Whipple Museum Fantastic Fungus Day

Ergot-derived drug to stop postnatal bleeding.

Our Fantastic Fungus day was indeed Fantastic this past Saturday – huge thanks to Ruth and Richard for their talks, which made the day, and to Claire and Steve and everyone at the Whipple for their work in making the day happen. We had 17 attendees!
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The Dillon Weston glass models got a great deal of much-deserved attention, and Weston’s son and daughter came to hear Ruth’s talk.
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Richard enlightened us on the gruesome details of illness from ergot wheat fungus, which saves lives (it makes blood vessels contract,) as well as causing, since the middle ages, gangrene and St. Anthony’s Fire. He also told a true story of a daring early submarine voyage lit with bioluminescent fungi.
We have some wonderful poems from the day which some workshoppers kindly shared.
One of our poets took the challenge of inventing mushroom puns and turned them into very clever and slightly scurrilous poetry:
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Cogito Ergo Shroom
By Caitlin
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Cogito Ergot Sum, or Cogito Ergo Shroom
Cap askew, stalk a bit hunched, I stand half-hiding in the grass.
My Celia
I reach out to you desperately.
I’m a fun guy, and I’m devoted to finding you. Will you have me?
If you can be mine,
I’ll burst with happiness.
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A wonderful, frightening Halloween contribution from our youngest workshopper:
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The Deadly Fungus
by Eleanor Randall
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At the dead of night,
We are coming,
We are coming.
To get what
I ask,
Your vegetables,
Your vegetables,
But why?
I ask,
And they’re gone.
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And finally a science-fiction inspired poem/story:
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Shiitake.

 

End of Mankind
by Nevin Randall
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The end of the world is night.
Mankind has used up all the resources of earth. Everyone has boarded the ship to find somewhere, anywhere to continue.
Where to go? man does not know, someone does.
They eat their food with their fungi sauce; everyone agrees the food is delicious whilst worrying about what the future holds.
But they have a problem, there are no babies. There have always been babies.  Why aren’t there any babies?
They eat their delicious food with their fungi sauce and worry about why there are no babies.
On another consciousness level there is happiness and joy.
There is only one person left on the ship.  He knows he is the only person left on the ship.  He knows he is the last, why him? why is he the last survivor of Mankind? of Life itself, why him?
On another consciousness level there is much happiness and joy.
He eats a delicious meal with its fungi sauce and falls into his final sleep.
On another consciousness level happiness and joy abounds.
Mankind Dies Out.
Funguskind Lives On.

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