OPEN THREAD 20200213

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


30 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20200213

  1. Einsteinium is the highest numbered element that has ever been seen in bulk. Es-253, with a half-life of 20.47 days, is the easiest isotope to synthesize — it comes from decaying californium-253. But while trying to separate it, roughly 3% of it decays into berkelium-249 every day — from which it also must be separated.

    Liked by 2 people

          1. Oh, good…..I thought that you had possibly foreshadowed that you would cover this point a day or three ago and I had accidentally stepped on it. Then I looked to see if I should apologize, and couldn’t see where that would apply — which is when I put the question marks.

            And, yes, wikipoo’s explanation of this is a hot mess.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. We reached the end of the concrete freeway with bismuth (there were a couple of asphalt patches at technetium and promethium). The end of the asphalt road with uranium. Now we’re approaching the end of the dirt road; the elements that can form naturally albeit not hang around long afterwards.

    Einsteinium is another element discovered in the debris from a nuclear blast.

    We have ONE isotope, 252, whose half life is over a year…and it’s 471.7 days. Another at 275 days. Others are less than a hundred days.

    I can’t really get a sense from wikipoo that a macroscopic amount of it has ever been prepared. But apparently it’s so damned radioactive that whatever crystal lattice it would want to form in, gets blasted apart.

    Not much to say about this one; it seems to have no commercial use whatsoever, though it’s used as a stepping stone to artificially create other elements.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The Ivy Mike H-bomb test at Enewetak Atoll — the first, 10 megaton, fission/fusion device — had a number of factions around it trying to make it work. Included was a group who considered it a vast, open-air, experimental device for synthesizing heavy elements. They actually constructed a wet lab for separation of actinides on the soon-to-be-nuked atoll before they nuked it, reasoning that a bunch of the stuff they were hoping to find would probably decay before it reached the mainland US.

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    1. The thought of building a lab to be ready for use, then preparing it for being at a thermonuclear explosion site, then actually using it while the isotopes are still hot… pretty darned impressive.

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  4. Spectral evidence of einsteinium was observed in Przybylski’s Star in 2008. Of course, by the time the light was detected on earth, all the einsteinium was long gone.

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    1. If it was in Przybylski’s star in 2008….then it would HAVE to be getting generated by that star.

      Unless the star formed just a couple of years before.

      So though it’s true that the Es we saw is gone now, there’s more Es to replace it, almost certainly. By logic similar to how there can be radium on earth even though the primordial stuff should be and is long gone; it’s being regenerated by uranium and thorium decay.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. There was once, in a small town, a man named Don.

    One day Don was walking on top of a fence, and he slipped. When he slipped, the fence split him in half, right up the middle, but miraculously, each half of Don survived! Each half got up, started hopping away, and essentially started living separate lives.

    The left half, more prone to rational thought, spent most of its time in libraries, and got an accounting gig. The right half, more creative, picked up painting, and taught pottery at the local community college.

    On top of the spectacle of a man split in half, the townsfolk could not believe how rarely they saw both halves of Don at the same place. Indeed, nobody could think of even one occurrence of this happening.

    Now one day, half a man walks into a bar. The left half of Don, always punctual, walked into the local watering hole at precisely 8:00, and ordered a shot of whisky, which the bartender poured for him.

    At 8:01, the right half of Don wandered in, sat down, asked for a beer, and nodded to his other half, which nodded back. As the bartender poured him the beer, the left half of Don took his shot, left just enough to cover the bill, and left at precisely 8:02.

    The bartender was astounded– he was the first person to see the two halves interact since the accident. As it dawned on him how rare this was, the bartender exclaimed, a little louder than he wanted to, “Whole Don here for just one minute!”

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Slumming it over here, I see.

        Oddly, though, what I don’t see is your comment in the sidebar under “Recent Comments”. 90% of why I’m writing this is to see whether this comment is a “Recent Comment” after yours isn’t.

        The other 10% is to say that I’m very glad to see you and hope you have some small measure of enjoyment of my drivel to balance my complete delight from your prose.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Grrrrr….the original concept was that I was going to do potter jokes — about throwing clay vases and bowls on a wheel and firing them. But internet search for that has been poisoned 100-1 by Harry Potter jokes, and I barely managed to find the above. So the joke theme is going to change.

    In the meantime, here are some thoughts on potter’s clay. Porcelain is generally made of kaolin clay — which comes from kaolinite — . The area where I am planning on moving shortly is near Seagrove, NC, and I’ve visited the town a few times. There is so much kaolin clay in the area that potters have been cutting chunks out of the ground to make ceramics for at least 200 years.

    Significant amounts of kaolin are produced industrially in Georgia — — and shipped around the country by rail. One of the more popular model railroad cars is a kaolin tanker.

    About half the kaolin mined is used for the manufacture of glossy paper. Another bunch goes into plastics, and more goes into paints. Actually making artistic ceramics is a minor usage.

    One of the more amusing uses is…..well, let’s turn this around. Home canners know that you use crushed/pureed fruit and citric acid to make jams and jellies…..adding a little pectin to turn “fruit slush” to jam. Kaopectate is, essentially, “clay jam”.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician are staying in a hotel. The engineer wakes up and smells smoke. He goes out into the hallway and sees a fire, so he fills a trashcan from his room with water and douses the fire. He goes back to bed.

    Later, the physicist wakes up and smells smoke. He opens his door and sees a fire in the hallway. He walks down the hall to a fire hose and after calculating the flame velocity, distance, water pressure, trajectory, etc., extinguishes the fire with the minimum amount of water and energy needed.

    Later, the mathematician wakes up and smells smoke. He goes to the hall, sees the fire and then the fire hose. He thinks for a moment and then exclaims, “Ah, a solution exists!” and then goes back to bed.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Fun, but irrelevant —

    Write the formula for the volume of a round thick-crust pizza of height “a” and radius “z” without using greek symbols or exponents. You’ll know it when you see it.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Final joke of the night —

    Infinitely many mathematicians walk into a bar. The first says, “I’ll have a beer.” The second says, “I’ll have half a beer.” The third says, “I’ll have a quarter of a beer.” The barman pulls out just two beers. The mathematicians are all like, “That’s all you’re giving us? How drunk do you expect us to get on that?” The bartender says, “Come on guys — know your limits.”

    Liked by 4 people

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