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March 20, 2017
We're kind of obsessed with the connection between scent and memory around here. Our noses have a way of sniffing out nostalgia. Regardless of when you were born, you likely have noticed the scent of wet pavement after it rains on a warm day. It's called "petrichor." It's that sweet earthy smell that fills the air evoking childhood memories of playing in puddles.The word "petrichor" comes from the ancient Greek: it's a combination of ichor, the "ethereal essence" the Greeks believed flowed through the veins of their gods, and petros, the stones that form the surface of the Earth.
The earthy aroma we're smelling while it's storming can be traced to three chemical sources, says Joe Hansen in this episode of It's Okay To Be Smart. The first one thing we smell is ozone, which actually gets its name from the Greek word meaning "to smell". As storm clouds approach, the electrical charge of lightning splits the surrounding oxygen molecules into separate atoms, and some of those will reform into ozone. The wind sweeps the molecules downwards to the vicinity of our noses. Once the rain starts to fall and hit the soil we smell something new and different; the petrichor,
Hanson explains it this way. "When decomposed organic material is blown airborne from dry soil, it lands on dirt and rock where it's joined by minerals. And the whole mixture is cooked in this magical medley of molecules. Falling raindrops then send those chemicals airborne, right into your nostalgic nostrils."
Now that April is here and with it spring showers, we're looking forward to playing in and smelling the magical medley of molecules in the rain.
April 01, 2020
As we all do our part to help contain the spread of COVID-19 by self-isolateing and social distancing, it's easy to to feel overwhelmed, anxious and stressed. We also suddenly more aware of how often we need to washing our hands, how we frequently we need to wipe down “high-touch” surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, toilets, phones, and keyboards using household cleaners and wipes. We suddenly need to be aware of how often we touch our faces, and how often All that awareness can increase stress levels.
March 15, 2020
A recent in-depth analysis by market intelligence agency firm Mintel reported that bar-soap sales in the U.S. declined 2.2% from 2014 to 2015 against an overall sales increase of 2.7% in the broader bath-and-shower category. Further, according to the report, the percentage of households using bar soap dropped five percentage points between 2010 and 2015 from 89% to 84%. What's causing the market for bar soap to continue to fall?
March 06, 2020
For several weeks now we've all been hearing the guidance from the CDC, federal and local governments and other public health officials.
Frequently. For twenty seconds. But have you been wondering why these scientists and public health experts are currently telling you, to clean your hands of dirt, grease, bacteria and viruses "plain soap and water works?"
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