Podcasts

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. 

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. 

Troubled Sleep in the Arks of Doom

It’s hard enough to sleep just knowing that dozens of nuclear ballistic missile submarines haunt the oceans, each containing the means to rain nuclear annihilation on the world. But what’s it like to sleep aboard these arks of doom? It actually ties into long-term military study, and the results may help us send humans to other planets. Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore... 

From the Vault: Early Days Electric, Part 2

Electricity lost its magic over the course the 18th and 19th centuries. The "invisible fire" steadily transitioned from a mysterious force of wonder to a mundane reality of daily modern life. In this two-part edition of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the various electrical experiments, stunts, inventions, performances, innovations, occultisms and atrocities that transformed the tractable thunder. (Originally published Feb 11, 2016)