Wednesday’s Weekly Reader: Blinded by Science

As many of you know, I’m a (not-so-) reformed science nerd. (By the way, if you can name the song today’s title comes from, you win my eternal esteem.) As such, I’ve been both delighted and a tad bit perplexed by all of the Periodic Tables that keep popping up across my feed-reader (where do they all keep coming from??). I thought I’d share a few of my favorites this week with some commentary on their organization. But first, a bit of back-ground, nerd-speak on the actual Periodic Table of Elements: feel free to skip to the actual links if you so choose.

First developed by Mendeleev in the late 1800’s, the Periodic Table is organized to show reoccurring trends in elements’ properties based on their atomic arrangement and color-coding is used to distinguish between elemental groups. The left half are metals, the middle are transition-metals, the right nonmetals, and the far right column are the Noble Gases. (Or, as my favorite chemistry teacher put it, the metals are boys, the nonmetals are girls, and hydrogen is the cross-dresser.) The Lanthanide and Actinide series actually lie in the middle section of the Periodic Table, but are typically broken out and listed underneath to conserve space. Ok, on to the links!

Periodic Table of Cupcakes (via Coudal)
Table of Cupcakes
This Table
, developed by Women’s Day magazine, gets points for tastiness. I like that clicking on each element takes you to the appropriate cupcake recipe. Bonus points are given for  the correct use of color-coding, and abbreviations seem to be used cleverly. That said, there seems to be a natural progression as you move across the table from one cupcake to another (ex: Yellow, Vanilla, Chocolate, Red Velvet), however there doesn’t seem to be much correlation between rows of cupcakes. Therefore, although semi-organized, I can’t award it a complete Seal of Approval. (I will, however, eat it.)

Periodic Table of Typefaces
Table of Typefaces
Squidspot’s Periodic Table of Typefaces has been getting a lot of press today: and with good reason! I’m amazed at the amount of cataloging that had to have gone into the effort of ranking the top 100 or so fonts, categorizing them according to family/class, and researching their origins. Excellent use of the various information fields in each “element-box” to break out each one’s information. Huge bonus points are given for organizing all typefaces according to family or class to correspond with the actual elemental groups (ex: faces that have both a sans-serif and a serif such as Scala are in the middle where the transition-metals go). It doesn’t necessarily read from left to right or top to bottom in a progression, but it does make for easy comparison. The only confusing issue is that the rank doesn’t progress in numerical order, but overall a very handy reference.

Periodic Tables of Adobe Shortcuts
Table of Shortcuts
These tables
, by Vent, has also made the blog rounds of late. Unfortunately, even on the original site, I can’t zoom in close enough to read the key. I’m assuming that each shortcut is color-coded by menu or kind. Points are given for the eye-candy aspect, but without seeing it close-up, it’s hard to compare it to the actual Periodic Table.

Random Chemistry-Nerd Links