A Very Special Educational Post

It has been 2014 for four days now. Not much seems to have changed, the only noticeable difference is my newfound inability to properly date a single thing. Don’t worry about me, though. I should have adjusted by mid-October.

In all of the excitement of the new year, I missed a very important piece of information. According the United Nations, the preeminent source for all things nationy, 2014 is the International Year of Family Farming and Crystallography.

As a very important blogger, I feel it is my social duty to inform and educate. I didn’t just start this to provide giggles and guffaws to the unwashed masses. I like to think of myself as the NPR of blogs. Yes, this means when you read my writing, it should be done in a docile soothing tone. In the interest of education, I would like to take a minute to discuss the importance of family farming and crystallography.

Family farming is very important. Without family farms we wouldn’t eat and eating is also very important. I myself eat very often. I did it just today. Barring unforeseen circumstances I will do it again tomorrow. I’ve even heard of people dying from not eating. I guess that pretty much proves exactly how important family farms are. If you meet a family of farmers, take time to give them all a well-deserved and most likely very awkward hug.

As the UN pointed out, the only thing as important to the world as family farming is crystallography. I’m sure that the simplest amongst us are not sure what this is, so let me take a minute to explain it.

According to Wikipedia, the word “crystallography” comes from the Greek words crystallon, meaning cold drop or frozen drop, and grapho, meaning write. Obviously this means that it is the writing of frozen dripping things. A better way of explaining it would be as the science of condensed matter with emphasis on the atomic or molecular structure and its relation to physical and chemical properties.

Okay… that may not be as simple as I thought it would be. Imagine a thing. That thing is made of atoms. Crystallography studies the diffraction patterns using an x-ray. This scatters neutrons and they…go do the things that neutrons are known for doing. Then the magnetic moment is non-zero. This obviously is contrary to those neutrons that have a magnetic moment of zero. Those are the dumbest neutrons and everyone knows it. If I had to pick a single neutron to give a wedgie to, it would be those.

If that wasn’t clear enough, here is a graph:

See? It makes a lot of sense. The QCP is there close to the P. There is also the T which obviously stands for “Terrific Sciency things.” Then there is the line that kind of bounces like a ball. Lots of things are critical. Some are ordered, some were not ordered.

All in all, Crystallography shows us… that… I want to say something about physics maybe? Maybe Chemistry? I’m sure it is a lot like when we dissected fetal pigs in middle school. If you would like to learn more, I recommend reading the work of Johann Deisenhofer or Jean-Baptiste L. Rome de I’Isle’s Essal de Cristallographie. I assume they’re really light reading.

I hope we have all learned a little something here today about all of that sciency stuff. Clearly it is as important as the UN has made it out to be.

Or not. I’m really not too sure.


14 thoughts on “A Very Special Educational Post

  1. The first part of the year when you cannot date anything properly is called Doofusary. Wouldn’t “Quantum Critical” be a great name for a multivitamin?

    Happy New Year!


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