Firstly (hat tip to Disease of the Week), scientists have discovered a new element. Ununseptium, with the atomic number of 117, it is the second heaviest element every discovered. It’s not naturally occurring so you’re unlikely to bump into it on the street. Uranium is the largest natural element at a mere 92, not that you’re likely to bump into it on the street either.
Mr. 117 was made by colliding atoms of calcium with berkelium in a particle accelerator north of Moscow. The lead researchers are keeping mum about the name, which apparently takes years to properly assign. I say, to the winds with it! Let us name it at once! I suggest cannonballium, in honor of its heaviness.
Secondly hat tip to(Not Exactly Rocket Science), meet a new species of giant monitor lizard from the Phillipines.
He enjoys eating fruit, long walks in the forest and hiding from scientists. It measures two meters in length. You’d think that being a big guy, someone would have noticed it by now. Well the local tribespeople had, in fact they sometimes eat it. They call it bitatawa, and that name has been kept in the official name Varanus bitatawa. I think that’s the right thing to do, seeing as really they saw it first.
It be humbling to think that in all the years we have Adamlike been naming creatures of the Earth that there are still some around which have hidden from our notebooks. Meanwhile we drag our feet in naming an element made by man.