Page 28. " I remember spending an afternoon with Mr. Richter in the Central Park Zoo "
Zookeeper with Parrot
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeZookeeper with Parrot - Credit: Tricia Banks

The Central Park Zoo was formally chartered in 1864, becoming the USA's second publicly-owned zoo.

In 1874, the New York Herald perpetrated a famous hoax with an article claiming that several of the zoo's dangerous and wild animals were on the loose. The article caused a degree of panic in the city.

Central Park Zoo
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeCentral Park Zoo - Credit: Javier Kohen

You can find some good reasons not to feed animals at the zoo here.

The zoo features in American Psycho, The Catcher in the Rye, and the animated movie Madagascar.

Listen on Spotify: At the Zoo by Simon & Garfunkel

Page 35. " As for the bracelet Mom wore to the funeral, what I did was I converted Dad's last voice message into Morse code "

 Morse code was invented by Samuel Morse in 1836, and became widely used after the advent of the electric telegraph. According to popular legend, the first message ever sent was 'What hath God Wrought?', which translates as:

.-- .... .- - / .... .- - .... / --. --- -.. / .-- .-. --- ..- --. .... - ..--..


Morse Alphabet
Public DomainMorse Alphabet - Credit: Rhey Snodgrass & Victor Camp

You can translate into morse code (and even play it aloud) here


Morse code jewelry is available online.




Page 36. " after what felt like a googolplex inventions "


a googolplex is a very large number
Public Domaina googolplex is a very large number - Credit: googolplex

A googolplex is equal to the number one followed by 10100 zeroes. It is not physically possible to write a googolplex numerically, as there is not enough space in the universe.


Page 40. " It's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day "
Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King
Public DomainMartin Luther King and Coretta Scott King - Credit: Herman Hiller

Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.

These words embody the ideology of Martin Luther King, Jr, who played a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement in the US, as a clergyman, activist and leader.  For his work to end racial segregation and discrimination, he was awarded a Nobel Prize. On 28 August 1963, King made one of the most famous speeches ever heard - known as the 'I have a dream' speech - laying out a vision for a nonracial and just society in the U.S.A and beyond.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Public DomainMartin Luther King, Jr. - Credit: O. Fernandez

     Listen on Spotify: I Have a Dream speech


Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated in 1968.

     Listen on Spotify: Why? (The King of Love is Dead) by Nina Simone


Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday observed on the third Monday in January (close to his birthday, 15 January).  It was signed into law by Ronald Reagan in 1983, but resisted by many states, only being fully recognized across the nation in 2000.

Page 40. " Your mate, Ringo "

Ringo Starr
Public DomainRingo Starr - Credit: Tina63
Ringo Starr was the best known drummer in the band The Beatles. Starr was born in Liverpool, and played with various bands there until he met the Beatles in Hamburg in 1962. 

Starr has also had a career as an actor, and narrated the children show Thomas the Tank Engine. He currently tours with his band Ringo Starr & his All-Starr Band.