Some say strychnine

Chemistry Blog muses about names: (4aR,5aS,8aR,8a1S,15aS)-4a1,5,5a,7,8,8a1,15,15a-octahydro-2H-4,6-methanoindolo[3,2,1-ij]oxepino[2,3,4-de]pyrrolo[2,3-h]quinolin-14(4aH)-one. Imagine if Agatha Christie had to write that every time she had to mention the poison used in the murder, or if Hitchcock’s leading man had to vocalise it in the courtroom. Well they’d never get the book or the film down to a manageable size. It’s much easier […]

Math exercise: Predict the next big science journal

This week’s Improbable Big Mathematics Exercise is to predict when the next big wave of big science journals will be published. The current biggest wave of big science journals is exemplified by the journal Gigascience. (Warning: Their logo, displayed here, may confuse matters. It seems to imply that they are dealing not with giga science, […]

The ever-shortening name: When CQU?

A linguistics question: Predict the year when this university will shorten its name to be just three letters long. Here’s Wikipedia’s history of the name changes so far: CQUniversity started out as the Queensland Institute of Technology (Capricornia) in 1967, and after two years under the name of the University College of Central Queensland, in 1992 became […]