Episodes
Our brains release the hormone oxytocin during pleasant circumstances and bonding experiences -- but can we really take it to induce those experiences? Learn why it's complicated in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: thttps://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/endocrine/oxytocin.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/28/24
Pistol shrimp (aka snapping shrimp) can 'shoot' bubbles that go off louder than a gun and will stun prey or dig into rock. Learn more (including how they're inspiring nuclear fission research) in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/marine-life/pistol-shrimp.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/27/24
As London grew throughout the 1800s, it became clear that there wasn't enough real estate for its deceased citizens. Learn how the London Necropolis Railway took the funerary show on the road in this classic episode of BrainStuff. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/17/24
Beer and soda both form sudsy bubbles when you pour them, so why does soda's foam dissipate while beer's forms a head? Learn about foam physics in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/beer-form-head-not-soda.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/16/24
Maya Angelou was a people's poet -- an artist, activist, and teacher whose words resonate from Supreme Court Justices to internet memes. Learn more about her through a few of her own quotes in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/maya-angelou-quotes.htm To hear more from today's writer, Yves Jeffcoat, listen to her podcast, On Theme: https://www.ontheme.show/  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/15/24
Scurvy is a serious condition that's easily cured with access to vitamin C. Learn why humans get it (and why it was the scourge of the high seas) in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/rare/scurvy.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/14/24
Cattle burp so much methane into our atmosphere that it's the equivalent of how much cars pollute every day. Learn what researchers are trying to do about the gassy situation in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/methane-cow.htm  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/13/24
The water cycle brings Earth's water from the clouds to the ground and back again -- but how did it get here in the first place? Learn about the leading theories in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/water-come-from.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/06/24
These mantises look like beautiful, bright orchids -- and some use that to aggressively attract prey. Learn more in today's episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/insects/orchid-mantis.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/05/24
When we lose weight, it doesn't just vanish. Learn how our bodies shrink fat cells in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/weight-loss/lost-weight.htm/printable See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/04/24
Some claims make it sound like probiotics are a cure-all, but what has research found so far? Learn more about these supplements for your microbiome in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/preventive-care/probiotic.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/03/24
As a pedestrian, crossing the street wherever you want can be dangerous -- which is why it's still technically illegal in many American jurisdictions. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/accidents-hazardous-conditions/jaywalking-crime.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/02/24
Though beautiful, Bradford pear trees are invasive in the U.S., use up precious water, are brittle -- and smell decidedly funky. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://home.howstuffworks.com/whats-that-smell-dreaded-bradford-pear.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 02/01/24
To celebrate the anniversary of poet Robert Burns' birth on January 25, 1759, Scottish people all over the world observe Burns Night each year. Learn about the verse, the bagpipes, and of course the haggis in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/holidays-other/get-out-haggis-its-burns-night.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/25/24
White dwarfs have almost all the mass of a normal star squished into a ball the size of our Earth -- and that comes with a lot of gravitational power. Learn how they can tear planets to shreds in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/white-dwarfs-shred-planets.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/24/24
These adorable aquatic salamanders are voracious hunters -- and have myth-like powers of regeneration. Learn more about the axolotl in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/endangered-species/axolotl.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/23/24
Stop signs were always the red octagons we know today -- so how was the color chosen, and why has it stuck? Learn about the history and psychology of red traffic signals in this classic episode of BrainStuff. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/22/24
From the outdated Presidential Fitness Test to today's FITNESSGRAM, Americans have been giving standardized fitness tests to middle school kids for decades. Learn the past and present of these exams in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/exercise/could-pass-kids-middle-school-fitness-test.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/21/24
Buying a cheap phone containing prepaid minutes and texts with cash can help you preserve anonymity in some ways, but companies and governments still have ways of listening in. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/burner-phones.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/20/24
In the early 1900s, psychologists went to great lengths to study their subjects without letting them know they were being watched. Learn more about their research (and about how ethical standards would prevent it from happening today) in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-events/ridiculous-history-when-scientists-hid-beds-do-research.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/19/24
Bacteria may be tiny, but we can harness them to create food and medicine, to detect landmines and make blood safe for transfusions. Learn what we're still learning about how bacteria shape us and our world in this episode of BrainStuff, based on these articles: https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/bacteria-communication.htmhttps://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/10-weirdest-sources-antibiotics.htm...
Published 01/18/24
Eco engineers are animals that vastly change the ecosystems they live in when they create their preferred habitats. Learn about a few, from hippos to tiny crabs, in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/5-animals-that-can-reshape-waterways.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/17/24
Neanderthals were more like us than we previously thought, but could they laugh? Learn why researchers think they could in this classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/evolution/yes-neanderthals-could-laugh.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/16/24
Fat provides a lot of flavor and texture in foods, so making something fat-free usually means reformulating it from the ground up. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/how-do-they-get-fat-out-of-fat-free-foods.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/13/24
The kilogram used to be measured against an agreed-upon chunk of metal stored in France, but no longer. Learn the new measure of this standard unit of measurement in today's classic episode of BrainStuff, based on this article: https://science.howstuffworks.com/math-concepts/kilogram-is-dead-meet-kilogram-20.htm See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 01/11/24