"A lie by omission may be a small one, but for a movement so vocally concerned with where things come from, the proprietors of craft culture often seem strangely uninterested in learning or conveying the stories of the people who first mastered those crafts." Lauren Michele Jackson examines The White Lies of Craft Culture. (slEater)
Research into a symbiosis between plants and fungi is challenging our ideas of consciousness and intelligence.
in the last few years there has been a explosion of interest in what is sometimes called plant "neurobiology." Plants and trees don't have brains and that's enough, in some quarters of the intellectual establishment, to settle in the negative the question of whether they sense, evaluate, think, learn, plan, act or feel. But that inference — from no brain, to no mind — may be too quick.
Roots and fungi combine to form what is called a mycorrhiza: itself a growing-together of the Greek words for fungus (mykós) and root (riza). In this way, individual plants are joined to one another by an underground hyphal network: a dazzlingly complex and collaborative structure that has become known as the Wood Wide Web.
This symbiosis is thought to be 450 million years old. The fungi help plants grow by assisting in the delivery of water, phosphorus, and nitrogen. In exchange plants send the fungus food. The network enables plants to communicate with each other. Fungus will even help plants defend themselves.
We know that trees also exchange information. When one tree is attacked by insects, we can measure electrical signals that pass through the bark and into the roots and from there into fungi networks in the soil that alert nearby trees of the danger. The trees pay for this service by supplying the fungi with sugars from their photosynthesis. And the fungi in turn protect their host trees from attacks by other dangerous species of fungi and contamination by heavy metals.
. . . it has been known for a while that trees of different species can communicate with and support one another via their mycorrhizae. I had already known that plants can communicate with unrelated species through the air; plants getting chomped by herbivores release volatile chemicals that are sensed by neighboring plants, who up their defenses pro-actively. But communicating — and even sharing resources — through mutual root fungi was news to me.
Mycorrhiza networks send nutrients to trees in need:
One of the important things that we tested in that particular experiment was shading. The more Douglas fir became shaded in the summertime, the more excess carbon the birch had went to the fir. Then later in the fall, when the birch was losing its leaves and the fir had excess carbon because it was still photosynthesizing, the net transfer of this exchange went back to the birch.
[Peter]Wohlleben: This one beech tree was cut four to 500 years ago by a charcoal maker, but the stump is still alive — we found green chlorophyll under the thick bark. The tree has no leaves to create sugars, so the only explanation is that it has been supported by neighboring trees for more than four centuries. I made this discovery myself, and later learned that other foresters have observed this happening as well.
This "allelopathy" is quite common in trees, including acacias, sugarberries, American sycamores and several species of Eucalyptus. They release substances that either reduce the chances of other plants becoming established nearby, or reduce the spread of microbes around their roots.
The Moon in Her Doorway. (Saturday flash fiction) "She didn't know why the moon had smashed into her house, trapping her inside. After working a double shift, she had walked home on tired feet under a night sky. The moon had hung large and low on the horizon, like a silver dollar. It balanced on the hill above her neighborhood. She remembered thinking, "It looks like it could roll into my arms."And then it did.
Or almost. It was larger than it looked."
"A typical stolen base is over within four seconds; a typical single within eight; a typical triple within 12. The most elaborate and disorienting plays might get to 20 seconds. I have found a play that took 26 seconds, and one that took 29 seconds, but I have never seen a play that took longer."
The Portsmouth High Patriots, though, once tried a trick play that ran two minutes and thirty two seconds.
BBC Radio 4: Misunderstanding Japan "What images come into your head when you think of Japan?
Dr Christopher Harding explores how Western media representations of Japan, from the very first Victorian travellers through to Alan Whicker and Clive James, have revisited the same themes."
"Often portrayed as workaholics driven by a group mentality, with submissive women and bizarre crazes, Dr Harding asks whether many of these stereotypes have led to the country being misunderstood by people in the West.
Have the Japanese had a role in perpetuating some of these stereotypes in an effort to set themselves apart?
What do our images, feelings, fears and fantasies about Japan tell us about ourselves?"
On its face, it sounds like a winning idea: ur-geek Eddie Deezen was bullied in high school by the surfers, so he seeks his revenge through science. Then there's the conflicts between the surfers and the "new wave punks," surfers against teachers, and surfers against their parents.
Throw in exclusive Oingo Boingo music with other surf tunes from the Beach Boys and The Ventures , plus more new wave from Thomas Dolby, Talk Talk and Split Enz, and add some toxic soda that turns people into garbage-eating zombies (of a sort), and you've got a hit!
I have gone to the San Rafael many times to see the pictographs there, some of the most moody and evocative pictographs ever, are there, for instance "A Shaman and His Dog" in Black Dragon Canyon, this is easily walkable. Here is a little video from Emery County.