Cop, or…

I picked a random word for the day, and it is “copper.”

I suppose I have much to say about any word.  So it may as well be copper. In fact, that was my nickname during college. Early on. When I was a senior in high school, I had aspirations of entering law enforcement. There was something in me that thought I would be a good police officer. So my newly-found friends at Butler University christened me “Copper.” It stuck around for a while. The nickname. But that is about it. Guns made me a little wobbly. Just the thought of them. I wasn’t real crazy about Thugs either. Annnnnd, I also loved Chemistry. So that’s the way I went. I think I look more like “Beaker” than “Copper” anyhow.

Copper is a good thing. Speaking of Chemistry. It is a chemical element on that big old chart I memorized. It has a chemical symbol too. It is one of my favorites. Cu. Like “see you real soon”.

The other good thing about copper is its atomic number. — which is 29. (Same as my birthday.)

Copper is soft, and malleable, and ductile metal. And, it also has a very high thermal and electrical conductivity. As metals go, it is a little like the Mom in The Incredibles. Or, Mr. Fantastic, in the Fantastic Four. At least on the bendability.

Pure Copper has a reddish-orange color. It is pretty, really. And you know most of its uses. As a building material, for sure. But it is also a big pal of various metal alloys — with lots of different uses. Like sterling silver used in jewelry, cupronickel used to make coins. Copper is also very good for temperature measurement. And such.

What you probably don’t know is that Copper has a history in our history. It happens to be one of those very few metals that occur in nature – in its usable form. You see, a lot of other metals need to be extracted from an ore.

So this made it easy for folks of yore to mine it (in Cyprus) and use it! Which of course led to very early human use, from around 8000 BC.

Copper is a metal of “firsts” — It was the first metal to be smelted from its ore, which happened about 5000 BC. (TV Timeout):  Can we just take a moment to consider the word Smelt? I love that word. “HEY. I smelt something funny. Do you smell it?” Okay. Not really. But smelt, like when you heat & melt at the same time. Whoops. There goes the butter. I just smelt it in the microwave. Okay, not really. But Smelt, like the fish. A small silvery fish. “I smelt some Smelt.”

Okay. Sorry for the segue. Back to Copper. It was also the first metal to be cast into a shape in a mold, around 4000 BC. Finally, it was the first metal to be purposefully alloyed with another metal. The folks back then matched it up with tin. And THAT created bronze. Bronze was born around 3500 BC. So yes, Copper has a past.

Last but not least, people steal it, and resell it. And here is why. Like aluminum, Copper is recyclable without any loss of quality. People will take it from both from the raw state and from manufactured products. And that makes Copper the third most recycled metal after iron and aluminum.  Here is another amazing fact. An estimated 80% of all Copper ever mined is still in use today.

So. That’s what I think about Copper. I think if I had to come back as a metal, I am pretty sure it would be Copper. It has some great qualities, which we all could use in our human selves. Being soft, and malleable. Bendable. Highly functional. And…. … an amazing conductor of energy. Yes. Maybe we all should put a little Copper in our lives and all that swirls around us.