Fall Mini 04 - Icebreakers

It's time to break some ice.

Fall Mini 04
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Melissa: [00:00:00]

Hey I'm Melissa

Jam: I'm jam

Melissa: And I'm a chemist

Jam: and I'm not

Melissa: and welcome to chemistry for your life

Jam: the podcast helps you understand the chemistry of your everyday life any edition

Melissa: Icebreaker edition

Jam: edition Okay

Melissa: I am so excited for this So we reached out on Instagram and Facebook and ask people to share their favorite icebreakers or would you rather questions so here we go Let's get right into it

Jam: Nice And we typically do a couple questions like When we do like a Q and R episode but with their structure this month of doing the fall minis we wanted to make sure we still had a place for these kinds of questions

Melissa: absolutely right

Jam: that's what this episode is Okay You ready

Melissa: I'm ready

Jam: The first question is from I believe it's pronounced Sadaf sorry if I totally butchered that a Sadaf question is do you like your coffee [00:01:00] black or sweetened

Melissa: I love my coffee sweetened I use a agave because lower glycemic index So I've heard that doesn't make your blood sugar spike and then crash and almond milk That's what I do to my coffee but really what I love our lattes I really want a little bit of espresso and a lot of bit of And then I can take it sweetened or not in the latte form Sometimes they go plain Sometimes they go with a little bit of vanilla syrup or whatever So that's me

Jam: So I think a different version of the question has been asked before So some of you listeners might know this but I only drink black coffee only black coffee but I do change up like like I like hot coffee black like cold coffee black like an ice pour over I like cold brew I like an iced Americano So I kind of I switch up the form which does change the flavor quite a bit But my whole deal about this is that [00:02:00] I only ever go to places that sell specialty coffee So they sell coffee That was from a single plantation a single farm in a specific country in a specific area And so for me I don't want to to dilute that at all I want to take Exactly what that kind of coffee tastes like that specific you know breed that varietal of of coffee So that's that's the coffee nerd snob side but I am that's not everybody So I hadn't realized that I'm not the majority of people

Melissa: There's someone who's pretty funny on Tik-tok right now Who said I have a question for black coffee drinkers Why are you so angry I just want to buy a little bit of milk and sugar in my coffee and I appreciate that You're not so angry

Jam: I'm not angry because there's nothing I can do about it The first thing I could do about it then I might be But it is It is [00:03:00] completely UN I'm not able to understand it but you know

Melissa: I like the experience of a warm cup of coffee but the straight black coffee made my stomach hurt because it was too acidic

Jam: um

Melissa: And I feel like the milk cuts that a little and I like sugar So that's it That's my best attempt at explaining

Jam: Yeah there are people who I think they just don't like coffee So in order to drink it they have to change it But at the core they don't really like it And so they have to do something else

Melissa: Yeah So that's probably it I probably don't like it

Jam: Yeah I think there's a lot of people I ended up like you're definitely that's like I probably am a majority of people

Melissa: I would just as quickly take a nice hot cider or a hot chocolate if they had more caffeine in for as my warm morning beverage

Jam: Yeah

Melissa: that's just me

Jam: Okay Good question The next question is from Kristen H she asked [00:04:00] would you rather be a pocket sized rhino or a giant like Clifford the big red dog giant sized hamster And why

Melissa: I think I would rather be a pocket sized rhino because that would be cuter And I feel like if you are a giant Clifford's sized hampster it'd be really inconvenient No one would think it was cute A lot of people would be scared of you

Jam: Yes Yeah I actually felt the same way So we kind of independently thought about our answers to the questions ahead of time So we'd have some prepared answers

Melissa: So that you wouldn't just be horrified by whatever came out of our mouth

Jam: But I felt the same way I thought functionally though like a pocket-sized rhino you're right It's a cuter that has thought what would be easier to like go through life as

Melissa: Yeah

Jam: And I I know there's downsides to being small and pocket-sized but I cannot imagine that they'd be as bad as being massive

Melissa: Yeah definitely not

Jam: So like a pocket size rhino Yes You might have a hard time like getting in and out of [00:05:00] places and like needing help you know getting out of a house or whatever You can reach stuff Also rhinos don't have thems and hands and stuff like that So that's already a downside but you could have shelter you

Melissa: And your stomach will be smaller to fill it up

Jam: Yes Yes

Melissa: Thinking about how hungry you'd be if you had a clifford sized stomach

Jam: Yeah

And if you're a rhino out actually out in the wild you would be much sneakier and you wouldn't be as targeted by people I don't know It's tough That's a tough choice but I think we both landed in the right spot

Melissa: I think so

Jam: Okay This next question is from Caibe

and he asks would you rather lose all of your current knowledge or don't learn anything new until you're age doubles Wow

Melissa: Listen this is a no-brainer for me I would definitely rather not learn anything new until my age levels because If I lose all my [00:06:00] current knowledge I can't do my job I can't contribute to my family I'd lose all my emotional intelligence So like how could I communicate with my husband or my friends Would you lose your skills Could you walk still I mean I just have a lot of questions

Jam: Yeah totally

Melissa: now If I didn't learn anything new I couldn't teach the podcast and it would probably make my teaching career like as an organic chemistry teacher stagnate a little because I think I try to be up to date But I could still contribute to my family

Jam: Yeah that's interesting

Melissa: what's your thoughts

Jam: I think I go the same route I don't have the situation of being like in science where you know being really current on information is really important but I can't imagine having to lose all my current knowledge of stuff

Melissa: Yeah

Jam: Having made all the way through school finally And you know graduating from college six years ago or whenever that was feels like I can't I can't reset that to me forever took me my whole life And the fact that he [00:07:00] said you don't learn anything new until you're age doubles There's still a loophole for me to be able to learn eventually So I would stick with the knowledge I have

Melissa: I think that's better less strain on your family you and your child would be learning together That be hard That'd be hard for your wife

Jam: definitely Definitely It will be

Melissa: Okay I'm going to ask you the next few questions Would you rather be a proton or an electron from Madison M.

Jam: Okay That's hard So on the one hand on a first reading I'm like I only proton cause I won't be negative

Melissa: Right Yeah

Jam: Be positive

Melissa: definitely That was my one of my first thoughts too

Jam: But then so many of the things that you shared about the podcast electrons are a huge like they make so many things happen The changing hands of electrons from one molecule to another makes a huge difference in so many areas

Melissa: I know

Jam: and to be a part of the cool [00:08:00] cooler in some ways from my perspective side of chemistry it seems hard to pass up So I think I'd go with electronic but just know

guys that I don't want to be negative I just want to be part of stuff

Melissa: you just want to be where the action is And sometimes that means that you end up seeming a little negative

Jam: yes Yes In real life I think it's possible to be where the action is and be positive

Melissa: That is exactly my thought And I thought it's funny because I think both of our spouses would probably answer this question as a proton cause they're positive and they just get to go along and experience things around them

Jam: Yeah totally Totally

Melissa: So that's funny That is an exact same thought is electrons They're part of the action And so I don't want to be negative either but I do want to be a part of the action to some degree Also I remember when I was in college and I was first learning chemistry My mom asked me she said she had a scientist who was one of her patients And they told her that organic chemistry was really all about the movement of [00:09:00] electrons And really chemistry was all about And she asked me if I agreed and I didn't have a well-formed answer but now I do agree I think chemistry is really a lot About electrons and the movement of electrons and what electrons are up to exchanging of electrons electrons getting excited and then relaxing back down Like there's so much about electrons in chemistry So I just this question also made me think of that

Jam: Yeah Yes Thank you

Melissa: The next one made me laugh because I first heard this question on a podcast On one of my favorite podcasts at jam doesn't love called my favorite murder And the question is would you rather fight a horse sized duck or a hundred duck sized horses And just the idea of a hundred duck sized horses coming at you always makes me laugh So thanks Clarissa for for getting us a check

Jam: Yeah It's definitely a comical one [00:10:00] I don't love either option

Melissa: A horse sized duck would be terrifying

Jam: But I do Like in general ducks are less threatening in my mind than a horse Horses are so strong so fast So all that stuff So I feel like you just make a duck really big Um it's probably definitely increases its threat or whatever but I'd still rather fight that then a lot of horses

Melissa: Yeah Also this was Mason's thought cause I kind of was going back and forth ducks are not that small So it's not like you could step on the duck size horses It's almost the equivalent of having a bunch of like miniature dachsund type dogs running at

Jam: Yeah totally

Melissa: Only horses

Jam: Stronger and more

Melissa: a muscle

Jam: Yeah definitely

Melissa: So a hundred of those would be a lot harder to fight off the just one opponent

Jam: Yeah

And their hooves are still a thing Like doxins [00:11:00] have kind of soft paws or whatever but like and they'd have claws Suddenly you've got a horse who can kick well and has at least you know a pretty tough uh foot thing going on with the hooves It seems not a

Melissa: And there are a hundred they would stampede at

Jam: Yeah You also might be just bring up the question of would you rather have one like take away the duck and the horse park one significant enemy or a hundred small enemies

Melissa: Mm that's true

Jam: I think I was still in that case Take one Significant

Melissa: I think so like do you want to fight the big boss or do you want to fight a bunch of small bosses at once

Jam: Yeah Yeah

Melissa: That was a reference to video games on my actual boss I like my boss

Jam: Oh yeah

Melissa: This next one is another one from Kristin H what did a typical dinner look like for you in high school think people Food location

I know I was the youngest so I feel like by the time I was in high school it was mostly just me and my parents So it's hard for me to [00:12:00] remember I feel and I was involved in a lot of things and I was working So I know my mom tried to feed us well but often I just ate at the restaurant I worked at Texas Roadhouse I would eat a sign of mashed potatoes at brown gate gravy We got a fried side salad and those rolls and I ate that for dinner many days

Jam: Yeah You know I have a hard time remembering some of that stuff just like little fuzzy for me My first thought was some of the what Like what did eating out look like then Because the at home dinners kind of blend together in my mind

Melissa: Yeah

Jam: Neither So my mom didn't love cooking My dad didn't have time for it Later in high school my dad changed jobs He actually had more time for cooking and then he would go crazy Like he'd be like oh make making a prime rib or I'm making a um some pulled pork or um he'd make like he got kind of way into Crock-Pot recipes and stuff But what I first thought I want you to set a typical dinner It looked like [00:13:00] for you in high school The thing that came to mind first was a group of friends uh who would every Wednesday night we'd go to what a burger what do you call it whataburger Wednesdays

Melissa: He just just for those of you listening at home jam just made a w with his thumbs and pointer fingers and then flipped it around to make the w the opposite direction sort of like L seven weeny sign from Sandlot only a w

Jam: Yes And I I didn't grow up that with that movie So that might be why I didn't know that but we would go to Whataburger every Wednesday and it was at night and it was so fun I looked forward to it so much We would sit for a while kind of as late as any of us were allowed to

Melissa: Yeah

Jam: And it was a blast

Melissa: I that is something that I feel like the pandemic has kind of taken away from me is I used to go places like that where it didn't matter if I was taking off the table for a long time

Jam: Yeah [00:14:00] Yeah

Melissa: and play board games out And I feel like that's less of an option because most of the places we feel safe eating are outside and then the wind can come and all kinds of stuff But

Jam: Yeah

Melissa: I also remember when I was young like very We would have dinners And my mom would always ask us to say something We learned that day

Jam: Nice

Melissa: And I have a very clear memory of saying I didn't learn anything today It was all reviewed in all my classes And she said this because you didn't learn anything in school doesn't mean he didn't learn anything And that blew my mind

Jam: yeah yeah

Melissa: So that was that's a memory I have of a dinner at some

Jam: Yeah Interesting question Kristen I'll ask the next couple questions from Shea Can we replicate the exact chemical makeup of something by knowing the proportions

Melissa: Well he said this is an interesting question Shay And in return I just have a lot of questions before I can answer it but If you have the [00:15:00] proportions only I would say that is only possible If it's a really small as molecules get bigger which is more of what we have going on that is going to be much harder to do because they can be arranged in so many different ways Like if you just have a carbon hydrogen and an oxygen That could be a carbon with an oxygen and hydrogen bonded off of it And an alcohol or the carbon could have a double bond to the oxygen with the hydrogen another spot which would be an aldehyde or it could be a ketone Like there's just a lot of noise You can arrange just three atoms

Jam: Got it

Melissa: And so I would say no but what we often have is we have the chemical makeup of something and we have a sample of that molecule and we can run it through so many different spectroscopy options Such as NMR or I R or Raman spectroscopy mass spectrometry There's all kinds of things that you can do to learn about the way the molecules are And that I think [00:16:00] helps us replicate something knowing the chemical makeup But I I will say there are problems that we do with general chemistry students where we have the empirical formula and a little bit of other information the empirical formula is just like the basic proportions in a little bit of other information And they can guess more about the chemical makeup of it But I I would say at the advanced level we need a lot more information than

Jam: And I would just say the same thing I was thinking the same stuff basically Like I know you want to know that I thought Shay too And so just to tell you I was going to say all that same stuff but you know most of pretty much said it So I'll just I'll I'll let I'll let it be just kidding I didn't know any of that

Melissa: Jam says I barely remember gen chem

Jam: Yeah

Melissa: that's

Jam: Okay this next question is from Clarissa and she asks how did you two become acquainted

Melissa: I would give the credit to that primarily to Emily your wife I [00:17:00] mean we knew each other before but our friendship became a thing because of

Jam: That's true That's very true Yeah

And it's funny Cause it was a long gap

Melissa: Yeah

Jam: met you in 2012 and then always knew you that We knew each other Like it wasn't like oh have we met It was like we definitely knew who each

Melissa: knew each other And it was a positive association

Jam: yes But then not until 2015 when you moved to Denton

Melissa: going to Denton in 2015

Jam: And you and my wife became friends and then we were around each other way more often

Melissa: Yes

Jam: also you being in Denton help that too But because you lived near where my wife And I lived

Melissa: And I didn't have a

Jam: You'd have a car

you would ride to and from small group with us some times things like that where we'd give you rides places or whatever And that then we became friends

Melissa: Yeah Thanks Emily for existing

Jam: Yes definitely in more ways than one but for this too

Melissa: Yeah I feel like the the acquainted versus actually friends are kind of [00:18:00] different but that's how I would answer that question is really Emily brought us together in a way that it made it possible for us to make a podcast

Jam: Yes And I think we did answer that A more detailed version of how Melissa And I first ever met one time in a different Q and R episode which was a little bit of a long story and it's definitely out there So you can go find it if you're super interested

Melissa: Yeah The short story is basically through our college ministry

Jam: yeah yeah

Melissa: but there's way more details

Jam: yeah Definitely

Melissa: at first Jim didn't like me

Jam: Well it's not that I thought oh we're very different And I don't think we're going to I don't think we're going to be super loud then we're going to be buds

Melissa: But now we're totally buds First impressions can be

Jam: Yes Very true This one made me laugh out loud when I first read it

Melissa: Me too

Jam: So Clarissa asks for Mel When did you know that chemistry was the one

Melissa: That's a great question Um I had a teacher in [00:19:00] school Mrs Mullis And she had worked in industry for awhile but well I guess I should go back even before I was in her class I had Spanish next door to her class and I had a friend in her class and they would always come out with these really cool things For example a penny that had been hollowed out So it was just the copper like outside of the penny and the zinc middle of the penny was just

Jam: Well

Melissa: Super cool They talked about holding fire they would bubble some kind of natural gas through soap and light those bulbs on fire but the water acted as enough of bare that your ear hands wouldn't catch on fire

Jam: wow

Melissa: and just other really cool stuff like that And so I was interested in chemistry My sister wanted me to take My sister wanted me to take biology She loves biology My brother wanted me to take physics He his mind works more like that And in mutiny I went for chemistry also because I'd seen these really cool things

Jam: Nice

Melissa: And [00:20:00] I think that's when I fell in love with it in that class But much like real love and like even in my marriage I knew what attracted to me it initially But over time it's definitely been a journey where I've learned more about chemistry I've loved it more at different times There were times I didn't know if it was going to work out with me and chemistry when I was just burnt out and miserable And so I think I think really in high school is when I loved it And I think I probably solidified it when I was in college and did some organic chemistry

Jam: Nice Nice Dang

Melissa: just so cool It's everywhere It's all around your life So I don't know

Jam: Yeah That's good That's a good answer Okay Last question to kind of wrap up our icebreaker question time From Brooke is if your belly button was an actual button what would it do [00:21:00] when you pushed it

Melissa: Okay My first thought was some kind of bodily function

Jam: Okay

Melissa: but then I thought if I could decide you know if it was naturally installed I feel like that would be it's steel But if I could decide I would want to be able to push that button and fill up or empty my stomach at well So right now I haven't had lunch I'm hungry I have a bunch of other stuff to do I wish I did not have to go home So if I could push that button and make my stomach feel full that would be amazing Or if I was eating something really good and I wanted more of it push that button may get fill him

Jam: So I've thought about this as a child When I was a kid I think I can remember it was like uh you know when you're a kid your imagination's all over the place I can't remember If I was actually like wrote a little short story about this or if I just thought about it and never used it but I liked to think what if our belly buttons were self-destruct [00:22:00] button but the only you could press it So somebody else couldn't self-destruct you So you it was just built-in that if the situation arises where I needed to self destruct then that was there and only I could push it and it would've had to be like I hold it for like you know 10 or 15

Melissa: about to ask what if it was an

Jam: Yeah And so I remember I would sometimes like then I got a little older like middle school when I was around like some younger kids like at church and like that I would tell them That's what your belly button does just to be just to be funny but of course you know usually cause like no that's not what it does Like they they kinda know you're kidding Um but that's not really what I would want it to be necessarily but that was my answer Got that It was kind of funny how you asked that Brooke and I actually used to have

Melissa: You had a thought

Jam: thought about that

Melissa: it's basically your own cyanide bill That would be very useful If you were a spy

Jam: a spy

Imagine A situation where you [00:23:00] are yeah Between the like a rock and a hard place in some way And you can be like Nope So you you know

Melissa: I want it but then you rematerialize

Jam: Yeah that'd be nice

Melissa: be better

Jam: Yeah definitely Definitely Spy movies is where I got that from Like that idea is really where I thought

Melissa: That's hilarious Well I mean we all know that my super power is that eating would be more of a hobby and less of a I've thought about that a lot It's really majoring because it's so inconvenient but it's also so delicious So I really just wish I could do it on

Jam: Yeah yeah

Melissa: So Well that was really fun Thank you guys so much for reaching out and sending those icebreaker questions I love episodes like this

Jam: yeah Me too

Melissa: So before we wrap up our episode completely I do want to say At the end of each of our episodes we always talk about how you can support us help us keep the show going and help share chemistry with even more people by supporting our Ko-fi sharing all that stuff You guys here And Jam and I have [00:24:00] been very cautious in approaching our finances Our number one priority is always to make sure we have enough in our bank account to pay for the next year's hosting fees before we can really do anything else And so we haven't had a ton of opportunities to invest in other projects as part of the pod Really because we've been focused on that main priority but because of our listeners with our monthly and one time Kofi supporters and with our recent merge campaign you all have made it possible for us to do some really exciting stuff We have enough in our bank account to cover our hosting fees and we have enough extra that we get to do a little bit

Jam: So after receiving many inquiries for transcriptions of the episodes We are now subscribing to a service that will transcribe our episodes going forward which definitely helps to share chemistry even more people And we're so excited to be able to do that before this we simply had to use YouTube prescriptions and just send those to individual people who asked for [00:25:00] them This will be a so much better deal and more readable more understandable less errors that kind of thing for people who are are needing to read along to our

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Jam: With all those new things going on we should still have enough to be able to pay for next year's hosting platform fees to keep the podcast coming to you for another year And all that was made possible by We have more ideas for things to improve the show So thank you so much for supporting us and helping us take [00:26:00] on exciting new endeavors and improving the podcast a little bit and sharing chemistry with even more people We would not be able to do this without you So thank you so much

Melissa: And Thank you Especially to those of you who have supported us on this past month and thus people are Chelsea Christina Julian Jacob Steven Juliane and Harry thank you guys so much for all that you do It's so exciting that we get to tell you about how we're using the way that you've invested in the podcast to help even more people learn about the chemistry of everyday life

This episode of chemistry for your life was created by Melissa Collini and Jam Robinson Jam Robinson is our producer and you can find references for all our episodes in our show notes or on our website

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