Halloween

More Halloween Mixes To Combat Decision Fatigue

If you're throwing a Halloween shindig this year, you know the anguish that comes with putting together a spectacular playlist. Is "Monster Mash" too lame? Is "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah" kosher with my converging friend groups? Decisions, decisions, decisions. And of course all those decisions lead to decision fatigue. Think too long and hard over playlists and pizza topping early in the day and you'll be hard pressed to make a call on the big stuff later on. Julie and I did a podcast episode on the topic and there's a great New York Times article on the topic. Save yourself some mental anguish and leave the Halloween tunes to a professional DJ. Now let' get funky.

The Science of Haunted Houses

There's a lot more going on at your local haunted attraction than costumes and chainsaws. In this episode, Robert and Julie venture to Atlanta's Netherworld Haunted House to learn about the science and art behind the ghoulish shenanigans.

Conserve Brain Power, Download a Halloween Mix

In Stuff to Blow Your Mind's recent episode Decision Fatigue: Death by 1,000 Choices, I mentioned that one way to cut down on the steady attrition of your decision-making faculties is to trust in a good DJ or mix podcast. This Halloween, I recommend exactly this to save yourself the anguish of formulating your own paranormal party playlist or macabre mixtape. Because really people, the pros have got you covered on this one -- and you won't have to endure "Monster Mash" in a single one of them. Oh yeah, and they're all totally free.

Blow Your Mind: Frankenstein's Monster

Victor Frankenstein's tortured and brooding creation has become an avatar for scientific anxiety and horror. How far will we push and what are the existential ramifications? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I explore the neurological, magical, alchemical and mechanical roots of Frankenstein's monster. You'll learn all about golems, homunculi, automatons and the future of science-gone-wrong.

Blow Your Mind: What's in a Witches Brew?

Gather round the cauldron with us as we ladle out hefty servings of magical thinking, medieval psychedelics, feminist history and the power of ritual. Just what was old-school witchery all about? This episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind has the answers. For instances, why do so many images (such as the featured 1400 woodcut) depict witches flying around on brooms? Could it be that free-thinking ladies of the 13th century liked to coat the shaft with empathogenic ointments and grind their naked bodies against it? Quite possibly, as we'll discuss in detail.

Blow Your Mind: The Candy Corn Menace

Children crave candy like ravenous fiends. Whether double-fisting gummy worms or pouring an endless cascade of sugar into their breakfast cereal, their appetite for sweets seems insatiable. Hold a handful of Twizzlers out to a hungry child and you'll probably pull back a bloody stump. How did the Pied Piper lure all those children away? Candy flute. Sugar, as we discuss in this podcast, is the fire in which our larval humans burn.

The Candy Corn Menace

Whether scarfing down gummy worms or pouring an endless cascade of sugar into their breakfast cereal, children's appetite for sweets seems insatiable. In this episode, Julie and Robert break down the science of childhood sugar madness.

Blow Your Mind: The Creepy Cool World of Imaginary Friends

Why do small children chat with invisible friends? No, they're not conversing with ghosts or hosting tea parties for demonic spirits. As it turns out, those creepy cool encounters with unreal beings is just a part of how the human brain works. Think of it as a socialization simulator. And guess what? Even the average adult brain engages in something very similar: social surrogacy. How many of your close friends are fictional?

The HowStuffWorks Chainsaw Massacre

We are now knee-deep in the blood of another Halloween season, so it's time to use HowStuffWorks.com the way it was intended: as an informational resource to enhance your appreciation of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Shining." Produced on the slimmest of budgets back in the early '70s, "Chainsaw" is one of the most terrifying and unsettling horror films of all time. This year, I challenge you to endure its 84 minutes of madness with the aid of some HowStuffWorks.com schooling.

SFSL Roundup: Halloween Shenanigans

It's been a little more like Stuff From the Mad Science Lab in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Shovels in hand, Allison and I have trudged off into the moonlit cemeteries to unearth a number of grotesque, chilling and occasionally peer-reviewed horrors from YOUR science and culture. Then we dragged it all into the podcasting lab, flipped the switch and created three awesome Halloween episodes: Science vs. Monsters! This one's a real slobber knocker, folks, because we pit actual science against fictional monsters in an all-out battle royale. We'll discuss who would win in a fight between bigfoot and the wolfman -- and tell you why Charles Darwin already decided the match. Plus much more!