Works for me
Text everywhere--well yes, it's a periodic table, in contains text.
Buttons everywhere--your inability to distinguish between a button and dropdown menu has been noted. The dropdown determines what happens when you click on an element.
Resize--I resized my browser window, and the table resized itself.
This does reveal the essential issue that usability, like art, is subjective, however. I think the UI is nifty, if slightly cluttered. I wouldn't want all this stuff jammed together for, say, a vital infrastructure application, but it's a great proof of concept, IMHO.
In re the article itself, where did you find these guys? The Web is a glorified phonebook? People have been presenting complex data via the Web since the late '90s. Morans.