National Geographic's Hostile Planet series focuses on the "world’s most extreme environments to reveal the animal kingdom’s most glorious stories of survival on this fast and continuously shifting planet." This Boing Boing exclusive excerpts beautiful and creepy time-lapse videos of day-glo colored slimes and glistening tentacled mushrooms as they erupt, spread, and decay. The highlight of the video is the tragic fate of an ant that gets infected by a cordyceps fungus spore, which highjacks the ant's nervous system, causing it to climb to the top of a stem, where it freezes in place. In a few days, a cordyceps mushroom bursts out of the ant's head, and begins to produce spores that will eventually infect other ants.
Five years after the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl, scientists discovered a fungi known as Cryptococcus neoformans growing in the wreckage. Humans had known about this particular strain since the late 1800s, since it’s known to cause some nasty infections in our decidedly non-fungal human bodies. Now, after letting the fungus hang around in the radioactive […]
Wild Earth is a dog food start-up in Berkeley, California. It specializes in dog food made from the Aspergillus oryzae fungus, known as koji in Japan. Koji is used to make “soy sauce and fermented bean paste (including miso), and also to saccharify rice, other grains, and potatoes in the making of alcoholic beverages such […]
Gather round, young and old — and hear tales of bygone days. Back in olden times, citizens would mass at a house of coffee, wherein skilled java alchemists would concoct special blends and apply artisanal wizardry to make each steaming chalice an appointment for the taste buds. Granted, said wizards, once known as baristas, were […]
The last few weeks have given us all a lot to think about. As we watched stores close, Costco lines snake through parking lots and items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper disappear everywhere like they were Lady Gaga tickets, there’s one significant takeaway it’s safe to say we all can agree on. We should […]
Whether it was Bach or Chopin, Ray Charles or Jerry Lee Lewis, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Alicia Keys or Norah Jones, there was someone whose mastery on the piano made you think, wow, I wish I knew how to do that. It’s a singular, almost timeless skill — and if you love music, there’s no […]