HowStuffWorks NOW

HowStuffWorks NOW

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Your weekly dose of some of the world’s latest and greatest science news, technological advancements, absurd curiosities, and groundbreaking research in everything from ancient history to the future of astrophysics. Join Lauren Vogelbaum and the HowStuffWorks team as they explore humanity’s newest discoveries in HowStuffWorks NOW.


What Happens When You Swallow a Leech?  

Although cases are rare, a non-zero number of patients have gone to doctors with a leech stuck in their throat over the years. In this special episode, we explore this gross but fascinating circumstance.

Stealing Sand, Communicating via Poop, and Clinical Trial Participation  

and is in such high demand that tons of it are being stolen from beaches. White rhinos use middens as a complex communal message board. Plus, clinical trials need more volunteers -- we explain why.

Hallucinogenic Honey, Squid Brains, and Why Hot Food Is So Satisfying  

Ancient armies sometimes used hallucinogenic honey as a bioweapon. New research shows how different squid brains are from human brains. Plus, we break down why hot food seems more satisfying than cold food.

Face Punching Legality, Misophonia, and Ties Between Honesty and Profanity  

Morality aside, is it ever legal to punch someone in the face? Unrelated: Researchers have identified the brain bits responsible for finding certain sounds incredibly annoying. Plus, highly profane people may be more honest.

The Danger Episode: Solar Flares, Cosmic Rays, and App Terms of Service  

Solar flares may be responsible for deadly whale beachings. New research clarifies cosmic radiation exposure for frequent fliers. Plus, purposefully complex terms of service let apps harvest our personal data.

Virgin Shark Births, Weighted Anxiety Blankets, and a Boarder Wall's Impact on Wildlife  

A zebra shark has given birth to viable babies without a mate. Weighted blankets may help people battle anxiety and insomnia. Plus: How much damage would a U.S. boarder wall do to local wildlife?

The Blood of the Young, Crustacean Bioweapons, and Our Oldest Ancestor  

A proposed anti-aging treatment transfuses young people's plasma into old people's blood. A species of boxer crab clones and carries sea anemones as weapons. Plus, the oldest known ancestor of all vertebrates was a wee sack of teeth.

Tornadoes Demystified, Global Medicine, and Why the President's First 100 Days Matter  

Tornadoes' centers leave you cold and breathless; now we know how. Underuse and overuse of particular medical treatments is a global problem. Plus, the history and politics behind the importance of a president's first 100 days.

Wonder Woman's Creator, School Suspensions' Effects, and Charging in Airplane Mode  

Wonder Woman's iconic themes of truth, matriarchy, and bondage reflect on her fascinating creator. Schools are suspending more students than ever, with lasting effects. Plus: Do smartphones really charge faster in airplane mode?

Gun Violence Contagion, Pregnancy Brain, and Dirty Towels  

Research indicates that gun violence is contagious like a disease. Pregnancy causes measurable changes in the brain. Plus, science tells us how frequently we should wash our bath towels.

Lunar Lava Caves, Letting Kids Lose, and Air-Seat Shrinkage  

Future moon settlers could live in caves carved by ancient lunar lava flows. Letting kids lose games can actually help them in the long run. Plus, your fellow airplane passengers are closer to you than ever.

Asparagus Pee Science, Tardigrades' Weird Mating Habits, and Criminal Software  

You have some specific genes to thank if you can smell asparagus in urine. Tardigrades were finally observed mating and it's suitably strange. Plus, a software glitch is sending innocent people to prison.

The Bees of the Sea, Tasting Garlic Via Skin, and Probing Alpha Centauri  

Tiny invertebrates pollinate underwater flowers like bees. Fun party trick: How to taste garlic through your feet. Plus, Stephen Hawking is helping send a probe the size of a cherry tomato to explore another solar system.

When Christmas Was Illegal, and Why 2016 Will Be One Second Longer  

christmas, puritans, history, culture, holidays, celebration, 2016, leap second, timekeeping, new years eve, time

Space Poop, Contact Congress and Elf on the Shelf  

How can we better deal with waste in space? Should we rise up against the panopticonic Elf on the Shelf? Plus: Is the internet actually an effective way to contact our elected officials?

Conversational Eye Contact, Presidential Housing, and Samoan Solar Energy  

Researchers may have pinpointed why it's hard to maintain eye contact while we speak. If Trump declined to live in the White House, it would be unprecedented. Plus, a Samoan island is prepared to switch entirely to solar energy.

A Hot Tub of Despair, Fast Bats, and Teen Tech Creators  

A warm, salty area deep in the Gulf of Mexico kills everything it touches. Bats can fly faster than anyone thought, beating out even the fastest birds. Plus, young women in South Africa plan to launch a satellite as part of a STEM academic program.

Whether California Could Secede, Spotify's Destructive Bug, and Ambient Music Therapy  

Increasingly, Californians are considering a campaign to secede from the union. An error in Spotify's desktop app could damage your computer -- update it! Plus, thankfully, ambient music is a proven therapy, and we've got a bit for you to listen to.

A Sweating Robot, the Best Way to Merge, and What Your Phone Battery Wants  

A new humanoid robot keeps its components cool by sweating, just like you and me. Drivers who wait until the last second to merge are scientifically correct - and safer. Plus, we bust a few myths about what will (and won't) damage your smartphone battery.

History’s Worst Coffee, Learning Without Concentrating, and Why America Votes on Tuesdays  

Demand for coffee during the American Civil War lead to a noxious innovation. Haptic feedback may let you learn certain skills without concentrating. Plus, the history behind Super Tuesday – and questions into whether weekdays work for modern voters.

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