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2011 Archived Messages


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MONTHDATEDATEDATEDATEMONTHDATEDATEDATEDATE
January 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 February 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28
March 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 April 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
May 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 June 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
July 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 August 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
September 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 October 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
November 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 December 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31

January 1—7

From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] changes of names...
Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2011 09:55

In this day and age somebody must benefit by these changes, so who benefits? Is it the taxidermists who then move on to a different group and then mess that up. A few years ago it was Cattleyas and now it is Oncidiums. What will be next to changed? As far as I can see the only group to benefit are the scientists who keep their jobs paid for by joe public.
I gave up collecting Coelogyne as I could not keep up with the name changes.
Regards

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From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Changes
Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2011 10:00

I have worked out one section that benefits − bane tag makers but I doubt they finance the taxedermists.
Regards

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From: Geoff Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Changes
Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2011 19:35

I think, Dennis, that they are taxonomists, not taxidermists , though the thought of Cribb, Wood, et al stuffing orchids is an amusing one.

It would be easy with things with big bulbs some of those Calanthes we used to see years ago, with bulbs like milk bottles . But how would they get on with Paphs I wonder . ?

geoff

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] changes of names...
Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2011 20:15

My goodness Dennis, you must have had a wonderful New Year s Eve party!
When you get over the hangover, re-read your email.
I don t really think you intended taxidermists (unless that s another name change for us all!)
All the very best for 2011 to you . . . and the rest of the OT gang.
John

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] changes of names (and who benefits)...
Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2011 21:20

Happy New Year All,
May I be serious for a moment in connection with this name-change resentment issue?

First, if names had never changed in response to new information, there would be very few orchid (or any other biological names). That would be fine and very simple except that few of us would have no way of communicating the differences between what we now recognise as beautifully different kinds (species) of plants. As orchid enthusiasts we sometimes seem more afflicted with the problem than (say) grass fanatics, but the problem is biologically universal. Dare I suggest that flower arrangers avoid the problem by concentrating on artistry while we unavoidably dabble in science.

I have never been primarily a taxonomist but I once had to be involved enough to appreciate the value of what taxonomists do. Of course, there are occasional examples of trivial name changes but, by and large, they are the result of the discovery of new details about plants (or other organisms).

There are two main problems; sometimes, different authors have given the same plants different names and putting that right involves eliminating one in favour of the other. By the same token, there are examples where different plants have been given the same name by different authors. Again, a plant will need re-naming to remove the anomaly.

Who benefits? Well, we do for a start since we like to know what what it is we are talking about when we communicate names to each other.

When it comes to hybrid names there is a further minefield but, basically, we (humans) devise the system of name creation and the taxonomists simply apply the rules of the game. However, as Geoff has indicated, hybrid names involve chain reactions of change.

There is absolutely nothing to prevent any of us using what names we wish but the confusion then becomes increased if we don t try to keep up with the changes. If we want to be understood we need to use the devised names . . . but we don t have to!

In the old days, Most of us would have been unaware of a name change or two between the dates of buying a favourite orchid book. Now, with the internet, we can all be kept informed almost day by day. That means name changes seem to be far more frequent than was once the case.

As for taxonomists keeping their jobs; remember that many of the life-saving drugs we re glad of now and again, result from taxonomists identifying and/or distinguishing organisms from each other by apparently trivial characteristics. They can be such trivial organisms as bacteria, fungi, algae, lichens that some would consider to be a time-wasting study. Maybe orchid hybrids don t figure so significantly in that area, they are none the less, a part of the same phenomenon. The trouble with scientific research is that, all too often, an apparently trivial investigation can have spectacular implications. A bit like the nonsense of politicians advocating the funding of research leading to ground-breaking results! If only we could predict! Who would have imagined a curiosity and a casual observation of a specific fungus would have led to penicillin? Or that the subtleties of the genetics of fruit flies would have implications for medical diagnosis. However, few taxonomists are in it for the money or the fame!

Orchids are just a tiny part of the living world . . it is just that to us, they are our main concern. But let s leave the poor old (and young) taxonomists alone for a bit. They re doing their job, that s all. However, it is worth noting that even taxonomists get irritated by name changes outside their own patch!

As for taxonomists moving on from group to group, that s nonsense. It is simply that publication isn t synchronised and it probably isn t the same taxonomist. Identifying all taxonomists under the same umbrella is much the same as calling all orchids Orchis !

(Climbs off soap box, wonders whether or not to press the send button and decides what the hell nothing lost.)

Hope I offend nobody . . that s not intended. Just trying to put the issue in perspective.
John

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From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Changes
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2011 09:25

I do know the difference geoff and if you read my first missive you will seethat ai said that they are taxidermests as we were being stuffed for no sensible reason.
Obviously my sense of humour is nisplaced.
Regards

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From: Geoff Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Changes
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2011 11:40

I am sorry Dennis, but when you wrote of bane tag makers * (sic ) in the same paragraph ., I did not suspect subtle humour ; I just thought it was a simple error, and I could pull your leg about it.

I find, as a sweeping generalisation , that jokes simply don t work on the internet ; why is that I wonder ? Does it need real actual human face-to-face intercourse for a joke to be understood ?

Geoff

Ps * what is a bane tag ? I can see that taxonomists can be considered a bane . So when we have to write a new label, that is a bane tag ? Sounds like a good explanation, but I had to get there a bit laboriously you should have given me a hint, if that was what you meant !

Dennis Read wrote RE: [OrchidTalk] Changes

I do know the difference geoff and if you read my first missive you will seethat i said that they are taxidermests as we were being stuffed for no sensible reason.

Obviously my sense of humour is nisplaced.

Regards

Geoff Hands wrote RE: [OrchidTalk] Changes

I think, Dennis, that they are taxonomists, not taxidermists , though the thought of Cribb, Wood, et al stuffing orchids is an amusing one.

It would be easy with things with big bulbs some of those Calanthes we used to see years ago, with bulbs like milk bottles . But how would they get on with Paphs I wonder . ?

geoff

Dennis Read wrote re: [OrchidTalk] Changes

I have worked out one section that benefits − bane tag makers but I doubt they finance the taxedermists.

Regards

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From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Fw: Changes
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2011 09:25

Sorry, my eyes are not all that good now and I did not use spell check. For bane read name.
Regards

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From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Fw: Changes
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2011 10:45

Don't worry Dennis (I know, you wont!) I thought it was pretty
obvious what you meant. I doubt spell check would have made a
difference as bane is a proper word anyway.

Regards,

--

Tricia

I don't repeat gossip, so listen carefully the first time.

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From: Geoff Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Don't read this if name changes give you apoplexy...
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2011 13:45

Have just been reading the Burnham Nurseries Newsletter − offering plants
of, inter alia, several different miniature Maxillarias , and explaining
that following name revision, these are now in five different genera -
Maxillariella , Ornithidium, Rhetinantha, Brasiliorchis, Camaridium..

A sixth one they had ( maybe still have) is now in flower in my greenhouse -
see pic − and this one does indeed have flowers looking exactly like some
other Maxillarias I know − e.g. M. grandiflora. These others look quite
different, and since botanic taxonomy is all morphological , albeit about
the sexual parts rather than the mere tepal and lip shape , I can see where
they are coming from with these changes.

Geoff

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Fw: Changes -banes names and eyesight
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2011 16:00

Let me endorse Tricia's reassurance Dennis, Don't worry !
For years I directed students of an adult education class to a venue in
Market Drayton.
I told them "you'll pass the Post Office on the left and a little cafe on
the right called The Peasant Girl . . . "
About 20 years later, since retirement, I was caught in a traffic hold-up
outside the said cafe and having nothing better I scrutinised the
signwriting and noticed that it actually spelled out 'The Pheasant Grill'!
The condition of less than fully functional eyes clearly starts earlier than
we think!
I suppose there must be a reason why nobody ever corrected me! Did I just
hear a reference to Freud?
(I still think 'The Peasant Girl' might have brought the owner far more
business!)
John

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From: Geoff Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Fw: Changes -banes names and eyesight
Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2011 18:20

I wonder how many of your students thought that your spelling was a bit
below alpha plus standard ; and also − as a separate thought − I wonder how
many of them looked and "saw" The Peasant Girl" since that was what they
were expecting ?

geoff

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Fw: Changes -banes names and eyesight
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2011 14:05

Hi Geoff,
Yes! It's a bit like proof-reading one's own text. There is a tendency to
read what we think we've written and to make the same errors mentally as we
made in writing/typing.
Incidentally I don't suppose you know of a way of converting text from caps
to lower case without retyping? I'm forever hitting the caps lock by mistake
for the shift key. I used to have a wonderful word processor − Protext − by
Arnor, which had such a wonderful facility. On the other hand, I can't
believe Microsoft haven't thought of it but I have never found it hidden
away anywhere.
Maybe someone else . . . ?
'appy New Year
Cheers
John

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Don't read this if name changes give you apoplexy...
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2011 14:30

Hi Geoff n and all non-taxapoplectics,

An interesting point is raised in Geoff s last paragraph in that the time will surely come to pass when genetic proximity of taxa becomes more of a routine observation/determination than controversial morphology. The trouble is, until it can be achieved with pop plants like orchids and roses etc., by we yokels at the kitchen sink . . or, more simply, the keyboard and a probe into a USB, we will have to be satisfied with immediately visual criteria we can argue about.

However, just wait until some enterprising youth decides to genetically engineer attractive, irresistible, expensive and non-reproducible orchids! At least that will side-step the taxonomic routine and everyone ll want to revert to the happy interesting times when we could tell the time of day and the date by the label on our favourite plant!

It is surely remarkable that taxonomy has progressed so far on the basis of the shape of an organ!
Long live Linneaus! We live in such interesting times!
John

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From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Don't read this if name changes give you apoplexy...
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2011 17:05

The enterprising youth made it a few years ago and at least a minority of the popylation like them. They are made from plastic.
Regards

john Stanley wrote:

Hi Geoff n and all non-taxapoplectics,

An interesting point is raised in Geoff s last paragraph in that the time will surely come to pass when genetic proximity of taxa becomes more of a routine observation/determination than controversial morphology. The trouble is, until it can be achieved with pop plants like orchids and roses etc., by we yokels at the kitchen sink . . or, more simply, the keyboard and a probe into a USB, we will have to be satisfied with immediately visual criteria we can argue about.

However, just wait until some enterprising youth decides to genetically engineer attractive, irresistible, expensive and non-reproducible orchids! At least that will side-step the taxonomic routine and everyone ll want to revert to the happy interesting times when we could tell the time of day and the date by the label on our favourite plant!

It is surely remarkable that taxonomy has progressed so far on the basis of the shape of an organ!
Long live Linneaus! We live in such interesting times!
John

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From: Geoff Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Fw: Changes -banes names and eyesight
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2011 17:15

Oh John, if you have a difficult question, it takes a bit longer ( Boast,
boast ) ...

try this...
http://www.ehow.com/how_4758069_text-vise-versa-microsoft-word.html

Geoff

john Stanley wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] Fw: Changes -banes names and eyesight

Hi Geoff,
Yes! It's a bit like proof-reading one's own text. There is a tendency to
read what we think we've written and to make the same errors mentally as we
made in writing/typing.
Incidentally I don't suppose you know of a way of converting text from caps
to lower case without retyping? I'm forever hitting the caps lock by mistake
for the shift key. I used to have a wonderful word processor − Protext − by
Arnor, which had such a wonderful facility. On the other hand, I can't
believe Microsoft haven't thought of it but I have never found it hidden
away anywhere.
Maybe someone else . . . ?
'appy New Year
Cheers
John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Geoff Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Don't read this if name changes give you apoplexy...
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2011 17:30

Mainly for John Stanley, I think who else is interested in this stuff ?

By the way my reading recently has been Richard Dawkins The Ancestors Tale fascinating, but very dense stuff − on its third renewal from the library and I m not half way through yet

In it he traces the lineage of us ( homo sapiens sapiens) back to the flatworm, and indeed beyond. But the point which was quite new to me is that we have in our genome bits and pieces of DNA genes to be precise from almost dozens of different pre-homo sapiens humanoids.* There was no straight line evolution from apes to us ; lots of parallel lines, crossing over, mingling, dividing . And so many intermediate forms too.

And remember that it is only 2% of our genes which are different from chimps .

Interesting side-note ; it is absurd to suggest that a new species is born to parents of a different species must apply to orchids too ? But where do natural hybrids fit into that statement ?

But back to man ; almost every bone fragment found Peking Man, Australopithecus, Neanderthalis, Kenya Man, etc etc certainly numbering hundreds was a different species ; he says that the best we can do is group them into Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo sapiens etc remembering that each of these is a collective noun for a lot of wildly different versions. In the case of hom sapiens , the collective includes bushman, the Inuit, the aborigine, Hitlers true Nordic /Aryan man etc − all versions of H.s.s. .

Genera/species Llinneaus invented a useful tool when we started to study life in any animal, or vegetable form ( I nearly tripped up then and included mineral) but now its time to move on . The problem is where to ? We do need names , they are so much shorter than reading out the genome of the one we want to talk about !

geoff

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From: Lynda Coles
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Fw: Changes -banes names and eyesight
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2011 18:00

Hello John,

My computer has microsoft word as part of the 'Office' suite and it is easy to
change case...highlight what you want to change, go to the 'format' tab and
click on change case..

hope this is helpful,
Lynda

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Don't read this if name changes give you apoplexy...
Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2011 22:30

Hi Geoff n all,

I hope I didn t give the impression that a host of golden plastic daffodils (or even orchids) was the answer!
Rather, that when gene sequencing is reduced to its eventual simplicity, (as I suspect it will be), then we ll wish we could go back to taxonomist-bashing and having something interesting to argue about. After all (and this should have been my main point) the naming of plants is a human activity involving the creation of a workable system through skill and knowledge (which of course isn t static). Gene sequencing will solve some very interesting scientific controversies because there ll be less argument about the results, but the romance of human expertise might go.
As for hybridisation; isn t it just clumsy attempts at genetic engineering (quickly ducks behind the sandbags as the reply button is pressed!)
Cheers
John

Let s keep arguing but put a value on the taxonomists!

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From: Geoff Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: anybody want to do a swap ?
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2011 09:00

The first nobile type dendrobium which I propagated successfully following
Dennis' advice was Sachi x Weave King. See pic showing a few of these in a
basket in my hall now. I have a few more in flower in the greenhouse.

I want nobile type hybrids, especially Yamamoto's. I don't mind the size (
I can always prop' myself ! ) . I won't worry about equivalent value ; send
me one I haven't got and get back a flowering one in return . Let me know
what you have.

I look forward to being flooded with offers..

Geoff

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Don't read this if name changes give you apoplexy...
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2011 09:20

Agreed Geoff,
But also remember that each species must have derived from another; maybe not by parents producing a new species instantly but via imperceptible transitions over many (at least several) generations. Have you also read Dawkins Selfish Gene in which he transfers the emphasis for survival to the gene, which needs a vehicle to carry it? One of the taxonomists problems is, precisely, because there are some species that are in a transitional stage probably all are!. (see ref to gulls below)
The closeness of species in their scheme is the extent to which they naturally hybridise (but aren t necessarily productive hybrids). Many (?most) human engineered hybrids would never naturally hybridise either because they have evolved just too far along independent routes or because they have become geographically or ecologically separated. Check out the various gull species around the arctic in which adjacent species hybridise but end-members of the chain don t. Also, hybridisation involving multiple crosses would be even less likely to occur in nature even though their existence demonstrates a degree of close relationship.
The problem with fossil forms, Peking Man and so on, is that, not only do we have tiny samples of individuals (not even complete individuals) but we don t have sufficient information about their morphology. Again, only since the astonishing application of gene sequencing of well preserved fossils can their be a real hope of objective taxonomy there.
As for the percentage difference of genes between species, surely the interest is more in which genes are absent/present in the one as opposed to the other.
We have not long emerged from an intellectual world where species were God created and unchanging. This was the view, essentially, until the 19thC (and still is in some quarters). Until someone can produce a rigorous system of names for an ever changing complex of forms, we re stuck with an essentially static taxonomy. Fortunately, the process is usually so slow that human existence is essentially a single frame in the film sequence of evolution.
To answer your first question last, if no one else is interested then I ll hang up my keyboard on the topic. Thanks for the exchanges though! Amen!
John

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Fw: Changes -of case
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2011 09:50

Geoff,
You're a star!
I can now do Shift+F3 instead of retyping paragraphs. Marvellous!
Thanks!
John

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Fw: Changes -banes names and eyesight
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2011 09:55

Thanks Lynda,
I'm afraid you'll need to share the awarded medal with Geoff!
Many thanks. I can now be totally idle and uncaring about hitting the caps
lock key!
Happy new Year
John

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] I have to open my big mouth ... and then nemesis as b***** Stanley puts an oar in!
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2011 11:15

C mon Geoff, you know all this as well as I think I know (!) Global warming is a euphemism for increasing the energy in the global system, not all noticed as as heat in Europe, (isn t it?). That increase affects the global climate patterns (it was warmer in Greenland than in Europe for much of December and ice caps are certainly melting!). That increase in energy may be a consequence of a human-induced greenhouse effect or part of a natural reversion to glacial conditions. It isn t necessary to side with the proponents or the opponents to draw conclusions from sea level rise and temperature measurement results, either way, a reduction in human CO2 emissions is prudent. There have been climatic oscillations throughout Earth history and it seems pretty presumptuous to assume that that will change now humans are here! All the evidence is that we are in an interglacial within series of glacial-interglacial oscillations.

All I would argue with is the ridiculous use of the term Greenhouse effect which is a complete misnomer for a process which has minimal effect in a greenhouse! Our orchid house gets warmer from the inability of convected warm air to escape through the roof, much less from the difference of wavelength of re-radiated light/heat. An experiment was once done in the Arizona desert comparing a two glazed boxes. One had glass, the other halite (transparent to the wavelengths blocked by glass). Both were pretty equally efficient and the conclusion was that, as the internal air warmed, it was confined to an internal convection cell from which it couldn t escape the warming environment as could the unconfined outside air. I often wonder about the transmission properties of polycarbonate glaz ing and how it squares with the greenhouse effect sensu lato.

I suppose the greenhouse effect is now a misnomer we understand, accept and are lumbered with, a bit like quantum leap ( related, presumably, to packets of energy associated with a single electron) and decimated (to remove a tenth part).
I suspect you d need more than a quantum leap to clear your snowed-up gate Geoff but if you could find your shovel you might decimate the snow on the road! (and it isn t even a leap year although it ll soon be spring time).

To get more on track, does anyone know of good accounts of orchid evolution over more than the period within the last 10000 years? Without fossil evidence it is possible only to speculate on the current distributions N and S since then and, presumably, species most northerly and southerly are newer than the tropical ones (???????) Or is it simply that they ve moved further polewards. (Oops, now we re back to global warming and the northerly extension of habitats)

Roll on summer
Cheers
John

Geoff Hands wrote on Thursday, December 02 2010 9:09 AM
re: [OrchidTalk] I have to open my big mouth ... and then nemesis !

No, we are not entirely immune it seems about 9-10cm of snow in the night. Dug my way out of the estate ( a gated estate is fine for security, but the gates wouldn t push the snow away enough to open, so I had to find a shovel difficult when it was in the shed , and there was a drift against the door ) got to the paper shop where the oldest inhabitant of the village was holding forth, that he couldn t remember snow like this since the year of Dunkirk ( I remember making an igloo in the school playground in Birmingham that year we had 5 feet of snow then ). Came back, switched on the telly , some pundit was explaining that this was a consequence of global warming I did understand the argument too many icebergs too far south etc but it sounded a bit hollow any excuse to hang on to their theory if its too hot its global warming , now its too cold and that s global warming too

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From: Geoff Hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] I have to open my big mouth ... and then nemesis as b***** Stanley puts an oar in!
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2011 14:15

The orchid answer ; try and find Jack Fowlie s book on the bifoliar cattleyas of Brazil ; he has a lot to say about remnant populations ,and speculations on how the orchids of Brazil have changed over the recent millennia, due to tectonic plate movement and/or other causes of local climate change.

As to the other answers, too much to discuss by e-mail it needs a log fire, a willing bartender, and lots and lots of time

But consider this it s my current answer to those who tell me to sell my car, take to a bicycle ( ever tried bringing the week s shopping home on a bicycle ? ever tried using a bicycle on the Christchurch by-pass ? − you have and you are still alive ? ) Global warming Is saving us from the start of the next ice-age.

Actually, we are still in the last ice-age ; definition time when there is any permanent ice at the poles . Current thinking- I read is that certain conditions cause an ice-age any of 3 conditions to be precise related to the positions of the above-sea tectonic plates. Two of them are still present. This ought to be a mere inter-glacial, a lessening of ice before its return, since the system is inherently a self-servo reinforcing one both on the upward and the downward parts of the spiral

So I m not putting my scarf and woolly hat onto e-bay yet . If the militant reduce your carbon footprint activists have their day, the ice-age may loom up again, and I may need them.

( I met someone very close to a certain political leader, when he was the Minister responsible ; on holiday, in a bar etc ( see above ) and he said his Minister wanted to put carbon rationing into the party s manifesto for the next election ; the scheme was all worked out. You have everyone has ( apart from politicians I cynically suggest ) something like a credit card, pre-loaded with your ration. Every time you pay your elec bill, fill up the car, book a flight or a railway ticket, etc., you swipe your card. When you ve run out hard lines .wait until you get your next ration The advising civil servants told him it might lead to rioting , and the Cabinet Secretary advised against it, and it died a (temporary, at least ? ) death .but my personal reluctance to do anything is on the basis that it is a waste of time until the larger nations contributing far more, do their bit. Don t tell me someone has to lead the way that feller is so far ahead he is out of sight and maybe fallen through a hole in the thinning ice

Geoff

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From: john Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] I have to open my big mouth ... and then nemesis as b***** Stanley puts an oar in!
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2011 20:50

Hi Geoff,
Thanks for those words of wisdom (no, I m not being cynical). I agree with the essence of what you say although I d like to know how anyone can determine the total absence of ice (including permafrost?) during an interglacial, let alone precisely dating it! This one is supposed to have started 10000 years ago. However, climate change is the norm, not the exception especially if we are considering time periods of any significance (say between 1000 and 1,000,000) . I think I d be more concerned about having to wear my wellies all year even with the simplicity of dunking the orchids in tidal sea water on the orchid house floor.

On the meaning of the politics I agree with you. If someone were to prove that O2 respiration was a global warming factor, then sure as H, we d all need metered gasmasks to get us out of recession. Much of political plausibility has a hidden agenda behind it. A bit like university staff meetings and the last vote! However, as for selling my car, HMG have encouraged me to replace mine with a hybrid. I m all for my new experience of paying 10 yearly for road tax although I don t understand who (apart from myself) benefits from that. As for the new European car-of-the year; has nobody noticed that it has to be charged with electricity that comes from . . . somewhere other than itself or HCs? I suspect the average politician thinks a couple a AA cells would doI

Orchids; I ll look up that book but I can t imagine significant plate movement (less than a km or 2 in 50,000 years?) over the time through a glacial-intergacial cycle.

As for the log fire . . . . it doesn t appear to have made your picnic table seats any more comfortable to the posterior.

I ll try not to rise to the bait for a while. The rest of the gang are becoming conspicuous by their absence in these gripping exchanges (sorry folks)
Cheers
John

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