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Ah, science. Almost a month ago I linked to a quiz that asked you to name all the elements in the periodic table. At that time I got 30 correct, since that time I've been playing the game every few days and making it a priority to get a few more correct every time.
Today I'm happy to announce that for the first time I got all 118 elements correct.

It's always fun to learn new stuff and some of these were very hard somehow refusing to stick in my head. I had particular troubles with the lanthanide section until I looked them up on Wikipedia and saw that many were named after locations in scandinavia, Holmium for stockholm, Thulium for scandinavia. Other problems were posed by the ones named after scientists; Einstein, Bohr, Nobel, Curie, Roentgen were quick to set in my mind, but Fermi, Lawrence and Rutherford took a while longer and even then I often forgot one.

Of course the real test will be to see if I can replicate this tomorrow.

In other games related news I've been playing an online game called Ikariam (on beta server) lately. It's a cross between Civilization and Settlers and so far I'm liking it. You start out with a town on a random island and it's your job to grow this town, defend it, gather resources and put colonies on other islands. Every island has wood and one "luxury" resource: wine, sulfur, marble or crystal. You need all 4 resources to get ahead. You also have to research different technologies to get access to better buildings and troops.

So far I'm doing ok, thanks to an inactive player that was sitting next to me. Inactive players are removed from the game after a week or two but in the mean time you can pillage them. This gave me a nice start once I put some spies in place to see the town was completely undefended and my lowly troops could storm in and carry off thousands of gold and resources without any risk.
Things are starting to slow down a bit now that my main town has reached level 7 and my 2 colonies are level 6 and 5. Researching a new technology takes almost a day and building an upgrade to an existing building takes between 2 and 4 hours. The good side here is that you can go off to read a book or do some shopping and the game will continue to build the buildings and troops you've instructed it. The downside is that there's no way to queue building upgrades so it's best to leave the game overnight to finish a time intensive task like upgrading a townwall. Things will get worse from here on in I expect as there's war to be prepared for. This morning I woke to see my military adviser inform me of a fleet of ships heading my way, I quickly sent a spy to the originating town and saw that we would be about evenly matched as far as troop-strength is concerned. I quickly sent some reinforcements and build up some more phalanxes to defend my town. I also took the precaution of sending away some resources to another colony in case I lost. In that case my town wouldn't have been destroyed but the other player could occupy it for a day or two and that would have severely set me back. I managed to win and today I've been growing my population and upgrading some key buildings, I assume the other player is not from europe as he was offline by the time his fleet arrived (a spy can tell you this) so it will be interesting to see whether he'll send more troops to me tonight.
All in all an interesting game, although I'm not yet sure there's enough to keep you interested after a few weeks, I'll have to find that out.

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