Paris zoo opens a new exhibit with an immortal mutant slime mold called "The Blob"

The blob has no mouth, but I must scream.

To be fair, it doesn't a stomach, or eyes, or feet, or anything resembling a brain, either (at least as far as modern science would define it). It's not technically a fungus, or an animal, or a planet. It is, quite simply, an incomprehensibly bizarre yellow slime mold that's also alive, and at least somewhat-sentient. Even its official scientific classification, physarum polycephalum, literally translates to "many-headed slime."

And now it's held captive and displayed at the Zoo de Paris, starting October 19.

Did I mention that this blob has some kind of intelligence, or at least the ability to remember things, and absorb knowledge from other slime mold blobs that it consumes? And that it's capable of moving independently, squishing along at a limbless rate of about 1.6 inches per hour? It also has 720 different sex organs, and will heal in two minutes if you cut it in half.

It also, apparently, loves the taste of oatmeal, as well as Acacia trees, oak bark, and chestnut bark. So um, at least it's probably not going to eat us when it ultimately escapes and seeks its revenge for being caged and mocked by us lowly humans? Maybe. If we're lucky.

From EuroNews:

"The 'blob' is a living being that is [one] of nature's mysteries. We don't really know what it is," director of the Paris Museum of Natural History, Bruno David, said, adding that it lives and grows in damp forest undergrowth away from the light.

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Slime Tango: an inverse tug-of-war, played with blobs of slime

Anton Hecht writes, "Slime Tango is a new game, the cello is optional. It is an inversion of tug of war, as here the players work together, while going apart. So is also an inversion of dance where people are close. The slime is stretched while following the dance steps, till it touches the floor, or breaks. This one is on the streets of Farlington in the UK." Read the rest

Salad Cream renamed

The Heinz condiment Salad Cream—a homogenous beige slime similar to Miracle Whip that has become a traditional staple of British home cuisine—is to be renamed Sandwich Cream to keep with the times.

Its maker, Heinz, says that only 14% of those who buy the sauce use it on salads, with many more preferring to use it in sandwiches. A spokesman for Heinz told trade magazine the Grocer that the name no longer "fairly represents the product's ingredients or usage occasions." It would be the first name change for the product since its launch in 1914.

Fans of the traditional name went on social media to express their anger.

Even cheap mayo substitutes have aggrieved, entitled fans. Read the rest

Giuliani helped to keep Oxycontin in the hands of addicts

If you or someone you care about is addicted to OxyContin, former New York City Mayor and current Worst Frigging Lawyer on the Whole Damn Planet, Rudolph Giuliani, is partially to blame.

300,000 Oxycontin-related deaths? He can have some props for those, too.

According to The Guardian, the United States government managed to slap a criminal charge on Purdue Pharma back in the mid-2000s for the way that Purdue was marketing Oxycontin, a powerful and, oft-times addictive, painkiller. In their advertising for the drug, Purdue buffed up how safe Oxycontin is to use: They claimed that the drug would be slowly released into the patient’s body, providing pain relief while ensuring that the possibility of addiction was kept to a minimum.

Which is why so many people inject and snort Oxycontin for a near-instant high.

Unfortunately, when it was first released back in the 1990s, doctors had no idea that the drug would prove to be as addictive as we now know it to be. It didn’t take long, however, for physicians who were prescribing the Oxycontin to their patients to discover that many became hooked on the painkiller – hard. The American government took exception to Purdue’s bullshit. A US Attorney began the work to take the drug company down. The matter went to trial.

Giuliani, fresh off his stint as Mayor of NYC, was hired by Purdue to help them escape prosecution. This was the same Giuliani, who announced a program to curb illegal drug use back in the late 1990s. Read the rest

Wonderful marble run made out of fidget spinners, and a parable about accessibility and abled people

Fidget spinners are wonderful. Read the rest

Slime after Slime, a slime-making parody of Time after Time

Parents know, kids can get really obsessed with making slime. She's not that into baking but give my daughter some Borax and glue and she'll spend hours mixing up batches of slime in our kitchen. She got so into it at one point that I started buying gallon jugs of Elmer's glue just to keep costs down.

YouTubers The Holderness Family understand. They turned Cyndi Lauper's 1983 Grammy-winning song "Time after Time" into "Slime after Slime," a silly parody about this messy hobby.

Thanks, Heather! Read the rest

Shredding gold slime looks (and sounds) fantastic

The sound reminds me of a David Cronenberg film.

And here's how to make your own gold slime:

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"Cruelty free" Italian snail-farming booms thanks to caviar and slime-cosmetics

The Italian snail-farming industry has grown by more than 325% over 20 years, driven by a boom in eating snail-egg "caviar" and snail-slime-based cosmetics (which have little-to-no scientific basis) -- slime sales are up 46% over the past ten months. Read the rest

Price of Marmite, tasty British slime, at heart of latest Brexit imbroglio

Marmite is a popular, exceedingly British food product spread on toast, crackers or directly onto one's tongue. It is dark, sticky, and delivers a stark "love it or hate it" kick to the tastebuds. Marmite originated in the thick, yeasty dregs generated by beer production; Bovril, its great enemy on the British condiment aisle, was made in similar fashion from slaughterhouse goop. And thanks to Brexit, there is a Marmite shortage and pricing run.

When a nation’s currency suddenly falls in value, as the pound has since the Brexit vote, imports cost more. This means prices in the shops will inevitably rise. Most people can grasp that simple, frictionless, model. Yet the Marmite affair highlights that there are many other economic factors involved and that things are (rather like the polarising “yeast extract” itself) stickier in practise.

Marmite is manufactured in Burton upon Trent. This fact prompted provoked accusations of “profiteering” from some Tory MPs and right-wing newspapers. “How can a falling pound justify a price hike for a UK-made product?” they demanded to know. Some suggested that this must be a plot by Anglo-Dutch Unilever to discredit Brexit.

But Unilever does not solely manufacture Marmite. It has reduced its transaction costs and increased its profit margins by bringing a wide range of consumer products into a single multinational business.

Photo: Kent Fredric (CC-BY-2.0) Read the rest

Strange living slime blackening Washington DC memorials

The National Park Service is studying rapidly growing colonies of microorganisms that are blackening the dome of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and other landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial and tombstones at the Congressional Cemetery. A multidisciplinary team of molecular biologists, conservators, and architects is analyzing the growth of the biofilm to hopefully identify a method to stop it that won't further damage the stone that the microbes have claimed as their home. One option is to battle the tiny beasts with lasers. From the National Park Service:

National Park Service officials recently began testing ten different chemical biocides in small patches affected by biofilm at the base of the Jefferson Memorial and will monitor how effective each one is in the coming days and weeks. They will also experiment with more non-traditional treatment options, including ozonated water and irradiation with lasers.

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Mysterious green slimy foam emerges from Utah sewer

Salt Lake City area health officials are investigating a very strange green foam that's emerging from a sewer grate in Bluffdale, Utah. Residents are freaked out because the nearby Utah Lake waterway was recently shut down due to a large toxic algae bloom.

Resident Tara Dahl said she watched the foam "kind of bubbling a little bit, and then you got closer and you could see it start rising,"

According to the Salt Lake County Health Department though, this particular nasty green material is more likely the result of chemicals used for moss removal in Welby Canal. That said, Welby Canal connects to the Jordan River which links directly to, you guessed it, Utah Lake where the toxic algae is blooming.

Salt Lake County is running more tests.

(Fox 13 Salt Lake City) Read the rest

Spreadable Beer

A Scottish craft brewery has developed "spreadable beer," a marmalade flavored with oak-aged pale ale. To go with it, Innes&Gunn is also selling a marmalade-flavored pale ale.

Dougal Sharp, Innis & Gunn founder and master brewer, said: “Launching in this great city has provided us with an opportunity to do what we do best: push the boundaries of what’s possible with beer through innovation and experimentation.

"That’s why we’ve been hard at work brewing a marmalade IPA and even creating spreadable beer for adventurous foodies.

"We’re proud to be setting up shop in such an innovative and vibrant city, we can’t wait to share our passion for great beer with Dundonians.”

Scottish craft brewer launches 'world's first spreadable beer' (Thanks, Wendy!) Read the rest