Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A little chemical naming trivia from the Thingnamer was attached to a recent post. The comments got me thinking about IUPAC which got me thinking about chemicals with unusual names.

My favorite is easily: Fucitol (C6H14O5), an alcohol derived from Fucus vesiculosis, a North Atlantic seaweed. Its optical isomers are also called D-fuc-ol and L-fuc-ol.

SEX the official abbreviation of sodium ethyl xanthate reminds me of my favorite piece of Bond dialogue:

Tanaka: This... is an order for naval stores. 500 kilos of butter, 50 containers of lox. What is lox?
James: Oh, it's an American name for smoked salmon. But it's also the technical name for liquid oxygen. Which makes rocket fuel.

Actually that's not my favorite Bond line. My favorite Bond line (from the same movie) is:

James: Now what's the plan for me?
Tanaka: First, you become a Japanese. Second, you train hard and quickly to become a ninja like us. And third, to give you extra-special cover, you take a wife.

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