Apologies, the blog took a bit of a summer vacation while I focused on writing up the first chapter of my PhD dissertation. It reminded me of the hiatus the Puzzler takes on the NPR program Car Talk. It may be a slow transition back to posting often, but I am going to start by shooting for once a week.
The latest news in the moss world has been the publication of an article in Science magazine on the explosive vortex caused by Sphagnum capsules opening. It is the same opening mechanism that I discussed in a post back in April.
You can link here to the full article Whitaker DL & J Edwards. 2010. Sphagnum Moss Disperses Spores with Vortex Rings. Science 329:406. And here for the four amazing high speed videos that are posted online.
If you prefer to listen to the news, you can hear more about this study on the Science Magazine Podcast for 23 July 2010. The piece on Sphagnum runs from 12:52 to 20:50 in this episode.
You can tell it is the talk of the town, because all sorts of outlets have been posting about it. They feature it over here at the International Association of Bryologists blog and at Wired Science and on Discover Magazine and the New York Times and at ScienceNews, so you get the idea. This is the hot moss story of the moment. So if you have yet to hear the full story and see the great videos check out some of the links above.