Presidential Address: "La Ronde" - the atmosphere viewed as part of an enormous cosmological roundabout
La Ronde is French for roundabout or merry-go-round. We have the English word "round". Round in its adjectival form means circular or spherical or cylindrical or approaching these forms. In the adverbial sense it can refer to circular motion with return to starting point, or rotation. This sort of motion is symbolised in art – in Maori paintings and carvings of spirals for instance (Fig . 1). We also have the dance routine known as a "round", and similar use of the word in music. Also there is the French rondeau and rondel, a recurring refrain in music and poetry respectively, and then the Italian rondo, a form of musical composition in which the leading theme returns from time to time. And then again, we see it in sport – a round of golf, for example, in which we complete a circuit of the golf course to return to the 19th hole! In what follows we shall take a look at a variety of forms in which "La Ronde" manifests itself in the universe, but especially in the Earth's atmosphere viewed as part of the cosmos, and its effects on humankind's "common round".