Stuff To Blow Your Mind

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

Deep in the back of your mind, you’ve always had the feeling that there’s something strange about reality. There is. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they examine neurological quandaries, cosmic mysteries, evolutionary marvels and our transhuman future.... Show More

Episodes

August 4, 2020 75 min

Ever feel like everyone in the Zoom call is looking at you? Ever astonished to find your contribution to a project goes unrecognized, or that your latest faux pas didn’t destroy you? Perhaps you’re not the central character in this narrative after all. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the spotlight effect and what it teaches us about our own perception of reality and those around us.

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This episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind takes listeners to Transylvania, where a rogue baron made important early strides in the field of paleobiology and where, during the Late Cretaceous period, giant pterosaur dubbed “Dracula” feasted on pony-sized dwarf sauropods. (Originally published 8/13/2019)

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July 30, 2020 62 min

From our earliest experiences with paleoart to tales of Pompeii and visions of modern catastrophes, it’s easy to associate volcanoes with death and destruction. But what if it’s less a case of Mount Doom and more a case of Mount Life, at least from a broader environmental point of view? Robert and Joe explore the question in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

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July 28, 2020 57 min

In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe continue their exploration of helmets -- both the horned and the non-horned variety. Learn about the beautiful complexity of Japanese samurai helmets, perhaps the weirdest helm ever donned by a king and more.

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In the second of two classic episodes, Joe and Christian continue their discussion of animal cognition, including animal morality, tool use, mental time travel, culture, and other strange clues to the intellectual complexity of our cousins in the animal kingdom. Afterwards, they speak to Dutch-American primatologist Frans de Waal about his book and his thoughts on the future of animal intelligence research. (Originally published 2/...

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July 23, 2020 65 min

Fantasy fiction is lousy with horned helmets -- and more than a few non-Vikings wore them historically. So what’s the deal with horned helms? Why are they impractical from an offensive standpoint? For that matter, just where do helmets come from and are there any animals that wear them? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

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Once again, Robert and Joe call forth the mailbot to read and discuss listener mail in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

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In the first of two classic episodes, Joe and Christian discuss the work of Dutch-American primatologist Frans de Waal, and ask the question of not just whether animals are smarter than we understand, but why the evidence of animal cognition is often so difficult for we humans to grasp. (Originally published 2/21/2017)

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July 16, 2020 68 min

In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Joe chats with Kat Arney about her upcoming book "Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution, and the New Science of Life's Oldest Betrayal."

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July 14, 2020 88 min

Majorities of Americans believe in the literal existence of Heaven and Hell, but where did these concepts originally come from, and how have they changed over the centuries? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Joe chats with Bart Ehrman, author of 'Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife.'

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How will you feel the day you finally delete all your social media accounts? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss some of the arguments for doing just that in Jaron Lanier’s book “Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.” (Originally published 8/6/2019)

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July 9, 2020 65 min

Gold from the ocean? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the basic idea behind the accumulation of oceanic gold and the fascinating historical hoax based on the notion. Plus, where does gold come from and how will deep sea gold mining endanger thermal vent ecosystems? Find out.

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July 7, 2020 59 min

Travel has long inspired the mind and engaged the senses, but just what's going on in the human body when we venture near or far? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore...

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July 4, 2020 48 min

Where do teeth come from and how do different dental variations in the animal world force us to rethink our glorious chompers? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore dental evolution and the wondrous marching molars of elephants and manatees. (Originally published 7/23/2019)

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July 2, 2020 70 min

Eggs are amazing and some of the varieties we find in nature are wonderfully weird, riveling or exceeding anything you’d ever find on a fictional derelict spaceship. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe consider some curious specimens from the world of eggs.

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Some problems are so big and complex that there’s not enough computational power on Earth to tackle them. Enter Quantum computing, a new kind of computing that can change how we solve problems forever. In this episode of Stuff To Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe chat with Director of IBM Quantum Strategy and Applications Research, Katie Pizzolato and ExxonMobil VP of R&D, Dr. Vijay Swarup.

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June 27, 2020 65 min

Humans are capable of amazing technological and societal feats, but we’ve also brought much misery, death and destruction to our world. We are currently in the midst of the sixth great extinction event -- the Holocene extinction -- and the ravages of human activity extend back throughout our history as a dominator species. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe focus in on some of the key extinctions that occurr...

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June 25, 2020 83 min

What exactly is kimchi and what is the chemistry of its deliciousness? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore this spicy, fermented staple of Korean cuisine.

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June 23, 2020 79 min

Fireworks are a staple of celebrations around the world, but where does this invention come from and what’s the basic chemistry of their combustion? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe light the fuse and find out.

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To what extent does the act of smiling generate happiness in the mind of the smiler? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss the Facial Feedback Hypothesis and what it means for our complex human emotions. (Originally published 6/20/2019)

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