Stuff To Blow Your Mind

Stuff To Blow Your Mind

By: HowStuffWorks

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4.0 (938 ratings)

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Deep in the back of your mind, you’ve always had the feeling that there’s something strange about reality. There is. Join Robert, Joe and Christian as they examine neurological quandaries, cosmic mysteries, evolutionary marvels and our transhuman future on Stuff To Blow Your Mind, a podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

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In 1960, scientists Nathan Kline and Manfred Clynes envisioned a spacefaring cyborg, technologically augmented to endure the rigors of space travel. The subsequent six decades of space exploration largely ignored this radical suggestion, but the advent of gene editing tools like CRISPR present raise new questions. Might genetic alterations give future astronauts the 'right stuff?' What would the physiology of a genetically-augmented space traveler even look like? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast.

Recent Episodes

2001: A Space Odyssey

08/14/2018

1:27:27

No discussion of great sci-fi cinema is complete without mention of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The 1968 classic is 50 years old this year, so Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick figured it the perfect time to board the Discovery One and discuss its many scientific and futurist elements, as well as the legacy of Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s creation.

Most scientists declare empirical falsifiability -- the notion that a theory may be proven right or wrong via scientific investigation -- to be the core principle of science. Others, such as string theorists, think science should move beyond those boundaries. Is empiricism an unnecessary straight jacket? Is “post-empirical science” an oxymoron? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. (Originally published Sept. 15, 2016)

We often focus our fear in the wrong direction -- developing flying anxieties when we should be more concerned about that ride to the airport. We also tend to focus on autonomous weapons when we should be thinking more about autonomous CYBER weapons. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a discussion of cyber warfare. 

Divine Weapon: The Trident

08/07/2018

1:09:45

What are we to make of the trident? The three-toothed spear has seen service as the divine weapon of mythic deities, the fishing implement of common mortals and a symbolic weapon in gladiatorial combat. What does it mean, and was it ever a practical weapon? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick look for answers in myth, archaeology and military history. 

Ever wanted to climb into the safe, metal womb of an escape pod and blast yourself free of this doomed vessel called life? Sure you have, but in the meantime consider some of the real-life air, space and terrestrial escape capsules that humans have envisioned over the years. Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick tell you all about it in this episode of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast. (Originally published Nov. 24, 2016)

What’s the key to a lasting myth, a captivating religion or a sensational film pitch? Some cognitive scientists and anthropologists argue that the key is a minimally counterintuitive narrative: the right balance of the mundane with just a dash of the unreasonable and unexpected. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they discuss the minimal counterintuitiveness effect. 

How can humanity ever hope to thrive without Earth if it can’t even function without its morning cup of coffee? Fortunately, engineers have devised increasingly practical means of brewing and sipping coffee in space -- neither of which are easy feats in microgravity. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick for a consideration of space coffee. 

What began as a 1960s term for a retrofitted human space explorer has become a focal point for considerations of human and machine interaction, technological culture, biomechanics and feminist identity. Join Robert Lamb and Christian Sager as they set aside the brain/computer interfaces for a discussion of what it is to be a "cyborg" in 2016. (Originally published April 19, 2016)

Summer Reading 2018, Part 2

07/26/2018

53:00

It's a summer tradition! Once more, Stuff to Blow Your Mind devotes a summer episode to the discussion of fiction, non-fiction and children's books that the hosts read over the course of the last year. So listen in and maybe one of these books will accompany you on your next beach trip.

Summer Reading 2018, Part 1

07/24/2018

58:30

It's a summer tradition! Once more, Stuff to Blow Your Mind devotes a summer episode to the discussion of fiction, non-fiction and children's books that the hosts read over the course of the last year. So listen in and maybe one of these books will accompany you on your next beach trip.