Cosmology

From the Vault: Library of Babel

In Jorge Luis Borges' masterful short story "The Library of Babel," librarians and cultists wander a vast honeycomb library of hexagonal rooms -- rooms that contain not only all books but all possible books, from unwritten masterpieces to tomes of typographical nonsense. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick venture into this metaphoric labyrinth for contemplations of genetics, cosmology, philosophy, computer programing and magic. (Originally published Aug 2, 2016)

The Nuts and Bolts of Boltzmann Brains

Do your ever have the feeling that your entire reality is just a momentary hallucination inside a randomly formed space brain? If so, then this is the podcast episode for you! In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the existential nightmare of Boltzmann brains, a thought experiment that questions the nature of self and cosmos. Plus, expect some discussion of Descartes’ evil demon, brain in a vat and the Hindu concept of Māyā.

Order out of Chaos: How to Create a Universe

Numerous mythologies speak to the birth of our universe out of darkness and chaos, but can humans follow in the footsteps of the gods? Can we create a universe in the lab? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe explore the primordial darkness of multiple cosmologies as well as the theoretical depths of human-created universes and simulated realities.

O Time Thy Pyramids: The Library of Babel

In Jorge Luis Borges' masterful short story "The Library of Babel," librarians and cultists wander a vast honeycomb library of hexagonal rooms -- rooms that contain not only all books but all possible books, from unwritten masterpieces to tomes of typographical nonsense. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe venture into this metaphoric labyrinth for contemplations of genetics, cosmology, philosophy, computer programing and magic.

Is math a human invention or a human discovery?

In this episode, Robert and Julie take a sweeping look at math, addressing several important questions. For example: What is math? Where does math come from? What mathematical skills are we born with and how much can we understand?

Big Trouble in Little China: Where is the universe?

John Carpenter's 1986 film "Big Trouble in Little China" is the greatest film ever made. Sorcery and martial arts? Check. Semi trucks and monsters? Check. A biting commentary on U.S. foreign policy? You've got it. And like many of Carpenter's films, there's a little space science thrown in where you'd least expect it. I mean, just look to the antimatter and tachyon transmission plot elements in 1987's satanic zombie romp "Prince of Darkness" or the terraforming in "They Live." It shouldn't surprise anyone that even a Carpenter Kung-fu flick full of Chinese legend would also pack in some cosmology.