BrainStuff

BrainStuff

Whether the topic is popcorn or particle physics, you can count on BrainStuff to explore -- and explain -- the everyday science in the world around us.

Episodes

March 18, 2024 6 mins

Given the right depth, temperature, and access to volcanic gases, lakes can explode and kill thousands in the process. Learn how these limnic eruptions happen in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/what-makes-killer-lake-explode.htm

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Palm oil is in lots of foods, cosmetics, and household products -- and that's a very serious thing. Learn the problems (and solutions) that palm oil presents in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/conservation/issues/palm-oil-is-everywhere-heres-why-that-matters.htm

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March 16, 2024 9 mins

OK may be the most frequently spoken word in the world -- but what does it stand for? How did it get here? Learn the etymology behind it in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article -- okay? Okay! https://people.howstuffworks.com/history-ok.htm

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March 15, 2024 7 mins

The Ides of March is an artifact of an ancient Roman calendar that's stuck with us thanks to Julius Caesar getting himself assassinated and William Shakespeare writing about it. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/ides-of-march.htm

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March 14, 2024 6 mins

The many species of fruit bats around the world help pollinate our plants and spread their seeds far and wide. Learn more about these flying mammals in today's episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/fruit-bats.htm

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March 13, 2024 4 mins

Sometimes, foods that require more effort for our bodies to digest (like meats) can cause us to sweat. Learn why in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/digestive/are-meat-sweats-real-thing.htm

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March 5, 2024 7 mins

Susan B. Anthony went from a radical arrested for placing a vote to an honoree on U.S. currency within a century. Learn more about her life and work in both abolition and women's suffrage in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/susan-b-anthony.htm

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Elevators cables are inspected on the regular, but what happens when one breaks? Learn about the ingenious systems that keep elevators safe when even the worst happens in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/question730.htm

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Researchers, like zombies, are interested in brains of all kinds. Learn a few basics about how donating your brain to science works in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/nervous-system/5-things-didnt-know-about-donating-brain-to-science.htm

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March 2, 2024 7 mins

The ocean can appear to be many different shades of blue (and green, and even violet) -- but all water is clear. Learn why in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/oceanography/why-is-ocean-different-colors-different-places.htm

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Confusion about what a Brachiosaurus is started the moment paleontologists discovered one. Learn about these long-armed sauropods (and about the dino cousin they're often pictured as, Giraffatitan) in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/dinosaurs/brachiosaurus.htm

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February 29, 2024 11 mins

The term 'critical race theory' started causing a lot of buzz back in 2020, but what does it really mean? And is it being taught in schools? Learn about this academic theory in today's episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://people.howstuffworks.com/critical-race-theory-news.htm

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February 28, 2024 7 mins

Our brains release the hormone oxytocin during pleasant circumstances and bonding experiences -- but can we really take it to induce those experiences? Learn why it's complicated in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: thttps://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/endocrine/oxytocin.htm

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February 27, 2024 7 mins

Pistol shrimp (aka snapping shrimp) can 'shoot' bubbles that go off louder than a gun and will stun prey or dig into rock. Learn more (including how they're inspiring nuclear fission research) in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/marine-life/pistol-shrimp.htm

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As London grew throughout the 1800s, it became clear that there wasn't enough real estate for its deceased citizens. Learn how the London Necropolis Railway took the funerary show on the road in this classic episode of BrainStuff.

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Beer and soda both form sudsy bubbles when you pour them, so why does soda's foam dissipate while beer's forms a head? Learn about foam physics in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/beer-form-head-not-soda.htm

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February 15, 2024 9 mins

Maya Angelou was a people's poet -- an artist, activist, and teacher whose words resonate from Supreme Court Justices to internet memes. Learn more about her through a few of her own quotes in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/maya-angelou-quotes.htm To hear more from today's writer, Yves Jeffcoat, listen to her podcast, On Theme: https://www.ontheme.show/ 

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February 14, 2024 9 mins

Scurvy is a serious condition that's easily cured with access to vitamin C. Learn why humans get it (and why it was the scourge of the high seas) in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/rare/scurvy.htm

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February 13, 2024 6 mins

Cattle burp so much methane into our atmosphere that it's the equivalent of how much cars pollute every day. Learn what researchers are trying to do about the gassy situation in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/methane-cow.htm 

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February 6, 2024 7 mins

The water cycle brings Earth's water from the clouds to the ground and back again -- but how did it get here in the first place? Learn about the leading theories in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/water-come-from.htm

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