Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 164 in total
It's Fall! You know why they call Fall Fall? Well because the leaves fall. But before that, the leaves change color. Why do they do that? How? Is there any sort of function to it? Do the different colors mean anything? Let's dive into this overdue, colorful topic.
The long overdue cracking open of the door into the chemistry of coffee! First, the chemistry of what happens when you brew coffee. Check it out!
What makes someone a chemist? At what point does someone become one? Is it a defined line or is it a blurry one? Melissa shares some thoughts, as well as the thoughts of two of her chemistry colleagues.
This week we have a very special guest, Vianet Garza (LPC). She's going to talk us through something that's common in chemistry, science, and likely every other profession under the sun: imposter syndrome.
This week we received an interesting email about BPA from listener and retired chemistry teacher Danny. Let's get into it.
Rebroadcast: This week Melissa and Jam explore a Halloween-themed topic, perfectly-timed for the fact that our episode air date happened to land on Halloween exactly! Can you change the color of fire using only chemistry, safety, personal protection equipment, and no magic? Listen to find out. And check us out on any of our social media accounts to see the experiment take place!
It's time to break some ice.
Are you an avid baker? Melissa's baking discovery may be as revolutionary for you as it was for her.
Let's hear more about sugar from the perspective of a biochemist!
Does vanilla come from beaver butts?
Well we've all had vanilla. And if you have a tongue then you probably like it. But the question we've all wondered each time we're baking something is probably something like, "what is imitation vanilla?" and "how do they make it?" and "how is it so much cheaper?" and "do you think anyone would notice if I use it instead?" Let's look into it.
Tums, alka seltzer, and other antacids: they're simple, they've been around for a long time, but they're a tried and true method for helping our stomachs. But how do they work? What's the chemistry behind these unsung heroes?
In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about breathalyzers, high fructose corn syrup, candles, airbags, and more!
What if BPA was in something more ordinary and everywhere than a water bottle? Something seemingly innocent and inconspicuous? Like a receipt? Wouldn't that just be a cherry on top of a sad sundae.
Every time you buy a plastic water bottle or something, you probably see a sticker that says "BPA free." Pretty good news right? I mean who knows? But what is BPA? And why did we need to get rid of it? And what did we replace it with? And is the problem really solved? Let's just say, don't get too attached to your water bottle.
How can machines tell how much alcohol is in our blood, simply from checking our breath? Is it magic, or is it chemistry? I think you know the answer to that. But let's get into the details.
We've all heard about it. And most likely you've heard that it's in danger. But what is the ozone layer in the first place? And once we learn that, how about figuring out why it's in danger? Ok let's do it.
In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about sugar, high fructose corn syrup, weed killer, water's cleaning ability, tips about college, Jam's name, making money from podcasts, and bucket lists!
Well it's no secret. Some people like to make the relaxing, refreshing environment of a pool into a toilet. It's a problem that's probably existed just as long as pools have. But even before urine enters the picture, modern pools are already chemically complex. So what happens when urine joins the party? Let's find out.
It's got high fructose, it's somehow from corn, and it's in syrup form. What's not to like? Well maybe a lot. Or maybe not. Is it worse than sugar? Is it the same? Let's find out!
By now you've already probably experienced the magic of magic erasers. But what IS the magic? How does it erase what other things cannot? And if you don't know what magic erasers are, you'll be impressed.
Candles are simple enough right? Probably nothing crazy going on right? Wrong. Where does all the wax go? And how does the wick just keep on burning so long? Let's find out.
Here's another bonus episode dedicated to teaching a specific chemistry experiment you can do at home. This month, we see how to light a candle without touching the flame to the wick.
Batteries. The mysterious little cylinders that have powered our essentials and fun for decades. How in the world do they work? What's the chemistry that's going on inside, and how does it power our electronics? Let's find out.
In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about dyes, onions, soaps, candies, eggs, salt lamps, cheese, and more!
Seriously what the heck is cheese? It's a question we've all wondered, but most of us only ever know that it's from milk—but what else? How do we turn milk into cheese? What's going on at the chemical level? And why do cheeses taste different from each other? Let's find out.
What do roosters' combs and cows' eyeballs have that our skin needs? Let's add another chapter to the chemistry of skin care. Today we explore a special and unusual acid that has some surprising and unique abilities when used in skincare applications.
Well there's more to sunscreen than we thought. Like some super recent not so great info, about something called benzene. This is another example of the unfortunate dark side of chemistry. Check it out and make sure to check the list of safe sunscreens in the references below!
Here's another bonus episode dedicated to teaching a specific chemistry experiment you can do at home. This month, we see how to make the internet popular concoction called elephant's toothpaste.
Ok we all get it, they save our lives, and they aren't just a really good Radiohead song. But HOW? Most of us never even need to experience airbags, which is great. But for those of us who do, how do they do their very important job so perfectly and impressively? There's more to airbags than you'd expect, unless you're a chemist and already know this stuff in which case you might not be impressed and that's sad.