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Blow Your Mind: Lucky Pants and the Bystander Effect

Two episodes in one image! A Thai protester wears a necklace of amulets. (Athit Perawongmetha/Stringer/Getty)

This week brings you two more episodes of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. What are they about? I'm glad you asked...

The Science of Lucky Pants: Just what do psychologists think about your lucky rabbit's foot? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I break down the science of pre-game rituals and good luck charms. They look at just what luck reveals about the inner workings of the human mind, as well as whether any of it actually does us any good.

The Bystander Effect and You: The next time your car breaks down on the side of the road, count the number of vehicles that pass you by without stopping to help. That's the bystander effect in action, and it means the random face in the crowd will probably look the other way if you need a helping hand. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I discuss just how crowd apathy works and what it says about who we are.

Up next week: You'll learn something about orgasm wars and something about the strength of Hulk Hogan -- but not in the same podcast.

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About the Author: Robert Lamb is a senior writer and host at HowStuffWorks, where he co-hosts Stuff to Blow Your Mind. An avid science enthusiast, he boasts a deep love for monsters and a hankering for electronic music.

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