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

How Watersheds Work  

Unless you happen to be standing on a hilltop or swimming in the ocean right now, you are on a watershed. These unsung wonders of topography and hydrology are an important contributor to the rain cycle and yet we humans tend to abuse them.

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.

How Multiple Sclerosis Works  

When the immune system mistakes the tissue covering neural connections as foreign invaders, the result can devastate the body. There is hope, however, in a new radical treatment that resets the immune system.

How the National Security Council Works  

Until recently, most people probably never paid much attention to the National Security Council. It's been around a long time though, and the president has quite a bit of leeway as to who sits at the table. Learn all about this important group of individuals in today's episode.

SYSK Selects: How Breast Implants Work  

In this week's SYSK Select episode, the first attempt at breast augmentation surgery was on a dog. The second on a woman who went in for tattoo removal. From those weird origins hundreds of thousands of breast implant procedures are now carried out each year. Find out all about the advancements and techniques in increasing your bust.

How Swearing Works  

Swearing is something that's been done across all cultures, virtually since humans began speaking. What is it about these taboo words that offend some, and are beloved by others? Does it help to relieve stress to swear? Are there general rules of thumb about when it's OK to swear? All of your questions are answered in today's episode.

How Corsets Work  

Sure, we're doing an episode on corsets. Why do you ask?

SYSK Selects: Lying Liars: How Lying Works, Liar  

In this week's SYSK Select episode, studies find that absolutely everyone lies – some have found as much as a quarter of our daily interactions involve lies. What gives with everyone fudging? Chuck and Josh explore the philosophy, psychology and reality of lying and what constitutes a liar.

How Supervolcanoes Work  

Until recently, volcanologists thought supervolcanoes were simply massive volcanoes. But further research has revealed that they are far different - and far more dangerous - than previously imagined.

How Supreme Court Nominations Work  

Being nominated as a Supreme Court Justice is no small thing, and it doesn't always go as planned. With this week's confirmation of Justice Gorsuch, Josh and Chuck take a look at the process of getting named to America's highest court.

SYSK Selects: Can you die of a broken heart?  

In this week's SYSK Select episode, in the early 1990s, Japanese researchers found a strange anomaly in their study subjects, five people who had inexplicable heart attacks. From this first investigation has come a scientific mystery: Is it possible that the sudden loss of a loved one can be so difficult to bear that it can actually cause a heart attack and maybe kill you? Could the romantics be right?

How Empathy Works  

Empathy can often be confused with sympathy and regular old compassion. But it's not exactly either one of those. Some say a lack of empathy can indicate sociopathic tendencies, but that's not always true either. So what is empathy and what makes someone prone to empathize? Listen in to find out.

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