Friday, April 06, 2007

The Plane of Knowledge: Know Your Conifers

Know your Conifers:
For each of the following types of conifers, tell how they are distinguished from other types of conifers. In general, this will involve talking about needle shape and grouping, cone disposition, and tree shape. List an example of each.
1) Spruces
2) Firs
3) Pines

Bonus: List 2 edible parts of conifers. They don't have to be edible on every conifer, just 2 things that come from conifers you can eat.

Bonus: List 2 types of conifers not mentioned here.

Answer's to yesterday's PoK: THE WAR OF 1812:
1) Who declared war on whom, and what were the reasons?

Well, Brian's right, we declared war on them, and there was a trade issue, specifically that the British were interfering with our trade with France (who they were at war with on the European continent). Davey was also right about them stealing people for their armed forces, although it was the impressment of American sailors rather than soldiers that was the main problem there. Additionally, the British were funding & supplying Native American tribes (such as the Shawnee under Tecumseh) in what was then the northwest frontier, and those tribes were preventing settlement in lands the US had obtained by treaty after the Revolutionary War.

2) How long did the war last?

Until 1815. The Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814. After the treaty was signed, the Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815 (Jackson & his troops were unaware of the peace). The treaty was ratified by the US in February.

3) Who was President at the time?

James Madison is correct.

4) What is that President's wife famous for during the war?

Brian's right again - she's famous for staying behind after basically everybody else, including her bodyguards, had left. She saved, among other things, a famous portrait of George Washington.

5) What American commander later became President?

Davey's right - it was Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans.

Bonus: What battle or battles is the 1812 Overture written to comemmorate?

Davey is right - this is a trick question. It was written about the French invasion of Russia in 1812. Specifically, the Battle of Borodino, if you must know.


Anonymous said...

Um, ah, I'm gonna let someone else shine on this one, yeah that's the reason I'm not writing anything about conifers.
I have to share this though. I shared the 1812 questions with two friends last night. One of them some of you know, the other a teacher. Some good guesses, but I must share a few comments from the soon to be credentialed to teach in VA friend.

1. "Alright, George Washington was president from 1776 so..."
2. "Didn't we declare war on them because on the Monroe Doctrine?"
3. "Okay 1812, that was after the revolutionary war was over right?"
It was at this point that Mark and I threatend to take away her right to teach, she laughed, and we cried for the future.

Brian said...

"cone disposition" that cracked me up.

1) uuuhh
2) deerrr
3) conical

Bonus: Young green pinecones and the needles - go Man vs Wild!

Bonus: Cedar & .....

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave, I like this new feature. Another side note on yesterday's Q, the Star Spangled Banner was written during one of the sea-to-shore battles of the war of 1812, by Francis Scott Key, who was watching to make sure the flag was still there at dawn's early light after a night of shelling at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore. A nice daytrip for you DC folks.

Anonymous said...

So is it cheating to look up answers somewhere, or is the point of this exercise to see what knowledge is in your head?
I know pines have clusters of needles, while spruce have them coming out from all sides of the twig.
examples -
1 - Blue spruce, the kind we just cut down in the Younce yard
2 - balsam, the "Christmas tree"
3 - white pine, good for lumber

Edible: pine nuts? Does hemlock poison count as edible? Socrates ate it, but it didn't work out so well for him.

Bonus: yew, cypress

Dave Y said...

Davey: ouch! is she a history teacher? just goes to show that no matter how stupid we thought it was at the time, FCPS served us all pretty well.

Brian: Yes, cedar is a correct choice on the bonus question.

Tona: Thanks! Tivo'd The American Experience with you on it in HD - gotta say you're certainly the best looking in your field.

Hemlocks are another conifer-that part counts towards the bonus, but they're unrelated to the Hemlock Socrates took - they smell like the herb there, and that's why they were so named. Hemlock trees won't kill you. You're right about pine clustering its needles, i'll give you that one. And your examples of each are sound. Pine nuts counts for the edible part, too.

Dave Y said...

Also, Brian: "Bonus: Young green pinecones and the needles - go Man vs Wild!"

Not what I was looking for, but if you saw it on TV, it must be true.

Maren said...

Without reading anyone's answers...
1- blue spruce- med length square needles that are spaced all along the branch, oblong closed cones, Christmas tree shape
2- douglas fir- short needles, oblong cones?
3- white pine- longer, round needles that come out of the branch in clusters, squat open cones

bonus 1: pine nuts, ...rosemary?
bonus 2: redwoods, ...rosemary?