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MARGINALIA

Thermophiles in Kamchatka

Roald Hoffmann

The Bear

I bought a small piece of walrus scrimshaw in Kamchatka. In exquisite brown lines, it shows a most Russian well-dressed bear sitting on a sled in the snow. He's tired but happy, perhaps after a long hunting trip. That's how my microbiologist friends looked after a long, wet day of collecting. The bear holds cupped in his hands a steaming cup; there is a teakettle sitting in the snow. So he's a thermophile too. And behind him is a smoking volcano. It's Kamchatka.

© Roald Hoffmann





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