In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxonomy. Everyone is interested in death, but few of us outside of the order Strigiformes give a hoot about taxonomy. Nevertheless, people can have taxonomy--which Merriam-Webster's defines as the "orderly classification of plants and animals according to their presumed natural relationships"--thrust upon them. Just ask the mortified folks at the University of Florida.
Two of Florida's major products are the fruits of Citrus sinensis trees and football. The University of Florida's football team is called the Gators, in honor of Alligator mississippiensis. Although the name might lead you to assume that the Gators would be the football team at the University of Mississippi, the gridiron gladiators--sorry, I was channeling melodramatic sportswriter Grantland Rice (Oryza sativa) for a second there--at Ole Miss are in fact the Rebels, an appellation that pays tribute to the halcyon days of yesteryear when some Homo sapiens fought for the right to own other Homo sapiens. Go figure.
This article was originally published with the title What's Wrong with This Picture?.