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#94 – Lizzie Borden Took an Ax…

We all know the nursery rhyme about Lizzie Borden and the untimely demise of her parents. But how much of it is true? And what actually happened in that Massachusetts house in 1892 that we still talk about it today? Find out on this week's show. Also discussed: Canadian wildfires and the PNW heat wave, Bitcoin splits, TriMet fares for low income riders, fire-starting cats, and bullet-proof armadillos. It's more fun than you can swing an ax at!

Duration: 01:11:12

#93 – Can You Hear Me Now?

Tiny bones, flexing membranes, percussive protection, and some fluid for good measure -- our ability to hear and instantly translate sound into meaning is both amazingly advanced, yet mechanically fairly simple. Take a listen to this week's discussion about how our ears work. Plus, the Unipiper talks all about his big meetup with Times Square's World-Famous "The Naked Cowboy"! News discussed: The Perseid meteor shower to be the brightest in 96 years, Kenton's Paul Bunyan statue renovation,...

Duration: 01:11:51

#92 – [Eggplant Emoji]

Emojis are everywhere from plush toys to lip balm to the movie theaters, but where did they come from? Does someone own them? Can I design my own? Find out the answers in this surprising look at the history of emojis. Also discussed: PDX wins best airport again, Oregon hotel scams for the eclipse, OMSI's record-breaking baking soda volcano, Washington State new cell phone/driving law, and more news about things that are the size of Delaware. [winky-face-clown-hat]

Duration: 00:43:39

#91 – Mirages, Light Bending, and Other Phenom-mnah

This week we look at what exactly is happening when you see a mirage or other atmospheric phenomenon (phenom-mnah), and how light bends around and through the air like crashing waves to create optical illusions that appear right in front of us. Also, the Unipiper talks terrible movie trailers and Sea Pickles! This week's news stories: Pacific Foods sells for $700m, Oregon raises cigarette buying age, Paul McCartney finally gets his music back, Tesla in Australian rich-man's bet, driving...

Duration: 01:00:23

#90 – Gimme Some Sugar, Baby

Much like salt, sugar has played an integral role in the spreading of humans around the world. Domesticated by New Guinea, powdered by India, perfected by Muslims, spread by Crusades, and the reason half of the 11 million slaves were brought to the New World, the story of sugar hasn't always been sweet. Also discussed: Tesla finally makes the Model 3, Musk digs first tunnel, NASA has to deny Mars child slavery colony, Portland's Mounted Police no more, free eclipse glasses at libraries,...

Duration: 00:59:56

#89 – Don’t Download This Episode

Todd is out of town, so Brian "The Unipiper" Kidd fills in to chat with Mark about the world of file sharing and torrenting. Also discussed: a steel mill that only needs 14 employees, an Uber-like bathroom roams NYC, too hot for airplanes to fly, how eggs get their shape, "Weird Al" on the Walk of Fame, sweat-powered electronics, and it's now legal to break someone's car window to save a dog. Enjoy this episode of "The Mark and Brian" show!

Duration: 00:57:23

#88 – Trainspotting

It's not an understatement to say that trains built this country, and to this day are the backbone of our transportation industry. In this episode we take a closer look at a few of the engineering marvels that keep our trains moving. Also, the Unipiper talks about his upcoming appearance on ABC's "The Gong Show"! Plus: Amazon buys Whole Foods, coconut oil controversy, AIs develop their own language, world's largest duck in Tacoma, wooden skyscraper in the Pearl District, LEGO Multnomah...

Duration: 01:08:21

#87 – Baby You’re a Firework

Have you ever wondered how they pack such intricate explosions into those compact projectiles when you're watching fireworks? Find out the history and mechanics of fireworks on this week's show! Plus, the Unipiper tells us what it was like to lead the Rose Festival Starlight Parade! Also discussed: a fantastic James Bond doc, Ivar's Acres of Clams sells flagship location, Portland needs water treatment plant, a monkey mafia that holds stolen goods for ransom, Amazon grocery kiosks, and...

Duration: 01:10:42

#86 – Was Shakespeare a Conspiracy?

William Shakespeare changed the world with his writing, but for centuries people have argued he never even existed at all. From Mark Twain to Walt Whitman to even members of the US Supreme Court (who held a "trial" about it as late as 1987), people have asked the question: "Who was William Shakespeare?" We'll find out in this episode. Also, the Unipiper talks Sir Mix-a-lot, Oregon towns brace for the eclipse, Global Seed Vault floods, (S)Pam explosion in Mulkiteo, dairy water reclamations,...

Duration: 01:06:08

#85 – My Dear Watson

IBM's "Watson" is more than just an AI or supercomputer - it's a staggering step into a future of machines that can both learn (it can learn up to a million books per minute) and communicate with humans in a straight-forward and natural way. What is it? How does it work? Are we all going to die? Find out in this week's episode. The Unipiper also joins us to talk about his appearance in the Alaska Airlines magazine, and being voted the 3rd best mascot in all of Oregon. Also: vaccines don't...

Duration: 01:12:26

#84 – A Moving Episode About Momentum

In this episode we take a look at momentum and how it moves the world around us (and how it relates to inertia! Whee!). Pirouette with us through this interesting discussion, as well as the Unipiper's guide to sloths and the city. Also discussed: "Sheeple" now in the dictionary, Amazon's super practical and not at all scary "Look" device, Apple's data farms in Oregon, NSA spies on us using blimps, surgeon aims for head transplant in 3 years, and how female dragonflies fake death to avoid...

Duration: 01:10:45

#78 – Eclipses: Throwing Shade

There's a historic total solar eclipse coming up later this year, so we take this opportunity to talk about the various types and phases of solar and lunar eclipses. Spoilers: the sun will melt your eyes right out of your face, so don't just look through a hole in a piece of paper. We also talk to the Unipiper about anarchist potholes and freestyle mustaches! Also: "Grimm" sale, storing data on single atoms, Waze vs. city traffic planners, gluten-free your way to diabetes, Voodoo Donuts...

Duration: 01:05:48

#77 – Get Fresh With Preservatives

What exactly are the "preservatives" we find in our food? Are they poison? Magic? Natural? Safe? This week we take a look at the various methods in which we keep our foods fresh and disease free (which inexplicably involves both Napoleon and ionizing radiation). Plus: The Unipiper talks Nintendo Switch and Grimm, Google Deep Learning predicts cancer, DNA file storage, classic arcade games lose CRTs, New Mexico always on DST, typo causes Amazon outage, Musk sends men around moon, perils of...

Duration: 01:30:18

#76 – Mark and Todd Get Salty

Salt is as important to the modern human existence as water, touching every arena of life from biology to medicine, from culinary to monetary, and even to the spread of civilization. Get a tiny taste of what makes this substance so amazing in this week's episode. Also, the Unipiper talks Portland, new planets discovered, hieroglyphics to be published, Portland is 12th for "Worst Commute," citronella is a dirty scam, "merely attractive" vs. "very attractive," RIP Naked Chicken Chalupa, and...

Duration: 01:08:50

#75 – Prepare To Be Mesmerized

Is hypnosis a real thing, or a carnival scam? Can your mind be controlled against your will? What is happening to the brain of someone who is hypnotized? Find out the answer to these and other mesmerizing questions on this week's episode. Also: The Unipiper talks Wizard World, record Portland rain, YouTube auto-captioning, flavored water bottles, Google Spanner, cephalopods one step closer to global domination, and the UAE want to build on Mars. Enjoy this episode with your favorite...

Duration: 01:21:18

#74 – Perfect Cans

Raise your beers to this episode about the surprisingly fascinating manufacturing and design background of the humble aluminum can. There's a lot going on with this seemingly simple container, and we get to the bottom of it in this week's show. Also: Male contraceptive gel, fewer # in Super Bowl ads, Tesla beats another record, TrumpTweetBot, Packy the elephant dies, declassified CIA maps, metal in the microwave, what causes traffic problems, and what *is* a booger? Oh, and Todd may or may...

Duration: 01:29:21

#73 – Escape Rooms and Other News

From Portland's "Escape Room," to Fukushima, to Denmark, to China, and finally to space, this roving episode covers a lot of ground. Join us as Mark, Todd, and the Unipiper recount their experience with one of Portland's "Escape Rooms," as well as catch up on all the science news we've been putting off over the past few weeks. Conducting electricity without heat, mass producing graphine, a Chinese factory replacing its workers with robots, and Denmark's enormous wind turbines -- it's a...

Duration: 01:05:39

#72 – Dinner in the Dark

You know those dinner parties where you're blindfolded and made to sit in the dark while you're served mystery foods to eat with your hands? We do! Hear about our sensory/social experiment, both from the POV of the blinded and sighted. Plus: The Doomsday Clock, what exactly *is* an Executive Order?, human-pig embryos, US's largest off-shore windfarm approved, Large Hadron Collider to find parallel universes, cyborg grasshoppers, the Unipiper "pipes the haggis," and a robot learns to update...

Duration: 01:19:28

#71 – Alternate Facts About The “Internet Of Things”

The "Internet of Things" is a term both vague and exact, and it will be running all of our lives very soon. What exactly is it? How will it intertwine itself in our lives? Will Todd ever secretly order his shame-pizza using the internet of things? We discuss it all in this week's episode. Also: The Unipiper talks Battlestar Galactica screenings & trendy ampersands, can pirating a movie be ethical?, the Inauguration Speech's 27 new words, the transfer of the POTUS social media, Louis CK...

Duration: 01:22:19

Portland at the Movies #3 – Dr. Giggles

Is it possible to write a movie whose dialogue consists solely of ham-fisted doctor puns? Is it necessary to film an entire movie in a tiny park in unincorporated SW Portland even though it mostly takes place indoors, and Oregon is never even mentioned or seen? Why does this movie even exist? Join us as we demand answers from the 1992 horror/slasher film "Dr. Giggles," the first movie production of Portland's own Dark Horse Comics. [Insert medical pun here]

Duration: 01:19:37

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