Archive for May, 2013

Student science experiment finds plants won’t grow near Wi-Fi router

Cress Collage - Wifi No Grow


Hi all. I’m still hard at work on the Canada150 project, right now taking a break in Waterloo ON, and headed out to St. Johns, Newfoundland, soon. In the meantime, some food for thought from the Mother Nature Network:

“They wanted to test the effect of a cellphone’s radiation on humans … So the girls designed an experiment that would test the effect of cellphone radiation on a plant instead.”

“A neuroscience professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, is interested in repeating the experiment.”

They Plan To Own All The Seeds


The movement to patent and own the very ability to collect seeds is one of the scariest things I can think of. According to this article, “A new law proposed by the European Commission would make it illegal to ‘grow, reproduce or trade’ any vegetable seeds that have not been ‘tested, approved and accepted’ by a new EU bureaucracy named the ‘EU Plant Variety Agency.'” Read more here.

A worldview that sees plants as individuals, as responsive organisms, doesn’t seem so silly in this light, does it?

The whole concept of ownership and property needs an overhaul. And yet, if only I had enough $ to not have to rent from a landlord …

Tree Hugging Now Scientifically Validated


“Research has shown that you don’t even have to touch a tree to get better, you just need to be within its vicinity [to have] a beneficial effect.” The gist of the article is that it’s “the vibrational properties of trees and plants that give us the health benefits and not the open green spaces.”

This article is a bit on the woo-woo side. The publicity site for Matthew Silverstone’s book seems a bit on the woo-woo side.

So here’s some harder data from Australian nursing and mental health researchers, for the green spaces argument, at least. Townsend and Weerasuriya write in Beyond Blue to Green: “accessible green spaces have been identified as part of the solution to this maladaptation [i.e. urban lifestyles] as they can promote holistic human health in modern urban environments” and “the aesthetics of natural and green landscapes is known to have a significant impact on the mental health of people.”

When it comes to why we find plants to be aesthetic objects in the first place, I am actually down with the whole vibe theory: body as aeolian harp and all that. There’s a ton of poetry to back it up. If anyone can point me to the science that does, I’d love to hear about it.

Mycorrhizal Messengers: Fungus Help Plants’ Underground Communications

Mycorrhizae on a soybean root

Mycorrhizae on a soybean root

The new discovery that the symbiotic relationship between plants and fungus facilitates plant news … makes the news.

Staying on top of all your breaking plant news from Percé, Quebec.