The Fascinating Chemistry of Everyday Life & What Does it Mean to Be Alive?


Manage episode 297025219 series 2777176
By Mike Carruthers / OmniCastMedia / Westwood One Podcast Network / and Mike Carruthers / OmniCast Media / Cumulus Podcast Network. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

When you order something online, do you then track the package to see where it is and when it is coming? This episode begins with the results of a survey about how people track their orders and why and how they hate it when a package is late.

Do you know how soap and moisturizers work? Do you know how caffeine keeps you awake? It’s all chemistry! Everything you do and everywhere you go there is a lot of fascinating chemistry going on and here to explain it is chemist Kate Bibendorf. Kate is a chemist and author of the book It’s Elemental: The Hidden Chemistry in Everything ( You will hear things you never knew before and you will likely never drink a flaming shot of vodka ever again!

How do you define - life? Seems like we should know and understand the definition of life but it turns out be a mystery. Why? That’s what Carl Zimmer set out to discover. Carl writes the writes the Matter column for The New York Times and is author of 13 books including Life's Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive ( and he joins me to explain what we do know, what we don’t know and how some things you might think are alive - actually are not. Or are they?

When it’s hot outside, it’s tempting to grab a cool drink from the garden hose. However, you may want to - NOT. Listen as I explain why drinking water from a hose is usually a bad idea and why it’s best to go in the house and get a glass of water.


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505 episodes