Polonium is a chemical element. First isolated from pitchblende ore in a crude vat in 1898 by famed Polish physicist Marie Curie, it was named for the country of Poland, to give Poland something to be proud of other than Marie Curie, its vast surplus of the letters "w" and "z", and intense stupidity. Indeed, Poland has much to be proud of, as the element named for it is prized for being almost utterly useless, while simultaneously being mocked as the dumbest and most dangerous of elements. In previous years, polonium could often be found crushed under the boot-heel of Germanium.
As polonium is a good source of neutrons and alpha particles, it is often used as a source of neutrons and alpha particles, since it is a good source of neutrons and alpha particles, because it is a good source of neutrons and alpha particles. Unstable isotopes of polonium (in other words, all of them) are used mainly in anti-static devices, heaters for space probes, and as a seasoning agent for KGB™-brand Borscht. While polonium is sometimes referred to as a "metalloid", others will note that, on the basis of its properties and behavior, it is "unambiguously a metal". However, the majority of people who have ever heard of it generally refer to it as "holy mother of Buddha, that shit is radioactive!"
Polonium was first isolated as an element in 1898 by Pierre and Marie Curie, who ground down massive amounts of pitchblende in a cast iron vat. It is presumed that they didn't know any better, as poking the primal forces of the universe with rocks and sticks was en vogue at the time, and the thin line which separates lunatics from scientists had not yet been delineated by sickness and massive explosions. The Curies, after isolating uranium and thorium from their slurry, discovered that it was now more radioactive than before, and, instead of running away while shitting themselves, went on to isolate both polonium and radium. While the ignorant Europeans struggled to find applications for the newly-discovered elements, American entrepreneurs immediately carped the diem, bringing to market such products as restorative suppositories containing radium and uranium, radium-powered penis-slings, and a metal-and-glass device intended for "soothing prostate discomfort" via rectal insertion, which probably contained at least three different fissile materials, although we can't be bothered to check.
By World War II, the potential for using polonium (in conjunction with beryllium oxide, plutonium, and a metric fuckload of uranium) to ruin other peoples' days had been brought to fruition. The occupants of Nagasaki, Japan, were selected as the first test group to determine whether or not a polonium initiator could, indeed, prevent an implosion-type nuclear fission device from "fizzling". The test was a rousing success.
In 1956, the Curies' daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, died a slow, agonizing death from cancer, ten years after a vial of polonium exploded in her laboratory. She was awarded a posthumous Nobel in chemistry for proving that it is possible for someone to be smart enough to win a Nobel Prize, and yet still die from stupidity.
As one of the heavier elements, polonium's fat ass weighs down the right side of the periodic table so much that astatine and radon are in danger of falling off. It occupies the no-man's land between the lanthanides and the actinides, being neither light enough to sit at the table with the former, nor useful enough to join the latter and hang out with such cool kids as Uranium and Plutonium. You can generally find polonium stuffing neutrons into itself or vomiting them out very slowly; as a result, an isotope of polonium typically yo-yos between an atomic mass of 188 and 220 u. Polonium is part of the decay chain of plutonium, meaning that is is essentially plutonium which failed as a star, and moved back home to live in its old room over the garage. It is classified by politically-correct weenies as a "post-transition metal", a euphemism which completely fails to disguise the fact that polonium is simply a "poor metal" that picks up its welfare check at the downtown post office in the morning, and spends the rest of the day playing grab-ass down at the park with other soft, weak poseurs like aluminum, mercury and lead. Way to go, polonium.
Polonium exists in two metallic allotropes, the alpha form and the beta form, but as neither form is the least bit attractive to other elements, polonium can't get a date to save its life. Nitrogen, Hydrogen, and Oxygen have been known to give it a pity-fuck (or two) on occasion, but only when persuaded by a chemist. Since polonium spends its spare time sitting around and brooding over how fat and unloved it is, it's unsurprising that some of its isotopes have the ability to become airborne with ease. While one might guess that it accomplishes this by jumping off of a bridge or other tall structure, it merely needs to be kept stable at 55° C (or about 900° below its boiling point) for extended periods of time, and 50% of its mass will sublimate within 45 hours. Polonium also has a quick temper; a one-gram sample of 210Po will spontaneously heat up to sweet Jehovah it's burning through the floor! °C.
Polonium's bitter and self-destructive tendencies are nothing, compared to how actually destructive it is to people. Being intensely radioactive and easily absorbed by the body, it is the ideal "Fuck You, (signed), Uncle Vladimir" card, causing certain death when inhaled or ingested, and is so dangerous that only a state-run entity can properly process it into baklava or souvlaki. Fiddling with polonium in your average makeshift laboratory is slightly less advisable than dropping a running chainsaw into your underpants, as the amount required to gruesomely fuck up an adult human's shit is less than a tenth of a microgram When you've absolutely, positively just got to murder the shit out of someone while simultaneously carving your initials into their corpse, one should accept no substitute.
As polonium is relatively scarce, usually only governments, Bond villains, and wacky eccentrics with a penchant for cobbling time machines out of AMC DeLoreans have access to it. If you, however, come down with a sudden craving for dealing horrible, dastardly death to your enemies with a dosage smaller than the head of a pin, directions for producing your own supply of polonium are only a click away.
According to Wikipedia, "the alpha particles emitted by polonium can be converted to neutrons using beryllium oxide". Thus, it adds, polonium-beryllium-oxide alloys can be used as triggers or initiators for nuclear weapons..."and for inspections of oil wells". It goes on to add that such applications were common in the Soviet Union, a country so famous for overkill that their over-large bombs occasionally over-yielded during testing, melting a moderate portion of the nearby atmosphere, and temporarily making Earth visible from as far away as Alpha Centauri.
And also industry!
Polonium is also used in whatzahoozits and hingadiggits, especially the ultra-complex types that drain electrostatic charges from photographic plates, textile mills, and those complex factories where large machines are used to generate electricity by scuffing comically-oversized shoes along shag carpet. It all sounds so interesting that I have forgotten to stay awake.
According to creationist physicist Robert V. Gentry, certain "halos" of color found in granite, which are actually holes drilled in the molecular structure of the rock, are proof that the Earth is only 6,000 years young, because such halos can only be formed by the radioactive decay of polonium particles. Since polonium has a half-life measured in days, the damage must have been caused a few days after Earth popped into existence, along with the rest of the universe. Dr. Gentry's assertions are backed up by several of his colleagues, one of whom has been quoted as saying "yah mon, dat some right-e-ous grass, mon! Pass da dutchie."
Recipe for polonium
You will need:
- A set of brass testicles.
Directions: bake the bismuth cylinder in the nuclear reactor, making sure to maintain it in an area of high flux of thermal neutrons. When done, use zone melting equipment at the semiconductor plant to refine out the polonium; by moving the heat source up and down the length of the cylinder, you will drive the unusual elements along with the heat.
Or, you can just grind several tonnes of pitchblende ore in a crude vat with a large pestle, gradually removing the elements uranium and thorium, until you are left with enough polonium to render yourself sterile and destroy your bone marrow.
When handling the polonium, make sure to have specialized equipment, such as a Fucking Nuclear Laboratory (FNL), with at least a negative-pressure alpha glove box equipped with high-performance filters, adequate monitoring, and strict handling procedures to avoid any contamination. Barring that, it might be more convenient to just sign your last will and testament, scan it into a computer, and email it to your lawyer, because your corpse will be emitting alpha radiation for at least 138 days.
- Polonium is bad for you.
- According to an old version of this article, "the rare isotope 234nPo has a rather large nuclear penis, and therefore can be used to generate energy through the process of nuclear masturbation." Sounds legit.
- The United States has occasionally fed test subjects between 9 and 22 microcuries per day of enriched polonium, which consists of about 70% 235Po and 30% 237Po, and tastes like vanilla. The stated purpose of the experiment was "to see what happens"; the stated results were "nothing good."
- In 2006, former KGB head and current Leader of Russian Peoples Vladimir Putin absolutely not use polonium for to prank to death former employee Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko. In fact, is no proof whatsoever that Alexander Litvinenko ingest polonium at all. Is all big misunderstanding, da. Acute hair-loss, sudden wasting, and death of bone-marrow just misunderstanding between body and immune system. Ha! Ha! Ha! Da, nothing to see here. Move along.
- Source: Wikipedia. Statement has not been confirmed by independent sources.
- "Polonium: the Dumbest Element" Time Magazine, January 21, 1939
- I have no idea what this means
- Nine out of ten dictators agree that jokes about poison are hilarious!
- A process now referred to as "Jesus Christ on a stripper pole that is uranium ore you're fucking with!"
- This is actually so far from being a lie that it almost isn't funny. Almost.
- Thanks for teaching us how to make poisonous aerosols, Wikipedia!
- Or "Fuck You, Sincerely, Uncle Benyamin", but you can't prove that, nossir.
- A quantity several orders of magnitude smaller than the typical mouse fart.
- Whattya know? Got one of those for Hanukkah.
- Everyone has one lying around.
- Pff, yeah. Who doesn't have one of these?
- Titanium will do in a pinch.
- Actually, it might not emit any alpha radiation at all, considering that your very skin is thick enough to stop an alpha particle by itself. However, this article was extremely poorly researched. Hooray Uncyclopedia!
- At least two of them were made up several years ago.