Just a quick background, in Paris we had a lot of mishaps...but obviously I haven't really been focusing on them because the trip was so amazing. However, I just learned something recently that would've been really cool to know while I was there.
I had quite the cold by the time I woke up Wednesday morning. And as it turns out, the metal zinc can actually calm and aid colds! I just personally find it interesting that a metal could do that. Especially one not as valuable as platinum and gold, or not as shiny as copper and silver.
Zinc is a blue-white metal, and one of the most common found it Earth's crust. It is completely natural, but must be refined if pure zinc is desired; it tends to be found in Earth combined with other elements. It is also a transition element, making it slightly less predictable than some of the other elements on the edges of the Periodic Table.
A few more things to zinc about:
-zinc is very brittle
-when heated up it becomes very malleable
-it is a crystalline solid (hexagonal crystals)
-galvanization is one of its main uses
Galvanization: the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron to prevent rusting.
What is zinc good for?
Well, when mixed with other elements such as oxygen sulfur, etc...zinc appears in a huge variety of random and everyday objects.
-old style cathode ray tube televisions
-types of solder
And more! These are just a few of the incredibly different things that zinc is a valuable part of. That makes in no mystery and at the same time a HUGE mystery why the zinc keep your water tank from rusting is also keeping you healthy!
Cough and cold remedies as well as vitamin tablets and supplements and even breakfast cereals contain zinc! In the United States, with a good diet, zinc deficiency is very rare. But in developing countries it is an enormous problem that I never would have even thought of! It never seemed like a widely significant element, but lack of it can lead to many health problems or illnesses.
So I guess...moral of the story...eat your brass and rubber!