SWR-moderator Jürgen Hörig and Siggi feeding sundews at our greenhouse.
|1996 Welt der Wunder (PRO-7), 2001 & 2002
Treffpunkt im Grünen & Lust auf Fleisch (SWR-BW).
Our TV-career started in 1996 with
a 10-minutes broadcast for "Welt
der Wunder" (World of miracles), filmed in
our house by a PRO-7 film crew. Since 1986, Siggi helps in Basel (Switzerland) on a
voluntary basis to cultivate the carnivorous plants at the Botanical Gardens
Brüglingen, meanwhile renamed into Merian Gärten Basel. There, the German SWR-TV filmed
Siggi for an interview in 2001 for their garden telecast "Treffpunkt im
Grünen". That was successful enough that a 30-minutes broadcast on
our hobby and CP-activities followed. A SWR
took three days to record the recommendable documentary "Lust auf Fleisch: Hinterhalt im
Pflanzenreich" (Hunger for meat - Ambush in the
plant kingdom). The filming took place at our house in Weil am Rhein (D), at
the Leonhard Gymnasium Basel (CH) and at the Botanical Garden of the University
Basel (CH), directed by Kirsten Ruppel.
Kirsten Ruppel made a great effort to write the script for the film
"Lust auf Fleisch - Hinterhalt im Pflanzenreich" and discussed all
details with us.
Bruno Erny, head of the Botanical Garden of the University Basel and Siggi during the shooting of "Lust auf Fleisch".
dinner with the SWR film team. We had a great time together and enjoyed
the good atmosphere. They needed three days for the shootings at our house, the Botanic Garden of the University Basel and the Leonhard Gymnasium Basel.
TV total, November 2002.
Siggi on Germany's most famous sofa with Stefan Raab.
| Siggi Hartmeyer's performance at TV total.
Click on the photo to view the broadcast on.
Comedy meets Carnivorous Plants. Germany's popular entertainer Stefan
Raab questioned Siggi on "the personal sensitivities of carnivorous plants".
A very special lesson. Here is much room for a lot of laughter.
|The deciding factor was a Feng Shui expert at
the famous comedy broadcast "TV total", who recommended Germany's
popular moderator and entertainer Stefan Raab "to improve the flow of
energy" inside his studio by adding living plants to the moderator desk top.
He decided spontaneously: "That must be carnivorous plants (CP)!" Therefore,
the TV total crew started searching for a CP-expert and found the first
interactive CD-ROM on CP, which Irmgard and I had produced in 2000 in
cooperation with the company IBS Multimedia (Germany). Promptly we received an
invitation to take place at Germany's most famous sofa at TV total for a talk
with Stefan Raab on the "personal sensitivities of carnivorous
plants". We agreed and only four days later, we enjoyed the business class
of Swiss on our flight from Basel to Düsseldorf. From there a chauffeur
with luxury limousine drove us to Stefan Raabs studio in Cologne.
We realized amazed that the
TV total team had actually serious interest in CP. They had already
organized a flower box including Venus flytraps, sundews and pitcher plants;
however, unfortunately I had to state that the conditions inside the studio
would not be suitable for growing CP. After this expertise, we went
backstage, to wait for my performance at the V.I.P.-room, where the crew really
spoiled us with delicious titbits and drinks. There we met another guest, the
MdB (member of the Bundestag) of the Green Party Hans-Christian Ströbele, who
came to advocate for the legalization of Cannabis. Stefan Raab had before sampled
Ströbele's speech at a protest meeting and took the sentence
"Gebt das Hanf frei" (Release that hemp) to produce a song with great
public appeal. Now a share of the resulting benefit should be donated to
Ströbele's "Legalize it campaign”. We had a very good conversation with
the lawyer and politician of the Green party. He found it absurd to destroy the
future of a teenager, who was otherwise respectable, by a previous conviction only
because he grew three hemp plants in his bathtub. Ströbele's matter-of-fact
argumentation convinced us, therefore I did not see a problem to talk about
carnivorous plants particularly in a "legalize cannabis broadcast" of
Stefan Raab came shortly before the show
started to get to know his guests personally. The chemistry was great from
the beginning and that good atmosphere continued into our stage
performance. He was amazed about the rapid closing of the Venus flytraps and
during the last days, several prominent guests had fed the studio plants with
fly maggots and serano ham. Stefan Raab clarified that he never defines in
advance the talks for TV total, what of course suited me well. The following
minutes on stage brought us a lot of fun, based on reciprocity. Even my remarks
on an outrageous act of the Swiss customs authority (Eidgenössische
Zollbehörde) found an appropriate reply: "Do they smoke that stuff?"
I found my remarks on that proceeding quite adequate, because the
authority denied replying to official statements of our German lawyer for
several months. However, TV total has also been broadcast in Switzerland and
eventually my prudent and joking suggestions to an audience of several
millions, understandable only for insiders, paid off. A few weeks after the
broadcast the authority replied to our lawyer and stated that they closed the chapter
based on the special circumstances (in German: Eingestellt aufgrund der
After Stefan Raab referred to our website
that evening, the feedback was fantastic although there was not any
smartphone in 2002. Already when we came home the next day, our homepage
counter displayed >3000 new clicks and we received a flood of mails. To
avoid server problems I had now to reply as rapidly as possible to the multiple
questions on CP and at least as much requests on Germany's popular
entertainer Stefan Raab, his crew and TV total. It took us one more week in
front of our computer until it became relatively quiet again.
In 2014: The worldwide first broadcast of a catapult-flypaper trap during prey capture on TV.
In 2012, we recorded on our living room table in
the frame of cooperation with the bionics-team of the University Freiburg, for
the first time spectacular macro shots of a sundew, which catapults its prey
within 75 milliseconds from the periphery of the trap often backwards into its
sticky tentacles. Even faster than the famous Venus flytrap needs to snap shut
(100 ms). After the publication of this new two-step
capture mechanism at PLOS ONE (2012), cited even by
popular science magazines like National Geografic, Science and others, followed in 2014
the worldwide first broadcast of a prey dashing catapult-flypaper trap on the
German TV. We were very happy, when the popular technology writer Volker
Arzt asked us for some excerpts of our video for the telecast "Planet
Wissen". He mailed us: "The editorial staff "caught fire"
after looking at your clips on the internet ..."
|Pflanzen wie wir. Neue Sicht auf unsere grünen Mitgeschöpfe.
(Plants like us. A new look at our green fellow creatures)
With the famous technology writer Volker Arzt.
Broadcast 2014/15 a.o. on SWR, ARD-alpha, WDR, 1-plus, HR, RBB.
Expert consultant is the famous technology
writer Volker Arzt, who talks about the making of his documentary and book
"Kluge Pflanzen" (Clever Plants) with fascinating film excerpts. In addition,
he introduces for the first time worldwide the catapult-flypaper trap of Drosera
glanduligera in action. The complete telecast is actually entertaining and
recommendable. In the focus are not only the features of particular plants like
Acacia or carnivorous plants, he also talks about the complications and
challenges with the filming in nature and studio. In 2009, he wrote his equally
recommendable book on the topic "Kluge Pflanzen" (clever
plants). It was a pleasure for Irmgard and me to provide some footage for
"Planet Wissen" (English: planet knowledge).
We recommend "Kluge Pflanzen" especially to everybody who likes to
learn more on the defense strategies and sensory function of plants. The book
is easy to understand even for nonprofessionals, thrilling and entertaining. It
provides a still relevant insight into modern plant research. The book comes
with a DVD, which contains the documentary film: Kluge
Pflanzen. C. Bertelsmann, 2009 - ISBN: 978-3570010266.