Stuff To Blow Your Mind

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

Episodes

  • Syphilis: The Great Imitator

    Aug 26, 2014 | 27 min
    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 disfiguring, debilitating and deadly ways. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore the science of Syphilis.
  • The Mathematics of Happiness

    Aug 21, 2014 | 12 min
    Is there a mathematical equation for happiness? Is there a formula for contentment? Explore the science and chase the ephemeral in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Origami

    Aug 19, 2014 | 39 min
    There's far more to origami than paper swans. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore the mathematics and real-world applications of intricately folded sheets.
  • Quarantine

    Aug 14, 2014 | 30 min
    Sure, we’ve all seen medical quarintines against infectious diasease in the movies, but how do they work in real life? Find out in this episode ofd Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Understanding Ebola

    Aug 12, 2014 | 37 min
    The word “Ebola” is enough to summon feelings of fear, body horror and even xenophobia. But don’t give in to paranoia. Tune in to this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind as Robert and Julie arm you with information about Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever.
  • The Scientist and the Shaman: Hallucination

    Aug 7, 2014 | 32 min
    Join Robert and Julie as they continue their discussion of the overlap between shamanism and cognitive neuroscience. What sort of experiences do substances like DMT, psilocybin and salvia grant users? Why do human bodies have trace elements of DMT? Find out in this classic episode of STBYM.
  • The Scientist and the Shaman: My Egoic Mind

    Aug 5, 2014 | 33 min
    A shaman consumes a psychedelic mushroom and visits the spirit world. Meanwhile, a scientist studies the effects of psilocybin on depression and conceptions of self. In this episode, Robert and Julie discuss the common ground shared by these disciplines in a classic episode of STBYM.
  • Wind Beneath My Surgical Wings, Part 2

    Jul 31, 2014 | 27 min
    Can science give us the wings we’ve always envied in birds? Can plastic surgery elevate us to a higher human form? In this second part of this series, Robert and Julie continue exploring of posthuman philosophy and the possibility of winged humans. Learn all about it in this classic episode of STBYM.
  • Wind Beneath My Surgical Wings, Part 1

    Jul 29, 2014 | 24 min
    Can science give us the wings we’ve always envied in birds? Can plastic surgery elevate us to a higher human form? In this episode, Robert and Julie discuss Joseph Rosen's posthuman philosophy and ponder what we’d have to do to transform arms into wings. Learn all about it in this classic episode of STBYM.
  • Lost Continent: Part 2

    Jul 24, 2014 | 23 min
    There’s something intoxicating about the notion of a lost continent. Imagine an entire landscape – perhaps even an entire civilization untouched by Western colonialism or perhaps lost beneath ancient, cataclysmic waves. But lost continents are far from mere whimsy and fictional fancy. Amid the dreams and occult whispers, reason and science emerge to dazzle the imagination.
  • Lost Continent: Part 1

    Jul 22, 2014 | 31 min
    There’s something intoxicating about the notion of a lost continent. Imagine an entire landscape – perhaps even an entire civilization untouched by Western colonialism or perhaps lost beneath ancient, cataclysmic waves. But lost continents are far from mere whimsy and fictional fancy. Amid the dreams and occult whispers, reason and science emerge to dazzle the imagination.
  • Humanity's Lullaby

    Jul 17, 2014 | 31 min
    Lullabies are soothing, grotesque and universal. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore the surprisingly rich world of human sleep songs.
  • Earwax: Portable Time Capsules

    Jul 15, 2014 | 21 min
    Why do we have ear wax? Why does it build up and what can it tell us about ourselves? Enter the mysterious ear canal in this sticky new episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Ballad of the Electric Fish

    Jul 10, 2014 | 21 min
    How does the electric eel generate its juice and how did six different lineages of bioelectric fish evolve on this planet of ours? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Junk Food Fever

    Jul 8, 2014 | 44 min
    Why does junk food hold such power over us? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie get to the bottom of modern humanity's favorite supernormal stimuli.
  • Designer Genes

    Jul 3, 2014 | 29 min
    Gene therapy, DNA analysis and genetically modified organisms are increasingly part of our everyday reality. But where is this road taking us and how will it change us on the way? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Summer Reading 2014

    Jul 1, 2014 | 39 min
    Looking for a good, intelligent beach read? Join Robert and Julie for their annual Summer Reading episode, loaded with fiction and non-fiction reading recommendations for the curious mind.
  • A Perfect Circle

    Jun 26, 2014 | 30 min
    What is a mathematically perfect circle and why doesn’t it exist in our universe? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Neural Pixie Dust

    Jun 24, 2014 | 32 min
    The future of brain-machine interaction will expand human intelligence and forever alter our experience of reality, but where are we now and how long till neurotechnology elevates us to higher human form? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • The Science of Lovecraft

    Jun 19, 2014 | 50 min
    Legendary weird fiction author H.P. Lovecraft revolutionized our understanding of supernatural horror in the early 20th century, but he was also a science writer and lived in a time of tremendous scientific advancement and global war. Join Robert and Julie as they chat with S.T. Joshi about the science of H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction and how it influenced popular culture. Plus, hear from a few HowStuffWorks podcast personalities on their own favorite Lovecraft tales.
  • Listen Mail: The Power of Names

    Jun 17, 2014 | 32 min
    As a follow-up to their podcast episode on the nominative determinism, Robert and Julie share YOUR thoughts on names and the power of names in this special listener mail episode. Plus, who knows what else they’ll chat about?
  • The Future of Addiction

    Jun 12, 2014 | 33 min
    Highly addictive substances like meth and heroine are formidable enemies for the recovering addict, but what does the future hold for their treatment? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore the use of electromagnetic stimulation, vaccines and other treatments to help win the battle.
  • Addiction

    Jun 10, 2014 | 38 min
    What is addiction? Why are some people predisposed to it and what happens in the brain when addiction takes hold? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie break it all down for you and ponder the addiction-shattered brain.
  • The Status of Flatus

    Jun 5, 2014 | 36 min
    What is a fart? What’s the science behind passing gas and why does volume, frequency and stench very so much from person to person? Answers await, gentle listener, as Robert and Julie discuss the biology behind breaking wind in this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • The Troglofauna of Fraggle Rock

    Jun 3, 2014 | 43 min
    What do the fun-loving denizens of Jim Henson’s “Fraggle Rock” have in common with real-life cave animals? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind as Robert and Julie discuss the ecology of Fraggle Rock and the show’s ecological message.
  • Supernormal Stimuli

    May 29, 2014 | 35 min
    No longer limited by the constrains of their environment or biology, humans have remade their world. Why walk when you can soar? Why shout when you can whisper in the ear of a listener halfway round the world? And why limit yourself to normal stimuli when you can condense the sensory world into nuggets of superstimuli. Join Robert and Julie as they discuss junk food, gaming, pornography, the Internet and beauty itself all in the framework of natural biology.
  • Heartbeat in the Brain, Hole in the Skull

    May 27, 2014 | 32 min
    Trepanation is an ancient surgical procedure and we’ve found the millennia-aged skulls to prove it – each punctured and gouged to relieve inner-pressure and inner-madness. But is such cranial perforation truly a relic of a primitive age or do modern trepanation advocates have a point in their quest to free the brain’s heartbeat from its prison of bone? Tune in to this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind to find out.
  • You Are Here: Proprioception

    May 22, 2014 | 35 min
    How do we know who and where we are in this ocean of chaos? It’s easy to take this question for granted, but the answer goes beyond our five senses and into the realm of body schema, golgi tendon organs and out-of-body experiences. Close your eyes and reach out for yourself…
  • A Boy Named Sue

    May 20, 2014 | 33 min
    What’s in a name? Does a parentally-bestowed “Fred” force one fate on a hapless child and “Moon Unit” or “Brock” quite another? Join Robert and Julie for a discussion on the power of names and nominative determinism in this Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast episode.
  • Science of Beards

    May 15, 2014 | 42 min
    You've probably been wondering, "Is there any data about facial hair, particularly gloriously groomed beards?" Why, yes, there is. Find out how facial hair transforms perception and whether or not it could help blunt a few blows in a bar fight.
  • Over the Moon

    May 13, 2014 | 30 min
    What if we, over at the mother company Earth, Inc., looked at "assets" in our solar system like a corporation looks at its assets? What if we set our sights on that ne’er-do-well moon? Find out how we could harness the moon's resources to do more of Earth's bidding. Mahahahahawaha.
  • Future Shock: Part II

    May 8, 2014 | 34 min
    Back in 1970, Alvin Toffler’s book “Future Shock” envisioned a future human civilization outpaced, overstimulated and mentally stunned by relentless technological and social change. Today, we live in the very future Toffler warned everyone about. How did his predictions hold up and how can we stave off the terrors of future shock? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Future Shock: Part I

    May 6, 2014 | 42 min
    Back in 1970, Alvin Toffler’s book “Future Shock” envisioned a future human civilization outpaced, overstimulated and mentally stunned by relentless technological and social change. Today, we live in the very future Toffler warned everyone about. How did his predictions hold up and how can we stave off the terrors of future shock? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Rethinking Genitalia

    May 1, 2014 | 32 min
    We're a culture obsessed with human bodies, gender and the morphological differences between male and female. But what happens when we consider gender reversal in nature, as well as the amazing sex-reversed cave insects of the Neotrogla genus? The females of these species boast a penis-like, sperm-collecting "gynosome," which fits perfectly inside the male's sperm-offering "phallosome." Listen to this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind and turn everything you know about gender on its head.
  • The Cuckoo Mafia

    Apr 29, 2014 | 32 min
    Sure, humans have their organized crime, but what about the Earth’s other residents? Are their animal mafias? How does “crime” even work outside the confines of human culture? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • The Habitable Epoch

    Apr 24, 2014 | 31 min
    What if we’re wrong. What if life isn’t a rarity in a dead cosmos, but rather a common occurrence in the habitable epoch 10 to 20 million years after the Big Bang? Explore the mind-blowing possibility with Robert and Julie.
  • Rise of the Vampire Bat

    Apr 22, 2014 | 44 min
    It’s a hard-knock life for an exclusive blood drinker, yet somehow three species of vampire bat take full honors as the only obligate sanguivores. How did they evolve? How does vampire physiology work? Tune into this bloodthirsty episode of Stuff to Blow your Mind to find out.
  • The Shadow People

    Apr 17, 2014 | 50 min
    Do strange shadow people haunt the corners of our existence, or is there a scientific answer within the human brain? Join Robert and guests Ben and Matt of Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know as they discuss the answers.
  • The Shadow People

    Apr 15, 2014 | 31 min
    "Do strange shadow people haunt the corners of our existence, or is there a scientific answer within the human brain? Join Robert and guests Ben and Matt of Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know as they discuss the answers.
  • Rites of Spring

    Apr 10, 2014 | 32 min
    Spring may be one of the most uplifiting seasons humans experience, with a sense of renewal and meaning materializing before their eyes in nature. But could it change our perception and behavior. And is there a dark side to spring?
  • Through the Looking Glass

    Apr 8, 2014 | 40 min
    What are we to make of the mirror world? We surround ourselves with looking glasses, yet rarely understand exactly what we're observing. Our reflected doubles gaze back at us, affecting the way we carry ourselves and the way we experience our own bodies. Travel through the looking glass in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Extreme Survivors of the Animal World

    Apr 3, 2014 | 30 min
    Think you’ve got what it takes to hack it in an unforgiving world? You may have the brains, human, but creatures such as the Saharan silver ant, the Pompeii worm and the tardigrade have the brawn. Learn all about them in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Outsourcing Memory

    Apr 1, 2014 | 43 min
    From digital photography to Internet spellcheckers, we allocate more and more of our cognitive processes to the cloud. But what do we ultimately gain from all of this – and what do we lose? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Labyrinths

    Mar 27, 2014 | 32 min
    Join Robert and Julie once more for their classic series on mazes and labryinths.Having escaped from the confusion of the Minoan maze, it’s time to walk the serene, calming paths of the Chartres Labyrinth. Why is this experience so different? Learn all about the calming effects of labyrinths on the mind.
  • Mazes

    Mar 25, 2014 | 41 min
    Join Robert and Julie once more for their classic series on mazes and labyrinths. In this episode, enter the Minoan maze and wander its endless halls. Feel your heart race. Feel your limbs quiver as the minotaur’s roar echoes through the walls. Explore the world of mazes andhow they affect the brains of humans and rats.
  • Acid Flashbacks

    Mar 20, 2014 | 38 min
    Are acid flashbacks real or are they merely a ghost story of psychedelic culture or anti-drug messaging? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie discuss the real science of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder or HPPD.
  • A Musical Time Machine for the Brain

    Mar 18, 2014 | 39 min
    What is music doing to our perception of time? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind with Robert and Julie.
  • Your Body Odor,Your Destiny

    Mar 13, 2014 | 26 min
    Can body odor be destiny? Can it portend health or illness, who we’re attracted to and repulsed by? Find out in this pungently scientific episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Maneater

    Mar 11, 2014 | 48 min
    What happens when an animal turns maneater? Is it the irresistible taste of human flesh? Is it the ease of a human kill? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie look to the environmental, biological and bad-luck causes that land humans on a predator’s dinner menu.
  • Listener Mail: Strange Sleep and Past Lives

    Mar 6, 2014 | 24 min
    In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie once again call forth the robot and take care of some accumulated listener mail on strange sleep, lucid dreaming, reincarnation and other topics.
  • The Barry White Effect

    Mar 4, 2014 | 22 min
    What does voice quality tell us about sexual fitness in a potential mate? Do the deep, velvet tones of Barry White have a scientifically-proven effect on our libido? What about Marilyn Monroe’s high, breathy voice? All shall be revealed in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Empathic Elephants on Parade

    Feb 27, 2014 | 32 min
    " Elephants are amazing, majestic creatures for a number of reasons – including their startling capacity for empathy. Join Robert and Julie as they discuss these gentle giants and their highly intelligent, social qualities.
  • The Illusion of Continuity

    Feb 25, 2014 | 27 min
    What is perceptual constancy and how does the illusion of continuity pull a fast one over our brains? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind with Robert and Julie.
  • The Reincarnation Blues

    Feb 20, 2014 | 38 min
    The metaphysics of reincarnation are nothing short of enthralling, from the notion of an immortal soul drifting through myriad life forms to the intimidating Wheel of Samsara with its heavenly and hellish realms. Why does this version of immortality appeal to us? And what, if anything, can science tell us about the survival of the soul? Join Robert and Julie for a rich discussion on the reincarnation.
  • The Night Janitors of the Brain

    Feb 18, 2014 | 19 min
    Do you think other species ever look at humans and raise an eyebrow at the amount of sleep we need? Do cockroaches and eyelash mites leave messages on our foreheads in microscopic Sharpies? Perhaps “I just popped on an apex predator’s head.” We may be the most successful species in existence, but that doesn’t mean sleep is just another one of our “choices” as a human being. It is a necessity for survival, even though it requires immobility and vulnerability. Prepare to meet the night janitors of the human brain.
  • My Slimey Valentine: Slug Sex Revisited

    Feb 13, 2014 | 24 min
    Whether you're a hopeless romantic or a Valentine's hater, Robert and Julie have quite the episode for you. Prepare to have your mind blown as they expose the daring, disgusting, weaponized, cannibalistic and marathon lovemaking ways of slugs and snails. Originally published in 2013, the episode is now updated with a new page from the slug Kama Sutra that will leave you squirming.
  • The Problem of Immortality

    Feb 11, 2014 | 44 min
    Humans are haunted by death. It awaits us all with open arms and all we can do is dream of its blissful antithesis: immortality. And so we've constructed a fortress of ideas to protect us against the terror of impermanence: astral bodies, reincarnation, bodily resurrection and the immaterial soul. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie discuss the Terror Management Theory, which holds that fear of death and the quest for immortality command every facet of our lives. Discover how reminders of mortality affect or personal ethics and decision making, from the cash register to the voting booth.
  • Leechpunk: The Power of Leeches

    Feb 6, 2014 | 26 min
    Are leeches mere bloodsucking parasites or do these creatures have a place in modern medicine? Plus learn about the very real 19th century invention that incorporated bottled leeches. Tune into this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind for all sorts of vein-tapping goodness.
  • The Meaning of Stonehenge

    Feb 4, 2014 | 25 min
    Stonehenge remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of the ancient world. Was it a burial ground for aristocratic families, a Druid temple or pilgrimage for those observing the seasons?
  • The Building of Stonehenge

    Jan 30, 2014 | 28 min
    Rising up from the plains of Salisbury, England is a mammoth structure that has existed for 5,000 years. How was it constructed and what can it tell us about the Neolithic and Bronze Age people who built it?
  • It's a Trap!

    Jan 28, 2014 | 37 min
    Humans aren’t alone in their ability to craft a clever trap out of their surroundings. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie look to the insect and arachnid world for deadly examples.
  • Story/Memory Editing

    Jan 23, 2014 | 38 min
    Ever wish you could take a troubling event from your past and dial down the memory without subjecting yourself to total recall erasure?
  • The Werewolf Principle

    Jan 21, 2014 | 37 min
    Will astronauts of the future be able to adapt their physiology for long-term space travel and life on other planets? In this episode, Robert and Julie explore the ideal physical modifications that could theoretically create the world's best astronaut.
  • Hibernation: The Ultimate Suspended Animation!

    Jan 16, 2014 | 28 min
    What is hibernation exactly? Revisit the topic with Julie and Robert as they enter the hibernacula and discuss this perplexing biologic state.
  • The War on Creativity

    Jan 14, 2014 | 33 min
    There’s an entire industry dedicate to creativity and innovation. But do people – and corporations—really want to “think outside of the box.” Is there an inherent bias against creativity?
  • Brain Hacking 101: New Habits for a New Year

    Jan 7, 2014 | 29 min
    How long does it take to make or break a habit? Is this really the year you make major changes or learn a new craft? Robert and Julie break down the science of it all in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Cluttered Desks, Cluttered Minds and Toddler Hands

    Jan 2, 2014 | 39 min
    Toddlers might not seem like scientists when they mash up a banana or throws noodles at the wall, but research reveals that messy hands often indicate a hungry mind.
  • Normalcy Bias or Psychogenic Death

    Dec 31, 2013 | 35 min
    Why do some people continue on with their normal lives when reality comes crashing down on them? Why don't they run for cover or try to jump ship? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Comedic Impressions of the Wild

    Dec 26, 2013 | 22 min
    Why do birds and other animals imitate other animals? Why would an elephant learn to speak Korean? All of this and more shall be explored in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Snowflake Doppelganger

    Dec 24, 2013 | 27 min
    Are snowflakes really one of a kind? How do they form and what do they have to do with grade school art projects, personal identity, climate change and Jack the Ripper? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Thanatosis: Playing Dead to Survive

    Dec 19, 2013 | 42 min
    There's more to playing dead that meets the eye. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore the science of tonic immobility and thanatosis.
  • Carrot and Stick: A Genetic Santa Story

    Dec 17, 2013 | 23 min
    Santa or Krampus? Gifts or a stocking full of coal? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie look at negative and positive
  • Fist Bump vs. Bacteria

    Dec 12, 2013 | 21 min
    Can a simple fist bump help us out in a war against antibiotic resistant bacteria? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Urine for a Treat

    Dec 10, 2013 | 31 min
    A urine sample reveals a great deal about the person from whence it trickled, but can we drink it? Can it cure what ales us? Does it help with jellyfish stings? The latest science sheds new light on our old myths regarding those salty leavings. Learn all about it in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Panopticon

    Dec 5, 2013 | 32 min
    Welcome to the panopticon, both a prison of design and a prison of the mind, where everyone is susceptible to surveillance and no one knows who’s being watched. Join Robert and Julie as they explore the history, design and philosophical import of this physical and metaphorical prison.
  • The Science of Smiles

    Dec 3, 2013 | 32 min
    Just try to resist the power of the human smile. We dare you! In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore the science behind all those upside-down frowns.
  • Gluttony Revisited

    Nov 28, 2013 | 34 min
    When does mere appetite transform into disorder? And what are we to make of the monstrous “sport” of competitive eating? Join Robert and Julie as they revisit one of the sins from their "Seven Deadlies" series just in time for Thanksgiving.
  • Into the Mouth of Thanksgiving

    Nov 26, 2013 | 24 min
    While your stomach may rumble at the thought of Thanksgiving's bounty, your mouth is trembling in fear. Join Robert and Julie as they discuss the oral health battle that takes place between Streptococcus mutans and teeth enamel and find out why our distant ancestors may have had better chompers than ours.
  • Skeptics and Sasquatches

    Nov 21, 2013 | 30 min
    What are we to make of the sasquatch, bigfoot, skunk ape and yeti? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie discuss why the fabled creature doesn't hold up to scientific scrutiny.
  • Before Science

    Nov 19, 2013 | 20 min
    When did the word "scientist" enter our vocabulary? How did science take off as the driving force of modern culture and what of the natural philosophers of old? Listen in to this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind for all the details.
  • The Dexter of Parasites

    Nov 14, 2013 | 24 min
    Yes, in the same way Dexter preyed on other serial killers, parasitic organisms are targeted by parasites as well. Join Robert and Julie as they discuss the world of hyperparasites.
  • The Science of Cute

    Nov 12, 2013 | 35 min
    Why do kitten faces and cartoon cuties hold such power over us? Why does the sight of a puppy tug our heart strings? Find out in this Stuff to Blow Your Mind journey into the science of cute.
  • Autotomy: Nature's Dismemberment Plan

    Nov 7, 2013 | 37 min
    When threatened, some species of lizards simply jettison their own twitching tails form their bodies. It’s grisly but effective. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore the science of autotomy in both the vertebrate and invertebrate worlds. Plus why can’t humans do this? And how might it benefit regeneration science?
  • Into the Hologenome

    Nov 5, 2013 | 32 min
    How can the bacterial fauna thriving inside our bodies influence evolution? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Monster Mash: Mummies and Trolls

    Oct 31, 2013 | 23 min
    Could real science possible explain a horror movie mummy’s murderous escape from a museum or a troll’s transformation into stone? In the same tradition as their gremlin and zombie episodes, Robert and Julie give it a try for this special Halloween edition of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Wendigo

    Oct 29, 2013 | 39 min
    What are we to make of this evil spirit of Algonquin folklore, said to transform unfortunate travelers into cannibalistic monsters? Have true accounts of “wendigo psychosis” actually occurred in the Canadian wilds? Join Robert and Julie as they explore the mythic, anthropologic and scientific dimensions of this fearsome legend.
  • Tainted Love Hormone

    Oct 24, 2013 | 27 min
    There's a dark side to oxytocin. Tune into this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind for the latest research on the dark side of the love hormone.
  • Naked and Afraid

    Oct 22, 2013 | 42 min
    Is there a link between nudity and fear? Nudists and never-nudes alike can find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Listener Mail Roundup

    Oct 17, 2013 | 34 min
    The Stuff to Blow Your Mind mailbag grows and the mail-bot grows increasingly insane in its boredom. To remedy the situation, Robert and Julie devote an entire episode to catching up.
  • IgNobel Science of 2013

    Oct 15, 2013 | 24 min
    The IgNobel Prizes never fail to highlight the absurdity of scientific research. In this episode, Robert and Julie look at five of 2013's winners.
  • Three Years of Word Salad

    Oct 10, 2013 | 32 min
    Robert and Julie celebrate 3 years of cranium-popping episodes and discuss how Stuff to Blow Your Mind has changed their lives.
  • The Science of Uncanny Music

    Oct 8, 2013 | 40 min
    Why is scary music so scary? Why does an uncanny tune creep us out so? Is it all context and culture or is there something deeper at work?
  • Dread Anxiety

    Oct 3, 2013 | 38 min
    What is dread and how are we supposed to cope with it? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Teaching Robots to Love

    Oct 1, 2013 | 36 min
    Will our robots ever love us? And what does that question reveal about the true nature of this much-touted human emotion? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • Tyrannosaurus Sex

    Sep 26, 2013 | 22 min
    Climb into the dinosaur hot tub machine with us on this classic STBYM episode featuring the concept of the cloacal kiss and the very direct question: how did dinosaurs -- with all their spikes and plates -- get it on?
  • Ouroboros: The Tale-Eating Serpent

    Sep 24, 2013 | 26 min
    The ouroboros is an ancient symbol of a mythical serpent or dragon that bites its own tail. It has come to represent, rebirth, infinity and the continuous wheel of cycles. But it also turns out to be a clever way for some animals to defend themselves and can be seen in everything from storms on Saturn to nanotechnology.
  • Nostalgia: The Kryptonite of Existential Angst?

    Sep 19, 2013 | 38 min
    Nostalgia is a bittersweet emotion that evokes a pleasurable memory tinged with the knowledge that you can never really go back. Find out why nostalgia was once considered a psychiatric disorder and why it actually may be balm for the soul.
  • Word Aversion: The Story of Moist

    Sep 17, 2013 | 38 min
    Put your favorite pair of slacks on and join guest host Allison Loudermilk as she and Julie get to the bottom of word aversion. Find out why the word "moist" is so maligned and see if your favorite worst word made the list.
  • Fire Tornado vs Sharknado

    Sep 12, 2013 | 25 min
    What would win in a fight, a swirling column of fire or a vortex full of killer sharks? It’s not a question to dismiss slightly, so join Robert and Julie as they break down the real science of fire tornadoes as well as the not-so-real science of the deadly “sharknado.”
  • Human Paper Dolls:Enclothed Cognition:

    Sep 10, 2013 | 37 min
    Can a doctor’s lab coat make you feel smarter and more confident? Does a police uniform give the wearer a sense of power? The answers may surprise you. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore the manner by which clothing items allow us to wrap ourselves in symbolic power and become something new.
  • Microchimerism: The Mother Inside You

    Sep 5, 2013 | 25 min
    Does a mother retain cells from her child? Does the child retain cells form the mother? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie introduce you to the fantastic world of microchimerism.
  • Here There be Sea Monsters

    Sep 3, 2013 | 43 min
    Medieval and renaissance maps are resplendent with sea monsters, but what were these fanciful beasts all about? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie breakdown the science, economics and mythology of sea serpents, walruses and whales the size of islands.
  • Fine Young (Animal) Cannibals

    Aug 29, 2013 | 47 min
    Cannibalism is a bit yucky in the human world, but for animals it's just a matter of economics. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore the world of cannibalistic insects and their kin.
  • The Left-Handed Scissors

    Aug 27, 2013 | 27 min
    Lefties make up 10 percent of the population, but what are we to make of their curious inversion? Why do they exist? Why do they excel at sports and murder? And might they one day rise up and force right-handed folks to wear special gloves? All this and more shall be revealed…
  • Symbols on the Brain

    Aug 22, 2013 | 46 min
    A symbol can instantly convey an abstract idea that would require paragraphs of traditional language to relate. So what are they all about? In this episode, Robert and Julie explore the manner in which symbols take hold of our brain – and how they constantly influence our unconscious mind.
  • Walls

    Aug 20, 2013 | 29 min
    Civilizations surround themselves in walls. They raise walls against enemies, against the environment and against the spirit world. In this episode, Robert and Julie examine walls, from Ming Dynasty battlements to the galactic borders of our universe.
  • The Science of Staring

    Aug 15, 2013 | 37 min
    Your mother always told you it’s not polite to stare – and yet we do. Why is starring a part of who we are? Why do subway staring contests occur and can we actually feel people’s eyes crawling over our bodies? All of this and more shall be discussed.
  • Beauty and the Beholder

    Aug 13, 2013 | 36 min
    Is beauty intrinsic or merely contextual? Is it in the eye of the beholder or part-and-parcel to our evolution? And just why are a plate of spaghetti, an infant and a Georgia O’Keeffe painting all considered beautiful? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie consider the philosophy and evolutionary biology of beauty.
  • Satellite Junkies and the Day of the Fall

    Aug 8, 2013 | 38 min
    Humanity has become addicted to satellite technology. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore the sort of withdrawals we’d feel if the satellites all fell from the sky.
  • Sideshow Secrets Revealed

    Aug 6, 2013 | 41 min
    What’s the real science behind beds of nails, sword swallowing and headless women? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie strip away the carnie veneer and get right to the facts.
  • The Science of Hell

    Aug 1, 2013 | 37 min
    Artists aren’t alone in their fascination with Hell. Scientists two have long sought to breach the fiery gates and figure out just how it works. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie explore scientific ponderings over the Dante’s “Inferno” and Milton’s “Paradise Lost” from modern mathematicians, meteorologists and even Galileo.
  • The Problem of Hell

    Jul 30, 2013 | 58 min
    Belief in Hell is problematic at best. How do we relate to our fellow human beings while sorting them into an imagined afterlife of torment? How do we relate to faiths and myths that heap such additional darkness on an already bleak world? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie discuss the origins of belief in Hell, the philosophical problems it entails and just what sociologists and economists think about its effects on the real world.
  • Roller Derby Microbiome

    Jul 25, 2013 | 39 min
    Once upon a time, the word “outdoors” wasn’t a thing. But then humans invented “indoors,” and with it an artificial environment containing an artificial environment of microorganisms. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie discuss the ways in which we might manage or even engineer the microbiology of these indoor worlds.
  • Cubicle Doom

    Jul 23, 2013 | 46 min
    Can your office cubical kill you? Might an open-floor office plan save your life or drive you to madness? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie examine the science and psychology of our artificial work spaces.
  • The Mystery of Human Consciousness

    Jul 18, 2013 | 43 min
    What is consciousness? Can we test for it? And how to we rectify the seemingly disparate realities of physical brain and immaterial mind? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie consider the hard problem of human consciousness and the philosophic warnings of the New Mysterians.
  • Insect Love Song

    Jul 16, 2013 | 26 min
    The night is alive with insects. To our human ears their song is mere cacophony, but it’s actually a vast web of communication signals. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie decode the Insect Internet for the meanings behind insect songs.
  • Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands

    Jul 11, 2013 | 25 min
    Resist the urge to clap at the next concert or play you attend – IF YOU DARE! Because as Robert and Julie explain in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, applause is viral. It’s hard-coded into our mental capacity for synchronicity and social adaptation.
  • Grunting the Conqueror Worm

    Jul 9, 2013 | 30 min
    Behold the conqueror earthworm, a creature introduced to North America mere centuries ago and now virtually unstoppable. And yet some humans know the means of summoning these worms from the Earth using only music or the rhythmic rubbing of stakes. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie take you inside the world of worm grunting.
  • A Cuppa Joe

    Jul 4, 2013 | 43 min
    Just what's in a cup of coffee? Why does it make us feel so invincible and why does it make us poop so much? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.
  • How to Beat the Thought Police

    Jul 2, 2013 | 43 min
    Want to know how to beat a polygraph test? How about current and near-future fMRI lie detection tests? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie take you to the place where neuroscience and criminal investigation collide.

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