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Oliver Sachs and the scandium hamburger

Finally actually read Uncle Tungsten. About which, two little points.

1) If anyone is stupid enough to think that we might run out of hafnium refer them to the chapter “The Land of Stibnite” where why we won’t is explained.

2) He talks at the end of dreaming of a scandium hamburger. And, once, he was presented with one. Here. About which, well, I donated a piece or two to that periodic table table. And that scandium hamburger was made out of my scandium.

Jus’ sayin’

7 thoughts on “Oliver Sachs and the scandium hamburger”

  1. Interesting article. The experiments bit reminded me of one of mine. Their thermite mix didn’t go off. Mine did, a whole paint tin full! Also I thought of an ex army guy who used to do chemistry tours. I saw him in my teens. The one that sticks in my mind is the energy in different carbon bonds, using ethane, ethylene and acetylene in glass bottles. Ethane gives a pop, ethylene a bang and acetylene shatters the bottle!

  2. I had never heard of Oliver Sacks but enjoyed the article and following various links which led down some interesting rabbit holes.

    I am now fighting the strong temptation to fork out nearly £1k on EBay for a useless but hugely desirable acrylic sculpture of the periodic table complete with 84 small samples (presumably this excludes the various radioactives along with unobtainium).

  3. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Possibly the same guy used to make and sell “periodic table tables”, and they did include at least the non-illegal radioactives. I would love to get my hands on one.

  4. He did, indeed. In fact, I supplied him with the lump of lutetium that they (he partnered up with a guy in the UK at one point) then cut up to put into them.

  5. BIT4R

    He trades on EBay as “The Periodic Element Guy” and appears to have plenty of stock available.

  6. “the annual burning of our restored native prairie acreage”: ah, a realist about the “environment”.

    Alas, my quick skim suggests he didn’t mention hats, though.

  7. This reminds me. I fancy myself one of those tungsten cubes. But shouldn’t they cost less than 200 quid for a kilogram one?

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