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

November 27, 2022 4 min

How high can helium balloons go before they burst? Do they always burst? Learn about the physics of escaped balloons in this classic episode of BrainStuff.

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Snoring can root from a number of causes, but sleeping on your side can usually help prevent it. Learn the science of snores in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/sleep/disorders/does-sleeping-on-side-stop-snoring.htm

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November 25, 2022 6 min

Asking customers for charitable donations at checkout can raise a lot of money -- and a lot of goodwill for the business. (And no, businesses can't write off your donations on their taxes.) Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://money.howstuffworks.com/checkout-charity-is-good-for-business.htm

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This odd tradition seems to stem from early in the history of Thanksgiving being a national holiday, and has only gotten more formal (and more silly) in recent years. Learn about turkeys in the White House in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/american-history/presidential-turkey-pardon.htm

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November 23, 2022 7 min

In California, human development has taken away migrating shorebirds' habitats -- so conservationists are renting rice fields during the farmers' off season to act as temporary habitats. Learn how it works in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/conservation/issues/renting-rice-fields-farmers-migrating-water-fowl.htm

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From 1920 to 1930, after the indigenous Osage people struck it rich with oil on their land, grifters scammed them out of millions -- and murdered a number of them in the process. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/american-history/osage-tribe-murders.htm

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November 21, 2022 7 min

We know that eels spawn, like many marine mammals -- but spawning can take many forms. So how do eels do it? Learn what we know (and don't know) in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/marine-life/how-do-eels-reproduce.htm

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November 14, 2022 6 min

The holder of this title is debated, but Earth's oldest tree is at least (at least!) 4,800 years old -- and may be much older. Learn about the contenders in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/botany/oldest-tree-in-world.htm

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Not having a permanent address or access to identifying documents can make voting in U.S. elections nearly impossible. Learn more about these challenges -- and what some organizations are doing to help -- in this episode of BrainStuff.

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You've heard of smallpox, but what was the great pox? And did Shakespeare have it? Learn about the spread of (spoiler alert) syphilis in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/arts/literature/pox-on-that-refers-to.htm

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November 11, 2022 6 min

These social fish are fascinating for reasons far beyond their unique shapes. Learn about them in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/marine-life/seahorses.htm

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There's very little that any U.S. president can do to affect gas prices in the short term. Learn why in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://money.howstuffworks.com/president-gas-prices.htm

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Short answer: Yes, totally. Human bodies all work a little differently, so it's possible to have an egg ready to go while you're having your period. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on these articles: https://health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/pregnancy/fertility/abnormal-menstrual-cycles-and-fertility.htm; https://health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/pregnancy/fertility/pregnant-dur...

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In hotly contested elections, campaigns flood television channels and streaming services with ads for or against the people running. Learn when they can make a difference in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://people.howstuffworks.com/do-campaign-tv-ads-change-voters-minds.htm

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October 31, 2022 8 min

Cemeteries and other places where we inter or honor the dead are often at least a little unsettling. Learn about the psychology and philosophy behind this phenomenon in today's episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/afterlife/scary-graveyard.htm

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October 30, 2022 8 min

Plenty of things are scary these days, so why do people pay good money to see horror movies and go to 'haunted' houses? Learn why psychologists say these fearful experiences are helpful in today's classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/why-love-to-be-scared.htm

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October 29, 2022 6 min

Lamia is a character from Greek myth who, in various tellings, devours children or seduces men. Learn about her legends in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/lamia.htm

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October 25, 2022 4 min

It's not necessarily fun (nor on purpose), but yes, some people sleep with one or both eyes partially open. Learn how nocturnal lagophthalmos works in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/sleep/disorders/can-fall-asleep-with-eyes-open.htm

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October 24, 2022 5 min

Today's megafauna are tiny compared with history's largest dinosaurs. Learn a few theories about how these animals got so big in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/extinct-animals/why-were-prehistoric-animals-big.htm

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No, it's not radioactive noodles -- nuclear pasta is the term for weird material produced in neutron stars. Learn why astrophysicists are so interested in how it works in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/nuclear-pasta-is-super-macaroni-universe.htm

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