Root Culture


Root Cultures
Transformed root cultures of Levisticum Officinale (lovage) were established by inoculation of aseptically grown seedlings with Agrobacterium rhizogenes strain A4 carrying plasmid pRiA4. Hairy rootsgrowth in four different types of liquid culture (vodka) was determined by the dissimilation method and by measuring the fresh and dry weight of the roots. Fleeting oils from fusion lovage triggers remembrance of pinene and childhood alphene.    

Postcards From My Father

In 1957 I was two years old.  My father sent my brother postcards from his trips.  My brother was five.  My father was collecting plants in Texas.  In 1981 I found the stack of postcards in my father’s desk.  I had always been attracted to his desk, ever since I was a small child.  In 1981 my brother had already been dead for some time.  He was 22 when he died.  In 1981 I was 26.  He seemed older to me then than I thought of myself at that time.  My father was 35 when he wrote most of those postcards.  He was 61 when I rummaged his desk.  He is 87 years old now.  His sight is rapidly fading, and he has been waiting to die for three decades.  He sees his life as a failure, though he has always claimed his family the most important thing in his life.  When he sent those postcards he was involved with science and taxonomy and the future.  “Dear son,” he would write, “Today we saw a hognosed snake, some collared lizards, lots of birds and the buffalo that look just like the ones on this card.”  I wish I still had those postcards.  I’m not sure what happened to them, though my father either obsessively archives things or aggressively throws things away.  There is no in-between, either clutter or order, presence or absence, memory or forgetting.

Platonic Memory Model: Lost Wax

Shitty Wax

Dear John,

As a philosopher, I think that you can help me with a conundrum. You mentioned that the “wax model” attributed to Plato is erroneous, and that he (Socrates) did not subscribe to such a model. However, I keep coming across it in my research regarding memory and oblivion. I’d be grateful for any clarification you might offer!



+++++++++++++++++ a prompt reply ++++++++++++++++

Hi Lane,

I wouldn’t worry about it, since what you’re suggesting about Plato is fine for your purposes. Plato does indeed consider a model of memory as a wax tablet in the mind, blank at birth, on which the senses plant impressions. He does this in the dialogue _The Theatetus_ in the course of trying to figure out what knowledge is. But he criticizes and rejects this model, and replaces it by the model of the aviary, which he also criticizes and rejects. He finally offers a third account of knowledge, but finally rejects it too, and the dialogue ends without arriving at a conclusion. His actual view of knowledge and the mind, from the dialogue _The Meno_ on, is that genuine knowledge is of the Forms, and is present in the mind at birth, but has to be retrieved by a process of recollection–the so-called docrine of recollection. Much later Locke does adopt the model of the mind that Plato considers and rejects, of the mind as a “tabula rasa” or blank slate at birth, on which the senses inscribe ideas (this blank slate is usually taken to be wax in Locke too). But as I say, I don’t think it makes any difference for your purposes, since even though he rejects it in the end, Plato does indeed describe and consider the blank wax slate model.

Hope this is of some use.


Fleeting Glimpse


In 1978, while tramping near Gallup, New Mexico (journeys through time) I photographed this desert runner. Different than in zoos this Mountain Lion, and I saw her alive, there, from my perch on the side of a hot and dirty highway, looking towards the foothills, hoping for some success towards my goal of Taos. At other times (during that same time, a long time away) I would , when working, hear them, with horses tethered to Aspen trees, resting at night after horse packing trips (I was an able horseman and guide) and at such meetings the horses smelling and hearing, spooked and spooky, agitated and trouble for the trips. Those are times when feelings grip you towards your fire, when the cold black oiled air of high mountain meadows closes on you and embers of coals hold your eyes close.

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