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

54. Artisanal Bug Soup – the Life of Carnivorous Plants

Science Fact or Science Fiction (the quiz game™) is back! On today’s episode, K+K test Keiren Bond on her carnivorous plant knowledge, with questions like:

  • Can a Venus Fly Trap count?
  • Would any plant eat bugs if you mushed them into an artisanal organic soup?
  • Would a pitcher plant prefer to eat a Montane Tree Shrew, or its poop?
“Today’s my day, I can just feel it!”

53. Black Holes Part 2 – Slow Motion Somersaults in Space

In part 2 of their exploration of these space oddities, K+K talk to guest host Emily Gilliland about what would happen if our sun spontaneously imploded, how anyone falling into a black hole would turn into spaghetti, and what it means to exist in time, but not in space. They even attempt to explain how, to an observer moving faster, time (literally!) moves slower, by making Emily do (proverbial) back-flips in space.

If you can’t tell which way is up, are you ALWAYS mid-somersault?

47. Death: La Frontera Final (Part I )

Yes ladies, he is single!

Today is a day about Death. It’s Día de los Muertos, the Latin American holiday that honors the souls of loved ones that have passed away, and celebrates death as an essential and natural part of life. For a science show, death is a tricky subject to tackle, because no one has really been able to define what it is. But that won’t stop K+K from trying! In this episode, they explore

  • Creatures whose existence blurs the line between living and nonliving
  • How we know our bodies are meant to die, and why we can’t stop it from happening
  • Why death is essential for the continuation of life on Earth

46. You Myoclonic Jerk! (The Hiccups Episode)

When’s the last time you experienced a synchronous diaphragmatic flutter? Or your diaphragm underwent a myoclonic jerk?

On today’s show, K+K take a look at hiccups: why we get them, what’s happening in our bodies when we do, and what the scientific reasoning is behind those crazy cures that seem to work.

43. He’s One Fungi

They’re not animals, they’re not plants, and they’re delicious in stir-fry.  Despite the fact that mushrooms have been used in medicine for thousands of years, they still remain a bit of mystery to us humans.  The more research we do, the more we realize that fungi might be our greatest tool in the quest for saving the world.

Disclaimer: These ones are poison.

A special thanks to Dr. Ann Rasmussen from Oregon State University for lending us her mycological expertise!

40. Did We Start the Fire? If Not, How Long HAS It Been Burning?

Humans love fire, in the form of BBQ or combustion engines.  A raging forest fire, however, can be devastating for our flimsy wooden human houses. Why then, is it so important that we let them burn? In this episode, the Science Ladies uncover:

  • How fire has been shaping ecosystems since long before any human ever lit a match
  • The forest-dwelling pyromaniacs that thrive in the flames, and why these species need fire to survive
  • What fire really is, and how it burns
  • The science behind putting out a fire (or, “How to not burn down your kitchen”)

23. SPIDERS!

On today’s episode, Kira and Keera quiz the XRAY team on the life and times of Amazing Arachnids! Can spiders get caught in their own web? Why DO spiders have 8 eyes? What would a 20 foot tall spider be like? And what would really happen if you were bitten by a radioactive spider?

The most cuddly thing on 8 legs.

Then in the last 5 minutes, we share some ways that you, the listener, can be active in our national democracy and advocate for science!

22. Solar POWER!

Today, Kira and Keera talk about the incredible power of that fiery ball in the sky, the sun! how we clever humans have devised the technology to harness it.

We also answer some of your burning questions (get it?), like:

  • What is nuclear fusion?
  • How does old dead plant matter become fossil fuels?
  • How do photo-voltaic cells capture sun energy?
  • What is artificial photosynthesis, and how do we make it happen?

21. Snowflakes

A raging ice storm has had most everyone in Portland trapped indoors, with nothing to do but listen to old episodes of Everything Is Interesting.  Visions of snowflakes dancing in their heads, K+K the science questions they dreamed up about cold weather, and the way snow forms.

They also asked listeners what snow questions they had been pondering, and got some pretty good ones! So here’s the answers!