Central Snark

When Things get Chemical… by Snuppy
Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 7:54am
Filed under: funny..., Teh Penguin

citrus.jpegOh yes, school has started full throttle and the surprises just keep on coming. When I researched my schedule for this semester, “Chemistry, 6 lessons a week” greeted me and I went into automatic shut down. Images from High School started to announce themselves: teachers with glasses, wearing tweed jackets with suede elbow patches; in particular. Some memories are better kept in your deepest subconscious.

To prepare for the course I read the assigned chapters and read a bit up on Chemistry in general. In the joke department, that is! Here are a few of my favorites.

Q: What do you do when you find a dead chemist?
A: Barium!

Q: What happens when electrons lose their energy?
A: They get Bohr’ed.

Little Willie was a chemist.
Little Willie is no more.
For what he thought was H2O,
Was H2SO4.

And while that is everything a teacher is looking for in his student, I decided to give him a chance.

ball and sticksThe teacher had me from the get-go. The first picture we got to see was something like this and usually that would have been my stimulus for panic, anxiety and sweating…until he told me that this is Vitamin C and such a model was referred to as a ball-and-sticks diagram. BALL and STICKS! I am pretty sure my giggle was barely audible to anyone but my immediate neighbors, whose English wasn’t good enough to get the joke…but after I explained and drew a little sketch, certain facial muscles started to move. Remember, teamwork is essential: it allows you to blame someone else!

Despite my childish inclinations, I became really interested in the lecture though. Did you know that as early as 1742 lemon juice was known to prevent scurvy, a debilitating disease that often plagued long-distance sailors. But not until 1933 was the healthful component in lemon juice identified as vitamin C. Once a structure is known, organic chemists try to synthesize the compound in the laboratory. Vitamin C is now much cheaper to synthesize from glucose than to extract it from natural sources.

What does that mean to you? Well, many people still believe “natural” is better and gobble down an orange. Certainly it is better to eat an orange than taking a vitamin tablet, the difference lies in the many other substances present in the food. The Vitamin C, however, is exactly the same. Isn’t it great to rely on Chemistry for problem solving? After all, they have all the solutions!

~Penguin out!

Don’t ever lick the spoon, rather head on over to HUMOR-BLOGS, where there are alkynes of unique substances floating about.


23 Comments so far
Leave a comment

so what are you saying here? that we should pop that pill, and avoid the other hazards of orange-eating? works for me, i was never a fan of pulp, anyway. oh wait, but i DO love me a good orange. *ponders*

GRAND post, dearest little penguin. good to see your hours playing “Brain Age” have not been in vain! (and i thought you were kidding about doing something related to chemistry…) 😉

Comment by snuppy

oops! guess i should have logged on, in order to have at least ONE “one hot puppy” comment. heh.

also… laughing at your “balls ‘n sticks” comment (great jokes, too!) but, seriously? no one “got” the reason you cracked up until AFTER you drew ’em a picture?? should we be worried about these other potential nurse practitioners you’re taking classes with?? 🙄

Comment by One Hot Puppy

snuppy, that is a good point. Nurse practitioners should be familiar with the concept of balls and sticks and other elongated and pointy constructions. But I think it was more ofa language than anatomical thing, the teacher used the English naming system and they are all tuned into Icelandic, so they didn’t really hear him…but they heard me giggle and prompted by an inquiring look into my private joke, I quickly drew a sketch…it didn’t take that long 🙂 Have I turned into a nurse geek?

Comment by Penguin

a geek? never! a charming nurse geek, perhaps. nothin’ wrong with that! i used to be the same way back in my “nutrition” days… i thought it was a lot of fun to know which nutrients certain foods were rich in, and, of course, how many calories… obviously i got over it as soon as i decided NOT to become a dietitian. (same thing happened when I was studying nursing — only it had more to do with my inability to poke sharp objects into someone else’s arm…) i also think it’s pretty damn funny you’re able to “entertain” your fellow classmates and/or teachers. 🙂

Comment by snuppy

I said all the studying and preparation would make you popular. Apparently it’ll be the cartoons instead.


Comment by I Dive At Night

The ‘Barium’ joke made me exhale loudly and with much mirth from my mouth.

Comment by Lord Likely

Morgan, thank you…yes I am quite the class clown:) Don’t worry, I have a hat that goes with that job!

Lord Likely, I hope you weren’t drinking any coffee 🙂

Comment by Penguin

by the way, i DID know about the Vit. C/scurvy-prevention/early discovery thing — in fact, i think the British were among the first to utilize citrus fruits on long voyages, which is why and/or how they came to be known as “Limeys”. or did i just make that up?? 😉

Comment by snuppy

Gosh, a sulfuric acid joke. You went nerd kinda quick and easy, didn’t you? Must have been just under the meniscus.

Comment by Walela

Better living through chemistry!
Although Du Pont used that slogan to promote their company my family tended to use it when speaking about medical, or para-medical pharmaceuticals.
Glad you are enjoying the class and learning all about how stuff in a lab is identical to the natural stuff, but remember,
soylent green is people!

Comment by logo™

Oh darn, Logo stole my thunder, yes, Better Living through Chemistry! That’s my ab fab fav chemistry joke. If I’d have taken one more chem class, I’d have a minor in chem, but I hated it SO much, I couldn’t stomach just one more class. Ah well, good luck to you. Another little known chem factoid: Cool Whip is a chemical concoction made in a lab, but people eat it right up like it’s real food or something!?!?

Comment by Claire

I remember kids like you when I was in school (out on on the prairie with the early settlers)…starting trouble only to hide behind a mask of sweet innocence when the ruckus is explored. We’re on to you Penguin. Great post…now shouldn’t you be studying?

Comment by BoBo

Snuppy, that’s hard to say…you have a vivid imagination:)

Walela, I guess I just have it in me. Fear of competition, huh?!

Logo, and I will try to remember that H20 and H2SO4 are not the same thing:) Also a hot glass and a cold glass look exactly the same 🙂

Claire, what’s cool whip? mayonaise? You know the brother of Miracle !

BObo, I am…I even skipped classes today to do so.
No kidding! But I can’t go to a psychology class with a bunch of 19 year olds who don’t know Freud or Skinner. I think I’ll home teach that course to me! It was either this way or drawing loads of sketches in my psychology notes…and I have repressed a lot of things that never should be drawn in teh first place 🙂

Comment by Penguin

Ah, better living through chemistry (an old t-shirt which you’re too young to remember).

Well good luck to you in your studies. You’re already off with the right attitude! Oops, I see the “better living through chemistry” references above – that Logo!

Loved the barium joke!


Comment by Lampsha

Two atoms are walking down the street one day, and one of them says to the other:

“Hey, wait up a second. I think I lost an electron”

The first atom replied, “Are you sure?”

The second atom exclaimed, “Yes, I’m positive!”

I agree on the barium joke.

Comment by Chris C

so, maybe Santa Claus is a closeted chemistry freak, and just letting folks know he’s thirsty when he yells “HOH HOH HOH!”, eh? 😉

Comment by snuppy

Lampshade, you make me sound like I am 16 🙂 I like it! Yeah, Barium was great for me too:)

Chris, Yeah, that is a funny chemist joke too. Glad you could get in the spirit of things.

Snuppy. Lol and a perfect example of the active imagination I was referring to 🙂

Comment by Penguin

I found out you can’t give a guinea piggy rabbit food, because it doesn’t have the essential vitamin C added to it, and will cause the piggy to become vitamin C deficient, and to get sick. You can give a rabbit guinea piggy food though with no ill effects to the rabbit.

Cool Whip is something concocted to taste like whipped cream – but not real dairy at all. Say, aren’t Twinkies made out of chemicals too?

I heard that line “Better living through chemicals” at the Summer of Love festival in San Francisco this past weekend – who’d a thunk it?

Comment by tsduff

But is the teacher hot? Tell us the important stuff! Cute or not?

Comment by TLP

terry, I wouldn’t have thunk it. You rock! *grooves to the beat* Fake whipped cream…Yummy!

TLP, he is quite a handsome fellow. Tall, slim, the obligatory glasses, neat smile. I think he is also 50+ somethign years. So I try not to think of him in that way 🙂

Comment by Penguin

It’s very good that you already know that there will be lots of “solutions” in your chem classes, you smart little Penquin……….Judy

Comment by Judy

Hmmm, balls and sticks, that sounds like a topic for Friday. The vitamin tablet may be the same but it doesn’t taste as good as a nice juicy orange.

A little joke:
One day Johnny’s teacher gave the class a homework assignment. Each student had to think of what they wanted to be when they grew up. Johnny thought about the assignment all day, and while walking home from school he had a GREAT idea about what he would tell the class the next day.

The next day the teacher asked each student to stand and tell the class what they wanted to be when they grew up. Susie said she wanted to be a teacher. Billy said he wanted to be a doctor. Then it was Johnny’s turn. The teacher asked, “Johnny, what do you want to be when you grow up?” Johnny replied, “I want to be a Vitamin.” “A Vitamin?” “Yes, I want to be a Vitamin”. “But Johnny,” said the teacher, “no one can be a vitamin when they grow up!” “Yes they can”, he said.
“Yesterday, when I was walking home, I passed the drug store and in the window was a big sign that said….VITAMIN B1”!! And that’s what I want to be!

Comment by Theresa

Judy, *gives herself an A, a star and a smiley*

Theresa, Kids say the darndest things, don’t they?

Comment by Penguin

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