Why does rain smell?

It’s one of those days. You’re inside, reading a good book while drops of rain gently fall, the perfect soundtrack to a lazy day. Or maybe you’re soaking wet under the torrential rains down in Africa (insert Toto reference here). Whatever the case may be, I’m sure that you’re not only feeling or hearing the rain, you are also smelling it. Why does rain smell?

Should you rinse soapy dishes – How soap works

I’ve been traveling in the past few weeks, as you may have noticed from the lack of articles. This week I’ve been visiting friends in Germany. To be a good guest, and less of a burden on my hosts, I’ve been helping out with the daily chores, including washing the dishes. And, as it turns out, my friends and I are split into two camps. Those who rinse dishes after soaping them up and those who don’t. And to show you how those in the second camp are clearly and utterly wrong, we first need to understand how soap (or …

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Metals don’t ‘smell’ of metal

We all know the acrid mushroom-like metallic smell that comes from metallic utensils, doorknobs, sweaty dumbbells, cutlery, coins and jewelry. It smells of ‘metal’. Except that metal does not smell. We can’t ‘smell’ iron atoms. In fact, when we smell metals we are actually smelling ourselves.