Strange Sleep and Past Lives: In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie once again call forth the robot and take care of some accumulated listener mail on strange sleep, lucid dreaming, reincarnation and other topics.
The Barry White Effect: What does voice quality tell us about sexual fitness in a potential mate? Do the deep, velvet tones of Barry White have a scientifically-proven effect on our libido? What about Marilyn Monroe’s high, breathy voice? All shall be revealed in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Be sure to watch Julie's video on the topic as well.
Empathic Elephants: The elephant is Earth's largest surviving land creature and an example of nature at its most majestic. But these amazing creatures also boast self awareness, a high intelligence and a startling capacity for empathy. Join Robert and Julie as they discuss humanity's troubled relationship with elephant kind. Image source: Neil Emmerson/Robert Harding World Imagery/Getty
The Illusion of Continuity: What is perceptual constancy and how does the illusion of continuity pull a fast one over our brains? Find out in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind as Robert and Julie discuss the science behind Dancing Spider-Man, the whole Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz thing and the roots of magical thinking. About the Image: Man doing back flip on a trampoline by Eadweard Muybridge, 1881, in his Attitudes of Animals in Motion P&P Case © CORBIS
Reincarnation Blues: The metaphysics of reincarnation are nothing short of enthralling, from the notion of an immortal soul drifting through myriad life forms to the intimidating Wheel of Samsara with its heavenly and hellish realms. Why does this version of immortality appeal to us? And what, if anything, can science tell us about the survival of the soul? Join Robert and Julie for a rich discussion on the reincarnation. Image source: Godong/Universal Images Group/Getty
The Night Janitors of the Brain: Do you think other species ever look at humans and raise an eyebrow at the amount of sleep we need? Do cockroaches and eyelash mites leave messages on our foreheads in microscopic Sharpies? Perhaps “I just popped on an apex predator’s head.” We may be the most successful species in existence, but that doesn’t mean sleep is just another one of our “choices” as a human being. It is a necessity for survival, even though it requires immobility and vulnerability. Prepare to meet the night janitors of the human brain.
Slug Sex: Whether you're a hopeless romantic or a Valentine's hater, Robert and Julie have quite the episode for you. Prepare to have your mind blown as they expose the daring, disgusting, weaponized, cannibalistic and marathon lovemaking ways of slugs and snails. Originally published in 2013, the episode is now updated with a new page from the slug Kama Sutra that will leave you squirming. Be sure to explore this accompanying mini-gallery for maximum terror. Image Credit: "Slug Sex" by Erica Nelson, woodcut, available for purchase at her MadeOfMarrow Etsy Shop.
The Problem of Immortality: Humans are haunted by death. It awaits us all with open arms and all we can do is dream of its blissful antithesis: immortality. And so we've constructed a fortress of ideas to protect us against the terror of impermanence: astral bodies, reincarnation, bodily resurrection and the immaterial soul. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie discuss the Terror Management Theory, which holds that fear of death and the quest for immortality command every facet of our lives. Discover how reminders of mortality affect or personal ethics and decision making, from the cash register to the voting booth. Image Credit: 'Self-portrait with Death Playing the Fiddle" by Arnold Böcklin. Click here for more on this image.
The Power of Leeches: Are leeches mere bloodsucking parasites or do these creatures have a place in modern medicine? Plus learn about the very real 19th century invention that incorporated bottled leeches. Tune into this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind for all sorts of vein-tapping goodness. Image credit: Garry DeLong/Oxford Scientific/Getty
The Meaning of Stonehenge: Stonehenge remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of the ancient world. Was it a burial ground for aristocratic families, a Druid temple or pilgrimage for those observing the seasons?