Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Elements

I hope you're all watching that "Chemistry: A Volatile History" series on BBC 4.

*No - neither am I*

After trying 5 minutes of 'The Periodic Table' episode (because The Periodic Table is brilliant) I gave up. It was excruciatingly tedious.

The one above (which hangs on my wall) was a perfect present for a vegetarian chemist.
I think View would like this one.

So I know you'll be waiting for me to give you an interesting lesson about The Periodic Table.

*thinks about it for a few seconds*

Well this is the best periodic table site - just click on an element for info.

And Tom Lehrer's song tells all.

Sorry NiC - but Lauren brings back some memories in this one.

There now - that wasn't too bad was it?




Blogger Dave said...

Chemistry was the only (out of 14 I took) O-level that I failed. I rely on you to ensure the world's chemistry remains stable.

8:16 am  
Blogger dinahmow said...

Oh, no! You disappoint me, Kaz. You had to THINK for a few seconds to come up with Tom's genius?
And I think I may already have sent that link to ILTV.
(Betcha glad the comment problem's fixed!)

8:48 am  
Blogger dinahmow said...

And I expect you're familiar with: "Emily used to drink aitch two O
But Emily drinks no more
For what she thought was aitch two O
Was aitch two ess O four.

8:51 am  
Blogger Steve said...

I did chemistry O level at school and we had to learn the top couple of lines of the periodic table and had to utilize some God-awful song whose lyrics were made up of the initials of the elements "H-He-L-Be.." is all I can remember. I'm sure H is hydrogen and He is Helium. As for the rest... only God and my chemistry teacher know. It all proved to be useless information anyway. The only gas I have to worry about is methane in the public toilets.

9:14 am  
Blogger I, Like The View said...

(h-heli-beb-c-n-of-ne-nam-gal-sips-clar/H, He, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Ne, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, Ar)

the typeface table is fab, and I really like the vegetable one too

Lauren made me laugh - thanks

9:47 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

14 O levels is a bit excessive.
You could afford to fail one - though I bet you hated it... the failure that is.

Welcome back to planet Earth.
I've never seen it written out like that.
Perhaps Tom could sing it for us.

You wouldn't have needed to do that if you'd been born a few years later.
All Chemistry exams provide a copy of the Periodic Table nowadays.

You need to teach that to Steve.
The teacher is so familiar - the sort that will never learn.

10:00 am  
Blogger mago said...

I never understood it. The chemistry teacher once stood me in front of the class for a test, should explain a formula or something. After some time I told him that it is futile. He did not stop with his stupid questions and finally I sat down. I refused to talk to the asshole ever again and never did. I think that vegetable and fonts do not deserve to be presented in this ugly form. I promise, I'll never talk about it again.

10:33 am  
Blogger Macy said...

Chemistry? Periodic Tables? No idea. Nada. Zip. I took a complete scunner to science when I found that I was supposed to do experiments.. What was that about? They knew the answer already, or at least they knew enough to tell me my experiment hadn't worked... so why didn't they just tell me?
I decided by age 14 I wasn't playing.

11:02 am  
Blogger Scarlet Blue said...

The periodic table has Smeag!!!
It can't spell.

11:22 am  
Blogger Rog said...

BBC4's getting a bit like fourth form isn't it? Chemistry on a Monday, Geography on a Tuesday ....

There was a good film about going round the world in a Zeppelin the other day though.

PS Does the Veggie Table tell you when each one goes off?

1:23 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

Where is Valium on this list?

1:57 pm  
Blogger tony said...

I Cant Get BBC 4 ! Im still living in the telly dark-ages! Even my Channel 5 is nothing but a ghost....
(Although, I DO Have A Table...It's under my laptop NOW!!!!!!)

2:01 pm  
Blogger Donnw/2nz said...

I am still trying to get my head around the great debate back in the 60s over whether a tomato was a proper vegetable or a fruit..
some said it was both!

The world truly is a wondrous place is it not?

2:22 pm  
Blogger xl said...

I proposed renaming Uranium to Beserkium, but my chemistry teacher didn't think it was funny.

Love the typeface chart!

2:29 pm  
Blogger Rosie said...

Don't ask me. I failed a dress and design "o" level and thought "Animal Farm" was a story about animals. I was not designed for exams.

3:33 pm  
Blogger white rabbit said...

They wouldn't even let me take my Physics O Level.

Much to my relief...

Bollocks innit?

5:37 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Oh dear - what an awful experience.
If only I had been your chemistry teacher!

I take it that scunner isn't a good thing.
Presumably you liked sums.

Element 62 is Sm - samarium???
Where did you find the eag??

No - but we get the no of calories in the top right hand corner.
Avoid yams.

I'm sure there's a periodic table of recreational drugs somewhere.

5:50 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

There are other compensations to living in Hebden Bridge.
Remind me someone.

You never see tomato crumble and custard do you?
Hence it's a vegetable. Don't argue - I'm a scientist.

Well Bk is berkelium - near enough.
At least there's no X.

Anyone can do exams.
You were designed for drawing shoes and spotty dogs.

Didn't like it - Had to do it.
Bollocks to Newton.

5:51 pm  
Blogger Scarlet Blue said...

Oops... I was looking at the font table and thought it was the real periodic table!
I'm also seriously rubbish at all things science... I got CSE grade 4 for the biology bit and grade 5 for the physics bit.
Which is pretty poor... very poor.. I am ashamed now, but do find science programmes on BBC 4 quite interesting... it's like listening to a song in a foreign language.

6:06 pm  
Blogger Istvanski said...

I know everything there is to know about this subject - my grade 3 CSE says so.

7:47 pm  
Blogger Geoff said...

I'd rather retake my Chemistry 'O' Level than have to sit through four minutes of Catherine Tate.

We had a lab assistant nicknamed Igor.

8:13 pm  
Anonymous NiC said...

I'll forgive you-know-who on account of another chance to hear Tom Lehrer's Periodic Table ditty.

I also like your veg-table-poster.

8:57 pm  
Blogger dinahmow said...

This was a couple of years ago

12:19 am  
Blogger zIggI said...

I was so fascinated with the elements site I forgot to comment yesterday! I appear to be Lawrencium - is that good?

Always an education here Kaz - I thank you :)
And by the way Well Done giving Chelsea the boot - I meant to say that earlier too, I don't know where the time goes when I'm doing nothing!

8:55 am  
Blogger Christopher said...

This has made me feel completely alien, like a small child pressing his nose against the window. No BBC 4, no chemistry or physics at school. The only contribution I can make is that I do periodically grow vegetables.

9:10 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Strange isn't it - I usually don't like the science TV programmes.
Except NCIS

Good old CSE - it damned with faint praise.

If you need tuition the standard rate applies.

Fair dos.
I never get tired of it.

That's gorgeous

Lawrencium doesn't actually exist.
It can be synthesised in a cyclotron but immediately changes into something else.
Sounds fine to me.

All that and no custard either.
'periodically grow vegetables' (chuckles).

10:23 am  
Blogger Kerrie said...

Sorry I think that programme clashes with, The Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, so I will never know about periodic vegetables.

2:59 pm  
Blogger mago said...


3:29 pm  
Blogger zIggI said...

:) that's a remarkably accurate description of me, especially just prior to going out.

4:05 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Are you looking for tips before you go for the book deal?


Thought so.
Wasn't the Chelsea result marvellous?
We did it all for you and Sir Alex.

5:53 pm  
Blogger Kevin Musgrove said...

I get angry beyond measure at science programmes: it's OK to present arts programmes as if the viewer is a rational grown-up but science always has to be pitched at eight year-olds.

10:19 pm  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

I was crap at chemistry... cuz it has lots of math in it.

And I was even more crap at math...

I'm a whiz at geography though! Does that count?

3:21 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Yes - and by the time they get to the grown up bit - you've fallen asleep.

Funnily enough Geography always was and still is a total mystery to me.
I always wonder why you have math and we have maths.

9:02 am  
Blogger Madame DeFarge said...

I never did quite get science subjects at school, being an avowed English/History gal. But Tom Lehrer is more than sufficient to improve my knowledge of chemistry.

10:26 pm  
Blogger garfer said...

My Biology teacher was a dwarf who informed us that food was more interesting than sex, my Physics teacher liked to fiddle with springs, and my Chemistry teacher had suffered a horrific car accident and had some interesting scars and a squint.

Science scarred me for life.

11:05 pm  
Blogger mago said...

I'd like to make it bigger.

I learned it as "mathematic-s" - plural - and a part of the word's root is "techne", the old greek "ability" (?); it was explained to us as an ongoing solving of problems. Nobody cared to explain where these problems would come from or whatever their nature should be: The - admittetly rude - question "What fucking problems are you talking about?" was never answered. Same went for chemistry.

There have never been satisfying answers.
Why does this and that happen?
Because it is in the crystal structure.

There are forces. That's it.
When you would come up with such an answer in a historical or philsosphical seminar, you'd have a chance to change - or get lost. There should be an explanation - in historical and philosophical matters it is in what humans do, think or believe and finally, want and fear. But you can not know what a cristal structure wants - it wants nothing. So it is. There are forces. Ta. Where they come from, what they are for, anything that would create something like "sense", "Sinn" - nada. It is. Basta. I can very well understand Macy.

12:47 am  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

One is more than enough for me... making it multiples just scares me!

So I will keep my singular math and you can keep your plural maths... deal?

2:03 am  
Blogger Roses said...

I'm just not that way inclined. Sciences. Maths. Nope. Not me. That's why God invented calculators and scientists. So I don't have to worry about it.

10:25 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Students of all ages and abilities loved that Tom Lehrer song.

Some people have all the luck.

But crystal structures are beautiful if maybe a little cold and unfeeling.
And see latest post for Chemical forces of attraction.

OK deal.
Just don't expect me to do geography!

I can't begin to tell you how much scientific calculators improved my job.
Don't suppose you remember log tables eh?

11:26 am  
Blogger mago said...

Right you are. It's all about beauty. And attraction.

11:12 am  

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