The Onion

Sliced red onions

An onion is a beautiful thing…  indispensable in our food, gorgeous in the garden, important in folk medicine,  useful in fabric dyes, and  wonderful to look at… if you can see through the blur of tears. I do mean wonderful quite literally, as in full of wonder. Whole, sliced, diced, raw or cooked, and especially under a microscope, an onion is a beautiful thing. Google images has 61 pages of pictures of red onions alone.

Microscope image of cells in red onion skin

Microscopic studies of onion skins are used to teach cell mitosis, and the intricate tessellations of the packed cells provide fascinating shapes and patterns.

Mind you, I don’t think I have ever seen a macro photograph or highly magnified microscope image of anything that was not fascinating… even the really scary ones of bacteria and aquatic organisms and the hideously magnified eyes and stingers of insects!

The Onion is also very interesting. It started as a satirical newspaper, reporting outrageously inaccurate stories in traditional news format, with headlines and photos to match, all very tongue in cheek but treated with the serious redundancy and supposed objectivity of a regular publication. Now they also produce online videos copying the format of regular news broadcasts. Wikipedia says

The Onion‘s articles comment on current events, both real and fictional. It parodies such traditional newspaper features as editorials, man-on-the-street interviews, and stock quotes on a traditional newspaper layout with an AP-style editorial voice. Much of its humor depends on presenting everyday events as newsworthy and by playing on commonly used phrases, as in the headline “Drugs Win Drug War.”

Needless to say, the Republican political campaign has provided plenty of material for their wicked sense of humour.  Here is the link to a video I found this morning: Romney Still in Hot Water after Reading GOP Platform Verbatim.

If you are interested in American politics, the media, or just having a good laugh, do go on-line and check out the print content also… viewers are allowed five free previews per month before subscription fees kick in.

Yes, an onion is a beautiful thing!

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