The plant behind this rather Minnesota-looking fellow is the castor plant, or castor bean plant, depending on which you like. You may know the castor plant from such roles as "source of castor oil" or "that house plant at grandma's", but the plant also has a little-known role as possibly the deadliest plant to human beings (I'm looking to Lycurgus for any better candidate here).
The castor plant is home to the very deadly toxin ricin, which you have probably heard of from chemical agent and terrorism scares. Make no mistake, ricin is very deadly stuff. An amount equal to a couple grains of salt is enough to kill an adult. There are more potent toxins out there, but ricin is the one DHS worries about because it is so easily cultivated from that ugly plant there. Castor plants grow like weeds in many climates and contain huge amounts of ricin in each bean (and smaller amounts in the rest of the plant). Every year in the production of castor oil, which also comes from the beans, there is a huge amount of ricin dumped as trash. And while there are very few deaths from that trash, there are several deaths each year from people ingesting the beans. Most people do so because they're garden variety idiots, but a percentage of them are probably smoking the leaves and beans thinking it looks similar to another kind of plant that grows like a weed. Such people are a special kind of idiot and automatic Darwin Award recipients.
But enough about interesting ways to kill your neighbor or significant other, let's talk sports! USA-Mexico starts at 7pm CST on ESPN2. No preseason NFL today, so you're stuck with boring old baseball as the other sport on television. Thursday does have NFL-like material with CIN @ ATL and CLE @ GB, both at 7pm CST