Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cactus is Cactus



Helpful signage at the Botanical Garden
Innovations on this sign:
  • Includes the thing being defined in a pot which is part of the sign. Now, since the sign is sitting in the middle of a Cactus exhibit, in the center of what is essentially a cactus garden, in the middle of a desert which features cactus, I think most people by this point would already have at least a rough idea what they look like, and would come to an explanatory sign looking for further information.
  • Every sentence explaining what cactus are includes the word, except one, but the last one uses the word twice to make up for that.
  • In the sentence lacking the word cactus, you learn that succulents store water. Since the previous one explains that almost all cacti are succulents, I felt unfulfilled, in terms of learning about those cacti which are not succulents and so must not be able to store water.
  • The Cactus House should be made of cactus. It would be very possible to do so using Saguaro ribs.
  • The Wikipedia article on cacti includes the phrase "Crassulacean acid metabolism" I have no idea what that is, but any sign meant to raise interest in cacti really ought to include a phrase like "Crassulacean acid metabolism" if given the opportunity.
  • Polypodiaceae also use Crassulacean acid metabolism. What are Polypodiaceae? Plants which are members of the Polypodiaceae family!
  • Cacti that need a house are not worthy of the Cactus family name, and are cast out. Except, cacti prefer the wilderness, so I don't think you could cast them out there with much effect. Maybe locking them up in the cactus house is punishment enough.
  • Why did I put up a post about a cactus sign? Because I put up a post about a cactus sign. 

Get up. Go ride.

3 comments:

  1. I also like the recursive definition, "A cactus is a plant that is a member of the cactus family." Now that's informative!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Apertome, yeah, I was walking around the garden laughing about that with my kids. Of course, a fair response is, what would I put on the sign instead?

    limom, in the inner cactus circles, out in the open desert, you are known as "stekelige vader", Thorny Father.

    ReplyDelete

Please feel free to comment here, almost anything goes, except for obvious spam or blatantly illegal or objectionable material. Spammers may be subject to public ridicule, scorn, or outright shaming, and the companies represented in spam shall earn disrepute and ire for each occurrence.