It was during a solar eclipse in India on August 18, 1868 that astronomer Pierre Janssen noted an unusual line in the spectrum of the sun that didn’t correspond to any known element. Janssen didn’t realize it at the time, but he’d become the first person to discover helium. You’d think the element that occupies the Vice President slot on the periodic table would have been known about long before the 19th century, but despite being the second most abundant element in the universe, helium is actually quite rare on earth. Most terrestrial helium is generated by natural nuclear decay of heavy metals, and is often concentrated in natural gas… which is where most commercial helium is obtained, and why those rumors you hear are true that helium is just another on the long list of finite resources we should be conserving.
And now, I’ll quit sucking on the helium and go back to huffing leaded gasoline so I can be on the ball for this week’s Share Your World questions! Di from Pensitivity is once again filling in for a recuperating Melanie…
Do you prefer to live in a single story property like a bungalow, a high rise apartment, or a house?
I grew up in a two story house and have now spent 13 years in a single story home. At least it wasn’t reversed, because my knees could do the stairs so much better when I was a kid. Every room on the same floor is perfect for just me and a cat…
If you won a large amount of money on the lottery, would you want publicity or keep things quiet and low key?
You may as well walk into a seedy bar in the bad part of town and loudly announce to everyone you just inherited your uncle priceless art collection. While some people might do it out of foolishness, nobody in their right mind would want their coming into a great fortune to be known to every person who is now your long lost friend that really needs money….
How do you like your eggs?
Only in fried chicken batter and baked goods. And sometimes not even the latter. There is an infamous story in my family of the time my Mom (who wasn’t the next Julia Child) made brownies, but neglected to beat the eggs properly in the batter. So when me, my Dad and sisters began eating the brownies, and it suddenly started smelling like…… well, rotten eggs…… yes, there were chunks of cooked eggs yolk embedded in the brownies. That was at least 20 years ago, and we still haven’t let Mom live that one down….
If cars were no longer available, what would be your choice of transport?
Our aim is to make at least one person smile every day.
I used to have that goal every Thursday….