Sodium (symbol: Na; atomic number 11) is an element in Group 1 of the Periodic Table, that is, all the way to the left. It is a soft metal. Its best friend is chlorine. They do not spend much time together, as chlorine is a right-winger. However, when they get together, they keep it real tight, and salty. Sodium's biggest foe is loneliness. Despite being the sixth most abundant element on Earth, it never wants to spend time alone. If chlorine is not available, sodium will "hook up" with just about anything else, such as feldspar, lye, sodalite, Rolodex, and sodium light bulbs.
Sodium got the symbol Na in honor of the popular song "Na Na, Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye" by Steam (covered by Bananarama). Another popular sodium concoction is sodium hydroxide, NaOH, the same guy who built the ark. However, hydroxide is not really a good substitute for Oreos.
Sodium is a soft metal that you can cut with a knife if making hors d'oeuvres. Sodium is a good conductor of electricity because it has only one electron in its shell, which is not enough to play a good shell game on the unsuspecting carnival mark. In a flame test, sodium glows yellow as an electron switches from 3p (pence) to 3s (shillings).
The only stable isotope of sodium is 23Na. It is found in the interior of stars. (You go first.)
Sodium has a very low density. It is the only metal that floats on water (except for lithium and potassium). Except that it doesn't float on water, it reacts with water and gives off heat. If there is neither water nor chlorine handy, sodium reacts with potassium. This forms KNa2 and NaK — either one a good defense against checkmate.
Salt was often paid to laborers, soldiers, and farm hands in mid-evil England. This is the basis of the word salary. It was prized as a headache remedy, as when the Boss was ranting, seemingly forever, about the feudal lord's hygiene problems.
In 1860, Bunsen and Burner described a "little experiment" involving sodium in their Annalen:
|“||We exploded 3 mg of sodium chlorate with milk sugar while observing the nonluminous flame. However, it disappeared after only 10 minutes. We calculate that sodium cannot be more than 1/20 millionth of air. Contributions toward a replacement apartment complex will be welcome at GoFundMe.||”|
In recognition of sodium's chemical symbol, Na, it was briefly known as "Natron," though he is now the star of the next round of Marvel Comics movies.
Sodium in the form of salt is slathered on food in American cuisine in the event that ketchup is not available. Salt also used to be slathered on highways, until everyone decided to Save the Planet, at which time the preference changed to coating roads with a thin sheet of glaze ice.
Sodium is very popular if you happen to be a nerve cell. These cells pump three sodium ions out in exchange for two potassium items in, as though they were Jews counting their pocket change together. This facilitates the electrical charge in the nerve, which is a prerequisite to thinking clearly. If one is not thinking clearly, one will often shake a little salt into one's coffee.