Shigeru Miyamoto is a Japanese video game designer and producer for the video game company Nintendo serving as one of its representative directors. He is best known as the creator of some of the most critically acclaimed and best-selling video games and franchises of all time, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, F-Zero, Donkey Kong and Pikmin. Miyamoto joined Nintendo in 1977, when the company was beginning its foray into video games and starting to abandon the playing cards it had made since 1889, his games have been prominently showcased and anticipated as flagship titles of every Nintendo video game console, with his earliest work appearing on arcade machines in the late 1970s. He managed Nintendo's Entertainment Analysis & Development software division, which developed many of the company's first-party titles; as a result of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's death in July 2015, Miyamoto fulfilled the role of acting president alongside Genyo Takeda until being formally appointed as the company's "Creative Fellow" a few months later.
Miyamoto was born in the Japanese town of Sonobe, a rural town northwest of Kyoto, on November 16, 1952. His parents were of "modest means", his father taught the English language. From an early age, Miyamoto began to explore the natural areas around his home. On one of these expeditions, Miyamoto came upon a cave, after days of hesitation, went inside. Miyamoto's expeditions into the Kyoto countryside inspired his work The Legend of Zelda, a seminal video game. Miyamoto graduated from Kanazawa Municipal College of Industrial Arts with a degree in industrial design but no job lined up, he had a love for manga and hoped to become a professional manga artist before considering a career in video games. He was influenced by manga's classical kishōtenketsu narrative structure, as well as Western genre television shows; the title that inspired him to enter the video game industry was the 1978 arcade hit Space Invaders. Nintendo, a small Japanese company, had traditionally sold playing cards and other novelties, although it had started to branch out into toys and games in the mid-1960s.
Through a mutual friend, Miyamoto's father arranged an interview with Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi. After showing some of his toy creations, Miyamoto was hired in 1977 as an apprentice in the planning department. Miyamoto went on to become the company's first artist, he helped create the art for Sheriff. He first helped the company develop a game with the 1980 release Radar Scope; the game achieved moderate success in Japan, but by 1981, Nintendo's efforts to break it into the North American video game market had failed, leaving the company with a large number of unsold units and on the verge of financial collapse. In an effort to keep the company afloat, Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi decided to convert unsold Radar Scope units into a new arcade game, he tasked Miyamoto with the conversion, about which Miyamoto has said self-deprecatingly that "no one else was available" to do the work. Nintendo's head engineer, Gunpei Yokoi, supervised the project. Miyamoto imagined many characters and plot concepts, but settled on a love triangle between a gorilla, a carpenter, a girl.
He meant to mirror the rivalry between comic characters Bluto and Popeye for the woman Olive Oyl, although Nintendo's original intentions to gain rights to Popeye failed. Bluto evolved into an ape, a form Miyamoto claimed was "nothing too evil or repulsive"; this ape would be the pet of the main character, "a funny, hang-loose kind of guy." Miyamoto named "Beauty and the Beast" and the 1933 film King Kong as influences. Donkey Kong marked the first time that the formulation of a video game's storyline preceded the actual programming, rather than being appended as an afterthought. Miyamoto lacked the technical skills to program it himself, he wanted to make the characters different sizes, move in different manners, react in various ways. However, Yokoi viewed Miyamoto's original design as too complex. Yokoi suggested using see-saws to catapult the hero across the screen. Miyamoto next thought with barrels for obstacles; when he asked that the game have multiple stages, the four-man programming team complained that he was asking them to make the game repeat, but the team successfully programmed the game.
When the game was sent to Nintendo of America for testing, the sales manager disapproved of its vast differentiation from the maze and shooter games common at the time. When American staffers began naming the characters, they settled on "Pauline" for the woman, after Polly James, wife of Nintendo's Redmond, warehouse manager, Don James; the playable character "Jumpman", was named for Mario Segale, the warehouse landlord. These character names were used in promotional materials; the staff pushed for an English name, thus it received the title Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong was a success, leading Miyamoto to work on sequels Donkey Kong Jr. in 1982 and Donkey Kong 3 in 1983. In his next game, he reworked the Donkey Kong character Jumpman into Mario, gave him a brother: Luigi, he named the new game Mario Bros. Yokoi convinced Miyamoto to give Mario some superhuman abilities, namely the ability to fall from any height unharmed. Mario's appearance in Donkey Kong—overalls, a hat, a thick mus
Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development
Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development Division abbreviated as Nintendo EAD Nintendo Research & Development 4 Department, was the largest software development division inside of Nintendo. It was preceded by the Creative Department, a team of designers with backgrounds in art responsible for many different tasks, to which Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka belonged. Both served as managers of the EAD studios and were credited in every game developed by the division, with varying degrees of involvement. Nintendo EAD was best known for its work on games in the Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, F-Zero, Star Fox, Animal Crossing and Wii series. Following a large company restructure following the death of company president Satoru Iwata, the division merged with Nintendo's Software Planning & Development division in September 2015, becoming Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development. During the 1970s, when Nintendo was still predominantly a toy company, it decided to expand into interactive entertainment and the video game industry.
Several designers were hired to work under the Creative Department, which, at the time, was the only game development department within Nintendo. Among these new designers were Makoto Kano, who went on to design various Game & Watch games, Shigeru Miyamoto, who would create various Nintendo franchises. In 1972, the department was renamed to Development Department; the department was consolidated into a division and separated into three groups, Nintendo R&D1, R&D2 and R&D3. After the success of Donkey Kong, a game designed by Shigeru Miyamoto Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi created the Nintendo Research & Development 4 Department in 1983, a new development department to complement the other three existing ones in the Nintendo Research & Development division. Yamauchi appointed Hiroshi Ikeda, former president of Toei Animation, as general manager, Miyamoto as chief producer, who would become one of the most recognized video game developers in the world. Nintendo drafted a couple of key graphic designers to the department including Takashi Tezuka and Kenji Miki.
With the arcade market dwindling, Nintendo R&D1's former focus, the department concentrated most of their software development resources on the emerging handheld video game console market thanks to the worldwide success of Nintendo's Game Boy. This catapulted the R&D4 department to become the lead software developer for Nintendo home video game consoles, developing a myriad of games for the Family Computer home console. Hiroshi Ikeda's creative team had many video game design ideas, but was lacking the necessary programming power to make it all happen. Toshihiko Nakago, his small company Systems Research & Development, had its expertise in computer-aided design tools and was familiar with the Famicom chipset, was hired to work with Masayuki Uemura's Nintendo R&D2 to internally develop software development kits; when Nintendo R&D2 and SRD jointly began porting over R&D1 arcade games to the Famicom, Shigeru Miyamoto took the opportunity to lure Nakago away from R&D2, to help Miyamoto create his first Nintendo R&D4 video game, Excitebike.
And so the original R&D4 department became composed of Miyamoto, Takashi Tezuka, Kenji Miki, Minoru Maeda handling design. One of the first games developed by the R&D4 department was Mario Bros. in 1983, designed and directed by Miyamoto. The department was, unable to program the game with such an inexperienced team, so counted with programming assistance from Gunpei Yokoi and the R&D1 department. One of the first self-developed games was Super Mario Bros. the sequel to Mario Bros. The game set standards for the platform genre, went on to be both a critical and commercial success. In 1986, R&D 4 developed The Legend of Zelda; the phenomenal sales of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda fueled the expansion of the department with young game designers such as Hideki Konno, Katsuya Eguchi, Kensuke Tanabe, Takao Shimizu, who would become producers themselves. In 1989, one year before the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released in Japan, the R&D4 department was spun-off and made its own division named Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development.
The division was comprised into two departments: the Software Development Department, which focused on video game development and was led by Miyamoto, the Technology Development Department, which focused on programming and developing tools and was led by Takao Sawano. The technology department was born out of several R&D2 engineers that were assisting SRD with software libraries. After that, the same department collaborated with Argonaut Games to develop the Super FX chip technology for the SNES, first used in Star Fox in 1993; this venture allowed the Technology Development Department to become more prominent in the 3D era, where they programmed several of Nintendo EAD's 3D games with SRD. F-Zero, released in 1990, was the first video game programmed at the division. Prior to that, most programming was outsourced to SRD Co. Ltd. In 1997, Miyamoto explained that about twenty to thirty employees were devoted to each Nintendo EAD title during the course of its development, it was that he disclosed the existence of the SRD programming company within the division, formally Nintendo
The Nintendo 64, stylized as NINTENDO64 and abbreviated as N64, is Nintendo's third home video game console for the international market. Named for its 64-bit central processing unit, it was released in June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America and Brazil, March 1997 in Europe and Australia, September 1997 in France, it is the last major home console to use the cartridge as its primary storage format until Nintendo's seventh console, the Nintendo Switch, released in 2017. The console was discontinued in mid-2002 following the launch of its successor, the GameCube, in 2001, it is the first Nintendo console to feature true 3D effects. Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64 were made to show this off. Codenamed "Project Reality", the Nintendo 64 design was complete by mid-1995, but its launch was delayed until 1996, when Time named it Machine of the Year, it was launched with Pilotwings 64 and Saikyō Habu Shōgi. As part of the fifth generation of gaming, the system competed with the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn.
The suggested retail price at its United States launch was US$199.99, 32.93 million units were sold worldwide. The console was released in a range of designs over its lifetime. In 2015, IGN named it the 9th greatest video game console of all time. Around the end of the 1980s, Nintendo led the video game industry with its Nintendo Entertainment System. Although the NES follow-up console, the Super NES, was successful, sales took a hit from the Japanese recession. Competition from long-time rival Sega, relative newcomer Sony, emphasized Nintendo's need to develop a successor for the SNES, or risk losing market dominance to its competitors. Further complicating matters, Nintendo faced a backlash from third-party developers unhappy with Nintendo's strict licensing policies. Silicon Graphics, Inc. a long-time leader in graphics visualization and supercomputing, was interested in expanding its business by adapting its technology into the higher volume realm of consumer products, starting with the video game market.
Based upon its MIPS R4000 family of supercomputing and workstation CPUs, SGI developed a CPU requiring a fraction of the resources—consuming only 0.5 watts of power instead of 1.5 to 2 watts, with an estimated target price of US$40 instead of US$80–200. The company created a design proposal for a video game system, seeking an well established partner in that market. Jim Clark, founder of SGI offered the proposal to Tom Kalinske, the CEO of Sega of America; the next candidate would be Nintendo. The historical details of these preliminary negotiations were controversial between the two competing suitors. Tom Kalinske said that he and Joe Miller of Sega of America were "quite impressed" with SGI's prototype, inviting their hardware team to travel from Japan to meet with SGI; the engineers from Sega Enterprises claimed that their evaluation of the early prototype had uncovered several unresolved hardware issues and deficiencies. Those were subsequently resolved, but Sega had decided against SGI's design.
Nintendo resisted that summary conclusion, arguing that the real reason for SGI's ultimate choice of partner is that Nintendo was a more appealing business partner than Sega. While Sega demanded exclusive rights to the chip, Nintendo was willing to license the technology on a non-exclusive basis. Michael Slater, publisher of Microprocessor Report said, "The mere fact of a business relationship there is significant because of Nintendo's phenomenal ability to drive volume. If it works at all, it could bring MIPS to levels of volume never dreamed of". Jim Clark met with Nintendo CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi in early 1993. On August 23, 1993, the two companies announced a global joint development and licensing agreement surrounding Project Reality, projecting that the yet unnamed eventual product would be "developed for Nintendo, will be unveiled in arcades in 1994, will be available for home use by late 1995... below $250". This announcement coincided with Nintendo's August 1993 Shoshinkai trade show."Reality Immersion Technology" is the name SGI had given the set of core componentry, which would be first utilized in Project Reality: the MIPS R4300i CPU, the MIPS Reality Coprocessor, the embedded software.
Some chip technology and manufacturing was provided by NEC, Sharp. SGI had acquired MIPS Computer Systems, the two worked together to be responsible for the design of the Reality Immersion Technology chips under engineering director Jim Foran and chief hardware architect Tim Van Hook; the initial Project Reality game development platform was developed and sold by SGI in the form of its US$100,000–US$250,000 Onyx supercomputer loaded with the namesake US$50,000 RealityEngine2 graphics boards and four 150 MHz R4400 CPUs, with early Project Reality application and emulation APIs based upon Performer and OpenGL. This graphics supercomputing platform had served as the source design which SGI had reduced down to become the Reality Immersion Technology for Project Reality; the system's game controller was a Super NES controller modified to have a primitive analog joystick and Z trigger. Under maximal secrecy from the rest of the company, a LucasArts developer said his team would "furtively hide the prototype controller in a cardboard box while we used it.
In answer to the inevitable questions about what we were doing, we replied jokingly that it was a new type of controller—a bowl of liquid that absorbed your thoughts through your fingertips. Of course, you had to think in Japanese..."On June 23, 1994, Nintendo announced the new official name of the st
In many racing sports an athlete will compete in a time trial against the clock to secure the fastest time. In cycling, for example, a time trial can be a single track cycling event, or an individual or team time trial on the road, either or both of the latter may form components of multi-day stage races. In contrast to other types of races, athletes race alone since they are sent out in intervals, as opposed to a mass start. In cross country skiing and biathlon competitions, skiers are sent out in 30 to 60 second intervals. In rowing, time trial races, where the boats are sent out at 10 to 20 second intervals, are called "head races." In many forms of motorsport, a similar format is used in qualifying to determine the starting order for the main event, though multiple attempts to set the fastest time are allowed. In rallying, the special stages are run in a time-trial format. A similar race against the clock or time attack is part of racing video games. Bushy Park Time Trial Head race Individual time trial Time trialist Isle of Man TT Team time trial Time attack Track time trial
Artificial intelligence in video games
In video games, artificial intelligence is used to generate responsive, adaptive or intelligent behaviors in non-player characters similar to human-like intelligence. Artificial intelligence has been an integral part of video games since their inception in the 1950s; the role of AI in video games has expanded since its introduction. Modern games implement existing techniques from the field of artificial intelligence such as pathfinding and decision trees to guide the actions of NPCs. Additionally, AI is used in mechanisms which are not visible to the user, such as data mining and procedural-content generation; the term "game AI" is used to refer to a broad set of algorithms that include techniques from control theory, computer graphics and computer science in general, so video game AI may not constitute "true AI" in that such techniques do not facilitate computer learning or other standard criteria, only constituting "automated computation" or a predetermined and limited set of responses to a predetermined and limited set of inputs.
Many industry and corporate voices claim that so-called video game AI has come a long way in the sense that it has revolutionized the way humans interact with all forms of technology, although many expert researchers are skeptical of such claims, of the notion that such technologies fit the definition of "intelligence" standardly used in the cognitive sciences. Industry voices make the argument that AI has become more versatile in the way we use all technological devices for more than their intended purpose because the AI allows the technology to operate in multiple ways developing their own personalities and carrying out complex instructions of the user. However, many in the field of AI have argued that video game AI is not true intelligence, but an advertising buzzword used to describe computer programs that use simple sorting and matching algorithms to create the illusion of intelligent behavior while bestowing software with a misleading aura of scientific or technological complexity and advancement.
Since game AI for NPCs is centered on appearance of intelligence and good gameplay within environment restrictions, its approach is different from that of traditional AI. Game playing was an area of research in AI from its inception. One of the first examples of AI is the computerised game of Nim made in 1951 and published in 1952. Despite being advanced technology in the year it was made, 20 years before Pong, the game took the form of a small box and was able to win games against skilled players of the game. In 1951, using the Ferranti Mark 1 machine of the University of Manchester, Christopher Strachey wrote a checkers program and Dietrich Prinz wrote one for chess; these were among the first computer programs written. Arthur Samuel's checkers program, developed in the middle 50s and early 60s achieved sufficient skill to challenge a respectable amateur. Work on checkers and chess would culminate in the defeat of Garry Kasparov by IBM's Deep Blue computer in 1997; the first video games developed in the 1960s and early 1970s, like Spacewar!, Gotcha, were games implemented on discrete logic and based on the competition of two players, without AI. Games that featured a single player mode with enemies started appearing in the 1970s.
The first notable ones for the arcade appeared in 1974: the Taito game Speed Race and the Atari games Qwak and Pursuit. Two text-based computer games from 1972, Hunt the Wumpus and Star Trek had enemies. Enemy movement was based on stored patterns; the incorporation of microprocessors would allow more computation and random elements overlaid into movement patterns. It was during the golden age of video arcade games that the idea of AI opponents was popularized, due to the success of Space Invaders, which sported an increasing difficulty level, distinct movement patterns, in-game events dependent on hash functions based on the player's input. Galaxian added more complex and varied enemy movements, including maneuvers by individual enemies who break out of formation. Pac-Man introduced AI patterns to maze games, with the added quirk of different personalities for each enemy. Karate Champ introduced AI patterns to fighting games, although the poor AI prompted the release of a second version. First Queen was a tactical action RPG which featured characters that can be controlled by the computer's AI in following the leader.
The role-playing video game Dragon Quest IV introduced a "Tactics" system, where the user can adjust the AI routines of non-player characters during battle, a concept introduced to the action role-playing game genre by Secret of Mana. Games like Madden Football, Earl Weaver Baseball and Tony La Russa Baseball all based their AI in an attempt to duplicate on the computer the coaching or managerial style of the selected celebrity. Madden, Weaver and La Russa all did extensive work with these game development teams to maximize the accuracy of the games. Sports titles allowed users to "tune" variables in the AI to produce a player-defined managerial or coaching strategy; the emergence of new game genres in the 1990s prompted the use of formal AI tools like finite state machines. Real-time strategy games taxed the AI with many objects, incomplete information, pathfinding problems, real-time decisions and economic planning, among other things; the first games of the genre had notorious problems. Herzog Zwei, for example, had broken pathfinding and basic three-state state machines for unit control, Dune II attacked the
A computing platform or digital platform is the environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage. A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network. Platforms may include: Hardware alone, in the case of small embedded systems. Embedded systems can access hardware directly, without an OS. A browser in the case of web-based software; the browser itself runs on a hardware+OS platform, but this is not relevant to software running within the browser.
An application, such as a spreadsheet or word processor, which hosts software written in an application-specific scripting language, such as an Excel macro. This can be extended to writing fully-fledged applications with the Microsoft Office suite as a platform. Software frameworks. Cloud computing and Platform as a Service. Extending the idea of a software framework, these allow application developers to build software out of components that are hosted not by the developer, but by the provider, with internet communication linking them together; the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are considered development platforms. A virtual machine such as the Java virtual machine or. NET CLR. Applications are compiled into a format similar to machine code, known as bytecode, executed by the VM. A virtualized version of a complete system, including virtualized hardware, OS, storage; these allow, for instance, a typical Windows program to run on. Some architectures have multiple layers, with each layer acting as a platform to the one above it.
In general, a component only has to be adapted to the layer beneath it. For instance, a Java program has to be written to use the Java virtual machine and associated libraries as a platform but does not have to be adapted to run for the Windows, Linux or Macintosh OS platforms. However, the JVM, the layer beneath the application, does have to be built separately for each OS. AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4 FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD IBM i Linux Microsoft Windows OpenVMS Classic Mac OS macOS OS/2 Solaris Tru64 UNIX VM QNX z/OS Android Bada BlackBerry OS Firefox OS iOS Embedded Linux Palm OS Symbian Tizen WebOS LuneOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Cocoa Cocoa Touch Common Language Infrastructure Mono. NET Framework Silverlight Flash AIR GNU Java platform Java ME Java SE Java EE JavaFX JavaFX Mobile LiveCode Microsoft XNA Mozilla Prism, XUL and XULRunner Open Web Platform Oracle Database Qt SAP NetWeaver Shockwave Smartface Universal Windows Platform Windows Runtime Vexi Ordered from more common types to less common types: Commodity computing platforms Wintel, that is, Intel x86 or compatible personal computer hardware with Windows operating system Macintosh, custom Apple Inc. hardware and Classic Mac OS and macOS operating systems 68k-based PowerPC-based, now migrated to x86 ARM architecture based mobile devices iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers devices running iOS from Apple Gumstix or Raspberry Pi full function miniature computers with Linux Newton devices running the Newton OS from Apple x86 with Unix-like systems such as Linux or BSD variants CP/M computers based on the S-100 bus, maybe the earliest microcomputer platform Video game consoles, any variety 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, licensed to manufacturers Apple Pippin, a multimedia player platform for video game console development RISC processor based machines running Unix variants SPARC architecture computers running Solaris or illumos operating systems DEC Alpha cluster running OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX Midrange computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM OS/400 Mainframe computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM z/OS Supercomputer architectures Cross-platform Platform virtualization Third platform Ryan Sarver: What is a platform
A banana is an edible fruit – botanically a berry – produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Musa. In some countries, bananas used for cooking may be called "plantains", distinguishing them from dessert bananas; the fruit is variable in size and firmness, but is elongated and curved, with soft flesh rich in starch covered with a rind, which may be green, red, purple, or brown when ripe. The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant. All modern edible seedless bananas come from two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana; the scientific names of most cultivated bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana, Musa × paradisiaca for the hybrid Musa acuminata × M. balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. The old scientific name for this hybrid, Musa sapientum, is no longer used. Musa species are native to tropical Indomalaya and Australia, are to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea, they are grown in 135 countries for their fruit, to a lesser extent to make fiber, banana wine, banana beer and as ornamental plants.
The world's largest producers of bananas in 2017 were India and China, which together accounted for 38% of total production. Worldwide, there is no sharp distinction between "bananas" and "plantains". In the Americas and Europe, "banana" refers to soft, dessert bananas those of the Cavendish group, which are the main exports from banana-growing countries. By contrast, Musa cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called "plantains". In other regions, such as Southeast Asia, many more kinds of banana are grown and eaten, so the binary distinction is not useful and is not made in local languages; the term "banana" is used as the common name for the plants that produce the fruit. This can extend to other members of the genus Musa, such as the scarlet banana, the pink banana, the Fe'i bananas, it can refer to members of the genus Ensete, such as the snow banana and the economically important false banana. Both genera are in Musaceae; the banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant. All the above-ground parts of a banana plant grow from a structure called a "corm".
Plants are tall and sturdy, are mistaken for trees, but what appears to be a trunk is a "false stem" or pseudostem. Bananas grow in a wide variety of soils, as long as the soil is at least 60 cm deep, has good drainage and is not compacted; the leaves of banana plants are composed of a blade. The base of the petiole widens to form a sheath; the edges of the sheath meet. As new growth occurs in the centre of the pseudostem the edges are forced apart. Cultivated banana plants vary in height depending on growing conditions. Most are around 5 m tall, with a range from'Dwarf Cavendish' plants at around 3 m to'Gros Michel' at 7 m or more. Leaves may grow 2.7 metres long and 60 cm wide. They are torn by the wind, resulting in the familiar frond look; when a banana plant is mature, the corm stops producing new leaves and begins to form a flower spike or inflorescence. A stem develops which grows up inside the pseudostem, carrying the immature inflorescence until it emerges at the top; each pseudostem produces a single inflorescence known as the "banana heart".
After fruiting, the pseudostem dies, but offshoots will have developed from the base, so that the plant as a whole is perennial. In the plantation system of cultivation, only one of the offshoots will be allowed to develop in order to maintain spacing; the inflorescence contains many bracts between rows of flowers. The female flowers appear in rows further up the stem from the rows of male flowers; the ovary is inferior, meaning that the tiny petals and other flower parts appear at the tip of the ovary. The banana fruits develop from the banana heart, in a large hanging cluster, made up of tiers, with up to 20 fruit to a tier; the hanging cluster is known as a bunch, comprising 3–20 tiers, or commercially as a "banana stem", can weigh 30–50 kilograms. Individual banana fruits average 125 grams, of which 75% is water and 25% dry matter; the fruit has been described as a "leathery berry". There is a protective outer layer with numerous long, thin strings, which run lengthwise between the skin and the edible inner portion.
The inner part of the common yellow dessert variety can be split lengthwise into three sections that correspond to the inner portions of the three carpels by manually deforming the unopened fruit. In cultivated varieties, the seeds are diminished nearly to non-existence. Bananas are slightly radioactive, more so than most other fruits, because of their potassium content and the small amounts of the isotope potassium-40 found in occurring potassium; the banana equivalent dose of radiation is sometimes used in nuclear communication to compare radiation levels and exposures. The word banana is thought to be of West African origin from the Wolof word banaana, passed