While you were asleep: Canada’s corpse flower, Water from thin air, A-League finalists grate nerves

Approx Reading Time-11Monday morning. We’re opening the week with a flower that smells like death, because tabloid journalism. Also, science can now draw water from the most desert-like conditions with a device no bigger than a tissue box.




Corpse Flower blooms in Canada, cynics lazily grasp for adequate metaphor.

Is there a better metaphor for 2017 than an odoriferous plant that blooms to the smell of rotting death, as we group around and slowly applaud it? Maybe, but it’s early, and we all want to go back to bed. The land of a thousand compliments, Canada, has given the world a chance to recoil in horror, inviting us to have the putrid funk invade our collective nasal cavity…but they’ve named the plant Putrella, which is nice.

As for what it smells like, I’m unsure. Twitter has it anywhere between “not too bad” and “great great grandmama’s armpit”, so the jury is out, but what we do know is death brings all the boys to the yard/conservatory, and so it goes that one must take a selfie with a prehistoric morgue slab.

That face holds the final word on what it smells like: ennui.

So, the 36 million-year-old question is why does it smell like Ed Gein’s loungeroom? Well, the plant (amorphophallus titanum) smells that way to attract the equally morbid sounding Carrion Beetle, and just like when two goths meet in a darkened corner, pollination happens.


Also, Mr Timothy Burton, if you are for some reason reading this, please don’t make an offbeat love story between a Corpse Flower and a Carrion Beetle. No matter how much Depp is up for playing an effeminate insect (again).



Science invents a device to create water from thin air, nightclub magicians revolt.

Eggheads at Berkeley have come up with a device truly worthy of clickbait: a tissue box that creates water from the thinnest of air. The science will shock you.

Using a highly absorbent powder called metal-organic framework, or MOF, the team have developed a device about the size of a Kleenex box that can suck lifesaving amounts of water out of the air, even in extremely arid, not-so-fun places.

The magic is all in the MOF, which sounds like a sentence from The Taliban’s Guide to Juvenile Brainwashing: Compendium I. (All hail the MOF.) In lab conditions, a kilo of MOF pulled in about a cup of water in roughly 85 minutes. The scientists project that, in real-world applications, the same amount of matter should absorb 2.8 litres of water during 12 hours of 20-30% humidity, which is about desert range. But hey, it’s a dry heat.

That impressive performance could be repeated day after day (as the MOF doesn’t wear out), making a larger version of the device a plausible source of water for residential use in poor, dry places far from power lines. The technology might also someday be used in emergency situations (such as lifeboats) and may finally kill the lazy, misquoted adage “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink”. (Sucks to be you, Samuel Taylor Coleridge).


A-League finalists known, rest of footballing community yawn in anger.

The two combatants that will duel out the A-League Grand Final for the honour of hanging the stainless steel toilet seat upon their shoulders is known.

However, best not to worry. Not that domestic football isn’t worthy of your attention (it is, and get around it, it’s the future), but the two teams involved this time round cause roll in the eyes of the general footballing populace – at the sound of their names, players or indeed fanbases. Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory.

Fuck. Right. Off.

As we look toward the final, our eyes gaze to all the luminaries present. Matt Simon. Besart Berisha. Graham Arnold. Excuse we while I put a handgun in my mouth. All due respect to the bandwagon fans, and the lazy and those lacking ambition. It’d be a great occasion, and I’ll be present, as a fan of neither, but as a diehard supporter of cynicism.



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