Biology

From the Vault: Dangerous Foods III

Thanksgiving is a time of feasting and the wages of feasting, and so Robert and Joe are here to dish up a third installment of Stuff to Blow Your Mind’s “Dangerous Foods” series. Do you dare bite into the likes of licorice, giant Namibian bullfrog, hallucinogenic fish and wriggling octopus tentacles? (Originally published Nov. 23, 2017)

Animals That Eat Poop

Thanksgiving is a time during which many Americans eat things they shouldn’t -- so it’s a perfect time to discuss coprophagia in the animal kingdom. But, unlike many holiday dinners, these examples of poop-eating organisms are not exercises in dysfunction. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick invite you to join yet another feast of knowledge. 

From the Vault:  Cambrian Monster Mash

Welcome to the ocean of monsters. In this classic episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick travel back 500 million years to the monster-haunted waters of the Cambrian period. Meet the monstrous trilobite, anomalocaris, opabinia, hallucigenia, wiwaxia, pikaia and leanchoilia. Plus, Dr. Anton Jessup drops by for a visit. (Originally published Oct 19, 2017) 
Related Content: Original publication (with species illustrations) 
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Listener Mail: The Squirrel Is Not Enough

To follow up our two-part look at the secret, bloody life of the common squirrel, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick present an entire listener mail episode devoted to your field reports on skuggs. 

Vampire Clinic, Part 2

Vampire legends are a global phenomenon, and the trope of the blood-sucking humanoid shows no signs of vanishing from human traditions. But can we trace its origins back to any specific diseases and medical symptoms? In this blood-stained episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick haul up the vampire’s casket and look for signs of rabies, syphilis, dermatitis, tuberculosis and more.

Vampire Clinic, Part 1

Vampire legends are a global phenomenon, and the trope of the blood-sucking humanoid shows no signs of vanishing from human traditions. But can we trace its origins back to any specific diseases and medical symptoms? In this blood-stained episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick haul up the vampire’s casket and look for signs of rabies, syphilis, dermatitis, tuberculosis and more.

From the Vault: Carnivorous Plants

Are humans truly safe from the hunger of meat-eating plants? Can we trust the trees that loom over us? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss myths and fictions of killer trees, the science of carnivorous plants and the curious absence of mean-eating plants in our natural world. (Originally published October 18, 2016)

Salamander Talk with Mark Mandica

Wade into the amazing and weird world of salamanders and other notable amphibians as Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick chat with Mark Mandica, executive director of The Amphibian Foundation. Gain a new level of appreciation for these fabulous organisms and learn what you can do to help them. 

From the Vault: Syphilis

Doctors have called it the great imitator because this destructive venereal disease can manifest almost any symptom. Initially spreading through sexual contact, Syphilis can remain dormant in the body for decades before flaring up again in brutally disfiguring, debilitating and deadly ways. It's difficult to overstate the impact of syphilis on the Western world, and it remains a threat to this day despite effective antibiotic treatments. In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Julie Douglas explore the history of the illness and its cultural effects, from powdered wigs and false noses to surgical advances and vampire myths. (Originally published August 26-28, 2014) 

Squirrels, Part 2: A Skugg Mystery

You might think you know squirrels, but what do you REALLY know about these woodland tree rodents? In this special two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss their appetite for meat, their alleged acts of savagery and various other facts that will make you reconsider the skugg and respect its kingdom. In this episode, things get weird.