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chemistry

This category contains 35 posts

What’s in a (female’s) title?

The old John Cleese show Fawlty Towers had an episode that has always stuck in my mind. A couple is checking into the hotel and Cleese’s character Basil becomes ever more confused because the couple challenge his patriarchal views of the world. You see, both the husband and wife are doctors and therefore check-in as … Continue reading

Cortisol and Anxiety

Somebody asked me about the relationship between hormones and anxiety so I did some research and found some really interesting information about cortisol and anxiety. Rather than focus on a particular study I’m going to just go through some of the more interesting connections. Cortisol is a long-term (more than 3 minutes) stress hormone that … Continue reading

Turkey, seratonin, and uncertainty

We just had Canadian Thanksgiving here and aside from my growing discomfort with colonial history it is a good time to recognize the many things that I’m grateful for. It is also as good a time to find the science in the everyday. Turkey is of course connected to the turkey stupor, which it turns … Continue reading

It’s more than just single use plastics

It’s great to see the increasing range of options to reduce single use plastic use. While reusable water bottles and cloth shopping bags have been around for many years, there is now a growing range of options from stores where you can bring in your own reusable container (at least you could before Covid) and … Continue reading

Learning about lymphoma in kids

This is the final week of my fundraiser for kids’ cancers through the Great Cycle Challenge Canada. Lymphoma is the third most common cancer among children although it is rare in very young children and becomes more common as children age (Lymphoma Action, n.d.). Lymphoma is a type of cancer white cells known as lymphocytes. … Continue reading

Toasted marshmallows: A delicious scientific treat

As summer starts up so do campfires and toasted marshmallows. So what gives a golden brown, melty marshmallow its amazing flavour? What makes them puff up? And why isn’t a burnt one as sweet anymore? Let’s start with the ingredients of a marshmallow. A marshmallow is around 50% air. This actually starts to answer our … Continue reading

What kind of change is it?

A friend of mine had a disagreement with some colleagues at a pd session. My friend correctly asserted that when you put ice into a blender for a smoothie, the ice does not undergo a state change, except for some minor melting due to heat from friction. The ice will melt as the smoothie warms … Continue reading

Save our brains!

I’ve heard about the challenges of indoor air quality a few times. I’ve worked in buildings that had reputations as sick buildings. And oh my word, I’ve been questioning the quality of my home air since moving to working from home. While there are factors that impact our indoor air quality that are independent of … Continue reading

The science of creating the perfect dyed Easter egg

I thought I’d do a little experiment to check out how vinegar or a weak acid affects dying eggs with food colouring. The recipe I’ve seen most often is a teaspoon of vinegar in a cup of water so I used this recipe, but I added two other tests: just water and half water and … Continue reading

How does soap work?

I’m purposefully choosing to write about topics that aren’t specific to the biology and epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, ie., the virus that causes coronavirus-19) for a few reasons. First, I typically post once or twice a week but things with this virus are changing daily so I won’t be able … Continue reading

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