Stuff You Should Know

The Tragic Tale of Floyd Collins

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 21 Mar 2023 09:00

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.

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

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 18 Mar 2023 09:00

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 Jo

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Arcades: Nostalgia Abounds

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 16 Mar 2023 13:41

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.

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Short Stuff: John Cage's 639 Year Concert

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 15 Mar 2023 09:00

John Cage was a unique artist to say the least. Learn all about this avant-garde composer today.See for privacy information.

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That's Amaro!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 14 Mar 2023 16:16

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 More

Selects: The Time Nazis Invaded Florida

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 11 Mar 2023 10:00

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 infor

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Woodstock: The Festival for Stardust, Golden Hippies

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 09 Mar 2023 15:34

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.

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Short Stuff: Paprika

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 08 Mar 2023 10:00

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.

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Noncompete Agreements, Come On

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 07 Mar 2023 10:00

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 noncompete

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Selects: Live From San Francisco: How Malls Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 04 Mar 2023 10:00

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

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Crosswords episode, perhaps?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 02 Mar 2023 10:00

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.

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Short Stuff: La Pascualita

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 01 Mar 2023 10:00

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 infor

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The Awe-Inspiring, Absolutely Crucial Amazon

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 28 Feb 2023 10:00

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 o

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Selects: Who Committed the 1912 Villisca Ax Murders?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 25 Feb 2023 10:00

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

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Naps: Chuck's Secret Talent

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 23 Feb 2023 10:00

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 omnystud

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Short Stuff: Sleeping On It

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 22 Feb 2023 10:00

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 Listen/Read More

The Mystery of the Lost Amber Room

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 21 Feb 2023 10:00

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 inf

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Selects: The Max Headroom Affair

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 18 Feb 2023 10:00

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

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The Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 16 Feb 2023 10:00

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

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Short Stuff: Beulah Mae Donald

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 15 Feb 2023 10:00

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 informatio

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The Glorious Flamingo

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 14 Feb 2023 10:00

Flamingos are much more than just pretty pink birds. They are in fact, quite remarkable! Listen and learn…See for privacy information.

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Selects: Cave Diving: Totally Nuts

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 11 Feb 2023 10:00

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 prett

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How (O)possums Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 09 Feb 2023 14:22

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

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Short Stuff: No Shirt, No Shoes, WTF

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 08 Feb 2023 10:00

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

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Honey: Nature's Wonder Sugar

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 07 Feb 2023 10:00

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.

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Selects: How Easy Bake Ovens Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 04 Feb 2023 10:00

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 Listen/Read More

The Largely Equine History of Veterinary Medicine

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 02 Feb 2023 17:09

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.

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Short Stuff: Bird Migration

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 01 Feb 2023 10:00

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 informat

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Must We Suffer Emotional Pain?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 31 Jan 2023 16:06

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 t

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Selects: Elephants: The Best Animals?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 28 Jan 2023 10:00

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.

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How Attachment Theory Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 26 Jan 2023 16:12

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 c

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Short Stuff: Adam's Apples and Throat Lumps

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 25 Jan 2023 10:00

This week's short stuff is all about throat lumps and Adam's apples.See for privacy information.

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Let's Talk About John DeLorean

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 24 Jan 2023 10:00

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 omnyst

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Selects: How Game Shows Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 21 Jan 2023 10:00

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 <

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Toast: As in browned bread

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 19 Jan 2023 15:11

Toast is bread that has been browned by heat. It's delicious. This is our ode to toast.See for privacy information.

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Short Stuff: Women Pirates

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 18 Jan 2023 10:00

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 priva

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The Louisiana Purchase: Not a Purchase

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 17 Jan 2023 10:00

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

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Selects: How Therapeutic Hypothermia Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 14 Jan 2023 10:00

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 t

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How Tarot Works?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 12 Jan 2023 10:00

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 b

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Short Stuff: Forest Lawn Memorial Park

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 11 Jan 2023 10:00

Forest Lawn is no ordinary cemetery. Why? Listen in and find out.See for privacy information.

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How Enron Fooled the World

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 10 Jan 2023 10:00

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 worke

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Selects: How Perfume Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 07 Jan 2023 10:00

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 cl

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When Mount St. Helens Blew Its Top

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 05 Jan 2023 10:00

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 inf

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Short Stuff: Dangers of Nose Picking

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 04 Jan 2023 10:00

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 informati

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The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (not the song)

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 03 Jan 2023 10:00

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 informati

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Selects: Could There Be A Loch Ness Monster?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 31 Dec 2022 10:00

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?

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show Podcast Episode

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 29 Dec 2022 10:00

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

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Short Stuff: Mesas: Flat

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 28 Dec 2022 10:00

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.

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Juicy: The Fried Chicken Story

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 27 Dec 2022 10:00

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 om

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2022 Holiday Spectacular!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 22 Dec 2022 10:00

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 omnyst

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Short Stuff: Snow Globes

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 21 Dec 2022 10:00

See for privacy information.

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Who was Dorothy Parker, really?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 20 Dec 2022 10:00

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 pri

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

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 17 Dec 2022 10:00

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 wan

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Interesting Origins of Everyday Phrases

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 15 Dec 2022 10:00

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 More

Short Stuff: The Atlanta Washer Woman Strike

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 14 Dec 2022 10:00

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 omnystudio.

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How the Nintendo Entertainment System Changed Gaming Forever

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 13 Dec 2022 10:00

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

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Selects: How Polar Bears Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 10 Dec 2022 10:00

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

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True Crime: The Phantom of Heilbronn

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 08 Dec 2022 10:00

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 Heilbr

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Short Stuff: Birthday Paradox

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 07 Dec 2022 10:00

The Birthday Paradox involves math, so you know this one will go perfectly.See for privacy information.

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How Face Blindness Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 06 Dec 2022 10:00

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 Listen/Read More

Selects: The Rubik's Cube Episode

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 03 Dec 2022 10:00

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 p

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How Down Syndrome Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 01 Dec 2022 10:00

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 skyroc

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Short Stuff: Goosebumps

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 30 Nov 2022 10:00

Goosebumps are a pretty cool evolutionary holdover from our earlier days as furry beasts. Don't believe us? Listen in. See for privacy information.

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Peripersonal Space: Humans’ Got Talent

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 29 Nov 2022 10:00

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

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Selects: How Umami Works!

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 26 Nov 2022 10:00

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 Listen/Read More

Roller Skating: Fun and Cool

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 24 Nov 2022 10:00

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

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Short Stuff: Liquid Paper

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 23 Nov 2022 10:00

Correction fluid goes by many names, but the OG was Liquid Paper. And it has a pretty cool origin story. See for privacy information.

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Typewriters: Mechanical Brilliance

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 22 Nov 2022 10:00

Chuck loves typewriters because he loves mechanical brilliance. Dive into the cool history of these amazing machines today. See for privacy information.

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Selects: How Dark Money Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 19 Nov 2022 10:00

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

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Did Shakespeare really write all that stuff?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 17 Nov 2022 10:00

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 priva

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Short Stuff: Incomplete Yawns

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 16 Nov 2022 10:00

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 Listen/Read More

The Sordid History of Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 15 Nov 2022 10:00

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 infor

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Selects: Finders Keepers: Real Law

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 12 Nov 2022 10:00

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 rin

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How Owls Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 10 Nov 2022 05:00

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 Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: Dodleston Messages

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 09 Nov 2022 10:00

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 Listen/Read More

What's so important about legal precedent?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 08 Nov 2022 09:00

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 pri

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Selects: What is an invasive species?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 05 Nov 2022 09:00

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 man

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Vaudeville: Step Right Up!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 03 Nov 2022 09:00

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.

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Short Stuff: Birth Certificate Access

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 02 Nov 2022 09:00

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 wor

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The Harvey's Casino Bombing of 1980

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 01 Nov 2022 09:00

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.Se

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Selects: How Vampires Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 29 Oct 2022 09:00

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 psy

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The 13th Annual Halloween Spooktacular!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 27 Oct 2022 15:37

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

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Short Stuff: Robert the Doll

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 26 Oct 2022 09:00

Robert the Doll is decidedly creepy. So is his story. Listen in to this spooky tale right now!See for privacy information.

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The Tale of the Bloody Benders

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 25 Oct 2022 09:00

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

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Selects: 10ish Cases of Really Bad Luck

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 22 Oct 2022 09:00

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

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Fundamentalism: Menace II Society

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 20 Oct 2022 09:00

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 Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: Water Towers

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 19 Oct 2022 09:00

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 Listen/Read More

The History of Fake Towns.

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 18 Oct 2022 09:00

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

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Selects: How Pompeii Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 15 Oct 2022 09:00

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

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10 Cases of Mistaken Identity

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 13 Oct 2022 09:00

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

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Short Stuff: Blaschko's Lines

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 12 Oct 2022 09:00

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.

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Doppelgängers: Hey you, you're me!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 11 Oct 2022 09:00

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.

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

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 08 Oct 2022 09:00

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 classi

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How License Plates Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 06 Oct 2022 09:00

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 wa

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Short Stuff: Scratching

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 05 Oct 2022 09:00

Listen in today as we salute turntablism, aka, record scratching.See for privacy information.

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Vinyl Records: Black Magic at Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 04 Oct 2022 09:00

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 p

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Selects: How Clowns Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 01 Oct 2022 09:00

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 Listen/Read More

How The Rosenhan Experiment Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 29 Sep 2022 11:00

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 Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: Curse Tablets

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 28 Sep 2022 09:00

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 omnystudi

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Vasectomies: Stop Being A Wimp

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 27 Sep 2022 09:00

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).

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Selects: How LSD Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 24 Sep 2022 09:00

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.

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Sitcoms Part II

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 22 Sep 2022 12:18

Listen in now for part II of our homage to sitcoms. See for privacy information.

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Short Stuff: Laugh Tracks

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 21 Sep 2022 09:00

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 Listen/Read More

Sitcoms Part I

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 20 Sep 2022 09:00

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 Listen/Read More

Selects: Frida Kahlo: Painter, Icon, Genius

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 17 Sep 2022 09:00

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 priv

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Pearls: Second Best Thing About Oysters

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 15 Sep 2022 09:00

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.

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Short Stuff: Hangry?

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 14 Sep 2022 09:00

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 Listen/Read More

The Georgia Guidestones: The Elite Have a Laugh

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 13 Sep 2022 14:27

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

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Selects: What Happened to the Neanderthals?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 10 Sep 2022 09:00

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 somethin

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Everything We Know About Squids

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 08 Sep 2022 09:00

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

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Short Stuff: RIP Man of the Hole

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 07 Sep 2022 09:00

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.

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Did Mallory Make it to the Top of Everest First?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 06 Sep 2022 09:00

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 s

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Selects: How the Pony Express Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 03 Sep 2022 09:00

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 g

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Rolling Stone Magazine

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 01 Sep 2022 09:00

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.

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Short Stuff: Mason-Dixon Line

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 31 Aug 2022 09:00

The dividing line between the North and South is purely political. But the story of its creation is pretty interesting.See for privacy information.

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We Need More Sustainable Packaging, Like, Yesterday

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 30 Aug 2022 09:00

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.Listen/Read More

Selects: Knife Throwing: Super Cool

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 27 Aug 2022 09:00

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

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Kissing Cousins: A History of Marrying Family

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 25 Aug 2022 09:00

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.

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Short Stuff: Marrying Up

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 24 Aug 2022 09:00

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.

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

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 23 Aug 2022 09:00

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 bot

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Selects: How Gossip Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 20 Aug 2022 09:00

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 Listen/Read More

How Enemas Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 18 Aug 2022 09:00

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.Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: Selling the Brooklyn Bridge

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 17 Aug 2022 09:00

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.

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Mariachi: The Rodney Dangerfield of Music

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 16 Aug 2022 13:58

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 Listen/Read More

Selects: Desert Survival: Josh and Chuck Save Your Tookus

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 13 Aug 2022 09:00

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 Listen/Read More

The Origins of Breakfast Foods

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 11 Aug 2022 09:00

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.

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Short Stuff: The Berners Street Hoax

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 10 Aug 2022 09:00

A full 200 years on, we're still talking about one of the most sweeping hoaxes of all time. See for privacy information.

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What's the deal with energy drinks?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 09 Aug 2022 09:00

Chuck hates them, Josh has flirted with them. Energy drinks. Listen in to learn all about this canned speed. See for privacy information.

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Selects: How Droughts Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 06 Aug 2022 09:00

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 Listen/Read More

Thrill to the Stunning Bicameral Mind Hypothesis

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 04 Aug 2022 13:20

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 t

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Short Stuff: Divorcing Your Parents

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 03 Aug 2022 09:00

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.

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Silly String: Disaster in a Can

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 02 Aug 2022 11:00

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.

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Selects: Some Movies That Changed Filmmaking

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 30 Jul 2022 09:00

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

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How Menstruation Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 28 Jul 2022 09:00

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 Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: The Mars Rock with Signs of Life?

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 27 Jul 2022 09:00

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?

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Where Did Human Intelligence Come From?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 26 Jul 2022 09:00

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 Listen/Read More

Selects: What's the misery index?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 23 Jul 2022 09:00

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

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Googie: The Architecture of the Space Age

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 21 Jul 2022 09:00

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.Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: Death from Astral Projection

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 20 Jul 2022 09:00

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?Listen/Read More

Supernovae: Best Around, Case Closed

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 19 Jul 2022 09:00

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?Listen/Read More

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

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 16 Jul 2022 09:00

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 a

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Why Bowling is Awesome

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 14 Jul 2022 16:33

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.

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Short Stuff: Catatumbo Lightning

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 13 Jul 2022 09:00

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 omnys

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Mangroves: Nature's Best Tree?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 12 Jul 2022 14:27

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 Listen/Read More

Selects: How Ayahuasca Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 09 Jul 2022 09:00

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. L

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The Maya Civilization

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 07 Jul 2022 09:00

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

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Short Stuff: Alligator Gar

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 06 Jul 2022 09:00

The alligator gar is one scary looking fish. Learn all about these monsters in today's episode.See for privacy information.

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How Ultraprocessed Foods Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 05 Jul 2022 09:00

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 t

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Selects: How Freak Shows Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 02 Jul 2022 09:00

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 the

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A Dispassionate Review of Roe v Wade

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 30 Jun 2022 09:00

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.

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Short Stuff: What did we use before infant formula?

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 29 Jun 2022 09:00

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 informati

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How Alien Contact Might Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 28 Jun 2022 12:48

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 om

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Selects: Chiggers: The Phantom Menace

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 25 Jun 2022 09:00

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 pes

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What's up with bariatric surgery?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 23 Jun 2022 11:49

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 Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: Do Fish Get Thirsty?

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 22 Jun 2022 09:00

One of the greatest questions we’ve ever heard, answered (in a roundabout way).See for privacy information.

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The Appalachian Trail: A Heckuva Hike

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 21 Jun 2022 09:00

A few short years after the hiking trails from Maine to Georgia were connected into the world’s longest hiking-only footpath, a WWII vet walked the whole thing in one go. He kicked off a challenge that’s still taken on by thousands of people each

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Selects: How Steadicams Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 18 Jun 2022 09:00

There have been many inventions that have advanced filmmaking, but maybe none as important as the steadicam. Invented in the mid-70s, it literally changed the way movie making happened, and made the impossible possible. Learn about the fascinating

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What were the IRA hunger strikes?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 16 Jun 2022 15:01

In the early 1980s, imprisoned IRA members went on a prolonged hunger strike, leading to the death of ten men. This is their story.See for privacy information.

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Short Stuff: HR8 Gun Legislation

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 15 Jun 2022 09:00

Today we dive into HR8, a gun bill supported by 90% of Americans that will likely never get through the Senate.See for privacy information.

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How Wind Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 14 Jun 2022 09:00

Beloved egghead Buckminster Fuller said the wind doesnt blow, it sucks. And he was pretty much right, depending on your perspective. Find out how everything from the hurricane to summer breeze makes life on Earth possible.See Listen/Read More

Selects: How Drowning Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 11 Jun 2022 09:00

Hundreds of thousands of people drown around the world every year, and yet it can be easily prevented and is widely misunderstood like how you can officially drown but live to tell the tale, or how you can drown but die days later. Learn a

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The 4-minute Mile: Greatest Sports Story?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 09 Jun 2022 14:18

Nobody thought the 4-minute mile was humanly possible, until it was. The story of how it happened is remarkable. So sit back and take a listen.See for privacy information

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Short Stuff: Cleveland’s Infamous 10-Cent Beer Night

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 08 Jun 2022 09:00

In 1974, the Cleveland (then Indians) baseball club held an unlimited 10 cent beer promotion to attract fans to the game. An actual riot broke out.See for privacy informa

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How Freedom of the Press Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 07 Jun 2022 09:00

Countries around the world capitalist democracies to communist unitary states guarantee a free press in their constitutions. It turns out, though, that there is a galaxy of methods for subverting a free press. Find out why that mat

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Selects: How Satanism Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 04 Jun 2022 09:00

Satanism may be the most misunderstood "religion" in the world. Part of that is because there are, and have been, many offshoots of Satanism, from The Church of Satan to The Satanic Temple. One thing is sure though, none of them are filled with ev

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Kidney Donation: You Could Be A Saint!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 02 Jun 2022 09:00

Kidneys are one of the few organs that you can donate while youre alive. And the vast majority of donors experience no complications and their remaining kidney functions just fine. Yet thousands of people die each year waiting for a donated

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Short Stuff: Happy Foods!

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 01 Jun 2022 09:00

Some foods make you happy. But they aren't necessarily comfort foods. You know what they call that? SCIENCE!See for privacy information.

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The Scintillating World of Interest Rates

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 31 May 2022 15:02

When the Fed raises interest rates a half point, the world market reacts. But why does this tiny percentage make such a difference? Listen and learn!See for privacy infor

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Selects: Waterbeds: The Sexiest Bed?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 28 May 2022 09:00

Waterbeds came and went pretty quickly in the United States, but despite their marketing as sex beds, they were actually invented to deliver a great night's sleep. Learn all about these super 70's beds in this classic episode.See Listen/Read More

The Myth of Absinthe

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 26 May 2022 09:00

Absinthe makes you hallucinate and possibly even have a seizure, right? Nope. It's all a part of the myth of absinthe, which is really just a bitter tasting liquor with a bad reputation.See om

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Short Stuff: Do people move in predictable directions?

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 25 May 2022 09:00

Depending on where you are in the world, you either have an instinct to go left or right when entering a place. Learn all about this today.See for privacy information.Listen/Read More

Cats: Invasive Species?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 24 May 2022 09:00

Josh and Chuck wade into dangerous waters with the debate over just how destructive cats are for local ecosystems (turns out its pretty bad) and some ideas on what to do about that (you may not want to know). Tune in and tense up!See

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Selects: The Disappearance of the Yuba County Five

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 21 May 2022 09:00

In 1978, five friends set out for home from a basketball game. The next day, their car was discovered in a lonely mountain road. The next spring, their bodies began to turn up. What happened that night remains a mystery to this day. Explore what w

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What's in a surname?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 19 May 2022 12:59

Surnames are way more interesting that you think, trust us. Just hit play and prepare to be wowed.See for privacy information.

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Short Stuff: Artificial Banana Flavor

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 18 May 2022 09:00

In the Watermelon episode, Chuck and Josh stumbled into a bit of little-known history about why artificial banana flavor doesnt taste like bananas. Turns out it does; it just tastes like a banana youve probably never eaten.See

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Squirrels, Ahoy!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 17 May 2022 14:13

Squirrels are rodents, sure, but theyre rodents with personalities the size of Las Vegas and Detroit put together. Get to know your bushy-tailed (and sometimes not so bushy) neighbors who live interesting hidden lives right out in the open.

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Selects: How Lizzie Borden Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 14 May 2022 09:00

Everybody knows how many whacks Lizzie Borden gave her mother and father with that axe, but there is plenty about the infamous double homicide that remains unresolved, like who actually did it. Travel into the mystery of Lizzie Borden in this clas

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Rhinoplasty, aka Nose Jobs

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 12 May 2022 09:00

Nose jobs have been around a lot longer than you think. And the process is pretty interesting. Tune in for all things rhinoplasty.See for privacy information.

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Short Stuff: Fainting At The Sight Of Blood

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 11 May 2022 09:44

As many as 15% of people faint when they see blood! And its not just blood that gets them. It can be an injury or even a needle. Learn about this fascinating phobia in this episode.See omnyst

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What are land acknowledgments?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 10 May 2022 09:00

Land acknowledgements are all the rage in some parts of the world. But they also open a can of worms if not done properly. Learn all about this increasingly common practice today.See omnystudi

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Selects: How Champagne Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 07 May 2022 09:00

Sure we can all agree that champagne is probably the greatest thing humans have or ever will invent, but how much do we understand how it's made? Learn all about it in this classic episode.See omnys

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Marcus Garvey: Black Moses

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 05 May 2022 09:00

One of the more controversial black leaders, Marcus Garvey divided black and white Americans with his assertion of black pride, and sowed division in the black community as well. Yet, possibly no one has had more global impact on black lives than

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Short Stuff: Shar Pei

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 04 May 2022 04:00

Today we dive into the lovable folds of the Shar Pei.See for privacy information.

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The Mystery of Coal

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 03 May 2022 12:55

Theres a mystery afoot! Almost all of the coal we use around the world was created in the same 60 million year period. Before or after that relatively short window of time, not so much. Just what exactly explains this geological mystery?Listen/Read More

Selects: How Rodney Dangerfield Worked, Live From LA

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 30 Apr 2022 09:00

Other comedians cry on the inside, but Rodney Dangerfield built his entire act around his sad life. Get to know this legendary comic who was nearing 50 when he got his break, in this classic episode recorded live in LA.See Listen/Read More

Understudies: Hardest Workers on Broadway?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 28 Apr 2022 09:00

Being an understudy is far more challenging than simply learning the lines of a lead actor in case of emergency. Learn all about these unsung stage heroes today.See

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Short Stuff: Smelly Homes

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 27 Apr 2022 09:00

Does your house smell? No? What if we told you its impossible for you to know whether it does or not?See for privacy information.

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By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 26 Apr 2022 09:00

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Selects: The Baffling Case of the Body On Somerton Beach

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 23 Apr 2022 09:00

Since his corpse was found in 1948, wearing a nice suit in summer on an Australian beach, an unidentified man has refused to fade into obscurity, gripping the imagination of sleuths around the world. Learn all about the mystery in this classic epi

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Just Say No to... Bottled Water

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 21 Apr 2022 09:00

Bottled water is huge business, and terrible for the environment. But where did this all start? Listen in and learn.See for privacy information.

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Short Stuff: Salute the Grilled Cheese

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 20 Apr 2022 09:00

Today we pay tribute to the comfiest of comfort food, the grilled cheese sandwich.See for privacy information.

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The Christine Collins Story

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 19 Apr 2022 12:40

When Christine Collins' son disappeared in 1928, she thought that was the worst that could happen. What followed was more upsetting than any parent could imagine.See

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Selects: What happens to abandoned mines?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 16 Apr 2022 09:00

Did you know there are as many as 500,000 abandoned mines in the US, but the federal government knows where only 30,000 of them are? Learn about how these places go from money pit to death trap when mine companies simply walk away, in this classic

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How Mensa Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 14 Apr 2022 13:21

Most of us know Mensas a smart people club. And that Geena Davis is a member. But did you know it was originally intended as a rolodex when the government needed the UKs most intelligent minds? And that the Kansas City chapter staged

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Short Stuff: Animal Politicians

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 13 Apr 2022 09:00

Small towns around the world have a longstanding tradition of nominating and voting for animals in elected positions like mayor and some animals have made it to being nominated for president.See Listen/Read More

The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 12 Apr 2022 09:00

If you've ever been to Philadelphia then you've probably walked right by a Toynbee Tile embedded in the street. But what's the meaning on these mysterious installations, and who is doing it? Listen in to find out.See Listen/Read More

Selects: A Partial History of Action Figures

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 09 Apr 2022 09:00

Action figures have a long and glorious history. From GI Joes to Star Wars figures, these offshoots of dolls came along at just the right time to capture the hearts and minds of children everywhere. Learn all about the partial history of action fi

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The Delightful History of Pubs

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 07 Apr 2022 12:49

In today's episode, Chuck and Josh dive into the wonderful history of the public house. So pull up a stool, grab a pint and have a listen.See for privacy information.

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Short Stuff: The Church Choir That Didn't Explode

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 06 Apr 2022 09:00

Perhaps the most amazing coincidence ever documented took place when a church in a tiny town in Nebraska exploded in 1950.See for privacy information.

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Watermelons: Nature's Gift to the World

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 05 Apr 2022 13:35

Turns out most people love watermelons. Why? Because they're delicious. And they also have a pretty interesting history. Check it out.See for privacy information.

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Selects: How No-fly Zones Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 02 Apr 2022 09:00

They have become such a ubiquitous tool used by the UN and NATO to intervene in international crises, that it seems like no-fly zones have been around forever. But it was only the 1990s that the first one was enacted and they've only be used twice

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What’s NATO All About?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 31 Mar 2022 07:01

NATO formed at a time when Russia threatened Europe as a potential invader. Then the Soviet Union broke up and NATO lost its way for a bit. Now Russias back to business as usual and NATO has found its purpose again, protecting peace in Euro

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Short Stuff: Greenbrier Bunker

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 30 Mar 2022 09:00

The Greenbrier Bunker was a secret nuclear hideout for Congress, until it wasn't. Once it was exposed as a thing, it ceased to be a thing. Listen in to a fascinating short stuff today!See omnystudio

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How Light Pollution Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 29 Mar 2022 09:00

Artificial light at night, aka light pollution, affects almost everyone on Earth. And not just people trees, plants, animals, insects, and marine life are affected by our propensity to light up everything we can. Learn what you YOU

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Selects: The Tylenol Murders, Part II

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 26 Mar 2022 10:00

The panic that began in Chicago spreads and begins to change the world. The investigation into the murders turns up leads and suspects, but still no one has ever been charged with the murders. It remains unsolved to this day. Find out the extent o

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Selects: The Tylenol Murders, Part I

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 26 Mar 2022 09:00

On one terrible day in Chicago in 1982, seven people died suddenly and mysteriously. In just a matter of hours, it becomes clear, someone has poisoned bottles of Extra-Strength Tylenol, one of the most trusted and widely-used products in America.

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The Truth Behind Cage-Free and Free-Range

By iHeartPodcasts/Fri, 25 Mar 2022 13:07

Youd think terms like cage-free and free-range means the chickens we eat are frolicking happily in the fresh air under the shining sun, but youd be so, so wrong. Cage-free is a huge improvement but free-range is lacking and both have

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Short Stuff: Magnet Fishing

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 23 Mar 2022 09:00

Magnet fishing has nothing to do with fish. It's more like metal detecting in waterways. Please enjoy our take!See for privacy information.

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Why was Titicut Follies banned?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 22 Mar 2022 09:00

Titicut Follies is a documentary made famous by its banning. But why was it banned? And what was it even about? Listen in to learn all you need to know about this infamous doc.See omnystudio.c

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Selects: How Hate Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 19 Mar 2022 09:00

Hate is generally defined as an extreme hostility to something or someone, usually stemming from fear, anger or a sense of injury. But how does it work? Join Josh and Chuck in this classic episode as they dig into the nature of hate.See Listen/Read More

How Rewilding Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 17 Mar 2022 13:48

A big new push toward nature conservation (and saving the planet) is based on a simple premise: remove humans from the equation and let nature take its own course.See for

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Short Stuff: Nose Breathing

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 16 Mar 2022 09:00

Nose breathing mouth breathing for many reasons. Listen and learn!See for privacy information.

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Operation Northwoods: The False Flag Op That Never Was

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 15 Mar 2022 14:49

There is presumably some very dark, very depressing stuff in the annals of Americas secret history. But perhaps the darkest classified document to see the light of day was the memo that called for faked attacks on the US to justify invading

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Selects: A Brief Overview of Punk Rock

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 12 Mar 2022 10:00

Punk rock really needs about 10 episodes to do it justice, but we'll try and tackle anyway. Learn all about this movement right now in this classic episode.

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Aleister Crowley: Blowhard Narcissist?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 10 Mar 2022 10:00

Aleister Crowley was known as the "wickedest man in the world." But was he really just a blowhard narcissist? You decide! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwo

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Short Stuff: Great Smog of London

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 09 Mar 2022 10:00

In 1952 London was gripped by a acrid smog that settled throughout the city so thickly residents couldn’t see their own feet on the sidewalk.

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Behold, National Parks!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 08 Mar 2022 13:15

The National Park system is one of America's great achievements. We'll take you on a journey, from sea to shining sea, in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.

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Selects: How Tabloids Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 05 Mar 2022 10:00

Having started as an egalitarian answer to 19th-century newspapers, tabloids came to peddle shock and sleaze. They've cleaned up a bit, but they remain the world's guilty pleasure. Learn more about the fascinating history of tabloids with Chuck and J

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How Effective Altruism Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 03 Mar 2022 13:51

A branch of philanthropy led by philosophers is dedicated to finding the most impactful ways to help humans survive and thrive. Anyone can find that agreeable, but it can be tough to hear it also means your donations to local charities are kind of

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Short Stuff: Friends of Dorothy

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 02 Mar 2022 10:00

The gay community had to use code not too many years ago and one way they identified was as “Friends of Dorothy.” So who was Dorothy?

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What's the deal with phantom pain?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 01 Mar 2022 14:33

Phantom pain is when you sense pain from a lost limb. We don't entirely know how why, but we have some ideas. Listen in to find out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheart

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Selects: Is the Pied Piper About a Real Historic Tragedy?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 26 Feb 2022 10:00

In the German town of Hameln a tragedy that took place on a specific date in 1284 and befell specifically 130 children is commemorated every year. Aside from those two details, the event is cloaked in mystery. What about the Pied Piper fairy tale is

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How Mindfulness Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 24 Feb 2022 14:49

What has become a buzz word for corporate retreats and a way to get a discount on your health insurance is, at its core, a powerful, centuries-old Buddhist method of moving through life and dealing with the suffering that inevitably comes along wi

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Short Stuff: Commensalism

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 23 Feb 2022 10:00

What's commensalism? Sort of nature's way of sponging off something, but that something doesn't mind. If that doesn't make sense, take 12 minutes to listen and find out for yourself.

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The Improbable Story of Martin Guerre

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 22 Feb 2022 14:39

Like most 16th-century French peasants, Martin Guerre’s life seemed likely to be lost to history. But a strange series of events took place that would so cement the legend surrounding him that we’re talking about him still today, 450 years later.<

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Selects: How Moss Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 19 Feb 2022 10:00

Think you have moss figured out? You probably don't. Join Josh and Chuck in this classic episode as they explore some of the surprising aspects of these most ancient and important plants on the planet.

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The Ins and Outs of Albinism

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 17 Feb 2022 10:00

Today we dive into the science behind the genetic condition albinism, which is not pronounced how you think it is. Learn more about your ad-choices at

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Short Stuff: Cassowary

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 16 Feb 2022 10:00

Australia is home to a kind of bird that is the second largest in the world and can kill a human being, making it the closest living version of a velociraptor? Of course it is!

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Leeches: Oh Hell No!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 15 Feb 2022 16:46

Leeches are pretty creepy. They feed on blood, they stick to you body. We get it. But they're also pretty fascinating and worthy of discussion. Learn more about your ad-choices at https:/

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Selects: The Ins and Outs of Beekeeping

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 12 Feb 2022 10:00

Who wants fresh honey? We do! Learn all about the ancient art of beekeeping today in this classic episode.

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Littering: Not Cool

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 10 Feb 2022 10:00

The history of litter is in lock step with the history of disposable packaging. Learn all about this nasty habit today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork

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Short Stuff: Schmidt Stinging Pain Index

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 09 Feb 2022 10:00

If you want to know how the pain from that yellowjacket sting on your arm compares to stings from other insects, you need look no further than the body of work of entomologist Justin O. Schmidt.

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The Chowchilla Bus Kidnapping

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 08 Feb 2022 14:27

The largest ever kidnapping case in the United States went down in the small town of Chowchilla, CA. Learn all about it today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcas

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Selects: What's the Deal With Staring?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 05 Feb 2022 10:00

Gazing too long upon another person is almost universally viewed as anywhere from impolite to hostile, which is odd considering science isn't fully certain why we stare - and why we're so good at knowing when we're being stared at. Learn all about it

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How the Nobel Peace Prize Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 03 Feb 2022 14:28

The Nobel Peace Prize is perhaps the most prestigious award in the world, yet there are plenty of other similar awards. What is it about this one that makes it so honored? And how did the guy who invented dynamite end up creating a peace award?Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: Firewalking

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 02 Feb 2022 10:00

It’s pretty amazing to see a human walk over a bed of hot coals – until you learn the physics beneath it. Then it’s just fairly impressive.

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How Tacos Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 01 Feb 2022 10:00

It’s Taco Tuesday! If you like eating tacos, you’re going to love learning all about them in this delectable episode. You’ll realize how much you’ve taken tacos for granted and just what a debt we owe our friends in Mexico for inventing them.<

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Selects: How Sloths Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 29 Jan 2022 10:00

Everyone knows sloths are super slow, but do you know they’re slow because their bodies produce an astoundingly small amount of energy? And did you know that might be an adaptation that protects them from predators? Sloths are awesome and we prove it

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How Forgiveness Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 27 Jan 2022 10:00

For most of history, forgiveness fell under the domain of religion. But in the 1980s science started investigating it and found that forgiving someone is really, really good for you. Learn how anybody can be the better person in this really great

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Short Stuff: Arctic Fox

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 26 Jan 2022 10:00

The Arctic Fox is one of the cutest critters on the planet. It also has an amazing ability to survive the coldest temps on Earth. Dive into the snow and listen today!

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Tug of War

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 25 Jan 2022 10:00

Tug of War is a simple display of strength, but is there more to it than that? Listen in to find out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee Listen/Read More

Selects: How SETI Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 22 Jan 2022 10:00

SETI stands for 'search for extraterrestrial intelligence,' and the term is used to describe both the SETI institute and the search for alien life in general. In this classic spaced-out episode, Josh and Chuck explore the origin, aims and challenges

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How Classified Information Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 20 Jan 2022 10:00

The government loves to mark just about any information as secret, which wouldn’t be a big deal if it wasn’t so contrary to running a healthy democracy. Learn more about your ad-choices at Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: Jaywalking

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 19 Jan 2022 12:44

Jaywalking is a crime. Sort of. But why? Learn all about this weird law today.

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Rock Paper Scissors: Decider of Things

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 18 Jan 2022 14:48

Rock Paper Scissors is a child's game. But it's more than that if you can believe it, and it has a pretty cool history as well. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodca

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Selects: Project Azorian: The CIA's Super 70s Mission To Steal A Sunken Soviet Sub

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 15 Jan 2022 10:00

In 1974 the CIA undertook one of its most brazen operations – secretly raising a sunken Soviet submarine lost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean right under the noses of the Russian Navy. With the help of billionaire recluse Howard Hughes, obviously.

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What were the black codes?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 13 Jan 2022 10:00

The black codes were proposed laws that basically tried to keep a form of slavery alive and well after the end of the Civil War. It didn't last long but the shadow of those codes still exist today.

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Short Stuff: Fortune Cookies

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 12 Jan 2022 10:00

Everything you thought you knew about fortune cookies is wrong. Learn all the right stuff in this episode.

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The Circleville Poison Pen Letters Mystery

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 11 Jan 2022 10:00

For 20 years, a tiny town in Ohio was held enrapt by the prolific author of a series of unhinged letters. By the time they abruptly stopped, the letters – which revealed terrible secrets – had claimed a life and sent a possibly innocent man to prison

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Selects: Carl Sagan: American Hero

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 08 Jan 2022 10:00

Carl Sagan was the world's first mainstream media super scientist, capapble of breaking down complex ideas for the common folk. But what made him tick? Billions and billions of great ideas. Explore his life and legacy with Josh and Chuck in this clas

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Ants! Part 2!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 06 Jan 2022 10:00

The exciting conclusion of Ants Part 2!

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Short Stuff: The Casket Racket

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 05 Jan 2022 10:00

And you thought we were done with talking about funeral homes. Well guess again!

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Ants! Part 1!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 04 Jan 2022 14:10

Ants are pretty much amazing. So we're gonna spend two episodes talking all about them. Please enjoy!

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Selects: Horoscopes: Written in the Stars?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 01 Jan 2022 10:00

A lot of people read their daily horoscopes, but does anyone really take stock in them? Turns out the answer is yes, even though there is no evidence of their accuracy. Learn all about horoscopes today in this classic episode.

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Cookies! Cookies! Cookies!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 30 Dec 2021 10:00

No, we didn’t find another international distress signal we forgot to mention in our Mayday! Short Stuff, we’re just that jazzed about our episode on cookies. Are they even better than cakes? It’s up to you to listen and decide!

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Short Stuff: Traffic Signals

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 29 Dec 2021 10:00

The history of traffic signals is way more interesting than you might think. Trust us.

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Unsung Heroes of the Court

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 28 Dec 2021 10:00

Attorneys and judges get all the press. What about bailiffs, court reporters and sketch artists? Yeah, let's give them their due.

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Selects: How Tipping Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 25 Dec 2021 10:00

Tipping is commonly expected in some places, such as U.S. restaurants. Yet this practice varies across cultures. Join trivia gurus (and former waiters) Josh and Chuck in this classic episode as they take a closer look at the history, practice and con

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SYSK’s 2021 Glad Tidings Bonanza Holiday Special

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 23 Dec 2021 10:00

Josh and Chuck’s holiday mojo has returned and they’re back in the saddle to rustle up some holiday cheer. So put on your comfiest sweater, ugly or otherwise, grab a mug of whatever makes you happy, gather round with your favorite people, and listen

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Short Stuff: Christmas Cards

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 22 Dec 2021 10:00

You ever thought about where those cards you send out during the holidays came from? Prepare to do just that!

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How Snowmen (And Snowwomen) Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 21 Dec 2021 05:00

The details may vary but building snowmen is pretty much universal where there’s snow. Humans have probably been making them for tens of thousands of years. But it wasn’t until the last century or two that they have become the winter icon they are to

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Selects: Star Wars Holiday Spectacular

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 18 Dec 2021 10:00

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

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Kidney Stones: No! Please, NO!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 16 Dec 2021 10:00

Kidney stones are widely considered the most painful affliction a person can endure, even worse than labor. And in rare cases they can even kill. Learn all about how these things you really, really don’t want form and pass in this faint-inducing epis

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Short Stuff: Charity Tips

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 15 Dec 2021 10:00

It's the end of the year so we thought we might give you some advice on how to better pick out a charity, Short Stuff style.

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Palm Trees: Technically, Giant Plants

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 14 Dec 2021 10:00

Palm trees. You see them all over the world and for good reason. There are more than 2,500 varieties. Learn all about these giant plants today.

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Selects: How the Terracotta Army Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 11 Dec 2021 10:00

In 1974, Chinese farmers discovered the first of what would number 7,000 terracotta soldiers meant to protect China's first emperor in the afterlife. Learn all about them in this classic episode.

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What's the deal with blue people?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 09 Dec 2021 10:00

The famous blue people of Kentucky are no longer blue. But why were they like that in the first place?

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Short Stuff: Funny Bone

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 08 Dec 2021 10:00

Hitting your funny bone doesn’t just hurt, it feels really weird too. That’s because you’re not hitting a bone at all, but instead the most vulnerable nerve in your body.

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Why Do Great Flood Myths Seem To Be Universal?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 07 Dec 2021 10:00

If look into the mythology of just about any culture in the world, you will find a myth about a great flood that destroyed humanity and submerged the Earth in the distant past. Does this mean that a great flood actually happened?

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Selects: What Is Collective Hysteria?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 04 Dec 2021 10:00

Throughout the history of the world, there have been many cases of what is known as collective hysteria - groups of people, usually young women, who all exhibit the same physical symptoms of non-existent conditions. Is it psychosomatic? Is it group t

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Your Gut Is Also A Brain

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 02 Dec 2021 13:19

Your gut – not your spare tire, but your digestive tract – is deceptively smart. Not only does it handle processing food and nutrients, but the hundreds of trillions of bacteria that live in your gut may actually be telling your brain what to do too.

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Short Stuff: SINA

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 01 Dec 2021 10:00

In the 1950s a group dedicated to clothing animals out of a sense or morality gained momentum. “A nude horse is a rude horse!” was their battle cry.

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The Twisted History of Dentistry

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 30 Nov 2021 10:00

If you think going to the dentist now is not fun, just wait until you hear about what they did in the Middle Ages.

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Selects: Why Do Lefties Exist?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 27 Nov 2021 10:00

For at least the last 200,000 years, between 10-15% of the human population are left-handed and this fact has utterly left science baffled. In searching to explain handedness, all sorts of contradictory evidence has emerged, creating a fascinating my

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By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 25 Nov 2021 10:00

Pythons are big snakes. Really big. But there's more to them than their size. Learn all about these big daddies in today's episode.

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Short Stuff: Mayday!

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 24 Nov 2021 10:00

Say it three times and help may arrive. But where did "Mayday!" come from? Listen in to find out.

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The Apache Wars

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 23 Nov 2021 10:00

America’s longest-running war was between the US government and the loosely-confederated groups we know as the Apache. As their lands were encroached upon, the Apache pushed back with disastrous consequences, nearly becoming exterminated.

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Selects: How Hoarding Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 20 Nov 2021 10:00

You may be familiar with compulsive hoarding from TV, but something that’s often missing from those shows and the news is the deep and overwhelming shame that this disorder creates in its victims who are neurologically incapable of parting with their

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Why Is DC Not A State?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 18 Nov 2021 10:00

The residents of Washington, D.C., the capital of the oldest democracy in the world, are not allowed to pass their own laws without the federal government agreeing with them first. That’s because DC is not a state, something DC residents want to chan

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Short Stuff: The Paper Dress Fad

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 17 Nov 2021 10:00

There was a brief period when it was highly on trend to wear a super short dress made out of paper. Learn why right now!

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Hot Dog!(s)

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 16 Nov 2021 10:00

No, there aren’t snouts and anuses in your hot dogs, so go ahead and chow down. There are, however, plenty of other things that may give you pause so listen to this episode where we dissect the beloved hot dog and poke around inside.

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Selects: How Feng Shui Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 13 Nov 2021 10:00

Feng Shui is an Asian concept that strives to unlock your chi by how your home or office is arranged. Or at least that's the simplified "Western" version. It's a little more complicated than that in reality. We'll unlock your chi by explaining how fe

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The Flannan Isles Mystery

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 11 Nov 2021 14:41

In December 1900 three lighthouse keepers vanished without a trace from a deserted island in Scotland. To this day no one knows exactly what happened to them.

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Short Stuff: Your Dirty Bed

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 10 Nov 2021 10:00

Is your bed dirty? You bet it is. Are chimpanzee beds dirty? Not as dirty as yours!

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What are blue laws?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 09 Nov 2021 15:22

Blue laws are laws that restrict certain activities on certain days. Are they antiquated? Yes! Are they still around? In some places, yes!

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Selects: The Stories Behind A Few Food Fads

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 06 Nov 2021 09:00

America loves to go nuts over new food trends and it turns out that the 20th century was a boon time for them. Revisit them with Josh and Chuck in this classic episode.

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The Rock Ampersand Roll Hall of Fame

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 04 Nov 2021 09:00

Cleveland rocks! So said the city of Cleveland when they lobbied for the "Rock Hall" way back in 1985. Since then the museum has grown and evolved amidst great support and controversy.

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Short Stuff: Friendly Floatees

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 03 Nov 2021 09:00

In 1992 more than 28,000 rubber ducks got loose in the ocean and began a decades-long experiment in oceanography.

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How mRNA Vaccines Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 02 Nov 2021 13:39

The two mRNA Covid vaccines are the first vaccines to come out of a new field of immunology and represent such an amazing leap forward that they are taking us into a new era of medicine. Learn all about them so you can set your uncle straight.

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Selects: What is folklore?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 30 Oct 2021 09:00

What is folklore? Turns out it's just about anything you can think of that's shared by more than two people. Art, literature, stories, dance, music, traditions, even those family heirlooms qualify. Turns out folklore is pretty neat. Learn all about i

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2021 Halloween Spooktacular!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 28 Oct 2021 13:59

Dim the lights and join Josh and Chuck for their annual spooky Halloween story reading.

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Short Stuff: Most Haunted House in England

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 27 Oct 2021 09:00

In the 1930s paranormal investigator declared Borley Rectory the “most haunted house in England” – and with good cause!

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Salem Witchcraft Trials: More Bonkers Than You Know

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 26 Oct 2021 12:26

Looking back 300 years on, it’s easy to overgeneralize why the Salem Villagers decided to persecute (and execute) their neighbors. But as much as this story has become an American history chestnut, we still don’t understand why Salem lost its mind.

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Selects: Will We Find Evidence of Aliens by Their Engineering Projects?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 23 Oct 2021 09:00

In 1960 physicist Freeman Dyson suggested that in the hunt for alien life, we should search for evidence of massive engineering projects that encapsulate stars with solar arrays to harness their energy. Could we humans ever make one ourselves? Find o

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Harry Houdini: More than Magic

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 21 Oct 2021 14:20

Harry Houdini was a master magician. He was also a movie star. And an inventor. And an aviator. Listen and learn all about the late great illusionist.

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Short Stuff: Bloody Mary

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 20 Oct 2021 09:00

In this edition of Short Stuff we may accidentally conjure a deadly spirt, so look out!

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Heat Waves!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 19 Oct 2021 13:12

Heat waves are one of the easiest natural disasters to overlook yet they kill more people in the US than any other natural disaster (and maybe all others combined). And if climate predictions prove correct, they’re going to get longer and hotter.

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Selects: Why is Venice so wet?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 16 Oct 2021 09:00

Venice, Italy has a problem. It's sinking, and the water around it is rising. Thankfully, some engineers are working hard on the MOSE project - huge gates that keep high tide from happening. Learn all about Venice in this classic episode.

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Noise Pollution: Arrrgh!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 14 Oct 2021 09:00

If you’ve ever found your blood pressure rising because some guy down the street doesn’t know how to keep the trigger on a leaf blower pulled all the way, then you’ve experienced noise pollution. Not only is it annoying, it turns out it’s deadly too!

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Short Stuff: Jack O'Lanterns and Sleepy Hollow

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 13 Oct 2021 15:44

We launch our spooky October episodes with a little bit on Jack O' Lanterns and Sleepy Hollow.

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Venus Flytraps: Plant or Monster?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 12 Oct 2021 09:00

After looking into the Venus Flytrap, we quickly moved it to the top of our favorite plant list. Part plant, part monster? What's not to love? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://w

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Selects: How X-Rays Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 09 Oct 2021 09:00

Like many huge discoveries, X-rays were accidentally stumbled upon. That serendipity led to a medical breakthrough still in use today. Learn about how X-rays are created and why they make such delightful images of our bones, in this classic episode.

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The Tale of the Church of the SubGenius

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 07 Oct 2021 09:00

The Church of the SubGenius is a religion, but really a parody of religion. Learn all about this group of weirdo outsiders in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://w

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Short Stuff: Dingoes!

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 06 Oct 2021 09:00

Are dingoes dogs? Not really? Then what are they? Listen in to find out.

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Research Bias: Sort It Out, Science

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 05 Oct 2021 09:00

There’s a sticky issue scientists have to deal with – science is carried out by humans. We humans have flaws (and how) and they can end up in our work. Fortunately, science is waking up to research bias. In the meantime, here’s what to look out for.

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Selects: How Empathy Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 02 Oct 2021 09:00

Empathy can often be confused with sympathy and regular old compassion. But it's not exactly either one of those. Some say a lack of empathy can indicate sociopathic tendencies, but that's not always true either. So what is empathy and what makes som

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All About Alligators

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 30 Sep 2021 12:09

Here at SYSK, we love alligators? Why? Because they're basically living dinosaurs. Dive in (metaphorically) and swim with these beasts today!

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Short Stuff: Exploring Irish Monk

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 29 Sep 2021 09:00

There’s a long-standing legend that an Irish monk was the first European to sail to America - in 500 CE! Is there any evidence?

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How Numerology Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 28 Sep 2021 09:00

The premise of numerology - that numbers are responsible for our destinies and personalities - is plainly nuts, but the history and thinking behind it is too interesting to skip.

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Selects: Planned Obsolescence: Engine of the Consumer Economy

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 25 Sep 2021 09:00

If you’ve ever heard an old timer gripe that things aren’t built like they used to be, that old timer was right! In this classic episode, learn about the nefarious, possibly mythical, mechanism that’s responsible for the cruddy products and waste our

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The Statue of Liberty

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 23 Sep 2021 09:00

You've seen her there in NY Harbor, standing tall. But do you know the story of how she came to be? Learn all about the Statue of Liberty today.

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Short Stuff: Lake Erie's Rights

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 22 Sep 2021 09:00

The good people of Toledo, OH are leading the environmental pack by giving legal rights to Lake Erie to fight off polluters.

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How Mail Order Marriages Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 21 Sep 2021 09:00

Everybody knows mail order marriages are at best a last resort for jerks looking to boss a foreign spouse around or, at worst, a front for human trafficking. Or are they? Yes and no. Mail order marriage comes with nuance and a surprisingly long histo

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Selects: How Free Speech Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 18 Sep 2021 09:00

Freedom of speech and the press are values vital to American democracy. But the First Amendment doesn't really define free speech, and plenty of expressions are restricted. Learn all about the ins and outs of this cherished right in this classic epis

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What's the deal with crash testing?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 16 Sep 2021 14:55

Crash testing has been around since the 1930s, but only got serious in the 1970s. Today we dive in and learn all about why companies and the U.S. government purposefully wreck cars.

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Short Stuff: The Javelina

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 15 Sep 2021 09:00

Pigs, hogs, boars and javelinas. What's the difference? Tune in to find out.

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How Embalming Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 14 Sep 2021 09:00

The Death Suite continues! In this installment, Josh and Chuck go over what it takes to preserve a human body using chemicals and whether that’s such a good thing to do as far as the environment is concerned. Learn more about your ad-c

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Selects: Southerners Aren't Lazy and Dumb, They Just Had Hookworm

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 11 Sep 2021 09:00

There was a time when the lower classes of the American South were considered lazy and dimwitted, a stereotype that still somewhat survives today. But this stereotype was rooted in fact. Hookworms, it turns out, were sapping Southerners’ life force.

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How the Magna Carta Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 09 Sep 2021 09:00

In 1215 at Runnymede (doo dah, doo dah) the nobles and the king agreed to end a rebellion against the power of the English throne. While the treaty that emerged contained all sorts of arcane Medieval details, it also contained the seeds of Western li

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Short Stuff: Chameleons

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 08 Sep 2021 09:00

In today's short stuff, we bust a few myths about cute little chameleons.

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The Creepy Legacy of the Hotel Cecil

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 07 Sep 2021 09:00

The Hotel Cecil in downtown Los Angeles has had no less than 16 unnatural deaths, from suicides to murders and everything in between. Listen in to the history of this decidedly creepy hotel.

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Selects: How Temper Tantrums Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 04 Sep 2021 09:00

When your kid boils over in the grocery store, it can be tough to stay calm and ignore it, but that's precisely what experts prescribe parents do to deal with temper tantrums. Learn about the anatomy of a tantrum and the best way to deal in this clas

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Criminal Records: No Thanks!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 02 Sep 2021 13:09

And you thought our crime and punishment suite was finished. Not yet it isn't! Not before we cover criminal records. Learn more about your ad-choices at

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Short Stuff: Handwashing vs Dishwashers

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 01 Sep 2021 09:00

Josh and Chuck finally put to rest the age old debate over which is better – and learn a little about themselves along the way.

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How Trepanation Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 31 Aug 2021 09:00

One of the oldest medical procedures in human history is also one of the riskiest. For thousands of years humans carried a type of proto brain surgery where a hole would be cut into the skull. And they were pretty good at it too.

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Selects: Composting: Nature's Most Interesting Process

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 28 Aug 2021 09:00

You may think composting is just a bunch of old banana peels rotting away into dirt but, friend, you're not looking closely enough. Inside that compost pile is a microcosmic universe doing some magical stuff. Learn all about it with Josh and Chuck in

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Les Paul & Leo Fender Part II

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 26 Aug 2021 09:00

Today we continue the story of Les Paul and Leo Fender, inventors, innovators and rivals. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: Jackalope

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 25 Aug 2021 09:00

Jackalopes aren’t real, right? Wouldn’t you like to know, city slicker.

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Les Paul & Leo Fender Part I

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 24 Aug 2021 09:00

The story of Les Paul and Leo Fender defines rock and roll music. Listen in to part one of the tale of these two musical rivals.

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Selects: How Pet Psychics Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 21 Aug 2021 09:00

In the early 21st century a trend of people who claim to be able to telepathically and clairvoyantly communicate with animals has grown. Today, the concept of visiting a pet psychic to find a lost pet, find out why a pet is behaving badly or even to

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Y2K: Much Ado About Something

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 19 Aug 2021 14:32

Y2K was a special time when we all thought nothing bad would really happen at the stroke of midnight, but secretly worried the world would end. Turns out the mitigation efforts worked and we hardly noticed.

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Short Stuff: 5 Lazarus Species

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 18 Aug 2021 09:00

Lazarus species were thought to be gone, but had something else in mind. Today we talk about 5 of them.

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How MRI Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 17 Aug 2021 14:00

At long last Chuck and Josh dive into the nuts and bolts of what makes the Wonder Machine so wondrous and find it actually lives up to the years-long hype they’ve given it. Learn more about your ad-choices at Listen/Read More

Selects: How Animal Domestication Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 14 Aug 2021 09:00

It's strange to hear, but the transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture, including the domestication of wild animals, is the single biggest thing to ever happen to humanity. You can thank it for everything from kingdoms to Ebola. Learn all abo

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How Fireflies and Lightning Bugs Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 12 Aug 2021 09:00

Whether called fireflies, lightning bugs, or glow worms, the tiny, bioluminescent bugs that light up the evening are universally beloved. Which makes their sudden and swift decline very distressing. Listen to find out how you – YOU – can save the

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Short Stuff: Humpty Dumpty

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 11 Aug 2021 09:00

Humpty Dumpty is not a good nursery rhyme. And what was Humpty anyway? Listen in to find out.

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Child Labor: Not Funny

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 10 Aug 2021 09:00

Child labor is no laughing matter. Even though we've taken care of it in the USA (mostly), it's still an issue around the globe. Listen and learn! Learn more about your ad-choices at https

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Selects: How Landslides Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 07 Aug 2021 09:00

Landslides are a form of mass movement of the Earth, and with the amount of death and destruction they wreak on the people and towns they cover, their toll can be massive. Learn all about landslides with Josh and Chuck in this classic episode.

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How Transcendentalism Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 05 Aug 2021 14:42

Every teenager in America knows the transcendentalists were a handful of goofy 19th century philosophers who were into walking in the woods, but they were also so much more. Anyone who focuses on the beauty and the good in the world can’t be too w

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Short Stuff: Calamity Jane

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 04 Aug 2021 09:00

Calamity Jane is group with the legends of the Wild West. Who was she really? A tough woman who made her way in a tough world from the age of 12.

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The Three Christs of Ypsilanti Experiment

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 03 Aug 2021 09:00

In the early 1960s, one of the most unethical experiments in psychology’s history was quietly conducted in a state hospital in Michigan. It sought to upend the delusions of the three patients involved, but ultimately disabused the experimenter of his

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Selects: How Police Interrogation Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 31 Jul 2021 09:00

Every year, police across the U.S. get thousands of criminals to confess to their crimes. The trouble is, the procedure that almost all departments use is grounded in bad science and can produce false confessions. Learn about ways of making you talk

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How Sarcasm Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 29 Jul 2021 09:00

In this episode, we get to the bottom of why people sometimes talk like jerks some and how sarcasm isn’t all bad. Stand back everybody, this one is just soooo great. Learn more about your ad-choices at Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: Space Hurricanes

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 28 Jul 2021 09:00

Space hurricanes are officially a thing. What does that mean for us here on Earth? Probably not much.

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Conservatorships: #freebritney

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 27 Jul 2021 12:58

Britney Spears has made a lot of noise lately in her bid to nullify her conservatorship. But what are they even? Listen in to find out!

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Selects: How Mars Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 24 Jul 2021 09:00

Sure today Mars would kill you with its thin, toxic atmosphere and cold desert temperature swings of 100 degrees,but early on it and Earth were practically twins. Find out how the two planets diverged and if there might be life on the Red Planet, in

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The Origins of Some Everyday Superstitions

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 22 Jul 2021 09:00

Why exactly do we avoid walking under a ladder? Why is stepping on a crack in the sidewalk such a big deal? What kind of monster carries a rabbit’s foot in their pocket? The answers to these questions and more lie in wait ahead in this episode. Look

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Short Stuff: RICO Act

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 21 Jul 2021 09:00

If you’re even passingly interested in mobsters you’ve heard of the RICO Act, but most people don’t know how it actually works. Make your Goodfellas fandom more well-rounded with this explainer episode.

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Stranger Danger!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 20 Jul 2021 09:00

If you grew up in the 1980s, you thought you had a 50% chance of getting kidnapped every time you left your house. But like with the Satanic Panic and other 80s hysteria, it was much ado about (almost) nothing.

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Selects: How Ketchup Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 17 Jul 2021 09:00

Little-known fact: Ketchup, possibly the most all-American of condiments, evolved from fermented fish sauce people in Southeast Asia have been making for more than a thousand years. Learn more in this classic episode.

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How Reverse Osmosis Will Save the World

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 15 Jul 2021 11:49

Can we save the future of the human race with some thin membranes riddled with ultra-tiny holes? Science says yes! Thanks to reverse osmosis filtration, we can turn saltwater to fresh and finally say, Water, water everywhere so let’s all have a drink

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Short Stuff: Hanged, Drawn and Quartered

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 14 Jul 2021 09:00

The words "hanged, drawn and quartered" are an accurate description of the grizzly execution process. They're just not in the right order.

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The Radium Girls

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 13 Jul 2021 09:00

The Radium Girls painted watched with glow-in-the-dark radium in the 1920s and '30s. Most got sick, many died. This is their story.

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Selects: How Historic Districts Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 10 Jul 2021 09:00

A fascinating thing about Americans is that we can disagree on anything. Such is the case with historic districts – areas of historic importance protected by local laws. Seems innocuous, but are they also to blame for the affordable housing crisis? L

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SYSK Live: Koko, the Gorilla Who Talked

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 08 Jul 2021 09:00

Recorded live before the pandemic in January 2020 at the Castro Theatre for San Francisco Sketchfest, Josh and Chuck explore the 70s movement that attempted to teach apes human language and the Ape Language Wars that erupted from it.

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Short Stuff: Sulfanilamide Disaster

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 07 Jul 2021 09:00

In the 1920s, before the era of consumer protection, a poison entered the medicine supply and killed more than 100 people before the public health disaster could be stopped.

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The Sad Story of William James Sidis

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 06 Jul 2021 09:00

Are geniuses made or born? Listen in today to the story of child prodigy William James Sidis.

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Selects: Are good samaritan laws effective?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 03 Jul 2021 09:00

Good samaritan laws have been around for many years, helping to provide legal protections for people who try to help other people. But do they work? Listen to this classic episode and decide for yourself today!

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The Grand Ole Opry Cast

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 01 Jul 2021 19:08

Josh and Chuck take a virtual walk through country music's legendary music venue.

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Short Stuff: Beast of Gevaudan

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 30 Jun 2021 13:08

The first truly international news story covered a beast that terrorized the French countryside, eviscerating dozens of villagers for three years in the 1760s. How about that?

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Poison Control Centers: A Good Thing

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 29 Jun 2021 09:00

Poison control centers are one of those things you don’t think about until you need it. With all the poisons in our homes you very well may someday. When you do there is a cadre of toxicological specialists ready to oversee the process of saving your

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Selects: How Royalty Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 26 Jun 2021 09:00

In some nations royals are so ingrained in the national fabric they are considered part of the country. In this classic episode, Josh and Chuck take a look backward in time at the ancient tradition of despotism and unbridled privilege.

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How Faraday Cages Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 24 Jun 2021 09:00

Faraday cages are one of those peculiar miracles of nature that we can actually explain – not to mention, they save us from potentially fatal electrocutions and electronic eavesdropping which are bonuses. Learn about this amazing hidden technology he

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Short Stuff: Chastity Belts

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 23 Jun 2021 09:00

Were chastity belts real? Sort of. But not in the way you might think. Tune in to hear the real story.

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The Mystery of Damascus Steel

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 22 Jun 2021 12:06

Damascus steel and the recipe behind it remained a mystery for many years. But it turns out the key was a bygone ingredient. Listen in to this medieval mystery to learn all about it.

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Selects: Operation Mincemeat: How A Corpse Fooled the Nazis

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 19 Jun 2021 09:00

In World War II, a secret department of British ‘corkscrew thinkers’ hatched a plan to use the cadaver of an unclaimed homeless man to turn the tide of the war in the Allies’ favor. It worked. Learn all about it in this classic episode.

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How Venus Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 17 Jun 2021 09:00

Venus is so hot lead would melt on the planet’s surface. It spins backwards. Its year is shorter than its day. Venus is amazingly awesome.

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Short Stuff: Mojave Megaphone

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 16 Jun 2021 09:00

What is the Mojave Megaphone? Well, nobody really knows. Listen in today to learn about this desert mystery.

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Seven - No, Wait, Five - Mysteries of the Art World

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 15 Jun 2021 10:48

When you get a bunch of artistic types together into a community – aka, the art world – some intrigue and mystery are bound to arise. Listen in as Chuck and Josh cover strangeness around Van Gogh, Caravaggio, Raphael, and Vermeer – plus don’t miss Hi

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Selects: How Sea Monsters Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 12 Jun 2021 09:00

Legends of sea monsters are as old as humanity, and some ancient cultures even credited them with creating the universe. Learn more about humanity's attachment to seeing monsters in the deep in this classic episode.

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POGs: The 90s in a Bottle Cap

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 10 Jun 2021 09:00

Today, Chuck and Josh go down a 90s rabbit hole with another in their classic toy series. This time, they tackle the odd sensation that was POGs.

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Short Stuff: Chinatowns

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 09 Jun 2021 09:00

If you live in a major city in the USA, you probably have a Chinatown. Listen in and learn all about these unique cultural staples today.

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Slime Mold: 0% Mold, 100% Amazing

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 08 Jun 2021 09:00

If you’ve ever wandered past what looked like a pile of dog barf on a log during a hike in the woods, you’d just seen slime mold - one of the most perplexing organisms on Earth.

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Selects: Who was America's first murderer?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 05 Jun 2021 09:00

John Billington didn't just sign the Mayflower Compact -- he was also the colony's first criminal, and had the dubious honor of being the first European to be convicted of murder in this new place. But how did it happen? Tune in to this classic episo

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John Muir: Outdoor Enthusiast

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 03 Jun 2021 09:00

John Muir loved being outside. So much so that he dedicated his life to helping preserve it, but not without some controversy. Listen in to this decidedly nature-centric episode today!

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Short Stuff: Runner's High

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 02 Jun 2021 10:51

Listen in to today's short stuff to learn if a runner's high is really a thing.

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What Causes Inflation?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 01 Jun 2021 09:00

Inflation seems super boring, but if you know how it works (important point: no one really does) you can exist as a functioning human being in a modern economy.

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Selects: How Nitrous Oxide Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 29 May 2021 09:00

For about 175 years people have been huffing nitrous oxide for everything from vision quests to anesthetic to get plain old high. And after all that time we are only now beginning to understand how it works on our brains. Get the scoop in this classi

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Night Trap: The Video Game Failure that Changed the Industry

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 27 May 2021 09:00

In the early 90s a video game was released that changed the industry, despite poor sales and bad game play. That game was Night Trap. This is that story. Learn more about your ad-choices at Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: Parachute Emergency!

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 26 May 2021 09:00

Your parachute won’t open – now what?! Listen up to Josh and Chuck and you may make it out of this in one piece.

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How Cleft Lips and Palates Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 25 May 2021 09:00

Cleft lips and palates are common birth defects, but for the kids who have them (and their parents), its no small matter: Years of surgeries, therapy, and possibly lifelong health issues, not to mention the teasing that comes along with looking diffe

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Selects: How Hot Wheels Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 22 May 2021 09:00

If you're an American who had a childhood, you probably have some nostalgia for Hot Wheels. Get your engines revved for this trip down memory lane as we discuss these fun and iconic toys in this classic episode.

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Girl Scouts: More than cookie sellers

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 20 May 2021 11:36

We put our research to the test and it turns out the Girl Scouts is a great organization.

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Short Stuff: Speed Reading

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 19 May 2021 09:00

Back in the 60s and 70s, a speed reading craze broke out. Tough luck that speed reading is bunk.

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The Cleveland Torso Murders

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 18 May 2021 13:17

During the depths of the Great Depression, Cleveland’s most vulnerable and destitute residents were prey for one of history’s most horrific serial killers. The killer’s identity remains a mystery to this day.

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Selects: How Limousines Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 15 May 2021 09:00

The first limousines weren’t even cars! Learn all about the history of limousines, how they’re made and some of the most creative and expensive amenities you can find inside them in this classic episode with Josh and Chuck.

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How Monster Trucks Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 13 May 2021 12:15

If you’ve never seen a huge truck with gigantic tires do backflips or roll backward perched only on its two front tires, you haven’t lived yet. Chuck and Josh are here to ignite your interest. Learn more about your ad-choices at Listen/Read More

Short Stuff: Garter Snakes

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 12 May 2021 12:16

Garter snakes aren’t scary, they’re pretty great! Learn all the reasons why in this episode!

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The Ivy League

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 11 May 2021 15:49

The Ivy League is technically a sports conference, but it's much more than that. Enjoy this special 3D episode with your earbuds on and learn all about these revered, elite universities.

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Selects: How Snake Handlers Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 08 May 2021 09:00

Snake handling ranges from professional snake milkers for antivenin to religious handlers who tend to get bitten and sometimes die from it. Either way, it can be a dangerous business. Learn all about snake handling in this classic episode.

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How Uranium Mining Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 06 May 2021 12:05

Mining uranium is dangerous work. Not only does it involve mining, which is dangerous itself, uranium is also found alongside some very radioactive stuff. Learn the ins and outs of this thrilling endeavor in this episode of SYSK.

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Short Stuff: Squarer Than Wombat Poop

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 05 May 2021 09:00

One of the cutest animals on the planet is also the only one that squeezes out cube-shaped poop. Find out why today.

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The Appendix: No Respect

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 04 May 2021 09:00

The poor appendix. Despite findings that it serves a purpose, many people still cast it off as a second rate organ and the Rodney Dangerfield of organs. We aim to correct that notion. Learn more about your ad-choices at Listen/Read More

Selects: How Cave Dwellers Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 01 May 2021 09:00

You know the cavemen, a race of human cousins who lived exclusively in caves? They didn’t exist. Sure prehistoric hominids used caves sometimes but they lived in other places too. Luckily the time they spent in caves has given us a glance at their cu

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How Corporate Taxes Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 29 Apr 2021 09:00

There are lots of reasons to tax corporations: as a check on their power, to help pay for infrastructure, as a wealth tax. But the biggest reason economists cite for why they've stuck around is that everyday people think companies should have to p

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Short Stuff: Ivar The Boneless

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 28 Apr 2021 09:00

Was Ivar the Boneless a real Viking warrior? Probably. Did he really have no bones? Probably not.

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Truffles: Underground Treasures

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 27 Apr 2021 09:00

Truffles are rare, expensive and apparently delicious. Learn all about these earthy fungi today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee Listen/Read More

Selects: How Profiling Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 24 Apr 2021 09:00

At its base, criminal profiling is a legitimate investigatory tool. The Supreme Court has drawn a clear line that bans profiling when it includes race. So why do we still do it? Take a closer look with Josh and Chuck in this classic episode.

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How Stamp Collecting Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 22 Apr 2021 09:00

Over the last two centuries philatelists – stamp collectors – have learned just about everything there is to know about every stamp ever printed. You won’t by the end of this episode, but you might be interested enough to start yourself.

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Short Stuff: Madam C.J. Walker

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 21 Apr 2021 09:00

Join us today as we dive into the story of the first female self-made millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker.

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Mechanical Bulls!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 20 Apr 2021 09:00

Mechanical bulls are kind of weird, but they have certainly made a place in American pop culture over the years. Largely due to one movie, Urban Cowboy.

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Selects: How Tupperware Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 17 Apr 2021 09:00

Tupperware won immediate design acclaim when it was released in 1947, but it took a pioneering female executive to make a line of plastic food storage into an icon of the American postwar boom. Learn about the surprisingly intriguing history of Tuppe

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Hair Loss: The Pits

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 15 Apr 2021 09:00

Losing your hair is a situation that seems to be universally considered to absolutely stink. Unsurprisingly, humans have been trying all sorts of weird stuff to combat hair loss for millennia, but we’re only just now starting to get a handle on it.

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Short Stuff: Palindromes

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 14 Apr 2021 09:00

Chuck loves palindromes. So much that his very name is one. Oh wait...

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How the Electrical Grid Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 13 Apr 2021 09:00

The electrical grid that provides power to the US is one of those things you don’t give a second thought to until it stops working – then it’s tough to think about anything else. Learn why this engineering marvel is past its prime and how to update i

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Selects: The Unsolved Mystery Disappearance of the Sodder Children

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 10 Apr 2021 09:00

In 1945 a house fire took the lives of five children - except that their bodies were never found. In this classic episode, dive into the longstanding mystery of the odd circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the Sodder children.

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Muzak: Easy Listening Goodness

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 08 Apr 2021 19:38

Muzak got a bad reputation as bland garbage music. We aim to set the record straight.

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Short Stuff: Venus de Milo

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 07 Apr 2021 21:59

Step into today's short stuff to learn all about the armless wonder!

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Havana Syndrome: ¿Qué Diablos?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 06 Apr 2021 09:00

In 2016, diplomats at the American embassy in Cuba began suffering weird neurological symptoms after hearing strange noises. Some say it was a sonic attack using a secret weapon, but the Havana Syndrome remains a baffling scientific mystery to this d

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Selects: How Circus Families Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 03 Apr 2021 09:00

Don't be confused - this one is about actual circus acts made of family members, not the controversial comic strip. Step right up to this classic episode.

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How the Titanic Worked: Part Two

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 01 Apr 2021 09:00

After the Titanic sank recriminations and blame followed, sometimes ruining careers unjustifiably. As the decades wore on and she was found almost 2.5 miles down, history rehabilitated some people. The question still remains how to preserve the ship.

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Short Stuff: What's the oldest book?

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 31 Mar 2021 11:18

In order to figure out what the oldest book is, one has to define what a book actually is. Listen in as we discuss this debatable topic.

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How the Titanic Worked: Part One

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 30 Mar 2021 09:00

When the Titanic set sail on her maiden voyage in April 1912, the world was divided into two types of people: those who considered her unsinkable and those who weren’t so sure about that. Both types were aboard when she went down with 1500 souls.

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Selects: What was the Philadelphia Experiment?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 27 Mar 2021 09:00

The Philadelphia Experiment is a bad movie from the 1980s, and also the conpiracy theory that refuses to die, despite virtually zero evidence of its occurance. Learn all about this strange non-event in this classic episode.

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Space Junk, Ahoy!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 25 Mar 2021 09:00

The orbits hundreds to thousands of miles above Earth are littered with garbage. Space garbage, sure, but it’s still garbage. Littering in space is bad enough but it poses practical problems too – like space junk crashing into satellites or astronaut

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Short Stuff: Cellphones on Airplanes

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 24 Mar 2021 09:00

Are we finally at the place where we can make cell phone calls on airplanes? PLEASE NO! Listen in to find out.

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What is biophilic design?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 23 Mar 2021 09:00

Biophilic design is all about bringing the outside in. But it's also much more than that. Open your windows and have a listen!

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Selects: How Lighthouses Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 20 Mar 2021 09:00

People have been burning fires on cliffs as long as other people have used boats, but after the Age of Exploration, lighthouses took their unmistakable form and the great stories of the people who kept the lights around the world began. Learn all abo

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The Texas City Disaster of 1947

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 18 Mar 2021 09:00

In 1947 the port town of Texas City, Texas became the site of the largest industrial disaster in American history. An enormous explosion blew ships out of the water, created a tidal wave that flooded the town, and killed hundreds of people instantly.

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Short Stuff: Brazilian Jars

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 17 Mar 2021 09:00

In the 1970s big news was made when some underwater artifacts were found in a bay by Rio de Janeiro that would have rewritten history. Then it just kind of petered out.

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The Parrot Episode

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 16 Mar 2021 14:11

If you think parrots are simply mimics that fly, you're wrong. Tune in and learn about these colorful friends today.

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Selects: Please Listen to How Plasma Waste Convertors Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 13 Mar 2021 10:00

There is a way to not only sustainably get rid of our household waste, but also produce enough energy from it to power the process and even create electricity for the grid. The future is here. Learn all about it in this classic episode.

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Karaoke: Tuesday Night Fever

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 11 Mar 2021 10:00

Listen in and learn all about the fascinating history of everybody's favorite pastime... karaoke!

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Short Stuff: Tooth Fairy: Not Real

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 10 Mar 2021 10:00

Today we break down the history of everyone's favorite home invader, the tooth fairy.

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Dragons: As Real as Mermaids

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 09 Mar 2021 10:00

Dragons are like mermaids in that they're not real. And that's about where the comparison ends. Learn all about dragons today.

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Selects: Mermaids: Not a real thing

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 06 Mar 2021 10:00

Mermaids aren't real. That much we know. But the history and lore of these magical and sometimes menacing creatures of the sea is pretty interesting stuff. Learn all about these half women/half fish in this classic episode.

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Why is the Equal Rights Amendment still not ratified?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 04 Mar 2021 14:36

The United States is one of only 28 countries in the world that doesn’t have equal protection for women under the law enshrined in its constitution. There was a moment in the 70s where it came very close, but then the conservative movement was born.

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Short Stuff: Dog Suicide Bridge

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 03 Mar 2021 10:00

A bridge at the town of Dumbarton in Scotland has a terrible reputation as a site where dogs inexplicably leap to their death on the rocks 50 feet below. There is no shortage of theories why, but none fully explain it.

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Is the Free Radical Theory of Aging Wrong?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 02 Mar 2021 10:00

In the 1990s we thought we’d identified the root cause of aging: nasty molecules called free radicals that wreaked havoc on our cells. Even better, we’d figured out how to counteract them with loads of antioxidants. Then science started raising quest

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Selects: Bridges: Nature Abhors Them

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 27 Feb 2021 10:00

From prehistoric logs across streams to the 102-mile Kunshan Grand Bridge, nature works ceaselessly to take down spans. In this classic episode, learn about the fascinating ins and outs of bridge design and building and the mind-boggling challenges s

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How Bruce Lee Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:00

Bruce Lee may have introduced more Westerners to Asian culture than any person in history. And, because he died young just as he became an international superstar, he’s become a legend. Josh and Chuck try to uncover the man underneath.

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Short Stuff: The Body in the Cylinder

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 24 Feb 2021 10:00

In 1945, residents of a Liverpool neighborhood found a desiccated body in a long cylinder they’d been using for years using as a bench. It launched a mystery that’s still alive today.

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What Will Farming 4.0 Look Like?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 23 Feb 2021 10:00

The human population is expected to increase by a couple billion people in the next 30 years and those who are paying attention are wondering exactly how we’ll feed all those extra mouths. Will going high tech or getting back to nature save us?

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Selects: How Chili Peppers Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 20 Feb 2021 10:00

Born and raised in South America, chilis were the earliest crop domesticated in the continent and among the first items brought back to Europe by Columbus. Today people are really, really into them. Find out all about 'em in this classic episode.

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How Blue Holes Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 18 Feb 2021 10:00

Geologists and biologists have recently realized that the planet’s oceans and coasts are littered with a unique type of ecosystem called blue holes, submerged sinkholes that were once dry caves. They are turning out to be weird and amazing places.

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Short Stuff: Freedom House Ambulance Services

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 17 Feb 2021 10:00

As part of Black History Month, we wanted to share the little known story of the Freedom House Ambulance Service. Listen in to learn all about this seminal group of EMTs.

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The Disappearance of Lars Mittank

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 16 Feb 2021 10:00

In 2014, a young German man walked into an airport in Bulgaria with a flight booked, then suddenly ran out leaving all his posessions behind, never to be heard from again. This is the story of Lars Mittank.

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Selects: Why Are So Many Disembodied Feet Washing Ashore In British Columbia?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 13 Feb 2021 10:00

Between 2007 and 2016, 17 disembodied feet - still wearing shoes - have washed ashore between Washington and British Columbia. What's behind the sudden influx of Vancouver's mystery feet? Find out in this classic episode.

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How Housing Discrimination Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 11 Feb 2021 10:00

Owning a home in the US is a way to pass wealth down from one generation to the next and lift families into a comfortable life down the road. But there have been barriers to buying homes that Black Americans have faced from the time of slavery to tod

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Short Stuff: How California Got Its Name

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 10 Feb 2021 10:00

California is a pretty cool name. And the story about where it came from is even cooler.

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Sacagawea: Impressive Teen

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 09 Feb 2021 10:00

Sacagawea was only 16 when she joined the Corps of Discovery. That is one seriously impressive teenager.

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Selects: Earwax: Live With It

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 06 Feb 2021 10:00

Despite tons of people using cotton swabs each day to clean the earwax from their ears, cerumen (as earwax is clinically known) is actually quite beneficial to the health of your ears - and even kind of ingenious as your body's defense goes. Learn mo

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By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 04 Feb 2021 13:59

The NAACP has long been one of the most robust and effective non-profits in the USA. And while it has faded a bit from its glory days, it still remains a vital cog in the battle for equality.

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Short Stuff: Balloonfest

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 03 Feb 2021 10:00

In 1986 Cleveland released more than a million helium balloons at once! It didn’t go at all according to plan!

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How Groundhog Day Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 02 Feb 2021 10:00

You know Groundhog Day – the holiday on February 2 when you wake up and have to go through the same day over and over again. It turns out the holiday has deep roots in a pagan past, and has survived in a surprisingly similar form.

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Selects: Maggots: Good For Healing Wounds, Turns Out

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 30 Jan 2021 10:00

Cultures around the world over the years have been inspired by, then repulsed, then inspired by maggots' ability to heal persistent wounds. We are in an inspired-by phase right now. Learn more in this classic episode.

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How Hydropower Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 28 Jan 2021 10:00

Humans have been stealing energy from flowing water for at least two thousand years. It wasn’t until the advent of electricity that things really got cookin’. All we need to do now is to work out the harmful environmental impacts of this green energy

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Short Stuff: Vantablack

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 27 Jan 2021 10:00

How black is vantablack? About as black as you could imagine.

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The KKK: Loathsome Cosplay Rednecks

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 26 Jan 2021 10:00

The history of the KKK is rooted in hatred and racism, and it still is today. Learn all about these loathsome rednecks today.

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Selects: How Blimps Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 23 Jan 2021 10:00

After newsreels captured the Hindenburg erupting in fire in 1937, the promising development of airship aviation was cut short. Today companies and militaries are taking another look at blimps and the unique qualities that may revive them. Learn all a

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Finding the Fenn Treasure

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 21 Jan 2021 15:33

In 2010 an eccentric art dealer hid a treasure chest with $2 million in valuables somewhere in the Rocky Mountains and published a poem with clues on where to find it. Hence began the most famous treasure hunt in modern times.

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Short Stuff: Necco

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 20 Jan 2021 10:00

If you think Necco Wafers are the most disgusting candy on the planet, you are not alone. But it turns out there’s a rich history behind those chalky discs that make them fascinating, if horrible.

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What does a tire company know about food?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 19 Jan 2021 13:31

The Michelin Guide is an institution. But why does the famous tire manufacturer even put this restaurant guide out? Listen in to find out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.i

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Selects: What Was the Deal With the Hatfields and McCoys?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 16 Jan 2021 10:00

It was America's most famous family feud, but the history of the Hatfields vs the McCoys is fraught with bias and inaccuracies. Dig into a disagreement in 19th-century Appalachia that became a very big deal around the world, in this classic episode.

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The Science of Cute

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 14 Jan 2021 10:00

If you took our advice and looked up baby beavers a few episodes back, you probably found them sooooo cute you couldn’t stand it. Or you just wanted to eat them up, which is weird if you think about it. Friend, prepare for the science on that!

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Short Stuff: Silverfish

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 13 Jan 2021 10:00

Should you be afraid of these creepy little creatures you find in your basement? Only one way to find out.

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Hell! Hell! Hell!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 12 Jan 2021 10:00

What is Hell? It's complicated and depends on which religion you're talking about. We dive into this fiery mess and do our best to explain it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://w

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Selects: How Skateboarding Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 09 Jan 2021 10:00

Skateboarding started out as something bored surfers did when the waves weren't breaking, but after a few improvements to the design, it took off like a rocket to become its own cultural phenomenon. Come gleam the cube with Josh and Chuck as you olli

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The Wright Brothers

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 07 Jan 2021 10:00

Orville and Wilbur Wright were not trained professionals, but they were rigorous experimenters who ended up changing the world.

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Short Stuff: Is It Theater or Theatre?

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 06 Jan 2021 10:00

Have you ever noticed sometimes theaters – we mean, theatres – oh, forget it – places where you see movies or plays – are sometimes spelled two different ways? You can thank Noah Webster, author of the first American dictionary, for that.

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Space Weather - What's That?!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 05 Jan 2021 10:00

Did you know space has weather? It’s true! In our solar system, tons – literal tons – of highly charged gas and magnetized particles spew from the surface constantly, causing all sorts of weird stuff here on Earth. So far, nothing too bad has happene

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Selects: How Auto-Tune Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 02 Jan 2021 10:00

What began as a challenge to an oil engineer to make a terrible singer into a pitch-perfect one, Auto-Tune has become a ubiquitous (and, to many, obnoxious) part of the musical soundscape. Learn more in this classic episode.

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La Dame de Fer (Eiffel Tower)

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 31 Dec 2020 10:00

The Eiffel Tower is one of the top destinations on Planet Earth. It turns out to be a pretty cool feat of engineering as well.

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Short Stuff: Ig-pay Atin-lay (Sorry)

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 30 Dec 2020 10:00

Turns out we have little kids from the 19th century, the Three Stooges, and an odd musical composer named Arthur Fields to thank for pig latin.

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Theremins: World's First Electronic Music

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 29 Dec 2020 10:00

In 1919 a brilliant Russian scientist accidentally stumbled onto the first electronic musical instrument in history – the theremin – which you play not by strings, keys, or even percussion, but by moving your hand in the air around it. Prepare to sci

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SYSK Selects: Sugar: It Powers the Earth

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 26 Dec 2020 10:00

Since sugar spread from Polynesia a few thousand years ago, the world has been crazy for it. Insanely high prices, wars and even slavery couldn't undo world's need for a sugar fix. Today that fix is responsible for the obesity epidemic facing the Wes

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The SYSK 2020 Holly Jolly Extravaganza!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 24 Dec 2020 10:00

It's here again! Our annual ad-free holiday spectacular. So pour up a hot toddy, throw a log on the fire and listen with the whole family!

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Short Stuff: Chinese Food on Christmas

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 23 Dec 2020 10:00

What started out as a tradition among Jewish people on the Lower East Side at the turn of the last century has become a full-blown American holiday custom.

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How Buffets Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 22 Dec 2020 10:00

Buffets are every kid’s dream – until they grow up enough to realize how gross communal spreads of food shared with strangers actually are. Then the dream is dashed, for most of us at least. Learn about the golden age of buffets and more right here!

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Aspirin: The Wonder Drug

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 17 Dec 2020 10:00

Humans have been using a form of aspirin for pain relief since at least the Sumerians. But in recent years we’ve come to learn the wonder drug is indeed awe-inspiring, from preventing heart attacks to possibly protecting humans from cancer.

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Short Stuff: Modern Funerals

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 16 Dec 2020 10:00

The way we deal with our dead has changed a lot over the past 50 years. Learn all about it in 12-15 minutes right here.

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Joseph Merrick, aka "The Elephant Man"

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 15 Dec 2020 10:00

Joseph Merrick was known as The Elephant Man because of his suffering from what we now know was Proteus Synrome. Learn all about this brave man in today's episode.

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SYSK Selects: What is a hangover, really?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 12 Dec 2020 10:00

After a night of heavy boozing, many partygoers find themselves the victim of a hangover. But what exactly is a hangover, and what causes it? Join Chuck and Josh as they break down the science behind hangovers -- and how to avoid them, in this classi

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The Taliesin Massacre

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 10 Dec 2020 10:00

Everyone knows who Frank Lloyd Wright is, but did you know there was a grisly massacre at his home in 1914?

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Short Stuff: Cramming

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 09 Dec 2020 10:00

Cramming is no way to study. Learn why in today's short stuff.

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How Class Action Lawsuits Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 08 Dec 2020 10:00

Class action lawsuits seem a little odd – a bunch of people get together for a sue-fest against somebody – but in the legal world they’re a practical way of handing huge wrongs. And! They keep justice just in their way. Learn all about them today.

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SYSK Selects: How Chaos Theory Changed the Universe

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 05 Dec 2020 10:00

Since the age of Descartes, science has put all of its eggs in the basket of determinism, the idea that with accurate enough measurements any aspect of the universe could be predicted. But the universe, it turns out, is not so tidy. Explore the final

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John Lennon and the FBI

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 03 Dec 2020 10:00

Did you know that Richard Nixon had a FBI case file open on Beatle John Lennon? Well he did! Why? Listen in to find out.

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Short Stuff: Pimento Cheese!

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 02 Dec 2020 10:00

Pimento cheese was originally nothing like it is now: It was mass produced, it was made from cream cheese and it was conceived in New York. Today it’s something much better, thanks to the South!

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Cabbage Patch Kids: Must-Have Toy of the Century

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 01 Dec 2020 10:00

Surprisingly, Cabbage Patch Kids have turned up on SYSK almost as much as the Nazis or Seinfeld. It’s finally time to dive all the way into CPKs, from their controversial origins to the Christmas craze of ‘83 to their alter egos, Garbage Pail Kids

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SYSK Selects: How Tea Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 28 Nov 2020 10:00

Legend has it that tea was discovered by a curious Chinese emperor after leaves blew into his boiled water. Now tea is the second only to water in popularity worldwide. And despite the varieties of tea, they all come from a single species of plant.

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Gobble Gobble: Turkeys!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 26 Nov 2020 10:00

Turkeys are a very interesting bird as it turns out. Which may be why many people are leaving it off their Thanksgiving table this year. Learn all about them right now!

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Short Stuff: How Eyes In a Painting Follow You

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 25 Nov 2020 10:00

Ever noticed how eyes in a painting sometimes follow you around the room? It’s weird! But it’s also fully explainable and Josh and Chuck do just that here.

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Patty Hearst: Brainwashed or Bandit?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 24 Nov 2020 10:00

Patty Hearst was a young heiress living a quiet life studying art history at college when one Monday evening her home was invaded, she was kidnapped, and her life took a totally unforeseen turn that she would have trouble explaining for years to come

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SYSK Selects: Whatever happened to acid rain?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 21 Nov 2020 10:00

Along with the hole in the ozone layer, acid rain was one of the first international environmental threats. It's fallen to the wayside in the face of climate change, but we have yet to lick it. Join Chuck and Josh as they revive the 80s drumbeat in t

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The Great War of the Worlds Panic Myth

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 19 Nov 2020 10:00

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?

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Short Stuff: Squirrel Nuts

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 18 Nov 2020 10:00

We know squirrels hide nuts. But it's actually more complex a system than you think.

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How Pain Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 17 Nov 2020 10:00

In recent decades we’ve come to understand that there’s a lot more to pain than: touch hot stove/feel burning hand. Pain is a far more sophisticated experience and, unfortunately, a system that can often go haywire, with terrible effects.

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SYSK Selects: Who Gets to Name Continents?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 14 Nov 2020 10:00

America is named after Amerigo Vespucci, right? Maybe not. And who named Australia? Find out the unusually uncertain origins of the continents and other interesting stuff in this classic episode.

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How Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 12 Nov 2020 10:00

For almost a century, Macy’s department store has kicked off the holidays in America with a grand parade. And when you march thousands of clowns, lip synching celebrities, bands, and giant balloons through New York things get remarkable.

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Short Stuff: Plastic Pink Flamingos

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 11 Nov 2020 10:00

Plastic flamingos started out as innocent yard art, transformed into folk art, and have become a (kind of mean) symbol of high campiness. There’s a lot to this particular plastic yard art.

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The Bay of Pigs Disaster

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 10 Nov 2020 10:00

The Bay of Pigs is one of the blackest of eyes on American foreign policy. Learn all about this dark spot of American history today.

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SYSK Selects: Geysers: Nature's Innuendo

By iHeartPodcasts/Sun, 08 Nov 2020 00:43

The spectacular eruptions of steam and water we call geysers are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, the result of thousands of years of specific natural conditions and physical processes. Learn the Stuff You Should Know about geysers in this cla

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All the Gold In Fort Knox: Meh

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 05 Nov 2020 10:00

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.

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Short Stuff: Fruit Flies, Why?

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 04 Nov 2020 10:00

Have you ever wondered why we do so much scientific testing on fruit flies? Turns out they make better models for humans than you’d think.

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The Amazing Roberto Clemente

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 03 Nov 2020 10:00

Roberto Clemente was what’s called a “complete” baseball player – he could hit, run and, man could he throw, so it’s no surprise he was made a Hall of Famer. But he was also a humanitarian, a civil rights icon, and a fiercely proud son of Puerto Rico

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SYSK Selects: How Ghosts Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 31 Oct 2020 09:00

According to a 2009 poll, more Americans believe in ghosts than don't. But what are ghosts exactly? If they do exist, what are they made of and why are they hanging around? In this classic episode airing for Halloween, Josh and Chuck explore both sid

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SYSK’s Scare Your Pants Off (and Back On) Halloween Spooktacular

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 29 Oct 2020 09:00

It’s that time of year again! So turn down the lights, pull the sheets over your eyes and prepare to be thrilled and frightened with two great Halloween stories from Philip K. Dick and M.R. James.

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Short Stuff: Poe Toaster

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 28 Oct 2020 09:00

For at least sixty years a mysterious person (or persons) showed up at Edgar Allen Poe’s grave to toast the master on his birthday. No one ever found out who this legendary figure was.

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A History of Nursing Homes

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 27 Oct 2020 09:00

In America, we've treated our senior citizens in very different ways over the years. Tune in to hear about how we've tackled compassionate care.

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Chuck Bryant On The Why I’m Voting Podcast

By iHeartPodcasts/Sun, 25 Oct 2020 09:00

If you want to change, preserve, or build a better America, there’s one easy way to make your voice heard: Vote.

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SYSK Selects: How Book Banning Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 24 Oct 2020 09:00

If you want to control the masses, control what they read. After all, books are seeds that germinate new points of view. As a result, the struggle against banning books is contentious and continual. Learn more about banning books in this classic epis

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Beavers: Tail Slapping Fun

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 22 Oct 2020 09:00

Beavers are in fact, very busy. They're builders and solid family members, husbands and wives. Learn all about N America's largest rodent today.

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Short Stuff: Haunted Real Estate

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 21 Oct 2020 09:00

Do you have to disclose the notion that your house may be haunted upon sale? Listen in to find out.

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10 Voter Suppression Methods

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 20 Oct 2020 09:00

Voter suppression in the USA is as old as voting itself. Listen in to hear about 10 ways we stifle the vote. Learn more about your ad-choices at

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SYSK Selects: How Sushi Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 17 Oct 2020 09:00

Sushi grew out of a way to ferment fish a couple thousand years ago and in the late 20th century began to take the world by storm. What began as traditional, rigid food has come to evolve with new delicious innovations being added to the original can

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Porcupines: Little Stabby Cutie Pies

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 15 Oct 2020 09:00

We love animals. A lot. Especially underrated ones like the darling porcupine. Listen in today to learn all about these stabby little boogers. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://w

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Short Stuff: What is Latinx anyway?

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 14 Oct 2020 09:00

We love to keep up with the current terminology for groups of people. Learn about the origin of Latinx today.

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Wind Tunnels: More Important Than You Realize

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 13 Oct 2020 12:48

Without wind tunnels we may not have airplanes right now. Early aviationists built them to puzzle out how to get and stay airborne. But wind tunnels are used for so much more than flight – from microchips to wind turbines. Enjoy this breezy episod

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SYSK Selects: How Bigfoot Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 10 Oct 2020 09:00

For centuries North American tribes have told stories of a hairy wild giant in the wilderness, and once Europeans arrived they claimed to see it, too. Chuck and Josh examine the claims of believers and the rebuttals of skeptics in this evenhanded epi

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Printing press? Big deal!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 08 Oct 2020 15:08

Was the printing press a big deal? You bet it was. One of the biggest. Learn all about the early history of printing today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnet

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Short Stuff: Lying in State

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 07 Oct 2020 09:00

After RBG passed away she had the honor of lying in state. Who decides this? Listen and you'll know.

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What's the deal with swing states?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 06 Oct 2020 13:41

Swing states are all the rage once again this election season, but the makeup has changed a bit. Learn all about what makes a swing state a swing state right now. Learn more about your ad-choices at Listen/Read More

SYSK Selects: How the Electoral College Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 03 Oct 2020 09:00

When you vote in an American presidential election, you're not voting for your candidate - you're voting for a group of people you hope will in turn vote for your candidate. Listen in to learn more about the strange process for electing the president

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Fallout Shelters: Probably Useless (Let’s Never Find Out)

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 01 Oct 2020 09:00

The advent of nuclear weapons and the Cold War kicked off a craze in the US for building rec rooms with foot-thick reinforced walls and outfitted with survival rations and board games. Would they work? Probably not.

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Short Stuff: That's A Head Scratcher

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 30 Sep 2020 09:00

It’s actually really strange that scratching your head is a widely understood sign that you’re puzzling over something. No one’s exactly sure why we do that, so interesting theories abound!

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Conjugal Visits: Not exactly what you think

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 29 Sep 2020 13:53

After reaching their peak, conjugal prison visits are all but gone in the U.S. Learn all about these frisky visits in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.ihear

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SYSK Selects: How Rabies Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 26 Sep 2020 09:00

Rabies may have gotten a lot of attention in the U.S. in the 70s and 80s, but it's still an issue in developing countries. Learn all about this nasty virus in this classic episode. And stay away from raccoons and bats.

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At Long Last: Hawaiian Overthrow Episode

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 24 Sep 2020 09:00

By longstanding listener request, we look at how Hawaii was basically stolen by the United States in the 19th century. Rather than reverse this bit of geopolitical fraud, the US ended up making Hawaii a state instead.

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Short Stuff: Petticoat Rulers

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 23 Sep 2020 11:15

Petticoat rulers were women who ran the show long before anyone thought they could. We’re talking mayors and entire city councils comprised of women in the Old West. What happened since then? Listen to find out.

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How Sweepstakes Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 22 Sep 2020 09:00

Sweepstakes were invented as marketing tools to drum up interest for a product or sales. But winning them can be fun and as they’ve proliferated an entire subculture of people who enter hundreds of them a day. Enter the fascinating world of sweepstak

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SYSK Selects: How White-collar Crime Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 19 Sep 2020 09:00

White-collar crime often involves fraud and other nonviolent acts. For most people, the term "white-collar crime" conjures up images of CEOs conniving their way to fortune. But what is it, really? Listen in as Josh and Chuck break down the facts in t

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How Election Polling Works and Doesn't Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 17 Sep 2020 09:00

Election polling had a pretty good rep until 2016. But it turns out they weren't far off even then. It's really the media driving the narrative. Learn all about how election polling works today.

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Short Stuff: Black Cowboys

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 16 Sep 2020 09:00

Most people don't realize that around a quarter of the cowboys found in the Old West during the golden age cattle driving were African American. Let's meet some of them, shall we?

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Origami: Folding Goodness

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 15 Sep 2020 09:00

Origami is an amazing art that consists of making folds in paper to create something beautiful. Learn all about it today.

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SYSK Selects: How Porta-Potties Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 12 Sep 2020 09:00

Despite our lengthy history of evacuating our bowels and bladders, it wasn’t until the relatively recent 1940s that we began to construct portable, self-contained toilets to accept our waste. Dive into the world of porta-potties in this classic episo

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Wetlands! Wetlands! Wetlands!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 10 Sep 2020 09:00

It’s time to get jazzed up for some Earth science of the waterlogged variety. Join Chuck and Josh as they tour some of the most interesting ecosystems on the planet and learn why we need to stop destroying them post haste.

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Short Stuff: Streisand Effect

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 09 Sep 2020 09:00

What does Barbra Streisand have to do with the internet? Listen and learn!

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Frances Perkins: Influential and Unknown

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 08 Sep 2020 09:00

Frances Perkins was an incredibly influential American yet is virtually unknown. What did she do? A lot! For instance, Social Security was her brainchild. And that's just the tip of the old iceberg.

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SYSK Selects: How Police Chases Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 05 Sep 2020 09:00

Entire TV shows are dedicated to them and Americans love to watch a live one, but police chases aren't as routine as they seem. While police assert chases are important tools, critics say cops engage in chases too often and too easily. Learn all abou

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The Disturbing Disappearance of Tara Calico

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 03 Sep 2020 09:00

When Tara Calico mysteriously vanished in 1988, suspected to be the victim of foul play, her case may have gotten lost with the countless other missing person cases in the US, were it not for the discovery of an alarming Polaroid photo in a parking l

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Short Stuff: More Phrase Origins

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 02 Sep 2020 09:00

We're back with another handful of phrase origins.

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How the Escape from Alcatraz Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 01 Sep 2020 09:00

In 1962, three ordinary criminals transcended into folk heroes when they crawled out of their cells in Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary took to the water in a homemade raft and were never heard from again. Could they have possibly survived?

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SYSK Selects: Polyamory: When two just won't do

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 29 Aug 2020 09:00

In this classic episode of Stuff You Should Know, Josh and Chuck dive into the world of polyamory. Turns out polyamorists aren't aren't weirdos and deviants, they're just regular folks looking for love from more than one person. Learn all you ever ne

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Blacksmiths? You got that right!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 27 Aug 2020 14:32

Blacksmiths? You got that right. Learn all about this age old occupation in today's episode.

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Short Stuff: Carrots and Your Eyes

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 26 Aug 2020 09:00

Join Chuck and Josh as they learn that one of the great childhood truths – that carrots help you see better in the dark was totally made up!

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How Sneezing Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 25 Aug 2020 09:00

Unless you have an arcane disorder from a lesion on a very specific spot on our medulla, the chances are you sneeze. Turns out most animals do it, even lizards! Learn the whys and hows of this most interesting involuntary reflex.

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SYSK Selects: How Panic Attacks Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 22 Aug 2020 09:00

Almost three percent of Americans suffer from a debilitating disorder that causes them to suffer intense fear seemingly without reason and science hasn’t yet figured out what causes it. Join Josh and Chuck in this classic episode as they get to the b

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By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 20 Aug 2020 14:09

Chuck and Josh dive into the wacky world of 800 and 900 phone numbers.

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Short Stuff: The Great American Coin Shortage of 2020

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 19 Aug 2020 09:00

In addition to all the lousy things that’s come out of the Coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. is also experiencing a coin shortage thanks to a stalled-out economic system that normally circulates coins.

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How Anti-Dieting Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 18 Aug 2020 12:12

There’s a movement afoot that says we should all stop thinking about our weight and just enjoy food. No, it doesn’t help you lose weight…No, it’s not a diet…No, - just listen to the episode, okay?

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SYSK Selects: How The Human Microbiome Project Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 15 Aug 2020 09:00

If it was possible to take a full scan of all of the DNA of every cell in and on your body the results would be startling: Only 1 percent would be human. The other 99 percent comprises all of the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes you litera

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Olympic Torches: Remember Those?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 13 Aug 2020 09:00

Back in the pre-pandemic days we had a sporting event called The Olympic Games. And at those games there was an opening ceremony that featured the lighting of a cauldron from a torch. Let's chat about that, eh?

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Short Stuff: The Return of Bill Gates!

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 12 Aug 2020 09:00

Our old pal Bill Gates is back for a very special short stuff where we talk all about Covid vaccines and therapeutics.

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Pirate Radio: Mavericks on the High Seas

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 11 Aug 2020 09:00

Pirate radio started out in England as a way to sidestep the regulations of Big Radio. While outlawed, it still exists today in the UK and America. Learn all about it today.

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SYSK Selects: How The Moonwalk Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 08 Aug 2020 09:00

When Michael Jackson debuted the moonwalk in 1983 the world was enrapt. The dance goes back farther, to the 1930s, and pops up again in the 50s, before reappearing via mimes and West Coast poppers in the 70s. Follow the circuitous route of an iconic

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How Miniature Golf Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 06 Aug 2020 09:00

Playing miniature golf is a very fun thing to do and, you’re about to find, learning about its origin and history is very fun as well. Join Josh and Chuck as they tee off on the mini golf story!

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Short Stuff: Jigsaw Puzzles

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 05 Aug 2020 09:00

Who doesn't love a good puzzle? Tune in to learn a few facts and figures about jigsaw puzzles right now.

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Wasps: Not as cute as bees

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 04 Aug 2020 09:00

Wasps have a bad rap. Because their sting really hurts and they don't make honey like their cousins. But they are super cool and you shouldn't kill them. Listen and learn!

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SYSK Selects: How the Rosetta Stone Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 01 Aug 2020 09:00

Sometimes providence smiles on historians. Thus is the case with the Rosetta stone, an ancient Egyptian tablet that served as the key for unlocking hieroglyphics, lost to time for a millennia. In this classic episode, learn about the international in

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How Soap Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 30 Jul 2020 13:54

Soap is a miraculous substance – and mysterious too: we have no idea how humans first figured out to make it. We lived with soap for millennia before we thought to use it to wash ourselves with it, but once we did a love affair with cleanliness was b

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Short Stuff: Habsburg Jaw

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 29 Jul 2020 09:00

The Habsburg Jaw is the result of inbreeding. But what is it? Click play and learn!

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How Hurricanes Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 28 Jul 2020 13:31

Hurricanes are perhaps the most destructive force of nature we have to deal with here on Earth. When a mind-boggling number of factors all fall into place just right, the outcome can be an enormous system of storms that is as awesome as it is powerfu

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SYSK Selects: How Lobbying Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 25 Jul 2020 09:00

Lobbying is an entrenched part of American politics and one that many people think is breaking government. But petitioning the government is protected in the Constitution. How can this system be fixed? join Josh and Chuck as they explore the topic in

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Short Stuff: The Death of Billy the Kid

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 22 Jul 2020 09:00

Sure, together Young Guns and Young Guns II form an exhaustive biography of Billy the Kid’s life. But did you know they also contain misleading information? Billy the Kid may not have lived to 100 under an alias after all!

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How We Almost Got Rid of Polio

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 21 Jul 2020 09:00

For more than half of the 20th century parents in the industrialized world were freaked out by an unseen waster of youth, the poliovirus. It spread easily and could paralyze children for life or even kill them. Its effects were so horrible that human

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SYSK Selects: How a Flea Circus Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 18 Jul 2020 09:00

If you've ever seen a flea circus, then count yourself among the few. It's a dying art, but back in the day they thrilled and delighted young and old alike. Learn all about the tiny big tops in this classic episode.

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Robber Barons!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 16 Jul 2020 09:00

The robber barons were not a group of evil super villains. OR WERE THEY? Learn all about these titans of industry from the Gilded Age in today's episode.

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Short Stuff: Centralia Coal Fire

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 15 Jul 2020 11:46

An old coal mine in Pennsylvania caught fire one day in the 60s and it’s been burning ever since. What’s crazy is this happens all the time.

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Flagpole Sitting: A Real Fad

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 14 Jul 2020 09:00

The 1920s were just absolutely nuts. People got into weird fads really intensely and one of the strangest of all was flagpole sitting. It’s just what it sounds like – sitting on top of a flagpole for as long as you can. One man sat above them all.

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SYSK Selects: How Landfills Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 11 Jul 2020 09:00

Well-planned landfills have only recently come into widespread use. Recently, waste managers have found that they work a little too well and now the landfill is being reinvented.

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Essential Oils: Nature's Cure?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 09 Jul 2020 13:43

Essential oils are from plants and they can help the human body in a lot of ways. There are also many false medical claims. Learn all the ins and outs today.

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Short Stuff: The @ Symbol

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 08 Jul 2020 09:00

You know the at symbol? This thing: @? There’s a name for it, just not in English. We just call it the at symbol. But other countries – stand back!

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What was the KGB?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 07 Jul 2020 09:00

The KGB was the notorious strong arm of the Kremlin. Run afoul and you died. Learn all about them today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee

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SYSK Selects: All We Know About Guessing

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 04 Jul 2020 09:00

Guessing is a weird thing. For millennia, it could have meant the difference between life and death. Now it's not as vital, but we still do it every day, whether behind the wheel of a car, or judging what another person might be feeling. In this clas

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Oh Yes, How Soil Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 02 Jul 2020 09:00

There is maybe nothing that sounds more boring than hearing two people talk about soil, but friend, prepare to be amazed at the details of what makes this amazing substance the life blood of Earth itself!

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Short Stuff: The Science of Funny Words

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 01 Jul 2020 09:00

Why are some words funnier than others? Well, one man has sought to figure that out. We'll tell you all about him and his project in today's episode.

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Bruxism: Grinding Your Teeth Is the Pits

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 30 Jun 2020 09:00

Researchers have noticed that as incidence of anger increases so too has teeth grinding, known clinically as bruxism. That’s a problem because when people grind their teeth, especially when they’re sleeping, they can wear them down to nubs.

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SYSK Selects: Juggling: What the Heck

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 27 Jun 2020 09:00

There is a lot – A LOT – to juggling and Chuck and Josh go over the lion’s share of it in this classic episode. Delve into the deep history, physics, how-tos and different types of juggling in this surprisingly sweeping look at a putatively innocuous

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Matcha: That Ain't Just Tea

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 25 Jun 2020 09:00

Matcha is something else, healthy and delicious and all the rage. Learn all about this trendy beverage today.

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Short Stuff: Nouns of assemblage... assemble!

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 24 Jun 2020 09:00

A gaggle of geese. A murder of crows. Nouns of assemblage are awesome and we talk about them for about 12 minutes in today's Short Stuff installment.

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How Ultrasound Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 23 Jun 2020 09:00

Sure you know all about ultrasound. You can see pictures of little babies right there cozy in the womb just by waving a magic plastic stick over the mom’s tummy. And magic is basically right. Believe us.

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SYSK Selects: Research tips from SYSK

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 20 Jun 2020 09:00

People often ask us how we do our research. We're not going to disclose all of our secrets, but we'll give you some tips on how to root out the bad studies from the good ones. Learn all about shady studies and reporting in this classic episode!

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The Manhattan Grid

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 18 Jun 2020 12:33

Manhattan is well known for its unyielding and kind of boring layout. Turns out it was the "work" of three men. Learn all about their decidedly unambitious design in today's episode.

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Short Stuff: Haint Blue

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 17 Jun 2020 09:00

Haint Blue is a kind of robin's egg color that you might commonly find on porches of the low country of the Southeastern United States. But what does it have to do with ghouls and ghosts? Listen and learn!

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The War on Fat: The Seven Countries Study

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 16 Jun 2020 12:16

The Seven Countries Study was a fairly impressive, long-term study on the effects of fat in our diet, among other things. But it was very flawed and launched the misguided "War on fat." Learn all about today, then make up your own mind.

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SYSK Selects: How Flamethrowers Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 13 Jun 2020 09:00

Who first decided that it would be a great idea to shoot flame at other people from a distance? Josh and Chuck talk about the (very) early origins, history and technology of the flamethrower in this classic episode.

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Can You Eat A Tapeworm To Lose Weight?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 11 Jun 2020 11:15

There’s a persistent insistence that you can ingest a tapeworm and as the parasite hijacks a lot of the calories you eat, the pounds will fall right off. In theory this could be true, but it’s also extremely dangerous. And has anyone ever really done

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Short Stuff: Foie Gras

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 10 Jun 2020 13:08

Foie gras means “fatty liver” in French, which makes sense because it’s made from the overripe livers of force-fed ducks and geese.

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How Project Star Gate Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 09 Jun 2020 09:00

In yet another testament to how amazingly great the 70s were, in 1975 the US started a program that tried to harness the powers of clairvoyance to remotely spy on the Soviet Union. Since clairvoyance doesn’t seem to exist, it wasn’t super successful.

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SYSK Selects: How The Black Panther Party Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 06 Jun 2020 09:00

The Black Panther Party was a complex political movement that was unfairly painted as a militant group who hated white people. Far from it, they were actually men and women trying to affect change in their community. Their history is one of the more

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The Massacre at Tiananmen Square

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 04 Jun 2020 13:01

Tank Man. An indelible image burned in our brains. But what led to this extraordinary event? Chuck and Josh walk you through the days and weeks leading up to the massacre at Tiananmen Square, which is more of a cautionary tale than we realized.

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Short Stuff: Disappearing Dirty Dancing Lake

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 03 Jun 2020 12:13

The lake from one of the all-time great movies (search your feelings, you’ll find that it’s true) is turning into a dried up mudhole. Turns out it has some unusual features.

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Heroin: The Drug

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 02 Jun 2020 09:00

We've covered a lot of drugs in our history, and today we tackle heroin, one of the most dangerous of all.

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SYSK Selects: How Jackhammers Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 30 May 2020 09:00

It’s likely that without the invention of the pneumatic jackhammer, the Industrial Revolution wouldn’t have hummed along quite so smoothly. Certainly a lot more trains would go around mountains than through them. Learn about this essential tool in th

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How Narcolepsy Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 28 May 2020 09:00

Narcolepsy is one of those amazing rare disorders that everyone thinks they understand – people just fall asleep at random times, even in the middle of doing something. But there’s a lot more to it and – even better – we actually may be able to expla

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Short Stuff: Lawn Darts

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 27 May 2020 09:00

There was a time when kids had to look out for flying darts that could pierce their skulls when they played in the backyard.

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Hummingbirds: Ornery Helicopters of the Animal Kingdom

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 26 May 2020 09:00

If you didn’t already know how amazing hummingbirds are, prepare to learn. Not only do they count among their numbers the smallest bird species, they are also lightning fast and have the endurance of a marathoner and a telethoner put together.

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SYSK Selects: How The Enlightenment Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 23 May 2020 09:00

The Enlightenment stands as the moment the West withdrew from superstition and found its faith in reason. Did it shift too far? In this classic episode, learn about this massive shift in thinking which we are still sorting through and coming to under

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Josh Clark's Speech from Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020

By iHeartPodcasts/Fri, 22 May 2020 19:00

In this episode of Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020, Josh Clark, co-host of the Stuff You Should Know podcast, divulges secrets to graduates that their parents and teachers may have neglected to tell them.

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How Bras Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 21 May 2020 14:09

Bras are loved and hated, sometimes at the same time. But as difficult and restrictive as they can be, they rescued women from a much cruel contraption: corsets. The question remains, though, do women need bras at all? Learn more about

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Short Stuff: Mary Had A Little Lamb

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 20 May 2020 09:00

Did you know the little nursery rhyme is controversial? It’s true: Two towns in New England can barely stand to see one another on the map (kind of).

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How Spiritualism Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 19 May 2020 10:57

Something spooky was born on the American frontier in the mid-19th century: the idea that people’s personalities survive death and that some gifted individuals can communicate with them. It developed into a religion that some still practice today.

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Chuck Bryant's Speech from Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020

By iHeartPodcasts/Mon, 18 May 2020 22:05

In this episode of Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020, Chuck Bryant, co-host of the Stuff You Should Know podcast, reminds graduates to not let this season define them, reminding them the world believes in their ability to craft a better fu

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SYSK Selects: How Fire Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 16 May 2020 09:00

Creating fire was possibly the most important human discovery, but it's easy to take for granted. But. Josh and Chuck get to the bottom of the chemistry of fire in their quest to explain everything in the universe, in this classic episode.

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How Peanut Butter Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 14 May 2020 12:20

No food is more all-American than peanut butter – 80 percent of homes in the country have a jar of it in the pantry right now. And while the rest of the world might find peanut butter peculiar, maybe even gross, the rest of the world is wrong.

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Short Stuff: Charley Horse

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 13 May 2020 09:00

You know those terrible leg cramps that come out of nowhere? They may be named after a drunken baseball pitcher.

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How Herd Immunity Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 12 May 2020 09:00

Herd immunity is an epidemiological concept that if enough people are inoculated against a disease the rest of us won’t get it. It’s been useful in holding back diseases like polio and measles, but we have vaccines for them. We don’t have one for Cov

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SYSK Selects: How Caving Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 09 May 2020 09:00

Entrances to the underworld have been places of wonder for eons, and humans have ventured into caves to sleep, hunt, create art and explore. Thanks to the hobby of caving, that tradition continues today. Get all this plus Chuck discussing his caving

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Zippers: Humans’ Greatest Invention? No, But Still Good

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 07 May 2020 13:23

The zipper may be the most unsung invention we humans have ever come up with. Prior to zippers, everyone walked around like idiots with nothing but buttons to hold their clothes together. The zipper changed all that. The zipper changed everything.

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Short Stuff: Gibtown: Sideshow Central

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 06 May 2020 11:19

There was a glorious time in American history when circus sideshow performers lived together in a small town in Florida. Learn about the fascinating history of Gibtown today!

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I'm Spartacus!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 05 May 2020 09:00

Spartacus was a real dude. He led a slave revolt, and was pretty successful to boot. I'm Spartacus. You're Spartacus. We are all Spartacus.

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SYSK Selects: How do dogs perceive time?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 02 May 2020 09:00

A dog that knows exactly when its owners will arrive home every day seems to have a human perception of time, but in fact, they perceive time very differently than we do. Find out more about how dogs view time in this classic episode.

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Agatha Christie: Queen of the Murder Mystery

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 30 Apr 2020 15:36

Agatha Christie was a great writer of murder mystery novels and is probably the best selling author of all time. Listen in today to learn her story.

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Short Stuff: Mullets: 'Nuff Said

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 29 Apr 2020 12:45

Business in the front, you know the rest. Listen in as we discuss the lifestyle choice that is the mullet.

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How Existential Risks Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 28 Apr 2020 09:00

An existential risk is a special kind of threat that are different from other types of risks in that if one of them ever befalls us, it would spell the permanent end of humanity. It just so happens we seem to be headed for just such a kind of catastr

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SYSK Selects: How the U.S. Postal Service Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 25 Apr 2020 09:00

Back when this episode aired, the USPS was teetering on the edge of going under and there were a lot of plans on the table to save it. With the USPS again at risk now for different reasons, join Chuck and Josh as they explore the history and future o

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How the Voyager Golden Records Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 23 Apr 2020 13:16

As part of a super 70s push to get Earth to a seat at the table of the Galactic Federation (in case there is, in fact, such a thing), astronomer Carl Sagan oversaw an ambitious project to launch a compilation of Earth’s greatest hits into deep space.

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Short Stuff: The NY Times Crossword

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 22 Apr 2020 09:00

Today Chuck and Josh take a shallow dive in the warm pool that is the NY Times Crossword Puzzle.

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The Soul Train Episode

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 21 Apr 2020 09:00

Today, Chuck and Josh dive into the funky, cool world of the classic TV show, Sooooooooul Train.

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SYSK Selects: How Labor Unions Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 18 Apr 2020 09:00

Yes, it's true: Unions have a shady mob-related past and were originally championed by anarchists. Born from medieval trade guilds, these organizations also helped grow the American economy, and not only protected but established workers' rights.

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How Wastewater Treatment Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 16 Apr 2020 09:00

All that gross stuff we humans put in the water that gets flushed down the sewers has to be taken back out before that water is reintroduced to the environment. That’s the ideal, and it’s essential to staving off the imbalance people bring to the pla

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Short Stuff: Turning Down the Radio When You're Lost

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 15 Apr 2020 17:05

It’s a typical human reaction: When you’re driving and you realize that you’re lost, you turn down the radio. On its face it makes no sense – or does it? (It does.)

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Bidets: Now More Than Ever

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 14 Apr 2020 09:00

We all know the benefits of bidets. But with toilet paper in short supply, they're more important than ever before.

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SYSK Selects: How Dissociative Identity Disorder Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 11 Apr 2020 09:00

Dissociative Identity Disorder was known as multiple personality disorder until a case of mass hysteria brought on by the movie-mad public and unscrupulous psychiatrists led to a stigma over the term. Now psychiatry has gotten serious about the condi

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Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, Feminist Physician

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 09 Apr 2020 09:00

Becoming the first licensed woman physician in America was tough, convincing male surgeons to wash their hands between patients was even tougher. Today Josh and Chuck pay tribute to a genuine pioneer in medicine and society.

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Short Stuff: AAirpass

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 08 Apr 2020 09:00

In the go-go 80s and 90s, American Airlines offered the AAirpass, a lifetime pass for unlimited first class travel. It was an amazing deal, but AA didn’t predict just how much some travelers would use it. They played with fire, they got burned.

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The Legends of Lost Nazi Gold

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 07 Apr 2020 09:00

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?

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SYSK Selects: How the Deep Web Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 04 Apr 2020 09:00

Perhaps you didn’t realize that when you search the web you’re only skimming the surface. In fact, the types of web pages that turn up in your search engine results represent only a mere fraction of the total web. Immerse yourself in the Deep web and

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Student Loans: UGH!

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 02 Apr 2020 12:49

Student loans can be pretty complicated. Luckily Chuck and Josh are here to wade through the financial muck for you.

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Short Stuff: 666

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 01 Apr 2020 09:00

Today, Chuck and Josh dive into that scary number...666.

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How Dog Training Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 31 Mar 2020 09:00

Chuck and Josh explore the age-old question: Should you train your dog by treating it like a living, feeling being or should you beat them up and break their spirit?

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SYSK Selects: Can Nuclear Fusion Reactors Save The World?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 28 Mar 2020 09:00

The world’s energy consumption is ruining the planet but for decades physicists have been working on what could solve the world’s energy and climate change woes for centuries to come – nuclear fusion. Learn about building stars on Earth in this class

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How COVID-19 Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 26 Mar 2020 09:00

We’re in the middle of an odd, tense time and Josh and Chuck are here to explain what’s going on and how to stay safe.

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Short Stuff: Dagen H

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 25 Mar 2020 09:00

One day in 1967, Sweden changed what side of the road its citizens drive on. It went surprisingly well, considering.

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Could A Robot Tax Win the War on Poverty?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 24 Mar 2020 09:00

An old idea – giving every resident of a country a set amount of money every month with no strings attached – became a hot item in Silicon Valley and on the 2020 campaign trail. Could it alleviate the impending job loss coming from automation?

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SYSK Selects: Virus Talk with Josh and Chuck

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 21 Mar 2020 09:00

Viruses are big jerks that invade regular cells and hold them hostage, making you sick while they're doing it. Learn everything you ever needed to know about viruses, including how the common cold works, in this classic episode.

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SYSK Distraction Playlist: How Jim Henson Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Fri, 20 Mar 2020 13:30

We’ve already recorded an episode on The Muppets, but Jim Henson was such a neat guy we delved into him even further. Learn all about the man behind the Muppets who was so much more than just a master puppeteer in this episode.

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SYSK Distraction Playlist: SYSK Live: How Bars Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Fri, 20 Mar 2020 13:00

Join Josh and Chuck live from Vancouver as they dive in to the ins and outs of one of the oldest businesses in the world – the bar! Learn about the history of bars, cocktails and the good people who put them together in new and amazing ways.

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SYSK Distraction Playlist: How Grass Works? Yes, How Grass Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Fri, 20 Mar 2020 12:30

There’s nothing more boring than watching grass grow, which is why Josh and Chuck aren’t asking you to do that. Instead, you can learn about all sorts of neat things about grass - like how American became obsessed with perfect lawns - in this episod

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SYSK Distraction Playlist: How Terraforming Will Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Fri, 20 Mar 2020 12:00

A lot of great thinkers are warning that if humans are to survive as a species we are going to have to find another planet to live on. Terraforming, or engineering a planet to maintain all of the ingredients to sustain life, seems to be the answer.

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SYSK Distraction Playlist: How Rogue Waves Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Fri, 20 Mar 2020 11:45

Rogue waves come out of nowhere and tower as much as 100 feet over hapless ships they encounter, breaking across the boat and frequently breaking the boat and its inhabitants. Investigate the mystery of rouge waves in this episode.

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SYSK Distraction Playlist: Was there a real King Arthur?

By iHeartPodcasts/Fri, 20 Mar 2020 11:30

The legend of King Arthur is very old and very established. By the time the king who saved Britain and united it was first written about, his story was already hundreds of years old. And while many of the details of his life and adventures, from the

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SYSK Distraction Playlist: The Amazing History of Soda

By iHeartPodcasts/Fri, 20 Mar 2020 11:15

The soda we get instantly mixed at a fast-food joint owes a lot to a rich history going back to the Roman baths, that features drugs, diseases and explosions. Learn all about soda and soda fountains in this surprisingly interesting episode.

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SYSK Distraction Playlist: How Rodney Dangerfield Worked, Live From LA

By iHeartPodcasts/Fri, 20 Mar 2020 11:00

Other comedians cry on the inside, but Rodney Dangerfield built his entire act around his sad life. Get to know this legendary comic who was nearing 50 when he got his break.

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SYSK Distraction Playlist: How Pinball Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Fri, 20 Mar 2020 10:45

Pinball was actually illegal until the 1970s in NY and other cities, hidden in the backs of pornography shops. The game was finally legalized, thanks to a Babe Ruth-style shot by the best player in the world. Learn all about it with Josh and Chuck.

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SYSK Distraction Playlist: Sugar: It Powers the Earth

By iHeartPodcasts/Fri, 20 Mar 2020 10:41

Since sugar spread from Polynesia a few thousand years ago, the world has been crazy for it. Insanely high prices, wars and even slavery couldn't undo world's need for a sugar fix. Today that fix is responsible for the obesity epidemic facing the Wes

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What was the Falkland Islands War all about anyway?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 19 Mar 2020 09:00

The battle between Britain and Argentina over the rocky, cold Falkland Islands is one of the weirder wars in history. Learn all about it today!

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Short Stuff: The Pledge of Allegiance

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 18 Mar 2020 09:00

The American Pledge of Allegiance is much more interesting than you might think. Give us 12 minutes and we'll fill you in.

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Chopsticks > Forks

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 17 Mar 2020 09:00

Today Chuck and Josh sit and converse on the simple, elegant chopstick.

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SYSK Selects: How Monopoly Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 14 Mar 2020 09:00

Since more than 1 billion people have played it, you’re probably familiar with the board game Monopoly, but we bet you don’t know its secret origins as a left-wing socialist teaching tool. Join Josh and Chuck as they chase it down in this classic ep

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How Ice Climbing Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 12 Mar 2020 09:00

A few decades ago, some people who liked to climb mountains decided they wanted to make it even harder and ice climbing was born. If you think rock climbing is difficult, put on your base layer and join Josh and Chuck on the glacier.

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Short Stuff: Teresita Basa

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 11 Mar 2020 09:00

In the annals of American justice there is a 1977 case where the police were tipped off to the identity of a murderer by a woman who said she was possessed by the victim.

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How Coyotes Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 10 Mar 2020 09:00

The coyote truly is wily. Even after a century-long attempt to drive them to extinction, this close relative of domesticated dogs not only hung onto survival, but actually doubled its range and expanded its population. Coyotes are here to stay.

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SYSK Selects: How Gold Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 07 Mar 2020 10:00

As of early 2013, only 161,00 metric tons of gold had been mined in the entire history of the world. Considering about 85 percent of it is recycled, decent chance your jewelry may once have been part of an Incan headdress or Mycenaean face mask. Dive

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Mardi Gras! One month late

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 05 Mar 2020 10:00

In true SYSK fashion, Josh and Chuck are late to the game. But never fear, they will still detail Mardi Gras in all its colorful glory.

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Short Stuff: Exclamation Points!

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 04 Mar 2020 10:00

We all use them! But did we always? NO!! Learn all about everyone's favorite punctuation mark today!

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How Morphic Fields Work?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 03 Mar 2020 10:00

Biologist and science historian Rupert Sheldrake is known as a heretic of science, mostly for his deeply strange ideas about what connects all living things. But his pokes at science help keep the field from growing dogmatic and for that we salute hi

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SYSK Selects: Your limb is torn off - now what?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 29 Feb 2020 10:00

Were you to be the unfortunate victim of a limb removal of any sort, you could take hope. Here in the 21st century, doctors have gotten pretty handy at reattaching arms and legs, replacing thumbs with toes, rebuilding breasts, all to great success th

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Sammy Davis Jr: National Treasure

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 27 Feb 2020 12:59

Today Josh and Chuck sit down and detail the complicated life of the late, great Sammy Davis Jr.

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Short Stuff: Hawaiian Night Marchers

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 26 Feb 2020 10:00

Get ready for some Hawaiian folklore, people. Today we discuss the Night Marchers.

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What's the deal with indigo?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 25 Feb 2020 10:00

Indigo is a color with a rich past. Learn all about it today.

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SYSK Selects: How Cult Deprogramming Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 22 Feb 2020 10:00

The fear of cults in the 1970s drove Americans to look the other way on kidnappings, abuse and torture of cult members by deprogrammers – but did it even work? Find out in this classic episode.

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Birthmarks: Probably Not the Mark of the Devil

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 20 Feb 2020 10:00

It’s a pretty safe assumption that people have been born with birthmarks since humanity began, and between then and now we’ve come up with some wacky, even dangerous, explanations for them – even a few that survive still today.

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Short Stuff: Mexican Jumping Beans

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 19 Feb 2020 10:00

Mexican jumping beans are a real thing and they really do move around. It’s not magic, it’s nature!

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The Unsolved Indiana Dunes Disappearances

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 18 Feb 2020 15:11

In July 1966, three women out for a day at the beach waded into the water of Lake Michigan, got onto a boat and were never heard from again. To this day, not a trace of them has ever turned up and theories of what became of them abound.

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SYSK Selects: A Podcast on Zoot Suits? Yes

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 15 Feb 2020 10:00

Few riots can be attributed to passing fashions, but zoot suits are top among them. After originating among the Harlem Renaissance crowd, the zoot suit came to symbolize political defiance. Find out why it's still illegal to wear a zoot suit in L.A.

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911 Is Not a Joke

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 13 Feb 2020 09:00

Josh and Chuck delve into the world of 911 in today's episode.

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Short Stuff: Body Under The Bed

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 12 Feb 2020 10:00

A couple unknowingly spending the night above a dead body stuffed under their bed is a longstanding urban legend. And a true one.

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Optogenetics: Controlling Your Genes with Light

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 11 Feb 2020 10:00

What if a genetic brain disease could be turned off simply by flashing a light in your eyes? What if your depression could be cured that way? Sounds amazingly wonderful, true, but what if your behavior could be controlled that way too?

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SYSK Selects: How Bonsai Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 08 Feb 2020 10:00

For thousands of years people have been taking normal trees and forcing them into miniature. Learn all about the history and art of this strangely engrossing pastime in this classic episode.

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Why are Pentecostals growing so rapidly?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 06 Feb 2020 10:00

Pentecostals are seemingly taking over the world. Or at least they're making up a larger section of Christianity than every before. Why? We'll dig in on that in today's episode.

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Short Stuff: The Iowa Caucus

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 05 Feb 2020 10:00

The Iowa Caucus is super important. But not really. Find out why.

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How AI Facial Recognition Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 04 Feb 2020 10:00

With the development of increasingly smart artificial intelligence and lots more cameras spread around than ever before, we have reached a critical point in the US and other countries where governments can easily track everyone, everywhere, all the t

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SYSK Selects: How Maglev Trains Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 01 Feb 2020 10:00

Thanks to the amazing properties of magnets, clever engineers have figured out how to make entire trains levitate above their tracks, letting them move frictionlessly and allowing them to reach incredible speeds. Learn about how maglev trains work an

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Who were the Buffalo Soldiers?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 30 Jan 2020 10:00

Josh and Chuck dive into history today to tell the story of the Buffalo Soldiers.

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Short Stuff: The O.K. Corral

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 29 Jan 2020 10:00

Listen in as we detail, in short, the legendary shootout at the O.K. Corral.

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Amazing Animal Stories!

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 28 Jan 2020 13:48

Regular animal stories are wonderful enough, but when animals lead amazing lives the stories become almost unbearably wonderful. You’ve been warned!

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SYSK Selects: How the Scientific Method Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 25 Jan 2020 10:00

It evolved over centuries to become the gold standard for conducting scientific inquiry. Yet many people - including some scientists - don't fully understand it. Learn about the basis of how we explore our world in this classic episode.

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Barefoot Running: The Best Podcast Episode in History

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 23 Jan 2020 10:00

What is barefoot running? I think you know. But we'll detail all of the ins and outs. Listen and learn!

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Short Stuff: Byford Dolphin Incident

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 22 Jan 2020 10:00

In 1983, what may be the worst diving catastrophe in the history of deep sea oil exploration took place when a pressurized chamber was opened, instantly killing four divers inside.

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Why Postal Employees Go Postal

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 21 Jan 2020 10:00

1993 was known as the peak of a disturbing trend in America: post office shootings, carried out by postal workers. A stunned country looked for answers and turned up a toxic workplace that seemed to be driving some workers past their breaking point.

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SYSK Selects: How the Placebo Effect Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 18 Jan 2020 10:00

For centuries, doctors have prescribed drugs they knew weren't real – but that still somehow worked. It wasn't until the 1980s that the placebo effect was studied. Learn all about how an inert substance can have a genuine impact on a patient's recove

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The Tulsa 'Race Riots'

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 16 Jan 2020 10:00

In reality, the Tulsa "race riots" of 1921 was more like a massacre. Yet it was almost lost to history until 1997, and still not widely known outside of Oklahoma until HBO's The Watchmen put it on the cultural map. Learn all about this dark chapter i

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Short Stuff: The Mona Lisa

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 15 Jan 2020 10:00

The Mona Lisa is a captivating work of art. But why? We'll try and figure it out in today's short stuff.

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Transdermal Implants: Body Art or Nightmare Fuel?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 14 Jan 2020 15:57

Transdermal implants are just one in a number of procedures under the banner of extreme body modification. We don't like to yuk yums, so we'll offer a fairly straightforward look at this niche art form.

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SYSK Selects: Jellyfish - Even Cooler Than Octopi?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 11 Jan 2020 10:00

Jellyfish are among the most adaptable, competitive organisms on the planet. They can grow back into their juvenile stage when resources are scarce, reproduce in massive groups and kill an adult human, among lots of other neat stuff. Learn all about

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Short Stuff: Corduroy

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:00

Learn 12 minutes worth of stuff about corduroy today!

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The Disappearance of Flight MH370, Part I

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 07 Jan 2020 10:00

In 2014, a Boeing 777 airliner disappeared. Despite two full years of searching an area of ocean covering more than 120,000 square kilometers, it has never been found. It is the only unexplained missing vessel in modern aviation history.

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SYSK Selects: Will Computers Replace Doctors?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 04 Jan 2020 10:00

With savvy and health-conscious people taking control of their wellbeing through apps and sites, technology is meeting the desire for individuals' responsibility for their health. But is the day coming soon when doctors will be obsolete, replaced by

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How Safecracking Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 02 Jan 2020 10:00

Burglars have come up with a whole range of ways to get into a safe. There’s lock manipulation – methodically testing the dial to coax the combination from it – and if that fails you can always blow it open with nitroglycerin. Both count as safecrack

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Short Stuff: Why Does Time Speed Up As You Age?

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 01 Jan 2020 10:00

It’s not just you – time really does seem to pass faster for people as we age. But exactly why remains a mystery, though some of the theories for why life passes by so quickly are make a lot of sense.

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Are broken arrows a problem?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 31 Dec 2019 10:00

Are broken arrows are a problem? After all, they are incidents and accidents involving nuclear warheads. Like, sometimes they go missing. But it hasn't happened much since the 50s and 60s. OR HAS IT? Learn all about them today.

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SYSK Selects: How Wine Fraud Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 28 Dec 2019 10:00

Wine fraud may be a case of rich con artists tricking wealthy people into parting with money, but it's still a crime. Learn all about this weird, widespread practice in this classic episode.

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SYSK Live: Andre the Giant

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 26 Dec 2019 10:00

Andre the Giant was a giant both figuratively and literally. Sure he was a wrestler, but more than that he was a human being who left a great legacy behind. Even if you're not a wrestling fan, you can appreciate his story. Join us for this very speci

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Short Stuff: The Santa Claus Association

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 25 Dec 2019 10:00

If a con man manages to make needy Christmas wishes come true is he still a con man? (Also, Merry Christmas!)

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The SYSK Holiday Spectacular

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 24 Dec 2019 10:00

It's an annual treat, folks. Our holiday special is back and better than ever, and as always, brought to you ad-free. It's the least we can do.

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SYSK Selects: The Star Wars Holiday Special of 1978

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 21 Dec 2019 10:00

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 a very special edition of SYSK. May the

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Cave Diving: Totally Nuts

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 19 Dec 2019 10:00

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 c

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Short Stuff: Obituaries

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 18 Dec 2019 10:00

Learn everything we know about obituaries in 12 minutes!

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MC Escher and His Trippy Art

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 17 Dec 2019 10:00

We love us some MC Escher. Turns out his story is pretty fascinating too. Tune in today.

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SYSK Selects: How Currency Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 14 Dec 2019 10:00

Even if you entirely eschew the concept of money, we'll bet you'd be hard pressed not to trade in some form of currency. Learn how everything from cows to cacao beans to tiny shells from Maldives have served as currency at some time or another.

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How Anorexia and Bulimia Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 12 Dec 2019 10:00

Anorexia and bulimia - those twin eating disorders that seem so common and maybe even just a phase for a teenage girl – are actually the deadliest mental illnesses in America. Cultivating an eating disorder can create issues that can last a lifetime.

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Short Stuff: Whisky or Bourbon?

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 11 Dec 2019 10:00

What's the difference between whisky and bourbon? We'll tell you if you care to listen.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gin

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 10 Dec 2019 10:00

If there's one thing we've learned about Chuck over the years it's that he loves his gin. And he loves it even more now that understands it. Pour yourself a martini and cozy up to the gin-cast.

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SYSK Selects: How Amnesia Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 07 Dec 2019 10:00

Those movies where someone gets hit on the head and can't remember who they are anymore? They're actually not too far off from the reality of amnesia. Learn everything about this bizarre and life-robbing condition with Josh and Chuck in this classic

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What's a gap year anyway?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:18

Chuck thought a gap year was post college. Turns out, it's a post high school year off from academics, where you travel the world, help others, and find yourself. Should you do it? We say "yes!" If you can afford it that is.

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Short Stuff: Macadamia Nuts

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 04 Dec 2019 10:00

Macadamia nuts aren't nuts! They're seeds! And they are delicious. And good for you in the right amount. Learn all about them today.

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Did Climate Cause the Collapse of the Maya?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 03 Dec 2019 10:00

After millennia of development, the Maya culture suddenly collapsed at its peak. Why is one of the biggest mysteries of history. One theory says catastrophic climate change was the cause. And it may have happened to other cultures too.

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SYSK Selects: Fractals - Whoa

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 30 Nov 2019 10:00

In the 1980s, IBM mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot gazed for the first time upon his famous fractal. What resulted was a revolution in math and geometry and our understanding of the infinite, not to mention how we see Star Trek II. Get blown away by f

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How Conversion Therapy Doesn't Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 28 Nov 2019 10:00

Conversion therapy is a misguided attempt by religious zealots to convert people from gay to straight. News flash - it doesn't work. Learn all about this abhorrent practice today.

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Short Stuff: Niagara Falls Dewatered

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 27 Nov 2019 10:00

In 1969, the Army Corps of Engineers turned off one of the main waterfalls at Niagara Falls to see what could be done to preserve it. They found two corpses, one carcass and lots of pennies.

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How Carbon-14 Dating Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 26 Nov 2019 10:00

Some of the carbon dioxide in your body is radioactive! Don’t worry, it won’t harm you (not sure why we used an exclamation point there). Instead, it might someday be detected by future archaeologists to determine how long ago you walked the Earth.

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SYSK Selects: Have all the good ideas already been discovered?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 23 Nov 2019 10:00

It's no secret that human beings have an obsession with innovation -- but has our species already found every good idea? As Josh and Chuck break down the continuing search for the next great idea, they touch on everything from hand tools to cancer cu

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What Makes a Must-Have Christmas Toy?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 21 Nov 2019 10:00

Ever since Cabbage Patch Kids came along in 1983, there’s been an annual holiday frenzy around one particular toy – the must-have Christmas toy of the year. But what makes a toy a must-have toy? Josh and Chuck investigate (and kick off the holidays).

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Short Stuff: Backyard Burials

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 20 Nov 2019 10:00

Time was that you’d bury a deceased relative in your yard; now it’s just weird. But it’s still legal – and if you want to do it, here’s how!

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The Murder Mystery of Ötzi the Iceman

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 19 Nov 2019 10:00

About 5,300 years ago a Copper Age shepherd was murdered. He just happened to die in a place where his body was so well preserved that gave researchers an actual shot at determining the course of his final day on Earth.

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SYSK Selects: How Salt Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 16 Nov 2019 10:00

A Roman senator once said, "Mankind can live without gold, but not without salt." Right he was. The human body needs salt so much we have developed a taste for it specifically. But too much salt can be toxic. Learn about salt's role in human history

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NYC Water: An Engineering Marvel

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 14 Nov 2019 10:00

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!

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Short Stuff: The Conch Republic

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 13 Nov 2019 10:00

Back in 1982, Key West seceded from the United States. Don’t believe us? It’s true! Just listen to the episode, will you?

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Augmented Reality: Coming Soon?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 12 Nov 2019 14:47

Augmented reality adds a digital layer over the real world and soon it will revolutionize how we live. Ultra-tailored information will be everywhere we look, creating a richer, more personalized experience in everything from surgery to walking down t

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SYSK Selects: Can you Treat Mental Illness with Psychedelics?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 09 Nov 2019 10:00

Hallucinogenic drugs are currently illegal, but they were once commonly used in psychological treatment. In this classic episode, Josh and Chuck discuss the rise and fall of psychedelics in treating mood disorders -- and why they're starting to gain

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Cockney Rhyming Slang: Beautiful Gibberish

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 07 Nov 2019 10:00

What is Cockney Rhyming Slang? It's complicated and its origins are unclear. Learn everything we know about it today.

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How Ironman Triathlons Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 06 Nov 2019 18:29

Sure, you could train for months to finish a marathon, but why not make things interesting? Ironman triathlons add a 2-mile swim and a 118-mile bike race before the marathon leg. It’s as grueling as it sounds.

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Short Stuff: The History of Paternity Testing

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 06 Nov 2019 10:00

Paternity testing. It wasn't science for many years, yet they still tried to do it. Learn all about it in 12 minutes.

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SYSK Selects: Halitosis - Worst Smell Ever?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 02 Nov 2019 09:00

Occasional bad breath is one thing, halitosis is another. Or is it? From its odd origins as a marketing ploy to modern weight loss diets that can induce this embarrassing condition, you can learn all about bad breath in this classic episode.

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SYSK’s Scare Your Socks Off Halloween Spooktacular 2019

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 31 Oct 2019 09:00

Josh and Chuck chose a truly unsettling story by one of the greatest science fiction authors of all time – Philip K Dick. Join the boys as they read “The Hanging Stranger,” complete with scary sound effects by the Extraordinary Jeri!

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Short Stuff: Our Shortie Halloween Spooktacular

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 30 Oct 2019 09:00

Join us today as we read three short horror selections from Ambrose Bierce.

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Where Did Trick-Or-Treating Come From?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 29 Oct 2019 09:00

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?

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SYSK Selects: How Haunted House Attractions Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 26 Oct 2019 09:00

Ever since the Egyptians, humans have been evolving toward haunted house attractions. The level of sophistication in the scares and gore effects continues to rise over time, but the purpose remains the same: to scare the pants off you.

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How Historic Districts Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 24 Oct 2019 09:00

A fascinating thing about Americans is that we can disagree on anything. Such is the case with historic districts – areas of historic importance protected by local laws. Seems innocuous, but are they also to blame for the affordable housing crisis?

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Short Stuff: The Toxic Death of Gloria Ramirez

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 23 Oct 2019 09:00

In 1994 the body of a woman who died in a California ER somehow became toxic and sickened 24 people. To this day, no one is sure what happened.

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What's the deal with subpoenas?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 22 Oct 2019 09:00

Subpoenas are all the rage. But what do they even mean if someone can just ignore it? Learn this and a lot more in today's episode.

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SYSK Selects: The 'Satanic Panic' of the 1980s

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 19 Oct 2019 09:00

In the late 1980s, the United States experienced a "Satanic Panic," leading parents to fear for the safety of their children. But were there any real examples of Satanic ritual abuse? Find out this and more in this classic episode.

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How Project Blue Book Worked, Pt II

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 17 Oct 2019 09:00

A rash of UFO sightings kicks off a new spike in America’s UFO fever and new headaches for the Air Force, which continues to reluctantly investigate. After becoming a laughingstock for its limp explanations, the Air Force looks for an exit from the U

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Short Stuff: The Disappearance of Ambrose Bierce

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 16 Oct 2019 09:00

Ambrose Bierce was a journalist and writer of short stories. He also disappeared rather mysteriously. Listen in and learn of the various theories on what happened to him.

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How Project Blue Book Worked, Pt I

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 15 Oct 2019 09:00

In June of 1947, a flying saucer was sighted by a pilot in Washington. That first report opened the floodgates and a UFO hysteria set in. Were they aliens? Time travelers? Russians? The Air Force began an investigation that lasted for decades.

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SYSK Selects: How Black Boxes Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 12 Oct 2019 09:00

Black boxes are designed to be the only survivor of plane crashes so they can live to tell the tale of what went wrong to prevent future accidents. Sit in with Josh and Chuck and learn about how these grim devices are made, how they're tested and the

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The Ins and Outs of Beekeeping

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 10 Oct 2019 09:00

Who wants fresh honey? We do! Learn all about the ancient art of beekeeping today.

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Short Stuff: The Devil's Den

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 09 Oct 2019 09:00

The Devil's Den is the sight of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Is it haunted? Nope. But still creepy.

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How Environmental Psychology Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 08 Oct 2019 09:00

In the 60s, psychology expanded from exploring inside the mind to exploring the inside of buildings. Environmental psychology looks at how our spaces affect us – from how a busy mall can create a panic attack to how looking at nature can speed recove

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SYSK Selects: How Pez Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 05 Oct 2019 09:00

PEZ began in Vienna as a mint meant to help people quit smoking. But once American kids got ahold of it, the candy took off and a symbol of childhood - and healthy secondary market among collectors - was born. Explore Pez history and culture with Jos

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What were the Freedom Schools?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 03 Oct 2019 09:00

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 f

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Short Stuff: Fish n' Chips

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 02 Oct 2019 09:00

How did these two wonderful strangers meet up and become best friends? The answers lie within today's short stuff.

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Guardian Angels: Behind the Red Beret

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 01 Oct 2019 09:00

If you grew up in the 1980s, then you know who the Guardian Angels are. If you don't then you're in for quite a story. Listen in!

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SYSK Selects: What Happened at Kent State?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 28 Sep 2019 09:00

On May 4, 1970, four days of anti-war protests at Kent State University in Ohio culminated in the unthinkable when Ohio guardsmen opened fire on protesters, killing four students. How could this tragedy take place? Learn more in this classic episode.

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What are paraphilias?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 26 Sep 2019 14:42

Josh and Chuck dive into the world of paraphilias so you can get the skinny in 45 minutes or less.

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Short Stuff: Dare Stones

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 25 Sep 2019 09:00

What happened to the Lost Colonists who disappeared from Roanoke Island in the 1580s remains a mystery to this day. But it’s possible a carved stone a man vacationing in North Carolina found in the 1930s may have solved it – if the stone isn’t a hoax

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We Are Running Out of Sand and That Actually Matters

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:00

Sand, we’re beginning to realize, is a non-renewable resource - and we are consuming it at a voracious pace. We use it in every construction project around the world and to create new land. And we’re wrecking the ecosystems we mine sand from.

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SYSK Selects: Could You Live Without a Refrigerator?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 21 Sep 2019 09:00

Do you know that hulking refrigerator in your kitchen emits CO2 thanks to the electricity it uses each year? It's a comparatively small amount, in truth, but enough that some people have foresworn their fridge and adopted a life without one. See how

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How the US Interstate System Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 19 Sep 2019 09:00

Wait! This is actually a good episode! It turns out that America’s 48,000 miles of superhighways – possibly the largest civil works project in the history of humanity – may have also ruined what made America a cool place.

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Short Stuff: Scurvy

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 18 Sep 2019 09:00

Scurvy seems like a terrible way to go: Your gums swell so you can’t eat, your teeth fall out and your brain and/or heart hemorrhages. Fortunately, all you need is an orange to cure you. Or some – blech – broccoli.

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The Skinny on Lyme Disease

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 17 Sep 2019 09:00

If you live in the Northeastern U.S. then you may know someone who has had Lyme disease. But it's spreading all over the country and parts of the world. Learn all about this tick-borne disease today.

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SYSK Selects: How Wills Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 14 Sep 2019 09:00

Whether it's oral, scrawled in blood or signed on a deathbed everyone should have a will. But how do they actually work? Join Chuck and Josh as they explain that "of sound mind" thing in this classic episode.

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Special Effects: A Short History

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 12 Sep 2019 09:00

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. Put on your beret and get ready for SYSK film class.

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Short Stuff: Papasan Chairs

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 11 Sep 2019 09:00

Oh, the papasan. What a chair! But where did it come from? And what does the name mean? The answers lie within.

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How Government Shutdowns Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 10 Sep 2019 13:26

Every year Congress decides how the federal government will spend money. Simple enough, but in practice politics tend to mess it up. Sometimes it gets so messy the budget doesn’t get passed and parts of the government shut down. Then the hurting begi

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SYSK Selects: How Ouija Boards Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 07 Sep 2019 09:00

Although most people who've used Ouija boards don't think they're communicating with the beyond, there is something mysterious about how it works. Learn the ins and outs of the popular parlor game that sprang directly from the 19th-century spirituali

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What's the deal with MSG?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 05 Sep 2019 09:00

MSG got a bad rap in the 70s and 80s. But what is it exactly and how bad is it for you? The answers to those questions lie within.

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Short Stuff: Barbed Wire

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 04 Sep 2019 09:00

Barbed wire changed the Western US as much as the railroad and the six-shooter. Before barbed wire arrived, the West was free and open; after, the West became concentrated in the hands of a few big ranchers. No wonder it was called “devil’s rope.”

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Ed Gein: The Serial Killer's Serial Killer

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 03 Sep 2019 14:24

Any movie featuring a deranged killer who’s perversely devoted to his mother and makes things out of human skin has a real-life person named Ed Gein to thank for inspiration. He was Buffalo Bill, Norman Bates, and Leatherface all rolled into one.

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SYSK Selects: How Icebergs Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 31 Aug 2019 09:00

Icebergs: floating chunks of ice. True, but whoa there. Scientists are learning that there's a lot more to icebergs. Appropriately enough, we've only come to understand the tip of the iceberg and recent research shows there's plenty more to uncover.

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The Rubik's Cube Episode

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 29 Aug 2019 13:16

Rubik's Cubes. Ronald Reagan. Jerry Falwell. Just Say No. One of these things was awesome. Take a guess and hop on board the 80s train.

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Short Stuff: Dead Bodies and Airline Codes

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 28 Aug 2019 13:00

Did you know there are airline codes for pilots and flight attendants? And some of them have to do with dead bodies on board? Learn all about it today!

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A Brief Overview of Punk Rock

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 27 Aug 2019 13:24

Punk rock really needs about 10 episodes to do it justice, but we'll try and tackle anyway. Learn all about this movement right now.

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SYSK Selects: How Sleepwalking Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 24 Aug 2019 09:00

Sleep behaviors are pretty fascinating. Some people snore, some grind their teeth -- and some take a little stroll, or perhaps a drive. In this classic episode, Josh and Chuck investigate how sleepwalking, or somnambulism, works.

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How Ventriloquism Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 22 Aug 2019 09:00

Ventriloquism – where a skilled performer “throws” their voice, making it seem like a dummy on their knee is talking – has taken a long, circuitous road from early prophets, to witches, then finally to the stage. Get to the bottom of this uncanny tri

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Short Stuff: Horseshoe Crab Blood

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 21 Aug 2019 09:00

Perhaps the most expensive liquid on the planet is the blue blood that comes from horseshoe crabs. Researchers realized that horseshoe crab blood could indicate the presence of pathogens and the massive, ongoing horseshoe crab harvest began.

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Nuclear Semiotics: How to Talk to Future Humans

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 20 Aug 2019 09:00

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 fro

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SYSK Selects: Are We in a Cyberwar?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 17 Aug 2019 09:00

There's a secret war going on around us, and it's happening on a daily basis. The Air Force has a unit specifically designed to carry out and defend against cyberwar. Go deep into this alarming type of war in this classic episode.

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How Peyote Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 15 Aug 2019 09:00

Josh and Chuck have tackled a lot of drugs on the show, but peyote has loomed like a bad Jim Morrison poem. Learn all about this plant today.

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Short Stuff: Petrichor

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 14 Aug 2019 09:00

You know that amazing smell when it rains? Kind of clean, kind of earthy, one of a kind? It turns out that a miracle of nature produces it.

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Solar Power: The Future or What?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 13 Aug 2019 09:00

We’ve been promised solar energy for a while now – where is it? Turns out, it’s been quietly and steadily growing across the world. And with a few breakthroughs, we just may be able to say goodbye to fossil fuels. Learn about sun-based energy in this

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SYSK Selects: What Is a Shotgun House?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 10 Aug 2019 09:00

Shotgun houses are iconic pieces of American architecture: they're long, narrow, and filled with artistic flourishes. But where did they come from? Join Chuck and Josh and explore the mysterious origins of shotgun houses.

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Short Stuff: Time Zones

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 07 Aug 2019 11:42

Time zones are a pain. Let's get rid of them! Can we? Sure!

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Iran-Contra Affair: Shady in the 80s, Part 1

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 06 Aug 2019 16:01

When Ronald Reagan was president, America got involved in some deeply shady stuff, not the least of which was the Iran-Contra scandal – a convoluted operation that managed to combine an illegal covert war in Nicaragua with secretly selling arms to Ir

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SYSK Selects: How the Black Death Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 03 Aug 2019 09:00

The Black Death was gruesome: Symptoms included tumors, purple splotches, fevers and vomiting. But how did this disease manage to spread from the Gobi desert and kill approximately one-third of the population of 14th-century Europe? Find out in this

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What Were the BONE WARS?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 01 Aug 2019 15:46

A pair of old timey fossil hunters had a rootin’ tootin’ rivalry that spilled from academic journals into the American Wild West - where fossils were dynamited and employees turned double agent. Learn about the two-fisted origins of American paleonto

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Short Stuff: The Man Who Didn’t Eat for a Year

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 31 Jul 2019 09:00

In 1965, a 456-pound man walked into a hospital in Scotland and asked for help with a fast. That was the last day he ate for more than a year. Learn about the medical marvel that was Angus Barbieri.

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Will Deepfakes Ruin the World?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 30 Jul 2019 09:00

Very recently, thanks to a new type of AI, it’s gotten much easier to create convincingly realistic videos of people saying and doing things they’ve never said or done. Will fake videos undermine our shared sense of reality and lead to the death of t

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SYSK Selects: How Human Cannonballs Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 27 Jul 2019 09:00

There's no question that human cannonballs are daredevils. They pack themselves into the confines of huge cannons, which shoot them into the air. But how does it work? Join Josh and Chuck to learn more about the bizarre performances of human cannonba

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How Eyewitness Testimony Works(?)

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 25 Jul 2019 09:00

Few things are more compelling than a witness pointing out a defendant in the courtroom as the perpetrator. But few things are also more unreliable than eyewitness testimony. Our memories can be pretty terrible, which matters when you’re facing de

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Short Stuff: Aristides de Sousa Mendes

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 24 Jul 2019 09:00

This week we highlight another little known historical hero. In this case, a Portuguese diplomat who rescued people from Nazi Germany, at his own peril. Dig in and spread the word of Aristides de Sousa Mendes.

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

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 23 Jul 2019 09:00

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

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SYSK Selects: How Crack Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 20 Jul 2019 09:00

Back in the mid-1980s a new and extremely potent drug hit the scene: crack cocaine. In short order, America was in the grip of both a sweeping addiction and a state of hysteria over use of the drug and the social consequences of crack, like crack bab

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Sand Dunes: They Are What You Think They Are

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 18 Jul 2019 09:00

Sand dunes are exactly what you think they are. But still pretty interesting. Learn all about them right now!

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Short Stuff: Yellow Rain

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 17 Jul 2019 13:00

After the Vietnam War, the Hmong people told the world a toxic weapon was being used on them. Thus began a mystery that still remains today, which might have been solved when it was chalked up to bee poop.

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How Going to the Moon Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 16 Jul 2019 09:00

Fifty years ago, the first humans stepped onto the moon. After going back a few more times, humanity lost its taste for moon travel. But it’s being revived again. NASA is planning to send humans back to the moon by 2024 and build a moon base by 2028.

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SYSK Selects: Duels - A Guide to Throwing Down the Gauntlet

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 13 Jul 2019 09:00

Pretty much everything you know about duels is true - it's a challenge to violence to defend honor. But did you know the U.S. Navy used to publish detailed guidelines in its midshipmen's handbook? Learn all there is to know about dueling in this clas

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How Sloths Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 11 Jul 2019 13:50

Everyone knows sloths are super slow, but do you know they’re slow because their bodies produce an astoundingly small amount of energy? And did you know that might be an adaptation that protects them from predators? Sloths are awesome and we prove it

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Short Stuff: The Coconut Cult

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 10 Jul 2019 13:00

Why we love short stuff - because we can tell stories like this one. A man goes to an island to start a commune of sorts that subsists entirely on coconuts. It didn't go well.

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Cleopatra: Ms. Understood

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 09 Jul 2019 13:47

One of the great misunderstood figures in history was the last pharaoh of Egypt. Cleopatra’s story is almost always told along with the men in her life, and from the view of the Romans who were threatened by her. Unsurprisingly, there was lot more t

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SYSK Selects: What Makes us Yawn?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 06 Jul 2019 09:00

What is it that makes us suddenly draw in a deep breath through a wide-open mouth? The beautiful thing about yawning is that researchers really don't know. Whether the answer is physical, mental or even contagious there is pretty much no chance you w

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How the Fairness Doctrine Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 04 Jul 2019 09:00

Back in the day, broadcasters were bound by law to provide contrasting opinions on political matters. Why? Because of the Fairness Doctrine. What happened to it? Listen in and find out.

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Short Stuff: Mitsuye Endo

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 03 Jul 2019 13:00

In today's short stuff, we look at another amazing woman who has all but been ignored by history. The story of Mitsuye Endo.

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Is photographic memory a real thing?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 02 Jul 2019 13:37

Photographic memory is the stuff of movies and TV, but is it real? Sort of. But not really. But kind of. It's a little bit a matter of semantics. Listen in and this will all make sense. Learn more about your ad-choices at Listen/Read More

What is the Civil Air Patrol?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 27 Jun 2019 09:00

The Civil Air Patrol is a civilian group of pilots and plane enthusiasts who do a lot of things, namely help out in search and rescue missions. But their history is a bit more colorful. Listen in today!

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Short Stuff: Prison Food

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 26 Jun 2019 13:00

Prison food is kind of a joke, like airplane food. But there are real consequences involved. Let's get into it in today's short stuff.

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Planned Obsolescence: Engine of the Consumer Economy

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 25 Jun 2019 15:50

If you’ve ever heard an old timer gripe that things aren’t built like they used to be, that old timer was right! Learn about the nefarious, possibly mythical, mechanism that’s responsible for the cruddy products and waste our consumer society is base

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SYSK Selects: How the Donner Party Worked

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 22 Jun 2019 09:00

Did they or didn't they? There is plenty of written evidence that the ill-fated Donner Party resorted to cannibalism - except there are no bones. Learn the details of one of the worst disasters of the early West in this classic episode of Stuff You S

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What happened to the Neanderthals?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 20 Jun 2019 09:00

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 …

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Short Stuff: Emperor Norton

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 19 Jun 2019 13:00

After a San Francisco real estate mogul went bankrupt, he reinvented himself as the Emperor of the United States – and became the city’s most celebrated resident.

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How the Hygiene Hypothesis Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 18 Jun 2019 09:00

In the early 90s, a new study that found that kids who are exposed to more germs early in life are less likely to develop allergies later. With the West in the grip of a full-blown immunity crisis (still going on today), this was an interesting thoug

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SYSK Selects: What's the Deal with Crop Circles?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 15 Jun 2019 16:16

For a while in the 1980s, people were fascinated and confused about what exactly crop circles were. Now we know that they aren't signs left from aliens, but art made by humans. Learn all about these stunning, large form art installations in today's e

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How Area 51 Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 13 Jun 2019 09:00

The secret military base Area 51 is inextricably linked to every secret, shady project the US government is rumored to be involved in – from reverse-engineering alien technology to coordinating a one-world government. The truth is much more mundane.

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Short Stuff: Smoke Signals

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 12 Jun 2019 13:00

Were smoke signals real or a Hollywood invention? Turns out, they were indeed a thing and invented by the Chinese, even.

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What's the gig economy?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 11 Jun 2019 13:00

The gig economy is not new, but it's bigger than ever. Is that a good thing? We'll discuss that today!

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SYSK Selects: How Capgras Syndrome Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 08 Jun 2019 09:00

There is an extremely rare condition where the sufferer is convinced that everyone around him is an impostor posing as their friends and family. Learn about the neurology behind this strange and sad mental disorder in this episode.

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What is perfect pitch?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 06 Jun 2019 13:00

Perfect pitch, or absolute pitch, is when you can sing a note with no reference from other notes, perfectly on key. Is it an asset? Chuck says yes. Learn all about this musical rarity today.

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Short Stuff: Robert Johnson and the Devil

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 05 Jun 2019 13:00

Did the legendary blues singer really sell his soul to the devil in exchange for amazing musical skills? Probably not! But there’s still an interesting story there and it features the Coen Brothers.

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How Barcodes Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 04 Jun 2019 15:08

Barcodes are everywhere. Those little lines and numbers that make up one of the most recognizable barcodes, the UPC, was designed to make going to the grocery a lot less miserable. It ended up becoming the central symbol of the global economy.

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SYSK Selects: How TV Ratings Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 01 Jun 2019 09:00

Ever wonder why some great shows go off the air after a season or less? Blame it on the Nielsen company, which has for more than 60 years been the almost exclusive decider of what goes and what stays on TV.

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The Tylenol Murders, Part II

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 30 May 2019 20:29

The panic that began in Chicago spreads and begins to change the world. The investigation into the murders turns up leads and suspects, but still no one has ever been charged with the murders. It remains unsolved to this day.

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Short Stuff: Look-Alike Old Couples

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 29 May 2019 13:00

You know how some older married couples (sorry, senior adult married couples) start to look alike over time? That’s a really weird phenomenon if you think about it. So science has looked into it and they think they kind of have it figured out.

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The Tylenol Murders, Part I

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 28 May 2019 13:00

On one terrible day in Chicago in 1982, seven people died suddenly and mysteriously. In just a matter of hours, it becomes clear, someone has poisoned bottles of Extra-Strength Tylenol, one of the most trusted and widely-used products in America.

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SYSK Selects: How Acne Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 25 May 2019 09:00

Over the course of our lives, 80 percent of us will experience acne. Ultimately, acne comes down to one thing, a blockage in the sebaceous gland. Learn what makes a blackhead black, and everything else about zits, in this pus-filled episode of SYSK.

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What was Tin Pan Alley?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 23 May 2019 17:17

Tin Pan Alley was an area of New York around the beginning of the 20th Century that served as ground zero for the earliest iterations of the music publishing industry. Learn all about this unique place and time right now.

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Short Stuff: James Polk, Disinterred

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 22 May 2019 13:00

Did you know that former president James Polk had his final resting place moved twice? It's true! And almost a third time even. Let's go listen to some short stuff.

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How Crystals Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 21 May 2019 14:10

In a new age shop or on display at the Smithsonian, there are varying interpretations of what crystals can be used for. But at their base, they are a thumb in the eye to entropy, a perfectly ordered piece of matter.

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SYSK Selects: How Dying Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 18 May 2019 09:00

Chuck and Josh have covered just about every aspect of death except dying itself. Here, they fulfill the death suite of podcasts with an in-depth look at just how people die, what happens to the body during the dying process and how people accept dea

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10ish Cases of Really Bad Luck

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 16 May 2019 15:20

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 episode as Chuck and Josh cover some instances of amazingly bad fortune, most of it true! <

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Short Stuff: Honorary Degrees

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 15 May 2019 14:37

Honorary degrees are not real degrees. They are marketing opportunities for universities. They make us mad, but we want one. Learn all about them in the next 12-15 minutes.

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How Trampolines Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 14 May 2019 13:30

The world’s loved trampolines since they were invented by a pair of acrobats in Iowa in the 30s – so much so, trampolining is now an Olympic event. What people don’t love about trampolines is their propensity to cause paralysis, brain injuries and de

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SYSK Selects: How Lie Detectors Work

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 11 May 2019 09:00

Instead of actually detecting lies, polygraph machines sense physiological variations, ostensibly brought on by guilt. The results are subject to interpretation, and therefore controversial. Join Josh and Chuck as they investigate the polygraph.

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Do Dietary Supplements Work?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 09 May 2019 13:08

The world takes $40 billion of dietary supplements – from vitamin A to yohimbe bark – every year. Yet, the jury is still out on whether most of them work. In America, the FDA isn’t allowed to approve supplements, and no one can say what is in your pi

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Short Stuff: Nicknames

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 08 May 2019 13:00

What's in a nickname? Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don't. Let's get our shorty on and find out the deal.

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Remembering Live Aid

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 07 May 2019 13:30

Live Aid was a revolutionary concert event in two countries in 1985 that spanned the world via satellite. The brainchild of musician Bob Geldof, it really did help change the world in many ways, but its direct impact on Ethiopian famine relief remain

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SYSK Selects: How Does a Diving Bell Work?

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 04 May 2019 09:00

About 2,400 years ago Aristotle mentions the use of diving bells, apparatuses that convey divers to the bottom of the sea -- or at least below the surface of the water -- and allows them to breathe -- at least until the air runs out. Learn about the

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What Happens When the Government Thinks You're Dead?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 02 May 2019 13:30

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

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Short Stuff: The Number 23

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 01 May 2019 21:31

There are people out there who believe that there’s something special about the number 23. Exactly what? Who knows. Exactly why? Because it pops up a lot. But does it? Who knows.

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Michael Dillon: Trans Pioneer

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 30 Apr 2019 13:30

Michael Dillon was a lot of things - author, doctor, and most importantly, trans pioneer. Learn all about his story in today's episode.

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SYSK Selects: How Zero Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 27 Apr 2019 09:00

Few numbers have as storied a past as zero. Even fewer have had as great an impact on our ability to understand our universe. Yet zero is a relatively recent arrival in math. Find out all about this surprisingly fascinating number with Chuck and Josh

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What Were Human Zoos?

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 25 Apr 2019 13:00

One of the off-putting byproducts of 19th century European colonialism were human zoos, living dioramas of people from far-away places made to be gawked at. Listen in to what the deeper meaning of humans zoos held people on both sides of the glass.

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Short Stuff: Fear of Public Speaking

By iHeartPodcasts/Wed, 24 Apr 2019 13:00

Speaking in public is frequently cited as people’s number one fear, even more fearful than death. Most people go through life avoiding public speaking, but it turns out that only makes things worse. The best medicine? Public speaking.

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Is birth order important?

By iHeartPodcasts/Tue, 23 Apr 2019 13:35

There have been a lot of studies over the years regarding birth order. Some conclude that it's a big deal, while others more or less discount its importance. Learn all about it today.

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SYSK Selects: How Marijuana Works

By iHeartPodcasts/Sat, 20 Apr 2019 09:00

For millennia people used marijuana for fun and medicine. Not until the 20th century that was it vilified, unfairly say many. Weed has done lots of good things, from alleviating cancer symptoms to unlocking secrets of the brain. Learn all about pot h

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How the Hoover Dam Works, Part II

By iHeartPodcasts/Thu, 18 Apr 2019 17:22

And now for something completely different. Just kidding – tune in to hear the thrilling conclusion of America’s most amazing public works project in the 20th century.

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