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Evolution

Star Wars: Evolution of a Child-Snatching Fan Franchise

 Star Wars: Evolution of a Child-Snatching Fan Franchise

Decades of corporate refinement have seen the evolution of child-focused franchises, with properties such as 'Star Wars' to 'Pokémon' benefiting from wave after successive wave of demographically ideal customers. But where is this evolution headed? See more »

A Time Before Fire

 A Time Before Fire

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O Time Thy Pyramids: The Library of Babel

 O Time Thy Pyramids: The Library of Babel

In Jorge Luis Borges’ masterful short story “The Library of Babel,” librarians and cultists wander a vast honeycomb library of hexagonal rooms -- rooms that contain not only all books but all possible books, from unwritten masterpieces to tomes of typographical nonsense. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe venture into this metaphoric labyrinth for contemplations of genetics, cosmology, philosophy, computer programming and magic. See more »

Colossal: The Science of Human Height

 Colossal: The Science of Human Height

From fictional obsessions with impossible giants to questions to height psychology and the upper and lower limits of human size, join Robert and Joe for a massive exploration of human height in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. See more »

Ghouls: Myth, Fiction and... Evolutionary Heritage?

 Ghouls: Myth, Fiction and... Evolutionary Heritage?

If your fictional diet contains significant quantities of horror or dark fantasy, then you’ve likely encountered the ghoul: a scavenging, grave-robbing race of unnatural beings with an insatiable hunger for the dead. As Robert and Joe explore in this episode, the roots of ghouldom sink back into pre-Islamic Arabic folklore -- as well into the distant evolutionary history of humanity itself. See more »

The Unlanguaged Mind: A World Built With Words

 The Unlanguaged Mind: A World Built With Words

How can we even imagine a life without language when language itself plays such a crucial role in human cognition? Can you even imagine a world in which nothing has a name? Join Robert and Christian as they continue their exploration of the brain’s linguistic operating system. See more »

The Unlanguaged Mind: Feral Children

 The Unlanguaged Mind: Feral Children

The feral child occupies two worlds: that of lighthearted myth and depressing reality. We entertain ourselves with fantasies about wolf-reared infants, but most studies of feral children stem from cases of extreme child abuse and neglect. Join Robert and Christian as the explore human language acquisition and childhood without words. See more »

Tail as Old as Time: Part 2

 Tail as Old as Time: Part 2

Where is the human tail? Our embryos lose them in the womb and our great ape kin lost them in the shadows of evolutionary history. Join Robert and Joe as they continue to explore the worlds of human tails and even a Utopian dream of tailed transhumans. See more »

Tail as Old as Time: Part 1

 Tail as Old as Time: Part 1

Tails are a common feature in the animal kingdom, fulfilling just about every role from comfy blanket to instrument of venomous death. Join Robert and Joe as they explore some of the more outstanding uses, including your dog’s caudal language and the scorpion that sheds its own tail and anus. See more »