I don’t often take requests.
Although I receive one or two e-mails almost every week with suggestions to write posts about, my topics usually come to me in bursts of revelation. Like seeing something on the news … or glimpsing something online that just screams to be mocked. My mood drives my choice.
But not today.
I opened my inbox a few days ago and found a link to this story about the creation of a new chemical element. Apparently, Russian and American scientists recently smashed together atoms of calcium and californium—yes, that’s really an element—to create a new atom with 118 protons in its nucleus.
What’s notable about this? Well, for one, it’s the heaviest element ever made. And it would be the first manmade inert gas—joining natural elements like helium, argon, neon, and radon.
Only one problem. It’s as unstable as a Willem Dafoe character.
Even under the ideal laboratory conditions for its creation, the new element lasted for just one millisecond. That’s even shorter than the amount of time 2005’s Deuce Bigalow, European Gigolo lasted in theaters.
But, if confirmed, the discovery will enable the element’s creators to name it. They can add another barely pronounceable member to the heavy-element club, joining existing winners like Seaborgium, Meitnerium, and Darmstadtium.
Yes, those really are elements.
As you might expect, I have a few suggestions for what they should call Element 118:
Malawium. If the country is good enough for Madonna to adopt a baby from, it’s good enough for the periodic table.
Harrypotterium. The best-selling book series of all time hasn’t had a planet named after it; the least we can do is throw the boy wizard an element.
Halloweenium. With the best holiday of the year coming up, it would be a ghoulishly appropriate tribute.
Deucebigelowium. Let’s make this Rob Schneider’s contribution to future generations. The movies themselves sure don’t count.