Dr Karl says radio broadcasters have bad breath

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki has become an icon of popular science broadcasting, and he attributes his success to radio.

“Radio is instantaneous, and the pictures are better,” Dr Karl told radioinfo. “TV takes a huge amount of people, but you can make radio simply, so you can focus more on the content.”

Dr Karl began his science broadcasting career 23 years ago, presenting ‘Great Moments of Science’ on the then Double J ABC youth station. The series is still running and is now heard on most ABC Radio networks.

He is currently on a whirlwind tour of the country promoting his new book Bumbreath, Botox and Bubbles.

In the book which covers a variety of science topics, there are some subjects of interest to radio announcers – bad breath for instance.

“Teachers, radio broadcasters and other people who have to talk a lot, are more prone to bad breath, because when talking your saliva can’t keep your mouth moist enough to carry away the bacteria that cause bad breath,” says Dr Karl. Bad breath is often at its worst in the morning after a long night’s sleep because less saliva is produced during sleep.

The cures?

Use mouthwash or a similar bacterial agent before going to sleep. Eating also stimulates the formation of saliva, so a good breakfast helps. Brushing your teeth is not much use, but brushing the back of your tongue can work, because that’s where the bacteria form most.

Dr Karl also covers the art of kissing – did you know we spend a total of two weeks of our lives kissing. According to the book, kissing may originate from primitive nurturing behaviour, when mothers would chew up food and pass it directly into the mouths of their babies.

Other interesting facts in the book include an explanation of how Geckos stick to walls using atomic forces and a history of the science of beauty from the chemicals worn as eye makeup in Ancient Egypt, to the current fashion for Botox to neutralise wrinkles.

Champagne also gets the Dr Karl treatment when he explains how champagne is made and that the bubbles do make you tipsy quicker. He quotes Madame Bollinger on champagne saying: “I drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. When I’m alone and when I have company. If I’m not hungry and if I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.”

He also quotes Napoleon’s famous words about champagne: “In victory you deserve it, in defeat you need it.”

So now you know about the Botox and the bubbles. The ‘bumbreath’ in the book title was what inspired the book. Dr Karl’s daughter woke him up one morning and commented that his bad breath smelt like a bum – charming.

Bumbreath, Botox and Bubbles is published by Harper Collins. ISBN 0 7322 6715 3. Contact Aleta Moriarty for media information on 02 9952 5473.