Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

SFSL Roundup

 SFSL Roundup: Halloween Shenanigans

It's been a little more like Stuff From the Mad Science Lab in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Shovels in hand, Allison and I have trudged off into the moonlit cemeteries to unearth a number of grotesque, chilling and occasionally peer-reviewed horrors from YOUR science and culture. Then we dragged it all into the podcasting lab, flipped the switch and created three awesome Halloween episodes: Science vs. Monsters! This one's a real slobber knocker, folks, because we pit actual science against fictional monsters in an all-out battle royale. We'll discuss who would win in a fight between bigfoot and the wolfman -- and tell you why Charles Darwin already decided the match. Plus much more! See more »

 SFSL Roundup: Perfume, Stinky Animals and Cosmic Smells

Oh man, do we have a nose full of Stuff From the Science Lab for you this week! We depend on our sense of smell to process the world around us, and both of this weeks' episodes get down to the science of both fragrant and noxious odors. It's quite a journey, as we'll take you from the perfume bottles of Paris to the strange atmospheres of the outer planets. See more »

 SFSL Roundup: Space Elevators and the Kardashev Scale

There's a part in William Gibson's cyberpunk classic "Neuromancer" where one character waxes poetic over the prospect of human beings falling in league with a pair of rogue artificial intelligences. "For thousands of years men dreamed of pacts with demons," the character says. "Only now are such things possible." Advanced technology makes the mythic possible, and as Arthur C. Clarke so succinctly put it, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Which brings me to the most recent pair of Stuff From the Science Lab podcasts! You can find us on iTunes, download the MP3s from the RSS feed or click on the Stuff From the Science Lab icon in the right-hand column to access the embedded player. See more »

 SFSL Roundup: Green Roofs and Smart Grids

Summer has been a stupefying affair. The MARTA trains reek of sweat and commuters from a thousand different walks of life stare heat-stunned and panting at the floor as they try to remember who they are and where they're going in the Old-Testament curse we call July in Atlanta. We're a bit light on locusts, but there's ever the threat of drought, energy shortages and the cost of maintaining an AC addiction when the heat turns this mean. Given all this, now's a perfect time for the Stuff from the Science Lab podcast to turn to the topics of green roofs and smart grid technology. See more »

 SFSL Roundup: Prosthetic Limbs and Robotic Weapons

I loved the idea of robotic limbs when I was a child. Sci-fi aside, the world of prosthetic limbs continues to amaze me. Technology still can't fully replace a lost limb, but they can restore a great deal of function. As Allison explored in this post, they may someday make us better, stronger and faster. This week's "Stuff From the Science Lab" episodes cover prosthetics as well as the current state of unmanned aerial vehicles. See more »

 SFSL Roundup: World-Changing Science Experiments

In Stephen King's "The Mist" and "The Stand," government experiments play the key role in bringing about biblical Armageddon and monster invasions. In real life, however, a number of scientific experiments changed the world for the better. I guess it's easier to get funding for a polio vaccine than it is for a gateway to the hellish depths of the Todash darkness. This week's SFSL podcasts look at some of the good ones. See more »

 SFSL Podcast Roundup: Frozen Heads and Fine Wine

I don't know about where you are, but things have been pretty sweltering here in Atlanta. It's been so hot, in fact, that we decided to chill things off a bit with this week's podcast topics. First, how about a little cold, cold wine? And don't worry -- we're not going to hit you with the typical wine-making science. That stuff's all fascinating in its own right, but we decided to approach the topic from jazzier directions. In this podcast, you'll learn what to expect at a neuroscientist's wine tasting, what varieties of super wines come from Chinese laboratories and we'll even discuss a couple of wine-related mysteries that only science can solve. See more »

 SFSL Podcast Roundup: Robots! Compost! Worms!

Like most males of my demographic, I've been playing a lot of "Red Dead Redemption" of late on the old Xbox 360 and am suffering from a severe hankering to use excessive cowboy speak at work. So I'll go ahead and say it: If you kind folks wanna catch an earful about worms, dirt and some right clever tin cans, then I reckon these here podcasts will suit 'ya fine as cream gravy. See more »

SFSL Roundup: Hurricane Full of Hookworms

 SFSL Roundup: Hurricane Full of Hookworms

Growing up, I was always told to slip on a pair of shoes if I was going to play outdoors. Granted, I did part of my growing up in Newfoundland, Canada, where going barefoot was a great way to lose a few toes or step in bear feces. Allison, on the other hand, grew up in the Northeast and was allowed to run free and shoeless without fear of biting cold or carnivore poop. You New Engladers with your heated, bear-free sidewalks... See more »