Tag Archives: plants

The outdoor sky/clouds have joined my plants stream

I decided to add a 5th camera to the live stream of my plants (not) growing. This new camera captures the outdoor sky/clouds, and serves as a natural reference to what time of day is it, since I do not overlay any date or time indication in the sources. As I write, it is dark outside – not the best timing :).

For now, the stream is available on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/arturmarques_dot_com.

In the past, instead of a live stream, my option was to build time-lapse videos. To assist in the process, I coded solutions that build automatic time-lapse videos from images datasets, with configurable quality. When using these tools, I usually build 24 hours videos, but I could request the output of a larger or shorter time span – for example, I have enough material to construct months-long files. The key reason why I have not been doing so, is that I have moved much of the raw data to the cloud, which is not as instantaneously readable, as local physical volumes. When I started playing with these media and doing these easy, fun, observations, one key reward was being able to promptly unveil whatever had happened in the past x hours.

I will adapt my solutions to the new cloud storage and automate the process again. Until then, the live stream should be available with some regularity.

My plants, (not) growing, LIVE! On Twitch

For long, I have been having fun with timelapse videos of my plants growing. Some of those videos have reached
this blog @ https://arturmarques.com/wp ;
my main youtube channel @ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUa0DzKskGo0iRYP8QzWsvA/

Today, I decided to combine the streams from four of the cameras that take the raw snapshots for the timelapse videos, into a single video feed. I am putting it live on Twitch:

@ https://www.twitch.tv/arturmarques_dot_com

It is live from my place, but it is all fully automatic. I am not monitoring the Twitch room and feedback, if any. It is an experiment, to check how reliable the stream can be, and what kind of interactions it can ignite on self-motivated spectators.

Four of the vases – the ones on upper-right corner of the video stream – are trying to grow Chili seeds, since yesterday. I read that it is hard to do it, with temperatures below 30. The temperature in the room where the plants are, is below that, so there is a high chance of failure. It is very probable that nothing will happen for many days.

The plants are on artificial light for ~8 hours/day. The rest of the time, they live with whatever ambient light the room gets, which can be very irregular. When the room gets dark enough, the plants will remain visible with infrared lighting.
In an effort to have something on camera, due to the difficulty in growing Chili, I have also planted Dill and Mint.

Enjoy, if you can.

The Intelligent Plant

“The New Yorker” (TNY) Christmas 2013 edition is a favorite of mine; in fact, I can’t remember being so entertained by another TNY in a long time. At the very top of the list of reasons why I adored this particular edition, is one article, by Michael Pollan, titled “The Intelligent Plant”.

“The Intelligent Plant” is about ongoing research on plants’ adaptive behavior, the analogies that can eventually be made with animals, and the divide that some wording and expressions can cause, namely in “Mancuso et al”. vs “Alpi et al.”. Stefano Mancuso and Amedeo Alpi are both scientists researching plants but with different perspectives on how to approach, or how to word, their studies on plant behavior. Naturally many other scientists work on the field, and related fields, and these two names are highlighted by the TNY article only because of the way Pollan decided to structure it and do his interviews, and also because of the academic citations’ format, which when a paper has more than one author, tends to present the collective by identifying the first or the designated author (Alpi) followed by “the others” (et al.).

It happens that Mancuso makes a case for the appropriateness of wording his research with expressions such as “plant neurobiology”. The problem is that because plants have no literal, or animal-like, neurons, others find it inappropriate: “plant neurobiology” is famously criticized in a 2007 article published in “Trends in Plant Science”, by 36 scientists: Alpi A, Amrhein N, Bertl A, Blatt MR, Blumwald E, Cervone F, Dainty J, De Michelis MI, Epstein E, Galston AW, Goldsmith MH, Hawes C, Hell R, Hetherington A, Hofte H, Juergens G, Leaver CJ, Moroni A, Murphy A, Oparka K, Perata P, Quader H, Rausch T, Ritzenthaler C, Rivetta A, Robinson DG, Sanders D, Scheres B, Schumacher K, Sentenac H, Slayman CL, Soave C, Somerville C, Taiz L, and Thiel G, Wagner R..

Pollan’s article is so enjoyable because it refers experiments, facts and research on plants’ adaptive behavior, that most people aren’t aware of, and that are just astonishing: did you know that plants can make some animals help them?, and that they can fight back to the point of killing their animal predators?, that their behavior relatively to other plants is not always competitive and that they can communicate to help each other? Well I knew a little, learned more and, above all, got my plant curiosity spiced up to unprecedented levels 🙂 mainly because I found there is a strong case to be made for bridging this research to forms of distributed intelligence in the animal kingdom, namely stigmergy-based.