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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 Science of H.P. Lovecraft

 The Science of H.P. Lovecraft

Legendary weird fiction author H.P. Lovecraft revolutionized our understanding of supernatural horror in the early 20th century, but he was also a science writer and lived in a time of tremendous scientific advancement and global war. Join Robert and See more »

Seven Anti-Valentine's Day Hearts

 Seven Anti-Valentine's Day Hearts

'But I like it. Because it is bitter. And because it is my heart.' - Stephen Crane, In the Desert See more »

Gallery: The Electric Duchenne Smile

 Gallery: The Electric Duchenne Smile

Let's shock a smile on that face, shall we? See more »

Podcast Notes: Eaten Alive!

 Podcast Notes: Eaten Alive!

Robert Lamb gives you some notes on the latest episode. Read more to get the scoop. See more »

The Psychedelic Nightmare of Ergotism

 The Psychedelic Nightmare of Ergotism

Imagine an entire town overcome by a collective waking nightmare. It's the stuff of fantasy to be sure. Just read Brian McNaughton's "The Return of Lrion Wolfbaiter" or play a little "Skyrim." You'll get there. But is it also the stuff of history? Is there a scientific explanation for events such as the Salem Witch Trials, when a sleepy, repressed new England town erupted into an orgy of superstitious accusations, urine cakes and heart-wrenching persecution? It brings us to ergot poisoning. Ergot is a fungus (Claviceps purpurea) that contains toxic compounds similar to LSD. When it infests grains it sometimes makes its way into contaminated bread. And if everyone gets their bread from the same baker... See more »

 Blow Your Mind: Nutmeg, the Scary Spice

Sure, you sprinkle nutmeg indifferently on your eggnog, but do you know its bloody history and psychotropic properties? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I discuss the weird, mind-bending, sickening and depressing side of an everyday spice. We'll explain just why you should use it sparingly, but often. See more »

 Black Blizzards of the Dust Bowl

Just look at that photo. It was 1935 and a leviathan of dust advanced on a parched and decimated land. Families fled. Farms fell into ruin. The Dust Bowl terrorized the prairie lands of North America and threatened to turn the entire region into desert. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie an I travel back to the ruined farms and black blizzards of the Great Depression. What agricultural practices led to this near-apocalypse and how did we plant trees to combat the ecological damage? See more »

 How a Thunderstorm Won American Independence

Happy Dalibard Day! Yes, it might not be marked as such on your calendar, but May 10 is a pretty important date in not only the history of atmospheric sciences, but also in the American struggle for independence from the British. Not that anyone realized this at the time, mind you, but looking back with a butterfly effect-tuned mind, we're now able to appreciate the impact of one random French naturalist, an insulated iron rod and a thundercloud. See more »