By Terry Trucco
Eliminate poison and you wipe out much of the world’s great literature, not to mention a slew of movies, crime stories and much of the TV line-up. Consider: no Sherlock Holmes or Harry Potter, no Mad Hatter or Macbeth. No Hunger Games. And most definitely, no American Horror Story: Coven.
What you don’t usually think about as Madame Bovary ingests arsenic or Medea gifts her rival with a poisoned dress are the natural origins of these silent killers (if you don’t count the shrieks of the dying as sounds). At least, I don’t as a rule. But The Power of Poison, the absorbing new exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History, gets you thinking about where killers lurk in nature, how they evolved, how their effects can be harnessed to prevent illness and disease — and how innocent they can look. (more…)