Right Now in Stuff You Should Know

They’re as American as Washington, DC yet most people in the US are terrified of them, hate them or both. What is it about traffic circles and roundabouts - which do nothing but safely, inexpensively and greenly direct traffic – that America can’t stand?

SYSK Selects: How Commercial Jingles Work

You probably can recite five right now. Commercial jingles are designed to hijack your working memory and implant a product or service and they really work. In this classic episode, learn about the history of these insidious and catchy advertising vehicles with Chuck and Josh.

What are think tanks all about?

Think tanks? More like stink tanks! We're kidding. Think tanks do valuable work, when they operate in a non-partisan way of course. Learn all about the history of these heady institutions today. 

SYSK Live: How Game Shows Work

Join Josh and Chuck and a whole bunch of great people at the Gothic Theatre in Denver for this live show on game shows and their place in cultures around the world, recorded on June 28, 2018. You just come right on down, why don’t you?

SYSK Selects: How Circumcision Works

Circumcision is a common practice in which the foreskin of a male's penis is removed, typically as a baby. In this classic episode, Josh and Chuck take a look at the origins, practices, and arguments for and against circumcision in this episode.

The Lava Lamp: Goes Great With Acid

What started out as an egg timer at a London pub became a furnishing for bachelor pads before it took its rightful place as the most recognizable icon of psychedelia. The lava lamp became popular with people on LSD not once, but twice, decades apart.

How Police Lineups Work

Police lineups are something most people have never had any firsthand experience with. What you see on TV and in movies isn't so far off though. Learn about how these tropes work for real in today's episode. 

SYSK Selects: 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 Elimination Diets Work

Elimination diets are all about whittling down what you eat, then building it back up again in order to identify foods that don't work for your body. Is it safe? It can be. Learn all about this process in today's episode. 

Why There Aren't So Many Hotel Fires Anymore

1946 was a particularly deadly year for hotel fires in the US. Fires killed hundreds of people in Chicago, Dubuque, Dallas and, in Atlanta, the worst hotel fire in American history broke out. Find out how they made staying in hotels safe.

SYSK Selects:  What's the deal with Voodoo?

Voodoo is a religion found in parts of Africa and Haiti that's often misunderstood. In this episode, Josh and Chuck separate the faction from the fiction as they explore how Voodoo really works.

Pterosaurs: Not Flying Dinosaurs

Almost everything you know about pterosaurs is wrong. They weren't birds, they weren't flying dinosaurs and they weren't all pterodactyls. Which makes this a great episode for you to learn some new and amazing stuff about terrifying prehistoric beasts!

Ballpoint pens? Heck yes, ballpoint pens!

Get ready, folks. The ballpoint pen is far more interesting than you could ever imagine. For real. Brilliant in its simplicity. Took the world by storm. We love our ballpoint pens and you should too. Listen in today!

SYSK Selects: How Electroconvulsive Therapy Works

With the exception of lobotomies, no other psychological treatment has a worse reputation. But thanks to some thoughtful tweaks, ECT has lately emerged from the dark ages and toward the respectable forefront of treatment for major depression.

Who is The Man of the Hole?

In 2018, there's a man from a lost tribe still living deep in the jungles of Brazil who has been all alone since the mid 1990s. He's referred to as the Man of the Hole, and has had no face-to-face with modern humans. Who is he? We'll answer that question as best we can in today's episode. 

How Board Breaking Works

If you’ve ever seen someone break a stack of boards or concrete blocks with a single karate chop you know what it means to experience awe. Board breaking is indeed cool but there’s also a lot of physics to help it along. Learn all about this secret art. 

SYSK Selects: How Traffic Works

Whether you've been stuck in a traffic jam or forced to merge and avoid road construction, everyone's had a few bad experiences with traffic. But how does traffic actually work? In this episode, Chuck and Josh take a look at traffic waves (and bubbles).

How Attila the Hun Worked

If you go to the Internet you'll see a few people championed as all-time greatest conquerors - Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Atilla the Hun. Listen in today as Josh and Chuck dive into number three on this list, Atilla the Hun. 

How Search and Rescue Works

There are thankfully about as many ways to look for someone as there are ways to get lost. And the people who dedicate themselves to saving the lives of people who are missing take their job seriously. Learn about this fascinating world in this episode.

SYSK Selects: How Miranda Rights Work

Back in 1966, the Supreme Court decided that suspects in criminal cases had the right to be reminded that they didn't have to talk to the fuzz if they didn't want to, as stated in the 5th amendment. Since that ruling, scores of other cases have shaped and defined the ruling that created a staple of police procedural dramas.