For the past two days I've been talking to a wide variety of people about the wonderful attributes of physarum polycephalum; their beautiful growth patterns, my experiments, their attributed intelligence and suggested memory and primitive pulse.
Over 50 people (young and old, but mostly young) took home their own pet slime mould: they each made a felt design in a petri dish, decorated it with oats and oat paste, and lastly inoculated it with slime mould. In the days to come the slime mould will move and grow and gradually eat their drawing. See photos of the freshly inoculated designs in this album
The new proud owners of the intelligent microbe engaged deeply with the behaviours explained and some incorporated specific challenges within their design; e.g. by setting both an easy and a difficult route to food; hiding oats; or leaving some areas dry (and therefore not attractive to the slime mould).
The event, an exhibition of biological works by artists engaged with bacteria and microbial organisms, was organised by Simon Park for the British Science Festival.
I hope the new enthusiasts post some images, and findings from their experiments in growth.