Stuff To Blow Your Mind

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

United States

Deep in the back of your mind, you’ve always had the feeling that there’s something strange about reality. There is. Join Robert, Joe and Christian as they examine neurological quandaries, cosmic mysteries, evolutionary marvels and our transhuman future on Stuff To Blow Your Mind, a podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Episodes

Listener Mail VII: Fill Your Ears  

It's listener mail time again! Join Robert, Joe and Christian for listener feedback on combat drugs, only child syndrome, technology without fire, ghost marriage, forensics and more. Plus Karnie the Mailbot scans itself for viruses and reboots for action.

The Creep  

You've all witnessed and been witnessed by the Creep, but what attributes compose this unsettling character? Why do we fear the creep and what, indeed, are we to make of the Creep in the mirror? Join Robert and Joe for an autopsy of this most unsavory archetype.

To The Escape Pod!  

Ever wanted to climb into the safe, metal womb of an escape pod and blast yourself free of this doomed vessel called life? Sure you have, but in the meantime consider some of the real-life air, space and terrestrial escape capsules that humans have envisioned over the years. Robert and Joe tell you all about it in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast.

Is social media driving us insane?  

If our collective social, cultural and political angst may be compared to a fire, then social media often seems the kiln that contains it. But are resources such as FaceBook and Twitter mere vessels for the blistering heat, or are they complacent in the flame’s intensity? Robert and Christian explore in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast.

I Was Eaten by a Giant Spider  

The spiders that occur in nature are not a creeping menace -- rather, they are a true invisible ally of humankind. But if one were to grow to 1950s sci-fi proportions, even the arachnophiliacs among us would have to admit we had a problem on our hands. How do spiders eat their prey, and what would it be like if a human being were consumed by an impossibly large spider? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast.

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.

Combat Stims: Better Warriors Through Chemistry  

Combat stims and pharmacological power-ups are a staple of our gun-blazing video games, enabling players to rack up atrocious body counts. But what’s the reality of combat drugs? How do we separate legends from reality and just what our soldiers currently taking to enable, survive and live with the violence of their profession? Robert and Christian explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

Only Child Syndrome: Brats, Myths and Little Emperors  

What sort of behavior, personality and life can we expect from an only child? A lot of cultural expectations persist about the singleton, from the spoiled Veruca Salt of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” to the “little emperors” who rose up in the wake of China’s One Child Policy. But what’s the truth of the matter? Robert and Christian explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

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.

Frankenstein: 200 Years of Scientific Dread  

Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” has terrified the world for nearly two centuries, thanks to countless adaptations and the timeless nature of the 1816 text. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian discuss the modern world that this science-fiction horror classic emerged from and the dark shadow it continues to cast over scientific endeavor.

Creepypasta 3: The SCP Foundation  

Is there science behind the creepypasta? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, explore a few specimens from the SCP Foundation.

Now I am Become Death: Cotard's Delusion  

Delusions often drive home the ephemeral nature of perceived reality, even blurring the lines between life, death and imagined states of un-death. Such is the case with Cotard’s Delusion, also known as Cotard’s Syndrome, that rare mental illness in which the patient comes to believe themselves a corpse. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe investigate tales of the deathly deluded.

Death Roots: Dreams and Science of Carnivorous Plants  

Are humans truly safe from the hunger of mean-eating plants? Can we trust the trees that loom over us? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss myths and fictions of killer trees, the science of carnivorous plants and the curious absence of mean-eating plants in our natural world.

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 Creepypasta Experiments  

Surf the Internet long enough and you’ll happen upon creepypasta: little cut-and-paste snippets of horror that blur the lines between reality and the fantastic. These collectively assembled amalgams of pop culture influences take on their own amorphous power -- and more than a few of them seem to involve shadowy science experiments. So in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore the real-life science behind a handful of experiments from the world of creepypasta.

The 2016 Ig Nobels: Pale Horses, Dead Flies and Quantified Bullroar  

Each year, a magazine called The Annals of Improbable Research awards the Ig Nobel prizes to honor the weirdest and funniest scientific projects ever undertaken by humans. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert, Joe and Christian discuss this year's winners. In part two, you’ll hear about profiles in lying, pale horses, automotive alchemy, the passion of a fly collector, and people who find profundity in meaningless statements.

The 2016 Ig Nobels: Rat Pants, Mooning and the Sincerity of Rocks  

Each year, a magazine called The Annals of Improbable Research awards the Ig Nobel prizes to honor the weirdest and funniest scientific projects ever undertaken by humans. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert, Joe and Christian discuss this year's winners. In part one, you can expect to hear about rats with pants, the personalities of rocks, scientific mooning, mirror-assisted itch relief, as well as the lived experience of goatmen and badgermen.

Conjoined Dreamers  

Is the dream world a solitary creation of the sleeping mind, or can we share these spaces of fear, wonder and desire with other dreamers? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore Carl Jung’s collective unconscious as well as the science of linked dreaming via computer interfaces.

The Nine Dream Worlds of Frederik van Eeden  

Have you ever desired a map of the dream world? Look no further than the ideas and practices of Dutch psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden. Influenced by Hindu philosophy, mysticism and panpsychism, van Eeden coined the term 'lucid dreaming' along with eight other specific states of dreaming. Join Robert and Christian as they explore his seven kingdoms of sleep.

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