The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The rules are simple – turn to page 56 in your current read (or 56% in your e-reader) and post a few non-spoilery sentences.
This week’s quote is from Periodic Tales: a Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc.
On another website, Theodore Gray’s periodic table is a masterpiece of the carpenter’s art – he will even sell you a periodic table table. The story of each element lies on the other side of an engraved wooden portal. Once past this timber threshold, there are beautiful images of the element and its minerals and details of where and how he obtained them. The sources are sometimes exotic, but more often very ordinary: his cerium comes from a camp-fire starter bought from Walmart, his bromine in the form of sodium bromide used to salt the water in hot-tubs. He also accepts donations. ‘A lot of people seem to have an element or two in their attic,’ he notes laconically on the site. ‘By the way, if you have any depleted Uranium from Afghanistan, I could use it.’