Friday, 11 May 2012


Anacardiaceae (the cashew or sumac family) are a family of flowering plants bearing fruits that are drupes and in some cases producing urushiol, an irritant. Anacardiaceae include numerous genera with several of economic importance. Notable plants in this family include cashew (in the type genus Anacardium), mango, poison ivy, sumac, smoke tree, and marula. The genus Pistacia (which includes the pistachio and mastic tree) usually is now included, but has sometimes been placed in its own family, Pistaciaceae.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Cassandra (metaphor)

The Cassandra metaphor (variously labelled the Cassandra 'syndrome', 'complex', 'phenomenon', 'predicament', 'dilemma', or 'curse'), is a term applied in situations in which valid warnings or concerns are dismissed or disbelieved.

The term originates in Greek mythology. Cassandra was a daughter of Priam, the King of Troy. Struck by her beauty, Apollo provided her with the gift of prophecy, but when Cassandra refused Apollo's romantic advances, he placed a curse ensuring that nobody would believe her warnings. Cassandra was left with the knowledge of future events, but could neither alter these events nor convince others of the validity of her predictions.

The metaphor has been applied in a variety of contexts such as psychology, environmentalism, politics, science, cinema, the corporate world, and in philosophy, and has been in circulation since at least 1949 when French philosopher Gaston Bachelard coined the term 'Cassandra Complex' to refer to a belief that things could be known in advance.