Learning · Trivia · Word of the week

Word of the Week: HHeLiBeBCNOF

HHeLiBeBCNOF: you can say it out loud (H-heli-beb-cnof) to learn,  or to remind yourself of, the first nine elements in the Periodic Table. They represent hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and fluorine. The next 11 elements can also be said out loud: nee-nam-gall-sips-clark-ca (NeNaMgAlSiPSClArKCa). The elements in question are: neon, sodium, magnesium,… Continue reading Word of the Week: HHeLiBeBCNOF

Conversation recall · Learning · Notes from West London

Chatsworth and Devonshire

This piece, from exactly a year ago, describes how I learnt about two of the architects from the Gilbert Scott family, or maybe that should say “the Gilbert Scott dynasty”. This obituary for Richard Gilbert Scott, who died last month aged 93, says that he “represented the fourth generation of England’s greatest architectural dynasty”. A… Continue reading Chatsworth and Devonshire


Different approaches to education

Earlier this year, in this piece (“More on Questionnaires”), I quoted the late, great travel writer Pete McCarthy on his school’s approach to education: “carrot and stick, without the carrot”. I have used this expression often in the last 15 years, since first reading it in “McCarthy’s Bar”, and wanted to track down the full… Continue reading Different approaches to education