Fun:Gold

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wealth and taste don't always go together...
Grytpype: Mr Seagoon, how long have you been with us?
Seagoon: 20 minutes.
Grytpype: What a splendid record of devotion and honesty. Neddie - [aside] and this is where the story really starts. [normal] Neddie, I'm putting you in a position of trust. You're in charge of the gold vault. Here is the key.
Seagoon: Gold? Gold! Ha ha ha ha, gold, ha ha, lovely gold! I'll be rich! Gold! Ha ha, no more rags! Gold, gold, goooold!
Grytpype: I wonder if he's the right man for the job?[1]

Being a collection of factoids about the yellow metal[edit]

  • Gold is an excellent conductor of electricity, and as mentioned above, does not oxidize or corrode like some other metals. For this reason, its most widespread industrial use is in electronics. Tiny gold wires or traces are typically used as interconnects on circuit boards, chip packages, and the like. Connectors exposed to the environment are often gold-plated for durability. The amount of gold used in these applications is minuscule; gold plating can be only a handful of atoms thick.
  • Gold was one of the gifts brought by the Magi at the birth of Jesus. (Actually, about two years or so afterwards - but meh! details!)
  • As gold is a special shiny metal, it has attracted the attention of alternative medicine promoters and New Age kooks, who imbue it with all kinds of mystical properties. For instance, colloidal gold is available through many dubious online alternative pharmacy sites as a cure-all along the lines of colloidal silver. Likewise, monoatomic gold powder is said to open the third eye, promote the development of psychic powers, and so on.
  • The colour of gold is a metallic yellow, rather than the metallic grey or white of most other metals, due to relativistic effects experienced by the electrons in the atom that subtly change its electronic structure. Without this, gold would look very similar to silver. Gold nanoparticles mixed in bulk materials turn the material red, because their size is so tiny that light interacts with phononsWikipedia in the lattice structure.
  • Gold is much better at reflecting infrared light than silver or aluminum. This is why the James Webb Space Telescope, which includes an infrared camera, has a gold-plated mirror.
  • Gold is a soft metal. Because of this, it can easily be shaped into jewelry, flattened into sheets or spun into wire, which you can wrap around your waist for financial security if you are prone to sudden, unexpected and random instances of time travel.
  • Gold alloys typically list their purity in "karats", where 1 karat is 1/24 pure gold by weight. 14 karat gold jewelry, for example, is 14/24 gold and 10/24 something else (typically zinc). Don't confuse this with the "carats" used for weighing diamonds; you can have a 14 karat gold ring with a 1 carat diamond on it.
  • Gold is very dense (19.3 grams per cubic centimeter at room temperature). By coincidence, tungsten has the same density, so if you're going to buy a cheap knockoff piece of jewelry for your sweetie and claim it's gold, get it made out of tungsten.
  • Alchemy promises the ability to transmute lead and other substances into gold by removing the imbalanced elements in those substances that impurify them and prevent them from being gold. To do so, you must merely turn the cryptic descriptions of allegedly successful transmutations found in alchemy texts into an accurate recipe. Modern science does not hold this to be possible without the use of nuclear processes (which cost more to harness than the value of the gold produced), but what do those scientists know? Given the potential payout, it still may be worth a try!
  • Gold can be found in most municipal sewage, though it is usually not cost-effective to extract it.[2] In Switzerland it is believed to enter the sewage from the precious metal refinery industry and from watchmakers.[2] It is thought that only in Canton Ticino could extraction be financially feasible.[2] Japan is able to extract about 0.17% gold from incinerated sewer sludge.[2]

References[edit]

  1. "Dishonoured" from The Goon ShowWikipedia (1954)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Scientists digging in Swiss sewage find millions in gold and silver by Travis M. Andrews (October 13, 2017 at 1:11 AM) The Washington Post.