Showing posts from August, 2015

Three songs

Here are three great songs that all seem to have something to do with sickness. That's weird, right? "Cough Cough" by Everything Everything (which is "about having no money, and wanting more money, and wanting nothing to do with money at all," according to the lead singer, so maybe only metaphorically about sickness?) "Cough Coughing" by Menomena "Germs" by Yeasayer

Aqua regia

I came across the term aqua regia while reading, and looked it up. Wikipedia says the term is from Latin for “royal water”, and is also known as aqua regis (Latin, “king’s water”). In modern chemistry it’s known as nitro-hydrochloric acid. It got its name “because it can dissolve the noble metals gold and platinum.”A great story is related there:When Germany invaded Denmark in World War II, Hungarian chemist George de Hevesy dissolved the gold Nobel Prizes of German physicists Max von Laue (1914) and James Franck (1925) in aqua regia to prevent the Nazis from confiscating them. The German government had prohibited Germans from accepting or keeping any Nobel Prize after jailed peace activist Carl von Ossietzky had received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1935. De Hevesy placed the resulting solution on a shelf in his laboratory at the Niels Bohr Institute. It was subsequently ignored by the Nazis who thought the jar—one of perhaps hundreds on the shelving—contained common chemicals. After the…