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Mixologia: Potions, Cocktails & Deadly Spirits

 Mixologia: Potions, Cocktails & Deadly Spirits

While the cocktail is an inherently American invention, the history of combining alcohols with other substances to create potent, drinkable concoctions dates back to ancient times. While you might expect dangerous ingredients to have a place in a wizard’s potion or a philosopher's goblet, modern cocktails and spirits have also dabbled with nefarious elixirs. Join Robert and Joe as they explore the history, myth and science behind it all in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. See more »

Artes Mathematicall: The Diviner John Dee

 Artes Mathematicall: The Diviner John Dee

Elizabethan scholar Dr. John Dee was one of the most learned men of the 16th century, applying his intense mathematical intellect to matters scientific, political, alchemical and occult. He advised Queen Elizabeth, sought communion with angelic beings, advocated British expansion and plunged the depths of human knowledge in age of great change. In this second of two episodes on the topic, Robert and Christian discuss Dr. Dee’s involvement in science, statecraft, cryptography and espionage. See more »

Artes Mathematicall: The Conjurer John Dee

 Artes Mathematicall: The Conjurer John Dee

Elizabethan scholar Dr. John Dee was one of the most learned men of the 16th century, applying his intense mathematical intellect to matters scientific, political, alchemical and occult. He advised Queen Elizabeth, sought communion with angelic beings, advocated British expansion and plunged the depths of human knowledge in age of great change. In this first of two episodes on the topic, Robert and Christian discuss the world, life and magic of the enigmatic Dr. Dee. 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 »

The Great Flood

 The Great Flood

From tales of Utnapishtim and Noah to Yü and Manu, everyone loves a good mythical deluge. But why are flood myths so important? What sort of natural phenomena could cause the sort of massive flooding likely to resonate through the heritage memories of a flood-traumatized civilization? Join Robert and Christian for a Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration. See more »

Wicker Men, Mock Kings and Ritualized Regicide

 Wicker Men, Mock Kings and Ritualized Regicide

When you think about human sacrifice, you probably envision blood-soaked altars where the weak and defeated are massacred to a divine force. But what about situations where the most powerful member of a society, even a divine king, is sacrificed for the good of the people? Join Robert and Joe as they discuss literal, figurative and symbolic ritual regicide in human civilization. See more »

Akademgorodok: Siberia's Super Science Town

 Akademgorodok: Siberia's Super Science Town

Hidden away in the cold of Siberia’s forest is an alternative to Silicon Valley, what some refer to as Russia’s Silicon Forest. You can think of it as Russia’s Eureka or Limetown -- maybe even the Siberian scientific Hogwarts, but Akademgorodok has encapsulated Russia’s scientific dreams since the 1950s. Join Robert and Christian as they discuss the place some describe as a “scientific utopia.” See more »

Cannabis Files: Humanity's THC Odyssey

 Cannabis Files: Humanity's THC Odyssey

Humans have known about cannabis for thousands of years, crafting hemp textiles and consuming its psychoactive THC. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian examine the cannabis plant, its travels through human populations and its famed sensory and psychological effects. See more »

Cargoism: Science, Desire and the Cargo Cults

 Cargoism: Science, Desire and the Cargo Cults

During the Second World War, Melanesian islanders encountered the vast, commercial systems of Allied and Japanese forces. Cargo Cults sprang up in the wake of such contact, typified by deification and a ritualistic appeal to the impossible return of material wealth. What can such encounters tell us about science, programing, sustainability and the human condition? Robert and Christian explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. See more »

Beekeeping, Ancient Egypt and the Tears of Re

 Beekeeping, Ancient Egypt and the Tears of Re

In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, enter a kingdom within a kingdom: the remarkable honey-and-wax monarchy within a beehive and the organizational complexity of ancient Egypt. Join Robert and Joe as they discuss the importance of apiculture in ancient Egypt and chat with “The Tears of Re” author entomologist Gene Kritsky. See more »