My personal diary of things that interest me, for those who know me, or would like to.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Anybody know what this is?
(And don't say 'some plant' if you want to retain my friendship.) It seeded itself a few weeks ago and has been growing like a triffid.
The reason I mention it is that it's the only plant I've ever seen that has worked out what a right angle is. Take a closer look, from above:
Those leaves are at exact ninety degree angles to each other, in opposing pairs all the way down the stem, north-south, east-west, etcetera. This is extraordinary. Plants aren't supposed to be able to do geometry, are they?
Pythagoras discovered the right angle, on which, dare I say, much of human achievement has since been built. (If you don't believe me, read 'Why does E=mc squared?' by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, which lucidly traces Einstein's theory of relativity directly from Pythagoras's famous theorem. (You'll have to work your brain a bit though.))
So, it appears that this humble weed has, all by itself, grown one of the greatest achievements of the human intellect. It deserves at least a name for that. Anybody recognise it?