Stuff You Should Know
How Extinction Works10/21/14
Scientists believe that 99% of the estimated 50 billion species that have ever lived on Earth have disappeared through extinction. This is a natural process typically, but it can also be cataclysmic and it’s becoming clear we are amid a massive one.
How The Great Train Robbery Worked
In 1963, 15 men got together in England to pull off one of the most daring heists in history. The Great Train Robbery was the crime of the century, capturing the public's attention and leaving them torn on who to root for - the cops or the robbers....
Virus Talk with Josh and Chuck
Viruses are big jerks that invade regular cells and hold them hostage, making you sick while they're doing it. Learn everything you ever needed to know about viruses, including how the common cold works.
How Skywriting Works
"Back in the 1920s, skywriting was invented to communicate with troops, but it quickly found its footing as a popular way for companies to advertise. Learn all about the aerial acrobatics and mental skill it takes to write mile-high letters backwards."
How Karate Works
Karate, meaning "open" and "hand", was developed in Okinawa before being exported to Japan and then the rest of the world. It is one of the most widely practiced martial arts and one of the most difficult to master. Learn about it in this episode.
How Panic Attacks Work
Almost three percent of Americans suffer from a debilitating disorder that causes them to suffer intense fear seemingly without reason and science hasn’t yet figured out what causes it. Join Josh and Chuck as they get to the bottom of panic attacks.
How Rogue Waves Work
Rogue waves come out of nowhere and tower as much as 100 feet over hapless ships they encounter, breaking across the boat and frequently breaking the boat and its inhabitants. Investigate the mystery of rouge waves in this episode.
How Animal Domestication Works
It's strange to hear, but the transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture, including the domestication of wild animals, is the single biggest thing to ever happen to humanity. You can thank it for everything from kingdoms to Ebola.
How Police Interrogation Works
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 you talk.
How Currency Works
Even if you entirely eschew the concept of money, we’ll bet you’d be hard pressed not to trade in some form of currency. Learn how everything from cows to cacao beans to tiny shells from Maldives have served as currency at some time or another.
How Socialism Works
In America it's virtually a dirty word, but after being dragged through the mud for a century, socialism is still a part of the U.S.’s national character. Learn about this foil and complement to capitalism and why it might not be so bad.
How Royalty Works
In some nations royals are so ingrained in the national fabric they are considered part of the country. Join Josh and Chuck as they take a look backward in time at the ancient tradition of despotism and unbridled privilege in this episode.
How Stem Cells Work
Since scientists realized there is a type of cell that can grow into any other type, they have worked to use them to heal human conditions like Parkinson's and immune disorders. But because stem cells often come from embryos they remain controversial.
How Black Holes Work
Black holes are what is left after a star collapses on itself. Even though we can't actually see them, we know they exist. How? Chuck and Josh will explain it all in this insterstellar episode.
How Pinball Works
Pinball was actually illegal until the 1970s in NY and other cities, hidden in the backs of pornography shops. The game was finally legalized, thanks to a Babe Ruth-style shot by the best player in the world. Learn all about it with Josh and Chuck.
How Blimps Work
After newsreels captured the Hindenburg erupting in fire in 1937, the promising development of airship aviation was cut short. Today companies and militaries are taking another look at blimps and the unique qualities that may revive them.
What's the deal with headstones?
Headstones have quite an interesting history. From the beginnings of marking graves with simple wood carvings to the elaborate tombstones that would come in the Victorian era, Chuck and Josh break down the deal with all things headstone in this...
How the Berlin Wall Worked
It's hard to believe now, but just over 25 years ago there was a giant concrete wall separating East and West Germany. In this episode, Chuck and Josh get into the fascinating story of the Berlin Wall.
Going Up: Elevators
Elevators are way more interesting than you might think. In this week's episode, Chuck and Josh board the lift to elighten everyone as to the ins and outs, and ups and downs, of these handy people movers.
How Ebola Works
A disease that was discovered and contained to Central Africa in the 1970s has revived and spread in 2014. Now there is an Ebola outbreak that has moved across borders and science still has no cure for it.
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