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Designer Plants
“Take the cold tolerance of bacteria that thrive in arctic ice, add the ultraviolet resistance of tomato plants growing high in the Andes mountains, and combine with an ordinary plant.” And what do you get?

You would get something like this:

Designer Plants on Mars

Or some close approximation thereof. It might not look pretty, but it will probably be able to survive on Mars. And it has to: “The plants would probably be housed in a greenhouse on a Martian base, because no known forms of life can survive direct exposure to the Martian surface, with its extremely cold, thin air and sterilizing radiation. Even then, conditions in a Martian greenhouse would be beyond what ordinary plants could stand. During the day, the plants would have to endure high levels of solar ultraviolet radiation, because the thin Martian atmosphere has no ozone to block it like the Earth's atmosphere does. At night, temperatures would drop well below freezing. Also, the Martian soil is poor in the mineral nutrients necessary for plants to thrive.”

But what designer plant I want is one that can blog, my partner in crime, so that while I go off sailing along a straightened Danube River for a forthnight, Pruned won't seem abandoned.

In my absence, it will blog endlessly about its photosynthetic activities; Adventures in Evapotranspiration is a possible topic. It will also chime in on the cornfield projects and Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics (it will, of course, argue that a bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics would be better); insist that this has to be the best BLDGBLOG post ever, thus infecting the blogosphere with yet another insiduous viral meme -- My Top 5 Favorite BLDGBLOG Posts; and fantasize about restored prairies atop five-level underground parking garages, railyards, six-lane interstate highways, and secret CIA prisons.

Typing through the night and into the day, and on through another night, restlessly.

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