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Stuff To Blow Your Mind

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Deep in the back of your mind, you’ve always had the feeling that there’s something strange about reality. There is. Join Robert and Joe as they examine neurological quandaries, cosmic mysteries, evolutionary marvels and our transhuman future on Stuf...Show More

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Cupid’s Leaden Arrow

51:12 | Feb 14th

It’s Valentine’s Day again, which summons images of mythic Cupid and his bow. But we often forget that Cupid has TWO arrows in his quiver: the golden arrow of desire and the leaden arrow of aversion. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert...Show More

Listener Mail: Crab Sabbath

52:50 | Feb 12th

It's listener mail time again and Karnie the mailbot seems rather grumpy about a particular holiday. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they read and respond to various listener mail from the past month. 

From the Vault: Minds of Musical Emptiness

50:50 | Feb 9th

We're all wired to enjoy different forms of music, but for some of us the wiring is missing entirely. Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager as they explore the curious conditions of amusia and auditory agnosia in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your...Show More

Marah Hardt talks Snails, Sex and the Sea

1:09:59 | Feb 7th

It's almost Valentine's Day, so it's time to invite marine biologist and "Sex in the Sea" author Dr. Marah Hardt back on the show again! Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they chat with STBYM's only four-time guest about all manner of marine inve...Show More

Demon Eaters and Possessed Tools

1:03:02 | Feb 5th

As we slide into the Year of the Earth Pig, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick turn to the legend of the demon slayer Zhōng Kuí and follow a procession of spirits across the sea to Japan, where discarded tools spark spirit possessions, not joy. Sorry, Mar...Show More

From the Vault: Aquatic Humanoids, Part 2

1:04:34 | Feb 2nd

From the sirens of 'The Odyssey' to 'The Creature From the Black Lagoon' and beyond, humans have always imagined their underwater doubles. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert and Joe discuss the revealing myth and fiction of ...Show More

Ships of Life: Shipwrecks

1:02:24 | Jan 31st

Water vessels serve the humans who made them, but that doesn’t mean other lifeforms don’t benefit as well. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the various organisms that thrive aboard functional, ab...Show More

Ships of Life: Stowaways

57:40 | Jan 29th

Water vessels serve the humans who made them, but that doesn’t mean other lifeforms don’t benefit as well. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the various organisms that thrive aboard functional, ab...Show More

From the Vault: Aquatic Humanoids, Part 1

1:02:38 | Jan 26th

From the sirens of “The Odyssey” to “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” and beyond, humans have always imagined their underwater doubles. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the revealing myth ...Show More

Invasion of the Globsters, Part 2

43:52 | Jan 24th

When mysterious globs of meat wash up on the shores of human civilization, we have a tendency to see beasts in the blobs and have always tried to imagine the creature in the carnage. Welcome to the world of globsters, where mounds of putrid sea flesh...Show More

Invasion of the Globsters, Part 1

49:15 | Jan 22nd

When mysterious globs of meat wash up on the shores of human civilization, we have a tendency to see beasts in the blobs and have always tried to imagine the creature in the carnage. Welcome to the world of globsters, where mounds of putrid sea flesh...Show More

From the Vault: Bathysphere, Part 2

44:28 | Jan 19th

In 1930, American naturalist William Beebe began his descent in a spherical, unpowered submarine known as a Bathysphere -- and in doing so visited a world previously unseen by human beings. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert...Show More

Split Brain, Part 2

57:39 | Jan 17th

Our brains are composed of two hemispheres, but in what ways are they truly separate? In which ways are they one? In this bisected Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore what we’ve learned from split brain experime...Show More

Split Brain, Part 1

54:37 | Jan 15th

Our brains are composed of two hemispheres, but in what ways are they truly separate? In which ways are they one? In this bisected Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore what we’ve learned from split brain experime...Show More

From the Vault: Bathysphere, Part 1

46:56 | Jan 12th

In 1930, American naturalist William Beebe began his descent in a spherical, unpowered submarine known as a Bathysphere -- and in doing so visited a world previously unseen by human beings. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert...Show More

The Alien Biped

40:16 | Jan 10th

As humans, we’re quite accustomed to our weird vertical spines and precarious two-legged gait. But habitual bipedalism is far from the norm. When did it first occur on planet Earth? Will the robotic future walk on two legs? And can we reasonably expe...Show More

The Room of Infinite Unpleasantness

1:15:43 | Jan 8th

If you were to create the most unpleasant room humanly possible, what sort of design choices would you employ? What would the space look like and, more to the point, how would it make you feel? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this episode of...Show More

From the Vault: Biophilia

1:09:37 | Jan 5th

Why are humans so drawn to the natural world of biodiverse organisms? Is this longing merely part of our culture or do we possess an innate and even genetic tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they ...Show More

Thought Experiments

1:12:57 | Jan 3rd

Stuff to Blow Your Mind frequently discusses thought experiments on the show, from Schrödinger's Cat to the Infinity Hotel. But what constitutes a thought experiments? How long have they been around and what are the seven categories? Robert Lamb and ...Show More

Listener Mail: The Fires of Orc

58:03 | Jan 1st

It's a new year full of new topics, but first comes a final bag of listener mail from 2018. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider your thoughts and experiences on the previous month's episodes. 

From the Vault: Artificial Gravity

1:27:13 | Dec 29th, 2018

Humans are creatures of gravity. We’re born into it. Life as we know it evolved to thrive in it. So what’s a gravitational organism to do in the low-gravity and zero-gravity expanses beyond Earth? You can’t bring it with you, but scientists have cook...Show More

Christmas Island, Part 2: Deca Deca Pod Y’all

48:33 | Dec 27th, 2018

Welcome to Christmas Island, a place where it’s still only Christmas once a year… but where red crabs swarm across the land and enormous coconut crabs feast on carrion in the forests. So deck the halls with boughs of SCUTTLING HORROR as Robert Lamb a...Show More

Christmas Island, Part 1: Crabs Rule Everything Around Me

49:50 | Dec 25th, 2018

Welcome to Christmas Island, a place where it’s still only Christmas once a year… but where red crabs swarm across the land and enormous coconut crabs feast on carrion in the forests. So deck the halls with boughs of SCUTTLING HORROR as Robert Lamb a...Show More

From the Vault: Tree of Life

1:01:04 | Dec 22nd, 2018

Sacred trees. World trees. Holy trees of wisdom, immortality and the soul. They seem to grow from every culture on Earth and their roots dig deep into the soil of prehistory. What do they mean? Why are we so drawn to their symbolic power? Join Robert...Show More

Virgin Birth

43:56 | Dec 20th, 2018

For Christians, the Christmas centers around a miraculous virgin birth. But don’t worry, secular holiday revelers, because nature has its own virgin births to wonder over. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick expl...Show More

Invention: The Guillotine

55:34 | Dec 19th, 2018

Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick have a brand new show -- and they're dropping a full episode of it into the STBYM feed. The show is INVENTION and this episode dives into the history, invention and legacy of the head-choppi...Show More

Ritual of Oak and Mistletoe

48:02 | Dec 18th, 2018

Twas the night before Christmas and deep in the woods, a sacrifice was planned by the Gauls and their Druids… Yes, in this holiday episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the curious biology of everyone’s favorite sm...Show More

From the Vault: Baby Jesus and the Homunculus

1:02:39 | Dec 15th, 2018

We’ve all marveled at the grotesque, oddly-proportioned old man babies in medieval art -- but why did artists of the period pain such creatures? In this special Christmas episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the c...Show More

Strange Milk

1:01:38 | Dec 13th, 2018

Mammals are the true milk-bearers of nature, but there are a host of non-mammals that secrete various strange and wonderful milk-analogues. From avians to invertebrates, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the anomalous world of non-mammalian milk ...Show More

Katie Goldin talks 'Creature Feature'

51:39 | Dec 11th, 2018

In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, guest Katie Goldin from the podcast 'Creature Feature' drops in to chat with Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick about weird biology and maybe a monster or two. 

From the Vault: Greek Fire

1:19:21 | Dec 8th, 2018

To engage the ships of Byzantine Empire was to risk the horrors of Greek fire, a medieval weapons system that empowered ships to spew forth flaming liquid on enemy ships and crew members. The secrets of Greek fire are lost to history, but historians ...Show More

The Electric Ark

54:16 | Dec 6th, 2018

What if the Ark of the Covenant was actually a bronze-age machine capable of storing an electrostatic charge? It almost certainly wasn't, but the idea is a great excuse to explore the understanding of electricity in the ancient world. Join Robert Lam...Show More

The Ark of the Covenant

1:10:50 | Dec 4th, 2018

What was the Ark of the Covenant? A mere ceremonial vessel for sacred items? A radio for speaking to God? The golden chest of the ancient Hebrews has fascinated historians, theologians, scientists, dreamers and Nazi-punching archeologists for ages. I...Show More

From the Vault: Satanic Panic

1:00:51 | Dec 1st, 2018

What are we to make of alleged ritual satanic abuse and the moral panic that spread in the 1980s and 90s? Robert Lamb and Christian Sager enter a world of religion, fear and demons of the mind. (originally published April 16, 2015)

‘Oumuamua II: Revenge of the First Messenger

1:13:21 | Nov 29th, 2018

Everyone’s favorite interstellar travel has been back in the news, thanks to curious speed increases and an intriguing paper on the possibility of alien solar sail technology. So join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they dock once more with ‘Oumuamu...Show More

Halloween Hangover Listener Mail, Part 2

54:39 | Nov 27th, 2018

Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean all the ghosts and ghouls are banished to the cellar. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they bust dive into the listener mail bag from October 2018. 

From the Vault: Dangerous Foods III

1:11:29 | Nov 24th, 2018

Thanksgiving is a time of feasting and the wages of feasting, and so Robert and Joe are here to dish up a third installment of Stuff to Blow Your Mind’s “Dangerous Foods” series. Do you dare bite into the likes of licorice, giant Namibian bullfrog, h...Show More

Halloween Hangover Listener Mail, Part 1

1:00:38 | Nov 22nd, 2018

Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean all the ghosts and ghouls are banished to the cellar. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they bust dive into the listener mail bag from October 2018.

Animals That Eat Poop

1:02:23 | Nov 20th, 2018

Thanksgiving is a time during which many Americans eat things they shouldn’t -- so it’s a perfect time to discuss coprophagia in the animal kingdom. But, unlike many holiday dinners, these examples of poop-eating organisms are not exercises in dysfun...Show More

From the Vault: Dangerous Foods II

1:12:39 | Nov 17th, 2018

Can your heart stand the shocking facts about toxic potatoes, mad honey and the mysteries of the dead man’s fingers? In this classic episode, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick enjoy a heaping helping of potentially dangerous menu choices. (Originally pub...Show More

Motivated Numeracy and the Politics-ridden Brain

1:08:09 | Nov 15th, 2018

If science were a candle in the dark, we’d need only spread its light to combat climate change denial and vaccine conspiracy theories. But what if the problem is more complex than that? What if a quirk of human cognition enables us to remain willingl...Show More

Stone Age Technology with Dietrich Stout

1:05:43 | Nov 13th, 2018

Paleolithic tools inform not just our understanding of prehistoric lives, but also the evolution and nature of the human mind. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick chat with Emory University’s Associate Professor ...Show More

From the Vault: The Gordian Knot of Race

41:11 | Nov 10th, 2018

How deep-seated are today's racial issues? In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Julie Douglas explore how something so abstract - like unconscious racial biases - can have real-world implications. (Originally published ...Show More

Ig Nobel Prizes 2018: Part 2

1:05:53 | Nov 8th, 2018

Each year, the Ig Nobel prizes honor the weirdest and wackiest contributions to humanity’s scientific understanding of the natural world. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast episodes, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick unpack each of this year...Show More

Ig Nobel Prizes 2018: Part 1

48:31 | Nov 6th, 2018

Each year, the Ig Nobel prizes honor the weirdest and wackiest contributions to humanity’s scientific understanding of the natural world. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast episodes, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick unpack each of this year...Show More

From the Vault: Cambrian Monster Mash

1:15:31 | Nov 3rd, 2018

Welcome to the ocean of monsters. In this classic episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick travel back 500 million years to the monster-haunted waters of the Cambrian period. Meet the monstrous trilobite, anomaloc...Show More

Listener Mail: The Squirrel Is Not Enough

55:56 | Nov 1st, 2018

To follow up our two-part look at the secret, bloody life of the common squirrel, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick present an entire listener mail episode devoted to your field reports on skuggs. 

Anthology of Horror, Volume 1

1:45:26 | Oct 30th, 2018

From “Night Gallery” to “Tales From the Crypt,” everyone loves a great horror anthology show. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a new ghoulish tradition, as they pick a few notable installments from horror anthology TV and cinema history in orde...Show More

Bret Wood on 'The Control Group'

27:08 | Oct 29th, 2018

Bonus episode! Join Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they chat with Bret Wood, writer and director of "The Control Group," a fiction podcast from How Stuff Works that explores the dark history of CIA-funded mind control ...Show More

From the Vault: The First Monster

1:20:30 | Oct 27th, 2018

Humans love monsters, but when did we first dare to dream up bestial hybrids and chimerical horrors? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider the 35-40 thousand-year-old Löwenmensch statues. Who c...Show More

The Slayer

1:32:01 | Oct 25th, 2018

Myth and folklore are full of monsters and the heroes who slay them. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick meet some of these fabulous slayers and discuss the science and potential meaning of their bloody endeavors...Show More

Quetzalcoatl: The Winged Serpent

1:03:42 | Oct 23rd, 2018

From the Aztec temples of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica to the 1980s monster film “Q: The Winged Serpent,” the feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl soars high over the human imagination. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCor...Show More

From the Vault: The Halloween Costume Made Me Do It

1:11:36 | Oct 20th, 2018

What happens when we slip into a costume? Be it a monster pelt, a sexy witch or a simple children's ghost mask, a psychological transformation takes place. Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager for a fittingly seasonal look at enclothed cognition and ...Show More

Vampire Clinic, Part 2

54:06 | Oct 18th, 2018

Vampire legends are a global phenomenon, and the trope of the blood-sucking humanoid shows no signs of vanishing from human traditions. But can we trace its origins back to any specific diseases and medical symptoms? In this blood-stained episode of ...Show More

Vampire Clinic, Part 1

1:07:47 | Oct 16th, 2018

Vampire legends are a global phenomenon, and the trope of the blood-sucking humanoid shows no signs of vanishing from human traditions. But can we trace its origins back to any specific diseases and medical symptoms? In this blood-stained episode of ...Show More

From the Vault: Ghoul

53:42 | Oct 13th, 2018

If your fictional diet contains significant quantities of horror or dark fantasy, then you've likely encountered the ghoul: a scavenging, grave-robbing race of unnatural beings with an insatiable hunger for the dead. As Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick ...Show More

The Curse

1:25:36 | Oct 11th, 2018

What does it mean when a beggar, wizard or witch spits a curse at another human being? Why does this particular work of magic weigh so heavily in human history? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick tak...Show More

The Great Basilisk

1:14:45 | Oct 9th, 2018

Behold the Great Basilisk, the crowned monster whose mere glance can kill a mortal and reduce wilderness to desert ash. Medieval bestiaries attest to its might, but today some futurists dread its name as an all-powerful malicious artificial intellige...Show More

From the Vault: Carnivorous Plants

1:12:57 | Oct 6th, 2018

Are humans truly safe from the hunger of meat-eating plants? Can we trust the trees that loom over us? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss myths and fictions of killer trees, the science of carnivorous plants and the cu...Show More

The Killer's Mask

1:07:49 | Oct 4th, 2018

The masked psychopathic killer is a staple of horror fiction, and yet almost no real-life serial killers employed masks in the commission of their crimes. Why is this? What does the discrepancy between fact and fiction reveal both about the reality o...Show More

Jenny Greenteeth: Horror at the Water’s Edge

1:18:31 | Oct 2nd, 2018

According to certain English folktales, a vile creature lurks in the slime-caked dark of local ponds. When little ones wander too close to shore, she lashes out to drown them in her slippery embrace. She has many names: Nelly Longarms, Peg Powler, th...Show More

From the Vault: John C. Lilly

1:19:19 | Sep 29th, 2018

The figure of John C. Lilly as psychedelic dolphin communicator burns in the collective memory as a counterculture avatar, yet his legacy embodies far more than the mythologized and/or vilified figure that most of us know. Join Robert Lamb and Christ...Show More

Listener Mail: Robots of Theseus

1:00:18 | Sep 27th, 2018

It's listener mail time again and the plan to gradually replace every part of our mailbot Karnie is complete. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they read and respond to various listener mail from the past month. 

Salamander Talk with Mark Mandica

1:01:10 | Sep 25th, 2018

Wade into the amazing and weird world of salamanders and other notable amphibians as Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick chat with Mark Mandica, executive director of The Amphibian Foundation. Gain a new level of appreciation for these fabulous organisms a...Show More

From the Vault: Mixologia

1:30:40 | Sep 22nd, 2018

While the cocktail is an inherently American invention, the history of combining alcohols with other substances to create potent, drinkable concoctions dates back to ancient times. While you might expect dangerous ingredients to have a place in a wiz...Show More

Age of the Earth, Part 2

1:08:20 | Sep 20th, 2018

Scientific consensus currently holds that the Earth is a 4.5 billion-year-old planet in a 13.8 billion-year-old universe. But how do we know? Why do religious models of a much younger (or older) Earth fail to pass the baloney test? In this two-part S...Show More

Trailer: Daniel & Jorge Explain the Universe

02:22 | Sep 19th, 2018

There's a new show coming that we think you'll dig! Daniel’s a particle physicist who conducts research using the Large Hadron Collider. Jorge’s the cartoonist behind PhD comics, one of the web’s geekiest (and funniest) comics! And with their powers ...Show More

Age of the Earth, Part 1

1:02:15 | Sep 18th, 2018

Scientific consensus currently holds that the Earth is a 4.5 billion-year-old planet in a 13.8 billion-year-old universe. But how do we know? Why do religious models of a much younger (or older) Earth fail to pass the baloney test? In this two-part S...Show More

From the Vault: Syphilis

1:12:47 | Sep 15th, 2018

Doctors have called it the great imitator because this destructive venereal disease can manifest almost any symptom. Initially spreading through sexual contact, Syphilis can remain dormant in the body for decades before flaring up again in brutally d...Show More

The Obvious: Invisible Gorillas of the Mind

1:09:22 | Sep 13th, 2018

What is truly obvious in life? What does the word even mean? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a look at how we engage with the natural world -- from invisible gorilla experiments to the realm of phenomenology. 

On Teasing

56:31 | Sep 11th, 2018

We all know teasing when we see it or experience it, but what role does it play in human interactions? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind as they explore hurtful, playful and educative teasing.

From the Vault: Black Stone of Mecca

1:18:14 | Sep 8th, 2018

The Kaaba marks the geographic center of the Islamic world, and here one finds Al-Hadjar Al-Aswad, the Holy Black Stone of Mecca. Islamic traditions hold that the once white white stone blackened with humanity’s sins, but various scientific theories ...Show More

Kirk Allen and Maladaptive Daydreaming

1:07:09 | Sep 6th, 2018

We all daydream and many of us funnel our imagination into creative acts. But what happens when these exercises overpower us? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the strange case of nuclear phys...Show More

Kirk Allen and the Cooperative Illusion

57:07 | Sep 4th, 2018

We all daydream and many of us funnel our imagination into creative acts. But what happens when these exercises overpower us? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the strange case of nuclear phys...Show More

From the Vault: Jump Into The Void

47:45 | Sep 1st, 2018

Ever wrestle with the illogical quasi-compulsion to throw yourself off a cliff or building? Don’t worry! You’re probably not suicidal, but merely touched by the 'call of the void' or 'high place phenomenon.' In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your ...Show More

Squirrels, Part 2: A Skugg Mystery

46:29 | Aug 30th, 2018

You might think you know squirrels, but what do you REALLY know about these woodland tree rodents? In this special two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss their appetite for meat, their alleged acts of savag...Show More

Squirrels, Part 1: The Bloody Beast

58:58 | Aug 28th, 2018

You might think you know squirrels, but what do you REALLY know about these woodland tree rodents? In this special two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss their appetite for meat, their alleged acts of savag...Show More

From the Vault: A Taste of MSG

58:16 | Aug 25th, 2018

In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the history and science of MSG and explore just why we demonized it for so long. (Originally published Aug. 30, 2016) 

World Without Predators

1:04:28 | Aug 23rd, 2018

What would the world be like without predators? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the essential role of predators in Earth’s ecosystems and the terrible, cascading effects of their loss. A world without...Show More

The Ship of Theseus

1:12:34 | Aug 21st, 2018

An ancient ship rots in the harbor and so we restore it piece by piece until nothing of the original ship remains. Is it still the same ship? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they discuss one of history’s more mind-boggling thought experiments. 

From the Vault: The Cobra Effect

59:13 | Aug 18th, 2018

In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the perverse world of unintended consequences and the cobra effect. (Originally published Sept. 13, 2016)

Listener Mail: Tridents, Aliens, Microgravity

1:06:24 | Aug 16th, 2018

It's time for another dose of listener mail. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they read YOUR feedback on recent episodes related to coffee in space, tridents, Jungfrau Park and more. 

2001: A Space Odyssey

1:27:27 | Aug 14th, 2018

No discussion of great sci-fi cinema is complete without mention of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The 1968 classic is 50 years old this year, so Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick figured it the perfect time to board the Discovery One and discuss its many scie...Show More

From the Vault: Post-Empirical Science

1:12:28 | Aug 11th, 2018

Most scientists declare empirical falsifiability -- the notion that a theory may be proven right or wrong via scientific investigation -- to be the core principle of science. Others, such as string theorists, think science should move beyond those bo...Show More

Fear and the Autonomous Cyber Weapon

55:49 | Aug 9th, 2018

We often focus our fear in the wrong direction -- developing flying anxieties when we should be more concerned about that ride to the airport. We also tend to focus on autonomous weapons when we should be thinking more about autonomous CYBER weapons....Show More

Divine Weapon: The Trident

1:09:45 | Aug 7th, 2018

What are we to make of the trident? The three-toothed spear has seen service as the divine weapon of mythic deities, the fishing implement of common mortals and a symbolic weapon in gladiatorial combat. What does it mean, and was it ever a practical ...Show More

From the Vault: To The Escape Pod!

1:37:22 | Aug 4th, 2018

Ever wanted to climb into the safe, metal womb of an escape pod and blast yourself free of this doomed vessel called life? Sure you have, but in the meantime consider some of the real-life air, space and terrestrial escape capsules that humans have e...Show More

The Gods Must Be Counterintuitive

1:07:18 | Aug 2nd, 2018

What’s the key to a lasting myth, a captivating religion or a sensational film pitch? Some cognitive scientists and anthropologists argue that the key is a minimally counterintuitive narrative: the right balance of the mundane with just a dash of the...Show More

Astronauts in Spaceships Getting Coffee

52:03 | Jul 31st, 2018

How can humanity ever hope to thrive without Earth if it can’t even function without its morning cup of coffee? Fortunately, engineers have devised increasingly practical means of brewing and sipping coffee in space -- neither of which are easy feats...Show More

From the Vault: When We Think About Cyborgs

1:15:13 | Jul 28th, 2018

What began as a 1960s term for a retrofitted human space explorer has become a focal point for considerations of human and machine interaction, technological culture, biomechanics and feminist identity. Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager as they se...Show More

Summer Reading 2018, Part 2

53:00 | Jul 26th, 2018

It's a summer tradition! Once more, Stuff to Blow Your Mind devotes a summer episode to the discussion of fiction, non-fiction and children's books that the hosts read over the course of the last year. So listen in and maybe one of these books will a...Show More

Summer Reading 2018, Part 1

58:30 | Jul 24th, 2018

It's a summer tradition! Once more, Stuff to Blow Your Mind devotes a summer episode to the discussion of fiction, non-fiction and children's books that the hosts read over the course of the last year. So listen in and maybe one of these books will a...Show More

From the Vault: Transhumanist Rapture War, Part 2

49:47 | Jul 21st, 2018

What do the transhumanist visions and singularitarians have in common with Christian rapture doctrine, apocalyptic prophesies and far-future saviors? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they explore the space for common ground -- and conflict -- be...Show More

The Ashen Light

1:07:29 | Jul 19th, 2018

Does the dark side of Venus occasionally glow with a dim, haunting phosphorescence? It’s one of astronomy’s oldest and most enduring mysteries. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for an examination of the ashen light.

Galactic Civilization’s End

1:08:43 | Jul 17th, 2018

If a technological civilization manages to survive itself, how will it fare against the larger challenges of a changing and hostile universe? If humanity ascends the Kardashev scale, how will our unrecognizable and godlike descendants cope with the e...Show More

From the Vault: Transhumanist Rapture War, Part 1

52:46 | Jul 14th, 2018

What do the transhumanist visions and singularitarians have in common with Christian rapture doctrine, apocalyptic prophesies and far-future saviors? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they explore the space for common ground -- and conflict -- be...Show More

Illusory Truth Effect, Part 2: Fight the Lies

50:09 | Jul 12th, 2018

If a lie is repeated often enough, are we more likely to believe it? Sadly, the answer is yes. Psychologists call it the illusory truth effect and it influences both our daily lives and the larger movements of politics and culture. Join Robert Lamb a...Show More

Illusory Truth Effect, Part 1: The Big Lie

1:15:50 | Jul 10th, 2018

If a lie is repeated often enough, are we more likely to believe it? Sadly, the answer is yes. Psychologists call it the illusory truth effect and it influences both our daily lives and the larger movements of politics and culture. Join Robert Lamb a...Show More

From the Vault: Sexbots

59:58 | Jul 7th, 2018

Sex between humans and machines is nothing new in the world of science fiction. Their forms range from angelic mechanoids to victimized humanoids, but the robotic lover is almost always an expression of purely human anxieties. Yet as real-world techn...Show More

The Dark Side of Neuroplasticity

51:30 | Jul 5th, 2018

When you hear the word “neuroplasticity,” you probably think of it in terms of a young brain’s ability to learn or an older brain’s struggles to rebound from injury. The possibility of a neuroplasticity-boosting drug remains one of medicine's true ho...Show More

Listener Mail: Dreams, Subs and Goddesses

1:19:19 | Jul 3rd, 2018

Once more, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick turn to Karnie the Mailbot for listener reactions and commentaries on recent episodes. Strap in for discussion of dreams, submarines, ancient goddesses and more. 

From the Vault: The Inca Kingdom of Fibers

1:04:24 | Jun 30th, 2018

Welcome to the Kingdom of the Inca, where hundreds of rope bridges connect an imperial highway system and fiber-armored soldiers wield woven slings against the enemies of the Emperor. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe Mc...Show More

Chariots of the Gods

1:21:11 | Jun 28th, 2018

Chances are, you’re already quite familiar with the notion the ancient astronauts visited the earth and gave humans the tech support they needed to climb the ladder of civilization. There's no true proof to back it up, yet ancient astronaut speculati...Show More

Black Holes, Part 3: The Future

54:04 | Jun 26th, 2018

Nothing can escape the pull of a black hole, not even Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a three-part exploration of these incredible, invisible regions of the cosmos where ponderous mass warps the very fabric of space an...Show More

From the Vault: Humanzee

1:06:47 | Jun 23rd, 2018

Chimpanzees are humanity's closest living relative, but there's both wonder and existential horror in that closeness. A species barrier separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, but what if a chimp/human hybrid were to bridge that barrier? Jo...Show More

Black Holes, Part 2: Detection

45:52 | Jun 21st, 2018

Nothing can escape the pull of a black hole, not even Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a three-part exploration of these incredible, invisible regions of the cosmos where ponderous mass warps the very fabric of space an...Show More

Black Holes, Part 1: Phantom

55:42 | Jun 19th, 2018

Nothing can escape the pull of a black hole, not even Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a three-part exploration of these incredible, invisible regions of the cosmos where ponderous mass warps the very fabric of space an...Show More

From the Vault: The Substance of Silence

1:08:32 | Jun 16th, 2018

We all have a pretty good notion of noise, but what exactly is silence? Is it a substance or an absence? Between the mindflaying quiet of soundless rooms to wildlife ambience and white noise machines, what is the ideal balance of silence? In this epi...Show More

Interview: Carl Zimmer on Heredity's Power

1:08:56 | Jun 14th, 2018

Why does heredity hold such power over us? How did the ancients contemplate it and how is genetic technology changing the shape of future heredity? Robert and Joe chat with acclaimed science writer Carl Zimmer about the topics explored in his new boo...Show More

World Science Festival 2018 Field Report

1:11:55 | Jun 12th, 2018

Robert Lamb attended the 2018 World Science festival in New York City and had the chance to chat with its founder, physicist Brian Greene -- as well as a couple of noted panelists: physicist Max Tegmark and anthropologist Barbara J. King. This episod...Show More

From the Vault: P vs. NP

57:37 | Jun 9th, 2018

What does it mean to solve a problem in our universe? That's a trickier question than you might think, with some fairly high-stakes ramifications in the worlds of computing and even philosophy. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb ...Show More

Sleep and Creativity

1:07:34 | Jun 7th, 2018

What roles does sleep play in human creativity? Can we learn in our dreams? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a look at famous accounts of dream inspiration and scientific research into the link between creativity and sleep. And yes, they want y...Show More

Troubled Sleep in the Arks of Doom

58:15 | Jun 5th, 2018

It’s hard enough to sleep just knowing that dozens of nuclear ballistic missile submarines haunt the oceans, each containing the means to rain nuclear annihilation on the world. But what’s it like to sleep aboard these arks of doom? It actually ties ...Show More

From the Vault: Early Days Electric, Part 2

1:10:18 | Jun 2nd, 2018

Electricity lost its magic over the course the 18th and 19th centuries. The "invisible fire" steadily transitioned from a mysterious force of wonder to a mundane reality of daily modern life. In this two-part edition of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Rober...Show More

Finite and Infinite Games

55:10 | May 31st, 2018

How do you play the game of life? Do you play it as a finite game or an infinite one? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the 1986 philosophy book “Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and ...Show More

Quantum Immortality

1:08:26 | May 29th, 2018

What is quantum immortality? How do we get from quantum physics to thought experiment suicide machines and what does it all say about the nature of our reality? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick dive into the m...Show More

From the Vault: Early Days Electric, Part 1

57:03 | May 26th, 2018

Electricity lost its magic over the course the 18th and 19th centuries. The "invisible fire" steadily transitioned from a mysterious force of wonder to a mundane reality of daily modern life. In this two-part edition of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Rober...Show More

The Alphabet and the Goddess, Part 2

41:18 | May 24th, 2018

What happened to the worship of goddesses? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore Leonard Shlain’s hypothesis from his 1998 book “The Alphabet Versus the Goddess,” in which the author argues that the brain-a...Show More

The Alphabet and the Goddess, Part 1

51:33 | May 22nd, 2018

What happened to the worship of goddesses? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore Leonard Shlain’s hypothesis from his 1998 book “The Alphabet Versus the Goddess,” in which the author argues that the brain-a...Show More

From the Vault: Techno-Religion, Part 2

56:31 | May 19th, 2018

We often think of technology and religion as distinct and separate worlds, but what happens when they converge? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick in this two-part episode as they examine religious world views shaped by technology, such as John Murra...Show More

Life on Venus

58:15 | May 17th, 2018

The planet Venus might seem a hellish destination and an unlikely place to find extraterrestrial life. And yet, many experts agree that life may have existed in the planet's ancient oceans -- and may thrive yet within the upper atmosphere. Join Rober...Show More

Crazy Ants and Electricity

50:19 | May 15th, 2018

Do crazy ants crave electronics? Do they feast on that sweet, sweet juice? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick dispel some myths and explore the science of this particular insect invader.

From the Vault: Techno-Religion, Part 1

47:22 | May 12th, 2018

We often think of technology and religion as distinct and separate worlds, but what happens when they converge? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick in this two-part episode as they examine religious world views shaped by technology, such as John Murra...Show More

Listener Mail: Of AI Minds and Human Farts

1:02:02 | May 10th, 2018

Once more, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consult recent offerings of listener mail for your thoughts on artificial intelligence, demonic flatulence and more. 

Boltzmann Brains Revisited

1:05:35 | May 8th, 2018

Space brains. Religious models of infinity. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they revisit the topic of Boltzmann brains and discuss the general history of infinity. 

From the Vault: Animal Sex Cannibals

1:00:36 | May 5th, 2018

Sexual cannibalism is a rarity in the natural world, and scientists are still attempting to understand the act as practiced by mostly arachnids and insects. Why consume your mate after or during sexual intercourse? Why venture into such a scenario in...Show More

Unicorns of the Natural World

57:48 | May 3rd, 2018

While the unicorn itself is a creature of fantasy and legend, one-horned and one-tusked animals do reside in the natural world. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they examine several extant and extinct species noted for their solitary protrusions...Show More

Unicorns of the Mythic World

1:05:44 | May 1st, 2018

Jorge Luis Borges tells us that the oldest unicorn legends are nearly identical to the most recent ficitonal treatments -- but why is that? Why is the notion of a sacred, one-horned horse so resilient in human culture? In this episode of Stuff to Blo...Show More

From the Vault: Jumping Fish

1:20:37 | Apr 28th, 2018

Fish belong in the water, right? What business do they have leaping out of their world and into ours? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the surprisingly fascinating, dangerous and mysterious world of le...Show More

Evolution and the City: The Birds

1:24:44 | Apr 26th, 2018

How have birds adapted to the artificial environments of human cities? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick sit down with educator, writer and Audubon Society birder Jason Ward about everything from urban hawks to...Show More

Evolution and the City: The Beasts

1:08:13 | Apr 24th, 2018

Human cities are the ultimate artificial environments -- and we're not the only organisms to call them home. In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider some of the adaptive animals that have taken t...Show More

From the Vault: Library of Babel

1:12:22 | Apr 21st, 2018

In Jorge Luis Borges' masterful short story "The Library of Babel," librarians and cultists wander a vast honeycomb library of hexagonal rooms -- rooms that contain not only all books but all possible books, from unwritten masterpieces to tomes of ty...Show More

Listener Mail: Kingdom of the Face Blind

56:57 | Apr 19th, 2018

What's it like to live with prosopagnosia or face blindness? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they devote an entire Stuff to Blow Your Mind episode to listener thoughts, observations and experiences. 

The Fartonomicon

1:01:28 | Apr 17th, 2018

What is a fart? From what foul bodily depths does it arise? Join Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as the crack open the Fartomicon. Explore the fascinating chemistry of flatus, recoil in horror at the thought of medieval fa...Show More

From the Vault: Hollywood Acid

1:18:15 | Apr 14th, 2018

From the corrosive blood of the "Alien" xenomorph to the various Bond and Batman villains' use of the iconic acid vat, popular media presents us with a dramatic and largely unrealistic vision of acidic power. What are our strongest acids and superaci...Show More

Machine Consciousness and P-Zombies

1:11:52 | Apr 12th, 2018

If a machine told you it was conscious, how could you tell if it was lying? Indeed, how can you tell that any random human in your life is lying when they speak of their own consciousness. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a stirring discussion ...Show More

The Singing Colossus of Memnon

1:04:30 | Apr 10th, 2018

The twin Egyptian statues erected by Amenophis III were already ancient relics when Roman travelers visited them in the first century CE. One stood tall and unconquered by some 1400 years of sun and sand, the other lay toppled by a recent earthquake....Show More

From the Vault: Myth-Fleshed Fossil

1:10:07 | Apr 7th, 2018

Are the fossilized monsters of paleontology and the fantastic monsters of myth one and the same? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they discuss the realm of of geomythology, entailing the possible ancient real-world origins of dragons, griffins, ...Show More

Face Blindness

54:52 | Apr 5th, 2018

It’s easy to take the human brain’s facial recognition powers for granted, unless there’s a malfunction. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the science of prosopagnosia or face blindness. 

The Cambodian Stegosaurus

1:03:34 | Apr 3rd, 2018

Do Cambodian temple ruins speak to a time when humans and dinosaurs coexisted? Absolutely not, but it’s a great excuse for Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick to talk about the armored stegosaurus, Ta Prohm temple, young Earth creationism and avian evoluti...Show More

From the Vault: Saturn's Brood

1:12:38 | Mar 31st, 2018

The planet Saturn offers far more than rings to those who venture within its gravitational influence. This wind-swept gas giant also holds sway over no fewer than 53 moons, including such wonders as the atmosphere-shrouded Titan, two-faced Iapetus an...Show More

The Bathysphere: William Beebe Descends

43:06 | Mar 29th, 2018

In 1930, American naturalist William Beebe began his descent in a spherical, unpowered submarine known as a Bathysphere -- and in doing so visited a world previously unseen by human beings. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert...Show More

The Bathysphere: Life in the Deep

45:21 | Mar 27th, 2018

In 1930, American naturalist William Beebe began his descent in a spherical, unpowered submarine known as a Bathysphere -- and in doing so visited a world previously unseen by human beings. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert...Show More

From the Vault: Jupiter’s Children

1:10:39 | Mar 24th, 2018

Of all the moons of Jupiter, Callisto, Ganymede, Europa and Io tantalize us the most. These alien worlds of ice, fire, desolation and hidden oceans tantalize us with their possibility for extraterrestrial life and human exploration of the outer solar...Show More

Leviathan: The Wolf of Whale Street

1:06:02 | Mar 22nd, 2018

Canst thou draw out Livyatan melvillei with a hook? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the awesome undersea world of carnivorous whales -- as well as the sperm whale ancestor that may have preyed on its ...Show More

Life Beyond The Shield

57:10 | Mar 20th, 2018

Life on Earth depends on the planet’s natural shielding, otherwise solar and cosmic radiation would ravage our small blue world. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, sponsored by the National Geographic Channel’s series 'One Strange Rock,' Rob...Show More

From the Vault: Bird Intelligence

1:15:47 | Mar 17th, 2018

Just what are the upper limits of avian cognitive ability? Various studies reveal how certain bird species engage in mental time travel, tool use, self recognition, theory of mind and even meta-cognition. But how do their non-mammalian brains actuall...Show More

The Nuts and Bolts of Boltzmann Brains

1:08:10 | Mar 15th, 2018

Do your ever have the feeling that your entire reality is just a momentary hallucination inside a randomly formed space brain? If so, then this is the podcast episode for you! In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick ...Show More

I Ching: The Book of Changes

1:02:21 | Mar 13th, 2018

The Book of Changes stands as one of the most important divination texts in human history -- and a foundational text of Chinese culture in general. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the I Ching. How doe...Show More

From the Vault: Tip of the Tongue

57:21 | Mar 10th, 2018

Your know the feeling. You're trying to recall the name of a time-keeping musical device or the the actor who played Fredo in 'The Godfather' and all that comes to mind is a memory-hole in the shape of a metronome or John Cazale. It's on the tip of y...Show More

Listener Mail: Crab Faces, Anus Myths and More

1:11:47 | Mar 8th, 2018

Once again, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick read listener mail related to recent episodes. You'll hear myths about the anus, reflections on samurai crab faces, Egyptian religion, salt water consumption, virtual reality and more.

War, Pain and the Super Soldier

1:12:38 | Mar 6th, 2018

The history of war is filled with examples of soldiers who, in the heat of battle, fail to register the full extent of their injuries. In fact, some of our oldest accounts of battle seem devoid of pain’s emotional context. For humans possess two syst...Show More

From the Vault: Hyper-Real Religion

1:16:37 | Mar 3rd, 2018

When does a protest religion become an actual faith? What happens when purely fictional modes of belief leak off the page or screen? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they discuss modern religious movements, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Mon...Show More

The Great Eyeball War, Part 2

1:07:30 | Mar 1st, 2018

Are apps, smart phones and social media sucking us dry? As Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss in this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, the modern media experience certainly depletes our attention. Learn all about the ramifications of ...Show More

The Great Eyeball War, Part 1

53:50 | Feb 27th, 2018

Are apps, smart phones and social media sucking us dry? As Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss in this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, the modern media experience certainly depletes our attention. Learn all about the ramifications of ...Show More

From the Vault: The Science of Whining

39:37 | Feb 24th, 2018

Unless you've lived your life in a childless fortress of seclusion, you've likely encountered the maddening, high-pitched whine of a complaining child. But what is whining? Is it universal? Why is it so annoying and just what's being communicated bet...Show More

The Proteus Effect

1:02:17 | Feb 22nd, 2018

What effect does a virtual reality avatar have on the user? Can it alter your identity? Can it change how you behave in the real world? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the Proteus Effect, named for th...Show More

Carl Sagan and the Samurai Crabs

1:04:47 | Feb 20th, 2018

Legend has it that a variety of crabs contain the ghosts of a drowned samurai army -- and each bears a grimacing warrior face on their backs to prove it. But what can we really gather from this biological peculiarity? In the book and TV series “Cosmo...Show More

From the Vault: Dune Biology

1:12:22 | Feb 17th, 2018

Frank Herbert's 1965 novel 'Dune' is a game-changing saga of space-age feudalistic intrigue, rampaging sandworms and prescient mind drugs on a desert world. Even today, the work resonates with scientific wonder and philosophical intrigue, so join Rob...Show More

The Chinese Typewriter (with Tom Mullaney)

1:07:34 | Feb 15th, 2018

Where the technolingustic systems of the west meet the non-alphabetic written characters of the east, the Chinese typewriter emerges. It’s a story of technological innovation, linguistic imperialism and China’s 19th and 20th century struggle over nat...Show More

Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

1:11:33 | Feb 13th, 2018

You’ve seen the photos of the famed terracotta warriors, but no one in over 2200 years has glimpsed inside the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. It’s a chamber where rivers of mercury trace the empire’s form beneath a ceiling starsca...Show More

From the Vault: Dune Technology

1:09:24 | Feb 10th, 2018

Frank Herbert's 1965 novel 'Dune' is a game-changing saga of space-age feudalistic intrigue, rampaging sandworms and prescient mind drugs on a desert world. Even today, the work resonates with scientific wonder and philosophical intrigue, so join Rob...Show More

Animal Lies: Six Tales of Mimicry and Deception

1:05:44 | Feb 8th, 2018

What are the shadiest lies in the animal kingdom? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, join Robert and Joe as they explore six different organisms and the fabulous ways they deceive each other and rival species. Meet cuckoos, cuttlefish, mount...Show More

Anchor in the Mind

57:17 | Feb 6th, 2018

Anchoring bias is one of the most powerful and easily exploited vulnerabilities in the human mind. Throughout your life, people, companies and organizations will use it to influence your thoughts and control your behavior. In this episode of Stuff to...Show More

From the Vault: Tears of Re

1:19:13 | Feb 3rd, 2018

In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, enter a kingdom within a kingdom: the remarkable honey-and-wax monarchy within a beehive and the organizational complexity of ancient Egypt. Join Robert and Joe as they discuss the importance of apiculture ...Show More

Evolution of the Anus

1:04:06 | Feb 1st, 2018

Chances are, you take the anus for granted -- at least so long as it’s behaving itself. Yet this fascinating anatomical feature has a deep evolutionary history and is itself a marvel of engineering. Join Robert and Joe for a look at this most marvelo...Show More

Miasma Theory and the Evil Air

1:04:52 | Jan 30th, 2018

Prior to the germ theory of disease, miasma theory ruled the day -- the notion that bad air, full of destructive particles, wafted out from the foul places of the earth to corrupt everything it touched. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Rob...Show More

From the Vault: Techno-Telepathy

1:03:24 | Jan 27th, 2018

You've always wanted to meet a sensitive alien telepath who could understand you like no one else, but SETI is really dropping the ball on your galactic personal ad. Could new technologies that push the frontiers of brain science allow telepathic com...Show More

Aquatic Humanoids, Part 2

1:03:56 | Jan 25th, 2018

From the sirens of 'The Odyssey' to 'The Creature From the Black Lagoon' and beyond, humans have always imagined their underwater doubles. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert and Joe discuss the revealing myth and fiction of ...Show More

Aquatic Humanoids, Part 1

1:01:15 | Jan 23rd, 2018

From the sirens of 'The Odyssey' to 'The Creature From the Black Lagoon' and beyond, humans have always imagined their underwater doubles. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert and Joe discuss the revealing myth and fiction of ...Show More

From the Vault: Better Living Through Tetris

51:03 | Jan 20th, 2018

In their previous episode, Robert and Joe explored the geometric hallucinations of Tetris syndrome. Now they're back for a serious look at the ways in which a good dose of cascading, interlocking tetrominoes might just cure what ails ya -- from lazy ...Show More

Listener Mail: Talos, Homunculi, Winter and More

1:02:56 | Jan 18th, 2018

Join Robert and Joe for another round of Stuff to Blow Your Mind listener mail, in which they read and attend to your thoughts and insight on recent episodes. This round features discussions on the speed of Talos, homunculi generations, Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwa...Show More

Don't Drink the Salt Water

52:00 | Jan 16th, 2018

Whether you draw your wisdom from 18th century poems or experience in the surf, you probably know that drinking seawater is a terrible idea. But exactly why shouldn’t you drink saltwater? What happens if you do? Can it really drive you mad with hallu...Show More

From the Vault: Tetris Syndrome

1:13:13 | Jan 13th, 2018

To play a game of “Tetris” is to invite a geometric invasion into your mind. After hours of intense block manipulation, you finally set aside your gaming device. You take a deep breath, close your eyes -- and there the frenzied, multicolored tetromin...Show More

Meditation Lab: Empathy and Energy

1:05:32 | Jan 11th, 2018

We all know what meditation looks like, and many of us know what it feels like. But what does it provide us in return for these brief periods of mental and physical stillness? Join Robert and Joe as they talk to Emory University meditation researcher...Show More

Where’s my eternal youth? Part 2

51:18 | Jan 9th, 2018

Throughout history, humans have faced the inexorable process of aging and death. We’ve dreamt up countless myths to explain why we age and what comes of seeking immortality, but what does science tell us about the process? Why do we age? What purpose...Show More

From the Vault: Aphantasia

59:34 | Jan 6th, 2018

Mental images play an important role in our daily experience of reality, from thoughts of the past to daydreams, fantasies and entire worlds of the imagination. Just what’s happening when we see through the mind’s eye and what on Earth is it like for...Show More

Where’s my eternal youth? Part 1

47:22 | Jan 4th, 2018

Throughout history, humans have faced the inexorable process of aging and death. We’ve dreamt up countless myths to explain why we age and what comes of seeking immortality, but what does science tell us about the process? Why do we age? What purpose...Show More

Talos: The Bronze Automaton

1:01:29 | Jan 2nd, 2018

Among the many humanoid gods and bestial monsters of Greek mythology, one finds a peculiar outlier: Talos the bronze automaton. Said to stalk the shores of Crete, Talos pelted suspicious ships with rocks and immolated enemy soldiers with its smolderi...Show More

From the Vault: The Forer Effect

51:53 | Dec 30th, 2017

From palm-reading fortune tellers to professionally-administered Myers Briggs test, everyone’s a sucker for a an ego-stroking personality assessment. In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the subtle forces of the ...Show More

The Winter People, Part 2

49:09 | Dec 28th, 2017

Do you feel like a different person during the winter? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert and Joe examine the extent to which winter affects human health and culture. From the winter transformations of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw pe...Show More

The Winter People, Part 1

48:25 | Dec 26th, 2017

Do you feel like a different person during the winter? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert and Joe examine the extent to which winter affects human health and culture. From the winter transformations of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw pe...Show More

From the Vault: The Stone of Madness

56:03 | Dec 23rd, 2017

Madness has always intrigued artists, and medieval paintings sometimes presented this malady's treatment via the surgical removal of cranial stone. What was the stone of madness? Was it mere fantasy, metaphor or an actual medical condition? In this c...Show More

Baby Jesus and the Homunculus

1:01:50 | Dec 21st, 2017

We’ve all marveled at the grotesque, oddly-proportioned old man babies in medieval art -- but why did artists of the period pain such creatures? In this special Christmas episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the convergence of t...Show More

First Messenger From an Alien Star

52:25 | Dec 19th, 2017

In recent weeks, the first recorded object from another star system appeared in our solar neighborhood. Dubbed 'Oumuamua,' the interloper stirs both our scientific curiosity and imagination. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe ...Show More

Machine God: Artificial Superintelligence

1:09:20 | Dec 14th, 2017

Voltaire famously postulated that if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. As humanity approaches the technological singularity, this statement takes on new meaning. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe contemp...Show More

Ophiocordyceps: Fungal Puppet Masters

57:10 | Dec 12th, 2017

The fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is the Mona Lisa of mind control parasites. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss the latest findings on its insidious ant-hijacking antics -- as well as a few other favorite biologi...Show More

This Present Moment: Philosophy & Neuroscience

57:25 | Dec 7th, 2017

What is now? What is the present moment? These questions continue to stagger us, for nothing is so simultaneously familiar and alien than the passage of time. Nothing seems more “real” to us that the present, yet it vanishes into nothing at every att...Show More

This Present Moment: Experience and Physics

1:00:28 | Dec 5th, 2017

What is now? What is the present moment? These questions continue to stagger us, for nothing is so simultaneously familiar and alien than the passage of time. Nothing seems more “real” to us that the present, yet it vanishes into nothing at every att...Show More

Tree of Life

1:00:41 | Nov 30th, 2017

Sacred trees. World trees. Holy trees of wisdom, immortality and the soul. They seem to grow from every culture on Earth and their roots dig deep into the soil of prehistory. What do they mean? Why are we so drawn to their symbolic power? Join Robert...Show More

Listener Mail: Leary, Bicameralism and Monsters

1:20:38 | Nov 28th, 2017

Once more, Stuff to Blow Your Mind powers up the mailbot and considers YOUR comments, stories, insights and questions on recent episodes. In this installment, Robert, Joe and Christian discuss Timothy Leary, bicameralism, twins and all sorts of monst...Show More

Dangerous Foods III: A Festival of Pain

1:10:59 | Nov 23rd, 2017

Thanksgiving is a time of feasting and the wages of feasting, and so Robert and Joe are here to dish up a third installment of Stuff to Blow Your Mind’s 'Dangerous Foods' series. Do you dare bite into the likes of licorice, giant Namibian bullfrog, h...Show More

When will the Earth become uninhabitable?

1:06:25 | Nov 21st, 2017

Earth is our home, but how much longer can it remain so? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Christian explore the many threats to terrestrial habitability, from the cosmically distant to the frighteningly close at hand...Show More

An Attempt to Understand Zoophilia

1:08:06 | Nov 16th, 2017

Human culture emerges from a legacy of lives lived in close proximity to wild and domesticated animals. We see it in our myths and, in its most taboo and perplexing form, we see it in zoophilia. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and...Show More

Ig Nobels 2017: Vampires, Vaginal Music & Cheese

44:18 | Nov 14th, 2017

Each year, the Ig Nobel prizes celebrate the most absurd and humorous efforts in legitimate scientific research – and 2017’s winners do not disappoint. Join Robert, Joe and Christian as they discuss all 10 studies in a special three-part Stuff to Blo...Show More

Ig Nobels 2017: Crocodile Slots, Twins & Old Ears

47:58 | Nov 9th, 2017

Each year, the Ig Nobel prizes celebrate the most absurd and humorous efforts in legitimate scientific research – and 2017’s winners do not disappoint. Join Robert, Joe and Christian as they discuss all 10 studies in a special three-part Stuff to Blo...Show More

Ig Nobels 2017: Liquid Cats, Didgeridoos & More

59:43 | Nov 7th, 2017

Each year, the Ig Nobel prizes celebrate the most absurd and humorous efforts in legitimate scientific research – and 2017’s winners do not disappoint. Join Robert, Joe and Christian as they discuss all 10 studies in a special three-part Stuff to Blo...Show More

From the Vault: Mind Flayers

1:17:05 | Nov 3rd, 2017

If you've watched Stranger Things 2, then you know another beloved Dungeons and Dragons monster pops up as an analogy for an extra-dimensional menace: the mind flayer. Join Robert and Christian for the 2016 episode 'The Body Illithid: Science of the ...Show More

Creepypasta 4: More SCP, Polybius and Grifter

1:27:58 | Nov 2nd, 2017

Dive into a world of indestructible reptiles, killer video games, bizarre god towers and haunted video tapes as Robert and Christian take on a fourth helping of creepypasta. Join them on Stuff to Blow Your Mind as they seek scientific, psychological...Show More

The Monstrosity/Cuteness Spectrum

1:26:18 | Oct 31st, 2017

It seems the unavoidable fate of all terrifying monsters, doesn’t it? We reduce the most horrifying creatures of myth, legend and folklore to an adorable kids costume or a mega-cute illustration. Why can’t we help ourselves? In this episode of Stuff ...Show More

The First Monster

1:20:26 | Oct 26th, 2017

Humans love monsters, but when did we first dare to dream up bestial hybrids and chimerical horrors? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe consider the 35-40 thousand-year-old Löwenmensch statues. Who created these im...Show More

Optography: Image in a Dead Man's Eye

47:30 | Oct 24th, 2017

Pseudoscience often enters our world where magic fails us, seeming to make the impossible possible via the invocation of actual scientific and technological marvels. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore the unmista...Show More

Cambrian Monster Mash

1:14:02 | Oct 19th, 2017

Welcome to the ocean of monsters. In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe travel back 500 million years to the monster-haunted waters of the Cambrian period. Meet the monstrous trilobite, anomalocaris, opabinia, halluci...Show More

A Game of Werewolf

1:18:50 | Oct 17th, 2017

If you’ve ever played the party game 'Werewolf,' then you know the thrill of weeding out secret lycanthropes in a medieval village -- or devouring the villagers secretly in the night. But the game goes far beyond parlor fun and mild roleplaying as nu...Show More

Stuff to Blow Your Mind Live: Stranger Science

1:27:03 | Oct 12th, 2017

With another season of “Stranger Things” just around the corner, the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast explores the mind rending science behind government research into psychic phenomena, sensory deprivation tanks, interdimensional travel and the real-...Show More

Stuff to Blow Your Mind Live: Stranger Science

1:27:03 | Oct 12th, 2017

With another season of “Stranger Things” just around the corner, the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast explores the mind rending science behind government research into psychic phenomena, sensory deprivation tanks, interdimensional travel and the real-...Show More

Six Ghost Stories

1:24:51 | Oct 10th, 2017

Human superstition provides us with an overwhelming wealth of ghost stories, each an unreal creation that reveals something crucial about culture, history and psychology. In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Christian ex...Show More

Six Ghost Stories

1:24:51 | Oct 10th, 2017

Human superstition provides us with an overwhelming wealth of ghost stories, each an unreal creation that reveals something crucial about culture, history and psychology. In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Christian ex...Show More

Science of It: Deadlights and Derry

1:15:33 | Oct 5th, 2017

If you’ve read Stephen King’s “It” or recoiled in fear from the 2017 film and the 1990 miniseries, then perhaps you’ve wondered what science can reveal about Pennywise the Dancing Clown and the horrors of Derry, Maine. Join Robert and Christian as th...Show More

Science of It: Deadlights and Derry

1:15:33 | Oct 5th, 2017

If you’ve read Stephen King’s “It” or recoiled in fear from the 2017 film and the 1990 miniseries, then perhaps you’ve wondered what science can reveal about Pennywise the Dancing Clown and the horrors of Derry, Maine. Join Robert and Christian as th...Show More

Laughing During Horror Movies

49:53 | Oct 3rd, 2017

Have you ever heard inappropriate laughter during a horror movie? For that matter, are you the guilty party? Join Robert and Christian as they explore our curious reactions to frightful cinema and how horror and comedy converge in the human mind.

Laughing During Horror Movies

49:53 | Oct 3rd, 2017

Have you ever heard inappropriate laughter during a horror movie? For that matter, are you the guilty party? Join Robert and Christian as they explore our curious reactions to frightful cinema and how horror and comedy converge in the human mind.

Bonus: R. Scott Bakker, Consciousness & Consult

1:22:00 | Sep 29th, 2017

In this special bonus episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, author R. Scott Bakker returns to the show for a discussion of consciousness, philosophy, artificial intelligence, inhuman minds and the conclusion to his 2017 novel 'The Unholy Consult.' Don'...Show More

Bonus: R. Scott Bakker, Consciousness & Consult

1:22:00 | Sep 29th, 2017

In this special bonus episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, author R. Scott Bakker returns to the show for a discussion of consciousness, philosophy, artificial intelligence, inhuman minds and the conclusion to his 2017 novel 'The Unholy Consult.' Don'...Show More

Bicameralism, Part 2: The Silent Pantheon

1:31:17 | Sep 28th, 2017

In 1976, psychologist Julian Jaynes presented the world with a stunning new take on the history of human consciousness. His book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” hypothesized that ancient humans heard hallucinated ...Show More

Bicameralism, Part 2: The Silent Pantheon

1:31:17 | Sep 28th, 2017

In 1976, psychologist Julian Jaynes presented the world with a stunning new take on the history of human consciousness. His book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” hypothesized that ancient humans heard hallucinated ...Show More

Bicameralism, Part 1: The Voice of God

1:17:20 | Sep 26th, 2017

In 1976, psychologist Julian Jaynes presented the world with a stunning new take on the history of human consciousness. His book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” hypothesized that ancient humans heard hallucinated ...Show More

Bicameralism, Part 1: The Voice of God

1:17:20 | Sep 26th, 2017

In 1976, psychologist Julian Jaynes presented the world with a stunning new take on the history of human consciousness. His book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” hypothesized that ancient humans heard hallucinated ...Show More

Timothy Leary, Part 2: Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out

53:22 | Sep 21st, 2017

Idolized by some and reviled by others, Timothy Leary remains an icon of 1960s counterculture and psychedelic self-exploration. But who was this rebel, psychologist and celebrity? What did he reveal about LSD’s power and potential? Join Robert and Ch...Show More

Timothy Leary, Part 2: Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out

53:22 | Sep 21st, 2017

Idolized by some and reviled by others, Timothy Leary remains an icon of 1960s counterculture and psychedelic self-exploration. But who was this rebel, psychologist and celebrity? What did he reveal about LSD’s power and potential? Join Robert and Ch...Show More

Timothy Leary, Part 1: The Science of LSD

55:11 | Sep 19th, 2017

Idolized by some and reviled by others, Timothy Leary remains an icon of 1960s counterculture and psychedelic self-exploration. But who was this rebel, psychologist and celebrity? What did he reveal about LSD’s power and potential? Join Robert and Ch...Show More

Timothy Leary, Part 1: The Science of LSD

55:11 | Sep 19th, 2017

Idolized by some and reviled by others, Timothy Leary remains an icon of 1960s counterculture and psychedelic self-exploration. But who was this rebel, psychologist and celebrity? What did he reveal about LSD’s power and potential? Join Robert and Ch...Show More

Listener Mail: Media and Memory

1:07:59 | Sep 14th, 2017

Join Robert, Joe and Christian for another listener mail extravaganza! They'll read your feedback on human memory, science communication, Chinese culture, history and more. Plus is Karny the Mailbot in love? Tune in to find out.

Listener Mail: Media and Memory

1:07:59 | Sep 14th, 2017

Join Robert, Joe and Christian for another listener mail extravaganza! They'll read your feedback on human memory, science communication, Chinese culture, history and more. Plus is Karny the Mailbot in love? Tune in to find out.

Poison and the Rhino Horn

1:01:56 | Sep 12th, 2017

Can a chalice made of rhino horn detect poison? Can its ground powder serve as an aphrodisiac? The science is at best sketchy on both fronts, but such beliefs continue to endanger the world’s remaining rhinoceros species. In this episode of Stuff to ...Show More

Poison and the Rhino Horn

1:01:56 | Sep 12th, 2017

Can a chalice made of rhino horn detect poison? Can its ground powder serve as an aphrodisiac? The science is at best sketchy on both fronts, but such beliefs continue to endanger the world’s remaining rhinoceros species. In this episode of Stuff to ...Show More

The Psychology of Tattoos

1:15:33 | Sep 7th, 2017

Do you have a tattoo? If so, you probably have an interesting story to go with it, or some personal insight into just what the design and the experience mean to you. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian discuss the science...Show More

The Psychology of Tattoos

1:14:00 | Sep 7th, 2017

Do you have a tattoo? If so, you probably have an interesting story to go with it, or some personal insight into just what the design and the experience mean to you. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian discuss the science...Show More

Chakram: Spinning Death in Myth, War & Physics

47:53 | Sep 5th, 2017

It’s easy to assume that spinning, ring-shaped blades are weapons best left to Hindu gods and TV warrior princesses. But long before humans invented the peaceful Aerobie, ancient Indian warriors unleashed spinning chakram against their enemies -- and...Show More

Chakram: Spinning Death in Myth, War & Physics

47:53 | Sep 5th, 2017

It’s easy to assume that spinning, ring-shaped blades are weapons best left to Hindu gods and TV warrior princesses. But long before humans invented the peaceful Aerobie, ancient Indian warriors unleashed spinning chakram against their enemies -- and...Show More

Green Beard Genes

58:38 | Aug 31st, 2017

Join Robert and Joe as they explore the world of green beard genes and their role in biological altruism. The Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast takes you from the writings of William D. Hamilton and Richard Dawkins to laboratory results entailing ants,...Show More

Green Beard Genes

58:38 | Aug 31st, 2017

Join Robert and Joe as they explore the world of green beard genes and their role in biological altruism. The Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast takes you from the writings of William D. Hamilton and Richard Dawkins to laboratory results entailing ants,...Show More

Shared False Memories and The Mandela Effect

1:05:26 | Aug 29th, 2017

If you’ve ever reminisced with friends about movies that never existed or historical details that never came to pass, then you’ve experienced the weirdness of shared false memories. Also known as the Mandela Effect, it’s led some to interpret erroneo...Show More

Shared False Memories and The Mandela Effect

1:05:26 | Aug 29th, 2017

If you’ve ever reminisced with friends about movies that never existed or historical details that never came to pass, then you’ve experienced the weirdness of shared false memories. Also known as the Mandela Effect, it’s led some to interpret erroneo...Show More

Are we condemned to repeat history?

55:57 | Aug 24th, 2017

Philosopher George Santayana said that 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' If that’s true, then can an extensive understanding of past events help human civilization avoid future catastrophes? In this episode of Stuff to ...Show More

Are we condemned to repeat history?

55:57 | Aug 24th, 2017

Philosopher George Santayana said that 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' If that’s true, then can an extensive understanding of past events help human civilization avoid future catastrophes? In this episode of Stuff to ...Show More

Greek Fire: The Byzantine Secret Weapon

1:18:52 | Aug 22nd, 2017

To engage the ships of Byzantine Empire was to risk the horrors of Greek fire, a medieval weapons system that empowered ships to spew forth flaming liquid on enemy ships and crew members. The secrets of Greek fire are lost to history, but historians ...Show More

Greek Fire: The Byzantine Secret Weapon

1:18:52 | Aug 22nd, 2017

To engage the ships of Byzantine Empire was to risk the horrors of Greek fire, a medieval weapons system that empowered ships to spew forth flaming liquid on enemy ships and crew members. The secrets of Greek fire are lost to history, but historians ...Show More

Six Deadly Poisons

1:11:16 | Aug 17th, 2017

Deadly elixirs in tiny bottles play into the cruelest machinations of history, fiction and myth. In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, join Robert and Christian as they sneak six of these deadly concoctions from the poisoner’s chest...Show More

Six Deadly Poisons

1:11:16 | Aug 17th, 2017

Deadly elixirs in tiny bottles play into the cruelest machinations of history, fiction and myth. In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, join Robert and Christian as they sneak six of these deadly concoctions from the poisoner’s chest...Show More

Path of Totality: See the Eclipse!

1:06:49 | Aug 15th, 2017

There’s a total solar eclipse sweeping across the center of the United States on Monday, August 21, 2017, so here’s a special Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast episode to enhance the experience! Join Robert and Joe for practical viewing tips and a rund...Show More

Path of Totality: See the Eclipse!

1:06:49 | Aug 15th, 2017

There’s a total solar eclipse sweeping across the center of the United States on Monday, August 21, 2017, so here’s a special Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast episode to enhance the experience! Join Robert and Joe for practical viewing tips and a rund...Show More

Alien Abduction Experience, Part 2

55:17 | Aug 10th, 2017

What are we to make of alien abduction experiences? Scientific investigation points to a barrage of logical explanations for abnormal sensory experience, from sleep paralysis and temporal lobe anomalies to false memory encoding. Interpret it all with...Show More

Alien Abduction Experience, Part 2

55:17 | Aug 10th, 2017

What are we to make of alien abduction experiences? Scientific investigation points to a barrage of logical explanations for abnormal sensory experience, from sleep paralysis and temporal lobe anomalies to false memory encoding. Interpret it all with...Show More

Alien Abduction Experience, Part 1

1:08:35 | Aug 8th, 2017

What are we to make of alien abduction experiences? Scientific investigation points to a barrage of logical explanations for abnormal sensory experience, from sleep paralysis and temporal lobe anomalies to false memory encoding. Interpret it all with...Show More

Alien Abduction Experience, Part 1

1:08:35 | Aug 8th, 2017

What are we to make of alien abduction experiences? Scientific investigation points to a barrage of logical explanations for abnormal sensory experience, from sleep paralysis and temporal lobe anomalies to false memory encoding. Interpret it all with...Show More

The Science of Secrets

1:42:25 | Aug 3rd, 2017

Can you keep a secret? If so, what's the psychic weight of that secret? How does secret keeping fit into human evolution and the modern shape of human society? Join Robert and Joe as they discuss the science of secrets and secret keeping in this epis...Show More

The Science of Secrets

1:42:25 | Aug 3rd, 2017

Can you keep a secret? If so, what's the psychic weight of that secret? How does secret keeping fit into human evolution and the modern shape of human society? Join Robert and Joe as they discuss the science of secrets and secret keeping in this epis...Show More

The Buddha is a Mountain

54:06 | Aug 1st, 2017

One of the largest historical statues in the world, China’s Lèshān Grand Buddha has overlooked the Dàdù river for 1200 years. Carved from the side of a mountain, this serene titan is a testament to human artistry and the Anthropocene Epoch. Join Robe...Show More

The Buddha is a Mountain

54:06 | Aug 1st, 2017

One of the largest historical statues in the world, China’s Lèshān Grand Buddha has overlooked the Dàdù river for 1200 years. Carved from the side of a mountain, this serene titan is a testament to human artistry and the Anthropocene Epoch. Join Robe...Show More

Sharks of Summer (with Marah Hardt of ‘Sex in the Sea’)

1:12:57 | Jul 27th, 2017

If you watch enough 'Jaws' and Shark Week, you’re bound to see sharks as ravenous death machines. But is it really more appropriate to think of these ancient creatures as LIFE machines? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert ...Show More

Sharks of Summer (with Marah Hardt of ‘Sex in the Sea’)

1:12:57 | Jul 27th, 2017

If you watch enough 'Jaws' and Shark Week, you’re bound to see sharks as ravenous death machines. But is it really more appropriate to think of these ancient creatures as LIFE machines? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert ...Show More

Svalbard: Land of Snow and Apocalypse Arks

1:10:30 | Jul 25th, 2017

The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard has it all: glaciers, polar bears, scientific researchers and an epic seed vault built to survive the apocalypse. Join Robert and Christian as they discuss this frigid environment and the human activities that ha...Show More

Svalbard: Land of Snow and Apocalypse Arks

1:10:30 | Jul 25th, 2017

The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard has it all: glaciers, polar bears, scientific researchers and an epic seed vault built to survive the apocalypse. Join Robert and Christian as they discuss this frigid environment and the human activities that ha...Show More

Summer Reading: Aliens, Microbes, Cocktails and More

1:17:33 | Jul 20th, 2017

It's time once again for Robert, Joe and Christian to share a selection of fiction, nonfiction and comic book reads to enhance your summer travels -- or simply boost your reading list. Join your Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts as they discuss volumes a...Show More

Summer Reading: Aliens, Microbes, Cocktails and More

1:17:33 | Jul 20th, 2017

It's time once again for Robert, Joe and Christian to share a selection of fiction, nonfiction and comic book reads to enhance your summer travels -- or simply boost your reading list. Join your Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts as they discuss volumes a...Show More

The Biophilia Hypothesis

1:09:26 | Jul 18th, 2017

Why are humans so drawn to the natural world of biodiverse organisms? Is this longing merely part of our culture or do we possess an innate and even genetic tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes? Join Robert and Joe as they discuss Edward ...Show More

The Biophilia Hypothesis

1:09:26 | Jul 18th, 2017

Why are humans so drawn to the natural world of biodiverse organisms? Is this longing merely part of our culture or do we possess an innate and even genetic tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes? Join Robert and Joe as they discuss Edward ...Show More

Artificial Gravity: Cosmic Wheels and Hurtling Towers

1:26:32 | Jul 13th, 2017

Humans are creatures of gravity. We’re born into it. Life as we know it evolved to thrive in it. So what’s a gravitational organism to do in the low-gravity and zero-gravity expanses beyond Earth? You can’t bring it with you, but scientists have cook...Show More

Artificial Gravity: Cosmic Wheels and Hurtling Towers

1:26:32 | Jul 13th, 2017

Humans are creatures of gravity. We’re born into it. Life as we know it evolved to thrive in it. So what’s a gravitational organism to do in the low-gravity and zero-gravity expanses beyond Earth? You can’t bring it with you, but scientists have cook...Show More

Order out of Chaos: How to Create a Universe

1:10:24 | Jul 11th, 2017

Numerous mythologies speak to the birth of our universe out of darkness and chaos, but can humans follow in the footsteps of the gods? Can we create a universe in the lab? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe explore...Show More

Order out of Chaos: How to Create a Universe

1:10:24 | Jul 11th, 2017

Numerous mythologies speak to the birth of our universe out of darkness and chaos, but can humans follow in the footsteps of the gods? Can we create a universe in the lab? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe explore...Show More

Cultural Appropriation

1:00:10 | Jul 6th, 2017

We’ve all heard charges of cultural appropriation in everything from fashion and music to personal world view, but what’s actually at stake here? What is cultural misappropriation, when does it have negative consequences and how does it fit into our ...Show More

Cultural Appropriation

1:00:10 | Jul 6th, 2017

We’ve all heard charges of cultural appropriation in everything from fashion and music to personal world view, but what’s actually at stake here? What is cultural misappropriation, when does it have negative consequences and how does it fit into our ...Show More

Sword of the Samurai

1:03:26 | Jul 4th, 2017

Appreciation for the katana cuts across cultures and genres, slicing into the hearts of history buffs, japanophiles, comic book fans and more. But what’s so special about the sword of the Samurai? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Rober...Show More

Sword of the Samurai

1:03:26 | Jul 4th, 2017

Appreciation for the katana cuts across cultures and genres, slicing into the hearts of history buffs, japanophiles, comic book fans and more. But what’s so special about the sword of the Samurai? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Rober...Show More

Ticks, Mites and Mysterious Lone Star Illnesses

1:13:17 | Jun 29th, 2017

Ticks are, in the words of Pliny the Elder, 'the foulest and nastiest creature that be.' If these blood sucking arachnids and their mite brethren weren’t horrible enough, they’re second only to the mosquito in the risk of blood borne human pathogens....Show More

Ticks, Mites and Mysterious Lone Star Illnesses

1:13:17 | Jun 29th, 2017

Ticks are, in the words of Pliny the Elder, 'the foulest and nastiest creature that be.' If these blood sucking arachnids and their mite brethren weren’t horrible enough, they’re second only to the mosquito in the risk of blood borne human pathogens....Show More

CRISPR and the Genetic Astronaut

1:11:21 | Jun 27th, 2017

In 1960, scientists Nathan Kline and Manfred Clynes envisioned a spacefaring cyborg, technologically augmented to endure the rigors of space travel. The subsequent six decades of space exploration largely ignored this radical suggestion, but the adve...Show More

CRISPR and the Genetic Astronaut

1:11:21 | Jun 27th, 2017

In 1960, scientists Nathan Kline and Manfred Clynes envisioned a spacefaring cyborg, technologically augmented to endure the rigors of space travel. The subsequent six decades of space exploration largely ignored this radical suggestion, but the adve...Show More

Extended Cognition: Brain, Fingers, Web and Krang

1:14:18 | Jun 22nd, 2017

It’s easy to think yourself a mere brain within a human body -- a cognitive machine making sense out of all the incoming sense data from outside world. But what if other parts of the body and even objects beyond the body serve a vital role in our cog...Show More

Extended Cognition: Brain, Fingers, Web and Krang

1:14:18 | Jun 22nd, 2017

It’s easy to think yourself a mere brain within a human body -- a cognitive machine making sense out of all the incoming sense data from outside world. But what if other parts of the body and even objects beyond the body serve a vital role in our cog...Show More

Name Thy Demons: The Roots of Human Violence

1:23:54 | Jun 20th, 2017

Is human civilization growing less violent? Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker argued the point in his 2011 book 'The Better Angels of Our Nature,' in which he also defined the 'five inner demons' that push us to wrath. Know them -- speak their true n...Show More

Name Thy Demons: The Roots of Human Violence

1:23:54 | Jun 20th, 2017

Is human civilization growing less violent? Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker argued the point in his 2011 book 'The Better Angels of Our Nature,' in which he also defined the 'five inner demons' that push us to wrath. Know them -- speak their true n...Show More

AI, Machine Learning and Human Creativity

1:20:59 | Jun 15th, 2017

Just as manufacturing automation cuts into human jobs, the prospect of creative artificial intelligence raises the specter of robot writers, robot artists and robot musicians who never sleep and always agree with their patron. But paranoia aside, whe...Show More

AI, Machine Learning and Human Creativity

1:20:59 | Jun 15th, 2017

Just as manufacturing automation cuts into human jobs, the prospect of creative artificial intelligence raises the specter of robot writers, robot artists and robot musicians who never sleep and always agree with their patron. But paranoia aside, whe...Show More

Science Communication Breakdown

57:31 | Jun 14th, 2017

Science enabled humans to ascend out of the darkness and tackle life’s problems with systematic, self-correcting rigidity. Yet, when faced with scientific consensus on climate change and other issues, some citizens, politicians and even scientists di...Show More

Science Communication Breakdown

57:31 | Jun 14th, 2017

Science enabled humans to ascend out of the darkness and tackle life’s problems with systematic, self-correcting rigidity. Yet, when faced with scientific consensus on climate change and other issues, some citizens, politicians and even scientists di...Show More

There But For Science: Blood Navigation

1:20:11 | Jun 9th, 2017

Imagine a world in which sailing ships navigate by the yelps of tormented dogs and nuclear submarines whisper to each other via the screams of rabbits and their murdered young? In both of these cases, science won out over magical thinking -- and actu...Show More

There But For Science: Blood Navigation

1:20:11 | Jun 9th, 2017

Imagine a world in which sailing ships navigate by the yelps of tormented dogs and nuclear submarines whisper to each other via the screams of rabbits and their murdered young? In both of these cases, science won out over magical thinking -- and actu...Show More

The Tower of Babel

1:25:50 | Jun 6th, 2017

An ancient people build a tower to touch the heavens. A vengeful god disrupts the project through the splintering of human language. Everyone’s left to pick up the pieces. The Tower of Babel myth resonates out from the Mesopotamian cradle of civiliza...Show More

The Tower of Babel

1:25:50 | Jun 6th, 2017

An ancient people build a tower to touch the heavens. A vengeful god disrupts the project through the splintering of human language. Everyone’s left to pick up the pieces. The Tower of Babel myth resonates out from the Mesopotamian cradle of civiliza...Show More

Neurosecurity: Dawn of the Brain Hackers

1:20:23 | Jun 1st, 2017

While hackers and malware can certainly cause a great deal of damage and misery, these dangers can’t hurt us physically, right? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe are sorry to say you’re wrong -- and as more biotec...Show More

Neurosecurity: Dawn of the Brain Hackers

1:20:23 | Jun 1st, 2017

While hackers and malware can certainly cause a great deal of damage and misery, these dangers can’t hurt us physically, right? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe are sorry to say you’re wrong -- and as more biotec...Show More

Height, Health and Human Happiness

1:01:25 | May 30th, 2017

Tall people. Short People. Somewhere-in-between people. What are we to make of human height and its relationship to overall health and personality? Robert and Christian explore in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. All heights welco...Show More

Height, Health and Human Happiness

1:01:25 | May 30th, 2017

Tall people. Short People. Somewhere-in-between people. What are we to make of human height and its relationship to overall health and personality? Robert and Christian explore in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. All heights welco...Show More

Five Reasons to Never Take Your Space Helmet Off

1:19:22 | May 25th, 2017

You've consumed enough science fiction to know something the average red shirt doesn't: Never take your space helmet off on a foreign planet. But if you're still tempted to breathe deep the gathering gloom, how about five compelling scientific reason...Show More

Five Reasons to Never Take Your Space Helmet Off

1:19:22 | May 25th, 2017

You've consumed enough science fiction to know something the average red shirt doesn't: Never take your space helmet off on a foreign planet. But if you're still tempted to breathe deep the gathering gloom, how about five compelling scientific reason...Show More

R. Scott Bakker: On Alien Philosophy & Dark Fantasy

1:15:06 | May 23rd, 2017

Canadian author R. Scott Bakker is best known for his Second Apocalypse saga, a series of dark fantasy novels that explore philosophical and even neuroscientific ideas through a world of sorcery, holy wars and inhuman evil. In this episode of the Stu...Show More

R. Scott Bakker: On Alien Philosophy and Fantasy

1:14:46 | May 23rd, 2017

Canadian author R. Scott Bakker is best known for his Second Apocalypse saga, a series of dark fantasy novels that explore philosophical and even neuroscientific ideas through a world of sorcery, holy wars and inhuman evil. In this episode of the Stu...Show More

Hook Suspension and the Complexity of Pain

55:15 | May 18th, 2017

Hook suspension challenges our perceptions of pain. We see practitioners, pierced through the flesh with hooks, suspended by chains and yet smiling as if lost to a state of bliss. What are they feeling? Where does this practice come from and how does...Show More

Hook Suspension and the Complexity of Pain

55:15 | May 18th, 2017

Hook suspension challenges our perceptions of pain. We see practitioners, pierced through the flesh with hooks, suspended by chains and yet smiling as if lost to a state of bliss. What are they feeling? Where does this practice come from and how does...Show More

Escape Velocity: Jack Parsons and the New Magick

53:58 | May 16th, 2017

Jack Parsons wanted to break free, from both the limits of Earth and the boundaries of traditional early 20th century American thought. He devoted his short life to the scientific pursuit of rocket engineering and the occult exploration of magick. As...Show More

Escape Velocity: Jack Parsons and the New Magick

53:58 | May 16th, 2017

Jack Parsons wanted to break free, from both the limits of Earth and the boundaries of traditional early 20th century American thought. He devoted his short life to the scientific pursuit of rocket engineering and the occult exploration of magick. As...Show More

Weird Wonders of House Gastropoda

52:18 | May 11th, 2017

The world of slugs and snails is a grotesque circus of fever-dream horrors and biological marvels. Join Robert and Christian for a six-species dive into their life cycles of slime, iron plating, deadly neurotoxins and more.

Weird Wonders of House Gastropoda

52:18 | May 11th, 2017

The world of slugs and snails is a grotesque circus of fever-dream horrors and biological marvels. Join Robert and Christian for a six-species dive into their life cycles of slime, iron plating, deadly neurotoxins and more.

Jade Immortality: Burial Armor of the Han Dynasty

44:45 | May 9th, 2017

Chinese aristocracy of the Western Han Dynasty embarked on their journey into the afterlife within garments of stone -- luxurious suits of jade armor entailing thousands of individual plates sewn together with gold, silver or silk. In this episode of...Show More

Jade Immortality: Burial Armor of the Han Dynasty

44:45 | May 9th, 2017

Chinese aristocracy of the Western Han Dynasty embarked on their journey into the afterlife within garments of stone -- luxurious suits of jade armor entailing thousands of individual plates sewn together with gold, silver or silk. In this episode of...Show More

Push the Frontier

1:06:16 | May 4th, 2017

You’ve seen enough Westerns and Game of Throne episodes to know a frontier when you see it, but what exactly is this boundary between the laws of your world and the promise or threat of another? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and ...Show More

Push the Frontier

1:06:16 | May 4th, 2017

You’ve seen enough Westerns and Game of Throne episodes to know a frontier when you see it, but what exactly is this boundary between the laws of your world and the promise or threat of another? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and ...Show More

STBYM Live: Weird Science in the Windy City

1:20:18 | May 2nd, 2017

Robert, Christian and Joe transport you back to the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893, when the neoclassical architecture of Daniel Burnham’s White City loomed on the shores of Lake Michigan, Nikola Tesla’s alternating current powered thousands of...Show More

STBYM Live: Weird Science in the Windy City

1:20:18 | May 2nd, 2017

Robert, Christian and Joe transport you back to the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893, when the neoclassical architecture of Daniel Burnham’s White City loomed on the shores of Lake Michigan, Nikola Tesla’s alternating current powered thousands of...Show More

Listener Mail: In One Ear, Out the Third Eye

1:15:47 | Apr 27th, 2017

Robert, Joe and Christian call in the mailbot for yet another dose of listener feedback. Join them as they read your thoughts on everything from the uncanny valley and the Black Stone of Mecca to hook suspension and the science of guessing.

Listener Mail: In One Ear, Out the Third Eye

1:15:47 | Apr 27th, 2017

Robert, Joe and Christian call in the mailbot for yet another dose of listener feedback. Join them as they read your thoughts on everything from the uncanny valley and the Black Stone of Mecca to hook suspension and the science of guessing.

H. R. Giger and the Biomechanical Soul

1:36:03 | Apr 25th, 2017

We’ve all seen the surreal biomechanical art of the late H.R. Giger, but the artist’s mainstream success and the undying appeal of his 'Alien' sometimes prevent a full appreciation of his dark vision. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Rober...Show More

H. R. Giger and the Biomechanical Soul

1:36:03 | Apr 25th, 2017

We’ve all seen the surreal biomechanical art of the late H.R. Giger, but the artist’s mainstream success and the undying appeal of his 'Alien' sometimes prevent a full appreciation of his dark vision. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Rober...Show More

Where is my mind?

1:09:43 | Apr 20th, 2017

Today, most humans accept the brain as the seat of human consciousness, but this was not always the case. Join Robert and Joe as they explore ancient, alternative views on the anatomical center of reason and tackle contemporary mysteries regarding th...Show More