You may have heard of the plant belladonna, which by Italian definition means beautiful lady. This particular plant was once used by women as eye drops.
Because belladonna extract dilates the pupils. It was thought that dilated pupils on a woman was a sign of sexual beauty, as dilated pupils are a sign of arousal. In truth, what it did, was cause their iris' to malfunction, disinheriting them from their ability to constrict properly. Not only that, but belladonna caused blurry vision as well as increased heart rates, repeated use causing blindness.For those of you who don't know, belladonna, or Deadly Nightshade is "a perennial herbaceous plant that has bell-shaped flowers and shiny black berries." Oddly enough, this flowering, berry budding herb is related to, yes, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. But this is one plant you probably DON'T want to eat.
Why? It is toxic. In fact, "it is one of the most toxic plants found in the Western Hemisphere." Yesindeedee.
What makes it so toxic is it's high levels of alkaloids, or organic compounds / poisons.
What can it do to you?
- Well, for one, you'll see things that aren't there (or perhaps they are),
- blurred vision (and I don't mean from being too tired or too drunk to funk, though you may feel that way),
- and tachycardia, which is, as you may have guessed from the root word cardia, rapid heart rate above 100 beats per minute (in an adult).
To read more about this multifaceted and interesting plant, check out THIS WIKIPEDIA LINK.
The Deadly Nightshade Family Singers
Yes, there is such a group and you may well have heard of them. They are, or shall I say were, a Minnesota band with an eclectic sound. Often times dressed in glittering superhero capes or choir robes, at times even tyvec waste clean up suits and other oddities, they found it hard to secure a good gig, or any gig at all, even though their audience would have surely followed.
They finally met their demise and piddled out in September of 2000. A sad day indeed. Perhaps they should have done a rethink on their band name, as appropriate as it was, they were in for it from the start I suppose. Their rendition of Brazil is my personal favorite, if you come across it, it's a keeper.
I must say some good came of it, however. Their lead singer, Randall Throckmorton (Think Tony Randall, Third Rock (or the rock), and Morton salt), is still out and about, with the sound that made The Deadly Nightshade Family Singers what they were.Randall's songs are often melancholy, and reminisce of the old days of railway cars and cross country radio singers, dusty roads, tent towns, whiskey, line mustaches, and waxed hairdos on slick men.
For more on The Deadly Nightshade Family Singers, visit http://minnewiki.publicradio.org/index.php/Deadly_Nightshade_Family_Singers or http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=85581946 (great rendition of "Charlie" found here.
Second photo found at NHS Blog Doctor (a wonderful, often lighthearted blog you will surely find pleasing).