Tag Archives: Americium

The Red Car Syndrome

You know, when you buy something and then notice everyone else has one… Well, sometimes this happens to me with ideas –the idea version of the red car syndrome. I have a thought, and then it seems to be everywhere for a little while. I was recently thinking about the medieval times, that so many people erroneously refer to as ‘the dark ages’. Before I point to the related ‘red cars’ that drove by me after thinking about this, I would like to define a new unit of time. You see, whenever thinking about something historical, I generally believe that most people don’t try to put things into a time scale. So, for the purposes of this post (and perhaps to be used later) I would like to define the ‘america’ or am., not to be confused with Am. the abbreviation for Americium. images

You see, I do think people have a decent sense for about how long ago America was founded; they have a whisper of an idea of what 237 years is. Other amounts, perhaps not so much. For instance, how long did the Byzantine empire last? Well, from Constantine I until the fall of Byzantium to the Turks was from 330 – 1453 and anyone who takes a moment will see that that is 1123 years, but did you know that that is 4.74 americas?

1123 yrs * (1 am. /237 yrs) = 4.738397 am.

Which rounded to the proper significant figures is 4.74 am. 🙂 Now to tell about three ideas that passed by.

So, first off: there is a ‘family tree’ of doctorates in the department here. I think it is one of the coolest things in the department. Since every doctorate requires study under another doctor, then you can trace a lineage of sorts. Half of the department traces back through time to a man teaching in 1580 AD in Padua, Giulio Cesare Casseri, who if Wikipedia isn’t lying was an anatomist. So, granted this man lived after what people usually call the dark ages, but did you know that the university in Padua was founded right in the middle of them? It was founded 1222 AD, or 1.51 am. before this grandfather of my chemistry department (22 ‘generations’ ago). Without these universities, usually founded off of cathedral or monastery schools, there would be no western science or medicine at all.

So there I was thinking about this, and lo and behold a video from PJ media.

And again, to reinforce the idea, was this article about the oldest complete Torah found in an Italian university, Bologna university… which is actually even older than Padua, 0.565 am. older in fact. The Torah isn’t that old, but this line is remarkable.

The professor said the scroll came to Bologna university from a Dominican monastery in the city, most likely after Napoleon disbanded religious orders in the country in the 19th century.

It was “completely normal” that Dominican friars would have an ancient Torah as there was close collaboration between Christian and Jewish scholars in the early Middle Ages, Perani said.

The scroll dates to late 12th and early 13th centuries by carbon dating, which, by the way is 3.43 am. old!

Well that’s it, though because I made up a new unit, I figured I would make a little list of ages in that unit

Time Anglo-Saxon England was ruled by Anglo-saxons = 2.18 am.
Time between first heavier than air flight and the moon landing = 0.278 am.
Time I have been alive = 0.105 am.
t ½ of 243Am = 31.1 am.
Time since America was founded…. Exactly 1 am. 🙂