Right Now in Stuff You Should Know

Do you know that hulking refrigerator in your kitchen emits CO2 thanks to the electricity it uses each year? It's a comparatively small amount, in truth, but enough that some people have foresworn their fridge and adopted a life without one. See how they do it in this classic episode.

How the US Interstate System Works

Wait! This is actually a good episode! It turns out that America’s 48,000 miles of superhighways – possibly the largest civil works project in the history of humanity – may have also ruined what made America a cool place.

Short Stuff: Scurvy

Scurvy seems like a terrible way to go: Your gums swell so you can’t eat, your teeth fall out and your brain and/or heart hemorrhages. Fortunately, all you need is an orange to cure you. Or some – blech – broccoli. 

The Skinny on Lyme Disease

If you live in the Northeastern U.S. then you may know someone who has had Lyme disease. But it's spreading all over the country and parts of the world. Learn all about this tick-borne disease today. 

SYSK Selects: How Wills Work

Whether it's oral, scrawled in blood or signed on a deathbed everyone should have a will. But how do they actually work? Join Chuck and Josh as they explain that "of sound mind" thing in this classic episode.

Special Effects: A Short History

Special effects have been around since the first movies. In fact, the techniques the earliest filmmakers created are still around today, we just use computers to do them faster and cheaper. Put on your beret and get ready for SYSK film class.

Short Stuff: Papasan Chairs

Oh, the papasan. What a chair! But where did it come from? And what does the name mean? The answers lie within.

How Government Shutdowns Work

Every year Congress decides how the federal government will spend money. Simple enough, but in practice politics tend to mess it up. Sometimes it gets so messy the budget doesn’t get passed and parts of the government shut down. Then the hurting begins.

SYSK Selects: How Ouija Boards Work

Although most people who've used Ouija boards don't think they're communicating with the beyond, there is something mysterious about how it works. Learn the ins and outs of the popular parlor game that sprang directly from the 19th-century spiritualism movement in this classic episode.

What's the deal with MSG?

MSG got a bad rap in the 70s and 80s. But what is it exactly and how bad is it for you? The answers to those questions lie within. 

Short Stuff: Barbed Wire

Barbed wire changed the Western US as much as the railroad and the six-shooter. Before barbed wire arrived, the West was free and open; after, the West became concentrated in the hands of a few big ranchers. No wonder it was called “devil’s rope.”

Ed Gein: The Serial Killer's Serial Killer

Any movie featuring a deranged killer who’s perversely devoted to his mother and makes things out of human skin has a real-life person named Ed Gein to thank for inspiration. He was Buffalo Bill, Norman Bates, and Leatherface all rolled into one.

SYSK Selects: How Icebergs Work

Icebergs: floating chunks of ice. True, but whoa there. Scientists are learning that there's a lot more to icebergs. Appropriately enough, we've only come to understand the tip of the iceberg and recent research shows there's plenty more to uncover.

The Rubik's Cube Episode

Rubik's Cubes. Ronald Reagan. Jerry Falwell. Just Say No. One of these things was awesome. Take a guess and hop on board the 80s train. 

Short Stuff: Dead Bodies and Airline Codes

Did you know there are airline codes for pilots and flight attendants? And some of them have to do with dead bodies on board? Learn all about it today!

A Brief Overview of Punk Rock

Punk rock really needs about 10 episodes to do it justice, but we'll try and tackle anyway. Learn all about this movement right now. 

SYSK Selects: How Sleepwalking Works

Sleep behaviors are pretty fascinating. Some people snore, some grind their teeth -- and some take a little stroll, or perhaps a drive. In this classic episode, Josh and Chuck investigate how sleepwalking, or somnambulism, works.

How Ventriloquism Works

Ventriloquism – where a skilled performer “throws” their voice, making it seem like a dummy on their knee is talking – has taken a long, circuitous road from early prophets, to witches, then finally to the stage. Get to the bottom of this uncanny trick.

Short Stuff: Horseshoe Crab Blood

Perhaps the most expensive liquid on the planet is the blue blood that comes from horseshoe crabs. Researchers realized that horseshoe crab blood could indicate the presence of pathogens and the massive, ongoing horseshoe crab harvest began. 

Nuclear Semiotics: How to Talk to Future Humans

The nuclear waste we produce will be dangerous for a very long time. We’ve figured out how to safely store it in the earth until it’s no longer a biohazard. Now we just have to figure out how to warn humans 10,000 years in the future to stay away from it.