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 and Joe as they examine neurological quandaries, cosmic mysteries, evolutionary marvels and our transhuman future on Stuff To Blow Your Mind, a podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.... Show More

Episodes

January 25, 2020 55 min

What if the Ark of the Covenant was actually a bronze-age machine capable of storing an electrostatic charge? It almost certainly wasn't, but the idea is a great excuse to explore the understanding of electricity in the ancient world. Join Robert and Joe for another Ark-themed episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

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January 23, 2020 57 min

Lalibela, Ethiopia is home to one of the true wonders of the world: a series of 11 rock-hewn monolithic churches -- all interconnected by tunnels and passages that connect to catacombs and hermit caves. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the details of these 12th century marvels.

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January 21, 2020 55 min

There’s often a gap between feeling and understanding, but language and classification provide us with tremendous tools for self-reflection. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the concept of kama muta, a broad categorization of emotional states that include loved belonging, patriotism, cuteness, spiritual communion and the feels.

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January 18, 2020 71 min

What was the Ark of the Covenant? A mere ceremonial vessel for sacred items? A radio for speaking to God? The golden chest of the ancient Hebrews has fascinated historians, theologians, scientists, dreamers and Nazi-punching archeologists for ages. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe consider some of the more thought-provoking ideas concerning its nature. (originally published 12/6/2018)

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Their fossils date back 450 million years and their copper-rich blue blood continues to benefit various medical applications. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the science and history of horseshoe crabs.

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January 14, 2020 60 min

Yes, tomorrow marks ten years of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. In celebration, original cohost and HowStuffWorks editor Allison Loudermilk pops by to speak with Robert and Joe about science, science communication and some recent headlines.

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January 11, 2020 75 min

Behold the Great Basilisk, the crowned monster whose mere glance can kill a mortal and reduce wilderness to desert ash. Medieval bestiaries attest to its might, but today some futurists dread its name as an all-powerful malicious artificial intelligence. Will it imprison all those who oppose it within a digital prison of eternal torment? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider the horro... Read more

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January 9, 2020 96 min

From its literary origins in the mirror realm of Lewis Carroll to its terrifying appearance in Charlie Brooker's “Black Mirror,” the frumious Bandersnatch is a monster from which it is useless to flee. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe follow its trail through a maze of choice, freewill, advertising and streaming media.

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January 7, 2020 58 min

In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Joe chats with Brandon Fibbs, host of the new podcast "9 Days in July," which explores each of the nine days of the Apollo 11 Mission, day by day, in nine 60-minute-long episodes. Listen to "9 Days in July" on the iHeartRadio app and everywhere podcasts are found: megaphone.link/9daysinjuly

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If a machine told you it was conscious, how could you tell if it was lying? Indeed, how can you tell that any random human in your life is lying when they speak of their own consciousness. Join Robert and Joe for a stirring discussion on AI consciousness, philosophical zombies and the coming techno-cognitive dilemma. (Originally published April 12, 2018)

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January 2, 2020 34 min

Our understanding of history and cosmos continues to evolve -- and that means episodes of Stuff to Blow Your Mind are likely to require updates. In this episode, Robert and Joe discuss recent updates to topics discussed in past episodes ‘The First Monster” and their coverage of Oumuamua.

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In the book “Chasting New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto,” authors Dr. Alan Stern and Dr. David Grinspoon recount the riveting history of the quest to send a spacecraft to the planet Pluto. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Grinspoon chats about the book, the planet and the nature of space exploration.

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December 28, 2019 57 min

We all know teasing when we see it or experience it, but what role does it play in human interactions? Join Robert and Joe in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind as they explore hurtful, playful and educative teasing. (Originally published Sept. 11, 2018)

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December 26, 2019 55 min

It's boxing day in many holiday traditions: A time to give a gratitude box to postmen, errand boys and servants. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe present just such a box to the mailbot Karnie and read some listener mail as well.

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December 24, 2019 57 min

He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, but is Santa Claus merely a magical entity or does he rise to the status of a god? In this pair of STBYM episodes, Robert and Joe discuss the general attributes of a deity and consider the awesome, reality-warping powers of the one we call Kris Kringle, Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and of course Santa Claus.

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Welcome to Christmas Island, a place where it’s still only Christmas once a year… but where red crabs swarm across the land and enormous coconut crabs feast on carrion in the forests. So deck the halls with boughs of SCUTTLING HORROR as Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick celebrate the holiday season in style. (Originaly published Dec. 27, 2018)

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December 19, 2019 50 min

He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, but is Santa Claus merely a magical entity or does he rise to the status of a god? In this pair of STBYM episodes, Robert and Joe discuss the general attributes of a deity and consider the awesome, reality-warping powers of the one we call Kris Kringle, Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and of course Santa Claus.

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Did 20-foot-tall giant fungi rule the earth 400 million years ago? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss the puzzling prototaxites fossils from the Devonian period.

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Welcome to Christmas Island, a place where it’s still only Christmas once a year… but where red crabs swarm across the land and enormous coconut crabs feast on carrion in the forests. So deck the halls with boughs of SCUTTLING HORROR as Robert and Joe celebrate the holiday season in style. (Originally published Dec. 25, 2018)

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December 12, 2019 59 min

The natural world evokes various feelings in the mind, but humans spend a great deal of their time within spaces that they themselves designed and built out of the environment. In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe consider the ways that architecture impacts our thoughts and feelings.

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