Optics: The View in the Dark

The director of the Vincennes zoo usually went home just before dark. The residents of his beaver cage rarely came out in the daylight. It seemed as if the man and the broad-tailed mammals might never meet. Then a crew of Dutch technicians crept close to the edge of the beaver pond on a black, moonless night. They sighted in with a short, cylindrical gadget, and the director finally saw his beavers—scuttling across the face of a TV picture tube that had been set up in his office.

It would surely have been...

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