Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Don't buy these flowers for your loved ones!


Courtesy of Wirecutter, I came across this video clip.





I've seen plant-based poisons in action.  The San people, commonly known as Bushmen, of the Kalahari Desert and points surrounding, use them to hunt game - and, on occasion, people too.  In the colonial era, the Bushmen had it very hard, with both whites and blacks regarding them as vermin, and shooting them for casual sport.  The white population 'grew up' and learned better, but for many black people in Africa, a Bushman is still sub-human, of no value as a human being.  The Bushmen in northern Namibia ran into that with SWAPO terrorists, who would kill them out of hand.  As a result, many joined the South African armed forces, serving as trackers, where their skills became legendary.  It's reported that more than a few SWAPO cadres were found lying in the bush, a small Bushman arrow protruding from some body part that really shouldn't have killed them - but for the poison on the tip . . .

Peter

6 comments:

JK Brown said...

There is the theory that vegetables are good for us not due to the "vitamins" but rather due to the low grade poisoning that makes us stronger.

"Hormesis was well known by the ancients (and like the color blue was known but not expressed). But it was only in 1888 that it was first “scientifically” described (though still not given a name) by a German toxicologist, Hugo Schulz, who observed that small doses of poison stimulate the growth of yeast while larger doses cause harm. Some researchers hold that the benefits of vegetables may not be so much in what we call the “vitamins” or some other rationalizing theories (that is, ideas that seem to make sense in narrative form but have not been subjected to rigorous empirical testing), but in the following: plants protect themselves from harm and fend off predators with poisonous substances that, ingested by us in the right quantities, may stimulate our organisms— or so goes the story. Again, limited, low-dose poisoning triggers healthy benefits."

Taleb, Nassim Nicholas (2012-11-27). Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto) (Kindle Locations 822-825). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Bibliotheca Servare said...

In fact, *all* plants are "poisonous" to some degree or other. It's just that, as omnivores, there are some plants whose "poison" is less likely to kill us. Feed a radish to a cat sometime (no, not really. Don't do that. That would be bad.)...if you really don't like the cat in question, that is. A deer can ear just about any plant you could think of, because they're herbivores, so their bodies can process the nutrients and successfully resist the poisonous properties. Cows too. Dogs can't eat as many plants as humans (most humans) can, because they're more carnivorous than we are. It's really a fascinating thing, isn't it? This fellow describes essentially my own experience w/ regards to my having also wondered "why are only some plants poisonous?" when I was younger. The rest of his videos are equally enjoyable, in my opinion.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6ClQXwkkH8A

Bibliotheca Servare said...

A deer can *eat. Dang it!

sdharms said...

too bad he didn't give actual information, such as "don't eat this one" instead of , "it will kill you".

Phil Kraemer said...

I hunted with a guy in Mozambique who had been in the S.A. military during the time you speak of. He had become friends with a Bushman during his service and hired him on as a tracker for his company.

Tracking game with that guy was an incredible experience. I had a bad shot on an Impala that jumped just as I released my arrow. After waiting just a few minutes, the Bushman began to, basically, run along the trail of the Impala. I am considered a pretty good tracker here in the states, but I literally could not see what he was following. I caught up with him and made him show me the sign or spoor he was following. He tried to comply with this, but he was unable to get me to see what he was following. The guy I was hunting with, when I told him this, just laughed at me and explained that the Bushman really didn't follow spoor the way that any one else does. The way he described it sounded a bit mystical to me.

After a little more than eight hours of tracking (told you it was a bad shot) we caught up with the game and I was able to finish him. (The resilience of plains game always astounds me).

Tal Hartsfeld said...

"Environmentally friendly" warfare.
All natural, no man-made chemicals that pollute the environment.