Saturday, March 11, 2017

Schlumbergera seedling no. 058 (again again)

I think this is my first "C" seedling; 058A Much Confusion and 058B Buff Orpington were both from the 2015-16 season, and although I'm not positive that they were different seedlings, the blooms were different enough that I thought they could be: Much Confusion was more of a reddish-orange / pink, and Buff Orpington was orange / white, and although I didn't wind up seeing a ton of blooms from either of them, the colors were consistent enough that I felt there was justification for separate names.

And then this year, I get this bloom:

Which is more red than orange, different enough that it also seems like it could be a separate seedling. The problem is that this is also the year when many of the seedlings started producing blooms that were significantly different from what they'd done previously, so it seems possible to me that the three seedlings I supposedly have in this one pot are only two. Maybe only one.

So whatever name I use here, I may have to abandon it later; this has happened before, when I decided that 008A Frightened Dog and 008B Candor were probably the same seedling. In this case, obviously, all names would collapse down to (the now prophetic-seeming) 058A Much Confusion.1 But I don't know yet. It's possible that this seedling is distinct, while 058A and 058B are the same seedling, which means I should give it a name anyway. Just maybe not too good of a name, lest I have to drop it.

The candidates I came up with before having this realization were:

Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas and one of the few people associated with Baylor University2 I'm not ashamed of;
Consternation, defined by various online dictionaries as "a state of paralyzing dismay," "a strong feeling of surprise or disappointment that causes confusion," "a sudden, alarming amazement or dread that results in utter confusion; dismay," and "a state of great alarm agitation, or dismay." Which doesn't feel terribly apropos at the moment I'm writing this, but it did a couple weeks prior when I was looking for name candidates, and it may a couple weeks later when this post is published. Very difficult to predict my emotional state in advance, these days.
Maharaurava, a level of both the Hindu and Buddhist hells, reserved for people who indulge at the expense of other beings, in which their flesh is eaten, painfully, by serpent-like beasts called rurus,3 for a very long but finite period of time.4
And Tizzyhark is a random word combination from my list, stuck together to make a new word. I don't know what a tizzyhark is, but I guess I thought the word sounded like it meant something interesting.

Knowing that I may eventually lose the name I choose makes the selection process weird. I think I like Ann Richards too well for that, and would rather give her an "A" seedling. And Tizzyhark is both appealing and discardable, should it come to that, but I sort of feel like I should have some idea, even a vague idea, what a tizzyhark is, before I use it.

Which leaves Maharaurava and Consternation. I feel like Consternation is both more disposable and more appropriate to the situation of not knowing how many names I need for this particular pot, plus the historical moment, so I'm going to name this one Consternation.

Maharaurava will be back, though. I have that feeling.


1 Not that there's a rule that the A name wins; it didn't win in the case of the 008 pot. It's just that Much Confusion would obviously be the right name for the 058 pot.
2 (Baylor is my alma mater, which gets a little more shameful every year; if you like, you can do a search for "baylor university scandal" and see what comes up. If you don't, here's CBS news talking about something from a couple scandals ago, i.e., last October. Trigger warning for rape.)
3 (more correctly, a subtype of ruru called a kravyada; I don't know what makes them different from your run of the mill ruru)
4 It's unclear to me whether the punishment is the same in both Hindu and Buddhist conceptions of Maharaurava, or whether the criteria to be assigned to Maharaurava are necessarily the same in both religions. My description is taken from Wikipedia, which describes the Hindu version, if there's a difference, though another site ("Hindupedia") describes Maharaurava as being for "sinners who had usurped the properties of others or their rightful owners." Which also works.
I do appreciate the effort involved in coming up with twenty-eight different hells; it somehow seems more fair than in the Christian version, where everybody goes to the same place and gets the same punishment regardless of what you did to deserve it. (Yes, there's Dante's Inferno, but the Inferno is fanfiction, not canon.) Are you an ever-suspicious man who is endlessly wary that others are coming to take your wealth? Do you sin to get and keep your money? You get to go to Sucimukha, the hell where Yamadutas, which I take to be approximately equal to Christianity's demons (I apologize for not taking the time to learn Hindu and Buddhist theology prior to writing this post) stitch thread through your whole body. Do you lie in oaths or business? You're going to Avici, a hell where you are thrown headfirst off a mountain repeatedly without dying. Are you a king or government official who takes the money of merchants, commits mass murder, or ruins your nation? You go to Sarameydana, where you are eaten by 720 dogs with razor-sharp teeth.
Not sure what happens in cases where someone qualifies for multiple hells at once.
So that's fun. Christianity should totally steal the multiple-hells thing. Not necessarily those specific hells, but the general idea.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pretty picture: Dendrobium parthenium

This one is at least kind of novel.

The camera had trouble with it (mostly-white flowers on a mostly-white background), but you can maybe kind of get the general idea anyway. It was tagged as Dendrobium sanderianum, but D. parthenium is, or at least was for a brief period last March, the correct name. Most of the photos that come up on-line for the species show a prominent purple throat on the flower (e.g.), as opposed to the greenish-yellow with a few thin reddish-purple lines here; a substantial minority are pretty uniformly white (e.g.).

The streaky leaves were interesting in person; I don't think they're actually supposed to look like that, based on the photos I found in image searches, but I don't know what would cause the streaks.

As far as I'm aware, Den. parthenium isn't related to any of the previous orchids I've posted about on PATSP, but it wouldn't necessarily surprise me if it were. I haven't always bothered to go into orchid genealogies at all, and I've only rarely followed the trail all the way back to the original species, so I wouldn't be surprised to find some Den. parthenium connection in the previous orchids if I were to look hard enough. All I know for sure is that there doesn't seem to be a connection to any of the Dendrobiums I did bother to investigate.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Schlumbergera seedling no. 067 (again)

067A is Cyndi Lauper, who's already had a pretty good year, and is plausibly even a replacement for 083A Psychedelic Bunny, should anything happen to 083A. 067B, on the other hand, is a pretty ordinary orange/white. Nothing wrong with it, but I have plenty of those already, and the only interesting thing about it is that it sometimes shows up in photographs as a little lighter orange than the usual orange/white.

Name candidates: Arcturus, Clyde, Discretion, and Seeking Guidance.

Arcturus is the star in the constellation Boötes. Wikipedia says it's red (in the Arcturus page), though it also says type K stars are orange (in the stellar classification page), so it may not be the best choice for an unambiguously orange seedling, but whatever. The best bit of information from the Arcturus page is that the Mi'kmaq people of eastern Canada called Arcturus Kookoogwéss (the owl). One is tempted to change the name to match, but that accent mark makes it tough to type, so I'll stick with Arcturus. Previously considered and rejected for 056A Demons Begone and 015A Nielub.

Clyde is the orange ghost from Pac-Man,1 and was previously considered and rejected for 058B Buff Orpington and 200A Breakin' The Law.

Discretion is a roundabout reference to the bloom color: rather than being a loud, screaming orange, it's a softer, less saturated color. Orange is never exactly discreet, but compared to some of the other orange-bloomers, and certainly compared to 067A Cyndi Lauper, 067B is trying not to call too much attention to itself.

I no longer remember why Seeking Guidance seemed appropriate enough to add to the list. Maybe this is also a reference to the color being relatively light and washed-out? I suppose it's always at least a little bit appropriate.

So okay. Well. Since the reason for including Seeking Guidance is no longer apparent, I guess I can drop it. If it was a really good name, presumably I would remember why it was on the list. And Arcturus would be a much more appealing name if I knew what color Arcturus actually is.

So the choice is Clyde or Discretion, and since I have some doubts about whether the lighter blooms that inspired Discretion are going to continue. Therefore Clyde.


1 In Ms. Pac-Man, the orange ghost was "Sue."
I recently learned that Sue was named for the sister of one of the guys who developed Ms. Pac-Man. There's a lot of interesting Ms. Pac-Man-related stuff in that article, if you're the sort of person who can find Ms. Pac-Man history interesting.