04 November 2010

Titanium, Germanium and Francis Scott Key

All that Glitters is Not Titanium

Earlier this week, I was in the Fairmont General Hospital HealthPlex where there is a large wellness center/gym/work out area, urgent care center, doctors offices and so forth. FGH is a non-profit hospital and occasionally runs capital contribution campaigns. The HealthPlex was built three or four years ago, partly with sizeable donations, and there are the usual plaques to commemorate the donors and the levels of giving. On the wall by the elevators are four large plaques for the five levels. The first four are fairly humdrum, and follow the per ounce monetary value of metals: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. But they had five levels and had to name another metal. Plutonium and Americium are more valuable than Platinum, but I understand why they might avoid those. So, the highest giving level is denoted “Titanium.” That seems strange.

Mind you, I consider titanium a superior metal. The spreader arms of the first model of the Hurst Rescue Tool (“The Jaws of Life”) were fabricated of forged titanium. They were about 2 feet long had to be able to exert over 20,000 pounds of force at the tips without deforming or breaking. Titanium is used in some aircraft construction. Also, titanium is being used these days to make some very nice looking and relatively inexpensive jewelry. Perhaps this is not something random and the FGH Foundation has hit upon the idea of ranking metals not solely by their monetary value but by by their metallurgical properties and their usefulness to mankind. Based upon that, I have made a careful study of the periodical table of elements [don’t hassle me, I know that bronze is an alloy] and I suggest the following11 levels of giving, Olympic medals, and so forth, based on usefulness to mankind and my personal yet impeccable opinions:

1 - Iron
2 - Copper
3 - Aluminum
4 - Lead
5 - Zinc
6 - Mercury
7 - Tungsten
8 - Germanium
9 - Titanium
10 - Magnesium
11 - Chromium

If I had to choose number 12, it would be bronze. Silver and gold just don’t make the list. I extend apologies to Oliver Goldsmith and Paul Revere.

Note: I recognize that it would be a real bear of a job to fashion a medal out of mercury. Not my problem, I’m just the creative brains of the outfit.

Dumb Question for Wednesday

“How did the election go for you?”

Who cares? The election is OVER. What counts now is what the people we elected DO and what WE do as citizens from this day forward.

Francis Scott Key - Read the Next Stanza

The old boy knew that he wasn’t waxing lyrical about a people who were already perfect:

“God mend thine every flaw.
Confirm thy soul in self control,
Thy liberty in law.”

Pippa passes.



sheila222 said...

Isn't that from America the Beautiful? Am I missing something, not making some connection? I must confess sometimes the meanderings of your writings do not conform to the meanderings of my mind. Please advise.

Roger D. Curry said...

Oh, piffle! Details, details! So what if I had the wrong song, wrong songwriter, and made a horrid display of my profound ignorance to all the world?!? Po-tay-to, po-tah-to! :-)

You're right, dear friend Sheila! Well, the thought is intact, even though the details were fuzzy. Thanks, dear one!


sheila222 said...

Last verses are often the most profound,,, in the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me, as he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, while God is marching on.... a personal favorite.

David said...

What about the more important elements for awards. I might suggest oxygen, hydrogen, carbon for the first three.

Cindy said...

Yes it was written in 1895 by Katherine Lee Bates, inspired by a visit to the top of Pikes Peak. There is still an elementary school named after her in Colorado Springs.