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

September 22, 2022 5 min

We associate nitrates with processed meats, but they occur in vegetables, too -- and they're not all bad. Learn more about nitrates and nitrites in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/nitrates.htm

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Our changing climate is creating all kinds of effects -- including some surprising historical reveals. Learn about a few of the human remains, dinosaur tracks, and WWII relics that receding waters have uncovered in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/archaeology/droughts-uncover-ancient-artifacts-news.htm

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When Queen Elizabeth II died in September of 2022, she left a legacy that includes at least a couple of Welsh Pembroke corgis. Learn about her history with this breed in today's episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/queen-corgis.htm

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September 14, 2022 4 min

The pinky toe is actually an important element in how we humans usually walk, jump, skip, etc. Learn how it works in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/parts/surprise-pinky-toe-does-serve-purpose.htm

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September 13, 2022 6 min

Muskrats are clever semi-aquatic rodents with a distinct musky scent. Learn more about them (and, yes, 'Muskrat Love') in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/muskrat.htm

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Would you live in a city 100 miles long but only 650 feet wide? Learn about Saudi Arabia's ambitious Neom Project in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/engineering/civil/the-line-saudi-arabia-news.htm

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We have retreats for everything else, so why not survival post-breakup? Learn how these camps hope to help the broken hearted, plus what emotional work they won't cover, in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/relationships/tips/breakup-bootcamp-surviving-broken-heart.htm

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In the U.S., 17.6 million people lack access to healthy food because there aren't any grocery stores or other shops that sell fresh food nearby. Learn about food deserts and how we can fix them in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/americans-still-lack-access-to-healthy-food.htm

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Around the turn of the 20th century, career criminal George C. Parker 'sold' property he didn't own, from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, dozens of times over. Learn more about his scams in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/conman-sold-brooklyn-bridge.htm

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September 8, 2022 8 min

Gallium is super rare, really useful in LEDs and smartphones, and will melt in your hand -- but won't boil until it hits 4000 degrees Fahrenheit. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/gallium.htm

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September 7, 2022 4 min

When animals sploot (that is, lay flat on their bellies with their limbs spread out) on a hot day, they're taking advantage of a cool surface. Learn about humans' sweating versus other animals' splooting in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/splooting.htm

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September 6, 2022 6 min

Social media is designed to keep you scrolling -- but too much negative news can be, well, too much. Learn why we doomscroll and how you can stop in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/social-networking/networks/doomscrolling.htm

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Intestinal parasites that plagued our ancestors seem to have led to a genetic adaptation that's causing emphysema and COPD today. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/respiratory/viking-toilet-investigation-emphysema.htm

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Statues of this jolly fellow adorn the register counters of many restaurants -- but he's not the Buddha. Learn about this Buddhist deity in today's episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://people.howstuffworks.com/that-fat-jolly-fella-isnt-buddha.htm

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Despite being a widespread condition, Alzheimer's is notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. Learn why (plus how researchers hope to make it easier) in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/dementia/why-is-it-so-hard-to-find-cure-for-alzheimers.htm

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September 2, 2022 4 min

During fall and spring migrations, building lights can confuse birds, causing deadly crashes. Learn how Lights Out programs are helping in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/birds/lights-out-program-birds.htm

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September 1, 2022 4 min

Baby kangaroos live in their mother's pouch for months after birth, and return sometimes even after they're mobile. Learn why, plus what it's like in there, in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/kangaroo-pouch.htm

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August 31, 2022 9 min

Up to 1 in every 50 pregnancies are ectopic -- that is, they implant outside the uterus and cannot be saved. Learn about the causes, symptoms, and confusion surrounding this common issue in today's episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/pregnancy/complications/10009-what-is-an-ectopic-pregnancy.htm

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The U.S. Federal Reserve is responsible for keeping the country's economy running smoothly. Learn why interest rate changes are one of the Fed's tools in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://money.howstuffworks.com/fed-change-interest-rate.htm

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Birds can migrate thousands of miles and back home again with no prior knowledge or assistance thanks to their superpowered vision. Learn about magnetoreception in this classic episode of BrainStuff.

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