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February 29th, 2012
People who love Tom Lehrer's iconic song, The Elements, have started a cottage industry on YouTube visualizing the song's snappy melody. These artisanal videos range from a Sponge Bob mash-up to a perfectly synced Sonic the Hedgehog. The Big Bang Theory even worked the song into the show. But one of the best is by Wolfram Research co-founder and author, Theo Gray. Watch it in the upper window. Some people collect stamps or bobble-head dolls. Theo Gray collects elements. Just step into his office, and you'll see a silicon disc engraved with a portrait of Homer Simpson, a jar of mercury, depleted uranium shells and hundreds of other artifacts. But his real masterpiece is the world's first DIY "periodic table table." Within this artfully constructed wooden table-top lay samples of nearly every element – minus the radioactive and expensive ones – most of those are kept in a nearby safe. (See video.) Alslo check out his beautiful interactive Periodic Table, loaded with useful information. And don't miss the themed merchandise. You can also watch a video advertising Theo's Element Book, which includes the same gorgeous photos and Element Song video after his brief introduction.