Pardon me, but do you speak chemistry?
June 2, 2009 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a chemistry wizard to help me translate this ad.

In cleaning out some old files, I came across this ad (and several others) from my grad school days. While I remembered most of the chemistry on the other ones, this one has me stumped. All I can read is the "007" part.

Thanks, and as a reward I'd be glad to scan the other three that I have and put them up for folks to see. Surprisingly, I couldn't find them on the web anywhere.
posted by neurodoc to Science & Nature (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The response is, ¨in chiral¨ = In Cairo.

I don´t recognize the molecule on the left.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 1:15 PM on June 2, 2009

The molecule on the left may be code for Anya Asamova (ie. Agent Triple X), given that she and Bond met in Egypt. Either that or Blofeld.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 1:29 PM on June 2, 2009

'Agent' is a chemistry term, and 'Triple' could refer to it being a triester - Agent Triple X sounds likely. Is it still classed as a fat with those benzene rings?
posted by vespr1610 at 2:15 PM on June 2, 2009

________ Triple Acyl?

Aromatic... Reagent... Nothing fits quite right.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 2:27 PM on June 2, 2009

FWIW, this organic chemist has no idea what the molecule's called (I don't think there's a common name, and the IUPAC isn't going to be fertile ground for wordplay), is reasonably certain it's never been made (quickie search, not a full literature scan), and is terrible at this sort of bad joke. Even the base triol on which the stearoyl groups are hung only popped up three references for me; knowing the full name seems to be not relevant. I think it's based off a subset of its name/properties.

It's an ester. And a tri stearoylate. An unnatural fat. "Ester" is a name...?

And yes, this is going to bother me a lot.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 2:36 PM on June 2, 2009

It could be "Tristar oil" (tristearoyl), which is a name that exists. Was it a recognizable company at some point?
posted by Dr.Enormous at 2:46 PM on June 2, 2009

Some connection between "triester" and Trieste?

(I know, I'm reaching here.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:50 PM on June 2, 2009

I took a few minutes to draw the structure out (I think this is correct..):

I tapped the weight/formula into a few databases and this was the closest match, clearly not our molecule. Dr.Enormous is surely right, it doesn't exist.
posted by vespr1610 at 2:51 PM on June 2, 2009

As usual, an amazing amount of information and resourcefulness from everyone! Some further notes:

1) Based on the other cartoons, I would definitely agree that this may not be a real molecule. The joke was in the pun.

2) I've uploaded here some of the other ones I have. By hovering over the chemical sign, you can see my attempt at the translation. Let me know if I got any of them wrong!

Keep trying for that Ester, but don't blame me if the joke turns out to be pretty lame...
posted by neurodoc at 3:13 PM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't have the answer, but maybe some chemistry to help. The mystery molecule is a triglyceride (glycerol with the -OHs replaced with the long chain fatty acid). If it didn't have the benzyl groups it would be stearic triglyceride. I'm not smart enough to name it as is. Going along the lines of the joke I was thinking Palm Oil, Cocoa Butter, etc. Maybe this will jog a better chemist's memory.
posted by Edward L at 7:54 PM on June 2, 2009

Perhaps the chef is suggesting waffle?
posted by vespr1610 at 11:48 PM on June 2, 2009

The chef's molecule is coronene. Under those conditions, it won't react (unless maybe at very high pressures, or with singlet oxygen), so it could be some play on "no reaction"
posted by Dr.Enormous at 5:30 AM on June 3, 2009

Got the chef, I think! The boiling point of O2 is 90K, so O2 at 90K refers to liquid oxygen, a.k.a. LOx. Based on that, I believe the chef is suggesting bagels with lox. I don't believe the chemical identity of coronene is relevant to the joke other having a structure which vaguely resembles a bagel.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:00 AM on June 3, 2009

...other than having...
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:01 AM on June 3, 2009

Any idea who the artist was?
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 4:48 PM on June 3, 2009

Here's another one (page 2 of the catalog).
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 10:20 AM on June 4, 2009

The two bottom puzzles appear to be Mercedes Benz and the Sistine (Cysteine) chapel [care of my fiance, Purple Pamplemousse]. Other issues are available by editing the url, but the puzzles don't seem to appear in each issue.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 10:45 AM on June 4, 2009

On Orange Pamplemousse's link, I have:

Old MacDonald had a farm,

The car in question is a Mercedes-Benzene.

The woman returned from Italy liked dicysteine. (The Sistine)

No idea what the vegetable of the day is.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:51 AM on June 4, 2009

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