In my job, and especially over the course of the last few years, I find myself dealing increasingly with matters related to chemicals. I don't actually handle chemicals myself but I work in the Transportation Industry in a position that requires me to stay up-to-date on rules and regulations for things like safe confined space entry, material safety data related to product residues, and the proper marking of containers that carry products considered to be potentially hazardous. On the shelf above my desk you will find a well thumbed Emergency Response Guide and a copy of Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary.
Recently I thought it might be both interesting and helpful if I learned the Periodic Table of Elements by heart to the point that I could draw a good portion of it from memory on a sheet of paper. I saw no need to include the f-block Lanthanoids (rare earth elements) or Actinoids (radioactive elements) and certainly not the so-called "synthetic" elements from atomic number 104 on up. Mainly I would like to concentrate on the elements that are relative to what I may encounter in my job at some point. I just happened to be browsing the Internet for a nice copy of the Periodic Table when I came across a website of the University of Nottingham in England that is dedicated to the Periodic Table and uses little video vignettes to tell stories about each element. Once you hear a story it helps to locate the element in its proper place on the chart. It is an amazing undertaking. They have produced a very interesting video for each of the elements. You can find the site by clicking on this link: The Periodic Table of Videos
They have another interesting site related to chemistry at: Test Tube
There is also a neat site related to Mathematical Symbols called: Sixty Symbols
I am delighted by another site of theirs that is dedicated to words and I suggest that you visit it and start with the French wine term "terroir". You can find it at: Words of the World
Who knew that Nottingham is more than Sherwood Forest and the old stomping grounds for Robin Hood and his Merry Men? It just so happens that Nottingham is the seventh-largest urban area in the United Kingdom and the home of a university that ranks in the top 1% of universities worldwide. If I were a young man or woman in high school who is thinking about going to a great university I would definitely consider the University of Nottingham. However, for me, the second best thing is to take advantage of what they have to offer on line. It is not only educational. It is FUN!
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