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Featured Article: Atonement

Atonement means that two parties, estranged form each other because one of them offends the other, eventually reconcile to each other. It usually contains two stages: 1) the offender's act of expiation for forgiveness from the offended party, and 2) reconciliation, which is a regained state of unity thereafter. Atonement in this sense, whether the offended party refers to a deity in the divine-human relationship or a fellow human person in the interpersonal relationship, seems to exist in every culture and every religion, although the word "atonement" itself, comprised of two parts, "at" and "onement," was coined in Christendom by William Tyndale, the maker of the 1526 English Bible, to express the nature of Christ's sacrifice better than "reconciliation," the English transliteration of the Latin word reconciliatio seen in biblical passages like Romans 5:11. Expiation takes various forms: sacrifice, fast, prayer, repentance, etc., depending on what culture or religion we are talking about.

Atonement in its primary, religious sense is done very often in the presence of a priestly figure who appeases an offended deity on behalf of the offender. The High Priest in ancient Judaism and Christ in Christianity are examples. Christianity distinguishes itself from other cultures and religions in that it has Christ killed vicariously as an ultimate sacrifice for our atonement with God, while other cultures and religions don't have their respective priestly figures killed vicariously as sacrifices. Christianity is also unique because it usually teaches the need for the human blood of Christ, while other religions and cultures (except those ancient cultures which practiced human sacrifices) tend to have milder forms of expiation such as repentance and at most animal sacrifices.

Popular Article: Inner transition element

Phase diagram (actinoid elements)
The inner transition elements are two series of elements known as the lanthanoids (previously called lanthanides) and actinoids (previously called actinides). They are usually shown below all the other elements in the standard view of the periodic table, but they really belong to periods 6 and 7. The lanthanoid series consists of the 14 elements cerium through lutetium (atomic numbers 58–71), which immediately follow lanthanum. Likewise, the actinoid series consists of the 14 elements thorium through lawrencium (atomic numbers 90–103), which immediately follow actinium. These elements were among the last to be discovered and placed in the periodic table. Many of the actinoids do not occur naturally but were synthesized through nuclear reactions.

Chemically, the elements within each series (especially the lanthanoids) are very similar to one another. Many lanthanoids are used for producing lasers, sunglass lenses, and strong magnets. Some radioactive isotopes of inner transition elements are used to date rocks, minerals, and fossils. The two most well-known actinoids are uranium (U) and plutonium (Pu), which are used in nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants that generate electricity.