Rare earths in things

This week I spent some time learning about rare earths, which have very obscure element names but are ubiquitous. All their names end with the same few letters which seemed like it might lend itself nicely to computational manipulation.

I wanted to play with the scientific taxonomy and naming conventions of these strange elements, the weirdness of their rarity, and their displacement. Like my last poem, I wanted to use space on the page/screen as a way to see this. Playing with spaces and elemental numbers didn’t work as well as I’d liked this time.

The source text is all 17 of the earth metals plus 17 products made of these elements I assembled from the internet.

My final poem and code.

Telescope lenetium
Lutetium
Dysprosium
Promethium
Nuclear control rodsetium
Pacemakersetium
Scandium
Cerium
Europium
Aircraft enginesetium
Ytterbium
Automotive Lutexhaust systemsetium
Yttrium
Superconductorsetium
Pulsed lasersetium
Thulium
Praseodymium
X-raysetium
Erbium
Lanthanum
Camera lenetium
Holmium
Neodymium
Electrodesetium
Magnetsetium
Surgical suppliesetium
Gadolinium
Televisionsetium
Optical glasetium
Samarium
Computer disksetium
etium
Terbium
Headphonesetium
Fluorescent lampsetium

 

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