Right Now in Stuff You Should Know

Sand Dunes: They Are What You Think They Are

Sand dunes are exactly what you think they are. But still pretty interesting. Learn all about them right now!

Short Stuff: Yellow Rain

After the Vietnam War, the Hmong people told the world a toxic weapon was being used on them. Thus began a mystery that still remains today, which might have been solved when it was chalked up to bee poop.

How Going to the Moon Works

Fifty years ago, the first humans stepped onto the moon. After going back a few more times, humanity lost its taste for moon travel. But it’s being revived again. NASA is planning to send humans back to the moon by 2024 and build a moon base by 2028. 

SYSK Selects: Duels - A Guide to Throwing Down the Gauntlet

Pretty much everything you know about duels is true - it's a challenge to violence to defend honor. But did you know the U.S. Navy used to publish detailed guidelines in its midshipmen's handbook? Learn all there is to know about dueling in this classic episode.

How Sloths Work

Everyone knows sloths are super slow, but do you know they’re slow because their bodies produce an astoundingly small amount of energy? And did you know that might be an adaptation that protects them from predators? Sloths are awesome and we prove it.

Short Stuff: The Coconut Cult

Why we love short stuff - because we can tell stories like this one. A man goes to an island to start a commune of sorts that subsists entirely on coconuts. It didn't go well. 

Cleopatra: Ms. Understood

One of the great misunderstood figures in history was the last pharaoh of Egypt. Cleopatra’s story is almost always told along with the men in her life, and from the view of the Romans who were threatened by her. Unsurprisingly, there was lot more to her.

SYSK Selects: What Makes us Yawn?

What is it that makes us suddenly draw in a deep breath through a wide-open mouth? The beautiful thing about yawning is that researchers really don't know. Whether the answer is physical, mental or even contagious there is pretty much no chance you won't yawn during this classic episode.

How the Fairness Doctrine Worked

Back in the day, broadcasters were bound by law to provide contrasting opinions on political matters. Why? Because of the Fairness Doctrine. What happened to it? Listen in and find out. 

Short Stuff: Mitsuye Endo

In today's short stuff, we look at another amazing woman who has all but been ignored by history. The story of Mitsuye Endo. 

Is photographic memory a real thing?

Photographic memory is the stuff of movies and TV, but is it real? Sort of. But not really. But kind of. It's a little bit a matter of semantics. Listen in and this will all make sense. 

SYSK Selects: What Makes a One-hit Wonder?

The term "one-hit wonder" gets thrown around a lot, and - yes - you probably are using it correctly, but Chuck Bryant went to the trouble to really define what makes a one-hit wonder in the article this classic episode is based on. Join him and Josh as they get to the bottom of this disparaging term.

What is the Civil Air Patrol?

The Civil Air Patrol is a civilian group of pilots and plane enthusiasts who do a lot of things, namely help out in search and rescue missions. But their history is a bit more colorful. Listen in today!

Short Stuff: Prison Food

Prison food is kind of a joke, like airplane food. But there are real consequences involved. Let's get into it in today's short stuff.

Planned Obsolescence: Engine of the Consumer Economy

If you’ve ever heard an old timer gripe that things aren’t built like they used to be, that old timer was right! Learn about the nefarious, possibly mythical, mechanism that’s responsible for the cruddy products and waste our consumer society is based on.

SYSK Selects: How the Donner Party Worked

Did they or didn't they? There is plenty of written evidence that the ill-fated Donner Party resorted to cannibalism - except there are no bones. Learn the details of one of the worst disasters of the early West in this classic episode of Stuff You Should Know.

What happened to the Neanderthals?

As recently as 40,000 years ago we lived among humans from an entirely different species – Neanderthals. About the same time our species showed up, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Just what happened to the other guys? Did our ancestors do something … bad?

Short Stuff: Emperor Norton

After a San Francisco real estate mogul went bankrupt, he reinvented himself as the Emperor of the United States – and became the city’s most celebrated resident. 

How the Hygiene Hypothesis Works

In the early 90s, a new study that found that kids who are exposed to more germs early in life are less likely to develop allergies later. With the West in the grip of a full-blown immunity crisis (still going on today), this was an interesting thought.

SYSK Selects: What's the Deal with Crop Circles?

For a while in the 1980s, people were fascinated and confused about what exactly crop circles were. Now we know that they aren't signs left from aliens, but art made by humans. Learn all about these stunning, large form art installations in today's episode.