Chemical Analysis

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Several of the ASCII pictures seem to feature chemical formulas.


It is hard to make out, due to the low quality of the ASCII image, but it seems to be a fish-shaped volatile organic compound. This can be concluded because the molecule is depicted as consisting out of lines, a common way to describe organic compounds, and a fish. Note: One of the ingredients for the cake in Portal is "Fish-shaped Ethylbenzene". Could this be that chemical?

Actually identifying the chemical itself will be very difficult, if not impossible, due to the aforementioned image quality. Characteristic groups (such as -COOH or -NH2) can not be seen clearly (assuming this organic molecule is an amino acid).

Both molecules contain aromatic or cyclic 6-carbon rings. This molecule may have something to do with a neurotoxin (certain pesticides smell like apples during certain production stages) or could be the molecular structure of a sugar. One thing is for sure, this molecule is a fairly complex molecule (assuming it is a molecule at all), some areas are fairly unstable assuming they are other than just carbon.

The triangles on the far right are making it hard to determine a chemical formula. If we assume that the triangles do not exist then a chemical formula of C9H13O3 is possible, however; with the triangles it is difficult to know if this is accurate. According to an Organic Chemistry professor the compound would not be stable, because of steric strain caused by the cyclopropane rings. This indicates that there is some sort of functional group being represented by the triangles, or some sort of in-world molecule that we do not have.

Some oddities with the two compounds - Chemical compounds with double bonds usually contain 4 parts attached to them, the above molecule does appear to have a double bond with 4 parts attached but it is not a common way to draw double bonds.


C5 E
Glucose, a sugar in apples

The shape in the bottom right might be an apple, and the shape jutting out of the left of it seems like it could correspond to a sugar compound.

Apple Computer?  (Valve Teaser Images released March 3, 2010)

If it is an apple, the compound could likely be a poison - see

This may be off topic, but there is a poison apple in "Snow White".

The image looks like an apple while the other has a different shape and a line or arrow going between them.

Mendeleev Anniversary

The radio update occured at 14:33PST 1 March 2010. If an easter egg is to emphasize the date 3/2/10 (three two one zero), it first corresponds to the Moscow timezones (which would have been 00:33). 1 March 1869 is the day that Dmitri Mendeleev, the Russian chemist, woke up from a dream fully visualizing the periodic table (he had been playing a solitaire-like card game and it took the shape of rows of boxes). The dream occured on 17 February 1869 Julian. I think the subtlety is to ask what would Mendeleev have dreamed if he had been playing games like Portal 2. It could also be a slight nod to System Shock 2 and Negativland.

dmitri mendeleev:
E2 D E4 I E2 D D7 Co/R C5 E D5 Mo/R C4 N E4 I D5 Mo/R E3 T C9 L D3 V C5 E C5 E C5 E

(dd,mm,ii,t,r,eeee,n,l,v)four e's, two m's, two d's, two i's, t+r+n+l+v
(E2E2,E4E4,D7,C5C5C5C5,D5D5,C4,E3,C9,D3) four C5's, two D5's, two E2's, two E4's, E3+D7+C4+C9+D3

Elements with the following D-orbital electronic configurations (Brescia Arents Meislich Turk 1975 pp. 600-1):
(D7) Co Ru Ir
(D5) Cr Mn Mo Re
(D3) V // Ta


"Did core mourn? I mort. Liiiiiiiiiivvvve."

[Dmitri Mendeleev = E2:D5:E4:E3:D7:E4:D5:C5:C4:E2:C5:C9:C5:C5:D3 = SNUTPUNEDSEIEEL]

(using jargon layout at )

SNUTPUNEDSEIEEL (flipped) is 73313; elite backwards. The remaining letters spell "Suspend Nut" or "Send Up Nuts" (a chipmunk mmorpg reference, perhaps because of the space elevator.. ;)).

Could this mean mean changing something that should not have been changed? In the CJ memos there are a few mentioning of witchcraft and something along the lines of "the difference between witchcraft and science is that science has some thing to show as a result". Maybe they have figured out a way of turning apples into oranges, so to speak.

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