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  [aroid-l] Orchid Hunter
From: Piabinha at aol.com on 2002.11.27 at 02:39:17(9651)
just finished watching the NOVA show on "orchid hunter." somewhat
disappointing, what did you all think? i thought mr. hart-dyke came across
as a bit of a jerk. now what's so disappointing is how shoddy the science
knowledge of the producers came across. for example, they seemed not to know
the distinction between hybrids and species, as when they talked about naming
orchids after mr. hart-dyke's grandmother (which would be a new species that
he so desperately wanted to find) and orchids named after elizabeth taylor or
barbara bush (hybrids, of course). another one, the story about the orchid
explorers going to the philippines and one getting eaten by a tiger. as far
as i can find out, tigers never existed in the philippines. i also felt that
they kept throwing lots of generalities about orchids as if whatever they
were saying applied to all orchids. and when they were talking about the
"sexiness" of orchids, they said that the word orchid comes from the greek
word for testicle, but didn't explain why (the round bulbs of some european
terrestrial orchids - the genus Orchis - that resemble testicles). and they
totally glossed over the controversy over the naming of Phragmipedium

although the author susan orlean makes some interesting points, as her book
"orchid thief" shows, her science is quite weak. even better would have been
using eric hansen, whose "orchid fever" is a far superior book (although the
two books are quite different in focus). hansen is a much better journalist
in my opinion. maybe he wasn't available...

i think that if i had the chance to go to some unexplored or little explored
place, i'd love to do a survey of all plants, not just orchids. even better,
to be able to work to preserve such a place.

tsuh yang CHEN in NY

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