Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rubidium Wedding Anniversary Adventure

Entry for 28 August 2010:

Although actual date was more than a week ago, things were a little busy in the US before we left, so we decided to celebrate our Rubidium Wedding Anniversary (ie, number according the Periodic Table of Elements).

According to Wikipedia, “Rubidium is a soft, silvery-white metallic element of the alkali metal group.” It is “soft and highly reactive.” Rubidium is not biologically active, but is metabolized like Potassium, which is above it in the Periodic Table, which means it can be used as a marker in brain scans. It is highly stable in its more common isotopes. More recently, it was been used to form Bose-Einstein condensate, an exotic form of matter that displays quantum effects.

I suppose we could make something of the “highly stable but reactive” nature of this element, but I’m more struck by the fact that it means that we have started a whole new row of the Periodic Table.

We celebrated by taking a Saturday Adventure to the National Museum of Rural Life, a farm museum not far from Glasgow. We had been a bit leery about this locate National Trust property, but in the end we were delighted by the working dairy adjoining the farmhouse with all its original fittings. We spent a lovely few hours there talking with the volunteer in the house, the farm manager and dairyman as he milked and fed the cows, and with the docent, who proudly showed us their prize baby bull calf and pigs. We’ll have to take a closer look at the actual museum, gift shop, formal garden etc next time…

On our return, we walked down Great Western Road to a new restaurant, Persia, where we had a very nice meal. We finished our day by Skyping with our son Kenneth. It was a lovely finish to a great day!

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