Images

Joker Meets His End w. Household Items and Photography

Editorial travel and commercial automotive photographer Arjun Menon has been exercising his creative muscles as of late by shooting cinematic scenes at home using action figures and household items.

“I was listening to this song […] when this idea popped into my head,” Menon says. “Joker falling down a skyscraper and yet showing no signs of fear or remorse! After all, being a sociopath comes with their own ups and downs.”

The above photo of Joker falling from a skyscraper was captured with an assortment of things, including an air conditioning cover and some computer equipment.

Menon began by finding the long AC cover — it was long and symmetrical and would allow light to pass through, giving it the appearance of a tall skyscraper.

“I used its filters [for] the other two surrounding buildings,” the photographer says. “Found a few more things like keyboards, Bluetooth speakers, dumbbells as buildings. Then I made a road map with rice lights. Added candle LEDs as building lights.”

The snow on the ground was shaving cream and cornflour, and the snow in the air was hairspray shot with a flash.

“Loved the way this shot came to life with practical effects,” Menon says.

You can find more of the photographer’s work on his website and Instagram.

4 Benefits of Watermelon Rind

Watermelon may be one of the most appropriately named fruits. It’s a melon that’s 92 percent Trusted Source water. It’s also got a healthy amount of vitamin A and C, potassium, magnesium, and other important nutrients.

The most popular part of the watermelon is the pink flesh, but like its cousin, the cucumber, the whole thing is edible. This includes the green scraps that usually end up in the compost bin.

The rind, which is the green skin that keeps all that water-logged delicious fruit safe, is completely edible. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider not throwing it out.

1. It may make you better in bed

No, watermelon rind isn’t nature-powered Viagra, but some research shows that it may help men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. Its libido-boosting powers come from the amino acid citrulline, which is concentrated in the rind.

One studyTrusted Source showed that taking L-citrulline supplements can improve erections without many of the potential side effects associated with Viagra.

Try spritzing your watermelon rind with lemon juice and sprinkling some chili powder on it. Both additives also are good for your heart, and your, ahem, other love organ.

2. It might give your workout a boost

Besides improving your performance in bed, citrulline might improve your next athletic performance as well. However, most evidence for this is anecdotal.

Citrulline promotes the dilation of blood vessels. One studyTrusted Source suggests that citrulline supplements improve oxygen delivery to muscles, potentially improving exercise performance.

To get it naturally, try pickled watermelon rinds, an old-fashioned treat in the southern states.

3. It can reduce your blood pressure

If your doctor instructed you to lower your blood pressure, try eating watermelon — rind and all. Some research has shown that watermelon extract supplements are able to help obese adults control their blood pressure.

However, citrulline supplements are likely more effective. Most studies  suggest citrulline supplements reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension.

Watermelon is also a potential diuretic, which often is prescribed for people with high blood pressure. Try freezing whole watermelon slices for a nice treat on a summer’s day.

4. It’s rich in fiber

Another benefit of watermelon rind is that it’s a rich source of fiber. A diet high in fiber has a whole host of health benefits, including the following:

  • Fiber helps maintain regular bowel movements and may help reduce the risk of developing diseases of the colon.
  • Fiber can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Foods with fiber fill you up faster, helping achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Only about 5 percent of adults in the United States get the recommended daily value of fiber. Consider eating the rind to boost your fiber levels!

Takeaway

Next time you slice into a watermelon, consider keeping the rind. It’s a quick and tasty way to improve your overall health.

Read more at HealthLine 

Eco-Responsible Furniture

This Bookshelf Can Be Reassembled Into A Coffin After The Owner’s Death

 

When we have a quiet moment to ourselves, we sometimes think about the world we’ll leave behind after we’re gone. Will the world be a better or worse place when you’re no longer in it? That’s one of the questions that drives people to consider the impact they have on the environment.

Designer William Warren created a set of bookshelves that will last you a lifetime: they can be reassembled as a coffin. In other words, the ‘Shelves for Life’ is a piece of furniture that will follow you on your final journey.

“The wood will color, the surfaces will mark and stain, and over the years and the furniture will become a part of you,” Warren writes. “When you die, the shelves can be taken apart and reassembled as a coffin. The brass plate under the bottom shelf, that tells the story about this transformation, is then flipped over and your dates inscribed on it.”

Scroll down for Bored Panda’s interview with Warren.

William Warren designed a set of bookshelves that can be reassembled into a coffin

Image credits: William Warren

Image credits: William Warren

Image credits: William Warren

According to Warren, people, in general, were at first surprised and then amused by his design. “It’s not everyone who sees the charm but some do. People are very pleased when they realize the designs can be downloaded for free.”

The designer admitted that there have been critics who did not enjoy his work: “I offered the design to a Japanese company when I first made it but they really didn’t like the reminder of death. Since then, some squeal and some smile.”

Warren revealed to Bored Panda that he’s still busy working away as a designer. Among his recent projects, he designed all the furniture and interiors in a new children’s hospital in Edinburgh and new gates for Kew Gardens in London. “I’m also teaching design at several universities and developing other music and video projects.”

The designer added that “we are all going to die” at some point and there’s no need to ignore it or try to forget it. “If you don’t think about it in advance, you’ll be buried or burnt in a chipboard box with paper that looks like wood and plastic handles that look like brass. Your grieving family will pay £400 for this £40 piece of rubbish because nobody argues with an undertaker. Better to have something you’ve made, something solid and something that has lived with you in life and has the stains and scars to prove it.”

This is how you can convert the shelves into a coffin

Image credits: William Warren

Image credits: William Warren

The eco-friendly shelves were first launched during the 2005 London Design Festival at the British Library and have made waves on the internet ever since.

Warren runs a furniture and product design consultancy, is a Senior Lecturer at London Metropolitan University, and also lectures at three other universities and colleges. His design philosophy is all about creating emotional experiences, making us think about our belongings, and his designs often feature humorous conceptual twists.

The designer has his very own set of ‘Shelves for Life’ and will send you a free personal design if you send him your measurements. According to Warren, these bookshelves will “store all your knowledge and prized possessions.”

He added that “it will be a visible part of your life and will get coffee stains and burns on it. So it will mean more when you use it as shelves and it will mean more when you are buried in it.”

Warren told the Financial Times that coffins are some of the most expensive pieces of furniture that people will ever buy while having the worst quality. “I’m happy for as many people to have mine as possible,” he said.

What do you think of Warren’s shelves, dear Pandas? Share your thoughts with everyone in the comment section.

Here’s how some people reacted to Warren’s design. A lot of folks loved the idea

 

Read the full article at Bored Panda

Medicinal Mushroom Benefits: Mycelium vs Fruiting Body

Mushrooms vs Mycelium

To Benefit from a Medicinal Mushroom, You Need to Know What You’re Getting

Not all fungi products are equal. You should know what you’re getting when you purchase supplements to reap medicinal mushroom benefits. And with so many products on the market making claims about ingredients and efficacy, it can be challenging to understand what really offers the most benefit to your health.

Read on to learn the myths and facts about medicinal mushroom supplements to get the most functional health support from fungi.

Mushroom Parts & Marketing Hype

The way many supplement brands market and sell their fungi products is cause for concern. If consumers don’t know what to look for when buying a medicinal mushroom supplement, they may easily be misled by the packaging, naming, and labeling of the vast products available.

It can be difficult to distinguish a real mushroom extract made of the mushroom (fruiting body) from one made of the mushroom’s “root” structure, mycelium. Reading a supplement’s packaging and nutritional labels won’t necessarily tell you the whole story either.

Mushroom product labeling requirements from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tell manufacturers to clearly distinguish whether the product contains actual mushroom (the fruiting body) or just the mycelium in any food or supplement product. But not everyone follows these rules and this is low on the FDA’s enforcement priorities.

In 2017, The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) released labelling guidance for Fungi Dietary Ingredients. This is not enforceable but gives recommendations on how Fungal based products should be accurately labelled to clearly inform the consumer on what is in the product.

Too often, brands disguise the true nature of their products and misdirect consumers who want to buy effective medicinal mushroom products. Here we will separate the myths from the facts about mushroom terminology, their active compounds, and the marketing hype, to give you the information you need to buy a supplement with the most medicinal mushroom benefits.

To reap these benefits, you need a supplement with high concentrations of the parts of the fungi that offer the most therapeutic compounds. This article gives you the knowledge you need to make informed purchasing decisions, so you can truly experience the adaptive health benefits of medicinal mushroom supplementation.

Mushroom vs. Mycelium

The Difference between Fungal Parts

A mushroom is the “fruiting body” of a fungal organism called a basidiomycete (except in the case of the cordyceps mushroom — they are an organism called an ascomycete). Basidiomycetes have three distinct parts that develop throughout its lifecycle: spore, mycelium, and mushroom.

The spores are in the surrounding air all around us, and under favorable conditions, these will germinate and begin to grow branching filaments called hyphae. As the hyphae continue to grow, they will fuse together to form mycelium.

Mycelium is an underground network that expands and feeds off of organic plant matter. This phase of the basidiomycetes’ life cycle is the vegetative stage. During this time, the mycelium produces enzymes that break down the plant material in its growth radius and recycles it into beneficial compounds that return to the soil.

In nature, this typically means that mycelium will form large networks of fungal matter by breaking down wood, logs, leaves, and other plant matter. The plant matter on which fungi feed is commonly referred to as the substrate. The mycelium becomes entwined in whatever substrate it’s in, making an inseparable mass of substrate and mycelium.

If environmental conditions are right, the mycelium will produce a mushroom, a.k.a. the fruiting body. The mushroom is actually the reproductive structure of this organism. When fully mature, it produces spores that, when distributed across plant matter, will allow for the creation of new mycelial networks, and ultimately the spread of the fungus.

Mycelial networks can live for hundreds, if not thousands of years and spread across vast distances. In fact, the largest organism on earth is a mycelial mat of a honey mushroom in eastern Oregon that is 890 hectares in size and over 2,000 years old!

It is important to reiterate that just as a mushroom is not mycelium, mycelium is also not a mushroom. These terms are not synonymous and should be accurately differentiated.


Mushroom lifecycle

Identifying Fillers in Your Supplement

Read the ingredients on the mushroom or mycelium supplement package to see which part of these fungi the producer used. Based on the labelling, many times it is unclear. The product could be any combination of mycelium, mushroom, sclerotium, spore, and substrate matter, dried, ground into a powder and then potentially extracted.

Using all the parts of the fungi might seem like an effective way to reap the most benefits. However, there are parts of the basidiomycete, like the mushroom (fruiting body), that contain more active beneficial compounds than others. The mycelium, on the other hand, when grown on a solid substrate will also contains compounds of whatever substrate material it has been grown on.

The majority of commercial mycelium producers grow it on grains like rice, oats, or sorghum. Therefore, all that grain becomes inseparable from the mycelium and remains in the final product, leading to high amounts of starch.

When myceliated grain forms the bulk of a supplement, the grain acts as a filler and “dilutes” the product because it doesn’t contain any active compounds. Myceliated grain dramatically reduces how much beneficial compounds are in each serving of your supplement.

Read the full article at RealMushrooms

Project in Morocco combines Hemp Architecture and Solar Energy

A team of organizations has completed construction of a ground-breaking eco-building in Morocco that combines hemp construction with a high-tech solar energy system for total independence from the electrical grid.

The SUNIMPLANT project, designed as a single-family dwelling, was created as an entrant in the recent “Solar Decathlon” organized by the United States Department of Energy and Morocco’s Centre de recherche en Energie solaire et Energies nouvelles. The biannual international competition challenges teams of students to design and construct solar-powered buildings. The most recent edition was hosted in Ben Guerir, Morocco, the first time the competition has been held on the African continent.

Advanced ‘space ship’

“This ‘space-ship’ is advanced in time and reflects a turn not only in North Africa but in hemp construction, which doesn’t have comparable prototypes anywhere in the world,” said Monika Brümmer, a German architect and natural builder who led the project.

While the building was designed as a stimulus for rural development, the technology also has application in urban settings, Brümmer noted.

Owner at Spain-based Cannabric, Brümmer is also a co-founder of Adrar Nouh (2017), an NGO which promotes the use of indigenous hemp stalk for rural development and sustainable employment in Morocco’s impoverished High Rif. Adrar Nouh was started in 2017 by Brümmer and Abdellatif Adebibe, a Moroccan expert in alternative development in the Rif region.

Monika Brümmer

The challenge was to create a hemp composite using vegetable-based bio-resins, avoiding technical or synthetic components, Brümmer said. The cylindrical envelope of the circular building, with minimal exposure of the 24 exterior panels, gives interior comfort through optimal damping and thermal phase shift, and osmosis of the components in the hempcrete formulation, Brümmer said.

Nature meets high-tech

Built for around $120,000, the building’s price tag was less than half the cost of the most expensive buildings in the competition. Additional features of the 90 sq. m. SUNIMPLANT building include:

• A double skin façade that employs a mixture of hemp, earth, pozzolan and lime, all sourced locally; and bio-composites incorporating hemp technical fibers that were produced via vacuum injection technology.

• A spherical, aerodynamic outer skin comprising 24 semi-flexible photovoltaic panels. Sponsored by DAS-Energy, the panels are exposed to all faces for their use of sun and light, with maximum 40% losses.

• Curved bio-composite panels made with hemp wool, which increase the performance of the photovoltaic panels by protecting their back side against the weather extremes of the semi-arid region of Ben Guerir, where temperatures reached 42°–46°C (107°– 114°F) in the shade during the construction phase last August and September.

• High-performance glass from French glassmaker Saint Gobain.

International cooperation

Brümmer said even greater performance could have been achieved if original plans to install hemp-clay boards for the internal partitions and floors, and other minor modifications, had not been abandoned due to funding constraints.

Adrar Nouh contributed the architectural design, developed the hemp materials and cooperated in the construction of the building. Other participants on the SUNIMPLANT project were Morocco’s National School of Architecture and National School of Applied Sciences, both based in Tetouan, Morocco, and Germany’s Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics.

Read the full article at HempToday

7 Smokable Plants You Can Grow That Aren’t Marijuana

 

This is crumbled, dried mullein, which is known as the “base” of most herbal smoking blends.
Photography By Elizabeth A.Cummings / shutterstock.com
10KSHARES

Quite a few plants may be safely, and pleasurable, lit up in a pipe or rolling papers. Those listed below are legal, unregulated, and totally safe to use. They are also non-hallucinogenic and non-addictive – perhaps that explains their lack of popularity?

While they won’t get you high, when blended according to the instructions below, these herbs produce a smooth, tasty smoke and give a gentle, relaxing buzz. All of the following varieties may be purchased online or at any well-stocked herb store. You may also grow your own. Of course, we’d be remiss not to remind you to discuss any questions with a doctor.

While scores of herbs are smokable, those listed below are among the most commonly used and easily grown at home. Skip to the sidebar to learn how to dry your herbs into the perfect smoking blend.

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

By 13Smile / shutterstock.com

Herbal Properties: Mullein has a long history of use as a lung tonic. It can actually help you stop coughing when you’re sick.

Smoking Qualities: The smoke is extremely light and mild, almost like smoking air, and virtually flavorless.

Type of Plant: This biennial herb grows up to two feet wide at the base, with flower stalks rising six feet or more.

How to Grow: Considered by some a garden weed, this fuzzy-leafed plant is very easy to grow from seed planted directly in the garden in spring. It prefers a sunny location and soil that is well-drained and not too fertile. It benefits from a bit of irrigation as a seedling but is drought-tolerant once established.

Skullcap (Scutellaria spp.)

By Mariola Anna S / shutterstock.com

Herbal Properties: Skullcap has a mild calming effect when smoked.

Smoking Qualities: This herb is a medium smoke, with a fairly neutral flavor.

Type of Plant: A spreading perennial that grows about a foot tall, skullcap makes an attractive groundcover in the garden.

How to Grow: Sow seeds indoors in spring, planting the seedlings in a sunny or partly shaded location with rich soil once the weather has warmed. Skullcap requires weekly irrigation during dry periods. Cut the dried foliage to the ground each fall.

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)

By footageclips / shutterstock.com

Herbal Properties: Coltsfoot is an expectorant, helping to free phlegm from the lungs.

Smoking Qualities: This herb is a light smoke with a neutral flavor, but can cause harsh coughing if used in a high concentration in smoking blends.

Type of Plant: This 6- to 12-inch tall groundcover spreads by underground rhizomes to form extensive colonies under optimum growing conditions.

How to Grow: Dried coltsfoot seed rarely germinates, but “fresh” seed, as well as potted plants, are available online. Rich, moist soil and a location in full sun or part shade are this plant’s preferred growing conditions.

 

Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris)

By Skyprayer2005 / shutterstock.com

Herbal Properties: Many ancient cultures smoked mugwort to promote vivid dreams. It also produces a very mild psychotropic effect while you’re awake.

Smoking Qualities: This herb is a light smoke with a pleasant, slightly sweet flavor.

Type of Plant: Mugwort is a spreading perennial growing up to 2 feet tall.

How to Grow: While seeds are available online, mugwort is easier to start from a potted plant, or by transplanting a clump from an established patch. Mugwort thrives with little care once established, but beware: it can become invasive, especially in moist locations. Cut the dried stalks to the ground each fall.

Uva-Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

By Sigur / shutterstock.com

Herbal Properties: Also known by the Algonquin name kinnikinnick, this native plant has long been smoked by Native American tribes for ceremonial purposes.

Smoking Qualities: Uva-ursi herb is a medium smoke with a strong earthy flavor.

Type of Plant: This attractive woody groundcover, which grows about 6 inches tall, is a popular landscaping plant.

How to Grow: Uva-ursi is very difficult to propagate by seed, so it’s best to obtain potted specimens from a native plant nursery in your area, or from an online supplier. Grow in full sun or light shade; excellent drainage is essential. Uva-ursi is drought-tolerant and requires little care once established.

Read the full article on modernfarmer

Growing Mushrooms Oyster | Lionsmane

Oyster mushrooms are one of the easiest varieties of mushrooms to grow, they’re delicious to eat & really healthy for you too.

The problem is finding a reliable step by step guide to show you how…

…so we created one for you!

That way you can avoid all the mistakes and hassles of beginning oyster mushroom cultivation and get to the good stuff; harvesting & eating your own fresh Oyster mushrooms grown at home.

 You can also download this article as a free ebook

Why Grow Oyster Mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms are plentiful in the wild, growing on dead standing trees or fallen logs and were first cultivated by the Germans in World War 2.

In more recent years commercial production has skyrocketed.

F​REE Step by Step Growing Guide​ ​

  • ​Join our growing community for regular updates
  • AND get your FREE eBook: How To Grow Oyster Mushrooms

Total commercial oyster mushroom cultivation worldwide increased over 18-fold between 1965 – 1997 (from 350,000 metric tons in 1965 to 6,160,800 metric tons in 1997; source).

So why the huge jump in popularity?

The answer: fast production methods + an increased interest in the health and culinary benefits of Oyster mushrooms.

A crop of winter oyster mushrooms at GroCycle Mushroom Farm

A crop of winter oyster mushrooms ready for harvest at GroCycle Mushroom Farm

Quick & Easy To Grow…

Do you want to learn how to grow mushrooms?

If so, I’d recommend starting with Oyster mushrooms as they are possibly the easiest variety of mushroom to grow.

They are super quick, relatively resistant to competitor organisms and they can grow on a wide range of substrate materials.

We’ll cover how to grow Oyster mushrooms & what equipment you’ll need below, but the basic process is quite simple and can be broken up into 3 main phases:

1) Inoculation:

Oyster mushroom spawn is mixed with the substrate material (often straw or sawdust, but a range of other materials can also be used; see below).

This growing medium is then usually placed into bags with small holes or air filters in them for air exchange.

2) Incubation

The bags are then placed in a warm (20-24C/68F-75F) dark room to incubate and begin the first phase of growth.

Only 10-14 days are needed for the spawn to grow a full web of root-like threads of mycelium and colonise the growing substrate.

Oyster mushroom mycelium colonising straw & coffee ground substrate

3) Fruiting

Once the growing medium is fully colonised by the spawn, it is time for the mushrooms to start fruiting.

The bags are exposed to autumn-like conditions with fresh oxygen, high humidity, low level light & often cooler temperatures.

This signals to the mycelium that it’s time to start producing mushrooms and small pins begin to emerge.

Oyster mushroom pins begin to emerge from holes in the bag….

Fed by water and nutrients from the mycelium, these tiny pins then rapidly grow and develop into full size mushrooms in just 5-7 days.

Oysters mushrooms, ready to harvest just 7 days after starting to grow out of the bag

A crop of mushrooms can be harvested three times before the mycelium becomes exhausted, with a new crop of mushrooms manifesting every 7-14 days during this time.

In other words, it takes about just 5-8 weeks to grow 3 crops of Oyster mushrooms…and all this can be done with minimal equipment or expertise.

That’s why they’re so popular commercially and also for people first venturing into growing mushrooms at home too.

To see this process in action, check out this short video tour of our low tech mushroom farm:

Health Benefits of Oyster Mushrooms

The ease of growing Oyster Mushrooms isn’t the only perk. Here are just some of the medicinal and nutritional benefits of Oyster mushrooms well:

  • Boosts immune system

  • Improves strength and regulation

  • Antimicrobial (Helps fight off E. coli, Staph, Candida overgrown, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus infection)

  • Anticancer (polysaccharide in Oyster mushrooms is anti-tumor in animal studies and in-vitro)

  • Antiviral (protects against direct and indirect viral activity)

  • Protein rich

  • Cholesterol Free

  • Contains high levels of Vitamins D, D3, D5 and A

If you’re really interested in the health benefits of mushrooms, check out our guide to medicinal mushrooms for more info.

Florida Farmers are Selling Directly to People

Farms that normally serve restaurants, amusement parks and cruise lines are transforming into community supported agriculture

Last month, Florida farmers let countless tons of produce rot in their fields after the restaurants, theme parks and cruise lines they normally serve this time of year were suddenly closed due to nationwide quarantines.

This month, they are changing their business model, selling directly to the consumers who are doing a whole lot more home-cooking these days.

Changing course was a bit like turning the Titanic around, but now Florida farmers are getting help from the state department of agriculture, which has created a website to connect them to local buyers.

Floridians can search the website for farms and co-ops near them and a list of what each farm offers.

While some farms grow primarily mono-crops – such as tomatoes for ketchup – some are bio-diverse, organic farms with a wide variety of specialty produce that used to be sold in high-end local restaurants, including:

Caimito, citrus, mamey sapote, papaya, sapodilla, jackfruit, chard, collards. kale, escarole, greens, beets, cabbage, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, green peppers, peppers, okra, tomatoes, scallions, turmeric, yellow squash, zucchini, oyster mushrooms.

Some farms are even offering milkshakes, poultry, seafood and shell fish.

Dandelions 101

 Dandelions – not an annoying weed, but a medicinal plant in your garden

Book Select – THE PLANTS OF SANTERÍA AND THE REGLA DE PALO MONTE. USES AND PROPERTIES

THE PLANTS OF SANTERÍA AND THE REGLA DE PALO MONTE. USES AND PROPERTIES

The forest, the trees, and the plants were the refuge of the fauna and also suppliers of food and elements to prepare medicines. The gods and their dead live in dwellings that were built with branches and leaves. The forest became a sacred place, and human beings had to ask for permission to use its abundant richness. The health-culture connection is a field of interest shared by both social and biological sciences because of the social implications of health issues. Medicine men or healers establish a relation between
health systems and those of religious beliefs. The information collected in this publication describes the mythical properties of herbs and plants in Santería and in the Regla de Palo Monte.

Source – Aureliaediciones   

MallCubano