It’s amazing what you can do with those three things.
No, there will be no recipe today, although I almost always post one on Mondays. But I didn’t really cook this weekend, for more than one reason. First, Beloved had to extend his business trip to California and won’t be home until Tuesday. Secondly, Saturday afternoon, The Young One came up to me and said, “Mom? Um, there’s this project I, um, have to do for science? And it’s, um, due sorta, um, on Monday.”
The project was to do a poster board-type thing about an element from the periodic table. Yeah…just edge-of-your-seat type of stuff, especially when it’s a totally obscure particularly well-known element like Rhenium (Re, atomic weight 75, atomic mass 186). Nickel-based superalloys for the use in jet engines contain up to 6% of rhenium, making jet engine construction the largest use for the element, with chemical industry catalytic uses being next-most important. Because of the low availability relative to demand, rhenium is among the most expensive industrial metals, with a price average of 2009, exceeding US$6,000 per kilogram.
HEY! You can wake up now!
The project entailed listing the name, symbol, atomic weight and mass as well as the properties and practical applications of the element on a 10″ x 10″ (yes, 10 inch by 10 inch) piece of white board that MUST include a 3-dimensional rendering representing the element or it’s use(s).
If anyone cares to bitch-slap The Young One’s science teacher (who I think graduated from college 3½ hours ago) for assigning my son a very rare element whose only real commercial use is in jet engines or as a catalyst for processing unleaded gasoline and which MUST be rendered in 3D on this postage stamp-sized media, I will be more than happy to hold your coat. And buy you a steak dinner.
Oh, yeah – did I mention this was the first weekend in four months with temperatures in the 40s and sunny, blue skies? A weekend I spent braving the sweating, frenzied masses at the only (abysmally understaffed) craft store in town? Where I spent $37 on this project? Then spent an entire day of said gorgeous, sunny weekend with my loving offspring, whose interest in the project was remarkably absolutely non-existent, trying to figure out just what we were going to do with $37 worth of cardboard, poster board, glue, glitter, paint, Styrofoam and markers?
Well, we got through it, and if I may say so myself, we might not have a clue as to scale and construction, but for a couple of clueless klutzes, I think we did a half decent job.
I mean, really – could you make half a jet turbine engine out of poster board, glitter paint and glue?
Gee, I hope I get a good grade on it…