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Re: [Aroid-l] Some Science Regarding a GOOD SMELLING A. bulbifer

From : 	<ted.held@us.henkel.com>
Reply-To : 	Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent : 	Thursday, June 28, 2007 12:39 PM
To : 	Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Subject : 	[Aroid-l] Some Science Regarding a GOOD SMELLING A. bulbifer

Dear Ted,

Thanks.   I admit openly and almost on a daily basis, to being COMPLETELY 
crazy, but the problem generally hinges on people around me getting the 
defination of 'crazy' confused with the word 'stupid'.   Their grave error, 
and their loss.
Basically, and at this point, I move that, as gentile, civilized 
plant-loving folk, we just take the next logical step and completely REMOVE 
the genus Amorphophallus from the genera of the Araceae (ugly, stinking 
plants, ALL of them!!), and bar anyone (even the astute and experienced 
observers) who may DARE to post a note concerning these most vile forms of 
plant life, which we now deem are no longer aroids, from this list!
Would someone, ANYONE please send a tuber of the GOOD-smelling A. bulbifer 
to my friend Lord P.?!?!?	 :--)


>>Poor Julius. Nobody believes him. Except me. The reason I put Julius's 
>>opinion on the credible list is that he has a track record here of careful 
>>and considered observations. Further, he seems to have an abiding interest 
>>in recording the minutiae of aroid growing for the advancement of 
>>knowledge about these plants. This he does because it is his ethic and 
>>his, might I say, mania.

As others have discussed, smell is one of those dumb senses in people. That 
is, we do smell, but our smell sensitivity is a weak and pitiful thing 
compared to a lion, a beetle, a prairie dog, or a vulture. Many of us have 
personal experiences of scents that are pleasant to us, which at the same 
time are cloying or downright repulsive to others.

But look at what evidence we have before us. We have Julius insisting that 
there is a type of bulbifer that is good smelling. I presume here that this 
judgment was made by him in reference to other experiences with bulbifers 
that smelled bad. What that does, if I am right in my assumption, is remove 
the person-to-person variation in odor sensitivity. What we can't rule out 
by this alone is whether Julius's experiencing the good smell was merely a 
snapshot of a range of smells emitted by bulbifer over the bloom period. In 
other words. maybe bulbifer emits different odors depending on the age of 
the flower.

Let's also assume for a moment that Lord P. insists that all bulbifers smell 
bad and that this is evidence that Julius is crazy. Could it not be that 
Lord P.'s experiences are deficient in experiencing the range of odors 
emitted by bulbifer cultivars because he has not yet come across one of the 
good-smelling ones? This seems most believable. If we also assume that Lord 
P. is another experienced and astute observer of aroids, we can probably 
eliminate the idea that smell differences between the young and older 
bulbifer flowers is the explanation, Surely, Lord P. would have detected 
that over his years of experience.

So, what we conclude is that Julius (and the others reporting good smells) 
have probably experienced the odor of another form of bulbifer. That is a 
perfectly credible theory. The path toward resolution of this dispute is to 
provide the naysayers with plants of the alternately-odiferous bulbifer so 
that the skeptics can experience the good smells for themselves.

After all that I'll bet the community will come to the conclusion that there 
are at least two odor clones of bulbifer and that Julius is a truthful 
person. Whether he is crazy or not will hinge on other considerations.


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