Thursday, August 18, 2005

Intelligent plants—but not radio

I was driving to a mid-day errand today and was pleased to hear someone talking about plants and botany on am 1270 (WHLD). Well, I was pleased for about 30 seconds. I THINK he was talking about some interesting research that has been done on the complex interactions of plants with their environments and about how they evolve to meet conditions. I THINK he may also have been trying to explain how the forms of plants have influenced art, architecture and other fields of humanist endeavor.

I THINK.

Because, and this is the price you pay for independent radio these days (I guess), the guy was totally incoherent. His discourse seemed to consist entirely of “like,” “you know,” “like, you know,” “sort of,” “kind of,” “um,” and “uh,”—all punctuated with long periods of dead air. His sources were “they,” and “I saw on the web.”

When I got back to a computer, I tried to find out the WHLD schedule, but they only list 4 programs that I could see, headed by the excellent Democracy Now. I couldn't find the official name for what I had been hearing.

It is disappointing. Very little TV or radio is devoted to really interesting shows on gardening, though it is an enormously popular form of activity. The cooking spectrum is much better. All we get on commercial radio is shows constantly shilling for some commercial landscaper or other, and the TV stuff is all makeovers and fuzzy advice. Nothing really edgy or provocative. And, yes, there are edgy and provocative topics in gardening—certainly in landscaping, which brings up more aesthetic questions.

I did stick with this show for its length—until they switched to Polish language radio—and it continued pathetic throughout, though he became more enthusiastic and thus somewhat more tolerable. A guy called in about the demonization of cannabis at one point, and I thought, “Ah, THAT must be what’s going on here.” It would be difficult to do a radio show stoned unless you were a real pro.

Image of the day: speaking of plants that have many purposes, here is the species Nicotiana prior to growing its flower stalk (which I am eagerly awaiting).

2 comments:

Karen said...

Are you are able to tune in CBC radio (you can on the web, but I wondered if you might be within range, being in Buffalo -- I used to listen to a Buffalo radio station when I was a kid)? Anyway, CBC radio has a gardening phone-in show every Monday at 1:00PM with a very well-spoken and intelligent man, Ed Lawrence. Well, right now CBC is on strike so I can't check all the details for you, but if you ever get a chance to listen to that show, I think you might like it.

EAL said...

I'll check it out. Doubt it, but you never know. The web might be the only way, perfect for work listening.