Chemistry For Your Life

Chemistry For Your Life

A podcast helping you understand the chemistry of your everyday life.

Episodes

August 18, 2022 30 min

#012 Rebroadcast

This week Melissa and Jam continue in the category of "sticky" things by exploring how geckos stick to walls. How do they do it? Is it magic? Is it like spider-man? Is it intermolecular forces?

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References from this episode

  • Organic Chemistry Te...
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    #141

    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.


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    Bonus Episode: Question and Response 33

    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. 


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    July 28, 2022 44 min

    #140

    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.


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    #025 Rebroadcast

    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?

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    References from this episode

  • Thermal Expansion Model - Jet Propulsion Lab - California Institute of Technology
  • Clim...
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    July 14, 2022 48 min

    #139

    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?


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    References from this episode

  • ...
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    #002

    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.


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    June 30, 2022 43 min

    #138

    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?


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    References from this episode

  • Natural Di...
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    Bonus Episode: Question and Response 32

    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!


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    June 16, 2022 44 min

    #137

    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.


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    #024 Rebroadcast

    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.

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    References from this episode

  • Why do rainbows form instead of just straight bands of colors? And why do they appear to touch the ground? - Scientific American
  • What causes a mirage? - Scientific American
  • Chemistry,...
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    #136

    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?


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    References from this episode

  • https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-clouds-turn-gray-b
  • https://www.s...
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    Bonus Episode: Question and Response 31

    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!


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    #135

    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.


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    #021 Rebroadcast

    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?

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    References from this episode

  • Drawdown...
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    #134

    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!

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    Bonus Episode: Question and Response 30

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


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    Want to start your own podcast? Use Transistor and you'll have the best podcast platform available. We use it and we are totally in love with it.


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    #133

    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!

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    References from this...

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    April 14, 2022 35 min

    #029 Rebroadcast

    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.

    ...

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    #132

    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.

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