A to Z Challenge – GADOLINIUM

Day 7

April 8, 2016

The Magnificent Seven Letter: G


I love the sound of words. Case in point, Gadolinium. Say it, and feel the way it trips off your tongue, or just sounds inside your head. Sure, there are prettier sounding words, in this realm.

But what the heck is it?

I’m sure that most people who have ever taken a chemistry class will have come across it. The Faraday Girls (as I like to think of them) will know. *waving* Hope you’re having a great trip!

Okay back to our word at hand.

Here’s a hint:


It’s atomic number is 64. It’s ‘symbol’ is Gd. And it’s atomic mass is 157.25

It is a silvery-white, malleable and ductile rare-earth metal. It is found in nature only in combined (salt) form. Gadolinium was first detected spectroscopically in 1880 by de Marignac, who separated its oxide and is credited with its discovery. It is named for gadolinite, one of the minerals in which it was found, in turn named for chemist Johan Gadolin.

I know, it’s mind boggling.

But wait, it gets better:

Gadolinium metal possesses unusual metallurgic properties, to the extent that as little as 1% gadolinium can significantly improve the workability and resistance to high temperature oxidation of iron, chromium, and related alloys. Gadolinium as a metal or salt has exceptionally high absorption of neutrons and therefore is used for shielding in neutron radiography and in nuclear reactors. Like most rare earths, gadolinium forms trivalent ions which have fluorescent properties. Gadolinium(III) salts have therefore been used as green phosphors in various applications.

Now THAT is heady stuff!

The gadolinium(III) ion occurring in water-soluble salts is quite toxic to mammals. However, chelated gadolinium(III) compounds are far less toxic because they carry gadolinium(III) through the kidneys and out of the body before the free ion can be released into tissue. Because of its paramagnetic properties, solutions of chelated organic gadolinium complexes are used as intravenously administered gadolinium-based MRI contrast agents in medical magnetic resonance imaging.

So, I guess you’re wondering what a nice spritely minx like me would be remotely interested in such a thing.


One of the things which I loved about Mr. Quantum, when we were learning stuff about each other, was his passion and love for Science. While his favorite field is Astrophysics, and now, Particle Physics, when we first got hitched, we’d spend hours talking over the intricacies of his love for science. He got me quite interested in the periodic table, and before I knew it, he had me learning all the elements! I found so many of them sounded absolutely wonderful as words.


Hence, when today showed up, and G was the word (I probably should have thought of Grease; you know Grease is the word, is the word, is the word). But I didn’t. I thought of the beautiful sound of Gadolinium.



Info: Wikipedia

Photo: sciencenotes.org


A to Z Challenge – ANDERSON

Day 1:

April 1, 2016

The Scarlet Letter: A


anderson cooper

Being free association girl has dogged me for a hundred years (read that as forever), so it came as no surprise that Anderson Cooper head-bopped me when I saw the letter A.


I currently am taking part in a thread over at Gateworld (yes, the place where Stargate is still alive and kicking) that is about saying the first thing that comes into my head when I look at the last entry. Thus, seeing A, Anderson dropped in for a cup of tea, and his name landed smack dab in the middle of my first day of the A to Z Challenge.


Sure, I could have thought of Apple, or Animal, or Anybodys (character from West Side Story), but I knew that my mind didn’t work that way. Simple is not as Simon says.

I suspect Anderson Cooper has hung around in the dark recesses of my mind because we were unable to see him on New Years Eve, and the addiction (OH! another word I might have used) or is that the craving, has built up leaving us (yes Q is in on this as well) panting for more than the moment we caught his talk show (WHAT?) on CNN while we were staying at the Hampton Inn during Funeral Daze.

Seeing him then, now just a month later, sated us for just a moment, but he’s been under our skin for too long to just turn and walk away.

It all began on a dark and windy night, in a strange town called THE MOLE. We had not known him prior to this sojourn into reality television, and he was our first (we were virgins then) on the Reality Circuit.

(checking data – Does that seem right to you?)

And we watched faithfully as we were taken on a whirlwind tour of places we’d never been, and to music we’d never known. Bundle that with the challenge of trying to figure out who the mole was, and you better “buckle your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” or so the saying goes. The bumpiest part was being left – if memory serves me – without ever learning who the mole was. The show was cancelled! We were left bereft, with no Anderson Cooper to read us bedtime stories. We believed that was the last we’d see of him.

But that was then, and this is now, and he did re-emerge, gliding up like a submarine to the surface of our beleagured brains.

It was the saddest of sad days, where the numbers 911 would never simply mean, if you have an emergency call/dial/hollar/scream and like some zippity doo dah being akin to that weird little beep beep character from a cartoon, an ambulance would appear at the door, coming to the aid of whatever… On this day, the sky fell – and where was Chicken Little when you really need him? – and talk about The Tower Card in anyone’s favorite Tarot deck… Irrevacable change, right then, right there, TDDUP, nothing would ever be the same.

But thanks to the powers that be of Television, we got our Anderson Cooper back. Still, that was then, and this is now because we made a decision – as all folk must do when downsizing – and realized that television, as we knew it growing up, and then onward into the wild world of cable vision, there was nothing that we were in fact watching any more and why were we spending all our hard earned cash on that nothing? Exactly. We dropped television, or rather cable (having moved to a place where the mountains stopped those waves from tickling our antennea and giving us pictures to dine upon). Thus, we were left with the question, Where in the World is Anderson Cooper, once again.

For several years before and after the big D of viewing, we managed somehow to catch our favorite ‘reporter in the field’ on New Years Eve, through our hook up with a little black box called Roku, and celebrated welcoming the Calendar New Year (I actually have at least 3 New Years I celebrate – aren’t I lucky!) with, yes, say it with me, Anderson Cooper, and the lovely Kathy Griffin, atop some building in Times Square, New York City, NY USA.

We were grateful enough for small favors. So imagine our dismay and surprise when even CNN went belly up. Oh, I know it was something about the host site parting ways with CNN. And regardless of who’s to blame, we were again Andersonless.


Once upon a time, a little couple who met online, like a bird or two on the wire, and wedded, then wended their way down to what is affectionately known as The Southern Shire, spent their honeymoon on AMTRAK. On the second leg of their pilgrimage home, on a flying buttress like train known as The Texas Eagle, they pulled into the station of Bloomington Normal, and after realizing that the train wasn’t leaving the station, were told that it was because of the ANDERSONITES. The little couple just looked at each other and shrugged. It would only be after several years of wedded bliss down in The Lone Star State, that they understood for whom The Andersonites toll and were named (BS factor warning): Someone named Anderson Cooper had missed the train in the Windy City and was hightaling it over hills and dales to catch up, thus, it was on that fateful night, the inkling of what ANDERSON really meant would head-bop the little couple.


Here we are at the end of the story about a man named Anderson Cooper. The little couple live for the moments when he brightens their day. Thus ends the letter A.


A to Z Challenge (April 2016)  – A


Guess What? Day 3

Guess What 3

As the picture becomes clearer,

And the time draws nearer

Taking a page from an early post

Renewing what I’ve enjoyed the most

It’s about reinventing the fun

Following a passion for one

Think of where we all are going

And of the creative seeds we’re sowing

Look around, you might know more

Without even walking out your own front door

CLUE: Does this poem REGISTER with you?

CLUE THE SECOND: check back with clue 2 from yesterday. Pay attention to what I say.

Mundane Monday #43 – If You Wear It, Spring Will Come

Mundane Monday, got here on Tuesday. Blame it on an avalanche of email. I do. 🙂

Pho Trablogger, brings us the chance to display the ‘pretties.’

My photo for today:


I am yearning for spring, and the bright colors and lovely flowers brought it home to me. I wear it on my sleeves, and it swirls about my knees…

The Sandbox Writing Challenge 16 – Is Seeing Really Believing?

The Sandbox Writing Challenge 16 – Crystal Ball poses the question:

If you could foresee one accomplishment in your future, what would you like it to be?

Right away when I saw the words Crystal Ball, I thought the question would be about what situation would I like to see how it ‘worked’ out.

Case in point, Mr. Quantum suggested, day before yesterday, to include the current dilemma, which we affectionately call, “In Search of Thanksgiving” (thank you JoHanna Massey for liking WHAT’S THAT SMELL blog post of 17 April… )

Sitting here one day post Thanksgiving, it didn’t in fact work out. With my penchant for half-assed attempts at planning the greatest meal ever had, we instead ended up ordering in Chinese because nobody, anywhere (aka restaurants) were willing to make our dreams come true. I won’t go into the fact that even the Chinese dinner was a mess up.

But in all seriousness, I give you my actual thoughts: I took out a part above which basically points out the flaw in my first thought that comes to mind, habit. If I knew how a journey I’m about to take would turn out, it would save me the trouble of making the decision to do it in the first place, knowing the outcome. You can see how convoluted that is, when what I actually need to do is keep it simple.

Bringing it down to what is most simple, the answer to the question posed by Calen at Impromptu Promptlings for the Sandbox Writing Challenge, is that I could say, to have learned the lessons I have been given in this lifetime. It may sound like more than one accomplishment, but if you consider that while life is made up of many aspects, it’s still ONE life, and from its beginning to its end spent within this physical body, it’s one continuous flow. Thus, learning the lessons is one major accomplishment.

I may feel that I keep making wrong decisions, but I believe that each direction brings us to places which help us to forge learning, one way or another.


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