Science and Cinema I

It is undeniable how much we can learn from a movie: ethical ponderations, personal anecdotes, data and why not? scientific species.

pokemon all

A curious example is the number of names of Pokemon ®, those Japanese fantastic creatures that children can quickly memorize. Hundreds of invented names, stored with little effort, because it is still a game, not an imposition.

But, when it comes to memorizing scientific names of plants, animals or fungi things change.

It was the Swedish scientist, Carolus Linnaeus (or Carl von Linne ) who devised the binomial system, in Latin, to designate each species. Thus system is universal and avoid serious confusion between regions, languages and taxonomy.


Maybe is not as much fun studying plants instead of Pokemon, but, as in all, marketing is important. So, to do this, let use the cinema to make it more entertaining. Maybe it may well stimulate the curiosity of more than one child and one adult.

For example, the world-wide The nightmare before Christmas film. 


Jack Skellington goes up a hill up pumpkins crops. The pumpkin belongs to the genus Cucurbita , with over 120 described species. Some species can grow up to weigh 70 kilos. A taxonomy proposed : Kingdom Plantae/ Subkingdom Viridaeplantae (green plants) / Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants) / Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants) / Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)/ Infradivision Angiospermae (flowering plants) Class Magnoliopsida/ Superorder Rosanae/ Order Cucurbitales/  Family Cucurbitaceae/ Genus Cucurbita/ Specie Cucurbita pepo L./ Variety  Cucurbita pepo var. medullosa Alef .

Based on archaeological evidence , cucurbits were domesticated in Mesoamerica , in several states of Mexico , along with corn and beans . Also in Peru , but it was not from the sixteenth century, which led to Europe, Asia and Africa.

It is a dioecious plant , ie , there are male plants and female plants. Its fruit is called a pepo, a type of berry. Although 90 % of its weight is water , is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and B vitamins also in minerals such as potassium , iron, cobalt , boron , zinc and calcium .

At another point in the movie, Sally the feminine protagonist goes to the graveyard at night. There, she picks up a dried flower of a thistle and some belladonna plants. When she came back home, she pour a belladona beverage in the Dr Flinklenstein soup. Sally

Thistle is a perennial and spiny species. It can reach 70 cm with blue flowers wrapped by an involucre of five or six bracts. The fruit is an achene. It is common in Central and Western Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Caucasus. It prefers dry soil without relief associated, as the sides of the road and abandoned fields. The mushroom  Pleurotus eryngii, grow associated. Its taxonomy is: Kingdom Plantae / Division Magnoliophyta / Class Magnoliopsida  / Order Apiales/ Family Apiaceae / Genus Eryngium L.

The Belladonna is a perennial herb. Its Latin name is Atropa belladonna. Atropa derived from the Greek Atropos, one of the three Fates (personifications of destiny) and belladonna derives from the Italian and means beautiful woman. Its taxonomy is: Kingdom Plantae/ Subkingdom Viridaeplantae (green plants) / Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants)/ Division Magnoliophyta/ Class Magnoliopsida/ Subclass Magnoliidae/ Order Solanales/ Family Solanaceae/ Subfamily Solanoideae / Tribe Hyoscyameae/ Genre Atropa/ Species A. belladonna L.

Possess a little bell-shaped flowers of bright colors: purple, green. The fruits are a type of greenish black berries of a centimeter in diameter. Contains alkaloids (hyoscyamine, atropine, scopolamine). Infusion was administered as eye drops to dilate the pupils (mydriasis) for beautify the look of highborn ladies. It is also used to combat pneumonias, Parkinson’s disease, to regulate the intestines in case of irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis and as a sedative or anesthetic.

Also has a narcotic properties. It were already known and administered in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Syria and Celtic and Central European lands. During the Middle Ages it was used by eminent figures such Paracelsus, alchemists and many wise women or witches.


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