Not being strictly a math & stat nerd, I also feel the need to celebrate National Mole Day, which just happens to fall on October 23rd every single year. Why October 23? Well, a mole represents a specific number of atoms or molecules in a set unit of mass; that number is known as Avogadro’s number and is approximately 6.0221415*10^23. And as you can see, October 23, or 10/23 in mm/dd format represent the base and power of Avogadro’s number.
How does one celebrate Mole Day? I celebrate by playing Sporcle‘s ‘Can You Name The Elements Of The Periodic Table‘ quiz. How many of the elements can you name? Thanks to practice, I can name all of them in about 7 to 8 minutes. I mentioned I’m a nerd, right?
Of course, whenever I play, I find that the last few always have me stumped. I’ll have to sit for a while trying to remember them, but usually/eventually they come to me. And every time I finish I feel just a little bit nerdier than the last.
I remember some of the elements simply because I like the sound of their names. Others I have associated with various people, places, etc. For example, I remember Dubnium (Db) and Hafnium (Hf) by thinking of George ‘Dubya’ Bush, who may or may not have been a “Haf”-wit. Samarium (Sm) comes to me by thinking about the Good Samaritan. And whenever I get stuck on Cadmium (Cd), I somehow think of a Caramilk bar and remember it. Weird? Maybe. But it works. Also, I don’t normally have to think about the first 20 or so as I was required to memorize them when I was in high school – but I always loved that the sequence of Boron (B), Carbon (C), Nitrogen (N) and Oxygen (O) always, always, always made me think of bacon.
For complete nerd disclosure, I feel that I should also mention that I find a few elements particularly awesome. Their awesomeness is completely subjective on my part. That is, I like them because I think they have some pretty wicked awesome sounding names. For example:
Anyway, I’ll leave you with a couple of comics that I think are rather hilarious. Happy Mole Day all y’all.