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General Science

Chemistry lesson for The Food Babe… and everyone else #21: There is no such thing as "chemical free!"

17 Mar 2017

If you buy a chemical-free product, you’re not getting a good deal. You’re buying nothing. A vacuum. What’s a vacuum? A space empty of all matter. And what is matter? Anything that has mass and...

Why do we kiss?

22 Feb 2017

What makes us exchange saliva, sebum, bits of food and millions of bacteria with each other? In other words, why do we kiss? This is not an innate activity. South Pacific islanders, for example,...

Lightbulbs Discolour With Age

21 Feb 2017

Have you ever wondered why tungsten light bulbs develop a black deposit as they age? This deposit is metallic tungsten, the same stuff that the filament is made of. A lightbulb produces heat and...

Lipstick Ingredients

20 Feb 2017

Lipsticks, (the waxy kind that come in the traditional tube), contain a variety of natural waxes, such as beeswax, carnauba wax, ozokerite, ceresin, or microcrystalline wax, which is derived from...

Why do onions make you cry when you cut them? And why are they sweet when you fry them?

20 Feb 2017

Onion chemistry is extremely fascinating and extremely complex! We’ve been intrigued by this vegetable ever since our prehistoric ancestors gathered and cooked wild onions. By the time of the First...

Chemistry lesson for The Food Babe… and everyone else #17: The Carnation Tragedy of the '30s

17 Feb 2017

Back in the 1930s a flower merchant with a greenhouse full of carnations got worried when the weather forecast called for extremely cold temperatures. So he placed a kerosene burner in the...

Chemistry lesson for The Food Babe… and everyone else #11: Randomized, controlled, and double-blind studies

15 Feb 2017

The gold standard in science is the randomized, controlled, double-blind trial. If you want to know whether Garcinia cambogia causes weight loss, or whether glucosamine helps with arthritic pain,...

Carmine Dye and the Cochineal Insect

15 Feb 2017

At least in a manner of speaking. When Hernan Cortez came to America in 1518 he was intrigued by the beautifully coloured Aztec fabrics, particularly the stunning reds. He asked the natives about...

Chemistry lesson for The Food Babe… and everyone else #9: SLS, the synthetic detergent

15 Feb 2017

“Syndets” were originally developed by chemists to eliminate a problem commonly found with soap, namely “scum” formation. Soaps, unlike detergents, react with dissolved minerals in water to form an...

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