Stuff To Blow Your Mind

Stuff To Blow Your Mind Podcast

Deep in the back of your mind, you’ve always had the feeling that there’s something strange about reality. There is. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they examine neurological quandaries, cosmic mysteries, evolutionary marvels and our transhuman future.

Mushroom Foraging, Part 2
Are more people identifying and even foraging wild mushrooms than in previous years? If so, why is this? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe talk about mushroom foraging, the importance of human foraging and even some studies that pit forager against forager. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Mushroom Foraging, Part 1
Are more people identifying and even foraging wild mushrooms than in previous years? If so, why is this? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe talk about mushroom foraging, the importance of human foraging and even some studies that pit forager against forager. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: The Voynich Manuscript, Part 2
Browse the libraries of the world and you’ll find nothing stranger and perplexing than the so-called Voynich Manuscript, a 15th century tome that has perplexed linguists and codebreakers for hundreds of years -- and remains a mystery. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss just why we can't stop looking to its weird pages. (Originally published 9/5/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Night of the Lichen-thropes
Lichen are incredibly widespread and easy to take for granted, but these composite organisms are some of the most fascinating lifeforms on the planet. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore their remarkable qualities. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Listener Mail: The Serpent's Golden Apple
It's time once more for Listener Mail, when Robert and Joe read YOUR letters regarding snake pits, tomatoes and more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: The Voynich Manuscript, Part 1
Browse the libraries of the world and you’ll find nothing stranger and perplexing than the so-called Voynich Manuscript, a 15th century tome that has perplexed linguists and codebreakers for hundreds of years -- and remains a mystery. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss just why we can't stop looking to its weird pages. (Originally published 9/3/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Introducing 'Raised by Wolves: The Podcast'
In this companion podcast to HBO Max’s Raised By Wolves – the dystopian drama series from Executive Producers Ridley Scott and Aaron Guzikowski – the endlessly curious Holly Frey invites the show’s creators and innovators from science and technology to discuss the most fascinating questions raised by the series. Whether exploring A.I., religious wars, or space travel, each podcast episode springboards off scenes from the TV show to view the series through an eerily realistic prism. Not only a must-listen fo...

Fingernails, Part 2
How fast do human fingernails and toenails grow? Are they claws and, if not, what are they? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert and Joe dive into the anatomy, evolution culture and mythology of the “nail as old as time.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Fingernails, Part 1
How fast do human fingernails and toenails grow? Are they claws and, if not, what are they? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert and Joe dive into the anatomy, evolution culture and mythology of the “nail as old as time.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Surfing Neanderthals
What do recent studies about surfer’s ear and neanderthals reveal about their relationship with the ocean? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss the condition and some recent findings regarding the neanderthals. (Originally published 8/27/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Tomato, Tomato, Part 2
While the so-called “golden apple” has at times been viewed with suspicion, it has become a staple of summertime cuisine and may one day follow us to farms on other worlds. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe consider the tomato. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Tomato, Tomato, Part 1
While the so-called “golden apple” has at times been viewed with suspicion, it has become a staple of summertime cuisine and may one day follow us to farms on other worlds. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe consider the tomato. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: School Dreams
Have you ever experienced dreams of forgotten classes, impossible exams and other examples of school-age anxiety? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the pervasive nature of the school dream. (Originally published 8/22/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Shatter Me Like Sub-Zero
From the ice-based violence of Mortal Kombat’s Sub-Zero to the body-shattering kills in action films like “Time Cop” and “Demolition Man,” we seem to have this obsession with frozen human bodies exploding into a million shards of ice. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss just how feasible these scenes really are. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Pit of Serpents
The Well of Souls sequence from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a memorable slice of blockbuster history but a very dubious presentation of snake behavior -- but that doesn’t mean the snake pit is mere fantasy. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe grab a torch and descend into the pit of serpents. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Lot's Wife: Flesh into Salt
You’ve probably heard the Biblical tale of Lot’s wife, in which a trio of angels destroy a couple of ancient cities and the resulting blast turns a woman into a pillar of salt. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe set aside most of the theology to ponder if and how a human body could become a big old chunk of salt. (Originally published 8/20/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Demogorgon
You probably know the Demogorgon as the powerful demon lord from Dungeons and Dragons, or perhaps as the interdimensional monster from “Stranger Things.” But where does this curious name come from? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe pursue the origins of the Demogorgon through modern pop culture, romantic poetry, translated texts and Gnostic mystery. (Originally published 10/1/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Interior World
Most of us have spent far more time at home this year, which raises the question: Just what sort of artificial interior environments have we created? What lives there besides our family and pets? And what are we missing out on? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: How to Survive a Great Fall
Anticipating a fall from 10,000 feet or more? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss your chances of survival. (Originally published 8/15/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: How to Survive a Great Fall
This episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind takes listeners to Transylvania, where a rogue baron made important early strides in the field of paleobiology and where, during the Late Cretaceous period, giant pterosaur dubbed “Dracula” feasted on pony-sized dwarf sauropods. (Originally published 8/13/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Pykrete: Ice Like Stone
Whether plotting to build a great northern wall or an aircraft carrier made of ice instead of steel, the substance you’re looking for is Pykrete. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss what makes this super-strong ice so durable and why there was an actual plan to build ships out of the stuff during the Second World War. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


The Spotlight Effect
Ever feel like everyone in the Zoom call is looking at you? Ever astonished to find your contribution to a project goes unrecognized, or that your latest faux pas didn’t destroy you? Perhaps you’re not the central character in this narrative after all. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the spotlight effect and what it teaches us about our own perception of reality and those around us. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Spotlight Effect
Ever feel like everyone in the Zoom call is looking at you? Ever astonished to find your contribution to a project goes unrecognized, or that your latest faux pas didn’t destroy you? Perhaps you’re not the central character in this narrative after all. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the spotlight effect and what it teaches us about our own perception of reality and those around us. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Prehistoric Transylvania
This episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind takes listeners to Transylvania, where a rogue baron made important early strides in the field of paleobiology and where, during the Late Cretaceous period, giant pterosaur dubbed “Dracula” feasted on pony-sized dwarf sauropods. (Originally published 8/13/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Prehistoric Transylvania
This episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind takes listeners to Transylvania, where a rogue baron made important early strides in the field of paleobiology and where, during the Late Cretaceous period, giant pterosaur dubbed “Dracula” feasted on pony-sized dwarf sauropods. (Originally published 8/13/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Volcanoes of Life
From our earliest experiences with paleoart to tales of Pompeii and visions of modern catastrophes, it’s easy to associate volcanoes with death and destruction. But what if it’s less a case of Mount Doom and more a case of Mount Life, at least from a broader environmental point of view? Robert and Joe explore the question in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Volcanoes of Life
From our earliest experiences with paleoart to tales of Pompeii and visions of modern catastrophes, it’s easy to associate volcanoes with death and destruction. But what if it’s less a case of Mount Doom and more a case of Mount Life, at least from a broader environmental point of view? Robert and Joe explore the question in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


The Horned Helm, Part 2
In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe continue their exploration of helmets -- both the horned and the non-horned variety. Learn about the beautiful complexity of Japanese samurai helmets, perhaps the weirdest helm ever donned by a king and more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Horned Helm, Part 2
In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe continue their exploration of helmets -- both the horned and the non-horned variety. Learn about the beautiful complexity of Japanese samurai helmets, perhaps the weirdest helm ever donned by a king and more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: The Secret Intellect of Animals, Part 2
In the second of two classic episodes, Joe and Christian continue their discussion of animal cognition, including animal morality, tool use, mental time travel, culture, and other strange clues to the intellectual complexity of our cousins in the animal kingdom. Afterwards, they speak to Dutch-American primatologist Frans de Waal about his book and his thoughts on the future of animal intelligence research. (Originally published 2/23/2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast...


The Horned Helm, Part 1
Fantasy fiction is lousy with horned helmets -- and more than a few non-Vikings wore them historically. So what’s the deal with horned helms? Why are they impractical from an offensive standpoint? For that matter, just where do helmets come from and are there any animals that wear them? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Listener Mail: Fireworks, Hellfire and More
Once again, Robert and Joe call forth the mailbot to read and discuss listener mail in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: The Secret Intellect of Animals, Part 1
In the first of two classic episodes, Joe and Christian discuss the work of Dutch-American primatologist Frans de Waal, and ask the question of not just whether animals are smarter than we understand, but why the evidence of animal cognition is often so difficult for we humans to grasp. (Originally published 2/21/2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Cancer and Evolution with Kat Arney
In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Joe chats with Kat Arney about her upcoming book "Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution, and the New Science of Life's Oldest Betrayal." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Heaven and Hell with Bart Ehrman
Majorities of Americans believe in the literal existence of Heaven and Hell, but where did these concepts originally come from, and how have they changed over the centuries? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Joe chats with Bart Ehrman, author of 'Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife.' Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Social Media is a B.U.M.M.E.R.
How will you feel the day you finally delete all your social media accounts? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss some of the arguments for doing just that in Jaron Lanier’s book “Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.” (Originally published 8/6/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


The Tide of Gold
Gold from the ocean? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the basic idea behind the accumulation of oceanic gold and the fascinating historical hoax based on the notion. Plus, where does gold come from and how will deep sea gold mining endanger thermal vent ecosystems? Find out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

How does travel engage the senses?
Travel has long inspired the mind and engaged the senses, but just what's going on in the human body when we venture near or far? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore... Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: TEETH
Where do teeth come from and how do different dental variations in the animal world force us to rethink our glorious chompers? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore dental evolution and the wondrous marching molars of elephants and manatees. (Originally published 7/23/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Into the Egg Chamber
Eggs are amazing and some of the varieties we find in nature are wonderfully weird, riveling or exceeding anything you’d ever find on a fictional derelict spaceship. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe consider some curious specimens from the world of eggs. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Smart Talks With IBM: The Power of Quantum Computing
Some problems are so big and complex that there’s not enough computational power on Earth to tackle them. Enter Quantum computing, a new kind of computing that can change how we solve problems forever. In this episode of Stuff To Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe chat with Director of IBM Quantum Strategy and Applications Research, Katie Pizzolato and ExxonMobil VP of R&D, Dr. Vijay Swarup. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Roman Extinctions
Humans are capable of amazing technological and societal feats, but we’ve also brought much misery, death and destruction to our world. We are currently in the midst of the sixth great extinction event -- the Holocene extinction -- and the ravages of human activity extend back throughout our history as a dominator species. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe focus in on some of the key extinctions that occurred during the Roman Empire. (Originally published 6/27/2019) Learn more abou...


Kimchi: A Song of Salt and Cabbage
What exactly is kimchi and what is the chemistry of its deliciousness? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore this spicy, fermented staple of Korean cuisine. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Invention of Fireworks
Fireworks are a staple of celebrations around the world, but where does this invention come from and what’s the basic chemistry of their combustion? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe light the fuse and find out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: The Facial Feedback Hypothesis
To what extent does the act of smiling generate happiness in the mind of the smiler? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss the Facial Feedback Hypothesis and what it means for our complex human emotions. (Originally published 6/20/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Ant Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Ants
The war has raged for at least 100 million years. Armored warriors boil up out of the ground and surge across the battlefield. Mandibles clash. Bodies are torn asunder. As the will of one colony clashes with another, forces advance, withdrawal and sometimes whole populations perish in the Earth. Such are the wars of the ants, compared to which the wars of humanity are but a blip. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the history and tactics of ant warfare, and what humans can le...

Smart Talks with IBM: The Debating AI
Project Debater is the first AI system that can debate humans on complex topics, with a larger ambition of helping people build persuasive arguments and make well-informed decisions. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe chat with Project Debater Lead Researcher, Noam Slonim and IBM VP for Data and AI, Madhu Kochar. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Brain Soup and Liquid Brains
Is there ever a good scientific reason to turn brains into soup? What does all of this have to do with the concept of “liquid brains?” Robert and Joe explore on Stuff to Blow Your Mind. (Originally published 6/11/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Ant Wars: Episode II - The Antmire Strikes Back
The war has raged for at least 100 million years. Armored warriors boil up out of the ground and surge across the battlefield. Mandibles clash. Bodies are torn asunder. As the will of one colony clashes with another, forces advance, withdrawal and sometimes whole populations perish in the Earth. Such are the wars of the ants, compared to which the wars of humanity are but a blip. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the history and tactics of ant warfare, and what humans can le...

Ant Wars: Episode I - The Antom Menace
The war has raged for at least 100 million years. Armored warriors boil up out of the ground and surge across the battlefield. Mandibles clash. Bodies are torn asunder. As the will of one colony clashes with another, forces advance, withdrawal and sometimes whole populations perish in the Earth. Such are the wars of the ants, compared to which the wars of humanity are but a blip. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe explore the history and tactics of ant warfare, and what humans can le...

Solidarity
A brief note from Stuff to Blow Your Mind in support of racial justice. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: The Soap Dragon
What monsters of fatty flesh lie slumbering in the sewer guts of our great cities? Join Robert and Joe as they venture into the dark to discover the beast we all made together. (Originally published 6/4/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Subterrenes: Like Submarines but Underground
The notion of a subterrene, or underground drilling vehicle, is well established within the realm of science fiction, but what are the real-world possibilities for vehicles that drill or melt their way through the subterranean world. Robert and Joe explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind… Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Smart Talks with IBM: The Impact of AI in a Pandemic
How is AI helping organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss the topic with Ritika Gunnar, Vice President of IBM’s Data and AI Expert Labs and Learning, and Jay Bellissimo, IBM’s General Manager for the U.S. Public and Federal Market. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: The Great Wave
For centuries, sailors have told stories of mountainous killer waves that rise out of the ocean without warning. Join Robert and Joe for a discussion of the history and science of rogue waves. (originally published 5/30/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Invention of the Book, Part 2
Books are one of humanity’s greatest inventions, but where do they come from? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe explore the history of book technology, from ancient clay tablets and papyrus scrolls to the codex and beyond. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Invention of the Book, Part 1
Books are one of humanity’s greatest inventions, but where do they come from? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe explore the history of book technology, from ancient clay tablets and papyrus scrolls to the codex and beyond. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: The Doppelganger Network
In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss Doppelgangers, fairy imposters, the brain basis for the feeling of familiarity, and a unique way of understanding the impact of social media and modern communications technology. (originally published 5/28/2019) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 5
What are psychedelics? How have these substances influenced human minds and culture? What exactly do they invoke in the brain and how could a renaissance of scientific study into their properties improve our lives? In this series of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert and Joe explore the world of entheogens. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 4
What are psychedelics? How have these substances influenced human minds and culture? What exactly do they invoke in the brain and how could a renaissance of scientific study into their properties improve our lives? In this series of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert and Joe explore the world of entheogens. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 3
What are psychedelics? How have these substances influenced human minds and culture? What exactly do they invoke in the brain and how could a renaissance of scientific study into their properties improve our lives? In this series of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert and Joe explore the world of entheogens. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 2
What are psychedelics? How have these substances influenced human minds and culture? What exactly do they invoke in the brain and how could a renaissance of scientific study into their properties improve our lives? In this series of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert and Joe explore the world of entheogens. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Psychedelics Playlist: The Manifested Mind, Part 1
What are psychedelics? How have these substances influenced human minds and culture? What exactly do they invoke in the brain and how could a renaissance of scientific study into their properties improve our lives? In this series of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert and Joe explore the world of entheogens. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...