OPEN THREAD 20200215

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


13 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20200215

  1. Two architects are having a conversation about sex. The first architect says that sex is 75% work and 25% pleasure. The second architect says that sex is 25% work and 75% pleasure. At a standstill, they decide to ask their intern’s opinion.

    “Sex is all pleasure,” states the intern, firmly.

    Startled, the architects ask, “Why do you say that?”

    “Because if there were any work involved, you two would be having me do it for you.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, here we are on the other side of the fermium gap. How did we get here?

    Well, the original method was back with our pals at Berkeley and their 60-inch cyclotron [I wonder if they even let it cool down between elements]. Instead of throwing neutrons at things, they found that they could “cram back” alpha decay by throwing helium nuclei at targets — thus boosting atomic weight by 4 and atomic number by 2. Cramming Einsteinium got you to element 101 — mendelevium — and “jumped over” the fermium gap.

    Later, they found they could cram argon ions into bismuth, which resulted in “lighter mendeleviums”, or you could cram ionized carbon or nitrogen into plutonium or americium targets, respectively, to produce “medium mendeleviums”.

    The original mendelevium synthesis relied on a new trick — because they were whacking the target with a particle of some heft, they figured that any successful syntheses might rebound off the target — so they placed gold foil to collect the rebounded atoms. Since mendelevium and gold are about as alike as lemons and petticoats, this meant that they could rapidly separate results from the carrier…..with a decent chance of doing so before they decayed.

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  3. Since we’re at an element honoring Дмитрій Ивановичъ Менделѣевъ, it should be noted that he put forth his periodic table in 1869 based only on valence and atomic weight — the concept of atomic number wasn’t fully solidified until 1932, after James Chadwick’s identification of the neutron.

    For a brief period, there was actually the concept that there were orbiting electrons and nuclear electrons, and the nuclear electrons would balance out the charges of excess protons that were bulking up the atomic weight while not changing valence electrons. This is just so close it makes your teeth ache.

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  4. Musical Interlude #2 —

    Odd that Bizet tends to be played by paired males and females……maybe I should see if I can find a performance by a trans-female and a gender-curious lesbian furry.

    Or maybe not.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An architect and an engineer walk into a bar after spending the afternoon looking over the construction of a building they were both working on. They both grab a stool and look at a half a mug of beer left from the previous occupant. The inevitable conversation starts about whether the mug is half full or half empty.

    The engineer starts talking about what tools and formulas he’s going to use to determine if the mug is even the slightest bit more full or empty.

    The architect explains to his companion that the number doesn’t really matter, but he will present the beer to the viewer so they feel the mug is however full he wants them to see it.

    The bartender lets them squabble about it for a few minutes before quietly walking over and pouring the beer down the sink. The bartender smiled and wiped off the spot where the mug sat and he told them, “I don’t care how full or empty it is. It was making my bar look messy.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is, by the way, a riff on the classic: “An optimist sees a glass as half full; a pessimist sees a glass as half empty; an engineer sees that you have twice as much glass as you actually need.”

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m just going to lift this paragraph from Wikipoo because it is all about logistics…..

    On the day of discovery, 19 February [1955], alpha irradiation of the einsteinium target occurred in three three-hour sessions. The cyclotron was in the University of California campus, while the Radiation Laboratory was on the next hill. To deal with this situation, a complex procedure was used: Ghiorso took the catcher foils (there were three targets and three foils) from the cyclotron to Harvey, who would use aqua regia to dissolve it and pass it through an anion-exchange resin column to separate out the transuranium elements from the gold and other products. The resultant drops entered a test tube, which Choppin and Ghiorso took in a car to get to the Radiation Laboratory as soon as possible. There Thompson and Choppin used a cation-exchange resin column and the α-hydroxyisobutyric acid. The solution drops were collected on platinum disks and dried under heat lamps. The three disks were expected to contain respectively the fermium, no new elements, and the mendelevium. Finally, they were placed in their own counters, which were connected to recorders such that spontaneous fission events would be recorded as huge deflections in a graph showing the number and time of the decays. There thus was no direct detection, but by observation of spontaneous fission events arising from its electron-capture daughter 256Fm. The first one was identified with a “hooray” followed by a “double hooray” and a “triple hooray”. The fourth one eventually officially proved the chemical identification of the 101st element, mendelevium. In total, five decays were reported up till 4 a.m. Seaborg was notified and the team left to sleep. Additional analysis and further experimentation showed the produced mendelevium isotope to have mass 256 and to decay by electron capture to fermium-256 with a half-life of 1.5 h.

    I should note that I’ll be about two miles from there, at Tilden Park, tomorrow morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mendeleev systemized the order of the elements in such a way that (a) he predicted eight new elements that were subsequently found; (b) he organized them by a concept (atomic number) that wasn’t understood until decades after his death in 1907; and (c) he implicitly recognized the concept of isotopes proposed in 1913.

    Oddly, Mendeleev claimed that he had envisioned the arrangement of all the elements in a dream prior to his 1869 publication.

    Somewhat more oddly, Friedrich August Kekulé said that he had discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a reverie or day-dream of a snake seizing its own tail….in roughly 1865.

    Something about those late 1860’s dreams…….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Although few people come in contact with mendelevium, the International Commission on Radiological Protection has set annual exposure limits for the most stable isotope. For mendelevium-258, the ingestion limit was set at 9×10^5 becquerels (1 Bq is equivalent to one decay per second), and the inhalation limit at 6000 Bq.

    Mind you, the initial synthesis of this element was 17 atoms. Not 17 grams, not 17 millimicrograms…..17 atoms. Your chance of exceeding the ICRP exposure recommendations are approximately the same as being struck simultaneously by lightning and a meteorite during a >8.0 earthquake in Miami while in an intimate embrace with Kate Upton.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. An architect, an artist, and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.

    The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.

    The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there. The engineer said, “I like both.”

    “Both?” asked the architect and artist in unison.

    The engineer replied, “Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume that you are spending time with the other woman, so you can go to the office and get some work done.”

    Liked by 1 person

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