Mycologist Merlin Sheldrake and the megascience of mushrooms

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“Merlin Sheldrake” should be the name of the professor of mushrooms at Hogwarts.


Also seems like the name of an NPC in a D&D setting :thinking:

About the BB post, i’ve always been fascinated by fungi and i’ve lowkey had this weird desire to have a mycelium garden and/or grow edible mushrooms but it’s always seemed kind of intimidating me. I do know that the grow your own mushroom kits are pretty easy peasy but seemd pricey so i’ve just never been able to talk myself into it.


I once over-watered the yard and got a real crop of mushrooms, at least 15 different types, some of which looked really grossly alien.

Then there were the ones that grew out of the doormat. :scream:


There’s a good crop a block away, near a monument. They look generic and nothing special, but especialy plentiful for an urban setting. I don’t remember a tree stump thrre, but we have had lots of rain lately.

I won’t even consider if they are edible, or hallucinogenic.


I just finished this book. Fascinating!

BTW, Merlin Sheldrake is the son of Rupert Sheldrake, a big proponent of ESP and related woo several decades back.


I’d like to see him and Paul Stamets duke it out for Crazed Fungal Aficionado Supremacy!!!


Gypsy families roam woodsy US mountains harvesting fungi to sell to jobbers with big trucks. I’ve witnessed this in Oregon. Yes, even mycology has a crude capitalist side.

I worked for maybe six months at the Institute of Noetic Sciences years ago. Not directly under Rupert, but around him. It was like working in Peter Venkman’s lab from the opening of Ghostbusters - in the best way. It’s not so much that they were proponents of the woo, so much as really optimistic skeptics. I alternated between eye rolling and wide-eyed wonderment every couple of hours. Glad to see his son following in related footsteps.


Perhaps that characterization was a bit harsh – Sheldrake was an actual scientist, as your comment reminds us – although I would say that he’s probably best known for his… unorthodox, shall we say… views


He’s from a talented family: Merlin’s brother Cosmo is a musician who composed this delightful song.


Not too harsh at all. There was some grade a, purified woo up in that place.

Working there (I got the job off Craigslist, I did their FileMaker for asummer) was a total cognitive dissonance experience.They were skeptics, but their skepticism was so earnest that they sort of believed everything - or were at least willing to give it a fair shake.


Yeah, dang

Mycologist? Clearly he’s a wizard who is 1000s of years old. Probably THE Merlin.


Back in the early 70’s in my campus days I shared an old house in Melbourne where I was studenting and would head back to my hometown in the country on weekends. It was a shabby old place but cheap and good for party’s - throughout the week - and of course on weekends in my absence. Much fine weed and acid. Evidently, some visitor had bought a dog in and it had shat on the ancient carpet in my bedroom. A totally gross thing to have to clean up on my return. Melbourne winters are freakin cold and dank (at least in this house). Anyways, some weeks later lo and behold - mushrooms - truth be told - toadstools - began growing from the carpet in the exact spot that rover had done his deed. It was so amazing and bizarre that I let them grow. Could Merlin conjure toadstools from dog stools?


Just one of seeing that face or that name would have been enough for me to know for sure that this is Cosmo Sheldrake’s brother.

And our family loves Cosmo Sheldrake, let me tell you. Go see him live, if you ever can.


I love Cosmo’s music and it’s super cool that his family has wonderful and varied interests and talents.

I’ve seen them start at around $15 which is a good price considering you can get multiple flushes out of one kit.

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Once you start noticing lichens, fungi, mushrooms, you see them all the time. Last year I spotted some mushrooms that turned out to be “chicken of the woods” mushrooms. I cooked and ate some!

The little single-screen non-profit theatre I am a board member of showed the film Fantastic Fungi a few times over the past year. It was absolute gangbusters, shattering our previous record-holder Eagle Huntress with numerous sold-out screenings. I didn’t have a chance to catch it, but it got rave reviews and covers a lot of the same territory.