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.

TEETH (with Katie Goldin)
Katie Goldin is back with a new season of Creature Feature, so she joins Robert and Joe on Stuff to Blow Your Mind for a chat about strange and amazing teeth in the animal kingdom.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Psychedelics: 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...

From the Vault: Timothy Leary, Part 2
Idolized by some and reviled by others, Timothy Leary remains an icon of 1960s counterculture and psychedelic self-exploration. But who was this rebel, psychologist and celebrity? What did he reveal about LSD’s power and potential? Join Robert and Christian for a special two-part look at the man, the time and the drug he championed. Turn on, tune in, drop out... (originally published Sep 21, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Psychedelics: 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: 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...

From the Vault: Timothy Leary, Part 1
Idolized by some and reviled by others, Timothy Leary remains an icon of 1960s counterculture and psychedelic self-exploration. But who was this rebel, psychologist and celebrity? What did he reveal about LSD’s power and potential? Join Robert and Christian for a special two-part look at the man, the time and the drug he championed. Turn on, tune in, drop out... (originally published Sep 19, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Psychedelics: 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: 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...

From the Vault: The Science of Holy Butter
There's more to butter than meets the eye. Each yellow pat of fatty goodness is nothing short of processed solar energy, and its long history entails many a magical and sacred rite. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian consider the curious nature of butter. (Originally published Jan 10, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


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.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news...

Listener Mail: Fatberg City
It's time for another listener mail and this time we have field reports from the war on fatbergs in the world's sewers -- plus various other e-mails related to recent episodes.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: The Fartonomicon
What is a fart? From what foul bodily depths does it arise? Join Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they crack open the Fartomicon. Explore the fascinating chemistry of flatus, recoil in horror at the thought of medieval fart demons and consider the curious creatures that enjoy a flatulence-free existence. (Originally published April 17, 2018) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


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.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Silent Running
It’s time for another movie episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind and this time Robert and Joe are talking about 1972’s “Silent Running,” in which Bruce Dern and his robot pals are caught in an endless chase. It’s a discussion of sci-fi, space botany, environmentalism and the relationship between humans and the forest.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Life on Venus
The planet Venus might seem a hellish destination and an unlikely place to find extraterrestrial life. And yet, many experts agree that life may have existed in the planet's ancient oceans -- and may thrive yet within the upper atmosphere. Join Robert and Joe in a quest for Venusian aliens. (Originally published May 17, 2018) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Against ‘Survival of the Fittest’
Is natural selection REALLY survival of the fittest? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss where the phrase comes from and how well it actually matches up with our understanding of evolution. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

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.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Finite and Infinite Games
How do you play the game of life? Do you play it as a finite game or an infinite one? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe discuss the 1986 philosophy book “Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility” by American scholar James P. Carse. (Originally published May 31, 2018) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Q2: Bones of the Plumed Serpent
In the Stuff to Blow Your Mind episode “Quetzalcoatl: The Winged Serpent,” Robert and Joe discussed the feathered snake god of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica -- as well as the giant pterosaur named after it. In this episode, fossils and myth come together in a discussion of Adrienne Mayor’s geomythology take on the plumed serpent.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

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. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Neurosecurity: Dawn of the Brain Hackers
While hackers and malware can certainly cause a great deal of damage and misery, these dangers can’t hurt us physically, right? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe are sorry to say you’re wrong -- and as more biotechnology and brain-computer interface creeps into our lives, the risk will only go up. Tune in for a discussion on inherent vulnerability, looming technology and what needs to happen to protect us. (Originally published June 1, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choi...


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. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

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. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Beyond the Uncanny Valley
From bad CGI characters to creepy humanoid robots, everyone knows the uncanny valley effect when they see it. But where did this idea come from and to what extent is it actually a thing? Join Robert and Joe as they descend into the uncanny valley and explore just what's going on in our minds when we lock eyes with less-than-human simulacrums. (Originally published April 6, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Listener Mail: Sacred Squirrels and More
It’s time for another bag of Stuff to Blow Your Mind listener mail, plus a minor update on sacred squirrels. Join Robert, Joe and your friendly neighborhood mailbot dig into your thoughts on recent episodes.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Introducing Ephemeral
Lost materials, dropped threads, forgotten stories. Ephemera in the way that it’s intertwined in our lives. All those things, tangible and intangible, that you wish you could take just one more look at before they vanish into the past. Listen wherever podcasts are found and learn more at www.ephemeral.show Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Deep Sea Ecology with Diva Amon
In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe chat with deep sea marine biologist Diva Amon about life in the deep ocean -- from the wonderous organisms that thrive there to the human activities that threaten their future. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Into the Uncanny Valley
The far side of the uncanny valley rises steeply, assaulting our psyche as our artificial human likenesses creep ever closer toward perfection. But what happens when we actually emerge on the other side? What happens to human society when video footage is no longer the gold standard? Robert and Joe investigate. (Originally published April 4, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Science of Thulsa Doom, Part 2
It’s time for another movie-themed Stuff to Blow Your Mind episode. In fact, it's TWO episodes. This time Robert and Joe discuss the 1982 sword and sorcery picture “Conan the Barbarian.” Join them as they gush over the film’s charismatic villain Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) and explore the real world of giant snakes, Set, snake arrows and more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Science of Thulsa Doom
It’s time for another movie-themed episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind -- and this time Robert and Joe are discussing the 1982 sword and sorcery picture “Conan the Barbarian.” Join them as they gush over the film’s charismatic villain Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) and explore the real world of giant snakes, Set, snake arrows and more.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Carl Zimmer on Heredity's Power
Why does heredity hold such power over us? How did the ancients contemplate it and how is genetic technology changing the shape of future heredity? In this classic episode, Robert and Joe chat with acclaimed science writer Carl Zimmer about the topics explored in his  book “She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity.” (Originally published June 14, 2018) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Send an Owl/Raven/Pigeon!
Harry Potter sends messages by owl. The characters of ‘Game of Thrones’ employ ravens. Meanwhile, real-life messenger pigeons have carried messages for thousands of years. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe consider just why the homing pigeon is perfect for this job -- and why owls and ravens are not.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Almost Cannibals
What’s the line between cannibalism and mere predation? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe consider some thought-provoking cases of predation and cannibalism in the animal world.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Coral Sex in the Sea
Sure coral reefs are rich, vibrant ecosystems, but did you know they also have a kinky side? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, "Sex in the Sea" author Dr. Marah J. Hardt returns to chat about coral reproduction and the role this vital, threatened organism plays in our world. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Fallacy of Alignment: Fundamental Attribution Error, Part 2
How do we consider and predict the actions and intentions of others? How much do we lean on an individual’s presumed internal disposition versus the particulars of their situation? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe consider the fundamental attribution error, which breaks down the errors and even dangers of causal cognition.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Fallacy of Alignment: Fundamental Attribution Error, Part 1
How do we consider and predict the actions and intentions of others? How much do we lean on an individual’s presumed internal disposition versus the particulars of their situation? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe consider the fundamental attribution error, which breaks down the errors and even dangers of causal cognition.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Invention: Toilets, Part 1
Have you subscribed to Robert and Joe's other podcast INVENTION yet? If not, here's a taste of what they're up to in part 1 of their look at toilet technology, from the oldest latrine pit to the modern flushing commode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Sacred Mountain, Part 2
Why do sacred mountains exist in so many cultures and myths? To what extent could high altitude conditions contribute to the way our mind processes these breathtaking environments? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe explore the wonder and science of sacred mountains. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Sacred Mountain, Part 1
Why do sacred mountains exist in so many cultures and myths? To what extent could high altitude conditions contribute to the way our mind processes these breathtaking environments? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert and Joe explore the wonder and science of sacred mountains.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Humanity's THC Odyssey
Humans have known about cannabis for thousands of years, crafting hemp textiles and consuming its psychoactive THC. In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Christian Sager examine the cannabis plant, its travels through human populations and its famed sensory and psychological effects. (Originally published May 3, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Imp of the Perverse
In 1845, Edgar Allan Poe wrote a tale about a man overcome by the compulsion to confess to the heinous crime he sought to keep secret. The conundrum pops up in other Poe tales as well, but the so called “Imp of the Perverse” also invades the human mind with alarming regularity. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe attempt to understand just why, considering Freud, neuroscience, Ironic Process Theory and more.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertis...

The Pressure
Atmospheric pressure. Water pressure. Geologic pressure. What exactly IS pressure and how do humans interact with it? Join Robert and Joe for a look at examples on and within planet Earth -- as well as beyond.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Bicameralism, Part 2
In 1976, psychologist Julian Jaynes presented the world with a stunning new take on the history of human consciousness. His book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” hypothesized that ancient humans heard hallucinated voices in place of conscious thought, and presented archaeological, literary, historical and religious evidence to support this highly controversial view. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they dissect bicameralism and discuss the evidence, the criticisms an...

Against Narrative: Are stories bad for us? Part 2
It’s hard to imagine human beings without storytelling and literature. Surely, these are some of the very things that define us. Narratives give our lives and our world meaning, but what if there’s a dark side to their sorcerous power? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the storyteller’s potent spell. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Against Narrative: Are stories bad for us? Part 1
It’s hard to imagine human beings without storytelling and literature. Surely, these are some of the very things that define us. Narratives give our lives and our world meaning, but what if there’s a dark side to their sorcerous power? In this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the storyteller’s potent spell.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Bicameralism, Part 1
In 1976, psychologist Julian Jaynes presented the world with a stunning new take on the history of human consciousness. His book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” hypothesized that ancient humans heard hallucinated voices in place of conscious thought, and presented archaeological, literary, historical and religious evidence to support this highly controversial view. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they dissect bicameralism and discuss the evidence, the criticisms an...

The Dark Crystal
It’s time for another movie-themed episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind and this time Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick are bound for the world of Thra in Jim Henson’s 1982 masterpiece “The Dark Crystal.” What are we to make of these complex creatures, mythological themes and cosmological alignment?  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Listener Mail: The Quickening
Once more, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick bust out some listener mail -- with the aid of their mailboy Karny, who was accidently infected by the recent “Highlander 2” episode and is now displaying symptoms of multiple Highlander personality disorder.   Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Eternal Youth, Part 2
Throughout history, humans have faced the inexorable process of aging and death. We’ve dreamt up countless myths to explain why we age and what comes of seeking immortality, but what does science tell us about the process? Why do we age? What purpose does it serve in natural selection? Indeed, what can science offer us in the way of eternal youth? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick seek to find out in this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration. (Originally published Jan. 9, 2018) Learn more about your ad-...

Introducing It Could Happen Here, An iHeartRadio Original Podcast
Boy, politics really has gotten hideous, hasn't it? And protests seem a lot more violent than they were a couple of years ago. Are things getting worse? Could the U.S.A. be on the road to a second civil war? Robert Evans says 'Yes!' and by the time you’ve finished listening to 'It Could Happen Here,' you will too. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Flatus Ex Machina, Part 2
Why is it so hilarious when robots and artificial intelligence fail? What does it reveal about comedy itself and our technological anxiety? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter. In this second episode, the joke's on us.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Flatus Ex Machina, Part 1
Why is it so hilarious when robots and artificial intelligence fail? What does it reveal about comedy itself and our technological anxiety? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Eternal Youth, Part 1
Throughout history, humans have faced the inexorable process of aging and death. We’ve dreamt up countless myths to explain why we age and what comes of seeking immortality, but what does science tell us about the process? Why do we age? What purpose does it serve in natural selection? Indeed, what can science offer us in the way of eternal youth? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick seek to find out in this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration. (Originally published Jan. 4, 2018) Learn more about your ad-...

M.I.B. or N.I.B. ?
Belief in UFOs is very much like a religion. It can fulfill the same purpose in an individual's life, give them a community of believers and provide grander framework for mundane life. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider the similarities between the so-called “men in black” and the devil.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Bugs Under The Skin
Ever feel like there are bugs crawling around in your body? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore alleged incidents, medical publications and the reality of delusional parasitosis.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Don't Drink the Salt Water
Whether you draw your wisdom from 18th century poems or experience in the surf, you probably know that drinking seawater is a terrible idea. But exactly why shouldn’t you drink saltwater? What happens if you do? Can it really drive you mad with hallucinations? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick look to the world of biology for answers. (Originally published Jan. 16, 2018) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Let's Make a List
Why are humans so fascinated by lists? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the reason we can’t pass a top 10 clickbait headline and are forever haunted by incomplete lists.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


The Tunnelers
How deep into the Earth have humans traveled? How far have we drilled? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore some interesting lows from the history of mining, geologic exploration and good old fashioned subterranean living.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Jade Immortality
Chinese aristocracy of the Western Han Dynasty embarked on their journey into the afterlife within garments of stone -- luxurious suits of jade armor entailing thousands of individual plates sewn together with gold, silver or silk. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Christian Sager explore this ancient funeral custom and both the scientific and superstitious qualities of jade. (Originally published May 9, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-adve...

Highlander 2: The Sciencing
Yes, the time of the Quickening is at hand! In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick finally make good on their threat to devote an entire episode to the 1991 film "Highlander II: The Quickening" and whatever science might be rendered from its plot. They wanted this to be a six-part series, but our boss tells us... there can be only one. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


The Lost Daughters of Aten: Planet 9
Pluto may not be a planet, but it definitely exists. Not every case is so clear. The history of near-Earth astronomy contains many cases of bodies that may or may not have ever existed in the solar system we call home. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick continue their journey through space to survey once-hypothetical bodies that took work to prove, once-imagined bodies that are now confirmed phantoms, and the unsolved mysteries where questions remain. This time, the de...

From the Vault: Talos
Among the many humanoid gods and bestial monsters of Greek mythology, one finds a peculiar outlier: Talos the bronze automaton. Said to stalk the shores of Crete, Talos pelted suspicious ships with rocks and immolated enemy soldiers with its smoldering embrace. Does this myth reveal Greek attitudes toward technology? What existing technologies can we decode in its description? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. (Originally published Jan. 2, 2018) Learn ...

The Lost Daughters of Aten, Part 1
Pluto may not be a planet, but it definitely exists. Not every case is so clear. The history of near-Earth astronomy contains many cases of bodies that may or may not have ever existed in the solar system we call home. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick take a journey through space to survey once-hypothetical bodies that took work to prove, once-imagined bodies that are now confirmed phantoms, and the unsolved mysteries where questions remain. Learn more about your ad-...


Mystery of the Sea Circles
We’ve all heard about crop circles, and the entirely terrestrial reason they pop up in the occasional wheat field. But what about strange circles on the bottom of the sea? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the mystery of these ephemeral patterns and what scientists discovered about their origin.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: The Winter People, Part 2
Do you feel like a different person during the winter? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick examine the extent to which winter affects human health and culture. From the winter transformations of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw people to the latest studies on seasonal genetic changes, prepare to contemplate the icy dark. (Originally published Dec. 28, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Gáe Bulg: The Spear of Death
Irish myth tells of a spear so deadly, that its deployment is certain death. Forged from the bones of sea monsters, the Gáe Bulg would send barbs through its victim’s every vein -- but only if the hero threw it with their foot. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick unravel the myth, history and science of this impractical Irish wonder weapon.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Ideophones: How does this word feel?
What’s an ideophone? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the place where sounds, meanings and the possible roots of language converge.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: The Winter People, Part 1
Do you feel like a different person during the winter? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick examine the extent to which winter affects human health and culture. From the winter transformations of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw people to the latest studies on seasonal genetic changes, prepare to contemplate the icy dark. (Originally published Dec. 26, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Cupid’s Leaden Arrow
It’s Valentine’s Day again, which summons images of mythic Cupid and his bow. But we often forget that Cupid has TWO arrows in his quiver: the golden arrow of desire and the leaden arrow of aversion. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the mythic lead-slinger and the nature of his gray metal.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Listener Mail: Crab Sabbath
It's listener mail time again and Karnie the mailbot seems rather grumpy about a particular holiday. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they read and respond to various listener mail from the past month.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Minds of Musical Emptiness
We're all wired to enjoy different forms of music, but for some of us the wiring is missing entirely. Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager as they explore the curious conditions of amusia and auditory agnosia in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. (Originally published July 28, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Marah Hardt talks Snails, Sex and the Sea
It's almost Valentine's Day, so it's time to invite marine biologist and "Sex in the Sea" author Dr. Marah Hardt back on the show again! Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they chat with STBYM's only four-time guest about all manner of marine invertebrate reproduction. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Demon Eaters and Possessed Tools
As we slide into the Year of the Earth Pig, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick turn to the legend of the demon slayer Zhōng Kuí and follow a procession of spirits across the sea to Japan, where discarded tools spark spirit possessions, not joy. Sorry, Marie Kondo. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Aquatic Humanoids, Part 2
From the sirens of 'The Odyssey' to 'The Creature From the Black Lagoon' and beyond, humans have always imagined their underwater doubles. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert and Joe discuss the revealing myth and fiction of mermaids and gillmen -- as well as the aquatic ape theory and the biological possibilities of an aquatic humanoid. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Ships of Life: Shipwrecks
Water vessels serve the humans who made them, but that doesn’t mean other lifeforms don’t benefit as well. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the various organisms that thrive aboard functional, abandoned and sunken ships Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Ships of Life: Stowaways
Water vessels serve the humans who made them, but that doesn’t mean other lifeforms don’t benefit as well. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind episodes, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the various organisms that thrive aboard functional, abandoned and sunken ships Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Aquatic Humanoids, Part 1
From the sirens of “The Odyssey” to “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” and beyond, humans have always imagined their underwater doubles. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the revealing myth and fiction of mermaids and gillmen -- as well as the aquatic ape theory and the biological possibilities of an aquatic humanoid. (Originally published Jan. 23, 2018)Related Content: Aquatic Humanoids, Part 2 (podcast)Don't Drink the Salt Water (podcast)Here The...

Invasion of the Globsters, Part 2
When mysterious globs of meat wash up on the shores of human civilization, we have a tendency to see beasts in the blobs and have always tried to imagine the creature in the carnage. Welcome to the world of globsters, where mounds of putrid sea flesh birth cryptozoological dreams and science tends to have the last world. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore... Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Invasion of the Globsters, Part 1
When mysterious globs of meat wash up on the shores of human civilization, we have a tendency to see beasts in the blobs and have always tried to imagine the creature in the carnage. Welcome to the world of globsters, where mounds of putrid sea flesh birth cryptozoological dreams and science tends to have the last world. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore... Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Bathysphere, Part 2
In 1930, American naturalist William Beebe began his descent in a spherical, unpowered submarine known as a Bathysphere -- and in doing so visited a world previously unseen by human beings. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss humanity’s prior understanding of the deep ocean and Beebe’s astounding reports from the world a half mile down. (Originally published March 29, 2018) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Split Brain, Part 2
Our brains are composed of two hemispheres, but in what ways are they truly separate? In which ways are they one? In this bisected Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore what we’ve learned from split brain experiments in animals and humans.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Split Brain, Part 1
Our brains are composed of two hemispheres, but in what ways are they truly separate? In which ways are they one? In this bisected Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore what we’ve learned from split brain experiments in animals and humans.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Bathysphere, Part 1
In 1930, American naturalist William Beebe began his descent in a spherical, unpowered submarine known as a Bathysphere -- and in doing so visited a world previously unseen by human beings. In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss humanity’s prior understanding of the deep ocean and Beebe’s astounding reports from the world a half mile down. (Originally published March 27, 2018) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Alien Biped
As humans, we’re quite accustomed to our weird vertical spines and precarious two-legged gait. But habitual bipedalism is far from the norm. When did it first occur on planet Earth? Will the robotic future walk on two legs? And can we reasonably expect alien lifeforms to follow suit? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


The Room of Infinite Unpleasantness
If you were to create the most unpleasant room humanly possible, what sort of design choices would you employ? What would the space look like and, more to the point, how would it make you feel? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore 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: Biophilia
Why are humans so drawn to the natural world of biodiverse organisms? Is this longing merely part of our culture or do we possess an innate and even genetic tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they discuss Edward O. Wilson’s biophilia hypothesis and explore arguments for and against this captivating view of nature lovers. (Originally published July 18, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Thought Experiments
Stuff to Blow Your Mind frequently discusses thought experiments on the show, from Schrödinger's Cat to the Infinity Hotel. But what constitutes a thought experiments? How long have they been around and what are the seven categories? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore…  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Listener Mail: The Fires of Orc
It's a new year full of new topics, but first comes a final bag of listener mail from 2018. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider your thoughts and experiences on the previous month's episodes.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Artificial Gravity
Humans are creatures of gravity. We’re born into it. Life as we know it evolved to thrive in it. So what’s a gravitational organism to do in the low-gravity and zero-gravity expanses beyond Earth? You can’t bring it with you, but scientists have cooked up a few different schemes to replicate its effects. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a full exploration in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. (Originally published July 13, 2017)  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.ihear...

Christmas Island, Part 2: Deca Deca Pod Y’all
Welcome to Christmas Island, a place where it’s still only Christmas once a year… but where red crabs swarm across the land and enormous coconut crabs feast on carrion in the forests. So deck the halls with boughs of SCUTTLING HORROR as Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick celebrate the holiday season in style.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Christmas Island, Part 1: Crabs Rule Everything Around Me
Welcome to Christmas Island, a place where it’s still only Christmas once a year… but where red crabs swarm across the land and enormous coconut crabs feast on carrion in the forests. So deck the halls with boughs of SCUTTLING HORROR as Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick celebrate the holiday season in style.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Tree of Life
Sacred trees. World trees. Holy trees of wisdom, immortality and the soul. They seem to grow from every culture on Earth and their roots dig deep into the soil of prehistory. What do they mean? Why are we so drawn to their symbolic power? Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager for a stirring exploration. (Originally published Nov. 30, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Virgin Birth
For Christians, the Christmas centers around a miraculous virgin birth. But don’t worry, secular holiday revelers, because nature has its own virgin births to wonder over. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the world of parthenogenesis.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Invention: The Guillotine
Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick have a brand new show -- and they're dropping a full episode of it into the STBYM feed. The show is INVENTION and this episode dives into the history, invention and legacy of the head-chopping French guillotine. What happens when we use our technology to create a more humane form of public execution? Find out, and be sure to subscribe to Invention wherever you get your podcasts.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-a...

Ritual of Oak and Mistletoe
Twas the night before Christmas and deep in the woods, a sacrifice was planned by the Gauls and their Druids… Yes, in this holiday episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the curious biology of everyone’s favorite smooch-inducing tree parasite -- as well as some of its alleged magic powers and scientifically-studied properties.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Baby Jesus and the Homunculus
We’ve all marveled at the grotesque, oddly-proportioned old man babies in medieval art -- but why did artists of the period pain such creatures? In this special Christmas episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the convergence of the homunculus theory of human reproduction, the nativity and the infants of medieval and renaissance art. (Originally published Dec. 21, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Strange Milk
Mammals are the true milk-bearers of nature, but there are a host of non-mammals that secrete various strange and wonderful milk-analogues. From avians to invertebrates, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the anomalous world of non-mammalian milk in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Katie Goldin talks 'Creature Feature'
In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, guest Katie Goldin from the podcast 'Creature Feature' drops in to chat with Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick about weird biology and maybe a monster or two.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Greek Fire
To engage the ships of Byzantine Empire was to risk the horrors of Greek fire, a medieval weapons system that empowered ships to spew forth flaming liquid on enemy ships and crew members. The secrets of Greek fire are lost to history, but historians and scientists continue to theorize its formula and deployment details. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they discuss the weapon’s history, predominant theories on its specifics and the risks and rewards of secret keeping. (Originally published Aug. 22, 201...


The Electric Ark
What if the Ark of the Covenant was actually a bronze-age machine capable of storing an electrostatic charge? It almost certainly wasn't, but the idea is a great excuse to explore the understanding of electricity in the ancient world. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for another Ark-themed episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Ark of the Covenant
What was the Ark of the Covenant? A mere ceremonial vessel for sacred items? A radio for speaking to God? The golden chest of the ancient Hebrews has fascinated historians, theologians, scientists, dreamers and Nazi-punching archeologists for ages. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider some of the more thought-provoking ideas concerning its nature.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Satanic Panic
What are we to make of alleged ritual satanic abuse and the moral panic that spread in the 1980s and 90s? Robert Lamb and Christian Sager enter a world of religion, fear and demons of the mind. (originally published April 16, 2015) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


‘Oumuamua II: Revenge of the First Messenger
Everyone’s favorite interstellar travel has been back in the news, thanks to curious speed increases and an intriguing paper on the possibility of alien solar sail technology. So join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they dock once more with ‘Oumuamua as it tumbles out of our solar system. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Halloween Hangover Listener Mail, Part 2
Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean all the ghosts and ghouls are banished to the cellar. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they bust dive into the listener mail bag from October 2018.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Dangerous Foods III
Thanksgiving is a time of feasting and the wages of feasting, and so Robert and Joe are here to dish up a third installment of Stuff to Blow Your Mind’s “Dangerous Foods” series. Do you dare bite into the likes of licorice, giant Namibian bullfrog, hallucinogenic fish and wriggling octopus tentacles? (Originally published Nov. 23, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Halloween Hangover Listener Mail, Part 1
Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean all the ghosts and ghouls are banished to the cellar. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they bust dive into the listener mail bag from October 2018. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Animals That Eat Poop
Thanksgiving is a time during which many Americans eat things they shouldn’t -- so it’s a perfect time to discuss coprophagia in the animal kingdom. But, unlike many holiday dinners, these examples of poop-eating organisms are not exercises in dysfunction. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick invite you to join yet another feast of knowledge.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Dangerous Foods II
Can your heart stand the shocking facts about toxic potatoes, mad honey and the mysteries of the dead man’s fingers? In this classic episode, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick enjoy a heaping helping of potentially dangerous menu choices. (Originally published Dec. 22, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Motivated Numeracy and the Politics-ridden Brain
If science were a candle in the dark, we’d need only spread its light to combat climate change denial and vaccine conspiracy theories. But what if the problem is more complex than that? What if a quirk of human cognition enables us to remain willingly in the dark, even as we hold the very candle? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the concept of motivated numeracy.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Stone Age Technology with Dietrich Stout
Paleolithic tools inform not just our understanding of prehistoric lives, but also the evolution and nature of the human mind. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick chat with Emory University’s Associate Professor of Anthropology Dr. Dietrich Stout about the hand ax, tool use and even ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.”  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: The Gordian Knot of Race
How deep-seated are today's racial issues? In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Julie Douglas explore how something so abstract - like unconscious racial biases - can have real-world implications. (Originally published March 31, 2015) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Ig Nobel Prizes 2018: Part 2
Each year, the Ig Nobel prizes honor the weirdest and wackiest contributions to humanity’s scientific understanding of the natural world. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast episodes, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick unpack each of this year’s winners. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The End of the World with Josh Clark Series Preview
The End of the World with Josh Clark is a 10-part podcast series on existential risks – threats that could bring humanity to a sudden and untimely end in the near future. Check out this preview, featuring a clip about our potential to spread from Earth.Learn more about advertising on the HowStuffWorks podcasts at www.howstuffworks.com/advertisers.htmAnd to learn about your ad choices when listening to podcasts, visit https://www.howstuffworks.com/privacy.htm#ad-choices...

Ig Nobel Prizes 2018: Part 1
Each year, the Ig Nobel prizes honor the weirdest and wackiest contributions to humanity’s scientific understanding of the natural world. In this pair of Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast episodes, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick unpack each of this year’s winners. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Cambrian Monster Mash
Welcome to the ocean of monsters. In this classic episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick travel back 500 million years to the monster-haunted waters of the Cambrian period. Meet the monstrous trilobite, anomalocaris, opabinia, hallucigenia, wiwaxia, pikaia and leanchoilia. Plus, Dr. Anton Jessup drops by for a visit. (Originally published Oct 19, 2017) Related Content: Original publication (with species illustrations) Buy the Cambrian Life logo on a shirt, sticker and ...

Listener Mail: The Squirrel Is Not Enough
To follow up our two-part look at the secret, bloody life of the common squirrel, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick present an entire listener mail episode devoted to your field reports on skuggs.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Anthology of Horror, Volume 1
From “Night Gallery” to “Tales From the Crypt,” everyone loves a great horror anthology show. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a new ghoulish tradition, as they pick a few notable installments from horror anthology TV and cinema history in order to explore the real-life science and history behind the blood and madness.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Bret Wood on 'The Control Group'
Bonus episode! Join Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they chat with Bret Wood, writer and director of "The Control Group," a fiction podcast from How Stuff Works that explores the dark history of CIA-funded mind control experiments. The entire series is out now and ready for your Halloween binge-listening.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: The First Monster
Humans love monsters, but when did we first dare to dream up bestial hybrids and chimerical horrors? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider the 35-40 thousand-year-old Löwenmensch statues. Who created these images of lion-headed men? What do they represent and what do they reveal about human cognition? (Originally published October 27, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Slayer
Myth and folklore are full of monsters and the heroes who slay them. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick meet some of these fabulous slayers and discuss the science and potential meaning of their bloody endeavors.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Introducing Hell and Gone
14 years ago, Rebekah Gould was brutally murdered in a small town in Arkansas. Now, Catherine Townsend has moved back to the Ozarks with one mission: to bring her killer to justice. Subscribe to Hell & Gone today so you don't miss a single episode. Learn more about advertising on the HowStuffWorks podcasts at www.howstuffworks.com/advertisers.htmAnd to learn about your ad choices when listening to podcasts, visit https://www.howstuffworks.com/privacy.htm#ad-choices...

Quetzalcoatl: The Winged Serpent
From the Aztec temples of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica to the 1980s monster film “Q: The Winged Serpent,” the feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl soars high over the human imagination. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the history of this winged wonder -- as well as the prehistoric Quetzalcoatlus named after the ancient Lord of the Dawn.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: The Halloween Costume Made Me Do It
What happens when we slip into a costume? Be it a monster pelt, a sexy witch or a simple children's ghost mask, a psychological transformation takes place. Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager for a fittingly seasonal look at enclothed cognition and deindividuation. (Originally published October 8, 2015) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


Vampire Clinic, Part 2
Vampire legends are a global phenomenon, and the trope of the blood-sucking humanoid shows no signs of vanishing from human traditions. But can we trace its origins back to any specific diseases and medical symptoms? In this blood-stained episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick haul up the vampire’s casket and look for signs of rabies, syphilis, dermatitis, tuberculosis and more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Vampire Clinic, Part 1
Vampire legends are a global phenomenon, and the trope of the blood-sucking humanoid shows no signs of vanishing from human traditions. But can we trace its origins back to any specific diseases and medical symptoms? In this blood-stained episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick haul up the vampire’s casket and look for signs of rabies, syphilis, dermatitis, tuberculosis and more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Ghoul
If your fictional diet contains significant quantities of horror or dark fantasy, then you've likely encountered the ghoul: a scavenging, grave-robbing race of unnatural beings with an insatiable hunger for the dead. As Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this episode, the roots of ghouldom sink back into pre-Islamic Arabic folklore -- as well into the distant evolutionary history of humanity itself. (Originally published October 29, 2015) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/pod...


The Curse
What does it mean when a beggar, wizard or witch spits a curse at another human being? Why does this particular work of magic weigh so heavily in human history? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick take a scientific, historical and cultural look at various curse traditions.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Great Basilisk
Behold the Great Basilisk, the crowned monster whose mere glance can kill a mortal and reduce wilderness to desert ash. Medieval bestiaries attest to its might, but today some futurists dread its name as an all-powerful malicious artificial intelligence. Will it imprison all those who oppose it within a digital prison of eternal torment? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider the horror of Roko’s Basilisk. Related Content: Machine God: Artificial Superintelligence...

From the Vault: Carnivorous Plants
Are humans truly safe from the hunger of meat-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. (Originally published October 18, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


The Killer's Mask
The masked psychopathic killer is a staple of horror fiction, and yet almost no real-life serial killers employed masks in the commission of their crimes. Why is this? What does the discrepancy between fact and fiction reveal both about the reality of murderer and the nature of our myth-making? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Jenny Greenteeth: Horror at the Water’s Edge
According to certain English folktales, a vile creature lurks in the slime-caked dark of local ponds. When little ones wander too close to shore, she lashes out to drown them in her slippery embrace. She has many names: Nelly Longarms, Peg Powler, the Grindylow... and Jenny Greenteeth. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss these old tales of aquatic terror, their instructional nature and the real-world predators who swim the shores in search of terrestrial prey.  ...

From the Vault: John C. Lilly
The figure of John C. Lilly as psychedelic dolphin communicator burns in the collective memory as a counterculture avatar, yet his legacy embodies far more than the mythologized and/or vilified figure that most of us know. Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager as they examine the life, career and ideas of Lilly the scientist, Lilly the counterespionage researcher and Lilly the psychonaut. Welcome to the province of the mind. (Originally published Feb. 23, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://new...


Listener Mail: Robots of Theseus
It's listener mail time again and the plan to gradually replace every part of our mailbot Karnie is complete. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they read and respond to various listener mail from the past month.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Salamander Talk with Mark Mandica
Wade into the amazing and weird world of salamanders and other notable amphibians as Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick chat with Mark Mandica, executive director of The Amphibian Foundation. Gain a new level of appreciation for these fabulous organisms and learn what you can do to help them.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

From the Vault: Mixologia
While the cocktail is an inherently American invention, the history of combining alcohols with other substances to create potent, drinkable concoctions dates back to ancient times. While you might expect dangerous ingredients to have a place in a wizard’s potion or a philosopher's goblet, modern cocktails and spirits have also dabbled with nefarious elixirs. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they explore the history, myth and science behind it all in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. (Originally ...


Age of the Earth, Part 2
Scientific consensus currently holds that the Earth is a 4.5 billion-year-old planet in a 13.8 billion-year-old universe. But how do we know? Why do religious models of a much younger (or older) Earth fail to pass the baloney test? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the answers. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Trailer: Daniel & Jorge Explain the Universe
There's a new show coming that we think you'll dig! Daniel’s a particle physicist who conducts research using the Large Hadron Collider. Jorge’s the cartoonist behind PhD comics, one of the web’s geekiest (and funniest) comics! And with their powers combined, they’re on a mission to Explain the Universe!  Join them as they discuss some of the simple but profound questions about existence, explaining the science in a fun, shorts-wearing and jargon-free way. Daniel & Jorge Explain the Universe premieres on Se...

Age of the Earth, Part 1
Scientific consensus currently holds that the Earth is a 4.5 billion-year-old planet in a 13.8 billion-year-old universe. But how do we know? Why do religious models of a much younger (or older) Earth fail to pass the baloney test? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the answers. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Syphilis
Doctors have called it the great imitator because this destructive venereal disease can manifest almost any symptom. Initially spreading through sexual contact, Syphilis can remain dormant in the body for decades before flaring up again in brutally disfiguring, debilitating and deadly ways. It's difficult to overstate the impact of syphilis on the Western world, and it remains a threat to this day despite effective antibiotic treatments. In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Ju...

The Obvious: Invisible Gorillas of the Mind
What is truly obvious in life? What does the word even mean? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a look at how we engage with the natural world -- from invisible gorilla experiments to the realm of phenomenology.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

On Teasing
We all know teasing when we see it or experience it, but what role does it play in human interactions? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind as they explore hurtful, playful and educative teasing. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Black Stone of Mecca
The Kaaba marks the geographic center of the Islamic world, and here one finds Al-Hadjar Al-Aswad, the Holy Black Stone of Mecca. Islamic traditions hold that the once white white stone blackened with humanity’s sins, but various scientific theories point to geological and potentially cosmic origins. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the mythic, historical and scientific substance of the Kaaba. (Originally published on Feb. 16, 2017) Learn more about your ad-c...

Kirk Allen and Maladaptive Daydreaming
We all daydream and many of us funnel our imagination into creative acts. But what happens when these exercises overpower us? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the strange case of nuclear physicist Kirk Allen, whose imagination may have gotten the better of him -- and his psychoanalyst. Dive into the world of cooperative illusions and maladaptive daydreaming.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Kirk Allen and the Cooperative Illusion
We all daydream and many of us funnel our imagination into creative acts. But what happens when these exercises overpower us? In this two-part Stuff to Blow Your Mind exploration, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the strange case of nuclear physicist Kirk Allen, whose imagination may have gotten the better of him -- and his psychoanalyst. Dive into the world of cooperative illusions and maladaptive daydreaming.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Jump Into The Void
Ever wrestle with the illogical quasi-compulsion to throw yourself off a cliff or building? Don’t worry! You’re probably not suicidal, but merely touched by the 'call of the void' or 'high place phenomenon.' In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert Lamb and Christian Sager explore some of the more enlightening theories about this experience.(Originally published Feb. 9, 2017) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Squirrels, Part 2: A Skugg Mystery
You might think you know squirrels, but what do you REALLY know about these woodland tree rodents? In this special two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss their appetite for meat, their alleged acts of savagery and various other facts that will make you reconsider the skugg and respect its kingdom. In this episode, things get weird.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Squirrels, Part 1: The Bloody Beast
You might think you know squirrels, but what do you REALLY know about these woodland tree rodents? In this special two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss their appetite for meat, their alleged acts of savagery and various other facts that will make you reconsider the skugg and respect its kingdom. Up first, let’s talk about their bloody diet... Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: A Taste of MSG
In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the history and science of MSG and explore just why we demonized it for so long. (Originally published Aug. 30, 2016)  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

World Without Predators
What would the world be like without predators? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the essential role of predators in Earth’s ecosystems and the terrible, cascading effects of their loss. A world without predators isn’t heaven. It’s hell.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Ship of Theseus
An ancient ship rots in the harbor and so we restore it piece by piece until nothing of the original ship remains. Is it still the same ship? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they discuss one of history’s more mind-boggling thought experiments.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: The Cobra Effect
In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the perverse world of unintended consequences and the cobra effect. (Originally published Sept. 13, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Listener Mail: Tridents, Aliens, Microgravity
It's time for another dose of listener mail. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they read YOUR feedback on recent episodes related to coffee in space, tridents, Jungfrau Park and more.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

2001: A Space Odyssey
No discussion of great sci-fi cinema is complete without mention of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The 1968 classic is 50 years old this year, so Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick figured it the perfect time to board the Discovery One and discuss its many scientific and futurist elements, as well as the legacy of Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s creation. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Post-Empirical Science
Most scientists declare empirical falsifiability -- the notion that a theory may be proven right or wrong via scientific investigation -- to be the core principle of science. Others, such as string theorists, think science should move beyond those boundaries. Is empiricism an unnecessary straight jacket? Is “post-empirical science” an oxymoron? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. (Originally published Sept. 15, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices ...

Fear and the Autonomous Cyber Weapon
We often focus our fear in the wrong direction -- developing flying anxieties when we should be more concerned about that ride to the airport. We also tend to focus on autonomous weapons when we should be thinking more about autonomous CYBER weapons. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a discussion of cyber warfare.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Divine Weapon: The Trident
What are we to make of the trident? The three-toothed spear has seen service as the divine weapon of mythic deities, the fishing implement of common mortals and a symbolic weapon in gladiatorial combat. What does it mean, and was it ever a practical weapon? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick look for answers in myth, archaeology and military history.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: 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 Lamb and Joe McCormick tell you all about it in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. (Originally published Nov. 24, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Gods Must Be Counterintuitive
What’s the key to a lasting myth, a captivating religion or a sensational film pitch? Some cognitive scientists and anthropologists argue that the key is a minimally counterintuitive narrative: the right balance of the mundane with just a dash of the unreasonable and unexpected. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they discuss the minimal counterintuitiveness effect.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Astronauts in Spaceships Getting Coffee
How can humanity ever hope to thrive without Earth if it can’t even function without its morning cup of coffee? Fortunately, engineers have devised increasingly practical means of brewing and sipping coffee in space -- neither of which are easy feats in microgravity. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a consideration of space coffee.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: When We Think About Cyborgs
What began as a 1960s term for a retrofitted human space explorer has become a focal point for considerations of human and machine interaction, technological culture, biomechanics and feminist identity. Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager as they set aside the brain/computer interfaces for a discussion of what it is to be a "cyborg" in 2016. (Originally published April 19, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Summer Reading 2018, Part 2
It's a summer tradition! Once more, Stuff to Blow Your Mind devotes a summer episode to the discussion of fiction, non-fiction and children's books that the hosts read over the course of the last year. So listen in and maybe one of these books will accompany you on your next beach trip. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Summer Reading 2018, Part 1
It's a summer tradition! Once more, Stuff to Blow Your Mind devotes a summer episode to the discussion of fiction, non-fiction and children's books that the hosts read over the course of the last year. So listen in and maybe one of these books will accompany you on your next beach trip. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Transhumanist Rapture War, Part 2
What do the transhumanist visions and singularitarians have in common with Christian rapture doctrine, apocalyptic prophesies and far-future saviors? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they explore the space for common ground -- and conflict -- between genetically modified cyborgs and Heaven-teleported believers in this two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. (Originally published Aug 25, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

The Ashen Light
Does the dark side of Venus occasionally glow with a dim, haunting phosphorescence? It’s one of astronomy’s oldest and most enduring mysteries. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for an examination of the ashen light. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Galactic Civilization’s End
If a technological civilization manages to survive itself, how will it fare against the larger challenges of a changing and hostile universe? If humanity ascends the Kardashev scale, how will our unrecognizable and godlike descendants cope with the end of the universe itself? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for an exploration of the cosmic end times.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Transhumanist Rapture War, Part 1
What do the transhumanist visions and singularitarians have in common with Christian rapture doctrine, apocalyptic prophesies and far-future saviors? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they explore the space for common ground -- and conflict -- between genetically modified cyborgs and Heaven-teleported believers in this two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. (Originally published Aug 23, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Illusory Truth Effect, Part 2: Fight the Lies
If a lie is repeated often enough, are we more likely to believe it? Sadly, the answer is yes. Psychologists call it the illusory truth effect and it influences both our daily lives and the larger movements of politics and culture. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a two-part discussion of untruths, the human mind and just what you can do to fight the big lies at work in your world.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Illusory Truth Effect, Part 1: The Big Lie
If a lie is repeated often enough, are we more likely to believe it? Sadly, the answer is yes. Psychologists call it the illusory truth effect and it influences both our daily lives and the larger movements of politics and culture. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a two-part discussion of untruths, the human mind and just what you can do to fight the big lies at work in your world.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Sexbots
Sex between humans and machines is nothing new in the world of science fiction. Their forms range from angelic mechanoids to victimized humanoids, but the robotic lover is almost always an expression of purely human anxieties. Yet as real-world technology advances, we’re left to ponder the emerging form of the sex bot -- and the possibilities range from mere animate fetishes to therapeutic surrogates. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Christian Sager consider arguments for and agai...

The Dark Side of Neuroplasticity
When you hear the word “neuroplasticity,” you probably think of it in terms of a young brain’s ability to learn or an older brain’s struggles to rebound from injury. The possibility of a neuroplasticity-boosting drug remains one of medicine's true holy grails, but is there a dark side? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the balance of plasticity and stability in the human mind.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Listener Mail: Dreams, Subs and Goddesses
Once more, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick turn to Karnie the Mailbot for listener reactions and commentaries on recent episodes. Strap in for discussion of dreams, submarines, ancient goddesses and more.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: The Inca Kingdom of Fibers
Welcome to the Kingdom of the Inca, where hundreds of rope bridges connect an imperial highway system and fiber-armored soldiers wield woven slings against the enemies of the Emperor. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the khipu system of knotted, colored string that served as a physical notation system in lieu of written language. (Originally published March 8, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Chariots of the Gods
Chances are, you’re already quite familiar with the notion the ancient astronauts visited the earth and gave humans the tech support they needed to climb the ladder of civilization. There's no true proof to back it up, yet ancient astronaut speculation is a 20th century invention -- and one tied closely to a single bestselling author. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss Erich von Däniken and Carl Sagan's thoughts on ancient aliens. Learn more about your ad-choic...

Black Holes, Part 3: The Future
Nothing can escape the pull of a black hole, not even Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a three-part exploration of these incredible, invisible regions of the cosmos where ponderous mass warps the very fabric of space and time. In this final episode, cross the event horizon... Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: Humanzee
Chimpanzees are humanity's closest living relative, but there's both wonder and existential horror in that closeness. A species barrier separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, but what if a chimp/human hybrid were to bridge that barrier? Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager as they explore the case history of Russian biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov and his attempts to breed a human/chimp hybrid in the early 20th century. (Originally published Jan. 21, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choices at http...

Black Holes, Part 2: Detection
Nothing can escape the pull of a black hole, not even Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a three-part exploration of these incredible, invisible regions of the cosmos where ponderous mass warps the very fabric of space and time. In this episode, learn all about the science of black hole detection.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...

Black Holes, Part 1: Phantom
Nothing can escape the pull of a black hole, not even Stuff to Blow Your Mind. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a three-part exploration of these incredible, invisible regions of the cosmos where ponderous mass warps the very fabric of space and time. Up first, learn how the idea of black holes emerged as a mere ghost in the math.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers...


From the Vault: The Substance of Silence
We all have a pretty good notion of noise, but what exactly is silence? Is it a substance or an absence? Between the mindflaying quiet of soundless rooms to wildlife ambience and white noise machines, what is the ideal balance of silence? In this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast, Robert and Joe look for answers and, yes, also discuss a few sound-sensitive monsters and the likelihood of blowing up a humanoid head with sound. (Originally published on Aug. 31, 2016) Learn more about your ad-choic...