Thursday, September 10, 2009

UUB, UUQ and UUH :)

No, I am not gulping or hemming and hawing...

Just now, we were getting ready to sleep and Sean says, "Mummy, did you know salt is a mixture of sodium and chloride?"

Me: Yes...where did you learn that?

Sean: From the science book in Auntie May's house (He read Kant's 8th grade science textbook from cover to cover in 2 evenings)

Me (trying to participate here): I know what water is...hydrogen and oxygen.

Sean: I already knew that.

Me: I know Helium is He. Hydrogen is H.

Sean: Do you know what Oxygen is? Me: O.

Sean: Carbon? Me: C

Sean: Nitrogen? Me (kind of guessing by now): N

Sean: Neon? Me: N-E?

Sean: Yes. Ununbium?

Me: Er...A-N?

Sean: Ununbium!

Me: A-N?

Exasperated, Sean spells it out: U-N-U-N-B-I-U-M!

Me: Mmmm....U-N?

Sean: No! UUB.

Me: Oh.

Sean: Ununquadium is UUQ. Ununhexium is UUH.

Me: Hmm...Are you sure these are even in the periodic table?

Sean: Yes.

I wanted to have fun with I asked, "What about Xylem?" (I know Xylem from Brian's PSLE Science)

Sean: What?

Me: Xylem.

Sean: How do you spell it?

Me: X-Y-L-E-M.

Sean: I don't think that's an element.

Me: It's not a thing?

Sean: Xylem is a thing but it's not an element.

Me: Oh, what is it?

Sean: I think it's something that's sucks up water from the roots to the plant.

With that, he shuts his eyes and goes to sleep while I wonder how the heck he knew Xylem's function (I only learnt of Xylem in recent months!). Could it be that he pores over Brian's PSLE Science guidebooks a lot more intensely than his korkor does?


While typing this, I googled Ununbium, saw some information on Wiki, shook Sean up and asked, Do you know the atomic number for Ununbium?

Sean rouses from his slumber and said, "Yes, 112."

Me: What about Ununquadium?

Sean: It's 114. Ununhexium is 116.

Me: What other elements' atomic numbers do you know?

Sean: Roentgenium (he spelt this slowly for me) is 111. Lithium is 3. Beryllium is 4. Carbon is 6. Hydrogen is 1 and Helium is 2.

Me: What about 5?

Sean: Boron.

7? I think it's oxygen.

8? Nitrogen.

9? I don't think I know anymore. And with that, he shuts his eyes and goes to sleep immediately...this time for real.


Back to UUB. My googling revealed something interesting. Ununbium (UUB) is just a name given to an unnamed element that has just been discovered. "Ununbium" is a IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) systematic element name, used until the element receives an accepted name.

The 112 element (heaviest element in the periodic table) is actually the newest element to be discovered (in 1996) and is likely to be named Copernicium (after Copernicus) with the element symbol Cp. It has not officially been named Copernicium yet, for now it's still officially Ununbium.

Will share this information with Sean (if he doesn't know it yet) in the morning.


monlim said...

And you said you were sceptical about Sean's IQ test results!!! *faint*

Lilian said...

Hmmm...he doesn't do this every day...once in a while only.

When he has his moments, I always have the "Say whaaaat???" gasps myself :)

breve1970 said...

Good old Sean! Very impressive.

We started reading "The Mystery of the Periodic Table" by Benjamin D. Wiker, a good resource recommended by Angie. It follows the trail of the elements in the Periodic Table.

Lilian said...

Oooh, sounds like a book Sean would love. Will try to look for it, thanks for the recommendation!

Anonymous said...

WOW! Sean's memory is impressive. Unbelievable!!!


Lilian said...

Thanks Chris, but actually his memory is good ONLY for whatever it is that he is interested in...for other things, he won't bother to remember.

Babypowder said...

Eh.. from which planet did you find your boy ah?

Lilian said...

hee hee...

he even said un means one, so ununbrium is 112...

and that's why 114 = ununquad...

and 116 = ununhex...

geddit? :)

breve1970 said...

Wa... I didn't even think of that... BRILLIANT boy!

Lilian, you can get it from Angie (Home Library).

Lilian said...

Thanks Ann, I just ordered from, a site recommended by my friend Slim, free delivery worldwide.

clarabella said...

Er, so is 'un' pronounced as Ah-N or Oo-N huh? My tongue twisted while trying to say all the unun* hahahaha.

Lilian said...

Sharp observation, Sean pronounced it wrongly as Uh, like umbrella, when it should be Oo, like Oozing or Ooba (okay that's an inside joke with Monica).

Both Un are Oon, so it's Oonoonbee-em.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I only know U-No...your son is brilliant! :)


Lilian said...

I also only know Uno and Numero Uno :)

Found out later that Brian was the one who told Sean that Un was 1. In French, he learnt that Un (starts with Uh) and Une (starts with Oo) are the Masculine and Feminine of the Number 1. Another thing I just learnt myself.

Anonymous said... mean in French, the numbers are gender-specific? Now learning French, our brains will need an upgrade in gigs. LOL

Your kids are everyone's dream kids, they can learn from each other and you get time out for salon and massage. *I speak for myself first* :)


Lilian said...

LOL! Upgrade Gig but still 386 processor also no use hahaha...I concede defeat, cannot keep up with kids' these days.

Yeah, dream kids all right...they just got into a tiff with each other...had to shout them down as they shouted at each other...more like nightmare kids :P

clarabella said...

Thanks for solving the mystery :) Oonoonbee-em is such a fun word to say hehe.

I was digging around my library and saw this cheeky little book:- Basher Science: Periodic Table.
Cute graphics and basic information about the various elements. It's quite fun for an introduction, at least according to my 6yo (who admittedly has very simple tastes in books). Amazon has the sample pages, i think.

Lilian said...

Thanks for the rec, wow...our libraries have really good books huh? I haven't been to the library in years! I think I owe them some money.

breve1970 said...

Thanks Lilian. No delivery charges? Hmm...mmm sounds fantastic.

Wondering if they have a coloured periodic table chart for the wall cos han wants to put one in her room.. heehee...

breve1970 said...

Just checked! They have got it. Thanks Lilian.

Lilian said...

Ya, I saw they have that. I ordered 4 comic books today, each selling at Kinokuniya for S$22, but this site sells it at US$9 including delivery! Love it!

breve1970 said...

Yay... thanks so much for this great resource. Will get some audio cds too.. han is into audio cds these days.

Lilian said...

Gotta thank my friend Slim, not me :) They say worldwide delivery, but Russia isn't one of the countries :(

Audio CDs is regrettably something I never caught on to. I wish I had. I think it improves listening/auditory skills.

breve1970 said...

Thank you, Slim:).

Unfortunately, Hayley finds the audio cds too boring, Lilian. So am still trying my best to get her to listen to them.

I have a few like The Chronicles of Narnia, James & the Giant Peach and Fantastic Mr Fox. I can drop them at your place if you would like Sean to listen to them. The rest of the CDs are a bit too feminine like Enid Blyton's Malory Towers, etc. :). Let me know.

Lilian said...

You are so sweet! But I have a feeling Sean will be like Hannah and find them boring...and before long I'll be leaving for Moscow. I'm sure there are audio CDs in his Moscow school, will make an effort to try some at home. Please remind me!

breve1970 said...

Har? You are going back after the exams? After Sean's exams or Brian's exams?

Then we all had better meet up at my place including Mon, Ad,Cindy Ailei and Sarah. November 2nd or something?!!!! :)

Lilian said...

LOL! After Brian's exams lah...Don't think I'll be around on Nov 2nd, but I'll be in and out towards the end of the year, seems like lots of official school business to take care of :(

breve1970 said...

Oooohh... then maybe after Brian's exams.

Lilian said...

We're flying off the night of the last paper dear :)

breve1970 said...

Wow... you do miss Moscow that much huh :)?!

Lilian said...

LOL! Not one bit! Just that their Moscow school has started for 3 weeks already :(

breve1970 said...

OIC. Am sure the boys will be able to catch up when they get back. No sweat.

But Brian has already got into the school of his choice through DSA, isn't it? Congratulations!

Lilian said...

Thanks Ann. Feel quite bad lah, Brian missed the start of Middle School, which is a big thing for kids there. Everything is different from Elementary School, no more fixed classes, no form they have advisors instead, and there are sections...all very confusing. He also missed out on choosing his electives...

Sean too very much wanted to be in school on Day 1, hope he adjusts well when he goes back, good thing is that this year, he has a really fantastic teacher (whom we know from pre-K days).

breve1970 said...

Hmmm....mmm schools sounds fun in any part of the world except in Singapore. Groan!

Lilian said...

I think schools in China, Korea and Japan lagi worse!

breve1970 said...

Yes, definitely not schools in other parts of Asia.

Lilian said...

Brian wants me to correct what I wrote up there about Un and Une, he said I misunderstood him. They aren't the masculine and feminine of the number 1, rather, Un and Une means the article a...for example, Une chevre means a goat and you use Une cos goat is feminine; and Un avion means a plane and you use Un cos plane is masculine.

So numbers don't have masculine or feminine (as far as he knows)...not that this makes the language any easier to learn lah!

breve1970 said...

Err... how old is Sean? he can memeriose the WHOOOOOLE Perodic Table of the Elements.I only know a liittle BIT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lilian said...

Is that Hannah? No, Sean can't remember the entire table, just a few elements, I think.