myth

Chakram: Spinning Death in Myth, War & Physics

It’s easy to assume that spinning, ring-shaped blades are weapons best left to Hindu gods and TV warrior princesses. But long before humans invented the peaceful Aerobie, ancient Indian warriors unleashed spinning chakram against their enemies -- and Sikh warriors continued to use them in combat up into the 19th century. Join Robert and Christian as they explore the mythic power, military history and aerodynamics of this marvelous flying halo.

Six Deadly Poisons

Deadly elixirs in tiny bottles play into the cruelest machinations of history, fiction and myth. In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, join Robert and Christian as they sneak six of these deadly concoctions from the poisoner’s chest and explore each one’s power and place in human history.

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.

The Necessity of Patient Zero

Patient zero looms large in our collective consciousness. Through carelessness, impropriety or sheer twisted luck, they introduce highly contagious pathogens into new human populations -- if not the human species itself. But where does the science end and the game of scapegoating and othering begin? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore the concept of patient zero in science, history and myth.

The Science of Holy Butter

There's more to butter than meets the eye. Each yellow pat of fatty goodness is nothing short of processed solar energy, and its long history entails many a magical and sacred rite. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian consider the curious nature of butter.

Incu-succubi: Demon in the Halls of Sleep

Incubi and succubi emerge from Western demonology as supernatural seducers who prey on human passion. But of course seductive demons and sexual ghosts can be found in traditions around the world. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the basics of incubus and succubus myths, a few international variants and the possible biological, psychological and neurological explanations for these paranormal encounters.

Will-o'-the-Wisp: A Light in the Swamp

There was a time when strange lights appeared in the marshlands. Commoners might have known the eerie luminescence as “Will-o’-the-Wisp” or “Hinky Punk,” while the learned pondered the mysteries of “Ignis Fatuus.” Superstitions aside, what natural phenomenon was at work here, before accounts of false fires in the night largely vanished from history? In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe search for answers.

The Great Transhumanist Rapture War: Part 2

Join Robert and Joe as they explore the space for common ground — and conflict — between genetically modified cyborgs and heaven-teleported believers in this two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

The Great Flood

From tales of Utnapishtim and Noah to Yü and Manu, everyone loves a good mythical deluge. But why are flood myths so important? What sort of natural phenomena could cause the sort of massive flooding likely to resonate through the heritage memories of a flood-traumatized civilization? Join Robert and Christian for a Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration.

Unraveling the Mythic

Mythology is a powerful force, but what exactly IS myth? How does it differ from legend and folklore? How do we study it?Join Robert and Christian as they consider the powerful, polyfunctional nature of myth and all the various ways we interpret it.