Episode 05: TABLE
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In this episode, Steve talks Times Tables, Helen talks Periodic Tables and Matt talks Finite Dog Tables. Plus a new version of Tom Lehrer’s “Elements” featuring Helen and a full brass band!
- 00:50 – Matt’s bit
- 12:41 – Steve’s bit
- 25:22 – Helen’s bit
- 40:26 – Helen’s bonus brassy song
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Podcast shout outs! Helen mentions five of her favourite podcasts in this episode, and they are:
Corrections and clarifications:
- Regular listener Paul has pointed out that not ALL phone numbers can actually be used as phone numbers. The system connects on the first valid match, so phone numbers longer than 4 digits cannot start with emergency services number 999, or 111, or anything like that. The actual numbers depend on which country you’re in, of course.
- Not every IV is written as IV… @DavidDanaci sent in several examples of watchmakers who use IIII instead of IV on their watch faces: Patek Philippe, Breguet and Alange & Soehne. One large scale counter-example is the Great Clock of Westminster, aka the Elizabeth Tower clock, aka, the clock that houses Big Ben aka the massive clock in London colloquially known as Big Ben. Yes, Big Ben is the bell, not the clock or the tower. But you knew that, didn’t you, Unnecessary Detail listeners?
- Benedikt Gocht emailed to point out that we won’t be waiting for another 18 elements to reach the next noble gas, but more like 50 or 54, depending on which model you use to predict the properties of elements after 118. There go Helen’s dreams of an element called “Hanon” in her lifetime…
- Something that never made it into the final edit was that Meitnerium, Element 109, features on the wall of Helen’s daughter in a periodic table poster – but she doesn’t have a list of Nobel Prize winners printed out on there. So, in a way, Lise Meitner won the bigger prize.
And here’s a heap of unnecessary detail from this episode:
- Full guidelines for naming your dog with the American Kennel Club.
- Steve talking about being dyslexic and learning times tables at TEDx.
- What on earth is this chunking thing?
- The most extraordinary Countdown numbers game ever – Helen remembers seeing this episode when it first aired on Channel 4.
- Helen singing Tom Lehrer’s “Elements” – watch the whole thing in our comedy special “You Can’t Polish A Nerd”
- Helen singing it even faster on Channel 4.
- ASAP Science “Periodic Table Song” set to the “Can-Can” tune.
- And, finally, Helen’s latest version with Waterbeach Brass and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Thanks for listening!
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