Can you grow cress in a keyboard?

By: Johannes Hjorth, November 24th, 2005
(Svensk version, 中文版本)

My colleague Erik Fransén went away on the Society for Neuroscience conference in the USA for two weeks in the middle of November. Those of you who know Erik probably know that he enjoys playing practical jokes on his friends from time to time. This time it was Erik's turn to be on the receiving end.

I started off by locating an unused keyboard. This was not very hard since I work at the university's computer science department. The next step was to remove all the keys (easiest done with a screwdriver) and dress the inside with a soft cover of cotton.

After dressing the inside of the keyboard I put the keys back. Of course I just had to permute a few keys, but not too many since I wanted it to look like a normal keyboard at first glance.

After that it was time to pour the cress seeds into the gaps between the keys. The seeds required some blunt persuasion to take their places. An old creditcard came in handy. This took far longer than I had expected. The reason I did not place the seeds directly on the cotton before replacing the keys was that I wanted the cress to come up between the keys.

Fast forward a week with a healthy spray of water every morning and evening.

If you look closely you can see the letters "Erik" and "Hjälp?" in the picture below (which means "Erik help?" in Swedish). The observant reader also notes that the keyboard maker is not very good at counting anymore...

Erik looks a bit worried...

...but the cress looks healthy...

"I'm going to bring my keyboard to lunch tomorrow. I like cress."

Only one keyboard was harmed during the making of this joke.

Featured on Mobuzz December 16th, 2005.

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