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Right Now in Stuff to Blow Your Mind

 Undead Genes: Genetic Activation After Death

While more elaborate visions of the afterlife view mortal existence as a sort of larval stage in a grander human timeline, science tells us that death is the end. The human mind blinks out of existence as the brain dies. The vast multicellular, microbiota-colonized empire collapses into decay. And yet, as things fall apart, certain genes have been observed to activate. Join Robert and Joe as they explore the world of ‘undead genes.’ See more »

Weird Mushrooms!

 Weird Mushrooms!

Join Robert and Christian as they crack open the sacred book of the shroom and examine a half-dozen examples of magnificently weird mushrooms. See more »

Retrofuturist Flashback: Masterslave Hula Hooping

 Retrofuturist Flashback: Masterslave Hula Hooping

Yes, fresh out of the General Electric engineering lab, we see the amazing hydro-mechanical masterslave 'Handyman.' See more »

Retrofuturist Flashback: Rise of the Mobot

 Retrofuturist Flashback: Rise of the Mobot

Mobots impress us with their pouring skills and possible lady-murder in this edition of Retrofuturist Flashback... See more »

Beyond this Vale of Testing: Post-Empirical Science

 Beyond this Vale of Testing: Post-Empirical Science

Most scientists declare empirical falsifiability -- the notion that a theory may be proven right or wrong via scientific investigation -- to be the core principle of science. Others, such as string theorists, think science should move beyond those boundaries. Is empiricism an unnecessary straight jacket? Is “post-empirical science” an oxymoron? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. See more »

Star Wars: Evolution of a Child-Snatching Fan Franchise

 Star Wars: Evolution of a Child-Snatching Fan Franchise

Decades of corporate refinement have seen the evolution of child-focused franchises, with properties such as 'Star Wars' to 'Pokémon' benefiting from wave after successive wave of demographically ideal customers. But where is this evolution headed? See more »

Scalp Hunters and the Cobra Effect

 Scalp Hunters and the Cobra Effect

Bounties have a way of complicating the economics of human decency and indecency, resulting in hoards of rats, ill-gotten pig tails and the escalating genocidal horror of scalp hunting in Colonial America. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the perverse world of unintended consequences and the cobra effect. See more »

STBYM Live: Prime Directives & Planetary Contamination

 STBYM Live: Prime Directives & Planetary Contamination

The Prime Directive serves as the Federation’s philosophical backbone, no matter how often our favorite Trek heroes bend and break its values in order to save the day. How does this policy match up with current space exploration procedures, colonial Earth history and our most dangerous terrestrial ideas? Robert, Joe and Christian explore in this special LIVE Stuff to Blow Your Mind presentation from Star Trek: Mission New York. See more »

The Great Ordeal's Outside Context Problem

 The Great Ordeal's Outside Context Problem

What happens when a medieval metahuman encounters an outside context problem? Robert Lamb discusses in a spoiler-laden post about R. Scott Bakker's 'The Great Ordeal.' See more »

Chinese Ghost Marriage: The Rite of Mínghūn

 Chinese Ghost Marriage: The Rite of Mínghūn

To many outsiders, the tradition of ghost marriage in China and other parts of Asia may seem bizarre and even a little ghoulish, but the practice is grounded in long, rich cultural tradition of ancestor veneration. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, join Robert and Christian for an investigation into the practice, history and exploitation of ghost marriage. See more »

The Substance of Silence

 The Substance of Silence

We all have a pretty good notion of noise, but what exactly is silence? Is it a substance or an absence? Between the mindflaying quiet of soundless rooms to wildlife ambience and white noise machines, what is the ideal balance of silence? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe look for answers and, yes, also discuss a few sound-sensitive monsters and the likelihood of blowing up a humanoid head with sound. See more »

MSG: Umami and Chinese Restaurant Syndrome

 MSG: Umami and Chinese Restaurant Syndrome

Monosodium glutamate has accumulated quite an undeserving reputation over the years, forcing many an Asian restaurant to post “No MSG” signs lest customers run in fear of foreign, flavor-hacking chemicals. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the history and science of MSG and explore just why we demonized it for so long. See more »

The Great Transhumanist Rapture War: Part 2

 The Great Transhumanist Rapture War: Part 2

Join Robert and Joe as they explore the space for common ground — and conflict — between genetically modified cyborgs and heaven-teleported believers. See more »

Monster of the Week: Succubi, Ants & Sperm Theft

 Monster of the Week: Succubi, Ants & Sperm Theft

What natural-world organism could possibly emulate this infernal breeding plan? What creature outside of Hell would seduce a member of another species, steal its sperm and then use the seed for its own diabolical purposes? See more »

The Great Transhumanist Rapture War: Part 1

 The Great Transhumanist Rapture War: Part 1

What do the transhumanist visions and singularitarians have in common with Christian rapture doctrine, apocalyptic prophesies and far-future saviors? Join Robert and Joe as they explore the space for common ground -- and conflict -- between genetically modified cyborgs and Heaven-teleported believers in this two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. See more »

Curious Incident of the Guinea Worm in the Dog

 Curious Incident of the Guinea Worm in the Dog

Humans have waged a decade-spanning war of extinction against the parasitic Guinea worm. With cases down roughly 99.99 percent from 1986, it would seem the struggle is nearly at an end. Now our inhuman adversary has found a new place to hide -- and that place is man's best friend. See more »

A Time Before Fire

 A Time Before Fire

Humans hardly invented fire, and yet if we travel back far enough in time, we encounter a time before the flame.Remember, three ingredients are necessary for fire. As the boss is quick to remind us, you can't start a fire without a spark -- a Yet it ... See more »

OSIRIS-REx: NASA's Journey to the Netherworld

 OSIRIS-REx: NASA's Journey to the Netherworld

In the year 2018, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx will rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu, a 1,614-foot near Earth object that might just collide with our world at some point in the 22nd century. OSIRIS-REx will explore this carbonaceous wanderer, but it will also bring a portion of it back home. Join Robert and Christian as they discuss the mission and chat with space scientists Dr. Amy. A Simon about OSIRIS-REx. See more »

Listener Mail VI: The Listener Mailbox of Babel

 Listener Mail VI: The Listener Mailbox of Babel

Yet again, the mailbot brings forth the responses and queries of many loyal Stuff to Blow Your Mind listeners. Join Robert, Christian and Joe on a sacred journey to catalog the Listener Mailbox of Babel and eventually find the precious texts of the legendary Crimson Inbox. See more »

Welcome to the Mosquito Factory

 Welcome to the Mosquito Factory

In humanity’s ongoing war against mosquito borne illness, some of the most innovative offense comes in the form mosquito breeding programs. Yes, these “mosquito factories” are all about manipulating the enemy rather than simply killing them. Join Robert and Christian as they explore the world of GMO mosquitoes, Wolbachia bacteria and the possible wages of mosquito eradication. See more »