From chaos to drift,
the inhuman landscape,
snatches of music,
ensnared in the fiction,
the inescapable illusion of our being.
The dream returns,
half remembered, half forgotten,
False flick, false form, but falseness close to kin,
From the rubble of artifice,
The wreckage of the day long gone,
But things must go their own way
Reborn as myth from the commotion its left,
Beyond our control,
Where humans must enact their fate
From chaos to drift.
From A to B
stomping between being
it is what it is not
& is not what it is,
the big arsed hairless baboon
from what it’s left to what it will be
A to B the myth of it’s morality,
the memory of what it’s forgotten,
what it should be, at play with the day.
A to B, in the transit shift of the scene,
closes the world where we belong,
without belonging in it all,
at that point beyond fiction,
the nothingness which is everything.
Notes towards a supreme fiction. Wallace Stevens.(italics mine)
Being and Nothingness. John Paul Sartre.(italics mine)
from the “Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#105, Db)
Over the years, the U.S. and Russia
have fought over all sorts of things —
inter-continental ballistic missiles
to carry those bombs,
even getting men into space,
or winning the most Olympic medals,
or even… Making new chemical elements.
You may think of the Cold War
when I mention the U.S. and Russia,
oh, I’m sorry, the Soviet Union,
but you could probably also think
of the Transfermium Wars
where both countries spilled a lot of
in an effort to come out the winner.
Because it was both Dubna in the USSR
and Berkeley California in the U.S.A.
that claimed the discovery of this element,
but after the Cold War, the IUPAC
(oh, don’t make me spell that out for you,
the International Union of Pure
and Applied Chemistry, the group
that decides the names for elements)
said that credit for this discovery
should be shared between the two.
But if the two countries no longer
battled over who discovered it first,
they could at least then argue
over the naming rights for the element…
The Soviets wanted to call it nielsbohrium
for the Danish nuclear physicist Niels Bohr.
The Americans wanted to call it hahnium
for the late German chemist Otto Hahn.
SO, American and Western Europeans
started calling the element hahnium,
while the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc
countries went on calling it nielsbohrium.
So the IUPAC gave the name unnilpentium
(one zero five, Unp) as a temporary name.
Though the two countries still disagreed
over the naming of this new element,
The IUPAC then decided on Dubnium,
to honor the Russian discovery location.
I think the only reason it got to be named
after Dubna is because America had
so many elements already named for them
(like berkelium, californium, americium),
and if the elements AROUND one oh five
(rutherfordium and seaborgium) are U.S.,
Dubnium can offset the American discoveries.
So yeah, even after all these decades
of competition and mistrust,
a third party had to come in — repeatedly —
to try to settle our squabbles,
kind of like the UN…
But now that we’re got the name
figured out for element one oh five,
maybe now we can learn about Dubnium,
So I did a little research, and lo and behold,
scientists haven’t been able to figure
this element out either.
Melting point? Unknown.
Boiling point? Unknown.
I guess that’s what we get
for battling with the Soviet Union
(well, okay, later Russia)
to try to create a highly radioactive metal
which doesn’t even occur in nature.
Only a few atoms have ever been made,
so I guess our “creation”
is for research interest only.
…But wait a minute, we just created
a radioactive element — should we worry
that if this spreads we’ll turn
into a radioactive planet?
Will our progenitors
be a radioactive species?
Well, that might sound like a thrill
for comic book guy, but Dubnium
is so unstable that it would decompose
so quickly that it’ll never affect humans.
And because of Dubnium’s half life
of half a minute (that’s short, by the way),
there’s no point in even worrying
about it’s affects on the environment either.
So as I said, sorry comic book guy,
but this won’t turn us
into radioactive people
or kill us by radiation…
Hmmm, maybe the United States
and Russia once worked
on trying to blow each other up
with nuclear bombs and missiles,
but when it came to the Dubnium battles
in the Transfermium Wars, maybe for once
we were both working at the same time
on something for science
that will only help us learn.
“Once, there lived and existed
a great learned man,
with a beard
almost as long as God’s.”
Daniel Posen wrote that,
about Demitri Mendeleev,
a Russian scientist
who created the
Periodic Table as we know it.
There’s even a sculpture
outside the Bratislava, Slovakia
University of Technology —
in the center is Mendeleev’s head,
fully adorned with metallic curves
for his flowing name and beard,
as rows of elements
emanate from his head.
Because while other scientists
tried to come up with ways
to order the known elements,
a system of elements,
based on their weights
and explaining their properties —
this idea showed the spaces
between the atomic weights
of discovered elements,
and explained the properties
of elements that would only be
discovered in the future.
It’s good to know
that just a few years after
the American Civil War ended,
that scientists globally
were able to understand
the relationship between
the elements, thanks to Mendeleev.
And it’s sad
that the science community
waited for nearly half a century
after this God-like scientist’s death
to mane an element after him.
Mendeleev did many odd jobs
during his life,
not unlike Albert Einstein,
with an element named after him
only two spots away
on Mendeleev’s Periodic Table.
And the thing is,
Mendelevium is only created
after smashing Einsteinium
with alpha particles…
But it’s sad,
that with all of the research
the world has done
to learn about this element,
we still know so little.
Mendeleev taught us
how to research and discover more,
but now that we found
only trace amounts of Mendelevium,
we still don’t know what to do…
Because once we’ve found you,
if you don’t give us enough
so we can learn,
we’re forced to wonder:
will you be more like Einsteinium,
silvery-white, radioactive —
but with an estimated enthalpy
that underlines your danger to us?
Because I imagine that you,
will show us how to learn
then leave us alone
to struggle for you.