Stuff You Should Know
How the GED Test Works12/23/14
The GED test was once part of a non-profit organization. That all changed in 2014, when it was privatized, made more expensive and more difficult to pass. But that also brought about a couple of more testing options. Learn all about how high school...
How Cinnamon Works
In another commodities edition of SYSK, Josh and Chuck dive into the world of cinnamon, once the world's most prized and pricey spice. But did you know it was really just dried up tree bark?
Boomerangs: Magic Sticks of Physics
The physics behind returning boomerangs literally may be the most difficult concept to understand in the entire body of science. Join Josh and Chuck as they try their absolute best to describe how boomerangs work - and maybe even pull it off!
Homeschooling: Not Just For Hippies and Religious People Anymore
Back in the 1970s, homeschooling was illegal in the U.S., but after activists of all stripes lobbied lawmakers, schooling kids at home has become a viable option for parents. And as more and more have chosen it, it’s become more mainstream.
How The Hum Works
There is a mysterious droning sound often described as like a diesel engine idling that is severely impacting the quality of life of 2 percent of people in places around the world. The thing is, no one knows what’s causing it – or if it actually...
How X-Rays Work
Like many huge discoveries, X-rays were accidentally stumbled upon. That serendipity led to a medical breakthrough still in use today. Learn about how X-rays are created and why they make such delightful images of our bones.
How Leper Colonies Worked
Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, used to mean a one-way ticket to banishment. But once medicine trained its sights on wiping out what might be the most ancient disease to afflict humans, it has become treatable and even accepted.
How Terraforming Will Work
A lot of great thinkers are warning that if humans are to survive as a species we are going to have to find another planet to live on. Terraforming, or engineering a planet to maintain all of the ingredients to sustain life, seems to be the answer.
How Kickstarter Works
With billions of dollars raised, Kickstarter has singled itself out as the go-to site for creative crowdfunding. But not without some controversy along the way. Learn all about how this artistic business model operates in today's episode.
What is Collective Hysteria?
Throughout the history of the world, there have been many cases of what is known as collective hysteria - groups of people, usually young women, who all exhibit the same physical symptoms of non-existent conditions. Is it psychosomatic? Is it group...
How the Enlightenment Works
The Enlightenment stands as the moment the West withdrew from superstition and found its faith in reason. Did it shift too far? Learn about this massive shift in thinking which we are still sorting through and coming to understand today.
What's the deal with crop circles?
For a while in the 1980s, people were fascinated and confused about what exactly crop circles were. Now we know that they aren't signs left from aliens, but art made by humans. Learn all about these stunning, large form art installations in today's...
How Patents Work
What was originally designed to encourage innovation by rewarding the people who create technological advances, the U.S. patent system has become a big mess. Wade into this surprisingly interesting mire to learn how to save this important institution.
How Limousines Work
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 episode with Josh and Chuck.
Can Nuclear Fusion Reactors Save The World?
The world’s energy consumption is ruining the planet but for decades physicists have been working on what could solve the world’s energy and climate change woes for centuries to come – nuclear fusion. Learn about building stars on Earth in this...
SYSK's Halloween Scare Fest
Get ready to be creeped out and join Chuck and Josh as they read you with two spooky classic horror stories, The Striding Place and The Pale Man in this special bonus Halloween episode.
How Haunted House Attractions Work
Ever since the Egyptians, humans have been evolving toward haunted house attractions. The level of sophistication in the scares and gore effects continues to rise over time, but the purpose remains the same: to scare the pants off you.
Is there a disease that kills by preventing sleep?
The strange disease of fatal familial insomnia was first recorded in the 18th century. Its victims lose their ability to sleep, slip into coma and die. The more we understand about FFI, the more mysterious it becomes.
How Animal Camouflage Works
The wild kingdom is filled with examples of animals that can camouflage themselves into their environment, but the means and the methods are also wildly varied. Learn about the ins and outs of blending in through this episode.
How Extinction Works
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.
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