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Chinese Immortality: Elixirs and Enlightened Beings

 Chinese Immortality: Elixirs and Enlightened Beings

From deathless beheaded warriors and sacrificial heroines to mystical hermits, Chinese mythology is rich with tales of the undying. After all, the notion of immortality is as old as recorded history, so it makes sense to find a diverse, uniquely Chinese take on the trope. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, join Robert and Joe as they contemplate tales and traditions from Taoist sorcery, alchemy and Chinese folktales. See more »

Chinese Zodiac: Superstition, Economics & Destiny

 Chinese Zodiac: Superstition, Economics & Destiny

As we celebrate Chinese New Year and enter the year of the fire rooster, join Robert and Joe for an encore Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration of the Chinese zodiac and some interesting studies related to its impact on birth rates, economics and individual destiny. As always, you can take astrology with a grain of salt, but the impact on human behavior and culture is undeniable. See more »

Only Child Syndrome: Brats, Myths and Little Emperors

 Only Child Syndrome: Brats, Myths and Little Emperors

What sort of behavior, personality and life can we expect from an only child? A lot of cultural expectations persist about the singleton, from the spoiled Veruca Salt of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” to the “little emperors” who rose up in the wake of China’s One Child Policy. But what’s the truth of the matter? Robert and Christian explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. See more »

Incu-succubi: Demon in the Halls of Sleep

 Incu-succubi: Demon in the Halls of Sleep

Incubi and succubi emerge from Western demonology as supernatural seducers who prey on human passion. But of course seductive demons and sexual ghosts can be found in traditions around the world. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the basics of incubus and succubus myths, a few international variants and the possible biological, psychological and neurological explanations for these paranormal encounters. 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 »

Chinese Zodiac: Superstition, Economics & Destiny

 Chinese Zodiac: Superstition, Economics & Destiny

As we celebrate Chinese New Year and enter the year of the fire monkey, join Robert and Joe for a Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration of the Chinese zodiac and some interesting studies related to its impact on birth rates, economics and individual destiny. As always, you can take astrology with a grain of salt, but the impact on human behavior and culture is undeniable. See more »

The Self-Mummifying Monk

 The Self-Mummifying Monk

We tend to think of mummification as either an environmental event or a mortuary act perpetrated by others, but mummification can also occur as an act of ritualized self-destruction. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian consider the Sokushinbutsu of Japan, who once engaged in a process of ascetic self-mummification that spanned years of extreme body modification. Their purpose? To travel through time... See more »