An international network of/for intelligent organisms
So you want slime?
I can give you slime. I'll post physarum to anyone anywhere free of charge.
"Free?" you say, surely that's too good to be true?
Indeed it is, I said free of charge, not actually free. This is the slime mould collective, lone oat flakes do not get visited by physarum fairy. You must prove your worth if you want to join and engage with the network. Assimilation doesn't hurt, we promise and you might like it.
Tell us why you want the slime, what are your hopes and fears for slimekind? Where do you you see your slime in five years time?
A paragraph, a short story, maybe a few lines of verse, how about an expressive dance? We don't mind we just want you to communicate.
In return we will let you have your very own slime sent discreetly in a plain envelope - your friends and family need never know!
I received the sclerotia you sent. My daughter helped me with my first attempt to wake them up. I created a few albums and will post more as we begin to see progress. Thank you for sending these to me!
Would it be possible to send some slime over to Belgium?
I'm a highschool teacher and want to experiment with my students. I'm showing them the TED-talk of Heather Barnett and will let them think about what they want to test with their own slime mould. They will need to set up their own experiment. But first, they will be able to grow it of course and take care of it.
We promise to send pictures :-)
Hi there ian!
How are you doing? I come here to humbly ask you if you could send me some slime mould samples once again.
You gave me some sample in 2019 and since then I have been doing many experiments and games. However, I recently moved to another country and forgot to bring a sample with me!
Do you reckon you could ship me some?
I would like to do some online videos sharing some slime mould experiments. Then videos will be shared within the youtube account of the cultural house where I work here in Slovakia ^^
My name is Begoña and I am a student of Industrial Design Engineering. I'm doing my final project related to biotechnology and the use of microorganisms in design.
After extensive research, I've decided on Physarum polycephalum to work with. I can't specify now the use because my intention is to carry out a first phase of experimentation and exploration of its behaviour and, later, to enter a second phase of implementation within the design.
I found the Carolina kits (USA) but, as I am in Spain, I think it would be easier to send them from Europe so I also looked at the Bio Shades (UK) kits but they tell me that given the current situation in the UK they do not ship. So looking for more options I have arrived at the collective, which makes me very happy!!!!
Ian, would it be possible to look at the viability if you still have samples? I would also appreciate other names of places where I can find it if not (online or in the wild).
Thanks in advance,
Hey Ian, I posted in the other thread about having problems raising it. I think the culture must be dead... it indeed smells funny, despite being as clean and sterile as possible. What you reckon about storing sclerotia in the fridge?
Please Sir, could I have some more?
As a student, I have recently discovered the magic of the Slime Mould in some of my biology curriculum. I hope to have a new single cell desk companion soon. I will house it in a large petri dish with plenty of oat flakes and try my hardest to keep my cat away from it. No promises on that last one though. Lots of time will be spent, distracted, staring at it instead of doing my work waiting for it to say something.
Hi! I'd like to teach a slime how to write poetry. If a human poet can choose how to chain words together, why can't physarum?
The easiest entry point into this project: a series of branching paths connecting words, each word baited with an oat flake. At each juncture, the slime has to "choose" between two paths—each leading to another oat flake and the next word in the poem.
Here's a crude illustration. Assume each path is of equal length, and each oat flake of equal size.
With all else being equal, each choice the slime makes is arbitrary—to our eyes. It follows its own secret logic, in the way a poem follows poetic logic; it's different from everyday reasoning, and that's why poetry can be so remarkably weird.
Developing beyond this point, I think we could build a primitive slime computer that features more variables. It would also be interesting to try multiple clones of the same slime in the same word-maze, and see whether they write different poems.
Most of these poems would likely be no longer than haiku, to begin with. The process of setting up this experiment, and documentation of it, comprises a good part of the poem/artwork. (In experimental poetry, the lines blur.) I have a computer scientist friend who's keen to collaborate.
I can think of a few Canadian micro-presses (I'm in Canada) who'd likely be open to publishing a chapbook of slime poems. We'd also document the process with video and blog posts. I'd like to set up a Raspberry Pi to take time-lapse photos.
If this sounds like a cool enough project to warrant sending me a slime, then thank you! I would really appreciate it. Who knows? Slime poetics could be the next big literary trend.
That sounds super cool! Would love to see updates on how it goes!
I just made an account today! I’ve been super into slime molds ever since seeing a documentary on them. It’d be fantastic for me to get ahold of some to experiment with, and maybe even win my high school’s science fair! I’ve had no luck foraging through the brush of the little wooded area in my backyard and I’d love a culture.
I have been a professional biologist for 40 years. I became fascinated with slime moulds when I studied them in my first year at university. But I have never had my own pet slime mould to pamper and adore. I think I’ll name him George.
In actuality, I have been meaning for several years to get some slime moulds to study. I’m a keen photographer and would very much like to photograph and video slime moulds doing their thing.
Where do I see my slime in five years time? Well, spread around in multiple petri dishes and celebrated in pictures and videos in all their yellow glory!
I’m new to the slime mould world after listening to the SYSK episode. I’m in the aerospace manufacturing industry in the U.S. and would love to do some experimenting regarding my work. Just some initial internet searching, I found some work that Airbus did some previous work with slime mould so my curiosity is certainly peaked! In five years, I hope my slime mould is living its best life and is well fed with oats! I also hope to share some samples with other colleagues that might be interested (after reading your paper of course). Please let me know if you would be so generous to share a sample with me!
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