Right Now in Stuff to Blow Your Mind

If science were a candle in the dark, we’d need only spread its light to combat climate change denial and vaccine conspiracy theories. But what if the problem is more complex than that? What if a quirk of human cognition enables us to remain willingly in the dark, even as we hold the very candle? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the concept of motivated numeracy. 

Stone Age Technology with Dietrich Stout

Paleolithic tools inform not just our understanding of prehistoric lives, but also the evolution and nature of the human mind. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick chat with Emory University’s Associate Professor of Anthropology Dr. Dietrich Stout about the hand ax, tool use and even ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.” 

From the Vault: The Gordian Knot of Race

How deep-seated are today's racial issues? In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Julie Douglas explore how something so abstract - like unconscious racial biases - can have real-world implications. (Originally published March 31, 2015)

Ig Nobel Prizes 2018: Part 2

Each year, the Ig Nobel prizes honor the weirdest and wackiest contributions to humanity’s scientific understanding of the natural world. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast episodes, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick unpack each of this year’s winners.

The End Of The World with Josh Clark Series Preview

The End Of The World with Josh Clark is a 10-part podcast series on existential risks – threats that could bring humanity to a sudden and untimely end in the near future. Check out this preview, featuring a clip about our potential to spread from Earth. Listen and subscribe at Apple Podcasts, or on the iHeartRadio app, or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Ig Nobel Prizes 2018: Part 1

Each year, the Ig Nobel prizes honor the weirdest and wackiest contributions to humanity’s scientific understanding of the natural world. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast episodes, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick unpack each of this year’s winners.

From the Vault:  Cambrian Monster Mash

Welcome to the ocean of monsters. In this classic episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick travel back 500 million years to the monster-haunted waters of the Cambrian period. Meet the monstrous trilobite, anomalocaris, opabinia, hallucigenia, wiwaxia, pikaia and leanchoilia. Plus, Dr. Anton Jessup drops by for a visit. (Originally published Oct 19, 2017) Related Content: Original publication (with species illustrations) Buy the Cambrian Life logo on a shirt, sticker and more: STBYM TeePublic Store 

Space Music: Halloween Sounds of Note

Robert Lamb rises the day after Halloween and shares a couple of uncanny listening choices...

Listener Mail: The Squirrel Is Not Enough

To follow up our two-part look at the secret, bloody life of the common squirrel, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick present an entire listener mail episode devoted to your field reports on skuggs. 

Anthology of Horror, Volume 1

From “Night Gallery” to “Tales From the Crypt,” everyone loves a great horror anthology show. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a new ghoulish tradition, as they pick a few notable installments from horror anthology TV and cinema history in order to explore the real-life science and history behind the blood and madness. 

Bret Wood on 'The Control Group'

Bonus episode! Join Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they chat with Bret Wood, writer and director of "The Control Group," a fiction podcast from How Stuff Works that explores the dark history of CIA-funded mind control experiments. The entire series is out now and ready for your Halloween binge-listening. 

From the Vault: The First Monster

Humans love monsters, but when did we first dare to dream up bestial hybrids and chimerical horrors? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider the 35-40 thousand-year-old Löwenmensch statues. Who created these images of lion-headed men? What do they represent and what do they reveal about human cognition? (Originally published October 27, 2017)

Art Spotlight: Jenny Greenteeth by Ross Hayes

Robert shares some creepy Jenny Greenteeth art from STBYM listener and illustrator Ross Hayes!

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. 

Introducing Hell and Gone

14 years ago, Rebekah Gould was brutally murdered in a small town in Arkansas. Now, Catherine Townsend has moved back to the Ozarks with one mission: to bring her killer to justice. Subscribe to Hell & Gone today so you don't miss a single episode. 

Quetzalcoatl: The Winged Serpent

From the Aztec temples of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica to the 1980s monster film “Q: The Winged Serpent,” the feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl soars high over the human imagination. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the history of this winged wonder -- as well as the prehistoric Quetzalcoatlus named after the ancient Lord of the Dawn. 

From the Vault: The Halloween Costume Made Me Do It

What happens when we slip into a costume? Be it a monster pelt, a sexy witch or a simple children's ghost mask, a psychological transformation takes place. Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager for a fittingly seasonal look at enclothed cognition and deindividuation. (Originally published October 8, 2015)

Vampire Clinic, Part 2

Vampire legends are a global phenomenon, and the trope of the blood-sucking humanoid shows no signs of vanishing from human traditions. But can we trace its origins back to any specific diseases and medical symptoms? In this blood-stained episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick haul up the vampire’s casket and look for signs of rabies, syphilis, dermatitis, tuberculosis and more.

Vampire Clinic, Part 1

Vampire legends are a global phenomenon, and the trope of the blood-sucking humanoid shows no signs of vanishing from human traditions. But can we trace its origins back to any specific diseases and medical symptoms? In this blood-stained episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick haul up the vampire’s casket and look for signs of rabies, syphilis, dermatitis, tuberculosis and more.

From the Vault: Ghoul

If your fictional diet contains significant quantities of horror or dark fantasy, then you've likely encountered the ghoul: a scavenging, grave-robbing race of unnatural beings with an insatiable hunger for the dead. As Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this episode, the roots of ghouldom sink back into pre-Islamic Arabic folklore -- as well into the distant evolutionary history of humanity itself. (Originally published October 29, 2015)