April 27, 2019 Tomas Montes Massa
Mind the Fungi | Workshops by TopLab & ALB & TU Berlin

Good evening people, hope you are doing alright. So I just came back home from the first session from the ¨Mind the Fungi¨, a workshop series concerning DIY mushroom cultivation and the potential of funghi as an ecologic material within the design industry. This is a shared initiative from TopLab, the ¨Citizen Science¨ Research Project from the TU Berlin and the previously hyperlinked Art Lab Berlin. Did you know that the metabolism of funghi is more similar to that of animals than to plants? I certainly did not and found that quite amazing! Just as animal and vegetal cells, funghi are also eukaryotic and feed off organic matter, but they need of Oxygen in order to breathe, unlike plants which absorb carbon dioxide. Funghi play a crucial role in every ecosystem, for they decompose dead organic material, for instance a fallen tree. Imagine if all the fallen trees did not decompose and just piled up! That would be quite a mess. I learned plenty of other exciting stuff such as the importance sterilization protocols for in microorganism cultivation to achieve a ” pure culture” (although that sounds very pure-blood v/s mud-blood Harry Potter racism), and how to make a home-made Agar growth medium for mushrooms. I still have three weeks more to go and I`m excited to see how our colonies will grow!

I can also tell you that this week I learned how to use —removed link to illegal website – please don’t link to illegal websites on an official university blog, even though you might not be happy with the way knowledge is distributed in the world right now — founded in 2011 by Kazakh software developer and neuro-science researcher Alexandra Elbakyan. The search engine takes URL, PMDI or DOI addresses, what — I heard on the internet — is to search the DOI link of a certain article in Google Scholar (where — regular scholars — have to pay to be granted full access) and then just copy it in —apparently, I don’t really know .

— a crow holding a key in its beek — and Alexandra Elbakyan <3!.

Lastly, I went again to the movies and I`d like to recommend the film Mid90`s, which tells the story of Sunburn, a boy entering his adolescence who above all wants to become a great skateboarder and hang out with the big boys. I honestly don`t normally like american dramedies, but I laughed and cried and found that the portrayal of the crisis of masculinity impersonated in the growing up of this youngster, in midst of the domestic violence and poverty of Los Angeles. The kid acts f*cking good as well. For all those who enjoy 90`s aesthetics, go watch it.

Ps: Axolotls are doing fine :D!

Sunburn, main character from Mid90`s.

— Edits by fkirschner