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Moment of Um
8 minutes | Jun 29, 2022
How does soap make bubbles?
We know how important it is to wash our hands with soap and warm water. Get between the fingers, under the nails, all that good stuff. But why does soap get all foamy when you add water? Where do those bubbles come from? We asked University of Minnesota professor Frank Bates to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s bubbling up in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help pop the question!
7 minutes | Jun 28, 2022
Why does blood taste like metal and why are we not magnetic?
Sometimes we get questions from listeners that are so intertwined that we just have to include them both in one episode, and today is one of those days! Cardiologist Dr. Courtney Jordan Baechler helps us figure out the answer to two questions – why does blood taste like metal, and why are we not magnetic? And as a bonus, Dr. B. includes a super fun experiment that you can do at home. Got a question that’s meddling with your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help iron out the answer.
6 minutes | Jun 27, 2022
How do you make clay for pottery?
Clay is neat stuff. You can knead it, shape it, carve it, sculpt it, and make all kinds of beautiful creations. It goes from soft and squishy to hard and breakable when it’s baked in a kiln. But clay is…dirt, right? It comes from the ground! So how do you get it out of the ground and into the blocks that you find at an art supply store? We asked ceramic artist and educator Lauren Sandler to guide us through the process. Got a question that you just knead an answer to? Send it to us atBrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help mold an answer into shape for you!
6 minutes | Jun 24, 2022
What do scientists in Antarctica eat?
Antarctica. Home of the South Pole and an incredibly diverse population of sea life. You know what there’s not a lot of in Antarctica? People! But there are some adventurous scientists who go there for research. These folks can’t just zip out to the grocery store when they want to make a meal…so what do they eat? We asked scientist Cameron Hearn to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s just the tip of the iceberg? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll give you an ocean of knowledge!
5 minutes | Jun 23, 2022
Why don't ears have bones?
Are your ears burning? ‘Cause we’ve been thinking about them. Sure, they’re an incredible self-cleaning marvel that we can wax poetic about all day. Sure, they’re a great place for dads to store all kinds of hairs. But do ears have bones? We asked Olivia Bermingham-McDonogh from the University of Washington to help us find the answer. Heard a good question recently? Send it to us atBrainsOn.org/contact, because we’re ear for you.
5 minutes | Jun 22, 2022
Why are there holes in Swiss cheese?
Have you noticed that there’s a kind of cheese that’s holier than all the rest? Swiss! Why does it have all those holes anyway? We asked Jenny Eastwood of Small Goods to help us answer this delicious question.Hungry for some answers? Send your questions to BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll briepare an answer justfor you.
8 minutes | Jun 21, 2022
What happens in our bodies when we are sick?
Let’s say you wake up on a Tuesday morning feeling fine and fresh. But by the end of the night your throat hurts, you’re coughing, and there’s snot dripping from your nose. What happened in the course of that one day to make you feel so sick? Dr. Courtney Jordan Baechler helps us stick our noses in this (t)issue. Got a question you can’t fever out? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and then be patient! We’ll help find the answer.
6 minutes | Jun 20, 2022
Why are peaches and some other fruits fuzzy?
Have you ever picked up a peach in the supermarket and noticed that its skin is covered in soft fuzz? What’s that about? Should we be taking our peaches to barbershops? And what about kiwis? They’re covered in scratchy hairs! Why do some fruits have fuzz while others have smooth skin? We talked to Dario Chavez from the University of Georgia to find out. Got a fresh ‘n’ fruity question? Send it to us atBrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an a-peeling answer.
6 minutes | Jun 17, 2022
What would happen if the moon fell down onto earth?
Ever look up at the moon and wonder what it’s doing up there? And whether it could drop out of the sky and fall to earth’s surface? In this episode, astrophysicist Smadar Naoz helps us understand what would happen if the moon decided to give Earth a visit, and teaches us a thing or two about the forces keeping the moon in its place. Searching the skies for answers? Send your questions to BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer that will rock your world.
7 minutes | Jun 16, 2022
Why didn't sharks go extinct like dinosaurs?
If sharks were around in the time of dinosaurs, how are they still here today when dinosaurs have gone extinct? Were some just really, really good at hiding from the asteroid that hit Earth? For this episode, we talked to Karen Chin, a professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado. Got a question you want to sink your teeth into? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll try our best to fin-ish what you started!
5 minutes | Jun 15, 2022
Do airplanes have a speed limit?
Airplanes fly high in the sky and at super fast speeds. But is there a limit to how fast they’re allowed to fly? You know, in the way cars have speed limits? For this episode, we talked to Bobby Sharp, an air traffic controller, who helps us understand if airplanes have a need for speed. Got a question you need answered fast? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll try our plane old best to get it answered!
6 minutes | Jun 14, 2022
How many times does our heart beat a day?
Most of us know that we have a heart. We know that it beats - sometimes faster, sometimes slower. But just how many times does it beat in a day? We asked Dr. Courtney Jordan Baechler to have a heart-to-heart with us about this question. (She is also the host of the podcast Heart-to-Heart Conversations!) Got a question that you just love? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we won’t beat around the bush!
5 minutes | Jun 13, 2022
How do 3D glasses work?
3D glasses. Those little paper spectacles with one red lens and one blue. Put ’em on, and suddenly, POW! Images seem to leap right off the screen! Do these glasses play magical mind tricks on our brain? Do they give our eyeballs multi-dimensional superpowers? For a lens into how it all works, we talked to UW-Madison physicist Pupa Gilbert. Got a question that’s really jumping out at you? Send it to us atBrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you put it into focus.
5 minutes | Jun 10, 2022
How does hair dye work?
If you could turn your hair any color in the world… what color would you choose?! Sapphire blue, hot pink, lime green, neon orange?? There are dyes out there that can turn your hair every color of the rainbow! But how exactly do they work? We asked Chemist Michelle Wall to help us understand. Got a hairy question that needs answering? Send it to us atBrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll style an answer for you!
5 minutes | Jun 9, 2022
How do our clothes get dirty?
Clothes are FUN. We strut our stuff in them. Laugh and play in them. Sometimes we love one article of clothing so much, we never want to take it off! But eventually, all clothes do have to be cleaned. We chatted with Tide Principal Scientist Jennifer Ahoni about how clothes get dirty, even when they still look spotless. Listen and learn about the secrets of body soils and invisible dirt! Got a question in your pocket? Send it to us atBrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll fashion an answer for you.
5 minutes | Jun 8, 2022
Why does bread have holes?
Bread! It’s good stuff, no matter how you slice it. But why do slices of bread have holes in them? Are there bread moles who tunnel through baguettes? Invisible worms in the whole wheat? Chipmunks chewing on the ciabatta? We asked food scientist David Domingues to help us find the answer. Got a question that you knead us to look into? Send it to us atBrains On.org/contact, and we’ll find the answers where you yeast expect them!
8 minutes | Jun 7, 2022
What is the strongest glue?
Most of us have used a glue stick or Elmer’s, but what about the strongest glue in the WORLD? We got a fantastic question from a couple of listeners who wanted to know what the strongest glue is, so we reached out to biomedical engineer Danna Sheridan to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s sticking in your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help unglue the answer!
6 minutes | Jun 6, 2022
How do skunks spray?
If there’s one thing most people know about skunks - it’s that they spray! We know the spray smells bad and that we’re supposed to stay away from it. But just how do they spray? And why? We asked biologist Katelyn Amspacher to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s so tough it’s a real stinker? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help earn our stripes by finding an answer.
5 minutes | Jun 3, 2022
Why are stuffed animals connected to sleeping?
Continuing with our snooze fest…it’s sleep week, and today is our final episode! Sleep specialist Andrew Stiehm answers the question “Why are stuffed animals connected to sleeping?” Got a question that you can’t bear not knowing the answer to? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an expert who isn’t too stuffy to answer!
6 minutes | Jun 2, 2022
Why do we drool when we're asleep?
Continuing with our snooze fest…it’s sleep week! We get so many questions from curious kids about sleeping, going to sleep, not sleeping, what happens to your body when you sleep, etc. that we decided to devote an entire week to some sweet shut eye! In today’s episode, sleep specialist Andrew Stiehm answers the question “Why do we drool when we're asleep?” Got a question that’s so good you could just drool over it? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find the answer!
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