The best gifts keep on giving. This artist’s conk (Ganoderma applanatum) came to me by post. It turned out to be quite literally full of surprises. Eleven unexpected organisms popped out of it: one other fungus, and ten fascinating beetles. Also, and this was really quite satisfying: when it arrived, I knew I had won the argument.
Our intrepid reporter studies the science behind the movie, The Blob, debunking Dr. Meddow’s longstanding theory that The Blob is a mutant bacterium from outer space. Warning: this post contains actual ooze, plus a song that, if you get it in your head, will haunt you for days.
Back in 2007 I hosted a Bioblitz. Bioblitzes aim to inventory the organisms living on a patch of the planet. For fungi, this is frustratingly impossible.
A bioblitz near Ithaca, NY.
I ran a Bioblitz in Ithaca, New York.
You never know what you’ll stumble across in the herbarium. It’s a treasure trove of irreplaceable specimens, undescribed species, and occasionally, jokes.
Hippies, protein synthesis, and Lewis Carroll, mixed together like some weird Jell-O mold. Too fascinating to look away.
I’m fortunate to work in the same place Carl Sagan did. On the 10th anniversary of his death, a brief remembrance, and a celebration of a couple of other science communicators who influenced me.
The things that were once called Fungi but aren’t anymore are legion. Here’s one of them, a little swimmy thing that causes clubroot of cabbage. It gives cabbage monstrously clubbed roots, and as a bonus, acts as a vector for other diseases. Although we love its monstrous cruelty, we have banished it from the kingdom of Fungi. Be gone!