Science in Only lovers left alive film

By now it has been said a lot about Jim Jarmusch’s film since it premiered in 2013.

poster

A different love story featured by vampires, narrated in an unusual way, with an exceptional cast (John Hurt, Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston among others), a refined soundtrack (with the participation of the singer Yasmine Hamdan), an intimate atmosphere and a cultivated background (halfway between hipster, nerd and geek). The director takes us into a love story that evolved over the centuries.

But what’s the connection with the natural sciences? Well, throughout the film, the actors, especially the vamp Eve, refers to certain live beings with their Latin binomial name, not with their own common name of each region or country.

The binomial nomenclature is an universal type of classification, it is in Latin and always consisting of at least two words. Thus, people around the world can relate to the same biological being unequivocal.

Have binomial names the viruses, bacterias, archaeas, animals, plants and fungus. In its origins, the creator of this classification system, Carl Von Linne, included also inanimate things, such as minerals and rocks.

So when a skunk crosses the way of Eve when she came across the garden of her husband house sttopped and muttered “Mephitis mephitis“. Also in the backyard when she discovered a vid and some mushrooms referred to them as “Vitis vinifera” and “Amanita muscaria“.

mephitis

The male protagonist, Adam, tormented husband by the decline of  moral values ​​of human society, is the perfect counterpoint. Known principles of physics, literature, music and biology.

And because of that knowledge, commissioned his ill-fated friend Ian, a special bullet to consume a suicide. But because of their vampiric condition, the bullet can not be made of such material. A wooden bullet has similar effect, but much modern and immediate, than the traditional wooden stake. The timber must be dense, compact, rugged, non-splintering. And there is a type of plant that synthesizes a wood so dense that does not float: plants of the genus Dalbergia.

Unfortunately there is a reality of exploitation of these woods. This plant, family of the Fabaceae. can reach up to 25 meters high. Its most obvious feature is its purple-red heart. After being cut changes its color but keeping his stripes and irregular waves.

An illegal logger fells a 300-400-year-old rosewood trees in Madagascar's Masoala national park,.

Due to the color and its high density, is really appreciated for making musical instruments, weapons, pieces of furniture and fine cabinetry, etc. For example, a set of dining room furniture made ​​in China can be evaluated in about 3,500 euros.

The island of Madagascar, in South Africa, is a hotspot of biodiversity formed by dense forests that store, with less and less secret, this coveted plant species.

map

But biodiversity has been lost at multiple levels. In these forests dwell many species, as the singular lemur. They live only in Madagascar and the Comoros Islands. Therefore, destroying their habitat, is to condemn this primates to an inexorable demise.

Maybe in the future, someone visiting a zoo, would stare at the last living lemurs and think “fu ** ing zombies.”

Captura de pantalla 2014-09-01 a la(s) 00.49.09

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