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.
A social media message from the Oregon Department of Forestry about the coïncidence of the expected eclipse-viewing tourist deluge with the peak of the state’s wildfire season got me thinking about just how wildfires effect both ecosystems as well as economies. However a wildfire in central Oregon is not the same type of event as, say, a wildfire in Nebraska, or in southern California, for that matter.
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.”