Saturday, January 26, 2008

On Pumice and Luffa

Image:Luffa sponge.png
Unpacking your bathroom yields numerous surprises- often embarrassing. That old, folded metal tube of yellow ointment,-the grease rendering the pharmacist's label illegibly translucent. That itch i had back in 1987- oh yes- now i remember.

Pink and green (hers and his) pumice stones- how grateful we are that God has created a world for us in which volcanos erupt in frothy glass rocks for the benefit of our chapped heels. Apparently, it's density is so low that pumice rafts waft on the ocean currents for decades after an appropriate eruption.

Now on to the Luffa... about 6 months ago in my local mega-supermarket i came across a thing resembling an eggplant (aubergine). Unlabelled, it confused the checkout drone- and needed 3 layers of supermarket beauracracy to identify it as a "Luffa".

Obviously, i went home and googled recipes for it... printed out a few and adhered to fridge with magnet in hope wife would cook it... no luck... eventually it went black at the back of the fridge and was sadly disposed of.

Further googling showed that the thing i thought was a dried sea-sponge hidden behind her never-used scented candles was a dried version of the eggplant... "Oh, it's a Loofah!".

This came as quite a shock as i did a very detailed school project on Sponges (Phylum Porifera) when i was 9- and i thought my knowledge was better than most. Did you know you can strain a sea-sponge through a sieve into it's consituent cells and it will reassemble itself into a new one? I think sponges invented multicellularity -and tissues. (not the bathroom kind).

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