9:55am

Tue April 19, 2011
Krulwich Wonders…

Carbon And 007: Both Of Them Bond, Both Of Them Frisky

Earth Day is coming up, so all this week we're talking about our planet, global warming and the element that makes global warming possible: carbon. Carbon, as we said in Episode 1, likes to hook up with other atoms using "bonds."

Science writer Natalie Angier, referring to the impeccable British hitman, ("The name is Bond, James Bond.") of 20-odd films says, "there is more than one way of being a Bond. You have your suave, supple, catlike bond, your stiff-shanked bond, your uncommitted, barely there bond," and carbon has been bonding every which way for billions of years. Everywhere you look, you will find carbon snuggling with other atoms. Let's take a tour:

Tomorrow: Breaking Carbon Bonds. (Which you do when you eat a carrot.)


Cartoonist OddTodd's last appearance on Krulwich Wonders was our essay on "How Much Does A Hurricane Weigh?" Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.