bad chemicals

October 24, 2007 at 8:58 am | | crazy figure contest, literature, nerd

OK, I know this is old news (Paul already blogged about it), but I just received my very own hard copy in my mailbox, so I have to post it:

I just love this! I want to use it next time I teach gen chem. I know chemistry can be hard. Look, even OUP and ACS get it wrong sometimes. And I mean really wrong.

What I don’t understand is how did they do this?!? Which chemical-drawing program let’s you make a hydrogen join the ring of benzene? Or have oxygen form four bonds? Or… They must have had little red squares all over their screen!


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  1. How embarrassing! They even have pentavalent C as well as the peculiar H and O. Or was it a joke/to catch out aware readers?

    Comment by Nick Williams — October 25, 2007 #

  2. wow, if it was a joke, it was a very subtle one!

    Comment by sam — October 25, 2007 #

  3. Good grief.

    I hope it was a joke. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in their editorial ability, though.

    Am I the only one who gets nauseous when they see this? It so offends the years of conditioning that I have as a chemist that it evokes a visceral reaction (which actually makes me worry about what my education has done to my psyche, but still…).

    Comment by Dave Eaton — October 31, 2007 #

  4. Their math isn’t consistent either. Is it 20% off or 30%?

    Comment by Tim — November 14, 2007 #

  5. i think that just means that ACS members get a bigger discount.

    Comment by sam — November 15, 2007 #

  6. […] figure or in a t-shirt attempting to show the structure of PCP but failing quite miserably or in the egregious cover of an Oxford University Press promotional booklet for ACS publications. But let us not overlook the gems of humor that we encounter everyday in the form of […]

    Pingback by Everyday Scientist » how not to choose a title 101 — September 8, 2009 #

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