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Science

The Science of Holy Butter

There's more to butter than meets the eye. Each yellow pat of fatty goodness is nothing short of processed solar energy, and its long history entails many a magical and sacred rite. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian consider the curious nature of butter.

The 2016 Ig Nobels: Pale Horses, Dead Flies and Quantified Bullroar

Each year, a magazine called The Annals of Improbable Research awards the Ig Nobel prizes to honor the weirdest and funniest scientific projects ever undertaken by humans. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert, Joe and Christian discuss this year's winners. In part two, you’ll hear about profiles in lying, pale horses, automotive alchemy, the passion of a fly collector, and people who find profundity in meaningless statements.

The 2016 Ig Nobels: Rat Pants, Mooning and the Sincerity of Rocks

Each year, a magazine called The Annals of Improbable Research awards the Ig Nobel prizes to honor the weirdest and funniest scientific projects ever undertaken by humans. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert, Joe and Christian discuss this year's winners. In part one, you can expect to hear about rats with pants, the personalities of rocks, scientific mooning, mirror-assisted itch relief, as well as the lived experience of goatmen and badgermen.

The Great Transhumanist Rapture War: Part 2

Join Robert and Joe as they explore the space for common ground — and conflict — between genetically modified cyborgs and heaven-teleported believers in this two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

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.

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.

Stigmata: Madness or Miracle?

In the previous episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explored the Christian tradition of the stigmata and its 13th century originator, Saint Francis of Assisi. But what are we to make of of all the stigmatics to follow in the saint's footsteps? Are these holy wounds the work of deceptive self-harm, masochistic devotion or psychosomatic anomaly?

Stigmata: Patient Zero

According to Christian tradition, a stigmatic prays to God so zealously, so faithfully that Christ's crucifixion wounds of manifest in the form of bleeding sores and gorey holes. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore stigmata patient zero in the form of Saint Francis of Assisi. What real-life illness might underlie this 13th century mystic's legendary condition?

Too Sweet: Where Hinduism Meets Pro-Wrestling

Detective Story

Everyone loves a good whodunit, but why does the figure of the fictional detective tower so staggeringly over the modern world? He or she is a seeker of truth, a resolver of conflict, a subcultural liaison and perhaps even a shaman for an increasingly secular world. Join Robert and Christian for dive through the history, science and cultural resonance of the detective story.