Right Now in Stuff You Should Know

 How Optical Illusions Work

Now you see it, now you don't — optical illusions can fool us into seeing what's not actually there. But what causes that disconnect between perception and reality? Learn all about this visual trickery in today's episode. See more »

How Free Speech Works

 How Free Speech Works

Freedom of speech and the press are values vital to American democracy. But the First Amendment doesn't really define free speech, and plenty of expressions are restricted. Learn all about the ins and outs of this cherished right in today's episode. See more »

How Famines Work

 How Famines Work

It’s common knowledge that famines are usually caused by major droughts: Rain doesn’t fall, crops don’t grow, and people go hungry. But recent research suggests that while weather may trigger famines, they may actually be more of a human-made catastrophe. See more »

The ins and outs of the DEATH TAX

 The ins and outs of the DEATH TAX

The estate tax, also known as the death tax, is not new. It's actually been around in some form since ancient Rome. Some say it's a necessary tax to help prevent resting on your inheritance laurels. Others say it's straight up double tax robbery. Learn all about this controversial tax today. See more »

The Black Panther Party

 The Black Panther Party

The Black Panther Party was a complex political movement that was unfairly painted as a militant group who hated white people. Far from it, they were actually men and women trying to affect change in their community. Their history is one of the more interesting American stories, from the early stages of policing the police to their community service efforts to their inevitable fall. Learn all about the Black Panther Party right now... See more »

Tardigrades: Nature's Cuddly, Indestructible Microanimal

 Tardigrades: Nature's Cuddly, Indestructible Microanimal

You can burn them, freeze them, shoot them into space – they wouldn’t bat an eyelash, even if they had eyelashes. Go into the microcosmos and learn about the tiny animals that are so astoundingly durable, they can survive conditions not found here on Earth. See more »

Live from San Francisco: How Malls Work

 Live from San Francisco: How Malls Work

In this show recorded live on January 5, 2017 at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre, Josh and Chuck delve into the history and the heyday of the church of consumerism and what it means for local communities and our capitalist society at large when malls die. See more »

The Quinoa Revolution!

 The Quinoa Revolution!

Quinoa is a trendy food, right alongside kale and anything else farm to table. But it's really an ancient grain. Although it's not exactly a grain at all. Technically it's a pseudo-cereal. But it is tasty and nutritious, a true superfood. Learn all about the food with the funny name in today's episode. See more »

What's the future of virtual sex?

 What's the future of virtual sex?

In the not too distant future, sex may not involve being in the same room as your partner. In fact, your partner may not even have to be a human. We're talking virtual sex here. Couple VR with high tech, smart sex toys and intercourse as we know it may be a thing of the past. Except not really. See more »

Elastics: Where God and Science Smooch

 Elastics: Where God and Science Smooch

You could be forgiven for thinking the story behind elastics was boring. You’d still be wrong, though. The story of what’s holding up your underwear is a global drama, replete with war, industrial espionage, colonialism, destitute inventors – everything! See more »

How Pacifism Works (And Could It?)

 How Pacifism Works (And Could It?)

There is deep disagreement over whether humans are essentially peaceful or essentially warlike. Depending on your view you may see pacifism as either hopelessly naïve or the unsung response to conflict that’s kept us from wiping ourselves out. See more »

How Dictators Work

 How Dictators Work

There are many types of dictators, from so called 'benevolent' ones to the kind who rule with an iron fist. There are also many ways they can come into power, and they don't all include violence. Learn all about dictators past and present in today's episode. See more »

How Soylent Works

 How Soylent Works

Soylent is a meal replacement drink, but not really. So what is it? Total sustenance in a glass? Some say so. Is it made from humans? No, that's just a movie. Learn all about this odd concoction in today's episode. See more »

Are Artificial Sweeteners Really Bad For You?

 Are Artificial Sweeteners Really Bad For You?

Artificial sweeteners have gotten a bad rap in the press for as long as they’ve been in use. But is it just the result of a fear of science or do artificial sweeteners cause real harm? A mounting body of studies is starting to paint a pretty grim picture. See more »

How Watersheds Work

 How Watersheds Work

Unless you happen to be standing on a hilltop or swimming in the ocean right now, you are on a watershed. These unsung wonders of topography and hydrology are an important contributor to the rain cycle and yet we humans tend to abuse them. See more »

What's the deal with Baby Boomers?

 What's the deal with Baby Boomers?

Baby Boomers are probably the most talked about generation in American history. But who are these people and how did they help shape the country we know today? Find out all about the big boom in today's episode. See more »

How Feeding Babies Works: The Bottle

 How Feeding Babies Works: The Bottle

The decision to bottle feed a baby instead of breast-feeding is a weighty one these days, fraught with supposed developmental pitfalls and very real social implications. But is bottle feeding a bad thing? And are benefits of breast-feeding overestimated? See more »

How Feeding Babies Works: The Breast

 How Feeding Babies Works: The Breast

Breast milk is considered a perfect food for infants, so much so that for the first four to six months of life, a baby can subsist on mother’s milk alone. Learn all about the most fascinating milk around and the science behind it in this episode. See more »

Human Blockheads: A Real Thing

 Human Blockheads: A Real Thing

Human blockheads are performers who hammer nails and things into their noses. Yup. That's a thing. And it isn't a trick either - anyone can do it. Just please don't try to. See more »

Can you live without a bank account?

 Can you live without a bank account?

Seems like it would be nearly impossible to live without a bank account these days. But it is possible! Learn all about banking and personal finance in today's riveting episode. See more »