OPEN THREAD 20200104

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


18 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20200104

  1. That said, we know that praseodymium is another lanthanide rare earth. That means hard to separate, gas mantles, mischmetal, found with other rare earths, yada-yada-bing-bong.

    It is the fourth most common of the rare earths in the crust, about as common as boron.

    It’s special magic is in optics and involves its ability to filter yellow light.


  2. OK, so despite out being in a lanthanide desert, I’ve got another subject for the musical interlude. I’m going to put out three pieces of music that have a certain peculiarity in common — which I will add tomorrow. Feel free to speculate until then.

    The first one is Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”, which is a somewhat long piece, so I’m only putting an excerpt up in video.

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  3. I’m afraid I’ve been laughing too hard at some of the “Suleimani from hell” posts, so I’m not going to bring a funny in from elsewhere. Instead, here’s a couple (h/t Insty):

    Liked by 5 people

  4. In the following video, Daniel Greenfield (a/k/a SultanKnish) makes the point that the president shows his willingness to bypass the middle ranks of terror and dispatch our enemies at the top of the command chain, by taking out Suleimani.

    Greenfield’s statement gave me pause, and here’s how: I’m really bad at predicting and at seeing symbolism and connections of events (one of the reasons my rant is placed over here, rather than the usual spot), but by his act, perhaps President Trump is signaling to the treasonous crooks here at home (and by extension we the folks) that he is willing to go to the very top to dispatch our domestic enemies, as well (via handcuffs and orange jumpsuits, of course).

    Greenfield also makes the point that Suleimani was, arguably, more lethal than bin Laden because he had the entire resources of the Iranian government at his disposal. Wow, slap my forehead, duh!

    One more thing: in so performing this risky and controversial, but very necessary task, thereby setting off the Left along with some of his supporters, what, pray tell, what else is happening that we are now distracted from?

    Twelve minutes, well worth the time to watch, if you are so inclined. Greenfield is a superbrain.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Praseodymium is the longest element name when set in proportional type. (Rutherfordium has more letters, but only one m.) OK, that could depend on the font, but it absolutely is true in the font used in the reply box.


    We’ll find out when I hit “Post Comment” whether it’s true in the serif font that posts show up in.

    It’s an odd numbered element, so it’s going to be rarer than Cerium, from yesterday, and Neodymium, from tomorrow.

    The story of its discovery was interesting. Chemists had found what they thought was a new rare earth (i.e., an oxide of a previously unknown element) mixed in with ceria and lanthana earths; they decided since it was so similar to them, to name it “twin” and so it became didymia. A new earth meant a new element, even if it hadn’t been separated yet, so “didymium” was welcomed to the ranks of the chemical elements. This was in 1841.

    Bastnasite ore was a prime source of rare earths, and the rare earths from it were basically 95% lanthana, ceria, and “didymia.” Didymia was responsible for the pinkish tinge of ceria up to that time (pure ceria is actually white).

    In 1874 Per Teodore Cleve realized didymia was actually at least two earths, mixed together. In 1879, samaria was extracted from didymia, in 1885 it was finally proved that the remaining didymia was about evenly split between two earths. In other words the “element” named “twin” was itself twins! So they retired the name (mostly). The two new earths were praseodymia and neodymia, from “green twin” and “new twin,” respectively.

    People still talk of didymium (even though they know it’s two elements not one); in fact didymium-doped glass is used in safety glasses for glass blowing; it blocks that one bright color (sodium yellow) in the hot glass and lets everything else through, so the worker can protect his eyes and not be otherwise blind. It also blocks the infrared, which although we cannot see it, eventually damages the eyes of people who work with it often.

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  6. OK, so here’s the musical thing…..

    But first, a note about “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

    The story begins with a visual artist named Viktor Hartmann, who was well regarded among Saint Petersburg’s art scene. He and Mussorgsky hit it off, Hartmann giving the composer some of his paintings and Mussorgsky dedicating a song to Hartmann. Then, in 1873, Hartmann up and died of an aneurysm at the age of 39.

    His many friends organized a memorial exhibition of 400 of his works at the Imperial Academy of Arts — including the works owned by Mussorgsky. Roughly three months after this exhibition closed, and while in the middle of composing a different work, Mussorgsky was seized by inspiration and composed PaaE in three weeks. It is comprised of ten sections, each inspired by one of Hartmann’s works, with a “Promenade” walking between them. It is Mussorgsky’s best-known work, swooping between “oh, how we used to laugh together”, “Poor, dead Viktor”, “what a beautiful painting”, and “ars longa, vita brevis” in mood.

    And……..composed for solo piano. The orchestral version most people are familiar with was arranged by Ravel. Hungarian Rhapsody #2 was composed for solo piano by Liszt, with a later orchestral version arranged by his student, Franz Doppler (it is said that every bar of the piece was revised by Liszt before publication). Similarly, Erik Satie’s Gymnopedies were originally works for solo piano…..and, again, the orchestral arrangement was done by some lowly clerk named Claude Debussy, who would otherwise be unknown.

    So the thread is “well-known orchestral works that were actually composed for solo piano.”

    Liked by 2 people

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