Author Topic: Episode #304  (Read 3688 times)

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Offline SJMann

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2011, 03:57:58 AM »
Good podcast, Jon Ronson sounds like a very interesting guy. I will have to get a copy of that book.

Offline Trinoc

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2011, 04:36:44 AM »
Time for an easier question.  I'm sure all of you guys can figure out what the name The Disappearing Spoon references.  This one is actually quite interesting and the hint for this question is that it references an April fools joke.   I'm actually surprised Steve didn't use this in fact or fiction because its as bizarre as all hell.

Too easy. The old stunt of making a teaspoon out of gallium with a melting point just below 30°C, so it melts as soon as you try to stir a hot drink with it. I don't think it's really all that bizarre that some elements have melting points in the range of temperatures we live in.

You could do the same trick with rubidium or caesium, if only they didn't react violently with water (one of my favourite Open University videos):

Alkali metals in water, accurate!


In tropical countries, maybe gallium should be regarded as the third liquid element, at least during daytime. Chlorine would also be liquid (-34°C) at some times of the year in parts of Antarctica or the far north.
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Offline Silly Llama

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2011, 07:14:55 AM »

In tropical countries, maybe gallium should be regarded as the third liquid element, at least during daytime. Chlorine would also be liquid (-34°C) at some times of the year in parts of Antarctica or the far north.

Is there a specific scientific definition of the colloquial and vague term "room temperature"?  I mean, there are rooms in the LHC that are near absolute zero, clearly just because a room has been a certain temperature doesn't mean that's "room temperature".  I personally think of room temperature as 20C to 25C.

Offline Trinoc

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2011, 07:27:37 AM »
In tropical countries, maybe gallium should be regarded as the third liquid element, at least during daytime. Chlorine would also be liquid (-34°C) at some times of the year in parts of Antarctica or the far north.

Is there a specific scientific definition of the colloquial and vague term "room temperature"?  I mean, there are rooms in the LHC that are near absolute zero, clearly just because a room has been a certain temperature doesn't mean that's "room temperature".  I personally think of room temperature as 20C to 25C.

"Normal temperature and pressure"  (NTP) seems to have several definitions, but I think around 20C is what is normally regarded as "room temperature". So, in that case, mercury and bromine are still the only two elements liquid at room temperature.
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Offline Entropydave

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2011, 07:29:37 AM »
Great podcast as usual....

Have to blow my own trumpet though.... for the first time EVAR I not only got the Science or Fiction correct, I got it correct immediately as the questions were asked!
I even knew that Mme Curie's first name is Sklowodska - because she has a uranium mineral named after her which i have in my collection called Cuprosklowodskite.

Not sure why i am telling you all... must be screaming "Validate me....please! Validate me!"
Jeez I'm pathetic.

 ???
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Offline Silly Llama

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2011, 03:41:50 PM »
In tropical countries, maybe gallium should be regarded as the third liquid element, at least during daytime. Chlorine would also be liquid (-34°C) at some times of the year in parts of Antarctica or the far north.

Is there a specific scientific definition of the colloquial and vague term "room temperature"?  I mean, there are rooms in the LHC that are near absolute zero, clearly just because a room has been a certain temperature doesn't mean that's "room temperature".  I personally think of room temperature as 20C to 25C.

"Normal temperature and pressure"  (NTP) seems to have several definitions, but I think around 20C is what is normally regarded as "room temperature". So, in that case, mercury and bromine are still the only two elements liquid at room temperature.


Thanks.  That all makes sense.

Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2011, 04:10:11 PM »
I recall (dimly) from my 1st year of engineering school that there are at least some applications in which 25C is the standard temperature, and there is also a standard pressure which I don't remember lol.  That sounded less and less helpful the more I typed, and yet I'm still hitting "Post".
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Offline Trinoc

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2011, 04:25:57 PM »
I recall (dimly) from my 1st year of engineering school that there are at least some applications in which 25C is the standard temperature, and there is also a standard pressure which I don't remember lol.  That sounded less and less helpful the more I typed, and yet I'm still hitting "Post".

That's why they are called standards. Everybody loves standards so much that they all want their own ...
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Offline Citizen Skeptic

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2011, 05:57:30 PM »
room temperature in the us is 15-30C. in the eu, it's 15-25C. in japan, curiously enough, it's either 1 or 0 to 30C. at least in the pharma industry.

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Offline DG

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2011, 07:52:45 PM »
My chem teacher did the alkali in water test - with potassium. It was awesome.

A small portion 'popped' out of the container and onto my lip were it promptly burned a small hole and caused great deal of pain.

All I can say is I am glad that he made us wear goggles. It was a little close for comfort.
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Offline Skeptic

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2011, 07:56:54 PM »
Always a good podcast episode.  Strangely relative to me.

Concerning aluminum, I had was told by my Chemistry teacher that Napoleon actually owned a set aluminum cutlery.

As for bromine.  My brother whilst working as a lab tech acidentally splashed some on his hand.  When a chemical is splashed on they will run to the tap and quickly rinse.  However this sank into his skin immediately.  His hand turned white and he was rushed in agony to the hospital.  His hand was bandaged up.  After however many days it was I saw beneath the bandage and he had normal coloured skin underneath the dead skin that was coming off as reddish, dark brown, flaps of dead skin.  I remember it was bromine because it happened to my bro.

Here is a pic of the chemical burn that bromine gives you:
http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.woundbegone.com/acute-gallery/acute1/3b.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.woundbegone.com/acute_wounds.html&usg=__1NZmXKy-rhA_IBSifvGNPo91uTw=&h=413&w=550&sz=67&hl=en&start=8&sig2=mtUMcb3rg8pwCpsbxy8_ZA&zoom=1&tbnid=zw5-NbQj70nrUM:&tbnh=100&tbnw=133&ei=-WbUTfmvFs-G-waQ3pDYCg&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dbromine%2Bskin%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26rlz%3D1G1GGLQ_ENUK351%26biw%3D1680%26bih%3D863%26tbm%3Disch0%2C1359&um=1&itbs=1&biw=1680&bih=863


Yeah check out Jon Ronson's other stuff too.  Especially this BBC radio 4 stuff.  http://jonronson.com/ronsonon.html

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2011, 08:06:18 PM »
I heard the al napoleon thing on the napoleon podcast. I tried to post a picture but could confirm if any of the shots were actually napoleons.
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Offline vespine

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2011, 11:50:35 PM »
I knew Sklodowska as well, because I'm polish, that's why I was so surprised I'd never heard that her daughter had also won a Noble prize!

Also a minor addition is that the most aluminum is bound in Bauxite ore, I don't believe it is correct to call that an aluminum oxide, and it was the Hall–Héroult process or "aluminum smelting" discovered towards the end of the 19th century which made it easy to extract.

Offline Rayna

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #43 on: May 20, 2011, 05:15:53 AM »
Easiest Fact or fiction ever :)

Also, Rebecca, There is this other village/people that use rocks as currency as well although I have no references....

This village has this rock in the centre of the village, and when they trade they trade their share of the rock... Everyone in the village owns a specific amount of the rock and they barter for their shares of the rock.... Peoples shares are drawn/painted on it and changed when deals are done...
Fox news are Fair and Balanced... They are all 'fairly' good looking, and they are able to 'balance' upright as they are walking down the street.

Offline GodSlayer

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Re: Episode #304
« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2011, 06:13:38 AM »
Easiest Fact or fiction ever :)

Also, Rebecca, There is this other village/people that use rocks as currency as well although I have no references....

This village has this rock in the centre of the village, and when they trade they trade their share of the rock... Everyone in the village owns a specific amount of the rock and they barter for their shares of the rock.... Peoples shares are drawn/painted on it and changed when deals are done...

is this a Wall St joke?
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