Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 189 in total

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!

Bonus: How do gasses dissolve in liquid? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about fluoride, decaf coffee, dissolving gasses, careers in chemistry, witnessing moments from history, and more!

How is coffee decaffeinated?

Coffee Part 3! So we all know coffee has caffeine in it. But what if you want your coffee... without the caffeine? Is that as impossible as wanting to have your cake and eat it too? Thankfully no, we all know decaffeinated coffee exists. But how in the actual HECK do they get the caffeine out? Well, there's multiple ways and they are all fascinating. Check it out.

How does caffeine make you not sleepy?

Ok so, caffeine. Some of us live on the stuff, and others of us want nothing to do with it. There's a lot of things caffeine can do to our bodies, but of course the number one question, is how does it keep the sleepiness away? Let's get into it. And we may find out a few other things caffeine does along the way.

Why do tires go flat in the winter?

Well you've probably been there. It's the first significantly cold day of the season, and you turn your car on and the tire pressure light comes on. This is an annual problem for many of us, and we probably don't even really think about why it happens. I mean we all know it happens when it's cold, but what's happening at the molecular level to make our tire pressure low when it's cold? Let's find out.

Bonus: Blood in pool water? (and other questions)

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about antacids, imposter syndrome, ice expanding, blood in pool water, and more!

Why do we roast coffee?

Coffee Part 2! So before we brew coffee, it gets roasted. What is roasting you might ask? Well it's pretty much the stage where all the magic is happening, everything that turns a little fruit seed into a delicious drink. Grab a cup of coffee, and listen to find out what chemistry processes created it.

Why do leaves change color in the fall?

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.

How is brewing coffee chemistry?

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!

Fall Mini 07 - Who is and isn't a chemist?

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.

Fall Mini 06 - What is imposter syndrome? (with Vianet Garza)

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.

Fall Mini 05 - Is BPA really that bad for you?

This week we received an interesting email about BPA from listener and retired chemistry teacher Danny. Let's get into it.

© For Your Life 2022, All rights reserved.