Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trivia Monday Answered

Last week's trivia question was:- Antoine Lavoisier, known as the "Father of modern chemistry", has been mentioned along with his wife in a few of the diary entries. What two elements is he famous for having "discovered", or at least named?

Banker Chick correctly responded "Hydrogen and Oxygen, though he was a chemist, he was executed during the French Revolution for being a tax collector."

Yes indeed, and for so much more. You see, Lavoisier was part of The Ferme, the powerful tax farmers of France, but his heart belonged to chemistry, and he even postulated the formula H2O for water. During the Revolution he successfully fought for freedom for foreign scientists trapped in France, but this, combined with the fact that he had once slighted the revolutionary firebrand Marat, meant that his fate was pretty much sealed. I mean, you just can't have someone who is powerful, wealthy, and intelligent getting his way and living to tell of it. He was executed by guillotine ostensibly for selling "watered down tobacco". Oh, the shame.

Though he was later exonerated after the Terror, I doubt it brought much comfort to his widow, who had tried vociferously to save her husband.

No additional trivia this week. I am going out of town on business and will only be able to post sporadically for the next few weeks. Catch you all on the flip side, and for those of you who come for the diary prepare for some interesting twists!

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