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The Corroboree


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Posts posted by Darklight

  1. Most of the things you've ever wondered about can be turned into an experiment so you can get results and stop wondering...


    Hell yes. Even if your results are inconclusive you get to rule out a bunch of stuff and know where you stand with regards to progress. Every step is a step forward.


    You often do not need as many of the shiny toys as you think- the best thing you bring is attitude, reliability, accuracy, resilience and resourcefulness. Most people have these. Framing your question so it produces valid data is the next step.



    You may have noticed that both Darklight and myself focus a lot on fun.


    I think that's because, for many of us, science is such a social process. It's fun, joyous, revealing, sharing, infuriating, frustrating and above all it's creative. I never learned about those aspects in school ( I was kicked out of HS science for asking too many questions and stayed away til my early 30s )


    Yep. Creative. Who'da thunk? I find the varying levels of experiment design, planning and execution similar in interplay to a Bach fugue- yes, the structure is important, but it's the contrapuntal nature of the different aspects of the process and the precision you bring to the work which evokes beauty and joy.


    Good science readily lends itself to networking, meeting more weird people with similar-but-different viewpoints on so many things who will teach you so much about your field and your worldview.


    I hear great research ideas every other day. Followed closely by all the reasons why that person isn't doing them.


    Yep me too. Those convos are so sad. Too many people underestimate their own talent and ability to contribute.


    Citizen-science projects like Fungimap and Atlas of Living Australia are prime examples of the scientific method being socially productive and fun- as well as making valuable contributions to scientific knowledge


  2. Seriously, youse all need to come to EGA. I do not use the word need lightly in this instance.


    90% of the people who would be reminding you why you need to come are fully immersed in actually setting it up. Drowning in it almost, just so you will have a deadset brilliant time


    I've been on the very outer edges of the org team and I have seen so much legendary epicness coming to the event- so many brilliant presenters and things and food and.... just you wait!




    • Like 1

  3. Ethnobotanical Research 101- starting from scratch


    Torsten and I are running a workshop on Laboratory Experiment Design at EGA 2017


    We want to share our love of citizen-science. To convince you all to partake in the formal, logical process that can answer so many of the phytochemical/ ethnotoanical questions you've asked over the years. Wonder no more! Act!


    Workshop's for beginners and wrinkly old lab-hands alike. Anyone, literally- anyone can design a simple, robust protocol which gives solid results and contributes to the sum of human knowledge. Those of you with extensive practical experience in experiment design are very welcome to share the ( sometimes bitter yet hilarious in hindsight ) fruit of your work with us huddled masses.


    It's not rocket surgery. Lab experiment design is a simple checklist, a bit of planning, some thorough checking and the resilience to simultaneously accept and critique the data as it falls.


    Carn, we all talk about experiments we'd like to see done. Or exceptions to established practices we've seen work. Shared variants or refinements of new teks.  Wanted to know why. Or wondered why the hell something didn't work out after we ( mostly ) followed the instructions.


    Workshop's interactive. Which means we need your input. Some of which can start here on the forums- reply with some pointers about your experiences or plans.


    During the workshop we'll welcome your thoughts, interjections, inspirations. Keep 'em coming, keep it moving


    Workshop's practice-based. Inasmuch as we're pointing at issues around design of theoretical experiments involving the legendary ethnobotanical Dragibus curiosa. Not sure what kind of experiment yet. Help us decide. A simple germination experiment?  Optimal fertiliser requirements?  The virtues of rhizobial inoulation? A cost/benefit comparison of propagation practices? Testing storage parameters for volatile compounds in the dry product?  Determining genetic markers for drought tolerance?  We'll settle the best questions on the day


    It'll be lighthearted. There *will* be lollies. Like all good laboratory-grade successes, some of them may be thrown at you, randomly. Some you must earn. Fate favours the prepared, apparently.


    It's serious business, experiment design-but that's no excuse not to have fun


    Bring your questions, your experience, your weird attitudes and your sense of humour.

    • Like 4

  4. Brugmansia. Always Brugmansia. Plant a few different cultivars.


    Not only do they attract heeeeeaps of bees, but when it's a drizzly day and the foraging's hard work your bees will still work the flowers, hanging out underneath them like umbrellas, waiting for it to be dry enough to fly back to the hive


    The resultant honey is not hallucinogenic, at least IME

    • Like 1

  5. 2 hours ago, shonman said:

    A lot of the new growth seemed to dry up and shrivel in the big aquarium 

    not sure why 

    now I regret putting all the plants in there..


    No idea about yr prob, sorry. I'd suspect bacterial, because of increased humidity and reduced air flow, but can't be sure I'm 100%.


    Is a good lesson to learn- when changing any parameter, keep some material back in it's original place. Always. Not only does it mean you have reserve material, but the remaining group acts as a control so you can compare.


    I'm not being unsympathetic at all- I recognise the temptation for a quick fix/ progress, and it's one I've succumbed to occasionally myself with the same results :/


    Goodonya for staying on top of it and making sure your babies didn't suffer too much for too long

    • Like 1

  6. IME unless you have super-dry facilities for it, it won't do well. Or even live.


    At least here, every time I have tried to deflask it, even the ambient moisture kills it. Something in the air maybe, bacterial perhaps, it does fine in TC so far with+90% ambient humidity


    Herbalistics sometimes has seed. Could be worth a shot that way

  7. 9 minutes ago, Master B said:

    Holy shit balls!!! Darklight.

    Its yours alright. 

    Nice work for the forum!

    Mate i have to double check? you do realize its for the graft in the very first two pictures? 

    But if your happy and all is sorted i will hook you up with a couple of other nice bits.



    Yea verily, I do know it's for the pictured graft of beauty


    You're the fulla who did the work. I think you just set a new forum record for stunning behaviour

    • Like 7

  8. Bugger, forgotten how to delete topics


    Seems there is a bunch more DIY stuff out there than there was last time I checked, despite the commercial units being the same price


    I need to do more reading on the DIY stuff and try to evaluate how good the latest teks are for PAR

  9. Are there any electronics geeks who can tell me why the f*k PAR meters are so expensive?  The standard models don't even have a logging function FFS, and start at around AUD $300


    PAR ( Photosynthetically Active Radiation ) meters measure light based on that part of the spectrum which is used for photosynthesis by plants.




    Dead handy little buggers those meters. Our human irises open and close to adjust the amount of light they let in, but plants don't have this light-adjusting capacity the same way. So a plant can be getting much less useful light than we realise til we test it.


    Plants in tissue culture photosynthesise way less than outdoor plants because they use the sugars ( or other carbon sources ) in the media for energy. It's why we get away with using fluro tubes and get good growth. But fluro tubes lose a large proportion of their photosynthetically useful light after 3 months and need replacing- the light at those wavelengths isn't differentiated by our eyeballs, but the plants notice, believe me.


    I've been told that other indoor lights- metal halides for example- also lose some of their PAR strength after a period of time, but I have no experience with this.


    And I've seen people swear blind their plants are sick, when after careful checking their plants aren't getting enough light because they're shaded for the parts of the day when there's no-one around. This is more pronounced in winter when the days are shorter and the sun's angle of attack is different


    I bought plans to make a unit with an Arduino using LEDs, but it's a world of hurt for me and the tek ( to my n00b eye ) seems to be primitive and possibly inaccurate. It'll have to wait until I have some geek mates in-house for a weekend with soldering irons and whisky and those weekends never turn out the way they're planned anyhow :D


    Fuck it, I want a network of the little buggers with temp and PH, two sensors it's easy to build loggers with. Then I can really see what my plants are up to. Plus it could save me some $$ replacing fluros all year. And maybe save some planty lives if there are dodgy tubes in the rack


    Anyone know of a cheap chip that's up to the job?