Golden rainbow cactus (Echinocereus dasyacanthus), a hedgehog cactus, growing in the desert elipsis

Any of the flowering plants that make up the family Cactaceae, containing about 1,650 species, native through most of North and South America, with the greatest number and variety in Mexico. Cacti are succulent perennials. Most live in and are well adapted to dry regions. Cacti generally have thick herbaceous or woody stems containing chlorophyll. Leaves usually are absent or greatly reduced, minimizing the surface area from which water can be lost; the stem is the site of photosynthesis. The generally thin, fibrous, shallow root systems range widely in area to absorb superficial moisture. Cacti vary greatly in size and appearance, from buttonlike peyote and low clumps of prickly pear and hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus) to the upright columns of barrel cacti (Ferocactus and Echinocactus) and the imposing saguaro. Cacti can be distinguished from other succulent plants by the presence of small cushionlike structures (areoles) from which, in almost all species, spines arise, as do flowers, branches, and leaves (when present). Flowers, often large and colourful, are usually solitary. Cacti are widely cultivated as ornamentals. Various species, notably prickly pears and chollas, are cultivated as food. Barrel cacti are an emergency source of water for people.

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National monument, southwestern Arizona, U.S., at the Mexican border. It was established in 1937. With an area of 330,689 acres (133,929 hectares), it preserves segments of the mountainous Sonoran Desert and is named for the organ-pipe cactus. Wildlife includes Gila monsters, antelope, coyotes, and a variety of birds.

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Cactuses is a 2006 open-source motion picture created by the Arc2 Project, which consisted of twenty-four High School school students and five college students based in Manteca, CA.

This movie is unique in its content, creation, and distribution. It is one of the first feature-length movies to debut on the Internet as a free BitTorrent download.

The movie is available as an authorized and legal download at under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license

The Creation

The Arc2 Project

The Arc2 Project was the "code" name for a special joint collaboration between Pocket Change Productions and Give Every Child a Chance The name "The Arc2 Project" stuck after receiving coverage in the local media.

The concept of the project was to turn the production process of a feature length motion picture into a productive learning experience for a crew made up entirely of students. The students developed skills in digital and computer technology through the fun environment of film production.

The secondary goal was a high-quality production, above expected standards for "student drama".

The Crew

The primary crew consisted of the members of the Arc2 Project, led by Matt Hannon and Rick Rapoza, with significant assistance from Joey Trimmer and Jeremy Meyer Other assistance was provided by businesses as well as the friends and relatives of the Arc2 Project.


Simon Brodigan (Cliff Chamberlain) gives up on just about every aspect of his life, and just about everyone in his life has given up on him. He passes the time in his unfulfilling life by working an honest part-time job with a not-so-honest scam on the side. Simon cuts corners, runs from responsibility, and definitely doesn't want to be helped.

Eventually, he is estranged from everyone in his life except for one person — an eccentric older woman, Mary Beth (Carmencristina Moreno), from whom he steals while in her employ. She is surprisingly tolerant of Simon's self-destructive behaviour, and her persistent interest in Simon's life eventually gets the better of him. While working for Mary Beth at her cactus shop, Simon finds that his reluctance to improve his life and the relationships that he has seemingly ruined turns to willingness, even eagerness.

Flirting with the concept of ambition, Simon tries to mend some of the wreckage of his past by making up with the father who has disowned him. But, things do not go as planned...

With hopes dashed, Simon believes that he is unable to change and quickly retreats to his old ways. He is tired of hurting the people that he loves. He believes that by pushing everyone away once and for all, they will quit pushing him.

The result is a mistake which has bigger consequences than Simon imagined, and even Mary Beth will have a hard time untangling his untimely mess.


The lead characters in this film are played by Cliff Chamberlain (Simon) and Carmencristina Moreno (Mary Beth). Cliff is known for his stage acting and his one man play, Paper Dreams and Plastic Promises. Carmencristina Moreno is known primarily for her Mexican-American music. She has also appeared in several movies over the years including The Master Gunfighter, HICKEY & BOGGS, and Deal of the Century.

Initial Screenings

In addition to the unique nature of the creation of this film, the distribution method is one of the first for a first-run, American-made motion-picture.

The movie was distributed for free using BitTorrent technology. This will allowed everyone to download a copy for them self. Of course, with the DivX encoded file reaching almost 1 gigabyte in size, it may not be practical for everyone to download it. Probably because of this, the movie was added to Google Video so it could be viewed without download, or downloaded with a smaller file size.

External links

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