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Podcasts

Conjoined Dreamers

 Conjoined Dreamers

Is the dream world a solitary creation of the sleeping mind, or can we share these spaces of fear, wonder and desire with other dreamers? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore Carl Jung’s collective unconscious as well as the science of linked dreaming via computer interfaces. See more »

The Nine Dream Worlds of Frederik van Eeden

 The Nine Dream Worlds of Frederik van Eeden

Have you ever desired a map of the dream world? Look no further than the ideas and practices of Dutch psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden. Influenced by Hindu philosophy, mysticism and panpsychism, van Eeden coined the term 'lucid dreaming' along with eight other specific states of dreaming. Join Robert and Christian as they explore his seven kingdoms of sleep. See more »

Undead Genes: Genetic Activation After Death

 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »