(Roughly) Daily

Adventures in Agriculture…

In describing fruits and vegetables, “genetically-modified” can mean anything from “carefully cross-bred” to “reprogrammed DNA”…  but either way, as WebEcoist points out, it can describe some pretty unusual flora.  Consider, for example, the “Grapple”:

Originally funded by UNICEF and created for Third World aid efforts, a grapple is simply a genetic cross between a grape and an apple. The fruit keeps the size and shape of the apple, the texture of the grape, and the flavor of both while providing a potent, high-strength dose of vitamin C.

See more marvels– “Frankenberry” and otherwise– here.

Update:  Reader JR’s further research suggests that WebEcoist is wrong about the Grapple:  it is not a hybrid, but “an apple infused with grape flavor.”  Your correspondent is abashed; and at the same, time grateful both for the correction and for the illustration of the principle sketched in “In Search of Verisimilitude…”  The other hybrids mentioned in the WebEcoist piece are, as far as your correspondent can tell, actually hybrids.

As we count our daily servings, we might pause to consider two very different men of science born on this date:  Joesph Priestley (1733) and Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911).

Priestley, an English scientist, philosopher, political activist, metaphysician– and perhaps most famously, the discoverer of the element Oxygen– was a member of a group that <http://roughlydaily.com/2008/09/03/grade-a-prime/>long-time readers may recall:  the Lunar Society, in Birmingham… a group that included James “steam engine” Watt and his partner Matthew Boulton, Charles Darwin’s grandfather Erasmus,  The “Quaker Armorer” Samuel Galton Jr., Josiah Wedgewood (founder of the eponymous chinawear company and pioneer of division of labor in manufacture), and William Withering, who discovered digitalis in Foxglove. among others extraordinaire.

Priestley was also a pretty fair epigramist; e.g.:

What I have known with respect to myself, has tended much to lessen both my admiration, and my contempt, of others.

The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.

source: Hollywood Grind

L. Ron Hubbard was of course the all-too-ordinary science fiction author who founded Scientology and became the world’s most-wanted tax fugitive.  Hubbard’s propensity for fiction seems to have extended beyond his space operas and tax returns:  In his published journal, Hubbard reveals:

I will tell you the secret of this strange life I had. Sssh! I was born on Friday the thirteenth.

In fact, March 13, 1911 was a Monday.  But then, as Hubbard’s son, L. Ron Hubbard, Jr, observed:

I would say that 99 per cent of what my father has written about his own life is false.

Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 13, 2009 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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