OPEN THREAD 20200119

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 74 – TUNGSTEN.

26 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20200119

  1. Oh, man — I had convinced myself that the delay in the post was because we were getting the name that W stands for, and maybe getting special artwork of a nuclear wolf.

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    1. There’s kind of a cool long story here I can’t tell, but what I can say is that I am SO UTTERLY blinded by the term “Tungsten” that the idea of me even having the slightest connection to this element just went over my head like a U-2.

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  2. Ah, well, we are at Element 74 — WOLFRAM. Also known by the French, Swedes, and other eunuch catamites as “tungsten”. Their name comes from the Swedish description of one of its ores, scheelite as “tung sten” or “heavy stone”.

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  3. Wolfram was identified as an element in 1781 and isolated as a metal in 1783. None of this flouncing around for decades pretending you’d done something important by squinting at light through a prism.

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  4. Incidentally, the musical interlude group is locked in, but I could be swayed between “rug” or “birth”. Before I actually put something up, I’ll see if there are any comments here one way or the other. If you need more hints, you can ask here as well.

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  5. Wolfram is a very dense metal — comparable to uranium or gold — and, thus, is a favored metal for making counterfeit bullion bars. This is why you occasionally saw a bullion bar in half — if there’s a silvery bit, that’s probably wolfram. And it’s easy enough to separate the two — wolfram melts at 6192F while gold melts at 1948F.

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  6. Wolfram is the heaviest element known to be essential to any living organism — certain species of bacteria and archaea rely on it. On the flip side, it can interfere with molybdenum and copper metabolism in organisms that require those elements.

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  7. One very popular type of welding involves using a wolfram electrode bathed in inert gas (usually argon) to heat the work pieces, where an extra stick of metal is introduced to fill in any gaps. This known as TIG welding and you can get TIG welding rigs at Harbor Freight.

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  8. Most people are familiar with “tungsten carbide” tools, which are usually composed of wolfram carbide sintered together with cobalt similar to a ceramic.

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  9. It’s long been known that the San Francisco crowd can be a little “bi-curious”……or “flaming”…..or “queer”. So, when I moved up here from Santa Barbara, I got a certain amount of razzing…..until I told people I was straighter than the pole their mom danced on every weekend.

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  10. In a small church, a janitor was cleaning the pews between services when he was approached by the minister. The minister asked the janitor, “Could you go into the confessional and listen to confessions for me? I really have to go to the bathroom and the Widow McGee is coming. She tends to go on but never really does anything worthy of serious repentance, so when she’s done just give her 10 Hail Mary’s and I’ll be right back.” Being the helpful sort, the janitor agreed.

    Just as expected the Widow McGee came into the booth and started her confession. “Oh Father, I fear I have done the unforgivable. I have given into carnal thoughts and have had oral sex.” Stunned, the janitor had no idea how to handle this situation. Surely 10 Hail Mary’s would not do. So, in a moment of desperation the janitor peered his head out of the confessional and asked an altar boy, “Son, what does the minister give for oral sex?”

    In reply the altar boy said, “Two Snickers bars and a Coke.”

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  11. Pretty heavy stuff, but it only gets heavier from here on out. Tungsten and gold bookend a stretch of metals all of which are even denser…in fact all of which weigh in at over 20 grams per cubic centimeter (or 20 tonnes per cubic meter). Water comes in at 1 (with either set of units) since the kilogram was originally defined as the weight of a liter of water, and a liter (in turn) was the volume of a cube ten centimeters on a side or 1000 cubic centimeters.

    Tungsten and gold come in at ~19.3 grams per cubic centimeter. They’re close but not quite the same. Stilly measuring specific gravity (a/k/a density) is tricky, so I’d not rely solely on a s.g. measurement to tell the difference between the two. Gold items are typically put through the literal “acid test” where the item is scratched, and a drop of acid placed on the scratch. If it bubbles, the scratch went through a layer of gold plate and exposed some base metal.

    In ancient times a specific gravity test was more than sufficient, since gold was by far the densest thing known. Next down the list was mercury (13+ g/cc) then lead (11.9 g/cc). Mercury of course is a liquid at any temp the ancients would have worked at, so lead would be the next candidate to “fake” gold with. But the acid test is easier (if slightly more destructive) than a specific gravity test, particularly for a large item.

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