In the highly unlikely event that you are an ant and you are reading this, then good luck – you're going to need it. For we are approaching Flying Ant Day – the few hours a year in which the six-legged arthropods emerge from the shelter of their colonies to reproduce in the land of giants.
You may see only vast and vaguely-menacing clouds of insects, but as we watch them turn to slime on our windscreens, it's worth considering the life-or-death enormity of this entomological D-day. "It's the event in the social calendar," says Paul Pearce-Kelly, a curator and bug expert at London Zoo. "It's the biggest one-night stand in Britain and we are bang in the middle of the season." Pearce-Kelly says some eager ants took the opportunity to make insect love when conditions were right at the end of June – but he reckons the majority among Britain's 50 ant species are still primed for action. "They like warm, humid weather and often come out on dusky summer evenings," he says, wistfully.
That could be any day now, but why the insect equivalent of the mile-high club? "It's a dispersal thing," Pearce-Kelly explains, killing the romance. "By sending up ants for nuptial flights, they maximise the chances of breeding and creating colonies elsewhere."
But post-coital insects must be valiant if they are to survive – and that's only if they're female. "Hapless males will die in very quick order, while successful females will have to escape the attentions of birds and people," says Pearce-Kelly. "When they land they lose their wings. It's then the very lucky few who find a nook or cranny where they might start to form the basis of a new colony."
It's a tough deal for ant chaps, but the reward for those few females who conceive and form a colony is huge. "Workers are lucky to live for a few months but after one hectic day in the air the ant who becomes a queen can live safely in her colony for up to 15 years, producing millions of young," Pearce-Kelly says. So happy Flying Ant Day (Flant Day in America), you ballsy little beasts – fly away and let nothing stand in your way. Simon Usborne
Ah yes, Obama remembers it well
Barack Obama has one of the busiest brain in politics – so he can't be expected to remember everything, can he? The President is currently being berated online for "forgetting" how he and his wife Michelle met. He told Russians this week that it happened "in class" when well all knows it was when they worked together at a law firm (Obama was an intern and his beloved-to-be was completing her first year as a qualified attorney). But maybe this is splitting hairs. Obama's placement at the legal chop shop could have contributed academically to his law qualifications – so it wasn't too much of a porky. Or maybe he was just simplifying things for a foreign audience? Either way, stick 3 October in your Blackberry, Barack. It's your wedding anniversary. Rob Sharp
Bad day for boring Bounty
Pity the poor Bounty bar. Being told you're "devoid of any distinctive character" is always a blow but to hear it in front of a packed courtroom is doubly cruel. Mars, the maker of the coconut confection, has been trying to trademark the Bounty's shape but the European Court of First Instance ruled has ruled it out.
Perhaps it's time for a makeover – after all, other bars have no problem standing out on a newsagent's stuffed display. A Curly Wurly, with its ladder-like form, could never be mistaken for a Caramac, known for its slender form and unusual colouring. The friendly face of a Freddo Frog is very different to the ovoid delights of the Creme Egg. But none of these can compare with the mountainous peaks of a Toblerone or the citrus sphere of Terry's Chocolate Orange. There's an idea – perhaps the Bounty could take the shape of a chocolate-coated coconut. Now if that isn't distinctive, H&R doesn't know what is. Rebecca Armstrong
He's a dedicated dictator of fashion
Every despot has his signature style: Gaddafi's aviators; Saddam's jauntily skewed beret; Darth Vader's cape. So it's no surprise that Kim Jong-il has gone in for a spot of fashion proliferation alongside his other pursuits. His dark and silken black suits channel the work of Japenese concept designer Yohji Yamamoto in their waftiness, and last season's Dolce & Gabbana collection in their similarity to pyjamas.
He's also rarely seen without a heavy pair of Eighties shades and he is a fan of platform shoes and favours volume in his hairstyles – it's whispered – to boost his 5ft 3in frame. In a rare sighting yesterday North Korea's Dear Leader looked frail but wasn't letting his style slip. That khaki blouson jacket is pure Prada, showcasing the minimalism that the brand became known for in the Nineties – a Communist and Utilitarian aesthetic, if there was one. No wonder Dubya didn't like him.
It just goes to show – in the court of the tyrant, comfortable casualwear is king. You can't do military exercises in skinny jeans. Harriet WalkerReuse content