Magazine article Science News

Letters

Magazine article Science News

Letters

Article excerpt

Slippery terminology

Regarding that photo of "canola seeds" in "Plastic plants may become plastics plants" (SN: 10/16/99, p. 246), come on! There's no such thing as a canola. What you have there is rapeseed. "Canola" is a term dreamed up by a Canadian marketing department to get around the difficulty of trying to sell something called rape oil.

J.M. Graetz Acton, Mass.

"Canola" was indeed dreamed up pretty much as asserted, yet the word has entered common usage and the dictionary. "Around the lab we use `canola,'" says researcher Steven Slater. Furthermore, canola has a meaning distinct from rape. Canola seeds are low in erucic acid, making their oil more palatable than the oil from other varieties of rape.

--O. Baker

Think nonconsciously

I was pleased to see the article "The Mental Butler Did It" (SN: 10/30/99, p. 280), since it concerns a potentially important topic in

social science. But the studies that are reported ignore a key issue, the difference between the nonconscious and the unconscious. In psycho-dynamic psychology, unconscious elements are not only outside of consciousness but also blocked from consciousness under most conditions. By ignoring this issue, the studies reported avoid dealing with such crucial issues as resistance, denial, and repression.

Thomas J. Scheft University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, Calif.

The introduction to the article attributed "a cause" to A.N. Whitehead that the context of his remarks seems unlikely to support. …

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