You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘microbes’ category.

In my sphere, or dimensionless point (I don’t know that my life is broad enough right now to be a sphere of any diameter) of existence it’s usually about starting too many projects at once.  Or not starting the unpleasant ones at all — that seems more reasonable to me.  Listening to or reading the comments of artisans, fellow crafters … is it self-indulgent to start lots of things?  I have all kinds of experiments going on.  But a lot about my life would look self-indulgent and childish to most people.

I’m enjoying the sensation of not coughing my lungs out any more.  Whatever I’ve had, it’s awful but gets over quickly.

I hope I didn’t infect anyone else, especially since I worked at the shop yesterday.  I tried to keep my distance.  If the only way forward is for just one of my recent contacts to start sneezing and wheezing, I must regretfully choose a lady from more southerly latitudes who came in and complained that none of our yarns were suitable for her climate.  I apologized that Vermont produces so little cotton but showed her some locally-dyed stuff, which she rolled her eyes at.  She also barked with laughter at a shop-sample coat — “that old thing.”  Evidently a pattern she’d seen before.  Some of the nicest local wool yarn we carry, she dismissed as “rough.”  (Well yes, stupid; it’s for making cold-weather outer garments, not tampons.  Honestly.)  She didn’t buy any of our crummy old junk, of course; as she pointed out, “when you’re going on a plane you have to be very selective.”  Have a virus, honey, they’re nice and small.

I do think of myself as grown up; I’m just a jerk.

But when people aren’t jackasses I’m as happy to see them if they spend nothing or $100.  Even if someone just comes in for directions or to ask what the name means.


my body is nice and the weather inside my body is terrible!  I don’t know what I have, but this cough hurts and is making me wet my pants, which infuriates me; my nose is running, I’m hot, out of strength, petulant and guilty and uncomfortable because I stuffed myself with compassionate leftover food from a party I couldn’t attend.

I had a pertussis and tetanus booster at the beginning of the month.  I couldn’t have whooping cough, could I?

Encountered and followed up on while reading Death from the Skies!Desulforudis audaxviator (L., “sulfur-reducing rod” + “bold traveler”) has an ecosystem all to itself almost three miles beneath the earth’s surface.  It lives completely independent of the sun, on water trapped in basalt and energy from byproducts of radioactive decay.  Tough and adaptable as an old prospector, it’s carried with it everything it could possibly need for its journey into the depths of a South African gold mine.  After millions of years without oxygen, however, it can’t tolerate that any more.

Gold mine holds life untouched by the Sun

This page is just one of many “treehouses” at the wonderful Tree of Life Web Project.  Rylan Higgins, a student at the University of Arizona, shares the process of learning about an organism found in his everyday environment.

The weed turns out to be little mallow (Malva parviflora):


When I was an environmental inspector for Kentucky DEP, one of “my” wastewater facilities was at a slaughterhouse and sausage factory.  There was a small pond on the property that was ringed with large plants the operator identified as mallow (a different species, probably a Hibiscus).  They had big showy pink and white flowers like party dresses.  We were standing at the edge of this pond on a sweltering day watching rafts of a pale blue egglike substance make slow majestic circles.   This was cyanobacteria.  In a puff of breeze, the pastel flowers waved at the china-blue flotilla as it passed in review.

Gorgeous, strange, and funny living art, promoting understanding and appreciation of the featured organisms.  Stunning new works full of light and movement alongside Alexander Fleming‘s original “germ paintings.”

Microbial Art presents a collection of art by scientists and artists from around the world, and using a wide variety of taxa and techniques.”



The Ratel Motel