Cryobiologist Dr. Katie Marshall joins Joe, Kevin, and Toren to talk about the horrible side of turning water into ice.  We cover nucleation, amorphous ice, flash-freezing humans, paradoxical undressing and terminal burrowing, promession burial, cryonics, Nazi freezing experiments, plus news and pop culture!

Music: “Make It Gross” by Sasja Smolders (formerly Sasja Vice) (Lyrics Joe Fulgham, Music by BassBeastJD)




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Showing 25 comments
  • Him Again

    Wow Dr Katie is a boundless font of icy knowledge.
    Well done her.
    Kind of hoping she got back to the lab after this an immediately chucked some dry ice in the liquid nitrogen just to satisfy her curiosity.

    Awesomely unexpected twist on musical interlude this week.
    Certainly going to be listening to that a couple of times so I can mess with the next person I catch singing let it go at work.

    Lastly my favourite pop culture freezing the terminator 2 T1000 liquid nitrogen bath and awesome resulting shattering effect man that was an epic special effect

    Oh and more recently the movie snow piercer where those who oppose the train’s enforcers are subjected to an unlikely form of corporal punishment their limbs are pushed outside of the train carriage in which they live and into the global ice age raging outside and a little clock in run. They are pulled back in once frozen sufficiently solid and the limb is promptly shattered with a sledge hammer.

    • Derek Weber

      +1 for that Snowpiercer reference – that was a pretty grim scene.

  • Derek Weber

    Thank you soooo much for those alternate lyrics to the Frozen song. My girls (5 and 8) are obsessed with that film and constantly sing the song, so now I can take solace in some more appealing (and frankly more sensible) lyrics. Bravo! If I knew how to make that little animated gif of the guy slow-clapping appear, I’d add it here.

    • Derek Weber

      Actually, Joe, any chance you could post the lyrics somewhere? A few were a little hard to make out, but they certainly made my drive to work easier. 🙂

  • zuzu

    fascinating episode! I love your more science-y ones.
    Dr. Katie Marshall was an excellent choice in guest, I definitely would love to hear more form her.
    in pop culture: this Mitchell and Webb sketch answers what happens when the cryogenics companies go bankrupt

  • Him Again

    Reasonably sure these are the lyrics
    Just a little unsure of that bit before neutron blasts
    Like I said listened to that a couple of times : )

    The guys speak low on the show today
    A bronze bull is getting hot
    A cry of pain escapes its mouth and puts my stomach into knots
    Evil duos creeping in the corner of my mind
    Just can’t deal with it, I know their right behind

    And now I’m blind I just can’t see,
    What is this thing that’s crawling inside me?
    I learn and burn cause now I know
    This fucking show!

    Make it gross,
    Make it gross
    Please tell me things I’ll abhor.
    Make it gross,
    Make it gross
    Till I pass out on the floor
    I don’t care what you’re going to say,
    Tell me awful things
    Make my own troubles seem far away

    It’s funny how child labour makes traffic seem not bad
    And the stuff that used to bug me is just a little sad
    I want to see what I can take
    To test my limits till they break
    True bugs, tumours self-surgery!
    Ted Bundy!

    Make it gross,
    make it gross
    I can deal with infanticide!
    Make it gross,
    make it gross
    You’ll never see me cry!

    I don’t care what your going to say
    Tell me awful things

    A teratoma is a lump of nasty gore
    This maggot cheese just wants to go and crawl right out the door
    (A botfly)? pierces me just like a neutron blast
    I am a soda jerk
    This stuff is such a gas!

    Make it gross
    Make it gross
    Ocular myositis be damned
    Make it gross
    Make it gross
    And after I’ll still stand!

    I don’t care what your going to say!
    Fecal emesis
    Makes my own troubles seem far away.

    • Derek Weber

      Big up yourself*, Him Again! Thanks very much. 🙂

      Say, Joe, will that song make Toren’s “Comments Not Allowed” album, perhaps as a hidden track or something? (Speaking of which, Toren, any news?) 😉

      * Surely I’m not the only one who remembers Ali G, innit?

      • thickets

        I no longer have a good recording space since I moved, and more importantly I am having computer difficulties which is making recording multi-track music impossible (at least in Audacity, and I’ll need to take the time to learn a new program) – BUT I might be teaming up with someone who can handle the technical aspects. I feel bad about taking so long to do this, I probably shouldn’t have made it a perk in the fundraiser before it was available. But it will get done at some point. Live and learn! Thanks for the reminder, Derek.

        • Derek Weber

          No wuckas. 🙂 I’ll wait patiently, fear not. I know it’ll be worth it.

    • Joe

      Very close! I’ve created a page with a high-quality download link, lyrics, and even links in the lyrics to the appropriate episodes. The version in this has been given a final once-over edit to clean up a few spots.

      Make It Gross – Lyrics & Download

      • Derek Weber

        Thanks very much, Joe.

      • Him Again

        Thanks joe

  • William

    Excellent episode again!! Wish you would have included ice-nine from Kurt Vonnegut’s Cats Cradle. Looking forward to the next episode!!

  • purrdence

    No love for Captain America and the Winter Soldier, my favourite frozen & revived buddies?

  • Derek Weber

    Fascinating and mind-blowing article on the physics of freezing below Absolute Zero (I think):

    Relevant in a sciency type of way.

  • Drhoz

    The Judge Dredd comic has made use of cryogenics too – naturally, there are cryogenics-related crime. Such as thawing out a patient just enough to pump them for blackmail info, then putting them back under. But don’t worry if Dredd catches you at it, and you get shot in the head – Justice Dept. will just stick you into THEIR cryovaults, until medical science can patch your brain up, and they’ll thaw you out to serve your sentence 🙂

  • bp

    dat frozen music ! nice one guys.

  • Jon Paynter

    Not exactly cryogenics, but a common form of death sentence in oldie-time Russia (maybe still today) was to strip a person naked, tether them to a post and throw a bucket of water on them. Oh, yeah, this only happened in winter when the temperature was below -20C. The victims would freeze to death. Another fun way to die horribly!

    By the way, Dr. Katie was awesome. Once again, kudos to your guest expert finding skills! Kevin got her once, though. She was trying to speak, but his joke was just soooo bad she had to pause! Good job Kevin!

  • etopp62

    Yes guys, it was very cold (sometimes as low as -50 C) flying unpressurised airplanes in WWII. Why do you think bomber jackets were thick and fur-lined?

  • toto

    You covered the freezing experiments conducted by the Nazi’s in WWII, but no mention of Japanese Unit 731. Come to think of it, that probably warrants attention in other episodes that you do as well –

    In pop culture, you could watch the 1988 shockumentary ‘Men Behind the Sun’ which has some gut-wrenching/eye-bleaching scenes of victims of the unit having their arms frozen and then stripped to the bone or smashed. Or perhaps better not to watch it. Humanity, ffs ._.

    • thickets

      Sounds delightful, I will check it out for a future “War Atrocities” episode. Yuck!

    • Generaleesimo

      We touched on some of what Unit 731 was up to in the LICE episode: /2014/02/09/lice/

      • toto

        Thanks! Unit 731 showed up in that lice episode at 1:18:40 if anyone’s interested.

  • sewdotcoe

    Follow up from October 27, 2015:

    Woman freezes to death in cryotherapy chamber she operated solo after her spa closed for the night.

  • sewdotcoe

    Another follow up: Buzzfeed tries cryotherapy (just so you can see how the machines work).