Halloween 2017

The Monstrosity/Cuteness Spectrum

It seems the unavoidable fate of all terrifying monsters, doesn’t it? We reduce the most horrifying creatures of myth, legend and folklore to an adorable kids costume or a mega-cute illustration. Why can’t we help ourselves? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the battle between cuteness and monstrosity, with examples drawn from Japanese traditions.

The First Monster

Humans love monsters, but when did we first dare to dream up bestial hybrids and chimerical horrors? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe consider the 35-40 thousand-year-old Löwenmensch statues. Who created these images of lion-headed men? What do they represent and what do they reveal about human cognition?

Optography: Image in a Dead Man's Eye

Pseudoscience often enters our world where magic fails us, seeming to make the impossible possible via the invocation of actual scientific and technological marvels. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore the unmistakably necromantic world of optography, a 19th century notion that the last images seen by the dead might be retrieved from the flesh and fluid of the eye.

Cambrian Monster Mash

Welcome to the ocean of monsters. In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe 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.

A Game of Werewolf

If you’ve ever played the party game 'Werewolf,' then you know the thrill of weeding out secret lycanthropes in a medieval village -- or devouring the villagers secretly in the night. But the game goes far beyond parlor fun and mild roleplaying as numerous studies in deception, artificial intelligence and game theory look to its complex social mechanics. Join Robert and Joe as they seek for meaning in the long, murderous night of the werewolf.

Stuff to Blow Your Mind Live: Stranger Science

With another season of “Stranger Things” just around the corner, the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast explores the mind rending science behind government research into psychic phenomena, sensory deprivation tanks, interdimensional travel and the real-life researcher lurking behind the fictional Dr. Brenner. Join hosts Robert, Joe and Christian for a live journey into the upside-down from New York Comic Con 2017.

Six Ghost Stories

Human superstition provides us with an overwhelming wealth of ghost stories, each an unreal creation that reveals something crucial about culture, history and psychology. In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Christian explore six ghost stories from around the world and discuss what they reveal about the (living) human experience.

Science of It: Deadlights and Derry

If you’ve read Stephen King’s “It” or recoiled in fear from the 2017 film and the 1990 miniseries, then perhaps you’ve wondered what science can reveal about Pennywise the Dancing Clown and the horrors of Derry, Maine. Join Robert and Christian as they consider the monster science of the creature itself and various, real world explanations that grown-ups might turn to for a town gone bad.

Laughing During Horror Movies

Have you ever heard inappropriate laughter during a horror movie? For that matter, are you the guilty party? Join Robert and Christian as they explore our curious reactions to frightful cinema and how horror and comedy converge in the human mind.