OPEN THREAD 20200229

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 115 – MOSCOVIUM.


13 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20200229

  1. In a startling development, nuclear scientists from the People’s Republic of Berkeley were hosted by the Dubnans in Russia, and co-discovered element 115 in August 2004 in Dubna by smooshing calcium into americium and poring through the wreckage. They created four atoms, which lasted about 100 milliseconds.

    For purpose of comparison, a blink generally lasts between 100 and 400 milliseconds.

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  2. As noted last night, The Powers That Be in the element naming biz consider proving what you got more important than synthesizing it in the first place. In 2011, they rejected the work of 2004 and later work of 2007 as being insufficient. However, in 2015, they finally allowed that the same groups further work in 2009-2011 should qualify. By then, the Dubnans had resorted to trick shots, like shooting the calcium from behind their backs, hitting the target blindfolded, and synthesizing the element on horseback.

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  3. In 2016, a rowdy band of Swedes threw shade on the Dubnan’s work, which the Dubnans responded to in 2017 by saying exactly the same thing using different words.

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  4. There have been about a hundred moscoviums synthesized in four isotopes, with half-lives between 37 and 650 ms., meaning that the total existence of this element on the planet is somewhere around five minutes. (100 atoms x average 1/3 of a second half-life = ~30 seconds; 10 half-lives is about 1/1024 of the original material.)

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  5. Actually, the subject of half-lives deserves a little light, because it gets a little silly when talking about individual atoms.

    If you started with 65,536 pounds of a substance with a half-life of 10 minutes, you’d have about 32,768 pounds of it 10 minutes later — mixed in with a bunch of other stuff. The weight of the remaining original substance plus the other stuff might be pretty darned close to 65,536 pounds. [Note, I DO realize that this would be radiating like crazy and would be hot besides — I’m concentrating on concentrations at the moment.]

    After another 10 minutes, it’s not like the first half goes and then the second half goes…..instead, you have 16,384 pounds of the original — half of what lasted through the first ten minutes made it through the next. It’s a half-life.

    One hour after your initial 65,536 pounds of substance X, you still have 1,024 pounds of it — along with maybe 62,000 pounds of something else.

    Now if you went into that original pile of substance X and picked an individual atom — we’ll call him “Bob”. Bob has a 1/64 chance of being in that 1,024 pounds of stuff at the end of the hour. But, so far as Bob can tell, he either decays or he doesn’t. Half-life is a group property, but decay-or-not is an individual property.

    Now, physicists have models that they use to predict the half-lives of various isotopes, and these models are pretty good….because they’re on version 37. Version 1 was fine for the elements they knew and the timekeeping instruments they had, but as the learned about more elements and got better chronometers and measuring devices, it wasn’t good enough, so they reworked it into version 2, which was much better.

    ….Until they decided that version 2 sucked, but version 3 did everything version 2 did — but MUCH BETTER!!! Until it sucked…..and so on. We’re now up at some large version number — I pulled 37 out of the air — and it hasn’t begun to suck……yet.

    Up in the rarified air of atomic number 115, when we talk about half-lives, they’re all out of the model. Each of the 100 moscovium atoms — Tanya or Piotr or Susan or Vlad — was smooshed into existence, lived its merry life, and decayed….and the greybeards said, “calculated half-life of 164 ms, Tanya lived only 57 — not incompatible” and “calculated half-life of 37 ms, Piotr lasted 122 — not incompatible [although he had only about a 1/4 chance of lasting that long if the model was correct].”

    They’ll only know that version 37 of the model needs fixing when they get a bunch of calculated half-lives of 37 ms and Piotr was the youngest to decay.

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  6. An anthropologist visits a local translator in Zimbabwe.

    “I’d like to set up a meeting with the nearby Xhosa tribe,” he says. “But I haven’t had any luck finding them. Can you help me send a message?”

    The translator smiles. “Ah yes, it is difficult to find them. This particular tribe has little interest in Westerners. But they will still meet with you. All you need to do is head to a specific plateau, and wait there after saying this phrase.” He uttered a series of Xhosa syllables and clicking sounds. The anthropologist took careful note of the phrase and thanked him.

    On his way, he became slightly lost but eventually came upon a plateau fitting the description. He stood on the edge and proceeded to make the clicking sounds. A few moments later, a woman from the tribe arrived. He smiled and began to introduce himself, but the woman suddenly started flirting and rubbing herself all over him.

    Unsure what to do next, the anthropologist froze, but a few moments later, the translator appeared and shooed her away.

    “This is the wrong plateau, my friend,” he laughed. “This is a meeting place for prostitutes!”

    “Oh, I’m terribly sorry….” the anthropologist began.

    “It’s perfectly fine, my friend. Just be more careful what you click on, you could have gotten a virus!”

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  7. A wife went to the police station with her next-door neighbor to report that her husband was missing.

    The policeman asked for a description.

    She said, “He’s 35 years old, 6 foot 4, has dark eyes, dark wavy hair, an athletic build, weighs 185 pounds, is soft-spoken, and is good to the children.”

    The next-door neighbor protested, “Your husband is 5 foot 4, chubby, bald, has a big mouth, and is mean to your children.”

    The wife replied, “Yes, but who wants HIM back!”

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  8. One day, a Mother Superior was attending to some matters just outside the main doors of her convent. She noticed that the Seven Dwarves had huddled some distance from her…
    … and, as they argued amongst themselves, they kept throwing looks her way. After some time, one of them separated from the group to approach her. It was Doc.

    “Good morning, Mother Sister. I mean Mother Superior. Really sorry to bother you, but could you help us settle an argument?”

    “Well, I shall try my best,” said the head nun.

    “Mother Superior, do you have any nuns under your care at this convent that are three feet tall?”

    Surprised at the question, the Mother Superior said, “No, I’m afraid we do not. We would have welcomed anyone of that height if they had asked, but no one of that description has even visited us here.”

    “I see. Thank you very much, Mother Superior,” said Doc, and he went back to his group, and his arrival promptly reignited their argument.

    The head nun ignored them and continued her work. She enjoyed a few minutes of concentration, when suddenly, a powerful sneeze, followed by a rain of falling leaves, caught her attention. It was Sneezy.

    “Pardon my intrusion, Mother Superior. We’re having a discussion right now, and we’re hoping you could help us settle things,” he said, in between sneezes.

    “Very well, what is it then?”

    “Mother Superior, is there a nun here who is about three feet tall?”

    Annoyed, the Mother Superior answered firmly, “No. Just as I told your friend earlier, we don’t have any nun with that height here. I may not be overly close to all of the nuns, but I know each and every one of those under my care here. None of them are of that height.”

    “Ah, sorry then, Mother Superior. Thank you,” said Sneezy, and headed back to the group. The sounds of argument resumed.

    By then, the Mother Superior was plenty irritated. The Bishop was scheduled to drop by later that day, and she still had so much to do. It didn’t help that all the nuns were daft to the last girl, leaving her to do everything, and if she had to deal with just ONE more silliness, she’d –

    “Hey Sister.”

    “WHAT THE HELL IS IT?” snarled Mother Superior.

    “Whoa, whoa, calm down there, Sister,” said Grumpy. “You’re getting a tad grumpy.”

    Her entire body shaking as she tried to control her temper and not do anything she would regret, the Mother Superior said, through gritted teeth, “What. Is. It.”

    Grumpy raised his hand to the area in front of his forehead. “Sister, you got any nuns around this height-”

    Almost spitting with rage, the Mother Superior said, “None! There are none! There never has been one, ever! And God forbid if one ever shows up, I will personally put her in a box and mail her to you. Good day!”

    For a moment Grumpy looked as if he was about to ask the Mother Superior if she was sure, but then thought the better of it. He thanked the nun, and started plodding towards the group. He raised his hands, palms up, and shook his head.

    Briefly, the dwarves were quiet, and then six of them started to laugh like maniacs, with some dancing. The Mother Superior threw them her sharpest look, but they were too busy to notice her. Six of them were chanting, “Dopey fucked a penguin, Dopey fucked a penguin.”

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  9. Signs of aging, from a lady —

    After finishing a meeting I left the hotel and headed to the parking lot. After failing to find my car keys in my handbag and pockets, I started to panic. I headed back to the conference room and still couldn’t find the keys.

    I suddenly realized that I must have left them in the car. This has been a topic of several debates at home, where my husband always lectures me for leaving the keys in the ignition.

    Personally, I think leaving it there is not only convenient but also a great way to avoid misplacing them at home.

    But my husband’s theory is that this “strategy” makes it easier for the car to get stolen.

    My worst fears were realized when I rushed to the parking lot and couldn’t find my car. It had been stolen and…my husband was right.

    So I immediately called the police and gave them my location, a description of the car, where I parked and so on. I also confessed that I left my keys in the ignition and that was probably how the car got stolen.

    Then I made the most difficult call of all…the one to my husband.

    “Honey…” I stammered; I always call him ‘honey’ in times like these. “I left my keys in the car….and it has been stolen.”

    There was a long pause on his end. I thought the call had been dropped, but then I heard his voice, “How could you lose the car? I drove you to the hotel!”

    I didn’t think my embarrassment could escalate but it did. But I also felt a sense of relief rush through me…thank goodness. I then replied, “In that case, do you mind picking me up?”

    Surprisingly, my husband’s reply didn’t contain that ‘I told you so’ tone. Instead, it was filled with only frustration and I realized why soon after.

    He replied, “I will as soon as I can convince the police that I haven’t stolen your car!”

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