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

July 25, 2021 5 min

Spoiler alert: Yep! Well, sometimes. Learn how one African ant species nurses its wounded soldiers, yielding a surprising survival rate, in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/insects/ants-rescue-treat-wounded-comrades.htm

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Chinese 5-spice powder can contain a lot of things (including more than five spices), but it's all rooted in ancient medicine and philosophy. Learn more in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/food-facts/chinese-five-spice-powder-tasty-and-not-necessarily-five-spices.htm

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It's rare that all of a plane's engines fail, but when they do, a pilot can still glide the aircraft to a safe landing. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/flight/modern/how-far-can-plane-go-no-engines.htm

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July 22, 2021 8 min

These nocturnal feathered predators have been capturing our imaginations for millennia. Learn about how owls work in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/birds/owls.htm

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A shortage of microchips is driving up the cost of everything from consumer electronics to used cars. Learn why in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/semiconductor-shortage-news.htm

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July 20, 2021 5 min

After much debate, the world officially has a fifth ocean: the Southern Ocean, surrounding Antarctica. Learn about it in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/oceanography/southern-ocean-news.htm

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July 19, 2021 10 min

Infrastructure -- all the pipes, roads, rails, and everything else that makes civilization work -- must be maintained and replaced as it ages. Learn how the U.S. ranks in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/engineering/civil/americas-infrastructure-news.htm

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The heat of nuclear weapons is enough to melt sand into glass. Learn the story of trinitite, the glass from the first atomic test site, in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/trinitite-first-nuclear-bomb-turned-sand-to-glass.htm

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It turns out that people who talk about themselves in the third person may be giving themselves a mental boost. ("You're nailing this episode description, Lauren!") Learn why in today's classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/benefits-talking-like-egomaniac.htm

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July 16, 2021 6 min

It turns out that bug zappers are too effective -- they kill a lot of helpful insects along with the pests they target. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/conservation/issues/bug-zappers-are-bad-news.htm

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It's true that some sharks breathe most easily when they're swimming, but that doesn't mean they can't find ways to rest. Learn about buccal pumping, ram ventilation, and more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/fish/sharks/shark-drown.htm

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July 14, 2021 8 min

This French national holiday celebrates a lot more than the Storming of the Bastille. Learn about le Quatorze Juillet (July 14th) in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/holidays-other/bastille-day.htm

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The animals that kill the most people every year aren't the ones featured in scary movies or sensational documentaries. Learn about the world's most dangerous animals in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/dangerous-animals.htm

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Tall tales about the logger Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox, Babe, are American classics. Learn about the real people they're based on and how they got so popular in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/real-paul-bunyan.htm

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OK, 'happy' is a stretch, but researchers are looking into how cows given positive interactions (like back scritches) grow and produce milk versus less-content cows. Learn more in this classic episode of BrainStuff.

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The season you were born in helps determine whether you'll have allergies, but science has never understood why. Learn what a team of researchers discovered in this classic episode of BrainStuff.

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With all the different types of currency in the world, it's nigh impossible to count it all -- but there are estimates. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://money.howstuffworks.com/how-much-money-is-in-the-world.htm

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Black and brown bears are two different species, and they're easy to tell apart -- from a safe distance, even. Learn how in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/brown-bear.htm

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July 7, 2021 10 min

Mutations of the virus that causes COVID-19, called variants, can be even more dangerous than the original. Learn about delta and other SARS-CoV-2 variants in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/infectious/delta-variant-coronavirus-news.htm

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Before the oceans were blue, they were pink. Learn about the cyanobacteria that caused this coloration in today's episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/earths-oldest-color-was-pink.htm

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Josh Clark

Josh Clark

Jonathan Strickland

Jonathan Strickland

Ben Bowlin

Ben Bowlin

Lauren Vogelbaum

Lauren Vogelbaum

Cristen Conger

Cristen Conger

Christian Sager

Christian Sager

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