Tuesday, December 11, 2001 9:45 AM
From: Arnold Nelson
To: Stacy Sweat, Chicago Tribune graphics editor
Ms. Sweat, that is a fine graphic in today's (Tuesday,December 11, 2001) Tribune explaining why dogs have such a good sense of smell. I always wondered how they did that.
The accompanying text says: "Fron the nasal membrane,the scent is transmitted to the olfactory lobe, which has an area of up to 150 cubic centimeters in dogs and 3 cubic centimeters in humans."
If olfactory lobes, dogs or humans, have areas, they are measured in square centimeters, not cubic centimeters. If they are measured in cubic centimeters, then they have volumes, not areas.
But you have great graphics - keep up the good work.
Arnold H. Nelson
North Marine Drive Chicago
[Ms. Sweat sent me a personal reply to this, but the only point she made was that she completely missed my point. SO then I sent this:
Monday, December 17, 2001 5:42 AM
Chicago Tribune Voice of the People:
A graphic caption "How the nose knows" accompanyingthe article "Demand big for dogs that smell trouble"in the Tuesday, December 11, 2001, Chicago Tribunesays: "From the nasal membrane, the scent istransmitted to the olfactory lobe, which has an areaof up to 150 cubic centimeters in dogs and 3 cubiccentimeters in humans.
I'm no veterinarian, so I wouldn't know a nasal membrane from an olfactory lobe if they bit me, but I do know that an 'area' is measured in square units of length (even an acre is 43,560 square feet,) not cubic units of length. Only if the lobe has a volume is it measured in cubic units of length (cubic centimeters,or even gallons, which are 231 cubic inches.)
If no one at the Tribune is aware of these distinctions, maybe they should have been satisfied with just their opening sentence, "Dogs are able to pick up scents better than most animals because a large part of their head and brain is used exclusivelyfor smell."
Arnold H. Nelson
5056 North Marine Drive]