RE: Barbie?

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>
From:"Leek, Adrian" <>
Content-Type:text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Barbara is also the patron saint of miners (just to be completely
Adrian Leek,
R&D Consultant,
CytoLogix Corp.
Cambridge, MA

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2000 09:57 AM
Subject: Barbie?

John Kiernan asks:

>>Barbituric acid, barbiturates and all the other "barbi-" compounds 
commemorate "a lady named Barbara" revered and perpetuated by a particularly

perspicacious chemist of the 1890s who recognized an unconventional "acid" 
structure. Can anyone remember the clever chemist's name?<<

I heard the "lady named Barbara" story (about Adolf von Baeyer, or perhaps 
Emil Fischer) from my organic chemistry professor in 1957, but the following

tells a fine yarn and suggests that Saint Barbara may be the lady in

Saint Barbara was a perhaps legendary saint whose father beheaded her after 
she refused to renounce her conversion to Christianity. She is thus always 
depicted holding a very large sword. (A sweet Catholic lady named Barbara -
technologist, but I'll never tell - once told me that she is also depicted 
carrying the Holy Sacrament.) Because of the sword, she represents the
fightin' god Chango in the Afro-Caribbean (Santero) pantheon.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist and omo-Oshun wannabe
Knoxville TN

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>