``I don't suppose you've heard how IUPAC is making our lives better?''
``They've found a way to dehydrate storage lockers?''
``They've solved rehydration?''
``I'm sure they have teams working on that.''
``That's a relief. I have an endtable that's almost inedibly dry. IUPAC should get on that.''
``Would they fit?''
``What do the letters stand for?''
``International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.''
``Pure and Applied Chemistry? Isn't that just Chemistry?''
``No, they're leaving the Chemistry that's getting kits from the store and mixing up greenish liquids to produce synthetic boogers off by itself.''
``The International Union of Wearisomely Gross Chemistry?''
``That's the one I don't mean.''
``They can be left on their own. In fact, I banish them now from the union of Chemistries.''
``You want to leave them all alone, unattended, like that?''
``Good question. Maybe I should banish them to affiliation with some more responsible group, like the International Union of Pure and Applied Desks.''
``They'd be the ones to work on your endtable.''
``Still too big.''
``The interesting thing is what they're doing.''
``I figured. When a group is interesting for things they're not doing it's usually because there's an atrocity not being stopped.''
``There's nothing atrocious here. The IUPAC is re-calculating the weights of about a dozen atoms.''
``Accounting for holiday weight gains?''
``It's going to revolutionize the way we weigh things.''
``Just a dozen atoms? We're made up of literally thousands of atoms.''
``It affects all the atoms of that make and model year.''
``That is great news for people like me who're trying to lose those last ten pounds so we can vanish altogether.''
``It's not bad for people like me, either.''
``I remember you've been trying to lose those first ten pounds so you don't vanish altogether.''
``The only people losing out are folks trying to lose those middle ten pounds so they don't vanish or not vanish either way.''
``They should've moved earlier. What were they waiting for?''
``The middle pounds the easiest to lose. Nobody watches them; if they step out to catch a movie and you move before they get back they have almost no ability to track you down.''
``This completely disagrees with my experience. You'll have to explain before I lose confidence in you and call for new parliamentary elections.''
``You know the challenging part of weighing atoms?''
``It's putting a bunch of atoms a scale, since scales themselves are composed almost entirely of atoms. more than 90 percent of your typical scale, even the so-called spring-free balances, are atoms or atom by-products. And the remainder is usually generic-brand molecules of no certain atomic composition, which just introduces more errors.''
``What's an atom by-product?''
``The problem is isotopes, when the same element comes in different-weighted versions.''
``Like when the chemistry warehouse asks if I want regular or jumbo neodymium.''
``Right, when some of your boron has five neutrons and some has six, you have to weight the average weight --- ''
``No. But you figure how much is the lighter and how much the heavier on average and average the --- ''
``Wait. The isotope distribution for boron is different in different parts of the world.''
``I knew I tasted something funny in that Senegalese boron.''
``And the only way to solve the problem --- ''
``Shipping boron-11 around the world until it's all uniform again!''
``And the only way to solve the problem other than that way to solve the problem --- ''
``So we're not redistributing the boron isotopes of the world?''
``We never will.''
``Good, because I hadn't got started. Once again, procrastination proves itself to be the most efficient way of redressing the world's boron isotope disparities.''
``You'll never pass a vote of no confidence.''
``Who could? They're so delicious, especially with a sprinkling of boron-11.''
``I read an article that said counterfeiters often try passing off Indonesian or Chinese honey as New Zealand honey but are foiled by carbon isotope measurements.''
``It sounds like counterfeiters have gotten way from their missions. Maybe we should bring them back to money.''
``I was hoping we'd get to the sensible conclusion.''
``I have always admired your optimism.''
Trivia: Sir Humphrey Davy named boron by combining the borax the element came from with the carbon it resembled. Source: Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide To The Elements, John Emsley.
Currently Reading: Mars 3-D: A Rover's-Eye View Of The Red Planet, Jim Bell.