Back in your humble servant’s school days, the Periodic Table had only 11 elements: hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, metal (magnetic), metal (non-magnetic), plastic, and I forget the other three. Chemistry class consisted of Mr. Storck dropping things into a cup of liquid nitrogen and smashing them with his shoe. Biology, taught by Mr. Haas, consisted of watching film strips from the 1950s about people with elephantiasis and guinea worm. Nobody took physics because it hadn’t been invented yet

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