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).
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.”
Birds do it. Bees do it. Educated fleas? Yes, them too. But how do they pick their partners, or convince one another to do it with them? And after they do it, what comes next? All this, of course, is fair game for those who study animal behavior, as well as a wide range of other interesting subjects that Tristram D. Wyatt presents in his new “Animal Behavior; A Very Short Introduction.”