BEN # CCLXXXV
aceska at victoria.tc.ca
Mon Apr 1 03:43:59 EST 2002
BBBBB EEEEEE NN N ISSN 1188-603X
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BBBBB EEEEE NN N N BOTANICAL
BB B EE NN NN ELECTRONIC
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No. CCLXXXV April 1, 2002
aceska at victoria.tc.ca Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
BOTANISTS SHOULD PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THE RULES OF ETIQUETTE
From: _Galateo_ by Giovanni delle Casa (1596)
[During the past few years I have attended several botanical
meetings and noticed numerous breaches of the rules of eti-
quette. In order to avoid embarrassment in upcoming botanical
meetings (especially BOTANY BC & BotWA), I have posted a few
excerpts from the work of the man who gave us the complete set
of instructions on how to behave. No, his name was not Emily
Post, but Giovanni delle Casa. In his book _Galateo_, quickly
translated from Italian to numerous other languages, he gave the
basics of etiquette, as we know it today. Check also
for more information, especially on how to take Emily Post for a
hike. -- AC]
Your conduct should not be governed by your own fancy, but in
consideration of the feelings of those whose company you keep...
For this reason it is a repulsive habit to touch certain parts
of the body in public, as some people do.
When you have blown your nose, you should not open your handker-
chief and inspect it, as if pearls or rubies had dropped out of
It is not polite to scratch yourself when you are seated at
table. You should also take care, as far as you can, not to spit
at mealtimes, but if you must spit, then do it in a decent
It is bad manners to clean your teeth with your napkin, and
still worse to do it with your finger...
It is wrong to rinse your mouth and spit out wine in public, and
it is not a polite habit ... to carry your toothpick either in
your mouth, like a bird making its nest, or behind your ear...
No one must take off his clothes, especially his lower garments,
in public, that is, in the presence of decent people...
Anyone who makes a nasty noise with his lips as a sign of
astonishment or disapproval is obviously imitating something
indecent, and imitations are not far from the truth.
COIN SUCCESSION IN EUROPE:
_RUBUS CHAMAEMORUS_ REPLACES _POLYTRICHUM COMMUNE_
From: Pekka Pakarinen, Department of Ecology and Systematics,
University of Helsinki, Finland [pekka.pakarinen at helsinki.fi]
On January 1st, 2002, ten European countries switched to common
currency - euro - the exchange value of which hovers somewhere
between the US and Canadian dollar. While the banknotes have
basically the same appearance, each country had a chance to show
something nationally significant on their metal coins. Cultural
monuments and significant persons are what you would expect, but
what about the botanical content?
Austria presents a floral series of three mountain plants 'to
symbolise a duty to the environment': alpine primrose (_Primula
farinosa_ - 5 cents), edelweiss (_Leontopodium alpinum_ - 2
cents), and gentian (_Gentiana acaulis_ - 1 cent); see
Throughout the 1990s the Finnish botanists were able to show to
a visitor (or to a student in the field) a small 50-penny coin
outlining on one side a haircap moss (_Polytrichum commune_).
Probably this was the first (and last?) time a bryophyte was
illustrated on a coin (Hyvonen 1990). Sad day for bryologists:
now the Finnish _Polytrichum_ coin is history - only a
collector's item and not a valid money any more. Perhaps this
reflects the excessive drainage activities as a result of which
paludified forests (with a ground cover of _Sphagnum_ spp. and
_Polytrichum commune_) have been in many areas transformed to
One circumboreal bog plant, however, made it to the new euro
series: cloudberry (_Rubus chamaemorus_). The species is il-
lustrated on the Finnish 2-euro coin (same www reference as
above). Perhaps this is a thought-out choice, because the
utilization of cloudberry in Scandinavia was already described
by Linne (1737), reviewed more recently e.g. by Rapp et al.
(1993), and a brief note appeared in BEN (Pakarinen 1993) men-
tioning particularly one of the end products, cloudberry liqueur
_Lakka_, observed as a rare element also in British Columbia
Hyvonen, J. 1990: Bryophyte illustrated on a coin. _The
Bryologist_ 93: 256.
Linne, Carl von 1737: _Flora Lapponica_. Amsterdam.
Pakarinen, P. 1993. "LAKKA" from Lapland in B.C. liquor stores.
BEN # 54, May 17, 1993.
Rapp, K., Naess, S.K. & Swartz, H.J. 1993: Commercialization of
the cloudberry (_Rubus chamaemorus_ L.) in Norway. Pp. 524-
526 in: Janick, J. & J.E. Simon (eds.) _New crops_, Wiley,
EURO COINS II: GERMANY & FRANCE AND A NOTE ON A CANADIAN PENNY
From: Adolf Ceska [aceska at victoria.tc.ca]
The German Federal Mint Commision (Deutsches Bundeszentral-
muenzenhauptcommision) in co-operation with the European Central
Mint in Liege discussed at length our criticism of the old oak
design (BEN # CCLXVII, April 1, 2001) and decided to replace the
faulty oak (oak with opposite leaves) with a brand new oak
design, this time correctly rendered with alternate leaves. The
oak on 5, 2, and 1-cent coins was designed by Professor Rolf
Lederbogen, who obviously knows what the oak looks like.
French 2 and 1-EURO coins have a tree design on its reverse. It
should symbolise life, continuity and growth. The tree is highly
abstract and it's difficult to say for sure what species it
represents. The multiple stems would suggest Banyan Fig (_Ficus
benghalensis_), NOT native to France. The other possibility is
that the tree is in fact a cladogram of words "fidelite,
egalite," and "liberte" that appear at the end of the tree's
branches. We also cannot exclude the possibility that the desig-
ner of this French coin, artist Joaquim Jiminez, was inspired by
Borgnino's model of tree architecture described by Prof. Rudi
Schmid in BEN # CCXLVII, April 1, 2000 (see also Naturwiss.
Rundschau, Stuttgart 38: 154-155. 1985).
I also like the the design of Irish coins. They all display the
Irish lyre which appears to be a mirror image of the Guinness
logo, thus commemorating one of the typical Irish pastimes.
The Canadian Government did consider our critical article about
the Canadian penny (BEN # CCLXVII, April 1, 2001), but concluded
that to replace a faulty maple (one with alternate leaves) with
a correct one (that with opposite leaves) would be far too
expensive. Even with falling copper prices, the Canadian pennies
can be sold as a scrap metal for much more than their face
value. The only action the Government might take in the future
is to recall all pennies. This action will be taken as soon as
the world prices of copper start to climb again.
IMPORTANT CHAPTER IN ETHNOBOTANY OF _HUMULUS LUPULUS_
From: News release of B.B.N.P. brewery, August 29, 2001
After an absence of 62 years the world-renowned B.B.N.P. brewery
in Ceske Budejovice (Budweis on German maps), the Czech
Republic, has once again started exporting its Original Czech
Premium Larger [the "original" Budweiser: _Beer of kings!_] to
the United States of America. Due to an unfavourable agreement
with Anheuser-Busch [producer of the "American" Budweiser: _King
of beers!_], which in 1939 banned the use of the original brand
name in the North American continent, this traditional Czech
product is being introduced to the American market under the
Czechvar brand name. [Believe me, the original Budweiser by a
different name still tastes like the original Budweiser. -- AC]
BILL GATES PROTESTS THE ACCUSSATION POSTED IN BEN
After reading BEN # CCXIX, April 1, 1999, Bill Gates sent a
letter to the New York Review of Books in which he denied that
he ever said: 640K OUGHT TO BE ENOUGH FOR ANYBODY. His reply is
too long and too technical for BEN, but it is posted in full at
_LITTERA SCRIPTA MANET -- LITTERA ELECTRONICA FUGAT!_
From: Adolf Ceska [aceska at victoria.tc.ca]
Already in 1997 the _Canadian Field-Naturalist_ rejected a
submitted paper. Why? Because it had been previously published
When I asked The Editor of the Canadian Field-Naturalist if the
posting in BEN can be considered a publication, Dr. Francis Cook
"_The reason we decided here that your newsletter should
be regarded as a publication is that it is archived, and
therefore available in the long term._"
"_Absolutely, I agree it is a grey area. But I don't want
to publish what is already in newsletters if they are
generally available. If we should publish, you are most
welcome to repeat what we have run (with citation to The
Canadian Field-Naturalist) after it appears in CFN._"
The problem is that the publication in journals, such as _The
Canadian Field-Naturalist_, takes months or years, whereas the
posting in BEN can be released within a few days or weeks. If
you want to notify other botanists about your findings, BEN is
much faster than any printed medium. On the other hand, espe-
cially in the academia, BEN is not really considered to be a
publication. In a bibliography of one university professor I did
not find a citation of his article in BEN, but I noticed the
citation of the same article taken from BEN and reprinted _ver-
batim_ in _Menziesia_ (journal of the Native Plant Society of
British Columbia). If you want to have your article printed both
in BEN and in _The Canadian Field-Naturtalist_, you can either
risk it and hope that CFN editors and reviewers do not read BEN,
or you can particularly specify that you don't want to have your
article reviewed by anyone who reads BEN. I am sure that CFN
will comply with your wishes.
DRASTIC CUTS IN BEN
From: Adolf Ceska [aceska at victori.tc.ca]
I decided to follow Mosher's Law: _It's better to retire to soon
than too late!_ and today is the first day of my official
retirement. Although I want to devote most of my time to botany
(botany without bureaucratic acronyms), my financial situation
will force me to scale down the BEN office to the bare minimum.
I will have to lay off about 14 full-time employees and two
remaining persons out of three will have to arrange time-sharing
and switch to a part-time job. The only full time person in BEN
will be an attorney who will defend BEN against all possible
libel suits. I will no longer be able to pay the huge honoraria
to authors as in the past, and I won't send them any free
reprints. I hope, however, that the BEN readers won't be able to
recognize any change. In order to support BEN, and also my wife
and two cats, I will be available for any botanical, ecological
or environmental consulting within the geographical scope of
BEN, i.e., _predominantly British Columbia, Canada and the
Pacific Northwest (from California to Alaska) with broader
references to planet Earth._
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