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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.

How Does Anxiety Cause Underarm Sweat?

Anxiety can cause sweaty palms and armpits -- but why? And how can you combat it? Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff.
Thu, 18 Jan 2018 06:00:06 -0500

What Do (and Don't) We Know About the Pentagon's UFO Program?

Over the years, the U.S. government has funded several programs that investigate alleged UFO sightings.
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 23:38:40 -0500

How Green Is Your Favorite Superhero?

To draw attention to the average citizen's carbon footprint, a team of researchers calculated the eco-rating of a number of superheroes.
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:08:20 -0500

Why Doesn't Airline Food Taste Good?

If you've ever noticed that airplane food is a little lackluster, the recipe isn't necessarily to blame.
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:00:00 -0500

What Does Self-Defense Insurance Protect Gun Owners Against?

Several organizations now offer insurance policies to gun owners who may fire in self-defense, to help with legal decisions and fees.
Fri, 12 Jan 2018 16:04:37 -0500

Could You Legally Bury Someone in Your Backyard?

Home burials are largely a thing of the past, but they're perfectly legal in most states -- once you check a few boxes. Learn how home burials work in this episode of BrainStuff.
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 23:00:00 -0500

Can Bats Jam Each Other's Sonar?

Bats use sonar to find food in the dark -- but they've got a lot of competition from other bats. Learn about echolocation and how bats go on the offensive in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:36:07 -0500

What Tech Will Replace the Smartphone?

Although it's an integral part of many people's lives today, the smartphone is bound to be replaced by the next big thing.
Tue, 09 Jan 2018 16:28:14 -0500

Did the Genes for Light Skin Colors Evolve in Europe?

A widescale genetic survey has shown that despite common misconceptions, race really is only skin deep. Learn more in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 08 Jan 2018 16:52:37 -0500

How Much Can Ice Tell Us About Climate Change?

Ice cores from glaciers are like fossils of ancient Earth's weather patterns. Learn how a sample may hold an important history lesson.
Fri, 05 Jan 2018 10:52:39 -0500

Why Are Teens Cyberbullying Themselves?

A new study indicates that some teens bully themselves online, posting hateful messages from fake or anonymous accounts.
Thu, 04 Jan 2018 12:00:00 -0500

Could Some Microbes Live on Air Alone?

Researchers have found Antarctic microbes that appear to get all the nutrients they need from thin air.
Wed, 03 Jan 2018 17:02:20 -0500

How Similar Is the Opioid Epidemic to the Crack Epidemic?

The War on Drugs being waged against opioids is very different than the one that was fought against crack.
Tue, 02 Jan 2018 14:47:16 -0500

Why Are Resolutions So Easy to Break?

Most of us break our New Years resolutions — and researchers have found a few reasons why.
Mon, 01 Jan 2018 06:00:05 -0500

Should Amazon Be Considered a Monopoly?

Although it doesn’t fall into our traditional definition of a monopoly, some researchers argue that Amazon’s scope calls for a new definition.
Fri, 29 Dec 2017 06:00:05 -0500

Could This Newly Discovered Planet Harbor Life?

An Earth-sized planet only 11 light years away might have the right conditions to sustain life as we know it.
Thu, 28 Dec 2017 06:00:02 -0500

How Long Have We Been Keeping Dogs on Leashes?

A new find of very old artwork depicts dogs wearing leashes. Learn more about our history with man’s best friend in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 27 Dec 2017 06:00:03 -0500

How Much Cardboard Does Online Shipping Use?

Online shipping is highly convenient, and it’s changing the way we use cardboard — but not necessarily for the worse.
Tue, 26 Dec 2017 06:00:03 -0500

The Tale of the Christmas Truce

What was the Christmas Truce? Tune in to learn the story behind this small miracle from the Great War.
Mon, 25 Dec 2017 06:00:01 -0500

What Can a Cache of Pterosaur Eggs Teach Us?

A huge cache of ancient pterosaur eggs has been unearthed in China.
Fri, 22 Dec 2017 12:00:00 -0500

Could You Outrun a Volcano?

Outrunning a volcanic eruption, like many things that look easy in movies or sound simple in theory, is more complicated in reality.
Thu, 21 Dec 2017 12:31:52 -0500

Will Bitcoin Remain the Biggest Cryptocurrency?

Bitcoin's booming value has everyone excited, but some financial experts are putting their money on other cryptocurrencies.
Wed, 20 Dec 2017 17:06:00 -0500

Is There a Real Witches' Curse in Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'?

You may have heard that the Bard's tragedy 'Macbeth' is cursed. Learn how this superstition came about in this episode of BrainStuff.
Tue, 19 Dec 2017 13:34:07 -0500

There's Another Reason to Not Eat Raw Cookie Dough

Recent research has revealed another danger lurking in uncooked dough: tenacious E. coli can survive in dry flour.
Mon, 18 Dec 2017 17:06:04 -0500

Why Can't Some People Sleep Without a Fan?

Some people find it impossible to sleep without background noise, like a fan whirring. Researchers have identified the possible culprit.
Fri, 15 Dec 2017 06:00:00 -0500

Why Do People Get Adult-Onset Food Allergies?

New research indicates that adult-onset food allergies are more common than previously thought. But why do they happen? Learn more on BrainStuff.
Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:00:06 -0500

Do We Need to Redefine the Four Seasons?

As climate change affects the planet's weather patterns, some parts of the world will see the seasons bleed together.
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:42:14 -0500

Did Giant Crabs Eat Amelia Earhart?

No, really, it's a serious question. In this episode, learn why -- and how -- researchers have investigated giant land crabs' potential role in the famous pilot's ultimate demise.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:57:53 -0500

How Much Does Getting Stuck in Traffic Cost Us?

When you add up all the wasted time and gasoline, traffic hotspots cost drivers billions of dollars. Learn how researchers are using technology to measure the problem -- and hopefully make it better.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:40:20 -0500

How Fast Can We Take a Picture of the Entire Sky?

A new robotic camera is set to change what we know about outer space by capturing huge images of the night sky. Learn more on BrainStuff.
Fri, 08 Dec 2017 06:00:06 -0500

Why Do We Find Symmetry So Pleasing?

What is it about the arrangement of petals on a flower or a perfectly symmetrical display of soup cans that catches our eye? Our brains seem wired for it, but why?
Thu, 07 Dec 2017 06:00:04 -0500

How Does Salt Prevent Food Spoilage?

Salt has kept entire civilizations alive thanks to its abilities to preserve food and protect it from harmful germs. But how?
Wed, 06 Dec 2017 06:00:04 -0500

Do Monkeys Have Superstitions?

We share a lot in common with monkeys, but are they just as superstitious? And could the belief in winning streaks carry an evolutionary advantage?
Tue, 05 Dec 2017 06:00:04 -0500

What Is (and Isn't) Terrorism?

When is -- and isn't -- a crime considered terrorism? The legal, political and moral definitions are often at odds. We explore why on BrainStuff.
Mon, 04 Dec 2017 06:00:03 -0500

Why Are Leaf Blowers So Irritating?

If the sound of leaf blowers makes you angry, you're not alone -- and there's science behind why.
Fri, 01 Dec 2017 06:00:04 -0500

Pretending To Be Batman Helps Kids Focus

The Batman Effect, as researchers have dubbed it, allows kids to separate themselves from temptation and stay on task. Learn more on BrainStuff.
Thu, 30 Nov 2017 06:00:03 -0500

Tips For Staying Safe In A Mass Shooting

We don't expect to ever be in a mass shooting, but assuming the worst can happen is the first step to being prepared. Find out more on BrainStuff.
Wed, 29 Nov 2017 06:00:04 -0500

Second Breakfasts Can Be Good For You

A second breakfast can be just as beneficial as a first breakfast. Find out why on BrainStuff.
Tue, 28 Nov 2017 06:00:03 -0500

Jellyfish Are Brainless, But Still Sleepy

Do jellyfish sleep? Learn more about a new study on the need for sleep in animals, and in jellyfish, in this BrainStuff episode.
Mon, 27 Nov 2017 06:00:03 -0500

What's a Bump Fire Stock Do To A Gun?

Bump fire stocks enable a shooter like Las Vegas killer Steven Paddock to fire a semi-automatic rifle at nearly the rate of an automatic. How do they work?
Fri, 24 Nov 2017 06:00:03 -0500

The Origins of Boston and New York’s Accents

What does Boston have against the letter 'R'? BrainStuff digs into the origins of 2 American accents.
Thu, 23 Nov 2017 06:00:03 -0500

Can You Pass A Drug Test With Someone Else's Urine?

Have you ever tried to beat a drug test? OR Labs are usually able to bust people using someone else's urine.
Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0500

How Do Squirrels Organize Their Nuts?

A new study suggests squirrels use memory strategies to remember where they put the good nuts. Find out more on BrainStuff.
Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0500

The Number Zero Might Be Older Than We Thought

A new analysis of the ancient Indian Bakhshali manuscript suggests the numerical symbol zero, as we use it today, may be centuries older than previously believed.
Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0500

Albums Aren't Dead

Do you buy vinyl records? OR Do you still listen to music albums? In which format? Find out how vinyl and streaming complement each other.
Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0500

Great Archaic Ways To Insult Someone

Kim Jong-un called Donald Trump a dotard. Here are some equally entertaining out-of-date options the 45th president could've thrown back in his face.
Wed, 15 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0500

Wolves Are Smarter Than Dogs?

A new study put dogs and wolves head to head in the intelligence department. Guess which species won? Find out on BrainStuff.
Wed, 15 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0500

What can we learn about ourselves from epic space missions?

Now that Cassini has met its end by plunging into Saturn, it's time to reflect on what we've learned over the decades.
Tue, 14 Nov 2017 13:00:00 -0500

Less people are killed by lightning every year

In the 1940s and '50s, lightning strikes killed hundreds of Americans each year. Now, that number's dropped to only a few dozen. What's changed?
Mon, 13 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0500

Why Do Balloons Stick To Our Hair?

It's a hair-raising experience. BrainStuff explains the secrets of static electricity.
Fri, 10 Nov 2017 10:30:00 -0500

Neanderthals Used Glue

Neanderthals distilled tar more than 100,000 years before modern humans created glue; archaeologists compared three potential ways this ancient tech was used.
Thu, 09 Nov 2017 08:00:00 -0500

Getting a Doctorate Can Affect Your Mental Health

A new study shows doctoral programs can incite some serious psychiatric problems. Learn how getting a Ph.D. affects mental health on BrainStuff.
Wed, 08 Nov 2017 11:00:00 -0500

Why is the Caspian Sea Evaporating?

The largest lake in the world is gradually shrinking thanks to a changing climate, and beach towns could become landlocked.
Wed, 01 Nov 2017 08:00:00 -0400

There Was a Brutal Prehistoric "Hell Ant"

Instead of a mouth, the hell ant had blades and a metal horn. Learn more about this prehistoric creature on BrainStuff.
Tue, 31 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

Which Computer Keys Wear Out First?

As casual computer users shift to touchscreens, wear patterns on computer keyboards have evolved, affecting suppliers of replacement letters.
Tue, 31 Oct 2017 08:00:00 -0400

Ruined City Under Tunisia's Waters

Archaeologists discovered what they believe to be ruins of the Roman city of Neapolis — underwater near Tunisia. Find out more on BrainStuff.
Mon, 30 Oct 2017 12:07:00 -0400

What Do Hurricane Categories Mean?

Hurricanes are the strongest storms on the planet. Learn more about how we categorize them from BrainStuff.
Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:00:00 -0400

Why Is a Brain-Shaped Blob In Canada?

The magnificent bryozoan is a colonial organism that lives in warm ponds and lakes usually east of the Mississippi River. So what's it doing in western Canada?
Fri, 27 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

What's the Best Way To Park?

Do people who back their cars into parking spaces slow down the flow? Or are they the smartest in the lot?
Fri, 27 Oct 2017 11:20:00 -0400

Orange Peels Can Revive Landscapes

Decades after a company dumped truckloads of orange peels onto a degraded plot of land, the pasture is flourishing. Learn more on BrainStuff.
Thu, 26 Oct 2017 12:45:00 -0400

Voyager 1 is Traveling Through Interstellar Space

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is celebrating its 40th year in space this year. Learn more about its journey on this episode of BrainStuff.
Thu, 26 Oct 2017 11:00:00 -0400

How Do Researchers Preserve Smells?

Scents affect how we experience different culures and places, and researchers believe they have historical value. So, how are we preserving them?
Wed, 25 Oct 2017 11:00:00 -0400

How Did Plesiosaurs Use Their Flippers to Swim?

A recent study suggests that these aquatic reptiles used all of their flippers to move efficiently underwater.
Tue, 24 Oct 2017 16:35:00 -0400

The Mysteries Behind Abandoned Ships

Have you ever heard about ships that wash up on shores under strange circumstances and without a crew? Learn about abandoned ships on this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 23 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

Floating Fire Ant Rafts Are Both Dangerous and Cool

Learn about the dangers of floating fire ant colony rafts on this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

Why Did The T. Rex Have Tiny Little Arms?

Tyrannosaurus rex was a giant predator that roamed the earth, so why did it have such tiny arms?
Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

Is Not Having A Job Better Than A Bad Job?

Unemployment has negative health effects, but having a bad job can cause stress that's detrimental to well-being. Learn more in this episode.
Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:57:59 -0400

Do We Need Treatment Centers For Internet Addiction?

Internet addiction is classified as an epidemic in some Asian countries, but not in the U.S. This episode of BrainStuff looks at internet addiction treatment centers.
Tue, 17 Oct 2017 12:00:00 -0400

How Did a Dinosaur Killing Asteroid Change The Environment?

A new model describes in more detail how the Chicxulub asteroid affected our planet, from dropping temperatures to pausing photosynthesis, with soot playing an integral part.
Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:05:08 -0400

When Can You Use The Emergency Lane?

That driver who uses the highway shoulder in bad traffic could face penalties. Learn when driving in the emergency lane is legal in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 11:10:00 -0400

Do People Walk In Predictable Paths?

What guides the direction a person chooses to move? Learn about what habit and handedness have to do with it in this BrainStuff episode.
Thu, 12 Oct 2017 10:20:58 -0400

How 'Fido' Became The Name For A Dog

Why is Fido shorthand for a friendly dog? Learn more about the origins of the dog name Fido in this BrainStuff episode.
Wed, 11 Oct 2017 08:40:00 -0400

How Did The Grandfather Clock Get Its Name?

In this episode, we’ll look at the history behind how the grandfather clock got its name — and it's probably not what you expect.
Tue, 10 Oct 2017 10:32:15 -0400

When is it Safe to Eat Raw Oysters?

In this episode, BrainStuff looks at if there's any truth behind the old wives' tale that you can't eat oysters in months without the letter 'R.'
Mon, 09 Oct 2017 14:51:35 -0400

How Gut Bacteria Could Become Your Next Sports Drink

Do microbes inside our body have their own circadian rhythms? Learn more about the gut microbiome and circadian rhythms in this episode.
Wed, 04 Oct 2017 12:11:19 -0400

Einstein's Right Again

Astronomers have detected hints of Einstein's general relativity in the Milky Way's supermassive black hole.
Mon, 02 Oct 2017 12:51:51 -0400

Defining Personal Space

How close is too close? In this episode, BrainStuff looks at personal space around the world.
Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:25:11 -0400

Swift Lizard Evolution

Over the course of one frigid winter, green anole lizards in Texas changed up their genetic makeup to help them better tolerate cold.
Mon, 25 Sep 2017 12:00:01 -0400

Should You Eat A 106-Year-Old Fruitcake?

What relics of South Pole expeditions have turned up? Learn more about Robert Falcon Scott's Antarctic fruitcake in this BrainStuff episode.
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:47:59 -0400

Why Goldfish Make Their Own Alcohol

How do goldfish survive in icy lakes and your poorly cleaned aquarium? Learn more about goldfish and alcohol on this episode.
Mon, 18 Sep 2017 17:04:34 -0400

Separating Ninja Facts From Ninja Fiction

A new ninja research center opened in Japan. This episode looks at the myth of the ninja and what the research center hopes to solve and study.
Wed, 13 Sep 2017 14:38:12 -0400

Can NASA Hit An Asteroid with a DART?

In 2022, NASA is planning on ramming a spacecraft into an asteroid to knock it off course. Learn more about the DART mission on this episode.
Mon, 11 Sep 2017 14:00:03 -0400

Millennials Buy Homes For Their Dogs

Millennials are buying real estate, but not for reasons you'd expect. A third of them say they bought their house for their dog.
Wed, 06 Sep 2017 14:51:59 -0400

How Many People Take and Misuse Prescription Opioids?

For the first time in our history, more adults are dying from overdoses than from car accidents or gun violence. New statistics shine a light on the reasons behind the tragic trend.
Mon, 04 Sep 2017 20:05:22 -0400

Why Is Friday the 13th Considered Unlucky?

In countries like the United States, people have a superstitious fear of one particular date: Friday the 13th. But why? In this episode, Christian discusses the two main fears that have fueled the Friday the 13th superstitions, as well as their origins.
Wed, 30 Aug 2017 16:12:42 -0400

Why Do We Have Eyebrows?

Eyebrows are prominent human features, but what purpose do they serve? Scientists think they help keep stuff out of our eyes and aid in nonverbal communication, among other things.
Mon, 28 Aug 2017 14:12:45 -0400

Why Can't We Breathe Underwater?

Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, so why aren't we able to breathe underwater?
Wed, 23 Aug 2017 16:59:19 -0400

Is Chocolate Poisonous To Dogs?

Under the right conditions, chocolate can indeed be deadly for dogs. Tune in to learn more about the compound in chocolate that makes it dangerous for dogs (and how much is too much) in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:30:03 -0400

Why Are There 60 Minutes In An Hour Instead of 100?

Do clocks really follow a system inherited from ancient Sumeria?
Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:33:46 -0400

Why is Dry Ice Dangerous?

Dry ice is different from regular ice in several ways. Find out what makes dry ice so unique, along with why it can be dangerous, on this week's episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 14 Aug 2017 16:00:04 -0400

Is Dry Cleaning Actually Wet?

Spoiler Alert: No, dry cleaning isn't dry. Instead, it uses a petroleum solvent in place of water. Learn more about dry cleaning in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 09 Aug 2017 14:50:24 -0400

Why Is It Painful To Bite Aluminum Foil?

When (dental) metal in your mouth comes in contact with aluminum foil, your teeth get a painful shock from the electricity produced. Christian Sager explains how the voltaic effect plays out in your mouth in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 07 Aug 2017 17:00:03 -0400

Are Some People Immune To Mosquitoes?

Ugh. Mosquitoes, right? They’re the worst. They pester everyone… or do they? Tune in to learn more.
Wed, 02 Aug 2017 13:47:11 -0400

What are Sea Monkeys?

Sea Monkeys are a type of brine shrimp. These shrimp create remarkably resilient eggs called cysts. Check out this BrainStuff episode and learn more about the secret behind Sea Monkeys.
Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:49:52 -0400

What's the Best Place To Sit In A Movie Theater?

When it comes to where you should sit in a movie theater to get the best experience, it's mostly a matter of preference. Except when it comes to sound. Find out why -- and where you should sit -- in this episode.
Wed, 26 Jul 2017 14:00:02 -0400

What is the Birthday Paradox?

The so-called Birthday Paradox isn't a true paradox -- it's a fascinating example of how bad humans are at off-the-cuff probability. Tune in to learn what the Birthday Paradox is and how it works.
Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:15:02 -0400

How Fuel Efficient Is An Airplane?

How much fuel does a 747 need to complete an international flight? How efficient are these aircraft? Join Christian as he asks how much fuel an international flight actually uses.
Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:38:08 -0400

Why Are You Farting?

Sure, flatulence is embarrassing. But why do we do it?
Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:47:13 -0400

Where Do Bullets Go When Fired Into The Air?

When people fire guns into the air in a celebratory manner, those bullets have to go somewhere. Find out how high fired bullets can go -- and why they can be dangerous -- in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 12 Jul 2017 14:49:00 -0400

Can Water Go Bad?

Many people store water for emergencies -- but is it true that water sitting for too long will go bad? Listen in as Christian explains it for you.
Mon, 10 Jul 2017 16:36:32 -0400

Why Do People Talk Weird in Old Movies?

It’s not quite British, and it’s not quite American – so what gives? Why do all those actors of yesteryear have such a distinct and strange accent?
Wed, 05 Jul 2017 16:00:02 -0400

Why is Blood Red?

Blood is always red... even when it's inside your body.
Mon, 03 Jul 2017 09:00:04 -0400

How Does Anxiety Work?

Anxiety is a normal, healthy response for the human body. But when it interferes with daily life it can become a disorder. We investigate anxiety's symptoms and biochemistry to learn how it can become irrational... and how you treat it.
Wed, 28 Jun 2017 16:31:42 -0400

Can Animals Predict Natural Disasters?

Do animals have a sixth sense that can detect earthquakes and tsunamis? Or do they just make better use of their other senses than humans?
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 17:00:01 -0400

Why Don't All Skeletons Become Fossils?

Skeletons of ancient animals sometimes become fossilized. But if this happened to every animal that ever lived, wouldn’t we be swimming in a sea of fossils right now? BrainStuff explains why only a fraction of animal bones turn into fossils.
Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:37:28 -0400

Does TV Resolution Matter?

You’ve heard all the hype about high-definition TV, ultra-high definition and more. But does this mad race to jam more pixels on a screen actually matter? Tune in to learn more about the human eye and digital resolution.
Mon, 19 Jun 2017 18:00:01 -0400

What's The Most Expensive Book In The World?

Sometimes super-wealthy people like to spend millions on a single book. Which one cost the most? Hint: It’s about water and it's written backwards.
Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:56:07 -0400

How Will You Most Likely Die?

Death is the most mysterious and inevitable part of the human experience. But how will we go? Christian takes a closer look at the most common causes of death across the globe.
Mon, 12 Jun 2017 13:18:54 -0400

Did the Brontosaurus Exist?

The Brontosaurus technically hasn't existed in the living/breathing sense of the word for 150 million years. But did it ever exist? Was this iconic dinosaur the result of misclassification?
Wed, 07 Jun 2017 20:04:58 -0400

Why is Bird Poop White?

Bird poop: It’s the bane of cars, statues, awnings and occasional hapless pedestrians across the world. But what is this stuff anyway? Why does it look so unnatural? Why is it white?
Mon, 05 Jun 2017 17:20:02 -0400

Can Your Eyes Pop Out Of Your Head When You Sneeze?

You’ve heard that if you can keep your eyes open during a sneeze, you’ll be rewarded with the sensation of both eyeballs popping out of their sockets. Is that true?
Wed, 31 May 2017 16:09:00 -0400

How Crowds Can Kill You

People mean well, but in high-density situations we begin to risk our safety. Learn how a crowd can turn into a deadly disaster.
Mon, 29 May 2017 07:08:23 -0400

How Does Agoraphobia Work?

Agoraphobia is a complicated and difficult psychological condition that is easily misunderstood. Learn about life with agoraphobia in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 24 May 2017 12:11:58 -0400

How Do Fire Extinguishers Work?

Fire extinguishers are nearly ubiquitous, and they can be an invaluable, life-saving device. But what’s inside those little red cylinders, and how does it stop a fire?
Mon, 22 May 2017 18:22:41 -0400

Do Juice Cleanses Work?

Juice cleanses are all the rage. But do they actually provide any health benefits? Christian explains.
Wed, 17 May 2017 03:00:00 -0400

What Is The Dwarf Planet Ceres?

What Is The Dwarf Planet Ceres?
Mon, 15 May 2017 03:00:00 -0400

Why Does Coffee Make You Have To Poop?

Christian explains why coffee makes many people have to go to the bathroom.
Wed, 10 May 2017 03:00:00 -0400

How Does The Placebo Effect Work?

A placebo is a phony drug used to test the efficacy of real drugs in clinical trials… but here’s the weird part. Sometimes, placebos can make patients better. How? Why?
Mon, 08 May 2017 03:00:00 -0400

How Do Antiperspirants Work?

Every day, millions of people safeguard themselves against excessive sweat with a quick roll of antiperspirant. But what does this stuff do, exactly?
Wed, 03 May 2017 03:00:00 -0400

Can You Reach The End of a Rainbow?

The end of the rainbow may be the best place to raid a leprechaun stash, but it proves a strangely difficult destination to reach. Christian explains why you can’t get there, and why there really isn’t even a a “there” there.
Mon, 01 May 2017 03:00:00 -0400

Why Are Some People Afraid of Clowns?

Clowns are usually brightly-colored, goofy, raucous characters designed to be the life of any party. However, it’s no secret that they’re not universally adored. In fact, some people find clowns downright frightening. But why?
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 03:00:00 -0400

Is a "Dog Year" Really 7 Years?

You may have heard that dogs age differently than humans. But is it true? Get the facts on your pooch without having that ever-awkward “so… how old are you really?” conversation.
Mon, 24 Apr 2017 03:00:00 -0400

How Does Jet Lag Work?

Yeah, your sleeping pattern gets screwy when you fly to different time zones. But what are the symptoms of jet lag? What causes it? And how can you remedy it?
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 03:00:00 -0400

Why Does The Shower Get Hot When The Toilet Is Flushed?

Were you burned the last time someone flushed the toilet while you were showering? It's a simple plumbing fix.
Mon, 17 Apr 2017 03:00:00 -0400

How Do You Find Water In The Wild?

In case you ever get stranded in the wild without an obvious source of fresh water, here are a few things you can do to collect some.
Wed, 12 Apr 2017 03:00:00 -0400

What Are Eye Boogers?

The gunk builds up at the inner corners of our eyes is residue of the stuff the coats and protects our eyeballs all the time. Learn what it’s made of and why it turns to sand overnight.
Mon, 10 Apr 2017 03:00:00 -0400

Why Do We Get Morning Breath?

Every morning we wake up with bad breath. What does bacteria and a lack of saliva have to do with it?
Wed, 05 Apr 2017 03:00:00 -0400

Do Animals Laugh?

It’s no secret that some animal species are highly intelligent – but do they also “get” jokes? Can they laugh? Are laughter and intelligence even related?
Mon, 03 Apr 2017 03:00:00 -0400

How Much Does It Cost To Run For President?

There’s a big difference between running for President and actually winning the election. So how much money will you need to have a decent shot at being Commander-in-Chief?
Wed, 29 Mar 2017 03:00:00 -0400

Can I See the Stuff Astronauts Left On the Moon?

Astronauts left over a hundred items on the moon's surface. But are today's telescopes powerful enough to see what's there?
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 03:00:00 -0400

What Would Space Do To The Human Body?

Space without a suit? You’ll probably die from the lack of pressure in a vacuum. But other extreme hazards won’t help either.
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 03:00:00 -0400

Does "Power Dressing" Actually Work?

Dressing up to feel powerful may have been a fashion fad of the 1980s, but do we still think differently if we wear formal clothes?
Mon, 20 Mar 2017 03:00:00 -0400

How Dirty Is Soap?

It’s good hygiene to wash your hands after touching shared bathroom surfaces. But bars of soap are a shared surface. Does soap really help get you clean?
Wed, 15 Mar 2017 03:00:00 -0400

How Does Hair Dye Work?

Some hair dyes are basically fine-grained paint. But dyes that stick with you for more than a couple weeks physically and chemically change each hair. Learn how with Christian Sager.
Mon, 13 Mar 2017 03:00:00 -0400

How Do Tattoo Machines Work?

Tattoo machines (sometimes called guns) haven’t changed much since the 1890s because they’re such elegant devices. Tune in to learn how the most common types work.
Wed, 08 Mar 2017 03:00:00 -0500

Could Alien Life Exist?

What makes a planet ideal for sustaining life?
Mon, 06 Mar 2017 03:00:00 -0500

Does the Human Body Really Replace Itself Every 7 Years?

The short answer is “no.” Tune in to learn how long it really takes, plus how nuclear weapons led scientists to the solution.
Wed, 01 Mar 2017 03:00:00 -0500

Are Plants Conscious?

Scientists have found evidence that plants have senses, memories, and can even communicate with each other. But does this mean they're conscious?
Mon, 27 Feb 2017 03:00:00 -0500

Why Are There So Many Different Kinds of Milk?

Christian explains the difference between common types of milk, looking at calories, fat and the rest of their composition.
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 03:00:00 -0500

What Happens When You Get Ringing In Your Ears?

Tinnitus is what makes your ears ring after a loud noise. And it's really annoying.
Mon, 20 Feb 2017 03:00:00 -0500

Why Do We Get Brain Freeze?

We all know what an ice cream headache feels like. Christian's here to explain why they happen. It involves temperature (duh), nerves and lots of blood.
Wed, 15 Feb 2017 03:00:00 -0500

What is Synesthesia?

It’s true – some people hear colors, or taste words. But what produces synesthesia?
Mon, 13 Feb 2017 03:00:00 -0500

Why Is It So Difficult To Chug A Gallon of Milk?

It's one of the strangest - and potentially grossest - challenges out there. But what happens when you drink milk? Why does it make you throw up?
Wed, 08 Feb 2017 03:00:00 -0500

How Does Vocal Fry Work?

You’ve probably heard people complaining about vocal fry, and you’ve certainly heard it used in conversation, but what causes it? Christian explains the science of fry and creak in this episode of BrainStuff.
Tue, 07 Feb 2017 03:00:00 -0500

How Does Aspirin Work?

How does aspirin target your pain? The plants that aspirin were derived from have been used as medicine for about 6000 years, we finally discovered how it works in 1971, and Christian explains it to you now.
Wed, 01 Feb 2017 03:00:00 -0500

How Long Would It Take To Walk Around The World?

Christian explains what goes into calculating how long it would take to traverse the globe on foot, and tells us about some intrepid explorers who've tried to do it.
Mon, 30 Jan 2017 03:00:00 -0500

How Does Déjà vu Work?

Ever gotten the strange feeling that you’re repeating an experience? Researchers have over 40 theories about what’s going on in the brain during déjà vu, and Christian is here to explain the most popular ones.
Wed, 25 Jan 2017 03:00:00 -0500

How Does Crooke's Radiometer Work?

Christian explains the science behind this seemingly magical gizmo.
Mon, 23 Jan 2017 03:00:00 -0500

What the Heck is GDP?

GDP, GNP – what does it all mean? Jonathan explains what economists mean when they bring up these common economic indicators.
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 03:00:00 -0500

What Determines Your Hair Color?

There's a lot of natural variation in the color of human hair. What's the physical explanation for the difference?
Mon, 16 Jan 2017 03:00:00 -0500

Why Is Bacon Considered A Breakfast Food?

Sure, everyone knows that bacon and eggs are a traditional breakfast - but why? Listen in to learn how Freud's nephew invented PR and changed the way America eats breakfast.
Wed, 11 Jan 2017 03:00:00 -0500

What Are Brain Orgasms And ASMR Whisperers?

Christian delves into the euphoric sensations of the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) and reveals what triggers it and how science has responded so far.
Mon, 09 Jan 2017 03:00:00 -0500

The Way We Think About Sugar Is Going To Change

The FDA recently changed their Nutrition Facts label to include added sugars. But why?
Thu, 05 Jan 2017 03:00:00 -0500

How Do Erasers Erase?

Erasers lift our mistakes right off the page, but it's not magic - it's the microscopic physics of stickiness.
Mon, 02 Jan 2017 03:00:00 -0500

Why Do Some People Faint At The Sight of Blood?

Christian explains the science of why people faint at the sight of blood.
Wed, 28 Dec 2016 03:00:00 -0500

Do Crosswalk and "Close Door" Buttons Really Do Anything?

Are the buttons we push to cross streets, close elevator doors, and nudge the office thermostat really connected to anything? Some aren’t! Learn how these placebo buttons (don’t) work.
Mon, 26 Dec 2016 03:00:00 -0500

How Is An Autopsy Performed?

When you need someone to exam a corpse to determine a cause of death, how do they conduct the autopsy?
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 03:00:00 -0500

Why Do Helicopter Blades Look Weird On Video?

Helicopter blades and other fast spinning objects often produce strange effects on camera. Christian explains why.
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 03:00:00 -0500

What Is American Cheese Really Made Of?

Processed American cheese is super cheap, consistent, shelf-stable, and orange. Christian explains how this science cheese is made.
Wed, 14 Dec 2016 03:00:00 -0500

Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads?

Is this adorable behavior rooted in sensory necessity or purposeful gesticulation? We explore what may be the cutest research ever.
Mon, 12 Dec 2016 03:00:00 -0500

Why Do So Many Price Tags End in .99?

It’s very common to see the number 9 at the right end of a price tag. Why is this? Christian explains the psychology of prices and nines in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 03:00:00 -0500

Why Do Movie Theaters Sell Popcorn?

For millions of moviegoers, the idea of visiting the local theater automatically conjures memories of popcorn. But this wasn’t always the case – so why, out of all snacks, did popcorn become the #1 snack for film?
Mon, 05 Dec 2016 03:00:00 -0500

How Does Lucid Dreaming Work?

Science has proven that we can be aware of our dreams while we’re in them. But can we control our dreams? Christian breaks it to you gently.
Wed, 30 Nov 2016 03:00:00 -0500

What Is Satanism?

Just the term satanism is controversial. But what's actually going on with this counter-culture religion that values individualism and nonconformity?
Mon, 28 Nov 2016 03:00:00 -0500

Why Do We Itch?

Virtually everyone has experienced an itch at one time or another – but what is an itch exactly? What causes it, and why can having one be such a maddening experience?
Wed, 23 Nov 2016 03:00:00 -0500

How Do Microwave Ovens Work?

They’re convenient, ubiquitous and easy to use. But how do these things work, exactly? What do people mean when they say a microwave cooks food inside out?
Mon, 21 Nov 2016 03:00:00 -0500

Why Do Dogs Yawn?

Dogs communicate by yawning, and it's complex to figure out what they might mean.
Wed, 16 Nov 2016 03:00:00 -0500

Is WiFi Safe?

You've probably heard that wireless internet (WiFi) is dangerous. But is it true? Christian breaks it down.
Mon, 14 Nov 2016 03:00:00 -0500

What's the ideal temperature for your refrigerator?

In this episode, Christian explains how bacteria spoils food and what temperature your refrigerator should be to slow their progress.
Wed, 09 Nov 2016 03:00:00 -0500

Why do some noises drive me crazy?

Do you want to strangle people for chewing gum? Does the crinkle of plastic fill you with inarticulate, homicidal fury? If so, you may suffer from the little-understood condition called 'misophonia'.
Mon, 07 Nov 2016 03:00:00 -0500

How do one-way mirrors work?

How can a single piece of glass look like a mirror from one side but a window from the other? It's not magic, it's materials technology.
Wed, 02 Nov 2016 03:00:00 -0400

Will Soda Really Ruin My Teeth?

If your teeth are one of the hardest parts of your body, then how could soda damage them? Tune in to learn more.
Mon, 31 Oct 2016 14:13:17 -0400

Why Do Fluorescent Lights Make That Buzzing Noise?

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Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:01:00 -0400

Are Stupid People More Confident?

We've all heard about the supposed relationship between confidence and knowledge - but is it true? Two researchers think they've found the answer.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:40:32 -0400

How Does Saliva Work?

Your saliva makes things taste great while killing bacteria and helping digestion.
Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:00:06 -0400

What Causes Red Eye In Photos?

How can a camera's flash make your eyes glow red? Tune in to learn how it works -- and how to prevent it.
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 10:54:18 -0400

Why Do Men Have Deeper Voices?

Christian explains why male humans' voices generally get lower than female humans' during puberty.
Wed, 12 Oct 2016 13:52:48 -0400

Why Are Honey Bees Disappearing?

Honey bees are vanishing? But why?
Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:23:32 -0400

How Do TV Ratings Work?

The future of your favorite TV shows hinges on their ratings – but what is a rating, and where does it come from?
Wed, 05 Oct 2016 13:00:16 -0400

How Do Car Horns Work?

The next time you honk your car horn at that jerk who cut you off, you’ll understand how it uses physics to get the job done.
Mon, 03 Oct 2016 16:33:34 -0400

What is Russia's "Dead Hand?"

We’ve all seen movies with supervillains building catastrophic Doomsday devices – but has anyone ever built a real one? Join Christian to learn how the Cold War led to the most dangerous nuclear system in history: Russia’s legendary – and terrifying – Dead Hand.
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:23:56 -0400

What Causes the Northern Lights?

There are many misconceptions about what causes the Aurora Borealis when it really requires solar winds, magnetic fields and excited atmospheric gases.
Mon, 26 Sep 2016 13:43:38 -0400

What Is White Noise?

Christian defines what white noise actually is and how it's used to mask other annoying sounds.
Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:25:55 -0400

Do Supplemental Vitamins Actually Work?

A vitamin a day keeps you healthy to play. Or does it?
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 11:13:09 -0400

How Does Night Vision Work?

For the vast majority of international travelers, a passport is a necessity. But why?
Wed, 14 Sep 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Why Do I Need A Passport To Travel?

For the vast majority of international travelers, a passport is a necessity. But why?
Mon, 12 Sep 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How Do Bed Bugs Work?

These insects live in your bedroom, drink your blood and stain your sheets. How do you get rid of them?
Wed, 07 Sep 2016 09:00:00 -0400

What If The Moon Disappeared?

Without the moon, how would Earth's environment be affected? Would we survive?
Mon, 05 Sep 2016 18:26:54 -0400

What is "Ranch" Flavor?

A plumber in Alaska invented a bizarre condiment that launched a multimillion dollar industry, and today ranch is the most popular salad dressing in the US. But what exactly is this stuff?
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

What Is Fracking?

You’ve heard of fracking, and you’re pretty sure lots of people don’t like it, but do you know how it actually works?
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 12:09:00 -0400

The Science of Glow Sticks

What do fireflies, TVs, neon signs, and glowsticks have in common?
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:55:10 -0400

Does Your Name Determine Your Future?

How much does your name actually matter? Are some names going to make you rich, while others make you poor?
Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:51:53 -0400

What Happens When I Have A Hangover?

If you've ever had a few too many beers at a party, then you've probably encountered the symptoms of a hangover -- the pulsing headache, dry mouth, nausea and more. But what's actually happening to you? And what is it about alcohol that can turn a wonderful Saturday night into an agonizing Sunday morning?
Wed, 17 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How Do Laugh Tracks Work?

Sitcoms use laugh tracks all the time. But where do they come from?
Mon, 15 Aug 2016 12:57:00 -0400

Why Do You Hate the Sound of Your Own Voice?

The recorded sound of your voice usually makes you cringe because of two ways vibrations reach your ear.
Wed, 10 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How Does Air Force One Work?

When the President travels the friendly skies, he does it in style.
Mon, 08 Aug 2016 12:05:32 -0400

How Does Marijuana Affect Your Memory?

People who smoke pot have a reputation for being forgetful or absentminded. But what's the real science behind this?
Wed, 03 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How Do We Know What Dinosaurs Looked Like?

Can we really reconstruct a dinosaur’s appearance from a bunch of million-year-old fossils? How?
Mon, 01 Aug 2016 11:51:12 -0400

Does Eating Before Bed Give You Nightmares?

Why do some foods affect our dreams?
Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:21:43 -0400

Why Do Men Have Nipples?

Men don’t usually lactate – but they can! Christian explores how breast tissue develops in human embryos of both sexes, and explains why mice are more advanced, evolution-wise.
Mon, 25 Jul 2016 11:06:00 -0400

Why Does Gasoline Smell So Good?

Some people sense a sweet, euphoric odor when pumping gas into their car. Why is that? And is it hazardous?
Wed, 20 Jul 2016 13:21:27 -0400

What Is The Oldest Living Thing?

From eldritch aspen colonies to immortal jellyfish, the world is lousy with long-lived organisms. But what’s the oldest?
Mon, 18 Jul 2016 12:25:03 -0400

Why Do We Sleep?

Sleeping is frustrating for many of us. So why do we have to do it? Christian reviews several possibilities and reveals all the bad things that can happen if you sleep too much... or not at all.
Wed, 13 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How Does Captain America's Shield Work?

Let's take a look at the fictional history of Captain America's indestructible shield and try to figure out how it might have been forged and how aerodynamic it could be.
Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How Does Sleepwalking Work?

Have you ever walked in your sleep? Somnambulism isn't as rare as you might think. Join Christian as he explores the facts and fiction about sleepwalking, from its many possible causes to whether you can safely wake up a somnambulist mid-stroll.
Wed, 06 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Why Shouldn't I Rob A Bank?

Robbing a bank is a dumb idea. And not just because it's illegal.
Mon, 04 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Can Absinthe Make You Hallucinate?

Absinthe has a dangerous reputation. But will you really meet The Green Fairy if you drink it?
Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Why Don't Humans Have Tails?

Whether they’re swatting away horseflies or helping a monkey swing through the forest, tails are a pretty amazing adaptation. So why don’t humans have them?
Mon, 27 Jun 2016 12:58:57 -0400

Where Is The Biggest Garbage Dump On Earth?

Even though 80% of trash starts on land, tons of it ends up in the ocean, swirling around in a massive patch of plastic debris.
Wed, 22 Jun 2016 10:15:05 -0400

Do You Really Need To Wash Your Jeans?

You might have heard this odd advice from fashion gurus before – “don’t wash your jeans!” But why? Is it real advice, or just a prank pulled on unsuspecting, dim-witted denim rubes?
Mon, 20 Jun 2016 09:57:26 -0400

Why Do People Go Bald?

For most men, losing your hair is an inevitable side effect of aging. Christian describes the growth cycle of hair, types of baldness that affect men and women, and how most ladies feel about bald dudes.
Wed, 15 Jun 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Are Humans Still Evolving?

We may not have mutant powers like the X-Men, but natural selection is still changing humanity… for the better.
Mon, 13 Jun 2016 10:16:16 -0400

Why Can't You Tickle Yourself?

It’s almost impossible to trick your brain so you can tickle yourself. Unless you're schizophrenic…
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Are Pop Rocks Dangeorus?

Did Pop Rocks really blow the door off of a delivery van? Has anyone ever died from eating these popping bits of sugar? The answers might surprise you. Join Christian as he looks into the truth behind the rumors surrounding the uniquely (and surprisingly loud) candy called Pop Rocks.
Mon, 06 Jun 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Does Hypnosis Actually Work?

We see hypnosis in movies and TV all the time – after a few swings of a watch, some poor sap starts clucking like a chicken or crying like a baby – but is there any truth to this? Can you actually hypnotize someone?
Wed, 01 Jun 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Why Do We Get Bags Under Our Eyes?

We all get bags under our eyes that make us look tired. Here's how it inevitably happens and some remedies to look your best.​
Mon, 30 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How Does Radiation Sickness Work?

Christian explains the science behind the healthy green glow.
Wed, 25 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Is There A Noise Loud Enough To Kill You?

Loud noises suck. But are they deadly?​
Mon, 23 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How Does LASIK Work?

Christian explains the process and risks of LASIK surgery, from preoperative exams, to lasers in your eyes.
Wed, 18 May 2016 09:48:59 -0400

How Can Hot Water Freeze Faster Than Cold Water?

At first, it sounds crazy -- wouldn't hot water take longer to freeze? Weirdly enough, the opposite is sometimes true. Join Christian to learn more about a mystery that's puzzled humanity for centuries in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 16 May 2016 09:58:16 -0400

Why Can't People Remember Being Born?

You probably remember your 18th birthday, but not your first – or your zeroth. Why is that?
Wed, 11 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How Does Bitcoin Work?

If money is only valuable when we believe in it, how much is a Bitcoin actually worth? Christian explains the virtual currency as well as how to mine it and the risks involved in investing.
Thu, 05 May 2016 11:50:57 -0400

How Do IUDs Work?

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are a popular and effective method of birth control. So why don't Americans ​use them?
Wed, 04 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How Does Silica Gel Work?

What is silica gel, and why do I find little packets of it in everything I buy? Christian explains it all in this episode.
Mon, 02 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

What Do Those Tabs On Rearview Mirrors Actually Do?

Sure, rearview mirrors are cool -- but how do they actually work? How can the same piece of glass have two different amounts of reflection? Join Christian as he explains the science behind these handy devices.
Tue, 26 Apr 2016 15:03:33 -0400

Do Figs Really Have Dead Wasps In Them?

Some figs need fig wasps to pollinate their fruit. But are we eating dead wasps every time we bite into a fig?
Mon, 25 Apr 2016 10:05:34 -0400

How Do Accents Work?

Have you ever wondered how accents work? Tune in to this episode of BrainStuff to find out about the ever-evolving accent.
Wed, 20 Apr 2016 10:13:49 -0400

What Causes Chapped Lips?

For some people, winter means a daily battle against cracking, scaling or peeling lips. But what actually causes chapped lips? How can you prevent it?
Sun, 17 Apr 2016 21:58:48 -0400

How (And Why) Do Cats Purr?

Cats purr for all kinds of reasons, including communication and healing themselves. Christian explains how purring works and which cats can't do it.
Wed, 13 Apr 2016 09:57:26 -0400

Why Don't Humans Ride Zebras?

They’re just horses with stripes, right? So why don’t we ride them around like Seabiscuit or Black Beauty?
Mon, 11 Apr 2016 16:45:14 -0400

How does your stomach keep from digesting itself?

The stomach is a hollow, many-layered organ that produces powerful acids to break down food -- and another substance to protect the stomach from being digested. Find out what this substance is, and learn more about the stomach, in this episode.
Fri, 08 Apr 2016 10:00:00 -0400

What is the battery light on your car's dashboard for?

Cars rely on batteries to keep their electrical parts running and alternators to keep their batteries alive. Battery lights come into play when there's a charging problem. Find out more about battery lights in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 06 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Why is cotton more absorbent than nylon?

When water comes in contact with the complex molecules that make up cotton and nylon, it causes a different action in each material -- but why? Listen in as Marshall Brain breaks down the science behind water absorption in this podcast.
Mon, 04 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How do motion sensors work?

There are many kinds of motion sensors, from active to passive systems. Get the scoop on how myriad motion sensing systems work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 01 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

What does a modern smart house look like?

What makes a "smart" house so smart? These high-tech houses intelligently use resources and are responsive to the needs and habits of their occupants. Tune in to learn more.
Wed, 30 Mar 2016 10:00:00 -0400

Is it possible to turn coal into oil?

As the demand for dwindling oil supplies rises, scientists across the world search for new ways to generate energy. In this episode, Marshall looks at a new attempt to stave off the looming fossil fuel crisis: Turning coal into oil. Tune in to learn more.
Mon, 28 Mar 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How do artificial sweeteners work?

At many restaurants, a little container on the table will have regular sugar in addition to artificial sweeteners. But what exactly are artificial sweeteners, and how do they differ in comparison to regular sugar? Listen in to find out.
Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Can people really build missiles from scratch?

In the film Salt, Angelina Jolie's character creates a missile from handy household ingredients -- but could this happen in real life? Tune in as Marshall breaks down the science behind improvised explosives.
Wed, 23 Mar 2016 10:38:29 -0400

How does a pressurized airplane cabin work?

How does a pressurized airplane cabin work -- more importantly, what happens when the pressure fails? Join Marshall Brain as he breaks down the science behind cabin pressurization.
Mon, 21 Mar 2016 10:00:00 -0400

What are chiggers, and how do they bite you?

If you go outdoors during the right time of year, you may be bitten by chiggers. But what are these creatures, and why do they attack unsuspecting humans? Listen in as Marshall Brain breaks down the life cycle of the chigger -- and how it can affect you.
Fri, 18 Mar 2016 14:23:56 -0400

Why do people choke under pressure?

Anyone who watched the Master's tournament knows that Rory McElroy famously choked under pressure -- but what exactly happened? In this podcast, Marshall explores the science behind choking in stressful or intimidating situations
Wed, 16 Mar 2016 09:00:00 -0400

How does safety glass work?

Laminated safety glass has been around since the 1920s. Find out how safety glass is made, how it works and what it's used for in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 14 Mar 2016 09:30:48 -0400

How Sea Monkeys Work

Sea Monkeys are a type of brine shrimp. These shrimp create remarkably resilient eggs called cysts. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast and learn more about the secret behind Sea Monkeys.
Wed, 09 Mar 2016 10:00:00 -0500

What do those plastic recycling symbols means?

A typical recycling symbol on plastic looks like a triangle made of arrows. There are seven different types of plastic indicated by the symbols. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn the difference between each of these plastic types.
Mon, 07 Mar 2016 10:00:00 -0500

What's in mothballs?

There are two different types of mothballs, each of which contains separate moth-killing ingredients. Tune in as Marshall Brain explains the science behind mothballs in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.
Fri, 04 Mar 2016 10:00:00 -0500

What is the heat index?

Your body has efficient ways to release excess heat, but high temperatures and high humidity create a sticky situation. Find out how the heat index keeps you abreast of dangerous heat situations in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Wed, 02 Mar 2016 10:00:00 -0500

Why do your ears pop when you dive in a deep pool?

Have you ever wondered why your ears pop when you plunge into the deep end of a swimming pool? It's all about keeping your ear drum happy, as this HowStuffWorks podcast reveals.
Mon, 29 Feb 2016 11:49:50 -0500

How does someone become a saint?

Many religions bestow a special status on people who demonstrate a life of almost perfect virtue -- but how does canonization actually occur? In this episode, Marshall breaks down the process used to officially recognize a person as a saint.
Fri, 26 Feb 2016 12:32:32 -0500

What is a restraining order, and how do you get one?

Restraining orders are cropping up in the news more and more frequently, but how do they work? Join Marshall Brain as he breaks down the legality of restraining orders -- and how to get one.
Wed, 24 Feb 2016 12:27:38 -0500

Will space tourism become a reality?

With private companies frantically searching for new ways to take people into orbit, it seems that space tourism could become a reality (for those who can afford it). But will it ever really happen? Tune in and learn more in this podcast.
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 11:41:32 -0500

How do carbohydrates work?

We hear about carbohydrates in the news constantly -- the complex carbs are supposed to be better than the simple ones, but why? In fact, what exactly is a carbohydrate? Listen in and learn more in this podcast.
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 09:00:00 -0500

Securing Your Wifi Router

Is it possible to get arrested for downloading illegal material even if you never download it yourself? Yes: When someone else logs onto your unprotected wifi, they can make a clean getaway while you get stuck with the blame. Tune in to learn more.
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 17:05:49 -0500

How do trick birthday candles work?

Candles are simple yet ingenious light-producing devices, and it only takes one extra ingredient to turn them into trick candles. Find out how regular and trick candles work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 10:00:00 -0500

What's that bumpy stuff on my ceiling?

That popcorn-like stuff on your ceiling is actually a specific kind of ceiling finish. Tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to find out what this treatment is -- and why it's so popular.
Wed, 03 Feb 2016 10:00:00 -0500

How do nail penny measurements work?

Nails are measured by a unit called a penny. This podcast from HowStuffWorks.com explains what the penny designation means -- and where it comes from.
Mon, 01 Feb 2016 09:00:00 -0500

How do artificial flavors work?

Artificial flavors imitate natural flavors and are found in many processed products. Learn more about the chemistry of flavors, both natural and artificial, in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 29 Jan 2016 10:00:00 -0500

What are motion cards and how do they work?

Motion cards, which have been around for decades, give the illusion of motion using multiple images and a special printing process. In this episode, Marshall discusses the technology behind motion cards and how it has improved over the years.
Wed, 27 Jan 2016 09:00:00 -0500

How does an EPIRB distress radio work?

An EPIRB, or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, helps rescuers find people -- mostly boaters -- in emergency situations. Tune in to find out how EPIRB radios work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 25 Jan 2016 10:46:06 -0500

Can you explain the diameter measurements used in bullets?

Bullets are measured by calibers, which indicate their diameter in inches. Find out more about bullets and measurement in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 22 Jan 2016 09:59:42 -0500

How are movies stored on DVD discs?

How can you store an entire movie on one little DVD disc? It's all about compression! In this episode, Marshall explains the technical details and standards of video compression.
Wed, 20 Jan 2016 17:27:47 -0500

Why shouldn't you go swimming right after a meal?

As children, many of us have been admonished not to go swimming for at least an hour after eating. But, as it turns out, there's biology behind this commonplace advice. Tune in to this episode to find out why you shouldn't swim right after you eat.
Mon, 18 Jan 2016 18:19:30 -0500

What causes that howling sound in PA systems?

A public address system's speakers emit strange noises, or feedback, when sound gets re-amplified. Get a detailed explanation of how feedback occurs in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.A public address system's speakers emit strange noises, or feedback, when sound gets re-amplified. Get a detailed explanation of how feedback occurs in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 13 Jan 2016 09:00:00 -0500

How does dry ice work?

Dry ice is different from regular ice in several ways. Find out what makes dry ice so unique -- and why it's so good for transporting perishables over long distances -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:10:57 -0500

Is it true that a diesel engine can operate underwater?

Under certain circumstances, diesel engines can operate while submerged in water. Find out what it takes to waterproof an engine -- and why diesel engines are better candidates than their gasoline counterparts -- in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 08 Jan 2016 09:00:00 -0500

Where does cork come from?

Most cork comes from special trees that grow in places near the Mediterranean Sea. Learn more about cork oak trees, cork properties, cork products and cork processing in this episode.
Wed, 06 Jan 2016 17:15:50 -0500

What does Pez mean?

Today, Pez candy dispensers are a sweet treat for children and a novelty for adults. Originally, however, they were created to help adults quit smoking. Learn more about the fascinating history of Pez in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 04 Jan 2016 17:06:45 -0500

How do we measure sea level?

Sea level is an important measurement, but it's also a complicated one. Find out why in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 01 Jan 2016 10:00:30 -0500

Is the sound on vinyl records better than on CDs?

The sound quality of vinyl records is sometimes better than that of CDs and DVDs -- and sometimes worse. Learn more about the difference between the sound quality of records, CDs and DVDs in this episode.
Wed, 30 Dec 2015 09:00:00 -0500

How does high-speed rail work?

Although it's common in some countries, high-speed rail service isn't available in the United States -- yet. Tune in to learn more about this swift rail service -- and how soon we're likely to have it in the U.S. -- in this episode.
Mon, 28 Dec 2015 12:30:49 -0500

How does a traffic light detect cars?

Traffic lights detect vehicles using a variety of methods. Check out this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to find out how timers, inductive loops and other detectors keep traffic running smoothly.
Fri, 25 Dec 2015 09:00:00 -0500

How can turbines change our energy future?

Gas turbine engines often power jet airplanes and helicopters, but they may turn up in other applications in the near future. Discover how turbine engines work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 23 Dec 2015 09:00:00 -0500

How do self-winding watches work?

Self-winding watches keep the time with the help of a piece of metal, gravity and the natural movement of your arm. Tune in to learn more about self-winding watches in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 21 Dec 2015 15:43:00 -0500

How does catnip work?

You've probably heard that catnip drives felines wild, but did you know that it's a plant related to mint? And that it doesn't affect all cats? Find out how catnip works in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 18 Dec 2015 15:40:21 -0500

Why do freezing temperatures yield both snow and rain?

When the temperature dips below freezing, precipitation often turns into snow, but sometimes you'll get freezing rain or sleet. Why? Find out in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 16 Dec 2015 15:29:58 -0500

How do they make fortune cookies?

You've probably had countless fortune cookies after Chinese meals, but have you ever wondered how they're made? Discover the "food technology" behind those prescient little cookies in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 14 Dec 2015 15:25:23 -0500

How does a jet engine's afterburner work?

The afterburner on a jet engine adds thrust to the engine. Tune in as Marshall Brain explains how an afterburner works -- and the pros and cons of using one -- in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 11 Dec 2015 15:21:37 -0500

How does a magneto work?

A magneto is a kind of electrical generator used in small gasoline engines in lieu of a battery. Find out how magnetos work in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 09 Dec 2015 15:17:33 -0500

What is leather and where does it come from?

Most leather is made from processed cattle skin, although synthetic and other varieties exist. Learn more about leather in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 07 Dec 2015 16:07:22 -0500

Is there any way to see satellites that are in orbit?

There are hundreds of satellites orbiting the Earth, but it's not always easy to see them. Get Marshall's tips on how to spot satellites in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 04 Dec 2015 16:02:14 -0500

How Sonic Booms Work

The sonic booms formed by planes are similar to the wakes left by boats in water. To learn more about sonic booms, check out this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Wed, 02 Dec 2015 13:40:37 -0500

How do self-setting clocks work?

Self-setting clocks and watches synchronize themselves with the atomic clock in Colorado with the help of a special radio station. Find out how -- and learn more about NIST's radio station -- in this episode.
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 13:13:36 -0500

What are dissolvable stitches?

Stitches have been used for centuries, but dissolvable ones are the most common these days. Why would you want stitches to dissolve, and how do they work? In this episode, Marshall discusses the benefits and features of absorbable sutures.
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 12:38:04 -0500

What would happen if you fired a gun on a moving train?

If you fired a gun from a train moving at the speed of a bullet, what would happen? It depends on your frame of reference. Learn more about reference frames and physics in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:26:39 -0500

What is sodium nitrate?

You'll find sodium nitrate in lots of pink meats like hot dogs and salami, but why? And is it bad for you? Find out what's up with sodium nitrate in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 11:08:10 -0500

How do cavities work?

It's editor's choice month, so tune in and catch our editors' favorite episodes. This week, Marshall is covering cavities: They're formed by bacteria that excrete an acid onto the enamel of a tooth -- but how? Listen in to learn more.
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 09:00:00 -0500

How does Krispy Kreme work?

A single Krispy Kreme store can produce 100,000 doughnuts a day. To learn more about how these Krispy Kreme doughnuts are made, check out this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 16 Nov 2015 09:00:00 -0500

Why use a humidifier in your home in the winter?

Lots of people use humidifiers in their homes, especially in winter. But why? Marshall discusses some advantages of using humidifiers (and disadvantages of not using them) and different types of home humidifiers.
Fri, 13 Nov 2015 14:06:00 -0500

How do I burn calories on a stair machine?

If you've ever sweated your way through a work-out on a stair machine, you know that calories are definitely being burned in the process. But how? Learn more about foot-pounds, horsepower and stair machines in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 11 Nov 2015 14:03:46 -0500

How does a Dippy Bird work?

A Dippy Bird is a strange-looking novelty toy, but how does it work? Marshall Brain breaks down the surprisingly sophisticated mechanics of the Dippy Bird in this episode.
Mon, 09 Nov 2015 13:36:41 -0500

How Marshmallows Work

Marshmallows are an old candy -- they've been around since the 1800s. The name marshmallow comes from the original recipe, which called for sap from the marshmallow plant. Check out this HowStuffWorks to learn more about the history of marshmallows.
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 14:19:11 -0500

How do honeybees make honey?

When it comes to making honey, bees are skilled chemists. Discover how they use enzymes to turn sugary flower nectar into a sweet, stable food source in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 04 Nov 2015 14:17:36 -0500

How can some eggs be better for you than others?

If you've been to the grocery store recently, you know that eggs come in many varieties, some claiming to be better for you than others. What differentiates a normal egg from a "special" one? Find out in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 02 Nov 2015 14:15:45 -0500

How do airport scanners work?

The new full-body scanners used at airports in the United States have caused a huge controversy -- but how do they work? In this episode, Marshall breaks down the science behind full-body scanners, along with the uproar they've caused.
Fri, 30 Oct 2015 14:08:41 -0400

How can you drive across Antarctica?

Given that it's more than 2,000 miles across and without a gas station in sight, driving across Antarctica is a daunting task. Tune in as Marshall Brain explains how it works.
Wed, 28 Oct 2015 13:08:08 -0400

What is the difference between a turbo-charger and a super-charger?

Both turbo- and super-chargers are forced inductions systems, meaning they compress the air flowing into the engine. This compression causes each cylinder of an engine to produce more power. Check out this HowStuffWorks article to learn more.
Mon, 26 Oct 2015 11:05:30 -0400

How Rearview Mirrors Work

How can the same piece of glass have two different amounts of reflection? Learn more about rearview mirrors in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Fri, 23 Oct 2015 10:56:10 -0400

Will a really big earthquake sink Western California?

Given California's history of earthquakes and major fault lines, it's not surprising that people speculate about parts of California breaking off into the ocean. Fortunately, seismic forces don't work that way, as Marshall Brain explains in this episode.
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:00:47 -0400

How do astronomers measure distance?

Since astronomers can't actually travel to a star, they rely on two ingenious methods to measure a star's distance from earth. Listen in as Marshall Brain breaks down the science of space measurement in this editor's choice podcast from HowStuffWorks.
Mon, 19 Oct 2015 12:08:01 -0400

What will airplanes look like in 2025?

Most modern airplanes have a similar design, but NASA has a plan to move the world of aviation into the future by partnering with the world's airplane manufacturers to radically redesign the typical airplane. Tune in to learn more.
Fri, 16 Oct 2015 20:52:42 -0400

How is olive oil made?

People across the planet love olive oil, and it's not hard to see why: This tasty liquid lends flavor to hundreds of dishes, and it's been used for thousands of years. But how does it get from the tree to the bottle? Tune in to find out.
Wed, 14 Oct 2015 11:03:10 -0400

Why do 3D movies cause headaches?

Although 3-dimensional movies have become increasingly popular, numerous viewers have complained of headaches while watching these films. Why? Tune in as HowStuffWorks.com founder Marshall Brain breaks down the science behind 3D films.
Mon, 12 Oct 2015 10:29:12 -0400

How Helium Works

The helium used in balloons is created by uranium interacting with natural gas. Learn more about helium and uranium in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 11:05:06 -0400

How Subprime Loans Work

Subprime loans are made to borrowers who do not qualify for the best market interest rates. Learn more about subprime loans in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:02:06 -0400

How Night Vision Works

Although the human eye is able to adapt to wildly different environments, it takes a certain amount of time to adjust to sudden changes in light. Learn more about the chemicals powering the human eye in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 05 Oct 2015 10:58:14 -0400

How Baking Powder Works

Baking powder is made of three components -- an acid, a base, and a filler. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about baking powder.
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:46:45 -0400

How Atomic Clocks Work

Unlike more conventional timepieces, atomic clocks use the resonant frequency of atoms to measure the passage of time. Learn more about atomic clocks in this Brainstuff podcast.
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:12:29 -0400

How Air Force One Works

Air Force One is gigantic, but how does it work? This is one of our editors' favorite episodes, and it's no surprise why: Listen in for a brief, detailed look at the interior of Air Force One.
Mon, 28 Sep 2015 10:34:55 -0400

What causes the smell after rain?

The smell of rain is often linked with spring, and it's been alluded to in poems, songs and stories for centuries. But what exactly causes this distinctive smell? Tune in and find out.
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 10:40:39 -0400

How do Pop Rocks candy work?

Hard candy (like a lollypop or a Jolly Rancher) is made from sugar, corn syrup, water and flavoring. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn how conventional candy is combined with carbon dioxide to produce Pop Rocks.
Wed, 09 Sep 2015 10:31:47 -0400

Can I see the stuff astronauts left on the moon?

Using a telescope to view the moon is fascinating -- but could we see the leftovers of NASA's lunar expeditions? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about lunar landings and telescopes.
Mon, 07 Sep 2015 13:17:50 -0400

How Golf Ball Dimples Work

If you've ever looked at a golf ball, you've probably noticed it has dimples. But why is that? Learn the story behind dimpled golf balls in this Brainstuff podcast.
Fri, 04 Sep 2015 16:20:08 -0400

How the Dow Jones Industrial Average Works

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tracks a variety of stocks to assist investors. Learn how the Dow Jones keeps tabs on the stock market.
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:14:17 -0400

How does the snow dragon eat and digest snow?

For cities plagued by yearly snowstorms, a fleet of snow plows and salt often aren't enough to get rid of excess drifts. Luckily, there's another option: Snow dragons. These machines can melt snow on the spot -- but how do they work? Tune in to find out.
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:57:17 -0400

Can nasal sprays be addictive?

Some people have become so dependent on their nasal sprays and products that they might worry they're addicted. Marshall Brain explains why you can't really be addicted to nasal products in this episode.
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:52:56 -0400

What is Schadenfreude?

Schadenfreude is a German word that means taking pleasure in someone else's pain. But it's not the same as sadism, as Marshall Brain explains in this episode. Tune in to learn more about this particularly German sensation.
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:21:54 -0400

How many balloons would it take to life someone off the ground?

Balloons are often filled with helium, which has a lifting force of one gram per meter. It's possible to assemble enough balloons to lift yourself from the ground -- but how many balloons does it take? Tune into this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more.
Fri, 21 Aug 2015 09:00:00 -0400

What's the difference between LPG or natural gas?

Since liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas have very different properties, it's always important to specify which substance you will use when buying an appliance. Check out this podcast from HowStuffWorks to learn more.
Wed, 19 Aug 2015 09:18:24 -0400

How can you figure out how far away lightning struck?

Check out this podcast from HowStuffWorks to learn how to gauge the distance of a lightning strike with a simple equation.
Mon, 17 Aug 2015 12:05:51 -0400

How do bake and broil settings differ?

Kitchen ovens typically have two settings: bake and broil. What's the difference between the two? Explore the science behind baking and broiling in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 14 Aug 2015 09:01:47 -0400

How do astronauts function in their spacesuits?

Astronauts wear special suits while they're working in space, and these spacewalks can last for hours. In this episode, Marshall Brain explains how astronauts take care of their basic needs while wearing spacesuits.
Wed, 12 Aug 2015 10:40:13 -0400

How do a zebra's stripes act as camouflage?

A zebra's stripes offer protection from predators in the form of camouflage -- and a way to identify individual members within the larger group. Learn more about zebra stripes in this episode.
Mon, 10 Aug 2015 17:04:40 -0400

To maximize happiness, what should you spend money on?

They say that money can't buy happiness, but it can definitely contribute to your well-being. So what exactly should you spend your money on to maximize your happiness? Stuff? Experiences? Marshall Brain investigates in this episode.
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 13:28:29 -0400

What is a vactrain?

Vactrains may be the next big thing in the evolution of high-speed transportation. In this episode, Marshall explains how vactrain systems will work, how close they are to becoming reality and the potential they have to impact global transportation.
Wed, 05 Aug 2015 12:23:37 -0400

How does asphalt work, and where does it come from?

Asphalt is an extremely common, oil-derived material that's used to pave a majority of roads in the United States. Tune in to learn more about asphalt.
Mon, 03 Aug 2015 16:20:06 -0400

How does red eye in photographs work?

The flash of a camera is bright enough to cause a reflection off the human retina -- the red we see in these photos comes from the blood vessels in the eye. Learn more about red eyes and cameras in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 10:48:17 -0400

How Do Submarines Work?

Submarines use oxygen generators to create oxygen from water. Learn more about oxygen in submarines in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:03:56 -0400

How Starting A Car in Cold Weather Works

Cars are hard to start during cold weather for three reasons: gasoline evaporates less in cold temperatures, oil gets thicker in the cold, and the chemical reactions in cold batteries are slower than normal.
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 11:04:43 -0400

How hair length works

As hair cells form in follicles, they push other cells out of the follicle. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about your hair's growth and rest phases.
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:09:36 -0400

How are old black and white movies colorized?

Adding color to black and white movies is incredibly tedious. To speed up the process, the coloring is done on a computer, using a digital version of the film. Learn more about colorization in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:03:14 -0400

Why doesn't paper money disintegrate in the washing machine?

Normal paper is made of cellulose from trees, but paper money is made from cotton and linen fibers. Learn how this makes paper money more water-resistant in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.
Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:58:05 -0400

What would happen on a carousel moving at the speed of light?

If you could spin a carousel fast enough, would time stand still for the people on the carousel? Theoretically, it's a reasonable assumption. Join Marshall Brain as he breaks down the speed of light and time in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:55:31 -0400

How can I make artificial snow in my backyard?

If you live in a cold enough climate, you can make fake snow just like they do for ski resorts. In this episode, Marshall shares two techniques for creating artificial snow in your own backyard -- and what to do if you live in a warm climate.
Wed, 15 Jul 2015 15:43:17 -0400

How is wire measured?

In the United States, wires are measured by diameter using a standard called AWG, or American Wire Gauge. Discover how the AWG system works -- and where it came from -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 13 Jul 2015 15:49:41 -0400

Can water go bad?

Many people store water for emergencies -- but is it true that water sitting for too long will go bad? Listen in as Marshall Brain breaks down the science of water purification in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Fri, 10 Jul 2015 15:41:22 -0400

What do the ul marks on so many products mean?

UL stands for 'underwriters laboratories,' a safety testing organization -- but what exactly does this group do, and why do they do it? Tune in and learn more about the UL mark in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.
Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:37:41 -0400

What's the total amount of gold in the world?

Have you ever wondered how much gold the world has produced over time? How about platinum? Get the grand totals in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:35:58 -0400

How do candles work?

Before there were light bulbs, candles made the world a brighter place. Discover the ingenious technology behind candles in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:24:07 -0400

What are frankincense and myrrh?

You might recognize frankincense and myrrh from the Biblical story of Jesus, but have you ever wondered exactly what they are? Tune in to get the skinny on frankincense and myrrh in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:40:47 -0400

How can an electric toothbrush recharge its batteries?

An electric toothbrush gets power from its base without the help of metal contacts. Find out how this sealed system works in the following podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:35:55 -0400

How Smoke Works

When you put a fresh piece of wood on a hot fire, volatile organic carbons in the wood evaporate, creating smoke. Learn more about smoke in this Brainstuff podcast.
Fri, 26 Jun 2015 13:54:21 -0400

How X-Ray Machines Work

An X-ray machine is essentially a camera that uses x-rays to expose the film, instead of visible light. Learn more about x-ray machines in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Wed, 24 Jun 2015 17:07:20 -0400

How Boogers and Mucuous Membranes Work

Mucous contains mostly water and mucin -- a branched polysaccharide. When polysaccharides such as mucin or cornstarch are mixed with water, the result is a sticky substance.
Mon, 22 Jun 2015 16:59:07 -0400

Can we make gasoline from bacteria?

A new company is claiming that, next year, the problems of carbon emissions, foreign oil dependence, oil spills, fuel shortages, etc. will all end due to a breakthrough in biotechnology. Is it true?
Fri, 19 Jun 2015 17:25:58 -0400

What is the difference between good and bad toy helicopters?

Can you buy a good, long-lasting toy helicopter for under $30?
Mon, 15 Jun 2015 17:05:21 -0400

Why do human beings have eyebrows?

Eyebrows are prominent human features, but what purpose do they serve? Scientists think they help keep stuff out of our eyes and aid in nonverbal communication, among other things. Learn more about eyebrows in this episode.
Wed, 10 Jun 2015 15:35:54 -0400

Where do salad dressings get their bizarre names?

Salad dressings like Ranch and Thousand Island are traditional favorites, but have you ever wondered how they got their names? Marshall Brain reveals what salad dressings are made of -- and where their famous names came from -- in this episode.
Mon, 08 Jun 2015 15:33:38 -0400

How Botulism Works

Botulism bacteria creates a type of poisoning and paralysis -- but how does it actually work? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the effects and spread of botulism.
Fri, 05 Jun 2015 15:28:07 -0400

How Diaper Crystals Work

Most disposable diapers contain a crystalline, absorbent substance called sodium polyacrylate. Learn how this polymer helps contain messes -- and some of the controversy surrounding this substance -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.
Wed, 03 Jun 2015 17:28:20 -0400

How V-chips Work

As of 1999, all TV sets sold in the Untied States are required to contain a viewer-control chip, also known as a v-chip. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about v-chips and television ratings
Mon, 01 Jun 2015 17:25:03 -0400

How do aircraft carriers work?

Aircraft carriers contain some of the most advanced technology in the world. Learn more about aircraft and aircraft carriers in this podcast.
Fri, 29 May 2015 16:37:37 -0400

How does an upside down airplane's engine get fuel?

Airplanes rely on gravity to disperse fuel to the engine, but what happens when the plane is flying upside down? Tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to discover ways that acrobatic planes fly upside down without crashing.
Wed, 27 May 2015 17:10:14 -0400

What is a decibel, and how is it measured?

The decibel unit is used to measure the intensity of a sounds. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn more about the decibel scale.
Fri, 22 May 2015 12:14:09 -0400

Why do the plugs on some appliances have two prongs and others have three?

When you look at a normal 120-volt outlet in the United States, there are two vertical slots and then a round hole centered below. Take a look at this HowStuffWorks article to learn why appliance cords are shaped this way.
Wed, 20 May 2015 16:23:37 -0400

How do sodium acetate heat pads work?

Sodium acetate heat pads start out as a pouch of liquid and crystallize into a warm solid. Explore the fascinating chemistry that makes these heat pads work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 18 May 2015 10:12:23 -0400

How do they create patterns in a baseball field?

Groundskeepers at baseball fields create patterns using a process called lawn striping. Tune in to find out how this process works -- and how you can duplicate it to create designs in your own yard.
Fri, 15 May 2015 10:31:59 -0400

How does rust work?

In this episode of BrainStuff, Marshall Brain explains the chemistry behind rust, or iron oxide, and the rusting process.
Fri, 08 May 2015 10:56:55 -0400

What exactly is pastrami?

Like cheese, pastrami is a good example of old-fashioned food preservation techniques. Find out how corned beef becomes pastrami in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 01 May 2015 14:51:46 -0400

How do instant cameras work?

Instant cameras makes it possible to see a photograph almost immediately after you take it. But how? In this episode, Marshall explains the chemical processes behind regular and instant photographic film.
Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:45:00 -0400

Why do feet stink?

What causes stinky, smelly feet? Sweat and bacteria. Find out exactly how bacteria turn sweat into malodorous feet in this episode.
Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:30:43 -0400

What do the symbols on the U.S. one-dollar bill mean?

If you've ever looked carefully at a U.S. one-dollar bill, you've probably noticed some mysterious symbols and Latin phrases. What do these symbols stand for? Why are they on there? Marshall Brain breaks it down for you in this episode.
Mon, 20 Apr 2015 12:24:04 -0400

How many calories does a person need daily?

The amount of calories a person needs to consume on a daily basis varies by individual. Discover the three factors that can help you determine your daily caloric needs in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 17 Apr 2015 09:00:00 -0400

How do they get the lead in a wooden pencil?

Today's pencils are manufactured very differently than the original versions; but they still use a material called graphite, which isn't lead at all. How does the graphite get in the pencil? Find out in this episode.
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 13:27:15 -0400

How can a valet rip you off?

Once relegated to high-end restaurants and clubs, valets are increasingly common across the United States. But how can you trust your valet -- and how will you know if the valet is scamming you? Tune in and find out.
Fri, 10 Apr 2015 09:00:00 -0400

How Proton Therapy Works

As a method of treating cancer, proton therapy has great potential. But how does it work, exactly, and what makes it superior to other forms of cancer treatment? Tune in and find out.
Wed, 08 Apr 2015 09:00:00 -0400

What is a lightyear?

A lightyear is a way of measuring distance -- specifically, the distance light can travel in one year. Just how far is that? Check out this podcast from HowStuffWorks to learn more about astronomy.
Fri, 03 Apr 2015 09:37:02 -0400

How much oxygen does a person consume in a day?

The average adult at rest inhales and exhales between 7 to 8 liters of air each minutes. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn how much oxygen a person uses during a day of inhalation and exhalation.
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 09:36:44 -0400

How does chlorine bleach work?

When you buy a gallon of bleach at the grocery store, what are you actually purchasing? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about bleach, chlorine and the chemical reactions behind these products.
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 09:59:17 -0400

Why can't we breathe underwater?

Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, so why aren't we able to breathe underwater? Find out in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 12:58:28 -0400

What does it mean when a car has dual overhead cams?

A camshaft plays an integral role in the functioning of an engine. And dual overhead cams ramp up a machine's performance even more. Find out how dual overhead camshafts work in this episode.
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 12:56:37 -0400

Could anti-lock brakes detect a flat tire?

By using a computer to monitor the rotation of the car's wheels, an anti-lock braking system helps drivers avoid skids. Could this computer also monitor flat tires? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about brake systems.
Fri, 20 Mar 2015 09:20:35 -0400

Why are traffic lights being replaced with LEDs?

Across the country, incandescent traffic lights are being replaced with LED arrays. Check out this podcast from HowStuffWorks to learn more about the advantages of LED traffic lights.
Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:03:57 -0400

Why is a circular saw louder than a table saw?

Circular saws are much noisier than table saws partly because of the type of motor they possess. Learn more about universal and induction motors in BrainStuff, a podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 16 Mar 2015 16:49:53 -0400

How does an airplane toilet work?

Airplane toilets serve the same function as regular ones, but because they exist in a moving environment, they rely on slightly different technology to get the job done. Find out how they work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 13 Mar 2015 11:39:57 -0400

How do cats purr?

Cats tend to purr when they're happy, but pleasure isn't the only reason for this behavior. And they aren't the only animals who purr. Find out why and how cats and other animals purr in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 09 Mar 2015 09:02:55 -0400

How Flatulence Works

Learn about the causes of gas -- and not the kind you put in your car -- in this podcast from Marshall Brain.
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 09:58:44 -0500

What's the deal with milk?

Milk is often touted as a "miracle drink," full of restorative, nutritional properties. And there's some truth to this claim. Find out why mammal milk is called "the perfect food" in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 09:57:07 -0500

How much does planet Earth weigh?

As far as weight goes, Earth is a pretty hefty celestial body. But exactly how heavy? And how does one measure something so massive? Find out in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:17:55 -0500

What are other ways to store energy besides batteries?

Batteries are a common way to store energy, but there are many others. Discover more energy storage techniques, from falling weights to fuel cells, in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:00:32 -0500

How does the common cold work?

We've all had a cold at one point or another; it entails an uncomfortable cocktail of symptoms like sneezing, coughing and a runny nose. But why do we get colds? How do they work? Find out in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 10:57:43 -0500

How do dry chemical fire extinguishers work?

Three elements create a fire. Discover what they are and how dry chemical fire extinguishers combat them in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 23 Feb 2015 10:55:32 -0500

Where does aluminum come from?

Aluminum is both lightweight and strong, so it's no wonder that space stations, airplanes and thousands of other products use this metal. But where does it come from, and what makes it so special? Tune in to learn more.
Fri, 20 Feb 2015 16:00:38 -0500

How do thirty pounds of air in your tires hold up two tons of car?

Cars are heavy machines, so how can a few small, pressurized tires support their weight? Marshall Brain explains how tire pressure and contact patches work in this episode.
Mon, 16 Feb 2015 12:18:09 -0500

Why don't they use normal air in race car tires?

Race car tires are often filled with nitrogen because nitrogen pressure is more consistent than air pressure. In this episode, Marshall explains why nitrogen is better for race cars -- but not for regular vehicles.
Fri, 13 Feb 2015 12:16:56 -0500

How do plastics work? What is actually in a plastic?

Plastics have become so ubiquitous that we often take them for granted, but have you ever wondered where these popular materials come from? In this episode, Marshall explains what plastics are made of.
Wed, 11 Feb 2015 12:08:09 -0500

How does a speedometer in an airplane work?

Most people are familiar with speedometers in cars, but do you know how air speed is determined? In this episode, Marshall explains how devices called pitot tubes gauge the speed of moving aircraft.
Fri, 06 Feb 2015 11:27:02 -0500

How does CCC, the new form of CPR, work?

Continuous chest compression is an updated form of CPR that's much easier to administer -- and, studies suggest, more effective. In this episode, Marshall Brain explains how CCC works.
Wed, 04 Feb 2015 11:24:20 -0500

What is the difference between a hardwood and a softwood?

When it comes to differentiating between hardwoods and softwoods, it's not a matter of hardness or density -- it's all about plant reproduction. Marshall explains what angiosperms and gymnosperms are in this episode.
Mon, 02 Feb 2015 11:19:07 -0500

Why does your computer need a battery?

Computers have a small battery that's important because it keeps the machine's clock running -- and sometimes, your computer. Get the goods on computer batteries in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:12:31 -0500

How does nitrous oxide help an engine perform better?

Nitrous oxide boosts engine power in two significant ways. Find out exactly how nitrous works its magic in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 11:10:55 -0500

How does an oxygen canister on an airplane work?

When you think of storing oxygen, metal tanks full of gas might come to mind. There's also a chemical method -- tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to learn about how oxygen canisters work.
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:04:50 -0500

In baseball, how does a pitcher throw a curveball?

A curveball is a pitcher's secret weapon for striking out batters. Discover the physics behind a great curveball in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:00:00 -0500

How do retractable roofs in convertible stadiums work?

Retractable roofs are the latest trend in sports stadium design. Marshall highlights multiple examples of convertible stadiums in the United States and explains how they work in this episode.
Mon, 19 Jan 2015 09:00:00 -0500

How do strokes work?

In a stroke, something disrupts the normal blood supply to parts of the brain. Without oxygen, affected brain cells will begin to die. Tune in as Marshall explains the causes of -- and treatments for -- strokes.
Fri, 16 Jan 2015 09:21:43 -0500

Semi Submarines

There's a reason that most submarines are owned by governments - they're incredibly expensive. So what's a sub-loving consumer to do? Tune in as Marshall Brain breaks down the science behind semi subs (and why it makes them so much less expensive).
Mon, 12 Jan 2015 16:02:28 -0500

How do neon and fluorescent lights differ?

Neon and fluorescent lights differ in several ways, including bulb shape, color of light emitted and substances used to produce that light. Find out how neon and fluorescent lights work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 18:17:44 -0500

How does a dollar bill changer work?

A dollar bill changer doesn't just have to sense a bill's denomination -- it also needs to be able to tell whether bills are fake. Join Marshall Brain as he breaks down the science behind bill changers in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 05 Jan 2015 18:11:59 -0500

What is carrageenan?

Carrageenan is a gum derived from seaweed that helps processed food withstand the rigors of transportation and long waits in warehouses. Learn more about the role that carrageenan plays in food by checking out this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 02 Jan 2015 09:00:00 -0500

What's the birthday paradox?

In a group of 20, there's a 50/50 chance that two people will have the same birthday; this is called the birthday paradox. Find out how it works in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 31 Dec 2014 14:09:05 -0500

How long before sharks start going extinct?

Sharks are ancient, fierce creatures, but they're also in danger of extinction on many fronts. Discover all the factors that make sharks vulnerable -- and what you can do to help -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 29 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0500

How Replacing Toilets Works

A family of four can consume more than 300 gallons of water per day. Old toilets use 5 gallons per flush, and this water use quickly adds up. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast and learn why cities across the US are replacing their old commodes.
Wed, 24 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0500

Why are my power bills so high?

When it comes to energy usage, heating and cooling appliances contribute the most to your power bill. Tune in to find out which appliances are the most power-hungry -- and why -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0500

Is there a way to compare a human being to an engine?

Human muscles are essentially biological engines. In terms of efficiency, biological engines are amazing. Listen in as Marshall Brain calculates human efficiency in this episode.
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0500

How High-level Nuclear Waste Works

What exactly is high-level nuclear waste, and how are we dealing with it today? In this episode, Marshall breaks down the techniques used to store high-level nuclear waste.
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0500

How does fusion power work?

Fusion reactors like the sun produce huge amounts of energy, so why aren't there fusion power plants everywhere? In this episode, Marshall explains the chemistry of fusion reactions and discusses how close fusion is to becoming a viable energy source.
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0500

How does Nitroglycerin work?

What do you get when you combine acids and glycerin? Nitroglycerin! What is this substance used for, and why is it so unstable? In this episode, Marshall takes a look at the chemistry and explosive qualities of Nitrogyclerin.
Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:27:04 -0500

What is chewing gum made of?

Up until World War II, chewing gum was made of a substance called chicle. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the ingredients of modern chewing gum.
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:48:55 -0500

Why can't a couch potato run a marathon?

Intuitively, it makes sense that a trained athlete can run a marathon easily, while a "couch potato" can barely run a mile. But what's the biology behind it? Find out how fit and unfit bodies respond to exercise in this episode.
Wed, 03 Dec 2014 09:00:00 -0500

How do polymer crystals work, and why do they absorb so much water?

Polymer crystals are extremely absorbent, and that's why you'll often find them in disposable diapers. Marshall explains how polymer crystals are able to absorb large quantities of liquids -- and keep you cool and dry -- in this episode.
Fri, 28 Nov 2014 09:00:00 -0500

How do people pull large objects with their teeth?

Have you ever seen those folks that can pull a whole truck with their teeth? Tune in as Marshall Brain explains the physics behind pulling large objects with your teeth in this episode.
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:00:00 -0500

Why is a popsicle called a quiescently frozen confection?

Popsicles are also called "quiescently frozen confections" because of the way they're frozen. Learn more about how flavored ice treats are made -- and what distinguishes them from ice cream -- in this episode.
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:39:03 -0500

How do scratch-and-sniff stickers work?

Scratch-and-sniff stickers are novelties that delight both children and adults. Sniff out the ingenious technology that makes them work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:00:00 -0500

Why is carbon monoxide so poisonous?

The structure of hemoglobin causes oxygen to bind loosely to iron -- however, carbon monoxide binds very tightly to the blood's iron, reducing your ability to breathe. Check out this podcast from HowStuffWorks to learn more.
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 09:00:00 -0500

What is the worst invasive public species?

From kudzu to cane toads, invasive species are changing the world. But which of these transplants is the worst for the local landscape? Tune in as Marshall Brain tackles invasive species across the world -- and ultimately concludes which one is the worst.
Fri, 14 Nov 2014 09:00:00 -0500

How many people work at a Formula 1 pit stop?

If you've ever seen a Formula 1 race, then you know the race isn't just between cars -- it's also between pit stop crews. In seven seconds these crews perform an entire pit stop. But how does it work, and how many people does it take? Tune in to find out.
Wed, 12 Nov 2014 09:00:00 -0500

When I pay by check, where does that check go?

When you write a check to purchase goods and services, it passes through the hands of several banks before the process is complete. Marshall explains how checks are processed through intermediary banks in this episode.
Fri, 07 Nov 2014 09:00:00 -0500

How does a credit card's magnetic stripe work?

The magnetic stripe on the back of the card plays a key role in transactions made by credit card. Learn more about how these "mag stripes" work in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 05 Nov 2014 09:00:00 -0500

Why do Wint-O-Green Life Savers spark in the dark?

If you've ever bitten into a Wint-O-Green Life Saver candy in the dark, you've probably noticed an accompanying spark of light. Marshall Brain explains the chemistry behind the phenomenon known as triboluminescence in this episode.
Mon, 03 Nov 2014 09:00:00 -0500

How can we eliminate fossil fuels?

It's no secret that fossil fuels have a detrimental effect on the environment, but do feasible alternatives exist? In this episode, Marshall takes a look at the possibilities of DIY biofuel.
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:00:00 -0400

What does "not guilty by reason of insanity" mean?

Claiming the "insanity defense" in fictional courts of law is common and seems pretty straightforward; in real life, it's much more rare and complex. Discover the legal definition of "insanity" -- and how it relates to mental illness -- in this episode.
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How do kosher foods work?

In this episode of BrainStuff, Marshall Brain gives a detailed explanation of the Jewish dietary laws and preparations that make foods "kosher" and "pareve."
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:00:00 -0400

Do you have a hidden savant inside your brain?

Savant capabilities seem extraordinary, but what if they aren't? What if we all have amazing talents embedded in our brains? In this episode, Marshall discusses different techniques that have revealed savant-like qualities in ordinary people.
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:00:00 -0400

Is there a way to detect illegal phone taps?

Tapping into someone's phone line is relatively easy to do on a land line. Fortunately, phone taps are easy to detect. Tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to get Marshall Brain's tips on ferreting out illegal phone taps.
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:00:00 -0400

Is it possible to carbonate your own water?

If you enjoy drinking carbonated water, this episode's for you! Listen in as Marshall Brain explains how to make your own carbonated water at home for a fraction of the price you pay in stores.
Mon, 13 Oct 2014 09:00:00 -0400

What is a fossil?

Fossils provide us with an important picture of ancient life. But how is a fossil created, exactly? Marshall Brain breaks down the various natural processes behind fossilization in this episode.
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 09:00:00 -0400

What is superconductivity?

Superconductive materials have no electrical resistance, but why is superconductivity a big deal? Marshall Brain explains the potential benefits and implications of superconductive materials, as well as how they work, in this episode.
Wed, 08 Oct 2014 14:30:23 -0400

How do terrorist bombs work?

Terrorists have a new way of getting bombs into the United States: mailing them. In this episode, Marshall breaks down the science behind the types of bombs used by terrorists, and the explosive ingredients involved.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How valuable is exercise to your health?

We all know that exercise is an important way to safeguard your health. But how, exactly? In this episode, Marshall discusses the health benefits of exercise -- and how much we need each week in order to take advantage of these benefits.
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How can water cut through steel?

Waterjets are tools that use highly pressurized, focused streams of water to cut through metal and other solid materials. Learn more about waterjets in this episode.
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How do flies breathe?

Insects like flies have a very different respiratory system than we do. Learn more about how flies and insects breathe in this episode.
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How often do state quarters come out?

A new state quarter is released about every ten weeks, and they're released according to the order in which each state joined the union. Learn more about state quarters in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How do gasoline direct injection engines work?

The latest improvement on the internal combustion engine is called gasoline direct injection. In this episode, Marshall explains how gasoline direct injection technology works -- and how soon we'll see it in production vehicles.
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:00:00 -0400

Why is organic food more expensive than regular food?

You've probably noticed that organic foods cost significantly more than non-organic ones, but have you ever wondered why? In this episode, Marshall Brain explains how higher production costs and other factors lead to higher prices in the grocery store.
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How do big city shell and three-card monte games work?

Shell games and three-card monte games are common sights in big cities, but did you know they're scams? Marshall explains the similar principles and tricks behind these "games" -- and why you can't win them -- in this episode.
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 09:00:00 -0400

What is Low-E glass?

Low-emissivity (Low-E) glass is a special, expensive type that blocks out ultraviolet and infrared light. This coated glass can help protect your furniture and improve the energy efficiency of your home, as Marshall Brain explains in this episode.
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 09:00:00 -0400

Where should I sit to get the best ride on a roller coaster?

Each roller coaster car is moved by the cars connected to it, which makes the experience of riding a rollercoaster a bit different in each car. Learn which seat on a roller coaster is best for you, based on science and your personal preferences.
Fri, 05 Sep 2014 09:00:00 -0400

Is it possible to rescue water-soaked electronics?

Is it possible to rescue an electronic device dunked in water? In this episode, Marshall recounts an unfortunate meeting between a GPS device and a dog's water bowl. Tune in to learn whether or not he was able to fix it.
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How did the moon get there?

The moon has orbited over human civilization since the dawn of time, but it took us thousands of years to figure out how it actually got there. Tune in as Marshall Brain examines the formation of the moon.
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How do calorie meters work?

It's easy to jump on an exercise machine and watch the calorie meter -- but how accurate are these meters? Learn more about calorie meters in this HowStuffWorks podcast
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How does popcorn work?

Popcorn is a ubiquitous snack, but there's nothing commonplace about its creation. How does a kernel of corn become a puffed white treat? Find out in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:41:39 -0400

How Cooking at High Altitudes Works

The boiling point of water decreases as altitude increases -- generally, this temperature decreases by one degree for every 540 feet of altitude. Learn more about cooking at high altitudes in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:00:00 -0400

Why do cats have whiskers?

Cat whiskers, also known as "tactile hairs," are very different from a cat's regular body hair. In this episode, Marshall explains how these hairs are unique and what cats use them for.
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:53:00 -0400

How Color Blindness Works

Color blind individuals can suffer from an inability to differentiate between hues, and occasionally may not be able to see any colors at all. Learn more about color blindness in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 14:19:36 -0400

Why do limbs fall asleep?

Pressure on nerves can cause the nerves to stop sending impulses to the brain, causing limbs to fall asleep. Learn more about limbs falling asleep in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:18:24 -0400

Why do electric plugs have holes?

You might have noticed that plugs for electric appliances have two holes. There are three reasons for these apertures -- find out what they are in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 12:09:20 -0400

What is the right way to remove a leech?

People have cooked up all sorts of ways to remove leeches over the years, but the simplest is still the most effective. Discover how to safely detach a leech using your hands in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How do one-way mirrors work?

One-way mirrors are ubiquitous in crime dramas, but how do they work? Discover the secret behind one-way mirrors in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 11:10:13 -0400

Why does lettuce stored in a bag stay fresh longer?

Many foods you'll find at the grocery store -- like lettuce, for example -- are stored in special plastic packaging called MAP that helps them stay fresh longer. Find out what MAP is, and how it keeps food fresh longer, in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:49:05 -0400

How much sugar do they really put in soda?

Sodas and soft drinks contain a surprising amount of sugar -- more than you might expect. Tune in as Marshall Brain reveals how much sugar is in soda in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:00:00 -0400

What is market capitalization?

If all the money in the US only totals 8 trillion dollars, how can the New York Stock Exchange have stocks valued at 26 trillion dollars? Tune in as Marshall Brain breaks down the practice of stock capitalization in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:13:56 -0400

Why can you hear the ocean in a seashell?

There are various theories about why you can hear ocean-like sounds when you hold a seashell up to your ear. Marshall Brain explains what you're probably hearing in that seashell -- and why you don't need a shell to hear it -- in this episode.
Mon, 14 Jul 2014 09:00:00 -0400

What is an Omega-3 fatty acid?

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to the human body. Tune in to hear Marshall Brain explain the chemistry of fat molecules and fatty acids, Omega-3s in particular, in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 09:00:00 -0400

What do those diamond-shaped signs on buildings mean?

The National Fire Protection Agency, or NFPA, uses these signs to indicate hazardous materials stored in an unknown building. Listen in to learn how the signs work -- and how they help firefighters -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:08:31 -0400

Should you turn your computer off when it's not in use?

When it comes to the question of whether or not you should turn off your computer when you're not using it, there's no simple answer. Tune in to get Marshall's thorough take on the topic in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 07 Jul 2014 11:43:11 -0400

How big is the universe?

If all the matter in the universe was pushed into one corner, how much space would it take up? Listen in as Marshall Brain explores the size of the universe in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 09:00:00 -0400

Why does hydrogen peroxide foam when you put it on a cut?

Hydrogen peroxide's foaming action is due to the catalase in blood and cells. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn how hydrogen peroxide interacts with catalase.
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 11:21:07 -0400

What is a medical leech?

Medical leeches are raised in captivity and help patients heal wounds. Discover how leeches and other parasites are used for medical purposes in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 25 Jun 2014 13:52:28 -0400

How does water desalination work?

Most of the water on the planet is salty, so people have come up with various ways to turn it into freshwater. Explore three methods of desalinating water in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 23 Jun 2014 09:00:00 -0400

Why does my hard drive make that churning sound?

Inside the hard drive of many computers, a small arm moves across the face of the hard disk. Tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to discover how the movement of this arm produces sound -- and why the arm must move to load files.
Fri, 20 Jun 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How do space suits work?

Space suits provide oxygen, pressurize air, and control an astronaut's temperature. Learn more about space suits in this classic HowStuffWorks podcast, one of our editors' hand-picked favorites.
Wed, 11 Jun 2014 12:41:39 -0400

What is a light year?

A light year is a way of measuring distance -- specifically, the distance light can travel in one year. Just how far is that? Check out this classic Brainstuff podcast from HowStuffWorks' archives to learn more about astronomy.
Mon, 09 Jun 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How do the Northern Lights work?

The Northern Lights, also known as the aurora borealis, occur when charged electrons from the sun interact with the Earth's magnetic field. Learn more about auroras and solar activity in this episode.
Fri, 06 Jun 2014 14:39:08 -0400

What would happen if the polar ice caps melted?

Learn more about melting ice caps, global warming and rising sea levels in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 04 Jun 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How can I recover a deleted file from my computer?

In many cases, it's possible to recover files that have been deleted by using your computer's Recycle Bin. Marshall Brain reveals ways to recover deleted files -- and how to erase them permanently -- in this episode.
Mon, 26 May 2014 19:28:56 -0400

How Light Wave Interference Works

When white light hits a film of oil floating on water, most of it passes through the film, but some of the light is reflected off the top and bottom layers of the film. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about light wave interference.
Fri, 23 May 2014 19:06:15 -0400

How Phones Work During Power Outages

Phone companies use generators to ensure that landline phones will work, even in the event of a power outage. Learn more about phone systems in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Wed, 21 May 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How Liquid Smoke Works

By cooling smoke, the hydrocarbons forming smoke can be condensed, thinned, and bottled in a liquid form. Learn about the process of bottling liquid smoke in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 19 May 2014 15:34:49 -0400

What do the yellow and black wires in a home telephone jack do?

It only takes two wires to connect a phone, but most house wiring contains four wires. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn why.
Wed, 14 May 2014 11:54:46 -0400

What Happens to Blood During the Embalming Process?

The embalming process is designed to keep the body preserved until the funeral, but how exactly does it work and what happens to bodily fluids like blood? Get the gory details in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 12 May 2014 09:00:00 -0400

What makes us yawn?

Yawning is a universal human behavior, yet scientists still don't know exactly why we do it or what purpose it serves. Marshall Brain explores some of the theories behind yawning in this episode.
Wed, 07 May 2014 09:00:00 -0400

What is Windows Safe Mode?

Safe Mode is a feature of the Windows operating system that allows users to load a limited version of the system in order to troubleshoot problems. Learn more about using Safe Mode in this episode.
Mon, 05 May 2014 15:11:11 -0400

What makes glass transparent?

The transparency of materials has to do with their molecular state. Discover how silica and heat produce the transparent material we call glass in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 02 May 2014 18:09:06 -0400

What is a blowout preventer?

The massive oil spill that flooded the Gulf of Mexico should have been prevented by a fail-safe device called a Blowout Preventer, or BOP. Find out how this safety mechanism is supposed to work -- and why it didn't -- in this episode.
Wed, 30 Apr 2014 14:38:11 -0400

What is a rice krispy?

Like many cereals, rice krispies are made by puffing grains -- in this case, rice. Find out how rice krispies and other puffed cereals are manufactured in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 28 Apr 2014 14:00:07 -0400

How do hopping cars work?

Lowriders are vehicles that ride very low to the ground and are often equipped with hydraulics systems that allow the cars to "hop." Learn more in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 25 Apr 2014 09:00:00 -0400

How does hemp work?

Hemp fibers are coarse and strong, perfect for things like rope -- hemp is also more environmentally friendly than many other crops. Listen in as Marshall Brain takes a look at the controversy surrounding hemp in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:27:29 -0400

How do self-cleaning ovens work?

What does it take for an oven to clean itself? A whole lot of heat! Marshall Brain explains how these special ovens use intense temperatures to burn off baking spills and debris in this episode.
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:39:40 -0400

What is low-power FM (LPFM)?

FM radio stations have high operating costs, so they're seldom affordable to individuals and small organizations that want to use them for not-for-profit purposes. Find out how LPFM stations work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 18:50:25 -0400

How does satellite Internet work?

If you're trying to access the Internet in a very rural or remote place, satellite Internet is probably your best bet. In this episode, Marshall explains how satellite Internet works.
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:02:16 -0400

What is an IP address?

Every computer that's connected to the Internet has its own unique "address." Tune in as Marshall explains how IP addresses work -- and how many of them exist -- in this episode.
Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:48:54 -0400

What happens when pregnant women smoke cigarettes?

When pregnant women smoke, they expose their developing babies to a host of addictive, harmful chemicals. In this episode, Marshall Brain explains how nicotine and other compounds found in cigarettes affect developing fetuses.
Mon, 31 Mar 2014 19:32:21 -0400

What is a funicular railway?

A funicular railway combines the technology of an elevator and a train. But how do they actually work? Learn more about these fascinating railways -- and how old they are -- in this episode.
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 17:01:24 -0400

How are LCD screens backlit?

In this episode, Marshall explains the two technologies that are used to backlight LCD panels. Tune in to learn more about the science behind LCD panels.
Wed, 26 Mar 2014 12:00:51 -0400

What is a stratospheric aerosol?

Stratospheric aerosols have been proposed as a new way to combat global warming -- but what's the science behind this proposal? Discover how stratospheric aerosols would work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 24 Mar 2014 15:27:07 -0400

Tiny Houses

Tiny houses are part of a growing trend, but why would someone want an itty bitty house? In this episode, Marshall talks about the benefits and challenges of building a tiny home.
Wed, 19 Mar 2014 14:05:26 -0400

What is a Nor’easter?

Nor'easters are storm systems that frequently occur in the eastern United States during winter. In this episode, Marshall explains where Nor'easters get their name, how they work and why some Nor'easters are more powerful than others.
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 12:57:59 -0400

How do smoke detectors intercommunicate?

Some AC-powered smoke detectors are wired to communicate with each other. So when one unit is triggered, all of the units go off. Find out how this intercommunication works in this episode.
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 15:54:17 -0500

Where did the potato chip come from?

Potato chips were invented in 1853 by an American cook named George Crum, and they've been a popular food item ever since. Learn more about George Crum and the evolution of the potato chip in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 05 Mar 2014 13:09:37 -0500

What causes poison ivy blisters?

When people get a rash from poison ivy, their bodies are reacting to a chemical called urushiol. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about poison ivy rashes.
Mon, 03 Mar 2014 13:37:35 -0500

How do mood rings work?

Mood rings claim to reflect changes in your emotional state -- and, in a way, they do. Discover the science behind mood rings in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 28 Feb 2014 17:12:43 -0500

What makes your knuckles pop?

Learn more about the anatomy (and chemistry) behind that popping sound your knuckles make when you crack them in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 26 Feb 2014 14:26:20 -0500

Could I see a flashlight beam from Earth on the moon?

If you shone a flashlight beam from Earth, would you be able to see it from the moon? It depends. Find out why -- and get a lesson in how light works -- in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 24 Feb 2014 12:45:28 -0500

Why do tools have "drop forged" stamped on them?

Tools that say "drop forged" have been created using a technique called drop forging. Find out how drop forging and several other kinds of forging work, and why drop forging is a sign of a sturdy tool, in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 21 Feb 2014 09:00:00 -0500

How does the lighter in a barbeque grill work?

A barbeque grill has a push-button lighter that relies on piezoelectricity to generate a spark. Learn more about how piezoelectricity works -- and the kinds of devices that use piezoelectric materials -- in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 19 Feb 2014 09:00:00 -0500

How can you measure the height of a tall tower?

In this episode of BrainStuff, Marshall reveals three common techniques for measuring the height of tall objects like towers.
Mon, 17 Feb 2014 15:52:21 -0500

Why does the moon look bigger when it's near the horizon?

When the moon is near the horizon, it appears to be much bigger than when it's high in the sky. But is it really larger? Tune in to find out.
Fri, 14 Feb 2014 13:12:09 -0500

How do photochromatic lenses work?

Photochromatic lenses darken when exposed to the sun. Discover where these lenses came from, how they work and why they're commonly referred to as "transition" lenses in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 12 Feb 2014 14:44:47 -0500

How does a movie clapperboard work?

A movie clapperboard isn't just a placemarker; this device helps movie makers synchronize a movie's audio and video elements. Find out how a traditional movie clapperboard works, as well as a digital one, in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 10 Feb 2014 17:08:14 -0500

Why doesn't gasoline burn cleanly?

Since gasoline is a liquid formed of carbon and hydrogen, it's possible to trace the chemical reactions in car exhaust and understand what types of pollutants are created by a car's engine. Tune in and learn more about the science behind burning gas.
Fri, 07 Feb 2014 19:00:53 -0500

How do jet engines start?

If you've ever watched a jet engine start, you've probably noticed that the blades begin to rotate slowly before spinning up to full speed -- but why? Listen in as Marshall Brain breaks down the science behind jet engines in this episode.
Wed, 05 Feb 2014 17:14:33 -0500

Can cans and string really be used like a telephone?

You've probably heard of this trick before: Connecting two cans with a piece of string in the bottom of each can will supposedly allow people to speak over a distance to one another. Tune in as Marshall Brain explains how it works in this episode.
Mon, 03 Feb 2014 18:18:52 -0500

What is making my backyard sparkle at night?

One night, Marshall went outside with a headlight lamp on his head and discovered that his backyard was full of sparkling reflections. What were these sparkles? Discover the surprising answer in this episode.
Fri, 31 Jan 2014 13:27:54 -0500

What can you do to make yourself really unhappy?

There are lots of articles and research on happiness these days, but what about unhappiness? What makes us unhappy, and will avoiding it make us happy? In this episode, Marshall points out three behaviors that are sure to create unhappiness.
Wed, 29 Jan 2014 15:49:23 -0500

What is the difference between hardwood and softwood?

When it comes to differentiating between hardwoods and softwoods, it's not a matter of hardness or density -- it's all about plant reproduction. Marshall explains what angiosperms and gymnosperms are in this episode.
Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:12:10 -0500

How do stabilizer bars work?

Stabilizer bars are designed to keep your car from rolling when you make sharp turns. Learn more about how these bars work in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 08 Jan 2014 16:19:56 -0500

How does a CB radio antenna work?

A citizens band (CB) radio is often used by truck drivers to communicate while on the road, but how does it work? Marshall Brain gives a detailed explanation of how a CB radio's antenna works in this episode.
Fri, 03 Jan 2014 09:00:00 -0500

When you have an itch, what's happening under your skin?

Skin covers our bodies, so it's very easy for this delicate organ to get irritated. In this episode, Marshall explains why our bodies respond to irritants with an itching sensation -- and why we're programmed to scratch.
Wed, 01 Jan 2014 09:17:41 -0500

What is a digital signature?

A digital signature is a way to authenticate electronic documents. Find out what 'authentic' means in this context -- and how encryption is involved in the authentication process -- in this episode.
Mon, 30 Dec 2013 10:52:01 -0500

Why do some engines use a dry sump oil system?

Most car engines use a wet sump oil system, but some rely on a dry sump system. Find out how a dry sump system works -- and why it's advantageous -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 27 Dec 2013 09:00:00 -0500

What are carbide tips?

Many cutting tools are made of materials like steel but have carbide tips, which stay sharper longer. Learn more about carbide tips in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 25 Dec 2013 09:00:00 -0500

Is it possible to use a leaf blower as a supercharger?

Leaf blowers are convenient, but are they living up to their potential? In this podcast, Marshall examines superchargers, explaining how a leaf blower can (theoretically) perform the same duties. Tune in and learn more about hacking leaf blowers.
Mon, 23 Dec 2013 09:00:00 -0500

How does a QWERTY keyboard work?

The QWERTY keyboard is the standard for most computers today, but why are the letters arranged in such a peculiar way? Learn more about the QWERTY keyboard's unusual layout -- and how it compares to the Dvorak design -- in this episode.
Fri, 20 Dec 2013 09:00:00 -0500

How does a fiber optic cable work?

Fiber optic cables make long-distance telephone communication and Internet access much more affordable and accessible. Get Marshall's explanation of fiber optic cables in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 18 Dec 2013 11:55:10 -0500

Does airing out mattresses outside do any good?

Airing out rugs and mattresses outdoors is a great way to disinfect them, thanks to a little thing called ultraviolet light. Find out how UV light can disinfect everything from rugs to water in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 16 Dec 2013 12:36:34 -0500

How Lava Lamps Work

Liquid motion lamps -- or lava lamps -- use heat to create slight differences in the density of two liquids. Learn more about lava lamps and density in this Brainstuff podcast.
Fri, 13 Dec 2013 09:00:00 -0500

How Dry Cleaning Works

Dry cleaning is not actually clean -- instead, it uses a petroleum solvent in place of water. Learn more about dry cleaning in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 09:00:00 -0500

How Dehumidifiers Work

Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air -- but how does this actually work? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about dehumidifiers.
Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:24:18 -0500

How Does Yawning Work?

Just hearing about yawning can make you yawn, and no one is sure why. Learn more about yawns and yawning in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Wed, 27 Nov 2013 13:08:52 -0500

How the Nobel Prize Works

Nobel Prizes are highly prestigious, valuable awards that have been given out to visionaries and pioneers in select fields since 1901. Tune in to find out more about the Nobel Prize in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 22 Nov 2013 14:42:31 -0500

What constitutes a person's IQ?

Your IQ, or intelligence quotient, is a reflection of how well you perform on a specific test that measures cognitive abilities. Learn more about IQ tests in this episode.
Wed, 20 Nov 2013 09:00:00 -0500

What type of gas do racecars use?

Different types of racing vehicles require different types of fuel. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the advantages and drawbacks of each fuel type.
Wed, 13 Nov 2013 09:00:00 -0500

How do you make clear ice cubes?

What makes some ice cloudy and some perfectly clear? Discover the answer and learn how to make your own batch of clear cubes in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Wed, 06 Nov 2013 17:17:06 -0500

What is the ideal temperature for a refrigerator?

The purpose of a refrigerator is to slow the growth of bacteria -- since some foods don't freeze well, they can't be placed in a freezer. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn the ideal temperature for your refrigerator.
Mon, 28 Oct 2013 15:18:55 -0400

Does adding RAM make a computer faster?

Adding random access memory -- or RAM -- to your computer can, to a degree, make the machine faster. Check out this podcast from HowStuffWorks to learn how RAM affects your computer.
Fri, 25 Oct 2013 09:00:00 -0400

What does 'octane' mean?

The octane rating of gasoline indicates how much a fuel can be compressed before it ignites. When gas ignites due to compression, knocking occurs within the engine. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about octane and engines.
Wed, 23 Oct 2013 09:40:49 -0400

How Case Hardening Works

Steel is an amazing metal. Many different varieties of steel exist, and some types of steel are better for certain tasks. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn how case hardening allows manufactures to get the best of multiple types of steel.
Mon, 21 Oct 2013 12:34:38 -0400

Why do batteries die but then come back to life?

Batteries -- particularly car batteries -- seem to go dead and then come back to life after a resting period. How does this self-recharging feature of batteries work? Find out in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 18 Oct 2013 09:00:00 -0400

How the Horizon Works

When you stand at the water's edge and look out toward the horizon, how far away can you actually see? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the horizon and the curvature of Earth.
Fri, 11 Oct 2013 09:00:00 -0400

How do V-chips work?

As of 1999, all TV sets sold in the Untied States are required to contain a viewer-control chip, also known as a v-chip. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about v-chips and television ratings.
Fri, 04 Oct 2013 09:00:00 -0400

How does hair length work?

As hair cells form in follicles, they push other cells out of the follicle. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about your hair's growth and rest phases.
Mon, 30 Sep 2013 11:21:12 -0400

How do vacuums work?

If a balloon was filled by a vacuum -- rather than helium or air -- would it float? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn the science behind balloons and vacuum.
Fri, 27 Sep 2013 11:58:49 -0400

How does gravity assist with interplanetary satellites?

The idea behind a gravity assist is to use a planet's motion to accelerate a satellite. Check out our article on HowStuffWorks to learn more about the effects of gravity on satellites.
Wed, 25 Sep 2013 11:52:50 -0400

How does large-scale power storage work?

Wind farms and solar power plants are promising sources of renewable energy, but they're not as reliable as conventional power sources. In this episode, Marshall explains how large-scale storage technologies could make solar and wind power more viable.
Mon, 23 Sep 2013 17:08:31 -0400

How can I gain pounds during the day and lose them at night?

Water is a very heavy substance -- just one gallon weighs 8 pounds. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about how the passage of water affects your weight.
Wed, 18 Sep 2013 11:36:57 -0400

How much does it cost to run an electric blanket?

The electric company bills its customer by the kilowatt-hour. The number of watts a device uses times the number of hours you leave it on tells you number of watt-hours it consumes, and divided by 1,000 will convert the measurement to kilowatt-hours. Listen to find out more in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 13 Sep 2013 13:26:02 -0400

Why do hurricanes follow such peculiar tracks?

Hurricanes are enormously destructive, and sometimes seem to have a mind of their own. Tune in to this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about hurricanes.
Fri, 06 Sep 2013 07:42:08 -0400

How do Heart Bypass operations work?

Since the heart is a muscle, it relies on the oxygen and nutrients contained in blood. This blood is supplied by arteries on the exterior of the heart -- when these arteries are blocked, a heart attack results. Listen to find out in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:50:22 -0400

How Inkjet Printers Work

Inkjet printers shoot extremely small droplets of ink -- thirty dots per millimeter or more -- onto paper to produce a picture. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about inkjet printers.
Mon, 02 Sep 2013 11:05:57 -0400

What does the VTEC system do?

Every gasoline engine has valves that work with the camshaft to let air into and out of the engine. Learn how VTEC -- Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control -- allows engines to adapt their camshafts in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Fri, 30 Aug 2013 13:28:31 -0400

How quickly does hair grow?

On average, human hair grows a small amount each day. Listen in as Marshall Brain explains hair growth in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 28 Aug 2013 11:41:03 -0400

How do gun silencers work?

The sound of gunfire is incredibly loud, and it is amazing that anything is able to silence a firearm. However, the principle behind a gun silencer is surprisingly simple. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn more about silencers.
Mon, 26 Aug 2013 08:39:45 -0400

How do exhaust headers work to improve an engine's performance?

The goal of headers is to make it easier for an engine to push out exhaust gasses. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn how exhaust headers channel exhaust gasses and improve engine efficiency.
Fri, 16 Aug 2013 12:38:01 -0400

What causes high tide and low tide?

The moon's gravitational pull is strong enough to affect the oceans on Earth, resulting in low and high tides. Discover exactly how high and low tides work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 09 Aug 2013 12:46:54 -0400

Why doesn't the space shuttle burn up upon re-entry?

Meteors burn up once they hit Earth's atmosphere, and the space shuttle would do the same if it wasn't protected. Learn more about meteors and the technologies that keep the space shuttle from burning up in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 05 Aug 2013 14:26:42 -0400

What is fertilizer, and why do plants need it?

In order for a plant to grow and thrive, it needs a number of different chemical elements. Check out this podcast from HowStuffWorks to learn more about fertilizer.
Fri, 02 Aug 2013 12:14:24 -0400

How do the engines breathe in diesel submarines?

Diesel submarines are actually hybrid vehicles. Find out why -- and exactly how they work -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 09:43:21 -0400

What is a tank engine?

You've probably heard of the beloved character Thomas the Tank Engine, but have you ever wondered what makes him a tank engine? Discover what sets Thomas apart from his locomotive pals in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 15 Jul 2013 10:34:48 -0400

What exactly is a blueprint?

Blueprinting, which has been around since 1842, is a common way to reproduce an architectural drawing. Tune in to learn more about the complex chemical processes that make blueprints blue -- and white -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 12 Jul 2013 15:41:25 -0400

How does a chicken's egg get its shell?

Which came first -- the chicken or the egg? Listen in as Marshall Brain gives the technical answer -- and takes a look at the science behind eggshell formation -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 10 Jul 2013 12:26:26 -0400

Where do bullets go when guns are fired into the air?

When people fire guns into the air in a celebratory manner, those bullets have to go somewhere. Find out how high fired bullets can go -- and why they can be dangerous -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 09:53:57 -0400

How does pressure-treated lumber work?

organisms. Find out why pressure-treated lumber holds up better -- and how it works -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 17 Jun 2013 09:16:27 -0400

How do Mexican jumping beans work?

Although Mexican jumping beans don't actually jump, they're definitely more active than your average bean. Find out how a moth makes them move in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 12 Jun 2013 15:57:47 -0400

How does a hybrid car work?

Hybrid cars combine electric motors and smaller gasoline engines in an attempt to increase efficiency. Find out exactly how they work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 12 Jun 2013 15:34:25 -0400

How does an Indiglo watch work?

An Indiglo watch works a lot like a neon sign, getting its signature "glow" from electroluminescence. Tune in to hear Marshall Brain explain the finer points of Indiglo watch technology in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Tue, 28 May 2013 14:55:16 -0400

What makes NASCAR engines different from other engines?

NASCAR engines are built for maximum efficiency, and they're much more powerful than regular engines. Marshall Brain discusses five ways in which NASCAR engines differ from regular ones in this episode.
Tue, 28 May 2013 13:19:05 -0400

How do torpedo engines work if they're underwater?

Torpedo engines rely on special methods of propulsion to operate underwater. Find out what they are in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 27 May 2013 13:38:52 -0400

How does a Crooke's radiometer work?

Vacuums and light combine to power a Crooke's radiometer -- but how does it work? Listen in and learn more about the mechanisms inside the radiometer in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Thu, 23 May 2013 11:21:22 -0400

Why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky?

In countries like the United States, people have a superstitious fear of one particular date: Friday the 13th. But why? In this episode, Marshall discusses the two main fears that have fueled the Friday the 13th superstitions, as well as their origins.
Wed, 22 May 2013 11:31:58 -0400

What's the best way to back up a computer's hard disk?

Your computer's hard disk stores all your information, but what happens if it gets damaged or dies? In this episode, Marshall Brain explains why it's important to back up your hard disk and weighs the advantages and disadvantages of three backup methods.
Fri, 03 May 2013 16:18:40 -0400

How does bulletproof glass work?

Bullet-resistant glass, commonly referred to as ""bulletproof,"" is a special type of glass designed to resist bullets. Tune in to this episode to learn how different types of bullet-resistant glass work.
Wed, 01 May 2013 18:04:52 -0400

What does tear gas do?

You've probably heard of tear gas before, but did you know that Mace is a form of it? Learn more about the three commonly used types of tear gas -- how they work and what they're used for -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 29 Apr 2013 16:46:51 -0400

What are the fastest hard disks available today?

Hard disk drives and connections have been getting faster and faster. In this episode, Marshall discusses the evolution of the hard disk and the shockingly fast drives available today.
Wed, 24 Apr 2013 14:56:37 -0400

Why should you wash new clothes before wearing them?

Some clothes have tags that say "wash before wearing" or "wash separately." Find out why it's sometimes a good idea to wash new clothes before you wear them in this episode.
Fri, 05 Apr 2013 17:12:09 -0400

How cell phones work

Today's cell phones are amazingly compact, complex devices that provide a wide array of services. Discover the origins of these technological wonders, and the technology that makes them work, in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 15 Mar 2013 16:21:47 -0400

How does a toaster work?

Toasting is a tasty way to increase the durability of bread, and automatic toasters are a convenient way to make toast. Learn more about the chemical change that turns bread into toast and the mechanism behind toasters in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 13 Mar 2013 13:22:48 -0400

Why do most cars use gasoline instead of diesel?

Diesel engines are more efficient than engines that run on gasoline, yet they've never really caught on in passenger cars in the United States. Discover the many reasons why diesel engines aren't the norm in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 08 Mar 2013 13:13:34 -0500

How does Caller ID work?

Almost all cell phones have a capacity for caller ID, which identifies the phone number at the other end of a telephone connection -- but how does it work? Listen in as Marshall Brain breaks down the basics of this surprisingly simple technology.
Mon, 04 Mar 2013 16:24:02 -0500

Where did the hamburger get its name?

The word 'hamburger' seems to imply that pork is a main ingredient, but in fact, this famous beef sandwich got its name from a city. Learn more about the origins and spread of the hamburger in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 01 Feb 2013 14:44:32 -0500

What gives a Harley its distinctive sound?

A Harley Davidson motorcycle emits a very distinctive sound because of the unique way its engine works. Find out more in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 28 Jan 2013 15:05:08 -0500

Does drinking ice water burn calories?

When you drink cold water, your body exerts an effort to warm up the liquid and, in doing so, burns calories. So does that make drinking ice water an effective weight loss strategy? Find out in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 18 Jan 2013 15:52:08 -0500

What is the problem with MTBE in gasoline?

Some gasoline contains MTBE, or methyl tertiary butyl ether. Find out why MTBE is added to gasoline in the first place, and why it's no longer a popular additive, in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 14 Jan 2013 14:21:44 -0500

Why does a manual transmission make a whirring noise?

When manual transmissions are put in reverse, they produce a loud, whirring noise. What's the culprit? Gears. Marshall Brain explains how helical and spur gears work in manual transmissions in this episode.
Wed, 09 Jan 2013 13:56:15 -0500

What is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the world's largest emergency oil stockpile. But why do we have it? Where do we keep it? Find out why the United States created this reserve and where the oil is stored in this episode.
Mon, 07 Jan 2013 13:18:38 -0500

How does the Radio Data System work?

The Radio Data System, or RDS, allows your radio to display information like song titles and radio station call signs. Find out how the RDS works in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 04 Jan 2013 11:47:41 -0500

How does residential real estate work?

There are many different types of residential real estate: traditional houses, condos, mobile homes, etc. But what's the difference between these types? Marshall Brain breaks it down for you in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 19 Dec 2012 14:34:25 -0500

How does the public option work?

In the current U.S. debate over health care reform, a government-sponsored public option has been a controversial topic. Tune in to this episode of BrainStuff to hear Marshall Brain explain the nuances and implications of the public option.
Mon, 10 Dec 2012 17:17:11 -0500

How can the grass on a golf course green be so perfect?

The greens on a golf course are famously smooth and perfect-looking, but how do they get that way? Discover how careful planning, the right ingredients and a whole lot of maintenance yield a flawless green in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 07 Dec 2012 15:39:19 -0500

Why do they add iodine to salt?

Table salt contains iodine to help prevent thyroid problems and iodine deficiencies. Find out how table salt keeps your thyroid happy -- and what iodine has to do with a nuclear attack -- in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:53:52 -0500

What does RSVP mean?

Most people are familiar with the concept of replying to a party invitation via R.S.V.P., but what exactly do those letters represent? Learn more about the origins and practices of etiquette in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 14 Nov 2012 12:49:07 -0500

How does gravity work?

Gravity affects us every single day, but how does this oh-so-common force of nature work? Tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to take a look at the nuts and bolts of gravity.
Wed, 24 Oct 2012 15:20:08 -0400

Why is there a small hole on the top of spray can lids?

Many spray can lids have a tiny hole at the top. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about spray cans, shipping and air pressure.
Mon, 22 Oct 2012 17:47:25 -0400

Why doesn’t the vacuum of space suck away Earth’s atmosphere?

It's often said that "nature abhors a vacuum." If that's true, then why doesn't the vacuum of space suck away our atmosphere? Tune in as Marshall Brain explains the science behind vacuums in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 01 Oct 2012 16:22:39 -0400

How Replacing Toilets Work

A family of four can consume more than 300 gallons of water per day. Old toilets use 5 gallons per flush, and this water use quickly adds up. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast and learn why cities across the US are replacing their old commodes.
Fri, 28 Sep 2012 13:05:54 -0400

What do those plastic recycling symbols mean?

A typical recycling symbol on plastic looks like a triangle made of arrows. There are seven different types of plastic indicated by the symbols. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn the difference between each of these plastic types.
Fri, 21 Sep 2012 13:10:22 -0400

How does a Fresnel lens work?

The thin piece of plastic called a Fresnel lens solves some of the problems inherent in traditional magnifying lenses. Learn more about the benefits and weaknesses of Fresnel lenses in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 17 Sep 2012 14:51:00 -0400

What makes your arms, legs and feet fall asleep?

When you put prolonged pressure on your feet, arms or legs, you temporarily cut off or scramble communications between your brain and your body parts. Marshall explains exactly what happens when body parts "fall sleep" in this episode.
Fri, 31 Aug 2012 13:33:33 -0400

Why is the Nissan Leaf such a big deal?

Nissan recently released the Leaf, a model which may be the first viable electric car to come on the market. How does it work? Why do people have high hopes for it? Tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to find out more about the Nissan Leaf.
Mon, 27 Aug 2012 10:57:56 -0400

Time Stands Still

Current technology isn't able to actually stop the passage of time, but under certain circumstances time can appear to stop -- and all you need is an airplane. Tune in to learn more.
Fri, 27 Jul 2012 10:56:00 -0400

What do the brake warning lights mean in my car?

The brake warning lights in your car light up as part of a routine test. When they stay on, they indicate that there's something wrong with your brake system. Learn more about brake warning lights in this episode.
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 13:06:37 -0400

How much does 20-pound bond paper weigh?

Your average ream of printer paper is called 20-pound bond paper, but it doesn't actually weigh 20 pounds. Tune in as Marshall explains this strange American paper naming system -- and its metric alternative -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 18 Jul 2012 13:45:10 -0400

Why do some doors open inward and some open outward?

In personal residences, doors typically open inward; in public buildings, however, doors open outward. Why the difference? It's all about safety and security, as Marshall explains in this episode.
Fri, 13 Jul 2012 15:06:00 -0400

How does Christmas work?

Christmas is the biggest holiday on the American calendar -- but how did it get this way? Travel back in time with Marshall Brain as he explores the evolution of Christmas in this special holiday episode.
Mon, 09 Jul 2012 11:27:16 -0400

Why are West Coast waves bigger than East Coast waves?

The West Coast of the United States seems to produce bigger, more impressive waves than the East Coast. But why? In this episode, Marshall explains the various factors that make West Coast waves bigger and better.
Fri, 06 Jul 2012 12:30:25 -0400

What is a T1 line and how does it work?

A T1 line is a dedicated fiber optic or copper cable that provides businesses with far more digital data than a residential line. Discover how T1 and other kinds of fiber optic lines work in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 04 Jul 2012 13:24:00 -0400

How do you decaffeinate coffee and tea?

There are multiple methods of removing caffeine from naturally caffeinated plant products. Learn more about these processes -- and how much caffeine they really remove -- in this episode.
Fri, 29 Jun 2012 14:46:23 -0400

How do Voyager 1 and 2 transmit messages from far away?

Spacecraft Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 transmit images of space and its contents from great distances, but how? Learn more about the technology that allows them to send radio messages from far, far away in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 27 Jun 2012 12:13:30 -0400

Do Power Balance Wristbands really work?

Do Power Balance Wristbands really work? Find out in this BrainStuff podcast by Marshall Brain.
Fri, 22 Jun 2012 15:46:30 -0400

What's the most efficient way to mow your yard?

There's more than one way to mow a yard, but which is the most efficient? Tune in to this episode of BrainStuff to find out.
Wed, 13 Jun 2012 14:33:58 -0400

How does disk defragmentation work?

The term 'disk defrag' usually refers to the Windows utility known as the disk defragmenter. But what exactly is this thing, and how does it work? Tune in as Marshall Brain explains disk defragmentation in this podcast.
Wed, 06 Jun 2012 15:33:34 -0400

How do space mirrors work?

Mirrors placed in space could deflect excessive sunlight and combat global warming trends. Find out more about space mirrors in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 01 Jun 2012 09:07:38 -0400

Why do newspapers turn yellow over time?

Newspapers turn yellow over time because they contain lignin, a substance in wood that oxidates when exposed to air and light. Learn more about lignin and paper processing in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 21 May 2012 15:19:36 -0400

Why do eggs turn hard when you boil them?

Eggs are rich in protein, and this protein causes eggs to turn hard when they're boiled - but how does it actually work? Tune in as Marshall Brain breaks down the science behind hard-boiled eggs.
Fri, 11 May 2012 16:24:31 -0400

How do you add a USB device if you've run out of ports?

Desktop computers and laptops only have so many USB ports, so what do you do when you want to plug in more USB devices and they're all full? You buy a USB hub. Find out how these hubs work, and which kind you should get, in this episode of BrainStuff.
Fri, 27 Apr 2012 12:06:36 -0400

What is an autograph worth?

An autograph is a famous person's signature, but what determines how valuable it is? Marshall Brain discusses the relative value of autographs -- and what you can do to increase the value of your own signature.
Mon, 23 Apr 2012 12:53:28 -0400

What are electrolytes?

What are electrolytes, and why do athletes and sick kids need them? Marshall Brain explains how ions and electrolytes work in your body in this episode.
Fri, 20 Apr 2012 12:14:37 -0400

Why do most zippers say 'YKK' on the pull-tab?

Have you ever wondered why zippers often have the letters 'YKK' etched into them? Learn more about the Japanese company behind the tiny letters -- and the zippers -- in this episode.
Fri, 13 Apr 2012 15:49:23 -0400

How much coal does a light bulb need to run for a year?

How much coal do you need to run a 100-watt light bulb 24 hours a day for a year? The answer might surprised. Tune in and find out in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 09 Apr 2012 11:05:57 -0400

What is mayonnaise?

Mayo is an emulsion - a mixture of two liquids that normally can't be combined. So how do these ingredients come together? Tune in to learn how oil, egg yolks and acid combine to form one of the world's most popular condiments.
Fri, 06 Apr 2012 12:16:54 -0400

Is there an easy way to understand how time zones work?

There are 24 different time zones -- but why do we have them? In this podcast, Marshall recounts how society evolved time zones, and also gives you an easy way to model the structure of time zones across the globe.
Wed, 04 Apr 2012 11:19:15 -0400

Can picking a movie theater get any more complicated?

With all the recent technological breakthroughs, choosing the right movie theatre has become increasingly complex. Why? Listen in as Marshall breaks down the different sound and video technologies available in modern movie theaters.
Mon, 19 Mar 2012 11:48:41 -0400

How does emergency preparedness work?

In moments, a natural disaster can level cities, kill thousands and force survivors to scavenge through the rubble for supplies. In this podcast, Marshall discusses the importance of preparedness and the types of supplies you may need in an emergency.
Fri, 16 Mar 2012 10:46:19 -0400

Why can biting on aluminum foil be painful?

When (dental) metal in your mouth comes in contact with aluminum foil, your teeth get a painful shock from the electricity produced. Marshall Brain explains how the voltaic effect plays out in your mouth in this episode.
Wed, 08 Feb 2012 11:36:08 -0500

How does WikiLeaks work?

WikiLeaks is a controversial "not-for-profit media organization" that disseminates secret, leaked information to the public. But how exactly does this group work? And why does it exist? Marshall Brain takes a look at WikiLeaks in this episode.
Fri, 27 Jan 2012 12:30:09 -0500

Are all blood types needed for donation?

In this episode, Marshall explains how proteins determine your blood type -- and why blood types must match for blood transfusions to be successful.
Wed, 18 Jan 2012 11:34:57 -0500

Japan's Nuclear Problem

When the recent earthquake hit Japan, it seemed the country had withstood the worst of the blast -- until explosions occurred at a nuclear power plant. Is another disaster on the way? Tune in as Marshall explains the state of Japan's nuclear power plants.
Wed, 28 Dec 2011 13:17:15 -0500

What does a gigabyte of internet access really cost?

Internet service providers often tangle with customers who claim they're being ripped off -- but how much does a gigabyte of access actually cost? Join Marshall Brain as he breaks down the real cost of a gigabyte's worth of internet access.
Thu, 22 Dec 2011 22:50:04 -0500

Which 4G services are available in the U.S. today?

If you have a smart phone, you may be interested in 4G service for the data you receive. But which services are available, and which one will suit your needs? Listen in as Marshall Brain breaks down the differences between 4G services.
Wed, 21 Dec 2011 10:20:07 -0500

Why is a cell phone called a cell phone?

Cellular phone systems divide areas of coverage into "cells," hence the name. But how do they actually work? Listen in as Marshall Brain breaks down the nuts and bolts of cell phone systems in this episode.
Mon, 19 Dec 2011 14:53:54 -0500

How does the oxygen sensor in a car work?

All new cars sport oxygen sensors that are designed to cut down emissions and keep the engine running smoothly. Find out exactly how these sensors work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 14 Dec 2011 11:00:40 -0500

Why can I play some DVDs, but not others?

Film studios use regional code protection in DVD technology to protect content and to control worldwide release dates. Tune as Marshall Brain breaks down the concept of region codes in this podcast.
Fri, 02 Dec 2011 11:21:31 -0500

How do CD-R discs work?

Unlike a regular CD, a CD-R has a special dye layer that allows you to imprint data on it. Discover the mechanics of CD-R discs in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 30 Nov 2011 14:41:35 -0500

Is chocolate poisonous to dogs?

Under the right conditions, chocolate can indeed be deadly for dogs. Tune in to learn more about the compound in chocolate that makes it dangerous for dogs (and how much is too much) in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 16 Nov 2011 14:35:58 -0500

How can there be seedless grapes?

Seedless grapes are the most common kind on the market, but have you ever wondered how a grape can be seedless? How does it grow? Discover how seedless grapes accidentally came about -- and how they grow -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 14 Nov 2011 15:02:34 -0500

How do self-driving cars work?

Self-driving cars seem like the stuff of science fiction, but they're closer to becoming reality than you might think. In this episode, Marshall breaks down the technology behind experimental self-driving cars.
Mon, 24 Oct 2011 12:43:34 -0400

How do British royal titles work?

In this episode of BrainStuff, Marshall Brain gives a detailed explanation of how British royal titles work.
Fri, 07 Oct 2011 13:23:01 -0400

Why do they include jokers in a deck of playing cards?

The joker is an obscure and (according to some) useless addition to a deck of modern playing cards -- but it was originally a powerful card. Discover the history of the joker card and the modern card deck in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 03 Oct 2011 09:56:51 -0400

What is dynamite? How does it work?

Dynamite is a type of chemical explosive. Discover how explosives from gasoline to dynamite work in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 28 Sep 2011 13:02:45 -0400

Why is dry ice dangerous?

Dry ice is different from regular ice in several ways. Find out what makes dry ice so unique -- and why it's so good for transporting perishables over long distances -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 26 Sep 2011 15:37:38 -0400

How can a car get 100 MPG?

Created in the 1980s, the Avion is a car that can get more than 100 miles per gallon. In this episode, Marshall Brain talks about the factors that make the Avion so efficient -- and how the same techniques could be applied to production vehicles.
Mon, 05 Sep 2011 15:23:26 -0400

How Jelly, Jam and Preserves Work

Jam, jelly, and preserves are all made from fruit mixed with sugar and pectin. Jell-O, on the other hand, is completely different. Take a look at our HowStuffWorks article to learn more.
Fri, 02 Sep 2011 12:16:25 -0400

What happens when you press Alt and F4?

The alt-f4 key combination is a faster way to close a window on your computer. Learn more about this and several other keyboard shortcuts in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 26 Aug 2011 16:54:18 -0400

Where's the best place to sit in a movie theater?

When it comes to where you should sit in a movie theater to get the best experience, it's mostly a matter of preference. Except when it comes to sound. Find out why -- and where you should sit -- in this episode.
Mon, 22 Aug 2011 16:20:36 -0400

Why is bamboo suddenly appearing in so many products?

Nowadays bamboo is used to make all sorts of products, from flooring and furniture to bicycle frames. In this episode, Marshall explains why bamboo is becoming so popular -- and the advantages of using it to create consumer goods.
Mon, 15 Aug 2011 14:47:18 -0400

How Internet Cookies Work

Internet cookies are information stored as text strings on a machine by a web server. Most commonly, cookies are used to store user IDs.
Wed, 03 Aug 2011 15:42:53 -0400

How does making bread work?

Bread is a technology for turning hard kernels into a soft foodstuff. Learn more about bread and yeast in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 01 Aug 2011 13:13:06 -0400

How does the ball return work on a pool table?

If you've ever played a coin-operated pool table, then you've probably noticed that the table can sense the difference between the cue ball and the other balls in play. But how does this work? Tune in and find out in this podcast.
Fri, 29 Jul 2011 15:15:39 -0400

How do a zebra's stripes act as camoflauge?

A zebra's stripes offer protection from predators in the form of camouflage -- and a way to identify individual members within the larger group. Learn more about zebra stripes in this episode.
Wed, 27 Jul 2011 12:47:20 -0400

How the Lightsaber Effect Works

Unfortunately lightsabers aren't real. The technique used to produce the lightsaber effect is simple, but tedious. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the special effects behind lightsabers.
Mon, 18 Jul 2011 13:28:05 -0400

What type of gas do race cars use?

Different types of racing vehicles require different types of fuel. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the advantages and drawbacks of each fuel type.
Wed, 13 Jul 2011 11:38:12 -0400

How Calorie Meters Work

It's easy to jump on an exercise machine and watch the calorie meter -- but how accurate are these meters? Learn more about calorie meters in this HowStuffWorks podcast
Fri, 24 Jun 2011 13:45:13 -0400

What are hot dogs made from?

Hot dogs were first created in Frankfurt, Germany. But what exactly are they made from? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the mysterious ingredients of hot dogs.
Wed, 22 Jun 2011 15:05:14 -0400

How much fuel does an airplane use for a trip?

A Boeing 747 uses approximately one galloon of fuel per second -- over the course of a ten hour flight, it might burn 36,00 galloons of fuel. How does this compare to a car? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about airplane mileage.
Fri, 10 Jun 2011 14:23:32 -0400

How Contrails Work

The clouds that some jets form on certain days are called condensation trails -- or contrails. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about condensation, weather and jets.
Wed, 01 Jun 2011 12:21:31 -0400

How big does a meteor have to be to reach the ground?

If you've spent much time looking up at the night sky, then you've probably seen some spectacular meteor showers. But how big do these things have to be make it through Earth's atmosphere and reach the ground? Tune in and find out.
Fri, 27 May 2011 13:52:26 -0400

Is there any way to see orbiting satellites?

Satellites are fascinating, but for most people they're somewhat mysterious. They float somewhere in space, invisible to the naked eye -- or are they? In this episode of BrainStuff, Marshall explains the physics behind satellites and orbits.
Wed, 25 May 2011 17:05:48 -0400

Marshall Brain's News Roundup: May 6th, 2011

With billions of people on the planet and millions of astonishing events happening each day, it's tough to keep track of everything. Luckily, Marshall's here to keep you up-to-date with the latest news in his weekly news roundup. Tune in and learn more.
Fri, 06 May 2011 16:30:06 -0400

Marshall Brain's News Roundup: April 29th, 2011

With billions of people on the planet and millions of astonishing events happening each day, it's tough to keep track of everything. Luckily, Marshall's here to keep you up-to-date with the latest news in his weekly news roundup. Tune in and learn more.
Fri, 29 Apr 2011 16:13:51 -0400

Marshall Brain's News Roundup: April 22nd, 2011

From the Dukan Diet to gigantic super organisms, there's no shortage of fascinating news stories each week -- so how can you keep track of the best? Never fear: Tune in as Marshall catches you up to speed with his weekly news roundup.
Fri, 22 Apr 2011 13:54:56 -0400

Marshall Brain's News Roundup: April 15th, 2011

With billions of people on the planet and millions of astonishing events happening each day, it's tough to keep track of everything. Luckily, Marshall's here to keep you up-to-date with the latest news in his weekly news roundup. Tune in and learn more.
Fri, 15 Apr 2011 14:32:59 -0400

Marshall Brain's News Roundup: April 7th, 2011

With billions of people on the planet and millions of astonishing events happening each day, it's tough to keep track of everything. Luckily, Marshall's here to keep you up-to-date with the latest news in his weekly news roundup. Tune in and learn more.
Fri, 08 Apr 2011 17:41:23 -0400

How many people does it take to do a Formula 1 pit stop?

If you've ever seen a Formula 1 race, then you know the race isn't just between cars -- it's also between pit stop crews. In seven seconds these crews perform an entire pit stop. But how does it work, and how many people does it take? Tune in to find out.
Wed, 06 Apr 2011 14:21:16 -0400

Marshall Brain's News Roundup: April 1st, 2011

With billions of people on the planet and millions of astonishing events happening each day, it's tough to keep track of everything. Luckily, Marshall's here to keep you up-to-date with the latest news in his weekly news roundup. Tune in and learn more.
Fri, 01 Apr 2011 16:27:34 -0400

Marshall Brain's News Roundup: March 25th, 2011

From streaming photo albums to Rebecca Black, this week has been chock-full of fascinating (or, at least in Rebecca's case, unavoidable) events. Tune in as Marshall Brain helps you catch up on the latest and most interesting news from around the world.
Fri, 25 Mar 2011 15:28:35 -0400

Marshall Brain's News Roundup: March 18th, 2011

As the nuclear situation in Japan continues to deteriorate, Marshall explores how a similar earthquake could affect the United States. And that's not all: Tune in and catch up on the latest, most fascinating news of the past week in this podcast.
Fri, 18 Mar 2011 17:29:51 -0400

Marshall Brain's News Roundup: March 4th, 2011

Want to catch up on the biggest news stories of the week? If so, tune in as Marshall Brain analyzes the latest breaking news from around the world in this weekly news roundup. Tune in to learn more.
Fri, 04 Mar 2011 15:49:35 -0500

Marshall Brain's News Roundup: February 25th, 2011

Will the USB port become a thing of the past? How far will the price of solar power fall? Join Marshall Brain as he brings you the latest world news, from the death of the Guinea worm or the growth of private space exploration.
Fri, 25 Feb 2011 15:47:17 -0500

Marshall Brain's News Roundup 2-18-2011

From Jeopardy's first nonhuman contestant to the secret recipe for Coca-Cola, this week has been packed with fascinating stories. Tune in as Marshall helps you catch up on the week's most interesting news.
Fri, 18 Feb 2011 17:10:49 -0500

Marshall Brain's News Roundup No. 2

Each Friday, Marshall Brain brings you the latest news of the week in one handy podcast. Want to know what's shaking in the world of technology, science and more? Then tune in for a dose of BrainStuff.
Fri, 11 Feb 2011 13:01:18 -0500

Marshall Brain's News Roundup No. 1

What's the deal with the UFO sighting in Jerusalem? Will the high schools of the future be filled with telepresence robots? Tune in and join Marshall Brain as he reviews the week's most fascinating news.
Fri, 04 Feb 2011 16:16:14 -0500

Anti-reflective Coatings

Anti-reflective coatings are used to eliminate any light reflective off the back of the lenses. Learn about anti-reflective coatings in this BrainStuff episode.
Mon, 17 Jan 2011 13:06:33 -0500

What is the coolest stuff from the 2011 edition of CES?

When it came to gadgets, the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show did not disappoint. But which new products were the coolest? Tune in as Marshall Brain breaks down the latest and greatest of the CES in this podcast.
Mon, 10 Jan 2011 13:00:42 -0500

What is a cyberwar, and what tactics do cyber warriors use?

Modern warfare has expanded beyond its tradtional venues and tactics, infiltrating the world of cyberspace. In this episode, Marshall discusses the many forms of cyber warfare, from computer hacking to viruses.
Mon, 20 Dec 2010 15:15:15 -0500

Is it possible to get free land and free houses in the U.S.?

In the 1860s, the Homestead Act provided free land to settlers. Is there anything like that in 2010? In this episode, Marshall explains why and how it's possible to acquire land and houses for free -- or really cheaply -- in the United States today.
Fri, 17 Dec 2010 16:42:07 -0500

Is there a way to make my sunglasses scratch-resistant?

Sunglasses have various special coatings: Some are reflective, while others are scratch-resistant. In this episode, Marshall explains how these different coatings work.
Mon, 06 Dec 2010 15:13:56 -0500

how does a direct-injection 2-stroke engine work?

In a previous episode, Marshall explained how 4-stroke, direct-injection engines work; In this one, he takes a look at 2-stroke engines that utilize direct injection technology.
Mon, 22 Nov 2010 16:15:41 -0500

How did instant cameras work?

Instant cameras made it possible to see a photograph almost immediately after you'd taken it. But how? In this episode, Marshall explains the chemical processes behind regular and instant photographic film.
Fri, 15 Oct 2010 14:54:16 -0400

What is a Nor'easter?

Nor'easters are storm systems that frequently occur in the eastern United States during winter. In this episode, Marshall explains where Nor'easters get their name, how they work and why some Nor'easters are more powerful than others.
Fri, 24 Sep 2010 16:00:29 -0400

How do they backlight LCD screens?

In this episode, Marshall explains the two technologies that are used to backlight LCD panels.
Mon, 23 Aug 2010 15:44:58 -0400

What exactly is jello made from?

Jello is tasty, colorful and fun to eat, but what's in it? One of its ingredients, gelatin, comes from animals. Marshall Brain breaks down the chemistry of jello and gelatin in this episode.
Wed, 21 Jul 2010 14:33:58 -0400

What's the best way to get Twitter or Facebook followers?

In this episode, Marshall Brain launches the first of a series of experiments with social media. Tune in to learn more about the new BrainStuff Twitter and Facebook accounts and Marshall's social media experiments.
Wed, 26 May 2010 15:51:27 -0400

When I pay for groceries by check, where does that check go?

When you write a check to purchase goods and services, it passes through the hands of several banks before the process is complete. Marshall explains how checks are processed through intermediary banks in this episode.
Fri, 14 May 2010 13:21:52 -0400

Is it harmful to breathe 100 percent oxygen?

Oxygen is a necessary component of the air we breathe; but in its pure form, it can be hazardous to one's health. Marshall Brain explains how breathing pure oxygen harms the human body in this episode.
Mon, 03 May 2010 14:40:14 -0400

how do I know if my catalytic converter has failed?

An automobile's catalytic converter uses a catalyst to convert harmful exhaust fumes into harmless ones. Find out what happens when your catalytic converter stops working properly -- and how you can tell -- in this episode.
Fri, 09 Apr 2010 13:53:40 -0400

How do blimps work?

Tune in to this episode of BrainStuff to learn more about blimps, from how they work to why they're a popular medium for advertisin
Mon, 15 Feb 2010 19:21:35 -0500

How does a gas pump know when the fuel tank is full?

If you've ever put gas in a car, you've probably noticed how the gas pump shuts off when your tank is full. But how does it know to do that? Learn more about the clever mechanism that keeps your gas tank from overflowing in this episode of BrainStuff.
Wed, 20 Jan 2010 12:36:35 -0500

How does the Nobel Prize work?

Nobel Prizes are highly prestigious, valuable awards that have been given out to visionaries and pioneers in select fields since 1901. Tune in to find out more about the Nobel Prize in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 21 Dec 2009 15:00:57 -0500

How do satellites orbit the Earth?

In this episode of BrainStuff, Marshall explains the physics behind satellites and orbits.
Mon, 23 Nov 2009 10:38:01 -0500

How do they measure sea level?

Sea level is an important measurement, but it's also a complicated one. Find out why in this episode of BrainStuff.
Mon, 26 Oct 2009 10:14:14 -0400

How do herbicides like Roundup work?

Herbicides like Roundup are products that inhibit plant and weed growth in a very specific way. Explore the biochemistry behind glyphosphate-based herbicides in this episode of HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 21 Oct 2009 11:07:06 -0400

Can grilling meat really cause cancer?

Lots of people like to grill their meat, but this popular cooking method has been linked to cancer. Discover how chemical reactions make grilled meat potentially carcinogenic in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 23 Mar 2009 12:00:00 -0400

How long can a germ live in a room?

How long can a germ last outside the body? It depends. Tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to find out how different germs fare outside the body.
Mon, 16 Mar 2009 12:00:00 -0400

How do fog machines work?

There are several types of fog machines, each with specific advantages and disadvantages. Listen in to learn more about fog machines.
Fri, 13 Mar 2009 12:00:00 -0400

Are florescent bulbs really more efficient?

Customers are increasingly choosing long-lasting alternatives to traditional incandescent lights. But are florescent lightbulbs really more efficient than traditional lightbulbs? Listen in and find out in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 09 Mar 2009 12:00:00 -0400

How Car Thermostats Work

Any liquid-cooled car engine has a thermostat that blocks the flow of coolant to the radiator. Learn how the thermostat works to reduce wear, deposits and emissions in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 06 Mar 2009 13:00:00 -0500

Why can boats float on water?

If a boat weighs 1,000 pounds, it will sink into the water until it displaces 1,000 pounds of water. Tune in to learn how the shape of a boat allows it to displace enough water to float in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 04 Mar 2009 13:00:00 -0500

How the Virtual First-Down Line Works

Virtual first down lines are used to indicate where play resumes in football -- but how do they work? Listen in as Marshall Brain explains how the technology superimposes a virtual line in this podcast on HowStuffWorks.com.
Mon, 02 Mar 2009 13:00:00 -0500

What is dioxin?

Dioxin is an organic chemical that consists of benzene, oxygen and chlorine. This chemical is also toxic. Tune in to learn more about dioxin and Agent Orange in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Wed, 25 Feb 2009 13:00:00 -0500

How Activated Charcoal Works

If you look on the label of a water filter, you'll often see the filter contains activated charcoal -- but what exactly is this stuff? Tune in as Marshall Brain explains the nature of activated charcoal in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.
Fri, 20 Feb 2009 13:00:00 -0500

How does SETI at home work?

SETI -- the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence -- is an enormous, global undertaking meant to detect signs of life beyond our solar system. Learn how you can help from home in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.
Wed, 11 Feb 2009 13:00:00 -0500

What is silica gel?

Everyone's familiar with those little packets of silicate gel, found in thousands of products -- but what exactly do they do? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast and learn more about silica gel.
Mon, 02 Feb 2009 13:00:00 -0500

Why doesn't the vacuum of space suck away Earth's atmosphere?

It's often said that "nature abhores a vacuum." If that's true, then why doesn't the vacuum of space suck away our atmosphere? Tune in as Marshall Brain explains the science behind vacuums in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Fri, 30 Jan 2009 13:00:00 -0500

How Vacuums Work

If a balloon was filled by a vacuum -- rather than helium or air -- would it float? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn the science behind balloons and vacuum.
Mon, 15 Dec 2008 13:00:00 -0500

What is an MRE?

An MRE -- or meal ready to eat -- contains precooked, sterilized food originally made to nourish soldiers. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the retort packaging that makes MREs possible.
Fri, 12 Dec 2008 13:00:00 -0500

How Polygraph Machines Work

Also known as 'lie detectors,' polygraphs are used to record an individual's vital signs, such as breathing rate, pulse, and so forth. Check out this podcast from HowStuffWorks to learn more about polygraphs and the art of lie detection.
Wed, 03 Dec 2008 13:00:00 -0500

How much fuel does an international airplane use for a trip?

A Boeing 747 uses approximately one galloon of fuel per second -- over the course of a ten hour flight, it might burn 36,00 galloons of fuel. How does this compare to a car? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about airplane mileage.
Fri, 21 Nov 2008 13:00:00 -0500

What are MP3 files and how do they work

CDs store music using 44,100 16-bit digital samples per second, adding up to about 10 megabytes per minute -- and that's too large to move easily move across the internet. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn how MP3 files solve this problem.
Wed, 19 Nov 2008 13:00:00 -0500

Why do apples and potatoes turn brown when you slice them?

All cells contains thousands of enzymes, and each of these enzymes is necessary for the cell. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn which enzymes cause apples and potatoes to turn brown upon exposure to oxygen.
Fri, 10 Oct 2008 12:00:00 -0400

What is an anti-siphon valve?

In houses with a built-in sprinkler system, anti-siphon valves prevent pesticides, pet waste, and other contaminants from polluting the home's water source. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about anti-siphon valves.
Wed, 08 Oct 2008 12:00:00 -0400

How a GFCI outlet works

A normal 120 volt outlet in the US has two vertical slots and a role hole centered below the slots -- the outlets with a pair of red and black 'test' and 'reset' buttons are known as GCFI outlets. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more.
Fri, 03 Oct 2008 12:00:00 -0400

Could anti-lock brakes detect a flat?

By using a computer to monitor the rotation of the car's wheels, an anti-lock braking system helps drivers avoid skids. Could this computer also monitor flat tires? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about brake systems.
Mon, 29 Sep 2008 12:00:00 -0400

How Gun Silencers Work

The sound of gunfire is incredibly loud, and it is amazing that anything is able to silence a firearm. However, the principle behind a gun silencer is surprisingly simple. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn more about silencers.
Mon, 22 Sep 2008 12:00:46 -0400

How Heart Bypass Operations Work

Since the heart is a muscle, it relies on the oxygen and nutrients contained in blood. This blood is supplied by arteries on the exterior of the heart -- when these arteries are blocked, a heart attack results. Take a look at our HowStuffWorks article to
Fri, 19 Sep 2008 12:00:46 -0400

What is the difference between jelly jam and preserves? And What is Jello?

Jam, jelly, and preserves are all made from fruit mixed with sugar and pectin. Jell-O, on the other hand, is completely different. Take a look at our HowStuffWorks article to learn more.
Fri, 12 Sep 2008 12:10:57 -0400

How children from the same parents look so different?

Every person has a set of chromosomes, or coiled strands of DNA. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn how chromosomes combine to promote variation from one generation to the next.
Mon, 08 Sep 2008 12:12:57 -0400

How Catapults Works

There are three different technologies that fall into the catapult category: the ballista, the trebuchet and the catapult. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the differences between catapult technologies.
Fri, 05 Sep 2008 12:01:53 -0400

What does the computer in a car do?

All cars manufactured today contain at least one computer -- but what does it do? Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about car computers.
Wed, 03 Sep 2008 12:00:53 -0400

How Water Softener Works

The idea behind a water softener is simple: the calcium and magnesium ions in hard water are replaced with sodium ions. Learn more about the harmful effects of hard water -- and the benefits of soft water -- in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Fri, 29 Aug 2008 12:00:12 -0400

How Carbon Chains Work

Learn how the length of hydrocarbon atom chains have different properties, producing substances such as kerosene, methane and other forms of fossil fuel. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about fossil fuels.
Wed, 27 Aug 2008 12:00:12 -0400

Do the humps on camels hold water?

The camel's hump is a giant deposit of fat that lets the camel survive up to 2 weeks without food. Learn more about camels in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 25 Aug 2008 17:00:12 -0400

Why does Alka-Seltzer fizz?

The fizzing you see when you drop an Alka-Seltzer tablet in water is the same sort of fizzing that you see from baking powder. This reaction is caused by an acid reacting with a base. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more.
Wed, 20 Aug 2008 12:00:26 -0400

What causes the banging noise in my home's pipes?

The problem of pipes banging on a wall is often called "water hammer." Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about this phenomenon.
Mon, 18 Aug 2008 12:00:26 -0400

How Catalytic Convertors Work

Catalytic convertors convert hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides into three harmless chemicals, making the exhaust of a vehicle much cleaner.
Mon, 11 Aug 2008 18:13:19 -0400

How 3-Way Lightbulbs Work

A 3-way bulb contains two filaments, and these filaments have differing wattages. Depending on the setting, the filaments operate separately or together to create the appropriate amount of light. Learn more about 3-way bulbs in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Fri, 01 Aug 2008 18:17:19 -0400

How Breathing in a Submarine Work

For air in a submarine to remain usable, three things must happen: The oxygen must be replenished as it is consumed, the carbon dioxide must be removed from the air, and the moisture in human breath must also be removed.
Wed, 30 Jul 2008 18:18:19 -0400

How Fever Works

In this podcast, learn what causes a fever and what actually happens to the body when a fever occurs.
Mon, 28 Jul 2008 18:19:19 -0400

How Fountains in Rome Work

Built before the invention of electric pumps, fountains in Rome were powered through an ingenious system of gravity, cisterns, and aqueducts. Learn more about fountains in Rome in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Fri, 25 Jul 2008 18:20:19 -0400

How Nautical Miles Work

One minute of arc on planet earth is equal to one nautical mile. Listen to this HowStuffWorks podcast and learn more about the measurement of nautical miles.
Mon, 21 Jul 2008 18:22:19 -0400

How Digital Answering Machines Work

Today, most answering machines are digital, and use the same technology as a CD or MP3 player. Learn more about digital answering machines in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Fri, 18 Jul 2008 18:23:19 -0400

How Maple Syrup Works

The clear, thin sap of Maple trees must be boiled down to create maple syrup -- it takes about 30 to 40 gallons of sap to create one gallon of syrup. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about Maple syrup.
Wed, 16 Jul 2008 18:24:19 -0400

How Glowing Watch Hands Work

In many watches, phosphor is mixed with a radioactive element that continously charges the phosphor, powering glowing watch hands. Learn more about glowing watch hands in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 15:57:07 -0400

How Uninterruptible Power Supplies Work

An uninterruptible power supply protects computers against surges, spikes, sags, and total power failure. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about uninterruptible power supplies.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:43:07 -0400

How the Corvette ZR1 Works

The 2009 Corvette ZR1 combines several technical innovations to produce a turbo-charged, eight-cylinder engine. Learn more about the Corvette ZR1 in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:42:07 -0400

How gas pumps work

Next time you're filling up your tank at a gas station, ask yourself this: how does the nozzle know when the tank is full? Learn more about gas pumps in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:41:07 -0400

Why the Sky is Blue?

As sunlight passes through the atmosphere, particles in the air scatter blue light more efficiently than any other color in the light spectrum, creating a blue sky. Learn more about the sky and light in this Brainstuff podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:40:07 -0400

How Radiation Works

Although most people are frightened by radiation, the truth is we are irradiated every day, both from cosmic rays in the sky, and radioactive elements in the ground. Learn more about radiation in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:39:07 -0400

What is the Difference Between a Carat and a Karat?

Carats are used for diamonds, while karats are used for gold. Learn more about the difference between carats and karats in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:38:07 -0400

How Perceiving Earth as a Sphere Works

Is there any way that people could know the world is sphere while standing on the earth? Learn more about perceiving earth as a sphere in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:37:07 -0400

How Flatulance Works

Learn about the causes of gas (flatulence) in this podcast from Marshall Brain.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:36:07 -0400

How Leap Years Work

A normal calendar years is 365 days long, but the earth actually takes 365.2422 days to completely orbit the sun. Learn more about leap years in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:33:07 -0400

How Red Eyes in Photographs Work

The flash of a camera is bright enough to cause a reflection off the human retina -- the red we see in these photos comes from the blood vessels in the eye. Learn more about red eyes and cameras in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:32:07 -0400

What is the Fastest Computer in the World?

Although the speed of computers is growing exponentially, the human brain may handle roughly ten quadrillion instructions per second. Learn more about the world's fastest computer in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:30:07 -0400

How Do Vitamins Work?

A vitamin is a small molecule the body needs but cannot manufacture on its own. Learn more about vitamins in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:29:07 -0400

How Nanosolar Works

A company named Nanosolar is shaking up the alternative energy industry by offering solar technology at the lowest prices in history -- even cheaper than energy derived from coal. Learn more about Nanosolar in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:25:07 -0400

How Ultra Hi-Def Works

A standard HD screen has roughly 2 million pixels per frame -- but an ultra HD has four times that resolution. Learn more about ultra hi-definition in this HowStuffWorks podcast.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:19:07 -0400

How Stealth Technology Work

Shaping an airplane a certain way -- or using materials that absorb radar waves -- causes a stealth aircraft to have the signature of a small bird, rather than an airplane.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 13:15:07 -0400
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