Blow Your Mind: Regurgitation Celebration (+ Vomit as Art)

While adult humans generally avoid puking as much as possible, a good upchuck is just another biological function for other creatures. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I present a vomitory smorgasbord of cud-chewing monkeys, acid-puking spiders, corpse-hurling vultures and even human mothers who chew food for their babies.

Not since Wim Delvoye's Cloaca robot first pooped onto a conveyer belt has a work touched me with such a wonderfully bizarre mixture of performance art and science. Behold "The Body is a Big Place," in which Peta Clancy and Helen Pynor use a heart perfusion system to reanimate to a pair of fresh pig hearts* -- all set against a surreal underwater backdrop complete with an ambient soundscape created by Gail Priest. Let's watch...

If you've never experienced the wonders of Jim Trainor's animation, then you're in for a treat. I love a great convergence of art and science and that's just what you get in thees short films. Trainor anthropomorphizes his subjects just enough to engage our human minds, but retains the basic instincts that define the actual animals -- be it the urge to eat, the urge to mate or... well that's mostly it for animals, isn't it? You'll find no cartoon mice piloting steam boats here.

A woman in a museum stares into your soul. A man surgically implants a cybernetic ear on his arm. A dog starves. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Julie dive into the world-changing and confrontational world of performance art, discussing the works of such notable artists as Marina Abramovi?and and Stelarc.

Blow Your Mind: Robotic Artists and Baby Brains

So what are Julie and I up to this week? Well, in addition to recording episodes on personhood, milk and mermaids, we also published two exciting episodes that should expand your mind on the topics of human creativity, machine intelligent and the processing power of the human infant. So here are the breakdowns as well as the embedded feeds for each episode.

Stendhal Syndrome: Kicked in the Brain by Art

Imagine a work of art so breathtakingly beautiful that it causes your heart to beat faster and your head to swoon with hallucinations. You're falling into the painting, through the painting, touching the limits of emotional experience... and then you faint. This Stuff to Blow Your Mind episode dives into the surreal world of Stendhal syndrome. What's the science behind this psychosomatic illness? How much of it is mere travel shock and how do Rubens Syndrome, Paris Syndrome and Jerusalem Syndrome factor into the mix?

Blow Your Mind: The Pooping Duck or When Robots Digest

Step right up and behold a marvel of 18th century robotics! See the Jacques de Vaucanson's fabulous digesting duck, the clockwork miracle capable of reproducing the biological miracles of ingestion, digestion and defecation! In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I dive into the history books for more on how the pooping duck may have worked and just what it's creator was thinking. Plus, you'll learn about the nightmarish cloaca bot.

Science and Art: Disgusting Human Bodies of the Future

I love collisions of science and art, especially when they speculate on the future of the human race. Thus, as brought to my attention by HowStuffWorks' Jonathan Strickland, the Science Gallery in Dublin, Ireland is currently hosting the exhibit "HUMAN+" about the future of our species.

Space Music: SETI Artist in Residence and an Orbital Flautist

We have some cool bits of Space Music to roundup this week. First, we've already covered NASA's first and last artist in residence (AIR), but what about SETI? The ET-seeking non-profit just signed on multimedia artist Charles Lindsay for a three year stint as its first AIR, during which he'll grow the program and "encourage cross disciplinary artistic expression in order to explore and illuminate the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe."