Periodic Table of the Elephants: Update

[UPDATE: The winner of the "judge's prize" is announced here. The poll to select the "people's choice" is here.]

Since Monday, I've been running a competition inspired by a misreading of a tweet about the periodic table. The aim is to re-assign the name of an element to something else entirely, in a similar fashion to what the Meaning of Liff did with place names. You can read the full back story and guidelines for entering the competition on the original post. Entries have been coming thick and fast in the comments section of that page. While some have stuck to the pure silliness of the Meaning of Liff theme, many have gone down the more pun-tastic road of the Uxbridge English Dictionary, which is also welcome.

The prize is a postcard from the gift shop at CERN - while they are not especially expensive (although don't forget this is Switzerland and and they don't print very many, so they're not quite like the 12p postcards you can get in York... anyway I'm paying for it myself, this isn't an official CERN competition in any way), they are very pretty and will score you many cool science fan points with your friends.

Anyway, the point of this update is to let you know that there will now be two categories for which winners will be selected. One, as originally planned, will be whichever entry I happen to like the most at the time of picking. The new development is that the team at, who host this blog, will also run a poll on their Facebook page, for a "people's choice" award.

The deadline I've set is next Monday, at 7pm Swiss time. At that point, I will announce my personal favourite, and a shortlist (about 4 or 5) of others which you will be able to vote for. You can get the link to the poll here and by following me on Twitter.

So head on over to the competition page, submit your entry, and don't forget to vote next week!

Over to you:

  • Go check out the competition! Will you enter?
  • Which has been your favourite entry so far?
  • Will you vote next week?

P.S. Happy Higgs Day everyone! To celebrate, I've written an article for the Institute of Physics' new blog Physics Focus, based on the questions everyone kept asking me in the days and weeks after the discovery was announced. It's all about choosing who gets to call themselves a "scientist". If you like arguing over words like I do, this one's for you!

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