FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
Uranium is a chemical element with the symbol U and atomic number 92. It is a silvery-grey metal in the actinide series of the periodic table. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons. Uranium is weakly radioactive because all isotopes of uranium are unstable; the half-lives of its naturally occurring isotopes range between 159,200 years and 4.5 billion years. The most common isotopes in natural uranium are uranium-238 (which has 146 neutrons and accounts for over 99% of uranium on Earth) and uranium-235 (which has 143 neutrons). Uranium has the highest atomic weight of the primordially occurring elements. Its density is about 70% higher than that of lead, and slightly lower than that of gold or tungsten. It occurs naturally in low concentrations of a few parts per million in soil, rock and water, and is commercially extracted from uranium-bearing minerals such as uraninite.
In nature, uranium is found as uranium-238 (99.2739–99.2752%), uranium-235 (0.7198–0.7202%), and a very small amount of uranium-234 (0.0050–0.0059%). Uranium decays slowly by emitting an alpha particle. The half-life of uranium-238 is about 4.47 billion years and that of uranium-235 is 704 million years, making them useful in dating the age of the Earth.
Chinese New Year
The new year is by far the most important festival of the Chinese lunar calendar. It is celebrated on the second new Moon after the winter solstice. The holiday is a time of renewal, with debts cleared, new clothes bought, shops and homes decorated, and families gathered for a reunion dinner. Chinese New Year is marked by fireworks, traditional lion dances, gift giving, and special foods. Learn more about Chinese New Year traditions.
Question of the Day
I have some old vegetable seeds I’m not sure will still grow. How can I test them?
Arrange a small group of seeds on a double layer of paper towels. Mark the top of the arrangement with a stick pin and then draw a diagram of which seeds you placed where, if you are testing more than one type. Top the seeds with a double layer of moistened paper towels and cover the whole thing with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. After the seeds germinate, lift the towels and record on your diagram how well each seed type sprouted. Learn how to know how long seeds last!
Advice of the Day
Gently rub a small, moistened, cloth bag of iodized salt on your windshield to prevent the ice and snow from sticking.
Home Hint of the Day
Beeswax candles tend to drip less than paraffin candles, won’t smoke, and hold their shape well during hot spells. A 12-inch beeswax candle will burn for 10 to 12 hours — several hours longer than a paraffin candle of the same size.
Word of the Day
The amount of moisture in the air compared to the maximum amount of moisture the air could hold at a given temperature; measured as a precentage of saturation.
Puzzle of the Day
What is it that occurs once in a minute, twice in a moment, and once in a million years?
The letter M
- Ivan III (Ivan The Great) – 1440
- Sir Francis Bacon (writer, philosopher) – 1561
- Richard Upjohn (architect) – 1802
- August Strindberg (playwright) – 1849
- D. W. Griffith (film director) – 1875
- Ann Sothern (actress) – 1909
- U Thant (United Nations Secretary General) – 1909
- Sam Cooke (singer) – 1931
- Piper Laurie (actress) – 1932
- Bill Bixby (actor & director) – 1934
- Joseph Wambaugh (writer) – 1937
- Steve Perry (singer) – 1949
- Linda Blair (actress) – 1959
- Diane Lane (actress) – 1965
- Balthazar Getty (actor) – 1975
- Christopher Masterson (actor) – 1980
- Beverley Mitchell (actress) – 1981
- Queen Victoria (Great Britain, died after the longest reign of any British monarch and was succeeded by her son, Edward VII) – 1901
- Lyndon B. Johnson (36th U.S. president) – 1973
- Telly Savalas (actor) – 1994
- Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (matriarch of the Kennedy family) – 1995
- Stanley Marcus (chairman of department store Neiman-Marcus) – 2002
- Jack Shea (gold medal-winning speedskater and patriarch of family of Olympic finalists, including grandson who won gold medal at 2002 games) – 2002
- Ann Miller (dancer & actress) – 2004
- Patsy Rowlands (actress) – 2005
- Heath Ledger (actor) – 2008
- Jean Simmons (English actress who later also became an American citizen) – 2010
- James Mitchell (actor & dancer) – 2010
- Hank Aaron (baseball player) – 2021
- Uranium atom was first split by cyclotron– 1939
- Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In debuted on TV– 1968
- George Foreman knocks out Joe Frazier for world heavyweight boxing title– 1973
- Macintosh computer commercial ran during Super Bowl XVIII– 1984
- Politician R. Budd Dwyer committed suicide on national television– 1987
- Roberta Bondar became first Canadian woman in space– 1992
- Madeleine Albright became the first female secretary of state after confirmation by the U.S. Senate– 1997
- In Spearfish, South Dakota, the temperature rose from -4F to 45F in 2 minutes, due to chinook– 1943
- Meteorologists said that 75 percent of North America was covered by snow– 1982
- Mountain Lake, Virginia, recorded a low temperature of -30 degrees F– 1985
- Snow fell in Jordan– 2008