Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

By iHeartPodcasts

If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.


J. Edgar Hoover: Evil G-Man Pt. 1

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that J. Edgar Hoover was perhaps the most powerful American of the 20th century. By the time he established the FBI as America’s police force, presidents were afraid of him. Just exactly how did he get to be so puissant?See for privacy information.
21/05/2440m 18s

Selects: The Great War of the Worlds Panic Myth

On Halloween 1938 young radio star Orson Welles scared the pants off of America with a fictional news bulletin claiming Martians had landed and were destroying the country. People across the nation ran wild with panic in the streets – or did they? Listen to this classic episode to find out.See for privacy information.
18/05/2446m 33s

The Silurian Hypothesis

The idea that we aren’t the first advanced civilization to live on Earth sounds like a fringe theory, but it raises a good question: How can we be so sure that a civilization didn’t arise and die on Earth so long ago that any trace of it has been erased?See for privacy information.
16/05/2449m 10s

Short Stuff: Zambonis!

Even the dullest hockey game is worth seeing when the Zamboni comes out to resurface the ice.See for privacy information.
15/05/2413m 8s

NYC Trash: A study in persistence

Taking care of 12,000 tons of residential trash every day is a hard job. But how does that even work? Listen in to marvel at the NYC sanitation system.See for privacy information.
14/05/2450m 29s

Selects: How Stuttering Works

Despite as much as one percent of the adult population having the condition, science doesn't actually know how stuttering works. The best it's come up with so far: there seems to be an issue between the physical process of speaking and the thought process that underlies it. Find out what science means by this in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
11/05/2450m 45s

10 - Yes, 10! - Dumb Criminals

Sometimes you just have to turn it off for a while – all the thinking, and overthinking, analyzing, and figuring out. Sometimes it’s nice to just breathe through your mouth and talk about dumb things criminals do for an episode.See for privacy information.
09/05/2445m 49s

Short Stuff: Titanic Survivors!

We all know the story of the Titanic and the tragedy of lives lost. So hey, let's talk about the survivors for a change!See for privacy information.
08/05/2416m 15s

Misophonia: More Than an Annoyance

Misophonia is a condition in which certain sounds trigger people in very negative ways that can really disrupt someone's life. Listen in today to learn all about this fairly recently recognized condition.See for privacy information.
07/05/2447m 50s

Selects: The Legends of Lost Nazi Gold

As if being murdering SOBs weren’t enough, the Nazis were also thieving rats. During WWII, they stole billons in gold from countries they overran and moved it to Germany. But at the end of the war, only part of it was recovered. Where’s the rest? Find out the extent of our knowledge in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
04/05/2446m 34s

Atomic Clocks, Ahoy!

The only thing more complicated than an atomic clock is researching how they work and then figuring out how to explain it to other people. But believe us, they are fascinating. Even if you don’t care about clocks or atoms you’ll still like this episode.   See for privacy information.
02/05/2451m 59s

Short Stuff: Getting Winded

Getting the wind knocked out of you is scary, but passes quickly. Learn exactly what's happening with all that today.See for privacy information.
01/05/2411m 53s

The Village People Episode

The Village People were a smash hit singing group that came and went in under two years. Then other people performed under that name for several decades. This is their story. See for privacy information.
30/04/2454m 3s

Selects: How the Beagle Brigade Works

If you've ever been to an international airport, you've probably seen one of the keenest spotters of illegal contraband - The Beagle Brigade! These cute dogs aren't after drugs or bombs, they're carefully trained to sniff out agricultural products. Learn all about this furry group of crime stoppers in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
27/04/2448m 38s

The Awful Crimes of Georgia Tann

Georgia Tann was a bad human. We feel safe in saying that because she kidnapped babies from poor families to sell to wealthy ones. Listen in if you can stomach it.See for privacy information.
25/04/2446m 39s

Short Stuff: The Sad, Strange Tale of Margaret Schilling

Not too much is known about Margaret Schilling. She was the kind of person whose memory might have been lost to time had she not left behind an indelible reminder of her. See for privacy information.
24/04/2413m 20s

The Power of the Wind

You probably know wind energy projects have been around since the 90s, but did you know they now provide 10% of America’s energy, and more than that in other countries? Learn about what’s ahead for wind and what it’ll need to become a real star like coal.See for privacy information.
23/04/2451m 54s

Selects: Special Effects: A Short History

Special effects have been around since the first movies. In fact, the techniques the earliest filmmakers created are still around today, we just use computers to do them faster and cheaper. Hit play on this classic episode and then put on your beret and get ready for SYSK film class.See for privacy information.
20/04/2455m 4s

Hitchhiking: Two thumbs out!

Today we go down the road a bit, thumbs out, to explore the rich history of hitchhiking. See for privacy information.
18/04/2451m 18s

Short Stuff: The Amazing Tale of Juliane Koepcke

Few people have been more qualified to survive a plane crash alone in the Amazon for almost two weeks than Juliane Koepcke. Let’s hear her story.See for privacy information.
17/04/2413m 25s

The Dubious Science of Arson Investigation

Arson investigation has changed a lot over the years. There is actual science available now, but the word still hasn't totally gotten out. Listen in today, and don't play with matches!See for privacy information.
16/04/2446m 32s

Selects: How Famines Work

It's common knowledge that famines are usually caused by major droughts: Rain doesn't fall, crops don't grow, and people go hungry. But recent research suggests that while weather may trigger famines, they may actually be more of a human-made catastrophe. Find out more in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
13/04/2449m 2s

Testosterone and Estrogen: Wondrous Hormones

We think of estrogen and testosterone as the female and male sex hormones and they may seem kind of gross (is that just Josh?), but that simple understanding is way off. A magical biochemical dance between the two creates everything from bones to moods.See for privacy information.
11/04/2448m 55s

Short Stuff: Straitjackets

Straitjackets aren't really a thing anymore unless you're watching a movie or TV show. Or in prison. That's the sad truth.See for privacy information.
10/04/2412m 55s

The 1977 Women's Conference That Changed America

The 70s were the decade of the woman in the US. America finally was coming around to the understanding women and men are equals and the government sponsored a conference to advance women’s rights. The opposition that arose changed the fabric of America.See for privacy information.
09/04/2449m 32s

Selects: All the Gold In Fort Knox: Meh

When Fort Knox was built in the 1930s to house America’s gold supply, it was billed as an impenetrable, impregnable, don’t-even-think-of-trying vault. But as the world has moved further away from gold, the stockpile’s lost a bit of its luster. Learn all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
06/04/2451m 59s

The Everglades: Wowee

One of America’s most important ecosystems takes up more than half the state of Florida. It’s a river of grass, a cactus desert, and a saltwater bay all rolled into one. And there are alligators and crocodiles. And that’s just the beginning.See for privacy information.
04/04/2454m 18s

Short Stuff: Knock on Wood

What's the deal with knocking on wood? It's an action one takes to ensure good luck. Which doesn't exist. Yet we do it. Humans are funny that way.See for privacy information.
03/04/2411m 25s

Greedflation Is Real

One of the things we rely on is for the companies who make the stuff we need to not stick it to us, the customer. But it’s become painfully clear that’s just what happened during the pandemic and that it’s still happening today. What can we do about it?See for privacy information.
02/04/2455m 34s

Selects: Who is The Man of the Hole?

In 2018, there's a man from a lost tribe still living deep in the jungles of Brazil who has been all alone since the mid 1990s. He's referred to as the Man of the Hole, and has had no face-to-face with modern humans. Who is he? We'll answer that question as best we can in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
30/03/2437m 58s

The Pulitzer Prize: A major award!

It doesn't get much bigger than the Pulitzer Prize if you're a journalist. Or a novelist. Or really any kind of writer. They even give them to podcasts now. We're not holding our breath.See for privacy information.
28/03/2448m 52s

Short Stuff: Ramree Island Crocodile Massacre

The strange thing about the story of the Ramree Island Crocodile Massacre is that it didn't happen. Yet the story lives on. See for privacy information.
27/03/2411m 12s

Love Canal: Even Dirtier Than It Sounds

A man with an unfulfilled vision left a huge gash in the ground near Niagara Falls. Then a chemical company came along and filled it with toxic waste. Then people came along and built homes and an elementary school on top of it. Then things went badly.See for privacy information.
26/03/2446m 45s

Selects: MOVE: Or When the Philly Police Dropped a Bomb on a Residential Neighborhood

Believe it or not, in 1985 the Philadelphia Police Department dropped a bomb from a helicopter onto a residential building in an African-American neighborhood. The fact that this story isn't more widely known says it all. Listen and learn about MOVE in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
23/03/2451m 31s

Peanuts (the comic) Part II

Today is part II of our tribute to one of the most iconic pieces of American culture.See for privacy information.
21/03/2445m 23s

Short Stuff: Mariko Aoki Phenomenon

Ten percent of people – in Japan at least – get the urge to poop when they visit bookstores. But it wasn’t until a courageous woman stepped up and became the voice of the phenomenon now named after her that they realized they were part of a movement.See for privacy information.
20/03/2411m 52s

Peanuts (the comic) Part I

Today we pay tribute to one of the most iconic pieces of American culture. Listen in to hear us gush about Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang. See for privacy information.
19/03/2445m 21s

Selects: How Dyslexia Works

For a learning disability that everyone seems to know about, dyslexia is maybe the most commonly misunderstood and controversial cognitive difficulty there is. Some people think it’s a gift, some people think it doesn’t even exist. Learn more in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
16/03/2443m 23s

The Alien Abduction Phenomenon of the Mid-20th Century

It started with New Hampshire couple Betty and Barney Hill, who learned under hypnosis they’d been abducted and examined by aliens in 1962. Since then, possibly millions of people in the US alone came to believe they followed in the Hills’ footsteps. Why?See for privacy information.
14/03/2451m 25s

Short Stuff: Skittles and TIO2

There’s an ingredient in Skittles and lots of other food that Dunkin Donuts stopped using it in their powdered donuts. Skittles said they were phasing it out too back in 2016 but still haven’t and now the lawsuits flow like The Spice.See for privacy information.
13/03/2411m 37s

Leave Brutalism Alone!

The most reviled, hated, despised, no-good, low down, dirty rotten architectural style of all time is actually just the most misunderstood. Learn about this unfairly treated architectural movement and why it’s awesome. Learn to love brutalism.See for privacy information.
12/03/2448m 54s

Selects: The Science of Break-Ups

Breaking up is hard to do. Your brain might even think you're getting over a cocaine addiction. Learn all about the science behind break-ups in this classic episode!See for privacy information.
09/03/2450m 53s

The Smiley, Stubborn Llama

Llamas are pretty great. They smile! They also spit and if they feel overworked will just lay down. There's a lot to admire there.See for privacy information.
07/03/2441m 26s

Short Stuff: Roly Poly...Bugs?

Roly Poly bugs go by many names. They look like tiny armadillos. They're great for your garden. And they're crustaceans. Yeah, you read that right. See for privacy information.
06/03/2410m 59s

Multitasking: Working slower with worse results

Multitasking isn't really possible, because of the way the human brain works. We know you think you're getting more done, but you're really working slower and with worse results than working sequentially. We promise. See for privacy information.
05/03/2446m 22s

Selects: The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti

The trial of Sacco and Vanzetti, two anarchists accused of murder, was one of the first "crimes of the century." But did they do it? To this day there is speculation that they did not. Learn all about this famous case in this classic episode. See for privacy information.
02/03/2455m 49s

Wireless Electricity: When Can We Unplug Our TVs?

You know all of those cords and cables and wires that we use to connect our stuff to the electrical grid so they’ll, you know, work? Imagine a day when energy flies through the air like wifi, utterly cord-free. Well, imagine no more! That day is coming!See for privacy information.
29/02/2447m 12s

Short Stuff: Smudging: Not just for hippies

Smudging is the process of wafting around the smoke of burning white sage. What is it good for? Listen in and find out.See for privacy information.
28/02/2414m 30s

Haile Selassie: Statesman, Colonizer, God?

If you grew up outside of Africa, you might know Haile Selassie’s name from reggae music - the man who ruled Ethiopia is considered a god in Jamaica. In Ethiopia opinions are more varied. See for privacy information.
27/02/2456m 55s

Selects: How Zero Population Growth Works

In 1968, Paul Erlich published The Population Bomb, predicting coming famine and mass death. Erlich's predictions didn't pan out but his ideas launched a debate still raging today. Learn all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
24/02/2451m 53s

The Story of the Nuclear Boy Scout

David Hahn was a kid who was really into science. So much that he built a nuclear reactor in his mother's potting shed. And it worked. See for privacy information.
22/02/2440m 39s

Short Stuff: Benin Bronzes

One of the world’s cultural treasure troves were created in West Africa. But for over a century they’ve been held in museums outside of Africa. In fact, an estimated 95 percent of Africa’s cultural heritage is kept in museums overseas.See for privacy information.
21/02/2414m 38s

Ray and Charles Eames: More than Chairs

Charles and Ray Eames were superstar designers who dreamed up some of the most iconic pieces of furniture ever made. And they did much more than that.See for privacy information.
20/02/2457m 12s

Selects: Geodesic Domes: The Wave of the Future That Wasn't

Sometimes a good idea doesn’t pan out in real life. Take Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome: It requires less energy to heat and cool, it’s cheap, and it’s durable enough to withstand a hurricane – but it’s also godawful ugly and that was its undoing. Learn more with Josh and Chuck in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
17/02/2450m 22s

Like, here's the episode on "like"

Like is a very divisive word. Purists think it's like, a filler word born in the 80s that's like, destroying the English language. Turns out none of these are like, true. See for privacy information.
15/02/2438m 46s

Short Stuff: The Original Snake Oil Salesman

There’s a great origin story behind snake oil salesmen, and it has to do with just one guy who singlehandedly gave it a bad name.See for privacy information.
14/02/2410m 42s

What Americans Ate When There Were No Food Laws

There was a brief period in America’s history – after people left the farm to work in the city and before the government started regulating it – when there was a total, lawless free-for-all in the food industry. Things were bad. Really, really bad.See for privacy information.
13/02/2447m 41s

Selects: The Unabomber: Misguided to say the least

The Unabomber was one of the most notorious and longest lasting cases in the history of the FBI. Just because the manifesto reads like he was a fortune teller doesn't make his actions any less deplorable. Learn all about this fascinating case in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
10/02/2445m 22s

What's the Pygmalion Effect?

Do teachers and managers give special treatment to those who they're told have great academic or professional promise? Does this create a self-fulfilling prophecy, regardless of the truth? That's just part of the fascinating Pygmalion Effect.See for privacy information.
08/02/2446m 44s

Short Stuff: School Bus Yellow

Why are all school buses the same color? Because one man made it so. This is that story. See for privacy information.
07/02/2412m 23s

Clue(do): Third Best Board Game Ever

Whether you know it as Clue or Cluedo, the whodunnit mystery board game is one of the best of all time. Learn all about the history behind the game’s development, and strategies on how to crush your fellow players as soundly as Chuck’s wife crushes him.See for privacy information.
06/02/2448m 59s

Selects: How Disgust Works

Disgust is an odd thing. It makes sense that we would feel a sense of revulsion at the thought of putting rotten meat in our mouths – that’s pure evolution. But why would we feel the same emotion at the thought of weird sex or from hearing a racist rant? Find out more in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
03/02/2454m 46s

The History of Las Vegas

How did the sleepy Nevada town of Las Vegas become LAS VEGAS? Well, we'll let you know over the course of about 45 minutes. See for privacy information.
01/02/2449m 50s

Short Stuff: Wainscoting: When Half a Wall is Enough

Wainscoting is a beloved and time-tested decorative way to spruce up your walls. But what is it anyway? Listen in to find out.See for privacy information.
31/01/2411m 53s

The Harrowing Story of the North Hollywood Shootout

Tune in today to listen to the story of when North Hollywood became a war zone after a brazen bank robbery. See for privacy information.
30/01/2451m 52s

Selects: A List Of Games You Would Surely Lose to a Computer

We live in a time where computers can beat the best humans in the world at chess, checkers, poker and video games. But these games are really just demonstrations of how intelligent our machines are growing. They’re growing more intelligent by the hour. This classic episode features a special guest, Tech Stuff's Jonathan Strickland.See for privacy information.
27/01/2456m 2s

Esperanto: Tre Mojosa

One thing you could do is create your own language. Some people do and for lots of different reasons. LL Zamenhof created Esperanto to try to bring about world peace. It worked, but on a less-than-global scale.   See for privacy information.
25/01/2448m 26s

Short Stuff: Hot Cold Plunge

Jumping into a cold pool after a long sauna or hot tub can be pretty great. Saunas have proven health benefits like lowering blood pressure; cold plunges are shown to reduce inflammation. Why not combine them? A bunch of safety reasons, bucko, that’s why.See for privacy information.
24/01/2414m 7s

The Strange Unsolved Murder of Ken McElroy

The murder of Ken McElroy comes off like a story from a cheap paperback book you’d get to read on a plane. But this is a true crime story, set in Missouri in the early 80s. And boy does it pack a punch.See for privacy information.
23/01/2446m 21s

Selects: Is yogurt a miracle food?

Yogurt has been touted as a health food, but is it? Maybe. If you eat it every day. We get into the rich and creamy history of this supposed miracle food in today's episode. Get an earful of the stuff in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
20/01/2446m 3s


We all know what happened at Jonestown, but who was Jim Jones before the tragedy at the People's Temple?See for privacy information.
18/01/2457m 57s

Short Stuff: Frozen Dead Guy

Back in 1994, Nederland, Colorado found out it had a resident it hadn’t accounted for.See for privacy information.
17/01/2412m 55s

Dry Cleaning: Not Really Dry(!)

Dry cleaning is one of those things that we’re all familiar with but don’t actually know much about. That will hold true no more! Learn about all the ins and outs of the dry cleaning biz, some of its toxic secrets, and some spot removal tips too!See for privacy information.
16/01/2452m 20s

Selects: History's Greatest Traitors

The annals of history hold a special place for people who have carried out treachery and betrayed their own. Thousands of years later, their names are still synonymous with being a scoundrel around the world. From Marcus Brutus to Vidkun Quisling and more, in this classic episode Josh and Chuck examine some of the bigger turncoats to live -- and exonerate others.See for privacy information.
13/01/2444m 17s

How Cranes Work

You’ve probably seen cranes moving elegantly in the sky, but did you know what an important role they play in their surroundings? Learn all about cranes in this episode on cranes.See for privacy information.
11/01/2451m 4s

Short Stuff: NYT Bestseller List

What kind of black magic goes into deciding who makes the NYT Bestseller List? Well you probably don't know the whole story unless you work there.See for privacy information.
10/01/2414m 29s

Kenton Grua: Grand Canyon Legend

Tune in today to listen to the amazing story of Colorado River guide Kenton Grua's wild 277 mile record-breaking speed run down the center of the Grand Canyon. See for privacy information.
09/01/2451m 26s

Selects: Dr. Seuss: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Seuss is loose in this episode about legendary children's book author Ted Geisel. The funny thing is, he didn't ever want children of his own, and his past work was a bit problematic. Explore his entire legacy in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
06/01/2452m 4s

The 2000 Presidential Election: A Real Cluster

When George W Bush and Al Gore ran against one another, most pundits predicted a tight race. Absolutely zero of them predicted the election would come down to a few hundred votes. Today, we still don’t know who won.See for privacy information.
04/01/2453m 10s

Short Stuff: Blueprints

The story of why blueprints were blue is more involved than you think. It involves a chemical process and the Prussian Army. Yeah you heard me right.See for privacy information.
03/01/2411m 58s

SYSK Live in Nashville: The Biosphere II Experiment

Hello, friends! Join us today for our annual live show release, recorded in beautiful Nashville. On the docket? The Biosphere II Experiment!See for privacy information.
02/01/241h 6m

Selects: Nuclear Semiotics: How to Talk to Future Humans

The nuclear waste we produce will be dangerous for a very long time. We’ve figured out how to safely store it in the earth until it’s no longer a biohazard. Now we just have to figure out how to warn humans 10,000 years in the future to stay away from it. Find out about our best ideas in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
30/12/2353m 51s

How Primitive Will Our Descendants Find Us?

It’s all fun and games to think about how backwards and misguided some things people did in the past were until you realize we’ll be “the past” one day. What do we do now that will seem primitive then and how will they be better in the future?See for privacy information.
28/12/2351m 42s

Short Stuff: Scheele's Green

Can you imagine a color so alluring that even though you know it’s toxic you’d still use it to your heart’s content? The Victorians certainly could.See for privacy information.
27/12/2313m 18s

How Snails Work

They seem gross and bothersome at first, but once you get down to ground level and get to know snails, we’ll bet you’ll grow quite fond of them. They are living in a whole world we’re largely unaware of. See for privacy information.
26/12/2353m 47s

Selects: How Fireplaces Work

They are dirty, harmful to your health, bad for the environment and utterly charming. Wood-burning fireplaces have been with us for centuries and, despite their many drawbacks, are sticking around. Learn more than you thought possible about the fireplace, in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
23/12/2356m 50s

The 2023 SYSK Ho-Ho-Holiday Spectacular!

Happy Holidays, friends! Tune in today to listen to our annual ad-free holiday extravaganza. There will be talk of merriment and joy!See for privacy information.
21/12/2352m 42s

Short Stuff: Christmas Lights

Just three years after the lightbulb was invented a compadre of Thomas Edison thought to use them to decorate his Christmas tree. It set off a sensation that’s gotten more popular each year since.See for privacy information.
20/12/2313m 5s

Beanie Babies: Reigning Toy Craze Champion

The world has seen a lot of weird investment bubbles in its time, but few of them rival the fever that gripped the world in the 90s after Beanie Babies took off. Let’s visit this strange chapter in toy history together.See for privacy information.
19/12/2350m 6s

Selects: Star Wars Holiday Spectacular

Long ago, in a galaxy not so far away, George Lucas allowed the Star Wars Holiday Special to be made. What happened on the night of November 17, 1978 can never be fully explained, but we make our best effort in our annual special edition of SYSK. May the force be with us all.See for privacy information.
16/12/2354m 20s

Selects: How Dictators Work

There are many types of dictators, from so called "benevolent" ones to the kind who rule with an iron fist. There are also many ways they can come into power, and they don't all include violence. Learn all about dictators past and present in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
15/12/2345m 56s

What was the Skeleton Army?

The Skeleton Army was a rowdy group of folks in England who battled, sometimes violently, with the Salvation Army - largely against  their efforts to keep people from drinking and having a rowdy good time. Listen in today!See for privacy information.
14/12/2348m 50s

Short Stuff: Pickles

Josh loves pickles but hates cucumbers. Chuck loves cucumbers but hates pickles. WHO WILL WIN?See for privacy information.
13/12/2315m 26s

The Matewan Massacre

The Matewan Massacre was a pivotal moment for the US mining industry and the labor movement as a whole. Learn about what happened in this sleepy West Virginia town today.See for privacy information.
12/12/2356m 9s

Selects: What were the Freedom Schools?

Freedom Schools were set up in Mississippi in the heart of the Civil Rights Movement, with the aim of giving young black school children agency and a future. They remain one of the more inspiring and progressive programs in American History, yet so few know about them. We're hoping to change that. Learn all about them in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
09/12/2346m 28s

The Murder of John Lennon

On December 8th, 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed outside his apartment building in New York City, by Mark David Chapman. Music history was altered forever. Listen in to this tragic story.See for privacy information.
07/12/2351m 29s

Short Stuff: Boba Tea

Boba tea is bubble tea. But what are the bubbles? Tapioca pearls! Listen in today to learn about the disputed history of this trendy beverage.See for privacy information.
06/12/2311m 43s

The Life and Works of J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger was a complicated and problematic human who stopped publishing soon after creating one of the great works of literature. Listen in today to learn the good, bad and ugly sides of the man who got famous, then dropped out.See for privacy information.
05/12/2353m 52s

Selects: Beavers: Tail Slapping Fun

Beavers are in fact, very busy. They're builders and solid family members, husbands and wives. Learn all about N America's largest rodent in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
02/12/2342m 21s

You Down With OED?

The story of the Oxford English Dictionary is really something. From its origin to its crowd-sourced literary quotations. Dive in today to learn all about the best dictionary. See for privacy information.
30/11/2347m 52s

Short Stuff: The Zipper Merge

When you switch lanes on the highway after noticing that the lane you’re in is ending up ahead, you are literally ruining the world.See for privacy information.
29/11/2314m 42s

Plate Tectonics Are What Makes Earth Inhabitable

It’s time to get jazzed about Earth science again. It’s only been 60 or so years since we’ve known the continents move around and we’re still figuring out exactly how they do. But one thing is for sure, that super-slow movement is super important.See for privacy information.
28/11/2348m 56s

Selects: NYC Water: An Engineering Marvel

Getting the rain and melted snow from upstate NY into the taps of every NYC resident and business is one of the great feats of engineering. Does it taste great and make perfect bagels and pizza crust? Sources say yes! Learn all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
25/11/2347m 45s

The Wreck of the Costa Concordia

It’s astounding that with the exceptional navigational equipment aboard a cruise ship can run aground in the 21st century, and 32 passengers and crew can lose their lives within a thousand feet of land. Such is the power of incompetence and cowardice.See for privacy information.
23/11/2350m 49s

Short Stuff: Magnetic Pole Switcheroo

Everyone once in a while, say a few hundred thousand years or so, the north and south poles of Earth’s magnetic field switch places. The result: Dogs and cats living together.See for privacy information.
22/11/2312m 14s

Legs! Legs! Legs! (The Periodic Table)

If you’ve ever wanted to listen to two totally untrained, non-chemists who are fully unqualified to explain how the periodic table works nervously explain how the periodic table works, then this episode is for you. Chemistry majors, be warned.See for privacy information.
21/11/2347m 30s

Selects: E.T.: Is It Really the Worst Video Game of All Time?

If you play video games you probably have an easy answer to worst game of all time: ET. But it turns out there are no easy answers, especially when you’re talking about a game so terrible it’s blamed for bringing the entire video game industry with it. Find out more in this classic episode.  See for privacy information.
18/11/2341m 54s

Diners: The Most American Establishment?

Diners may just be the most American establishment there is. They were born in the USA, thanks to European immigrants, and they only exist in the USA, unless it's a kitschy homage. So break open that 12-page menu and order up.See for privacy information.
16/11/2346m 58s

Short Stuff: Liberty Bell

The story of the Liberty Bell is far more confusing than we imagined.See for privacy information.
15/11/2311m 39s

The Tragic Death of Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood was Hollywood royalty who tragically drowned after a long night of partying with her husband, Robert Wagner, and actor Christopher Walken. Over the last 40 plus years, stories have changed and the investigation has moved from closed to open. Listen in to learn this tragic story. See for privacy information.
14/11/2350m 29s

Selects: Who were the Buffalo Soldiers?

Josh and Chuck dive into history in this classic episode to tell the story of the Buffalo Soldiers.See for privacy information.
11/11/2351m 8s

How Scuba Works

It’s a good, old fashioned how it works episode where we break down all of the nuts and bolts and threats to safety that make scuba diving such a unique and thrilling hobby. Dive in feet first with Josh and Chuck on the undersea adventure of a lifetime!See for privacy information.
09/11/231h 2m

Short Stuff: Petrified Wood

Petrified wood isn't just hard wood. Listen in today to learn all about this unique process. See for privacy information.
08/11/2310m 22s

Things We Believed Before the Scientific Method

It’s easy to think of people in the distant past as kinda dumb for believing things like that mice could spontaneously generate from old grain. But if you look a little deeper, you’ll find there was a sensibility to the odd beliefs that came before science.See for privacy information.
07/11/2343m 43s

Selects: Are Election Laws Designed to Suppress Voting?

Are laws that are meant to protect the sanctity of the polling place in reality designed to make it harder for groups that traditionally vote Democrat to cast their ballots? Find out in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
04/11/231h 9m

The Harlem Globetrotters: American Treasures

The Harlem Globetrotters are an American entertainment institution. Their story may not be quite what you think either. Hint, they didn't originate in Harlem. Tune in now to learn their fun, fascinating story. See for privacy information.
02/11/2353m 56s

Short Stuff: White Dog Poop

If you grew up from the 70s to the 90s you know white dog poop. It’s the old, crusty – yes, white – phase that dog poop goes through as it ages on a lawn. Or it used to. Where has all the white poop gone?See for privacy information.
01/11/2314m 8s

The 14th Annual Halloween Spooktacular!

As per tradition, today Josh and Chuck perform a spooky Halloween story reading to delight, amuse and FRIGHTEN YOU TO YOUR CORE. Will Meagle show up? Tune in to find out! Thanks to guest producer Ben Hackett for all the great sound effects.See for privacy information.
31/10/231h 4m

Selects: How Mummies Work

A mummy is a human being whose soft tissue has been preserved after death, and there are mummies around the world -- including natural mummies, as well as corpses that have been intentionally embalmed. Listen to this classic episode with Chuck and Josh to learn more.See for privacy information.
28/10/2340m 22s

Naked Mole Rats: A Face Only a Mother Could Love

Naked mole rats are funny looking to be sure, but neither moles nor rats. So what are they? You'll have to tune in to find out.See for privacy information.
26/10/2346m 32s

Short Stuff: Bed Sheet Ghosts

The simple bed sheet has provided countless kids and adults with an easy go-to Halloween costume. But why do we associate white sheets with ghosts anyway?See for privacy information.
25/10/2313m 15s

The Compton Cafeteria Riot

Three years before the riots at Stonewall, the LGBTQ community of San Francisco's Tenderloin rose up. And the story was almost lost to time.  Learn how and why today. See for privacy information.
24/10/2337m 51s

Selects: Where Did Trick-Or-Treating Come From?

We aren’t exactly sure who invented trick-or-treating – kids who realized they could extort adults for candy, or adults who bought off kids in exchange for laying off pranks? The bigger question is: Will trick-or-treating survive the 21st century? Learn more in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
21/10/2351m 34s

Kindness: Do It

In the tradition of our episodes on forgiveness and revenge, comes the third installment in the Emotional Roller Coaster trilogy. Kindness, it turns out, really does make the world go round.See for privacy information.
19/10/2348m 21s

Short Stuff: Candy Corn

Is it vile? Is it delicious? It seems to be both! Hear all about the history of candy corn, how it’s made, and who likes it in this pre-Halloween episode!See for privacy information.
18/10/2315m 19s

The Criminal Father of Criminology

Eugene Francois Vidocq is without a doubt one of the most interesting figures in modern history. He’s a former criminal turned undercover informant who went on to found the French national police force and the world’s first private detective agency. See for privacy information.
17/10/2353m 34s

Selects: Pain Scales: Yeeeow!

Pain is subjective; it is whatever the person experiencing it says it is. But to effectively treat pain, it helps to quantify it, which is why medicine came up with pain scales. Learn all about them in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
14/10/2343m 55s

How Intellectual Property Works

Intellectual property sounds as dry as can be, but it’s actually very interesting. It’s at the heart of the global economy and the center of a dispute over what should belong to the people who create things, from poetry to pharmaceuticals.See for privacy information.
12/10/2352m 33s

Short Stuff: Longyou Caves

What’s better than discovering a mysterious cavern? Discovering five!See for privacy information.
11/10/2315m 30s

Parasocial Relationships: That Podcaster is Your Friend!

Parasocial relationships are fascinating and it turns out Chuck knows what it's like from both sides. Listen in today to your old friends. See for privacy information.
10/10/2354m 17s

Selects: How Motion Sickness Works

Motion sickness is the worst and hits about 25 to 40 percent of humans when they ride in cars, boats, or simply watch the wrong 3-D movie. Join us as we break down the science behind this nausea-inducing affliction in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
07/10/2337m 11s

How Andy Warhol Worked

You know Andy Warhol from his quip on being famous for 15 minutes and paintings of soup cans, but even as far as artists go he was an eccentric and misunderstood person. See for privacy information.
05/10/2351m 34s

Short Stuff: Rhodium

Rhodium is one of the most valuable precious metals on Earth, though it has dropped in value by about 80% in the last year. Learn why by clicking play.See for privacy information.
04/10/2312m 3s

Night of the Grizzlies

Grizzly bears had never killed a person in Glacier National Park until the night of August 12, 1967. That's when everything changed for National Parks moving forward.See for privacy information.
03/10/2348m 41s

Selects: Social Security Numbers: Less Boring Than You'd Think

Do you know that up until July 2011 an ambitious hacker with a good software program could deduce your social security number based on your date and place of birth? In this classic episode, the boys examine some of the lesser-known details of the Social Security system in the U.S.See for privacy information.
30/09/2339m 3s

Revenge: Bitter, Not Sweet

Someone cuts you off in traffic or makes fun of your friend and all you can think of is how to get back at them and then some. But wait! Research has found that taking revenge actually makes you feel worse in the long run. Learn about what to do instead.See for privacy information.
28/09/2345m 48s

Short Stuff: The Dakota

The Dakota is one of New York City's great buildings. And its backstory is pretty great to boot. See for privacy information.
27/09/2312m 29s

The Amazing Life of Christine Granville

Christine Granville was about as James Bond as it gets. Stories of her life as a spy during World War II are legendary. Today we'll tell her story. See for privacy information.
26/09/2349m 47s

Selects: Cockney Rhyming Slang: Beautiful Gibberish

What is Cockney Rhyming Slang? It's complicated and its origins are unclear. Learn everything we know about it today in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
23/09/2342m 45s

Kombucha: Fizzy Goodness

Kombucha is pretty popular right now. But what is it exactly and where did it come from? The answers await you!See for privacy information.
21/09/2347m 4s

Short Stuff: Origin of Math Signs

Have you ever stopped mid-pencil mark and realized to your astonishment where the plus sign came from? Then this one’s for you.See for privacy information.
20/09/2311m 57s

10ish Worst Business Decisions Ever

It’s easy (and kind of fun) to laugh at the misfortune of CEOs and other high up business types when they bring it on themselves – so let’s do that now. Herein lies some of the worst business decisions ever made, hindsight being 20/20, of course.See for privacy information.
19/09/2351m 46s

Selects: How Floods Work

Floods happen when more water is introduced to an area than can be quickly removed. That's about it, but there's more to floods, what causes them and the havoc they can wreak. Join Josh and Chuck in this super-saturated classic episode of Stuff You Should Know.See for privacy information.
16/09/2333m 49s

The Hyatt Regency Skywalk Disaster

In 1981 America suffered the worst accidental structural collapse in its history. Listen in today to the tragic story of the fast-tracked building disaster that stills haunts Kansas City. See for privacy information.
14/09/2340m 37s

Short Stuff: Why Spilling Salt is Unlucky

Face it, when you spill salt your life goes totally off the rails, maybe even forever. Fortunately, we humans stumbled upon the one reliable way to counteract that bad luck by tossing some over our left shoulder.See for privacy information.
13/09/2311m 18s

Axolotls: The Smiling Salamander from Mexico

It’s a listener request! Axolotls are one of the more amazing animals roaming the planet right now – they can regenerate parts of their brains, can fight off tumors, are found in the wild only in one single lake? And did we mention they smile all the time?See for privacy information.
12/09/2348m 45s

Selects: How Space Stations Work

It seems like we largely take it for granted these days, but the fact that we have humans living in space is the realization of a scientific dream a century old. Visit the space stations orbiting Earth past, present and future in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
09/09/2348m 12s

Native American Reservations

Today we dive into the history and current state of Native American reservations. This serves as a nice follow-up to the Trail of Tears double-ep from 2017. See for privacy information.
07/09/2352m 21s

Short Stuff: History of OK

Is OK the best word? It's certainly one of the most versatile. Check the interesting history of this weird contraction.See for privacy information.
06/09/2314m 48s

The Made-up Disease of Syndrome K

In WWII, Italy went through its own Jewish Holocaust, terrible at first then horrific as the Nazis took over the country. In Rome, a group of doctors hid Jewish refugees in plain sight in their hospital by giving them a highly contagious, highly fictitious disease.  See for privacy information.
05/09/2341m 13s

Selects: Body Odor: You Stink

Chuck and Josh end up making reduxes of past episodes on things like sweating and deodorant in this all-new episode on the science beneath what makes people smell. Learn all about your odor in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
02/09/2346m 58s

Laurens Hammond: The Non-Musical Genius Who Changed Popular Music

Laurens Hammond invented the Hammond organ and in the process changed music history. But he was much more than that. See for privacy information.
31/08/2350m 9s

Short Stuff: Evil Eye

You've seen the evil eye. Many Middle Eastern cultures have a long history with it. Learn how to thwart this curse today. See for privacy information.
30/08/2311m 11s

Fordlandia: Brazil Isn't Michigan

Henry Ford tried to build a Midwestern American town in the Amazon rainforest in the 1920s. It's true. And yes, Chuck will say this should be a movie. See for privacy information.
29/08/2346m 55s

Selects: How Toy Testing Works

It's every kid's dream - a job playing with toys that pays in toys. It's a real thing and has been around for a long time. Then there's the other side of the testing process, companies who ensure that toys are safe. It takes both of these testing techniques to successfully bring a toy to market these days. Dive into the ball pit with us today and learn all about toy testing in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
26/08/2347m 5s

Plant Migration

Climate change is having sweeping effects on our climate and this is changing the world, not just for humans and other animals, but plants too. Will the Earth’s flora manage to find safe refuge in time?    See for privacy information.
24/08/2345m 19s

Short Stuff: Saturn's Rings

Friends, treasure Saturn’s rings while they are young. They won’t be around forever.See for privacy information.
23/08/2311m 44s

Farmer's Almanac: Literature to Poop To

The Farmer's Almanac has a long rich history that is more than just moon phases and long-term weather patterns. Tune in to learn all about it. See for privacy information.
22/08/2348m 3s

Selects: How Music Sampling Works

Today music sampling is a common practice, especially in electronic or hip-hop music. But how does it work? After all, other artists made the original music, and most of them would presumably like to be paid. Tune in to this classic episode to learn more about music sampling.See for privacy information.
19/08/2344m 24s

The Mysterious Disappearance of the Franklin Expedition

One of the great Arctic mysteries was the disappearance of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition in search of a northwest passage between the Atlantic and Pacific. Not one man survived the trip, and they left precious little behind in the way of clues.See for privacy information.
17/08/2350m 24s

Short Stuff: Edward Mordake

In the 19th century news spread of an unfortunate man who was born with an evil second face on the back of his head that spoke to him. The real story is that people keep falling for it.See for privacy information.
16/08/2312m 57s

How We’re Learning to Talk to Animals

If we could talk with the animals, grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals, what would we say? We’d better start thinking of something good because researchers are learning to speak sperm whale, prairie dog, and a bunch of other species' languages.See for privacy information.
15/08/2353m 58s

Selects: How Magnets Work

You can stick them to the fridge or use them to transpose sound to tape, whatever they are used for magnets are surprisingly interesting. And knowing just exactly how and why magnets work will make you more interesting, which is why you should listen to this classic episode of SYSK.See for privacy information.
12/08/2336m 15s


Science is just realizing the extent of the tiny pollutants that have entered ecosystems across Earth and inside all humans. We call them xenobiotics – substances foreign to our bodies – and what effects they have on us we’re only starting to learn.See for privacy information.
10/08/2345m 28s

Short Stuff: History of English

Who spoke English first and what was it like? Nothing like it is today. Listen in to learn all about it. See for privacy information.
09/08/2312m 6s

Dear Diary...

Diaries have been around for a long time. There are many famous ones, and tens of millions that will never see the light of day. Learn about the history and benefits of journaling today.See for privacy information.
08/08/2347m 45s

Selects: Rainbows: Delighting humanity since forever

Rainbows seem to defy nature, but they're really pretty simple when it comes down to it. Turns out it's just light reacting to water droplets in the air. But they sure do look cool. Learn all about how rainbows are formed in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
05/08/2330m 0s

The Last Meal Ritual

The last meal of the executed is a longstanding tradition. Listen in today to learn about the dark history and modern practice of this culinary curiosity. See for privacy information.
03/08/2349m 46s

Short Stuff: NATO Alphabet

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie. This is the NATO alphabet. But where did it come from?See for privacy information.
02/08/2313m 8s

BPD: The Worst Disorder or Not a Disorder at All?

Borderline Personality Disorder has been described as emotional “third degree burns over ninety percent of your body.” It’s as close to a curse as a personality disorder can be: deep fear of being abandoned creates behaviors that end up driving people off.See for privacy information.
01/08/2350m 54s

Selects: What's the deal with Stradivarius violins?

The Strad violin is noted for its tonal qualities and superior craftsmanship. And for its price tag. There are many theories why the Strad sounds so great, from the wood to the lacquer, to the simple fact that Antonio Stradivari was really good at what he did. Rosin up your bow and take a listen to this classic episode.See for privacy information.
29/07/2340m 30s

MAD Magazine: A Tribute

Chuck and Josh grew up on MAD Magazine and we hope you did too. What started out as a comic book that spoofed comic books grew into the foundation of American satire and cultivated a healthy skepticism in generations of kids. Hail to the clods at MAD!See for privacy information.

Short Stuff: Blue Highway Signs

In the US those ubiquitous blue highway signs that tell you which direction you’ll find a Burger King have an interesting backstory. See for privacy information.
26/07/2314m 16s

Learning a Foreign Language

Today, Chuck and Josh dive into the ins and outs of language learning. See for privacy information.
25/07/2347m 12s

Selects: Nirvana: Not The Band

Hinduism and Buddhism are closely related in a number of ways, including their vision of what comes after we exit this mortal coil. Learn about the religions' interesting interpretation of the state of existence outside space-time, in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
22/07/2332m 57s

Magic Eye Illusions

What became the Magic Eye illusion fad of the 1990s was born by way of the stereogram of the 1950s (and even before that). It's a winding story that you'll love!See for privacy information.
20/07/2347m 17s

Short Stuff: Pie-In-The-Face Gag

Throwing a pie in someone’s face was groundbreaking comedy once upon a time.See for privacy information.
19/07/2312m 38s

Insomnia: Why you can't sleep

Insomnia is rough stuff. Listen in and learn all about why you can't fall asleep and what you can do about that.See for privacy information.
18/07/2350m 3s

Selects: How Police Lineups Work

Police lineups are something most people have never had any firsthand experience with. What you see on TV and in movies isn't so far off though. Learn about how these tropes work for real in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
15/07/2352m 42s

How PCP Works

There is probably no drug more mythologized than PCP. It drives users insane and has the unfortunate side effect of bestowing superhuman strength thus sending them on a rampage. But does it though?See for privacy information.
13/07/2349m 42s

Short Stuff: Père-Lachaise Cemetery

The most famous cemetery in Paris has some of the most famous people in the world buried there. And it's quite lovely.See for privacy information.
12/07/2312m 4s

Birth Order: So nice, we did it twice

This is a very special episode, the first one we've ever fully recorded a second time and decided to release. Why? Because it's good and a little different and we thought you'd enjoy this unheard of double dose. So enjoy!See for privacy information.
11/07/2355m 4s

Selects: How Bats Work

They are creepy, sure, but they are also useful, cute and in great danger of extinction. Get a new lease on life from a new view of bats in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
08/07/2345m 26s

James Beard: Food Legend

James Beard is well-known now for the annual awards named in his honor. But he used to be the most famous chef in America, and set the standard for what makes a celebrity chef.See for privacy information.
06/07/2355m 20s

Short Stuff: Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood sign is an iconic landmark that started out as a real estate billboard. Can you believe it?See for privacy information.
05/07/2313m 48s

How Trucking Works

If truckers suddenly vanished the global economy would come to a grinding halt in a couple days. But as important as they are these highway heroes (mostly) are, they’re systematically mistreated by their industry. See for privacy information.
04/07/231h 1m

Selects: What Makes Lead So Poisonous?

The people of Flint, MI were horrified to find their drinking water was poisoned with lead. As we learn more about lead's effects and realize how persistent it is, the more worrying it becomes. What makes lead so toxic? Find out in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
01/07/2349m 35s

Butterflies: Caterpillars with Wings!

If you thought caterpillars were awesome, just wait until you see them with colorful, iridescent wings!See for privacy information.
29/06/2351m 3s

Short Stuff: Fahrenheit or Celsius

Fahrenheit or Celsius? Why not both? If they can agree - exactly at -40 degrees  - then it seems like we should all be able to agree they're both great as well.See for privacy information.
28/06/239m 24s

Caterpillars: Nature's Magicians

Caterpillars are simply the best. Don't think so? Well listen in and you'll soon agreeSee for privacy information.
27/06/2347m 9s

Selects: How Ocean Currents Work

It's easy to overlook the importance of ocean currents - they move along out at sea, while we stay mostly on land. But we are globally affected by them every day. Currents form the base of the food chain, drive weather and keep life as we know it going. Explore them with Josh and Chuck in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
24/06/2339m 0s

How Afrofuturism Works

Black sci-fi writers were shut out of their genre in the 20th century so they created their own vision of the future. That sentiment spread to music and film and today it’s so engrained in pop culture it doesn't need its own label. See for privacy information.
22/06/2353m 18s

Short Stuff: Chia Pet

It has arrived, the most important podcast episode in the history of the world. See for privacy information.
21/06/2312m 51s

Large Language Models and You

There is a good chance that in March of 2023, humans crossed a threshold into a transformative new era when a new, smarter type of AI was let loose in the wild and an AI arms race began.  See for privacy information.
20/06/2354m 15s

Selects: SYSK Live: Back When Ford Pintos Were Flaming Deathtraps

For this special live benefit episode recorded in Atlanta, Josh and Chuck go back to the 70s and look at the decidedly ungroovy course of events that led to Ford recalling its Pinto after people started burning up in them.See for privacy information.
17/06/231h 9m

How Alumin(i)um Works

Humans made it through the Bronze Age and Iron Age, then we dabbled in steel, and now we are living in the Aluminum Age. The metal is so ubiquitous it seems like it’s been around forever, but we’ve only been really using it since the 20th century.See for privacy information.
15/06/2351m 54s

Short Stuff: Suicide Forest

The suicide forest in Japan is a beautiful place with a checkered reputation. Trigger Warning: This episode features a discussion of suicide. If you or anyone you know needs help, please call 988.See for privacy information.
14/06/2311m 14s

The Stinky History of Human Hygiene

Ever wondered when and why people started caring about body odors and cleanliness? Well look no further than today's episode. See for privacy information.
13/06/2357m 15s

Selects: How Audience Testing Works

Did you know some of our most beloved movies originally had different, sometimes better, endings? That is until they were tested in front of focus groups. Learn all about the how, what, and why of audience testing in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
10/06/2340m 46s

Is Reality Real?

Philosophers have been wondering whether we experience reality as it is for millennia now. They’ve pretty much settled on no, no we don’t. Now science has taken up the investigation and it’s proving the philosophers correct. So what is reality then?See for privacy information.
08/06/2343m 4s

Short Stuff: DNA Data Storage

One of the more futuristic things around right now on Earth is research into encoding data into strings of genetic code.See for privacy information.
07/06/2311m 50s

Why Manners?

Keeping your elbows off the table, keeping your fingers out of the gravy boat – at some point these became very important rules of etiquette. But what purpose do manners serve? It turns out they just may be the glue that prevents society from unraveling.See for privacy information.
06/06/2347m 4s

Selects: Pterosaurs: Not Flying Dinosaurs

Almost everything you know about pterosaurs is wrong. They weren't birds, they weren't flying dinosaurs and they weren't all pterodactyls. Which makes this classic episode a great one for you to learn some new and amazing stuff about terrifying prehistoric beasts! See for privacy information.
03/06/2338m 28s

What's the deal with intermittent fasting?

Could eating at only certain times of the day lead to weight loss? Possibly! See for privacy information.
01/06/2344m 45s

Short Stuff: Rube Goldberg

Everyone knows what a Rube Goldberg machine is, but what do you know about the cartoonist who they're named after?See for privacy information.
31/05/2314m 41s

The Saga of Milli Vanilli

For a moment Milli Vanilli was the hottest musical act in the world. Then came the news that it was just that, an act, and the fall came swiftly and humiliatingly. Now, 30 years on, a look back yields not so much a cautionary tale as a very sad story.See for privacy information.
30/05/2353m 55s

Selects: How Color Works

Science doesn't have a good explanation for why we sense color, yet it is everywhere and affecting us all the time. But why should minutely different wavelengths of light have such an impact on our moods and motivations? Explore these questions and more with Josh and Chuck in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
27/05/2341m 39s

The Semi-Recent History of Exercise

Humans exercising for better health has not been around that long. Today we dive into this fun history as we cover why and when we started this now commonplace pastime. See for privacy information.
25/05/2355m 16s

Short Stuff: Pollen Count

If you watch the news and hear the pollen count is high for some particular type of plant then it’s high time you learned how they do that.See for privacy information.
24/05/2312m 41s

What is the Bechdel Test?

The Bechdel Test is a is a measure of the representation of women in film. You'd be surprised how many movies fail. See for privacy information.
23/05/2342m 8s

Selects: How Dog Shows Work

You know those shows where people wearing sensible shoes jog dogs around in circles? They actually represent the pinnacle of a long and complex path to glory for dogs and their owners. Join Chuck and Josh as they peek inside the American dog show in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
20/05/2341m 35s

How Juries Work

It’s totally bonkers that in the US and other countries, the job of determining the guilt or innocence of an accused criminal – whose life may be at stake – is left not to experts in law but to a group of random citizens. Even crazier, it generally works!See for privacy information.
18/05/2357m 20s

Short Stuff: Mood Rings

Mood Rings were all the rage in the 1970s. Then they went away, and fast. What's your color today?See for privacy information.
17/05/2311m 52s

The Inflammation Theory of Disease

Not too long ago we thought that germs were the cause of most diseases, leading to germ theory. But when we look at maladies from heart disease to Alzheimer’s one commonality stands out: inflammation. Could it be we’ve found the root cause of all diseases?See for privacy information.
16/05/2358m 48s

Selects: How Slinky Works

It has been called a "glorified spring", but Slinky is one of the best selling toys of all time. From accidental origins to an unlikely resurrection, Slinky has a pretty great back story. Learn all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
13/05/2351m 8s

How TV Weathercasters Work

TV weather people can seem corny and maybe a little nerdy, but beneath that toothsome exterior lies the heart of a lonely warrior of science, one who is often overlooked as the hardest working member of the news team. Learn all about these unsung heroes.  See for privacy information.
11/05/2349m 29s

Short Stuff: Frances Kelsey: Hero of the FDA

Who is Frances Kelsey? Well, she's a semi-unsung hero of the FDA whose work helped save a lot of kids from congenital disorders and even death. Listen and learn!See for privacy information.
10/05/2312m 12s

The Colosseum

It's funny how similar The Colosseum in Rome is to modern day arenas. They really had it figured out. Tune in today to learn all about this early entertainment venue. See for privacy information.
09/05/2354m 37s

Selects: Does the body replace itself?

Does the human body really replace itself every few years? The answer is yes, but different parts of the body do so at different rates. Learn all about which parts of your body are the speediest, and which take the longest to regenerate, in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
06/05/2338m 11s

Introducing Smell-O-Vision!

Smell-O-Vision was a post-war movie theater gimmick that delivered well-timed scents to the noses of audiences to align with the movie. Did it work? Sort of. Did it ultimately fail? Yes. Does that mean it has gone away forever? No.See for privacy information.
04/05/2338m 17s

Short Stuff: Dunbar's Number

There’s a theory that all of us have a maximum number of friendships that we can maintain – 150, to be exact. Suspiciously exact, really, if you think about it.See for privacy information.
03/05/2314m 38s


Another classic toys edition is at your collective feet. Today, we dive into the soft, padded world of NERF!See for privacy information.
02/05/2338m 27s

Selects: How Manhunts Work

When a suspect or prisoner goes on the lam there are plenty of ways to hide: in plain sight, in the mountains, in another country. There are as many types of ways law enforcement uses to track wanted people as their are ways to go on the lam, but there are some founding principles to carrying out a successful manhunt and they actually include you. Learn about how the fuzz tracks down fugitives and how it's evolving in the age of social media in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
29/04/2334m 51s

Carbon Monoxide: Please Just Listen Anyway

It might not be the sexiest topic we’ve ever covered (and by “might”, we mean “definitely”), but there are some things you just need to learn about and this deadly and undetectable gas that’s part of our everyday lives is one of them. So buck up.See for privacy information.
27/04/2347m 53s

Short Stuff: Botox Brain

Botox can chase away the lines on your face, apparently it can chase away your depression, borderline personality disorder, and anxiety too.See for privacy information.
26/04/2313m 5s

Why does everyone love Dolly Parton?

Today we dive in to celebrate the international treasure that is Dolly Parton. Why is she nearly universally loved? Listen in to find out. See for privacy information.
25/04/2353m 41s

Selects: Was There A Real Robin Hood?

Is it true that Robin Hood hung out in Sherwood Forest and stole from the rich to give to the poor? No. No, it’s not. Find out the real story in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
22/04/2349m 41s

METI: Existential Threat? Probably Yes

We've wanted to contact extraterrestrials for as long as we've suspected they're out there. But as we get better and locating potentially inhabited planets, beaming messages their way is suddenly posing a threat. See for privacy information.
20/04/2343m 45s

Short Stuff: Routines

Routines are a key part of a successful life. Ask anybody about theirs and they'll be happy to share!See for privacy information.
19/04/2315m 9s

Should Rich Countries Cancel Poor Countries’ Debt?

It sounds controversial, but there are persuasive arguments for the wealthy Global North to write off the debts lower-income nations have accrued. Some say the US and Europe actually owe it to them. This is one of those boring ones you shouldn’t skip.See for privacy information.
18/04/2353m 41s

Selects: How Coffins Work

Sure, you've probably laid in one at the store or a funeral home, but how much do you know about receptacles used to bury the dead? We'll bet you'll learn plenty - like the difference between a coffin and a casket - in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
15/04/2341m 26s

John Brinkley: The Quackiest Quack in History?

John Brinkley was perhaps the biggest quack who ever claimed to be practicing medicine. Learn all about this not so good guy today!See for privacy information.
13/04/2345m 4s

Short Stuff: Red Snow

Thanks to green algae, there's such a thing as red snow. And we've recently found it can accelerate global warming. Look out!See for privacy information.
12/04/2311m 17s

How Skydiving Works

At 13,000 feet the ground is nothing but far-away squares of land, and you can even see some clouds below you. All of a sudden you find yourself plummeting downward. There are very few thrills like jumping out of a plane with a parachute.See for privacy information.
11/04/2351m 12s

Selects: Some Nutso Fan Theories

It turns out that the characters in your favorite TV shows and the like are actually dead, dreaming, dying or don't exist. Explore some strange fan theories with Josh and Chuck in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
08/04/2353m 7s

Playing Cards? You Got That Right!

If you've ever wanted to learn more about playing cards, now is your big chance. See for privacy information.
06/04/2346m 48s

Short Stuff: Beethoven’s DNA

It's been all over the news, Beethoven's DNA has revealed some interesting things about his health.See for privacy information.
05/04/239m 53s

What Caused the Late Bronze Age Collapse?

Humans’ first attempt at civilization went pretty well for the first thousand years. Important stuff like the wheel, writing, math, art, and diplomacy came out of it. But then, in the blink of an historical eye, it all mysteriously failed. What happened?See for privacy information.
04/04/2347m 58s

Selects: How Jet Lag Works

It was only since 1958 that the Jet Age began, and jet lag became a real condition. Also known as desynchronosis, jet lag can lead to all manner of ailments, from sleeplessness to irritability to diabetes and cancer. In this classic episode, learn about how the body's natural clock runs normally and what happens when it gets out of whack when we cross time zones quickly.See for privacy information.
01/04/2335m 38s

What's the deal with dowsing?

Dowsing, aka water-witching has been around a long time. And you might be surprised that's still a thing. We get into all the nitty gritty of this pseudo-science today. See for privacy information.
30/03/2344m 37s

Short Stuff: Theme Park Cremations

There’s a little-discussed trend you might run into at your favorite theme park – people scattering the ashes of a loved one on rides. Here's hoping you don't literally run into it.See for privacy information.
29/03/2311m 52s

The First Road Trip

Back when cars were a brand new thing, before people even knew they'd stick around, two men and a dog drove from San Francisco to New York. This is their story. See for privacy information.
28/03/2349m 11s

Selects: Is The Uncanny Valley Real?

In 1970, roboticist Masahiro Mori wrote an essay that said the closer robots come to lifelike, the more they unsettle humans. His theory became the Uncanny Valley, and science has been evaluating it – and what makes something creepy - in recent years. Learn all about it with Josh and Chuck in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
25/03/231h 7m

An Interesting, Vastly Incomplete Look at Baseball Cards

One of the all-stars of the hobby world is collecting baseball cards. Over time it’s gone from a kids’ hobby to a major investment vehicle, complete with its own bubble that recently burst. But at the heart of it is something both engrossing and endearing.See for privacy information.
23/03/2354m 56s

Short Stuff: Semantic Satiation

You know when you read a word over and over it starts to lose its meaning? There’s a term for that and why it happens is fascinating.See for privacy information.
22/03/2312m 18s

The Tragic Tale of Floyd Collins

Floyd Collins was a natural-born caver who met a terrible fate, becoming stuck underground where no one could get him loose. His unlucky, slowly unfolding plight also turned out to be one of the first national media sensations of the 20th century.See for privacy information.
21/03/2347m 32s

Selects: Do People Really Run Off to Join the French Foreign Legion?

Anyone who knows anything about Jean-Claude Van Damme knows he played a French legionnaire in the movies. He was just one of many actors to star in films that romanticized this mercenary force. Check out the details in this classic episode with Josh and Chuck.See for privacy information.
18/03/2319m 27s

Arcades: Nostalgia Abounds

Chuck and Josh were around during the Golden Age of the arcade. And look how they turned out! Join them on a trip down memory lane. See for privacy information.
16/03/2358m 44s

Short Stuff: John Cage's 639 Year Concert

John Cage was a unique artist to say the least. Learn all about this avant-garde composer today.See for privacy information.
15/03/2313m 1s

That's Amaro!

Amaro is a delicious traditional liqueur, usually from Italy, that has delighted diners and drinkers for centuries. Tune in to learn all about this wonderful digestif. See for privacy information.
14/03/2353m 52s

Selects: The Time Nazis Invaded Florida

During World War II, Nazis invaded the United States with saboteurs bent on fomenting chaos. Three times. Learn all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
11/03/2355m 47s

Woodstock: The Festival for Stardust, Golden Hippies

You may have heard your parents or – gasp – grandparents prattle on about how amazing the original 1969 Woodstock Festival was. It turns out that, as much as people who lived through the 60s like to talk them up, Woodstock really was that amazing.See for privacy information.
09/03/2356m 53s

Short Stuff: Paprika

Paprika is more than a smoky Hungarian spice. Actually, that's not true, that's exactly what it is. But it sure is delicious!See for privacy information.
08/03/238m 42s

Noncompete Agreements, Come On

A noncompete agreement, a pledge not to work for a competitor for a set amount of time, makes sense – when the worker is well compensated and privy to company secrets. But that doesn’t describe the vast majority of workers who’ve signed noncompetes.See for privacy information.
07/03/2350m 0s

Selects: Live From San Francisco: How Malls Work

In this classic show recorded live on January 5, 2017 at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre, Josh and Chuck delve into the history and the heyday of the church of consumerism and what it means for local communities and our capitalist society at large when malls die.See for privacy information.
04/03/231h 6m

Crosswords episode, perhaps?

Crossword puzzles have an interesting history and are a lot of fun to do. Dive in today to learn about Chuck's latest obsession.See for privacy information.
02/03/2354m 16s

Short Stuff: La Pascualita

In a bridal shop in Chihuahua, Mexico a mannequin has been standing in the window since the 1930s that’s so lifelike some say it’s actually a corpse.See for privacy information.
01/03/2311m 6s

The Awe-Inspiring, Absolutely Crucial Amazon

If you’ve ever thought, “What’s the Amazon rainforest ever done for me? Nothin, that’s what,” then you’re dead wrong, friend. It covers 1 percent of the Earth’s surface but houses perhaps 30 percent of its species and it’s invaluable to all life on Earth.See for privacy information.
28/02/2354m 10s

Selects: Who Committed the 1912 Villisca Ax Murders?

In a small town in Iowa in 1912 eight people were murdered in the grisliest of ways while they slept. Local reputations were ruined when accusations flew, but could a drifting serial killer working across the Midwest have been behind it? Learn all about it with Josh and Chuck in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
25/02/2346m 17s

Naps: Chuck's Secret Talent

Naps are great if you can manage to find the space to take them. The trick is to do it for the right amount of time. We get into all in the ins and outs of Chuck's favorite time of day. See for privacy information.
23/02/2344m 16s

Short Stuff: Sleeping On It

It’s pretty well known that if you wait to make a big decision until after you get some sleep, you’re likelier to make a good one. But why should that be? Why, we’ll explain if only you’d listen.See for privacy information.
22/02/2314m 10s

The Mystery of the Lost Amber Room

Chuck and Josh turn into the Hardy Boys for one of the great unsolved mysteries of WWII, a work of art worth a king’s ransom that went missing in 1945.See for privacy information.
21/02/2347m 25s

Selects: The Max Headroom Affair

In 1987, a very strange broadcast intrusion occurred in the city of Chicago. For just a couple of minutes, the odd TV character Max Headroom appeared onscreen in the middle of an episode of Dr. Who. He spoke in garbled tones, brandished a marital aid, and was spanked on the rear with a fly swatter by a person dressed in Annie Oakley garb. If this sounds weird, it is. It's the Max Headroom Incident. Find out all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
18/02/2347m 52s

The Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

The fire at the Beverly Hills Supper Club was not in Los Angeles, but Kentucky. Which happened to be Las Vegas before Vegas was Vegas. Confused? Listen in and all will be clear.See for privacy information.
16/02/2352m 36s

Short Stuff: Beulah Mae Donald

In 1981 a Mobile mother of six was forced into the role of civil rights activist when the Klan murdered her son and she was moved to fight back.See for privacy information.
15/02/2312m 27s

The Glorious Flamingo

Flamingos are much more than just pretty pink birds. They are in fact, quite remarkable! Listen and learn…See for privacy information.
14/02/2349m 8s

Selects: Cave Diving: Totally Nuts

There are extreme sports and then there is cave diving, the most extreme activity a person can engage in without leaving Earth. Cave divers stay underwater swimming miles into – that’s right – caves, where no human has ever been before. It’s pretty cool. Wade in with Josh and Chuck in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
11/02/2350m 39s

How (O)possums Work

Josh and Chuck take a listener’s suggestion – many, many suggestions – and learn that possums are pretty great and very much misunderstood. By the end of this episode you will too!See for privacy information.
09/02/2349m 33s

Short Stuff: No Shirt, No Shoes, WTF

You can thank your parents and grandparents for the longstanding ban against dining shirtless and shoeless. While the concept was around, it mushroomed when hippies came along.See for privacy information.
08/02/2313m 19s

Honey: Nature's Wonder Sugar

Honey is an amazing thing. Just ask any bee. They make a ton of it. So much that humans get what bees can't use and that's a lot of honey.See for privacy information.
07/02/2353m 34s

Selects: How Easy Bake Ovens Work

Easy Bake Ovens are as iconic as a toy can get, as American as apple pie or baseball. Learn all about these light bulb cooking, working ovens that endanger children to this day, in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
04/02/2336m 29s

The Largely Equine History of Veterinary Medicine

Vets have been around for a long time, but mainly to care for horses. When horse travel went away, guess who saved the profession? Dogs!See for privacy information.
02/02/2347m 18s

Short Stuff: Bird Migration

Where are all those birds flying anyway? How do they decide? When do they do it? All of these questions, and more, are answered in this week's ep.See for privacy information.
01/02/2311m 19s

Must We Suffer Emotional Pain?

It’s part of the human condition, to feel the pain of sorrow, loss, embarrassment. But isn’t it kind of weird that an overwhelming emotion can cause you physical discomfort or even pain? Turns out that depends on how you think about the mind and the body.See for privacy information.
31/01/2349m 19s

Selects: Elephants: The Best Animals?

Elephants are pretty much the best. Why? Josh and Chuck will let you know in great detail in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
28/01/231h 1m

How Attachment Theory Works

A theory in the field of psychology has become so pervasive, it’s generally taken on faith that it’s true. It says that how your parents respond to you during a short window in your infancy has lifelong effects on your personality. Could this be correct?See for privacy information.
26/01/2354m 35s

Short Stuff: Adam's Apples and Throat Lumps

This week's short stuff is all about throat lumps and Adam's apples.See for privacy information.
25/01/2310m 5s

Let's Talk About John DeLorean

John DeLorean: visionary, car maker extraordinaire, buyer of large amounts of cocaine, provider of time machine chassis. There is a lot to understand about John DeLorean so let’s get busy.See for privacy information.
24/01/2356m 54s

Selects: How Game Shows Work

Join Josh and Chuck and a whole bunch of great people at the Gothic Theatre in Denver for this live show on game shows and their place in cultures around the world, recorded on June 28, 2018. You just come right on down, why don’t you?See for privacy information.
21/01/231h 8m

Toast: As in browned bread

Toast is bread that has been browned by heat. It's delicious. This is our ode to toast.See for privacy information.
19/01/2353m 16s

Short Stuff: Women Pirates

The Golden Age of Pirates didn’t have just men floating on the high seas. Some women became very successful pirates and today you’ll learn about two of them.See for privacy information.
18/01/2316m 11s

The Louisiana Purchase: Not a Purchase

Turns out the Louisiana Purchase was not so much a purchase, but the right to (steal) purchase it from indigenous peoples. But it did transform the United States as we know it. Listen and learn!See for privacy information.
17/01/2346m 42s

Selects: How Therapeutic Hypothermia Works

Physicians noticed centuries ago that people exposed to cold temperatures often have amazing recoveries from serious medical emergencies. Now medicine is learning how to purposefully induce hypothermia in order to buy time to fix otherwise fatal trauma. Find out all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
14/01/2349m 20s

How Tarot Works?

This is not a hit piece! Tarot helps plenty of people navigate their lives and reflect on their feelings – plus the art is unbelievable. We cover the backstory, real and imagined, and lure the innocent into tarot’s grip, er, offer basic tips for beginners.See for privacy information.
12/01/2343m 15s

Short Stuff: Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Forest Lawn is no ordinary cemetery. Why? Listen in and find out.See for privacy information.
11/01/2311m 36s

How Enron Fooled the World

Until the 2007, the largest single corporate bankruptcy was Enron, a $67 billion energy trading company. Its decline was breathtaking, and while it’s a fascinating story of corporate malfeasance and greed, it’s also about the lives of ruined workers.See for privacy information.
10/01/2359m 17s

Selects: How Perfume Works

Women consistently rate scent as the most important factor in a man's attractiveness and men have been manipulating that for centuries with scents of all sorts. Learn about the fascinating history -- and, well, art -- of making perfumes in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
07/01/2357m 57s

When Mount St. Helens Blew Its Top

Mount St. Helen's is a lovely sight to behold, but was a pretty scary thing to be around in the Spring of 1980. Listen in to the harrowing story today!See for privacy information.
05/01/2348m 13s

Short Stuff: Dangers of Nose Picking

You don’t have to lie - everybody picks their nose. But did you know it can be life-threatening? It’s true and you can learn how in this episode.See for privacy information.
04/01/2316m 26s

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (not the song)

Today Josh and Chuck delve into the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Not the song, but the maritime accident. Though the song makes an appearance.See for privacy information.
03/01/2354m 47s

Selects: Could There Be A Loch Ness Monster?

People have believed something strange lives in Loch Ness for at least 3500 years. Thousands of people have sighted the Loch Ness Monster and dozens of expeditions have been launched. But does the fact that nothing’s been found mean it’s not real? Find out in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
31/12/221h 3m

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Podcast Episode

This one goes out to the SYSK Army as a special request. Let's do the time warp again!See for privacy information.
29/12/2251m 30s

Short Stuff: Mesas: Flat

Mesas, buttes and plateaus are all very similar. We'll break down the differences in each one just to be sure.See for privacy information.
28/12/2211m 48s

Juicy: The Fried Chicken Story

Fried chicken is Chuck’s favorite food, and Josh sure doesn’t dislike it. It is with this appreciation that SYSK plunges into the hot grease of fried chicken history – and there’s a lot to it!See for privacy information.
27/12/2252m 51s

Selects: Star Wars Holiday Spectacular

Long ago, in a galaxy not so far away, George Lucas allowed the Star Wars Holiday Special to be made. What happened on the night of November 17, 1978 can never be fully explained, but we make our best effort in our annual special edition of SYSK. May the force be with us all.See for privacy information.
24/12/2254m 24s

2022 Holiday Spectacular!

Another year comes to a close here at SYSK, which means our annual Holiday Spectacular is at hand. So light a fire, pour up a comforting beverage and gather the family for some good cheer!See for privacy information.
22/12/2248m 56s

Short Stuff: Snow Globes

See for privacy information.
21/12/2212m 3s

Who was Dorothy Parker, really?

She was known for her quick wit and sharp tongue. But she was also a poet, screenwriter and activist. Tune in today to learn what outside her "vicious circle."See for privacy information.
20/12/2247m 40s

Selects: Nostradamus: Predictor of the future? Not so much.

Nostradamus delighted us all in grade school, but it turns out the real guy wasn't quite as prescient as we were led to believe. In truth, he wrote a lot of purposefully confusing riddles that people have twisted into meaning exactly what they want them to mean. Learn all about Nostradamus in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
17/12/2238m 47s

Interesting Origins of Everyday Phrases

We don’t think about the words and phrases we use all the time - until Josh and Chuck look into them and tell everyone what they found. That’s the gist of this episode! See for privacy information.
15/12/2249m 13s

Short Stuff: The Atlanta Washer Woman Strike

One of the very first union strikes in US history was mounted by a group of African American women in the deep South. Listen in and learn all about this little known slice of history.See for privacy information.
14/12/2214m 25s

How the Nintendo Entertainment System Changed Gaming Forever

For the holidays in 1986 (and ’87) (and ’88) the most stupendous, most wanted, most amazing thing any kid could possibly get – outside of a pony, *maybe* – was the NES. That year, video games came back from the dead and changed forever.See for privacy information.
13/12/2257m 34s

Selects: How Polar Bears Work

Polar bears are more than just lovable creatures that roam the ice in search of food. They're one of the most fascinating animals on planet Earth. Sadly, as ice shrinks, so does their habitat. Learn all about these huggable beasts in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
10/12/2246m 29s

True Crime: The Phantom of Heilbronn

After the murder of a cop in southwest Germany in 2007 a massive hunt was launched across Europe. The suspect was a female serial killer who had left DNA behind during a number of crimes. She was so slippery, she was known as The Phantom of Heilbronn.See for privacy information.
08/12/2242m 38s

Short Stuff: Birthday Paradox

The Birthday Paradox involves math, so you know this one will go perfectly.See for privacy information.
07/12/2211m 48s

How Face Blindness Works

It’s not that the person who can never remember meeting you is snobby or even absent-minded; they may have a fascinating – and often difficult – neurological condition called prosopagnosia, known more commonly as face blindness.See for privacy information.
06/12/2247m 35s

Selects: The Rubik's Cube Episode

Rubik's Cubes. Ronald Reagan. Jerry Falwell. Just Say No. One of these things was awesome. Take a guess and hop on board this classic episode, aka the 80s train.See for privacy information.
03/12/2248m 18s

How Down Syndrome Works

People with Down syndrome lead rich, complex lives like any other human, but it’s only been in the last few decades that everyone else stopped persecuting them long enough to notice this. As a result, both their IQ and their life expectancy skyrocketed.See for privacy information.
01/12/2257m 3s

Short Stuff: Goosebumps

Goosebumps are a pretty cool evolutionary holdover from our earlier days as furry beasts. Don't believe us? Listen in. See for privacy information.
30/11/2214m 50s

Peripersonal Space: Humans’ Got Talent

The space around you that you can reach with your arms is a very special place. It’s where we interact with reality. And although we are so good at using it we don’t give it a second thought, our ability to use it is one our most amazing abilities.See for privacy information.
29/11/2254m 27s

Selects: How Umami Works!

For millennia humans have recognized four tastes, but in the 1980s a fifth taste first isolated in Japan gained worldwide acceptance - and took off like a rocket! Learn about meaty, musty, savory umami in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
26/11/2236m 14s

Roller Skating: Fun and Cool

The Victorians were the first to go bonkers for roller skating and since then the pastime has had bursts of popularity every few decades. Over the years skaters have come up with some amazing things to do on skates that go way beyond just going in circles.See for privacy information.
24/11/2247m 47s

Short Stuff: Liquid Paper

Correction fluid goes by many names, but the OG was Liquid Paper. And it has a pretty cool origin story. See for privacy information.
23/11/2212m 48s

Typewriters: Mechanical Brilliance

Chuck loves typewriters because he loves mechanical brilliance. Dive into the cool history of these amazing machines today. See for privacy information.
22/11/2255m 49s

Selects: How Dark Money Works

Since the Supreme Court ruled in 2010 in the Citizens United case that political contributions are speech and should be protected, the floodgates of anonymous political contributions have opened. But does absolute funding corrupt absolutely? Find out in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
19/11/2248m 17s

Did Shakespeare really write all that stuff?

The question of Shakespeare's authorship has been around since at least the mid-1800s. Is there anything to it? We'll dig in to this dense topic to find out.See for privacy information.
17/11/2255m 4s

Short Stuff: Incomplete Yawns

Is there anything – anything – worse than a yawn you can’t finish? It’s hard to think of anything else and as your obsession with yawning like a normal human being grows it only becomes more difficult. Why? Why?!See for privacy information.
16/11/2210m 10s

The Sordid History of Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties

When it comes to pre-wedding festivities, bachelor and bachelorette parties take the penis-shaped cake. Learn all about these sordid affairs today.  See for privacy information.
15/11/2256m 36s

Selects: Finders Keepers: Real Law

You know that heartbreak of the schoolyard – finders keepers, losers weepers? That’s actual law in a great many grown up places. Enter the murky legal world of finding something that belongs to someone else, from buried treasure to a misplaced ring. Learn all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
12/11/2238m 50s

How Owls Work

It’s time for another great animal episode and in this one we swoop into the world of owls – nature’s greatest silent predator who (hooo) also look very cute and intelligent. Not to mention they can turn their heads 270 degrees.See for privacy information.
10/11/2251m 55s

Short Stuff: Dodleston Messages

It’s not everyday that a message from the 16th century appears on a computer from the 1980s, so when that happened it caught an English couple’s attention and launched a still-unresolved mystery  - across tiiiiiiime!See for privacy information.
09/11/2214m 13s

What's so important about legal precedent?

Legal precedent is an odd thing. It matters, but it isn't codified. There are advantages and disadvantages. Let's all dive in and take at STARE DECISIS today. See for privacy information.
08/11/2251m 17s

Selects: What is an invasive species?

Invasive species can mean a lot of things, from fungus to feral pigs and European starlings to kudzu vines. Basically, it's anything brought to a place, either by humans or nature, that didn't originate there. They aren't always a problem, but many times they can wreak havoc on the local ecosystem. Learn all about these invaders in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
05/11/2250m 51s

Vaudeville: Step Right Up!

In today's episode, you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about vaudeville, whether you like it or not. See for privacy information.
03/11/2251m 9s

Short Stuff: Birth Certificate Access

It’s unjust but true – if you are an adoptee in the US you may not have the same right to access your birth certificate that someone who wasn’t adopted does. The quest to access a birth certificate can be a legal rigamarole that may or may not work.See for privacy information.
02/11/2211m 2s

The Harvey's Casino Bombing of 1980

In August of 1980 a bomb containing 1,000 pounds of dynamite was quietly delivered to Harvey’s, a casino and resort at Lake Tahoe. This kicked off a whirlwind caper that lasted 30 hours and ended up nearly demolishing the 11-story resort.See for privacy information.
01/11/2240m 24s

Selects: How Vampires Work

Out of obligation, Chuck and Josh mention Twilight, but it is the longstanding vampire lore that gets the most attention in this examination of how the bloodsucking undead evolved from baby-stealing demonesses to suave counts in our collective psyche. Explore the wild world of vampires in this spooky classic episode.See for privacy information.
29/10/2250m 39s

The 13th Annual Halloween Spooktacular!

It's hard to believe, but this is our 13th edition of the Halloween Spooktacular! So pour up a creepy brew and gather the kids for a dramatic reading of two horror shorts. See for privacy information.
27/10/2250m 31s

Short Stuff: Robert the Doll

Robert the Doll is decidedly creepy. So is his story. Listen in to this spooky tale right now!See for privacy information.
26/10/2214m 21s

The Tale of the Bloody Benders

Long before we knew what serial killers were, a family in remote Kansas was disposing of victims at their family farm. Listen in to the Tale of the Bloody Benders if you dare!See for privacy information.
25/10/2248m 24s

Selects: 10ish Cases of Really Bad Luck

Some guys have all the luck, some guys have all the pain. So said Rod Stewart. And if this list is any indication, “guys” is gender neutral. Listen to this classic episode as Chuck and Josh cover some instances of amazingly bad fortune, most of it true!See for privacy information.
22/10/2250m 11s

Fundamentalism: Menace II Society

Fundamentalism is usually thought of as a problem religions have to deal with, but not all fundamentalists are religious. And no matter what their belief system, fundamentalism is inherently antisocial and a problem for everyone.See for privacy information.
20/10/2257m 54s

Short Stuff: Water Towers

Water towers are so ubiquitous you can look right past them, despite them being giant balls of water thrust triumphantly skyward. Learn about these surprisingly ingenious but simple inventions designed to keep you alive.See for privacy information.
19/10/2211m 26s

The History of Fake Towns.

There have been a lot of fake towns built throughout history for a lot of different reasons. Tune in to learn about some of these bogus burgs. See for privacy information.
18/10/2251m 3s

Selects: How Pompeii Worked

What must be one of the most famous natural disasters in history took place when Mt Vesuvius buried Pompeii in 79 CE. But when the town was resurrected 1700 years later, a new chapter in its history was written. Learn all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
15/10/2250m 27s

10 Cases of Mistaken Identity

There’s a lot that can go wrong when your identity is at question. Charged with abandoning a baby? Check. Years in prison? That too. Accused of assassinating the head of Hamas? Why not. Learn about the travails of some unlucky saps in this episode.See for privacy information.
13/10/2242m 34s

Short Stuff: Blaschko's Lines

Did you know you have stripes? It’s true, you just can’t see them. Learn all about these little-known lines today!See for privacy information.
12/10/2212m 31s

Doppelgängers: Hey you, you're me!

Seeing your near twin is probably pretty weird. But could there be a genetic commonality as well? You bet  there could!  See for privacy information.
11/10/2247m 37s

Selects: Josh and Chuck's List of Horror Movies that Changed the Genre

Once in a while a movie comes along that's so forward-thinking it changes the way that horror is done. A new subgenre is spawned, new tropes are established, and audiences are more terrified than ever. Hear about these pivotal works in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
08/10/2259m 26s

How License Plates Work

The first tags were required just a few years after the firs cars debuted, as a way to catch jerks scaring horses and running down pedestrians. A century on, they continue to protect both. Plus they’ve accrued some interesting history along the way.See for privacy information.
06/10/2255m 56s

Short Stuff: Scratching

Listen in today as we salute turntablism, aka, record scratching.See for privacy information.
05/10/2213m 46s

Vinyl Records: Black Magic at Work

Despite reading all about how vinyl records are recorded and made, it's still a bit like black magic to us. Dive in and learn all about the coolest music medium.See for privacy information.
04/10/2259m 20s

Selects: How Clowns Work

Jesters of some sort have been around since ancient Egypt and China. Our modern clown was invented around 1800 and ever since they have been getting steadily creepier. Learn all about clowns in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
01/10/2246m 48s

How The Rosenhan Experiment Worked

In 1973 a study was published in Science where psychologist David Rosenhan revealed he had duped hundreds of psychiatric workers by planting perfectly sane pseudopatients within their hospitals and every last one went unnoticed.See for privacy information.
29/09/2252m 56s

Short Stuff: Curse Tablets

Curse tablets are exactly what you think - tablets with curses inscribed on them. But what were they used for, and when did people do this? Hit play and those answers shall be revealed!See for privacy information.
28/09/2210m 25s

Vasectomies: Stop Being A Wimp

You can uncross your legs you big babies. Getting a vasectomy isn’t bad at all – recovery time is a breeze, pain is minimal, and you can consider it a gift to your partner. Learn the real deal on vasectomies (and get 20% off with our code: STUFF).See for privacy information.
27/09/2244m 25s

Selects: How LSD Works

In 1943 Swiss chemist Albert Hofman discovered he'd created what may be the most potent hallucinogen known to humankind. Then he took a bike ride. Learn about the chemistry, neurology, history and cultural impact of LSD-25 in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
24/09/221h 16m

Sitcoms Part II

Listen in now for part II of our homage to sitcoms. See for privacy information.
22/09/2236m 36s

Short Stuff: Laugh Tracks

Laugh tracks have been around since the early 1950s and it’s all thanks to one (reviled) sound engineer who invented them. But as much as people like to hate laugh tracks most shows wouldn’t be at all funny without them.See for privacy information.
21/09/2215m 31s

Sitcoms Part I

Traditional multi-camera sitcoms have fallen out of style in recent years, but the golden age of the genre lives on with streaming services. Sitcom will never go away completely. Join us for part I.See for privacy information.
20/09/2231m 10s

Selects: Frida Kahlo: Painter, Icon, Genius

Frida Kahlo was a painter who transcended her own work to became an icon. Learn all about her fascinating and inspiring life and work in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
17/09/2247m 36s

Pearls: Second Best Thing About Oysters

Pearls are super cool. And humans figuring out how to make them is even cooler. Learn all about the most interesting gemstone today!See for privacy information.
15/09/2250m 19s

Short Stuff: Hangry?

When you’re hungry, you’re not yourself. So say the good people at Snickers and it turns out science backs it up. Being hangry is a verifiable thing, we’re just not quite sure yet what’s going on.See for privacy information.
14/09/2212m 26s

The Georgia Guidestones: The Elite Have a Laugh

In 1980 the “rural as rural can be” town of Elberton, Georgia erected a granite monument with a bizarre set of instructions (commandments?) that touched on eugenics, population control, and living in harmony with nature. Conspiracy theorists went wild.See for privacy information.
13/09/2253m 40s

Selects: What Happened to the Neanderthals?

As recently as 40,000 years ago we lived among humans from an entirely different species – Neanderthals. About the same time our species showed up, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Just what happened to the other guys? Did our ancestors do something … bad? Find out in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
10/09/2250m 55s

Everything We Know About Squids

Squids are very closely related to our old friend the octopus, but there are some key differences. You can learn all of this and more by simply clicking the play button right now. See for privacy information.
08/09/2243m 9s

Short Stuff: RIP Man of the Hole

The Man of the Hole has died and we're pretty sad to hear it. Listen in to our tribute to this solitary hero today.See for privacy information.
07/09/2212m 19s

Did Mallory Make it to the Top of Everest First?

George Mallory was a member of the first three European expeditions to Everest, world’s tallest mountain. He wanted to summit it so badly, he gave his life trying. Since that fateful day in 1924, climbers have wondered – was Mallory the first to summit?See for privacy information.
06/09/2252m 6s

Selects: How the Pony Express Worked

For as long a shadow as it casts across the history of the Old West, the Pony Express was a failed business venture, doomed from the start, that only lasted 18 months. But since the last rider headed out with his bag of mail, its legend has only grown. Learn all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
03/09/2245m 1s

Rolling Stone Magazine

Part celebration and part take down, this episode on Rolling Stone magazine dives into the highs and lows of one of America's iconic rags.See for privacy information.
01/09/2251m 39s

Short Stuff: Mason-Dixon Line

The dividing line between the North and South is purely political. But the story of its creation is pretty interesting.See for privacy information.
31/08/2212m 36s

We Need More Sustainable Packaging, Like, Yesterday

Since the advent of single-use plastics, we’ve become awash in waste. Barrels of petroleum are extracted, turned into plastics that contain products, which are then opened and the containers thrown away. It’s a bonehead process start to finish.See for privacy information.
30/08/2250m 36s

Selects: Knife Throwing: Super Cool

Sure knives can cut through a steak or slash through jungle vines, but probably the coolest thing you can do with a knife is throw it. At a person mounted to a wooden wheel. Spinning around. While you’re blindfolded. Learn all about the impalement arts in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
27/08/2241m 35s

Kissing Cousins: A History of Marrying Family

Despite the overall creepiness of it, marrying family members is way more common than you might think, both historically and today. Ewwww!See for privacy information.
25/08/2249m 34s

Short Stuff: Marrying Up

The idea of "marrying up" is as old as the hills, but things are, and have been, changing for quite a while. And this episode explains it all.See for privacy information.
24/08/2213m 13s

Introvert or Extravert: Which are you? (Probably both)

The world isn’t divided into cat people and dog people, or Beatles fans and Rolling Stones fans (or neither). What really divides us is introversion or extraversion, right? Turns out people just aren’t that binary and all of us are a little of both.See for privacy information.
23/08/2247m 36s

Selects: How Gossip Works

You know what I heard? That Josh and Chuck hate each other and they're just faking being friends for the show. That's called gossip, folks and it can do serious damage. Learn all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
20/08/2236m 58s

How Enemas Work

If you think about it, enemas are kind of gross. And if you don’t now you definitely will by the end of this wild ride of an episode. All who make it through the whole way earn SYSK bragging rights. We now wonder why we ever chose to record it.See for privacy information.
18/08/2240m 51s

Short Stuff: Selling the Brooklyn Bridge

You've heard the phrase "If you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you." But did you know it's based in truth?See for privacy information.
17/08/2211m 24s

Mariachi: The Rodney Dangerfield of Music

Mariachi bands have a bad rap as nothing more than "restaurant music." But there is a rich and long cultural tradition many people are missing and the music deserves our respect. Listen in today!See for privacy information.
16/08/2253m 46s

Selects: Desert Survival: Josh and Chuck Save Your Tookus

The chances are pretty low that you’ll find yourself lost in the desert, but on the off chance you do you’ll thank yourself that you listened to this classic episode, where we guide you to safety. See for privacy information.
13/08/2245m 36s

The Origins of Breakfast Foods

Who doesn't love breakfast? But do you know where most of the typical breakfast foods come from? Well listen in to find out.See for privacy information.
11/08/2253m 5s

Short Stuff: The Berners Street Hoax

A full 200 years on, we're still talking about one of the most sweeping hoaxes of all time. See for privacy information.
10/08/2210m 57s

What's the deal with energy drinks?

Chuck hates them, Josh has flirted with them. Energy drinks. Listen in to learn all about this canned speed. See for privacy information.
09/08/2247m 39s

Selects: How Droughts Work

Droughts can be an inevitable feature of a local climate or a catastrophic result of human meddling. In this classic episode, learn the ins and outs of droughts including the American mother of them all, the Dust Bowl.See for privacy information.
06/08/2251m 39s

Thrill to the Stunning Bicameral Mind Hypothesis

Psychologist Julian Jaynes came up with a stunning hypothesis in 1976, that human consciousness only developed in the last 3000 years. And he seemed to have proof in ancient texts. Scholars have been picking it apart ever since and today we join the club.See for privacy information.
04/08/2249m 46s

Short Stuff: Divorcing Your Parents

It really happens! But most people call it emancipation of a minor. Either way, there's some interesting legal stuff in here.See for privacy information.
03/08/2212m 12s

Silly String: Disaster in a Can

It's been a while since we tackled a classic toy, so here we go with all you ever wanted to know about Silly String.See for privacy information.
02/08/2239m 23s

Selects: Some Movies That Changed Filmmaking

An estimated 50,000 films were made worldwide in 2009 alone. Many are surely clunkers, but in this episode Chuck and Josh talk about the ones that emerged throughout cinema history to change the course of all movies that followed. Get your popcorn and lean back while you enjoy this classic episode.See for privacy information.
30/07/2257m 8s

How Menstruation Works

Two dudes talking about menstruation? You bet! And there’s no way you could be any more nervous to listen than we were to record it. But give it a listen, we think you’ll find it enlightening – whether you menstruate or not.See for privacy information.
28/07/2257m 38s

Short Stuff: The Mars Rock with Signs of Life?

In 1996, real-deal NASA scientists announced they had discovered signs of ancient microbial life in a rock that had broken off Mars and landed on Antarctica. The news set off a controversy still going today. Do we already have proof of alien life?See for privacy information.
27/07/2215m 8s

Where Did Human Intelligence Come From?

We humans are smart, to be sure, but if we’re so smart then how come we can’t figure how we got so smart in the first place? Think about that! We sure did and we go over some theories in this super interesting episode.See for privacy information.
26/07/2246m 8s

Selects: What's the misery index?

Economists love their data because somewhere in the numbers lies the answer to the ills of the country. They also love to frame data in a way people can relate to. Such is the case with the famous "misery index." Learn all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
23/07/2244m 50s

Googie: The Architecture of the Space Age

You may not have heard of it, but you’ve definitely seen it before – 50s buildings with bright, loud colors, roofs at crazy angles, and space-age shapes like starbursts. It turns out that Googie architecture is as fun to look at as it is to say.See for privacy information.
21/07/2255m 57s

Short Stuff: Death from Astral Projection

In 1975, yoga enthusiast Robert Antoszczyk retired to his room in a group house in Ann Arbor, MI to try a meditation technique that would allow him to astrally project his spirit. He died, never coming out of his meditative state. What happened?See for privacy information.
20/07/2215m 33s

Supernovae: Best Around, Case Closed

Face it, supernovae are the most interesting phenomena in the universe. Black holes are cool, but did you know they sprout from a supernova? What could be cooler than a star exploding so powerfully, the flash it creates shines for months after?See for privacy information.
19/07/2241m 45s

Selects: What Happens When the Government Thinks You're Dead?

It’s bad enough when the government knows you’re alive – there are taxes to pay, laws to be followed, all sorts of boring and unpleasant things. But each year, thousands of Americans find out life is far, far worse when the government thinks you are dead. Learn all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
16/07/2239m 2s

Why Bowling is Awesome

Bowling is awesome. It just is. And if you don't think so, maybe take a listen to today's episode. See for privacy information.
14/07/2259m 40s

Short Stuff: Catatumbo Lightning

Catatumbo lightning is one of nature's most amazing displays of showiness, with strikes occurring 28 times per minute for nine hours a day, 300 days a year. So take cover and take a listen.See for privacy information.
13/07/2211m 24s

Mangroves: Nature's Best Tree?

Mangroves are incredible survivors and adapters. They're also amazing at lessening the impact of tropical storms and climate change. And heck, they're cool looking. So jump into the brackish waters and have a listen.See for privacy information.
12/07/2244m 6s

Selects: How Ayahuasca Works

One day in the Amazon Basin, a shaman put together a plant containing DMT with a vine that allows the body to absorb DMT. The combination, a foul-tasting, wildly hallucinogenic brew called ayahuasca, has changed cultures throughout the Americas. Learn all about it in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
09/07/2245m 23s

The Maya Civilization

After inspiration from Chuck's recent trip to the Yucatan, the fellas dive into the Maya Civilization. See for privacy information.
07/07/2253m 46s

Short Stuff: Alligator Gar

The alligator gar is one scary looking fish. Learn all about these monsters in today's episode.See for privacy information.
06/07/2211m 2s

How Ultraprocessed Foods Work

Ultraprocessed is a new term for junk food, but it means much more than that – it’s also a cautionary tale for the way we’re supposed to cook and eat, using real food and sitting down with friends and family. But who has the time and money to do that?See for privacy information.
05/07/2257m 20s

Selects: How Freak Shows Worked

Not too long ago, people would pay money to gawk and stare at a performer with a physical disformity. They were called freak shows and they began in large part thanks to P.T. Barnum, whose circus we still enjoy today. Sounds awful, but some of these performers became rich folks as a result. Exploitive? You decide, after taking in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
02/07/2248m 40s

A Dispassionate Review of Roe v Wade

Given the landmark undoing of Roe v Wade, Chuck and Josh lay out all the relevant facts of the 1973 case.See for privacy information.
30/06/2259m 31s

Short Stuff: What did we use before infant formula?

There's an infant formula shortage. But infant formula is relatively new. So what did we do before it was perfected? Listen in and learn already!See for privacy information.
29/06/2212m 41s

How Alien Contact Might Work

If we ever found evidence of intelligent alien life (or they found us) what would we say? Who would say it for us? These seemingly silly questions are vitally important depending on your view.See for privacy information.
28/06/2250m 9s

Selects: Chiggers: The Phantom Menace

Chiggers are tiny little mites capable of making your life miserable. Worse than mosquitoes? Maybe. But they aren't insects - mites are actually part of the arachnid family and behave a little like ticks. Learn all about these nearly invisible pests in this classic episode.See for privacy information.
25/06/2232m 32s

What's up with bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery can also be called weight loss surgery. Some people think it's a highly underused tool to fight obesity. Others think it's a shortcut. We discuss all the ins and outs in this week's episode.See for privacy information.
23/06/2248m 13s
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