Bitcoins screwing up your finances? These guys have a new cryptocurrency for you.
Now that’s a lotta gold! Gold, copper, and silver are pretty close on the periodic table — in fact, nearly all our precious metals, including nickel and platinum, fit into the furthest right two columns of the transition metals. That gives them all very similar chemical properties, but one thing it doesn’t really explain is color.
Surprisingly, all of those metals are highly reflective, but don’t really have a color unless you factor in relativistic physics. Yes, everyone has loved gold for its color since ancient times, but it wasn’t until Einstein arrived that we can explain its two most valuable characteristics.
Atoms have electrons zooming around the nucleus, and they’re a big factor in how the periodic table is arranged. All of those elements at the right end of the transition metals should have very similar qualities of shininess, conductivity, malleability — which is true.
For copper and gold, however, their electrons are subject to relativistic forces that change their atomic size, making them a filter for light, rather than having a particular color themselves. Both would be shiny and silver if not for this filtering, and gold’s gold color is also tied to its lack of tarnishing, preventing it from being as reactive as copper and silver to oxidation and other reactions. So, the next time you see a gold coin, marvel at the universal forces that make it look the way it does!
It used to be you could mine bitcoins with a PC, but as competition has grown it takes a bit more coin to mine them. This facility is being built in Hong Kong, in hopes of mining enough Bitcoins to pay for all the equipment.
Want to know more about the holes in the yen? Here’s the skinny on Japanese coinage.
TD Securities says to hold off on buying gold for a few months: they predict gold to drop to $1,150, which is about as low as they think it can go just based off manufacturing industry demand.
The buzzword these days is “altered art”, where people take one thing and cut it up, making something else — ‘collage’, what they called it back in the seventies when I was in school. Artist Mark Wagner makes complicated, beautiful, and psychedelic works purely from cut-up dollar bills:
But – wait – if cutting pennies for art is legal, then this must be OK, right?
Let’s check out the law. 18 U.S.C. § 333 says that:
Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
Now that’s somewhat vague: what is “unfit to be reissued”? According to ArtTechLaw, creative uses generally don’t incur the wrath of the Secret Service — if you’ll remember, people messing with paper money is the reason Lincoln created the Secret Service. Like the coin law, enforcement of this part of the United States Code is primarily focused on destruction designed to affect the value of the money or affect the monetary system as a whole. Even when the Joker burned a huge pile of money, because it’s fiat money, with no inherent physical value, the Treasury can just print up a bunch of new sawbucks to replace what was destroyed. Part of the Treasury’s job is figuring out what to do with badly damaged money; if Mr. Wagner ever falls on hard times, he could probably carry his art right up to the Treasury’s front doors and nicely ask to have the money converted back into circulating bills. Hopefully it won’t ever come to that.
Maintenance workers found a million dollars in gold stashed in an airplane toilet. All I find in mine is…well…I’d rather not talk about it.