Invention

Invention

From agriculture to the X-ray machine, Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the inventions we created, and how they created us.

Episodes

April 20, 2020 76 min

We’re all probably using a lot more soap these days, but… what is it exactly? How does it work? Who invented it and how has it changed the world? Join Robert and Joe as they explore the invention of Soap. This episode marks the final installment of Invention as a standalone podcast, but invention-based episodes will continue on the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast.

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Chewing gum is everywhere today, but where does it come from? What did we chew before Bubblicious? How does gum affect us? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of Invention. (Originally published 7/8/2019)

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April 6, 2020 75 min

We all love a good museum, but how long have we had them? In this episode of Invention, Robert and Joe discuss just what a museum actually is and when the concept seems to have entered human civilization. (7/1/2019)

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March 30, 2020 53 min

It’s hard to imagine how anyone looked cool before the invention of sunglasses, but just when did humans pop their first pair of shades? In this episode of Invention, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss everything from the blinding white hell of arctic wastes to the blood-soaked spectacle of gladiatorial combat. (Originally published 1/7/2019)

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March 23, 2020 56 min

A fungal accident in the early 20th century opened the door for the medical wonders of the antibiotic age. In this episode of Invention, Robert and Joe explore what came before and how Alexander Fleming’s discovery changed the world. (Originally published 7/15/19)

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March 16, 2020 61 min

Where do new words come from? Robert and Joe explore in the latest episode of Invention.

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March 9, 2020 59 min

Where do new words come from? Robert and Joe explore in the latest episode of Invention.

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March 2, 2020 58 min

You may very well encounter barbed wire everyday -- and, in all likelihood, you see THROUGH this flesh-ripping barrier. Where did this invention come from? How did it change the world? Robert and Joe discuss “the devil’s rope” in this episode of Invention.

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February 24, 2020 56 min

Fire technology depends on the ability to not only create and foster fire, but also the ability to snuff it out as needed. Today, the fire extinguisher is an important active fire protection device, but where does this technology emerge in human techno-history? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of Invention.

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February 17, 2020 54 min

Fire technology depends on the ability to not only create and foster fire, but also the ability to snuff it out as needed. Today, the fire extinguisher is an important active fire protection device, but where does this technology emerge in human techno-history? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of Invention.

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February 10, 2020 43 min

Mastery of fire was one of humanity’s greatest technological leaps forward, but even the ability to create fire only gets you so far if the flame is not easily generated and/or transferred. Thus, the millennia-spanning quest to create the subtle technology we so easily take for granted: the modern matchstick. Join Robert and Joe for a multi-episode Invention exploration on fire-generation technology.

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February 3, 2020 50 min

Mastery of fire was one of humanity’s greatest technological leaps forward, but even the ability to create fire only gets you so far if the flame is not easily generated and/or transferred. Thus, the millennia-spanning quest to create the subtle technology we so easily take for granted: the modern matchstick. Join Robert and Joe for a multi-episode Invention exploration on fire-generation technology.

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January 27, 2020 62 min

Mastery of fire was one of humanity’s greatest technological leaps forward, but even the ability to create fire only gets you so far if the flame is not easily generated and/or transferred. Thus, the millennia-spanning quest to create the subtle technology we so easily take for granted: the modern matchstick. Join Robert and Joe for a multi-episode Invention exploration on fire-generation technology.

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January 20, 2020 53 min

It’s easy to take the pencil for granted, but that eraser-capped wooden cylinder with a core of graphite has a story and a history -- and Robert and Joe explore it in this episode of Invention.

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The Mai Tai isn’t only the most famous Tiki cocktail, it’s one of the most well known cocktails on the planet. But where does it come from? Who invented it? In this episode of Invention, Robert and Joe turn to noted Tiki historian and mixologist Jeff “Beachbum” Berry for answers.

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January 6, 2020 66 min

Chopsticks are such an intuitive and precise eating utensil, it’s easy to assume they’ve been with us. But as Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore, this neolithic invention didn’t really leave the kitchen for the dinner table in a major way till the fifth century CE. Prepare to explore the invention of chopsticks. (Originally published 12/17/18)

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December 30, 2019 47 min

Join your Invention hosts Robert and Joe for another round of listenener mail on recent episodes devoted to the Microwave Oven and all sorts of toys.

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December 23, 2019 50 min

As the first year of Invention comes to a close, Robert and Joe catch up on listener mail for everything from air conditioning and ketchup to toys and bubble wrap.

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December 16, 2019 79 min

As the holiday season sets in, Robert and Joe open up Santa’s toy bag to consider the invention of various toys -- toys intended to teach, toys intended to puzzle and toys that leverage technology for good old fashioned childhood fun.

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December 9, 2019 55 min

As the holiday season sets in, Robert and Joe open up Santa’s toy bag to consider the invention of various toys -- toys intended to teach, toys intended to puzzle and toys that leverage technology for good old fashioned childhood fun.

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Robert Lamb

Robert Lamb

Joe McCormick

Joe McCormick

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