• Member Since 24th Sep, 2015
  • offline last seen Monday

Oliver


Let R = { x | x ∉ x }, then R ∈ R ⟺ R ∉ R... or is it?

More Blog Posts342

Aug
9th
2017

Points of Canon: S2x12 - Family Appreciation Day · 7:15pm Aug 9th, 2017

More apples.

  • Corn is out in the fields, but well, we know that with earth ponies the relative states of growth of various crops mean fuck all. Seeing how the door into Applejack’s bedroom is open while she is asleep, and the window is open despite the curtains being closed, I suspect it’s pretty hot out, though.
  • There’s one less rope in Applejack’s bedroom than the last time we saw it.
  • Apple Bloom sleeps in a silly night cap.
  • Granny Smith is remarkably spry compared to pretty much all prior appearances, she’s running under her own power, quite quickly at that.
  • None of Granny’s frantic behavior surprises any of the Apple Trio, they have seen it all before. This is, however, apparently, the first time Apple Bloom is permitted to participate in zap apple jamming. (“Actually, I been looking forward to making zap apple jam for years!”)
  • I think that’s the first time we see Granny’s rocking chair, though I wonder, what’s behind that door she’s barring access to with it. Because anyone passing through would bump into her chair.
  • “Uh, is this one of your gazillion secret herbal ingredients for the zap apple jam?” Zap apple jam is certainly not pure zap apples.
  • “Oh, ponyfeathers.” …This is racist. No, seriously, how exactly did that become an expletive?
  • Apple Bloom uses a broom. With a long handle. By holding it in her mouth. See Sandwich Problem.
  • Filthy Rich needs to personally come to inquire if the zap apple harvest is in a few days, however, zap apple harvest is also a yearly event. It follows that while it is yearly, it’s also not very regular, but at the same time, the sequence of events following the appearance of the leaves seems to be known precisely (“Four days, to be exact.”) and is thought to be immutable.
  • “Uh, I prefer Rich.” Filthy Rich avoids the use of the first part of his name. Ponies in town won’t let him forget it, though, neither Granny Smith nor Cherilee…
  • Apple Bloom is mysteriously able to use the ears of her bunny costume for expressive purposes. Presumably, with her prehensile mane…
  • The purpose of bunny hopping over watering cans while chanting the alphabet is supposedly to condition the water used to water the zap apple trees. (“Granny said that the water needs…”) The process is referred to as “sing to the water.”
  • “Thank goodness you’re here on the farm and not in town where everypony could see you.” The farm does not normally count as part of “town.”
  • Filthy Rich participates in one of the rituals by smacking the pot Granny Smith has put on her head with a wooden spoon.
  • The ingredients purchased for the future jam preparation appear to include bananas, carrots, cabbages, potatoes, swirly lollipops, turnips, and, for some completely bizarre reason, regular apples, and bread. As well as a scroll of some kind. Were bananas even available at the time zap apples were discovered?… Even this activity is ritualized: Granny Smith wears a large hat she is never seen in otherwise, Apple Bloom is also wearing an old-fashioned cap, and Granny Smith must hop and skip while singing.
  • Granny Smith wears dentures.
  • When collecting honey, Granny Smith addresses at least two bees by name, and they sit on her in a bee-ard. Why just two named bees, though?…
  • I’m not entirely sure why honey needs to be collected directly from the hives, who is responsible for selling this stuff, and why the hives are there in the market right next to packaged honey… In the flashback, Granny Smith collects honey from the hives while on Apple premises, and cites that she needs to be “extra friendly to the bees.” I’m not sure that playing with someone else’s bees right before you collect their honey counts as extra friendly.
  • Granny’s nickname for Apple Bloom is “Half-pint.” Pints exist.
  • “What dolls. Why, when I was little, ponies didn’t come that purdy.” If you ask me, your son’s wife beats those two any day, Granny.
  • “And, by capturing the whole sale market, purchasing in bulk and slashing all prices, we undermine every other gift market in town, and that’s how Rich’s Barnyard Bargains became the cornerstone of retail in Ponyville.” Come to think of it, did Ponyville ever have any other “gift market?” I’d like to know about it please.
  • “Family Appreciation Day” is a regular event during a certain period – presumably, a weekly event while families last, because Cherilee refers to the “next Monday’s Family Appreciation Day,” and by her checklist, four ponies are eligible and Apple Bloom is the last remaining. Notice that Silver Spoon’s face is checked off. Selection did not occur in order, as we just witnessed the Rich family, while Diamond Tiara is first in the list.
  • Why faces instead of names on the checklist, though?
  • That same Monday is zap apple harvest day, and according to Cherilee, comes after a weekend. (“Have a great weekend, everypony!”) I expect this means that today is a Friday, since we know otherwise that weekends are two days long.
  • There are four unoccupied seats in class. Where did the ponies go? One of them has a stack of paper and a pen on it, but no pony in sight.
  • …Here’s the same globe we saw in this classroom previously, again.
  • One other learning aid found in this classroom, beyond the globe and the telescope we saw previously, is a microscope. It would be silly if ponies didn’t have them, of course.
  • Neither Sweetie Belle nor Scootaloo stick around to support Apple Bloom despite her obvious distress.
  • I think that this is the only time we actually see crows. And they fly in an apple pattern.
  • The CMC clubhouse exists. Notably, I don’t think I have seen that annex at the top of the tree with the telescope in it in any other episode. A ladder is leading there from the inside, and steps lead towards it on the outside, and it mysteriously disappears afterwards. What gives?…
  • Scootaloo calls Apple Bloom a dictionary. She needs more words, to be sure.
  • Granny Smith is addressing the jars while wearing a helmet. Notably, the helmet she is wearing is a stereotypical WWII-era army helmet, which is good against shrapnel, but not much else, certainly not melee weapons ponies were observed wielding. The exact same type of helmet, though in slightly different style, shows up in the flashback as well.
  • Granny Smith mentions court-martial when one of the jars cracks. Yep, ponies do have court-martial.
  • Scootaloo uses a teapot to heat up a thermometer. Being an alcohol-based thermometer, it should be very close to exploding when the tea is steaming hot. It is also a kind of cheating pretty much impossible to miss, even for Granny Smith, as it turns out. Kids, learn to read the thermometer before doing that.
  • Sweetie Belle paints Apple Bloom’s face with juice of some manner of green berries for her to appear sick. This could only possibly be expected to work if ponies do change color when sick, and Baked Bads worked exactly as shown in Applebuck Season.
  • “Perfect as a Piccadilly pear!” Isn’t there a feud with the Pears?…
  • The fourth sign of zap apples is a meteor shower, or at least, something that looks very similar. Why isn’t Twilight acutely interested in this phenomenon?…
  • “Harvesting apples early never hurt an apple.” Actually yes, it did. But what does Scootaloo know.
  • Zap apples resist bucking until ripe – though, Sweetie Belle probably doesn’t know the first thing about bucking in the first place – and the stem is strong enough to support at least a hundred kilograms. Probably more. Actually, it might be more suitable than rubber for getting Scootaloo launched to Cloudsdale.
  • “Granny Smith, it’s Miss Cheerilee! Apple Bloom said you wanted to speak with me?…” Notably, this would have to happen on a Sunday. Poor Cherilee.
  • So why is Cherilee buying the entire charade with the sleeping Granny Smith?…
  • “I gotta shear the flowers and water the sheep! I mean, I have to water the flowers and shear the sheep!” Yep, sheep are getting sheared in Equestria.
  • …Wait, how did those ropes get re-anchored outside and who’s pulling them?…
  • Granny Smith is capable of jumping at least ten meters into the air if sufficiently excited.
  • So, zap apple development goes through strict stages, with no intermediary steps, each accompanied by mysteriously arriving clouds, lightning, and well known, repeatable signs: Leaves, flowers, apples, ripe apples – timber wolves, crows, meteors, rainbow. Unpicked apples vanish instantly after one day with no fanfare.
  • Scootaloo is wearing a mailpony uniform of a completely unique type, never seen before or since.
  • “Miss Granny Smith? Telegram.” What do you know, primary canon does agree ponies have telegraph!
  • Granny Smith’s map, contrary to the usual, contains perfectly legible Latin letters. If we trust it, Sweet Apple Acres should be primarily west of Ponyville.
  • “Me and my family were pilgrim pony folk, back when I was a little filly. Oh, we ventured far and wide, collecting new seeds and sellin’ the old.” Apparently, the word “pilgrim” does not mean “a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons” for ponies, but rather, describes a nomadic lifestyle.
  • “Then, one day, the Smith family found themselves in the most brilliant, most grand, most magnificent of all cities.” Wait, wait, wait. The Smith family? So where did the Apple part come from? Because, with the apparent size of the Apple clan, Granny Smith is not old enough to be the originator, unless she had two generations of children, which screws Ponyville history timeline to hell and back.
  • Here’s that orrery again. It has been there for at least 80 years, it seems. No ready screenshot this time either, alas.
  • According to Granny Smith, Celestia stopped specifically to look at her father’s seed collection. Why exactly? Most seeds aren’t particularly interesting to look at. In fact, I’m told the primary way of identifying the plants the seeds come from is planting them and seeing what grows.
  • Further, the flashback seems to imply that Celestia offered the land to the Smith family of her own initiative. And Granny’s mother does not approve of Granny’s father kissing the royal hoof. What the hell is going on here?…
  • “But an orchard don’t grow overnight, and we were getting mighty short on food.” Ponies might be able to subsist on grass alone in theory, but this scene, if anything, is an indication that they probably would need to spend the entire day eating to do so. Like our horses.
  • Notably, the first Smith family home is nothing like the style of barns they build today.
  • …And that’s our first time seeing timber wolves.
  • Timber wolves are repelled by loud clanging sounds.
  • Zap apple trees grow into full trees instantly.
  • So just how exactly did Granny Smith stumble onto the idea that zap apples “like pink polka dots?”
  • Stinking Rich is Diamond Tiara’s great grandfather, and “Matter of fact, the first thing he ever sold was my zap apple jam.”
  • Railroad is already present in the flashback, when Ponyville is almost devoid of buildings. Remember hearing the idea that railroads in Ponyville are recent? Nope, this episode says they were there from nearly the very start, as Granny Smith is still very young when seen next to a train arriving to the station.
  • Now here’s a hole. “Who wants to help Granny sing to the water?” What exactly is he point of singing to the watering cans now, when the zap apple harvest day has already passed?
  • Filthy Rich insists that Diamond Tiara participate in the singing ritual, bunny ears and all.

Analysis:

  • Remember Applejack’s Day Off? Now that I have reviewed the process again, I’m still pretty sure a huge number of elements in these rituals are actually completely extraneous. The one problem with them is that determining which are useful and which aren’t is nowhere as obvious as when feeding pigs, and requires expensive experimentation…
  • The taste or any kind of special properties of zap apple jam are pure fanon. The episode never ever describes what makes it so special beyond its bizarre origins.
  • Getting a more exact age for Granny Smith is a very important measuring stick for pony time. We do have some extra data now: Bright Mac’s exact 131456 hour anniversary establishes the time range between pony toddler stage and adult state seen of about 15 years. Assuming Applejack is ~25, which seems sensible, and Big Mac is slightly older, and that flashback time in The Perfect Pear is at least reasonable, we get the birth date of Bright Mac of about 55 years ago. Which means that railroad in Ponyville existed for at least 50 years, Ponyville itself has been incorporated a few years before that, and Granny Smith is at least 80 years old, possibly more. Allow at least two years for developing the zap apples into an industry. Of course, all the ranges cited are not exact for obvious reasons.
  • Any conclusions based on the idea that Ponyville has acquired railroad access recently need revising. Thankfully, I never made any of those.
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 20 )

Apple Bloom uses a broom. With a long handle. By holding it in her mouth. See Sandwich Problem.

A broom with maybe four twigs on the business end. It looks about as useful as a chicken-wire submarine, though that may be cartoon resolution.

“What dolls. Why, when I was little, ponies didn’t come that purdy.” If you ask me, your son’s wife beats those two any day, Granny.

Ah, but Granny wasn't little then.

It's possible that Granny married into the Apple family. Possibly so the clan could get a monopoly on the zap apples.

And there is that issue with "Winter Wrap-Up" claiming that Ponyville is hundreds of years old, though you may have already addressed that.

4628913

And there is that issue with “Winter Wrap-Up” claiming that Ponyville is hundreds of years old, though you may have already addressed that.

That phrase is quite ambiguous anyway.

4628918
Is it?

Twilight Sparkle: No Spike, Ponyville was started by Earth ponies, so for hundreds of years they've never used magic to clean up winter. It's traditional.

I suppose there's some wiggle room, but it would require an interpretation where earth ponies' traditional eschewing of easy mode is largely unrelated to their founding Ponyville.

4628931

I suppose there’s some wiggle room, but it would require an interpretation where earth ponies’ traditional eschewing of easy mode is largely unrelated to their founding Ponyville.

Isn’t it? There’s nothing particularly special about Ponyville, is there?

4628938
Not especially, but then we have to ask why Twilight would even mention Ponyville in that sentence, or use a "so"afterwards, implying that the first phrase has some logical bearing on the second one and that the antecedent of "they" is specifically "the earth pony citizens of Ponyville" rather than "earth ponies" in general.

4628931
The less-obvious conclusion is to assume that it's a syllogism - 1) earth ponies have been doing this winter wrap up ritual for hundreds of years 2) Ponyville was founded by earth ponies therefore conclusion: this is the way they do things here.

"Family Appreciation Day" has always had a special place in my heart. Zap apples are pure magical-realism, in a 'the world is not only weirder than you know, but weirder than you can imagine' way. They feel like the exposed tip of a very large and very strange iceberg of miracles hiding under the placid waves.

4628952
That then leads to the question of why this tradition is only hundreds of years old, especially when that fits confortably in Celestia's rule during a more tribally integrated period of pony history.

I don't mean to split hairs like this, but it feels wrong to gloss over this one.

4628955

That then leads to the question of why this tradition is only hundreds of years old, especially when that fits confortably in Celestia’s rule during a more tribally integrated period of pony history.

Here’s a guess: Influential earth ponies were concerned that they’re losing tribal identity and promoted the practice of cleaning up winter purely on their own, even though previously, they used whatever worked and whatever was available.

Since they were the formerly oppressed caste, Celestia let it slide.

No, seriously, how exactly did that become an expletive?

An earth pony lived under a shedding Pegasus, that's how.

  • Apple Bloom sleeps in a silly night cap.

For all the Apple families supposed money troubles, Apple Bloom never seems to want for any luxury.

  • “And, by capturing the whole sale market, purchasing in bulk and slashing all prices, we undermine every other gift market in town, and that’s how Rich’s Barnyard Bargains became the cornerstone of retail in Ponyville.” Come to think of it, did Ponyville ever have any other “gift market?” I’d like to know about it please.

I suppose the tourist trade has been going on longer than I thought then. But this really does describe the basic Walmart strategy, starting many of the comparison of Filthy Rich and Sam Walton.

Apparently, the word “pilgrim” does not mean “a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons” for ponies, but rather, describes a nomadic lifestyle.

Would Trixie or Flim & Flam be considered pilgrims then?

  • Scootaloo calls Apple Bloom a dictionary. She needs more words, to be sure.

If only a device for learning the meanings of more words existed! :scootangel:

  • “Perfect as a Piccadilly pear!” Isn’t there a feud with the Pears?…

They've made peace with the Trottingham branch.

  • Remember Applejack’s Day Off? Now that I have reviewed the process again, I’m still pretty sure a huge number of elements in these rituals are actually completely extraneous. The one problem with them is that determining which are useful and which aren’t is nowhere as obvious as when feeding pigs, and requires expensive experimentation…

The other issue is that the more elaborate the ritual required, the better it is for marketing purposes. If it turns out only singing to the water is necessary, other ponies could steal the routine and sell their own Zap Apple Jam.

  • The taste or any kind of special properties of zap apple jam are pure fanon. The episode never ever describes what makes it so special beyond its bizarre origins.

The fact that they can only be grown at a certain time and harvested with secret rituals makes them valuable for their scarcity and exclusivity. Caviar doesn't actually taste that good.

  • Any conclusions based on the idea that Ponyville has acquired railroad access recently need revising. Thankfully, I never made any of those.

Don't know if I ever did either. I think a common reason is A)Twilight took a chariot in the series pilot and B)People figured if the first train we saw running needed to be pulled manually, it was a new and temperamental technology. The first reason is pretty weak, but I would like to know why those earth ponies were pulling the train...

4629083

An earth pony lived under a shedding Pegasus, that’s how.

Statements of fact are not usually used as expletives.

Would Trixie or Flim & Flam be considered pilgrims then?

Possibly. It also appears to correlate with specific styles, like, the hat Igneous wears is referred to as “pilgrim hat” in Pinkie’s chapter book.

Actually, I think that kind of hat would look good on Trixie…

If it turns out only singing to the water is necessary, other ponies could steal the routine and sell their own Zap Apple Jam.

They would need the seeds first. Notice that not only the Apples never let the seeds out of their hooves – probably why they only sell jam, even though originally, Granny Smith made everything starting with pie – even stealing the seeds would be somewhat problematic, as they only exist for a day.

The fact that they can only be grown at a certain time and harvested with secret rituals makes them valuable for their scarcity and exclusivity.

Doesn’t sound like it. Children dislike caviar pretty readily, we don’t see anyone dislike zap apple jam, children especially so.

The first reason is pretty weak, but I would like to know why those earth ponies were pulling the train…

This particular line had low traffic and got the hand-me-down locomotive. It broke.

Then they got new ones and never had a problem again.

4629098

Statements of fact are not usually used as expletives.

I mean, is it that different from "Great Bloomin' Apples"?

They would need the seeds first.

That is a good point. The Apples do have a pretty good lock on their property, a regular Montsanpone.

Doesn’t sound like it. Children dislike caviar pretty readily, we don’t see anyone dislike zap apple jam, children especially so.

That's true, Zap Apple Jam is delicious. However, other forms of jam are delicious too. But earth ponies growing frequent crops mean those other jams can be made almost year round. Zap Apple Jam has quality and scarcity.

This particular line had low traffic and got the hand-me-down locomotive. It broke.

Then they got new ones and never had a problem again.

That works.

Personally, I just like imagining that Granny Smith is timeless and immortal. I know it shoots chronology in the foot, but earth ponies do enough of that with their crop miracles that it's barely worth mentioning.

4629083
4629098

They would need the seeds first. Notice that not only the Apples never let the seeds out of their hooves – probably why they only sell jam, even though originally, Granny Smith made everything starting with pie – even stealing the seeds would be somewhat problematic, as they only exist for a day.

Anypony could cut off some zap apple branches and graft them onto another apple tree’s trunk. In fact, that’s how real-life cultivars are spread—because genetic recombination means the seeds will probably grow into trees with apples that taste very different.

Hmm... How much have we seen ponies creating new apple orchards? We see Granny Smith spreading zap apple trees by planting seeds, and the resulting fruit tastes just as good as from the wild trees. If that hasn’t happened with any other apple varieties, that’s decent evidence that zap apples are a separate species in the Malus genus.

4629126

I mean, is it that different from “Great Bloomin’ Apples”?

Actually, yes. “bloomin’” in this phrase is an euphemism for something. So which word in the “pony feathers” is an euphemism, and for what?

4629158

Anypony could cut off some zap apple branches and graft them onto another apple tree’s trunk.

As far as I can tell, ponies do not do grafting at all.

Hmm… How much have we seen ponies creating new apple orchards?

  • Family Appreciation Day: Seeds are planted.
  • Over A Barrel: We do not see seeds planted, but we do see Applejack importing and replanting an entire tree. We also get a statement that apparently, all those trees which look like they’re at least a decade old, weren’t there a year ago.
  • Perfect Pear: Buttercup and Bright Mac plant seeds of an apple and a pear tree. Which grow into a double helix around each other.

It’s always seeds, apparently. In fact, Granny Smith’s story in Family Appreciation Day explicitly relies on a collection of seeds.

462941 Well, if pony feathers are preened by a Pegasus's uropygial gland, there's some unfortunate implications right there.

4629420

Actually, since we never see pegasi molt, or even lose feathers much, or preen, they might produce powder down instead.

4629428 That makes a lot of sense.
Powder Down is an allergen too, which might explain why pony feathers is a swear.

(“Actually, I been looking forward to making zap apple jam for years!”)

Lower bound on AB's age at 2+(age of conscious thought) as of this ep.

“Oh, ponyfeathers.” …This is racist. No, seriously, how exactly did that become an expletive?

In Equestria? Questionable. "Bullfeathers" has currency on our Earth, though.

Alternately, far-fetchedly, "pegasus ponies" and "unicorn ponies" are Doylian-imposed and real (Earth) ponies cannot have feathers [clydesdale hoof-feathering not counting]. And hey, Canterlot's élite don't seem to have any pegasi to counteract this at a high level…

Apple Bloom is mysteriously able to use the ears of her bunny costume for expressive purposes. Presumably, with her prehensile mane…

Yeah, they're a bit far forward to be on her ears.

The farm does not normally count as part of “town.”

There may be political/legal reasons for this. I know some farms that have been sprawled around become non-city-enclaves (in the sense of being surrounded by In-City Limits without themselves being so).

I’m not entirely sure why honey needs to be collected directly from the hives,

Marketing. Also, friendliness…and tradition of Zap Apple Jam lending its aura.

Why faces instead of names on the checklist, though?

Doylian: animated text needs localizing.
Watsonian: let's not be racist by using any one race's script on the roll.

Apparently, the word “pilgrim” does not mean “a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons” for ponies, but rather, describes a nomadic lifestyle.

Wiktionary has the "for religious reasons" as an "especially" which means it's not necessarily true.

Granny Smith is not old enough to be the originator, unless she had two generations of children, which screws Ponyville history timeline to hell and back.

Two or more, and SAA is her phylactery.

Now here’s a hole. “Who wants to help Granny sing to the water?” What exactly is he point of singing to the watering cans now, when the zap apple harvest day has already passed?

Practice Rehearsal. And just "group activity" now tha it's not time-critical.

Filthy Rich insists that Diamond Tiara participate in the singing ritual, bunny ears and all.

Or just a plan between Granny and Filthy to humiliate DT for alienating an old family alliance…not that it sticks any.
4629420
Not sure where your quote is supposed to point…but good point.

4630440

There may be political/legal reasons for this. I know some farms that have been sprawled around become non-city-enclaves (in the sense of being surrounded by In-City Limits without themselves being so).

See the Humansville discovery and associated comments.

Doylian: animated text needs localizing.

Didn’t stop them the next episode over when Granny showed a map. Actually, I don’t think writing in pony episodes is ever normally localized…

Practice Rehearsal. And just “group activity” now tha it’s not time-critical.

Would only make sense, say, a month before the next zap apple harvest.

4630446

Would only make sense, say, a month before the next zap apple harvest.

Unless geomantic/celestial/temporal circumstances need to be part of the practice as well, so that underlying mana flows are not practiced wrong and interfere when the Omens do come.

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!