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Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

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Peripersonal Space: Humans? Got Talent

The space around you that you can reach with your arms is a very special place. It?s where we interact with reality. And although we are so good at using it we don?t give it a second thought, our ability to use it is one our most amazing abilities.

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2022-11-29
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Selects: How Umami Works!

For millennia humans have recognized four tastes, but in the 1980s a fifth taste first isolated in Japan gained worldwide acceptance - and took off like a rocket! Learn about meaty, musty, savory umami in this classic episode.

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2022-11-26
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Roller Skating: Fun and Cool

The Victorians were the first to go bonkers for roller skating and since then the pastime has had bursts of popularity every few decades. Over the years skaters have come up with some amazing things to do on skates that go way beyond just going in circles.

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2022-11-24
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Short Stuff: Liquid Paper

Correction fluid goes by many names, but the OG was Liquid Paper. And it has a pretty cool origin story. 

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2022-11-23
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Typewriters: Mechanical Brilliance

Chuck loves typewriters because he loves mechanical brilliance. Dive into the cool history of these amazing machines today. 

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2022-11-22
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Selects: How Dark Money Works

Since the Supreme Court ruled in 2010 in the Citizens United case that political contributions are speech and should be protected, the floodgates of anonymous political contributions have opened. But does absolute funding corrupt absolutely? Find out in this classic episode.

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2022-11-19
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Did Shakespeare really write all that stuff?

The question of Shakespeare's authorship has been around since at least the mid-1800s. Is there anything to it? We'll dig in to this dense topic to find out.

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2022-11-17
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Short Stuff: Incomplete Yawns

Is there anything ? anything ? worse than a yawn you can?t finish? It?s hard to think of anything else and as your obsession with yawning like a normal human being grows it only becomes more difficult. Why? Why?!

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2022-11-16
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The Sordid History of Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties

When it comes to pre-wedding festivities, bachelor and bachelorette parties take the penis-shaped cake. Learn all about these sordid affairs today.  

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2022-11-15
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Selects: Finders Keepers: Real Law

You know that heartbreak of the schoolyard ? finders keepers, losers weepers? That?s actual law in a great many grown up places. Enter the murky legal world of finding something that belongs to someone else, from buried treasure to a misplaced ring. Learn all about it in this classic episode.

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2022-11-12
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How Owls Work

It?s time for another great animal episode and in this one we swoop into the world of owls ? nature?s greatest silent predator who (hooo) also look very cute and intelligent. Not to mention they can turn their heads 270 degrees.

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2022-11-10
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Short Stuff: Dodleston Messages

It?s not everyday that a message from the 16th century appears on a computer from the 1980s, so when that happened it caught an English couple?s attention and launched a still-unresolved mystery  - across tiiiiiiime!

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2022-11-09
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What's so important about legal precedent?

Legal precedent is an odd thing. It matters, but it isn't codified. There are advantages and disadvantages. Let's all dive in and take at STARE DECISIS today. 

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2022-11-08
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Selects: What is an invasive species?

Invasive species can mean a lot of things, from fungus to feral pigs and European starlings to kudzu vines. Basically, it's anything brought to a place, either by humans or nature, that didn't originate there. They aren't always a problem, but many times they can wreak havoc on the local ecosystem. Learn all about these invaders in this classic episode.

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2022-11-05
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Vaudeville: Step Right Up!

In today's episode, you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about vaudeville, whether you like it or not. 

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2022-11-03
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Short Stuff: Birth Certificate Access

It?s unjust but true ? if you are an adoptee in the US you may not have the same right to access your birth certificate that someone who wasn?t adopted does. The quest to access a birth certificate can be a legal rigamarole that may or may not work.

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2022-11-02
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The Harvey's Casino Bombing of 1980

In August of 1980 a bomb containing 1,000 pounds of dynamite was quietly delivered to Harvey?s, a casino and resort at Lake Tahoe. This kicked off a whirlwind caper that lasted 30 hours and ended up nearly demolishing the 11-story resort.

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2022-11-01
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Selects: How Vampires Work

Out of obligation, Chuck and Josh mention Twilight, but it is the longstanding vampire lore that gets the most attention in this examination of how the bloodsucking undead evolved from baby-stealing demonesses to suave counts in our collective psyche. Explore the wild world of vampires in this spooky classic episode.

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2022-10-29
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The 13th Annual Halloween Spooktacular!

It's hard to believe, but this is our 13th edition of the Halloween Spooktacular! So pour up a creepy brew and gather the kids for a dramatic reading of two horror shorts. 

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2022-10-27
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Short Stuff: Robert the Doll

Robert the Doll is decidedly creepy. So is his story. Listen in to this spooky tale right now!

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2022-10-26
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The Tale of the Bloody Benders

Long before we knew what serial killers were, a family in remote Kansas was disposing of victims at their family farm. Listen in to the Tale of the Bloody Benders if you dare!

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2022-10-25
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Selects: 10ish Cases of Really Bad Luck

Some guys have all the luck, some guys have all the pain. So said Rod Stewart. And if this list is any indication, ?guys? is gender neutral. Listen to this classic episode as Chuck and Josh cover some instances of amazingly bad fortune, most of it true!

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2022-10-22
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Fundamentalism: Menace II Society

Fundamentalism is usually thought of as a problem religions have to deal with, but not all fundamentalists are religious. And no matter what their belief system, fundamentalism is inherently antisocial and a problem for everyone.

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2022-10-20
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Short Stuff: Water Towers

Water towers are so ubiquitous you can look right past them, despite them being giant balls of water thrust triumphantly skyward. Learn about these surprisingly ingenious but simple inventions designed to keep you alive.

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2022-10-19
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The History of Fake Towns.

There have been a lot of fake towns built throughout history for a lot of different reasons. Tune in to learn about some of these bogus burgs. 

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2022-10-18
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Selects: How Pompeii Worked

What must be one of the most famous natural disasters in history took place when Mt Vesuvius buried Pompeii in 79 CE. But when the town was resurrected 1700 years later, a new chapter in its history was written. Learn all about it in this classic episode.

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2022-10-15
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10 Cases of Mistaken Identity

There?s a lot that can go wrong when your identity is at question. Charged with abandoning a baby? Check. Years in prison? That too. Accused of assassinating the head of Hamas? Why not. Learn about the travails of some unlucky saps in this episode.

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2022-10-13
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Short Stuff: Blaschko's Lines

Did you know you have stripes? It?s true, you just can?t see them. Learn all about these little-known lines today!

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2022-10-12
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Doppelgängers: Hey you, you're me!

Seeing your near twin is probably pretty weird. But could there be a genetic commonality as well? You bet  there could!  

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2022-10-11
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Selects: Josh and Chuck's List of Horror Movies that Changed the Genre

Once in a while a movie comes along that's so forward-thinking it changes the way that horror is done. A new subgenre is spawned, new tropes are established, and audiences are more terrified than ever. Hear about these pivotal works in this classic episode.

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2022-10-08
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How License Plates Work

The first tags were required just a few years after the firs cars debuted, as a way to catch jerks scaring horses and running down pedestrians. A century on, they continue to protect both. Plus they?ve accrued some interesting history along the way.

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2022-10-06
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Short Stuff: Scratching

Listen in today as we salute turntablism, aka, record scratching.

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2022-10-05
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Vinyl Records: Black Magic at Work

Despite reading all about how vinyl records are recorded and made, it's still a bit like black magic to us. Dive in and learn all about the coolest music medium.

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2022-10-04
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Selects: How Clowns Work

Jesters of some sort have been around since ancient Egypt and China. Our modern clown was invented around 1800 and ever since they have been getting steadily creepier. Learn all about clowns in this classic episode.

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2022-10-01
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How The Rosenhan Experiment Worked

In 1973 a study was published in Science where psychologist David Rosenhan revealed he had duped hundreds of psychiatric workers by planting perfectly sane pseudopatients within their hospitals and every last one went unnoticed.

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2022-09-29
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Short Stuff: Curse Tablets

Curse tablets are exactly what you think - tablets with curses inscribed on them. But what were they used for, and when did people do this? Hit play and those answers shall be revealed!

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2022-09-28
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Vasectomies: Stop Being A Wimp

You can uncross your legs you big babies. Getting a vasectomy isn?t bad at all ? recovery time is a breeze, pain is minimal, and you can consider it a gift to your partner. Learn the real deal on vasectomies (and get 20% off with our code: STUFF).

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2022-09-27
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Selects: How LSD Works

In 1943 Swiss chemist Albert Hofman discovered he'd created what may be the most potent hallucinogen known to humankind. Then he took a bike ride. Learn about the chemistry, neurology, history and cultural impact of LSD-25 in this classic episode.

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2022-09-24
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Sitcoms Part II

Listen in now for part II of our homage to sitcoms. 

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2022-09-22
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Short Stuff: Laugh Tracks

Laugh tracks have been around since the early 1950s and it?s all thanks to one (reviled) sound engineer who invented them. But as much as people like to hate laugh tracks most shows wouldn?t be at all funny without them.

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2022-09-21
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Sitcoms Part I

Traditional multi-camera sitcoms have fallen out of style in recent years, but the golden age of the genre lives on with streaming services. Sitcom will never go away completely. Join us for part I.

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2022-09-20
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Selects: Frida Kahlo: Painter, Icon, Genius

Frida Kahlo was a painter who transcended her own work to became an icon. Learn all about her fascinating and inspiring life and work in this classic episode.

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2022-09-17
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Pearls: Second Best Thing About Oysters

Pearls are super cool. And humans figuring out how to make them is even cooler. Learn all about the most interesting gemstone today!

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2022-09-15
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Short Stuff: Hangry?

When you?re hungry, you?re not yourself. So say the good people at Snickers and it turns out science backs it up. Being hangry is a verifiable thing, we?re just not quite sure yet what?s going on.

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2022-09-14
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The Georgia Guidestones: The Elite Have a Laugh

In 1980 the ?rural as rural can be? town of Elberton, Georgia erected a granite monument with a bizarre set of instructions (commandments?) that touched on eugenics, population control, and living in harmony with nature. Conspiracy theorists went wild.

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2022-09-13
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Selects: What Happened to the Neanderthals?

As recently as 40,000 years ago we lived among humans from an entirely different species ? Neanderthals. About the same time our species showed up, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Just what happened to the other guys? Did our ancestors do something ? bad? Find out in this classic episode.

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2022-09-10
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Everything We Know About Squids

Squids are very closely related to our old friend the octopus, but there are some key differences. You can learn all of this and more by simply clicking the play button right now. 

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2022-09-08
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Short Stuff: RIP Man of the Hole

The Man of the Hole has died and we're pretty sad to hear it. Listen in to our tribute to this solitary hero today.

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2022-09-07
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Did Mallory Make it to the Top of Everest First?

George Mallory was a member of the first three European expeditions to Everest, world?s tallest mountain. He wanted to summit it so badly, he gave his life trying. Since that fateful day in 1924, climbers have wondered ? was Mallory the first to summit?

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2022-09-06
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Selects: How the Pony Express Worked

For as long a shadow as it casts across the history of the Old West, the Pony Express was a failed business venture, doomed from the start, that only lasted 18 months. But since the last rider headed out with his bag of mail, its legend has only grown. Learn all about it in this classic episode.

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2022-09-03
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