17 October 2012

How to make snapdragons talk.

While walking along the street in Seattle, I came across some snapdragons. Look how plump and lovely their petals appear! I love plants. I also love interactive plants, and anthropomorphizing floral features by turning them into puppets. Therefore, I present: making snapdragons talk. Snapdragons are members of the plant family Scrophulariaceae and genus Antirrhinum. Their petals are modified and fused into a bilaterally symmetric structures characterized as bilabiate corollas. What's nice about that, you ask? Well, "bilabiate" means "two-lipped," implying that these flowers are basically begging to talk! 
So here's how you do it: find a Goldilocks flower (one that isn't too young or too old). Grasp the sides between your thumb and forefinger, then squeeze so that the top and bottom "lips" pop open like a mouth. You might need to try a few flowers, since the structural integrity of the bloom changes as it ages (there's some cool science about senescence involved here). I like to also make sounds for them, in proper puppet-style. My snapdragons always say things like, "Muah muah muaaaaaah." Sometimes they even sound like robots!
An additional method for making snapdragons talk involves wrangling a fairy with magic. I haven't quite mastered the technique yet (in truth, I've never even tried), and there is also no sure way to tell what the flowers will say. Therefore, I'm only presenting my "manual method" here. 

Perhaps I should stop now while I'm still claiming this is a blog that talks about science.

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