny brown ant that lived near a swamp at the end of the Parana River in Argentina. Her name, Linepithema humile, literally means “humble” or “weak.” Some time in the late 1800s, the enterprising L. humile crawled away from the swamp, where a giant river otter played and capybaras jumped.

She took refuge on a boat that was sailing to New Orleans. And she went to war.

Without spoiling the whole story that you have to read in its entirety, let’s just say that you are probably very familiar with it – no matter where you are currently reading it. The Meek have indeed inherited the Earth. Even better? This massive global conflict continues right now. [ via Quora , thanks Kottke ! ]

Find your next wallpapers in NASA’s collection of 44,000 images of the surface of Mars

Orbiter NASA HiRise Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter floats above the surface of Mars, making many beautiful images and sending them back to NASA for analysis. While NASA is collecting these images to learn more about Mars, its unique atmosphere and geography, and what it can tell us about our own and how the solar system formed, they have also released a treasure trove of images – in there are currently 44,000 images and a count of high-resolution photographs of the Martian surface.

Seriously, go for a ride on them. You’ll see some weird and interesting landscapes, and at a high enough resolution, so we’re sure you’ll find a few favorites to add to your wallpaper rotation. [ via HiRise , thanks BoingBoing ! ]

Airlines that inspire you to join the Mile High club

You might not think that any of these exist, but it is true – there is one airline that completely specializes in helping passengers join the Heights of the Mile Club in flight, and they have competition. Priconomics summarizes :

Running a mile-high club airline is no big deal. For $ 495, the couple gets a private hour flight. The Flamingo Air pilot sits up front with headphones on (“He’s busy piloting the plane,” [David] MacDonald [CEO of Flamingo Air from Ohio] assures us) while the couple enjoy the rear of the plane, where the center row of planes is. the seats were removed and replaced with a pile of cushions.

Flamingo Air operates an average of three romantic flights a week, making it a small part of MacDonald’s business. Initially, Flamingo Air offered regional charter services, but when these flights became unprofitable, McDonald switched to sightseeing tours and romantic flights. Flamingo Air now also has a flight school and trains air traffic controllers and professional drone operators. McDonald may sound like an ordinary, albeit unusually hilarious, CEO of aircraft manufacturing, talking about the potential of drones to deliver cargo and explaining that air traffic controllers are the people who plan the details of commercial flights. It looks like things are going well.

Flamingo Air isn’t the only airline in this business – a lot has changed as Flamingo persisted, but Vegas-based Love Cloud has learned from this model and is doing the same.

Ironically, while you might think these airlines cater to the ultra-rich or giggle at the money burning a hole in their pockets, they are not. The romance of these flights that sell, and these airlines work better with ordinary people who want to take items off their to-do lists or do something special for their wedding anniversary. This story is worth reading. [ via Priceonomics ]

What it took to discover bacteria in the 1670s

Most of us are familiar with the discovery of bacteria by Anthony van Leeuwenhoek and his role as “the father of microbiology,” but the story behind this story is even more fascinating. In this video from Vox, we take a look at the nature of microbial life, as well as bacteria and other single-celled organisms that live with us, among us, and even predate our species.

We also dive into Leeuwenhoek’s own business of grinding increasingly thinner and more powerful lenses, his own insatiable curiosity and his shrewd business tactics that forced him to hide his discoveries from many of his colleagues to make sure that history did not forget him, otherwise his inventions will not would go unnoticed. We will take a look at some of Levenguk’s first lenses and microscopes and learn how they work. [ via Vox , thanks Kottke ! ]

This amazing DIY arcade cabinet is probably too much

This arcade cabinet was inspired by the book Ready Player One , but it takes the idea to a whole new level. The Imgur gallery tells the whole story from start to finish, but the required wiring and attention – not to mention the components and everything else – is outside the schedule, and while I was tempted to publish this as a standalone project, let’s face it. the level of effort and tools required far exceed what most of us are willing to use here.

For example, the animation above is a “blank” pulsing of light on the control panel, and the guy who built this is also one of the people behind this awesome NASA-inspired arcade cabinet .

However, this is a great project if you are interested, like any arcade cabinet build like this, and this one might give you some inspiration to try something a little easier, like our arcade coffee table machine , for example. [ via Imgur and Reddit , thanks to Hackaday ! ]

Everyone this week! If you have thought-provoking stories, interesting podcasts, eye-opening videos, or anything else that you think is perfect for Brain Buffet, share it with us! Email me , leave it as a comment below or send it in any way convenient for you.

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