OPEN THREAD 20200211

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 97 – BERKELIUM.

42 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20200211

  1. We’re already 60% done with the astatines, and we barely noticed it because of all the fun we’ve been having. Not like with the lanthanides, where it was already old by the time we hit this point.

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  2. Just over one gram of Berkelium has been synthesized in the US since 1967. Russia may have synthesized a similar amount, or not…..we’ll only know if it shows up in some expat’s tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The name berkelium was chosen because its corresponding lanthanide is terbium — named after the town of Ytterby, from whence it came. Berkelium originated in the town of Berkeley.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, at the time, Berkeley wasn’t quite as infested as it was after the 1964 Free Speech Movement…..and Francium was discovered in 1939, right before the formation of Vichy France…..so one might say that francium was the first element to be named after a state run by fascists and Nazis……

      Liked by 3 people

  4. We’ve got one isotope with a half life of 1380 years, pretty paltry compared to curium’s 15 million year half life. Another with a half life known to be greater than 300 years, but that’s all we know. We’re pushing the edge of scientific knowledge here.

    All other isotopes have half lives less than a year.

    It should be noted that elements with even numbers tend to be more stable than their odd-numbered immediate neighbors. Furthermore, the odd-numbered isotopes of the odd-numbered elements seem to be longer lived (those will have an even number of neutrons).

    It seems that pairs of protons, or pairs of neutrons, or preferably both, are greatly beneficial to stability.

    Liked by 2 people

          1. Of course, I’d need to be able to get a word in edgewise, and there seem to be no days (except maybe on weekends) where there aren’t three special topic posts in addition to the daily and roundup.

            One of the side costs of all that winning, so I’m not complaining (much).

            Liked by 2 people

            1. *rubbing paws together* Yes, yes…….”2020 — Unified Field Theory thrashed together in the comments of blogs run by ‘wolfmoon1776’ [now thought to be a time traveler]. Forces brought into balance by recognition of the KAG particle and the MAGA wave.”

              Liked by 3 people

              1. LOL…I don’t have some of the critical math needed for that!!

                But it’d sure be a hoot, wouldn’t it, this weird “conspiracy site” being the one where the GUT is first propounded!

                Liked by 2 people

  5. Incidentally, the great majority of the berkelium synthesis was done in Oak Ridge, TN — they got traces out in Berkeley and shipped over the “recipe” and specifications to Oak Ridge, where they cooked it in their 85-megawatt High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR).

    Upon cooking it and turning it over to the chemistry group, it was noted that berkelium readily assumes the oxidation state +4, instead of most other actinides’ preference for +3. This greatly simplified production.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A proctologist gets sick of his medical career and decides it’s time for a change. He does a bit of research and settles on trying his hand at being a mechanic. He attends mechanic school diligently and pays attention in the hopes of being the best mechanic in town.

    After taking his final exam, he notices a mistake with the grade on the test and asks the teacher.

    “Sir, you have me 150% out of a possible 100% on the practical exam. This must be a mistake!”

    The teacher replies, “It’s no mistake. 50% of the grade is for perfect disassembly of the engine. 50% is for perfect reassembly of the engine. I gave you another 50% on top because you did it all through the exhaust pipe!”

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Incidentally, I was surprised to learn tonight that “ultracentrifugations” is a real word and people consider it a thing. I feel like such a rube for thinking of “centrifuging the crap out of something”.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Another musical interlude —

    Incidentally, I saw the first two US tours in Santa Barbara. The first tour, he had a percussionist and a mime. Nobody else on stage. Almost Mummenschanz (which I’ve also seen). Talented, but odd….

    It wasn’t until a few years later that he revealed himself to be a total lefty loon with mush for brains. It may have even jumped him after those first two tours.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. A penguin is driving to the mall when all of a sudden his engine starts running really rough, and smoke is coming from under the hood. Luckily, there’s an auto repair shop right next to the mall, so he pulls in there. The mechanic says he’ll be glad to take a look, but he won’t be able to get to it for a couple hours. The penguin says fine, and walks across the street to the mall.

    He kills time walking around the mall, does some window shopping, buys an ice cream cone, etc. Finally the two hours are up and he goes back to the mechanic.

    The penguin says, “Have you had time to look at my engine?”

    The mechanic says, “Yeah, it looks like you blew a seal.”

    The penguin says, “No, that’s just ice cream.”

    Liked by 4 people

  10. The Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (“Научно-исследовательский институт атомных реакторов”) is Russia’s rough equivalent of the US Oak Ridge facility. While one might suspect it should be situated in the most remote area of Siberia, it’s actually fairly close to the Caspian Sea, on one of the tributaries to the Volga River.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Incidentally, “институт атомных реакторов” is a pretty straightforward transliteration of “institut atomich reactorov”. When I was in Saint Petersburg, a lot of things started looking more obvious around day 6.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re messing with my view of Western Civilization with this thought! It’s weird. I totally realize that FAKE NEWS is responsible for what I’m seeing, too, but it goes WAY deeper and WAY older.

        Sorry – no explanation now – this one needs to cook!!! But THANKS!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Pretty much any word in Russian past the level of the sorts of words you’d use while growing turnips is a loan word from Greek, Latin, or some other western language. [I am paraphrasing Robert A. Heinlein here.]

        Of course this doesn’t help you as a tourist, where you have to use concepts that are more down-to-earth to ask directions, order food, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s similar to the way English uses short, Germanic words for foodstuffs and longer Latinic words for food. But some of the native Russian stuff is weirdly expanded. “Help me!” in English is two words, two syllables, and a total of six letters. “Help me!” in Russian is “Помогите мне!” — two words, five syllables, eleven letters. We figured that we’d just yell “tiger, tiger!” instead — the word is the same in both languages.

          “Left at the stoplight” becomes “оставил на светофоре” [you can almost see “semaphore” in the last word]; “over the years” becomes “на протяжении многих лет”.

          And, yet, “кристалл; ресторан; стоп; трактор; ранчо; Дракон; туалет; кафе; школа; пистолет; Университет; авто; стейк; Гастроном; диета; базилика; телефон; радио; изотоп; мама; тигр; супермаркет” are nearly the same as “crystal; restaurant; stop; tractor; ranch; dragon; toilet; cafe; school; pistol; university; auto; steak; gastronome; diet; basilica; telephone; radio; isotope; mother; tiger; supermarket”, once you get past the alphabet.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Well, if you decide to yell “tiger, tiger” be aware that in Russian the ‘i’ (и) is never pronounced “eye,” it’s pronounced “ee.” it’s pronounced “teee-gr” (almost like “Tigger”). “Tiger” as we pronounce it would be spelled тайгр, and would, by sound, resemble the word тайга (taiga), which basically means boreal forest–a concept they are very, very familiar with.

            Russian words that are borrowed may spell like ours (once you map the letters) but we English speakers basically started mispronouncing our vowels about 700 years ago and the rest of the world kept on doing it the old way.

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  11. A farmer stopped by the local mechanics shop to have his truck fixed. They couldn’t do it while he waited, so he said he didn’t live far and would just walk home.

    On the way home he stopped at the hardware store and bought a gallon of paint and a bucket to wash his brushes. He then stopped by the feed store and picked up a couple of chickens and a goose. However, struggling outside the store he now had a problem – how to carry all of his purchases home.

    While he was scratching his head he was approached by a little old lady who told him she was lost. She asked, “Can you tell me how to get to 1603 Mockingbird Lane?” The farmer said, “well, as a matter of fact, my farm is very close to that house — I would walk you there but I can’t carry this lot.” The old lady suggested, “why don’t you put the can of paint in the bucket. Carry the bucket in one hand, put a chicken under each arm and carry the goose in your other hand?” After thinking a bit, the farmer replied, “why, thank you very much”, and proceeded to walk the old girl home.

    On the way, he says, “let’s take my short cut and go down this alley. We’ll be there in no time….”

    The little old lady looked him over cautiously and said, “I am a lonely widow without a husband to defend me…..how do I know that when we get into the alley, you won’t hold me up against the wall, pull up my skirt, and have your way with me?”

    The farmer said, “holy smokes, lady! I’m carrying a bucket, a gallon of paint, two chickens, and a goose. How in the world could I possibly hold you up against the wall and do that?”

    The old lady replied, “set the goose down, cover him with the bucket, put the paint on top of the bucket, and I’ll hold the chickens.”

    Liked by 3 people

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