Have you heard how crime is falling,
Muggings at an all-time low ?
Murders, rapes, are miniscule
Compared with fifty years ago.
So when you’re walking back tonight,
The odds are very much in favour
Of you getting home alright.
So when the shadows rustle
And your heartbeats dance a jitterbug,
You’re almost surely not about
To face a psycho or a thug.
The cold wind sighs, the lone fox yelps,
But rest assured you’re probably okay –
I hope that helps.
Hey kids, here’s fun to boggle your mind:
Take a bacterium, brainless and blind –
Now, a single-celled critter is never alone,
When three-times-an-hour it buds off a clone,
And each twin is twinning and growing the brood,
(As long as it’s warm and there’s plenty of food).
And so, in fourteen hours or so,
That single bacillus will grow
To fill a cubic millimetre –
After twenty, there’s a litre –
And in one day, a bathtub’s-worth
Of constant twenty-minute births.
That’s loads of germs from hardly any –
Two-and-twenty-one zeros-many !
But don’t stop now, let’s let them grow:
And in another day or so
They’ve reach the size of planet Earth,
And soon they match the Sun’s great girth,
And long before the third day’s out
They stand a cubic light-year stout.
And that, dear children, clearly shows
How statisticians lie and cheat
For while their figures all add up,
The real world is never neat.
They think we’ll never notice how
Their precious model’s skewed,
By casually just poofing up
An infinite amount of food.
And how do bugs within the ball
Increase in size where there’s no space ?
And never mind their gravity,
Of which we find no trace.
The lesson we should really learn
From all they get so wrong,
Is how such exponential growth
Can never grow for long.
Smashing atoms into atoms,
Gee, that looks like fun !
And easy-peasy with the lightest ones –
Just ask the Sun.
But when they get more bloated,
It gets hard to make them kiss –
They should be bigger targets,
But incredibly – they miss !
Or else they break each other up,
They fizz instead of fuse –
But smash and smash and smash again,
And finally, they’ll schmooz.
Just one or two or half-a-dozen
Made in once, we think,
Before they break apart again
In quicker than a blink.
But then…but there’s a secret doubt
That lingers round the lab –
For did we really, truly make ’em
With our smash and grab ?
Was all of that momentum dissipated
From each core
Before they spat some neutrons out
And were themselves no more ?
Was the Strong Force strong and forceful
In all nuclei
For that thousanth of a second
That it took each fluke to die ?
And have they really earned their place
Upon the sacred Table,
Without a single isotope between them
Pure and stable ?
And yet, who gets to say what form
An atom occupies ?
And must they hang on long enough
To boil or oxidise ?
It looks as if this argument
Is set to run and run…
But smashing atoms into atoms ?
Gee, that looks like fun !
Hurray for element one-one-eight !
For the briefest of fractions of briefest of seconds
A handful of atoms held just enough protons –
And lo !, the Nobels and the Naming Rights beckoned.
By why stop the searching, oh lab-mates ?
The legend’ry Isles of Stability lay
Just over the Period Bound’ry, they say,
Where fusion-forged atoms don’t wilt and decay !
So on with colliding, oh lab-mates !
We’ll find a few more, by-and-by,
And if they’re as fleeting, we’ll keep on repeating –
We’ll keep chucking atoms till funding runs dry !
Huzzah for element one-one-eight !
But will she prove to be our last ?,
With the Table so neat and the budgets so tight…
Fun while it lasted, though – truly a blast !
But don’t stop the searching, oh lab-mates !
Learning is never a wasted adventure !
So rustle up bursary, grant and debenture,
For Wisdom’s our master, and Knowledge our quencher !
So on with the atoms, oh lab-mates !
Let’s boost their ephemeral hearts
For better we sink all the budget on trinkets
Than letting the generals split ’em apart.
Element Uuo has since been named as Oganesson when it was proved that a handful of atoms were forced into being for an instant before decaying away with a half-life of 0.89 milisecond.