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Two recent text message conversations worth sharing.

July 6, 2009

The first was with my brother Spencer:

Spen: I’m reading at work the first part of a biography of Lyndon Johnson, titled “The Path to Power.” I’m afraid people are going to think it’s one of those nutty empowerment books, like “The Secret.” No hocus pocus for me, just solid history. History as honest as salt on eggs, true as a fine whiskey, colorful as the inside of a horse.
Me: The inside of a horse is black, until you introduce light by cutting it open.
Spen: That’s what a good biographer does — slaughters the horse.
Me: Can I quote you on that one?
Spen: Please.

The second was with my dad:

Me: Hey dad, which element makes blue? ;)
Dad: Copper blue, sodium yellow, calcium orange, strontium red, barium green. Happy 4th!
(Me: Hahaha, awesome! Happy 4th!)

My dad is a chemist, and every year when we were little and we would watch the fireworks, he would quiz us on which colors were made by which elements. I always forget, though. The above text conversation took place while I was watching the fireworks in Sugarhouse.

I’m just now noticing he didn’t say what makes white or purple. I’m pretty sure Magnesium is white. But I don’t know what makes purple! Dad? You don’t read this, do you?…

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather Galovan permalink
    July 6, 2009 3:25 pm

    I love these, they are very fun! and where did the horse metaphor come from?

  2. the MomB permalink
    July 6, 2009 3:37 pm

    Is it bismuth that makes pink?
    I think purple is made by combining red and blue (strontium and copper).

  3. July 7, 2009 10:37 am

    That horse comment is awesome. Makes me jealous I didn’t write the whole conversation.

    On The Secret, here’s a cartoon that made me laugh: http://comics.com/matt_bors/2009-07-06/

  4. July 7, 2009 11:25 am

    (Delurking) Potassium makes purple.

    I’m going back to lurk mode. ;)

  5. Lili permalink*
    July 7, 2009 6:29 pm

    haha, awesome Megan. I’m glad you delurked; It’s fascinating to discover that people actually read this.

  6. July 8, 2009 12:57 pm

    Actually, your bookbinding blog was a Google recommended blog in my reader!

  7. Lili permalink*
    July 8, 2009 1:11 pm

    Very cool!

  8. Fodder Dude permalink
    July 8, 2009 5:29 pm

    For the record, I had forgotten half the colors. I happened to be sitting at the computer when I got your text message, and Google is the old codger’s friend.

    TheMomB is right about purple, but rubidium gives purple directly. It’s not nearly as rare as once thought — just difficult to isolate. It’s currently thought to be 16th in abundance.

    http://periodic.lanl.gov/elements/37.html

    Aluminum, magnesium, and titanium (as metals, not salts) burn with a brilliant, intense white.

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