Sunday, June 12, 2011

Schmidtea mediterranea

Wanted to share this little fellow with the world: Schmidtea mediterranea, a planaria species that we're doing toxicology research with at university. I find them absolutely adorable; too bad that we have to kill them in the name of science..

On the pictures, they are shown on milimeter paper. One little square is 1 mm, the whole photo is 1 cm².

If you look closely, you can see that they have these cute little eyes (photoreceptors).
To me, they look like this:

All cute and innocent, heh.
But actually, they don't have a mouth there. They have one in the middle of their body. This is a more realistic drawing, with the circle being the mouth:

One photo a day

I thought that I'd try taking a photo every day from now on. Seems like a nice experiment.

These are the rules:
-one photo has to be taken every day
-no more than one photo can be taken; if it's a crappy photo, so be it
-the same camera will be used to take all the photos
-no editing of the photos

I will use a very old and bad webcam/camera. But the crappiness of this camera is part of its charm, if you ask me. We got the thing for free a long time ago. I don't know exactly how long ago, but probably before 07/05/2003. Why do I think that? Well, it marks every photo as being taken on 07/05/2003. It's a pretty odd camera









EDIT: ah well, this project got cancelled because the old crappy camera, being old and crappy, dies within 2 hours of charging it (even if I leave it turned off). fail.

Monday, June 6, 2011

How to make little holiday cacti

I love these plants: very easy to take care of, and they flower beautifully. Just look at this:

The ones that I have are Christmas cacti by the way. There's also Easter cacti, which have flowers that look a bit different and flower around Easter instead of Christmas. These plants are very strong; they've managed to survive on top of my heating, where it gets really hot and dry. Another reason why I love them is that they are very simple to propagate. You just tear one of their parts/leaves off and let them dry for a couple of days, like this:

Then you plant them in soil, I used normal potting soil, and keep it a bit moist but not too wet. At first, the leaves will wrinkle a bit, as if they're drying out and dying. But no worries, that's normal. After a few weeks, they'll get roots and start looking healthy again. And before too long, they'll start growing new leaves of their own.