January 13th, 2016

Petition Created to Name New Periodic Table Element After Terry Pratchett’s 'Colour of Magic'


Saw this in Electric Literature - What a fab idea!!!


After ringing in the New Year by adding four new elements to the periodic table, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) faces a petition to name one of its newly minted building blocks in honor of Sir Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic. The Change.org petition (currently 42,632 supporters strong) requests that the IUPAC name element 117 ‘Octarine,’ for the “colour of magic” in Pratchett’s Discworld universe. The petition was created by Dr. Kat Day, who writes for the blog The Chronicle Flask.

Pratchett and the yet-t0-be-named element look to be quite a match. 117 is one of the heaviest elements and the final halogen in the periodic table. Its addition has reportedlygiven scientists hope in finding the “islands of stability,” theoretical elements whose “magic numbers” of protons and neutrons give them remarkably long life. In The Colour of Magic, Sir Terry described octarine as “the King Colour, of which all the lesser colours are merely partial and wishy-washy reflections. It was octarine, the colour of magic. It was alive and glowing and vibrant and it was the undisputed pigment of the imagination, because wherever it appeared it was a sign that mere matter was a servant of the powers of the magical mind. It was enchantment itself.” That’s a pretty strong start for a new element looking to build its reputation in the rough-and-tumble world of international scientific research and tenth grade chemistry classes. Dr. Day also argued that ‘Octarine’ “makes perfect sense,” since, as a halogen, “117 ought to have an ‘ine’ ending” to be consistent with the other elements in the group. (The abbreviation – Oc – would, be pronounced “ook” – remember the Librarian who runs things at the Unseen University?)

The Whole Artical HERE

Being an unashamed and fully-signed-up Pratchettian, I have voted on it :-D

James Joyce Cartoon

Welcome to the end of days.  Am still trying to write about James Joyce and Ulysses, with one day to go.  I have effectively given up writing for now - I have heard there is one student that hasn't even started, another's laptop has died and has been unsuccessful in retrieving her work, another deleted her's in a drunken rant and cannot find it in the recycle bin, or indeed on the machine at all.  I have not been able to go to bed until at least 2,420 words have been written, which I have only just done.

I will not be sad to see the back of this assignment - it is sad that I am so fractious and twee about this, but rootling through 'Circe' has made me ick.

When I wake up (and it will be early), I will dedicate the entire day and night to getting this sorted, converted to pdf and then uploaded - this will only get done if I  BLOCK MY WHOLE FAMILY FROM INTERRUPTING ME!!!! I think I can see me pulling an all-nighter to get this done.  I will probably spend Friday asleep and then press on with 'Lolita'.