25 September, 2019 – Episode 740 – Science & CheMystery!


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Interview w/ C.A. Preece on Science & Comics, Bad Climate News, Good Climate News, Old Bottles, Correction!, Rat Serial Killers, Robot Rodeo, Tea Time, Delicate Disaster, Crypt Keeper Wasps!, Cat Friends, And Much More…

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This world should not be led by children

The fact that this week the UN put a young girl center stage
to speak on climate change
Never should have happened

That 4 million children skipped school
to focus this worlds attention on climate change
Never should have happened

And the constant stream of derision from some media platforms
aimed at these children
Never should have happened

What should have happened, and happened long ago
Is for the adults of this world to take the lead on the climate crisis

But if we can not find the adults willing to do the adulting
It is at the very least
nice to see that the next generation takes the responsibility seriously
But they can not do it alone
They need your help
They need the adults of the world to become much more active
They need the adults of this world to become much more vocal
They need the adults of this world to fight for this world
Because it’s the only world we’ve got,
and we owe it to them when we’re done with it

That and another episode of
This Week in Science,
Coming up next…

First up, our guest interview with C. A. Preece!

Chris Preece is the writer of a chemistry graphic novel, CheMystery, high school chemistry teacher, and a S.T.E.M. education Ph.D. student.

His Kickstarter begins October 1, 2019.

Support us on Patreon!

This Week in What Has Science Done for me Lately?!?

“What has science done for me lately?
Today I went to the store to buy a very ubiquitous item in the western diet. It is an off-white, nutrient-rich liquid, that goes well with cereal. Just your typical purchase. Nonetheless it made me realize how much we owe to Nutrition and Food Sciences.

Because the product I bought was soy milk.

This year I became a vegetarian —mostly for environmental reasons—, and without science, I would not be able to keep my body functioning properly. I would most likely suffer from weakness and muscle loss from the acute lack of protein, I would have a severe vitamin B12 deficiency, critically low iron, magnesium and zinc levels in my blood, not to mention the brittleness of my bones due to an inability to absorb and fixate calcium.

Today, it is well-known that a plant-based diet can avoid all these shortcomings and provide a healthy source of all the necessary nutrients. But of course, we understand this only because of all the knowledge that we have accrued over the course of history, such as:

Identification of nutritious species from poisonous ones.
Domestication of crops
Development of food preservation
Industrial large-scale production
Standardization of ascetic conditions
Enrichment and Fortification
Determination of nutritional content
Genetic engineering and molecular enhancement

All these advances (and many more) allow me to make better choices about what I use to fuel my body, while considering the impact that my decisions have in our planet. And this happens three times a day!

Science is what makes a balanced, plant-based, sustainable diet possible! And who knows. If this trend continues, maybe science will develop even better and more efficient ways of putting food in our plates, with an even smaller ecological footprint.

For now, I’m happy cutting back on my consumption of animal products. It’s an almost insignificant price to pay, compared to all the discoveries and technological leaps that had to occur to reach this point. And it is all well worth it.

I love the show. I’ll be forever aghast by your diligence, passion, and commitment. Thank you so much for bringing to my life reasons to be joyful, hopeful, and motivated to keep participating on this joint effort that is SCIENCE!

Your number one Mexican minion!


Let us know what science has done for you lately, and we will read it on the show!

Now, let’s continue with SCIENCE NEWS!…

Bad Climate News
Let’s get it out of the way…

Good Climate News
Here are some stories that might give you hope. Greta Thunberg delivered a moving address to the UN general assembly. Costa Rica is named a champion of the earth. Intuit announces plans to become climate positive. And, Project Drawdown starts Drawdown Labs. And, we CAN reduce fossil fuels without concern of a warming boost.

7000 year old baby bottles
They were SO cute.

And, now it’s time for Blair’s Animal Corner!… with Blair!

Correction to 9/11 story: Thank you, Ian!!!
“Hi, In the 11th September show you said several times that gills split water molecules to extract the oxygen. This is absolutely not how gills work. They extract dissolved oxygen gas from the water. Pretty much like our lungs which extract it from the air. The real difference between gills and lungs is how you get the oxygen containing substance into contact with the correct membrane. If fish split water molecules to breath we could collect h2 gas by just having a fish pond, then burn the hydrogen for power!

Rats give “eat your heart out” a whole new meaning.
But in this case, it’s good news. and said hearts are that of an invasive toad…

Or, you could scare invasives with robots.
But what will that do to the natives, one wonders??

Tea Time
A study found that plastic teabags release lots of plastic into the liquid brew you drink. No concusions can be made about how this might affect human health.

Delicate disaster
Our laundry is bad for the environment.

Crypt Keeper Wasp Victims!
Apparently, crypt-keeper wasps don’t necessarily specialize, but have multiple species of victims.

Yes, your cat does indeed like you.
She’s just playing coy.

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