Something Rather Than Nothing

Hello! Yes, it has been a while. And it was a while before that, too.

What on Earth is going on?

The answer is not terribly interesting, I’m afraid. Life has simply become a lot more hectic since the time when I was reliably cranking out an episode every other week. Sadly, that hectic activity has had a major effect on the podcast — partly because matters of health, family, work and such must come first, but also because I want each episode I release to be an episode worth releasing, and that takes a fair bit of time.

I’ve long hesitated to post a note like this in the hopes that I could soon just post an episode instead. Time enough has passed, though, and you all deserve something other than silence. (Some of you have very kindly sent messages asking about the status of the program, and it took me far too long to respond to those, too. That’s even more impolite, and I do apologize.)

The good news is, the podcast is not abandoned — simply moving at a much slower pace as it gets older, just like everyone else. In fact, I’m very excited about the next episode, Uranium. There are some fascinating stories to tell, and it’s going to be a little different from every episode that’s come before. I’m planning on posting it before the end of this month, May 2023.

I’m not sure what kind of release schedule I’ll be able to adhere to after that. I’m hoping it won’t be so many months between episodes again, but it will probably be sporadic for the foreseeable future.

My apologies again for the rude and awkwardly long silence. I’m glad to finally break it, to say that an episode is coming soon, and most of all, I’m very thankful to have you as a listener.

Take care, everyone. Use a fume hood, wear protective goggles, and always have a buddy when working with hydrogen cyanide.

25 Replies to “Something Rather Than Nothing”

  1. Another message saying it’s great hearing from you, I look forward to uranium, and send good wishes. As to the silence, you had been showering us with gifts. That there was time for this listener to towel dry and look forward to another dousing prompts not even the thought of complaint. Hydrogen cyanide. Holy fumigation….

  2. Very glad to hear from you. And excited at the thought of delving into uranium! As for your hydrogen cyanide aside, it reminded me of a bit of doggerel from childhood:

    Little Johnny was a chemist,
    But little Johnny is no more;
    For what he thought was H2O
    Was H2SO4.

    Welcome back!

  3. TR, it’s fantastic to hear from you and lovely to know you are doing well, welcome back! Please things at your own pace, we’ll all still be here eagerly awaiting new episodes, and enjoying the past ones over and over.

    With best wishes,

  4. TRAppleton, its very very nice to hear from you. Your podcast has been my favourite, and your episodes are well worth any wait. It’s good to know that you are well too.

  5. Glad to hear that you are alive’n’kiking 😀
    To me, you are great whatever pace you can manage to release the episodes at. To start with, you are giving us such pearls of educational science that they worh waiting. second off, the periodic table is all but infinite! It will come to an and sooner or later 😭, so spending some more time in your company adventuring through the “island of stability” makes me feel better insted of rushing to the final brick of the jetty! 😉


    PS: have a look to the thin black line when we are moging with our host:

  6. I mean when’s the point of no return in the periodic table in terms of macroscopic amounts?

    Also does the UK have any facilities to produce superheavy elements?

    Finally when’s the next chalcogen in the periodic table?

  7. Great to hear. This is wonderful series and it would be a travesty for it to remain incomplete.

  8. Yes, it’s great to hear you have another episode coming soon. However, I rather be in your schedule time to take care of your needs &/or your responsibilities. I really enjoy your podcast. I wish you the best. Stay well and be safe!

    1. There is! Livermorium is the final chalcogen on the table, although it’s rather different from those that have come before. It’ll be a while before we get there though; it’s element 116.

      1. pinctogens are a new one on me… One non-google web search later Does the Carbon group have an obscure nickname like pinctogens for the Nitrogen group and chalcogens for the Oxygen group?

        1. Theoretically, there are people who refer to the carbon group as the “crystallogens”, but researchers have never directly observed this phenomenon.

    1. Even less so than Group 14. The term “icosagen” has been suggested, for the sometimes-shapes of their crystals, but it really feels like the chemistry equivalent of trying to make fetch happen.

  9. So far you’ve cover all the nonmetal halogens and one halogen that is a metalloid.

    There is one you hadn’t covered and it’s possibly a halogen metal but we can’t know for sure because the half lives of its known isotopes are too short lived

  10. My 8 year old daughter and I listen to you almost every night. She finds it relaxing and we learn together. Her favourite element is Gallium with Bismuth or “But-smith” as we affectionately say coming in second. If you find time, my daughter Mia would be stoked if you said hi.
    All the best.

Leave a Reply