Technology

STBYM Live: Weird Science in the Windy City

Robert, Christian and Joe transport you back to the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893, when the neoclassical architecture of Daniel Burnham’s White City loomed on the shores of Lake Michigan, Nikola Tesla’s alternating current powered thousands of decorative incandescent lamps, and the original Ferris Wheel gave visitors from all around the world a view from the top. Join them for a live C2E2 2017 discussion on the great wheel, the Parliament of World Religions and the H. H. Holmes Murder Castle.

One-Armed Bandits: The Science of Slot Machines

You may call it a slot machine, a fruit machine or a one-armed bandit, but the reality is the same: an algorithmically precise machine designed to drain the human gambler of all his or her earnings. Where did these insidious machines come from? How do they ensorcell us? In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the science and psychology of slot machine gambling behavior.

Monster of the Week: The Illithid 'Mind Flayer'

Robert Lamb discusses the Ilithid 'Mind Flayers' of Dungeons and Dragons within the context of real-world biology, computing and human psychology.

A World Before Fire: The Human Flame

Humans existed before their mastery of fire, albeit in a rather primitive state -- and yes, even Earth itself knew an age when fire itself was not only scarce, but chemically impossible. In this two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe venture back to a time before the flame and consider the curious, interconnected ascension of man and fire. In part two, consider how fire enabled the evolutionary and technological ascent of humanity.

A World Before Fire: The Terrestrial Anomaly

Humans existed before their mastery of fire, albeit in a rather primitive state -- and yes, even Earth itself knew an age when fire itself was not only scarce, but chemically impossible. In this two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe venture back to a time before the flame and consider the curious, interconnected ascension of man and fire. In part one, explore the chemistry of a flameless Earth and the possibility of alien technology without fire.

Brain-to-Brain: The Science of Techno-Telepathy

You've always wanted to meet a sensitive alien telepath who could understand you like no one else, but SETI is really dropping the ball on your galactic personal ad. Could new technologies that push the frontiers of brain science allow telepathic communication between humans? Join Robert and Joe as they make a case for the slogan, "Talk is cheap. Scan me!"

One-Armed Bandits: The Science of Slot Machines

You may call it a slot machine, a fruit machine or a one-armed bandit, but the reality is the same: an algorithmically precise machine designed to drain the human gambler of all his or her earnings. Where did these insidious machines come from? How do they ensorcell us? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the science and psychology of slot machine gambling behavior.

Palimpsests: Reading History's Blank Pages

Historians learn a great deal from historical texts -- and not only that which was written, but that which was unwritten. Join Robert and Christian as they explore the world of palimpsests, the erased books just under the surface of ancient tomes. Modern technology allows us to uncover more and more of their secrets, while the idea of the palimpsest itself serves as a powerful metaphor for media, the mind and maybe life itself.

Techno-Religion for the Masses: Part 2

We often think of technology and religion as distinct and separate worlds, but what happens when they converge? Join Robert and Joe in this two-part episode as they examine religious world views shaped by technology, such as John Murray Spear's electrical messiah, the simple prayer wheel and the psycho-spiritual technologies of Scientology.v