Saturday, August 25, 2018

Schlumbergera seedlings 241 and 338

A couple second-generation seedlings this time. 241A is yet another seedling from 025A "Clownfish." There have been a lot of those by now,1 but 241A is one of the better ones -- the only one that is competitive, in my opinion, is 244A That's My Purse, and at least half of the appeal of That's My Purse is the name.

I'm not going to be able to give 241A a better name. Not that I didn't try. The finalists wound up being: Historic Barn, Marceline, Pat Benatar, and Try And Stop Me.

Historic Barn is basically only a reference to the color. Barns aren't always painted red, especially now, but the archetypal barn for most people2 is red with white trim, for the simple and practical reason that for a long time, red paint (colored by iron oxide and/or the iron from animal blood) was the cheapest paint color available. Apparently the iron also protects the wood a bit against attack by mold, and there are other side benefits (it's pretty, it's highly visible), but mostly it was an economic decision.

Marceline is a vampire from the animated TV show Adventure Time, who eats the color red, rather than eating blood. I haven't seen much of Adventure Time -- only the few episodes Netflix carried briefly, a long time ago -- but I liked what little I'd seen well enough to name a seedling after the show (if sort of indirectly3), so it's kind of unsurprising that we find ourselves back here again.

Pat Benatar is the rock musician. Previously considered the name a couple times before: I passed on 198A Prophecy Of Joy because I felt Benatar needed a more kickass flower, and 250A Glede because I thought a Pat Benatar Schlumbergera should be redder. 241A is both kickassier and redder, and in the Glede post I specifically suggested that 241A would make a good Pat Benatar, so . . . maybe this is the one?

Try And Stop Me is just here because I get kind of a boastful, aggressive vibe from this seedling and I needed a fourth name.

So it's easy to drop one of the names: Try And Stop Me possibly shouldn't even have been on the list in the first place. And although I like Marceline, the fact that there's already a seedling that's an Adventure Time reference (if only sort of a reference) means that a second one is sort of redundant. (Plus I don't know what they've done with the character after the first season or two.)

But the other two names, Historic Barn and Pat Benatar, are both really working for me, and they're both color-specific. I mean, I suppose the seedling I name Pat Benatar doesn't have to be red, but red feels right. And I had specifically mentioned 241A as a seedling that seemed suitable. This is also the only really red red we got this year: there's a very nice red/pink (160A), a sort of washed-out red that isn't quite pink (227A), and a number of [magenta]/red/orange/whites (157A, 172A, 174A, 225A, 470A?, 426A, 183A), but if there is a name that must go to a red/white seedling, this is the seedling that has to get that name, or else I wait until next year.4 So it's a tough decision.

I think I'm going to go with 241A Pat Benatar, though, on the grounds that 1) I was already thinking of that name going with this seedling, and 2) historic barns don't have feelings5 and won't mind waiting for another year or two.

But wait! There's another seedling!

338A is the first seedling from 088A Cyborg Unicorn to bloom, and I gotta say I'm disappointed. The whole point of crossing 088A Cyborg Unicorn with something was that it has really vivid orange/magenta blooms: I was hoping for something similarly intense.

I mean, not that this is bad. It's just, how many more orange/pink seedlings does a guy need, you know?

So okay. Well. Name candidates: Glissando, John The Baptist, Kaylee, and Neutrino.

Glissando is the musical term for progressing from one note to another by sliding quickly through all the intermediate notes. I understood the term to mean a series of distinct steps (like playing the keys on a piano) rather than a continuous slide (like on a trombone), but Wikipedia says that in practice "glissando" is used for both, and if you want to specify the distinct steps, you're talking about a discrete glissando. The distinction doesn't really matter for seedling-naming purposes, but something about the arrangement of the tips of the petals in the below photo brought the word to mind. (If you see it, you see it; if you don't, don't worry about it: it's not important.)

John The Baptist made more sense when I was still planning to name the seedlings in the order in which they bloomed; 338A was the seedling that bloomed right before 392A Subjunctive. (And yes, I know how that looks, but if I had named this one John The Baptist, I almost certainly wouldn't have named 392A after myself.) Since the seedlings are getting named out of order, this doesn't make sense anymore, but, I dunno, I always felt kinda bad for John. Spends all that time preaching, only to get beheaded for his troubles, and then everybody just forgets about him.6

Kaylee is the character from Firefly, played by Jewel Staite. Previously considered as the name for 182A Padparadscha.

Neutrino is the subatomic particle; if there was a reason for it ending up on the list of name finalists, I no longer remember what it was. What I think of when I think of neutrinos is mostly that they interact only rarely with matter,7 and they have so little mass that for a long time, scientists thought that they might not have any mass at all.

So okay. Well. I kind of like John The Baptist, but it doesn't work in this context, so I'll drop it. And Kaylee is problematic for a number of reasons: while I like the character and (as far as I know) the actress, it works best for a seedling that can match the colors of Kaylee's dress in the episode "Shindig,"8 and also . . . well, I'm kinda over Joss Whedon now.9 I recognize that there were a lot of other people involved in making Kaylee Kaylee, but it's hard not to see her as primarily Whedon's creation.

I mean, I suppose I could say I was naming the seedling after the Breaking Bad character,10 Mike's granddaughter, but that Kaylee is barely a character and that would be weird. So let's forget about Kaylee for a while.

Which leaves Glissando and Neutrino, neither of which particularly make sense as a seedling name. I suppose at any given moment, the seedling contains a bunch of neutrinos, technically. On the other hand, the petals' color gradually shading from pink to orange is sort of the color equivalent of a glissando. And the flowers are much more there than a neutrino. So . . . I'm surprised that this is where the decision-making process took us, but it seems like it kind of has to be 338A Glissando.


1 Besides 241A, there have been blooms from 236A [name TBD], 237A Neptunium, 239A Plow The Seashore, 240A Schwa, 244A That's My Purse, 248A [name TBD], 250A Glede, and 252A [name TBD].
2 At least people in Scandinavia and the northern United States; I don't know how people paint their archetypal barns elsewhere in the world.
3 132A Pointy Space Princess, who is a reference to the show's character, Lumpy Space Princess.
4 And technically, this one is also a red/orange/white; it's just that the orange is unusually weak, or the red is unusually strong.
5 (that we know of)
6 I'm pretty sure I remember John getting mentioned again, so it's not like he's actually completely forgotten, but he's pretty nearly forgotten. It makes sense in context, but, I dunno, it sorta felt to me like Jesus could have started a sermon or two with "Hey, everybody remember John? Let's have a round of applause for John." Maybe it's just me.
7 Every very square centimeter of the Earth's surface has 70 billion (70,000,000,000) neutrinos passing through it per second (per Wikipedia), because the sun is continually cranking them out. (They're formed in nuclear reactions in the sun's core.) It's kind of like matter is just not even there to neutrinos. Though very, very occasionally, one of them will hit something, which can be detected and counted (which is how we can be certain they exist at all). Neutrinos are just unspeakably weird.
8 (photo at the 182A Padparadscha post, if you've forgotten the dress)
9 It's been nearly a decade since he's done anything that I actually liked. (Last project that worked for me was probably The Cabin in the Woods; I forced myself to watch all of Dollhouse but only managed to like 4 out of 26 episodes at all, then bounced really hard off of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and gave up on Whedon after The Avengers, the popularity of which I find completely baffling.)
And then there's the stuff that came out last August; I'm not going to talk about it here, and really don't want to argue about it with anybody (and will delete comments that attempt to argue), but if you do a search for "Joss Whedon affairs," you'll find what I'm talking about.
It's not that I'm looking to punish him -- Whedon already has all the money he was likely to get out of me anyway, since I haven't liked his recent stuff. I just can't enjoy his past stuff in the way I used to.
10 The husband and I just finished a really fast rewatch of Breaking Bad, and it's still pretty great. I'm not necessarily recommending it; it's not everybody's kind of thing. But I did enjoy it. Possibly liked it better the second time, even.

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