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Old Aug 30 2010, 02:07 PM   #1
semantre
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Default Glows

So, what are glows, exactly? Where do they grow, what do they 'eat' to grow, how long do they last, and what quality of light do they emit? How many does it take to light a room?

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Old Aug 30 2010, 09:07 PM   #2
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Glows were first mentioned in detail in CoP: The Survey: P.E.R.N., about 4 pages from the end. They found them in a big cave (possiboy on Ista) and Liu called them "some sort of luminous mycelium" (i.e. fungus). He had one in a test-tube, and it stopped glowing when he covered the end to exclude oxygen.

I don't think they were used by the original settlers until some time after they moved to the north.
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Old Aug 31 2010, 02:23 AM   #3
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They definitely need oxygen in order to luminesce.

There's also a need for fresh glows after a while, and they ought to be shielded/closed off from oxygen when not needed - that suggests that they have a limited lifespan, and that they're not so abundant that a small Hold can afford to waste them.

Presumably that's a whole new Pernese job opportunity out there - glow gathering/tending/breeding/farming.

They appear to be cave-dwelling organisms, so perhaps UV light is damaging to them? Maybe they evolved at a point in Pern's history when there was a much higher ozone content throughout the atmosphere, blocking the UV and providing an energy-rich oxygen-based foodsource... and maybe the bioluminescence attracted/confused insects at night, creating a good food supply for flits or larger bugs or whatever, and the glows get fertilised by the insect-predator waste products? Yeah, I'm speculating wildly... and then something happens, maybe Threadfall starts and the atmosphere gets heated/altered enough to reduce the ozone layer and let more UV through, and they end up colonising only caves - which would have a ready source of flit/wherry/snake manure as they're the best places for the larger wildlife to shelter from Thread.

Okay, enough speculation!

I doubt they'd be more efficient than lightbulbs, but once electricity falls into short supply, they'd be an obvious choice. Free lighting, with minimal heat-wastage... and [speculation alert!] potentially you could feed them on human/animal waste.

How luminous are they? That's hard to say. A full basket could be little more than a 30W incandescent bulb... or fainter, or brighter. You'd need to either ask Anne, or dredge through the books for enough references to build a bigger picture. To light a room for basic movement and work - I'd guess you'd need a basket or two. For anything requiring good vision, more, or move yourself closer.

Too many glows might be a bad choice, assuming they do use oxygen - if the room's not well ventilated enough, you might end up making a trade-off between illumination and asphyxiation...

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Old Sep 1 2010, 03:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Glows

Isn't there a thread on this in Pern Science?

If not, there should be
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Old Sep 1 2010, 05:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Glows

If there isn't, perhaps a staffer could translocate it?
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Old Sep 2 2010, 12:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: Glows

there are different things on earth that glow naturally. but the thing that i cant understand is that, in a place that bends over backwards to keep things dry and stony, where would there be enough damp places where such stuff could grow? foxfire grows on decaying wood, and wouldnt it dry out fast once picked? i especially dont understand the frequent refences Todd makes to both 'harvesting glow goo in swamps', then to ' glow stones', that can be turned over to block the light. and how would any fungi be 'recharged'?
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Old Sep 2 2010, 10:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by LadyDeerskin View Post
there are different things on earth that glow naturally. but the thing that i cant understand is that, in a place that bends over backwards to keep things dry and stony, where would there be enough damp places where such stuff could grow? foxfire grows on decaying wood, and wouldnt it dry out fast once picked? i especially dont understand the frequent refences Todd makes to both 'harvesting glow goo in swamps', then to ' glow stones', that can be turned over to block the light. and how would any fungi be 'recharged'?
Take sugar and water, mix it together to make sugar water.
Dip a rag into the water, then lay it flat (in a dark place).
Put the fungus on the rag.
Fungus absorbs sugar water to be recharged.

You may have to add other ingredients to the water besides sugar, but that is the general idea. That's similar to how you make more kombushu mushrooms/tea.

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Old Sep 2 2010, 01:15 PM   #8
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oh, thats interesting! i didnt know about mushrooms in tea! but then, i've never been into teas, and markets out here dont sell anything but regular mushrooms, and at a high price.

the 'recharging' that i was thinking of was, again, from Todd's books: one reference was his taking glows outside during the Plague in Fort Hold, to lay them out to 'recharge'. another was during the time injured dragons/riders and the young dragons were at Ingen Weyr, and in the process of setting up their new home there, old glows were found, but were not thought to be able to be recharged.

so this makes me think that the kind of stuff Todd is calling 'glows' is not a fungus, as his mom seemed to be describing. what grows in a swamp that would be rechargable like the stuff that we make glow in the dark things with?


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Take sugar and water, mix it together to make sugar water.
Dip a rag into the water, then lay it flat (in a dark place).
Put the fungus on the rag.
Fungus absorbs sugar water to be recharged.

You may have to add other ingredients to the water besides sugar, but that is the general idea. That's similar to how you make more kombushu mushrooms/tea.

GH
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Old Sep 3 2010, 10:34 AM   #9
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oh, thats interesting! i didnt know about mushrooms in tea! but then, i've never been into teas, and markets out here dont sell anything but regular mushrooms, and at a high price.

the 'recharging' that i was thinking of was, again, from Todd's books: one reference was his taking glows outside during the Plague in Fort Hold, to lay them out to 'recharge'. another was during the time injured dragons/riders and the young dragons were at Ingen Weyr, and in the process of setting up their new home there, old glows were found, but were not thought to be able to be recharged.

so this makes me think that the kind of stuff Todd is calling 'glows' is not a fungus, as his mom seemed to be describing. what grows in a swamp that would be rechargable like the stuff that we make glow in the dark things with?
I guess the question is:

Are glows able to generate a compound that is bioluminescent?

If so, what process allows them to generate this compound? Photosynthesis or a different reaction that uses non-photonic energy?

I always pictured glows as a type of fungi or moss.

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Old Sep 3 2010, 11:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: Glows

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I always pictured glows as a type of fungi or moss.
Me too, which is why I'm wondering what they feed on to perpetuate their species - do they use the luminesence to lure insects that they digest, the way some flowering plants use their scents to attract insects for meals? Are they predatory to other cavern growths? Do they feed of materials in the excrement of cave-dwelling things - and if so, what /are/ those things - insects? mammals? reptiles?

It's like the discussion on klah - if they are regularly harvested for use as a light source then they must a) either be highly prolific (recovering quickly after a harvest) or require a very small unit to create a usable light (so a harvest is a small portion of the whole), b) have long usable life spans (allowing the population to recover while the current harvest is being used), or c) are a species that can be cultivated and nurtured to avoid wiping them out (so regardless of effective lifespan or quantity needed, they are maintained by their 'farmers'). Or a combination thereof - otherwise, 2500 years of use would have exhausted the supply, and they wouldn't be around in the 9th Pass.
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Old Sep 3 2010, 01:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by LadyDeerskin View Post
there are different things on earth that glow naturally. but the thing that i cant understand is that, in a place that bends over backwards to keep things dry and stony, where would there be enough damp places where such stuff could grow? foxfire grows on decaying wood, and wouldnt it dry out fast once picked? i especially dont understand the frequent refences Todd makes to both 'harvesting glow goo in swamps', then to ' glow stones', that can be turned over to block the light. and how would any fungi be 'recharged'?
I found this in an article on the Marfa Lights:

"It has been postulated the lights are swamp gasses AKA marsh gas, will-o’-the-wisp, jack-o-lantern, corpse candles, spook lights and ignis fatus. Swamp gas can be found where decaying organic matter and stagnant water meet. At night, the gas is in the form of purplish-blue flames. During the day, the flames are redder. They can be approached and will burn paper, turning it brown and coating it with glutinous moisture. While flammable, the gas is not phosphorescent nor is it methane. Marsh gas is a mystery of chemistry."

The article gives no explanation of how the gas ignites --- probably it bubbles up in small amounts from the depths of the swamp, and ignites when it meets oxygen. It doesn't sound as if it would be practical away from the swamp ecosystem.

I've often wondered why the colonists didn't use methane digesters (attached to the communal cess-pit) to produce gas for heating and light. It's a low-level technology.
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Old Sep 3 2010, 06:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: Glows

Originally I started off believing that glows were of mineral origin like phosphorescent paint.
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Old Sep 22 2010, 01:56 AM   #13
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…That's similar to how you make more kombushu mushrooms/tea.…
Are we talking kombucha?
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Old Sep 22 2010, 10:29 AM   #14
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Are we talking kombucha?
yes
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Old Dec 5 2010, 07:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Glows, Glowbaskets or lanterns, two types or more?

OT: Notes I put this information as a reminder. :bush: With moving I can't find my books
Glow: a chemical light source which is put into specially designed baskets that are mounted (to a wall) or can be carried by hand. http://www.pern.nl/pe/G_table.html
Glowbasket: a basket that holds glows. It can be carried as well as put in a (wall mounted) fixture. Glowbaskets can always be closed. In the earlier times on Pern candles and lanterns were obviously still in use as they are mentioned in Dragon's Fire [Dfire]. http://www.pern.nl/pe/G_table.html
http://books.google.com/books?id=oNo...%20lit&f=false
It sounds like they are lanterns too The Chronicles of Pern: First fall
By Anne McCaffrey, Page 102 mycelium luminescence
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Old Dec 7 2010, 03:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: Glows

I had always thought that glows were little balls that were picked off a fungus plant, but now that I think of it, I don't recall if it was ever specified what they actually look like.

Do glows actually need to be fed or maintained, other than keeping them in a closed container? I would think that they would need to be maintained in some way, like putting flowers in water after you pick them. GHarris's idea seems very good, but I don't know if the books ever mention that they need to be fed at all after they've been harvested.
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Old Dec 7 2010, 06:48 PM   #17
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Apparently covering them makes them last longer.
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Old Dec 7 2010, 09:05 PM   #18
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Chapter 2: Fit for Human Habitation, Page 5 in Dragon Lover's Guide to Pern(C) 1989 edition shows a drawing of glows being a marble like structure.

I have always thought them as little balls that glow like a few placed in a lantern or in a contraption like a vegetable steamer that could be opened and closed by turning it limiting the light emitted from it.
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Old Dec 7 2010, 10:16 PM   #19
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I know there are references here and there to the chore of replenishing glow baskets. I always assumed that involved emptying the basket into a dark and damp area and refilling it with glows that had had time to regenerate and/or reproduce. If they are fungi, wouldn't spreading them out in the sunlight kill them?
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Old Dec 8 2010, 06:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriflor View Post
Glows were first mentioned in detail in CoP: The Survey: P.E.R.N., about 4 pages from the end. They found them in a big cave (possibly on Ista) and Lu called them "some sort of luminous mycelium" (i.e. fungus). He had one in a test-tube, and it stopped glowing when he covered the end to exclude oxygen. He didn't have any idea they would glow! https://books.google.com/books?id=oN...20pern&f=false the first.

I don't think they were used by the original settlers until some time after they moved to the north.
Chronicles of Pern: First Fall: CoP:FRH - "The Ford of Red Hanrahan" As I said, they didn't find the shielding for outside use, they could have been using them inside, but to get the light needed you need very large, on stands, ones Like in Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern, Page 45 http://books.google.com/books?id=OTH...skets,&f=false They were golden in color, as for color glow who know were they are found.

There is a like about it be traditional to use glows SoP|Skies of Pern|Page 15
Quote:
"Glowbaskets are traditional," the woman said, and her petulant tone carried into the shadows beyond the table. "Glows were put here for us to cultivate and protect."
"Glows are natural, and have lighted our holds and halls for centuries
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Old Dec 9 2010, 01:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Biotrooper View Post
Chapter 2: Fit for Human Habitation, Page 5 in Dragon Lover's Guide to Pern(C) 1989 edition shows a drawing of glows being a marble like structure.

I have always thought them as little balls that glow like a few placed in a lantern or in a contraption like a vegetable steamer that could be opened and closed by turning it limiting the light emitted from it.
Aha! That'll be where I picked it up, thank you! I'm the last one to use the DLG in support of anything, but that image has definitely gotten itself lodged in my mind.
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Old Dec 14 2010, 06:39 PM   #22
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Default Re: Glows

This is an interesting topic, so I bookmark it by writing here

I have been wondering what GLOWS were - I thought they were some sort of stones or biodirt - like the ones mined during world war 2. What I remember from the books, maintaining the glows was hard heavy work which was constantly being a necessary task.

It would be nice to search all the books to find all the references and try to compile all about glows in one message. The wonder and research into Anne's books never ends
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Old Dec 15 2010, 05:52 AM   #23
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2cent Re: Glows | Glow Stone

I just found one on glow stone, soft blue glow at Mine Natalon, Ch. 15 Pg. 366-367, Dragonheart Hardcover 2008. Just something else, to think about. Something that you, can use as bio-light that can be used. "shrug shoulders''

They use what they have to hand. RoP. Renegade of Pern, Exploring of the collapsed tower at Landing Piemur 's Faril, had two two candles in each claw, for a glowbasket would be too big and heavy for a fire lizard to carry. My self, the back cover of the US Dragonseye Hardback, gives you a good idea how big they are, + the books say you need lots of them to see with.

http://books.google.com/books?id=UbB0wReAvkQC&lpg=PP1& dq=Renegades%20of%20Pern%20by%20anne%20mccaffrey&p g=PA294#v=onepage&q=Farli&f=false

http://books.google.com/books?id=UbB...ick%20&f=false
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Last edited by GinnyStar; Dec 16 2010 at 01:17 AM. Reason: Used what you got, how bright. Just my two cents
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Old Dec 15 2010, 05:02 PM   #24
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Is that the same book with the hawks?
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Old Dec 15 2010, 05:12 PM   #25
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Is that the same book with the hawks?
No, Its the one http://books.google.com/books?id=Ckr...0stone&f=false
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Old Dec 16 2010, 12:27 AM   #26
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I forgot to put in the eye-rolling smiley. I don't take Todd's books into account much when it comes to canon.
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Old Oct 16 2011, 03:32 PM   #27
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I think, that why they had so many glows above the workspaces, they had, large basket full of them, but what I don't understand is the 're-charging' of them, not unless they were stone like the type glow in the dark paint is made of, Dragon Harper is another about, recharging them, the book isn't to hand, but they could have had stones that were shaped like glows, and/or some other type of lighting between times
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Old Oct 16 2011, 05:38 PM   #28
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Ginny, my theory has always been that the glows need oxygen to produce light. BUT - the use of oxygen wears them out/ages them, and they either need to re-gain their ability through some bio-chemical process of their own while within a sealed basket, or you just dump the old ones and replace them with new, fresh glows.
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Old Oct 16 2011, 05:50 PM   #29
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Ginny, my theory has always been that the glows need oxygen to produce light. BUT - the use of oxygen wears them out/ages them, and they either need to re-gain their ability through some bio-chemical process of their own while within a sealed basket, or you just dump the old ones and replace them with new, fresh glows.
That was how my thinking goes too, I'm also working on a idea but still needing to translated Earth into Pern, like in Dragonseye/Red Star Rising.

The half spent ones, were used by the boys in Dragonquest, there is the the something about the size of them, and the Glow Room, too.
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Old Dec 6 2013, 08:02 AM   #30
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Is there any consensus on what colour they glow?
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Old Dec 6 2013, 09:24 AM   #31
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This is what's in The dagonlovers guide: and I quote "The mycota that proved to be most interesting to the botanist/nexialist Liu was first discovered in a cave on the biggest Island. He identified the luminous fungus as a mycelium that glowed when exposed to oxygen. It retained its light for an unusually long time, suggesting its usefulness as a light source. The spores where tiny, but there were enormous quantities in the caves." (quote end) I think that to restore the glowes, they where put back in the caves to let fungus regrow on there surface.
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Old Dec 6 2013, 09:33 AM   #32
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Yeah, but what do the books say about the light they give off? Do they glow white? Yellow? Green?
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Old Dec 6 2013, 10:42 AM   #33
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I'm not sure it was ever mentioned.
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Old Dec 6 2013, 06:09 PM   #34
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Colour might depend on whatever substrate they're growing as that would affect what minerals were available for absorption into the mycelium.
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Old Dec 6 2013, 09:37 PM   #35
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Chronicles of Pern: First Fall: CoP:FRH - "The Ford of Red Hanrahan" <snip> As I said, they didn't find the shielding for outside use, they could have been using them inside, but to get the light needed you need very large, on stands, ones Like in Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern, Page 45 http://books.google.com/books?id=OTH...skets,&f=false They were golden in color, as for color glow who know were they are found.

There is a like about it be traditional to use glows SoP|Skies of Pern|Page 15
I know I repost a post but its given a color.
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Old Dec 7 2013, 01:39 AM   #36
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Thanks Ginny. Are there any other mentions that anyone knows of?
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Old Apr 29 2015, 10:19 PM   #37
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Default Re: Glows

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Thanks Ginny. Are there any other mentions that anyone knows of?
According to the book previews I'm looking through, glows can be green, blue, yellow, and red. Dragonheart mentions all of these colors, and that glows were gathered in "glow swamps" as well as caves. The glows mentioned that they got from swamps were shaped into "glow balls big enough for a dragon to hold in forelegs" and those balls were made with river clay. The dragonriders were using them to practice night flying.

https://books.google.com/books?id=95...q=glow&f=false

In Dragon Harper, Kindan reaches inside a glowbasket and pulls out a "small glow-covered rock". He puts the rock back in the basket when he's done with the glow. In another scene, he puts glows outside to recharge and notes that even thought the sunlight is weak from winter, the glows will be recharged "by nightfall", though I can't see what time of day he puts them outside. There's also many mention of "turning" glows "over" to turn them off. One line specifically says "a glowbasket lay near to hand, the glows turned over to preserve their energy, ready to use when night came".

There's also mention of indoor glows being hung on hooks in the wall.

https://books.google.com/books?id=-V...q=glow&f=false

So what kind of baskets are these? You say "basket" and I think of something woven from grass or other plants. But that would let in oxygen and keep the glows lit, wasting them. So how does that work? Is there a special shape to the rocks, so that glows only cover part of them? Is the fungus like that stuff you find in glow-in-the-dark items? You know, the stuff that glows longer the more you leave it out in light?

Glows are cultivated, as we learn in Skies of Pern, and every hold has a room for them to be stored in, so how are they stored and grown?
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Old Apr 30 2015, 12:12 AM   #38
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Yes I think they are glow stones, and not traditional glows, when I read/listen to them, I started to snort, and


Size wise, and more, right now the colors are not showing, I do have some color changing via the sun, and glow in the dark beads, and paint.

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Old Apr 30 2015, 01:04 AM   #39
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Yes I think they are glow stones, and not traditional glows, when I read/listen to them, I started to snort, and


Size wise, and more, right now the colors are not showing, I do have some color changing via the sun, and glow in the dark beads, and paint.

Huh... so there might be two different types of glows? Todd's books aren't the first time I've heard of setting the glows outside. I think it happened in The Smallest Dragonboy too. And the Harper Hall trilogy and other books mention covering and uncovering glow baskets and replacing them when they go out.

Could the "baskets" themselves be made out of stone, and just filled with the fungus?
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Old Apr 30 2015, 07:40 PM   #40
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Default Re: Glows

I wonder if the "used" glows get tossed back into the cave where they were gathered, and sort of get reabsorbed into the still-growing ones?
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