OPEN THREAD 20191213

Basically, all legal free speech is allowed. We will assist the authorities in dealing with illegal speech. You are each other’s moderators. Have fun. And don’t forget to MAGA at nuclear levels.

Citizen U

Day 37 – RUBIDIUM.

20 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20191213

  1. Looking at the table, and noticing that the columns follow trends, it seems as though rubidium should react even more violently with water than do sodium and potassium.

    Apparently the answer to this (based on people actually trying it–don’t do this at home folks, unless you KNOW what you’re doing, permanent blindness may result) is: yes and no. The reaction is indeed more robust, but it’s actually less of a BANG! for some reason. The BANG comes from the released hot hydrogen pooling and then reacting with the air, and apparently it’s less likely to do so for some reason with rubidium and cesium. (The speculation I recall, vaguely, is that it’s because the hydrogen reacts as it forms with Rb, instead of collecting for a while and then reacting, as with Na and K.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. wow…this is sooo above my pay scale ! 😀

      I have never ever even heard of rubidium

      what is the plural of rubidium ?

      rubidiae ?

      kinda like RICCOLAE !

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I realize you’re just kidding but I’ll answer it seriously anyway. There’s no reason you’d want to make a plural of it. Would you make a plural out of zinc? Maybe, if you were shortening “zinc pills”. Iron does have a plural, but it’s for something used to press clothes, not for iron itself.

        But in general, once a word has been sucked into the English language, we tend to make plurals the English way, not the Latin way. (And though “rubidium” looks like a Latin word, it was unknown in ancient Rome, so it isn’t a Latin word, by origin. Most metallic elements end in -ium by convention anyway, just like all but one of the noble gases ends in -on [the exception, helium, had been detected and named in the solar spectrum and was named before it was realized it was a noble gas])

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We can start with the biochemical uses of rubidium — there aren’t any. Rubidium might engage in an organic reaction by mistake — mostly in place of potassium — but there is literally nothing that wants to engage with rubidium.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rubidium was actually discovered in 1861 by the Bunsen burner guy (and friends). Whether he was actually attempting to discover new elements or just demonstrating a use for his burner is up for debate.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So, on a completely different subject, I’m looking to do the road-trip of roadtrips soon — leaving California and replanting myself in North Carolina. This means (among other things) that I won’t have a hard-wired internet connection for a substantial period of time and will have to deal with wireless.

    I don’t want to go too far into this right now (but please ask me later), but wireless connections are crap for security. Your best bet is to bridge over the wireless bits using VPN and use a wired connection wherever the VPN comes out.

    For those who have never considered VPN, you subscribe to a service (or, if you have your own fixed abode on the internet, a la AWS). You use insecure local wireless to attach to that service using a local node. Then everything is encrypted and you appear to be connected to the internet at the remote node. It sounds messy, but it’s straightforward. I VPN into a node in Silicon Valley and pop out a node in Switzerland. Nobody can see what I’m doing — including my local Barnes & Nobel or Starbucks Wi-Fi portal — until Switzerland, because it’s all encrypted. I post onto the utree and it shows I’m posting from a hard-wired connection in Switzerland.

    I use NordVPN. There are something like 300 nodes all over the world — I can appear to be in Singapore, Switzerland, Melbourne, or Omaha. And where I’m not is leaking data in Starbucks.

    In practice, however, you almost need one device to be dorking around with the VPN while you use another to do your browsing — and that’s what Invizbox (supposedly) does. Very frequently, you’ll have an interruption in service — if you’re handling the VPN on your local machine, it will “fall back” to resubmitting data for every open session in your browser — potentially leaking all sorts of data when you might not even notice. With a VPN appliance, you’ll get “not connected”.

    Anyhoo — I’m looking to get some VPN appliances from Invizbox (in Ireland) to try them out. If they work, it’ll make my transcontinental journey more cybersecure.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Verizon has a little gizmo they call a Jetpack. It’s a wireless router that uses cell towers to access the internet. Access is the same speed as a cell phone.

      I’ve got one and the only drawback is they throttle me back after 15 GB (30 day cycle).

      Liked by 1 person

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