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French conductor

One of the debates at the1864 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, in Bath, argued whether lightning conductors were better made of iron or copper. A Frenchman burst into the proceedings saying that they were going to solve this problem by building the biggest lightning conductor ever seen.

Curatorial Curiosities

Coco-de-Mer (<i>Lodoicea maldivica</i>)

Seedy humour:The fruit of the Coco-de-Mer (Lodoicea maldivica) contains the largest seed known. 40–50 cm in diameter and weighing 15–30 kg, the fruit requires 6–7 years to mature. The shape of the seed has been said to be suggestive of parts of human anatomy. Coincidentally, the inflorescence of the palm is rather phallic.