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.
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.
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.
There's a secret war going on around us, and it's happening on a daily basis. The Air Force has a unit specifically designed to carry out and defend against cyberwar. Go deep into this alarming type of war in this classic episode.
We’ve been promised solar energy for a while now – where is it? Turns out, it’s been quietly and steadily growing across the world. And with a few breakthroughs, we just may be able to say goodbye to fossil fuels. Learn about sun-based energy in this episode.
Shotgun houses are iconic pieces of American architecture: they're long, narrow, and filled with artistic flourishes. But where did they come from? Join Chuck and Josh and explore the mysterious origins of shotgun houses.
As the operation expands it also begins to unravel. Word starts to leak out of the illegal stuff the Reagan administration was up to, Congress and the press investigate and people start to point fingers. Spoiler alert – they all got off scot free.
When Ronald Reagan was president, America got involved in some deeply shady stuff, not the least of which was the Iran-Contra scandal – a convoluted operation that managed to combine an illegal covert war in Nicaragua with secretly selling arms to Iran.
The Black Death was gruesome: Symptoms included tumors, purple splotches, fevers and vomiting. But how did this disease manage to spread from the Gobi desert and kill approximately one-third of the population of 14th-century Europe? Find out in this classic episode.
A pair of old timey fossil hunters had a rootin’ tootin’ rivalry that spilled from academic journals into the American Wild West - where fossils were dynamited and employees turned double agent. Learn about the two-fisted origins of American paleontology.
Very recently, thanks to a new type of AI, it’s gotten much easier to create convincingly realistic videos of people saying and doing things they’ve never said or done. Will fake videos undermine our shared sense of reality and lead to the death of truth?
There's no question that human cannonballs are daredevils. They pack themselves into the confines of huge cannons, which shoot them into the air. But how does it work? Join Josh and Chuck to learn more about the bizarre performances of human cannonballs.
Few things are more compelling than a witness pointing out a defendant in the courtroom as the perpetrator. But few things are also more unreliable than eyewitness testimony. Our memories can be pretty terrible, which matters when you’re facing death row.
This week we highlight another little known historical hero. In this case, a Portuguese diplomat who rescued people from Nazi Germany, at his own peril. Dig in and spread the word of Aristides de Sousa Mendes.
Believe it or not, in 1985 the Philadelphia Police Department dropped a bomb from a helicopter onto a residential building in an African-American neighborhood. The fact that this story isn't more widely known says it all. Listen and learn about MOVE today.
Back in the mid-1980s a new and extremely potent drug hit the scene: crack cocaine. In short order, America was in the grip of both a sweeping addiction and a state of hysteria over use of the drug and the social consequences of crack, like crack babies. Let's take a look back at the receding wave of the crack epidemic and its lasting legacy on America in this classic episode.