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

May 17, 2022 6 min

The most popular modern bidet was invented in the U.S., so why hasn't this technology caught on here? Learn the history of the bidet in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://home.howstuffworks.com/bidet.htm

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Even though Earth is the largest rocky body in our solar system, we don't have the largest mountain -- not by a long shot. Learn how Mars took the title in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/tallest-mountain-in-solar-system.htm

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A study investigating the microbes and bugs in chimpanzee beds versus human beds showed that chimps are cleaner than we are. Learn about the study's results in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/bed-has-more-poop-than-chimps.htm

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Some words like 'disgruntled' and 'ineffable' -- informally called lonely negatives -- don't have a positive counterpart in English. Learn how a few of them came to be in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://people.howstuffworks.com/lonely-negative.htm

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May 13, 2022 6 min

Snakes have several fascinating reproductive tricks up their sleeves (scales?). Learn about the wild world of dual penises, delayed fertilization, egg incubation, and mating balls in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/snakes/how-do-snakes-mate.htm

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Manifest Destiny was the idea that European colonists in the early U.S. had a God-given duty to expand across the continent. Learn how it worked then and continues today in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/american-history/manifest-destiny-america.htm

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May 5, 2022 6 min

The coconut crab is the world's largest land-dwelling arthropod -- they grow longer than your average dog and can open coconuts with their claws. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/marine-life/coconut-crabs.htm

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The first instance of "May the Fourth be with you" was a celebration of politics, not fandom. Learn more about this history of Star Wars holidays in May in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/why-exactly-is-may-4th-a-star-wars-holiday.htm

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May 3, 2022 4 min

The Serpent Mound, a vast effigy built on a meteorite crater's edge in what's now Ohio, may be 900 years old -- or much older. Learn what we know and don't know in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/archaeology/ohio-serpent-mound.htm

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April 29, 2022 4 min

Anhedonia is a mental health condition where normally pleasurable things, from music to food to conversation to touch, don't feel good anymore. Learn what we're still learning about it in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/mental-disorders/anhedonia.htm

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Designing drones that can land and perch anywhere would be really useful, but it's harder than it may sound. Learn how researchers have pulled it off in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/perchiing-drones-news.htm

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Myths about lightning abound, but this one is true: It's safest to avoid running the taps during a thunderstorm. Learn why in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/storms/dangerous-to-bathe-during-thunderstorm.htm

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April 26, 2022 5 min

Bunnies and hares have a number of distinct traits -- as does Bugs himself. Learn whether he leans rabbit or hare in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/bugs-bunny-rabbit-or-hare.htm

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Switching to Daylight Savings Time gives us an extra hour of sunlight in the evenings during Spring and Summer months -- but is it helpful or hazardous? Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/permanent-daylight-saving-time-news.htm

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Some parents and advocacy groups recommend against allowing children to play with toys that resemble weapons. But is there any science to back that up? Learn about play, parenting, and aggression in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/behavior/playing-with-toy-guns-lead-to-actual-gun-violence.htm

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Holly Frey, host of Stuff You Missed in History Cass, sits down with Naibe Reynoso, one of the ten winners of Seneca Women to Hear: Search for the Next Great Female Podcasters

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Who were the first people to drink lemonade? How did it turn pink? Learn the folklore behind lemonade in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/what-is-history-lemonade.htm

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As audio technology developed during the 1900s, people realized that they needed a clearer way to communicate terms than spelling them out in the normal alphabet. Learn how the NATO phonetic alphabet (Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, etc.) came to be in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://people.howstuffworks.com/phonetic-alphabet.htm

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April 21, 2022 7 min

The magic microbe that makes bread rise and beer alcoholic is yeast -- often, the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Learn how it works in this episode of BrianStuff, based on this article: https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/tools-and-techniques/yeast.htm

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April 20, 2022 6 min

In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first Black American woman to earn a pilot's license. Learn about her life and legacy in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/flight/classic/bessie-coleman.htm

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