Wednesday Writs for 10/17


Em Carpenter

Em was one of those argumentative children who was sarcastically encouraged to become a lawyer, so she did. She is a proud life-long West Virginian, and, paradoxically, a liberal. In addition to writing about society, politics and culture, she enjoys cooking, podcasts, reading, and pretending to be a runner. She will correct your grammar. You can find her on Twitter.

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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    Judge Hand sounds like Frank Morgan, best known for playing Professor Marvell/The Wizard of Oz. To me he does, anyway.Report

  2. Avatar Maribou says:

    52 percent on the quiz, reminding me that even if I think I don’t have a Canadian accent anymore, I still have a Canadian dialect…Report

  3. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    L2: The law is an ass. Tomatoes form from flowers and contain seeds, therefore they cannot (botanically) be a vegetable, no matter how you wish to tax them or how you cook them.

    I am a botanist and I sometimes talk about this thing in my classes. But it still annoys me.Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to fillyjonk says:

      Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting one in a fruit salad.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to fillyjonk says:

      Tomatoes definitely are fruits, but I don’t know that that makes them not vegetables. If we exclude all fruits from being vegetables, then a Greek salad is a fruit salad with onions and cheese.

      If asked to define “vegetable” I’d probably come up with something like “part of a plant that humans commonly eat” or maybe “part of a plant that humans eat primarily in savory dishes”. That could include leaves, roots, stems, flowers, fruit, seeds – whatever part of the plant we eat.

      Even the latter definition is fuzzy because including seeds would make both green corn on the cob, and cornmeal into “vegetables” but we tend to think of corn as a vegetable or a grain depending how ripe it is.

      Anyway, a definition of “vegetable” that excludes zucchini, peppers, eggplant, okra, edible pod peas and beans, cucumber, pumpkin flesh – well, let’s just say that if I used that one, I would have to say I don’t eat a lot of vegetables.Report

      • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to dragonfrog says:

        Fillyjonk knows the details in but the scientific definition of fruit means that if it has seeds, its fruit. That DOES include peppers and pumpkins and cucumbers and all that. There are a lot more fruits than veggies. But veggies includes spinach, broccoli, greens, cauliflour, asparagus, carrots and other root vegetables… those are vegetables, right Fillyjonk?

        Anyway, I know tomatoes are a fruit. I just thought the case was interesting. It reminded me of when the USDA said ketchup was a vegetable.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Em Carpenter says:

          I know all those things are fruit.

          I just don’t know that being a fruit excludes a thing from also being a vegetable – any more than being a leaf, flower, tuber, or seed excludes the thing from being a vegetable.

          As I understand it, “vegetable” is basically a culinary definition, not a botanical one. And it’s kind of a tautological culinary definition at that – if we eat it as a vegetable, it’s a vegetable.Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to dragonfrog says:

        Botanical and culinary definitions of “what is a fruit” differ.

        Botanical: forms from a flower, contains (or SHOULD contain – bananas and navel oranges are freaks) seeds. Vegetables come from some non-flower plant part: leaf (lettuce, spinach, cabbage – even onions; the layers are highly modified leaves), stem (potatoes are highly modified stem tissue), roots (beets and carrots), petioles (rhubarb which yes it is not a fruit, and celery).

        Nuts and beans are botanically fruits.

        Culinary: fruit is usually sweet, vegetables are usually savory (or inedibly bitter in the case of eggplant)

        This is also why I raise an eyebrow at nutritionists who declare that “fruit has sugar and so it’s bad for you.” Tomatoes have sugar. Hell, fricking carrots have sugar.

        I once had students nearly come to blows in a class over whether peanuts were a fruit or not (They are, and what’s weirder, they form UNDERGROUND – the fruit pushes under the ground as it develops, it is called geocarpy). The area where I now live is a peanut growing region and people do not know this. (When I was a kid, my mom – herself a botanist – grew peanuts for us one summer so my brother and I could see how they formed. We didn’t get many; Ohio was really too cold for them)Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to fillyjonk says:

          Huh, so under that botanical definition, cauliflower, broccoli florets, and zucchini or marigold flowers wouldn’t be vegetables either.

          I more or less knew the botanical definition of a fruit, but I hadn’t known there was one for a vegetable.Report

  4. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    It’s legal weed day in Canada. A whole host of new federal, provincial, and municipal laws are coming into effect.

    There are already people gathering funds to challenge some of them as soon as a “poster” defendant comes up. In particular, the 2 ng/mL blood serum THC limit for driving impairment is likely to see a challenge pretty soon (and, if I understand right, it very much should, as that threshold maps very poorly to our current thresholds for alcohol impairment).Report

  5. Avatar James K says:

    L2 is pretty good, but its not as good as the time a US court had to decide whether the X-Men are human.

    Incidentally, cases like this are one of the reasons economists favour having sales taxes that are the same for all goods and services – it prevents things like this from happening.Report