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spacephoto-feature This Photo: Real Rocket Science or Space Odyssey?

This crazy image instantly summons thoughts of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and such related cinematic cosmic ventures as “Sunshine” and “Solaris.” But it’s actually a photo from the real world of rocket science. Specifically, we see here a 1985 glance

anatomicalmachine2-feature Artatomical: Di Sangro’s Anatomical Machines

Behold the anatomical machines of Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of Sansevero Italy (1710-1771). They were created by anatomist Giuseppe Salerno in the mid-18th century and have long fascinated, puzzled and horrified onlookers. In fact, grisly myths have long circulated that

airlinerofthefuture-feature Retrofuturist Flashback: Air-Liner of the Future

Here’s another amazing vision of the future, this time from 1914. “Air-Liner of the Future” by C Dudley Tennant depicts an age in which transatlantic air liners soar along at 10,000 feet, but then descend in the case of an

steampunkskeptic-feature Retrofuturist Flashback: 1829 Steampunk Satire

Think of it as reverse-steampunk if you will. Instead of re-imagining an outrageous future from the affected vantage point of 19th century Europe, we see here a satirical take on our steam-driven future from the actual vantage point of 1829

simonoftrent-feature Medieval Myths of Menstruating Jewish Men

Medieval men looked down on menstruation as something unnatural and  unclean. In a word, they considered it monstrous — to the point that “menstrum” is often written as “monstrum” in the 15th century gynecological treatise “Secreta Mulierum.” According to historian

thedead-feature The Threat of Ancient Mesopotamian Zombies

As we’ve discussed in previous STBYM episodes about zombies, the notion of shambling undead hoards strikes a real chord with our modern world. They’re an endless checklist. They’re a fantasy in which indiscriminate violence solves all our problems. So zombiemania

whale-podcast-feature Podcast Notes: Eaten Alive!

So we’re really excited about our episode “Eaten Alive!” since the possibility of whole, live consumption by a giant predator is truly the stuff of human nightmares. As we discuss in the episode, there’s also something beautiful about it.  Be

isenheimtemptation-feature The Psychedelic Nightmare of Ergotism

Imagine an entire town overcome by a collective waking nightmare. It’s the stuff of fantasy to be sure. Just read Brian McNaughton’s “The Return of Lrion Wolfbaiter” or play a little “Skyrim.” You’ll get there. But is it also the

Blow Your Mind: Nutmeg, the Scary Spice

Sure, you sprinkle nutmeg indifferently on your eggnog, but do you know its bloody history and psychotropic properties? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I discuss the weird, mind-bending, sickening and depressing side of an

Black Blizzards of the Dust Bowl

Just look at that photo. It was 1935 and a leviathan of dust advanced on a parched and decimated land. Families fled. Farms fell into ruin. The Dust Bowl terrorized the prairie lands of North America and threatened to turn

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