OPEN THREAD 20200223

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



28 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20200223

  1. What is this element? I’ve never even heard of it. And unlike Bohrium, Curium, and Einsteinium, I’ve never heard of anyone or anything this could be named for.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. OK. The Darmstadt Group synthesized a SINGLE ATOM of this in 1982 by smooshing bismuth with iron. Three years later, the Dubnans confirmed this result. The longest lived isotope has a half-life of four-and-a-half seconds. Chemical reactions are all entirely speculative because so few atoms have been made and they lasted for so little time.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lise Meitner — who was called the “German Marie Curie” by Einstein — had the misfortune of surfing the world of physics too close to the Nazi break. As many of her Jewish colleagues were run out of Germanic territories (to later find fame in other countries), she stayed…..until, in her own words, “she left Germany forever with 10 Marks in her purse” in 1938.

    She was well-connected and sufficiently talented to have been in line for some Nobel noms — and might have shared in Hahn’s 1944 Chemistry Nobel (along with Fritz Strassman) regarding nuclear fission….had she fled earlier and built up a reputation and laboratory in the late ’30s. As it was, she was alive and cherished until her passing in 1968. In 1965, Glenn Seaborg, himself, went to Cambridge to present her with the Enrico Fermi Prize.

    Seems to have been a helluva gal……with most of her history buried under an ugly grey bunker of Nazi concrete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was hoping you were joking about not knowing what Meitnerium was named after!

      I know this is going to sound PC-ish but keep in mind this was the 1930s and 1940s…sexism undoubtedly played at least some role in her not getting the Nobel prize, and being passed over in favor of Hahn. A few decades earlier Marie Curie had had to struggle to even be noticed, much less allowed to join scientific societies.

      However, she DOES have element after her, and he does not. That’s a bigger honor.

      Another physicist who deserved a Nobel and never got one was Henry Moseley, who found a physical basis for the atomic number (and proved, for instanced, that only one rare earth was left to be found). In his case it was because he was killed at Gallipoli. The Nobel committee does not do posthumous awards.

      For discovering atomic numbers, he surely should have an element named after him. Yet, if you type “Moseley” in the search bar on Wikipoo, it doesn’t even offer his name up as a possible match (though it does offer up a lunar crater that was named after him).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, when I wrote the initial post, I actually had no idea. Note that my last formal course in science was as a Senior in High School in 1979.

        But I can learn pretty quickly.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. An editorial note…..

    As I’m trying to get some relevant information formatted and ready to post, I try to find a search term for finding jokes and a theme for finding music. Then I screen a bunch of what’s out there and post what I find entertaining.

    Last night’s joke theme was “egg” and music theme was “Sousa”, for instance.

    The thing is, as we are all well aware, search terms can bring up some really weird stuff.

    I know we’re almost done, but it can be fun to guess what the themes are, based on the jokes and videos posted and your knowledge of internet quirks. As an example, about 50% of all jokes regarding deafness involve a 12-inch pianist.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Menachem, a Jewish businessman, warned his son, Moshe, against marrying a non-Jew.

    Moshe replied, “but she’s converting to Judaism.” The old man said, “it doesn’t matter, a shiksa will cause problems.”

    Moshe persisted. After the wedding, Menachem called the son, who was in business with him, and asked him why he was not at work. “It’s Shabbos,” Moshe replied.

    Menachem was surprised, “But we always work on Saturday. It’s our busiest day.” “I won’t work anymore on Saturday,” Moshe insisted, “because my wife wants us to go to shul on Shabbos.”

    “See,” Menachem retorted, “I told you marrying a non-Jew would cause problems.”

    [My first job in accounting was at a yiddische-kopf family firm in Encino that taught me more than years at school — and I’m convinced they thought of me as their farblondjet blonde. I hated to leave, but there was a woman involved……]

    Liked by 2 people

  6. On the sixth day God turned to the angel Gabriel and said, “Today I am going to create a land called Israel. It will be a land of outstanding natural beauty. It will have rolling hills and mountains full of goats and eagles, a beautiful, sparkling, clear ocean full of sea life and high cliffs overlooking white sandy beaches.”

    God continued, “And I shall make the land rich in oil to allow the inhabitants to prosper. I shall call these inhabitants ‘Jews’ and they shall be known as the most friendly people on the earth.”

    “But,” asked Gabriel, “Don’t you think you’re being too generous to these Jews?”

    “Not really,” replied God, “just wait and see the neighbours I am going to give them.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And somehow Israel ended up being the only land in the Middle East without a drop of oil under it (contra your joke).

      In fact I once overheard a Jew wryly remark, “They get all the oil, we get to cut our dicks off.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And we all know the line from Fiddler On The Roof (which undoubtedly came from somewhere else beforehand):

        “I know, I know, we are Your chosen people. But once in a while, can’t You choose somebody else?”

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Lots of resources here, you’ll be seeing a deeper dive sometime in the future…..but the other thing about productions is to always leave people wanting more.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. OK, I’m cleaning tabs and shutting ’em down, and I encounter:

    Bloomberg, on a business trip, found himself using a public toilet. He had just made himself comfortable when he noticed that the toilet paper roll was empty. He called out to the next stall, “Excuse me, friend, but do you have any toilet paper in there?”

    “No, I’m afraid there doesn’t seem to be any here, either.”

    Bloomberg paused for a moment. “Listen, he said, do you happen to have a newspaper or a magazine with you?”

    “Sorry, I don’t.”

    Bloomberg paused again, and then said, “How about two fives for a ten?”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. A sort of “ah, ha!” moment I had:

    A free neutron will decay to a proton (plus a neutrino, plus an electron) with a half life of something like 12 minutes. This is an example of beta decay. You can write it like this:

    n –> p+ + e- + v

    (where the v is my lazy way of writing the Greek lower case “nu” which is the symbol for a neutrino, e- is the electron with a negative charge, p+ is the proton with a positive charge, n is the neutron, no charge.)

    (And you’ll note there’s zero net electric charge before and after. Accountants should love nuclear physics, the books gotta balance.)

    A proton won’t turn into a neutron that way. Because the neutron is more massive than the proton. In fact it’s more massive than a proton and an electron put together. (The neutrino’s mass, if any, is very, very much smaller than even an electron’s.)

    Decays always proceed from a heavier particle to a lighter one (or group of them) because some of the original mass has to be converted to the energy released by the decay.

    Every beta-decay in nature is a neutron turning into a proton (unless my 54 year old source is out of date on this, as it is with many things). That includes in such cases as Th-234 and U-239, where a beta decay in the nucleus (where there are neutrons, but they aren’t FREE neutrons) turns a neutron into a proton (resulting in Pa-239 and Np-239, respectively)

    However, there IS a second kind of beta decay, at least notionally possible: A proton can spit out a positron (an anti-electron, it has a positive charge) and turn into a neutron. Like this:

    p+ –> n + e+ + v.

    Of course that involves a gain in mass, so it absolutely shouldn’t happen, right? (It balances the books in every other possible way though.)

    In some of the artificial radioisotopes we can create, it does happen. But it’s funny, it turns out that the nucleus as a whole loses mass when it does. Apparently the gain in stability is so great that energy can still be released (i.e., the mass of the nucleus as a whole declines in spite of a proton becoming a neutron) that it works out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very cool. So this “microexplains” positron emission, where overall nuclear instability of too many protons “convinces” one of them (not really, but for book-keeping purposes) to chuck the extra positive charge and move the whole nucleus back to the line of stability and a net lower mass.

      Too many neutrons, and one of them spits out an electron. Too many protons, and one of them spits out a positron.

      Liked by 1 person

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