Fun Facts about Plants from Your Friendly Botany Major

• Cacti are some of the only plants to photosynthesize from their stems. Their needles are really just modified leaves.

• Avocados are only around because people pollinate and disperse them by hand. The large seed is indigestible to small mammals now. It was originally eaten by giant sloths who would poop them out far away from the parent tree so they can grow. This is called an evolutionary anachronism.

• Banana candy does not taste like bananas because it was designed to taste like the Gros Michel banana which was eaten in the pre-1950s. It was wiped out by a fungus called panama disease. Since bananas are asexual all of them are genetically identical making it easy to wipe them all out at once. However fungus is sexual so it evolves more quickly. This means eventually we may lose the modern banana, the Cavendish, to it as well.

• There are actually three different types of photosynthesis: C3, C4, and CAM. Which type is used depends on the aridness of the environment, and are increasingly more efficient as listed.

• Moss is amazing. The fuzzy part of the moss is called the gametophyte stage and it is haploid meaning it has one set of chromosomes like a sperm or an egg cell in humans. If you look closely, sometimes you will what look like little tiny seeds on stems coming out of the main body. This is the sporophyte stage and it’s diploid, or has two sets of chromosomes, like our body cells. Moss is the oldest type of plant.

• You can usually tell what animal pollinates a plant by the color and shape of its flowers. Red flowers are hardly ever pollinated by bees because bees cannot see red well. Butterfly flowers have long deep centers. Bird pollinated plants can bear weight and are wide and open. Bat pollinated plants usually smell strongly and are darkly colored.

• Almost all American native elms and chestnut trees are extinct because of fungi. Asian chestnut and elm have replaced them, because they are resistant to the strains.

• There is a type of fern that has over 1200 chromosomes. For reference, humans have 46.

• If you shine consistent low level red light on a plant it will grow extremely tall, because red light tells the plant it is being shaded by and competing with other plants. If you shine consistent green light on a plant it will not sprout or die (if already sprouted) because plants absorb red and blue light to use. This is also why plants are green, because the unused green light is reflected back out.

TLDR; Plants are frickin cool and should get as much love as our animal friends.

Bertha Parker Pallan (1907-1978) was a Native American archaeologist, of Abenaki and Seneca descent. Her parents were Behula Tahamont, a Native American actress, and Arthur C. Parker, the first president for the Society of American Archaeology. 

Parker discovered and participated in many archaeological sites during her career, but she is best known for her work at the site of Gypsum Cave. Although she was originally hired her as the expedition cook and secretary, she was allowed to explore the cave and was able to reach more inaccessible areas. It is here that she uncovered the first giant ground sloth remains in association with humans, a discovery that received national attention among anthropologists. After her time at Gypsum Cave, she discovered two additional sites: Corn Creek Campsite, and a pueblo site at Scorpion Hill. She worked for over 10 years as an Assistant in Archaeology and Ethnology at the Southwest Museum, where she published a number of archaeological and ethnological papers in the museum journal. In her later years, she acted as a technical advisory and consultant on TV shows and movies depicting American Indians, and hosted her own TV show on Native American history and folklore.

Bertha Parker Pallan was a ground-breaker in many aspects. She is considered the first female Native American archaeologist, and she is one of the first women  recognized for conducting her work at a high level of skill in the field without a university education. Additionally, her role as a consultant for TV and movies influenced how American Indian cultures and their histories were depicted in the media.

Since US history is all the rage now, I thought I’d share some of my favorite stories about the founding fathers.

-John Adams and Thomas Jefferson once visited the home of Shakespeare together… and both broke off pieces of one of the writer’s chairs so that they could take home souvenirs.

-When he was given an official surrender document during the French-Indian War, George Washington blindly signed the thing because he didn’t want to admit he couldn’t read French. In doing so, he basically solely accepted the blame of multiple war crimes. Somehow he wormed his way out of this… one of his methods was to blame his translator.

-Ben Franklin was forbidden from writing the Declaration of Independence because the founding fathers thought he would try to slip in puns and jokes.

-John Hancock was a convicted smuggler. Charges were dropped against him after he hired John Adams for a lawyer.

-Aaron Burr was a firm believer in the intellectual equality of men and women and lobbied for women’s suffrage.

-John Adams named his dog Satan.

-James Madison was our smallest president, at 5'4" and roughly 100 pounds.

-When he was 26, Washington bribed voters into electing him into office with alcohol… he gave certain voters about a half gallon for choosing him.

-Ben Franklin once wrote an essay urging scientists to “improve the odor of flatulence.”

-Jefferson warned Lewis & Clark to beware of giant sloths during their expedition.

-Adams and Jefferson were the original bros; after a lifetime of friendship, bitterness, and more friendship, they died hours apart on the same day- July 4th. Adams’ last words were, “Jefferson survives.” Well, not quite.

-Washington crossed enemy lines during the Battle of Germantown to return a lost dog to General Howe.

-The Star Spangled Banner was based off of a rowdy English drinking song.

-Alexander Hamilton’s descendants heavily edited and even hid some of his letters to his totally hetero bro, John Laurens, claiming “the content was embarrassing and indecent.”

-Ben Franklin opted for the turkey to be the U.S. national bird, claiming that bald eagles were cold and volatile.

-A few days before signing the Declaration, the Constitutional Convention got LIT. It’s rumored that the founding fathers drank 54 bottles of Madeira, 7 bottles of Claret, 7 bowls of spiked punch, 22 bottles of porter, 8 bottles of whiskey and 8 bottles of hard cider in this one night.


Reasons to Love AmazingPhil

#92: He loves the Natural History Museum!

As someone who has made working at a museum their chosen career this fact makes me so immensely happy!! 


(gifs by the lovely @dan-howell)

anonymous asked:

Tell me some weird shit™ that the founding fathers did


• Alexander Hamilton spelled Pennsylvania wrong on the constitution.
• Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be the Turkey.
• James Monroe, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson all died on July 4th- James Madison died seven days before July 4th.
• George Washington and Lafayette took a nap underneath a tree after The Battle of Monmouth.
• Two days before signing the Declaration of Independence all the delegates got super drunk.
• Benjamin Franklin basically was man whore in France.
• Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay on farting.
• Benjamin Franklin wasn’t allowed to write The Declaration of Independence because they thought he’d put a joke in it.
• Benjamin Franklin took “air baths” which involved sitting in a bathtub fully nude and writing.
• Benjamin Franklin purposely spelt Pennsylvania wrong on the US currency to defer from counterfeits.
• John Adams had a dog named Satan.
• Alexander Hamilton founded the New York Post coincidently he was involved in the first major political sex scandal
• While in England bromance Thomas Jefferson and John Adams visited Shakespeare’s house and vandalized a chair he used to sit in by chipping piece out of it.
• During the election of 1800 while bromance Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were broken up; Thomas Jefferson told everyone that John Adams was a hermaphrodite and John Adams countered telling everyone Thomas Jefferson was dead.
• Benjamin Franklin brought tofu to America.
• Thomas Jefferson brought Ice Cream and macaroni and cheese.
• Thomas Jefferson told Lewis and Clark to watch out for giant sloths.
• George Washington currently has $300,000 worth of overdue library books.
• George Washington didn’t know that Chinese people were white.
• During the battle of Germantown, George Washington found a lost dog and stopped everything just to return to dog safely to the British side.
• George Washington was deathly afraid of being burnt alive and asked in his will to be buried three days after his death.
• It’s actually Paul Revere on the Sam Adams.
• John Jay didn’t sign the Declaration of Independence, he is famed for framing it.
• Gouvernour Morris got a blockage in his dick and tried to cure it by sticking a piece of Whale Bone down his fucking penis hole. He got an infection and died.
• Thomas Jefferson having such bad social anxiety that he used to fake sick to get out of public interactions.
• Thomas Jefferson broke his wrist trying to inpress a girl.
• Benjamin Franklin volunteered in the fire department.
• Thomas Jefferson had about 7,000 books and when a Virginian Library burnt down he donated about 1,640 books to the library.
• George Washington was an amazing dancer.
• James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were once arrested for riding a horse carriage on a Sunday in Vermont. Which was illegal!
• Thomas Jefferson had a mockingbird named dick who ate from his mouth and shit.
• Alexander Hamilton’s son and his dying in the same spot just four years apart in the same way.
• Alexander Hamilton talking and talking after he was shot even thought he was fucking bleeding out.
• John Jay quitting politics and becoming a farmer.
• John Adams and Thomas Jefferson holding such a grudge against one another that Johnny didn’t even show up to his presidential inauguration.
• Thomas Jefferson only made two speeches during his presidencies. Both were his inauguration speeches.
• Lafayette giving John Quincy Adams a baby alligator as a gift.
• Andrew Jackson got kicked out of a funeral because his mocking bird kept saying fuck.
• James Madison “accidentally” shipping into US a ton of prostitutes. • Andrew Jackson beat the shit out of a guy trying to assassinate him with a cane.

• James Monroe and Alexander Hamilton almost getting into a duel which was stopped by Aaron Burr. • James Monroe served as both Treasury of secretary and Secretary of State.

(This list is getting too long- so I’ll stop there!)

There’s also a theory that without humans intervention/fear of large animals (whether they are predatory or not) there would still be mammoths and giant sloths :( I miss the furry elephants I never knew
[GW2] Life on Tyria 03: The Giant Sloths
Only two Giant Sloths have been sighted in Tyria, one deep in the Maguuma Jungle, and one held captive in Ember Bay. This episode explores aspects of their l...

Another one \o/ 

Slothasor is one of my favourite raid bosses, so of course I made a video about them! And the Slothy in Ember Bay (poor thing). Many cute Slublings in video too!

So I don’t know if this has been said yet but last night at work I started thinking about this really hard

and somewhere along the line I realized that obviously the previous Vos was and can only have been some kind of giant evil robot sloth.

And also that this is the best idea I have ever had.

Allura As Team Mom Slightly Bugs Me

Like, OK, the space idiots as a family is a good, fun metaphor (even if we ship them with each other constantly, yours truly included, so that’s sort of weird too, but whatever), but there’s something about Allura as The Mom that seems a bit…..limiting? Really, these characters have so much going on that sliding them into boxes feels oddly like stereotyping; Shiro as Space Dad is great and I love it, for instance, but it’s just one part of him (the other parts are full of pain and misery DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE KILL HIM). There are a couple reasons I feel this way about Allura in particular.

First, the design, voice, and animation of the character. She’s got a very young-looking, open, wide-eyed face. Sort of a Disney Princess vibe if you mixed it with a lot of anime and a pinch of Zelda. More importantly, the expressiveness they give her is often on the same level as the other heroic characters….except Shiro. While Shiro does have some wonderful “face” moments (my favorite being his “GAH!” look when confronted with the giant sloth), he’s still quite restrained and most of the comedy from him comes in the form of looking exasperated or Done With Everything. By contrast, Allura is a lot more expressive; while you can certainly be a leader-type and do that, I feel like in the use of brighter, more open faces in her comedy moments, the design and animation is drawing her as distinct and more on the level of everyone else, although Coran is a bit of an outlier, being even older than Shiro. (Also, it would be kind of weird for Lance to be hitting on someone considerably older than him…..OK, he would probably still DO that, the horny little idiot, but I doubt that’s the vibe we’re supposed to be getting from his failures to smooth-talk Allura). Additionally, Kimberly Brooks’ (fantastic) portrayal has her with that posh accent, but it’s not a OLDER accent (and, having heard Brooks play older characters, it feels distinct from those). It just sounds slightly teenager-y.

The second is that I think it limits her character to just have her be The Mom. To use a comparison from what this show’s crew previously worked on, look at Katara. Now SHE was a Team Mom. Certainly there was more to her characterization, but that fussiness, that desire to smooth things over, play peacemaker, and dissuade others from doing foolish things, so much so that it started to be annoying? Total mom. (See also: Pearl from Steven Universe) I don’t really see that as much with Allura. While like Katara, she’s had to grow up very fast, she’s under possibly even more pressure. One of the last of her race (that she knows about; I’ve seen some theories about Alteans who got away). The final hope in the universe against the tyranny of Zarkon. And, by the end of the season, not even with her father’s ghosts to comfort her. It’s just her. Coran. And these wonderful idiots who she has come to care for.….Sorry, I just made myself sad. But the point is that I think we’re meant to see the character as partially trying to fill a role. She is certainly a good leader and a supreme badass….but so young. I think the Allura we see in the food fight scene is who she would much rather be all the time. And there are other characters who can fill the Team Mom role as well: Hunk with how caring and perceptive he can be, Coran with his stories (you can just hear him saying “When I was your age….”).

TLDR: I think putting the characters in boxes like this can sometimes lead to stereotyping instead of examining their full richness. But hey, it’s just my opinion. What do you guys think?