Right Now in Stuff to Blow Your Mind

It seems the unavoidable fate of all terrifying monsters, doesn’t it? We reduce the most horrifying creatures of myth, legend and folklore to an adorable kids costume or a mega-cute illustration. Why can’t we help ourselves? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the battle between cuteness and monstrosity, with examples drawn from Japanese traditions. (Originally published Oct 31, 2017)

The Gerasene Demoniac

“My name is Legion.” In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe consider the Biblical tale of exorcism and swine. What did the story mean? How was it used to enforce our relationship with animals and just how intelligent are pigs?

Burned from the Mind’s Eye, Part 2

From the VHS horrors of “The Ring” and claims of psychic photography to cutting edge research into neuro technology, humanity continues to wrestle with the notion of the mind’s eye. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert and Joe dive into the mystifying world of the mental image.

From the Vault: The Slayer

Myth and folklore are full of monsters and the heroes who slay them. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick meet some of these fabulous slayers and discuss the science and potential meaning of their bloody endeavors. (Oct. 25, 2018)

Burned from the Mind’s Eye, Part 1

From the VHS horrors of “The Ring” and claims of psychic photography to cutting edge research into neuro technology, humanity continues to wrestle with the notion of the mind’s eye. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert and Joe dive into the mystifying world of the mental image.

Our Cars, Our Bodies, Our Minds

In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe consider the cognitive effects of driving. How does it alter our perceptions of self? How might driving prevent cognitive decline? What are the benefits of automotive ergonomics and how do we avoid the risks of road rage is aggressive?

From the Vault: Jenny Greenteeth

According to certain English folktales, a vile creature lurks in the slime-caked dark of local ponds. When little ones wander too close to shore, she lashes out to drown them in her slippery embrace. She has many names: Nelly Longarms, Peg Powler, the Grindylow... and Jenny Greenteeth. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss these old tales of aquatic terror, their instructional nature and the real-world predators who swim the shores in search of terrestrial prey. (Originally published Oct. 2, 2018)

I Drink Your Blood Type

Gather round ye blood drinkers and children of the night, for in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe will discuss human blood types -- what they are, why they exist and what powers they hold. It’s all required listeners for any serious vampires.

Demogorgon

You probably know the Demogorgon as the powerful demon lord from Dungeons and Dragons, or perhaps as the interdimensional monster from “Stranger Things.” But where does this curious name come from? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe pursue the origins of the Demogorgon through modern pop culture, romantic poetry, translated texts and Gnostic mystery.

From the Vault: Five Reasons to Never Take Your Space Helmet Off

You've consumed enough science fiction to know something the average red shirt doesn't: Never take your space helmet off on a foreign planet. But if you're still tempted to breathe deep the gathering gloom, how about five compelling scientific reasons not to? Join Robert and Joe as they discuss "Alien: Covenant" and explore some very compelling biological and radiological reasons to remain helmeted on an alien hell world. (Originally published May 25, 2017)

Mark Mandica: Amphibian Conservation and Vilified Reptiles

Mark Mandica, executive director of the Amphibian Foundation, returns to Stuff to Blow Your Mind to discuss the ongoing challenges of amphibian conservation as well as the value of two unfairly-vilified reptiles: the copperhead snake and the common snapping turtle.

Daniel Whiteson: Particles and Science

How do we relate to the unseen worlds of particle physics and distant stars? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, physicist Daniel Whiteson, co-host of the podcast Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe drops in for a chat about particle physicists, science communication and the wonders of our cosmos.

From the Vault: Euphemisms

Sure, euphemisms allow us to talk about something unpleasant or taboo without actually invoking the dreaded word or words -- but what else is going on? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe explore the linguistic power of euphemisms to alter and transform the tone or meaning of everyday communication. (Originally published Dec. 13, 2016)

The One Ring

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss the most powerful artifact in J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy series and how it relates to real-life metallurgy. 

Flares from Infinity: Sagittarius A* Part 2

A super massive black hole broods at the center of our galaxy. In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe discuss just what that means -- and doesn’t mean -- for humanity, our solar system and our future. 

From the Vault: John Dee, Part 2

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. (Originally published Dec. 8, 2016)

Flares from Infinity: Sagittarius A* Part 1

A super massive black hole broods at the center of our galaxy. In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe discuss just what that means -- and doesn’t mean -- for humanity, our solar system and our future. 

Summer Reading 2019

It's never too late for Summer Reading! In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe welcome back former co-host Christian Sager, host of the podcast Supercontext for a discussion of recent reads. Jump on it before summer ends! 

From the Vault: John Dee, Part 1

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. (Originally published Dec. 6, 2016)

The Voynich Manuscript, Part 2

Browse the libraries of the world and you’ll find nothing stranger and perplexing than the so-called Voynich Manuscript, a 15th century tome that has perplexed linguists and codebreakers for hundreds of years -- and remains a mystery. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss just why we can't stop looking to its weird pages.