Episodes

December 07, 2021

Tue. 12/07 - Scientists Want SpaceX's Starship To Go To Infinity & Beyond

How SpaceX’s giant Starship rocket could herald a new generation of space exploration. Plus, all sound recordings from the mid-1800s to 1923 are going to be released to the US Public Domain on January 1st. And Heinz and Terry’s have partnered to create a chocolate orange mayonnaise. Yeah.

December 06, 2021

Mon. 12/06 - Why Is It So Hard To Hear Movie Dialogue These Days?

Do you feel like the dialogue in movies has gotten harder to understand? It’s not just you. Sound professionals dish on all the reasons why it’s gotten worse in recent years. Plus, a giant steel structure coming soon to Tasmania has already started recording us to provide evidence of our shame to future civilizations. And honeybees that survived for weeks under volcanic ash after the eruption in the Canary Islands.

December 03, 2021

Fri. 12/04 - Krampus, the Unabomber, & Tickle Me Elmo

Why the FBI thought the inventor of Tickle Me Elmo might have been the Unabomber. A new potential method for freeze-drying vaccines. And it’s Krampusnacht this weekend. Here’s everything you need to know about the sinister anti-Santa.

December 02, 2021

Thu. 12/02 - How a College Student Invented Oregon Trail 50 Years Ago

How a twenty-one-year-old student-teacher and his roommates created Oregon Trail fifty years ago, and never made a cent from their creation. Plus, a letter Catherine the Great wrote in favor of vaccinations just sold for $1.3 million. And, for one night only, you can stay in the original Home Alone house.

December 01, 2021

Wed. 12/01 - Duolingo's Bizarre Sentences

Why does Duolingo use such weird and sometimes deeply relatable phrases to teach its users new languages? Plus, the real science behind the much-hyped “first living robots that can now reproduce.” And the origins of the twelve days of Christmas. Like, the actual days. Not the song about turtle doves.

November 30, 2021

Tue. 11/30 - How Mark Twain Invented the Bra Clasp

How Mark Twain invented the bra clasp. Kinda. Plus, beavers doing the work of million dollar machines to restore land and prevent wildfires––in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost. And a new twist has emerged in the McDonald’s milkshake machine lawsuit saga.

November 29, 2021

Mon. 11/29 - Canada's Emergency Maple Syrup Reserves

Are influencers’ aesthetic choices for their kids threatening their brain development? Probably not, but the science behind it is kind of interesting. Plus, pub-goers in England got stranded for three days with an Oasis tribute band. And there’s a maple syrup shortage, but don’t worry, Canada was ready for it with their emergency maple syrup reserves.

November 24, 2021

Wed. 11/24 - Made-Up Words For Very Real Feelings

How does the CIA go about recruiting young people who are increasingly skeptical of government institutions and also not exactly covert about their lives on social media? Plus, a dictionary of fake words for very real feelings. And are we cautiously eyeing an end in sight for the supply chain issues? Kind of.

November 23, 2021

Tue. 11/23 - Why Do We Say "Sh*t Hit the Fan"?

Why we rely on idioms for communication and how some of the more nonsensical ones entered our lexicon. Plus, a company working on a sort of 10,000 g slingshot to launch satellites into space with zero emissions just pulled off their first successful test launch. And some reflections on reconnecting with the Earth in this era of the climate emergency, without appropriating indigenous cultures.

November 22, 2021

Mon. 11/22 - Oxygen From Moon Rocks Could Sustain Humanity for 100,000 Years

Could lunar explorers of the future be sucking air out of moon rocks? Could all of us? Plus, a device made from household objects could expand the world’s access to vaccines. And the psychological case for decorating for the holidays as early as you want.

November 19, 2021

Fri. 11/19 - The Fake 2000s Yo-Yo Career of 'What We Do In the Shadows' Mark Proksch

A brief history of takeout and delivery. Plus, a What We Do In The Shadows actor’s previous career as an award-winning yo-yo-er. And the abomination that is RanchNog.

November 18, 2021

Thu. 11/18 - AMC Will Soon Deliver Popcorn to Your Home

Will we soon have a new Planet Nine? The first human trial for an Alzheimer’s nasal vaccine is about to be under way. And Papa John’s has changed their name. Technically. And AMC Theaters has said, “movies, who? Never heard of her. We’re a popcorn company now.”

November 17, 2021

Wed. 11/17 - The 1930s "Streaming" Music Service from Seattle

The progenitors to on-demand streaming music, including the multiphone in the 1950s American west and the Théâtrophone in 1880s Paris. Plus, new findings about Jupiter’s Great Red Spot from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. And the woman whose own immune system seems to have effectively cured her of HIV.

November 16, 2021

Tue. 11/16 - Pastel Pavement to Appeal to Women Drivers & More Tired Ideas From Auto History

The US finally has a national recycling strategy as of yesterday. Plus, what is the ultimate song to listen to at any time of the day or night? Scientists figured it out. The gendered history of car and road design. And the giant Reese’s cup “pie” that sold out in mere minutes.

November 15, 2021

Mon. 11/15 - Welcome To The Human Library

Zillow is out of the iBuying game. What does that mean for its competitors and for the future of real estate? Plus, a look into the Human Library. And astronauts aboard the International Space Station were forced to take shelter in their return ships this morning due to on-coming space junk.

November 12, 2021

Fri. 11/12 - The Year Without A Santa Claus? "Labor Shortages" Hit the North Pole

White-tailed deer in America have been found to be transmitting SARS-CoV-2 among each other in higher than expected rates. Plus, next week will be the century’s longest partial lunar eclipse. A new, huge species of dinosaur was discovered on the Isle of Wight. And it’s not just shipping delays to be concerned with this holiday season, now we have a shortage of Santas.

November 10, 2021

Wed. 11/10 - Could Dogs Survive Without Us?

The curious story of how sushi became popular in America. Plus, what would happen to dogs if all their humans disappeared? And in their latest stunt, Heinz says they’ve grown ketchup in Martian conditions.

November 09, 2021

Tue. 11/09 - Why Does America Have So Few Public Restrooms?

A deep dive down the drain pipe to discuss why America has so few public restrooms. Plus, how Pinterest ruined Google Search, and a few options for fixing it.

November 08, 2021

Mon. 11/08 - The Messy Legacy of Emily Dickinson and Her Favorite Cake

Another even more promising antiviral pill for COVID-19 has been announced, this time from Pfizer. Plus, why adults aren’t as good at learning new things as kids are, but is it such a bad thing? And the messy legacy of both Emily Dickinson and her favorite cake recipe.

November 05, 2021

Fri. 11/05 - A Universal Vaccine For EVERY Coronavirus, Not Just COVID-19

How would a universal coronavirus vaccine work and how close are we to having one? Plus, how cosplaying as a superhero can actually make you a better person, at least temporarily. And one of the most notorious serial killers in horror is getting his own killer breakfast cereal.

November 04, 2021

Thu. 11/04 - Steel Igloos In Iceland Turn CO2 Into Rocks

New international space laws may soon be on the horizon. Plus, the brewing battles between artists using AI to reconstruct lost artworks and the estates of the original artists. And some steel igloos in Iceland that protect one of the most promising examples of carbon capture yet.

November 03, 2021

Wed. 11/03 - The McRib, Space Tacos, and Tropicana Toothpaste

An abridged history of the McRib sandwich. Astronauts have leveled up their taco game by growing chile peppers in space. And Tropicana just introduced their own line of toothpaste.

November 02, 2021

Tue. 11/02 - How to Rewild Your Attention

Some tips for “rewilding your attention.” Plus, how to help NASA train future rovers to better navigate Mars. And what’s going on with those NFT billboards in Times Square… and also, the McRib is now an NFT?

November 01, 2021

Mon. 11/01 - "Behind The Joy Are The Algorithms"

A meditation on streaming entertainment, algorithms, and David Foster Wallace’s prescient writing on the illusion of choice. Plus, a possible functional cure for HIV has just been approved to enter human trials. And, the Wampanoag woman who grew heirloom corn on its original land for the first time in over three centuries.