Episode 56: New Year's Resolutions


The illustration is “Pom Wonderful,” uploaded to by aluvendale.

What do you resolve to do in 2009? Get in shape? Improve your eating habits? Stop smoking? We cover them all on this week’s show. Producer Lara Ratzlaff takes us along for a jog—and then shares what she finds out about what’s causing her sore muscles. (Hint: it’s not necessarily lactic acid.) Our Mystery Solved! segment investigates why fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, like the pomegranates pictured here, are being credited with all sorts of health-saving powers.

Finally, with this episode, we bid farewell to the Element of the Week. After a year’s worth of shows, we were running out of elements. As much as our editorial team will miss the challenge of finding compelling stories to tell about obscure substances like gadolinium and astatine, it was time to move on. Our new segment, The Chemical Agent, will feature molecules, reactions, and, yes, sometimes elements. And starting next week, it will even have theme music. This week’s Chemical Agent? Nicotine.

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:32 Introduction
01:06 Chemical Agent: Nicotine
03:52 Mystery Solved! Antioxidants
07:00 Feature: Aching Muscles
11:22 Closing Credits

Resources and References

For information on nicotine, we turned to the trusty Merck Manual.
In October 2001, PBS broadcast “The Search for a Safe Cigarette” as part of the NOVA series. The companion Web site has extensive information on cigarettes, smoking, and nicotine.
For antioxidants, see this helpful site from the National Library of Medicine.


Special thanks go to Jennifer Dionisio and Eleanor Goldberg for researching and writing the show.

Our theme music is composed by Dave Kaufman. Additional music from the PodSafe Music Network. Additional music is “I Quit Smoking,” by Feed the Kitty, “Founding of Youth,” by Latch Key Kid, “Running from the Law,” by Mean Gene Kelton and the Die Hards, and “Running in Place,” by Sunspot.

Posted In: Society

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