Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Saying "Protactinium" at South Point

South Point, the aptly named southernmost point of the island of Hawai'i, is also the southernmost point of the United States.

(Oh, fine.  Yes, Puerto Rico extends its odd geopolitical status further south.  Yes, the U.S. has de facto or de jure control of military bases, embassy grounds, and other miscellaneous chunks of real estate further south.  Yes, the United States operates a research station at the freaking South Pole.  But -- and this is a reasonable but! -- if you consider the fifty states which are the core entities of the United States, you can't get any souther than South Point.)

I had the presumably once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit Hawai'i a few months ago, and visited South Point.  In this picture, I am the southernmost human in the 50 United States.

While I was there, I set a record.  I didn't want to announce it at the time, because it would have opened up the possibility of mischievous competition from a known gentle reader who was also on the island at the time.  But now, I am ready to claim my title. 

While standing on the rocks of South Point, I said "Protactinium."  I confidently claim this as the southernmost utterance of the word "Protactinium" within the 50 United States.   Who holds that record?  I do, that's who.  Michael5000.


Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...


I'm pretty sure I'm the first guy to say that word in at least this postal code.

Ben said...

OK, I'll bite. How do you KNOW that that was "the southernmost utterance" of the word "Protactinium". Isn't there a chance that someone as geeky as you--or possibly (gasp) more so--had the same idea on that spot sometime between 1949 and your visit?

The thought crossed my mind that you might be standing on a new lava flow, and that this southernmost piece of land within the 50 United States might be BRAND NEW, but the rocks behind you look like they may be weathered a bit, and possibly have been there for some time (even before 1949).

Michael5000 said...

Ben: I'm CLAIMING it. Anyone wanting to establish a prior claim will simply have to produce documentation, that's all.

Points for citing the official begin-date for the word Protactinium. A claim to have uttered the word between 1949 and 1959, knee-deep in the chop off of South Point, would require additional adjudication: would a pre-statehood instance count?

Elizabeth said...

Did you have a banner with a strange device?