HUMOR: Comic Chemistry

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Science  22 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5525, pp. 2223
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5525.2223a

So these two polymer chemists walk into a bar. … OK, so you'll never hear that from a stand-up comedian. But even though chemistry isn't known for side-splitting humor, proof that chemists really are funny, if sometimes unintentionally, awaits at this cheeky gallery of molecules with humorous, silly, or raunchy names. Condensed mainly from reader suggestions, the mixture includes mouthfuls like furfuryl furfurate, dumb monikers like moronic acid, and plenty of suggestive or off-color tags (such as sexithiophene). Like nearly all great endeavors, the project was born in a pub, according to chemist Paul May of the University of Bristol, U.K., who maintains the page as part of his Molecule of the Month site.

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