Podcasts

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)