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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

When the mind has too much time...

I have one of those brains that never shuts up... no matter how I try.  When most peoples' brains shut down and shut up, mine looks for something to occupy itself.  My brain demands down time games when I'm doing something that does not require its presence.  One of those games is trying to name off the periodic table. 

Are you serious?  Yup.  Just now, I got 84 out of 118 while in the shower.  I know I probably lost a chunk of my audience at the words "periodic chart", because ejukashun isn't what it used to be.  But I think it's fun to try to go down the alphabet and see how many of the chemical elements I can name off.  (Oh, THAT periodic chart.)  It's fun for me to remember that some of the elements don't get their abbreviation from their English name (for example, oxygen is O, carbon is C, praseodymium is Pr), but from their ancient Roman (i.e. Latin) name.  Thus you have to find silver and gold in the As (silver= argentium=Ag, gold = aurium= Au), sodium under Na, lead under Pb (plumbum, which we get plumbing from because those daffy Romans used lead for their water pipes), tin under Sn, antimony under Sb.  (Antimony?  Isn't that what I pay my ex-wife?)

It gets easier if you remember some of the scientists who worked on the elements;  like Cm= curium for Madame Curie, Es= Einsteinium for Albert Einstein, Rf= rutherfordium for Rutherford B. Hayes.  Or to know where they work on such things; thus Cf=Californium, Bk = Berkeleium (for Berkeley), Ds = Darmstadtium for Darmstadt (in Germany, which also has Ge for Germanium).

I said Germanium, not geranium!

Then you have your radioactive elements (37 if I counted right), the ones not found in nature (20 of those), the ones that don't have a name yet (4 of those- I say we call them Martinium, Laurieum, Scrappyum, and KCesium).  See how neat this is?

Another one I like to do is naming the independent nations of the world.  If you count Kosovo and Taiwan, that's 197 states, 44 of them new since I was in grade school. 13 of these have a combined area about 69.8% of Indiana.  There are 14 nations just in the South Pacific (which I miss about half on a regular basis) six more island flyspecks in the Caribbean (where I usually lose count), and don't get me started on the fragments of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (which account for 22 of those 44).  One of my favorite cartoons from the era of the Soviet breakup came from that brief period where they called themselves the "Commonwealth of Independent States."  The plaque for the Soviet UN ambassador had been changed to "Smithereens", and the ambassador was complaining that it needed to be changed to "the Commonwealth of Independent Smithereens".  As I recall, he was seated beside the ambassador from Bunnyland.


Or I might try naming cities, rivers, animals, etc., with one from each letter of the alphabet and see how long it takes to thin out the letters I can actually fill in.  I'm always surprised how soon I run into trouble with the letter "R".


14 comments:

  1. I only try for the noble gases, at least while I'm in the shower. They're more uplifting.

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    1. Hee Hee. Do you count radon? Thanks for dropping by!

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  2. I would hate to play against you in Jeopardy!

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    1. Just ask Alex to load up with movie trivia, Hollywood stars, and Victorian novels. You'll own me.

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  3. And this is why I flunked science and chemistry!!

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    1. Why? Because I said rutherfordium was named after Rutherford B Hayes and you BELIEVED it?

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  4. I'm reading this and thinking, holy carp, this could actually be useful if you're doing Arlee bird's A - Z Blog Challenge. Ha!

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    1. No Js, no Qs, no Zs. Whadda I do then?

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  5. I used to count sheep in German when i had trouble sleeping.
    The words were wonderfully rhythmic and repetitive.
    As for the periodic table, I shall leave that to my scientist son

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    1. The goal is to keep me awake... after all, I don't want to fall off the toilet...

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  6. Chris:
    I know exactly what you mean by a "busy mind"...
    With me, it's all about everything from the house, to the cars, to the neighborhood, to online information...you name it.

    And that's why I firmly believe that I could NEVER be hypnotized...too active a brain.

    That's not to say we can't focus...it's just that we can do five other things WHILE focusding...LOL.

    Right?
    RIGHT?
    Hey, let's FOCUS here!

    :)

    Stay safe up there.

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    1. Back in my much younger days, I learned how to self-hypnotize. Bet I couldn't do that anymore if I were in solitary confinement.

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