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Civil War on the Periodic Table

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This is serious. They’re screwing with the periodic table again and I’m pissed…

Background…

By the age of 10 I’d memorized the periodic table in the back of Dad’s post-WWII college chemistry textbook. I could recite elemental statistics like dumber kids recited baseball stats. I’ve always loved that table. So elegant. So organized. So Nerdy.

One of the bits of trivia about the elements is, what is the rarest naturally occurring element? The answer is Alabamine, 85At205. It has no stable isotopes but is made by the decay of Uranium. It has been estimated that there are only about 25 grams of the stuff in the earth’s crust, down to 10 miles.

Do you have ANY idea how many chicks you can attract with trivia knowledge like that?  Yeah, I’m single too…..

WTF?!?!

So tonight I’m prowling a periodic table site and my eye naturally falls to the lower right corner for old familiar element 85. wtf? Where did Ab go? At is listed as the symbol and when I click on it, I get a Wikipedia (the roulette wheel of knowledge) for Astatine. WTF?!?!?!

So I Google. I find this. It lists Alabamine as formerly Astatine. OK, that looks good. I find this, Feb 15th, 1932 Time article on the discoverer of Alabamine, Professor Fred Allison of Alabama Polytechnic Institute. (Did anyone else know that Time has its morgue online?

Here It references back to Astantine. WTF?!?!

I’m beginning to see a pattern of discrimination here. As a thoroughly unreconstructed Southern boy, I’m good at that. I ain’t up there with Ralph David and Jessie but I’m pretty good. I see that all the yankees are trying to take credit away from our good ole Southern boy, Prof Fred Allison. It’s a conspiracy of the ruling yankee elite! First our slaves and now our Alabamine!

Both as a Southerner and a Nerd, I take this very seriously. WTF do they mean, screwing around with my periodic table? This is as bad as Sieverts and Grays, as silly as cm and pascals, as awful as Bars and joules. Well, OK, Gray is fine as long as it’s south of the Mason-Dixon line and on a uniform.

Change just to be changing stuff. Don’t you just hate that? Looks like we may need War for the Southern Independent Periodic Table just like we need one for Southern Weights and Measures. Imagine, a Southerner using anything as french as liters and kilograms, especially after they left us hanging during the First Great War. The Yanks moving down here will just have to learn Our Way (TM)

John, In Occupied Tennessee.

Posted by neonjohn on February 6th, 2008 under Funny, Science



2 Responses to “Civil War on the Periodic Table”

  1. Lucent Says:

    How coincidental, the periodic table you linked to was made by someone in Athens, TN.

  2. Henry Says:

    and don’t forget Cycles Per Second

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