Heroes and bad plants

I finally started watching this season's episodes of Heroes. What a show. I watched the first 3 episodes in the wee hours of Monday morning and then watched the fourth episode just a few minutes ago. The show is just a little less compelling this season than last but I still like it a lot. There's a couple of new shows this season that are rivaling Heroes for quality but it's still up there near the top. That's better than Lost did going into its second season!

I watched Friday's pilot episode of ABC's Women's Murder Club over the weekend and was surprised to find that I liked it. It was very familiar, seeming like a cross between Bones and Crossing Jordan, but it wasn't all that bad. Certainly better than those two shows. And given its roots in James Patterson's books, I didn't have much hope for it. It's not easy to rise above bad material. But it started off pretty well. On the other hand, Jimmy Smits and his show Cane are starting to grow on me after a slow start, and speaking of plants that grow on you...

According to a story I read on the University of Delaware website, the invasive strain of Phragmites australis, or common reed, which is believed to have originated in Eurasia, exudes from its roots an acid so toxic that it disintegrates the structural protein in the roots of neighboring plants, thus toppling the other plants around it.

This acid, 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, also known as gallic acid, is strong enough to be used for tanning leather and even in the diluted form found in reed roots, is strong enough to cause a painful reaction in human skin.

In Delaware alone, the tall, tasseled grass has overtaken tens of thousands of acres of wetlands. “Phragmites is taking over the marsh world,” said UD plant biologist Harsh Bais. “It's a horticultural disaster.” The results of the research study are reported in the most recent issue of the Journal of Chemical Ecology.

When plants use active chemical methods to harm or discourage other plants, it's called allelopathy. Eucalyptus, walnut trees, pine trees, garlic mustard and even some types of rice are among the plants that release harmful chemicals to prevent other plants from growing too close to them.

Plants use the energy derived from photons to break chemical bonds and create new substances. They're chemical factories and can be quite dangerous. I tend to be amused when people extol the benefits of eating natural food, especially plants, that are free of chemicals. Ha. Most chemicals we manufacture were originally found in plants. It's just cheaper to manufacture them in manmade chemical plants, not the natural "chemical plants" that you see growing all about you.

Okay, the transition from television shows to allelopathy was far from seamless. What can I say--sue me!


Ivy said…
far from seamless maybe.. But interesting none the less..
Brit Blaise said…
I like the idea of trees/plants doing what they need to do to survive...

And your visit this morning cracked me up.
SassyAssy said…
Definitely an interesting non-segue into plant chemistry.
tiff said…
It's a far better transition that I could have made!

So if allelopathy is harful to other beings, what is homeopathy? ;)
kenju said…
Bad material? You really think so?
I'll grant you it's not top of the line, but I wouldn't call it bad.
Shephard said…
I agree. And I'm guessing HEROES is just ramping up. I hope. It's quality story-telling, for sure. We look forward to it still (and I'm now officially ambivalent about LOST).

Diane Mandy said…
Heroes has disppointed me this season, but I'm not giving up!
I just did not get "Hero's" last season at all..I stopped watching about the 2nd and a half episode....LOST lost me, too...I really am not a person who likes all these strange beings from other planets etc...BUT, I have been enjoying MAD MEN, more than I canm say....A Brilliant Brilliant show! And DAMAGES has been most interesting too....Complicated and surprising. No aliebs that I know of....lol!
I know nothing about the poisenous chemicals given off by certain plants...I had bo idea the Eucalyptus does that to keep away other plants...Fascinating!

I watched the one with Angie Harmon, too...I think it has a good chance of developing an audience...She is the most interesting actress on it, to my way of thinking---I always like her character on :AW & ORDER and was sorry when she left that show. So it is good to see her back on television.

As to where the best seat is Dave, to see me "streaking"....It is NOT a pretty sight, at all....So, I wouldn't give it a second thought! (LOL)

Going back to DAMAGES for a moment...There is going to be a Marathon of ALL the episodes beginning at 8 AM on Saturday morning...it is FX, btw, and then the final episode is on next Tuesday....It is worth Tivping or whatever, if you have not seen any of it...Better to see this from the get-go....!
First of all, thanks for reading my Blog Action Day entry and commenting! I believe my article was far from being complete as I wrote it quite quickly, and I can now think of lots of things that I should have mentioned (ack, so frustrating!), but it's nice to see that it was still useful for some. I think the use of our natural resources is a very crucial question and can also be solved (though probably only partly so) by individual actions... meaning that the more people are aware of the problems, the more we'll be heading in the right direction.
Second, it seems that we share a number of common interests/occupations! Research, photography, cooking... those are some of my interests as well! Quite funny :) Aaaaand, last but not least, I just recently discovered "Heroes" as well! And I'm loving it.
~ Thanks again for visiting!

Penguin (incidentally, re:your comment... just for the record, it'd be Madame, not Monsieur Penguin :-D)

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