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Month: December 2011

Distillations #137 – Cocktail Chemistry

It’s official – reporting on alcohol has become a Distillations holiday tradition. In 2007 we covered champagne. In 2010 it was beer. And this year, the hard stuff. First, producer Catherine Girardeau visits St. George Spirits in Alameda, California, where master distillers concoct tasty artisan spirits. Catherine also visits one of my favorite Bay Area spots – the Exploratorium – for a distillation demonstration. Then, a segment about the morning after – a study of the hangover. Pickled sheep eyes in tomato juice, anyone?


Photo of Buddha’s Hand Citron Vodka by Erin Hall, courtesy of St. George Spirits.

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Distillations #136 – The Chemistry of Music

On this episode of Distillations, it’s a symphony of science. First, our assistant producer Anne Fredrickson reveals one of the secrets of Stradivari violins’ phenomenal sound. Then, a profile of sound artist Susan Alexjander, who uses vibrational frequencies from the natural world – from DNA to planetary spins – to create her music. I produced that one, my first non-narrated piece in awhile.

Image courtesy of the Roy G. Neville Historical Chemical Library, Othmer Library of Chemical History, Chemical Heritage Foundation.

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