OPEN THREAD 20200216

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 102 – NOBELIUM.

38 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20200216

  1. The synthesis of element 102 was claimed — and debunked — by three different groups: the Nobel Institute in Stockholm, our buds in Berkeley, and the Dubna group in the then USSR.

    Stockholm was first, in 1957, by whomping curium with carbon. Unfortunately, their experiment design was recognizably faulty on the wet side and their reported results could be explained by simpler (and known) phenomena — they ended up retracting.

    The Berkeley guys had gotten a new toy and were no longer using their tried and true 60-inch cyclotron — instead they had the Berkeley Heavy Ion Linear Accelerator, HILAC. They first tried to replicate the Swedes’ work in 1958, and issued a paper that said, “nope”. They, then, took a shot at whomping curiums with carbons and claimed success. In 1959, they tried another set of runs and claimed to have REALLY gotten element 102 this time, and agreed with the Swedes that it should be called nobelium. This may have been due to Stockholm Syndrome.

    While the Berkeley group’s data was better designed, researched, and documented, in 1963, the Dubnans cast some serious doubt on Berkeley’s 1958 and 1959 runs. This was after their own foray into the mix. The Dubnan guys initially, in 1958, tried whomping plutonium with oxygen for a change of pace. They published with a bit of hesitancy, then turned around and debunked their own work in 1970.

    Dubna was working on nobelium again in 1964 and again in 1966, finally getting a handle on things. Berkeley confirmed Dubna’s 1966 results in 1966 and confirmed that Dubna had, indeed, synthesized that element. Berkeley then wrote a paper to reinterpret their earlier works to say that they had discovered the element in pieces between 1958 and 1961. In 1967 and again in 1971, the Berkeley team completely validated Dubna ’66.

    It took the international element paperwork people until 1992 to officially recognize the element as having been provably synthesized by the Dubna group in 1966……and to name it nobelium, because that’s what the other two groups called it. The Russians had wanted to name it joliotium (Jo) for the new element after Irène Joliot-Curie, who had recently died. It may have also contained a joking slangy reference to an obscure Russian folktale involving an obscene act with a duck — but the bureaucrats ruled.

    And in 199, they ruled again, to rename it as flerovium…..which lasted exactly two years, before it was nobelium again.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. As a new age of detente and understanding dawns between Heaven and Hell, a collective decision is made to construct a great, gleaming bridge between the two. A collaborative design team of angels and demons labored for years to come up with a spectacularly beautiful design symbolizing unity and peace for the whole universe.

    At the project planning meetings, it’s decided that it would be most efficient to built the bridge from the ends and have them meet in the middle. A schedule and detailed construction plans are drawn up, and the teams retired to their respective domains to begin construction.

    Two years pass, during which the construction team from Hell works three-shift days around the clock (even holidays!), whipping poor souls conscripted into construction duty mercilessly as the Project Devils compress their schedule on critical path. They reach the agreed-upon middle-way join point two months ahead of schedule and under budget. The Heaven side of the bridge construction effort is nowhere in sight. The Project Devils congratulate themselves for showing up those smug angelic fools once again.

    Days and then weeks pass. Finally, the agreed-upon Join Day arrives. The Project Devils and Demon Superintendents amass in ranks at their end of the bridge, smugly looking out over the empty celestial realm opposite. As they wait, Heaven’s Project Angel appears in a flash of golden light and tentatively approaches the Lead Project Devil, sheepishly looking toward his shoes.

    “Well?” says the Project Devil looking down his nose as the abashed angel, “We’ve been waiting for months now and still now sign of your construction crew.”

    “There’s been a bit of snag,” Says the Project Angel.

    “How far along have you managed to get?” says the Devil, “We can’t even see your crew from here.”

    “Well…see…that’s the thing,” says the Angel, “We haven’t actually started construction yet.”

    “WHAT?!” says the Devil, “What do you mean you haven’t even started? The plans are complete and clear. Are you having supply chain problems?”

    “Oh, we’ve got all the materials we need stored and ready for construction.” says the Angel, “That’s not really the problem…” He pauses with embarrassment.

    “Out with it, fool!” says the Devil, “Why haven’t you started construction?”

    “It’s more of a staffing problem, actually,” the Angel admits, “You see …

    … you’ve got all the contractors.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Xi Jinping was on his balcony during the early morning, admiring all that Bejing has become?
    He inhaled a sweet breath of fresh Beijing air and looked East to see the sun smiling down.

    “Hello, Sun”, said Xi Jinping.

    The sun replied “Hello Glorious Leader, the architect of a grand Communist Utopia. Best wishes leading your already prosperous nation.”

    Xi Jinping, despite his delight, remembered he had an upcoming meeting to attend. He thanked the Sun and left.

    As the day approached an end, an exhausted Xi Jinping returned to his office and reflected on the day. He strolled back onto his balcony and looked West towards a beautiful sunset. Hoping to fish more praise he said: “good evening, Sun.”

    The Sun candidly responded: “Fuck you, I’m in the West now.”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. On a personal note, right after the White Album came out, my parents were quite disturbed about rumors of drug abuse and extreme behavior in the band…..so I could only play the Beatles on the console stereo in the living room where my parents could monitor it. That way, if I lolled into a stupor, started drooling, or insisted on a fix, they could intervene. I could still record other groups on my little cassette recorder and listen to them in my room. So I’d play songs like this one instead —

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A medic, an architect and a programmer are talking about who’s job is the oldest.

    The medic says: “My job is the oldest because when God made Eve from Adams rib, that was a medical procedure.”

    The architect says: “Hold up! Before Adam and Eve, God created the universe. That’s an architects job – to make something out of chaos.”

    The programmer then says: “Now wait a minute, who do you think was responsible for all the chaos?”

    Liked by 3 people

          1. Programmers – especially the wrong kind – they give lawyers a run for the money! 😉

            I fixed, worked around, and mitigated a lot of bad code in my day.

            I ain’t gonna slam lawyers alone. Glass houses!!!

            Indeed, I shudder when people tell leftists to learn to code. SHUDDER! 😀

            Liked by 2 people

            1. LOL

              But there’s a key distinction. It’s incompetent (and malicious) programming, whereas chaos is part of what a good lawyer does, if it will get his client the desired result. Come up with a specious argument that will distort and obfuscate the law, if necessary.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Well, I don’t call those good lawyers, personally. Those are the same as hack programmers to me. “Get it done without finesse, without building to the future, without solid principles, without doing it right.”

                I would not have gotten OJ off the way they did – doing DAMAGE to the law and society itself, to say nothing of the damage to OJ. They DESTROYED HIS BRAND to “save him” from the restoration he needed. No long-term vision. They SOLD HIM OUT – just like everybody else did.

                A good lawyer convinces the client to WIN BIGGER, just like a good programmer convinces management to win bigger.

                OJ had a case where the devastating truth of both sides could have been revealed totally and framed differently, and he would have emerged – with a light sentence – as a tragic, spent hero from a rotten system that used him like a big dumb plantation slave, until he rebelled in unjustifiable ways. But no – that would have told the truth about the system.

                I could have given him an ALL WHITE FEMALE JURY and he would have almost walked, using TRUTH as my weapon. Just like QUALITY programming speaks for itself in TRUTH.

                Nobody will ever convince me of the need for the devil’s chaotic and self-deceiving details! 😀

                Liked by 1 person

        1. Another one I’ve seen has the electrician: When God said «Let there be light» we had the whole thing ready to go, just had to throw the breaker.»

          Then there is this one:
          God said, « ∇ ˙ D = ρ, ∇ ˙ B = 0, ∇ × E = -∂B/∂t, ∇ × H = J + ∂D/∂t », and there was light.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad to see you. While winging it on mendelevium, I had hoped that you’d drop by and tell me if I was just slinging hash. I figured you must’ve had IRL commitments.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. To be honest, I was just extremely demotivated, and still am to some extent.

          You did quite well.

          Back in the distant, stable-element past it was usually someone else who’d talk about the isotopes; here I tend to do it because the most obvious attribute of these elements has been that they’re here today, gone tomorrow (or some time in the fuiture), and that’s an isotope-dependent thing.

          (In hindsight I wish I had caught those few stable elements before bismuth that are largely composed of a very-long-half-life radioactive. There is a list in Wikipedia of nuclides that sorts by half life and there’s a large category of ones that we THINK are probably not quite stable but haven’t been observed to decay yet. (“Observationally stable”) That’s an interesting list.)

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Thank you. I really haven’t had a physics class since 1978, and the combination of “this sounds vaguely familiar”, “oh, it’s like this other thing”, and “if Wikipoo is telling me the real deal, it works this way” can be very dangerous.

            I can well understand the disillusion, though. The lanthanides got old real fast — and, now that there aren’t any creative actual uses (being that the element doesn’t last long enough), the actinides aren’t aging well either. Isotope discussions are a drag when they’ve synthesized just 24 atoms of one and six of another, and none of them lasted an hour.

            I do second the recommendation that you do an extended work on observationally stable elements. It might be fun.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. A contractor is doing a final walkthrough of a new school with the architect. It’s going fairly well, the architect is pointing out some cracks that need to be spackled, a piece of baseboard that’s not snug to the floor. Nothing big.

    They go through the women’s bathroom, architect wants a couple of the faucets tightened up to the vanity… then they open up the door to the men’s restroom and the architect freezes in his tracks.

    The urinals are all over the place. Some are a foot off the ground, others near the ceiling. Not one is perpendicular to the floor. One is actually upside down.

    The architect says, “What the hell is going on here!”

    Contractor, “I called your office up and asked what height you wanted them at and you said put em all cockeyed!! I did exactly that!

    Architect, “I said ‘Cock’ Height!!!!”

    Liked by 3 people

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