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History

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 post 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 »

Talking Knots in the Inca Kingdom of Fibers

Talking Knots in the Inca Kingdom of Fibers

Welcome to the Kingdom of the Inca, where hundreds of rope bridges connect an imperial highway system and fiber-armored soldiers wield woven slings against the enemies of the Emperor. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the khipu system of knotted, colored string that served as a physical notation system in lieu of written language. See more »

Tractable Thunder: Early Days of Electricity, Part 2

Tractable Thunder: Early Days of Electricity, Part 2

Electricity lost its magic over the course the 18th and 19th centuries. The “invisible fire” steadily transitioned from a mysterious force of wonder to a mundane reality of daily modern life. In this two-part edition of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the various electrical experiments, stunts, inventions, performances, innovations, occultisms and atrocities that transformed the tractable thunder. See more »

The Holy Amber: Early Days of Electricity, Part 1

The Holy Amber: Early Days of Electricity, Part 1

Electricity lost its magic over the course the 18th and 19th centuries. The “invisible fire” steadily transitioned from a mysterious force of wonder to a mundane reality of daily modern life. In this two-part edition of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the various electrical experiments, stunts, inventions, performances, innovations, occultisms and atrocities that transformed the tractable thunder. See more »

Weaponized Animals: From Fire Pigs to Bomb Bats

Weaponized Animals: From Fire Pigs to Bomb Bats

Warfare has always played a central role in human civilization, but we’ve always invited to share the rest of the animal kingdom to share in the violence and misery -- sometimes as actual weapons. Join Robert and Christian as they explore the history of weaponized animals, from flaming war pigs in ancient Greece to high-tech incendiary bats in the Second World War. See more »