Let’s Get Excited About Shrooms!

Everybody who’s anybody knows mushrooms are the best rooms, but just in case you’re a nobody or not a body at all, (Ghosts welcome, I don’t discriminate.) I have scoured the depths of cyberspace to bring you very cool things in the form of a quick mycology lesson.

Entoloma hochstetteri

Entoloma hochstetteri

Entoloma hochstetteri — The Sky Blue Mushroom

As you can see, what we have here are some genuine smurfs. Native to both the North and South islands of New Zealand, (and a few places in India) our famous friend is featured on the back of the 1990 version of the New Zealand $50 note. It also ran a brief stint back in 2002 on a set of stamps, but the postal service is on its last limb so no one cares. The most surprising fact about this guy is that even though it was first described in 1866, no one has tried eating it, therefore, it’s toxicity remains undetermined. However, many other species of its genus have been found poisonous and it’s safe to assume it would kill you for a snack.

Amanita muscaria

Amanita muscaria

Amanita muscaria – Fly Amanita

Even though this looks like an innocent family portrait of the Toads from Mario, the Fly Amanita is toxic when raw. Luckily, (to your own discretion) it can be parboiled and “safely” consumed as a hallucinogen. It got it’s grand title as the “fly mushroom” in 1256 when Albert the Great recognized its true potential, killing flies. In contrast to the last shroom, humans are the only species who consume this baby. (I’m not exactly sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.) Regardless, keep all that in mind the next time you’re running around collecting mushrooms to “restore health”.

Panellus stipticus

Panellus stipticus

Panellus stipticus – The Bitter Oyster

This fungus makes the phrase, “better with the lights off” seem almost complimentary. The Bitter Oyster, growing most commonly in mild temperature regions of Europe, is one of a few dozen species of bioluminescent fungi. They’re so fun you can buy and culture them yourself. If that’s what you’re into, you should know they need a few weeks after cultivation to learn to glow and the amount of glow is relative to available oxygen. There’s not much on its toxicity, but the Bitter Oyster does have recorded blood thickening effects so again, I’d say it’s unfit for human consumption.

In the very unfortunate case that you were previously unaware, The Ergot is all over the interwebs. Like, share, and reblog to your heart’s content because The Ergot aims to be limitless and I have made it so. If you have something anything of your own that you’d like to feature here, then beat down my door because I love strangers!


Life Beyond the Computer Screen

Today, fed up with filling out scholarship applications and generally dissatisfied with nothing in particular, I dragged (apparently that is the proper past tense) myself outside for some free vitamin D. Wielding a shiny camera around my neck, I strayed from the beaten path and wandered the Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens for three very hot hours. I return to you fifty shades darker with my favorite fifteen of the 100 photos I collected.

70s Forgotten Wonders

Cylindrical Colonies - NASA ID NUMBER AC75-1086

Cylindrical Colonies – NASA ID NUMBER

If you look closely, you’ll notice this image presents itself on various crumbs of The Ergot’s social networks. I would like to take this moment to pass it from the scope of my admiration to yours because I feel like we should be close, no — closer than close — on this blog.

This particular image is my absolute favorite of NASA’s 1970s Space Colony Artwork series (and here you were thinking they were all just scientists in space suits). No, at one point in time, they were much more than that. That particular point in time just so happened to be the 70s, a period in which I’d imagine everyone was a little more eccentric than a first glance granted. The space colonies were actually conceived from the mind of Princeton professor, Gerard O’Neill, who sincerely believed we could build rural colonies that orbited the Earth, trailing the moon, and industrialize from harvesting the minerals from asteroids.

Even though I feel most obligated to endorse my favorite, I strongly encourage you to venture the less traversed path of the internet and explore the rest of the colonies here, inside and out. You have my word, you will not be disappointed.

What’s In Store

Five Six Leisurewear

Five Six Leisurewear

Last night, while experiencing the “Get Stuff Done” phase that typically accompanies sleeplessness, I was able to get in touch with one of my favorite under-appreciated greats, Hunter Reed Jaxon (@mister56). This man effortlessly emanates art with every stroke of the Prismacolor and if you’re reluctant to trust me, I’m positive that a quick visit to his Instagram page will put you in check. If you’re a fan by now, some of his prints are up for purchase on the 56 Leisure Wear website.

However, that’s not even the good part. I’m dripping excitement over the fact that after last night’s conversation, Mister 56 agreed, without hesitation, to feature his art here on The Ergot along with all the rest of the Quality Nothing (@qualitynothing) crew.

These guys are incredible and they flawlessly embody the guiding principles here on The Ergot. So, if it’s art you ask, check back frequently and you shall receive.