Blogging Houseplant Midori-San

Blogging houseplants? I knew that, on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog - but a plant?


(Midori-san the blogging houseplant)

Kamakura-based IT company KAYAC Co., Ltd. has developed a sophisticated botanical interface system that lets plants post their thoughts online. A succulent Sweetheart Hoya (Hoya kerii) named “Midori-san” is now using the system to blog daily from its home at bowls Donburi Cafe in Kamakura.

The plant "corresponds" via an interface system consisting of surface potential biosensors to read the weak bioelectric current flowing across the surface of the leaves. A custom algorithm translates this data into Japanese sentences.


(Typical blogpost from Midori-san the blogging houseplant)

Visitors can give Midori-san a bit of fluorescent light - just click the "Give Light to Midori-San" link, natch.

I don't have a specific science-fictional reference for a blogging house plant. However, I do recall one of my favorite characters from Doorways in the Sand, a marvelous 1976 novel by Roger Zelazny.

Dr. Mrmm'mrm'mlrr (pronounced just like it looks) is a sentient (and telepathic) psychotherapist plant who practices assault therapy on his patients.

As the cablelike vines or tentacles seized me, thigh and shoulder, hoisting me into the air to a position where, wrenching my neck, I was afforded a view of the thing's massive trunk, down to where it emerged from the tub of slime in the center of the room, I reflected, as the enormous Venus-flytrap-type blades snapped open, revealing a reddish interior, that while it may be true that most accidents are caused by carelessness, I could in no way be held responsible this time...

I struggled, of course. Who wouldn't? But the thing raised me a good five feet into the air, shifting me into a horizontal position directly above its less than attractive self. It then proceeded to turn me upside down, so that my field of vision was dominated by its gray-green bulk, its tub of slime and its octopal members all awrithe. I had a hunch it meant me ill even before its leafy appendages came open like switchblades, showing me their moist, spiny and suspiciously ruddy insides.

I let out a bleat and tore at the vines. Then something that felt like a red-hot poker occurred behind my eyes and passed from side to side and back within my head. Stark terror poured forth, and I twisted convulsively within the living bonds...

Maybe we shouldn't start plants blogging...

Via Pink Tentacle.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/7/2008)

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