SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Schlumbergera microsphaerica

Schlumbergera microsphaerica is a species of plant in the family Cactaceae. It is endemic to a limited area of the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil where its natural habitat is rocky areas above 2,600 m, it is threatened by habitat loss. It is in the same genus as the popular house plant known as Thanksgiving cactus. Schlumbergera microsphaerica resembles other species of the genus Schlumbergera in that it has leafless green stems, made up of distinct segments, which act as photosynthetic organs. However, most other species have flattened stems, whereas S. microsphaerica has branching stems made up of narrow, more or less cylinder-shaped segments, each 1.5–4.0 cm long by 2–5 mm in diameter. Special structures characteristic of cacti, called "areoles", occur in a spiral fashion over the stems; the areoles, which may have bristles, are. The flowers hang down and are more or less regular, they are about 1.5 cm long. In cultivation in the Northern Hemisphere, plants flower in the spring – March to April.

The fruit is green, with up to five not prominent ribs. The brown seeds have a diameter of about 1 mm; the epithet microsphaerica is derived from the Greek mikros meaning small and sphairikos meaning spherical. The stem segments of the species are shaped like small spheres. Like the taxonomy of the genus, the taxonomy of Schlumbergera microsphaerica is complicated; the first person to name the species was Schumann in an 1890 paper in which he described three species: Cereus microsphaericus, C. obtusangulus and C. parvulus. However, he seems to have decided afterwards that the three species were not distinct, in a monograph published which included an illustration, used only the name C. obtusangulus, although he did not say that the three species were the same. On this basis, some authors used C. obtusangulus as the basionym when they transferred the species to Epiphyllanthus, Zygocactus and Schlumbergera. Other authors chose C. microsphaericus as the basionym, since this was the first name in the original paper, when they transferred the species to Epiphyllanthus and Schlumbergera.

A further complication is that the original material on which Schumann had based his species was lost, so that whether C. microsphaericus and C. obtusangulus were in fact the same species or not cannot now be investigated. In 1991, Taylor formally united the two possible names by designating an illustration of what was at the time called Zygocactus obtusangulus Löfgren – the right hand drawing in the plate shown in the taxobox – as the neotype of C. microsphaericus. Under the rules of botanical nomenclature, this means that microsphaericus rather than obtusangulus became the correct specific epithet, thus the synonyms of Schlumbergera microsphaerica Hoevel include: Epiphyllanthus obtusangulus A. Berger Zygocactus obtusangulus Loefgr. Epiphyllum obtusangulum Lindberg ex Vaupel Schlumbergera obtusangula D. R. Hunt Epiphyllanthus microsphaericus Britton & Rose Arthrocereus microsphaericus A. Berger In 1918, Löfgren described a white-flowered species of what is now Schlumbergera under the name Zygocactus candidus.

David Hunt does not consider this to be a distinct species from S. microsphaerica, treating it as S. microsphaerica subsp. Candida D. R. Hunt. Schlumbergera microsphaerica occurs only in a small region of the coastal mountains of south-east Brazil, in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, located in the southernmost part of the tropics. Sites where it has been found include Pico das Agulhas Negras in the Itatiaia National Park and the Pico do Cristal and the Pico da Bandeira in the Serra do Caparaó. Plants grow at altitudes of 2,600–2,780 metres; because of their altitude and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the coastal mountains have high humidity – warm moist air is forced upwards into higher, colder locations where it condenses. S. microsphaerica grows on rocks or on trees. It is listed as threatened by loss of habitat in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but placed in the category of "data deficient", meaning that there is insufficient information to determine its status further.

Most plants are now in areas which are protected

Jury duty

Jury duty or jury service is service as a juror in a legal proceeding. The prosecutor and defense can dismiss potential jurors for various reasons, which can vary from one state to another, they can have a specific number of arbitrary dismissals, or unconditional peremptory challenge, which does not require specific reasons; the judge can dismiss potential jurors. Some courts had been sympathetic to jurors' privacy concerns and refer to jurors by number, conduct voir dire in camera. In the United States, there have been Fifth Amendment challenges and medical privacy objections to this. Australia uses an adversarial system, potential jurors are randomly selected from an electoral roll. Jurors receive a small payment for each day of attendance. Employers are required to pay their employees "make-up pay", that is, the usual pay the employee would have earned from working, less the jury duty payment received from the state. Under the National Employment Standards, make-up pay is required only for the first ten days of jury service.

The jury system in New South Wales is administered by the Jury Services Branch of the Office of the Sheriff of New South Wales, an office in the New South Wales Department of Attorney General and Justice, operates in accordance with the Jury Act 1977 and Jury Amendment Act 2010. These laws detail persons who ineligible, or may be excused from jury service. In addition, the Jury Exemption Act 1965 and section 7, "Excuse for cause", of LRC Report 117 details other persons who can or may not serve as jurors or otherwise claim exemption. Individuals who are blind and/or deaf may be excluded from jury service. During the juror selection process, both parties can object to up to three potential jurors without providing reasons; the Office of the Sheriff of NSW disseminates resources for jurors. Jurors may be compensated for their service. According to 2016 figures from the Ministry of Justice, there is about a 35% chance of people in England and Wales being summoned for jury service over the course of their lifetime.

In Scotland the percentage is much higher due to having a lower population as well having juries made up of 15 people. When a person is called for jury duty in the United States, that service is mandatory, the person summoned for jury duty must attend. Failing to report for jury duty is illegal and results in a wide range of penalties, from being placed back into the selection pool to immediate criminal prosecution and having a bench warrant issued for contempt of court.. Employers are not allowed to fire an employee for being called to jury duty, but they are not required to pay salaries during this time. Jury duty reimbursement is as little as $5 per day, although a juror can plead to be excused for financial hardship.. A citizen who reports to jury duty may be asked to serve as a juror in a trial or as an alternate juror, or they may be dismissed. In the United States, government employees are in a paid status of leave for the duration spent serving as a juror. Many quasi-governmental organizations have adopted this provision into their contract manuals.

Accordingly, government employees are in a paid status as long as they have received a summons in connection with a judicial proceeding, by a court or authority responsible for the conduct of that proceeding to serve as a juror in the District of Columbia or a state, territory, or possession of the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. The Supreme Court of the United States has held, in Butler v. Perry, 240 U. S. 328, that the Thirteenth Amendment does not prohibit "enforcement of those duties which individuals owe to the state, such as services in the army, militia, on the jury, etc.". In both the United States and Canada, jurors having conscientious objection to service are excused from service; this chiefly includes religious groups such as the Amish, Conservative Mennonites, Old Order Mennonites. In recent years, US citizens have been targets of a "jury scam", wherein they are called by persons posing as officers from a court, claiming that the person did not show up for jury duty and that charges will be pressed.

Potential victims of identity theft or fraud, these targets are told that the matter can be resolved if personal information is given. The Department of Justice recommends that recipients of these calls contact the court directly to avoid falling victim to this scam. Federal courts use the USPS in their communications with prospective jurors, any calls that are made will never ask for personal information; the dictionary definition of jury duty at Wiktionary