Super secret project: Revealed!

plague-of-species-headerHello gentle reader! It’s been ages, I know. But I’ve been scheming schemes. I’ve been working on a little secret project with game designer Elizabeth Steward. We are designing a game about invasive species (with a dollop of evolution, and a smattering of economics)! It’s still in the works, but perhaps you would like to check out what we have so far? PLAGUE OF SPECIES!!! Every time I start thinking about this, I get almost too excited for intelligent speech. So that could be a problem.

Students of Ethnobotany: Mr. Potato-head’s beautiful but deadly cousin

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Angel’s Trumpet. Image from Wikimedia Commons by berichard.

This ultimate edition of Students of Ethnobotany comes from Carina I., and teaches us that you can’t necessarily trust a plant just because it’s beautiful and comes from a good family.

Imagine this… you see a nice looking flower in a nearby garden, you take a whiff and BAM! Free will and the ability to reason are knocked right out of you! Sounds like a tale out of a science fiction story, doesn’t it?

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Students of Ethnobotany: Feed me, Seymour!

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Feed me Seymour! Audrey2. Image from Wikimedia Commons by KaiMartin.

This man-eating penultimate edition of Students of Ethnobotany comes from the fascinated Yvette Beesley.

When I was in my teens my parent were large supporters of the Arts and took me to this play called “The Little Shop of Horrors”. It was amazing, with a singing and dancing plant called Audrey2 that needed blood to survive.

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Students of Ethnobotany: Diviner’s Sage

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Salvia divinorum. Image from Wikipedia by Eric Hunt.

This divine edition of Students of Ethnobotany comes from the sage Riel Eden.

If you are a member of today’s younger generation, you probably have heard of Diviner’s Sage, more commonly known as Salvia divinorum. Although this plant is usually just referred to as Salvia, Salvia is the name of the entire genus of plants. The specific hallucinogenic plant is Salvia divinorum. I was interested in this plant because of the hype I heard around it when I was growing up. The common tag lines being ‘a plant related to marijuana, that is also legal’ or ‘an LSD that is legal.’ I wanted to investigate this plant and see if all those phrases were true.

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Students of Ethnobotany: Bittersweet Digestive Health

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Digestive bitters. Image by Laura E.

This easily digestible edition of Students of Ethnobotany is brought to us by Laura E.

When I was a kid, I really hated licorice.  The taste just put me right off; I wouldn’t go near anything that resembled the sweet, bitter flavour.  Lately, however, it is helping me to heal in a powerful way.

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Students of Ethnobotany: There’s more to ginkgo than you think

This edition of Students of Ethnobotany, by G. Loi, looks more deeply into the medicinal uses of our smelly friend, the ginkgo.

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The ginkgo plant at the University of British Columbia. Picture taken in October 2013. Photo by G. Loi.

Which tree has no living relatives? Which tree was still standing after the Hiroshima atomic bomb in 1945? Which tree has awful smelling seeds that can enhance memory? The Ginkgo biloba, a plant native to China. My first experience with the ginkgo plant was when I was shelling the white seeds and picking out the fruit to make congee for my mother when she was sick. The slightly bitter and bland taste did not make much of an impression for me. It was not until much later, that I realized how the history and the uses of the ginkgo were so diverse and curious.

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Students of Ethnobotany: Beware the ‘magic’ fruit

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Do you buy this? Image created by someone else, but we’d rather not link to them…

This skeptical edition of Students of Ethnobotany comes to from the clear-eyed Sydney Beatty-Mills.

Procrastination tends to get sweeter as the days go by while studying for my final exams. Often times, this procrastination will involve perusing the web for the most frivolous and non-academic entertainment I can find; anywhere from Facebook to searching for fun things to do once exams are over. While perusing through fun Christmas recipes and how to knit cute socks online I have lately been bombarded with advertisements for a ‘miracle’ weight loss supplement that goes by the name “Garcinia Cambogia”.These sorts of promises come a dime a dozen but I thought I would humour my botanical curiosity and click on the link which presented a svelte women’s abdomen next to an odd looking squash-like green fruit with an off-white fleshy interior.

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