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The other chemistry website, Avogadro inspires tasty guacamole, More chemical rock bands

February 27, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 9

The other chemistry website

People will now have to be extra careful when typing in the ACS website,—unless they are looking for chemistry of another sort.

Online-dating service has launched for singles seeking "a different approach to dating and relationships." According to the company's chief scientific adviser, Helen Fisher, "Unlike all of the other dating and relationship sites, matches not only by compatibility but also by chemistry, because chemistry is really important to romantic love and forming deep, long-term relationships."

ACS Director of Web Strategy Paul F. LaPorte says that, among the ACS community, the launch of has brought not so much concern but chuckles and "a lot of discussion about whether we're now getting into the matchmaking service." LaPorte is confident that if people accidentally arrive at the wrong website, they will quickly realize to try the alternative site. "I'm thankful that is nothing more than a dating service," he adds. "It would have been far worse if it were a competitor's site."

Avogadro inspires tasty guacamole

The 19th-century mathematician Amedeo Avogadro, famously associated with the number 6.02 x 1023, couldn't have guessed that he would be the inspiration for 21st-century guacamole. Specialty grocery store Trader Joe's has begun selling Trader José's Avocado's Number Guacamole. The dip is made from Hass avocados, dehydrated onions, vinegar, jalape??o peppers, salt, and granulated garlic. According to the company, "This tasty guacamole gives the heartiest tortilla chips a run for their money and stands up to our most flavorful salsas."

For salsa lovers, however, Trader Joe's also sells Trader José's E = Guaca Salsa2 (Energy = Guacamole & Salsa). Both products sell for $2.99 each.

More chemical rock bands

When DuPont chemist Steven D. Ittel sent Newscripts his list of rock-and-roll bands with chemical names last fall, he noted: "I am sure that publishing this would open Pandora's box. But it could be fun to see other more extreme examples" (C&EN, Sept. 19, 2005, page 68).

Sure enough, Newscripts received dozens of e-mails with names of other chemical rock bands, including Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly, Morphine, Entropy, Helium, The Lithium Project, Carbon Leaf, Niacin, Nitrogen, Anna Oxygen, Klaus Fluoride, Neon, Uranium-235, Strontium-90, Plutonium Foil, and two bands named Plutonium.

Paolo Dondoli of Florence, Italy, brought to our attention "a brief sample from Italy": Vanadium, and Neffa and the Dopa Messengers. And Graham Saunders, a lecturer in inorganic chemistry at Queen's University Belfast, noted that he and three colleagues several years ago formed a rock band called Organometallica.

Other readers, thinking outside the box, submitted chemically named songs from rock bands, including "HPLC" and "Drinking Toluene" (Ray Daytona & Googoobombos), "Superhydride Reaction" (Valeria), "Iron Man" (Black Sabbath), "Tin Man" (America), "Heart of Gold" (Neil Young), and "Man on the Silver Mountain" (Blackmore's Rainbow). Dave Sikora of Middlebury, Conn., points out that "Magic Man," a song by the early 1970s band Bloodrock, includes the lyrics "his wand is bathed in astatine." "Astatine!?" Sikora writes. "It's obscure enough to chemists, never mind rock musicians!"

One reader pointed out that there's even a rock band called Pandora's Box.

This week's column was written by Linda Wang. Please send comments and suggestions to


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