insulting the elements #10: protactinum to fermium

Protactinium (Pa) – Permit me to indulge in a thought experiment. Me, protactinium and the Jonas Brothers run into each other on the street. One of us is going to scream like a preteen girl being presented with a pony. And it’s not going to be me.

Uranium (U) – Plenty of elements out there are nothing but evil (chlorine, caesium – basically anything starting with a ‘c’ or ending with an ‘m’), but none of them have got the moustache-twirling, tie-the-lady-to-the-tracks routine down quite like uranium.

Neptunium (Np) – Dude, you’ve got no known hydrides. Don’t you think that a self-respecting element would take the time to get some hydrides before showing up? Go home and make yourself presentable.

Plutonium (Pu) – So it turns out that some scientists, having nothing better to do one day, threw deuterons at uranium until you appeared. You're the result of what is basically the most expensive basketball game in the universe. Do you know how much it costs to get you to make an appearance? You’re like the Linda Evangelista of atoms.

Americium (Am) – Americium, you’re what happens when the cosmos runs out of ideas. You’re a third-grade remake of a washed-out franchise of radioactive metals. Being more malleable than plutonium does not make you a ‘reboot’ of the series. We are done as a culture, and you’re the substance that proves it.

Curium (Cm) – I’m no knee-jerk liberal, curium, but I’ve had it with corporate welfare bums. You wouldn’t even exist without a nuclear reactor to perform neutron capture from americium and plutonium isotopes. In return, you destroy red blood cells and then you stick around for 16 million years. Minimum. Sixteen thousand millennia from now you'll still be freeloading off our advanced posthuman selves.

Berkelium (Bk) – For an element synthesized at Berkeley in 1949, you’d think there’d be a decent chance that you hung out with Philip K. Dick. But no. You haven't even read The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. We had one thing to talk about, berkelium, and you blew it.

Californium (Cf) – Hi Californium. Remember me? I’m the guy who left a bunch of neutrons with you for safekeeping. My friends warned me that you’d just emit them, but I thought I knew better. I blame myself for my failure of judgment.

Einsteinium (Es) – Talk about false advertising. You are one of the dumbest elements I’ve ever met. Did you think you could fool people with that name? I could call myself Michaelphelpsium, but that won’t improve my butterfly stroke. Or will it?

Fermium (Fm) – I take back what I said about einsteinium being the dumbest element I’ve ever met. Fermium, you take the prize. No one knows who Enrico Fermi is. You should have named yourself after a celebrity with a sex tape.