Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Golden apples from Italy

(I occasionally get submissions for this blog from readers. This one comes from Fausto Marcon of Italy, a Robert Anton Wilson fan who started writing to me a few weeks ago. Using a compendium of bits and links from Wikipedia, Fausto's piece taught me a lot about apples, golden and otherwise, and I thought I would share it with you. Note that it is perfectly OK for me to reprint Wikipedia material in my blog. Or, at least, it seems to me I have complied with Wikipedia's terms. If you are curious what they are, go here.

Fausto said I could give him a name as a new pope, but don't popes choose their own names? I was tempted to dub him Pope Italo I, for Italo Calvino. Fausto lives in Treviso, not terribly far from Venice. He is the chief editor of eartbooks and is on Facebook. -- The Mgt.)


"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"- 
(a reality tunnel research about apples)  
by Fausto Marcon

Umbrella term

Apple

The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is one of the most widelycultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members ofgenus Malus that are used by humans.

I throw the apple at you, and if you are willing to love me, take it and share your girlhood with me; but if your thoughts are what I pray they are not, even then take it, and consider how short-lived is beauty.
PlatoEpigram VII

In the wild, apples grow readily from seeds. However, like most perennial fruits, apples are ordinarily propagated asexually by grafting. This is because seedling apples are an example of "extreme heterozygotes", in that rather than inheriting DNA from their parents to create a new apple with those characteristics, they are instead significantly different from their parents.

Apples are self-incompatible; they must cross-pollinate to develop fruit. During the flowering each season, apple growers often utilize pollinators to carry pollen. Honey bees are most commonly used. Orchard mason beesare also used as supplemental pollinators in commercial orchards.


Tomato

History
Mesoamerica
Aztecs and other peoples in Mesoamerica used the fruit in their cooking. The exact date of domestication is unknown: by 500 BC, it was already being cultivated in southern Mexico and probably other areas. The Pueblopeople are thought to have believed that those who witnessed the ingestion of tomato seeds were blessed with powers of divination. The large, lumpy tomato, a mutation from a smoother, smaller fruit, originated in Mesoamerica, and may be the direct ancestor of some modern cultivated tomatoes.
Spanish distribution
Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés may have been the first to transfer the small yellow tomato to Europe after he captured the Aztec city of Tenochtítlan, now Mexico City, in 1521, although Christopher Columbus, a Genoese working for the Spanish monarchy, may have taken them back as early as 1493. The earliest discussion of the tomato in European literature appeared in an herbal written in 1544 by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, an Italian physician and botanist, who suggested that a new type of eggplant had been brought to Italy that was blood red or golden color when mature and could be divided into segments and eaten like an eggplant—that is, cooked and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and oil. However it wasn't until ten years later that tomatoes were named in print by Mattioli as pomi d’oro, or "golden apple".
Italy
The recorded history of tomatoes in Italy dates back to 31 October 1548 when the house steward of Cosimo de' Medici, the grand duke of Tuscany, wrote to the Medici private secretary informing him that the basket of tomatoes sent from the grand duke's Florentine estate at Torre del Gallo"had arrived safely." Tomatoes were grown mainly as ornamentals early on after their arrival in Italy. 

Fruit or vegetable?
Botanically, a tomato is a fruit: the ovary, together with its seeds, of aflowering plant. However, the tomato has a much lower sugar content than other edible fruits, and is therefore not as sweet. Typically served as part of a salad or main course of a meal, rather than at dessert, it is considered avegetable for most culinary uses. One exception is that tomatoes are treated as a fruit in home canning practices: they are acidic enough to process in a water bath rather than a pressure cooker as vegetables require. Tomatoes are not the only food source with this ambiguity: green beanseggplantscucumbers, and squashes of all kinds (such as zucchiniand pumpkins) are all botanically fruits, yet cooked as vegetables.

Tomato records
The massive "tomato tree" growing inside the Walt Disney World Resort's experimental greenhouses in Lake Buena Vista, Florida may be the largest single tomato plant in the world. The plant has been recognized as a Guinness World Record Holder, with a harvest of more than 32,000 tomatoes and a total weight of 522 kg (1,151 lb). It yields thousands of tomatoes at one time from a single vine.

Golden apple
The golden apple is an element that appears in various national and ethnicfolk legends or fairy tales. Recurring themes depict a hero (e.g., Hercules orFăt-Frumos) retrieving the golden apples hidden or stolen by a monstrousantagonist. Alternatively, they are depicted as divine food and the source of immortality in Norse mythology.

Discordianism
The contemporary religion Discordianism draws upon the Golden Apple of the goddess Eris, also known as the "Apple of Discord" which was used by this goddess to set off the conflict among the goddesses of Olympus that lead to the Trojan War as a result of Eris not being invited to a party (the so-called "Original Snub"). Emblazoned upon the apple is the word "Kallisti" meaning "to the fairest". The golden apple can be seen as a metaphor for a practical joke meant to cause cognitive dissonance in the target.

Golden apples in other languages
In many languages, the orange is referred to as a "golden apple". For example, the Greek χρυσομηλιά, and Latin pomum aurantium both literally describe oranges as "golden apples". Other languages, like German,FinnishHebrew, and Russian, have more complex etymologies for the word "orange" that can be traced back to the same idea.

Identity
Frequently, the term "golden apple" is used to refer to the quince, a fruit originating in the Middle East. The tomato, unknown to the ancient world of the Greeks, is known as the pomodoro in Italian, meaning "golden apple" (from pomo d'oro). One reason that oranges might be considered to be "magical" in so many stories is because they bear flowers and fruit at the same time unlike other fruit.


Apple of Discord

An apple of discord is a reference to the Golden Apple of Discord(Greek: μῆλον τῆς Ἔριδος) which, according to Greek mythology, the goddess Eris (Gr. Ἔρις, "Strife") inscribed "to the fairest" and tossed in the midst of the feast of the gods at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, thus sparking a vanity-fueled dispute among HeraAthena and Aphrodite that eventually led to the Trojan War[1] (for the complete story, see TheJudgement of Paris). Thus, "apple of discord" is used to signify the core, kernel, or crux of an argument, or a small matter that could lead to a bigger dispute.


Apples and oranges

A comparison of apples and oranges occurs when two items or groups of items are compared that cannot be practically compared.
The idiomcomparing apples and oranges, refers to the apparent differences between items which are popularly thought to be incomparable or incommensurable, such as apples and oranges. The idiom may also be used to indicate that a false analogy has been made between two items, such as where an apple is faulted for not being a good orange.
Oranges as a type of apple[edit]
In many languages, oranges are, implicitly or explicitly, referred to as a type of apple, specifically a golden apple or a Chinese apple (conferhesperidium). For example, the Greek χρυσόμηλον (chrysomelon) and Latinpomum aurantium both literally describe oranges as golden apples. In other languages like German, FinnishPolish, or Russian the terms for the bitter orange (a related species) are derived from Latin pomum aurantium. Additionally, the Hebrew word תפוז (tapuz) is a shortened form of תפוח זהב(tapuakh zahav), or golden apple.
In Dutch, sweet oranges are called sinaasappel, which is derived fromChina's apple. The Latvian apelsīnsIcelandic appelsínaSwedishapelsin,Norwegian appelsinFinnish appelsiini, Russian апельсин (apelsin) and German Apfelsine share similar etymology.

Eris (mythology)

The most famous tale of Eris recounts her initiating the Trojan War by causing the Judgement of Paris. The goddesses HeraAthena andAphrodite had been invited along with the rest of Olympus to the forced wedding of Peleus and Thetis, who would become the parents of Achilles, but Eris had been snubbed because of her troublemaking inclinations.
She therefore (as mentioned at the Kypria according to Proclus as part of a plan hatched by Zeus and Themis) tossed into the party the Apple of Discord, a golden apple inscribed τῇ καλλίστῃ (Ancient Greektē(i) kallistē(i))  – "For the most beautiful one", or "To the Fairest One" – provoking the goddesses to begin quarreling about the appropriate recipient. The haplessParis, Prince of Troy, was appointed to select the fairest by Zeus. The goddesses stripped naked to try to win Paris' decision, and also attempted to bribe him. Hera offered political power; Athena promised skill in battle; and Aphrodite tempted him with the most beautiful woman in the world:Helen, wife of Menelaus of Sparta. While Greek culture placed a greater emphasis on prowess and power, Paris chose to award the apple to Aphrodite, thereby dooming his city, which was destroyed in the war that ensued.

Isaac Newton

Apple incident
Reputed descendants of Newton's apple tree, (from top to bottom) at Trinity College, Cambridge, the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, and the Instituto Balseiro library garden
Newton himself often told the story that he was inspired to formulate his theory of gravitation by watching the fall of an apple from a tree. Although it has been said that the apple story is a myth and that he did not arrive at his theory of gravity in any single moment, acquaintances of Newton (such asWilliam Stukeley, whose manuscript account of 1752 has been made available by the Royal Society) do in fact confirm the incident, though not the cartoon version that the apple actually hit Newton's head. Stukeley recorded in his Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton's Life a conversation with Newton in Kensington on 15 April 1726

Apple Inc.

Logo
According to Steve Jobs, Apple was so named because Jobs was coming back from an apple farm, and he was on a fruitarian diet. He thought the name was "fun, spirited and not intimidating".
Apple's first logo, designed by Ron Wayne, depicts Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. It was almost immediately replaced by Rob Janoff's "rainbow Apple", the now-familiar rainbow-colored silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it. Janoff presented Jobs with several different monochromatic themes for the "bitten" logo, and Jobs immediately took a liking to it. While Jobs liked the logo, he insisted it be in color to humanize the company. The logo was designed with a bite so that it would not be confused with a cherry. The colored stripes were conceived to make the logo more accessible, and to represent the fact the Apple II could generate graphics in color. This logo is often erroneously referred to as a tribute toAlan Turing, with the bite mark a reference to his method of suicide. Both Janoff and Apple deny any homage to Turing in the design of the logo.
In 1998, with the roll-out of the new iMac, Apple discontinued the rainbow theme and began to use monochromatic themes, nearly identical in shape to its previous rainbow incarnation, on various products, packaging and advertising. An Aqua-themed version of the monochrome logo was used from 2001 to 2003, and a Glass-themed version was used from 2003 to 2013. With the release of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks in fall of 2013, the logo appears flat and white with no glossy effects.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were Beatles fans, but Apple Inc. had trademark issues with Apple Corps Ltd., a multimedia company started by the Beatles in 1967, involving their name and logo. This resulted in a series of lawsuits and tension between the two companies. These issues ended with settling of their most recent lawsuit in 2007.


Forbidden fruit

Forbidden fruit is a phrase that originates from Genesis concerning Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:16–17. In the narrative, the fruit of good and evil was eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. As a metaphor, the phrase typically refers to any indulgence or pleasure that is considered illegal or immoral.
Apple
In Western Europe, the fruit was often depicted as an apple, possibly because of a misunderstanding of, or a pun on mălum, a native Latin noun which means evil (from the adjective malus), and mālum, another Latin noun, borrowed from Greek μῆλον, which means apple.[4] In the Vulgate,Genesis 2:17 describes the tree as de ligno autem scientiae boni et mali: "but of the tree (lit. wood) of knowledge of good and evil" (mali here is thegenitive of malum). The larynx in the human throat, noticeably more prominent in males, was consequently called an Adam's apple, from a notion that it was caused by the forbidden fruit sticking from Adam's throat as he swallowed.


Apple (symbolism)

Apples appear in many religious traditions, often as a mystical or forbidden fruit. One of the problems identifying apples in religionmythology andfolktales is that as late as the 17th century, the word "apple" was used as a generic term for all (foreign) fruit other than berries, but including nuts.[1]This term may even have extended to plant galls, as they were thought to be of plant origin (see oak apple). For instance, when tomatoes were introduced into Europe, they were called "love apples". In one Old English work, cucumbers are called eorþæppla (lit. "earth-apples'), just as in French,DutchHebrewPersian and Swiss German, the words for potatoes mean "earth-apples" in English. In some languages, oranges are called "golden apples" or "Chinese apples". Datura is called 'thorn-apple".
Ethnobotanical and ethnomycological scholars such as R. Gordon Wasson,Carl Ruck and Clark Heinrich write that the mythological apple is a symbolic substitution for the entheogenic Amanita muscaria (or fly agaric) mushroom. Its association with knowledge is an allusion to the revelatory states described by some shamans and users of psychedelic mushrooms.[2][3][4]At times artists would co-opt the apple, as well as other religious symbology, whether for ironic effect or as a stock element of symbolic vocabulary. Thus, secular art as well made use of the apple as symbol of love and sexuality. It is often an attribute associated with Venus who is shown holding it.

Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson (born Robert Edward Wilson, January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007), known to friends as "Bob", was an American author andpolymath who became at various times a novelist, philosopherpsychologist,essayisteditor, playwright, poet, futuristcivil libertarian and self-describedagnostic mystic. Recognized as an episkopos, pope, and saint ofDiscordianism, Wilson helped publicize the group through his writings and interviews.
Wilson described his work as an "attempt to break down conditioned associations, to look at the world in a new way, with many models recognized as models or maps, and no one model elevated to the truth". His goal being "to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone but agnosticism about everything.



The Illuminatus! Trilogy

The Golden Apple refers to the Golden apple of discord, from the Greek myth of the Judgement of Paris. In the trilogy it is used as the symbol of the Legion of Dynamic Discord, a Discordian group; the golden apple makes a number of appearances, for example, on the cover, on a black flag, and as an emblem on a uniform.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a series of three novels written by Robert Sheaand Robert Anton Wilson first published in 1975. The trilogy is a satirical,postmodernscience fiction-influenced adventure story; a drug-, sex-, andmagic-laden trek through a number of conspiracy theories, both historical and imaginary, related to the authors' version of the Illuminati. The narrative often switches between third and first person perspectives and jumps around in time. It is thematically dense, covering topics like counterculture,numerology, and Discordianism.
The trilogy comprises The Eye in the PyramidThe Golden Apple, andLeviathan. They were first published as three separate volumes starting in September 1975. In 1984 they were published as an omnibus edition, and are now more commonly reprinted in the latter form.

Shooting an apple off one's child's head

Shooting an apple off one's child's head, also known as apple-shot(from German Apfelschuss) is a feat of marksmanship with a bow orcrossbow that occurs as a motif in a number of legends in Germanic folklore (and has been connected with non-European folklore). In the Stith Thompson Motif Index it is F661.3, described as "Skillful marksman shoots apple from man's head" or "apple shot from man's head", though it always occurs in the form of the marksman being ordered to shoot an apple (or occasionally another smaller object) off his own son's head. It is best known as William Tell's feat.


"A Pembrokeshire proverb. Eat an apple on going to bed, And you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread."
"Ait a happle avore gwain to bed, An' you'll make the doctor beg his bread; or as the more popular version runs: An apple a day Keeps the doctor away."

2 comments:

michael said...

It was a common riff in the mainstream (rigidstiffstraight) media in the 1960s to refer to Leary as "Johnny Acidseed," punning on another American legend who had much ado about planting apple trees throughout the country.

eartbooks said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_Deutscher_Äpfel