Right Now in Stuff to Blow Your Mind

Belief in UFOs is very much like a religion. It can fulfill the same purpose in an individual's life, give them a community of believers and provide grander framework for mundane life. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider the similarities between the so-called “men in black” and the devil. 

Bugs Under The Skin

Ever feel like there are bugs crawling around in your body? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore alleged incidents, medical publications and the reality of delusional parasitosis. 

From the Vault:  Don't Drink the Salt Water

Whether you draw your wisdom from 18th century poems or experience in the surf, you probably know that drinking seawater is a terrible idea. But exactly why shouldn’t you drink saltwater? What happens if you do? Can it really drive you mad with hallucinations? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick look to the world of biology for answers. (Originally published Jan. 16, 2018)

Let's Make a List

Why are humans so fascinated by lists? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the reason we can’t pass a top 10 clickbait headline and are forever haunted by incomplete lists. 

The Tunnelers

How deep into the Earth have humans traveled? How far have we drilled? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore some interesting lows from the history of mining, geologic exploration and good old fashioned subterranean living. 

From the Vault: Jade Immortality

Chinese aristocracy of the Western Han Dynasty embarked on their journey into the afterlife within garments of stone -- luxurious suits of jade armor entailing thousands of individual plates sewn together with gold, silver or silk. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Christian Sager explore this ancient funeral custom and both the scientific and superstitious qualities of jade. (Originally published May 9, 2017)

Highlander 2: The Sciencing

Yes, the time of the Quickening is at hand! In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick finally make good on their threat to devote an entire episode to the 1991 film "Highlander II: The Quickening" and whatever science might be rendered from its plot. They wanted this to be a six-part series, but our boss tells us... there can be only one.

The Lost Daughters of Aten: Planet 9

Pluto may not be a planet, but it definitely exists. Not every case is so clear. The history of near-Earth astronomy contains many cases of bodies that may or may not have ever existed in the solar system we call home. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick continue their journey through space to survey once-hypothetical bodies that took work to prove, once-imagined bodies that are now confirmed phantoms, and the unsolved mysteries where questions remain. This time, the destination is a hypothetical planet beyond the orbit of Pluto. 

From the Vault: Talos

Among the many humanoid gods and bestial monsters of Greek mythology, one finds a peculiar outlier: Talos the bronze automaton. Said to stalk the shores of Crete, Talos pelted suspicious ships with rocks and immolated enemy soldiers with its smoldering embrace. Does this myth reveal Greek attitudes toward technology? What existing technologies can we decode in its description? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. (Originally published Jan. 2, 2018)

The Lost Daughters of Aten, Part 1

Pluto may not be a planet, but it definitely exists. Not every case is so clear. The history of near-Earth astronomy contains many cases of bodies that may or may not have ever existed in the solar system we call home. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick take a journey through space to survey once-hypothetical bodies that took work to prove, once-imagined bodies that are now confirmed phantoms, and the unsolved mysteries where questions remain.

Mystery of the Sea Circles

We’ve all heard about crop circles, and the entirely terrestrial reason they pop up in the occasional wheat field. But what about strange circles on the bottom of the sea? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the mystery of these ephemeral patterns and what scientists discovered about their origin. 

From the Vault: The Winter People, Part 2

Do you feel like a different person during the winter? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick examine the extent to which winter affects human health and culture. From the winter transformations of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw people to the latest studies on seasonal genetic changes, prepare to contemplate the icy dark. (Originally published Dec. 28, 2017)

Gáe Bulg: The Spear of Death

Irish myth tells of a spear so deadly, that its deployment is certain death. Forged from the bones of sea monsters, the Gáe Bulg would send barbs through its victim’s every vein -- but only if the hero threw it with their foot. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick unravel the myth, history and science of this impractical Irish wonder weapon. 

Ideophones: How does this word feel?

What’s an ideophone? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the place where sounds, meanings and the possible roots of language converge. 

From the Vault: The Winter People, Part 1

Do you feel like a different person during the winter? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick examine the extent to which winter affects human health and culture. From the winter transformations of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw people to the latest studies on seasonal genetic changes, prepare to contemplate the icy dark. (Originally published Dec. 26, 2017)

Cupid’s Leaden Arrow

It’s Valentine’s Day again, which summons images of mythic Cupid and his bow. But we often forget that Cupid has TWO arrows in his quiver: the golden arrow of desire and the leaden arrow of aversion. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the mythic lead-slinger and the nature of his gray metal. 

Listener Mail: Crab Sabbath

It's listener mail time again and Karnie the mailbot seems rather grumpy about a particular holiday. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they read and respond to various listener mail from the past month. 

From the Vault: Minds of Musical Emptiness

We're all wired to enjoy different forms of music, but for some of us the wiring is missing entirely. Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager as they explore the curious conditions of amusia and auditory agnosia in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. (Originally published July 28, 2016)





Marah Hardt talks Snails, Sex and the Sea

It's almost Valentine's Day, so it's time to invite marine biologist and "Sex in the Sea" author Dr. Marah Hardt back on the show again! Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they chat with STBYM's only four-time guest about all manner of marine invertebrate reproduction.

Demon Eaters and Possessed Tools

As we slide into the Year of the Earth Pig, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick turn to the legend of the demon slayer Zhōng Kuí and follow a procession of spirits across the sea to Japan, where discarded tools spark spirit possessions, not joy. Sorry, Marie Kondo.