62. Hot-Topics Debate: GMOs and CRISPR

What do you get when you take 2 science nerds & 3 radio producers, and put them in a small room to discuss a hotly debated topic like Genetically Modified Organisms and their role in agriculture? Apparently you get today’s episode of Everything is Interesting.

After reading recent news stories explaining that the public should embrace “CRISPRing,” a new(er) technology for engineering DNA, because its different from the topic of GMOs they’ve spent years protesting against (spoiler alert: its not, and CRISPRing isn’t a word)  K+K set out to bring some actual science into the public conversation. With the XRAY crew, they get extremely passionate about:

  • the definition of a GMO
  • how it is that genes change naturally
  • Golden Bullets and other fun ways to get new genes into old organisms
  • how the mass use of GMOs could affect the environment
  • why being strongly for or against all GMOs as a broad category is, frankly, kinda ridiculous

If you want to have an informed debate about GMOs with your friends and neighbors, and we know you do, this is the episode for you!

Re-Release: Hard Labor (Edited & Updated)

Your body is almost always using energy, whether you’re going hard labor, or just sleeping. Play along with our Labor Quiz to see if you know the answers to questions like:

  • True or False: When you sleep your body consumes the caloric equivalent of 1 tablespoon of ketchup.
  • Thinking requires energy, so you burn a lot more calories thinking really hard
  • Celery is a “negative calorie food,” because it takes more calories to digest celery than you absorb from eating it.
  • It takes more energy to digest a sandwich made with whole wheat bread and real cheese than one made of white bread and American cheese.

Re-Release: Science Fiction Movies, In Spaaaaace! (Edited & Updated)

Science Fiction movies are great. But for us, half the fun of watching them is how blatantly they misrepresent the actual science behind their plots. Its ridiculous, it’s inaccurate, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun to pick apart.

On today’s show, we listen to a few clips from some of our favorite science fiction outer space movies, and focus in on one of the major inaccuracies, then give you three possible reasons why it wouldn’t have happened that way. Only one of the totally-plausible sounding scientific explanations is the right one. Can you figure out which it is before the DJs?

If you take your helmet off in space, you turn to clay.

Re-Release: Metallic or Metallica?! (Edited & Updated)

Is it a metal? Or is it METAL?!? (Like, the music. You have to say it with a growl to get the joke.)  In today’s show, K+K attempt to stump the XRAY DJs with phrases that might describe an actual scientific element and its metallic properties, or might be the name of a Metallica song.

Think you know your metals? Play along!

61. All I Wanna Do Is… Bicycle! Part II

On part 2 of this series about bicycles, K+K answer: How do you build a frame that won’t snap in half when you’re doing sick bike tricks? What is Carbon Fiber, and why is it all the rage? How are air molecules like a McDonald’s ball pit, and why are they a cycler’s biggest nemesis? Plus, tricks and tips to help you counter air resistance, using SCIENCE!

Ride like the wiiiiind!

60. All I Wanna Do Is… Bicycle! Part I

Here in Portland, we love our bicycles! But what is it about these seemingly ordinary machines that makes us so energetically efficient?  Join Kira & Keera (and Keera’s mom!) to learn how the pedals, tires, and gears of a bike work together to propel you 3x as fast as walking, without you having to put in any more effort!

It’s not efficient, but it sure is fancy!

59. Fat & Ashes – The Science of Soap and Bubbles

Based on the way it gets your dishes sparkling clean, and makes all those fanciful rainbow-colored bubbles, one could be forgiven for thinking that soap is actually magic! But like pulling the curtain back on the Great Wizard of Oz, K+K explain how all of soap’s greatest tricks work, like:

  • How soap traps grease and dirt
  • Why slimy fat and burnt ashes are premium soap ingredients
  • How soap bubbles escape the sink
  • How bubbles give birth to rainbows
The eggs from which rainbows are born

58. Sauer Power! (The Joys of Fermenting Cabbage)

So you’re ready to take the big leap, and start fermenting your own vegetables at home. Congratulations! This is an important time in any person’s life, and K+K want to make sure you have the support you need. In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • A fast, easy, and SAFE method for making sauerkraut
  • How to acquire good bacteria in your sauerkraut jar, without inviting in the pathogenic (a.k.a. icky) kind
  • What a “fermenting bacteria” is, and how they work their ferment-y magic
  • The epic-micro bacterial drama that plays out while you wait for your cabbage to become tangy, delicious, shelf-stable sauerkraut

57. Qualitative Analysis of a Dank Nug – Revisiting Weed Science

Back when they were young, nervous, and pressed for on-air time, Kira & Keera did an episode of Everything of Interesting about the science of cannabis and its constituent chemicals. Today they revisit the subject, armed with a lot more knowledge and far more confidence.

In this episode, K+K cover the difference between Indica & Sativa, how THC and CBD affect your brain, and whether or not nature wants us to get high.