Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

United States

How does LARP work? How does fingerprinting work? Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the Stuff You Should Know about everything from psychology to propellant in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Episodes

History of the Trail of Tears, Part II  

In the second of two parts, what was once a voluntary resettlement program becomes a violent, forced relocation under the leadership of President Andrew Jackson.

How Ketchup Works  

Little-known fact: Ketchup, possibly the most all-American of condiments, evolved from fermented fish sauce people in Southeast Asia have been making for more than a thousand years.

How Seed Banks Work  

Since the advent of agriculture, humans have been storing seeds. But as sea levels rise and climates change around the world, our reasons for banking seeds have become more desperate.

SYSK Selects: Do you stay conscious after being decapitated?  

In this week's SYSK Select episode, historically speaking, decapitation was a popular means of execution -- it's been used by everyone from ancient Romans to French revolutionaries. But is there any truth to claim that victims retain their consciousness? Tune in to learn more.

What was Camp X?  

In the early days of World War II, there was a secret training program in Canada that taught Allied saboteurs everything from espionage and bridge blowing to karate chops to the neck of an enemy. It was called Camp X and was so secret that not even the Canadian prime minister was aware of it prior to its formation. Learn all about this super cool camp in today's episode.

How the Beagle Brigade Works  

If you've ever been to an international airport, you've probably seen one of the keenest spotters of illegal contraband - The Beagle Brigade! These cute dogs aren't after drugs or bombs, they're carefully trained to sniff out agricultural products. Learn all about this furry group of crime stoppers in today's episode.

SYSK Selects: How Maps Work  

In this week's SYSK Select episode, yes, your brain may have just flash-dried from boredom at the thought of learning about maps, but it turns out they are a lot more than just tools for navigation. Maps are two-dimensional representations of how we imagine our world, with imagine being the operative word since every map in existence is riddled with errors.

Why Are Whale Strandings Still a Mystery?  

For millennia, mass strandings of whales have confounded us. Why should dozens or more whales come onto shore only to die a terrible and lengthy death?

How Coelacanths Work  

Coelacanths are incredibly interesting as far as fish go. For one, they were thought to have gone the way of the dinosaur, along with the dinosaur. They also give birth to live fish and tend to dwell more than 800 feet below the ocean's surface. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Learn all about these fascinating creatures in today's episode.

The Stories Behind A Few Food Fads  

America loves to go nuts over new food trends and it turns out that the 20th century was a boon time for them.

Are Election Laws Designed to Suppress Voting?  

Are laws that are meant to protect the sanctity of the polling place in reality designed to make it harder for groups that traditionally vote Democrat to cast their ballots?

How Schoolhouse Rock Rocked: Featuring Bob Nastanovich of Pavement  

Schoolhouse Rock is possibly the best children's program of all time. Join Josh and Chuck as they tell the story of SR, featuring an interview with Pavement's Bob Nastanovich, contributor to the '90s Schoolhouse Rock tribute record.

Is a head transplant really a thing?  

'Head transplant' is a bit of a misnomer, because it's more like a body transplant. But either way, the idea is that one human will wake up from surgery with a decidedly different look. Is it possible? Probably not. But there are a couple of surgeons who are making a lot of news in their bid to find out. Learn all about this grisly potential procedure in today's episode.

How the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis Work  

It wasn't too long ago that humans thought the polar lights were signs from the afterlife. Thanks to a 19th century Norwegian, we now understand that they are a fascinating interplay with Earth's magnetic field and wind from the sun.

How Champagne Works  

Sure we can all agree that champagne is probably the greatest thing humans have or ever will invent, but how much do we understand how it's made?

How Charismatic Megafauna Work  

Charismatic Megafauna is not just a great band name. It's really just a fancy word for the cutest and most personality plus animals at the zoo. We're talking pandas, elephants and anything else you might see on a poster. Their mission? To help raise awareness and drive donations. But not everyone is on board. Learn all about these cuddly beasts in today's episode.

How Itching Works  

It was only in the last few decades that science became aware that itches aren't just low-level pain. And in that time, the mystery of how we itch and why we scratch has gotten even more baffling.

SYSK Selects: What's the 10,000 Year Clock?  

In this week's SYSK Select episode, in a desert in Texas a 200-feet-tall clock is being constructed deep inside a mountain. Once completed, it will keep time for the next 10,000 years, even if there are no humans around to use it. Tune in as Chuck and Josh get to the bottom of the Long Now.

Some Nutso Fan Theories  

It turns out that the characters in your favorite TV shows and the like are actually dead, dreaming, dying or don't exist.

How Poetry Works  

Poetry is a broad and expansive art form. From dramatic verse to haiku, rhyming poetry and spoken word, there are many hats a poet can wear. Join Josh and Chuck today as they break down the history of poetry, a dive into what's so great about it.

SYSK Selects: How Revisionist History Works  

In this week's SYSK Select episode, perhaps you equate the term to conspiracy theories and Holocaust denials, but revisionism is a genuine discipline in the field of historical study. And thanks to revisionists, we now include a lot more reality – and previously unsung people – in the history of our nations. Learn about historians determined that history is far from set in stone in this episode.

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