Episode 111: A Distillations Carol

Scrooge and his third visitor.

Scrooge and his third visitor. Illustration by John Leech, 1843.

In Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who reveal the darkest parts of his past, present, and future. Despite the doom and gloom, he's given the opportunity to change his path and forge a happier life. Today's show explores three of chemistry's own ominous forces. First we learn about Greek fire, an 8th-century weapon believed at the time to be the Devil's creation. Next up, producer Stefan Bos travels to Hungary where an industrial sludge spill recently threatened to wipe-out thriving ecosystems. Finally, we reveal the ominous fate of our middle-aged sun.

Special thanks to Dana Ricci, Chemical Heritage magazine's former intern, for researching this show. Also, we wish Distillations' executive producer Victoria Indivero well as she moves on to new professional adventures.

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:30 Introduction
00:44 Greek Fire
03:14 Hungarian Red Sludge
09:46 Death of the Sun
13:13 Closing Credits


Our theme music is composed by Dave Kaufman. Additional music from Music Alley. Additional music includes "eisland," by lehna,
"Battery," by Mark Allender, and "Why Does the Sun Shine?" by They Might Be Giants. Additional sound from the 1935 film Scrooge.
Other resources:
Stefan Bos' website/news service:

Posted In: Environment | History

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