A teenage science geek's quest to collect every element on the periodic table


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/08/a-teenage-science-geeks-ques.html


I am simultaneously saddened and delighted that my son won’t have access to all the dangerous toy store science kits I had as a kid.


Randall Munroe did it already. Because of course he did.


Michael J. Battaglia did it already too - in the 1960s.


He did! But less charmingly.


The summary, if you don’t want to sit through an hour-long video:

  • You could stack the top two rows without much trouble.
  • The third row would burn you with fire.
  • The fourth row would kill you with toxic smoke.
  • The fifth row would do all that stuff PLUS give you a mild dose of radiation.
  • The sixth row would explode violently, destroying the building in a cloud of radioactive, poisonous fire and dust.
  • Do not build the seventh row.


All together now:


Good luck getting more than a few atoms of francium, and having them stick around for more than a few minutes.


I’ve never been able to find a plutonium sample. Does anyone sell the stuff?



English radio DJ and author Simon Mayo would probably like a word…


Try (+1) 212-972-3105


And then the EPA came and took his shed down and buried it in the desert.


I seem to recall being able to pick some up at the Twin (Lone?) Pines Mall parking lot back in the day, but that was in '85. Hell, seemed like you could pick it up in every corner drugstore back then.



The neighbors should keep an eye on him.


The EPA is warm and cuddly. Violations of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons are more of an NNSA thing.


One of dRumpf’s Russian oligarch friends could probably help you with that.


On the periodic table lead is Plumbum.


I got yer Unobtanium right here, bub.


I got mercury simply by breaking mercury batteries (they don’t seem to make them anymore for some reason). I had fun rubbing it on pennies with my fingers, making them silvery coloured.