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Answer to the Friday Whatsit for June 4th

June 7, 2010

What is this?

What is this?

Yes kids it’s that friendly neighborhood fungus commonly known as mold! I’m not sure what kind, just something hanging around in the greater Chicagoland area.  This one proved harder to guess than I thought.  Miao was close with her guess that it is some sort of plant.


Macro view of the mold

I was away from work for awhile and I left a little coffee in the bottom of my Global Warming mug (really it should be a Global Climate Change mug, but whatever). This lovely little glob is what was floating in there after a week’s vacation. Being a science geek, I decided to scoop it out and have a look before washing out the mug and getting my morning coffee. If I were a super science geek (like, say, Alexander Fleming) I would have turned it into one of the most important biomedical discoveries of the century.

The images were taken by your friendly neighborhood scientist on an Olympus MacroView with oblique lighting (lighting from the side rather than directly above or below). In the first image, I had to take 14 shots at different focus positions and use an extended depth of field program to get the whole curve of the glob in focus.

  1. April permalink

    You still leave coffee in the bottoms of your cups and play with the mold? Squishie scientists are so gross…

  2. Hard scientists aren’t much better — you go for a walk and come home with pockets full of rocks!

  3. April permalink

    Keith says and I quote”aw come on its more than pockets full of rocks” he claims that I’m unbalancing the Earth. He also says that not all hard scientists do that. Some just forget to calculate the effects of super intense magnetic fields generated by hybrid fusion devices on the pacemakers of the people wandering around in the lab upstairs…

    Apparently one someone joked that if you can’t go without a heartbeat for thirty seconds you have serious problems and shouldn’t be lying on the floor of a lab where lasers are used.

  4. Well, I wasn’t going to go there, but you do have a serious rock collection. Admit it. When you have to calculate the remaining load capacity of the truck to make sure all the rocks you “need” to bring back don’t crush the shock absorbers, you bring home a lot of rocks. 🙂

    As for Keith. . . wow. I thought being asked to donate blood for experiments was bad. He is smarter than both of us put together though, so I will cut him some slack. He should write that in to xkcd comics ( and see if they will do a cartoon about it. Tragedy + time/distance = comedy and its right up their uber-geeky alley.

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