While some may let pass the 5th of July with little more than a shrug, those in the scientific “know” mark it with reverence as it was the day in 1687 that saw the publication of one of the most – perhaps even the most – important works on time, force, and motion ever written: Sir Isaac Newton’s “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica” (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy).
Zoos are amazing places. At their best, the modern forms mix research and spectacle into a melange that has the power to both entertain as well as enlighten. At their worst… well, let us not dwell on that at present. And as to their history; in their previous existence as menageries and indeed, right up into living memory, some have not only been institutions of scientific study, but but also centers of far more social and political influence than we would likely think possible today.
What do chemists call a benzene ring with Iron atoms replacing the Carbon atoms? A ferrous wheel. Who says organic chemistry can’t be fun? OK, aside from most people who have taken a course in it…
“Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring / up through the atmosphere, / up where the air is clear! / Oh, let’s go fly a kite!” So – memorably – sang the freshly awakened and amended George Banks, superbly portrayed by David Tomlinson, in Disney’s “Mary Poppins.”