Stuff You Should Know
Society & Culture
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.
- 03 AUG 2021The Three Christs of Ypsilanti Experiment1h 30s
In the early 1960s, one of the most unethical experiments in psychology’s history was quietly conducted in a state hospital in Michigan. It sought to upend the delusions of the three patients involved, but ultimately disabused the experimen...
- 31 JUL 2021Selects: How Police Interrogation Works1h 9m 50s
Every year, police across the U.S. get thousands of criminals to confess to their crimes. The trouble is, the procedure that almost all departments use is grounded in bad science and can produce false confessions. Learn about ways of making...
- 29 JUL 2021How Sarcasm Works48m 52s
In this episode, we get to the bottom of why people sometimes talk like jerks some and how sarcasm isn’t all bad. Stand back everybody, this one is just soooo great. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 28 JUL 2021Short Stuff: Space Hurricanes12m 54s
Space hurricanes are officially a thing. What does that mean for us here on Earth? Probably not much. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 27 JUL 2021Conservatorships: #freebritney52m 7s
Britney Spears has made a lot of noise lately in her bid to nullify her conservatorship. But what are they even? Listen in to find out! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 24 JUL 2021Selects: How Mars Works57m 30s
Sure today Mars would kill you with its thin, toxic atmosphere and cold desert temperature swings of 100 degrees,but early on it and Earth were practically twins. Find out how the two planets diverged and if there might be life on the Red P...
- 22 JUL 2021The Origins of Some Everyday Superstitions45m 52s
Why exactly do we avoid walking under a ladder? Why is stepping on a crack in the sidewalk such a big deal? What kind of monster carries a rabbit’s foot in their pocket? The answers to these questions and more lie in wait ahead in this epis...
- 21 JUL 2021Short Stuff: RICO Act13m 29s
If you’re even passingly interested in mobsters you’ve heard of the RICO Act, but most people don’t know how it actually works. Make your Goodfellas fandom more well-rounded with this explainer episode. Learn more about your ad-choices at...
- 20 JUL 2021Stranger Danger!52m 50s
If you grew up in the 1980s, you thought you had a 50% chance of getting kidnapped every time you left your house. But like with the Satanic Panic and other 80s hysteria, it was much ado about (almost) nothing. Learn more about your ad-cho...
- 17 JUL 2021Selects: How Ketchup Works57m 25s
Little-known fact: Ketchup, possibly the most all-American of condiments, evolved from fermented fish sauce people in Southeast Asia have been making for more than a thousand years. Learn more in this classic episode. Learn more about your...
- 15 JUL 2021How Reverse Osmosis Will Save the World47m 37s
Can we save the future of the human race with some thin membranes riddled with ultra-tiny holes? Science says yes! Thanks to reverse osmosis filtration, we can turn saltwater to fresh and finally say, Water, water everywhere so let’s all ha...
- 14 JUL 2021Short Stuff: Hanged, Drawn and Quartered14m 52s
The words "hanged, drawn and quartered" are an accurate description of the grizzly execution process. They're just not in the right order. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 13 JUL 2021The Radium Girls50m 1s
The Radium Girls painted watched with glow-in-the-dark radium in the 1920s and '30s. Most got sick, many died. This is their story. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 10 JUL 2021Selects: How Historic Districts Work46m 49s
A fascinating thing about Americans is that we can disagree on anything. Such is the case with historic districts – areas of historic importance protected by local laws. Seems innocuous, but are they also to blame for the affordable housing...
- 08 JUL 2021SYSK Live: Koko, the Gorilla Who Talked1h 16m 2s
Recorded live before the pandemic in January 2020 at the Castro Theatre for San Francisco Sketchfest, Josh and Chuck explore the 70s movement that attempted to teach apes human language and the Ape Language Wars that erupted from it. Learn...
- 07 JUL 2021Short Stuff: Sulfanilamide Disaster14m 51s
In the 1920s, before the era of consumer protection, a poison entered the medicine supply and killed more than 100 people before the pubic health disaster could be stopped. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwo...
- 06 JUL 2021The Sad Story of William James Sidis52m 17s
Are geniuses made or born? Listen in today to the story of child prodigy William James Sidis. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 03 JUL 2021Selects: Are good samaritan laws effective?47m 57s
Good samaritan laws have been around for many years, helping to provide legal protections for people who try to help other people. But do they work? Listen to this classic episode and decide for yourself today! Learn more about your ad-cho...
- 01 JUL 2021The Grand Ole Opry Cast48m 44s
Josh and Chuck take a virtual walk through country music's legendary music venue. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 30 JUN 2021Short Stuff: Beast of Gevaudan13m 38s
The first truly international news story covered a beast that terrorized the French countryside, eviscerating dozens of villagers for three years in the 1760s. How about that? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastne...
- 29 JUN 2021Poison Control Centers: A Good Thing56m 31s
Poison control centers are one of those things you don’t think about until you need it. With all the poisons in our homes you very well may someday. When you do there is a cadre of toxicological specialists ready to oversee the process of s...
- 26 JUN 2021Selects: How Royalty Works52m 13s
In some nations royals are so ingrained in the national fabric they are considered part of the country. In this classic episode, Josh and Chuck take a look backward in time at the ancient tradition of despotism and unbridled privilege. Lea...
- 24 JUN 2021How Faraday Cages Work48m 4s
Faraday cages are one of those peculiar miracles of nature that we can actually explain – not to mention, they save us from potentially fatal electrocutions and electronic eavesdropping which are bonuses. Learn about this amazing hidden tec...
- 23 JUN 2021Short Stuff: Chastity Belts13m 38s
Were chastity belts real? Sort of. But not in the way you might think. Tune in to hear the real story. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 22 JUN 2021The Mystery of Damascus Steel42m 29s
Damascus steel and the recipe behind it remained a mystery for many years. But it turns out the key was a bygone ingredient. Listen in to this medieval mystery to learn all about it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartp...
- 19 JUN 2021Selects: Operation Mincemeat: How A Corpse Fooled the Nazis50m 22s
In World War II, a secret department of British ‘corkscrew thinkers’ hatched a plan to use the cadaver of an unclaimed homeless man to turn the tide of the war in the Allies’ favor. It worked. Learn all about it in this classic episode. Le...
- 17 JUN 2021How Venus Works46m 52s
Venus is so hot lead would melt on the planet’s surface. It spins backwards. Its year is shorter than its day. Venus is amazingly awesome. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 16 JUN 2021Short Stuff: Mojave Megaphone13m 8s
What is the Mojave Megaphone? Well, nobody really knows. Listen in today to learn about this desert mystery. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 15 JUN 2021Seven - No, Wait, Five - Mysteries of the Art World52m 9s
When you get a bunch of artistic types together into a community – aka, the art world – some intrigue and mystery are bound to arise. Listen in as Chuck and Josh cover strangeness around Van Gogh, Caravaggio, Raphael, and Vermeer – plus don...
- 12 JUN 2021Selects: How Sea Monsters Work43m 35s
Legends of sea monsters are as old as humanity, and some ancient cultures even credited them with creating the universe. Learn more about humanity's attachment to seeing monsters in the deep in this classic episode. Learn more about your a...
- 10 JUN 2021POGs: The 90s in a Bottle Cap55m 20s
Today, Chuck and Josh go down a 90s rabbit hole with another in their classic toy series. This time, they tackle the odd sensation that was POGs. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 09 JUN 2021Short Stuff: Chinatowns14m 43s
If you live in a major city in the USA, you probably have a Chinatown. Listen in and learn all about these unique cultural staples today. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 08 JUN 2021Slime Mold: 0% Mold, 100% Amazing55m 2s
If you’ve ever wandered past what looked like a pile of dog barf on a log during a hike in the woods, you’d just seen slime mold - one of the most perplexing organisms on Earth. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcas...
- 05 JUN 2021Selects: Who was America's first murderer?36m 14s
John Billington didn't just sign the Mayflower Compact -- he was also the colony's first criminal, and had the dubious honor of being the first European to be convicted of murder in this new place. But how did it happen? Tune in to this cla...
- 03 JUN 2021John Muir: Outdoor Enthusiast48m 56s
John Muir loved being outside. So much so that he dedicated his life to helping preserve it, but not without some controversy. Listen in to this decidedly nature-centric episode today! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheart...
- 02 JUN 2021Short Stuff: Runner's High13m 53s
Listen in to today's short stuff to learn if a runner's high is really a thing. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 01 JUN 2021What Causes Inflation?53m 40s
Inflation seems super boring, but if you know how it works (important point: no one really does) you can exist as a functioning human being in a modern economy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 29 MAY 2021Selects: How Nitrous Oxide Works1h 11s
For about 175 years people have been huffing nitrous oxide for everything from vision quests to anesthetic to get plain old high. And after all that time we are only now beginning to understand how it works on our brains. Get the scoop in t...
- 27 MAY 2021Night Trap: The Video Game Failure that Changed the Industry47m 29s
In the early 90s a video game was released that changed the industry, despite poor sales and bad game play. That game was Night Trap. This is that story. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 26 MAY 2021Short Stuff: Parachute Emergency!13m 47s
Your parachute won’t open – now what?! Listen up to Josh and Chuck and you may make it out of this in one piece. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 25 MAY 2021How Cleft Lips and Palates Work46m 53s
Cleft lips and palates are common birth defects, but for the kids who have them (and their parents), its no small matter: Years of surgeries, therapy, and possibly lifelong health issues, not to mention the teasing that comes along with loo...
- 22 MAY 2021Selects: How Hot Wheels Work48m 2s
If you're an American who had a childhood, you probably have some nostalgia for Hot Wheels. Get your engines revved for this trip down memory lane as we discuss these fun and iconic toys in this classic episode. Learn more about your ad-ch...
- 20 MAY 2021Girl Scouts: More than cookie sellers56m 39s
We put our research to the test and it turns out the Girl Scouts is a great organization. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 19 MAY 2021Short Stuff: Speed Reading14m 17s
Back in the 60s and 70s, a speed reading craze broke out. Tough luck that speed reading is bunk. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 18 MAY 2021The Cleveland Torso Murders54m 55s
During the depths of the Great Depression, Cleveland’s most vulnerable and destitute residents were prey for one of history’s most horrific serial killers. The killer’s identity remains a mystery to this day. Learn more about your ad-choic...
- 15 MAY 2021Selects: How Limousines Work43m 11s
The first limousines weren’t even cars! Learn all about the history of limousines, how they’re made and some of the most creative and expensive amenities you can find inside them in this classic episode with Josh and Chuck. Learn more abou...
- 13 MAY 2021How Monster Trucks Work53m 27s
If you’ve never seen a huge truck with gigantic tires do backflips or roll backward perched only on its two front tires, you haven’t lived yet. Chuck and Josh are here to ignite your interest. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://ww...
- 12 MAY 2021Short Stuff: Garter Snakes12m 23s
Garter snakes aren’t scary, they’re pretty great! Learn all the reasons why in this episode! Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
- 11 MAY 2021The Ivy League55m 40s
The Ivy League is technically a sports conference, but it's much more than that. Enjoy this special 3D episode with your earbuds on and learn all about these revered, elite universities. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.ihea...
- 08 MAY 2021Selects: How Snake Handlers Work1h 1m 0s
Snake handling ranges from professional snake milkers for antivenin to religious handlers who tend to get bitten and sometimes die from it. Either way, it can be a dangerous business. Learn all about snake handling in this classic episode....
- 06 MAY 2021How Uranium Mining Works56m 18s
Mining uranium is dangerous work. Not only does it involve mining, which is dangerous itself, uranium is also found alongside some very radioactive stuff. Learn the ins and outs of this thrilling endeavor in this episode of SYSK. Learn mor...