What's the Difference Between Fruits and Vegetables?

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What is the difference between fruits and vegetables?
Tamara Troup:Short answer: A fruit is the mature seed-bearing ovary part of a plant and a vegetable is the edible parts of plants that are not classifiedcontrary. A fruit can be a vegetable, but a vegetable cannot be a fruit. Fruit is one of many scientific terms for an edible plant part, but vegetable is not a scientific term and is rooted instead in culinary and cultural tradition.There are also some applicable answers here, but, of course, any good exposition is far lengthier than a Quora forum would allow.

Determination of plant part classification is based on three primary factors:

  • Biological: biologists focus on the molecular and structural aspects of plants to determine fruit and plant part status.
  • Cultural/Traditional: Methods of preparation and traditional use determine classification as vegetable or fruit.
  • Legal: Tax status historically has determined legal definitions of fruits and vegetables. The oft-cited case of the tomato's designation as a fruit is due to a legal precedent set by the Supreme Court that prevented the imposition of import duties on vegetables but not fruits. Likewise, the rhubarb has been subject to legal scrutiny because of its culinary use (this actually resulted in the rhubarb's legal classification as a fruit and a reduction in taxes).

The following classifications of fruits and vegetables are used:

Fruits list (click here for a more comprehensive listing of types and examples of fruit):

  • Fleshy Simple Fruit (ex. grapes, bananas, tomatoes)
  • Dry Dehiscent Simple Fruit (ex. peanuts, beans, peas)
  • Dry Indehiscent Simple Fruit with thin pericarp (ex. sunflower, corn, wheat, rice)
  • Dry Indehiscent Simple Fruit with hard pericarp (ex. beech nut, hazel nut, acorn)
  • Accessory Fruits (ex. apples, hips, strawberries)
  • Dry Accessory Fruits (ex. walnuts)
  • Aggregate Fruits (ex. raspberry)
  • Multiple Fruits (ex. mulberry, pineapple)

Vegetable Parts list (from Wikipedia "the term vegetable is not scientific, and its meaning is largely based on culinary and cultural  traditions"):

  • Buds (ex. capers)
  • Bulbs (ex. onions and garlic)
  • Flower Buds (ex. broccoli and cauliflower)
  • Fruits (cultivated as vegetables ex. pumpkins, squash, etc.)
  • Leaf, Leaf Sheath, Shoots, and Stem (ex. collards, ramps, asparagus, and celery)
  • Root & Tuber (ex. carrot and potato)
  • Seeds (ex. corn)
  • Sprouts (ex. mung bean sprouts)

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

Why Are Shower Doors in Hotel Rooms Getting Smaller?

sl-f/iStock via Getty Images
sl-f/iStock via Getty Images

Shower doors are shrinking in posh hotels, and minimalism is to blame, Condé Nast Traveler reports.

In lieu of hanging shower curtains or providing full shower doors, many newer hotels are opting for glass panels that cover only half the length of the shower. That’s frustrating for many travelers, who complain the growing trend is inconvenient and leaves bathroom floors sopping wet and slippery after shower use.

According to Condé Nast Traveler, the half-door trend began in European hotels in the 1980s. “A lot of it comes down to people trying to design hotel rooms with limited space,” boutique hotel designer Tom Parker told the magazine. “It’s about the swing of the shower door, because it has to open outward for safety reasons, like [if] someone falls in the shower. You have to figure out where the door swing’s going to go, make sure it’s not [hitting] the main door. It’s just about clearances.” A smaller door also has the added benefit of making the space appear larger than it really is, according to the magazine.

The trend is also connected to the birth of minimalist “lifestyle hotels,” which cater to a younger, hipper clientele that gravitates toward sleek lines and modern design. Plus, half-size glass doors are easier to clean than shower curtains, which tend to trap bacteria and need to regularly be replaced, which can add up to significant additional costs for a hotel.

Theoretically, even half-door showers are designed to minimize water spillage. Designers try to level the floors in bathrooms so water doesn’t pool in random areas, and they place shower heads and knobs in areas that are more protected by glass paneling. And where design doesn’t work, hotels try to pick up the slack.

“Hotels tend to mitigate the risks by offering non-slip interior shower mats, cloth bath mats for stepping out of the shower, grab bars, [and] open showers or no-sill showers which avoid having to step up and over the ledge,” designer Douglas DeBoer, founder and CEO of Rebel Design Group, told Condé Nast Traveler.

But the half-door trend still has yet to gain much love from hotel guests. “The older generation much, much prefers having a shower door,” Parker told Condé Nast Traveler. “I’m like a 70-year-old man at heart anyway. I like [a shower door] if it’s in keeping with the style of the rest of the room.”

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Does Pushing the Button at a Crosswalk Actually Do Anything?

Pressing this crosswalk button may or may not do something.
Pressing this crosswalk button may or may not do something.
David Tran/iStock via Getty Images

Since crosswalk signals rarely seem to give you the green light (or more accurately, the white, human-shaped light) right after you press the button, you may find yourself wondering if those buttons actually work. The potentially exasperating answer is this: It depends.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that crosswalk buttons aren’t designed to have an immediate effect; they’re just supposed to tell the system that a person is waiting to cross. As CityLab explained, some systems won’t ever give pedestrians the crossing signal unless someone has pressed the button, while others are programmed to shorten the wait time for walkers when the button has been pressed. No matter what, the system still has to cycle through its other phases to give cars enough time to pass through the intersection, so you’ll probably still have to stand there for a moment.

During busy traffic times or under other extenuating circumstances, however, cities can switch the system to what’s known as “recall mode,” when pedestrian crossings are part of the cycle already and pressing the button quite literally changes nothing. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell if a particular button is in recall mode, short of calling your city officials and asking an expert to come inspect it.

But if you feel like a button isn’t doing anything, there’s a pretty good chance it’s been permanently deactivated. As congestion has increased and the systems to manage it have become more advanced over the years, cities have moved away from using crosswalk buttons at all. In 2018, for example, CNN reported that only around 100 of New York City’s 1000 buttons were still functioning. Since actually removing the buttons from crosswalks would be a costly endeavor, cities have opted to leave them intact, just waiting to be pummeled by impatient pedestrians who don’t know any better.

What about 'close door' buttons on elevators, you ask? That depends, too.

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