Right Now in Stuff to Blow Your Mind

From the Vault: Beyond the Uncanny Valley

From bad CGI characters to creepy humanoid robots, everyone knows the uncanny valley effect when they see it. But where did this idea come from and to what extent is it actually a thing? Join Robert and Joe as they descend into the uncanny valley and explore just what's going on in our minds when we lock eyes with less-than-human simulacrums. (Originally published April 6, 2017)

Listener Mail: Sacred Squirrels and More

It’s time for another bag of Stuff to Blow Your Mind listener mail, plus a minor update on sacred squirrels. Join Robert, Joe and your friendly neighborhood mailbot dig into your thoughts on recent episodes. 

Introducing Ephemeral

Lost materials, dropped threads, forgotten stories. Ephemera in the way that it’s intertwined in our lives. All those things, tangible and intangible, that you wish you could take just one more look at before they vanish into the past. Listen wherever podcasts are found and learn more at www.ephemeral.show

Deep Sea Ecology with Diva Amon

In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe chat with deep sea marine biologist Diva Amon about life in the deep ocean -- from the wonderous organisms that thrive there to the human activities that threaten their future.

From the Vault: Into the Uncanny Valley

The far side of the uncanny valley rises steeply, assaulting our psyche as our artificial human likenesses creep ever closer toward perfection. But what happens when we actually emerge on the other side? What happens to human society when video footage is no longer the gold standard? Robert and Joe investigate. (Originally published April 4, 2017)

The Science of Thulsa Doom, Part 2

It’s time for another movie-themed Stuff to Blow Your Mind episode. In fact, it's TWO episodes. This time Robert and Joe discuss the 1982 sword and sorcery picture “Conan the Barbarian.” Join them as they gush over the film’s charismatic villain Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) and explore the real world of giant snakes, Set, snake arrows and more.

The Science of Thulsa Doom

It’s time for another movie-themed episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind -- and this time Robert and Joe are discussing the 1982 sword and sorcery picture “Conan the Barbarian.” Join them as they gush over the film’s charismatic villain Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) and explore the real world of giant snakes, Set, snake arrows and more. 

From the Vault: 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? In this classic episode, Robert and Joe chat with acclaimed science writer Carl Zimmer about the topics explored in his  book “She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity.” (Originally published June 14, 2018)



Send an Owl/Raven/Pigeon!

Harry Potter sends messages by owl. The characters of ‘Game of Thrones’ employ ravens. Meanwhile, real-life messenger pigeons have carried messages for thousands of years. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe consider just why the homing pigeon is perfect for this job -- and why owls and ravens are not. 

Almost Cannibals

What’s the line between cannibalism and mere predation? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe consider some thought-provoking cases of predation and cannibalism in the animal world. 

From the Vault: Coral Sex in the Sea

Sure coral reefs are rich, vibrant ecosystems, but did you know they also have a kinky side? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, "Sex in the Sea" author Dr. Marah J. Hardt returns to chat about coral reproduction and the role this vital, threatened organism plays in our world.

The Fallacy of Alignment: Fundamental Attribution Error, Part 2

How do we consider and predict the actions and intentions of others? How much do we lean on an individual’s presumed internal disposition versus the particulars of their situation? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe consider the fundamental attribution error, which breaks down the errors and even dangers of causal cognition. 

The Fallacy of Alignment: Fundamental Attribution Error, Part 1

How do we consider and predict the actions and intentions of others? How much do we lean on an individual’s presumed internal disposition versus the particulars of their situation? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe consider the fundamental attribution error, which breaks down the errors and even dangers of causal cognition. 

Invention: Toilets, Part 1

Have you subscribed to Robert and Joe's other podcast INVENTION yet? If not, here's a taste of what they're up to in part 1 of their look at toilet technology, from the oldest latrine pit to the modern flushing commode. 

The Sacred Mountain, Part 2

Why do sacred mountains exist in so many cultures and myths? To what extent could high altitude conditions contribute to the way our mind processes these breathtaking environments? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe explore the wonder and science of sacred mountains.

The Sacred Mountain, Part 1

Why do sacred mountains exist in so many cultures and myths? To what extent could high altitude conditions contribute to the way our mind processes these breathtaking environments? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe explore the wonder and science of sacred mountains. 

From the Vault: Humanity's THC Odyssey

Humans have known about cannabis for thousands of years, crafting hemp textiles and consuming its psychoactive THC. In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Christian Sager examine the cannabis plant, its travels through human populations and its famed sensory and psychological effects. (Originally published May 3, 2016)

The Imp of the Perverse

In 1845, Edgar Allan Poe wrote a tale about a man overcome by the compulsion to confess to the heinous crime he sought to keep secret. The conundrum pops up in other Poe tales as well, but the so called “Imp of the Perverse” also invades the human mind with alarming regularity. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe attempt to understand just why, considering Freud, neuroscience, Ironic Process Theory and more. 

The Pressure

Atmospheric pressure. Water pressure. Geologic pressure. What exactly IS pressure and how do humans interact with it? Join Robert and Joe for a look at examples on and within planet Earth -- as well as beyond. 

From the Vault: Bicameralism, Part 2

In 1976, psychologist Julian Jaynes presented the world with a stunning new take on the history of human consciousness. His book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” hypothesized that ancient humans heard hallucinated voices in place of conscious thought, and presented archaeological, literary, historical and religious evidence to support this highly controversial view. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they dissect bicameralism and discuss the evidence, the criticisms and more in this two-parter. (originally published Sep 28, 2017)
Related Content: Bicameralism, Part 1: The Voice of God (podcast)Bonus Episode: R. Scott Bakker on Consciousness & Consult (podcast)Where is my mind? (podcast)What Mind Control Feels Like(podcast)Outside Content:The Julian Jaynes Society'The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind' by Julian Jaynes