Show cover of BrainStuff

BrainStuff

Whether the topic is popcorn or particle physics, you can count on BrainStuff to explore -- and explain -- the everyday science in the world around us.

Tracks

BrainStuff Classics: What Happens to Balloons When You Release Them?
How high can helium balloons go before they burst? Do they always burst? Learn about the physics of escaped balloons in this classic episode of BrainStuff.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04:21 27/11/22
BrainStuff Classics: Can Side Sleeping Help Prevent Snoring?
Snoring can root from a number of causes, but sleeping on your side can usually help prevent it. Learn the science of snores in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/sleep/disorders/does-sleeping-on-side-stop-snoring.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03:10 26/11/22
How Does Checkout Charity Work?
Asking customers for charitable donations at checkout can raise a lot of money -- and a lot of goodwill for the business. (And no, businesses can't write off your donations on their taxes.) Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://money.howstuffworks.com/checkout-charity-is-good-for-business.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06:10 25/11/22
Why Do U.S. Presidents Pardon Turkeys for Thanksgiving?
This odd tradition seems to stem from early in the history of Thanksgiving being a national holiday, and has only gotten more formal (and more silly) in recent years. Learn about turkeys in the White House in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/american-history/presidential-turkey-pardon.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07:33 24/11/22
How Do Pop-Up Wetlands Work?
In California, human development has taken away migrating shorebirds' habitats -- so conservationists are renting rice fields during the farmers' off season to act as temporary habitats. Learn how it works in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/conservation/issues/renting-rice-fields-farmers-migrating-water-fowl.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07:25 23/11/22
Reign of Terror: The Story of the Osage Murders
From 1920 to 1930, after the indigenous Osage people struck it rich with oil on their land, grifters scammed them out of millions -- and murdered a number of them in the process. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/american-history/osage-tribe-murders.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10:27 22/11/22
How Do Eels Reproduce?
We know that eels spawn, like many marine mammals -- but spawning can take many forms. So how do eels do it? Learn what we know (and don't know) in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/marine-life/how-do-eels-reproduce.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07:29 21/11/22
What's the Oldest Tree in the World?
The holder of this title is debated, but Earth's oldest tree is at least (at least!) 4,800 years old -- and may be much older. Learn about the contenders in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/botany/oldest-tree-in-world.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06:02 14/11/22
BrainStuff Classics: How Do Homeless Americans Vote?
Not having a permanent address or access to identifying documents can make voting in U.S. elections nearly impossible. Learn more about these challenges -- and what some organizations are doing to help -- in this episode of BrainStuff.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06:17 13/11/22
BrainStuff Classics: What Was The Great Pox?
You've heard of smallpox, but what was the great pox? And did Shakespeare have it? Learn about the spread of (spoiler alert) syphilis in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/arts/literature/pox-on-that-refers-to.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03:25 12/11/22
How Do Seahorses Work?
These social fish are fascinating for reasons far beyond their unique shapes. Learn about them in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/marine-life/seahorses.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06:30 11/11/22
Can the President Control Gasoline Prices?
There's very little that any U.S. president can do to affect gas prices in the short term. Learn why in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://money.howstuffworks.com/president-gas-prices.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05:14 10/11/22
Can You Get Pregnant During Your Period?
Short answer: Yes, totally. Human bodies all work a little differently, so it's possible to have an egg ready to go while you're having your period. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on these articles: https://health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/pregnancy/fertility/abnormal-menstrual-cycles-and-fertility.htm; https://health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/pregnancy/fertility/pregnant-during-period.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06:37 09/11/22
Do Political TV Ads Really Change Voters' Minds?
In hotly contested elections, campaigns flood television channels and streaming services with ads for or against the people running. Learn when they can make a difference in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://people.howstuffworks.com/do-campaign-tv-ads-change-voters-minds.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07:26 08/11/22
Why Are Graveyards Scary?
Cemeteries and other places where we inter or honor the dead are often at least a little unsettling. Learn about the psychology and philosophy behind this phenomenon in today's episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/afterlife/scary-graveyard.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08:05 31/10/22
Why Does It Feel So Good To Be Scared?
Plenty of things are scary these days, so why do people pay good money to see horror movies and go to 'haunted' houses? Learn why psychologists say these fearful experiences are helpful in today's classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/why-love-to-be-scared.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08:27 30/10/22
How Does the Monstrous Lamia Work?
Lamia is a character from Greek myth who, in various tellings, devours children or seduces men. Learn about her legends in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/lamia.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06:06 29/10/22
Can You Sleep With Your Eyes Open?
It's not necessarily fun (nor on purpose), but yes, some people sleep with one or both eyes partially open. Learn how nocturnal lagophthalmos works in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/sleep/disorders/can-fall-asleep-with-eyes-open.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04:05 25/10/22
How Did Prehistoric Animals Get So Big?
Today's megafauna are tiny compared with history's largest dinosaurs. Learn a few theories about how these animals got so big in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/extinct-animals/why-were-prehistoric-animals-big.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05:29 24/10/22
BrainStuff Classics: What Is Nuclear Pasta?
No, it's not radioactive noodles -- nuclear pasta is the term for weird material produced in neutron stars. Learn why astrophysicists are so interested in how it works in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/nuclear-pasta-is-super-macaroni-universe.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04:30 23/10/22
Why Are Caskets So Expensive?
The rising price of caskets has outpaced even the rising rate of inflation -- but why? Learn what industry experts think in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/funerals/caskets-so-expensive-news.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06:37 22/10/22
Why Do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?
The brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows we see on trees in the fall are actually part of trees' defense mechanisms against the oncoming winter. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/botany/leaves-turn-red.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
04:46 21/10/22
What's the Difference Between Redistricting and Gerrymandering?
Redrawing voting district lines in your favor is an accepted (and legal) political play -- in some cases. Learn the differences between redistricting and gerrymandering (and how minority voters figure in) in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://people.howstuffworks.com/redistricting-gerrymandering.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
09:20 20/10/22
Why Do So Many Animals Have Snot?
Mucus is gross, but it does a lot of good in humans and the many other animals that produce it. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/respiratory/mucus.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05:25 03/10/22
BrainStuff Classics: Could Jupiter Have Water After All?
Astronomers have long suspected that Jupiter contains lots of water, but they've never been able to prove it. Learn about the new research that could help -- and thus solve lots of questions about our solar system -- in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/great-red-spot-may-expose-jupiters-watery-secret.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05:12 02/10/22
BrainStuff Classics: What Would Happen If You Wrecked a Car on a Test-Drive?
If you wreck a car during a test-drive, would you have to pay for it? Learn how car dealers handle this surprisingly rare occurance in today's classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/accidents-hazardous-conditions/what-happens-if-wreck-car-on-test-drive.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05:16 01/10/22
Who Really Profited from the Gold Rush?
A few people did strike it rich in the American Gold Rush of the 1800s -- but none of them were looking for gold. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/american-history/gold-rush.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07:14 30/09/22
What's the Coldest Place On Earth?
Researchers have recorded some shatteringly cold temperatures on our generally mild planet -- but the answer to this question depends on your definition of "on". Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/atmospheric/coldest-place-on-earth.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
07:00 29/09/22
What Causes Nightmares, and How Can You Prevent Them?
Everyone has bad dreams sometimes, but if nightmares plague you, mental exercises or physical treatments might help. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/sleep/dreams/nightmares.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06:50 28/09/22
How Could Blue Denim Be Greener?
It takes a lot of water and some toxic chemicals to dye our denim blue. Learn how research into chitosan could make the process more environmentally friendly in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-tech/sustainable/denim-dyeing.htmSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05:00 27/09/22