Monday, March 23, 2015

Learning Tool

So, I've mentioned before that Jennifer is very crafty.  She makes cards, art, and among other things, jewelry.

At the end of last year, she made a meditation mala for someone.  It looks amazing, and I think, better than many you see in shops.


There are 108 beads in the mala plus the Buddha bead and the tassel.  The person who uses it is supposed to say their mantra during meditation 108 times using the beads to keep track.  The mantra is supposed to be said 100 times, and the extra 8 allow for mistakes.

I found it interesting that 108 is actually pretty close to the number of elements in the periodic table, which, as I've mentioned before, I've been trying to memorize.  I only have the first three rows memorized (hydrogen to argon), mostly because the next row doubles the number of elements, and I've had difficulties.  So I decided I needed something to help me learn, and I asked Jennifer to make me a Mendeleev mala.

That's actually a name I just came up with.  I'd asked for a periodic table mala, but I like the alliteration.

So I came up with beads for each group (alkali metals, noble gases, halogens, etc.), and laid them out in atomic number order.  Then I needed an equivalent to a Buddha bead.  Jennifer started going through her collection of beads and pulled out one that reminded me of the first s orbital shell.  Then I thought it needed something else go with it and I came across a necklace that symbolically used the Bohric atomic model.

And finally yesterday, she finished it for me.


And she's said that she's going to hold me to learning the table now.  The problem I discovered is that when I was in college the bottom column of the table wasn't complete yet even with experimental/theoretical elements.  Fortunately I have a couple apps that have a complete table.  But today I learned that even the apps aren't up to date as the above link to the Dynamic Periodic Table has two (flerovium and livermorium) that aren't named in my apps.

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