5:34 | Jan 15th
To create the biggest-ever airplanes, Boeing created the biggest-ever building. (Before they learned to control the temperature, clouds formed near its ceiling.) Learn more about this mammoth structure in today's episode of BrainStuff.
4:10 | Jan 8th
Scorpions light up a glowing green under ultraviolet light. Science isn't entirely sure how but has a few theories on why. (Y'know, aside from "Scorpions are metal.") Learn more about scorpions' fluorescence in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:29 | Jan 5th
Popular wisdom holds that eating before bed -- and especially eating spicy or 'strange' food, however you define strange -- will doom you to nightmares. But is there any science behind that? Learn more in this classic episode of BrainStuff.
5:29 | Dec 29th, 2018
You've probably experienced a noise loud enough that it hurt your ears, but could a noise be so loud that it could actually kill you? Spoiler alert: Yes. Learn more in today's episode of BrainStuff.
5:55 | Dec 25th, 2018
Frankincense and myrrh play a part not only in the story of Christmas, but in lots of other religious traditions as well -- and a few practical ones, too. Learn more about these aromatic substances in this episode of BrainStuff.
3:56 | Dec 24th, 2018
Most of the trees decorated for Christmas don't naturally grow in a perfect cone shape -- so how do they get that way, and why did we decide on that shape in the first place? Learn about the history of Christmas trees in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:02 | Dec 4th, 2018
From the outdated Presidential Fitness Test to today's FITNESSGRAM, Americans have been giving standardized fitness tests to middle school kids for decades. Learn the past and present of these exams in today's episode of BrainStuff.
6:52 | Dec 2nd, 2018
Why are some politicians so eager for large businesses to set up shop in their districts? What are those businesses' real motivations in making selections? Learn what some researchers think about corporate megadeals in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:07 | Nov 30th, 2018
The Inca never developed a system of writing, but they kept records and told stories through intricate knotwork. Learn what researchers know -- and what they're still looking to find out -- about Inca khipu in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:14 | Nov 17th, 2018
It may seem like an obvious ‘yes’, but denim producers often recommend washing your jeans as little as possible — if at all. Learn why (and what they recommend instead) in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:38 | Nov 9th, 2018
It's a dreaded part of job interviews: "What did you make at your last job? What are your salary requirements?" Learn the science behind navigating this tricky topic in today's episode of BrainStuff.
4:48 | Nov 8th, 2018
The End of the World with Josh Clark is a 10-part podcast series on existential risks – threats that could bring humanity to a sudden and untimely end in the near future. Check out this preview, featuring a clip about our potential to spread from Ear...Show More
6:06 | Nov 6th, 2018
Computer systems can indeed help traffic flow better by syncing stop lights' cycles. But how well does it work, and what does it take to implement? Learn how researchers hope to get you out of traffic jams in this episode of BrainStuff.
4:04 | Nov 2nd, 2018
Brightly colored fruit stands out against green leaves, but why is some red or pink, while others skew yellow or purple? And why are some fruits smellier than others? Learn what new research says about fruits' evolution in this episode of BrainStuff.
4:31 | Oct 31st, 2018
The American practice of kids dressing up and demanding candy from neighbors on October 31st is fairly new, but it's based in centuries of evolving beliefs and traditions. Learn the history of trick-or-treating in this episode of BrainStuff.
3:52 | Oct 30th, 2018
Do you knock on wood or avoid particular numbers? People around the world adhere to superstitions to attempt to change their luck -- and some of those superstitions are remarkably similar. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff.
7:39 | Oct 29th, 2018
For everything we know about the human brain, consciousness is still mysterious. Could reports of people remaining conscious after being executed by decapitation be true? Learn what science has to say in this episode of BrainStuff.
3:49 | Oct 28th, 2018
Our paleolithic ancestors ate people sometimes. But did they partake because they were really that hungry, or for some other, cultural reason? Learn what researchers think in this episode of BrainStuff.
7:40 | Oct 27th, 2018
We can't prove whether the Winchester Mystery House is really haunted, but it was definitely built for ghosts. Lean the story of how its strange construction was one woman's unending quest in this episode of BrainStuff.
3:53 | Oct 26th, 2018
The tradition of carving jack-o'-lanterns around Halloween goes back centuries to a folktale about a stingy man who outwits the devil. Learn the tale (and why pumpkins weren't the original carving vegetables) in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:43 | Oct 25th, 2018
Pop culture loves making horrific figures adorable, from Cthulhu plushies to 'cute' Freddy Krueger costumes. But why? Learn what researchers think about the spectrum of cute to monstrous in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:41 | Oct 24th, 2018
You've seen the trope: a character strains their psychic powers and gets a nosebleed to show for it. But would this actually happen if psychic powers were real? Learn the hypothetical science in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:32 | Oct 22nd, 2018
Millennials approach their jobs differently than previous generations, but research shows it's not how they were raised -- it's a mark of their youth. Learn how age and generational differences intersect in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:00 | Oct 21st, 2018
In the United Kingdom in the 1800s, anatomists wanted to study real bodies, but laws and cultural stigma made bodies hard to come by. Learn how the shocking Burke & Hare murder trials changed that in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:11 | Oct 20th, 2018
If you've ver gotten the strange feeling that you’re repeating an experience, researchers have about 40 theories for what was going on in your brain. Learn how déjà vu might work in this episode of BrainStuff.
7:31 | Oct 18th, 2018
Many presidents' nominations of justices to the Supreme Court go through uncontested, but some have gotten seriously sticky. Learn the history of Supreme Court nominations in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:12 | Oct 8th, 2018
Tales of squid attacking ships go way back, and there are some known instances of squid attacking subs, but could a cephalopod really take down a modern vessel? Learn what researchers think in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:40 | Oct 7th, 2018
You won't find the word 'popsicle' on the packaging for some ice pops -- instead, they're called 'quiescently frozen confections'. Learn why this sciencey term is used instead of the more simple one in today's episode of BrainStuff.
6:02 | Oct 5th, 2018
When concepts are as intertwined as weather and climate, it can be easy to mix them up. Learn the difference, and why it matters so much in discussions about the environment, in this episode of BrainStuff.
4:26 | Sep 29th, 2018
It's hard to print with stuff like liquid metals and living cells using traditional inkjet-style machines, but new tech that uses sound waves may make it easier. Learn how it works in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:22 | Sep 28th, 2018
Astronomers have long suspected that Jupiter contains lots of water, but they've never been able to prove it. Learn about the new research that could help -- and thus solve lots of questions about our solar system -- in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:29 | Sep 22nd, 2018
For millions of moviegoers, memories visiting the local theater automatically conjures the smell of popcorn. But this wasn’t always the case – so why, out of all snacks, did popcorn become #1 for film? Learn the history in this classic episode of Bra...Show More
4:23 | Sep 18th, 2018
Research shows that artists' brains don't respond to monetary motivation the way that other people's do. Learn why this might be -- and whether it means we create types are doomed to poverty -- in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:11 | Sep 14th, 2018
In the United States, 17.6 million American lack access to healthy food because there aren't any grocery stores or other establishments that sell fresh food in their area. Learn about food deserts and how we can fix them in this episode of BrainStuff...Show More
7:06 | Sep 13th, 2018
Large rockets are great at getting delicate equipment (and people) into space, but at a huge financial cost. Learn about some of the potential alternatives to ground-launched rockets in this episode of BrainStuff.
7:46 | Sep 6th, 2018
Some parents and advocacy groups recommend against allowing children to play with toys that resemble weapons, like toy guns. But is there any science to back that up? Learn about play, parenting, and aggression in this episode of BrainStuff.
9:20 | Sep 4th, 2018
Medical marijuana is now FDA-approved for some uses even though it's still illegal federally. Some researchers and journalists, including Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN, believe it could help solve the opioid crisis. Learn why in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:24 | Aug 31st, 2018
Research on the International Space Station studies all aspects of how humans would fare on long space missions -- including reproduction. Learn about NASA's latest reproductive science experiments in this episode of BrainStuff.
4:08 | Aug 28th, 2018
Your car's empty-tank light can sneak up on you, and it's easy to put off filling up for another day. But are you damaging your car when you do? Learn why it's not good to run your car on empty in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:08 | Aug 27th, 2018
Conventional wisdom has long said fish oil pills are a great nutritional boost, but recent research shows they don't have the cardiovascular benefits we once thought. Learn who should still consider taking them in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:37 | Aug 25th, 2018
Are the buttons we push to cross streets, close elevator doors, and nudge the office thermostat really connected to anything? Some aren’t! Learn how these placebo buttons (don’t) work in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:51 | Aug 20th, 2018
Implicit biases change the way we act without us even realizing it, and doctors aren't immune. Learn how researchers are trying to help us all identify and change our unconscious biases in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:39 | Aug 14th, 2018
Phytoplankton are responsible for a lot of the oxygen we breathe, and their wellbeing is made possible by... deserts. Yes. Learn how the Saraha Desert and other dusty debris feeds our oceans in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:18 | Aug 13th, 2018
The gender roles of traditional stage magicians and 'lovely assistants' can seem outdated, but behind the scenes, the work has always been pretty equal. Learn how being a magician's assistant works in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:38 | Aug 5th, 2018
How does aspirin target your pain? The plants that aspirin were derived from have been used as medicine for about 6000 years, we finally discovered how it works in 1971, and we explain it in this episode of BrainStuff.
3:45 | Jul 31st, 2018
Figuring out what foods were on ancient menus can be tricky, but a mummy called Ötzi the Iceman was preserved with his last meal still intact. Learn what scientists found out about his eating habits in this episode of BrainStuff.
8:39 | Jul 27th, 2018
Plenty of things are scary these days, so why do people pay good money to see horror movies and go to 'haunted' houses? Learn why psychologists say these fearful experiences are helpful in this episode of BrainStuff.
3:56 | Jul 20th, 2018
Celebrities and Instagrammers have been singing the praises of activated charcoal as a health supplement, but why? Can it really help make you healthier? Learn the science behind the activated charcoal fad in this episode of BrainStuff.
4:29 | Jul 19th, 2018
Museums collect all kinds of art and artifacts -- this one collects pieces of broken hearts. Learn about some of the items and stories held in the Museum of Broken Relationships in this episode of BrainStuff.
4:40 | Jul 16th, 2018
Carbon dioxide is a waste product of gasoline- and coal-burning engines, and it's a serious pollutant. But what if we could capture that carbon and recycle it into usable fuel? Learn why researchers say we're getting close in this episode of BrainStu...Show More
7:58 | Jul 13th, 2018
The border between the United States and Mexico is at the center of much political and social debate in 2018 -- but how did we get here? How much crime really crosses the border? Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff.
4:40 | Jul 10th, 2018
Robotic animals can help law enforcement agents catch poachers in the act -- but only if the robots are convincing enough. Learn a few things engineers are doing to make their robots more realistic in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:07 | Jul 6th, 2018
Fashion designers and their work are everywhere these days, from our closets to the runways. But one man started it all: Charles Frederick Worth. Learn who he was and how he created haute couture in this episode of BrainStuff.
8:23 | Jul 5th, 2018
Over two-thirds of gun-related deaths in America are suicides. This stunning fact is bringing gun rights and gun control advocates together for a common cause. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:47 | Jul 4th, 2018
Waterbeds were a mainstay of opulent '80s culture, but why did they fall out of fashion? How have they evolved since then? Could they climb back from the pits of public disfavor? Explore in this episode of BrainStuff.
4:57 | Jul 2nd, 2018
Feeling hungry doesn't just happen when our bodies need calories (lots of things, from boredom to advertisements, can trigger hunger) and there's no one way that we feel hunger to begin with. Learn why in this episode of BrainStuff.
4:18 | Jun 29th, 2018
Researchers have observed a species of crab clutching anemones and using them as weapons. Even weirder: The crabs clone their anemones. Weirder still: The anemones might be otherwise extinct. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:34 | Jun 26th, 2018
Finding something to wear can be especially challenging for people with limited dexterity or mobility, but some fashion designers are starting to change that. Learn how in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:07 | Jun 25th, 2018
Although doctors have long believed that Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition, research shows that it can be reversed -- and that with work to maintain weight loss, former patients can live without medication. Learn more in this episode of BrainSt...Show More
5:28 | Jun 22nd, 2018
Composers use musical references to classics in their own work to help create mood -- and as a wink at other music lovers. Learn how one such reference, 'Dies Irae', or 'The Day of Wrath', is often used in film soundtracks in this episode of BrainStu...Show More
5:55 | Jun 5th, 2018
The possibilities for a baby's name aren't quite as endless as they seem -- some national and local governments restrict what you can legally name your baby. Learn what some of those restrictions are (and why they exist) in this episode of BrainStuff...Show More
3:59 | Jun 1st, 2018
It might sound gross, but it's eco-friendly: Paper is made from plant pulp. Animals that eat plants excrete plant pulp. Learn why some researchers have high hopes for poo-pyrus in this episode of BrainStuff.
3:40 | May 28th, 2018
It seems obvious that turtles' shells would have evolved to protect them from predators, but researchers have found that they probably first evolved to help turtles dig. Learn what that's all about in this episode of BrainStuff.
7:11 | May 16th, 2018
From the way some people talk, it may seem like immigrating to America is simple -- but the wait list can actually be more than 20 years long. Learn more about how immigration works in this episode of BrainStuff.
7:27 | May 11th, 2018
If you see something, say something' works great -- until racial bias and other prejudices enter the picture. Learn what some organizations are doing to fight those prejudices (and what you can do, too) in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:52 | May 7th, 2018
The World Happiness Report usually ranks wealthy Nordic countries as the happiest, but what factors is it taking into account? Based on other data, Colombia and El Salvador come out on top. Learn why in this episode of BrainStuff.
6:17 | May 1st, 2018
It can sound off-putting, but it turns out that people who talk about themselves in the third person may be giving themselves a mental boost. ("You're nailing this episode description, Lauren!") Learn why in today's episode of BrainStuff.
4:51 | Apr 30th, 2018
OK, 'happy' might be a stretch, but researchers are looking into how cows given positive interactions (like back scritches) grow and produce milk versus less-content cows. Learn what the results say in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:01 | Apr 24th, 2018
Science fiction buzzes with evil robots and AI, but real-life machines are much less sinister -- if not less potentially deadly. Learn the real concerns (and possible solutions) about killer robots in this episode of BrainStuff.
4:16 | Apr 20th, 2018
In 1947, U.S. military scientists launched the very first Earth animals into space: fruit flies. But why these diminutive bugs in particular? Learn about their trip to the final fronteir in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:22 | Apr 11th, 2018
For everything that's weird and wondrous about the platypus, we probably shouldn't be surprised that its milk may help save countless lives, but here we are. Learn how in this episode of BrainStuff.
4:37 | Apr 9th, 2018
Durian fruit is prized as a delicacy and staple -- and it smells like rotting. Learn how a group of cancer researchers mapped its genome to get to the bottom of this stench (and hopefully find something medicinally useful) in this episode of BrainStu...Show More
6:07 | Apr 4th, 2018
Ancient ruins, long grown over by massive forests, can now be found painlessly -- all thanks to lasers. Learn how LiDAR techology is preserving forests and uncovering lost Mayan infrastructure in this episode of BrainStuff.
4:30 | Apr 2nd, 2018
Botox wrinkle therapy contains a tiny dose of a deadly bacterial toxin, but the story of how it was discovered is even stranger than that fact. Learn the history of botulinum toxin, plus how it's used in non-cosmetic medicine, in this episode of Brai...Show More
5:44 | Mar 22nd, 2018
When people die without family, or without identification, their local government lays them to rest. Learn about these fascinating traditions and how they've developed over the centuries in this episode of BrainStuff.
7:40 | Mar 15th, 2018
Any high-tech car feature that takes your attention away from the road is a distraction, but are even our automatic safety systems actually making driving more dangerous? We explore in this episode of BrainStuff.
8:04 | Mar 13th, 2018
Beyond the U.S. gun control debate, another question deserves examination: Why are schools so frequently the sites of mass gun violence in America? We explore the psychology and potential solutions in this episode of BrainStuff.
5:02 | Mar 12th, 2018
Leftover pizza can be an excellent snack or even a staple -- if it's treated correctly. Learn why refrigerated leftovers are safer than slices left at room temp, plus what toppings hold up best, in this episode of BrainStuff.