U is for Ununoctium and the Island of Stability

Quick, without looking it up: how many elements are there on the periodic table? If I had asked that question before the first hydrogen bomb exploded in 1952, the answer would have been 98.   In that year, humans succeeded in synthesizing the first element that the crucibles of stars and supernovae hadn't supplied to Earth: Einsteinium. Since …

H is for Helium

Say goodbye to foil floating hearts on Valentines, shimmering floating shamrocks on St. Patty's, and the prospect of tying thousands of balloons to your house and abducting a neighbourhood boy scout.  The world's Helium reserve is going to run out, and sooner than you might think. Helium is the universe's second most abundant element and we've never …