miscellany

It’s been a bit more rainy so we have some mushrooms growing in the garden.  As of last week, 3 different kinds were growing within a 2 meter square area.

I can’t identify any of them… so I didn’t try to eat any!

I got a new telephoto lens (70-210 mm) on TradeMe for $80 so I have been experimenting a bit.

My lunch

Some not very exciting photos from the Carter Observatory yesterday.

Several years ago when I lived in Montreal I developed and designed a prototype of the hottest new fashion accessory of the 21st century, the fashion eye-patch.

Cameron models Fashion Eye-patch in 2008
Cameron models Fashion Eye-patch in 2008

I decided to update the look for 2012, and the other day crafted this new, more contemporary and glamorous version of the fashion eye-patch.

Fashion Eye-patch 2012
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Otari-Wilton Bush Fungal Foray

I had the opportunity to go on a guided tour of New Zealand fungi found in the Otari-Wilton bush this weekend.  This tour was led by Geoff Ridley who is extremely knowledgeable on the subject.

Geoff Ridley with some kind of mushroom

He maintains the site Spores Moulds & Fungi of New Zealand which is an excellent source of information on New Zealand mushrooms, including both native and introduced species.  He is also the author of A Photographic Guide to Mushrooms & Other Fungi of NZ.

The main thing I took away form the walk was how difficult it can be to identify different mushroom species.  The other thing I took away from the walk was how little research has been done on NZ mushrooms.  There is simply so much they haven’t studied.

The guide described these as “little brown mushrooms”, probably

Panaeolus sp. [a roundhead] – on wood chip. These mushrooms are ‘hygrophanous’ that is they change colour as they age.

According to the guide these mushrooms are in the same genus as those with psychoactive properties.  Unfortunately on our walk the guide didn’t point out any psychedelic mushies, though they certainly do grow in the wild here.  I was also informed that collecting or possessing those types of mushrooms is illegal in New Zealand.

We also spotted a few other varieties, but due to the drier-than-normal conditions this autumn, the mushies just haven’t been growing in abundance.

One we did see, that is edible, is called the “New Zealand Shitake”.

Here are some better photo’s from Geoff’s blog:

Lentinellus novae-zelandiae [bush shiitake] – on rotting log

 

He went into quite a bit of detail about brackets, veils, stems and other complicated stuff I barely understand.  I think you can get more information on that kind of stuff here.

You can see more photos from the fungal foray and other mushrooms on my Picasa page.

back from thailand

I have to say, I was happy to get back to Vientiane last night.  Even though ethnically and culturally Isan (North Eastern Thailand) is very similar to Laos, I really felt like I was coming “home” when I crossed the Friendship Bridge last night.

Here is a map showing the geography of the places I am talking about:

I had such a wonderful time in Thailand!  The meeting was very interesting and I was able to network and “liaise” with a lot of librarians from South East Asia.

I’ve uploaded some pictures from the conference here.

It was quite a wonderful and amazing experience.

Staying with Dr. Surithong was great!  She and her husband are so nice!  Now I have a Thai family too!  I’m sending her the link to this blog so I have to say great things about her – but I mean it!  I hope have the chance to come back and visit again soon.  Maha Sarakham is a really nice town.  I visited the Sirindhorn Isan Infommation Centre, part of the library that Dr. Surthong is the director of, and learned a lot about Northeastern Thailand.  I also visited the Medicinal Mushroom Museum of Maha Sarakham University, and learned about the 2,000 differnt varieties of mushrooms found in NE Thailand.

phouvieng, surithong, and me!
phouvieng, surithong, and me!

On Saturday I went with Salvacion Arlante, the head of the Philippine University Libraries, to visit the “Isan Jurassic Park”, a really awesome dinosaur museum in NE Thailand, near Kalasin.  It blew my mind how great this museum was.  It was located on the site of a hill where archeologists had found the complete skeletons of 3 large dinosaurs from the cenozoic era or something.

The director of the Philipine University Libraries also suggested I submit a paper for the CONSAL conference in March in Hanoi:

Call for papers

From 20-23 April 2009, the National Library of Vietnam in cooperation with the Library Department and Vietnamese Library Association will be hosting the XIV Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL XIV) at the Melia Hanoi Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam. The theme of the conference is

TOWARDS DYNAMIC LIBRARIES AND

INFORMATION SERVICES IN SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES

Which I plan to do, and then hopefully can get invited to Vietnam in March!

I also met the president of the Thai Library Association, who suggested possibly arranging a workshop for the members of the association in Information Literacy in Bangkok, with myself as the invited resource person.

So, I met a lot of wonderful people, saw a lot of amazing things, ate a lot of delicious food, and learned a lot of interesting things.  Which I think overall makes a trip very nice, huh?