Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 200 in total

Why are tattoos permanent?

Tattoos go back centuries across many cultures, and yet their chemistry is still an absolute mystery to most of us. How do tattoos work? What is the ink made of? How does the ink stay in our skin indefinitely? Why don't our bodies get rid of it? Let's do this.

Bonus: How much does a polar bear weigh? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam do something a little different. Because they're needing to record quite a bit ahead of time, this Q&R couldn't be about episodes that haven't come out yet, so they recorded a long-awaited sequel to their ice-breaker questions episode from last year.

Why does ice float on water?

Ice is water right? It's just that it's solid. So why does it float in liquid water? And also why does water expand when it freezes, when typically things contract when they freeze? These are things we are used to observing daily, but they actually are a little strange, and we bet the answer will surprise you.

What is sea level rise? (with Dr. Renee Collini)

This week, Melissa, Jam, and very special guest Renee Collini (Melissa's sister and climate scientist) delve into the important topic of sea-level rise. What causes it to rise? What affect will it have on the world? How should we feel about it? Is there anything us regular folk can do?

What is the chemistry of volcanoes?

The crazy, insane, scary, fascinating world of volcanoes is fully of chemistry! What is lava/magma? Why do some volcanoes ooze and others erupt? What causes the magma to start rising to the surface? Let's get into this hot topic?

Why are sand and water different temperatures at the beach?

Many of us have been in a situation where we are near a body of water (lake, ocean, pool etc), and you may have noticed that no matter what the temperature is outside, the water and the land can feel like super different temperatures, like the sand being hot and the ocean being cold. Why is that? Well it's because of something called specific heat, and we're going to talk about it right now.

What is wind?

Wind is everywhere, we've all experienced it: soft breezes, strong gusts, cold fronts, warm fronts. But what is wind? What starts it? Where does it come from, and where does it go? And who am I to blow against the wind?

Bonus: Where does sand come from? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about CO2 and mosquitos, sand, light scattering, cooking eggs, and more!

What is lightning?

Lightning is something we're all used to. It's always just been an odd part of life. But think for a second, what even is it? It's just electricity, hanging out in the sky?? Why? What causes it? What makes it move from cloud to cloud? Or from cloud to earth? Let's get into this asap.

What do rainbows and mirages have in common?

This week, Melissa and Jam explore three very different, but related, light phenomena. We'll discuss situations when light can be bent, slowed down, and even broken. It's gonna be lit.

What are clouds? And why do they look white?

Clouds. So fluffy. So wispy. So mysterious. What are they really? Why do they look white? How do they hold so much water for so long? Why do they float?

Bonus: Why is caffeine in shampoo? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about shampoo, microplastics, misunderstood chemicals, sports teams, ADHD medications, and more!

Why do people hate organic chemistry?

Well guess what, Melissa is a PhD Doctor now! And you know what that means? She gets to tell us more details about the research she did to get her PhD. Listen to hear what Melissa found as she dove deep into the question "Why do people hate organic chemistry?" for the past few years.

How can sunlight turn into electricity?

This week, Melissa and Jam explore the chemistry of solar energy. How do we capture energy from the sun and turn it into electricity? Is it as super insanely cool as it seems? Are we living in the future already?

How do ADHD and Adderall™ change the chemistry in our brains?

Well newsflash, the brain is complicated. And a surprising amount of what's going on in our brains is chemistry. But what about ADHD? What's happening in the chemistry of someone's brain who has ADHD, and then what happens when ADHD medication is introduced? Let's find the heck out!

Bonus: Animals have tears? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about lobsters, crying, lightening, colored fire, and more!

Is crying chemistry? (the fascinating science of tears)

Have you ever wondered what tears are? If not, is it because you think you already know? Chances are, you don't actually know what tears are! It's probably more complex than you'd expect. Grab some tissues, let's get into it!

Why does rain smell?

What's that smell? This week, Melissa and Jam explore the chemistry of smell. Now a lot of smell science has to do with our physiology and neurology. We'll talk some about that, but the chemistry has to do with the actual smells in the air. What are they? How do they get into the air? How can we detect them with our noses and brains? Why does rain have a smell, and why does it smell good? Let's find out.

Why do lobsters turn red? (when we cook them)

When you think of lobsters, you probably always imagine them being red. But they're only actually red after they die, or more specifically, after we cook them. Why? Is it because being cooked is really embarrassing? That's what I thought too but the real explanation is more complicated and very chemical. Let's find out.

Bonus: What do sunscreen and paint have in common? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about soda bubbles, mentos, raisins, sunscreen, and more!

Why do sodas explode? (when we shake them)

We've all shaken up a carbonated drink, either accidentally or on purpose, so we all know what happens. But why? Why does simply shaking it agitate the carbonation so much? And why do shaken sodas overflow the can so much?

Why is the sky blue?

This week, Melissa and Jam explore the oldest question in the book. But we're not going to answer it. Just kidding. Why the HECK is the sky blue? And also why are there times that it isn't? Sunrise? Sunset? Nightime? Sky, what are your mysteries? Tell us your secrets. Hide not your face from me.

Bonus: Chemistry and Greek myths? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about greek myth analogies, hydrogen peroxide, benzoyl peroxide, alkaline water, coffee, sitcoms, and more!

Why do we use hydrogen peroxide? (and should we?)

For many people, hydrogen peroxide has been an essential first aid tool. Should it be? And before we answer that question, what even is hydrogen peroxide? How does it work? Why does it bubble? How does it clean wounds?

How does bleach remove color?

How does bleach bleach stuff? Oh and also, what even is color? This week Melissa and Jam investigate these questions. What's the molecular makeup of color and then how does bleach alter that? How does bleach have enough power to ruin that hoodie you just bought? How could you have been foolish enough to handle bleach while wearing your new hoodie?

Why are blue jeans actually dyed yellow?

Are you sitting down? Because we've got some news for you. Those blue jeans you own, they weren't actually dyed blue. They were dyed YELLOW. That doesn't make any sense right? Well it might, if you listen to this episode.

Bonus: Is higher pH water better? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about stretching molecules, stigmas around organic chemistry, drinking higher pH (alkaline) water, cool chemistry jobs, and more!

Why do Pop Rocks pop?

If you know what pop rocks are, then this episode will answer one of the greatest mysteries of your childhood. And if you've never heard of pop rocks, then you'll still be just as fascinated to hear how they work. How do those little candies seem to pop in your mouth? And how are they not dangerous? Why aren't they already popping in the bag? Or can they pop under any other circumstances? Let's find out!

What are antioxidants and are they even good for you?

This week, Melissa and Jam explore the chemistry of antioxidants. What are they? Is it just magical stuff they put in sport drinks and workout supplements? Can you find it in snake oil?

How does Benzoyl Peroxide fight acne?

If you've ever had acne, you've probably tried some creams or washes with "benzoyl peroxide" somewhere on the label. How is it that this specific ingredient is helpful for fighting acne? What is happening at the molecular level when we apply some benzoyl peroxide to our acne? Let's find out!

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