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Last word

In vino veritasimal reproduction. All those scientific compounds were coined in C20, though the – potent element has been used for hundreds of years to express the ultimate form of power, in religion (omnipotent) and in government (plenipotent), and as vested in the agent of government (plenipotentiary). Yet the humble sponge has it all over the comic plenipotentiaries of Gilbert and Sullivan. In the Mikado, the “Lord High Everything Else” comes after the “Lord High Executioner”, whereas the sponge can undergo execution and be totally reconstituted.

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