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Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial of Desire Epub #225 dance of honeybees and flowers The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and in the process spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide In The Botany of Desire Michael Pollan ingeniously de. All those plants care about is what every being cares about on the most basic genetic level making copies of itselfDid I choose to plant these potatoes or did the potato make me do itAll these plants which I'd always regarded as the objects of my desire were also I realized subjects acting on me getting me to do things for them they couldn't do for themselvesPollan posits that plants are clever little buggers who have tricked and enslaved the human race into doing their biddingI am not unfamiliar with this thinking Growing up my father regularly told me the same thing Once when walking home from school on a windy day a large branch fell on me striking my shoulder and knocking me to the ground Since my collar bone was not broken I got up and walked home When I told my father what happened he saidOf course The trees are always hoping we'll drop dead This one was just a bit aggressive about itCARMEN oOPAPI Trees are always hoping that the humans or animals walking by will drop dead That way they will have a tasty snackI've never forgotten what my father told me He was halfway serious in these remarks and I take them halfway seriously too Even though I've seen tons of stupid or silly horror films which dream up scenarios in which plants are trying to kill us there is an undercurrent of truth in the notion that in a way plants are very evolved organisms much evolved than humans themselves Who can say what their true intentions are I'm only half joking hereDespite the rather hokey horror film premise of Pollan's introduction the book is a smart yet entertaining look at plants and their history of coevolution and codependence with human beingsThe book is divided into four parts1 APPLES This is a very interesting portion of the book A lot of focus is on Johnny Appleseed We also get some fascinating discussions of religion There was an old tradition in northern Europe linking the grape which flourished all through Latin Christendom with the corruptions of the Catholic Church while casting the apple as the wholesome fruit of Protestantism Wine figured in the Eucharist; also the Old Testament warned against the temptations of the grape But the Bible didn't have a bad word to say about the apple or even the strong drink that could be made from it Even the most God fearing Puritan could persuade himself that cider had been given a theological free pass2 TULIPS This section was hella boring I was bored out of my skull Ugh SO BORING3 MARIJUANA This was a fascinating section about drugs Pollan's experiences growing and smoking pot and why plants that alter human consciousness could be a good thingWe also get gems like this Witches' potion recipes called for such things as datura opium poppies belladonna hashish fly agaric mushrooms and the skins of toads These ingredients would be combined in a hempseed oil based flying ointment that the witches would then administer vaginally using a special dildo This was the broomstick by which these women were said to travelPollan posits that many of our philosophies and our religions come from the influence of drugs There's a lot of research to back him up which I won't go into here4 POTATO This was interesting because Pollan discusses the Potato Famine and also GMO potatoes He even grows some GMO potatoes himself in his garden as an experiment Blah blah blah food industry blah blah blah monoculture blah blah blahTl;dr 3 out of 4 ain't bad The mindnumbing tulip section stops this from being a 5 star book but I think this is a better book than the only other Pollan book I've read Cooked A Natural History of Transformation in which Pollan comes off as a rather entitled and condescending wealthy person There's not much of that here Pollan is much relatable in this book perhaps because he's not trying to tell people what to eat and how to live their livesWow Carmen bitter muchI call it how I see it pThis book has so much information and interesting thinking points that I think it is definitely worth reading for anyone who has even the slightest interest in the topics presented here I was surprised the book was so good I'm impressed

Free read The Botany of Desire A Plant's Eye View of the World

The Botany of Desire A Plant's Eye View of the WorldTelling the stories of four familiar species The Botany PDFEPUBPollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings And just as we’ve benefited from these plants we have also done well by them So who is really domesticating wh. This is a marvellous book which discusses the science sociology aesthetics and culture relating to four plantsApplesTulipsMarijuanaPotatoesBecause of who I am the things that interested me most were the tulip and potato sectionsWith the first he discusses the notorious obsession surrounding tulip cultivation in Holland in the 17th century With the second he discusses a genetically modified potato which was on sale in the US at the time he wrote the book in 2001 The potato is a variety called NewLeaf This is no longer a product being promoted by the company which produces the seeds for it Monsanto of course but what the author has to say about it is still very relevant with regard to current and future vegetable research It has left me feeling a lot less blazé about GM vegetables and monocultures This may be the only way forward if we are to feed the vast number of people on this planet but it comes at a price and that price may be largely unknown In contrast to the huge vegetable factory type farming discussed in most of this section Pollan also visits an organic farmer and the difference hits you big time Everything about the factory farms are so alien and brutal in their approach they seemingly use anything they can to get the most produce for the least bucks; and everything about the organic farm is so much harmonious and working respectfully with nature Interestingly the main factory type vegetable farmer he spoke to also grows organic vegetables but just for him and his family's consumption Go figureHe also fairly briefly discusses the horrors of the Irish Potato Famine between 1845 and 1852 and that too was extremely interestingAnd now on to matters of the heart The section on tulips in the 17th century was a great pleasure to read Here I am just going to type a few chunks out of the book some rather chopped about I'm afraid for those of you who fancy a brief excursion into a time of passion madness and decadenceview spoiler Tulip mania in Holland reached its peak between 1634 and 1637The ueen of all tulips was Semper Augustus Generally regarded at the time as the most beautiful flower in the world In 1624 there were only a dozen or so specimens most of them owned by Dr Adriaen PauwThis was the intricately feathered red and white tulip one bulb of which could change hands for 10000 guilders at the height of the mania a sum that would have bought one of the grandest canal houses in Amsterdam It is now gone from nature But I have seen paintings of it the Dutch would commission portraits of venerable tulips they couldn't afford to buy Beside a Semper Augustus a modern tulip looks like a toyA tulip that falls out of favour soon goes extinct Generally a strain won't last unless it is regularly replanted so the chain of genetic continuity can be broken in a generation Even when people do continue to plant a particular tulip the vigour of that variety which is propagated by removing and planting the bulb's offsets the little genetically identical bulblets that form at its base eventually fades and must be abandoned Tulips in other words are mortalNo tulip appears in the flower crowded borders of medieval tapestries nor is the flower ever mentioned in the early 'herbals' the Old World encyclopedias of the world's known plants and their uses The fierceness of the passion that the tulip unleashed in Holland in the seventeenth century and to a lesser extent in France and England may have had something to do with the flower's novelty in the west and the suddenness of its appearance It is the youngest of our canonical flowers Ogier Ghislain De Busbec an Austrian claimed to have introduced the first tulip to Europe sending a consignment of bulbs from Constantinople in 1554 The word 'tulip' is a corruption of the Turkish word for 'turban'Tulips like apples do not come true from seed which accounts for the astonishing variety it can producethough it takes 7 years before a tulip grown from seed flowers and shows its new coloursIn seventeenth century Holland botany became a national pastime followed as closely and avidly as we follow sports todayLand in Holland being so scarce and expensive Dutch gardens were miniatures measured in suare feet rather than acres and freuently augmented with mirrors The Dutch thought of their gardens as jewel boxes and in such a space even a single flowercould make a powerful statementWhat the Dutch really sought were 'broken' tulips these were flowers where you get a white or yellow ground with intricate feathers or flames of a vividly contrasting hueIn the 1920s the electron microscope was invented and scientists discovered that the virus causing broken tulips was spread by myzus persicae the peach potato aphid Peach trees were common in seventeenth century gardens By the 1920s the Dutch regarded their tulips as commodities to tradeand since the virus weakened the bulbs it infected the offsets of a 'broken' tulip were small and few in number Dutch growers set about ridding their fields of the infectionThere was another Dutch obsession a uest that has gone on for 400 years the uest for a black tulip Today we have 'ueen of the Night' a dark glossy maroonish purple Breeders today are busily seeking a new black tulip because they know that this current standard bearer is probably on her way out Alexandre Dumas wrote a novel 'The Black Tulip' in 1850 based on this search hide spoiler

Michael Pollan à 2 Free read

Free read Ú The Botany of Desire A Plant's Eye View of the World Ë PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ´ ✴ [BOOKS] ⚡ The Botany of Desire A Plant's Eye View of the World By Michael Pollan ✾ – Every schoolchild learnsMonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship He masterfully links four fundamental human desires sweetness beauty intoxication and control with the plants that satisfy them the apple the tulip marijuana and the potato In. In East Asian cultures – according to my increasingly Japanese daughters – the number four brings bad luck This is because it sounds a bit like the word for death Clearly the number four has no such associations for Michael Pollan The Omnivore’s Dilemma is based around four meals and this one is based around four plants I’ve done than just enjoy these two books they have completely enchanted me whilst also informing me and keeping me greatly amusedNow desire sounds like a strong word to use about botany There is of course that Frank Zappa song Call Any Vegetable and it will respond to you – I think this is also the song which ends with the memorable line “O what a pumpkin”Now that isn’t uite the desire Pollan is talking about here His four plants are the apple the tulip marijuana and the potato As a one time Irishman I have no problem with the idea that the potato might make the list of plants of desire but I can see that others might struggle most with that one being includedThis book is based on the idea that plants use us as much as we use them – and the plants best able to meet our desires are the plants we help most to spread about the world So much so that we tend to make monocultures of those plants that best match our desires – something that is arguably as much a problem for the plants as it is a boon for themDo you know when you sort of know the story to something even if you don’t uite know the details I had that kind of relationship with the story of Johnny Appleseed aka John Chapman While I had some notion of him going around frontier America planting apple seeds and ten points for promoting dental health he was never really going to cut it beside say Daniel Boone what a dream come er true er was he Little did I know that rather than being a man dedicated to the random distribution of apple seeds he actually sold apple trees to pioneers when not considering matrimony with stray 10 year olds Pioneers were keen to buy the said apple trees not due to the dearth of doctors being kept away by all those apples being eaten but rather the eually troubling shortage of bartenders Apples being as good a way as any to make a pleasant alcoholic drink – and one that wasn’t complained about in the Bible It is here that Pollan develops one of his major metaphors – borrowed from Nietzsche that most popular of masturbatory German philosophers of the dichotomy between the Apollonian and the Dionysian I’ve generally found this to be one of the lucid and intelligent things Nietzsche ever said and so wasn’t disappointed that so much time was devoted to this idea in this book Basically Apollo was the god of order and light Dionysus the god of wine and orgies Our obsession with growing the same potato all over the world to make the perfect McDonalds fry is symbolic of the Apollonian desire – Johnny Appleseed growing apple trees from seed and thereby getting a vast number of genetically different trees symbolic of the DionysianThis central tension forms a large part of the basis of the book It proves an interesting thing to say about Tulips too and obviously also of marijuana I guess it is possible that if Dionysus was with us today he might well be a pot head The stuff about marijuana is very interesting Particularly the fact that it has become about 10 times potent over the years and that this increase in potency is directly attributable to the ‘war on drugs’ Pollan makes an interesting case for the idea that if the US government hadn’t spent billions of dollars imprisoning its citizens and fighting a war it could never win pot would still be coming into the States from Mexico and would not have been bred up to being the super drug it is today Pollan says that his initial reaction to smoking pot was much the same as mine has always been That its main effects seemed to be to make me feel paranoid and stupid Having been brought up in the loony left I really didn’t need chemistry to help me be paranoid or stupid for that matter Apparently this is because on the rare occasions when I did smoke pot I was smoking ‘blue collar’ marijuana Which is probably for the bestAgain as with the apples and the tulips I did know much of the story of marijuana before I started reading but not really all of the details The story of tulips causing a major economic bubble is worth reflecting on at the moment The plants themselves are eually fascinating as are little facts gleaned along the way about depression and plant virusesBut the section on the potato is riveting – and not just for the Irish This is similar to the first section of The Omnivore’s Dilemma on corn We really are going to have to do something about the way we produce food – and if you need to know why then reading this chapter will make it all clear If the only way we can grow potatoes for McDonald’s fries is to kill the planet then perhaps and this is just a suggestion we shouldn’t be eating McDonald’s friesI think I liked The Omnivore’s Dilemma better than this one but really they were both fascinating and well worth the read