Podcast

Stuff You Should Know

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

Episodes

  • Short Stuff: Pimento Cheese!

    Dec 02 2020

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

  • Cabbage Patch Kids: Must-Have Toy of the Century

    Dec 01 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Tea Works

    Nov 28 2020

    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. Learn all about it in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Gobble Gobble: Turkeys!

    Nov 26 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: How Eyes In a Painting Follow You

    Nov 25 2020

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

  • Patty Hearst: Brainwashed or Bandit?

    Nov 24 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: Whatever happened to acid rain?

    Nov 21 2020

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

  • The Great War of the Worlds Panic Myth

    Nov 19 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Squirrel Nuts

    Nov 18 2020

    We know squirrels hide nuts. But it's actually more complex a system than you think. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Pain Works

    Nov 17 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: Who Gets to Name Continents?

    Nov 14 2020

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

  • How Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Works

    Nov 12 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Plastic Pink Flamingos

    Nov 11 2020

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

  • The Bay of Pigs Disaster

    Nov 10 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: Geysers: Nature's Innuendo

    Nov 08 2020

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

  • All the Gold In Fort Knox: Meh

    Nov 05 2020

    When Fort Knox was built in the 1930s to house America’s gold supply, it was billed as an impenetrable, impregnable, don’t-even-think-of-trying vault. But as the world has moved further away from gold, the stockpile’s lost a bit of its luster. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Fruit Flies, Why?

    Nov 04 2020

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

  • The Amazing Roberto Clemente

    Nov 03 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Ghosts Work

    Oct 31 2020

    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 sides of the divide between belief and skepticism on the topic of ghosts and look at some pretty cool explanations for hauntings. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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

    Oct 29 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Poe Toaster

    Oct 28 2020

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

  • A History of Nursing Homes

    Oct 27 2020

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

  • Chuck Bryant On The Why I’m Voting Podcast

    Oct 25 2020

    Hey, SYSK listeners! We wanted to make sure you heard Chuck on iHeartRadio’s Why I’m Voting podcast. Check it out and don’t forget to vote on November 3rd! If you want to change, preserve, or build a better America, there’s one easy way to make your voice heard: Vote. This year, iHeartRadio is teaming up with over 20 incredible celebrities (plus a handful of our most popular podcasters) to get the country excited to go vote, broadcasting the personal, emotional and heartfelt stories behind why s...more

  • SYSK Selects: How Book Banning Works

    Oct 24 2020

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

  • Beavers: Tail Slapping Fun

    Oct 22 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Haunted Real Estate

    Oct 21 2020

    Do you have to disclose the notion that your house may be haunted upon sale? Listen in to find out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • 10 Voter Suppression Methods

    Oct 20 2020

    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 https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Sushi Works

    Oct 17 2020

    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 canon. Learn all about it in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Porcupines: Little Stabby Cutie Pies

    Oct 15 2020

    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://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: What is Latinx anyway?

    Oct 14 2020

    We love to keep up with the current terminology for groups of people. Learn about the origin of Latinx today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Wind Tunnels: More Important Than You Realize

    Oct 13 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Bigfoot Works

    Oct 10 2020

    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 episode from the SYSK archives. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Printing press? Big deal!

    Oct 08 2020

    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://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Lying in State

    Oct 07 2020

    After RBG passed away she had the honor of lying in state. Who decides this? Listen and you'll know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with swing states?

    Oct 06 2020

    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 https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How the Electoral College Works

    Oct 03 2020

    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, in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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

    Oct 01 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: That's A Head Scratcher

    Sep 30 2020

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

  • Conjugal Visits: Not exactly what you think

    Sep 29 2020

    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://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Rabies Works

    Sep 26 2020

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

  • At Long Last: Hawaiian Overthrow Episode

    Sep 24 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Petticoat Rulers

    Sep 23 2020

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

  • How Sweepstakes Work

    Sep 22 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How White-collar Crime Works

    Sep 19 2020

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

  • How Election Polling Works and Doesn't Work

    Sep 17 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Black Cowboys

    Sep 16 2020

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

  • Origami: Folding Goodness

    Sep 15 2020

    Origami is an amazing art that consists of making folds in paper to create something beautiful. Learn all about it today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Porta-Potties Work

    Sep 12 2020

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

  • Wetlands! Wetlands! Wetlands!

    Sep 10 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Streisand Effect

    Sep 09 2020

    What does Barbra Streisand have to do with the internet? Listen and learn! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Frances Perkins: Influential and Unknown

    Sep 08 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Police Chases Work

    Sep 05 2020

    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 about the what, how, and why in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Disturbing Disappearance of Tara Calico

    Sep 03 2020

    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 lot 1500 miles away. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: More Phrase Origins

    Sep 02 2020

    We're back with another handful of phrase origins. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Escape from Alcatraz Worked

    Sep 01 2020

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

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

    Aug 29 2020

    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 needed to know about this unique, but not so modern arrangement. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Blacksmiths? You got that right!

    Aug 27 2020

    Blacksmiths? You got that right. Learn all about this age old occupation in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Carrots and Your Eyes

    Aug 26 2020

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

  • How Sneezing Works

    Aug 25 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Panic Attacks Work

    Aug 22 2020

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

  • 1-800-PODCAST

    Aug 20 2020

    Chuck and Josh dive into the wacky world of 800 and 900 phone numbers. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: The Great American Coin Shortage of 2020

    Aug 19 2020

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

  • How Anti-Dieting Works

    Aug 18 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How The Human Microbiome Project Works

    Aug 15 2020

    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 literally cannot live without. Learn more in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Olympic Torches: Remember Those?

    Aug 13 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: The Return of Bill Gates!

    Aug 12 2020

    Our old pal Bill Gates is back for a very special short stuff where we talk all about Covid vaccines and therapeutics. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Pirate Radio: Mavericks on the High Seas

    Aug 11 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How The Moonwalk Works

    Aug 08 2020

    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 move in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Miniature Golf Works

    Aug 06 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Jigsaw Puzzles

    Aug 05 2020

    Who doesn't love a good puzzle? Tune in to learn a few facts and figures about jigsaw puzzles right now. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Wasps: Not as cute as bees

    Aug 04 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How the Rosetta Stone Works

    Aug 01 2020

    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 intrigue, rivalry to translate it and the luck that led to the founding of Egyptology. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Soap Works

    Jul 30 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Habsburg Jaw

    Jul 29 2020

    The Habsburg Jaw is the result of inbreeding. But what is it? Click play and learn! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Hurricanes Work

    Jul 28 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Lobbying Works

    Jul 25 2020

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

  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Mobile Phones

    Jul 23 2020

    Today we deep dive on mobile phones, wonders of the modern world! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: The Death of Billy the Kid

    Jul 22 2020

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

  • How We Almost Got Rid of Polio

    Jul 21 2020

    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 humanity set about ridding if from the Earth. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How a Flea Circus Works

    Jul 18 2020

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

  • Robber Barons!

    Jul 16 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Centralia Coal Fire

    Jul 15 2020

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

  • Flagpole Sitting: A Real Fad

    Jul 14 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Landfills Work

    Jul 11 2020

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

  • Essential Oils: Nature's Cure?

    Jul 09 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: The @ Symbol

    Jul 08 2020

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

  • What was the KGB?

    Jul 07 2020

    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://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: All We Know About Guessing

    Jul 04 2020

    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 classic episode, learn everything we know about the brain and how it manages this odd, very human act. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Oh Yes, How Soil Works

    Jul 02 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: The Science of Funny Words

    Jul 01 2020

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

  • Bruxism: Grinding Your Teeth Is the Pits

    Jun 30 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: Juggling: What the Heck

    Jun 27 2020

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

  • Matcha: That Ain't Just Tea

    Jun 25 2020

    Matcha is something else, healthy and delicious and all the rage. Learn all about this trendy beverage today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Nouns of assemblage... assemble!

    Jun 24 2020

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

  • How Ultrasound Works

    Jun 23 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: Research tips from SYSK

    Jun 20 2020

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

  • The Manhattan Grid

    Jun 18 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Haint Blue

    Jun 17 2020

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

  • The War on Fat: The Seven Countries Study

    Jun 16 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Flamethrowers Work

    Jun 13 2020

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

  • Can You Eat A Tapeworm To Lose Weight?

    Jun 11 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Foie Gras

    Jun 10 2020

    Foie gras means “fatty liver” in French, which makes sense because it’s made from the overripe livers of force-fed ducks and geese.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Project Star Gate Worked

    Jun 09 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How The Black Panther Party Worked

    Jun 06 2020

    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 interesting American stories, from the early stages of policing the police to their community service efforts to their inevitable fall. Learn all about the Black Panther Party in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news...more

  • The Massacre at Tiananmen Square

    Jun 04 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Disappearing Dirty Dancing Lake

    Jun 03 2020

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

  • Heroin: The Drug

    Jun 02 2020

    We've covered a lot of drugs in our history, and today we tackle heroin, one of the most dangerous of all. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Jackhammers Work

    May 30 2020

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

  • How Narcolepsy Works

    May 28 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Lawn Darts

    May 27 2020

    There was a time when kids had to look out for flying darts that could pierce their skulls when they played in the backyard. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Hummingbirds: Ornery Helicopters of the Animal Kingdom

    May 26 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How The Enlightenment Works

    May 23 2020

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

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

    May 22 2020

    Hi listeners, in case you haven't heard already, iHeartRadio just released a brand new podcast called Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020, where we collected speeches from notable folks all over and asked them to give their best advice, thoughts and words of wisdom to graduating seniors.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...more

  • How Bras Work

    May 21 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Mary Had A Little Lamb

    May 20 2020

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

  • How Spiritualism Works

    May 19 2020

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

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

    May 18 2020

    Hi listeners, in case you haven't heard already, iHeartRadio just released a brand new podcast called Commencement: Speeches for the Class of 2020, where we collected speeches from notable folks all over and asked them to give their best advice, thoughts and words of wisdom to graduating seniors.In this episode, our very own Chuck Bryant reminds graduates to not let this season define them, reminding them the world believes in their ability to craft a better future for themselves.If you'd like t...more

  • SYSK Selects: How Fire Works

    May 16 2020

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

  • How Peanut Butter Works

    May 14 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Charley Horse

    May 13 2020

    You know those terrible leg cramps that come out of nowhere? They may be named after a drunken baseball pitcher. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Herd Immunity Works

    May 12 2020

    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 Covid-19. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Caving Works

    May 09 2020

    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 experience, in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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

    May 07 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Gibtown: Sideshow Central

    May 06 2020

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

  • I'm Spartacus!

    May 05 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How do dogs perceive time?

    May 02 2020

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

  • Agatha Christie: Queen of the Murder Mystery

    Apr 30 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Mullets: 'Nuff Said

    Apr 29 2020

    Business in the front, you know the rest. Listen in as we discuss the lifestyle choice that is the mullet. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Existential Risks Work

    Apr 28 2020

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

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

    Apr 25 2020

    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 of the postal service in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Voyager Golden Records Work

    Apr 23 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: The NY Times Crossword

    Apr 22 2020

    Today Chuck and Josh take a shallow dive in the warm pool that is the NY Times Crossword Puzzle. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Soul Train Episode

    Apr 21 2020

    Today, Chuck and Josh dive into the funky, cool world of the classic TV show, Sooooooooul Train. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Labor Unions Work

    Apr 18 2020

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

  • How Wastewater Treatment Works

    Apr 16 2020

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

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

    Apr 15 2020

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

  • Bidets: Now More Than Ever

    Apr 14 2020

    We all know the benefits of bidets. But with toilet paper in short supply, they're more important than ever before. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Dissociative Identity Disorder Works

    Apr 11 2020

    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 condition. Learn more in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, Feminist Physician

    Apr 09 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: AAirpass

    Apr 08 2020

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

  • The Legends of Lost Nazi Gold

    Apr 07 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How the Deep Web Works

    Apr 04 2020

    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 its dark corners in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Student Loans: UGH!

    Apr 02 2020

    Student loans can be pretty complicated. Luckily Chuck and Josh are here to wade through the financial muck for you. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: 666

    Apr 01 2020

    Today, Chuck and Josh dive into that scary number...666. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Dog Training Works

    Mar 31 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: Can Nuclear Fusion Reactors Save The World?

    Mar 28 2020

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

  • How COVID-19 Works

    Mar 26 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Dagen H

    Mar 25 2020

    One day in 1967, Sweden changed what side of the road its citizens drive on. It went surprisingly well, considering. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Could A Robot Tax Win the War on Poverty?

    Mar 24 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: Virus Talk with Josh and Chuck

    Mar 21 2020

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

  • SYSK Distraction Playlist: How Jim Henson Worked

    Mar 20 2020

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

  • SYSK Distraction Playlist: SYSK Live: How Bars Work

    Mar 20 2020

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

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

    Mar 20 2020

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

  • SYSK Distraction Playlist: How Terraforming Will Work

    Mar 20 2020

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

  • SYSK Distraction Playlist: How Rogue Waves Work

    Mar 20 2020

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

  • SYSK Distraction Playlist: Was there a real King Arthur?

    Mar 20 2020

    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 Lady of the Lake to Merlin the Magician, seem fictional some archaeologists believe that Arthur -- and much of his life -- was real. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Distraction Playlist: The Amazing History of Soda

    Mar 20 2020

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

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

    Mar 20 2020

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

  • SYSK Distraction Playlist: How Pinball Works

    Mar 20 2020

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

  • SYSK Distraction Playlist: Sugar: It Powers the Earth

    Mar 20 2020

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

  • What was the Falkland Islands War all about anyway?

    Mar 19 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: The Pledge of Allegiance

    Mar 18 2020

    The American Pledge of Allegiance is much more interesting than you might think. Give us 12 minutes and we'll fill you in. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Chopsticks > Forks

    Mar 17 2020

    Today Chuck and Josh sit and converse on the simple, elegant chopstick.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Monopoly Works

    Mar 14 2020

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

  • How Ice Climbing Works

    Mar 12 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Teresita Basa

    Mar 11 2020

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

  • How Coyotes Work

    Mar 10 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Gold Works

    Mar 07 2020

    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, there's a decent chance your jewelry may once have been part of an Incan headdress or Mycenaean face mask. Dive in to gold in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Mardi Gras! One month late

    Mar 05 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Exclamation Points!

    Mar 04 2020

    We all use them! But did we always? NO!! Learn all about everyone's favorite punctuation mark today! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Morphic Fields Work?

    Mar 03 2020

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

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

    Feb 29 2020

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

  • Sammy Davis Jr: National Treasure

    Feb 27 2020

    Today Josh and Chuck sit down and detail the complicated life of the late, great Sammy Davis Jr. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Hawaiian Night Marchers

    Feb 26 2020

    Get ready for some Hawaiian folklore, people. Today we discuss the Night Marchers. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with indigo?

    Feb 25 2020

    Indigo is a color with a rich past. Learn all about it today.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Cult Deprogramming Works

    Feb 22 2020

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

  • Birthmarks: Probably Not the Mark of the Devil

    Feb 20 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: Mexican Jumping Beans

    Feb 19 2020

    Mexican jumping beans are a real thing and they really do move around. It’s not magic, it’s nature! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Unsolved Indiana Dunes Disappearances

    Feb 18 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: A Podcast on Zoot Suits? Yes

    Feb 15 2020

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

  • 911 Is Not a Joke

    Feb 13 2020

    Josh and Chuck delve into the world of 911 in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Body Under The Bed

    Feb 12 2020

    A couple unknowingly spending the night above a dead body stuffed under their bed is a longstanding urban legend. And a true one. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Optogenetics: Controlling Your Genes with Light

    Feb 11 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Bonsai Works

    Feb 08 2020

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

  • Why are Pentecostals growing so rapidly?

    Feb 06 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: The Iowa Caucus

    Feb 05 2020

    The Iowa Caucus is super important. But not really. Find out why.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How AI Facial Recognition Works

    Feb 04 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Maglev Trains Work

    Feb 01 2020

    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 and what's taking so long for us to get aboard in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Who were the Buffalo Soldiers?

    Jan 30 2020

    Josh and Chuck dive into history today to tell the story of the Buffalo Soldiers.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: The O.K. Corral

    Jan 29 2020

    Listen in as we detail, in short, the legendary shootout at the O.K. Corral. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Amazing Animal Stories!

    Jan 28 2020

    Regular animal stories are wonderful enough, but when animals lead amazing lives the stories become almost unbearably wonderful. You’ve been warned! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How the Scientific Method Works

    Jan 25 2020

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

  • Barefoot Running: The Best Podcast Episode in History

    Jan 23 2020

    What is barefoot running? I think you know. But we'll detail all of the ins and outs. Listen and learn! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Byford Dolphin Incident

    Jan 22 2020

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

  • Why Postal Employees Go Postal

    Jan 21 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: How the Placebo Effect Works

    Jan 18 2020

    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 recovery, in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Tulsa 'Race Riots'

    Jan 16 2020

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

  • Short Stuff: The Mona Lisa

    Jan 15 2020

    The Mona Lisa is a captivating work of art. But why? We'll try and figure it out in today's short stuff. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Transdermal Implants: Body Art or Nightmare Fuel?

    Jan 14 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: Jellyfish - Even Cooler Than Octopi?

    Jan 11 2020

    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 em in this classic episode! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Disappearance of Flight MH370, Part II

    Jan 09 2020

    In the absence of an official explanation of why flight MH 370 disappeared in 2014, conjecture and conspiracy theories have filled the vacuum. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Corduroy

    Jan 08 2020

    Learn 12 minutes worth of stuff about corduroy today! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Disappearance of Flight MH370, Part I

    Jan 07 2020

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

  • SYSK Selects: Will Computers Replace Doctors?

    Jan 04 2020

    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 computers that read our health-related data to treat us? We explore these questions and more in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Safecracking Works

    Jan 02 2020

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

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

    Jan 01 2020

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

  • Are broken arrows a problem?

    Dec 31 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Wine Fraud Works

    Dec 28 2019

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

  • SYSK Live: Andre the Giant

    Dec 26 2019

    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 special live edition of the story of Andre the Giant.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: The Santa Claus Association

    Dec 25 2019

    If a con man manages to make needy Christmas wishes come true is he still a con man? (Also, Merry Christmas!) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The SYSK Holiday Spectacular

    Dec 24 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: The Star Wars Holiday Special of 1978

    Dec 21 2019

    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 force be with us all. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Cave Diving: Totally Nuts

    Dec 19 2019

    There are extreme sports and then there is cave diving, the most extreme activity a person can engage in without leaving Earth. Cave divers stay underwater swimming miles into – that’s right – caves, where no human has ever been before. It’s pretty cool. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Obituaries

    Dec 18 2019

    Learn everything we know about obituaries in 12 minutes! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • MC Escher and His Trippy Art

    Dec 17 2019

    We love us some MC Escher. Turns out his story is pretty fascinating too. Tune in today.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Currency Works

    Dec 14 2019

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

  • How Anorexia and Bulimia Work

    Dec 12 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Whisky or Bourbon?

    Dec 11 2019

    What's the difference between whisky and bourbon? We'll tell you if you care to listen. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gin

    Dec 10 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Amnesia Works

    Dec 07 2019

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

  • What's a gap year anyway?

    Dec 05 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Macadamia Nuts

    Dec 04 2019

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

  • Did Climate Cause the Collapse of the Maya?

    Dec 03 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: Fractals - Whoa

    Nov 30 2019

    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 fractals in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Conversion Therapy Doesn't Work

    Nov 28 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Niagara Falls Dewatered

    Nov 27 2019

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

  • How Carbon-14 Dating Works

    Nov 26 2019

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

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

    Nov 23 2019

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

  • What Makes a Must-Have Christmas Toy?

    Nov 21 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Backyard Burials

    Nov 20 2019

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

  • The Murder Mystery of Ötzi the Iceman

    Nov 19 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Salt Works

    Nov 16 2019

    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 and how we get it from the Earth in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • NYC Water: An Engineering Marvel

    Nov 14 2019

    Getting the rain and melted snow from upstate NY into the taps of every NYC resident and business is one of the great feats of engineering. Does it taste great and make perfect bagels and pizza crust? Sources say yes! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: The Conch Republic

    Nov 13 2019

    Back in 1982, Key West seceded from the United States. Don’t believe us? It’s true! Just listen to the episode, will you? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Augmented Reality: Coming Soon?

    Nov 12 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: Can you Treat Mental Illness with Psychedelics?

    Nov 09 2019

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

  • Cockney Rhyming Slang: Beautiful Gibberish

    Nov 07 2019

    What is Cockney Rhyming Slang? It's complicated and its origins are unclear. Learn everything we know about it today.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Ironman Triathlons Work

    Nov 06 2019

    Sure, you could train for months to finish a marathon, but why not make things interesting? Ironman triathlons add a 2.4-mile swim and a 112-mile bike race before the marathon leg. It’s as grueling as it sounds.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: The History of Paternity Testing

    Nov 06 2019

    Paternity testing. It wasn't science for many years, yet they still tried to do it. Learn all about it in 12 minutes. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Halitosis - Worst Smell Ever?

    Nov 02 2019

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

  • SYSK’s Scare Your Socks Off Halloween Spooktacular 2019

    Oct 31 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Our Shortie Halloween Spooktacular

    Oct 30 2019

    Join us today as we read three short horror selections from Ambrose Bierce.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Where Did Trick-Or-Treating Come From?

    Oct 29 2019

    We aren’t exactly sure who invented trick-or-treating – kids who realized they could extort adults for candy, or adults who bought off kids in exchange for laying off pranks? The bigger question is: Will trick-or-treating survive the 21st century? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Haunted House Attractions Work

    Oct 26 2019

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

  • How Historic Districts Work

    Oct 24 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: The Toxic Death of Gloria Ramirez

    Oct 23 2019

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

  • What's the deal with subpoenas?

    Oct 22 2019

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

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

    Oct 19 2019

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

  • How Project Blue Book Worked, Pt II

    Oct 17 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: The Disappearance of Ambrose Bierce

    Oct 16 2019

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

  • How Project Blue Book Worked, Pt I

    Oct 15 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Black Boxes Work

    Oct 12 2019

    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 tales they've told, in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Ins and Outs of Beekeeping

    Oct 10 2019

    Who wants fresh honey? We do! Learn all about the ancient art of beekeeping today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: The Devil's Den

    Oct 09 2019

    The Devil's Den is the sight of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Is it haunted? Nope. But still creepy.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Environmental Psychology Works

    Oct 08 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Pez Works

    Oct 05 2019

    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 Josh and Chuck in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What were the Freedom Schools?

    Oct 03 2019

    Freedom Schools were set up in Mississippi in the heart of the Civil Rights Movement, with the aim of giving young black school children agency and a future. They remain one of the more inspiring and progressive programs in American History, yet so few know about them. We're hoping to change that.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Fish n' Chips

    Oct 02 2019

    How did these two wonderful strangers meet up and become best friends? The answers lie within today's short stuff.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Guardian Angels: Behind the Red Beret

    Oct 01 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: What Happened at Kent State?

    Sep 28 2019

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

  • What are paraphilias?

    Sep 26 2019

    Josh and Chuck dive into the world of paraphilias so you can get the skinny in 45 minutes or less.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Dare Stones

    Sep 25 2019

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

  • We Are Running Out of Sand and That Actually Matters

    Sep 24 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: Could You Live Without a Refrigerator?

    Sep 21 2019

    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 they do it in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the US Interstate System Works

    Sep 19 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Scurvy

    Sep 18 2019

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

  • The Skinny on Lyme Disease

    Sep 17 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Wills Work

    Sep 14 2019

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

  • Special Effects: A Short History

    Sep 12 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Papasan Chairs

    Sep 11 2019

    Oh, the papasan. What a chair! But where did it come from? And what does the name mean? The answers lie within. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Government Shutdowns Work

    Sep 10 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Ouija Boards Work

    Sep 07 2019

    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 spiritualism movement in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with MSG?

    Sep 05 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Barbed Wire

    Sep 04 2019

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

  • Ed Gein: The Serial Killer's Serial Killer

    Sep 03 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Icebergs Work

    Aug 31 2019

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

  • The Rubik's Cube Episode

    Aug 29 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Dead Bodies and Airline Codes

    Aug 28 2019

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

  • A Brief Overview of Punk Rock

    Aug 27 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Sleepwalking Works

    Aug 24 2019

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

  • How Ventriloquism Works

    Aug 22 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Horseshoe Crab Blood

    Aug 21 2019

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

  • Nuclear Semiotics: How to Talk to Future Humans

    Aug 20 2019

    The nuclear waste we produce will be dangerous for a very long time. We’ve figured out how to safely store it in the earth until it’s no longer a biohazard. Now we just have to figure out how to warn humans 10,000 years in the future to stay away from it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Are We in a Cyberwar?

    Aug 17 2019

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

  • How Peyote Works

    Aug 15 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Petrichor

    Aug 14 2019

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

  • Solar Power: The Future or What?

    Aug 13 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: What Is a Shotgun House?

    Aug 10 2019

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

  • Iran-Contra Affair: Shady in the 80s, Part 2

    Aug 08 2019

    As the operation expands it also begins to unravel. Word starts to leak out of the illegal stuff the Reagan administration was up to, Congress and the press investigate and people start to point fingers. Spoiler alert – they all got off scot free. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Time Zones

    Aug 07 2019

    Time zones are a pain. Let's get rid of them! Can we? Sure! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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

    Aug 06 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How the Black Death Worked

    Aug 03 2019

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

  • What Were the BONE WARS?

    Aug 01 2019

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

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

    Jul 31 2019

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

  • Will Deepfakes Ruin the World?

    Jul 30 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Human Cannonballs Work

    Jul 27 2019

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

  • How Eyewitness Testimony Works(?)

    Jul 25 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Aristides de Sousa Mendes

    Jul 24 2019

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

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

    Jul 23 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Crack Works

    Jul 20 2019

    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 babies. Let's take a look back at the receding wave of the crack epidemic and its lasting legacy on America in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Sand Dunes: They Are What You Think They Are

    Jul 18 2019

    Sand dunes are exactly what you think they are. But still pretty interesting. Learn all about them right now! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Yellow Rain

    Jul 17 2019

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

  • How Going to the Moon Works

    Jul 16 2019

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

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

    Jul 13 2019

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

  • How Sloths Work

    Jul 11 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: The Coconut Cult

    Jul 10 2019

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

  • Cleopatra: Ms. Understood

    Jul 09 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: What Makes us Yawn?

    Jul 06 2019

    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 won't yawn during this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Fairness Doctrine Worked

    Jul 04 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Mitsuye Endo

    Jul 03 2019

    In today's short stuff, we look at another amazing woman who has all but been ignored by history. The story of Mitsuye Endo.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Is photographic memory a real thing?

    Jul 02 2019

    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 https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: What Makes a One-hit Wonder?

    Jun 29 2019

    The term "one-hit wonder" gets thrown around a lot, and - yes - you probably are using it correctly, but Chuck Bryant went to the trouble to really define what makes a one-hit wonder in the article this classic episode is based on. Join him and Josh as they get to the bottom of this disparaging term. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What is the Civil Air Patrol?

    Jun 27 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Prison Food

    Jun 26 2019

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

  • Planned Obsolescence: Engine of the Consumer Economy

    Jun 25 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How the Donner Party Worked

    Jun 22 2019

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

  • What happened to the Neanderthals?

    Jun 20 2019

    As recently as 40,000 years ago we lived among humans from an entirely different species – Neanderthals. About the same time our species showed up, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Just what happened to the other guys? Did our ancestors do something … bad? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Emperor Norton

    Jun 19 2019

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

  • How the Hygiene Hypothesis Works

    Jun 18 2019

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

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

    Jun 15 2019

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

  • How Area 51 Works

    Jun 13 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Smoke Signals

    Jun 12 2019

    Were smoke signals real or a Hollywood invention? Turns out, they were indeed a thing and invented by the Chinese, even.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the gig economy?

    Jun 11 2019

    The gig economy is not new, but it's bigger than ever. Is that a good thing? We'll discuss that today! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Capgras Syndrome Works

    Jun 08 2019

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

  • What is perfect pitch?

    Jun 06 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Robert Johnson and the Devil

    Jun 05 2019

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

  • How Barcodes Work

    Jun 04 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How TV Ratings Work

    Jun 01 2019

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

  • The Tylenol Murders, Part II

    May 30 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Look-Alike Old Couples

    May 29 2019

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

  • The Tylenol Murders, Part I

    May 28 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Acne Works

    May 25 2019

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

  • What was Tin Pan Alley?

    May 23 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: James Polk, Disinterred

    May 22 2019

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

  • How Crystals Work

    May 21 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Dying Works

    May 18 2019

    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 death -- and what they regret not having done while they lived. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • 10ish Cases of Really Bad Luck

    May 16 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Honorary Degrees

    May 15 2019

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

  • How Trampolines Work

    May 14 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Lie Detectors Work

    May 11 2019

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

  • Do Dietary Supplements Work?

    May 09 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Nicknames

    May 08 2019

    What's in a nickname? Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don't. Let's get our shorty on and find out the deal.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Remembering Live Aid

    May 07 2019

    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 remains in question. Listen and learn today!  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Does a Diving Bell Work?

    May 04 2019

    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 physics of this clever and ancient invention and how it's been used to sabotage enemy boats and build the Brooklyn Bridge. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What Happens When the Government Thinks You're Dead?

    May 02 2019

    It’s bad enough when the government knows you’re alive – there are taxes to pay, laws to be followed, all sorts of boring and unpleasant things. But each year, thousands of Americans find out life is far, far worse when the government thinks you are dead. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: The Number 23

    May 01 2019

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

  • Michael Dillon: Trans Pioneer

    Apr 30 2019

    Michael Dillon was a lot of things - author, doctor, and most importantly, trans pioneer. Learn all about his story in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Zero Works

    Apr 27 2019

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

  • What Were Human Zoos?

    Apr 25 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Fear of Public Speaking

    Apr 24 2019

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

  • Is birth order important?

    Apr 23 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Marijuana Works

    Apr 20 2019

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

  • How the Hoover Dam Works, Part II

    Apr 18 2019

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

  • Short Stuff: Emu Wars

    Apr 17 2019

    Did Australians really wage war on a group of emus? YES. Learn all about it in today's short stuff.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Hoover Dam Works, Part I

    Apr 16 2019

    It’s one of America’s biggest accomplishments in the 20th century, a slab of concrete holding back one of the country’s most finicky rivers, providing water and electricity to a swath of majors cities that otherwise couldn’t exist. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Yo-Yos Work

    Apr 13 2019

    You may have played with a yo-yo before -- perhaps you've even walked the dog -- but do you know about the physics behind what makes a yo-yo sleep and wake up? Learn all about inertia, angular momentum and the history of the yo-yo in this episode of SYSK. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Electric Chair Works

    Apr 11 2019

    The electric chair is an all-American invention. It spread almost nowhere else in the world as a capital punishment but worked overtime in the States. Despite the terrible sights and sounds an electrocution produces, it was created out of humaneness.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Lake Peigneur

    Apr 10 2019

    In 1980 something catastrophic happened to the quiet town of New Iberia, Louisiana. Their wide, shallow lake grew much deeper after it underwent an apocalyptic transformation.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Free Range Parenting Works

    Apr 09 2019

    Free range parenting is all about giving your child the freedom to play and explore life on their own. Are there benefits? Sure. Do some people hate the concept? Yes! Listen and learn right here.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Pollen Works

    Apr 06 2019

    For about 375 million years, plants have been using pollen (aka plant sperm) to propagate their species. And the technique has stuck around because it works. Join Chuck and Josh for a cozy look at the ins and outs of plant reproduction. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Were Nazis Drug-Fueled Crankheads?

    Apr 04 2019

    Nazis were bad people. And it turns out a lot of them were high as kites on speed. Was this a recipe for disaster? Yes it was.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Unspent Campaign Money

    Apr 03 2019

    Have you ever wondered what happens to all those campaign donations when a political campaign goes belly up? Or, even worse, is in debt! Wonder no more! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Rape Kits Work

    Apr 02 2019

    Rape kits are simple forensic evidence collection kits used when someone is sexually assaulted. But the story is deeper than this. Learn all about rape kits, the sad backlog problem, and what you can do to help, in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Immigration Works

    Mar 30 2019

    Immigration systems regulate the flow of foreign immigrants into any given country. But why is immigration such a controversial topic, especially in the United States? In this episode, Josh and Chuck delve into the details and debate behind immigration. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Etch A Sketch!

    Mar 28 2019

    The Etch A Sketch is yet another classic toy that Josh and Chuck love and respect. Learn all about this Hall of Fame entry today.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: When Elvis Met Nixon

    Mar 27 2019

    Elvis really did meet with Richard Nixon. Because Elvis wanted to help fight the drug trade. True story. Hear about it in today's short stuff.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Druids Worked

    Mar 26 2019

    Anyone who likes Led Zeppelin, plays Dungeons & Dragons, or worships the rising sun at Stonehenge on the vernal equinox can tell you druids are cool. But archaeologists will tell you we can’t even be certain druids existed. Buckle in for a history mystery! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Sign Language Works

    Mar 23 2019

    It wasn't until the was developed and despite its co-existence alongside English, a user would be hard-pressed to sign with a British person. Find out about the independent evolution of sign language in the U.S. and how intuitively sensible it is.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Disgust Works

    Mar 21 2019

    Disgust is an odd thing. It makes sense that we would feel a sense of revulsion at the thought of putting rotten meat in our mouths – that’s pure evolution. But why would we feel the same emotion at the thought of weird sex or from hearing a racist rant? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: The Sandman

    Mar 20 2019

    Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream! But who is the sandman? We'll tell you in today's edition of short stuff.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Desert Survival: Josh and Chuck Save Your Tookus

    Mar 19 2019

    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 episode, where we guide you to safety.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Was Atlantis A Real Place?

    Mar 16 2019

    While the search for Atlantis has been pushed to the fringes since the 19th century, archaeologists have quietly pursued cities that may have inspired Plato to fabricate the mythical city. It looks like a team in Greece has found it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Great Stink: The Stench So Bad They Gave It A Name

    Mar 14 2019

    In the summer of 1858, a heatwave dried up the Thames River to a trickle in London. As centuries’ worth of human waste, animal carcasses and other nasty things cooked in the sun, a stench arose that was so horrific it got its own name: The Great Stink. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Bedbugs

    Mar 13 2019

    We eradicated bedbugs so thoroughly in the 50s that generations who came later suspected they weren’t anymore real than jackalopes and snipes. But since we banned DDT, the pesticide that kills bedbugs best, they’re back again. And they’re terrible.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti

    Mar 12 2019

    The trial of Sacco and Vanzetti, two anarchists accused of murder, was one of the first "crimes of the century." But did they do it? To this day there is speculation that they did not. Learn all about this famous case in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Wildfires Work

    Mar 09 2019

    Wildfires consume an annual average of 5 million acres in the US. But what causes wildfires? How do they become so powerful? More importantly, how do we fight them? Join Josh and Chuck as they take you to the frontlines of the fight against wildfires. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Dyslexia Works

    Mar 07 2019

    For a learning disability that everyone seems to know about, dyslexia is maybe the most commonly misunderstood and controversial cognitive difficulty there is. Some people think it’s a gift, some people think it doesn’t even exist.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Wigs in English Court

    Mar 06 2019

    What's the deal with the wigs in the English court system? Learn all about it in today's short stuff.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with ASMR?

    Mar 05 2019

    ASMR is soothing to some, maddening to others. Learn all about these whisper tones in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How the Panama Canal Works

    Mar 02 2019

    It's on more than one list of the Seven Wonders of the World and for good reason - the Panama Canal is one of the great feats of engineering ever undertaken. First conceived of in the 1580s and finally completed in 1914, the canal has a fascinating history (including a stint where it was considered U.S. soil). Learn all about it on this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Tuskegee Airmen: American Heroes

    Feb 28 2019

    The Tuskegee Airmen braved racism and brutally tough training in order to secure their spot in American history as the first African-American military pilots. Listen in today to the story of their determination and heroism. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Black Loyalists

    Feb 27 2019

    The Black Loyalists were a group of Colonial slaves who fought for their freedom alongside the British. Learn all about this nearly forgotten group in today's Short Stuff.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Science of Break-Ups

    Feb 26 2019

    Breaking up is hard to do. Your brain might even think you're getting over a cocaine addiction. Learn all about the science behind break-ups today! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Lewis and Clark Worked

    Feb 23 2019

    They may be the most famous explorers in U.S. history, but there are plenty of interesting details to the Lewis and Clark expedition that history has allowed to fade. Learn about the origin and the aftermath of America's first early push Westward in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Galaxies Work

    Feb 21 2019

    In the universe things tend to cluster. This means there’s a coherent structure to the universe and learning about clusters of stars – galaxies - helps us figure out what that structure is. Join Chuck and Josh on an amazing space voyage! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Turbulence

    Feb 20 2019

    If you’ve ever had a bumpy airplane ride, you know it’s nothing fun. But have you ever noticed that the pilots sometimes tell you ahead of time to buckle in? How do they know turbulence is ahead? Are they some kind of fortune teller? How can anyone see wind? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Yeti: The Asian Bigfoot

    Feb 19 2019

    We've covered Nessie and Bigfoot, so why not tackle the Yeti? Listen in today and Josh and Chuck cover what used to be known as the Abominable Snowman.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Interpol: World Police

    Feb 16 2019

    Interpol is an international police agency that helps other law-enforcement agencies track criminals who operate across national borders -- but how does it work, exactly? Join the guys as they delve into the world of global law enforcement. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Elephants: The Best Animals?

    Feb 14 2019

    Elephants are pretty much the best. Why? Josh and Chuck will let you know in great detail in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: War of Jenkins' Ear

    Feb 13 2019

    In the 18th century, Spain and England fought each other in the colonies of Georgia and Florida, a war kicked off by an English sea captain who was mad his ear had been perhaps unfairly lopped off.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Could There Be A Loch Ness Monster?

    Feb 12 2019

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Coral Reefs Work

    Feb 09 2019

    Coral reefs are the largest organic structures on Earth, yet they're created through a symbiotic relationship between creatures about 3 millimeters long. Learn more about the the world's coral reefs (and how to protect them) in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The True Story of BlacKkKlansman

    Feb 07 2019

    In 2018, director Spike Lee brought the story of Ron Stallworth to the big screen to great effect. Today, Josh and Chuck discuss the true story behind the Oscar nominated film.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Ellen Richards

    Feb 06 2019

    Who is Ellen Richards? One of the most unsung scientists of all time, that's who. Her contribution? Bringing real science into the household and forcing the world to take "home-ec" seriously. We celebrate her today on Short Stuff.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Insidious Abuse of Stalking

    Feb 05 2019

    Stalking has only recently been recognized for what it is – a profound form of psychological abuse where the victim’s life is “infected” by the stalker, as one survivor put it. Stalking can go on for years, and in some cases may be the prelude to murder.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Saunas: More Interesting Than You Think!

    Feb 02 2019

    Although they seem pretty mundane, saunas are surprisingly fascinating inventions. Josh and Chuck break out all sorts of sweaty, sauna-related trivia, from the Finnish affinity for saunas to sauna etiquette, in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Central Park Works

    Jan 31 2019

    Central Park in Manhattan was America’s first landscaped public park, built at a time when New Yorkers’ only option for getting some fresh air was hanging around cemeteries. Get all the info about this beautiful icon and how it’s served as a landscape for class struggles over three centuries. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Johnny Appleseed

    Jan 30 2019

    Johnny Appleseed was real! And he was about as amazing as the legend paints him. He really did plant apple trees all over America and if the feds hadn’t chopped them down during Prohibition, they’d still be around. Learn what we mean in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Ping Pong Works

    Jan 29 2019

    While Asia is well-known for being cuckoo for Ping Pong, the game was actually invented by bored British Victorian aristocrats. Go back and forth about Ping Pong’s place in the world with Chuck and Josh. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Bioluminescence: A Bright and Shiny Fish

    Jan 26 2019

    Science has a handle on fireflies and glowworms, but most bioluminescent animals live in the ocean and are tough to study. Today, researchers are still figuring out why some animals produce light. Dive with Josh and Chuck into this illuminating topic. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Legend of Betsy Ross

    Jan 24 2019

    Betsy Ross is an American icon to many, the seamstress who sewed the first U.S. flag because of a personal commission from George Washington. But is it true? Sort of. Learn all about this fascinating story today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Thread Count

    Jan 23 2019

    Is thread count all it's cracked up to be? Listen in and find out in today's edition of Short Stuff! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Live: The Kellogg Brothers’ Wacky World of Health

    Jan 22 2019

    There’s no way you haven’t had one of their breakfast cereals, but we bet you don’t know the story behind the two brothers who brought the world corn flakes. Buckle in for a lot of talk about poop, religion and masturbation, live from Sydney, Australia. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Lobotomies Work

    Jan 19 2019

    Lobotomies -- brain surgeries to relieve psychiatric problems -- are rarely performed today, but they were once fairly common. Tune in to learn more about the controversial history and practice of lobotomies. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The July 20th Plot to Assassinate Hitler

    Jan 17 2019

    A lot of people in Hitler's inner circle wanted him dead toward the end of the war. But he proved impossible to kill from within. Listen in today as Josh and Chuck dig into the infamous July 20th plot to blow up Der Führer. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Olestra

    Jan 16 2019

    In the 90s a fat free miracle food came out that promised we could eat all we wanted and not gain weight. But there was a caveat: it could also make your bowels unpleasantly loose. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Airbags Work

    Jan 15 2019

    It turns out that the inflatable bag of air that shoots out of your steering wheel or dashboard is the result of a controlled explosion of solid fuel, just like in a rocket – aimed for your face. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Schizophrenia Works

    Jan 12 2019

    Up to 24 million people worldwide have schizophrenia. Despite the vast amounts of research, the disorder remains mysterious. In this episode, Josh and Chuck delve into the nature of schizophrenia, from the history of the disorder to the latest research. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Great Finger in the Wendy’s Chili Caper

    Jan 10 2019

    In 2005 a woman named Anna Alaya discovered a length of human finger – nail and all – in her Wendy’s chili. Her cries of disgust would set off a media firestorm, a criminal investigation and a prison sentence for her and her husband.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: How Often Do You Need To Change Your Oil?

    Jan 09 2019

    First things, first: Take that oil change reminder sticker off your windshield and throw it away forever and never look back!  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Spanish Flu Worked

    Jan 08 2019

    The Spanish Flu killed anywhere from 20-100 million or more people over 1918/1919. All of this played out with World War I in the foreground, one big reason why the flu spread so far, so fast. Learn all about this devastating pandemic in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Munchausen Syndrome Works

    Jan 05 2019

    Why would someone fake an illness? Here's an even better question: Why would someone repeatedly make themselves sick? Join Josh and Chuck as they separate the facts from fiction and give you the scoop on Munchausen syndrome. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What was the Tunguska event?

    Jan 03 2019

    In 1908, the most powerful meteoroid explosion in recorded history happened over a remote area of Siberia. But the weird thing is there was no impact crater and no asteroid to be found – so was it an asteroid? (Yes.) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Khipu

    Jan 02 2019

    Listen in to learn all about the fascinating "language" of the Incan khipu knotted ropes.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Rockettes: Still Kicking After All These Years

    Jan 01 2019

    Tune in today to learn all about the legendary NYC Rockettes, who actually got their start in Missouri.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Fossils Work

    Dec 29 2018

    A fossil is a piece of once-living organic material that has undergone a transition from an organic state to an inorganic state. But what exactly is fossilization? Listen in as Josh and Chuck break down the process of fossilization. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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

    Dec 27 2018

    The Seuss is loose in this episode about legendary children's book author Ted Geisel. The funny thing is, he didn't ever want children of his own, and his past work was a bit problematic. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: The Brain-Bladder Connection

    Dec 26 2018

    How much do you know about the brain-bladder connection? In about 15 minutes, it'll be a lot more.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Live Christmas Spectacular!

    Dec 25 2018

    This year, Josh and Chuck go live for their annual Christmas Spectacular. Recorded from the Center Stage Theater in Atlanta, pour up some eggnog, light a fire and enjoy this live show with the whole family.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: The Star Wars Holiday Special of 1978

    Dec 22 2018

    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 force be with us all. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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

    Dec 20 2018

    If you play video games you probably have an easy answer to worst game of all time: ET. But it turns out there are no easy answers, especially when you’re talking about a game so terrible it’s blamed for bringing the entire video game industry with it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Unique Snowflakes

    Dec 19 2018

    Amazingly, it turns out that every snowflake truly is unique. Math backs it up.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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

    Dec 18 2018

    Sometimes a good idea doesn’t pan out in real life. Take Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome: It requires less energy to heat and cool, it’s cheap, and it’s durable enough to withstand a hurricane – but it’s also godawful ugly and that was its undoing. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Igloos Work

    Dec 15 2018

    Igloos were traditionally used by Inuit Indians as temporary shelter while on hunting and fishing trips. In this episode, Josh and Chuck look at the design of igloos, from their impressive heat-catching properties to their ingenious construction. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Are good samaritan laws effective?

    Dec 13 2018

    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? Decide for yourself today! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Laughing Buddha

    Dec 12 2018

    Did you know that the friendly, smiling Buddha we all know from bars and restaurants isn't really Buddha? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Ayahuasca Works

    Dec 11 2018

    One day in the Amazon Basin, a shaman put together a plant containing DMT with a vine that allows the body to absorb DMT. The combination, a foul-tasting, wildly hallucinogenic brew called ayahuasca, has changed cultures throughout the Americas.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: That Dang-old Goat Fell Over

    Dec 08 2018

    Due to a condition known as Thomsen's disease, the muscles of fainting goats tense up whenever the animal is startled. In this episode, Josh and Chuck break down the science behind this bizarre condition. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Was the PMRC censorship in disguise?

    Dec 06 2018

    The Parents Music Resource Center in the 1980s was really just censorship in disguise. But it kind of backfired. Learn all about Tipper Gore's crusade in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Dolphin Detectors

    Dec 05 2018

    They don’t actually disarm mines, but navies around the world use dolphins to find and tag sea mines so humans can disarm the mines themselves. But even if it’s safe, is it ethical? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Search and Rescue Dogs Work

    Dec 04 2018

    All dogs are great, but some dogs work harder than others. Or play harder, depending on your view. Learn all about the good boys and girls who find lost people and recover bodies to bring humans peace and closure. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Can Your Grandfather's Diet Shorten Your Life?

    Dec 01 2018

    Epigenetics is a fascinating field of genetics that studies how the epigenome and environmental, nutritional and social factors affect gene expression. Josh and Chuck explain how epigenetics works in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Adidas v. Puma: A Sibling Rivalry

    Nov 29 2018

    Join Josh and Chuck today as they go down the sport shoe rabbit hole, detailing the strange tail of the brothers who brought Puma and Adidas to the world. Sibling rivalry, Nazis, shoes - there's a lot to unpack here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: iSmell

    Nov 28 2018

    Two men once had a dream - to add smell to the internet. And they almost gave it to us. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Navajo Code Talkers Worked

    Nov 27 2018

    In WWII the US Marines devised an unbreakable code-within-a-code made from Navajo, one of the most linguistically difficult languages in the world. A handful of Navajos sent messages on the frontlines in a language they’d been forbidden to speak as school kids. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Black Friday Works

    Nov 24 2018

    On the day after Thanksgiving, Americans go kind of crazy for the deep discount sales that kick off the holiday shopping season in stores. So crazy, in fact, at least four people have lost their lives and as many as 63 others have been injured during Black Friday sales. But as profitable as Black Friday is, some retailers are thinking about discontinuing the tradition to find ways to make even more money. Learn all about this bizarre, uniquely American holiday custom in this episode. Learn more...more

  • Fire twucks! Fire twucks! (sic)

    Nov 22 2018

    Who doesn't love fire engines? We certainly do. So much that we geeked out on this one in a big way. Enjoy! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Safety Pins

    Nov 21 2018

    Safety pins are so ubiquitous, we take them for granted. But that’s the genius of their design – they work so intuitively they might as well have come from nature. Instead, they were invented by a man who never went to the trouble of patenting them.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Finders Keepers: Real Law

    Nov 20 2018

    You know that heartbreak of the schoolyard – finders keepers, losers weepers? That’s actual law in a great many grown up places. Enter the murky legal world of finding something that belongs to someone else, from buried treasure to a misplaced ring. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Kleptomania Works

    Nov 17 2018

    In this episode of Stuff You Should Know, Josh and Chuck discuss kleptomania, a disorder in which people have an overwhelming impulse to steal unnecessary items. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Olive Oil: Mother Nature's Gift

    Nov 15 2018

    Olive oil is one of Mother Nature's greatest gifts to humanity. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about the NUMBER ONE OIL, right here, right now.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Lemonade

    Nov 14 2018

    Ever wonder where lemonade came from? Let’s up the stakes a little, what about pink lemonade? Well wonder no more! Join Josh and Chuck as they (briefly) cover the history of putting lemons together with sugar and water and coming up with something great.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Pando: Earth’s Oldest, Hugest Organism Is Trees!

    Nov 13 2018

    In Utah, lives a 106-acre stand of Quaking Aspen trees that are all genetically identical because they are all growing from the same massive root system. It’s Pando, the most massive, and almost certainly oldest (by far) organism on Earth. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Pizza Works

    Nov 10 2018

    Sure it's everywhere and there's a more-than-90-percent chance you eat it once a month. But we'll bet you don't know the full history of that pizza (or tomato pie) you're about to chow down on. Join Chuck and Josh as they explain it to you, bite by bite. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Is yogurt a miracle food?

    Nov 08 2018

    Yogurt has been touted as a health food, but is it? Maybe. If you eat it every day. We get into the rich and creamy history of this supposed miracle food in today's episode. Take a listen! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Vomitoria

    Nov 07 2018

    A vomitorium was a place where ancient Romans went to make themselves throw up after gorging themselves at a sumptuous banquet. Everybody knows that. Except that’s not true at all. Learn about what vomitoria were in this episode and impress your friends.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What were war masks?

    Nov 06 2018

    War masks were made for soldiers in WWI who had horrible accidents that left their faces sometimes unrecognizable. Though it may seem rudimentary today, they went a long way in restoring their dignity. Learn all about them today.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Grief Works

    Nov 03 2018

    You can probably name the five stages of grief - from denial to acceptance - they've become pretty well known since being proposed in 1969. But later researchers are finding that grief is rarely that cut and dried, and it may not be as widely experienced as we once thought. Join Josh and Chuck as they look at the sad science of grief. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Easy Bake Ovens Work

    Nov 01 2018

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

  • Short Stuff: Labor Day

    Oct 31 2018

    Labor Day, the day when most people in America paradoxically take off work, is actually rooted in some deeply radical and anarchistic thinking. Learn all about this most subversive of American holidays in this episode of Short Stuff. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK’s 2018 Super Spooktacular

    Oct 30 2018

    It’s Halloween again and Chuck and Josh want to creep you out. Listen to two great classic horror stories, dripping with Jeri’s creeptastic audio stylings. Guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: What's with the Winchester Mystery House?

    Oct 27 2018

    After her daughter and husband died, heiress Sarah Winchester became obsessed with the idea that spirits haunted her and to appease them she had to have a house continuously built for them. So she did - 24 hours a day for 38 years. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Amityville Horror Worked

    Oct 25 2018

    In early 1975, the world was introduced to George and Kathy Lutz, a couple who had fled their home in Amityville, NY to escape a powerful, evil supernatural presence living there. And this being the 70s, the world went nuts for their story. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Exploding Manholes

    Oct 24 2018

    If you live in a big city in a cold climate, you should keep an eye out for 100-pound cast-iron manhole covers suddenly launching 50 feet into the air. It’s unnervingly common and we’ll tell you why.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Epilepsy Works

    Oct 23 2018

    A seizure is like an electrical overload in the brain – when it gets overwhelmed, it just shuts down and resets itself. But imagine being susceptible to these overloads, where one could come at any time with little or no warning. That is epilepsy.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Aphrodisiacs Work

    Oct 20 2018

    For thousands of years humankind has pursued the enhancement of sexual pleasure and performance through a plethora of medicines and practices -- but how many aphrodisiacs actually work? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Waterbeds: The Sexiest Bed?

    Oct 18 2018

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

  • Short Stuff: Korean Fan Death

    Oct 17 2018

    There’s a commonly-held belief in Korea that if you fall asleep with a fan blowing on your face you may die in your sleep from it. And while this idea is found nowhere else in the world, Korean culture has come up with some interesting explanations. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Was There A Real Robin Hood?

    Oct 16 2018

    Is it true that Robin Hood hung out in Sherwood Forest and stole from the rich to give to the poor? No. No, it’s not. Find out the real story in this episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Homelessness Works

    Oct 13 2018

    Today, millions of people around the world are homeless. In this classic episode, Josh and Chuck take a look at homelessness in the United States, discussing everything from the factors that lead to homelessness to what you can do to help alleviate the situation. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • When inventions kill!

    Oct 11 2018

    Few things are more ironic than an invention killing its creator. The stories behind real life cases of death-by-invention are pretty interesting too. Pull up a chair and hear about a few from Josh and Chuck.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: William King

    Oct 10 2018

    Did you know that the United States has had one Vice-President who was sworn in on foreign soil? Well it turns out that may be the least interesting part of the story of William Rufus King.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Marathons Work

    Oct 09 2018

    You’d have to be crazy to try to run 26.2 miles in a single stretch, right? Right. But people still try it anyway. And a lot of them even survive! Find out all about the pitfalls of marathons and the obsession they can inspire in this episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Is lethal injection humane?

    Oct 06 2018

    Since the Supreme Court's ban on capital punishment was reversed, states have sought a humane method of killing sentenced criminals. They settled on lethal injection, but is this quasi-medical means of killing as quick and painless as we think? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Algae: Food, Fuel, What?

    Oct 04 2018

    Just a couple years ago, algae was touted as the green, plentiful biofuel of the future. But that didn’t pan out. Why? And is algae down for the count? Don’t bet on it. Only a fool would bet against green water.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Short Stuff: Grandfather Clocks

    Oct 03 2018

    If you've ever wondered why a grandfather clock is called a grandfather clock and you have 12 minutes to spare, this is your lucky day. Listen in to the brand new Short Stuff series. It's everything you want from Josh and Chuck, and less! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Concorde Worked

    Oct 02 2018

    The concorde was a wonderful thing, a super fast commerical airliner that got you across the pond in half the time. But it was small and cramped, noisy and a big money loser. Climb aboard and get ready for Mach 1.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Does the five-second rule work?

    Sep 29 2018

    You know when you drop a piece of food and if you pick it up within five seconds it's still good to eat? Researchers have studied whether that's true or not and in doing so have inadvertently shone a light on how utterly covered our world is with bacteria and germs. Prepare to shudder in this episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Seriously, What Is Dark Matter?

    Sep 27 2018

    Chuck and Josh take on astrophysics again and this time it pans out well. It turns out that there simply isn’t enough matter in the universe to account for its mass. Which is super weird. What is this missing matter? Does it even exist? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What is colorblindness?

    Sep 25 2018

    Being colorblind doesn't mean you see in black and white, although in severe cases it can look a bit like that. The condition is on a spectrum ranging from dulled colors to shades of grey. Learn all about what colorblindness means in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Was Malthus right about carrying capacity?

    Sep 22 2018

    Thomas Malthus concluded that humanity is bound to outgrow Earth's carrying capacity. The prediction was based on humanity's exponential growth and the linear growth of the food supply -- but was he correct? Tune in to this classic episode to find out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Ranked Choice Voting Works

    Sep 20 2018

    In the US, winner-take-all voting has created A LOT of political polarization. But what if rather than voting for one candidate, you could rank all of them so if your first choice doesn’t win, your vote goes to your second choice? So long, polarization! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Roundabouts: The Problem Is You

    Sep 18 2018

    They’re as American as Washington, DC yet most people in the US are terrified of them, hate them or both. What is it about traffic circles and roundabouts - which do nothing but safely, inexpensively and greenly direct traffic – that America can’t stand? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Commercial Jingles Work

    Sep 15 2018

    You probably can recite five right now. Commercial jingles are designed to hijack your working memory and implant a product or service and they really work. In this classic episode, learn about the history of these insidious and catchy advertising vehicles with Chuck and Josh. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What are think tanks all about?

    Sep 13 2018

    Think tanks? More like stink tanks! We're kidding. Think tanks do valuable work, when they operate in a non-partisan way of course. Learn all about the history of these heady institutions today.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Live: How Game Shows Work

    Sep 11 2018

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Circumcision Works

    Sep 08 2018

    Circumcision is a common practice in which the foreskin of a male's penis is removed, typically as a baby. In this classic episode, Josh and Chuck take a look at the origins, practices, and arguments for and against circumcision in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Lava Lamp: Goes Great With Acid

    Sep 06 2018

    What started out as an egg timer at a London pub became a furnishing for bachelor pads before it took its rightful place as the most recognizable icon of psychedelia. The lava lamp became popular with people on LSD not once, but twice, decades apart. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Police Lineups Work

    Sep 04 2018

    Police lineups are something most people have never had any firsthand experience with. What you see on TV and in movies isn't so far off though. Learn about how these tropes work for real in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Patents Work

    Sep 01 2018

    What was originally designed to encourage innovation by rewarding the people who create technological advances, the U.S. patent system has become a big mess. Wade into this surprisingly interesting mire to learn how to save this important institution. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Elimination Diets Work

    Aug 30 2018

    Elimination diets are all about whittling down what you eat, then building it back up again in order to identify foods that don't work for your body. Is it safe? It can be. Learn all about this process in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Why There Aren't So Many Hotel Fires Anymore

    Aug 28 2018

    1946 was a particularly deadly year for hotel fires in the US. Fires killed hundreds of people in Chicago, Dubuque, Dallas and, in Atlanta, the worst hotel fire in American history broke out. Find out how they made staying in hotels safe. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: What's the deal with Voodoo?

    Aug 25 2018

    Voodoo is a religion found in parts of Africa and Haiti that's often misunderstood. In this episode, Josh and Chuck separate the faction from the fiction as they explore how Voodoo really works. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Pterosaurs: Not Flying Dinosaurs

    Aug 23 2018

    Almost everything you know about pterosaurs is wrong. They weren't birds, they weren't flying dinosaurs and they weren't all pterodactyls. Which makes this a great episode for you to learn some new and amazing stuff about terrifying prehistoric beasts! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Ballpoint pens? Heck yes, ballpoint pens!

    Aug 21 2018

    Get ready, folks. The ballpoint pen is far more interesting than you could ever imagine. For real. Brilliant in its simplicity. Took the world by storm. We love our ballpoint pens and you should too. Listen in today! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Electroconvulsive Therapy Works

    Aug 18 2018

    With the exception of lobotomies, no other psychological treatment has a worse reputation. But thanks to some thoughtful tweaks, ECT has lately emerged from the dark ages and toward the respectable forefront of treatment for major depression. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Who is The Man of the Hole?

    Aug 16 2018

    In 2018, there's a man from a lost tribe still living deep in the jungles of Brazil who has been all alone since the mid 1990s. He's referred to as the Man of the Hole, and has had no face-to-face with modern humans. Who is he? We'll answer that question as best we can in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Board Breaking Works

    Aug 14 2018

    If you’ve ever seen someone break a stack of boards or concrete blocks with a single karate chop you know what it means to experience awe. Board breaking is indeed cool but there’s also a lot of physics to help it along. Learn all about this secret art.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Traffic Works

    Aug 11 2018

    Whether you've been stuck in a traffic jam or forced to merge and avoid road construction, everyone's had a few bad experiences with traffic. But how does traffic actually work? In this episode, Chuck and Josh take a look at traffic waves (and bubbles). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Attila the Hun Worked

    Aug 09 2018

    If you go to the Internet you'll see a few people championed as all-time greatest conquerors - Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Atilla the Hun. Listen in today as Josh and Chuck dive into number three on this list, Atilla the Hun.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Search and Rescue Works

    Aug 07 2018

    There are thankfully about as many ways to look for someone as there are ways to get lost. And the people who dedicate themselves to saving the lives of people who are missing take their job seriously. Learn about this fascinating world in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Miranda Rights Work

    Aug 04 2018

    Back in 1966, the Supreme Court decided that suspects in criminal cases had the right to be reminded that they didn't have to talk to the fuzz if they didn't want to, as stated in the 5th amendment. Since that ruling, scores of other cases have shaped and defined the ruling that created a staple of police procedural dramas. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the U.S. Military Draft Works

    Aug 02 2018

    The U.S. military draft is far more interesting than you'd think. The process of conscription can get quite complicated, but we're here to clear it up for you. We'll also talk a bit about whether or not this could ever happen again.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Pony Express Worked

    Jul 31 2018

    For as long a shadow as it casts across the history of the Old West, the Pony Express was a failed business venture, doomed from the start, that only lasted 18 months. But since the last rider headed out with his bag of mail, its legend has only grown. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How the Cannonball Run Worked

    Jul 28 2018

    The Cannon Ball Run is a cross-country car race famously portrayed in the campy 1981 movie "Cannon Ball Run." But it isn't fictional. Tune in as Josh and Chuck take you on a wild ride through the real (and colorful) history of this infamous race. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Dyatlov Pass Mystery

    Jul 26 2018

    The incident at Dyatlov Pass is one of the more enduring wilderness mysteries of all time. Russian hikers found in various states of undress, frozen. What happened to them? Why were there weird internal injuries and no outward signs of distress? We'll delve into all the questions in today's episode.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Recycling Update: How’s It Going?

    Jul 24 2018

    It’s been about a decade since Josh and Chuck last checked in on recycling and since then a lot has changed. A global commodities market dealing in recyclables has developed and recently crashed. Jump back into the fascinating world of recycling.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Foot Binding Worked

    Jul 21 2018

    Once in a while, all the necessary factors converge to produce a peculiar nationalized sexual fetish. In China, that fetish was foot binding and over a millennia three billion Chinese women's feet were brutally disfigured for men's pleasure. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Attorney-Client Privilege Works

    Jul 19 2018

    One of the oldest protected forms of speech comes from when a lawyer speaks with their client. Over centuries, this legal privilege has been protected and defined and still stands stronger than ever. Find out why a person’s ability to speak freely to their counselor is so highly prized and protected.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Jobs of Bygone Eras

    Jul 17 2018

    Join Josh and Chuck today as they take a fun look at some of the strange jobs that our ancestors did. It's a SYSK top 10, meaning there will only be eight or so.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Twinkies Work

    Jul 14 2018

    Twinkies have a reputation for being so processed that they can last for years and years, but they're not as hardy as you'd expect. Uncover the sweet story of Twinkies in this classic SYSK. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Gerrymandering: How to Stifle Democracy

    Jul 12 2018

    No matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on, you should be outraged about the practice of gerrymandering. Redrawing voter district maps to ensure political dominance is about as undemocratic as it gets. Please enjoy Josh and Chuck getting unusually worked up about this abhorrent practice.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Disappearance of the Yuba County Five

    Jul 10 2018

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

  • SYSK Selects: Did Reagan's Star Wars program win the Cold War?

    Jul 07 2018

    Putting lasers in space to blast Soviet missiles out of the air was a very real part of Ronald Reagan's defense policy. While his "Star Wars" program was derided at home and abroad, historians are beginning to wonder if it didn't help win the Cold War after all. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Stanford Prison Experiment Worked

    Jul 05 2018

    The infamous Stanford Prison Experiment wasn't really much of an experiment as it turns out. It was more like a poorly thought out exercise conducted by a professor who didn't dot the i's and cross the t's. Listen in as Josh and Chuck give this experiment some harsh treatment of their own.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Diabetes Works

    Jul 03 2018

    Diabetes is one of the biggest killers of people on the planet. And yet, it also seems to be tied to diet and exercise, which makes it preventable. Learn about the fascinating mechanisms that can make your body go haywire and lead to this disease.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Ponzi Schemes Work

    Jun 30 2018

    Ponzi schemes. How do they work? And who's Ponzi? Join Josh and Chuck in this classic episode to discover how an Italian immigrant created a classic con that's still fleecing investors today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Narwhals: Unicorns of the Sea

    Jun 28 2018

    Narwhals are the unicorns of the sea. They're also whales with tusks. The tusks are really long tooths. Are you confused? Let us guide you!  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Can Anarchism Work?

    Jun 26 2018

    Teenage punks going through a phase probably come to mind when you think of anarchists, but anarchism is a legitimate political philosophy based on the idea that governments are unnecessary and do more harm than good. Could we actually live without them? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Condoms Work

    Jun 23 2018

    The earliest depiction of a condom is found in a 15,000-year-old cave painting. Ever since humans realized sex led to children, we've been using condoms to prevent pregnancy. Join Josh and Chuck for this comprehensive tour of all things condom. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Genghis Khan: Madman or Genius?

    Jun 21 2018

    Depending on who you talk to, Genghis Khan was either a sadistic madman or one of the great leaders in world history. One thing is sure, he was one of the most advanced military minds of all time. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How The Pill Changed the World

    Jun 19 2018

    When the birth control pill hit the market in 1960 it landed like a social bomb. Almost overnight, women gained the ability to separate sex from pregnancy and everything from feminism to patients’ rights centered on it.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Bullfighting Works

    Jun 16 2018

    When the Visigoths ruled Spain, they introduced the idea of battling bulls at festivals. Today matadors get paid $100,000 and perform in front of 50,000 fans. But is bullfighting an antiquated, abusive relic or a cultural tradition above reproach? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Skyscrapers: 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky

    Jun 14 2018

    Skyscrapers are much more than tall buildings. They're world wonders as far as we're concerned. From design to construction, these babies are beautifully simplistic in all the best ways. Listen in today! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Tsunamis Work

    Jun 12 2018

    Tsunamis are amazingly devastating natural disasters. They're miles tall and wide, travel as fast as a commercial airliner and can wipe out entire coastal towns. And if the last couple decades are any indication, they seem to be getting worse. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How The Hum Works

    Jun 09 2018

    There is a mysterious droning sound often described as like a diesel engine idling that is severely impacting the quality of life of 2 percent of people in places around the world. The thing is, no one knows what's causing it - or if it actually exists. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Frida Kahlo: Painter, Icon, Genius

    Jun 07 2018

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

  • The Max Headroom Incident

    Jun 05 2018

    In 1987, a very strange broadcast intrusion occurred in the city of Chicago. For just a couple of minutes, the odd TV character Max Headroom appeared onscreen in the middle of an episode of Dr. Who. He spoke in garbled tones, brandished a marital aid, and was spanked on the rear with a fly swatter by a person dressed in Annie Oakley garb. If this sounds weird, it is. It's the Max Headroom Incident. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Was there a real King Arthur?

    Jun 02 2018

    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 Lady of the Lake to Merlin the Magician, seem fictional some archaeologists believe that Arthur -- and much of his life -- was real. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Is the Pied Piper About a Real Historic Tragedy?

    May 31 2018

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

  • How Drug Courts Work

    May 29 2018

    If you aren't in the know, you may think drug courts are set up to quickly prosecute drug users and get them into prison in short order. Turns out it's just the opposite - they're empathetic courts set up to give people a second and sometimes third chance to kick addiction. Learn all about these courts today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Pinball Works

    May 26 2018

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

  • How Occam's Razor Works

    May 24 2018

    You know the rule that says the simplest explanation is probably the correct one? That’s called a razor and it’s meant to guide logic. But over time it’s become a broadsword used to disprove opposing arguments. Learn how to spot a faux skeptic in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • A List Of Games You Would Surely Lose to a Computer

    May 22 2018

    We live in a time where computers can beat the best humans in the world at chess, checkers, poker and video games. But these games are really just demonstrations of how intelligent our machines are growing. They’re growing more intelligent by the hour.  With special guest, Tech Stuff's Jonathan Strickland. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Is brain size related to intelligence?

    May 19 2018

    The idea that the larger the brain, the higher the intelligence is an old one, but it's pretty much utterly false. Modern investigation into how the brain works suggests there's a lot more to take into account when comparing brain biology to intellect. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Collar Bomb Heist

    May 18 2018

    The collar bomb heist is the crime caper that keeps on giving. Every time the story seemed like it was figured out, another layer appeared. Tune in today to hear Josh and Chuck detail this very odd and twisty story.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's a quinceañera anyway?

    May 15 2018

    A quinceañera is the celebration of a girl of Hispanic heritage becoming a young woman on her 15th birthday. It involves family, friends, music and a lot of great food. Join Josh and Chuck as they don their favorite pink dresses and go over this wonderful tradition.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Cremation Works

    May 12 2018

    Cremation is a burial process practiced around the world, but how exactly does it work? Josh and Chuckers take a detailed look at cremation's history, practices and controversies in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Drowning Works

    May 10 2018

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

  • PT Barnum: More Complicated Than You've Heard

    May 08 2018

    When your life is as outsized as the World’s Greatest Showman PT Barnum it’s pretty easy to - you know - gloss over the grimmer aspects when you turn it into an uplifting musical movie. But the way to understand a person is to look at them, warts and all. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Are there undiscovered people?

    May 05 2018

    In this classic episode, Josh and Chuck discuss whether there are any truly "undiscovered" groups of people left on the planet, the definition of undiscovered -- and why groups might want to avoid modern civilization. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • North Korea: What's the Deal?

    May 03 2018

    For almost 70 years, North Korea has been the bane of South Korea, Japan and the US or has stood as the sole defenders of the Korean homeland from the American hordes, depending on who you ask.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Nepotism: When Hiring the Best Just Won't Do

    May 01 2018

    Nepotism is something that is very hard to avoid, and very hard to resist, even if you know it may be the wrong thing to do. We all love helping out families get ahead, but you're also costing someone else an opportunity when you play ball. Learn all about nepotism in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Who killed JFK?

    Apr 28 2018

    For the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Josh and Chuck delve into the killing, the investigations and the conspiracy theories to get to the bottom of an enduring national question. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Does Pyromania Actually Exist?

    Apr 26 2018

    A fascination with fire is part of every kid’s childhood, but it’s meant to be passing. For some people, fire becomes the central focus of life, and the urge to set a fire becomes an irresistible impulse. We think. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Emojis: A New Language? Nah.

    Apr 24 2018

    Believe it or not, there's a lot more to Emojis than meets the eye. Turns out their history is pretty interesting stuff. Join Josh and Chuck today as they tell the tale of the little faces that we all love to hate.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Mirrors Work

    Apr 21 2018

    Whether using polished metal surfaces or clear glass, human beings have enjoyed admiring their reflections for centuries. In this episode, Josh and Chuck reflect on the types, mind-melting physics, superstitions and rather interesting history of mirrors. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Two Times In the 70s When People Buried Ferraris

    Apr 19 2018

    Not once, but twice in the 1970s people buried amazingly valuable Ferraris, arguably the greatest sports cars ever built. One was dug up after being secretly buried; the other was put in the ground forever. These are their stories. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Unabomber: Misguided to say the least

    Apr 17 2018

    The Unabomber was one of the most notorious and longest lasting cases in the history of the FBI. Just because the manifesto reads like he was a fortune teller doesn't make his actions any less deplorable. Learn all about this fascinating case in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: What happens in the brain during an orgasm?

    Apr 14 2018

    In this classic episode, Chuck and Josh test the limits of their decorum as they explore the physiology of an orgasm. Learn all about this inexplicably taboo subject (including how even women who are paralyzed can experience orgasms). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Paramedics Work

    Apr 12 2018

    Paramedics are not EMTs. Or fire fighters. Or cops. But they do ride around in ambulances (and drive) to help to save lives. It's a stressful job and we're here to shine a light on this noble profession.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Why Landmines Are The Deadliest Legacy Of War

    Apr 10 2018

    One of the worst legacies of war are the millions of landmines left behind. They hide for decades after a conflict is over, exploding beneath unsuspecting civilians and children. To many, removing mines and banning new ones is of paramount importance. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Sherpas: Warm, Friendly Living

    Apr 07 2018

    Pop quiz: What word denotes a nation of people, a last name and an occupation? If you guessed 'Sherpa,' then congratulations: You're correct. But what exactly is a Sherpa? Tune in and learn more as Chuck and Josh explore the culture of the Sherpa people. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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

    Apr 05 2018

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

  • When Words Take on New Meanings

    Apr 03 2018

    Historical words often morph and change to take on new meanings. Today on the podcast, Josh and Chuck sit down and talk about a handful of them, their original meanings, and how they changed over the years to reflect almost nothing about their original use. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Guide Dogs Work

    Mar 31 2018

    You know how when you see a guide dog leading a blind person to their destination and you think, "There goes a truly great dog?" It turns out you are absolutely correct. Guide dogs are about as special as dogs can get and it's through years of hard work. Learn about the ins and outs of guide dogs in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What are false positives?

    Mar 29 2018

    When getting a medical diagnosis, it's important to understand the terms. Negative is good, positive is bad, false positive is great in a way, but false negative is the worst. Learn all about false positives, when your tests indicate you have a disease of some kind when you don't, and what this means in the medical community at large. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Meals on Wheels Works

    Mar 27 2018

    Meals on Wheels is one of the great charitable organizations in the world, providing much-needed nutrition for elderly people in need. It also has a pretty interesting backstory, starting in multiple places in different countries almost simultaneously. Learn all about this great group of folks in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Subways: HUH! What are they good for?

    Mar 24 2018

    As ubiquitous as they've become, it's easy to overlook the marvels of engineering that are subways. Chuck and Josh go boring as they explore these systems of tubes that must circumnavigate rock, rivers, cables and more to get you where you're going. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Framingham Heart Study Works

    Mar 22 2018

    In the 1940s, a tiny town outside Boston volunteered to be test subjects in a study that would become one of the longest and broadest in the history of medicine. Originally designed to study heart disease, it's revealed things about plenty else too: everything from evolution to selecting a spouse. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the New England Vampire Panics Worked

    Mar 20 2018

    In the 19th century, in isolated villages and godforsaken towns in rural New England, people began to suspect their deceased family members had become undead. Thus began everything we know today about killing vampires. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Trickle-Down Economics Works

    Mar 17 2018

    The concept of trickle-down economics is tied to Ronald Reagan, but the idea's been around and in use since the 20s. It's simple: Give more money to the wealthy and they can use it to rev up an economy. But is the whole thing just a scam? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Is Vaping Really Bad For You?

    Mar 15 2018

    E-cigs, vapes, whatever you call them they have been touted as a safer alternative to tobacco and even a way for people to quit smoking. But recent studies have found that perhaps they’re not so harmless after all. So who’s right? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Huggable, Lovable Walrus

    Mar 13 2018

    When it comes to the animal kingdom, SYSK has covered a wide range. This week, the guys dive into the frigid waters of the Arctic to delight in everything that is the huggable, lovable walrus. From their tendency to sticking together in tough times, to the strange noises they make to attract a mating partner, the walrus is now in the running as one of Josh and Chuck's favorites. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Cockroaches Work

    Mar 10 2018

    You've seen them in your home and probably squealed in terror, but now it's time to learn all about cockroaches. From their ability to run incredibly fast to the appendage that alerts them when you're about to whack them with your shoe, cockroaches are fascinating creatures that deserve your respect. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Why Do People Believe In Faith Healing?

    Mar 08 2018

    Since a 1906 revival in Los Angeles, people around the world say they’ve been cured by the Holy Spirit after preachers with the Gift of Healing laid their hands on them. Skeptics scoff, but science’s explanations are kind of vague. So what’s going on here? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Strange Story of Sea Monkeys

    Mar 06 2018

    Anyone who ever picked up a comic book as a kid probably marveled at the ads for the mysterious Sea Monkeys. In reality, they are just brine shrimp, not fantastical beings with magical powers. But the story behind the invention of the Sea Monkey is tale all its own. Listen in today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Is there treasure on Oak Island?

    Mar 03 2018

    Off Nova Scotia, the tiny spit of land called Oak Island has been host to waves of treasure hunters for more than 200 years. Some of them lost their lives in the search for a treasure reputedly buried in a deep pit. But is anything really there? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Live: Back When Ford Pintos Were Flaming Deathtraps

    Mar 01 2018

    For this special live benefit episode recorded in Atlanta, Josh and Chuck go back to the 70s and look at the decidedly ungroovy course of events that led to Ford recalling its Pinto after people started burning up in them. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Knife Throwing: Super Cool

    Feb 27 2018

    Sure knives can cut through a steak or slash through jungle vines, but probably the coolest thing you can do with a knife is throw it. At a person mounted to a wooden wheel. Spinning around. While you’re blindfolded. Learn all about the impalement arts in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How the MPAA Works

    Feb 24 2018

    You may be surprised to learn those ubiquitous ratings, from G to NC-17, put on movies in America are actually handed down by anonymous employees of a secretive organization that serves as a lobbying firm for Hollywood's six biggest studios. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Rosa Parks: Agent of Change

    Feb 22 2018

    Rosa Parks finishes out our Black History Month episodes in grand fashion. While most know her from that fateful day on the Montgomery city bus, she actually had a long life as an advocate, protestor and agent of change. Join us today as we celebrate one of America's great history makers. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Are Feral Children Real?

    Feb 20 2018

    For millennia people have been amazed by legends of wild children found in the forest or jungle, sometimes raised by animals like wolves or apes. But it turns out these stories may actually be true in some cases and may actually have been children with cognitive impairments who were abandoned by their parents. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How the Underground Railroad Worked

    Feb 17 2018

    As early as 1786, groups assembled to help slaves escape lives of bondage. And, as the 19th century progressed, the emergent Underground Railroad grew more sophisticated in aiding escaped slaves. But how did it work? Join Josh and Chuck to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Harriet Tubman Story

    Feb 15 2018

    Harriet Tubman is a legendary figure in history, but the details of her life are even more remarkable than what you may have learned in school. Listen in today as Josh and Chuck pay tribute to a true icon of African-American history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Pompeii Worked

    Feb 13 2018

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Narco States Work

    Feb 10 2018

    In this episode of Stuff You Should Know, Josh and Chuck discuss Narco States, places where illegal drugs are traded openly with government support -- or without government interference. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Mystery of The Grand Canyon Newlyweds

    Feb 08 2018

    In 1928 Bessie and Glen Hyde attempted to navigate their way through the belly of the Grand Canyon in a homemade boat. They disappeared without a trace and their mystery endures all these years later. Listen in today to hear all about the tragic and mysterious disappearance of the Grand Canyon Newlyweds. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What is a Mold-A-Rama?

    Feb 06 2018

    In the 1960s, a very cool machine debuted at the Seattle World's Fair - the Mold-A-Rama. It made real plastic toys on-demand from melted plastic pellets, to the delight of children and adults alike. They didn't last too long, but can still be found at various locations all over the United States and their retro-cool stylings are still a hit. Learn all about these cool machines today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Lion Taming Works

    Feb 03 2018

    Bossing a lion around in front of a crowd at a circus has been an attraction for 200 years, but exactly how lion tamers get their captive wild animals to comply has evolved over time. Take a peek in the jaws of this odd profession with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Marijuana Vs. Alcohol: Which Is Worse For You?

    Feb 01 2018

    It's been the subject of teenage conversation for decades already, but now you can join Josh and Chuck as they dive into the science of how pot and booze affect your body, mind and behavior and learn which one comes out on top. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Manson Family Murders Part II

    Jan 30 2018

    Listen in today for the conclusion of the story of the Manson Family Murders. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Prisons - Not as Fun as You'd Think

    Jan 27 2018

    Most people have a basic understanding of how prisons work, but it's often heavily influenced by fiction. What's it really like behind those bars? In this episode, Josh and Chuck reveal the practices, controversies and harsh realities of prison life. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Manson Family Murders Part I

    Jan 25 2018

    The '60s ended with a lot of turbulence, not the least of which was the Manson Family Murders. What made Charles Manson so alluring to his family? What makes one person kill for another? And what did The Beatles have to do with it all? Learn all this and more in this two part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Hoarding Works

    Jan 23 2018

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

  • SYSK Selects: Lab-grown meat: Order up!

    Jan 20 2018

    Since Winston Churchill predicted we'd grow meat in a lab by 1981, researchers have considered doing just that. And thanks to the current work of about 30 groups, we may be only years away from mass-produced artificial meat. But will anyone eat it? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Hang Gliding Works

    Jan 18 2018

    It’s a super 70s thing, sure, but hang gliding is a thrill ride for the ages. So strap in with Josh and Chuck and learn all about the earliest method of human flight, originally created by a German man who flew over 2000 times before dying in a crash! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Removing Public Monuments Work

    Jan 16 2018

    Public monuments can be removed for a variety of reasons, from public sentiment changing, to governments being overthrown, to just being downright ugly. Learn all about this hot button topic today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: The Wind Cries Typhoid Mary

    Jan 13 2018

    In the 19th century, typhoid was considered a disease of the lower classes. When an outbreak occurred in wealthy Oyster Bay, New York, a mystery was afoot. Tune in to learn how this event began an ongoing debate over public safety versus civil rights. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What is an invasive species?

    Jan 11 2018

    Invasive species can mean a lot of things, from fungus to feral pigs and European starlings to kudzu vines. Basically, it's anything brought to a place, either by humans or nature, that didn't originate there. They aren't always a problem, but many times they can wreak havoc on the local ecosystem. Learn all about these invaders today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Mystery of the Mary Celeste

    Jan 09 2018

    When the Mary Celeste was discovered floating and abandoned in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean one day in 1872, the legend of the ghost ship was born. Why did the Mary Celeste’s crew disappear? Was it pirates? Mutiny? UFOs? Well, probably not that last one. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: What Makes a One-hit Wonder?

    Jan 06 2018

    The term "one-hit wonder" gets thrown around a lot, and - yes - you probably are using it correctly, but Chuck Bryant went to the trouble to really define what makes a one-hit wonder in the article this episode is based on. Join him and Josh as they get to the bottom of this disparaging term. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Impeachment Works

    Jan 04 2018

    Impeachment is does not necessarily mean a president is removed from office. But it could. It's a fascinating procedure that has been crafted and shaped over the years because of a lack of detail in its initial definition. Listen in today to learn all about the weird and wacky process of impeachment. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Orchids Work

    Jan 02 2018

    Ever since Victorian orchid hunters ravaged the tropics in search of unique specimens to sell for ludicrous amounts of money, the West has been gripped by orchidelirium. Small wonder since orchids are not only beautiful, they’re among the most interesting plants on Earth. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Willpower Works

    Dec 30 2017

    You use it every day to overcome your lower self (which wants you to eat cake until your vision blurs) in pursuit of the goals of your higher self (which wants you to not develop Type-II diabetes). Yet it was only in the 1990s that researchers began to understand what makes our willpower and how it behaves. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Works, Part II

    Dec 28 2017

    We finish our tour of the best sights of the ancient world when we get deep into the history of a lighthouse that stood for 1200 years, an unsettling statue of Zeus, the world’s first mausoleum, and Chuck’s favorite, the Colossus of Rhodes! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Works, Part I

    Dec 26 2017

    Long before slide rulers and pocket protectors, civilizations across the world used their noggins to build some impressive structures. Almost all have crumbled to ruins over the millennium, but thanks to the earliest tourists, we admire them still today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: The Star Wars Holiday Special of 1978

    Dec 23 2017

    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 force be with us all. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The 2017 SYSK Christmas Extravaganza!

    Dec 21 2017

    It's the most wonderful episode of the year! Join Josh and Chuck as they ride their sleigh through the debate over whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie, the Rockefeller Center tree, a boozy holiday recipe and plenty more great holiday tidings! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Narcissism: But what about me?

    Dec 19 2017

    This week Josh and Chuck dive into the world of narcissism, one of the most perplexing and disturbing disorders humans can have. Learn all you ever cared to know about people who largely are centered on the self, lack empathy and don't understand what the problem is with that behavior. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Population Works

    Dec 16 2017

    Population may not seem like the most scintillating topic in the world, but Josh and Chuck beg to differ. Join them as they explore how population works, from demographics to population control, in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Globe of Death Works

    Dec 14 2017

    The Globe of Death – el Globo de la Muerte to our Spanish-speaking friends – is perhaps the greatest of all the circus arts. It requires no smoke, no mirrors, only motorcycles, a giant sphere and fearless riders with the will to bend physics. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Deal With Doulas

    Dec 12 2017

    The word doula in Ancient Greek might mean "female servant" but it's really not a great description of the 21st century job. Doulas are birth coaches who help women get through the process of childbirth as efficiently and painlessly as possible. They aren't midwives or nurses, but they can provide an invaluable service as advocates. Learn about the deal with doulas right now! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How much money is there in the world?​

    Dec 09 2017

    There are few things more futile than trying to count all of the money in the world. Even many governments have no idea how much currency they have issued. But that won't stop Chuck and Josh from trying and explaining why we can't be sure how much money exists and the problems with flooding the world markets with bread. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Flight Attendants Work

    Dec 07 2017

    Flight attendants have come a long way. From having to put up with rampant sexism, to the current incarnation as your first line of defense in case of an incident, they are valued airline employees. Learn all about this cool job in today’s episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Vomit Phobia Works

    Dec 05 2017

    No one - no one - likes to vomit, but there are some people who would prefer to die rather than vomit, people who spend their days worrying they will vomit at any moment and become so obsessed they curtail their lives to prevent it from happening. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Crime Scene Cleanup Works

    Dec 02 2017

    Cleaning up crime scenes is a niche industry that's both lucrative and messy. In this episode, Josh and Chuck take a look at how crime-scene clean-up works. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Cake: So Great. So, So Great

    Nov 30 2017

    Cake has been around for a long time, but mostly less than great forms. It took the Industrial Revolution, the advent of plentiful sugar, and some good old American know-how to come together to make the cake we know and love today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Toy Testing Works

    Nov 28 2017

    It's every kid's dream - a job playing with toys that pays in toys. It's a real thing and has been around for a long time. Then there's the other side of the testing process, companies who ensure that toys are safe. It takes both of these testing techniques to successfully bring a toy to market these days. Dive into the ball pit with us today and learn all about toy testing. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Organ Donation Works

    Nov 25 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, tune in as Josh and Chuck take a detailed look at organ donation -- from the earliest organ transplants to the organ black market. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What is nuclear forensics?

    Nov 23 2017

    Nuclear forensics is a lot of things - from UN sponsored inspections to tasks more on the down low. But either way, the job of these men and women is to root out possible nuclear weapon threats. It's a fairly unknown and thankless task, so allow us to shed a little light on this very cool and very necessary line of work. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Bath Salts: Steer Clear

    Nov 21 2017

    Although much of the media-fueled hysteria over the designer drug called bath salts has been utterly unfounded, especially when it comes to driving users to eating people's faces, you'll still want to pass on them. Learn why. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Daylight Saving Time Works

    Nov 18 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, Benjamin Franklin first came up with daylight saving time in 1748, and people still practice it today. But how does it work? What are the pros and cons? Join Josh and Chuck as they turn back the clock to explore the origins of daylight saving time. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Can movies be cursed?

    Nov 16 2017

    First of all, movies can't be cursed because curses aren't real. However, that can't stop Josh and Chuck from taking a look at some movies throughout history that have had a disturbing number of bad things surrounding their production and release. Dive into the world of cursed movies in this very fun episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Flu Works

    Nov 14 2017

    Every year the flu virus makes the rounds, laying up young and old alike for days before moving on to another hapless victim. But flu viruses can mutate and once in awhile they turn into something much deadlier, a pandemic that can kill millions. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Silly Putty Works

    Nov 11 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, when the Japanese invaded Southeast Asia in World War II, they cut off America's rubber supply. Luckily, American can-do created a synthetic rubber and saved the War. Learn about the inventor, fluid chemistry and more in this episode of SYSK. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's permaculture all about?

    Nov 09 2017

    Permaculture is a growing trend in the world of farming and home landscaping. It's basically a design principle that emphasizes sustainability and the would-be, natural ecosystem of an area. Simple concepts like planting downhill from a pond and using gravity to feed plants to planting native plants and vegetation that work well together are hallmarks of permaculture. Learn all about this eco-friendly trend today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Restaurant Health Inspections Work

    Nov 07 2017

    If you've ever worked in a restaurant, you know the feeling that occurs when the health inspector pays a visit. While nerve wracking, it's the best insurance patrons have that their food will be prepared and served in a proper environment. Learn all about how these inspections work, from their past history to current incarnation. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Exorcism Works

    Nov 04 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, is the idea of possession a misunderstanding of physiological and psychological conditions, or has science failed to account for unknown, legitimate factors? Learn whether exorcism and psychology are mutually exclusive in this podcast from HowStuffWorks. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Movie Crush: Tig Notaro on Mask

    Nov 03 2017

    Episode two of Movie Crush is a very special one. Comedian Tig Notaro dropped in minutes after a very important, life changing phone call to chat with Chuck about the movie Mask. Have a listen! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Movie Crush: Janet Varney on Tron

    Nov 03 2017

    This week Movie Crush launches with two great episodes. Up first, actress Janet Varney talks with Chuck about the movie Tron and how much it means to her. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Global Warming Works

    Nov 02 2017

    It's a confusing part of climate change when it seems winter is as cold as ever, but as global temperatures creep ever so slightly higher, a cascade of catastrophic events will almost surely follow. The ball is in humanity's court. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK's 2017 Super Spooktacular!

    Oct 31 2017

    In this year's super scary Halloween episode, Chuck and Josh read two great works of horror fiction: Gifts, by our very own Ed Grabianowski, and the classic The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How SPAM Works

    Oct 28 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, SPAM is a canned meat product made from pork shoulder and ham. First introduced in 1937, this iconic food has spread to stores across the world. But what exactly is it, how did it get here -- and why is its shelf life "indefinite?" Tune in to find out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Episode 1,000: The Simpsons Spectacular Part II

    Oct 26 2017

    Today concludes our two part celebration of one of the greatest TV shows of all time - The Simpsons! It also officially marks our 1,000th episode. Can you believe it? We sure can't. So join us today as we wrap up our tribute to America's favorite TV family and hit the 1,000 mark. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Episode 999: The Simpsons Spectacular Part I

    Oct 24 2017

    For our 999th and 1,000th episodes, we go down the rabbit hole on a TV show that quite literally altered popular culture as we know it. The Simpsons has been around since Josh and Chuck were in grade school, and is still cranking out episodes today. Join us for two very special episodes as we pay tribute to The Simpsons, and celebrate a milestone of our own - numbers 999 and 1,000! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: The Cheesiest SYSK Episode Ever

    Oct 21 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, cheese is often overlooked as a one of humanity's great achievements. Making cheese is surprisingly easy: It's been accidentally created by more than one culture at different times. Tune in to learn more about cheese -- and enjoying it -- in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Internships Work

    Oct 19 2017

    The term intern comes from the medical community, but virtually every industry now uses them. From real world training to coffee fetchers, interns can be used and misused in many different ways. Dive into the world of internships with us today. And for heaven's sake - pay them! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Live: The DB Cooper Heist

    Oct 17 2017

    Join Josh and Chuck live from Seattle as they (sky)dive into one of the most brazen robberies in the annals of crime and the only unsolved airline hijacking in American history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Is there such a thing as a truth serum?

    Oct 14 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, ever since people have had secrets, other people have been looking for ways to get it out of them. Law enforcement and chemistry alike have searched for a drug that can remove the ability to lie. Join Josh and Chuck as they check in to see how it's going. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Buildering Works

    Oct 12 2017

    Up until recently we had no idea buildering was a word. Or that people scaling buildings has been a thing since the turn of the 20th Century. Learn along with us, and don't try it at home. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Rolling Jubilee Works

    Oct 10 2017

    Everyone thought it was the pits that banks were bailed out by taxpayers in 2008 while those same people weren't given any relief by the banks. So some Occupy Wall Street members did something about it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Did a cow start the Great Chicago Fire?

    Oct 07 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, Josh and Chuck find who's probably to blame for the Great Chicago Fire. The newspapers of the day reported that a cow (or perhaps its owner) was responsible for a fire that burned half of Chicago in 1871. Yet in 1997 Mrs. O'Leary and her cow were exonerated. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Giraffes Work

    Oct 05 2017

    Even though giraffes are one of the most recognizable animals on the planet, it wasn't until the 21st century that biology really set about studying them. They've found giraffes are even more amazing than they appear. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Police Body Cameras Work

    Oct 03 2017

    Cops wearing cameras is a new thing. So new that we aren't entirely sure of all the ramifications that go along with them just yet. In theory they should protect both police and citizens, but as we learned, they are no magic pill against police brutality or the death of cops on patrol. Join us as we dive into this complicated issue today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: What was the most peaceful time in history?

    Sep 30 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, there is a lot of debate about whether pre-agricultural humans existed in a more harmonious state than we do today. Did we slip out of Eden when we began to build large scale societies and pay the price for technological advancement by suffering increased violence? Or is it possible that the most peaceful time in history is right now? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Nude Beaches Work

    Sep 28 2017

    Probably all beaches were nude early on, but as society developed and body shame became all the rage, people started wearing bathing suits. Some, though, liked the way it was before. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How FOIA Works

    Sep 26 2017

    In the 60s, Congress worried the White House was operating too much in secret and passed the Freedom Of Information Act, opening the government to public questioning. It has been an ongoing struggle to pry those secrets loose ever since. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Fecal Transplants: You Gonna Drink That Poop?

    Sep 23 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, there's an emerging field in health care called medical ecology that's concerned with understanding how the 100 trillion microbes living inside us keep us healthy. The field's first breakthrough is the fecal transplant, taking poop from a healthy person and putting it into the gut of a sick person. It's a real thing and it actually works. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • A Nostalgic Look at Crayons

    Sep 21 2017

    Mixing wax with pigment is something artists have been doing since DaVinci. These little implements would later go on to be called crayons and gained popularity among the elementary school set. Learn all about crayons in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Frogs Work

    Sep 19 2017

    They survived the extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs, but unfortunately frogs seem to be no match for humans and are losing species in droves. This is not good for anyone. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Handwriting Analysis Works

    Sep 16 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, one of the fields of forensic investigation, handwriting analysis is based on the principle of uniqueness - that each person writes in their own peculiar way. Learn about this interesting area of crime fighting and how it's worked to advance itself as a real science. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Secret Service Works

    Sep 14 2017

    The U.S. Secret Service began after a mandate from President Lincoln called for a service to combat counterfeiters. Since then, they have become more well known as the agency that guards and protects the president and the first family, along with that of former presidents. Learn all about the ins and outs of the this not so secret service in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Psychopaths Work

    Sep 12 2017

    There are people who walk among us who seem normal, maybe even more charming or intelligent than average, yet they hide disturbing and at times dangerous personalities behind what one researcher called a 'mask of sanity.' Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Hip-hop Works

    Sep 09 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select, what you hear is not a test, instead it's Chuck and Josh discussing the cultural history of the Hip-Hop movement. Born out of the South Bronx, by way of Jamaica, Hip-Hop culture grew up suddenly as DJs learned to use two turntables at once. Check out this episode of Stuff You Should Know to learn about the origins and evolution of Hip-Hop. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Are crickets the future of food?

    Sep 07 2017

    Crickets are part of a larger insect-based diet enjoyed in most parts of the world. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and protein, and green to boot, crickets could help solve some of the world's food problems if Europe and America get on board. Learn all about cricket farming in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Baffling Case of the Body On Somerton Beach

    Sep 05 2017

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Shrunken Heads Work

    Sep 02 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, although U.S. museum collections are rife with counterfeits, shrunken heads are far from fiction. The Shuar tribe of Ecuador has shrunken heads for centuries. Learn the methodical process of shrinking a head and how they're used in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Satanism Works

    Aug 31 2017

    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 evil humans who perform ritual blood sacrifice and worship a cloven-hoofed devil. Learn all about Satanism in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • A Lip-Smacking Look at Barbecue

    Aug 29 2017

    Barbecue, or for the lazy, BBQ, is a Southern cooking tradition, but also much more than that. It's a cultural touchstone of the South where people of all classes and races can sit and break bread with one another. In today's episode, you'll learn all about BBQ's interesting origins, along with the various regional varieties that make its meat-loving fans so devoted. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Is Stockholm Syndrome real?

    Aug 26 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, since a hostage standoff in Sweden took place in 1972 a peculiar and mysterious psychological phenomenon has had a name. But is Stockholm Syndrome real? And what conditions have to be present? Join Chuck and Josh as they look into this unusual condition. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Personality Tests Work

    Aug 24 2017

    For millennia, we have tried to put human personalities into neat types, an effort psychology took up early in its history in an effort to legitimize itself. But is the idea of types – which all personality inventories are based on - flawed to begin with? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Is the Uncanny Valley Real?

    Aug 22 2017

    In 1970, roboticist Masahiro Mori wrote an essay that said the closer robots come to lifelike, the more they unsettle humans. His theory became the Uncanny Valley, and science has been evaluating it – and what makes something creepy - in recent years. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Exploitation Films Work

    Aug 19 2017

    In today's SYSK Select episode, we learn about exploitation films. During the 1930s-80s, the work of directors operating in the shadows of Hollywood led to explorations in sexuality and violence that mainstream cinema wouldn't touch. Join Chuck and Josh as they explore the seedy underbelly of grindhouse flicks. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with accents?

    Aug 17 2017

    Accents are truly fascinating. Put simply, they are how a person sounds when they talk. From England to America and all over the world, the way people speak in their native tongue can vary drastically. What are the influences? When do accents begin to take hold? Can you lose or gain an accent? Learn about all this and more in today's decidedly interesting episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Stuttering Works

    Aug 15 2017

    Despite as much as one percent of the adult population having the condition, science doesn't actually know how stuttering works. The best it's come up with so far: there seems to be an issue between the physical process of speaking and the thought process that underlies it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How McCarthyism Works

    Aug 12 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, if you're accusing someone of disloyalty or subversion without decent evidence, then you may be guilty of McCarthyism. In this episode, Josh and Chuck explore the origin of the term, starting with the infamous Communist-hunting Senator Joseph McCarthy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Bioarchaeology Works

    Aug 10 2017

    Thanks to advancements in fields like genetics, and molecular chemistry, archaeology is undergoing a renaissance and opening up new understanding of the past. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Do motivational speakers motivate people?

    Aug 08 2017

    There are all kinds of motivational speakers, from people who have overcome incredible hardships to those who hold pep-rally style events in stadiums. But do these speakers actually help anyone? Science can't prove it out, but people who take part swear by it. Learn all about the strange world of motivational speakers in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Why do men have nipples?

    Aug 05 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, they're always right there, taunting you: why do you have me, they ask? Why do men have nipples? It turns out there's a good answer why and nipples on men aren't entirely useless after all. Join Chuck and Josh for this heady investigation. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Who Committed the 1912 Villisca Ax Murders?

    Aug 03 2017

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

  • How Public Broadcasting Works

    Aug 01 2017

    Public broadcasting works a bit differently depending on where you are in the world. American TV made the leap more toward commercial broadcasting in the early days, yet PBS and NPR still remain a vital part of our national fabric. In England and many other countries, public broadcasting is more the standard. Learn all about the interesting history of public broadcasting in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Disco Works

    Jul 29 2017

    In today's SYSK Select episode, fly, robin, fly indeed. No musical genre has risen and burned out as quickly as disco, and historians are still trying to unravel the animosity aimed at it. Join Chuck and Josh as they dig into disco's underground roots and its sashay into the mainstream. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • A Dry Look at Toilet Paper

    Jul 27 2017

    Over or under? One ply or two? How about six? TP has not been around that long, but is has been embraced in a big way by the United States. Learn all about the interesting history behind this decidedly dry product. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What is Ghost Fishing?

    Jul 25 2017

    It sounds cool, but ghost fishing is actually a tragic byproduct of modern fishing practices, where abandoned nylon nets can trap and kill sealife for hundreds of years. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How the Sun Works

    Jul 22 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, amateur astrophysicists Josh and Chuck break out the stats and attempt to explain the complex, boiling ball of gas that we call the sun. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • All We Know About Guessing

    Jul 20 2017

    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. From wild guesses to the educated variety, learn everything we know about the brain and how it manages this odd, very human act. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Sunburn, Suntans and Sunscreen

    Jul 18 2017

    It's pretty obvious something's gone wrong when you get a sunburn, but did you know a tan means you've damaged your DNA? Dive into the three Ss of summer and learn all about how to protect yourself from the sun. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Why can't we find Amelia Earhart?

    Jul 15 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, famed aviator Amelia Earhart's disappearance in 1937 is a mystery that endures to this day. Why don't we know what happened to her? In this episode, Josh and Chuck examine the facts and evidence behind the famous case. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Fever Dreams Work

    Jul 13 2017

    Fever dreams can be unsettling experiences. These ramped up nightmares are vivid, detailed and only happen when the human body experiences a fever. What is it about the combination of fevers and dreams that make these night terrors so hellish? Learn all that and more in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Why is There a Battle Over Net Neutrality?

    Jul 11 2017

    Net neutrality is the idea that the internet is a public good and that everyone should have equal, unfettered access to it. Though the FCC strongly supported it with new rules in 2015, today’s FCC is under new leadership and has other ideas. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How HeLa Cells Work

    Jul 08 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, after she was diagnosed with the cervical cancer that shortly killed her, a tissue sample was taken from Henrietta Lacks in 1951 without her knowledge. Those cells would go on to become the first immortal line of human cells, something of enormous benefit to science and humanity as a whole. But while the line, called HeLa cells, became a multi-billion-dollar industry, her family languished without health care insurance. Learn about this complex case of private...more

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

    Jul 06 2017

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

  • What exactly is stoicism?

    Jul 04 2017

    The word stoic has taken on its own meaning apart from the philosophical movement which gave it life. Learn all about the early stoics, what the philosophy is all about and where the movement stands today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Why isn't the U.S. on the metric system?

    Jul 01 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, the U.S. stands proudly defiant and the world looks at Americans as dopes for the U.S.'s stubborn refusal to go metric. However, the States have been going metric for about 150 years. Find out what's the haps in this weighty and measured episode of SYSK. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Standardized Patients Work

    Jun 29 2017

    Even the most brilliant medical minds need a good bedside manner, and thanks to standardized patients, they can improve their skills. What are they? Part-time workers who pretend to be real patients so doctors can practice on live humans. If you're remembering Kramer on Seinfeld right about now, you're not alone. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Remembering Stonewall

    Jun 27 2017

    One of American history's darker moments, the Stonewall Riots were also the event that galvanized the gay rights movement in the United States. Today there's a monument in NYC to memorialize this important time. Learn all about this often overlooked story in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Scooby Dooby Doo, Where Are You?

    Jun 24 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, for decades, Scooby Doo has captivated children across the world. It's been translated to multiple languages and remains as popular as newer programs. But why? Join Chuck and Josh as they shed light on the seemingly endless allure of Scooby Doo. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Ketchup Works

    Jun 22 2017

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

  • How Seed Banks Work

    Jun 20 2017

    Since the advent of agriculture, humans have been storing seeds. But as sea levels rise and climates change around the world, our reasons for banking seeds have become more desperate. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Do you stay conscious after being decapitated?

    Jun 17 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, historically speaking, decapitation was a popular means of execution -- it's been used by everyone from ancient Romans to French revolutionaries. But is there any truth to claim that victims retain their consciousness? Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What was Camp X?

    Jun 15 2017

    In the early days of World War II, there was a secret training program in Canada that taught Allied saboteurs everything from espionage and bridge blowing to karate chops to the neck of an enemy. It was called Camp X and was so secret that not even the Canadian prime minister was aware of it prior to its formation. Learn all about this super cool camp in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Beagle Brigade Works

    Jun 13 2017

    If you've ever been to an international airport, you've probably seen one of the keenest spotters of illegal contraband - The Beagle Brigade! These cute dogs aren't after drugs or bombs, they're carefully trained to sniff out agricultural products. Learn all about this furry group of crime stoppers in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Maps Work

    Jun 10 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, yes, your brain may have just flash-dried from boredom at the thought of learning about maps, but it turns out they are a lot more than just tools for navigation. Maps are two-dimensional representations of how we imagine our world, with imagine being the operative word since every map in existence is riddled with errors. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Why Are Whale Strandings Still a Mystery?

    Jun 08 2017

    For millennia, mass strandings of whales have confounded us. Why should dozens or more whales come onto shore only to die a terrible and lengthy death? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Coelacanths Work

    Jun 06 2017

    Coelacanths are incredibly interesting as far as fish go. For one, they were thought to have gone the way of the dinosaur, along with the dinosaur. They also give birth to live fish and tend to dwell more than 800 feet below the ocean's surface. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Learn all about these fascinating creatures in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: What's the deal with Rasputin's death?

    Jun 03 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, Grigori Rasputin, the Russian charismatic cleric and political adviser to the ruling Romanovs, is said to have been poisoned, shot, shot again, bludgeoned and drowned. Exactly how did he die and how would such a legend grow around a modern figure? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Stories Behind A Few Food Fads

    Jun 01 2017

    America loves to go nuts over new food trends and it turns out that the 20th century was a boon time for them. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Are Election Laws Designed to Suppress Voting?

    May 30 2017

    Are laws that are meant to protect the sanctity of the polling place in reality designed to make it harder for groups that traditionally vote Democrat to cast their ballots? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Beer Works

    May 27 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, at long last, Josh and Chuck take on perhaps their most important topic ever. Learn about the history of beer, how it's made -- the whole shebang, basically -- in this watershed episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Schoolhouse Rock Rocked: Featuring Bob Nastanovich of Pavement

    May 25 2017

    Schoolhouse Rock is possibly the best children's program of all time. Join Josh and Chuck as they tell the story of SR, featuring an interview with Pavement's Bob Nastanovich, contributor to the '90s Schoolhouse Rock tribute record. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Is a head transplant really a thing?

    May 23 2017

    "Head transplant" is a bit of a misnomer, because it's more like a body transplant. But either way, the idea is that one human will wake up from surgery with a decidedly different look. Is it possible? Probably not. But there are a couple of surgeons who are making a lot of news in their bid to find out. Learn all about this grisly potential procedure in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Magic Mushrooms Work

    May 20 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, for thousands of years, humans have used hallucinogenic mushrooms for spiritual reasons. Today, however, having them can get you thrown in prison. How do magic mushrooms do what they do? Can they help the mentally ill? Find out in this far out episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis Work

    May 18 2017

    It wasn't too long ago that humans thought the polar lights were signs from the afterlife. Thanks to a 19th century Norwegian, we now understand that they are a fascinating interplay with Earth's magnetic field and wind from the sun. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Champagne Works

    May 16 2017

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

  • SYSK Selects: Gesundheit! How Allergies Work

    May 13 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, about 30-40 percent of humans suffer from some sort of allergy. The big joke, though, is that every sufferer is the victim of mistaken identity. Allergies are the result of a hypersensitive immune system mistaking a harmless protein for a foreign invader. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Charismatic Megafauna Work

    May 11 2017

    Charismatic Megafauna is not just a great band name. It's really just a fancy word for the cutest and most personality plus animals at the zoo. We're talking pandas, elephants and anything else you might see on a poster. Their mission? To help raise awareness and drive donations. But not everyone is on board. Learn all about these cuddly beasts in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Itching Works

    May 09 2017

    It was only in the last few decades that science became aware that itches aren't just low-level pain. And in that time, the mystery of how we itch and why we scratch has gotten even more baffling. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: What's the 10,000 Year Clock?

    May 06 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, in a desert in Texas a 200-feet-tall clock is being constructed deep inside a mountain. Once completed, it will keep time for the next 10,000 years, even if there are no humans around to use it. Tune in as Chuck and Josh get to the bottom of the Long Now. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Some Nutso Fan Theories

    May 04 2017

    It turns out that the characters in your favorite TV shows and the like are actually dead, dreaming, dying or don't exist. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Poetry Works

    May 02 2017

    Poetry is a broad and expansive art form. From dramatic verse to haiku, rhyming poetry and spoken word, there are many hats a poet can wear. Join Josh and Chuck today as they break down the history of poetry, a dive into what's so great about it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Revisionist History Works

    Apr 29 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, perhaps you equate the term to conspiracy theories and Holocaust denials, but revisionism is a genuine discipline in the field of historical study. And thanks to revisionists, we now include a lot more reality - and previously unsung people - in the history of our nations. Learn about historians determined that history is far from set in stone in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Multiple Sclerosis Works

    Apr 27 2017

    When the immune system mistakes the tissue covering neural connections as foreign invaders, the result can devastate the body. There is hope, however, in a new radical treatment that resets the immune system. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the National Security Council Works

    Apr 25 2017

    Until recently, most people probably never paid much attention to the National Security Council. It's been around a long time though, and the president has quite a bit of leeway as to who sits at the table. Learn all about this important group of individuals in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: How Breast Implants Work

    Apr 22 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, the first attempt at breast augmentation surgery was on a dog. The second on a woman who went in for tattoo removal. From those weird origins hundreds of thousands of breast implant procedures are now carried out each year. Find out all about the advancements and techniques in increasing your bust. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Swearing Works

    Apr 20 2017

    Swearing is something that's been done across all cultures, virtually since humans began speaking. What is it about these taboo words that offend some, and are beloved by others? Does it help to relieve stress to swear? Are there general rules of thumb about when it's OK to swear? All of your questions are answered in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Corsets Work

    Apr 18 2017

    Sure, we're doing an episode on corsets. Why do you ask? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Lying Liars: How Lying Works, Liar

    Apr 15 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, studies find that absolutely everyone lies - some have found as much as a quarter of our daily interactions involve lies. What gives with everyone fudging? Chuck and Josh explore the philosophy, psychology and reality of lying and what constitutes a liar. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Supervolcanoes Work

    Apr 13 2017

    Until recently, volcanologists thought supervolcanoes were simply massive volcanoes. But further research has revealed that they are far different - and far more dangerous - than previously imagined. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Supreme Court Nominations Work

    Apr 11 2017

    Being nominated as a Supreme Court Justice is no small thing, and it doesn't always go as planned. With this week's confirmation of Justice Gorsuch, Josh and Chuck take a look at the process of getting named to America's highest court. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK Selects: Can you die of a broken heart?

    Apr 08 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, in the early 1990s, Japanese researchers found a strange anomaly in their study subjects, five people who had inexplicable heart attacks. From this first investigation has come a scientific mystery: Is it possible that the sudden loss of a loved one can be so difficult to bear that it can actually cause a heart attack and maybe kill you? Could the romantics be right? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Empathy Works

    Apr 06 2017

    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 someone prone to empathize? Listen in to find out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Composting: Nature's Most Interesting Process

    Apr 04 2017

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

  • SYSK Selects: How Filibusters Work

    Apr 01 2017

    In this week's SYSK Select episode, although lots of people incorrectly believe the filibuster was an intentional rule created by the founders of the U.S., this ancient method of stalling legislation was actually brought about in America by accident. Learn the ins and outs of this contentious quirk of parliamentary rules that allows a single senator to hijack the proceedings of the entire legislative body in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-adver...more

  • The Shroud Of Turin: No Ordinary Bed Sheet

    Mar 30 2017

    The Shroud of Turin is no ordinary bed sheet. Some think it's the burial cloth of Jesus. Others think it's an amazing piece of artwork. The truth is, we'll probably never know what it really is. The mystery of the Shroud of Turin awaits you... Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Foreign Accent Syndrome Works

    Mar 28 2017

    Foreign accent syndrome isn't when your mom talks funny when she goes abroad. It's an actual condition where people wake up one day with an entirely different accent, usually from some kind of head trauma. Learn all about this decidedly rare affliction today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Hyperloop Will Work

    Mar 23 2017

    If you’re out there, Elon Musk, this one’s for you (although you already know everything in this episode). Everybody else, buckle in and sit back for a 700 mph thrill ride from LA to SF in 35 minutes - coming soon! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Solitary Confinement: Cruel and Unusual

    Mar 21 2017

    In our continuing exploration of crime and punishment, we take a look at the practice of solitary confinement. To be sure, it has its place in prisons, sometimes for protection of the inmates themselves. However, leaving people in solitary for weeks, months and even years is another thing. We explore this cruel and unusual punishment in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Southerners Aren’t Lazy and Dumb, They Just Had Hookworm

    Mar 16 2017

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

  • Pain Scales: Yeeeow!

    Mar 14 2017

    Pain is subjective; it is whatever the person experiencing it says it is. But to effectively treat pain, it helps to quantify it, which is why medicine came up with pain scales. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • History of the Trail of Tears, Part II

    Mar 09 2017

    In the second of two parts, what was once a voluntary resettlement program becomes a violent, forced relocation under the leadership of President Andrew Jackson. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • History of the Trail of Tears, Part I

    Mar 07 2017

    In this first of two episodes on the Trail of Tears, learn about the forces that converged to create the series of events that formed the basis of what may be the most brutal decade in American history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Optical Illusions Work

    Mar 02 2017

    Now you see it, now you don't — optical illusions can fool us into seeing what's not actually there. But what causes that disconnect between perception and reality? Learn all about this visual trickery in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Free Speech Works

    Feb 28 2017

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

  • How Famines Work

    Feb 23 2017

    It’s common knowledge that famines are usually caused by major droughts: Rain doesn’t fall, crops don’t grow, and people go hungry. But recent research suggests that while weather may trigger famines, they may actually be more of a human-made catastrophe. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The ins and outs of the DEATH TAX

    Feb 21 2017

    The estate tax, also known as the death tax, is not new. It's actually been around in some form since ancient Rome. Some say it's a necessary tax to help prevent resting on your inheritance laurels. Others say it's straight up double tax robbery. Learn all about this controversial tax today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Black Panther Party

    Feb 16 2017

    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 effect change in their community. Their history is one of the more interesting American stories, from the early stages of policing the police to their community service efforts to their inevitable fall. Learn all about the Black Panther Party right now... Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/...more

  • Tardigrades: Nature's Cuddly, Indestructible Microanimal

    Feb 14 2017

    You can burn them, freeze them, shoot them into space – they wouldn’t bat an eyelash, even if they had eyelashes. Go into the microcosmos and learn about the tiny animals that are so astoundingly durable, they can survive conditions not found here on Earth. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Live from San Francisco: How Malls Work

    Feb 09 2017

    In this show recorded live on January 5, 2017 at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre, Josh and Chuck delve into the history and the heyday of the church of consumerism and what it means for local communities and our capitalist society at large when malls die. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Quinoa Revolution!

    Feb 07 2017

    Quinoa is a trendy food, right alongside kale and anything else farm to table. But it's really an ancient grain. Although it's not exactly a grain at all. Technically it's a pseudo-cereal. But it is tasty and nutritious, a true superfood. Learn all about the food with the funny name in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the future of virtual sex?

    Feb 02 2017

    In the not too distant future, sex may not involve being in the same room as your partner. In fact, your partner may not even have to be a human. We're talking virtual sex here. Couple VR with high tech, smart sex toys and intercourse as we know it may be a thing of the past. Except not really. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Elastics: Where God and Science Smooch

    Jan 31 2017

    You could be forgiven for thinking the story behind elastics was boring. You’d still be wrong, though. The story of what’s holding up your underwear is a global drama, replete with war, industrial espionage, colonialism, destitute inventors – everything! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Pacifism Works (And Could It?)

    Jan 26 2017

    There is deep disagreement over whether humans are essentially peaceful or essentially warlike. Depending on your view you may see pacifism as either hopelessly naïve or the unsung response to conflict that’s kept us from wiping ourselves out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Dictators Work

    Jan 24 2017

    There are many types of dictators, from so called "benevolent" ones to the kind who rule with an iron fist. There are also many ways they can come into power, and they don't all include violence. Learn all about dictators past and present in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Soylent Works

    Jan 19 2017

    Soylent is a meal replacement drink, but not really. So what is it? Total sustenance in a glass? Some say so. Is it made from humans? No, that's just a movie. Learn all about this odd concoction in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Are Artificial Sweeteners Really Bad For You?

    Jan 17 2017

    Artificial sweeteners have gotten a bad rap in the press for as long as they’ve been in use. But is it just the result of a fear of science or do artificial sweeteners cause real harm? A mounting body of studies is starting to paint a pretty grim picture. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Watersheds Work

    Jan 12 2017

    Unless you happen to be standing on a hilltop or swimming in the ocean right now, you are on a watershed. These unsung wonders of topography and hydrology are an important contributor to the rain cycle and yet we humans tend to abuse them. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with Baby Boomers?

    Jan 10 2017

    Baby Boomers are probably the most talked about generation in American history. But who are these people and how did they help shape the country we know today? Find out all about the big boom in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Feeding Babies Works: The Bottle

    Jan 05 2017

    The decision to bottle feed a baby instead of breast-feeding is a weighty one these days, fraught with supposed developmental pitfalls and very real social implications. But is bottle feeding a bad thing? And are benefits of breast-feeding overestimated? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Feeding Babies Works: The Breast

    Jan 03 2017

    Breast milk is considered a perfect food for infants, so much so that for the first four to six months of life, a baby can subsist on mother’s milk alone. Learn all about the most fascinating milk around and the science behind it in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Human Blockheads: A Real Thing

    Dec 29 2016

    Human blockheads are performers who hammer nails and things into their noses. Yup. That's a thing. And it isn't a trick either - anyone can do it. Just please don't try to. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Can you live without a bank account?

    Dec 27 2016

    Seems like it would be nearly impossible to live without a bank account these days. But it is possible! Learn all about banking and personal finance in today's riveting episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Stuff You Should Know 2016 Christmas Extravaganza in 3-D!

    Dec 22 2016

    It’s the most wonderful time of year again! Time for Josh and Chuck to take you on a cozy, hall-decked ride full of glad tidings right into the heart of the holiday spirit! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Golden Age of Grave Robbing: Stuff You Should Know Live in London

    Dec 20 2016

    There was a brief period in the US, UK and Ireland when a dead body could fetch a pretty penny for a person willing to dig it up and sell it to surgeons for dissection. It turns out that there was no shortage of ghoulish types willing to do just that. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Porta-Potties Work

    Dec 15 2016

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

  • Will We Find Evidence of Aliens by Their Engineering Projects?

    Dec 13 2016

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

  • Is computer addiction a thing?

    Dec 08 2016

    Computer addiction is really an umbrella term for the various addictions that can come along with the computer. We're talking video games, porn, gambling and the like. We dive deep into the world of digital addiction in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Horoscopes: Written in the Stars?

    Dec 06 2016

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

  • How a Flea Circus Works

    Dec 01 2016

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

  • Frostbite: Yeeeow!

    Nov 29 2016

    Up to the 1950s most reports of frostbite came from the world’s militaries, but as outdoor sports have gotten more popular, so have frostbite cases. Learn about how frostbite wreaks havoc on your extremities, even literally freezing off your tookus. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Should Advertising to Kids Be Banned?

    Nov 24 2016

    As kids’ buying power in America has exploded in recent decades, so too has the amount companies spend advertising to them. But because of a quirk of brain development, kids aren’t equipped to understand ads are manipulating them. Should they be banned? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Kitty Genovese Story

    Nov 22 2016

    Most people have heard of the story of Kitty Genovese. She was murdered near her apartment in 1964 and her neighbors didn't do much to help. It caused a nationwide outcry, but the story has often been misrepresented. We'll set the record straight. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the Deal with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

    Nov 17 2016

    Concussions are bad enough for football players, but research has found all of those smaller hits can add up to massive brain trauma later in life too, leading to a condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition the NFL sought to cover up. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Fireplaces Work

    Nov 15 2016

    They are dirty, harmful to your health, bad for the environment and utterly charming. Wood-burning fireplaces have been with us for centuries and, despite their many drawbacks, are sticking around. Learn more than you thought possible about the fireplace. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Monty Python Worked: SYSK Live from LA Podfest

    Nov 10 2016

    Things get awesome when Josh and Chuck do a live show on Monty Python at the LA Podcast Festival. Hang out as the duo dives into the "Beatles of Comedy," what made them tick, what made them so funny, the whole bit. Plus, Kevin Pollak crashes the stage. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Do sin taxes work?

    Nov 08 2016

    Taxing things like alcohol, tobacco and gambling is big money and has been for a long time. But are these "sin taxes" keeping people from indulging or are they simply a way to raise revenue? Learn all about sin taxes in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • A Partial History of Action Figures

    Nov 03 2016

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

  • Ham Radio and the Hams Who Use Them

    Nov 01 2016

    If you thought that Ham Radio enthusiasts were (mostly) men and boys who sit alone late at night in order to scan frequencies searching for a human connection then you're absolutely correct. But it's much more than that. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK The Podcast: Special Halloween Bonus Episode 2016, The Sequel – From Hell

    Oct 31 2016

    Lock your doors and grab something heavy to defend yourself, like a candlestick or something, because Josh and Chuck are going to scare the wits out of you, courtesy of a story from The Grabster and listeners who submitted two-sentence horror. Scary! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Hinterkaifeck Axe Murders

    Oct 27 2016

    In 1922, a little farm in the woods of Bavaria became the site of what would become Germany’s most famous unsolved murder, when six people were brutally killed with a pick axe. What led up to it and followed is nothing short of bizarre. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Sleep Paralysis Works, or The Worst Thing That Can Happen While You're Sleeping

    Oct 25 2016

    For as long as people have been sleeping, about half of us have probably suffered from sleep paralysis. Thanks to an unusual fluke in the sleep cycle, the sufferer feels paralyzed and consumed by fear as something on their chest tries to kill them. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Living Underground in Beijing

    Oct 20 2016

    Chairman Mao’s paranoia of a Soviet invasion led to hundreds of thousands of Beijing residents put to work for a decade building an 85-square-km underground city to serve as a massive bomb shelter. Instead it’s illegal underground housing today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the What with Fish Fraud?

    Oct 18 2016

    Fish fraud, misrepresenting a fish as a more expensive one, costs Americans $25 billion a year. And because less than 100 inspectors check for fraud in the US and everyone from wholesalers to sushi restaurants are free to rip off their customers. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Census Works

    Oct 13 2016

    Counting humans has been happening for a long, long time. It usually had to do with taxing them, but now census data can reveal a lot about a population and help satisfy its needs. Count us in for this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Hibernation: Not a Snooze

    Oct 11 2016

    When animals are faced with scarce food in the winter, they have two choices to stay alive: migrate or hibernate. For hibernators, their bodies undergo some mind-boggling physiological changes in the coldest months. Could humans ever do it too? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Why Did Easter Island's Civilization Collapse?

    Oct 06 2016

    When the first Europeans landed on Rapa Nui, which they renamed Easter Island, they were puzzled by what happened there. Only a few thousand people lived there but there were signs of a massive civilization that once flourished. What happened there? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Amazing History of Soda

    Oct 03 2016

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

  • How Polar Bears Work

    Sep 29 2016

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

  • How Ice Ages Work

    Sep 27 2016

    Believe it or not, we live in an ice age. The polar glaciers give it away. Those glaciers used to come clear down to New York. We now know the traces they left are everywhere if you know what to look for; it just took some Swiss peasants to figure it out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • All we know about Zika so far...

    Sep 22 2016

    Zika is all over the news these days, yet in America, people don't seem to be too concerned just yet. Some say it's a case of the media crying wolf. Others say it's because the risk factors for zika are limited. Learn all about the latest virus to take center stage in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Cerebral Palsy Works

    Sep 20 2016

    Cerebral palsy isn’t a disease, but an umbrella term for conditions arising from brain damage suffered in the womb or shortly after birth. The factors involved are so divergent no two cases of CP are alike, making it – and people who have CP – fascinating. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with Stradivarius violins?

    Sep 15 2016

    The Strad violin is noted for its tonal qualities and superior craftsmanship. And for its price tag. There are many theories why the Strad sounds so great, from the wood to the lacquer, to the simple fact that Antonio Stradivari was really good at what he did. Rosin up your bow and take a listen. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Alexander Hamilton: Most Influential American?

    Sep 13 2016

    Alexander Hamilton, the "ten dollar founding father," is more than the toast of Broadway. In fact, he just may be the most influential American in history. A brash genius, Hamilton wasn't much of a politician. He was all about policy. Learn all about Hamilton in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Do Animals Have Natural Rights?

    Sep 08 2016

    Animals have had legal protection from unnecessary harm since the 19th century. Yet what harm is necessary is open to interpretation and animals continue to suffer and die for science and commerce. Should they have the right to freedom from humans? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Animal Testing Works

    Sep 06 2016

    The use of animals for commercial and scientific testing is a quietly controversial topic. That we humans have advanced as a species because we use animals as literal and figurative guinea pigs is undeniable. But do we have the right to do that? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Negro Leagues Worked

    Sep 01 2016

    A decade before the U.S. officially segregated in 1896, baseball banned black players. A decade before the US integrated, baseball broke the color barrier. Between, the Negro Leagues produced some of the finest players to ever take the field. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Food Tasters Work

    Aug 30 2016

    Some people might think that tasting food for a living is the best job in the whole wide world. But think again! The reality is, it can be a tedious, grueling job that destroys your very love of food. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • This Custom of Customs

    Aug 25 2016

    Customs may be a pain when you're traveling, but it's a necessary instrument the government uses to regulate trade. And it has a very fascinating history. Your passport please? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Jellyfish: Even Cooler than Octopi?

    Aug 23 2016

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

  • The Delightful History of Steam Technology

    Aug 18 2016

    One of the coolest things humans have ever figured out is how to use steam as power. It made the Industrial Revolution possible and even today, 88% of America's electricty comes from steam turbines. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Woolly Mammoths Worked

    Aug 16 2016

    It was only 11000 years ago that the last true woolly mammoths died out, close enough to the modern age that humans lived alongside them. But were humans the cause of mammoths' sudden extinction or was climate change to blame? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Evel Knievel Part II

    Aug 11 2016

    In today's episode, we cover part two of our Evel Knievel suite. The man, the myth, the legend. Check in and listen to the latter stages of Evel's career as the world's most legendary daredevil. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Evel Knievel Part I

    Aug 09 2016

    Evel Knievel was perhaps the world's most legendary daredevil. He came along at a time when the world ate up this kind of entertainment, partially in hopes that he crashed. And crash he did. A lot. Learn all about this icon in this special two part episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Mermaids: Not a real thing

    Aug 04 2016

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

  • How Night Terrors Work

    Aug 01 2016

    Night terrors, an uncommon sleep disorder, happen when the brain doesn't transition correctly to deep sleep. The result is terrifying, with the sufferer genuinely terrified, swatting at invisible attackers, and screaming for help - all while sound asleep. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What is exploding head syndrome?

    Jul 28 2016

    Exploding head syndrome isn't nearly as weird as it sounds, and there are no brain parts being damaged. But if you suffer from it, you will definitely be freaked out. The good news is, despite its name, it's not dangerous at all. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Triage Works

    Jul 26 2016

    Triage is a system that provides immediate attention and categorization for medical emergencies that hopefully will never be a big part of your life. Unless you work in an ER. Learn all about the interesting history and current methods for this life saving system today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Moonwalk Works

    Jul 21 2016

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

  • How Chaos Theory Changed the Universe

    Jul 19 2016

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

  • The Gettysburg Address: Short and Sweet

    Jul 14 2016

    The Gettysburg Address is one of the most famous speeches in political history, despite only being a few hundred words long. What was so special about this commemoration? We'll give you the skinny right here and now. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Radiation Sickness Works

    Jul 12 2016

    Fortunately, science has very few instances where humans have been exposed to acute radiation poisoning to study for clues to treating radiation sickness. They have found, though, that those few instances have been grave. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's with this "Internet of Things"?

    Jul 07 2016

    You may have heard about the Internet of Things and not known what the term meant. It's basically a collection of object conected to your life and the internet. We're talking everything from your smart phone to your fitness tracker. Cool stuff, but fraught with privacy issues. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Research tips from SYSK

    Jul 05 2016

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

  • How Lighthouses Work

    Jun 30 2016

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

  • How Underground Mining Works

    Jun 28 2016

    People used to use deer antlers to beat the minerals out of rock hidden in the earth. Luckily, they got better at it, and now modern mining is a mind-boggling process for efficiently removing stuff we want from inside the planet. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the misery index?

    Jun 23 2016

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

  • How Space Stations Work

    Jun 21 2016

    It seems like we largely take it for granted these days, but the fact that we have humans living in space is the realization of a scientific dream a century old. Visit the space stations orbiting Earth past, present and future in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Steadicams Work

    Jun 16 2016

    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 history behind this amazing technology today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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

    Jun 14 2016

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

  • What's the deal with controlled burns?

    Jun 09 2016

    Starting a fire to prevent fire seems counterintuitive, but it makes a lot of sense once you understand it. But controlled burns aren't just to help prevent forest fires. They're also a vital part of keeping the local ecosystem healthy and thriving. Learn all about how controlled burns work right here, right now. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Motion Sickness Works

    Jun 07 2016

    Motion sickness is the worst and hits about 25 to 40 percent of humans when they ride in cars, boats, or simply watch the wrong 3-D movie. Join us as we break down the science behind this nausea-inducing affliction. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Gene Editing Works

    Jun 02 2016

    With the discovery of a surprising immune response in E coli bacteria, we are facing a new era of freedom from genetic mutations that lead to disease by simply and precisely editing our genes. But there is also a potential dark side to gene editing. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How SuperBalls Work

    May 31 2016

    You can thank Wham-O's SuperBall for inspiring the name of the NFL's Big Game (buh) and you can thank the fear and the Soviet launch of Sputnik aroused in America for the invention of SuperBall! Learn the history and physics of this bouncy legend. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Crumple Zones Work

    May 25 2016

    If you've ever been in a bad accident in a newer car, you probably have crumple zones to thank for your life. Much more interesting than you think, these zones are designed to break apart and absorb impact, so you don't have to. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Chiggers: The Phantom Menace

    May 23 2016

    Chiggers are tiny little mites capable of making your life miserable. Worse than mosquitoes? Maybe. But they aren't insects - mites are actually part of the arachnid family and behave a little like ticks. Learn all about these nearly invisible pests in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Unsolved Mystery Disappearance of the Sodder Children

    May 18 2016

    In 1945 a house fire took the lives of five children - except that no trace of their bodies was ever found. Dive into the longstanding mystery of the odd circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the Sodder children. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Bonsai Works

    May 16 2016

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

  • True stories of survival cannibalism!

    May 11 2016

    Cannibalism is the macabre practice of eating other humans. But sometimes, people have no choice if they want to survive. It's called survival cannibalism and it tastes like chicken. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Snake Handlers Work

    May 09 2016

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

  • How LSD Works

    May 05 2016

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

  • How Megalodon Worked

    May 03 2016

    Between 2 to 20 million years ago, the biggest shark with perhaps the most devastating bite of any animal ever ruled the oceans with an iron jaw. Despite its fierceness, megalodon went extinct while other species that swam with it survive today. Why? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What was Operation Plowshare?

    Apr 28 2016

    America had already used two nuclear bombs to devastating effect when researchers thought "maybe we can use these bombs to dig big holes instead." That's right, atom bombs to replace bulldozers. And it worked great. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Myths and Truths About Tornadoes

    Apr 25 2016

    Tornadoes can make mincemeat out of houses, people, cars, you name it. So do you know what to do - and what not to do - when there's one headed your way? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Does Kin Selection Explain Altruism?

    Apr 21 2016

    There's a curious puzzle unanswered by the theory of evolution: why do some animals give up their chance to reproduce to help others reproduce instead? For decades biologists have suggested family was the reason, but that has recently been challenged. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What Makes Lead So Poisonous?

    Apr 19 2016

    The people of Flint, MI were horrified to find their drinking water was poisoned with lead. As we learn more about lead's effects and realize how persistent it is, the more worrying it becomes. What makes lead so toxic? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Big Bang Theory Works, with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Apr 14 2016

    There are a number of theories for how the universe evolved but none are more widely accepted than the Big Bang theory. Learn about the mind-boggling details of the early universe and hear Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson talk about what it will take for us to know its origins. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Gender Pay Gap Works

    Apr 12 2016

    The gender pay gap is the amount of time into the next year a woman must work to earn as much as a man did the previous year. And it's narrowing at a snail's pace. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Labor Strikes Work

    Apr 07 2016

    Labor strikes are the last resort of a workforce frustrated with low pay or dangerous working conditions. A big part of winning a wage war is having the public in your side. Learn all about strikes in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Our cats episode - right here, right meow

    Apr 05 2016

    Cats are the most popular pet in the United States, despite the fact that we've only been keeping them indoors for 50-60 years. Learn about more cat facts in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Nostalgia is not the most toxic impulse

    Mar 31 2016

    Nostalgia is a funny thing. It's not home sickness, it's more connected to emotions and a time in your life. But is nostalgia worthwhile? Nascent science says it just might be. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What Was the Deal With the Hatfields and McCoys?

    Mar 29 2016

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

  • How TED Talks Work: Featuring Roman Mars

    Mar 24 2016

    TED Talks have been around longer than you think. They became really popular once YouTube came along to bring their often inspirational messages to the world, 18 minutes at a time. In this episode, we interview an actual TED talker, the host of the 99% Invisible podcast, Roman Mars. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Who Gets to Name Continents?

    Mar 22 2016

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

  • How Makeup Works

    Mar 17 2016

    Humans have been wearing makeup for a few thousand years now and yet, here in the US the chemicals used in them are still not understood and not really regulated. Delve into the history of makeup and the psychology and feminist theory around it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Some Really Interesting Cases of Mass Hysteria

    Mar 15 2016

    Around the world and across time, people have fallen victim to one of the strongest contagions of all - the power of suggestion. Here are just a few examples of these bizarre cases. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Dark Money Works

    Mar 10 2016

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

  • How The Iditarod Works

    Mar 08 2016

    Each year hundreds of dogs haul humans in sleds as part of the 1,100 plus mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. It's grueling and not without controversy but one thing is for sure, these are some amazing dogs. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Freak Shows Worked

    Mar 03 2016

    Not too long ago, people would pay money to gawk and stare at a performer with a physical disformity. They were called freakshows and they began in large part thanks to P.T. Barnum, whose circus we still enjoy today. Sounds awful, but some of these performers became rich folks as a result. Exploitive? You decide. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How El Nino Works

    Mar 01 2016

    El Nino may mean "the little boy" or "Christ Child" in Spanish, but this weather phenomenon really means crazy things for Planet Earth. We're talking rain where it's typically dry and drought where it's usually wet. Learn why today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • (Approximately) 10 Things That Vanished Mysteriously

    Feb 25 2016

    Sometimes things - like dentures, airplanes or even people - go missing. And when they never turn up again they become enduring, and engrossing, mysteries. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Future of Renewable Energy, Featuring Bill Gates

    Feb 23 2016

    Renewable energy could be the key to ensuring the future prosperity and health of Planet Earth and humankind. In this very special episode, we sit down and discuss the possibilities with Bill Gates. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Nitrous Oxide Works

    Feb 18 2016

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

  • How Jackhammers Work

    Feb 16 2016

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

  • What's the Deal With Poop?

    Feb 11 2016

    We are going to get down and dirty with all things poop in this episode: What a healthy poop looks like, how to poop your best, the history of using poop to survive in the Canadian wild and lots more interesting stuff. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Rabies Works

    Feb 09 2016

    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 today's episode. And stay away from racoons and bats. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Land Diving Works

    Feb 04 2016

    On Pentacost Island the ritual that preceded bungee jumping is alive and well. Just why do these tribesmen risk life and limb? To ensure a hearty yam harvest. Great reason. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Operation Mincemeat: How A Corpse Fooled the Nazis

    Feb 02 2016

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

  • Does Whole-Body Cryotherapy Work?

    Jan 28 2016

    Forty years after a Japanese doctor began using whole body cryotherapy to treat patients with arthritis; the technique has made its ways to med-spas and locker rooms throughout the West. But does it actually do anything? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Personalized Medicine Works

    Jan 26 2016

    Hippocrates realized that it is even more important to understand the patient than to understand the disease and now, 2000 years later, we are coming back to that way of thinking with personalized medicine. ? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Timber! How Timber Works

    Jan 21 2016

    Throughout much of the world, the forests are being managed through sustainable timber harvesting practices. This has come at the cost of much legal battling and a century of practice. ? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Sir Isaac Newton: Greatest Scientist of All Time?

    Jan 19 2016

    There have been a lot of great scientist throughout history, but Sir Isaac Newton might just take the cake. But while he was a certified genius, he was also a little screwy. Dive into the life of this fascinating chap in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Duality of Caffeine

    Jan 14 2016

    Caffeine is a heck of a drug - at the same time it's both good and bad for you. Learn the good, bad and ugly about this everyday stimulant in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Futurology Works

    Jan 12 2016

    Science fiction writers have made some amazingly accurate predictions over the years, but in 1945 the pace of technological change created a field that spun off of sci-fi forecasting, futurology. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Body Language!

    Jan 07 2016

    Body language is how you communicate without words. Some say it bears more impact in communication than speaking words. Learn about how you say what you say could mean more than you think. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The "Satanic Panic" of the 1980s

    Jan 05 2016

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

  • How Lizzie Borden Worked

    Dec 31 2015

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

  • The Great Wall of China Episode

    Dec 29 2015

    The Great Wall of China is one of the most visited tourist desinations in the world. How'd it get built? How old is it? What's the current condition? Learn this and more in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Stuff You Should Know 2015 Jolly Christmas Extravaganza

    Dec 24 2015

    It's the most wonderful time of year again! Join Chuck and Josh as they explore Christmas traditions around the world, tidbits about Elf, holiday foods and lots more joyous stuff in this glad tidings-packed episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Gossip Works

    Dec 22 2015

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

  • The Star Wars Holiday Special of 1978

    Dec 17 2015

    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 force be with us all. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Antikythera Mechanism Works

    Dec 15 2015

    In 1900 sponge divers found the wreck of a 2000 year-old treasure ship that contained within it a machine that should not exist. Learn of the device that reveals an understanding of the cosmos far more sophisticated than anyone knew the Greeks possessed. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Reverse Psychology Works

    Dec 10 2015

    You have very likely used reverse psychology before, trying to persuade someone to do something you want by suggesting they do the opposite. What's behind the bizarre reaction this elicits? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Carl Sagan: American Hero

    Dec 08 2015

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

  • How HIV/AIDS Works, Part II

    Dec 03 2015

    In part two of the series on HIV/AIDS, Chuck and Josh explore how the battle against the disease is being fought and won thanks to new treatments and possible cures. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How HIV/AIDS Works, Part I

    Dec 01 2015

    AIDS is one of the most well-known and most misunderstood diseases humans are susceptible to. In part one of this two-part series, Josh and Chuck explain how the disease is contracted and how it works. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Live in Chicago: How Public Relations Works

    Nov 26 2015

    After a year of taking it on the road, Josh and Chuck are releasing their show on public relations. Learn all about the ways you're manipulated on a daily basis and the man who invented it in this fascinating live episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Lowdown on Anonymous

    Nov 24 2015

    Anonymous is an amorphous group of hacktivists with no single leader or power structure. Some call them heroes, others call them criminals. Can they be both? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Dementia Works

    Nov 19 2015

    The number of people suffering from dementia is expected to explode in the coming decades and, in a pleasant surprise, countries around the world are taking steps to plan for the increase in friendly, caring ways. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Rodney Dangerfield Worked, Live From LA

    Nov 18 2015

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

  • What's the Deal With Staring?

    Nov 17 2015

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

  • How The Voynich Manuscript Works

    Nov 12 2015

    Since its re-discovery in the early 20th century, the Medieval codex the Voynich Manuscript has thoroughly puzzled anyone who has tried to unlock its secret language and bizarre drawings. Will it ever give up its secrets? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Maggots: Good For Healing Wounds, Turns Out

    Nov 10 2015

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

  • How Grimm's Fairy Tales Work

    Nov 05 2015

    Unless you were raised alone in a basement (in which case you may be the subject of one), you probably grew up on fairy tales. That's appropriate because they may be humanity's greatest psychic projection screen. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Dark Origins of Fairy Tales

    Nov 03 2015

    Fairy tales are for kids right? Well not at first they weren't. They were dark tales of murder, rape, incest, cannibalism and mayhem geared toward adults. What changed? Chuck and Josh will drop that knowledge and more in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Josh N Chuck's Hallowe'en Spooky Scarefest

    Oct 29 2015

    Each year, Chuck and Josh read a couple of scary stories and this year they have a pair of truly frightful tales about a haunted bog and a terrifying spider exhibit. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Passports Work

    Oct 27 2015

    The concept of passports - that people should enjoy protected freedom of movement - is an ancient one. It wasn't until WWI that they became universal. Learn all about this overlooked, important document. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Vocal Fry and Other Speech Trends

    Oct 22 2015

    You've heard lots of complaints about vocal fry, mostly from older white men. But it's not exclusive to the Kardashians. Learn all about vocal fry, upspeak and other quirky speech trends in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Please Listen to How Plasma Waste Converters Work

    Oct 20 2015

    There is a way to not only sustainably get rid 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 more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Wine Fraud Works

    Oct 15 2015

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

  • How Vestigial Organs Work

    Oct 13 2015

    Darwin asserted that seemingly useless organs and behaviors are left over from our evolutionary history. But as more are found to have a function, the idea has become a flashpoint for the battle between science and religion. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What was the Philadelphia Experiment?

    Oct 08 2015

    The Philadelphia Experiment is a bad movie from the 1980s, and also the conspiracy theory that refuses to die, despite virtually zero evidence of its occurrence. Learn all about this strange non-event in today's show. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Lobbying Works

    Oct 06 2015

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

  • How PEZ Works

    Oct 01 2015

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

  • Chuck and Josh Make It Through Female Puberty

    Sep 29 2015

    In part two of the SYSK puberty saga, Josh and Chuck venture into new territory as they explore all of the amazing changes girls face when they come of age. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Geothermal Energy: Earth's Gift to Mankind

    Sep 24 2015

    Green energy is good for all, and it doesn't get much greener than using the Earth's own heat to warm your home or office. Learn all about geothermal energy in today's new episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Cult Deprogramming Worked

    Sep 22 2015

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

  • The Great Nuclear Winter Debate of 1983

    Sep 17 2015

    At the height of the Cold War, a group of concerned scientists promoted their findings on the horrific aftereffects of nuclear war and were accused of fearmongering. But were they right after all? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Publicists Work

    Sep 15 2015

    Some people call them flacks. Other people call them liars. But if you're in the public eye and suddenly have an image problem, you'll call them your best friend. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Chili Peppers Work

    Sep 10 2015

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

  • How Police Dogs Work

    Sep 08 2015

    Police dogs have been used since the 19th century - one WWI German defector became a major movie star. But in the US the post-9/11 era has seen a K9 unit boom and questions and concerns have increased as well. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Alcoholism Works

    Sep 03 2015

    In the US, 17 million people are alcoholics. Not merely abusing alcohol, these sufferers become physically dependent on it, forming a chronic disease. Learn about the effects on the body, the brain, and the life of an alcoholic and ways to get help. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How to Donate Your Body to Science

    Sep 01 2015

    Donating your whole body to further science and medicine is probably the best thing you could do with your corpse. Which is why the industry that handles those gifts need regulating. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Nirvana: Not The Band

    Aug 27 2015

    Hinduism and Buddhism are closely related in a number of ways, including their vision of what comes after we exit this mortal coil. Learn about the religions' interesting interpretation of the state of existence outside space-time. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Hot Air Balloons Work

    Aug 25 2015

    Arguably the most beautiful objects in the entire world, hot air balloons take advantage of some interesting physics and have a long history of killing their occupants. Find out more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Umami Works!

    Aug 20 2015

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

  • Pigeons: Homing, Passenger, Carrier and Otherwise

    Aug 18 2015

    Pigeons can get a little confusing. Passengers, messengers, carriers, homing - the list goes on. But when it comes down to it, they're all variations of the same smart bird with a knack for getting home to roost. Learn about these clever creatures in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Hula-Hoops: The Toy That's A Shape

    Aug 13 2015

    We've covered our fair share of pop-culture icons and here is another - Hula-Hoops. They've been around since ancient time in some form or another, but made their name in during the Hoop Boom of the 1950s. Learn all about this popular fad and more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Auto-Tune Works

    Aug 11 2015

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

  • How Droughts Work

    Aug 06 2015

    Droughts can be an inevitable feature of a local climate or a catastrophic result of human meddling. Learn the ins and outs of droughts including the American mother of them all, the Dust Bowl. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Earth-Like Planets Work

    Aug 04 2015

    Since the Kepler telescope went online, astronomers have found there may be an estimate 40 billion planets like Earth in the Milky Way galaxy alone. What does it take for a planet to be considered Earth-like? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Bats Work

    Jul 30 2015

    They are creepy, sure, but they are also useful, cute and in great danger of extinction. Get a new lease on life from a new view of bats in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Profiling Works

    Jul 28 2015

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

  • Road Rage: GRRRR!!!

    Jul 23 2015

    About half of all people experience rage on a daily basis when they get behind the wheel. What is it about driving that ticks us off so badly? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Citizen's Arrests Work

    Jul 21 2015

    In some states, it is not only your right but your duty to arrest someone you see committing a crime. Learn all about why you should basically never do that in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Time Nazis Invaded Florida

    Jul 16 2015

    During World War II, Nazis invaded the United States with saboteurs bent on fomenting chaos. Three times. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Terracotta Army Works

    Jul 14 2015

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

  • How Brickfilm Works

    Jul 09 2015

    What began as a pair of teens who made a film for their grandparents has exploded into its own art form. Learn all about how stop-motion Lego films are made. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Egypt's Pyramids Work

    Jul 07 2015

    Pyramids can be found in ruins around the world, but no civilization perfected the feat of engineering like Pharaonic Egypt. Learn about the mysteries that still surround these giants. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Circus Families Work

    Jul 02 2015

    Don't be confused - this one is about actual circus acts made of family members, not the controversial comic strip. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Audience Testing Works

    Jun 30 2015

    Did you know some of our most beloved movies originally had different, sometimes better, endings? That is until they were tested in front of focus groups. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Mosquitoes: The Worst

    Jun 25 2015

    Sun Tzu said know your enemy, and so it is in this spirit that we present this episode on one of the worst airborne pests in the world. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Landfills Work

    Jun 23 2015

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

  • Are You My Mother?: How Animal Imprinting Works

    Jun 18 2015

    What do little baby ducklings have to do with Nazis? A lot actually. Find out about animal imprinting experiments and the debate over their ethics. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How BASE Jumping Works

    Jun 16 2015

    You should never BASE Jump. It is one of the most genuinely dangerous sports on the planet. But with that out of the way, you should definitely learn all about this pastime where people jump from tall structures and outcroppings for fun and thrills. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Bridges: Nature Abhors Them

    Jun 11 2015

    From prehistoric logs across streams to the 102-mile Kunshan Grand Bridge, nature works ceaselessly to take down spans. Learn about the fascinating ins and outs of bridge design and building and the mind-boggling challenges structural engineers face. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Wow! Signal Works

    Jun 09 2015

    In 1977, Ohio State astronomers discovered a radio transmission from space that was 30 times louder than the cosmic background noise. Since then every explanation of what it was has fallen short and the Wow! Signal remains possible evidence of alien life. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Ocean Currents Work

    Jun 04 2015

    It's easy to overlook the importance of ocean currents - they move along out at sea, while we stay mostly on land. But we are globally affected by them every day. Currents form the base of the food chain, drive weather and keep life as we know it going. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Street Gangs Work

    Jun 02 2015

    The street gang problem in America peaked in the 1990s, but recent FBI reports find that gang membership doubled from 2006-2011. What's driving this increase, and gangs in general? Wander into gang territory with Josh and Chuck in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Tupperware Works

    May 28 2015

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

  • How Junk Food Works

    May 26 2015

    Junk food is literally that, empty calories of energy that provide little nutritional value and usually are stored as fat. Yet junk food is irresistible and for good reason - companies spend tens of millions engineering it to be that way. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Color Works

    May 21 2015

    Science doesn't have a good explanation for why we sense color, yet it is everywhere and affecting us all the time. But why should minutely different wavelengths of light have such an impact on our moods and motivations? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Internet Censorship Works

    May 19 2015

    Some of it seems innocuous enough: protecting kids from unseemly sites or intellectual property from piracy. But the tools to protect these things are the same that governments can also use to censor ideas and quell dissent. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Pinewood Derbies Work

    May 14 2015

    Tens of millions of Scouts, and their parents, have taken standard blocks of wood and turned them into cars that zip along at up to 20 mph. Learn about the origin, physics and more of Pinewood Derbies in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Does the FDA Protect Americans?

    May 12 2015

    The FDA was the first consumer protection agency in the US. Since 1906, it's been issuing regulations meant to protect Americans from tainted food, ineffective drugs and pacemakers that don't work. But is the FDA too cozy with industries it regulates? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Josh and Chuck Make It Through Male Puberty

    May 07 2015

    Around ages 9 or 10 a boy will begin to undergo a magical, surprising, weird, amazing, totally bonkers transformation from childhood to adulthood. To separate fact from myth, Chuck and Josh take on the role of gym teachers and wade into male puberty. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Therapeutic Hypothermia Works

    May 05 2015

    Physicians noticed centuries ago that people exposed to cold temperatures often have amazing recoveries from serious medical emergencies. Now medicine is learning how to purposefully induce hypothermia in order to buy time to fix otherwise fatal trauma. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Spiders Work

    Apr 30 2015

    Spiders are second only to snakes in the dread departemnt, but they're actually very helpful arachnids who are only deadly to humans under the worst case scenario. Of the more than 40,000 species, very few spiders are even venomous to humans. Learn everything you ever needed to know about these 8-legged wonders in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Water Slides Work

    Apr 28 2015

    Water slides have been around in one form or another since the Romans. But back then they didn't know what they had on their hands. With the birth of the waterpark in the 1970s, these rides have only gotten more extreme, leading up to the birth of today's water coaster. All this and more in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Oh No, Snakes!

    Apr 23 2015

    If you think snakes are legless reptile carnivores, then you are exactly right. If you think snakes are here to kill you then you are exactly wrong. Learn more about these fascinating and undeservedly condemned animals in today's podcast episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Clowns Work

    Apr 21 2015

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

  • How Zero Population Growth Works

    Apr 16 2015

    In 1968, Paul Erlich published The Population Bomb, predicting coming famine and mass death. Erlich's predictions didn't pan out but his ideas launched a debate still raging today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Slinky Works

    Apr 14 2015

    It has been called a "glorified spring", but Slinky is one of the best selling toys of all time. From accidental origins to an unlikely resurrection, Slinky has a pretty great back story. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with blood types?

    Apr 09 2015

    Blood types have one of the more interesting backstories in medical history. But as much as we've figured out about them and how they work, we still don't know much about why we even have different blood types. Listen in for a truly fascinating look at your most essential bodily fluid. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Polyamory: When two just won't do

    Apr 07 2015

    In this episode of Stuff You Should Know, Josh and Chuck dive into the world of polyamory. Turns out polyamorists aren't weirdos and deviants, they're just regular folks looking for love from more than one person. Learn all you ever needed to know about this unique, but not so modern arrangement. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Thanks, Easter Bunny! Bock Bock!

    Apr 02 2015

    Happy Easter from Stuff You Should Know! Learn all about Easter, from its humble beginnings as a pagan holiday to the multi-billion dollar industry it is today. We'll cover the Biblical and religious aspects, along with the origins of some of Easter's greatest traditions. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Does the body replace itself?

    Mar 31 2015

    Does the human body really replace itself every few years? The answer is yes, but different parts of the body do so at different rates. Learn all about which parts of your body are the speediest, and which take the longest to regenerate. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Desalination Works

    Mar 26 2015

    Why would people want to remove salt from water? To solve the world's water problem, that's why. Learn all about the efforts to desalinate H2O in cheaper and more efficient ways. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • 10 Bizarre Medical Treatments

    Mar 24 2015

    Medical science has a long and storied history of trying out cures and procedures that later strike us as wacky. And they're still at it today! Learn about bizarre treatments, from opium for children to tobacco smoke enemas in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Earwax: Live With It

    Mar 19 2015

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

  • How Anesthesia Works

    Mar 17 2015

    The use of general anesthesia is less than 200 years old. Before doctors were able to cause unconsciousness in patients, surgery was brutal for all involved. But despite this advancement in medicine, science still has no idea how it works. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Tea Works

    Mar 12 2015

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

  • How Fleas Work

    Mar 10 2015

    Fleas are the bane of the existence of pet owners. From their eggs to their lifespan to their feeding habits, fleas are practically designed to be a nuisance. They are parasites, after all. Get down on flea level with Josh and Chuck in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Stonehenge Works

    Mar 05 2015

    Even as far back as the Roman invaders, people have had absolutely no idea just what the massive monument complex in England known as Stonehenge was built for. Join Josh and Chuck as they try to get to the bottom of this Neolithic mystery. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How ESP Works(?)

    Mar 03 2015

    Even though almost half of Americans believe in it, ESP usually is treated as a load of bull by skeptics. But some respected researchers have dared to apply the scientific method to investigate ESP and a few have found some surprising results. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Some Movies That Changed Filmmaking

    Feb 26 2015

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

  • Why Do Lefties Exist?

    Feb 24 2015

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

  • How Perfume Works

    Feb 19 2015

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

  • Is there treasure on Oak Island?

    Feb 17 2015

    Off Nova Scotia, the tiny spit of land called Oak Island has been host to waves of treasure hunters for more than 200 years. Some of them lost their lives in the search for a treasure reputedly buried in a deep pit. But is anything really there? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What is folklore?

    Feb 12 2015

    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 it in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Feng Shui Works

    Feb 10 2015

    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 feng shui works in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Ice Cream Works

    Feb 05 2015

    We all scream for ice cream, sure, but did you know we're all technically screaming about a colloidal foam? Prepare for deep cravings that will surely emerge as you learn the history of ice cream, how to make it yourself and lots more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Rainbows: Delighting humanity since forever

    Feb 03 2015

    Rainbows seem to defy nature, but they're really pretty simple when it comes down to it. Turns out it's just light reacting to water droplets in the air. But they sure do look cool. Learn all about how rainbows are formed in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Hot Wheels Work

    Jan 29 2015

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

  • How Poison Ivy Works

    Jan 27 2015

    Poison ivy, oak and sumac are all variations of the same plant and they all can make you itch... if you're susceptible that is. In this episode, you'll learn just about all there is to know about this itch-causing plant, including how to best avoid it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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

    Jan 22 2015

    Nostradamus delighted us all in grade school, but it turns out the real guy wasn't quite as prescient as we were led to believe. In truth, he wrote a lot of purposefully confusing riddles that people have twisted into meaning exactly what they want them to mean. Learn all about Nostradamus in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the March on Washington Worked

    Jan 20 2015

    1963 was a huge year of conflict and progress for the American Civil Rights Movement and the March On Washington was the high water mark of that eventful year. Join Josh and Chuck as they get into the story behind the story we learned in school. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Juggling: What the Heck

    Jan 15 2015

    There is a lot - A LOT - to juggling and Chuck and Josh go over the lion's share of it. Delve into the deep history, physics, how-tos and different types of juggling in this surprisingly sweeping look at a putatively innocuous pastime. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Scientific Method Works

    Jan 13 2015

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

  • How Online Gambling Works

    Jan 08 2015

    Pretty much immediately after the Internet was opened to the world online gambling sites sprang up. Over the last couple decades, U.S. law and online gambling have had an unusual and complicated relationship. Learn the ins and outs of this grey area. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Jim Henson Worked

    Jan 06 2015

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

  • SYSK Live: How Bars Work

    Jan 01 2015

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

  • How Sea Monsters Work

    Dec 30 2014

    Legends of sea monsters are as old as humanity, and some ancient cultures even credited with creating the universe. Even today when the sea washes something odd ashore we see monsters - we understand there's much more than appears above the surface. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Josh and Chuck's 2014 Christmas Extravaganza!

    Dec 25 2014

    It's that time of year again! Time to get cozy and tuck in with Josh and Chuck as they spread glad tidings and warm Christmas cheer. Tune in to hear about Letters to Santa, A Christmas Story, mulled wine and more neat stuff. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the GED Test Works

    Dec 23 2014

    The GED test was once part of a non-profit organization. That all changed in 2014, when it was privatized, made more expensive and more difficult to pass. But that also brought about a couple of more testing options. Learn all about how high school dropouts can earn their equivalent degree in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Cinnamon Works

    Dec 18 2014

    In another commodities edition of SYSK, Josh and Chuck dive into the world of cinnamon, once the world's most prized and pricey spice. But did you know it was really just dried up tree bark? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Boomerangs: Magic Sticks of Physics

    Dec 16 2014

    The physics behind returning boomerangs literally may be the most difficult concept to understand in the entire body of science. Join Josh and Chuck as they try their absolute best to describe how boomerangs work - and maybe even pull it off! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Homeschooling: Not Just For Hippies and Religious People Anymore

    Dec 11 2014

    Back in the 1970s, homeschooling was illegal in the U.S., but after activists of all stripes lobbied lawmakers, schooling kids at home has become a viable option for parents. And as more and more have chosen it, it's become more mainstream. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How The Hum Works

    Dec 09 2014

    There is a mysterious droning sound often described as like a diesel engine idling that is severely impacting the quality of life of 2 percent of people in places around the world. The thing is, no one knows what's causing it - or if it actually exists. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How X-Rays Work

    Dec 04 2014

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

  • How Leper Colonies Worked

    Dec 02 2014

    Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, used to mean a one-way ticket to banishment. But once medicine trained its sights on wiping out what might be the most ancient disease to afflict humans, it has become treatable and even accepted. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Terraforming Will Work

    Nov 27 2014

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

  • How Kickstarter Works

    Nov 25 2014

    With billions of dollars raised, Kickstarter has singled itself out as the go-to site for creative crowdfunding. But not without some controversy along the way. Learn all about how this artistic business model operates in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What is Collective Hysteria?

    Nov 20 2014

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

  • How the Enlightenment Works

    Nov 18 2014

    The Enlightenment stands as the moment the West withdrew from superstition and found its faith in reason. Did it shift too far? Learn about this massive shift in thinking which we are still sorting through and coming to understand today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with crop circles?

    Nov 13 2014

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

  • How Patents Work

    Nov 11 2014

    What was originally designed to encourage innovation by rewarding the people who create technological advances, the U.S. patent system has become a big mess. Wade into this surprisingly interesting mire to learn how to save this important institution. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Limousines Work

    Nov 06 2014

    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 episode with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Can Nuclear Fusion Reactors Save The World?

    Nov 04 2014

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

  • SYSK's Halloween Scare Fest

    Oct 31 2014

    Get ready to be creeped out and join Chuck and Josh as they read you with two spooky classic horror stories, The Striding Place and The Pale Man in this special bonus Halloween episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Haunted House Attractions Work

    Oct 30 2014

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

  • Is there a disease that kills by preventing sleep?

    Oct 28 2014

    The strange disease of fatal familial insomnia was first recorded in the 18th century. Its victims lose their ability to sleep, slip into coma and die. The more we understand about FFI, the more mysterious it becomes. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Animal Camouflage Works

    Oct 23 2014

    The wild kingdom is filled with examples of animals that can camouflage themselves into their environment, but the means and the methods are also wildly varied. Learn about the ins and outs of blending in through this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Extinction Works

    Oct 21 2014

    Scientists believe that 99% of the estimated 50 billion species that have ever lived on Earth have disappeared through extinction. This is a natural process typically, but it can also be cataclysmic and it's becoming clear we are amid a massive one. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How The Great Train Robbery Worked

    Oct 16 2014

    In 1963, 15 men got together in England to pull off one of the most daring heists in history. The Great Train Robbery was the crime of the century, capturing the public's attention and leaving them torn on who to root for - the cops or the robbers. Learn all about England's greatest heist in today's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Virus Talk with Josh and Chuck

    Oct 14 2014

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

  • How Skywriting Works

    Oct 09 2014

    Back in the 1920s, skywriting was invented to communicate with troops, but it quickly found its footing as a popular way for companies to advertise. Learn all about the aerial acrobatics and mental skill it takes to write mile-high letters backwards. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Karate Works

    Oct 07 2014

    Karate, meaning "open" and "hand", was developed in Okinawa before being exported to Japan and then the rest of the world. It is one of the most widely practiced martial arts and one of the most difficult to master. Learn about it in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Panic Attacks Work

    Oct 02 2014

    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 as they get to the bottom of panic attacks. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Rogue Waves Work

    Sep 30 2014

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

  • How Animal Domestication Works

    Sep 25 2014

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

  • How Police Interrogation Works

    Sep 23 2014

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

  • How Currency Works

    Sep 18 2014

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

  • How Socialism Works

    Sep 16 2014

    In America it's virtually a dirty word, but after being dragged through the mud for a century, socialism is still a part of the U.S.'s national character. Learn about this foil and complement to capitalism and why it might not be so bad. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Stem Cells Work

    Sep 09 2014

    Since scientists realized there is a type of cell that can grow into any other type, they have worked to use them to heal human conditions like Parkinson's and immune disorders. But because stem cells often come from embryos they remain controversial. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How TV Ratings Work

    Sep 04 2014

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

  • How Pinball Works

    Sep 02 2014

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

  • How Blimps Work

    Aug 28 2014

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

  • What's the deal with headstones?

    Aug 26 2014

    Headstones have quite an interesting history. From the beginnings of marking graves with simple wood carvings to the elaborate tombstones that would come in the Victorian era, Chuck and Josh break down the deal with all things headstone in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Berlin Wall Worked

    Aug 21 2014

    It's hard to believe now, but just over 25 years ago there was a giant concrete wall separating East and West Germany. In this episode, Chuck and Josh get into the fascinating story of the Berlin Wall. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Going Up: Elevators

    Aug 19 2014

    Elevators are way more interesting than you might think. In this week's episode, Chuck and Josh board the lift to enlighten everyone as to the ins and outs, and ups and downs, of these handy people movers. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Ebola Works

    Aug 14 2014

    A disease that was discovered and contained to Central Africa in the 1970s has revived and spread in 2014. Now there is an Ebola outbreak that has moved across borders and science still has no cure for it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the NSA Works

    Aug 12 2014

    Chuck and Josh dive into the secret world of the National Security Agency, from the origins of the snooping outfit, to the recent revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What is a Numbers Station?

    Aug 07 2014

    If you think secretly coded messages sent via short wave radio is Cold War relic, think again. Chuck and Josh are here to dispel that myth, along with many others relating to numbers stations, including why they might still be operational. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Play-Doh Works

    Aug 05 2014

    Do you love Play-Doh? Chuck and Josh certainly love to talk about it, from its interesting history as a wall cleaner, to its more scientific chemical properties. It's everything you ever wanted to know about the pliable children's toy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Morgellons Disease Works

    Jul 31 2014

    There is a condition that can cause people to feel bugs crawling beneath their skin so acutely that they will use tweezers to pluck them from their eyeballs. It's a terrible disorder made worse by medicine's insistence it is all in sufferers' heads. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Is there a dark side of the moon?

    Jul 29 2014

    Josh and Chuck explore the old notion that there's a dark side of the moon. There is, but it turns out it's not always the same side. And yes, there's a side we never see, but it's not always dark. Make sense? It will in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Skinny on Probiotics

    Jul 24 2014

    You can find probiotics - bacteria thought to have healthful benefits for humans - in everything from pills to yogurt. But does any of it work? Listen as Josh and Chuck get to the bottom of the science (and need for it) of probiotics and health. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Trickle-Down Economics Works

    Jul 22 2014

    The concept of trickle-down economics is tied to Ronald Reagan, but the idea's been around and in use since the 20s. It's simple: Give more money to the wealthy and they can use it to rev up an economy. But is the whole thing just a scam? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How In Vitro Fertlization Works

    Jul 17 2014

    In the U.S. alone, more than 6 million people are affected by infertility and science has taken up the mantle of helping them to conceive. Learn about the clever, though intuitive, methods of assisting infertile couples to have a child. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Sushi Works

    Jul 15 2014

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

  • How Grass Works? Yes, How Grass Works

    Jul 10 2014

    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 America became obsessed with perfect lawns - in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Is brain size related to intelligence?

    Jul 08 2014

    The idea that the larger the brain, the higher the intelligence is an old one, but it's pretty much utterly false. Modern investigation into how the brain works suggests there's a lot more to take into account when comparing brain biology to intellect. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Monopoly Works

    Jul 03 2014

    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. Learn about the history, rules and cultural impact of Monopoly. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How The Louvre Works

    Jul 01 2014

    The most famous museum in the world, France's Louvre, has been the seat of high art and culture for several centuries. Its history goes back farther than that, beginning in the 1200s as a fort and prison. Tour the Louvre and its collections in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the MPAA Works

    Jun 26 2014

    You may be surprised to learn those ubiquitous ratings, from G to NC-17, put on movies in America are actually handed down by anonymous employees of a secretive organization that serves as a lobbying firm for Hollywood's six biggest studios. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the La Brea Tar Pits Work

    Jun 24 2014

    It's surprising that a few 12-feet-deep pools of asphalt have proven to be one of the most significant troves of Pleistocene fossils, but the La Brea Tar Pits, located in the heart of Los Angeles, are giving science a clear picture of a puzzling time. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Soccer Works

    Jun 19 2014

    Maybe you hail from a soccer crazed country - or from the U.S. Either way, there's lots to discuss about "the beautiful game", from its prehistory, rules and strategy to, of course, the World Cup. Join Josh and Chuck as they wade into football, aka soccer. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Is your employer spying on you?

    Jun 17 2014

    Your employer may be secretly reading your emails, watching what websites you visit and tracking your whereabouts through your phone. And because of how the courts have ruled, there's nothing you can do about it. Learn all about employer spying here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Sugar: It Powers the Earth

    Jun 12 2014

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

  • How the Placebo Effect Works

    Jun 10 2014

    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, the phenomenon where an inert substance can have a genuine impact on a patient's recovery, was studied. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Space Race Worked

    Jun 05 2014

    In the 1950s and 60s, the United States and the Soviet Union battled it out to see who would dominate the race for outer space. The Soviets got out to an early lead, but the U.S. would ultimately win. Learn all about the Space Race in this week's episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Why is Venice so wet?

    Jun 03 2014

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

  • Archaeology in a Nutshell

    May 29 2014

    If you thought Indiana Jones was the model archaeologist, you're pretty much right. Archaeologists are one part scientist, one part scholar, and one part adventurer. In this episode, learn all you need to know this fascinating field. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Temper Tantrums Work

    May 27 2014

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

  • How Avalanches Work

    May 22 2014

    Each year, as snow builds on peaks across the world's mountain ranges, the potential for avalanches builds. Learn about the science of how these natural disasters develop and are triggered - and how to survive one if you ever find yourself trapped. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • 8 Reasons Why Your Body Is So Gross

    May 20 2014

    Your body right now is home to a liter of mucous, countless fat-loving mites, acid that can dissolve metal and plenty of other gross and interesting stuff. Learn all about your body and its functions here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Paleo Diet Works

    May 15 2014

    You may have heard of the Paleo Diet, also known as the Caveman Diet, but do you know the science it's based on? And did you know that the saturated fat it and other diets avoid may be healthier than you were taught in school? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Human Microbiome Project Works

    May 13 2014

    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 literally cannot live without. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Bipolar Disorder Works

    May 08 2014

    Suffering from bipolar disorder means a lot more than your garden variety mood swings. Bouts of mania and depression are just the headlines. There are also theories that there's a link between bipolarism and creativity. Learn all about this disruptive, yet manageable disorder. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Gypsies Work

    May 06 2014

    Gypsies were called that because they were long ago mistaken as Egyptians. Even their more appropriate name, Roma, is a misnomer since they're not from Romania. Find out about the mysterious history of this nomadic and genuinely misunderstood ethnic group. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Marijuana Works

    May 01 2014

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

  • How the ACLU Works

    Apr 29 2014

    Being a card-carrying member of the ACLU is tantamount to being a super liberal to some, but the ACLU ultimately displays no allegiance to any political philosophy, only to whomever's Constitutional rights are being infringed upon, from Nazis to the NAACP. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Halitosis: Worst Smell Ever?

    Apr 24 2014

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

  • How Mars Works

    Apr 22 2014

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

  • How Burlesque Works

    Apr 17 2014

    What's old is new again as far as burlesque is concerned. Come explore what was an old-timey outlet for empowering women that later gave rise to the striptease once men started running the show. Now, women have reclaimed the art and it is benefiting. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Dissociative Identity Disorder Works

    Apr 15 2014

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

  • How Natural Selection Works

    Apr 10 2014

    While evolution gets all the spotlight for moving species into better versions of themselves, but really it's natural selection that is the engine driving the process. Learn all about this elegant scientific observation that forms the basis of life. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Charles Darwin Worked

    Apr 08 2014

    Charles Darwin wasn't the first or only scientist to grasp the theory of evolution through natural selection, but he became its father and icon. Learn about the man who reluctantly but bravely became the source of the divide between religion and science. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Income Taxes Work

    Apr 03 2014

    They are among the more reviled concepts of modern life, and yet they are as inevitable as death. Join Josh and Chuck as they look into the history and the basis of income taxes in the U.S. in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How 3D Printing Works

    Apr 01 2014

    With 3D printing you can print not just pictures and words, but actual objects from files. And as costs come down, the list of things you can print expand: from food, to organs, to guns. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Landslides Work

    Mar 27 2014

    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 in this episode with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Amnesia Works

    Mar 25 2014

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

  • How Electricity Works

    Mar 20 2014

    It is literally all around you (and even inside you) - electricity makes up the basis of modern life. But what exactly is electricity and how does it work? Josh and Chuck chase away the darkness and explain electricity in their usual electrifying way. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Tattoos: Not Just For Dirtbags Anymore

    Mar 18 2014

    Most Europeans first encountered tattoos after sailors visiting the South Pacific returned covered in them. From then on, with a few notable exceptions, tattoos have been associated with fringe dwellers in the West. Learn all about tats in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Black Boxes Work

    Mar 13 2014

    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. Learn about how these grim devices are made, how they're tested and the tales they've told. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Skateboarding Works

    Mar 11 2014

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

  • How Online Dating Works

    Mar 06 2014

    No longer weird, possibly still desperate and approaching normal, online dating's been around almost as long as the Internet itself. So what exactly is the best way to find love online if one were so inclined to do so? Josh and Chuck hook you up. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Spanish Inquisition Worked

    Mar 04 2014

    The idea of pious monks imbued with unbridled power and with a penchant for dealing torture and death is a scary one indeed, and one both Spain and the Catholic Church have tried to reconcile since the Spanish Inquisition ended in the 19th century. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What happened at Kent State?

    Feb 27 2014

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

  • Termites: They Bore But They Aren't Boring

    Feb 25 2014

    Their soft white bodies look creepy and, to be sure, they are, but termites are pretty amazing bugs. They build ventilation systems into their mounds, poop on their enemies and grow mushrooms. Learn all the neat stuff you didn't know about termites here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Amputation Works

    Feb 20 2014

    Amputation is one of the oldest surgeries and an even older punishment for crime, but it wasn't until the American Civil War and its 50,000 amputations that the procedure began to hit its stride. Learn about amputation and who it attracts in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Salt Works

    Feb 18 2014

    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 and how we get it from the Earth in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Cave Dwellers Work

    Feb 13 2014

    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 culture thanks to the protective environments of caves. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Do objects or experiences make us happier?

    Feb 11 2014

    Since Sartre classified things that make us happy into the categories of having and doing, science took up the investigation into materialism and experientialism. The results have been in for a while: experiences win by a wide margin, but why exactly? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Sign Language Works

    Feb 06 2014

    It wasn't until the was developed and despite its co-existence alongside English, a user would be hard-pressed to sign with a British person. Find out about the independent evolution of sign language in the U.S. and how intuitively sensible it is. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Will computers replace doctors?

    Feb 04 2014

    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 computers that read our health-related data to treat us? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What are crystal skulls?

    Jan 30 2014

    Back in the early 20th-century mysterious skulls made from polished crystals began to enter the collections of private enthusiasts of the occult. Discovered by adventurers raiding sacred areas of the ancient world, these skulls were said to possess unusual supernatural powers and their owners, who could use them to "will death" to others. Learn about the strange history of these curious and suspect archaeological finds in this lost episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choi...more

  • What's the deal with the debt ceiling?

    Jan 28 2014

    Lately it's been common news fodder that Congress uses its ability to raise the debt ceiling to hold the executive branch hostage to its demands, but exactly how does that work, and what does the debt ceiling do? Learn about it in this fascinating episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Deep Web Works

    Jan 23 2014

    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 its dark corners in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Chuck and Josh Bust a Few Everyday Myths

    Jan 21 2014

    There are lots of common "facts" that everyone knows, but it turns out a lot of them are actually false. Join Josh and Chuck as they put on their berets and suspenders and take the hot air out of some common everyday myths to make this a slightly smarter world. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Pet Psychics Work

    Jan 16 2014

    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 learn if a pet is ready to be put to sleep is becoming more commonplace, but is there any basis to pet psychics' abilities? Join Josh and Chuck as they investigate the pet psychic phenomenon. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.c...more

  • Was there a real King Arthur?

    Jan 14 2014

    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 Lady of the Lake to Merlin the Magician, seem fictional some archaeologists believe that Arthur -- and much of his life -- was real. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Your limb is torn off - now what?

    Jan 07 2014

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

  • Could you live without a refrigerator?

    Jan 02 2014

    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. Included are bonus food storage tips. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Will solar sails take us to the stars?

    Dec 31 2013

    We have within our grasp here on Earth the technology that could make interstellar travel a reality within as little as a few decades and it doesn't require any exotic fuel. In fact, it only requires sunlight and an initial blast into orbit to begin a steadily increasing sail to the stars. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Fire Breathing Works

    Dec 26 2013

    As part of their strange, ongoing suite on circus arts, Chuck and Josh discuss one of the more dangerous crowd favorites, aspirating extremely flammable chemicals from one's mouth onto a flame, creating a ball of fire. It's straightforward, yes, and stunningly hazardous. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Josh and Chuck's Warm and Cozy Christmas Extravaganza 2013

    Dec 24 2013

    It's finally here, the best episode of the year! It's time to settle in by a nice fire, wrap up in a blanket, heat up a toddy and gather your loved ones around the mp3 player to hear Chuck and Josh talk about all of the things that make Christmas so merry and bright. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Is lethal injection humane?

    Dec 19 2013

    Since the Supreme Court's ban on capital punishment was reversed, states have sought a humane method of killing sentenced criminals. They settled on lethal injection, but is this quasi-medical means of killing as quick and painless as we think? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Manhunts Work

    Dec 17 2013

    When a suspect or prisoner goes on the lam there are plenty of ways to hide: in plain sight, in the mountains, in another country. There are as many types of ways law enforcement uses to track wanted people as their are ways to go on the lam, but there are some founding principles to carrying out a successful manhunt and they actually include you. Learn about how the fuzz tracks down fugitives and how it's evolving in the age of social media in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at ...more

  • How Underwater Tunnels Work

    Dec 12 2013

    It's a pretty amazing feat to dig a tunnel beneath a body of water that's big enough (and safe enough) to drive a train through. While humans have been digging underwater tunnels for thousands of years, it wasn't until the late 19th century that it became viable on a large scale. In this episode, Chuck and Josh explore the ins and outs of the engineering triumph that is digging below water. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Maglev Trains Work

    Dec 05 2013

    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 and what's taking so long for us to get aboard in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Castration Works

    Dec 03 2013

    In this episode, Josh and Chuck teach you everything you ever wanted to know but were too freaked out to ask about castration. Learn about the history of removing male genitalia, why some parents had it done to their sons, how the state has become the main agent of castration in the last several decades, and why some people who are not crazy decide to become castrated themselves. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Black Friday Works

    Nov 28 2013

    On the day after Thanksgiving, Americans go kind of crazy for the deep discount sales that kick off the holiday shopping season in stores. So crazy, in fact, at least four people have lost their lives and as many as 63 others have been injured during Black Friday sales. But as profitable as Black Friday is, some retailers are thinking about discontinuing the tradition to find ways to make even more money. Learn all about this bizarre, uniquely American holiday custom in this episode. Learn more...more

  • Is there a scientific formula for funny?

    Nov 26 2013

    Recorded live at the Los Angeles PodFest, this episode of SYSK delves into the longstanding attempt to break down what humans find funny into a scientifically reproducible formula. Join Josh and Chuck as they examine just why this extremely unfunny quest will (thankfully) never be realized. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Who killed JFK?

    Nov 21 2013

    For the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Josh and Chuck delve into the killing, the investigations and the conspiracy theories to get to the bottom of an enduring national question. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Chocolate Works

    Nov 19 2013

    People have been consuming chocolate for at least a couple thousand years, but it's only been in the last hundred that humanity has arrived at its crowning achievement: the smooth, creamy milk chocolate bar. Find out about the history of chocolate, how it's made and how it affects your mood in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Werewolves Work

    Nov 14 2013

    If you've ever been bitten by a wolf, you're probably familiar with the anxiety of waiting for the next full moon to see if you become a werewolf. Learn all about the lore, mental illness and rules behind lycanthropy, one of civilization's oldest metaphors. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Some Interesting Things You Didn't Know About Stephen Hawking

    Nov 12 2013

    Everybody knows that cosmologist Stephen Hawking has an enormous brain, but did you also know he has an equal wit? Learn about some of the lesser-known details about the celebrated physicist in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Lewis and Clark Worked

    Nov 07 2013

    They may be the most famous explorers in U.S. history, but there are plenty of interesting details to the Lewis and Clark expedition that history has allowed to fade. Learn about the origin and the aftermath of America's first early push Westward in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Chess Works

    Nov 05 2013

    Despite its knights, bishops and castles, the game of chess has been around a lot longer since the Medieval Age. And it wasn't even invented in Europe - chess comes from 2nd-century India, when some unknown inventor created what has come to be considered the perfect game. Learn all about the history of chess and how to play it in this engrossing episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's with the Winchester Mystery House?

    Oct 31 2013

    After her daughter and husband died, heiress Sarah Winchester became obsessed with the idea that spirits haunted her and to appease them she had to have a house continuously built for them. So she did - 24 hours a day for 38 years. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Empty House

    Oct 30 2013

    It's Halloween, and Josh and Chuck are ready to creep you out with this year's spooky story, Algernon Blackwood's scary short story, The Empty House. Tune in, turn down the lights and prepare for chills to run down your spine as they read this classic bit of horror fiction. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Ouija Boards Work

    Oct 29 2013

    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 spiritualism movement in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Guide Dogs Work

    Oct 22 2013

    You know how when you see a guide dog leading a blind person to their destination and you think, "There goes a truly great dog?" It turns out you are absolutely correct. Guide dogs are about as special as dogs can get and it's through years of hard work. Learn about the ins and outs of guide dogs in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • 10 Easy Ways to Save Money

    Oct 17 2013

    Times are still kind of tough, but there are some time-tested and easy ways to get ahead and in this episode Josh and Chuck explore them. Learn about not only how to save, but also how to make your new-found dough grow. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Maori Work

    Oct 15 2013

    It's a familiar theme, an indigenous group's culture falls apart when exposed to European ideals, weapons and disease. For the Maori of New Zealand, however, a determined effort to preserve and revive its ancient identity has started to pay off. Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the complexities of Maori culture. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Did Archimedes build a death ray?

    Oct 08 2013

    During the siege of Syracuse in 214 BCE, the city-state's resident genius, Archimedes, built a number of clever war machines to thwart the invading Roman fleet. One invention, the death ray, has been considered the stuff of legend. But could it have been real? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Can NASA predict natural disasters?

    Oct 03 2013

    The US has developed some great equipment for peering into deep space that can also be used to great effect when trained on Earth. Now NASA is using satellites to track natural processes around the globe in an effort to better predict natural disasters like hurricanes and volcanoes. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with diplomatic immunity?

    Oct 01 2013

    You've heard all about diplomatic immunity, but we'll bet you don't really know how it works. Take some time to get into the nuts and bolts of this ancient and bizarre international custom and just how an embassy can be considered sovereign soil in this episode of SYSK. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Does owning a gun change your behavior?

    Sep 26 2013

    Back in the 1990s, Congress effectively banned the scientific study of gun violence. Still, a handful of researchers plugged on and produced a small body of work about the effect of the presence of guns on the human psyche. Chuck and Josh look at the evidence. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Crack Works

    Sep 24 2013

    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 babies. Now, 30 years on SYSK takes a look back at the receding wave of the crack epidemic and its lasting legacy on America. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Dying Works

    Sep 19 2013

    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 death -- and what they regret not having done while they lived. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How IEDs Work

    Sep 17 2013

    Improvised explosive devices were the primary killer of American troops in Iraq and continue to top the list in Afghanistan. Their use is so prevalent among guerrillas and insurgents because they are so effective. They are easy to put together with parts that are easy to obtain and they are easy to hide. Learn about these terrible weapons in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How much money is in the world?

    Sep 05 2013

    There are few things more futile than trying to count all of the money in the world. Even many governments have no idea how much currency they have issued. But that won't stop Chuck and Josh from trying and explaining why we can't be sure how much money exists and the problems with flooding the world markets with bread. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Rosetta Stone Works

    Sep 03 2013

    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. Learn about the international intrigue, rivalry to translate it and the luck that led to the founding of Egyptology. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How did 168 conquistadors take down the Inca empire?

    Aug 29 2013

    Just before Francisco Pizarro arrived in South American in 1532, the Inca empire covered 350,000 square miles and boasted a million inhabitants. Yet Pizarro managed to take down this vast, powerful and advanced bureaucracy with only 168 men. Find out how and learn about the Inca on this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Broken Bones Work

    Aug 27 2013

    It's a pretty miserable thing to break a bone. There's the initial blinding pain, all of the medical procedures during a trip to the hospital and then, in the best case example, you have to wear a cast for four months. Beneath all of this misery, though, your body is carrying out some pretty amazing processes. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • History's Greatest Traitors

    Aug 22 2013

    The annals of history hold a special place for people who have carried out treachery and betrayed their own. Thousands of years later, their names are still synonymous with being a scoundrel around the world. From Marcus Brutus to Vidkun Quisling and more, Josh and Chuck examine some of the bigger turncoats to live -- and exonerate others. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Ejection Seats Work

    Aug 20 2013

    When the Jet Age came about, pilots found they had a brand new problem with their brand new planes: how to bail out when they found themselves in a pinch at 700 mph. In the mid-1940s, aerospace engineers got to work coming up with a fascinating and complex lifesaving device, the ejection seat. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Cockroaches Work

    Aug 15 2013

    You've seen them in your home and probably squealed in terror, but now it's time to learn all about cockroaches. From their ability to run incredibly fast to the appendage that alerts them when you're about to whack them with your shoe, cockroaches are fascinating creatures that deserve your respect. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Why was Davy Crockett king of the wild frontier?

    Aug 13 2013

    If there is an American legend who is both real-life and larger-than-life it is Davy Crockett. While he may not have ""kilt him a b'ar"" when he was three, he definitely did personify both the best and the worst of American individualism during the age of Manifest Destiny. Learn all about the man behind the coonskin cap in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How does a diving bell work?

    Aug 08 2013

    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 physics of this clever and ancient invention and how it's been used to sabotage enemy boats and build the Brooklyn Bridge. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Shark Diaries

    Aug 07 2013

    In this special episode of Stuff You Should Know, Chuck and Josh tip their hats to Shark Week with an old-fashioned radio play. Join the guys (and a few guests) as they present a dramatization of the 1916 Jersey Shore shark attacks. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Horseshoes Work

    Aug 06 2013

    That laziest of backyard games, horseshoes, is also a very ancient one, developed by people following Greek armies more than 2,000 years ago. Since then, the game of horseshoes hasn't evolved too much, which would indicate that it has reached perfection. Learn about the rules of this game, one of the few things in life where close counts. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Fingerprinting Works

    Aug 01 2013

    The Babylonians, one of the earliest civilizations, were the first to use fingerprints to differentiate people, but it wasn't until the 19th century that prints were used for crime fighting. Ever since, analyzing, classifying and collecting fingerprints to catch criminals and positively identify people has advanced, but is it valid? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How LARP Works

    Jul 30 2013

    Dressing up in duct tape-covered cardboard suit of armor and pretending you're an elf warrior for a weekend at a state park might sound like a pretty embarrassing thing to do, but that probably just means you've never done it. Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the imaginative world of LARP - live action role playing games. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Why should you never scare a vulture?

    Jul 23 2013

    Being ravenous eaters of decaying flesh, vultures have long been shunned by humans. But because of their disgusting habits, vultures provide a much-needed service to the rest of the organisms on Earth, making them the unsung heroes of their ecosystems. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Who owns an abandoned house?

    Jul 18 2013

    Ever since the real estate bubble in the U.S. burst in 2008, American cities have had to deal with a substantial uptick in abandoned houses. Faced with hundreds of thousands more than usual, new questions have arisen pertaining to who owns a house the owner has walked away from and just what to do with it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Building Implosions Work

    Jul 16 2013

    When you need to take down a 20-story building, a wrecking ball won't do. Instead, you'll need to turn to the handful of companies in the world that are capable of safely and successfully bringing down a building by blowing it up. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Hip-hop Works

    Jul 11 2013

    In this week's SYSK Select, what you hear is not a test, instead it's Chuck and Josh discussing the cultural history of the Hip-Hop movement. Born out of the South Bronx, by way of Jamaica, Hip-Hop culture grew up suddenly as DJs learned to use two turntables at once. Check out this episode of Stuff You Should Know to learn about the origins and evolution of Hip-Hop. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • 10 Medieval Torture Devices

    Jul 09 2013

    Warning: This episode on instruments designed solely to produce extreme human suffering during the Middle Ages in Europe is very graphic in nature. Seriously, if you're squeamish, maybe pass on this one. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Miranda Rights Work

    Jul 04 2013

    Back in 1966, the Supreme Court decided that suspects in criminal cases had the right to be reminded that they didn't have to talk to the fuzz if they didn't want to, as stated in the 5th amendment. Since that ruling, scores of other cases have shaped and defined the ruling that created a staple of police procedural dramas. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Pollen Works

    Jul 02 2013

    For about 375 million years, plants have been using pollen (aka plant sperm) to propagate their species. And the technique has stuck around because it works. Join Chuck and Josh for a cozy look at the ins and outs of plant reproduction. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Burning Man Works

    Jun 27 2013

    You've probably heard about Burning Man, it's a week-long party in the middle of a desert made of 50 thousand people living pretty much without rules, pretty much without any exchange of money and often nude and on drugs. Get the background on this social experiment that began in 1986 and has grown in size and scope ever since. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Ghosts Work

    Jun 20 2013

    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? Josh and Chuck explore both sides of the divide between belief and skepticism on the topic of ghosts and look at some pretty cool explanations for hauntings. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Bitcoin Works

    Jun 17 2013

    In 2008 Bitcoin, the world's first decentralized, anarchistic all-digital currency, was introduced to the world. Its value has risen, fallen and risen again and speculators, techies, libertarians and economists alike are taking it seriously. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Capgras Syndrome: You Are Not Who You Think You Are

    Jun 11 2013

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

  • How Drag Queens Work

    Jun 11 2013

    You can trace the origin of men dressing as women in public back to classic Greek theater, but modern drag queens owe their real inception to vaudeville. Dip your toe into the politics and culture of this unique phenomenon with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How do trees affect the weather?

    Jun 06 2013

    Sure, you know that trees have an impact on climate change: to wit, fewer trees mean more atmospheric CO2. But did you know that trees can actually impact local and immediate weather? Learn about why you should love trees even more than you do. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What happened to the lost colony at Roanoke?

    Jun 04 2013

    Before Jamestown became the first successful English colony in the New World, an entire group of settlers vanished. For the last 430 years, Roanoke has been an American mystery. Learn the theories of what became of the lost colonists in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Coffins Work

    May 28 2013

    Sure, you've probably laid in one at the store or a funeral home, but how much do you know about receptacles used to bury the dead? We'll bet you'll learn plenty - like the difference between a coffin and a casket - in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Police Chases Work

    May 28 2013

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

  • How PTSD Works

    May 23 2013

    With Post-traumatic Stress Disorder the sufferer relives, over and over again, the worst moment of his life. What's worse is medicine still doesn't know how to treat it. Learn about this condition and how it's leading to an understanding of memory. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Cicadas Work

    May 21 2013

    Cicadas are crawling out from underground, where they have been hiding in the darkness for almost two decades. As of May 2013, they're invading the East Coast from North Carolina to New York. But why? Learn more about cicadas with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Aerosol Cans Work

    May 16 2013

    In the 87 years since they were invented aerosol cans have protected soldiers, temporarily fixed flat tires, killed a boy who used too much deodorant and had their contents banned by most countries for wrecking the ozone layer. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Electroconvulsive Therapy Works

    May 14 2013

    With the exception of lobotomies, no other psychological treatment has a worse reputation. But thanks to some thoughtful tweaks, ECT has lately emerged from the dark ages and toward the respectable forefront of treatment for major depression. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Foot Binding Worked

    May 09 2013

    Once in a while, all the necessary factors converge to produce a peculiar nationalized sexual fetish. In China, that fetish was foot binding and over a millennia three billion Chinese women's feet were brutally disfigured for men's pleasure. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Fair Trade Works

    May 07 2013

    The West has gotten rich off the backs of underpaid labor living elsewhere; people who are dedicated to Fair Trade feel it's time people at a disadvantage should stop being exploited. The concept is simple - just pay workers fairly for their labor. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Dungeons and Dragons Works

    May 02 2013

    Despite what you've heard, Dungeons and Dragons isn't just for geeks, it isn't satanic and it's actually a pretty great way to exercise your imagination. Find out about the basics of D&D, its place in pop culture and the controversy the classic role playing game has stirred. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What makes us yawn?

    Apr 25 2013

    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 won't yawn during this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Magnets Work

    Apr 23 2013

    You can stick them to the fridge or use them to transpose sound to tape, whatever they are used for magnets are surprisingly interesting. And knowing just exactly how and why magnets work will make you more interesting, which is why you should listen to this episode of SYSK. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Uses of the Insanity Defense

    Apr 18 2013

    The idea that a person who can't understand the crime they've committed is wrong lets them off the hook from culpability for their actions is a longstanding pillar of Western criminal law. Learn about some of the prominent and overlooked cases where the accused has plead insanity in this episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Marriage Works

    Apr 16 2013

    You can tell a lot about a culture through marriage statistics: what age people get married, how many divorce, who is excluded from legal marriage. It forms a picture of how a society interacts with itself. Learn more about marriage in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Do men and women have different brains?

    Apr 11 2013

    It's a pretty touchy subject because of the possible implications - if you find differences between the brains of men and women, does that mean there are differences in their intellect? Surprisingly, though there are demonstrable differences between male and female brains, they use them differently to achieve the same ends equally well. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with duckbill platypuses?

    Apr 09 2013

    It is pretty much impossible to describe duckbill platypuses without using the word "hodgepodge" and for good reason. These mammals also share features with birds, reptiles and even sharks. Learn about the these weird and peculiar (and surprisingly tiny) little creatures that both creationists and evolutionists claim as a demonstration of their beliefs. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Grief Works

    Apr 04 2013

    You can probably name the five stages of grief - from denial to acceptance - they've become pretty well known since being proposed in 1969. But later researchers are finding that grief is rarely that cut and dried, and it may not be as widely experienced as we once thought. Join Josh and Chuck as they look at the sad science of grief. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Panama Canal Works

    Apr 02 2013

    It's on more than one list of the Seven Wonders of the World and for good reason - the Panama Canal is one of the great feats of engineering ever undertaken. First conceived of in the 1580s and finally completed in 1914, the canal has a fascinating history (including a stint where it was considered U.S. soil). Learn all about it on this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How No-fly Zones Work

    Mar 28 2013

    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 more since then. Learn about this peculiar military tool with Chuck and Josh. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Apartheid Worked

    Mar 19 2013

    After WWII, while the rest of the world grew more socially progressive, the government of South Africa turned inward to focus its attention on domination of the white minority over the non-white majority. It took an internal struggle and the voice of the world to finally end the terrible practice of "apartness." Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the U.S. Postal Service Works

    Mar 14 2013

    The USPS is currently teetering on the edge of going under and there are a lot of plans to save it, from cutting Saturday service to creating federally-protected email addresses linked to individuals at birth. Join Chuck and Josh as they explore the history and future of the postal service. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Police Sketches Work

    Mar 12 2013

    Creating composite drawings of suspected criminals from eyewitness accounts has been around since a Frenchman introduced it in the 19th century. Despite the introduction of new techniques and software it hasn't changed all that much. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Can We Build an Elevator to Space?

    Mar 09 2013

    With the end of the shuttle program and an International Space Station still in need of supplies, the aerospace industry is working the kinks of out of a century-old idea to build a service elevator from Earth to outer space. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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

    Mar 07 2013

    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 episode with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What Makes a One-hit Wonder?

    Mar 05 2013

    The term "one-hit wonder" gets thrown around a lot, and - yes - you probably are using it correctly, but Chuck Bryant went to the trouble to really define what makes a one-hit wonder in the article this episode is based on. Join him and Josh as they get to the bottom of this disparaging term. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Papacy Works

    Feb 28 2013

    In February 2013, Pope Benedict said he would become the first pope to retire in 600 years. Check out this episode of Stuff You Should Know to find out just what the pope does and the process of choosing a new one. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How CPR Works

    Feb 26 2013

    You have a golden opportunity to make yourself into a worthwhile human being simply by learning how to perform CPR. The chances are you'll never need to use it, but knowing how just in case never hurts. Listen to this episode to get you primed to take a course on real-life life-savin'. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Spies Work

    Feb 23 2013

    Psst. You want to know how governments and corporations get the drop on one another? The frontline of intelligence is populated by spies. Learn about how spies get and transfer information (and why they do it) in this episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What Would Happen If the World Stopped Spinning?

    Feb 21 2013

    Over the last 400 million years, the day has grown longer by two full hours thanks to a slowing of the rotation of the Earth on its axis. While it will be a very long time before it stops spinning altogether, it never hurts to plan. Listen to Chuck and Josh discuss what a still Earth would look like. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Surfing Works

    Feb 19 2013

    You know the Beach Boys and you've seen those Hang Ten shirts with the little feet emblem, but there's a lot more to surfing than appears on pop culture's surface. From learning how to pop up on the board to the physics of how waves form and break to the Sport of Kings' Hawai'ian origin, learn all about surfing with Chuck and Josh. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Myths About the Brain

    Feb 14 2013

    As is usual for SYSK, Josh and Chuck go over some, but not all, of the entries in this list of ten common myths about the brain. While it lives there in your noggin you don't really have much of a grasp on your brain and how it works. You think you do, but you don't. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Jet Lag Works

    Feb 12 2013

    It was only since 1958 that the Jet Age began, and jet lag became a real condition. Also known as desynchronosis, jet lag can lead to all manner of ailments, from sleeplessness to irritability to diabetes and cancer. Learn about how the body's natural clock runs normally and what happens when it gets out of whack when we cross time zones quickly. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Weather Modification Works

    Feb 09 2013

    It began with old-timey guys dropping dry ice on clouds. Since then weather modification was used to keep the 2008 opening ceremonies dry and flood the Ho Chi Minh Trail, but does it work? Learn about weather control plans, diabolical or otherwise. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Willpower Works

    Feb 07 2013

    You use it every day to overcome your lower self (which wants you to eat cake until your vision blurs) in pursuit of the goals of your higher self (which wants you to not develop Type-II diabetes). Yet it was only in the 1990s that researchers began to understand what makes our willpower and how it behaves. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Garbage-powered Cars Could Work

    Feb 05 2013

    We're not so far off from being able to power our cars using beer and banana peels, like Doc in Back to the Future. Rather than solving the energy crisis with Mr. Fusion, though, we'll be taking advantage of a technique that's been in use for hundreds of years: creating syngas through pyrolysis. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Gold Works

    Jan 31 2013

    Only 161,00 metric tons of gold has been mined in the entire history of the world. Considering about 85 percent of the precious mineral is recycled, there's a chance your jewelry may once have been part of an Incan headdress or Mycenaean face mask. Learn the ins and outs of this metal that humans have killed over for millennia. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Stuntmen (and -women) Work

    Jan 29 2013

    They get blown up, shot, drowned and thrown out of windows on the silver screen - and we don't even know their names. Stuntpeople are the unsung heroes of the movie industry. Learn the ins and outs of the stunt world and how one becomes a stunt person. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Bees Work

    Jan 26 2013

    With less than a million neurons in their tiny heads, bees shouldn't be able to do much more than eat, sleep and reproduce. And yet, bees are capable of high functions like population economics and navigating by the sun on overcast days. Learn about these fascinating insects, including what a stinger really is in this episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Frick Fracking Works

    Jan 22 2013

    Fracking, the process of breaking trapped resources like natural gas and oil from shale, has led to a revolution in energy production in the U.S. It's also given rise to increasing worries that the process can have sweeping environmental impacts. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Does the five-second rule work?

    Jan 17 2013

    You know when you drop a piece of food and if you pick it up within five seconds it's still good to eat? Researchers have studied whether that's true or not and in doing so have inadvertently shone a light on how utterly covered our world is with bacteria and germs. Prepare to shudder in this episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Death Masks Work

    Jan 15 2013

    One of the earliest civilizations we've detected, the Myceneans, kicked off the habit of creating a mask of a deceased person's face in deathly repose. What began as an ancient rite has only recently fallen out of practice around the world. Learn about this dignified but ghoulish custom with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Can you outrun an alligator in a zig-zag?

    Jan 08 2013

    You've heard the warning before: If you're being chased on land by an alligator, run in a zig-zag. Of course, the average person should be capable of outrunning an alligator. Josh and Chuck take the opportunity to explore alligator safety anyway. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What was America's first terrorist threat?

    Jan 03 2013

    From the moment it was established, the United States had headaches with terrorism of the pirate variety. For decades, the federal budget even include bribe money to pay them off. Learn all about this early threat on this episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Bigfoot Works

    Jan 01 2013

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

  • How Dog Shows Work

    Dec 27 2012

    You know those shows where people wearing sensible shoes jog dogs around in circles? They actually represent the pinnacle of a long and complex path to glory for dogs and their owners. Join Chuck and Josh as they peek inside the American dog show. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Josh and Chuck's Christmas Extravaganza 2012

    Dec 21 2012

    Kick back and raise a glass of eggnog to Josh and Chuck as they carry on a new holiday tradition of exploring the ins and outs of all things Christmas - and maybe even warm your heart along the way. Happy holidays, everybody! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Barbie Doll Works

    Dec 20 2012

    In this episode, Josh and Chuck explore the history, cultural impact and feminist ire raised by the Barbie doll. The boys are joined by Gordon Javna, the founder of the Bathroom Readers' Institute and publisher of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Lab-grown meat: Order up!

    Dec 18 2012

    Since Winston Churchill predicted we'd grow meat in a lab by 1981, researchers have considered doing just that. And thanks to the current work of about 30 groups, we may be only years away from mass-produced artificial meat. But will anyone eat it? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Condoms Work

    Dec 13 2012

    The earliest depiction of a condom is found in a 15,000-year-old cave painting. Ever since humans realized sex led to children, we've been using condoms to prevent pregnancy. Join Josh and Chuck for this comprehensive tour of all things condom. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Will we reach peak oil?

    Dec 06 2012

    A 2012 report showed that the U.S. may be energy-independent in just a few years, but not too long ago the specter of peak oil loomed large on the political and economic landscape. Join Chuck and Josh as they visit the consequences of running out of oil. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Vampires Work

    Dec 04 2012

    Out of obligation, Chuck and Josh mention Twilight, but it is the longstanding vampire lore that gets the most attention in this examination of how the bloodsucking undead evolved from baby-stealing demonesses to suave counts in our collective psyche. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Caving Works

    Nov 29 2012

    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. Bonus: Chuck discusses his caving experience. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Why do leaves change colors in the fall?

    Nov 27 2012

    Ah, autumn - arguably the most beautiful time of the year, thanks to the vibrant colors trees put on display as they close up for the winter. Ever wonder why and how trees change color in the fall? Chuck and Josh have it down pat and explain it here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Philanthropy: Humankind and Loving It

    Nov 22 2012

    Sure the fatcats get all the credit for donating millions, but did you know US households making $20,000 or less contribute the highest percentage of their income to charity? Learn more (not to mention a sexy look at the U.S. tax code) in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Should we be designing our children?

    Nov 20 2012

    In 2009, a fertility clinic controversially offered parents the ability to customize their children. How will society take the idea of designing children? Do we have a moral obligation to design better people? Join Josh and Chuck for this heavy episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Meth Works

    Nov 15 2012

    You know how when you do a lot of crystal methamphetamine you get meth mouth, where your teeth decay? Of course you don't! So check out this in-depth look on the most widely-abused hard drug in the world. Even tweakers will learn something new. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How close are we to holographic environments?

    Nov 13 2012

    Star Trek was famous for its holodeck, a completely immersive holographic environment that could be any space a user wanted. Thanks to telemersion technology built for business conferencing, we're starting to get close to that holodeck after all. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What will happen when we reach the Singularity?

    Nov 08 2012

    Futurists have unnervingly predicted an impending moment in human history: the Singularity, when a superhuman artificial intelligence is created. What will become of humans? Enslavement? Extermination? Utopia? Find out with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Yakuza: From Samurai to Slot Machines

    Nov 06 2012

    The Yakuza trace their lineage back to the 18th century samurai, left masterless following political upheaval, who turned to lives of crime. After centuries, the Yakuza is still going strong, following both tradition and new avenues of illicit revenue. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • SYSK's Halloween Horror Fiction Winner!

    Oct 30 2012

    Josh and Chuck have been planning this thing since spring and it's finally here! Tune in to hear which listener's scary story won the SYSK Halloween Horror Fiction Contest -- and prepare to have your socks scared off just in time for All Hallow's Eve. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Exoskeletons: How's it coming?

    Oct 25 2012

    Since the 1960s, the Pentagon has called for a suit that can make a soldier jump higher, run faster longer and generally be a badder dude. It's only now that the materials needed are coming of age. Listen in to learn the state of exoskeleton technology. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Commercial Jingles Work

    Oct 23 2012

    You probably can recite five right now. Commercial jingles are designed to hijack your working memory and implant a product or service and they really work. Learn about the history of these insidious and catchy advertising vehicles with Chuck and Josh. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Lion Taming Works

    Oct 18 2012

    Bossing a lion around in front of a crowd at a circus has been an attraction for 200 years, but exactly how lion tamers get their captive wild animals to comply has evolved over time. Take a peek in the jaws of this odd profession with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Black Holes Work

    Oct 16 2012

    It wasn't too long ago when black holes were strictly predictions in theoretical math. Over decades, astronomy has gotten better at uncovering these cosmic phenomena. Learn about how black holes form and their ability to spaghettify you in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Pizza Works!

    Oct 11 2012

    Sure it's everywhere and there's a more-than-90-percent chance you eat it once a month. But we'll bet you don't know the full history of that pizza (or tomato pie) you're about to chow down on. Join Chuck and Josh as they explain it to you, bite by bite. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Rainforests Work

    Oct 09 2012

    It's been called the world's lungs, the world's pharmacy and the world's air conditioner. It takes up only 6 percent of Earth's land, yet houses 50% of the world's species. Find out the math behind why they may be gone in 40 years in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Fire Works

    Oct 04 2012

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

  • How Whiskey Runners Worked

    Oct 02 2012

    Sure, Chuck and Josh have discussed it before, but it's worth revisiting: Running moonshine led to the creation of NASCAR. Chuck and Josh aren't even NASCAR fans and they think that's cool. Join them as the investigate moonshine runnin'. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Subways: HUH! What are they good for?

    Sep 27 2012

    As ubiquitous as they've become, it's easy to overlook the marvels of engineering that are subways. Chuck and Josh go boring as they explore these systems of tubes that must circumnavigate rock, rivers, cables and more to get you where you're going. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Q: Are we in the midst of cyberwar? A: Yes

    Sep 25 2012

    There's a secret war going on around us, and it's happening on a daily basis. The Air Force recently launched a new unit specifically designed to carry out and defend against cyberwar. Go deep into this new and alarming type of war with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Why does music provoke emotion?

    Sep 20 2012

    A well-crafted piece of music can bring us to incredible highs and crushing lows, sometimes within the same song. Why does music affect humans this way? Join Chuck, Josh and special guest cellist Ben Sollee as they get to the bottom of music and emotion. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Are we all Martians?

    Sep 18 2012

    There's a very good question that no one has yet satisfactorily answered: Where did life on Earth come from? Some look to the Red Planet as the source of life here, which, if correct, would make us all Martians. Is there anything to this out there claim? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Book Banning Works

    Sep 13 2012

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

  • How Asexuality Works

    Sep 11 2012

    When Alfred Kinsey conducted his sex surveys he turned up, but ignored, a fourth sexual orientation: people who don't experience sexual attraction. It took 60 years for Group X to gain a name and recognition, but with that has come increased scrutiny. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Bioluminescence: A Bright and Shiny Fish

    Sep 06 2012

    Science has a handle on fireflies and glowworms, but most bioluminescent animals live in the ocean and are tough to study. Today, researchers are still figuring out why some animals produce light. Dive with Josh and Chuck into this illuminating topic. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Can you test a nuclear weapon without a fallout?

    Sep 04 2012

    Over the course of human existence, thousands of nuclear weapons have been exploded on Earth and in space. With all of those tests, one can't help but wonder how much fallout has been produced. Learn the tricks of the nuke-testing trade in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Flesh-eating Bacteria Work

    Aug 30 2012

    Possibly the most horrifically-named disease anyone could contract, flesh-eating bacteria can lead quickly lead to amputations and death. Learn about how this disease works and how to prevent it in this episode with Chuck and Josh. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Electoral College Works

    Aug 28 2012

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

  • What happens to abandoned mines?

    Aug 23 2012

    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 these places go from money pit to death trap when mine companies simply walk away. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Why You Probably Have a Criminal Record

    Aug 21 2012

    If you're an American adult, there's a 1 in 4 chance you have a criminal record. While it's less likely you've committed any serious crime, there are still repercussions to having a rap sheet as more employers use them to decide between candidates. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Did Reagan's Star Wars program win the Cold War?

    Aug 16 2012

    Putting lasers in space to blast Soviet missiles out of the air was a very real part of Ronald Reagan's defense policy. While his "Star Wars" program was derided at home and abroad, historians are beginning to wonder if it didn't help win the Cold War after all. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Shark Diaries

    Aug 14 2012

    In this special episode of Stuff You Should Know, Chuck and Josh tip their hats to Shark Week with an old-fashioned radio play. Join the guys (and a few guests) as they present a dramatization of the 1916 Jersey Shore shark attacks. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Shark Attacks Work

    Aug 09 2012

    A shark attack is a terrifying experience for the victim -- but are sharks really man-eating monsters with a taste for human flesh? Join Josh and Chuck as they ask why sharks attack, how attacks occur and which sharks are most likely to attack someone. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Ramadan Works

    Aug 07 2012

    It's the holiest month of the Muslim calendar, and for good reason. It was during the month of Ramadan that Mohammed began to issue the Koran. Learn about the customs and traditions behind observing Ramadan in this episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Can we build an elevator to space?

    Aug 02 2012

    With the end of the shuttle program and an International Space Station still in need of supplies, the aerospace industry is working the kinks of out of a century-old idea to build a service elevator from Earth to outer space. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Musketeers Worked

    Jul 31 2012

    You know and love them as a fluffy chocolate nougat and maybe as a book and a movie, but musketeers were quite real and quite deadly. Visit with Josh and Chuck as they examine the elite special forces of 17th-century France. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Time Travel Works (Live at SD Comic-Con)

    Jul 26 2012

    How does time travel work? Could it ever cross the line from science fiction into science fact? Join Josh and Chuck -- along with a live audience at the 2012 Comic-Con -- as they explore the ins and outs of time travel. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How White-collar Crime Works

    Jul 24 2012

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

  • How Lightning Works

    Jul 12 2012

    You've seen lightning before, and maybe you're even afraid of it. You should be. The air is ripped apart and a sudden electrical discharge burning six times brighter than the sun connects with Earth. Learn all about it with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Geysers: Nature's Innuendo

    Jul 10 2012

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

  • How Tabloids Work

    Jul 05 2012

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

  • Is the Dead Sea dead?

    Jul 03 2012

    An anomaly of geography, the shores of Dead Sea form the lowest dry spot on Earth. It's been visited by millions, including King Herod and Cleopatra, all seeking the health benefits of this saline lake. Learn about this unusual spot with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with Executive Orders?

    Jun 28 2012

    Depending on who's in office, they're either a presidential tradition or the acts of a despot. Executive orders are not spelled out in the Constitution, yet every president has issued them. Learn about these controversial edicts with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • 10 Accidental Inventions: By the Numbers

    Jun 21 2012

    Every once in a while Chuck and Josh do things by the numbers and here's a good example. Turns out a surprising amount of ubiquitous items in our everyday lives were stumbled upon by accident. This episode explores a few of the more noteworthy ones. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Icebergs Work (Very Cool)

    Jun 19 2012

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

  • Whatever happened to acid rain?

    Jun 14 2012

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

  • Should we have a fat tax?

    Jun 12 2012

    The concept of fighting unhealthy behavior like overeating by taxing unhealthy food has been around since 1994. But as the debate over a fat tax rages on in the U.S., Europe has begun to institute them and there's talk of taxing overweight people as well. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Fractals: Whoa

    Jun 07 2012

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

  • How Moss Works

    Jun 05 2012

    Think you have moss figured out? You probably don't. Join Josh and Chuck as they explore some of the surprising aspects of these most ancient and important plants on the planet. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Can it rain frogs?

    May 31 2012

    If you've seen the movie Magnolia, you've seen what it looks like to rain frogs. While there are reports of frogs, fish and even squid raining down that are questionable, science has figured out how it can - and does - rain frogs sometimes. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Do video games produce real-life violence?

    May 29 2012

    The disturbing trend of school shootings around the world has dragged violence in video games into the hot seat. But are violent video games actually more capable of producing real violence in gamers or is it just the latest victim of societal hysteria? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Are we obsessed with goals?

    May 24 2012

    We've all been brought up to keep our eyes on the prize and our pedal to the medal when we go for that brass ring, but does the Western interest in goals verge on an insane obsession? Learn how goals work (and if they're healthy) with Chuck and Josh. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Labor Unions Work

    May 22 2012

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

  • What is the future of Earth?

    May 17 2012

    What will the Earth be like in 5,000 or 50,000 years? In this far-sighted episode, Josh and Chuck explore how Earth may change over time. Listen in to learn more about humanity's odds of survival -- and how technology just might save us. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Interpol: World Police

    May 15 2012

    Interpol is an international police agency that helps other law-enforcement agencies track criminals who operate across national borders -- but how does it work, exactly? Join the guys as they delve into the world of global law enforcement. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What is a shotgun house?

    May 10 2012

    Shotgun houses are iconic pieces of American architecture: they're long, narrow, and filled with artistic flourishes. But where did they come from? In this episode, Chuck and Josh explore the mysterious origins of shotgun houses. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Did the Dutch trade Manhattan for nutmeg?

    May 08 2012

    Today nutmeg is commonplace, but this wasn't always the case. In the 17th century, the Dutch and the British fought a trade war over nutmeg. Join Chuck and Josh as they travel across continents and centuries to trace the story of nutmeg and Manhattan. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Bullfighting Works

    May 03 2012

    When the Visigoths ruled Spain, they introduced the idea of battling bulls at festivals. Today matadors get paid $100,000 and perform in front of 50,000 fans. But is bullfighting an antiquated, abusive relic or a cultural tradition above reproach? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How did language evolve?

    May 01 2012

    " Sure animals talk in their own way, with chirps and grunts and the like, but only humans can form words. It is this, some evolutionary psychologists contend, that is what truly separates us from the rest of the species on the planet. But why us?" Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Medical Marijuana Works

    Apr 26 2012

    Some quarters of the medical establishment endorse it, others abhor it. The DEA is cracking down on it, but the Veterans' Administration supports it as a treatment for soldiers. Medical marijuana is indeed a contentious issue. Learn all about it here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Air Traffic Control Works

    Apr 24 2012

    You know how when you fly in an airline you usually don't die? You can thank the battalion of air traffic control professionals who studiously track every moment of your flight to ensure its safety. Learn all about this unsung field with Chuck and Josh. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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

    Apr 19 2012

    Do you know that up until July 2011 an ambitious hacker with a good software program could deduce your social security number based on your date and place of birth? In this episode, the boys examine some of the lesser-known details of the Social Security system in the U.S. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Whaling Works

    Apr 17 2012

    Despite its embattled status as brutal and illegal, commercial whaling is a tradition that dates back 1,000 years and served as the economic engine of the Industrial Revolution. Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the whaling life then and now. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Body Odor: You Stink

    Apr 11 2012

    Chuck and Josh end up making reduxes of past episodes on things like sweating and deodorant in this all-new episode on the science beneath what makes people smell. Learn all about your odor in this episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Was Atlantis a real place?

    Apr 10 2012

    While the search for Atlantis has been pushed to the fringes since the 19th century, archaeologists have quietly pursued cities that may have inspired Plato to fabricate the mythical city. It looks like a team in Greece has found it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Diamonds Work

    Apr 03 2012

    There's no denying that diamonds are pretty -- but where do they come from, and why are they so expensive? Join Chuck and Josh as they explore everything about diamonds, from their formation to the mining process and the history of the DeBeers cartel. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Music Sampling Works

    Mar 29 2012

    Today music sampling is a common practice, especially in electronic or hip-hop music. But how does it work? After all, other artists made the original music, and most of them would presumably like to be paid. Tune in to learn more about music sampling. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • 10 Big Cases of Revenge

    Mar 27 2012

    Who doesn't love a good story about comeuppance? Whether served cold or piping hot, revenge is an ancient idea -- and history is filled with acts of vengeance. Join Josh and Chuck as they trace the concept of revenge from the bygone days of Hammurabi to the modern era. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Tipping Works

    Mar 22 2012

    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 as they take a closer look at the history, practice and controversy surrounding tipping. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Comic Books: Live from SXSW

    Mar 20 2012

    Although you might not be a fan of comic books, there's no denying that they have a fascinating place in American history. And -- as if that wasn't interesting enough -- Josh and Chuck decided to break down the story of comic books live at SXSW. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Donner Party Worked

    Mar 15 2012

    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 episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Should chimps be used for medical testing?

    Mar 13 2012

    If you've got half a heart it's an easy question to answer. But if you're happy living without polio and hepatitis B you may want to question further. Learn about what makes chimps special and the history of medical testing in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Noah's Ark Worked

    Mar 08 2012

    Stories of a great flood and a man who managed to stay afloat while the world drowned abound in ancient traditions. Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the possible evidence of the Great Flood and whether Noah really existed. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Duels: A guide to throwing down the gauntlet

    Mar 06 2012

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

  • How SETI Works

    Mar 01 2012

    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 spaced-out episode, Josh and Chuck explore the origin, aims and challenges facing SETI. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Crying Works

    Feb 28 2012

    You probably did it around 70 times last year, yet you probably don't understand the psychological and physiological processes at work when you cried. Don't feel bad - no one does. Join Chuck and Josh as they poke around your tear ducts in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Fasting: deadly or what?

    Feb 23 2012

    Avoiding food for religious or health reasons has been around for millennia. But while God may appreciate the sacrifice, how does it affect the body? Join Josh and Chuck to find if fasting actually can be healthy or if it's as bad an idea as it sounds. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Autopsies Work

    Feb 16 2012

    In the 400th episode of Stuff You Should Know, Josh and Chuck take a trip through the morgue and look over the shoulders of the often controversial coroners and medical examiners that open cadavers to determine how someone died. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Zero Works

    Feb 14 2012

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

  • How Coral Reefs Work

    Feb 09 2012

    Coral reefs are the largest organic structures on Earth, yet they're created through a symbiotic relationship between creatures about 3 millimeters long. Learn more about the the world's coral reefs (and how to protect them) in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Pickpockets: Artists or Crooks?

    Feb 07 2012

    There aren't many criminal pursuits that are as storied as pickpocketing, and some people fondly reminisce over its heyday. Learn why some consider pickpocketing an art form, how to protect yourself from this art and more in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Floods Work

    Jan 26 2012

    Floods happen when more water is introduced to an area than can be quickly removed. That's about it, but there's more to floods, what causes them and the havoc they can wreak. Join Josh and Chuck in this super-saturated episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Human Trafficking Works

    Jan 24 2012

    Despite worldwide prohibitions, slavery still exists. Slaves are forced or coerced into prostitution or made to work in deplorable factory conditions. Yet there's still debate over how widespread the problem is. Learn about modern slavery in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Mexican Wrestling Works

    Jan 19 2012

    Perhaps it's the colorful masks or the high-flying, rapid-fire acrobatic moves. Whatever it is, there's something uniquely and particularly entrancing about Mexican wrestling, called lucha libre. Learn more about lucha libre in this episode of SYSK. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Are contrails actually chemtrails?

    Jan 17 2012

    You know those trails that jets leave in the sky? While science has explained why they happen, plenty of conspiracy theorists believe there's more to it. Join Josh and Chuck as they channel the guys from Stuff They Don't Want You to Know in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What's the deal with the Bermuda Triangle?

    Jan 12 2012

    There's roughly 500,000 squares miles encompassed in a triangle with points in Miami, Bermuda and San Juan. There shouldn't be anything different about this area, but some people believe it's a hotbed of supernatural activity. Tune in to learn why. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Can you vacation in Antarctica?

    Jan 10 2012

    The answer is yes, but there's a lot more to traveling to the southernmost continent. Learn why emperor penguins don't make eye contact with humans, which country has the best research station and why the chances of your ship sinking are alarmingly high. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Was there a curse on King Tut's tomb?

    Jan 05 2012

    When Howard Carter opened Tutankhamen's tomb, some believe he unleashed a curse on everyone associated with his expedition. But there's no such thing as a curse, right? Learn the scientific basis beneath King Tut's curse as Chuck and Josh Meet the Mummy! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Yo-Yos Work

    Jan 03 2012

    You may have played with a yo-yo before -- perhaps you've even walked the dog -- but do you know about the physics behind what makes a yo-yo sleep and wake up? Learn all about inertia, angular momentum and the history of the yo-yo in this episode of SYSK. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Coffee: The World's Drug of Choice

    Dec 29 2011

    There's a 98 percent chance you're drinking coffee right now. Maybe not, sure, but coffee is ubiquitous - about 80 percent of Americans consume coffee and Brazil alone has 3 billion coffee plants. Learn all about the great black brew in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What happens in the brain during an orgasm?

    Dec 27 2011

    Chuck and Josh test the limits of their decorum as they explore the physiology of an orgasm. Learn all about this inexplicably taboo subject (including how even women who are paralyzed can experience orgasms) in this episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Josh and Chuck's Christmas Extravaganza

    Dec 22 2011

    Have you ever wondered why the poinsettia is the official plant of Christmas or why we hang stockings by the chimney with care? Join Chuck and Josh for this very special Christmas episode. Who knows, maybe even St. Nick will make an appearance (he doesn't). Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Pepper Spray Works

    Dec 20 2011

    Lt. John Pike of the Davis, Calif., police department brought the wrath of the Internet on himself when he casually doused peaceful protestors with pepper spray. Find out what was in the can in this eye-watering episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Earthworms Work

    Dec 15 2011

    Earthworms come in a wide range of sizes: The average U.S. earthworm is 6 to 11 inches long, and the giant worms of Australia and South America can grow to a length of 11 feet. Join Josh and Chuck as they burrow into the weird world of earthworms. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Digestive System Works

    Dec 08 2011

    The digestive system uses mechanical and chemical processes to absorb and transport all the nutrients your body needs to survive -- but how does it work? In this episode, Josh and Chuck take you through all 30 feet of the average digestive system. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Daylight Saving Time Works

    Dec 06 2011

    Benjamin Franklin first came up with daylight saving time in 1748, and people still practice it today. But how does it work? What are the pros and cons? Join Josh and Chuck as they turn back the clock to explore the origins of daylight saving time. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What made the donkey and the elephant political?

    Dec 01 2011

    Sure we take it for granted the elephant represents the Republican party and the donkey Democrats, but have you ever wondered why? Josh and Chuck explore the foundation of these bizarre political symbols in this old-timey episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Cash Debit or Credit: Which is best?

    Nov 29 2011

    Chuck and Josh take a stab at answering the age old question of whether cash or plastic is the best choice for paying your way through life. Join them as they look at shopping, theft, security and the heartbreak of overdraft fees in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Thoroughbred Horses Work

    Nov 24 2011

    It's been just 300 years since the Thoroughbred breed has been around, but it has produced some of the most storied animals humans have ever loved. Chuck and Josh dive into what makes these horses special and the controversy around racing them. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Crossbows: They Look Cool

    Nov 22 2011

    Sure, they look cool. It's as if someone put a bow and a rifle together, but in fact crossbows predate firearms by a few thousand years. Learn all about the advantages crossbows bestow, the physics behind them and how to use one with Josh and Chuck. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Air Force One Works

    Nov 17 2011

    As you might imagine, the President of the United States doesn't fly coach. But what exactly does he use when traveling from point A to point B, and how does it actually work? join Josh and Chuck as they demystify Air Force One. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Alcatraz Works

    Nov 15 2011

    Sure, you've heard stories about Alcatraz. From high-profile escape attempts to tales of notorious inmates, the Rock is unique in American history. But how did it actually work? Join Josh and Chuck as they explain the Stuff You Should Know about Alcatraz. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Presidential Debates Work

    Nov 10 2011

    The first televised Presidential debate had some odd results: The radio audience tended to believe Nixon won, while television viewers supported Kennedy. Today, debates continue weld an enormous influence on public opinion. But how do they work? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Gene Patents Work

    Nov 08 2011

    Should a company be able to own the rights to something found inside your own body? In this episode, Chuck and Josh delve into the complicated, controversial world of gene patents. Tune in to learn more about the history -- and future -- of gene patents. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • What Saved the American Bison

    Nov 03 2011

    The pre-colonial range of the American bison stretched from Canada to Mexico. From 1820 to 1880, the population dwindled from 30 million to just over 1,000. Join Josh and Chuck as they explore how bison were brought back from the verge of extinction. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the Autobahn Works

    Nov 01 2011

    The autobahn has an international reputation, and people around the world love the notion of driving on a road with no speed limits -- but how true is this reputation? Join Josh and Chuck as they tell you everything you need to know about the autobahn. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Berenice

    Oct 27 2011

    It's Halloween again, and this year Chuck and Josh are ringing in the holiday with a special reading of the short story "Berenice," by Edgar Allan Poe. Tune in to catch Stuff You Should Know's Poe-rific Halloween episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Anti-matter Spacecraft Will Work

    Oct 25 2011

    There may be a Bizarro World in our universe. Every particle has a mirror image with a reverse electrical charge, and when these opposites meet an energy transfer 300 times stronger than nuclear fusion occurs. Could this reaction power spacecraft? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Do you lose the right to privacy when you die?

    Oct 20 2011

    If you live in a place where privacy is protected, the legal system keeps prying eyes from your personal information. But does that privacy extend beyond death? That depends. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Nile IS Just a River in Egypt

    Oct 18 2011

    The Nile River has been flowing south to north for about 30 million years, and the human race's cradle may have been along the Blue Nile stemming from Ethiopia. Find out some amazing facts about what may be the world's most important river. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • The Wind Cries Typhoid Mary

    Oct 13 2011

    In the 19th century, typhoid was considered a disease of the lower classes. When an outbreak occurred in wealthy Oyster Bay, New York, a mystery was afoot. Tune in to learn how this event began an ongoing debate over public safety versus civil rights. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • A Podcast on Zoot Suits? Yes

    Oct 11 2011

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

  • How the Peace Corps Works

    Oct 06 2011

    Since its inception, the Peace Corps has sent 200,000 members to 193 countries to deliver aid and good will through know-how rather than direct funding. Learn about the successes, criticisms and dangers of the Peace Corps in this gung-ho episode of SYSK. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Silly Putty Works

    Oct 04 2011

    When the Japanese invaded Southeast Asia in World War II, they cut off America's rubber supply. Luckily, American can-do created a synthetic rubber and saved the War. Learn about the inventor, fluid chemistry and more in this episode of SYSK. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How U.S. Marshals Work

    Sep 29 2011

    Thought Chuck and Josh had already covered every law enforcement agency? Think again. The Marshals Service is the oldest law enforcement branch in the land, dating back to 1789. Listen up for how to get a free ride courtesy the Marshals in this episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Sword Swallowing Works

    Sep 27 2011

    Houdini suggested that sword swallowing was merely a trick. But there's no sleight of hand or throat to this ancient practice. Practitioners really do swallow swords, car axles and more. Learn more about sword swallowers in this gag-reflexive episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Family Crests Work

    Sep 22 2011

    After 800 years of creating coats and crests, some meaning has been lost to history, but much has been retained and is still in use. Find out what a mullet on field argent with stags rampant means in this Olde English episode of Stuff You Should Know. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Acne Works

    Sep 20 2011

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

  • How the Moon Works

    Sep 15 2011

    Did you know that science still doesn't know the exact origin of the moon? Do you know how the moon creates high and low tides? Do you know the difference between a waxing crescent and a waning gibbous? You will after listening to this riveting episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Casinos Work

    Sep 13 2011

    Gambling predates the written word; dice made of bones have been discovered at prehistoric sites. Today, the concept of amassing a fortune in moments remains attractive. Join Josh and Chuck as they take a look at the games and the glitz of casinos. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How the World Trade Center Memorial Works

    Sep 08 2011

    The World Trade Center was once a global symbol of progress. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, the area has undergone a massive rebuilding process. Chuck and Josh take a look at the World Trade Center, its memorial and its symbolism in this special episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • 10 Scientists Who Were Their Own Guinea Pigs

    Sep 06 2011

    Over the centuries, some scientists have concluded that the best test subject is looking at them in the mirror. Join Josh and Chuck as they explore 10 researchers, unsung or otherwise, who put their own health second to the advancement of science. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Lie Detectors Work

    Sep 01 2011

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

  • Cryonics: Hi, Frozen Body!

    Aug 30 2011

    In 1964 The Prospect of Immortality laid out a plan for placing humans in suspended animation. The first person was placed in cryonic suspension three years later. But how does it actually work? Learn more about cryonics in this chilly episode of SYSK. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Schizophrenia Works

    Aug 23 2011

    Up to 24 million people worldwide have schizophrenia. Despite the vast amounts of research, the disorder remains mysterious. In this episode, Josh and Chuck delve into the nature of schizophrenia, from the history of the disorder to the latest research. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How to Land on a Government Watch List

    Aug 18 2011

    The U.S. Government's Consolidated Terrorist Watch List keeps track of people who are known or suspected terrorists. But what how do people end up on it, and what happens if your name is similar to a suspected terrorist? Tune in to find out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • How Murphy's Law Works, the Redux

    Aug 16 2011

    Years back, Josh recorded this show without Chuck, and the old version's omitted facts bugged him. In this new version, the pair delve into the people, science and rocket tests behind Murphy's Law. Join Josh and Chuck for this properly-executed episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

  • Laughter: What's so funny about that?

    Aug 11 2011

    The response to humor starts with electrical activity, potentially translating to physical respon