Listener Mail: Fatberg City

It's time for another listener mail and this time we have field reports from the war on fatbergs in the world's sewers -- plus various other e-mails related to recent episodes. 

From the Vault: The Fartonomicon

What is a fart? From what foul bodily depths does it arise? Join Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they crack open the Fartomicon. Explore the fascinating chemistry of flatus, recoil in horror at the thought of medieval fart demons and consider the curious creatures that enjoy a flatulence-free existence. (Originally published April 17, 2018)

The Facial Feedback Hypothesis

To what extent does the act of smiling generate happiness in the mind of the smiler? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss the Facial Feedback Hypothesis and what it means for our complex human emotions. 

Silent Running

It’s time for another movie episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind and this time Robert and Joe are talking about 1972’s “Silent Running,” in which Bruce Dern and his robot pals are caught in an endless chase. It’s a discussion of sci-fi, space botany, environmentalism and the relationship between humans and the forest. 

From the Vault: Life on Venus

The planet Venus might seem a hellish destination and an unlikely place to find extraterrestrial life. And yet, many experts agree that life may have existed in the planet's ancient oceans -- and may thrive yet within the upper atmosphere. Join Robert and Joe in a quest for Venusian aliens. (Originally published May 17, 2018)

Against ‘Survival of the Fittest’

Is natural selection REALLY survival of the fittest? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss where the phrase comes from and how well it actually matches up with our understanding of evolution.

Brain Soup and Liquid Brains

Is there ever a good scientific reason to turn brains into soup? What does all of this have to do with the concept of “liquid brains?” Robert and Joe explore on Stuff to Blow Your Mind. 

From the Vault: Finite and Infinite Games

How do you play the game of life? Do you play it as a finite game or an infinite one? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss the 1986 philosophy book “Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility” by American scholar James P. Carse. (Originally published May 31, 2018)

Q2: Bones of the Plumed Serpent

In the Stuff to Blow Your Mind episode “Quetzalcoatl: The Winged Serpent,” Robert and Joe discussed the feathered snake god of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica -- as well as the giant pterosaur named after it. In this episode, fossils and myth come together in a discussion of Adrienne Mayor’s geomythology take on the plumed serpent.  

The Soap Dragon

What monsters of fatty flesh lie slumbering in the sewer guts of our great cities? Join Robert and Joe as they venture into the dark to discover the beast we all made together.