Topic: Weird Science
I've been taking a blog-holiday. Not intentionally, my web host has had a few issues.
I've been working on my maxi dress. But it's no longer a maxi dress, it's now a midi dress. And i made one big HUGE mistake, I forgot to cut the side back skirt panel. There wasn't enough fabric to cut a panel so i had to improvise. i found a solution and I think it will be unnoticeable to everyone except me. I cut a simple pattern from paper, then cut a test from muslin, then tossed it all out and started over by draping on my body. That worked out much better. The stretch silk satin was far easier to sew than I expected, normally it's a bit of a pain in the butt. I increased the pressure on the foot and switched to feed dog plate to the delicate fabric plate, so that also helped. When it's all finished I'll post a picture.
For Dave: here's a few new exciting things about Slime molds. http://discovermagazine.com/2009/jan/071 This is what came to my RSS feed, it's the easiest to understand. Slime molds seem to be brainless, but are capable of thinking and learning. Quite an accomplishment for something that is neither plant nor animal, while having characteristics of being both plant and animal. Slime molds used to be considered fungi, primitive plants, due to superficial resemblances. Slime molds are quite different, each is an individual single celled organism. The single cell seeks out other single cells and they coalesce into a large plasmodium, and in this plasmodium they do many odd things. They move, they consume, they search for a reproducing place, they develop into a mass of fruit bodies, produce spores and the spores become single cell organisms. They don't handily fit into the class of plants, as they move around. They aren't quite animals as the reproduce by spores. They have a very interesting "hive mind" when they form the plasmodium. Either we need to change our definition of plant and animal, or we need to recognize that slime molds might be a snapshot of evolution where plants and animal begin to divide. Plasmodium could become autonomous blobs, and they could have also become very primitive bryrophytes. Even more interesting, slime molds respond to the red spectrum of sunlight, meaning they were around when our sun was much younger, cooler and redder. We know plants have their origins that far back as all plants have that evolutionary echo in them, the response to the red light of the sun over the yellow or white light.
Here are a couple of links. Really great pictures of slime mold fruit bodies: http://englishrussia.com/?p=2059 Technical Paper PDF: http://www.stat.cmu.edu/~cshalizi/462/lectures/11/11.pdf Other thinks that think but don't have what we would consider brains: http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2009/04/inevitable_mind.php usenet posting archived on google groups: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.drugs.mushrooms/browse_thread/thread/17c2b49e9acd695e/ff45a399dbf58218?q=neurotransmitter+psilocybin+amino+acids#ff45a399dbf58218 this draws comparisons between brains and fungus, how the brain got its early evolutionary start,. While this was posted on a druggie site, the writer is a professor and this article was a springboard for much of this recent research. No links to the russian and japanese language research, sorry.
Speaking of brainless and slime molds: In other news, Yahoo pulled the plug on crappy websites -i mean GeoCities. This sad news, where else could one find so much crazy in one place? Or such a horrifying abuse of I-Frames? Or gifs, blinkytext, and eye searing layouts on web-safe colours? Even more surprising, after so many years, my geo cities site is still there, although it's nothing but a placeholder. i don't know where all the content went, I'll never ever find spinning sparkle purple pentacle gifs again! I miss the old days, the golden age of web insanity. Not even myspace can come close to the utter madness of original angelfire, Geocities, 50megsfree, xoom, xoopiter and those other free site. If Portal of Evil has become a bit of a wasteland, this will almost be the final nail in its coffin. There's no one left to make fun of anymore!
Finally, i made a loaf of Gluten free bread from the Gluten Free Pantry's bread mix. It's not too bad, a little heavy, but moister than the stuff from the market. One a scale of one to ten, with the market bread being an eleven, this is about an eight. I makes good toast.
And that's all for today. I have some gardening to do. it's far too nice outside to be indoors!