Episodes
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August 20, 2019
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. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
August 17, 2019
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 and Joe discuss the balance of plasticity and stability in the human mind. (Originally published July 5, 2018) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
August 15, 2019
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. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
August 14, 2019
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. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
August 10, 2019
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 and Joe discuss Erich von Däniken and Carl Sagan's thoughts on ancient aliens. (Originally published June 28, 2018) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
August 8, 2019
The near-Earth object (NEO) known as Asteroid 2019 OK just made an unexpected close pass, raising the hair on the back of humanity’s collective neck. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe weigh the risks posed by other NEOs and discuss what we’re doing to track them and even stop an incoming doomsday rock. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
August 7, 2019
Former Stuff to Blow Your Mind producer and host of the podcast Ephemeral drops in for a chat about the media of yesteryear and related topics. Listen in and learn more at www.ephemeral.show Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
August 6, 2019
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.” Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
August 3, 2019
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 and Joe as they discuss the minimal counterintuitiveness effect. (Originally published August 2, 2018) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
August 1, 2019
It’s time for another movie episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind and you might be surprised to discover all the weird and wonderful themes at work in the often-dismissed 1959 Vincent Price film “The Tingler.” Not only does it dwell on fear and symbiosis, but it also features the first reference to LSD in a major motion picture. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
July 31, 2019
If there's one thing that sets people apart from machines, it's creativity, right? Automation may take over certain jobs, but what happens when algorithms start to learn from our work to create their own? This episode, we speak with people using AI to generate films, poetry, music, and even recipes. And the founder of Google X, Sebastian Thrun, explains what's powering this new wave of AI. All episode of Sleepwalkers are available to binge now! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
July 30, 2019
It’s listener mail time again, this time devoted entirely to feedback on Stuff to Blow Your Mind’s five-part series on psychedelics. Join Robert and Joe as they read everyone’s submitted thoughts and experiences. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
July 27, 2019
Some of you have tried the ecstasy. Others have merely heard about the drug on a TV sitcom, or heard about it in a news report. Either way, MDMA's power resonates through our culture -- and sometimes it's hard to distinguish the truth form the misinformation. But what exactly is this psychoactive agent? Where does it come from and what sort of effect does it have on the human experience? Join Robert and Christian as they explore the origins and properties of MDMA. (Originally published Dec. 17, 2015) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
July 25, 2019
It’s easy to think of electricity as the domain of Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and Street Fighter’s Blanka. But as Robert and Joe explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, it’s also the domain of microbes -- and it will change the shape of future technology. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
July 23, 2019
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. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
July 20, 2019
Some of you have tried the ecstasy. Others have merely heard about the drug on a TV sitcom, or heard about it in a news report. Either way, MDMA's power resonates through our culture -- and sometimes it's hard to distinguish the truth form the misinformation. But what exactly is this psychoactive agent? Where does it come from and what sort of effect does it have on the human experience? Join Robert and Christian as they explore the origins and properties of MDMA. (Originally published Dec. 15, 2015) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
July 18, 2019
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
July 16, 2019
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
July 13, 2019
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
July 11, 2019
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
July 9, 2019
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
July 6, 2019
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
July 4, 2019
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
July 2, 2019
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
June 29, 2019
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
June 27, 2019
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.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
June 25, 2019
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
June 22, 2019
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
June 20, 2019
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
June 18, 2019
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
June 15, 2019
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
June 13, 2019
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
June 11, 2019
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
June 8, 2019
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
June 6, 2019
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
June 4, 2019
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
June 1, 2019
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-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
May 30, 2019
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
May 28, 2019
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
May 25, 2019
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
May 23, 2019
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
May 22, 2019
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
May 21, 2019
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
May 18, 2019
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
May 16, 2019
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
May 14, 2019
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
May 11, 2019
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
May 9, 2019
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
May 7, 2019
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
May 4, 2019
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
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