Currently listening to... Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
So coming from the sheltered California "force field", "bubble", "electromagnetic field", we sometimes miss out on where stupidly common things actually comes from.
Take for instance this pictures - one may or may not question what the Dr. Seuss looking topiary is. Well, I "what the'd" the tree with balls. Since mid-fall to early winter, you couldn't not see these guys sprouting up everywhere. As a biologist, I assumed it was just some strange tree's economical technique of seed dispersal / genetic transmission.
Well it comes to find out... drum roll please... it's mistletoe. Which turns out is a parasitic plant that roots itself into a variety of tree species while it matures and steals water and nutrient resources.
Ironically with this stuff everywhere, there is no tradition here of couples kissing under mistletoe. Though I'm sure Ukrainians would love the concept, seeing how it could potentially lead to marriage.
My favorite response when I began to ask PCV's if they knew where mistletoe came from was from a fellow Poltavian PCV Alvi, where she responded with "Walgreens".