Drupelets, drupelets, d r u p e l e t s!!!

Today, thanks to technology, a little courage in getting to grips with something new, radio 4 and their podcasts, and remarkably being able to put my needs and wishes first, I learned something!!

Actually I learned plenty, in a short space of time!!  I learned of a fantastically influential mathematician who was in fact an imaginary person!  Whose work led to the development of algebraic geometry.  While this leads to use in sim cards and such like, we still have no idea of how scientists will eventually use this mathematics.  Nicolas Bourbaki‘s work spreads itself over several shelves of a good library, and is destined to make budding mathematicians quake in their boots… but once the mystery is solved, oh the joy, the sheer joy of the real story!!!

I love the fact that I can with no shame whatsoever admit to not understanding ANYTHING about this… but enjoy that I know it exists!

I learned about brambles!!  That equally loved and loathes plant, that grips you with its spines, grows everywhere especially when it’s not wanted, yet bears the most delicious fruit.  There are more varieties of bramble than you could possibly imagine.  It is a plant that defies categorization, being neither a bush nor a tree, nor yet really a herb.  Each stem lives two years, staying fairly unimpressive in the first year, but flowering and fruiting the second year before dying and being replaced by another.  Though pollen is essential to its propagation, the pollen plays no role in fertilization.  Each plant is the copy of its mother.

But I think that my favourite little bit of new knowledge, a little synapse that has been connected in my brain forevermore, is this word: drupelets.  A blackberry, you see, is not a berry at all.  A blackberry is a collection of drupelets, each of which is closer in nature to a plum than a berry.

Listen, revel, enjoy, learn:

Living World: Brambles

Nicolas Bourbaki: the mathematician who never was

Thanks to Sweet Girl’s MP3, my car’s media system and its instruction manual, my irritation at having no radio in the car and a little time, I thoroughly enjoyed a necessary trip today!  They are short programs, take the time to listen and let me know if you are as charmed as I am by the wonder that is BBC Radio 4!

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