Tag Archives | Mushrooms

The Mushroom That Eats Plastic

Mushroom 001Is this the answer to the ever-growing plastic scourge on our planet? From co.exist:

The Amazon is home to more species than almost anywhere else on earth. One of them, carried home recently by a group from Yale University, appears to be quite happy eating plastic in airless landfills.

The group of students, part of Yale’s annual Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory with molecular biochemistry professor Scott Strobel, ventured to the jungles of Ecuador. The mission was to allow “students to experience the scientific inquiry process in a comprehensive and creative way.” The group searched for plants, and then cultured the microorganisms within the plant tissue. As it turns out, they brought back a fungus new to science with a voracious appetite for a global waste problem: polyurethane.

The common plastic is used for everything from garden hoses to shoes and truck seats. Once it gets into the trash stream, it persists for generations.

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Mushroom Death Suit

5934717321_bb03e77a6d_bSomeday the lifeless bodies of all of us may be laid into the cold earth zipped snugly in the outfit at right. Artist Jae Rhim Lee designed her mushroom burial suit to address how we part with the dead — “By trying to preserve the body we poison the living.” The garment is embedded with spores of toxin-cleaning, flesh-eating mushrooms that will consume the corpse wearing it, leaving the earth cleansed and renewed as we make our exit:

The first prototype of the Infinity Burial Suit is a body suit embroidered with thread infused with mushroom spores. The embroidery pattern resembles the dendritic growth of mushroom mycelium. The Suit is accompanied by an Alternative Embalming Fluid, a liquid spore slurry, and Decompiculture Makeup, a two-part makeup consisting of a mixture of dry mineral makeup and dried mushroom spores and a separate liquid culture medium. Combining the two parts and applying them to the body activates the mushroom spores to develop and grow.

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Santa Flying High On Mushrooms

Fly agaricOne of the highlights of Graham Hancock’s lecture in support of his new book Entangled is when he shows us how the mythological character that he refers to as “Father Christmas” (better known in the U.S. as Santa Claus) has much in common with Siberian Tungus shamans who fly high on fly agaric (amanita muscaria) mushrooms, eaten by reindeer whose urine is then drunk by the shamans — and whose urine is then drunk by villagers, passing through up to seven bladders before potency is lost. Gross, right? Yes, but effective!

disinformation reader Dainius sent along a link to a similar account, saying it’s “about how the meme of Santa Claus was born in the minds of tribal psychonauts, and shows the fascinating links between Christmas and shamanism,” by Mark Adams at the Aminam Recro blog:

These red and white mushrooms, Amanita muscaria, were found in an alpine forest around Creede, Colorado.

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How To Replace Styrofoam With Mushrooms

Anyone who buys goods online can identify with this post from Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch:
Lately at my house we’ve been getting a lot of packages. And with packages, comes styrofoam. My three-year-old loves styrofoam. Me, not so much. He breaks it up and it makes a huge mess. The little bits get everywhere and they are impossible to clean up. I can only imagine that multiplied by 100 million homes in the U.S. alone. Styrofoam is everywhere, but nobody really thinks about it. It is a $20 billion dollar business in the U.S. and occupies an estimated 25% of the country’s landfill by volume. But Eben Bayer is thinking about it...
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