The Death Suite

Josh Clark

HOW DYING WORKS

  • Chuck and Josh have covered just about every aspect of death except dying itself. Here, they fulfill the death suite of podcasts with an in-depth look at just how people die, what happens to the body during the dying process and how people accept death -- and what they regret not having done while they lived.

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 episode.

HOW GRIEF WORKS

  • Since 1969, the five stages of grief have become pretty well known. But later researchers are finding that grief is rarely cut and dried, and may not be as widely experienced as we thought. Join Josh and Chuck as they look at the sad science of grief.

HOW COFFINS WORK

  • Sure, you've probably laid in one at the store or a funeral home, but how much do you know about receptacles used to bury the dead? We'll bet you'll learn plenty - like the difference between a coffin and a casket - in this episode.

HOW TO DONATE YOUR BODY TO SCIENCE

  • Donating your whole body to further science and medicine is probably the best thing you could do with your corpse. Which is why the industry that handles those gifts need regulating.

CRYONICS: HI, FROZEN BODY!

  • In 1964 The Prospect of Immortality laid out a plan for placing humans in suspended animation. The first person was placed in cryonic suspension three years later. But how does it actually work? Learn more about cryonics in this chilly episode of SYSK.

WHAT IS A BODY FARM?

  • Most farms host crops and animals, but body farms specialize in corpses. Join Josh and Chuck as they tackle the fascinatingly gross phenomenon of body farms in this podcast

IS THERE A WORST WAY TO DIE?

  • There's no consensus among professionals about which method of death is the least desirable. A person's fears may factor into his own personal worst way to die.

CAN PEOPLE REALLY DIE OF FRIGHT?

  • Can a human being be scared to the point of sudden death? Listen in as Chuck and Josh explore the physiological possibilities behind dying of fright in this episode.

BIZARRE WAYS TO DIE

  • When it comes to shucking this mortal coil, no two deaths are exactly alike -- and some are truly bizarre. Tune in to this episode to hear Josh and Chuck discuss some of the strangest deaths imaginable.

CAN YOU DIE OF A BROKEN HEART?

  • In the early 1990s, Japanese researchers found a strange anomaly in their study subjects, five people who had inexplicable heart attacks. From this first investigation has come a scientific mystery: Is it possible that the sudden loss of a loved one can be so difficult to bear that it can actually cause a heart attack and maybe kill you? Could the romantics be right?

WHAT CAN BE DONE WITH A DEAD BODY?

  • From transforming into a gem to being shot into space, modern technology has created a multitude of possible destinations for the bodies of the deceased. Go beyond the traditional funeral in this episode.

HOW DEATH MASKS WORK

  • The Myceneans kicked off the habit of creating a mask of a deceased person's face in deathly repose, and what began as an ancient rite has only recently fallen out of practice. Learn about this dignified but ghoulish custom with Josh and Chuck.

HOW NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES WORK

  • The concept of a near-death experience is well-known in popular culture, but we still don't know why these seemingly supernatural events occur. Josh and Chuck explore the myriad theories that attempt to explain near-death experiences in this episode.

IS LETHAL INJECTION HUMANE?

  • Since the Supreme Court's ban on capital punishment was reversed, states have sought a humane method of killing sentenced criminals. They settled on lethal injection, but is this quasi-medical means of killing as quick and painless as we think?

HOW AUTOPSIES WORK

  • In the 400th episode of Stuff You Should Know, Josh and Chuck take a trip through the morgue and look over the shoulders of the often controversial coroners and medical examiners that open cadavers to determine how someone died.

DO YOU STAY CONSCIOUS AFTER BEING DECAPITATED?

  • Historically speaking, decapitation was a popular means of execution -- it's been used by everyone from ancient Romans to French revolutionaries. But is there any truth to claim that victims retain their consciousness? Tune in to learn more.

DO YOU LOSE THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY WHEN YOU DIE?

  • If you live in a place where privacy is protected, the legal system keeps prying eyes from your personal information. But does that privacy extend beyond death? That depends. Tune in to learn more.

WHAT IS TERROR-MANAGEMENT THEORY?

  • Terror management theory isn't about mid-level bureaucrats in Al-Qaeda -- so what exactly is it, and what does it say about human culture and our perception of mortality? Join Chuck and Josh as they explore the implications of terror management theory.

ARE THERE DEAD BODIES ON MT EVEREST?

  • Every year, adventurers brave the elements and attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Yet dangers abound, and more than a hundred bodies litter the mountain. Listen in and learn more about Mount Everest in this episode.

HOW MUMMIES WORK

  • A mummy is a human being whose soft tissue has been preserved after death, and there are mummies around the world -- including natural mummies, as well as corpses that have been intentionally embalmed. Join Chuck and Josh to learn more.

HOW CREMATION WORKS

  • Cremation is a burial process practiced around the world, but how exactly does it work? Josh and Chuckers take a detailed look at cremation's history, practices and controversies in this episode.

HOW REINCARNATION WORKS

  • A large percentage of the world's population believes that you will be reborn after you die. So why does the concept of reincarnation seem so paranormal to Westerners? Join Chuck and Josh as they explore the ins and outs of birth, death and birth again.

IS SPONTANEOUS HUMAN COMBUSTION REAL?

  • Scientists have proven that spontaneous combustion, or burning without an external ignition source, can occur in some objects. But what about human beings? Tune in and learn more about spontaneous human combustion in this episode.

WHAT CAUSES RIGOR MORTIS?

  • If you've ever watched a crime drama, you know that bodies get stiff after death. But why? Explore the biochemistry behind rigor mortis in this episode.