Posted by hexnet -

I can only assume this infringes on any number of copyrights lol. Word on the street is that today's Google Doodle features an interactive truncated icosahedron in recognition of the 25th(.) anniversary of the discovery of the buckminsterfullerene (and, by extension, of fullerenes, nanotubes, &c. in general).

I normally don't actually pay attention to doodles—I find them rather played out at this point, and with the rise of integrated browser search fields, who even goes to Google's home page anymore. But it is worth noting that—according to sources who follow these things more closely than I do—this is ostensibly only Google's second "interactive" doodle, after this past spring's Pac-Man episode. THIS IS NOT AS INTERESTING AS PAC-MAN, but it's presumably indicative of the moral and intellectual gravity they assign to the discovery of fullerenes that they would consider the event worthy of such rarified and exotic treatment. The spinning of the fullerene here is not merely meant to amuse us for half a second, but rather to instill in us an understanding that the event being commemorated is, on balance, probably more important than, you know, the Australian federal election, or Chinese Valentine's Day, or what have you.

Why not also consider picking up a copy of The Most Beautiful Molecule: The Discovery of the Buckyball by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, which as I recall is a fairly readable account of the discovery of fullerenes, or indeed any of the myriad books by or about Buckminster Fuller, who was certainly a pivotal and fascinating figure in the history of hexagonal thought (and about whom I will certainly have more to say as time goes on). In particular I would recommend A Fuller Explanation by Amy Edmondson, a former employee of Fuller's, which is a fairly accessible and readable survey of Fuller's ideas, relatively unhindered by Fuller's own—at times—fairly dense and esoteric terminology.