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No. 752: Cerium 2: Chemical Boogaloo

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Cerium 2: Chemical Boogaloo

First | Previous | 2018-10-25 | Next | Latest

Permanent URL: https://mezzacotta.net/dinosaur/?comic=752

Strip by: David Morgan-Mar

T-Rex: Cerium is such an uninteresting element, we're going to do another comic about it!
T-Rex: It has no biological role and is non-toxic.
T-Rex: Its main use is as the polishing abrasive cerium oxide. Basically it's so useless that all anyone can think to do with it is use it as an abrasive powder to polish more interesting materials.
T-Rex: It used to be used in CRT TVs. But they're dead now.
T-Rex: Jewish chemist Primo Levi used cerium to save his life in Auschwitz.
Utahraptor: Wow! How?
T-Rex: He stole is from a lab and traded it for food.
T-Rex: The people he traded it to ended up with a bunch of cerium.
T-Rex: Suckers!

The author writes:

We spent about half a lunch hour reading everything we could about cerium, and every single fact about it is patently uninteresting. When we hit the Primo Levi story, we thought here was finally something interesting - maybe he used cerium to build a bomb, or dissolve some material to make a tunnel, or to poison some Nazi officers or something! But no...