Chemistry For Your Life

Bonus Episode: Question and Response 47

In this month's bonus episode, Melissa and Jam respond to comments and questions about silicone, coffee, pizza stones, hotdogs, and more!


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What is Chemistry For Your Life?

A podcast that helps you understand the fascinating chemistry hidden in your everyday life.

Have you ever wondered why onions make you cry? Or how soap gets your hands clean? What really is margarine, or why do trees change colors in the fall? Melissa is a chemist, and to answer these questions she started a podcast, called Chemistry for your life!

In each episode Melissa explains the chemistry behind one of life’s mysteries to Jam, who is definitely not a chemist, but she explains it in a way that is easy to understand, and totally fascinating.

If you’re someone who loves learning new things, or who wonders about the way the world works, then give us a listen.

Melissa:

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 bonus edition.

Melissa:

I was like, woah. Where's it going with this? So just for those of you who are tuning in for the 1st time, This is a little, like, q and r style where we get questions or comments or feedback from our listeners, and then we give responses to them.

Jam:

Yep. That's what the q and the r stand for.

Melissa:

The q and r. And, you know, you might think q and a, but let's be honest. I might be a chemist, but I don't have all the answers. So sometimes it's just a little response.

Jam:

Yeah. And sometimes the response is like, that's a great question. And Melissa will be like, I wanna do a whole episode on that, so keep your eyes peeled.

Melissa:

So true. Or your ears peeled. Yeah. Okay. So but before we get into the questions, I have a really exciting email.

Melissa:

I've been out of town, I got home today, and I got this email today. They sent it a few days ago. But when I read this email, I had stars in my eyes. I was so excited. Jim's already seen it.

Jam:

Yep.

Melissa:

But I freaked out a little bit. In that email, I'm I I I changed it a little bit for identification purposes I don't know if that person I didn't have time to check if they were okay, and you'll see the information they share will out their identity. So I didn't wanna do that. Right. So I edited a little to make it a little vague, but we got an email from a real life scientist, And I lost it.

Melissa:

Okay. I know. I'm a scientist too, but this is really exciting. The email says, hi, Melissa and Jam. I just listened to your most recent episode on the chemistry behind mosquito attraction to humans.

Melissa:

I'm a coauthor of this paper. That was when I stopped reading because I was like Yeah. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.

Melissa:

So that's episode 163. We talked about sort of the most recent development in our mosquito saga. So going back to the email, they said, as a long time listener of your podcast, I was Thrilled to hear your recent episode cover our work. Can't believe it. I just wanted to send a quick email to say I really enjoyed the episode, and you guys covered the study in great detail.

Melissa:

Thanks for sharing our research, and I'm glad you guys enjoyed it. I I feel so starstruck like a like a celebrity Yeah. Called us. Yeah. Because I think it is a little bit scary when you're taking someone else's work and summarizing it and sharing it.

Melissa:

It's like, I hope I did this justice. I wanna really honor them and uplift the work that they did, and I really wanna give like, draw worthwhile conclusions from, you know, what I read in the paper. But just because I interpret it a certain way doesn't always mean that my interpretation Perfect. You know? We try to be really open about the fact that just because I'm the expert, quote, unquote, doesn't mean I know everything.

Melissa:

And so getting this email from the people who did the work, it was like, oh my gosh. This is so exciting. And They already listened to the podcast, and then they emailed us after they heard their work, like Yeah. Before. I was really excited.

Jam:

It's super cool. What's funny too is that, like, I was very surprised by this email too. I first read it whenever most of us out of town. Mhmm. My first thought, I just read the first sentence.

Jam:

You know, I listened to them as read the episode of Push it behind mosquito attraction to humans. I'm a coauthor of this paper. And then my before I read the rest, I thought my first thought was just like, oh, man. Did we get something wrong?

Melissa:

Like Me too.

Jam:

You know? And I was like, oh, no. And but then I read the rest. I was like, oh, that's so nice and so cool. And also then the the actual, like, wow.

Jam:

I can't believe they are a listener, and They just reached out just to say, thanks for covering this and and going into detail and stuff like that. It was so cool. And then I went and marked it as unread because I knew that Melissa would not wanna miss that one. So

Melissa:

Would freak out. Yeah. And I did. I was so excited. Yeah.

Melissa:

And I did reach back out to them and said if there's anything you wanna ad or if you, have any corrections or anything, please let us know, and we'll share it in the future. But I wanna share that with our listeners because, that was such a big deal, and I also wanted to give this person a shout out. So thank you so much for emailing us. That was really amazing.

Jam:

Super cool.

Melissa:

Okay. We can get into the questions now.

Jam:

Okay. This next one comes from a comment on one of our YouTube shorts from our episode about silicone, Which we we talked about BPA and plastic. It's like that quite a bit in that episode and in that short.

Melissa:

And, yeah, if you didn't know, we sometimes take snippets of our episodes and turn them into YouTube shorts. Yep. And people comment on those, and they comment on our YouTube videos. And I take things from that as well in the Q and R's.

Jam:

Brian m said, I feel like These things aren't inherently malicious referring to, like, BPA and plastic and silicone, whatever else. But it's definitely hard to know exactly what we're subjecting ourselves to. Thanks for the awesome podcast as always.

Melissa:

Yeah. I agree a 100% with what Brian said. I think it's really hard. I tried to talk about this in the episodes too, but it's just hard to know because it always feels like someone's trying to sell us something. Mhmm.

Melissa:

Either it's a greenwashed Version where it's supposed to be better for you and the environment, but we don't really know, or it's, you know, companies trying to sell their literal products. You know, I don't know. It just always feels like even we learned that recycling isn't exactly what we've thought that it was. You know? So it always feels like there's a A little bit of an undertone of someone's trying to sell you something.

Jam:

Right.

Melissa:

And so it is a really gray area. So it's not inherently malicious. None of these, I think, are inherently just, but it is important to look into them to the best degree that we can and talk about them. So I agreed a 100%. I definitely think these are all gray areas, And it's been really interesting and kind of difficult to explore them.

Melissa:

And I think at this point, we'll have already put out our episode about PFAS, and that's another one that's hard to do. Or wait. No. Is it coming

Jam:

out next week? Yeah. This one's already come out.

Melissa:

That one's already come out. Okay. Yep. So, yeah, that one's also, you know, that one's also kind of hard to It just can be hard to process all of that and draw a good conclusion. So definitely a gray area, not inherently malicious.

Melissa:

You just wanna be careful.

Jam:

This next question, is on a topic that I love, that we both love a lot, from Avishai, one of our patrons. The question is, what is burnt coffee? What chemicals give coffee the burnt taste?

Melissa:

Mhmm.

Jam:

Why does regular espresso Get burnt, but not black. Wait. Gets burnt, but not black coffee being boiled at 100 degrees Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit.

Melissa:

Yeah. I think there's a lot of questions. Has really good questions all the time, so I really like this one. So I put them on anyway, but I don't think I'll be able to fully answer now. I think the especially the espresso thing is gonna take, an episode because we haven't even talked about espresso at all in any of our coffees.

Jam:

Yeah. That's true.

Melissa:

So and I think Jam actually would know more. So I do wanna put the ball back in your car car cart. But In

Jam:

my cart?

Melissa:

In your car. I'll put the ball back in your Cart or your cart.

Jam:

Okay.

Melissa:

Your court. Alright. But I'll start with this. I do think when you have hotter water, it extracts More flavors that are bitter. And so the hotter you brew your coffee, sometimes it can taste a little bit more bitter, like, after a certain point.

Melissa:

Is that correct? If you like Sometimes if you brew it at boiling, it's hotter. Is that right?

Jam:

Right. I I hotter.

Melissa:

Is it more bitter?

Jam:

I have some Some thoughts on that, but maybe just keep finishing your statement, and I'll

Melissa:

So if there are bitter chemicals in the coffee grounds, If it's hotter, it's able to extract more more quickly, which is part of why cold brew is usually a little bit less bitter. So that's part of what I think the burnt taste is, But I also think the literal beans can be burnt. Like, you can roast them in such a way that it's not just giving them the nice Maillard reaction, but it's moving past that into being burnt.

Jam:

Yes.

Melissa:

So that was my 2 thoughts, but I actually wanted Jam to answer Some of this and everything you know about espresso or not everything. That would take a long time. But

Jam:

Yeah. I, the short version is and also if you're wondering why she's even asking me at all, it's because I'm an Coffee nerd.

Melissa:

And you have a coffee roasting business?

Jam:

Yes. And I roast coffee and with Melissa's husband, Mason. So he also could speak to us a little bit if he was here. But, so, yeah, the burnt taste in coffee, in my experience, is always from I should say 99% of the time is from the the beans being too roasted.

Melissa:

And then the hot water can just extract that.

Jam:

Yep.

Melissa:

And so flavors.

Jam:

Yeah. And one of the The coffee guys I like to watch and listen to what he has to say and stuff. He talks about how, with if you have a coffee that's too dark, like, very darky rosa where it gets basically burnt, you actually could lower your brewing temperature, and that would extract fewer of those kind of burnt That makes sense. Or whatever. But that if your is not burnt in the 1st place.

Jam:

You have to you don't have to worry about that almost at all. And he's a huge advocate for boiling point, brewing

Melissa:

Okay.

Jam:

Whenever your coffee is not burnt. Because then you're extracting much as you can, and you're not having to worry about trying to leave something behind that you don't want because

Melissa:

makes so much sense.

Jam:

You didn't make a mistake in the 1st place.

Melissa:

Yeah.

Jam:

But I will say that, that's that works to a degree. Obviously, like everything, coffee has a exception for

Melissa:

Mhmm.

Jam:

Everything. And a lot of espresso is done with a darker bean or it's called more more developed. There's a few reasons for that, and I'm like a lot less, knowledgeable with espresso.

Melissa:

Being like it's more roasted, like, almost to the burnt, but not quite a dark roast?

Jam:

Yeah. It's it should be a little bit more, Like, if you took a what would get, like, filter coffee or drip coffee or, like, pour over, you would go a little lighter. If you knew you're gonna use a bean for espresso, So you would typically want it to be a little bit darker.

Melissa:

Okay.

Jam:

Not like burnt, but a little bit darker. And There's a few reasons for that. One of them being that so many espresso drinks are gonna include some sort of milk, some sort of some sort of fat, Some sort of sweetness is gonna bounce that out a little bit, and it helps to punt to come through in the taste if you've gotten a little bit darker and a little bit more developed. And, also, sometimes that helps with some sweetness Mhmm. In the coffee if you don't overdo it.

Melissa:

Interesting.

Jam:

But that's a common practice is to have Espresso be a little bit darker. But I know places where they're, like, using insanely burnt coffee for espresso or for everything. And that's not that's not Right. That shouldn't be happening.

Melissa:

There's a certain very popular coffee chain that I think everything I've ever gotten from there tastes burnt. Yeah.

Jam:

Yeah. So if it's, like, if it's bad enough where it's bitter and, like, really burnt tasting, at least my opinion is that that is shouldn't be the case.

Melissa:

Okay. That's fun. Good to know.

Jam:

Made a mistake.

Melissa:

That was fun that the crossover expertise. Yeah. Crossover question. Crossover episode. Okay.

Melissa:

On to the next one.

Jam:

Next one. This one's from Filemon m. Filemon said, is it possible for you to talk about the reason as to why Lantana Camara has that kind of pleasant odor Mhmm. To discuss about the Turpinoids that have ability to form sustainable polymers.

Melissa:

Okay. So do you know what lantana camera is? Neither did I.

Jam:

I don't think so.

Melissa:

Yeah. You're like you're like, I looked it up. It's a flower, and somebody He said, that the smell I tried to look up what the smell was. And I think if you look it up, it would look familiar enough to you. But so I was like, oh, yeah.

Melissa:

I think I've seen that. But it they the smell is described somewhere between floral and gasoline, I think, or maybe between lavender and gasoline, Which some people like the smell of gasoline. I do not. It makes me feel a little nauseous. Like, if the gasoline gets on you and gets in the car.

Melissa:

Ugh. Yeah. But so just with that being said, in general, I think a lot of time plants have smells For two reasons, and 1 is to ward people off or people ward predators off. You know, like, for example, we talked about when you cut grass, that smell that gets released is to attract the things that are probably hurting the grass, to attract the things that eat the things that are hurting the grass. So Right.

Melissa:

If something eats the grass and the grass lets off the smell, that's gonna attract something that eats the thing that's eating the grass. It's like a defense mechanism. And then the other reason is to attract pollinators a lot of times. You're trying to draw things in that will Attract your pollinators or that so that, you know, more of the plant could be made or the fruit of the plant could be made so that then The seeds get scattered around. You know?

Melissa:

Also, you know, fruit smells good so that peep people, bears and people will come and eat the berries, and then The seeds of the berries would be scattered even either in their excrement or in their trash or whatever.

Jam:

Yeah.

Melissa:

So my guess is it's one of those two reasons. We're either trying to Get our seeds spread, our fruit made, or they're trying to be defensive. If it's all the time, I'm guessing it's more of the attracting pollinators or, You know, it smells good so that its seeds will be spread in some way. That's my guess. I'm not a biologist, but that's my guess.

Melissa:

Now regarding terpenoids, we very briefly talked or not briefly. Guess we did talk about terpenoids, not the sustainable polymers, but Just that terpenoids exist in the episode that talked about what's the what do Christmas trees and jet fuel have in common.

Jam:

Oh, right.

Melissa:

So if you wanna go learn a little bit more about terpenoids, check that out. I'm sure they'll come back up in a future episode. I think we also talked about terpenoids in the vanilla episode maybe. They've been around. And some some, podcast app have it now where if you search a word, it'll It shows up the transcript of the podcast.

Melissa:

Oh. Which we do have transcripts available. We're a little behind on that. Yeah. We do we did talk very briefly about so we have our our transcripts, but a lot of them have typos.

Melissa:

And we might go ahead and just publish them with the typos. And if you notice 1, a typo, you can reach out to us, and we can change it.

Jam:

Typo meaning that the software that Does the transcribing is typoing, not a human being. But and it's just because it's gonna be mishearing something or, like, Something like a specific chemical name that Mhmm. Is kinda easy for something like that's designed to transcribe Typical human speech that might not be

Melissa:

like Yeah.

Jam:

Really trained on, like, what are all these different molecules? You know? That's the problem that we've been encountering.

Melissa:

Like, Atom sounds a lot like Adam, the person's name. Yep. Yeah. So that's my quick answer.

Jam:

Alright. Interesting. This next one, here's another coffee sort of related one. This is from Nada on Instagram. Why does coffee spoil faster than tea.

Melissa:

Okay. So I didn't know if they meant brewed coffee and tea or if they meant coffee and tea on the shelf.

Jam:

Oh, but pre before it's brewed?

Melissa:

Before it's brewed.

Jam:

Yeah. Interesting.

Melissa:

So I'm gonna go with the dry one.

Jam:

Right.

Melissa:

You know, coffee before it's brewed pre brewed versus tea that's pre brewed.

Jam:

Right.

Melissa:

I think beans Last longer. Coffee beans that are roasted but aren't ground yet last longer. Would you agree?

Jam:

I think I thought it was the opposite.

Melissa:

They last longer than ground up ones, I mean.

Jam:

Oh, yes. The beans left on the ground up was. Yes.

Melissa:

How long would you say a roasted bean is good for?

Jam:

I think people would say, Like, ideally, 2 weeks. Okay. Be stretched to 3 or 4, it could be fine.

Melissa:

Right. So we're talking about that, not the ground ones. Because once it's ground up, usually it because still pretty like, you can buy a bag of ground coffee, but it's gonna taste better if it's freshly ground.

Jam:

Yeah. That's true. And I guess that's kinda hard because the word spoiled Makes it sort of smirk it's gone, like, really bad.

Melissa:

Rancid.

Jam:

Yeah. But I think with coffee and maybe tea too, maybe it's like a gradual Mhmm. Decrease of the tastiness.

Melissa:

So here's my theory about it is that tea is typically leaves that have been dehydrated. They may be treated in some other ways, but The water is pretty much gone from them, but I would say there's still some water content in coffee. Right?

Jam:

Mhmm.

Melissa:

I think. And so I would guess that that remaining water content is the problem, is the thing that makes it go bad. It could be a ton of other reasons, though. I think this would ultimately be a whole episode. But usually, if there's less moisture in something, There's not a good medium for molecules to move around or to interact or to break down.

Melissa:

And so That's my guess is that there's a lot less moisture in tea than coffee. Just to guess. Could also be that there's chemicals that more easily react with the air in coffee than in tea, so it could be oxidized, you know, more quickly or who knows? That's but those are some of my guesses.

Jam:

Roasted, they're still, like, releasing c o two and stuff. There's still things happening, whereas at least, like, On the user experience, when you have, like, a jar of loose leaf tea Mhmm. To me, it seems like nothing's happened since I opened it last. With, like, fresh roasted coffee, that'll be, like, Gas buildup in the open up is

Melissa:

like It smells good.

Jam:

Yeah. It's like some Yeah. Things are going on at least in some way.

Melissa:

Yeah. Well and I also think, this is a good opportunity to talk about with the q and r's, I try to do very little research because, You know, we wanna dedicate good time to doing research to the episodes, like the long form regular episodes, but our time is limited. And we actually do this as a hobby. This is not our whole job. And so these are just quick Q and R's.

Melissa:

Like, this is what I think as a chemist off the top of my head. So that's my guess, But I can't say. I didn't do any research on it, so I can't say for sure.

Jam:

Chemistry off the cuff as Melissa calls it.

Melissa:

Yeah. That was originally from our friend, Miriam, who doesn't even listen to this Guess.

Jam:

Yep. Wow. How dare she give us such a good idea?

Melissa:

I know. And now she'll never know that we took it from her.

Jam:

This next one. Oh, this is interesting. This is from Audrey m. Why do pizza stones crack if you don't heat them in the oven.

Melissa:

Like, if you don't heat them while the oven is heat.

Jam:

Preheat kind of okay. Yeah. Got it.

Melissa:

And, some glass will do this too. Although some glass, like, Certain Pyrax is treated so that this won't happen to it. So, again, I haven't done research on this. Another chemistry off the cuff. My guess is if we zoom in and think about the molecules, molecules when they're at room temperature are moving less.

Melissa:

All molecules move. Like, even in this table, there's some vibration, wiggling of the atoms going on or the molecules going on.

Jam:

Yeah. Can you see it on the video?

Melissa:

You can't see

Jam:

see it. Oh, okay.

Melissa:

But it's still happening. And as we heat things up, the molecules move more and more, and they start to expand. Like, they'll take up more space, which is You can imagine this in ice as it goes to liquid. It doesn't, I guess, expand. It's moving around more.

Melissa:

A lot of things do expand when they Go from solid to liquid, but ice is kind of an exception. But they move more is probably a good way to think of it. And then eventually, if they go from to liquid and then liquid to gas, they're moving a lot more, and they're taking up the whole space, you know, all of it. So my guess is That the molecules in this, glass or stone are heating up so rapidly that there's a break. And I think it's actually literally, the my guess is it's the gas.

Melissa:

Because gas, when You put more energy and it expands pretty quickly. And so if, you know, it's something porous like a lot of pizza stones are, Then there could be some gas that's in there, and if you heat it up slowly like an oven preheating, there would it would be able to escape is my guess because pizza stones are usually pretty porous. But if you heat it up quickly, I feel like they might be trapped, and they would expand faster than they could escape and Break. This is just a guess, though. And glass isn't as porous, so I'm like, why would glass do that?

Melissa:

But I assume it's something similar where there's something in it that's expanding at at such a rapid rate that the structure is compromised. Interesting.

Jam:

I never heard of about pizza zones. We have 1, and it was given to us by some friends that they had, like, used it for a while, and then they had gotten given another one, so they gave us 1. So I never, like, looked at any instructions because, like Mhmm. Those were long gone. So I have not cared about how I've heated it up.

Jam:

And it's always been fine. I don't know if it's because they kinda broke it in

Melissa:

Maybe.

Jam:

Or something, but that's pretty interesting.

Melissa:

Yeah. Definitely happens with glass. I don't know about all pizza stones.

Jam:

I also was told I think our friend who gave it to us told me better to preheat it in there, Partly just because then it's really hot before you put pizza on there, and

Melissa:

that makes sense of what it preheating it anyway.

Jam:

Think I was anyway, but because I was told to make the pizza better.

Melissa:

That's fun.

Jam:

This next one is from Kaiba. Also another good question asker and Statement writer.

Melissa:

Mhmm. And this is a statement, I think, about the episode we did on the greenhouse effect.

Jam:

Okay. I was just listening to your green, house effect episode, and I think I know why UV light is not the focus. The UV light is basically divided into UVA, b, and c, and the ozone layer shields us against UVC. The thing is that u v c is the one that transfers more heat than the others. It's also the one with more biological damage.

Jam:

This is why the ozone layer is important to help the planet to not get too hot. U v a and b transfer way less energy in the form of heat than u v c, But I also do believe that they contribute to heating up the air.

Melissa:

So I like this because it kind of went along with what we had Talked about randomly and that, etcetera. I was like, but why aren't we talking more about UVA and b? Because I think they do contribute. Mhmm.

Jam:

It

Melissa:

just seems like Infrared is a much larger contributor, and that's why. But it was a good review on UV a, b, and c. And if you wanna learn more about those, we talk about it in Why things fade in the sunlight Mhmm. And in our ozone episode, which we did a long time ago.

Jam:

Yep. That's right. So

Melissa:

And we can go back and and on the sunscreen episode. We talk about all of it. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, I thought that was a good little tidbit.

Melissa:

And then also wrote Some other funny additions in response to, like, the hot dog is this is a hot dog a sandwich question and also just, Weird food combinations. We talked about that in our, in our YouTube live, our our 1,000,000 download celebration. Uh-huh. And I really liked everything he said, so I just put it all. I wanted this to talk about all of it.

Melissa:

Okay.

Jam:

Okay. Sounds good. A couple additions too. For me, a sandwich has 2 separate buns, while hot dogs and tacos are 1 bun folded.

Melissa:

Okay.

Jam:

While on this topic, in Brazil, we have 2 kinds of hot dogs. One minute at home and and kids birthday parties, in which we prepare the sausages usually in thin slices, and a tomato sauce. And and another one that the hot dog places sell, Which always has sausage, mayo, ketchup, yuzu cheese, and crisp shredded potatoes. Depending on the region, there's bacon, mashed potatoes, other stuff, and there's the traditional version and a pressed version, which is my favorite. Wow.

Melissa:

Doesn't that sound amazing? Does. I want that. I was like, I gotta get to Brazil. That sounds so good.

Melissa:

Yeah.

Jam:

And a strange food combo in poor families in Brazil is to eat spaghetti and beans, usually both as leftovers. I ate a lot of that when I was a kid. I think spaghetti and beans. I hadn't heard of that.

Melissa:

But I could depending on what kind of beans, I could kinda see it. It's like a protein Yes. In the carbohydrate.

Jam:

Totally.

Melissa:

It could go well. And beans can sometimes be saucy. Like, baked Beans are kinda saucy.

Jam:

Yes.

Melissa:

So I wonder what kind of beans it is, but it's it is a strange combo, but I can actually kinda see it.

Jam:

Yeah. Yeah. When you when you put it that way, it makes sense. And it's like, We obviously, you know, have a bunch of things we put in the sauce. And so it's like if you had your beans instead of some sort of meat or whatever, it's like, oh, yeah.

Jam:

That could probably not be weird

Melissa:

Yeah. Though. Well, also my dad speaking about the weird food combos, my dad called me and said that something my mom used to do was She would make ice cream floats with Mountain Dew and put olives in it, which I was like, weird. No. I don't know if we talked about this or not, but she did do Hot Doctor Pepper Uh-huh.

Melissa:

And put lemon in it.

Jam:

Oh, I've heard of doing hot Doctor Pepper. Like, is it, like, when you're sick or something like that? Yeah. Yeah. You know what's funny is I just I'll have to find this video and show it to you.

Jam:

But I just saw this video the other day where it's like this guy had had done, like, a little comic strip. Mhmm. But he was, like, Reading it out loud or showing the slides when I went to, like, a live audience. And it was about this this, Conversation, the hot dog sandwich Mhmm. Taco thing.

Jam:

And, it was like 1 guy saying, like, you know, A hot dog is a sandwich or whatever. And then the guy basically, the argument the other guy has is like, Things are allowed to be different, and that's why we have different words. Like like he was like he's like, no. You actually you can't be a sandwich because it's because you hold a hot dog differently than a sandwich. And then he was like, and then somebody else was like, well, that's that's Then that means a taco should definitely should be as, hot dog or something like that.

Jam:

And then the guy that just comes in is like, no. We have different words for things on purpose. Like, he turns his face to shut down the argument. Like, Yeah. So funny to me.

Jam:

Like, I said, that really does kinda shut it down, doesn't it? It does.

Melissa:

The reason I like this conversation, I think I've said it before, is I usually bring it up in the 1st day of my chemistry classes because it's like, we have different reactions, but they they fall into similar categories and they have similar features. And if you can recognize some of those similarities while noticing that they're distinct, that's a good observational skill. And it also gets you to think critically and and talk about and defend your argument. And those are all things I want people to be able to do in science. And so a lot of times on my very 1st day of class, I like to do icebreakers, and I'll have my students have this conversation and then bring some of those things out.

Melissa:

Yeah. But it's like, yeah, things are different. But also, What do you think and why? And a lot of times in o chem, especially, there's not one right answer. Mhmm.

Melissa:

And there's a lot of gray area in science. So I don't care about the answer. I like the conversation.

Jam:

Yeah.

Melissa:

It's like the journey. You know, how they say the journey is as important as the conclusion or as the destination. Yeah.

Jam:

Yeah. Totally. I like it too. I like to and both I mean, you and I both like arguing and, like, figuring out why we think something and then defending it. You know?

Jam:

Yeah. So it's like a great exercise in that. It's like It is. This isn't there's not high stakes here. Mhmm.

Jam:

But what's your argument and why?

Melissa:

Yeah. Okay. I'm gonna read the last part because it's for you. Specifically, wrote this to Jam and Mason, and I think it should be for all coffee lovers. And we've talked about a lot of coffee in this episode.

Melissa:

So He said, you should come to Brazil one day and do the coffee route. There's 1 in Minas, Jure Jurez. I hope I said that right. Gerais? Not sure.

Melissa:

Sao Paulo and Piranha. I believe that Menace is the best one because nowadays they have the best coffee beans, and Minas culinarily is the best of Brazil, which I was like, okay. I'll go there. And then he maybe to defend that position, like, he's not biased, that he was from Sao Paulo and Piranha. So Oh.

Melissa:

So that is good to know. If you're planning a trip to Brazil, that seems like it would be an amazing trip. So maybe one day.

Jam:

That does seem super cool. Alright.

Melissa:

We could get the hot dogs.

Jam:

Oh, yes. I would love to do that. I'd love to go to Brazil. I've been To just South America once only is forever ago, and I wasn't even in coffee. So I didn't even get the chance to, like, enjoy Coffee where I was and let alone sort of, like, go hop around and Yeah.

Jam:

Visit different countries and stuff. So it's I'm long overdue

Melissa:

Maybe one day when your kids are older and Jim and I married 2 different people on the same date, not the same year, but with the same wedding anniversary. So we could take a big, you know, double date trip.

Jam:

That'd be fun.

Melissa:

And then you and Mason could do all the coffee stuff, and me and your wife could just hang out. You know? We could probably go because Be pretty.

Jam:

Yeah. And the other word would be like yeah. Because that would be that would be Emmy's biggest thing. She'd be like, okay. If it's a hot dog at the end of this journey, then I'm in.

Melissa:

She loves hot dogs on the street. Mhmm.

Jam:

You

Melissa:

know? So we could totally that would be a the perfect vacation

Jam:

for us. It's crazy. Kaiba didn't even know that's when he was He's like yeah. So

Melissa:

that was fun.

Jam:

Yeah. Perfect. And lately, we've we've liked kind of Closing out with if we have any recent reviews that we've received in some format. Usually, this is, like, on, you know, podcast app and reviewing there, which is really helpful. Like to read those to, 1, give a shout out to people who wrote them.

Jam:

And this is, like, nice, positive, and, we're just really grateful for you guys and and the encouragement I'll send our way and for listening and being such, such Fun. Such a fun community. And so we're gonna read this one. It's a little bit long, but it's a really good one. This is a great podcast.

Jam:

I have a BS in chemistry and worked as a chemist for several years, and now teach high school chemistry. I listen to this podcast on my commute. I listen to several episodes, and I'm hooked. As a scientist and teacher, I love that this podcast models what true teaching and learning looks like. Some might think there's too many distractions, chitchat, or might just like the personification of atoms and molecules.

Jam:

I disagree. True learning is not a straight line and should be fun and inviting. I love the duo between an expert chemist and a novice learner that models the learning process. Helpful to have the novice there because Jam gives Melissa feedback. He doesn't understand what she said, chances are that a novice listener would wouldn't have understood it either.

Jam:

So it's nice that he's there to keep her in check per se.

Melissa:

I do need to be kept in check.

Jam:

Otherwise, she might get carried away about nuances is that only chemists care about or understand. The podcast makes it great for everyday listeners. It also helps me Have an idea of common questions and misconceptions that my students might have regarding certain topics. It also helps me Helps give me great ideas of how to relate topics to real world phenomena in order for my students to better understand and appreciate chemistry. Using real world phenomena to explain science is one of the fundamental theories for scientific teaching these days.

Jam:

So you're awesome. Thanks for all the ideas, info, and fun. Yay, chemistry. That's from KJG Chemistry.

Melissa:

I like that so much. I feel like That person captured everything that we hoped would come across in the podcast. You know, we hope that it would be good for everyday listeners, and I know teachers a lot of times end up using it in the classrooms. And, You know, we like that it's chitchat and casual and inviting, and that is really something that we care about. And, Of course, I want people to see how to relate chemistry to real world stuff.

Melissa:

So, yeah, that made me really happy. So thank you, KJG chemistry. That was A really nice review.

Jam:

Yeah. That's that is really, really nice. Thanks for so many kind words, and we like obviously, we know that This podcast isn't perfect. We always always wanna be improving.

Melissa:

Mhmm.

Jam:

But it is so encouraging to hear that, like, the way we're currently able to pull it off, the The stuff we're currently able to to do in our the style that we know how to do Mhmm. Is just basically Melissa being Melissa, me being me, and that's just Talking about chemistry, it's so nice to hear that that's helpful. Mhmm. And, of course, it's understandable that might not be for everybody. But Right.

Jam:

We're very glad, KJG, that this is Helpful for you and, your perspective on its its usability as an educator is really cool. So

Melissa:

Yeah. That's so, so, so nice.

Jam:

Yep. Well,

Melissa:

I think that's it for this bonus episode. We love this as an opportunity to interact with our listeners, and it feels like we get to have a conversation with y'all instead of it just being one-sided with us. So we really, really appreciate y'all taking the time to write stuff in. And, Yeah. We're just so happy.

Jam:

So we've got a lot of ideas. We get a lot of questions all the time, but we love hearing from you follow-up on an episode or a correction or whatever it is On our website atchemforyourlife.com. That's chemforyourlife.com to share your thoughts and ideas and questions. If you'd like to help us keep our show going and contribute to cover the cost of making it, you can go to patreon.com/chem for your life or tap the link in our show notes Or in the description to join our super cool Kim unity of patrons.

Melissa:

I love it.

Jam:

If you're not able to do that, you can still help us by on our favorite podcast app and reading and writing a review on Apple Podcasts or subscribing on YouTube. That also helps us to share chemistry with even more people.

Melissa:

This episode of chemistry free life was created by Melissa Collini and Jam Robinson, and Jam Robinson is our producer. This episode was made possible by our financial supporters over on And seriously, it means so, so, so much that you wanna help make chemistry accessible to even more people. So those supporters are Katrina h, Brie m, Avishai b, Brian k, Chris and Claire s, Chelsea b, Derek l, Emerson w, Hunter r, Jacob t, Christina g, Lynn s, Melissa p, Nicole c, Nelly s, Steven b, Shadow, Suzanne p, Timothy p, and Venus r. Thank you all for everything you do to make chemistry free life happen and for writing in questions and chatting with us. We just love it.

Jam:

Yay chemistry.