Fly Agaric: Look but don't touch (Highland News)

I Love this article from Highland News! --fly

Look but don't touch "Alice in Wonderland" toadstool

By Laurence Ford
Keep a weather eye out for fly agaric.
Keep a weather eye out for fly agaric.
PEOPLE across the Highlands are being asked to look out for one of the most recognisable, highly toxic and mind-altering toadstools.
The distinctive red and white fly agaric is said to have inspired both Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Caroll’s hookah-smoking caterpillar and the colours of Santa’s suit – but is also a useful indicator of the changing seasons.
Now, Woodland Trust Scotland is asking people to keep an eye out for fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), the classic red and white spotted toadstool, during walks and record any sightings online.
Fly agaric is widespread throughout the UK and commonly found on light soils in mixed woodland and heaths among birch and pine.
Rory Syme, from Woodland Trust Scotland, said: "The best place to spot fly agaric is close to birch and pine trees. The wet summer we’ve had may mean that it will appear early this year. In previous years sightings have been recorded as early as the end of June.
"Keeping track of key events in nature helps us record the changing seasons. Natural phenomena such as bird migration, changes in leaves and the appearance of flowers and fungi are some of the best indicators for climate change."
Fly agaric is toxic and was traditionally mixed with milk and left out in bowls to kill flies, which is where it gets its name.
He added: "Fly agaric can be dangerous, so the best advice is to look but don’t touch."
Five facts about fly agaric:
• Fly agaric was traditionally used as an insecticide, the cap broken up and sprinkled into saucers of milk. It’s now known to contain ibotenic acid, which both attracts and kills flies
• The ‘spots’ are actually remnants of a white veil of tissue that encloses the young mushroom, and can sometimes be washed off by the rain
• It was commonly found on Christmas cards in Victorian and Edwardian times as a symbol of good luck and its colours may have been the inspiration for Santa Claus’s red and white suit.
• Fly agaric is mycorrhizal, forming a mutually beneficial relationship with its host tree. This association provides the tree with increased absorbtion of water and minerals, and the fungus with constant access to carbohydrates
• One of the effects of consuming fly agaric is a perceived distortion in the size of objects. It has been said that Lewis Carroll’s hookah-smoking caterpillar in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was inviting her to take a bite from a fly agaric.
Sightings can be recorded through the Nature’s Calendar Project at

Carbon 60 (SIXTY) and Bucky Fuller Life Mice

Somehow i missed the somewhat recent news of research done with carbon 60 infused food for mice which led to a doubling of their life span. Wow, now if the research is repeated a few more times we have another great property of Carbon 60, and another reason to look back and reconsider, re-study the works of Buckminster Fuller.--Steve fly

A recent French study looking for chronic toxicity resulting from ingesting buckyballs dissolved in olive oil found that 10 month old rats who ingested the human equivalent of a tenth of a gram of C-60 buckyballs (which in technical grades cost less than US$10/gram) several times a week showed extended lifespans instead of toxic effects.--

Researchers at the University of Paris and colleagues fed the molecule fullerene (C60 or “buckyballs”) dissolved in olive oil to rats and found it almost doubles their lifespan, with no chronic toxicity.
The results suggest that the effect of C60, an antioxidant, on lifespan is mainly due to the attenuation of age-associated increases in oxidative stress, according to the researchers.--