Chemist Roald Hoffmann tells his tale of the year he unexpectedly participated in the annual Brazilian festival of Carnaval.

This raucous celebration before Lent brings together the many different samba schools who compete in a fierce competition of music, costume, and theater with thousands of participants.

The samba school that chose a science theme was an unusual and successful entry. Among the players were: Einstein, played by popular actor Carlos Palma, who drove a fabulous float of clock-faces; androids doing the samba down the avenida; and Hoffmann, posing as Santos Dumont, Brazil's father of aviation who conquered the air with dirigible balloons.

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