My Psychedelic Graffiti Theory

Yeah, mon. It’s ORGANIC!

It really is a good idea to check drug interactions, even if the product you’re about to take is over-the-counter. I learned that the hard way a while back. It was suggested by my doctor that I take Mucinex because I was coughing and practically drowning in my own mucus. (TMI?)

Anyway, it definitely dried me out, but it also made me even more loopy than usual. I felt like I was floating two feet off the ground. If I turned my head, there was this lag in the rest of the world. I was dizzy, and I couldn’t think straight. I’m pretty sure everyone around me thought I was being melodramatic, but, seriously, I couldn’t function in polite society. (Or even in impolite society.)

Finally, I had the presence of mind to look up drug interactions, between giggles, and I discovered that one of the main ingredients in Mucinex is dextromethorphan, and one of my prescription drugs urges you not to take it with dextromethorphan. About a day after I stopped taking Mucinex, I became balanced and coherent again. Mind you, my thoughts were a lot less creative, but at least I was functional, in my own special dysfunctional way.

The cough lingered for another 6 months, but I was capable of operating heavy equipment again. You don’t realize what a handy skill that is until you’ve lost it. You’ll have to trust me on that.

During what I’m now calling my lost week, I wrote a lot of interesting notes in my “Blog Ideas” list. Some of them I couldn’t figure out after returning to the land of the lucid. But there is one that makes me smile to this day.

I wrote, “Graffiti. It’s ORGANIC!”

Dude.

I remember thinking, “Has anyone ever actually seen someone tagging a building or an overpass? I certainly haven’t. And I’ve been places, and stuff. And I’m kinda old.”

Graffiti seems to appear overnight, fully formed, like mushrooms. Like freakin’ mushrooms, man! So maybe (and bear with me on this), just maybe they grow on their own. Really. Think about it.

Most of the time the words written are illegible and make no sense. That would add up if they weren’t created by a human being. Maybe it’s an entity of its own, and it is trying to communicate with us, but it’s not sophisticated enough.

Maybe graffiti are fungi. Yeah. They grow overnight in various shapes and colors. They don’t move on their own. The plot thickens.

According to this article, the cost of graffiti removal in America alone is about 12 billion dollars annually. (That’s billion with a b.) Maybe we’re going about this all wrong.

If graffiti is a fungus, and according to this article, lots of fungi help us produce helpful medicines (for example, we would not have penicillin were it not for a fungus called Penicillium), then we could be overlooking a valuable resource, here! That abandoned alleyway in the warehouse district might be covered from top to bottom with medical breakthroughs! Yeah! Graffiti might be the cure-all that some believe marijuana to be. (Another substance I should avoid while seeking out blog fodder.)

The bottom line is that graffiti could save the world someday. Remember: You heard it here first.

No more dextromethorphan for me.

What more proof do you need? 🙂

Like the way my weird mind works? Then you’ll enjoy my book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

The Paris Catacombs. Who Knew?

A lot has gone on beneath the Paris streets.

When I first visited Paris in the early 80’s, one of many things I did was visit the catacombs beneath the city. You can wander for miles down there, amongst the bones of more than 6 million people. It’s grisly, but fascinating.

I really enjoyed the adventure, right up until the moment when the power went out, and I was plunged into the most profound darkness I’d ever experienced before or since. Suddenly I felt as though the bones were, I don’t know, aware, or something. I felt outnumbered. I instantly grabbed the hand of the person closest to me. I have no idea whose hand it was. Fortunately the lights came back on about a minute later, or I might very well have lost my mind. Instead, I had a nice nervous giggle. That is one of those travel memories that stay with you for life.

So, I was quite fascinated when I came across an article entitled, The Secret History of Paris’s Catacomb Mushrooms. It discusses the fact that many of Paris’ iconic buildings were built from limestone quarried from beneath the city. A lot has gone on beneath the Paris streets indeed.

The article does discuss the well-known ossuaries down there. After several cemetery cave-ins in the late 1700’s, the bones of those Parisians were stacked in the quarries and remain there to this day. But there is even more to these catacombs than that.

It seems that they were used by members of the French Resistance to hide their activities from the Nazis, and also as a hideout for deserters from Napoleon’s armies. Quite a fascinating history. Who knows who or what is down there today.

But what is really interesting, at least to me, is that someone discovered that the Parisian mushroom thrives down there. It likes the temperature and the moist environment. Back in 1880, the article says, “more than 300 mushroom farmers worked in Parisian quarries to produce 1,000 tons of Paris mushrooms each year.”

Apparently these mushrooms were very flavorful and popular. But when they started building the Paris Metro above the quarries in 1896, most of the mushroom farmers left, because the quarries were already getting dangerous due to disrepair. Now there are no mushroom farmers under the city.

The Paris mushroom has survived, but it is mostly produced in China. One half of one percent of all Paris mushrooms are produced in France, and those are now mostly grown in an industrial setting. They don’t taste remotely as good as they once did.

What a pity. I do love a good ‘shroom. Especially one with an intriguing history.

600px-Champignons_de_paris

Do you enjoy my random musings? Then you’ll love my book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

It’s a Small World After All

It is a beautiful world that we live in, and much of it we can’t even see. Recently I did a blog entry on tardigrades and attached a fascinating microscope image of one. There is splendor of that kind all around us. If I could choose any superpower, it would be the ability to see things on a microscopic scale. If I could do that, my life would be full of wonder and awe.

What follows are some amazing microphotographs, with links to the sites where I found them. Enjoy!

  • Here are some amazing mushrooms by Steve Axford. To see more, and I highly recommend that you do, go here.

 mushroom2 mushroom1

  • You’d be amazed at how complex insect eggs can be. These come from the National Geographic website. See more here.

 insectEgg2 Insect Egg1

  • This water droplet image was the photo of the day on the TurtleHurtle website. It’s by Hubetek. Check out the site here.

droplets-of-water-on-a-flower-macro

  • And my cup runneth over on this Pinterest page that focuses on microphotography. Go here to find out what these amazing images are.

Pinterest3 Pinterest4 Pinterest1 Pinterest2