Great moments in pedantry: Canada puts the wrong maple leaf on its $20 bill

Hey, that's not a Canadian sugar maple leaf! That is very clearly the leaf of the invasive Norway maple.

Guerrilla Grafters covertly add fruit-tree branches to ornamental trees


The Guerrilla Grafters are a group of rogue artists who roam San Francisco, covertly grafting fruit-tree branches onto ornamental trees to create a municipal free lunch. John Robb calls it "resilient disobedience."

How can you improve the productivity of your community even if the officials are against it?

One way is through resilient disobedience. For example, there’s a group of gardeners in San Francisco that are spreading organic graffiti across the city. How? By grafting branches from fruit trees onto ornamental trees that have been planted along sidewalks and in parks.

They are using a very simple tongue in groove splice that’s held together with annotated electrical tape. Good luck to them.

Personal Biochar Kilns, Portable Factories, DiY Septic Tank Cleaning, and Guerrilla Grafting (via Warren Ellis)

The Botany of Bible Lands: An Interview with Prof. Avinoam Danin

Avinoam Danin is Professor Emeritus of Botany in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He curates Flora of Israel Online. His latest book is Botany of the Shroud: The Story of Floral Images on the Shroud of Turin.

Avi Solomon: What first sparked your lifelong fascination with botany?

Avinoam Danin: My parents told me that when I was 3 years old I always said "Look father, I found a flower". My grandparents gave me the book "Analytical Flora of Palestine" on my 13 birthday - I checked off every plant I determined in the book's index of plant names.

Avi: How did you get to know the flora of Israel so intimately?

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Plant eats bird

This is a photo of bird being eaten by a plant.

According to a story from the BBC, it's not unusual for a carnivorous pitcher plant, such as this one, to get its "hands" on a frog, a mouse, or even a rat. But poultry is a rare dish.

The plants kill by tricking prey into investigating the pitcher, usually by offering sweet nectar. Once part of the way into the pitcher, the prey finds it impossible to climb back out. Then it drowns. And then the plant slowly dissolves it—Saarlac-like—over a long period of time.