The Bittersweet Science and History of Chocolate

Happy Valentine’s Day, or as I like to call it, One-More-Day-Until-All-the-Chocolate-Goes-On-Sale Day. But seriously, I have no interest in the drek that passes for milk chocolate. Give me something spicy or bitter, or both. Up until recently, the Mayan civilization was credited with gifting chocolate to the world. A 2018 study by Sonia Zarrillo et …

Australian Wildfires, Climate Change, and Why Your Choices Have Global Consequences

The scale of devastation caused by the wildfires in Australia is difficult to comprehend.  Who can picture over 26 million acres or 41,000 square miles, and over 5,500 buildings laid to waste?  The only way we can come close is by using satellite photos and videos. Smoke billows over areas far larger than the fire …

Science Sunday: Harry Potter and the “Invisible” Spell

Did someone say invisible messages? Taking a look at Harry Potter for inspiration, this week on Science Sunday we bring the magic to, what we commonly now know as, direct messaging. What is the science of Harry Potter? The first way we have lined up for you to cast this “invisible spell” revolves around an …

Brownie Mix: STEM with Toddlers

My daughter is freshly two. Like many parents, I’m trying to keep her open to a life in the sciences. To be honest, I’m also trying to keep her open to a life in the arts, literature, languages, historical perspective, emotional intelligence, and everything else… and of course, she mostly loves to play basketball. But …

Giving Thanks for the Maillard Reaction

Thanksgiving dinner is a production. One cousin is in charge of both roasting and deep-frying the turkeys. Because the crispy Brussels sprouts with apples and cranberries I brought one time were a hit, I am expected to deliver those every year. Two countertops are covered in desserts, from Connecticut-made chocolates to the requisite pumpkin pies. …