Right Now in Stuff to Blow Your Mind

Stuff to Blow Your Mind has a whole new set of live shows! Here are the details on where to find Stuff to Blow Your Mind on the road.

Galactic Civilization’s End

If a technological civilization manages to survive itself, how will it fare against the larger challenges of a changing and hostile universe? If humanity ascends the Kardashev scale, how will our unrecognizable and godlike descendants cope with the end of the universe itself? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for an exploration of the cosmic end times. 

From the Vault:  Transhumanist Rapture War, Part 1

What do the transhumanist visions and singularitarians have in common with Christian rapture doctrine, apocalyptic prophesies and far-future saviors? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick 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. (Originally published Aug 23, 2016)

Illusory Truth Effect, Part 2: Fight the Lies

If a lie is repeated often enough, are we more likely to believe it? Sadly, the answer is yes. Psychologists call it the illusory truth effect and it influences both our daily lives and the larger movements of politics and culture. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a two-part discussion of untruths, the human mind and just what you can do to fight the big lies at work in your world. 

Illusory Truth Effect, Part 1: The Big Lie

If a lie is repeated often enough, are we more likely to believe it? Sadly, the answer is yes. Psychologists call it the illusory truth effect and it influences both our daily lives and the larger movements of politics and culture. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a two-part discussion of untruths, the human mind and just what you can do to fight the big lies at work in your world. 

From the Vault: Sexbots

Sex between humans and machines is nothing new in the world of science fiction. Their forms range from angelic mechanoids to victimized humanoids, but the robotic lover is almost always an expression of purely human anxieties. Yet as real-world technology advances, we’re left to ponder the emerging form of the sex bot -- and the possibilities range from mere animate fetishes to therapeutic surrogates. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Christian Sager consider arguments for and against the embrace of synthetic paramours.(Originally published March 30, 2017)

The Dark Side of Neuroplasticity

When you hear the word “neuroplasticity,” you probably think of it in terms of a young brain’s ability to learn or an older brain’s struggles to rebound from injury. The possibility of a neuroplasticity-boosting drug remains one of medicine's true holy grails, but is there a dark side? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the balance of plasticity and stability in the human mind. 

Listener Mail: Dreams, Subs and Goddesses

Once more, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick turn to Karnie the Mailbot for listener reactions and commentaries on recent episodes. Strap in for discussion of dreams, submarines, ancient goddesses and more. 

From the Vault: 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 Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the khipu system of knotted, colored string that served as a physical notation system in lieu of written language. (Originally published March 8, 2016)

Chariots of the Gods

Chances are, you’re already quite familiar with the notion the ancient astronauts visited the earth and gave humans the tech support they needed to climb the ladder of civilization. There's no true proof to back it up, yet ancient astronaut speculation is a 20th century invention -- and one tied closely to a single bestselling author. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss Erich von Däniken and Carl Sagan's thoughts on ancient aliens.

Black Holes, Part 3: The Future

Nothing can escape the pull of a black hole, not even Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a three-part exploration of these incredible, invisible regions of the cosmos where ponderous mass warps the very fabric of space and time. In this final episode, cross the event horizon...

From the Vault: Humanzee

Chimpanzees are humanity's closest living relative, but there's both wonder and existential horror in that closeness. A species barrier separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, but what if a chimp/human hybrid were to bridge that barrier? Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager as they explore the case history of Russian biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov and his attempts to breed a human/chimp hybrid in the early 20th century. (Originally published Jan. 21, 2016)

Black Holes, Part 2: Detection

Nothing can escape the pull of a black hole, not even Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a three-part exploration of these incredible, invisible regions of the cosmos where ponderous mass warps the very fabric of space and time. In this episode, learn all about the science of black hole detection. 

Stuff to Blow Your Mind: Can computers be 'creative'? - Science on the Web

Computer scientists have been working on the creativity problem for a while. Learn more about dreaming of electric sheep in this video from Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

Black Holes, Part 1: Phantom

Nothing can escape the pull of a black hole, not even Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a three-part exploration of these incredible, invisible regions of the cosmos where ponderous mass warps the very fabric of space and time. Up first, learn how the idea of black holes emerged as a mere ghost in the math. 

From the Vault: The Substance of Silence

We all have a pretty good notion of noise, but what exactly is silence? Is it a substance or an absence? Between the mindflaying quiet of soundless rooms to wildlife ambience and white noise machines, what is the ideal balance of silence? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe look for answers and, yes, also discuss a few sound-sensitive monsters and the likelihood of blowing up a humanoid head with sound. (Originally published on Aug. 31, 2016)

Interview: Carl Zimmer on Heredity's Power

Why does heredity hold such power over us? How did the ancients contemplate it and how is genetic technology changing the shape of future heredity? Robert and Joe chat with acclaimed science writer Carl Zimmer about the topics explored in his new book “She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity.”

World Science Festival 2018 Field Report

Robert Lamb attended the 2018 World Science festival in New York City and had the chance to chat with its founder, physicist Brian Greene -- as well as a couple of noted panelists: physicist Max Tegmark and anthropologist Barbara J. King. This episode features those green room interviews, plus Robert and Joe’s discussion of their answers on theoretical physics, artificial intelligence and the evolution of religion. 

From the Vault: P vs. NP

What does it mean to solve a problem in our universe? That's a trickier question than you might think, with some fairly high-stakes ramifications in the worlds of computing and even philosophy. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the inherent logic of problem-solving in our universe, with some attention to a special example of an outstanding problem in computer science: P vs. NP. (Originally published April 12, 2016)

Sleep and Creativity

What roles does sleep play in human creativity? Can we learn in our dreams? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a look at famous accounts of dream inspiration and scientific research into the link between creativity and sleep. And yes, they want you to tell them your dreams.