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!

Mating Music For Your Auditory Pleasure

Everything’s more intense with a soundtrack.

Menorah/Majorah EP

Menorah/Majorah EP

Say Anything – By Tonight

  • By Tonight came from humble beginnings as an unreleased track featured on Max Bemis’s, Dormroom Demos. The intentions described here (“By tonight, we’ll shed this clothing …”) are so frank they deserve an award. Max also deserves a pat on the back for singly playing everything on this album, resulting in a rough, but admirable quality to the track.
Do You Mind (Single)

Do You Mind (Single)

The XX – Do You Mind

  • To my sole misfortune, Do You Mind didn’t catch the bus for The XX’s debut release. Even though this baby’s more lyrically forward than the last, I cherish this track for its building percussion that slowly heats up and meshes completely by the end of the song. Romy Madley Croft’s delicate little voice offering to take it slow and make me lose control is just an added bonus. Do I mind? No, Romy, not at all.
I Do Not Care For the Winter Sun

I Do Not Care For the Winter Sun (Single)

Beach House – I Do Not Care For the Winter Sun

  • I Do Not Care For the Winter Sun plays the role of the gentle recovery track in all of this. It’s a time for reflection and admiration, so if you’re at a loss for words, pull your lover closer and start singing. This track revives the significance of  a significant other and, in the words of Victoria Legrand, “It’s all that matters”.

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.

5 Back Pocket Quotes (Courtesy of Jean-Paul Sartre)

For those of you who dare to question life and its many related intricrises (see what I did there?), here’s a few somethings to keep tucked away in your occipital lobe:

If you’re one of those theists, this is not the blog for you.

“Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.”

  • This is the differentiation between the subjectivity of man and the objectivity of any old inanimate Annie. Unlike your pet rock, Annie, man has the ability of choice over instinct and is therefore granted the power to shape his own existence through the series of choices that is life.

“But how is the value of a feeling determined?”

  • The answer to this is so simple, it amazes me. An emotion is given it’s weight through the actions that define it. In other words, try to avoid being a ball of hot air and act on your emotions to confirm them to others. In other other words, a man’s worth is his will to prove himself.

“What art and ethics have in common is that we have creation and invention in both cases.”

  • Best explained in the words of Sartre himself, “Nowhere is it written that the Good exists, that we must be honest, that we must not lie; because the fact is we are on a plane where there are only men.” A God is nothing more than a timely excuse, a convenient scapegoat, an easy way out. The existentialist prefers the path less traveled.

“What happens to me happens through me …”

  • Ignore the fact that this sounds like it drifted here from a sad somebody’s motivational DVD and realize this: With the weight of God cast aside, man is solely responsible for his own actions and consequences. He doesn’t get the luxury of praying away his mistakes.

“You’ve got to take things as they are.”

  • [No explanation necessary]

Jean-Paul Sartre, Essays in Existentialism.

I dare not advise you on how to live your life, being that mine is chipped and cracked in countless places, but it would do my little lost heart good to know how you feel about how I feel, so drop a comment while I hold my breath.

This Is Your Brain On Drugs

Ok, you don’t have to be a drug user to participate in this activity because all this exercise requires is a little heart, and I’m not talkin’ ’bout cardio *ba dum tss*. Now that I’ve mentioned it, I’m not really talking about exercise either. I just want you to read about how terribly underrated these movies are, dammit. Two of these make me proud, but one of them just gives me giggles until my face hurts.

Dazed and Confused

“Say, man, you got a joint?”

Topping the list is the golden child, Dazed and Confused. Before I saw it, I was in it for the reefer, but after mid-twenties Matthew McConaughey told me how cool I’d be if I smoked weed — I was extra in it for the reefer. Dazed and Confused may have opened as a stoner film, but by the end credits, it had changed me for life. This movie is the perfect combination of ice cream and sprinkles — soft, light-hearted teen angst laced with little solid bits of truth, but not so much it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Now that I’ve laced up the shoes of a high school senior about to walk away from my childish things, this one hits where the heart is. In the words of Don Dawson, “I just wanna look back and say that I did it the best I could while I was stuck in this place, had as much fun as I could when I was stuck in this place, played as hard as I could when I was stuck in this place …”

A Clockwork Orange

Initiative comes to thems that wait.

I’m surprised I even brought myself to watch the movie for A Clockwork Orange, seeing how the book itself was a feat in comprehension Luckily, the movie wasn’t even a fourth as bad. A Clockwork Orange doesn’t make the cut for its plot (Even though it is wonderfully mastered I’ll save that for another day.), but simply its content. I watched the majority of this 1970s film, thinking “Why can’t I have nice things?” You’d have to see it for yourself to totally retain its artistic value, but let me just say I could live in the Korova Milk Bar. I’d even be content with cleaning toilets if I could just have the honor of sitting at one of those naked lady tables — but, before I go off praising all the furniture, I’ll leave you something to think about from Alex: “It’s funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.”

Reefer Madness Poster

“TELL YOUR CHILDREN”

Yes, you found it. Let’s wipe off the dust and briefly discuss the single most hilarious 1930s comedy film to hit the box off– did they even have box offices? Who cares. Reefer Madness is more than just a movie, it’s a strict advisory warning on the deadly dangers of America’s number one killer, marihuana, and it is NOT to be taken lightly. Reefer, the mastermind behind all of America’s most detrimental terrors; cancer, Black Tuesday, hell, probably even WWI. Ok, I’m done. I can’t keep up this facade with even the mildest notion of seriousness. The saddest thing about this movie is, they actually were being serious. The American public were expected to recognize the common side-effects of marihuana use, which included (but were not limited to) attempted rape, accidental murder, and intentional beating people to death. If you’re a cigarette smoker, consider yourself lucky.

Most Bitchin’ Cartoon Classics

You can’t even begin to imagine what I’d give to spend a carefree Saturday morning huddled up inside my blanket fort staring intently at the television screen. Alas, I’m seventeen, and Uncle Sam will secure a home under a highway for me if I dare live like I’m seven. Woe is me, for now I’m confined to a realm of nostalgia and reminiscence. I invite you to join.

Space Ghost TitleDear Space Ghost, I could have single-handedly been a much more useful sidekick than Jan, Jace, and Blip put together. You wouldn’t ever have to risk your precious superhero life to save me from space sharks, robots, or super computers. Just think, we could have done sequels together, but look where you ended up without me — cancelled.

Jonny Quest Title

I feel like judo was a required skill set for minors on Jonny Quest, which settles me somewhere between unqualified and completely useless. Sadly, I’m forced to admire the Quest team and all their talents from a distance while I try to work out the intricacies of a coffee maker. Oh well, at least they dismissed the working title, The Saga of Chip Baloo.

Scooby Doo Where Are You Title

Ah, Scooby Doo; a Great Dane, his human, a wall flower, a babe, and a man with an ascot. The angst is blinding. I never agreed much with the gang’s “splitting up,” but they always found the most efficient method of meddling. They weren’t always the brightest bunch, but they’ve earned an A+ in my book and a soft spot in my heart.

70s Forgotten Wonders

Cylindrical Colonies - NASA ID NUMBER AC75-1086

Cylindrical Colonies – NASA ID NUMBER
AC75-1086

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.