How Much Does It Cost to Paint a House

When it is time to refresh our home’s facade, most of us begin to panicky think out how much they will have to pay for the work to be done. And even if you are not going to invite the professional facade painters to do the job for you, painting your house exterior on your own still requires certain calculations.

Want to know how to figure out the final price for your house facade refreshment with paint? We can give you a few hints on that!

What Is the Average Price For Painting the House Facade?

In 2020, the average price for painting the facade was around 2.900 dollars. The low end for this type of work was about 650 dollars, and the high end could reach up to six thousand! And if you invite professional painters, the prices of different companies may vary significantly from 500 to three thousand dollars per square feet. 

Naturally, you might be wondering how come that a few cans of paint cost that much. The answer is simple: it is not only paint that is used during the painting works and thus, the price includes the materials and equipment that are also needed for it.

Of course, if you already have some of them at your disposal, the cost will be lower, however, don’t forget about several other important factors that also influence the final cost of painting your home.

What Affects the Price Of Painting a House

If you decide to paint your house, take into consideration that the final expenses can be calculated only after you consider all the influencing aspects. So what does the price consist of?

  • The size, age, and condition of your house
  • The tools needed (brushes, ladders, rollers, sprayers, buckets, scrapers, masking tape, etc)
  • The amount of paint needed 
  • Labor
  • Type of exterior material (wood, vinyl, or others)
  • Climate of the area you live in
  • Prep work
  • Type of paint and primer

When you know all these nuances, it will be easier to calculate the final price. And if you use the right paint and do the job properly, your freshly painted house will last way longer until the next renovation.

If you are going to paint your house on your own, it will cost you less, of course. However, in this case, be sure you will be doing everything correctly so that you will not have to redo the job afterward!

How to Clean Paint Brushes

It doesn’t matter much whether you are an enthusiastic artist or you are a passionate wall painter, in each case you will have to deal with paints and brushes. And since for painting a house, as well as for painting a picture, we need oil-based paints mostly, cleaning our brushes after such a substance is not so easy!

Luckily, we know a few handy tricks that will help you keep your brushes always clean and ready for being used!

How to Clean Dried Paint Off Your Brushes

Basically, we clean brushes by thoroughly rinsing them. However, this approach is only applicable if you paint with water-based paints that can easily be dissolved in water and washed away. 

In most cases, however, the method of cleaning your brushes will strongly depend on what type of paint was used and thus dried on the tool’s bristles. Also, cleaning brushes with fresh paint and with the paint that has already dried and hardened will be somewhat different.

But no matter how your brushes will be cleaned, always remember to do that right after using them and never leave your painting tools soaked in water or cleansing solvent! It can seriously damage the bristles making the brush useless. And to make the cleaning procedure even safer and more effective, we consider using different sets of cleaning tools for oil paints and water-based paints.

How to Clean Water-Based Paint Off

Water-based or latex paints are the easiest ones to deal with, to be honest. To wash them off your brush, you will simply need to prepare warm soapy water and your brush. 

It is better if you use mild soap suds since the mixture will be gentler on the bristles then. 

Once the solution is ready, dip your brush into it and work through the bristles to let the soap wash the pain off. 

If you see that the paint is bleeding but it’s not all out yet, prepare a fresh soapy mixture and repeat the whole procedure from the beginning. Follow with a proper rinse. And if the paint you are dealing with appears too stubborn, feel free to make use of any mineral spirit or lacquer thinner. Only after this additional portion of cleaning, you can continue with soapy treatment and a final rinse.

Cleaning Oil-Based And Latex Paints Off

Oil-based paints, as you probably know, are more complicated to wash away. Start with choosing a proper cleaning solvent. To do that, we advise you to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Once the solvent is chosen, pour it into a clean tank and dip your brush into it. Move it up and down, and then remove the excess thinner after which the procedure can be repeated again using a new portion of thinner and a clean container.

How to Deal With Dried Paint On Your Brush  

Ok, if the paint is still fresh on the bristles of your brush, washing it off is not a big deal. But what if it has already dried?! No worries, in this case the cleaning procedure will take more time, but it is still possible to save the brush.

So if your brush is covered with dried latex paint, to make it clean again, you need to prepare hot water and some soap. Simply make a soapy solution and dip your brush into it. No need for soaking, just work the soapy water through the bristles to make the paint soften and fall off.

Once you see that the paint is loose, grab a stiff brush with nylon bristles and delicately rub that filament following the flow of the bristles. End up with a proper rinse. Of course, if the paint brush still needs washing, the procedure must be repeated again.

With oil paints, everything is a bit more complicated. This type of paint tends to dry hard on the bristles which makes the brush useless. However, there is still one trick thanks to which we can save our brushes instead of discarding them!

To revive the brushes with dried oil paint on them, keep the tools in white vinegar for a few minutes following these tips:

  • Soak the brush in vinegar for 60 minutes using a saucepan as a tank
  • Turn your stove on
  • Let the brush soak in simmering acetum for a few minutes
  • Rinse it with clear water

Dry it by laying it flat or propping it up with the bristles faced down.

Like this, your brushes will easily restore their shape and remain usable.

How to Get Paint Out Of Clothes

You probably heard the common advice of wearing old clothes whenever you are painting something or working with paint. And this is not a pointless whim! The stains of paint, if they get dry, are pretty hard to get rid of. And even if you are lucky, there is still a chance that your t-shirt or pants will have those noticeable pale paint marks forever.

But if you neglected this advice and managed to stain your clothes with paint, you can still save it using our recommendations.

How to Remove Water-Based Paint From Clothes

Luckily, this type of paint is quite easy to wash off. To deal with water-based paints, such as watercolor, acrylics, or latex paint, simply follow these easy steps.

Scrape off as much excess dried paint as you can using a dull knife, a brush, or a spoon. Then flush the back side of the stained area with warm running water. 

Now prepare a 50/50 mix of warm water and detergent, and saturate the blot with the help of a rag. Keep on doing this until you see the paint is no longer there (or at least it’s not coming up anymore). 

The next step is to make use of a stain remover and launder the item as you usually do. After you take your garment out of the barrel, give it a close check. Any traces of stain still visible? If yes, then apply a non-acetone nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol to it and launder again.

How to Remove Oil-Based Paints

Oil-based paints are somewhat harder to deal with. But it is still possible to do even when they dried. 

First, you turn the garment inside out and blot the stain from its back side using either paint thinner or turpentine. Then rinse it out, apply the laundry detergent you normally use, and soak your garment overnight in warm soapy water.

The next day, rinse the item and launder it according to the care tag recommendations. In case the stain is still there, treat it with the stain remover and repeat the washing. But even if this doesn’t help, discard your piece of clothing. 

These tips will help you free your clothes from dry paint of different origins and make things wearable again.

How to Paint a Room?

Paint it like a pro even if you never did it before

If you are up to any interior renovations, the simplest way to refresh your room might be to repaint it simply. However, most of us feel hesitant since this task seems to be a rather complicated thing to do.

Nevertheless, if you take a look at the process in a step by step perspective, you will see that there is absolutely nothing difficult for you there!

How to Paint Your Room Walls In a Few Simple Steps

Painting walls in a room might seem to be difficult but only if you don’t know what to start with and how to organize the whole process. So grab our handy suggestions to “armor” yourself before you start turning your living space into a masterpiece! 

  • Plan your actions
  • Choose the color(-s)
  • Prepare the tools and materials
  • Determine the amount of paint needed
  • Get the walls and the room ready
  • Mix the paint
  • Clean up

Now let’s describe the process in detail. First, imagine how you want the room to look after you paint it. Do you want it all in one color? Or you’d like to have an accent wall or highlight the mouldings? Think about that.

Color also matters. Decide whether you want the room to be in cool or warm tones, neutral or saturated. If you have any works of art or furniture there, consider their colors, too, to complement the walls. And only then start browsing through the fan decks.

When picking up tools, consider the state of walls and the paint you will be using. But still, some must-haves will have to be used anyway. For instance, paint rollers, brushes and paint tray, drop cloths, painter’s tape and sandpaper, putty knife, rags, etc.

Also, remember to calculate how much paint will be used. The general scheme is that each 400 square feet will require one gallon of paint to apply. But for more precise results, we recommend you use an online paint calculator.

Before painting, empty the room of all the furniture or simply push it all to the center if it’s impossible to remove it elsewhere (e.g. if you lack spare space). Cover the furniture and the floor to protect them from paint, and do the same to switches and outlets using tape.

When painting, remember to stir the paint regularly to keep it homogeneous and ensure the room is well ventilated. And of course, clean after yourself when finished paying special attention to washing brushes. If you leave them covered with paint, the bristles will get ruined!

Like this, painting a room will be fun for you!

Solar eclipse in Africa: a view from space

Yesterday, a lunar shadow passed across Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. This event was the last solar eclipse this year. The Electro-L satellite was able to observe the eclipse, and we can see how darkness covers Africa.


Electro-L is located in a geostationary orbit and takes the Earth every 30 minutes from the same point, from a distance of 36 thousand km. Therefore, we are presented with a unique picture that cannot be seen even from the International Space Station.

A terrible, mysterious event, which probably ensured the annual revenue of many African shamans, is a curious astronomical phenomenon for us, the people of the future.


(c) Rick Taylor

And as researchers should be, we observe it from the side.


In May 2013, there was already a solar eclipse in Australia. Electro-L was also able to remove it. Moreover, at our request, Roscosmos  changed the satellite’s operating mode , doubling the frequency of shooting. Thanks to this, we were able to better see the passage of the moon shadow across the mainland.

The African survey took place from a better angle and at the appropriate time of day, so the eclipse is clearly visible even without acceleration.

But now we are turning to Roscosmos with a more serious request – to launch a research probe on an asteroid. You can sign the petition . It is very easy to do through Facebook, but without it.

The killer beauty of the elements: typhoon Haiyan, a view from space

The Philippines hit typhoon Haiyan (Haiyan). More than 10 thousand died, tens of thousands lost their homes, millions had to be evacuated.

But we can enjoy the beautiful waltz of a deadly typhoon in the shooting of the Russian meteorological satellite Electro-L.

Thanks to a distance of 36 thousand km, the satellite observes the entire disk of the Earth, being above the Indian Ocean. The western part of the Pacific Ocean also falls into his field of vision. Therefore, we can observe the typhoons and cyclones that periodically collapse in Southeast Asia and the Far East.

Such a seemingly strange arrangement of the Russian satellite – over India, is not accidental. The geostationary orbit, which allows you to “hang in one place”, involves the placement of the spacecraft only in the equatorial plane. Therefore, Electro-L is located so that almost all of Russia falls into his field of vision, except for Kamchatka and the Far North.


The satellite was created to observe the atmosphere and the processes taking place in it, so the cloud dance in its image can not be compared with anything … Although, when I did the “eye of the storm”, a striking resemblance to spiral galaxies came to mind.


Only in the center of the galaxy is a supermassive black hole, and the typhoon’s “eye” is formed as a result of the interaction of cold and warm air. The diameter of the “eye” is usually 50-60 km. From this photo you can imagine the overall scale of the event.

Satellite resolution 1 km per pixel.


Animation for three consecutive days was not easy, both for me and for the computer. I had to process simultaneously up to 70 images with a size of 15-40 mb. But the sleepless night was worth it, I think 🙂

Unfortunately, Russian media are not in a hurry to use satellite data from Electro-L, preferring to replicate images of Western or Japanese devices. I sent pictures from our satellite, but so far only American journalists from Universe Today have responded . This seems to me one of the problems of the Russian cosmonautics – everyone is in a hurry to write about disasters, and it is not interesting to show examples of successful work, even when there is a good reason.

Therefore, I do it. 

Electro-L three years in orbit

On January 20, 2011, the Russian meteorological satellite Electro-L went into space. After putting into geostationary orbit, at an altitude of 36 thousand km above the Earth’s surface, and a number of preparatory operations, the satellite began to create beautiful images of our planet. Six months after the launch, he reached the nominal operating mode, and now for more than two years he has been sending her portrait to the Earth every 30 minutes. The satellite resolution reaches 1 km per pixel, and the total size of each image is 124 megapixels.


Thanks to this survey, we can observe the passage of typhoons , dust storms, large fires , even solar eclipses , on the surface of our planet. When I say “we,” I mean, indeed, of every person, since all satellite data is open to everyone, which is a unique phenomenon for the Russian cosmonautics.

Images are available on the FTP server of the Scientific Center for Operational Monitoring of the Earth , related to Roscosmos, and the Planet Research Center , which is a division of Roshydromet.

So that everyone can enjoy the beauty of our planet, I prepared a picture for January 21, 2014 in large format (12 mb) and very large (on GigaPan).

Here you can see the condensation traces of aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea (more precisely, the clouds that formed on their basis):


Semi-Frozen Baikal:


Cyclone in Western Australia:


Unusual cloudy front over Pakistan:


And there are many other unusual and colorful phenomena that together add up to the picture of the most beautiful cosmic body in the Universe – our planet Earth. Look for the Maldives, see the red clouds illuminated by scarlet over Europe, find a chain of mini-typhoons off the coast of Antarctica, imagine what it is like for the inhabitants of the Arctic, immersed in the shadow of a polar night … This is an indescribable sensation from a trip over the planet, after which even the landscapes from the movie “Gravity” do not seem something unique. And looking at the NTsOMZ server you can find the pictures that were taken three hours ago, i.e. Electro-L acts as an online webcam for the entire Earth.

I must say a few words about the unusual color of the image. The satellite captures with the capture of the near infrared range, and when creating color images, the infrared channel is used instead of red. This is done in order to better identify the surface features of the planet. Living vegetation reflects the near infrared color much better, therefore, the more “orange” the color in the Electro-L image, the “livelier” the greens on the planet’s surface, which we see in the jungles of Africa, India and Indochina.


In addition to the direct useful information that Electro-L provides, its work in orbit is important as a demonstration of the capabilities of the new Navigator space platform developed at the NPO named after S.A. Lavochkina.


This is a set of equipment for orientation, control, power supply of scientific equipment installed on the platform. It is visible in the “rear” part of the spacecraft in the form of an octagonal block and ball fuel tanks, and a solar battery is attached to it.

This platform is now used on the Electro-L and Spektr-R devices ( Radioastron telescope ). In the future, it should become the basis of advanced spacecraft for astrophysical research, which will study the Universe in a wide range of ranges from ultraviolet to gamma. Later I will try to tell how their development is progressing.

Therefore, the longer Electro-L operates, the more it provides information about the operating features of Navigator, the more experience engineers and designers gain, the better and longer the next generation of Russian satellites will work.

Despite the fact that there are some problems with Electro-L related to both “technology” and “science”, I think, nevertheless, you can congratulate everyone who is somehow involved in the activities of this device.

And I will continue to talk about interesting things that happen in space. 

Scientists have created synthetic cells that respond to external signals, like real living cells

Artificial cells

Researchers have developed and created experimental samples of synthetic cells that are able to respond to external chemical signals in the same way as real living cells do. Experimental samples of synthetic cells begin to glow with fluorescent light when calcium ions appear in the environment. Calcium, in turn, is one of the main chemical signals used by living cells, and in this case it can be used for programming and real-time control of the operation of artificial cells.

“Using this approach, we can create artificial cells that, for example, having caught the chemical signs of cancer, immediately begin to synthesize the drug that is most suitable for this case,” says James Hindley, a biochemistry scientist at Imperial College in London, UK.

Artificial cells consist of several compartments surrounded by a common lipid membrane having microscopic pores.

 Through these pores, calcium ions penetrate into the cell and activate the enzymes located there, which causes the phenomenon of fluorescence. This, of course, does not fully correspond to the complex biochemical processes that we can see inside living cells. Nevertheless, in such simple functions, a huge potential is hidden, which allows to solve even those tasks that go beyond the capabilities of living cells.

Such a simplification of the functions of artificial cells means that it will be much easier to work with these cells, and they will not be affected by various adverse factors that adversely affect the “health” of normal living cells. Moreover, correctly selected components placed inside artificial cells will allow deceiving living cells, forcing them to consider artificial cells to be real. This, in turn, will allow the creation of biological systems in which living and artificial cells will exist in complete harmony, performing one common task for all.

Solids and their structure depending on the type of crystal lattice

Solids are composed of atoms, molecules, and ions firmly bound together.

 The properties of solids depend on the strength of the chemical bonds within them. Most solids have a crystalline structure. 

Their particles – molecules, atoms or ions – are arranged in a strict order. Such a regular structure is called a spatial, or crystalline, lattice. Type of crystalline lattice of solids Ionic structure Molecular structure of solids Atomic structure Metal structure of solids Graphite conductivity is a rare example of a non-metal conductor Interesting experiments with carbon dioxide or hard ice

Type of crystalline lattice of solids The type of lattice depends on what particles are in the lattice sites. 

There are 4 main types of spatial gratings – ionic, molecular, atomic and metallic. Particles in crystal lattices are not mobile, or constantly oscillate. With increasing temperature, the vibrational energy of particles of a solid increases, and when it exceeds the energy of intermolecular attraction, the crystal lattice is destroyed – melting occurs. Ionic structure Substances with an ionic structure, for example sodium chloride, usually have rather high melting points. 

This property follows from the strong interaction between oppositely charged lattice ions. 

molecular, atomic and metallic. Particles in crystal lattices are not mobile, or constantly oscillate. With increasing temperature, the vibrational energy of particles of a solid increases, and when it exceeds the energy of intermolecular attraction, the crystal lattice is destroyed – melting occurs. Ionic structure Substances with an ionic structure, for example sodium chloride, usually have rather high melting points. This property follows from the strong interaction between oppositely charged lattice ions. 

Ionic substances are quite fragile 

The force exerted by the crystal from the outside can shift the layers of ions, so that equally charged ions will be opposite each other. They will begin to repel, the layers will move apart, and the crystal lattice in this place will collapse. 


The spatial model of the cubic lattice of the sodium chloride crystal is shown in the figure. Shown here are the relative sizes of the two types of ions and their location in space. Molecular structure of solids Atoms in the atomic lattice. Molecules are composed of atoms bonded by a strong covalent bond. For example, an iodine molecule consists of two atoms linked by the same covalent bond. The bonds between molecules and solids are not so strong. Iodine molecule I2. Solid iodine consists of iodine molecules bound in a regular crystal lattice. 

Each iodine molecule consists of 2 iodine atoms firmly bound together. 


In the solid state, iodine is a rather soft element, since the bonds between its molecules are weak. 


Solids with a molecular structure melt, as a rule, at low temperatures. 

During melting, covalent bonds do not break, only bonds between weakly interacting molecules are broken. Atomic structure Free carbon is known in two versions – diamond and graphite. Both diamond and graphite consist only of carbon atoms, however, these two substances have completely different structures. In graphite, a carbon atom is connected to 3 other atoms by short strong covalent bonds. 

The 4th electron remains free, which determines the electrical conductivity of graphite. 

Hexagonal rings form flat layers. The bonds between the layers are rather weak, and the layers can slide one relative to the other. That is why graphite is used as a solid lubricant. In a diamond, each carbon atom is bonded by strong covalent bonds to 4 other atoms. Billions of atoms are connected in a three-dimensional crystal lattice of unusual strength, which makes diamond the hardest known substance. 


Undoubtedly, diamond is much less common than graphite, and much more valuable than it. 

Both diamond and graphite consist only of carbon atoms, however, these 2 substances have completely different structures, and therefore, completely different compounds. The figure shows the structure of the diamond crystal lattice. 


Salt crystals are composed of sodium ions and chloride ions. In the figure, the atoms are shown as balls. 

The balls are conventionally spaced so that the three-dimensional structure of the crystal is visible. Pencil lead made of graphite. Weak attractive forces between the layers of carbon atoms allow the layers to slide relative to each other, which is why a graphite trace remains on paper. The metal structure of solids At the sites of substances with a metal lattice are positive ions and metal atoms, and between the nodes are electrons. 

Atoms are densely packed in layers, and atoms of one layer are in the deepening of the neighboring layer. The interactions between atoms in such a structure are quite strong, and most metals have high melting points. Many electrons can move freely throughout the metal crystal, and therefore are called free electrons. Free electrons have a negative charge and attract metal cations, as a result of which the crystal lattice of metals is stable. 

Free electrons can freely transfer heat and electricity, so they are the cause of the main physical properties that distinguish metals from non-metals – high electrical and thermal conductivity. 

Unlike ionic substances, metals are plastic and malleable – metal layers can slip relative to each other without destroying the spatial lattice. Solid metal atoms are tightly packed. External electrons move freely and are evenly distributed between all atoms. 

A single electron cloud firmly binds atoms to each other. When an electric current passes through a metal, the total electron flux has a certain direction – from the negative pole to the positive. 

Graphite conductivity is a rare example of a non-metal conductor. Electric current is a directed flow of charged particles. These charged particles can be ions or electrons that can move freely. In some cases, the ability of a material to conduct or not conduct electric current allows us to judge its structure. 

Graphite is a rare example of a non-metal conductor. 

In practice, it is used as conductive “brushes” in a power tool. Graphite conducts current, since each carbon atom in its structure is covalently bonded to only 3 other atoms. Thus, 1 (4) electron at each atom remains relatively free, taking part in the formation of bonds, “Smeared” over the entire layer of atoms. Such a connection is called delocalized.

 It is an electron source capable of moving freely through graphite layers to conduct an electric current. An interesting video, which clearly shows not only the conductivity of graphite, but also the formation of an electric arc between graphite rods. 

When substances with ionic bonds (salts) are molten or dissolved in water, the crystal lattice is destroyed, ions become free and can conduct electricity. 

This phenomenon helped scientists in their time to understand that ionic substances consist of charged particles. Interesting experiments with carbon dioxide or solid ice

An experiment was conducted in the video in which 90 dry ice was poured into an inflatable pool. At -78.5 0С solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) turns into carbon dioxide, bypassing the liquid state. If dry ice is thrown into water, it will begin to evaporate. A mixture of dry ice and water is used for stage effects (thick fog).

Plants don’t think or feel anything

Well-known physiologists published an article in a prestigious scientific journal stating that plants have no consciousness. What prompted them to take this desperate step?

Mimosa bashfulPhoto: H. Zell / Wikipedia

Unpleasant things sometimes happen to scientific ideas: they become too obvious. In the end, they just stop talking about them. It would not be a problem, but there is always somewhere else an alternative opinion (what to call an opinion alternative to the obvious? Nonsense? Yes, for example, let’s call it nonsense), which someone will express.

What for? For example, in order to expand the horizons of science, to free oneself from stereotypes, to open people’s eyes to the complexity of the world, its beauty and perfection – you never know in the world of good and noble motives to carry nonsense. And there is an obvious truth at the exit, which no one talks about anymore, and some nonsense, which they suddenly start talking more and more about. And here someone needs to rush into the embrasure and once again loudly and selflessly pronounce the banality. Because banality is true, and its original alternative is complete rubbish.

It was in this position that Lincoln Thais, a well-known plant physiologist and author of the world-famous textbook on this discipline, turned out to be. He explains his impulse  as follows: he, as the author, is asked why there is nothing about “plant neurobiology” in his textbook? And now the situation has gone so far that he can no longer simply say: “Because plants do not have any neurobiology.” He has to write a lengthy article about this . By the way, it’s interesting, we advise you to read it. But if laziness, read at least this small note.

The origin of nonsense

Plant Neurobiology dates back to a 2006 scientific review by Eric Brenner and triumphed in December 2013 in the form of an article by Michael Pollan in The New Yorker entitled Intelligent Plant. The word “intelligence” here, of course, does not mean high spirit ups, but simply the ability to perceive and analyze information, approximately as in the phrase “artificial intelligence” or “machine intelligence”. Of course, any living cell perceives information from the outside world and somehow changes its vital activity in response, but adherents of plant neurobiology clearly hint at something more.

What, for example? Here are a couple of instructive cases.

1. Mimosa gets used to the bad

Mimosa is bashful that from the legume family, she can fold leaves in response to mechanical stress. This is not a reason to endow it with “memory and intelligence,” as National Geographic did . And the reason is this: if you shake the mimosa leaf, it will close. If you shake again, it will close again, but not so willingly. If you shake it regularly, it will stop closing. Maybe mimosa simply exhausted strength? No: if you now drop the sheet onto the floor, it will close again.

Such experiments were described in 2014 by  Monica Galliano, who soon became one of the media stars on the topic “Plants can think, but do not explain how.” Its interpretation is obvious: the sheet simply remembers: “Shaking is not scary,” that is, in our opinion, it gets used and calms down. But a new type of exposure again scares the poor plant. The fact that a repeated effect blunts the reflex was written by physiologist Pavlov. But they were dogs. So, mimosa is almost like a dog.

And so Professor Thais and his co-authors are forced to remind : no memory, much less reason, is needed to explain these experiments. Just throwing it on the floor is more mechanical stress than just shaking it. It can give a signal for tissue swelling on one side of the sheet (which ensures curling) when the signal from shaking is no longer enough.

2. Conditioned reflexes in peas

Since we remembered Academician Pavlov, we must mention the conditioned reflexes. For example, peas. Galliano discovered the “conditioned reflexes” in him  in 2016: she grew a plant in a tube in the form of the letter Y and looked at which branch it would reach. The LED light was used as the “unconditional” stimulus, and the “conditional” was the breeze coming from the fan. When the light was turned off and the fan was left to no one needed, 65% of the plants grew in its direction – that is, to where, as they remember, there was once light.

And again, the good authors of our article are forced to give a bunch of evidence why these experiments (which, incidentally, were not very well reproduced) should be interpreted with caution. A lot of what looks like consciousness from the outside is not really it, and the presence of intelligence in peas should be proved a little more carefully (the authors cite the famous quote from Karl Sagan : “Extraordinary statements require extraordinary evidence.” Recall, by the way, that and in the case of a dog, the story of “conditioned reflexes” was never considered evidence of rationality – and Pavlov himself received his Nobel for “physiology of digestion”, to which area of ​​science his experiments were classified. His dogs were “reasonable” or much later. ”Pea, probably, is worth patience for now.

Why plants have no consciousness

The answer of the authors of the article consists of two parts: a) because they do not need it for anything, and b) because they have nothing for this.

The first part: the plant has absolutely nothing to think about. The brain is a very expensive organ, it consumes a lot of energy and nutrients, develops slowly, requires sleep, etc. Our survival strategy is such that we are prepared to take these losses. This strategy involves every minute choice: to stand or run, right or left, food or sex, sometimes even good or evil. The plant practically does not need to choose anything: it can only grow or not grow, at best, pour a little bit of tissue juice on the shadow side of the stem, so that the head of the sunflower turns after the sun.

When they say to you with condemnation that you turn from laziness and vodka into a plant (into a vegetable, into ficus, etc.), most likely the interlocutor will keep in mind that you are evading a moral choice or not acting on the basis of a choice previously committed and declared. For a plant, this is natural: no matter what choice it makes, it will not affect its life and growth. Because a vegetable is a vegetable, and he is not offended by this.

The second part of the answer: the nervous system and especially the brain is an awfully complex squiggle. “Complex” in the mathematical sense: a lot of connections between elements. Apparently, for what is called “consciousness”, this is absolutely necessary. The theoretical basis of this assertion was recently disassembled in bones in an article by  Todd Feinberg and John Malatt. Their conclusion is that: of all life on the planet, “consciousness” (in the rational everyday sense of the word) can, in principle, exist in vertebrates, including a respected reader, mollusks and arthropods. And that’s all. The rest simply do not have a sufficiently complicated place where it could fit.

And the last caveat: people like to be proud of their “complexity”, but in nature they don’t give a medal for “complexity”. She is given for a successful survival strategy. In plants, it is so successful that these creatures make up  4/5 of the entire living biomass of the planet. There are 500 times more trees on earth than people. The fact that they do not need to think for this – and we need to desperately – is still unknown whose problem.

Good motivations that gave birth to nonsense

Lincoln Thais is a plant physiologist, and it happened because he loves plants. He is generally a kind person and far from publicly making fun of Monica Galliano, who discovered the memory of mimosa, or Eric Brenner, who introduced the term “plant neurobiology”. He is trying to understand their motives.

And their motives are noble. They are just offended when plants – yes, they also love plants – are regarded by some as soulless machines. This means that they do not have to be protected and protected, but it is possible to cut down forests and destroy biocenoses. Such evil creatures are these Homo sapiens that they cannot relate to something humanly if it is something unlike them. So, in order to save the biosphere of the planet, a little anthropomorphism must be allowed into scientific concepts. Plant neurobiology is very helpful here.

Incidentally, Karl Linnaeus, who also loved plants, described the process of double fertilization in flowering as follows: “Petals of a flower do nothing for reproduction, serving only as a marriage bed, which the great Creator so nicely arranged, adorned with noble materials and covered with so many sweet aromas, so that the Bridegroom can perform the sacrament of marriage with the Bride in the greatest triumph. When the bed is removed, the time for the Bridegroom to accept the Bride and bring her her gifts ” ( quote from the article by L. Thais and others  in the author’s translation). A little pathos and exaggeration is normal for enthusiastic people, that’s what we want to say here.

Monica Galliano is also expressed sublimely , albeit in the style of her century:

<Debate about the presence of consciousness in animals> “has recently been extended to plants, and as experimental evidence of the presence of cognitive abilities in plants accumulates, it becomes impossible to ignore the controversial and even taboo ethical issues of their well-being and moral responsibility to them.”

In general, Monica Galliano just wants us to be kinder to plants. All her experiments are for the sake of it.

And here Lincoln Thais is in a difficult position:

“Is it necessary to attribute consciousness to plants – regardless of whether they have it or not – as psychological tactics to convince the general public of the urgent need to preserve the biosphere? If this is so, we are faced with an unacceptable choice: whether to accept a lie for the sake of spreading environmental awareness, or adhere to objective truth, while humanity rushes to an environmental disaster. ”

The conclusion of Professor Thais is this: “We object to believing that plants have consciousness, intentions or reason as a matter of our moral choice. Scientific knowledge only requires that we strive for truth. ”

For our part, we are glad that everything ended so well. We have a lot of ethical issues here, and sometimes you just want to cut a tomato, cut a hazel or dig a horseradish without all this nonsense. Well, because plants don’t feel anything, as everyone has known for a long time.