Right Now in Stuff You Should Know

How the Concorde Worked

The concorde was a wonderful thing, a super fast commerical airliner that got you across the pond in half the time. But it was small and cramped, noisy and a big money loser. Climb aboard and get ready for Mach 1. 

SYSK Selects: Does the five-second rule work?

You know when you drop a piece of food and if you pick it up within five seconds it's still good to eat? Researchers have studied whether that's true or not and in doing so have inadvertently shone a light on how utterly covered our world is with bacteria and germs. Prepare to shudder in this episode of Stuff You Should Know.

Seriously, What Is Dark Matter?

Chuck and Josh take on astrophysics again and this time it pans out well. It turns out that there simply isn’t enough matter in the universe to account for its mass. Which is super weird. What is this missing matter? Does it even exist?

What is colorblindness?

Being colorblind doesn't mean you see in black and white, although in severe cases it can look a bit like that. The condition is on a spectrum ranging from dulled colors to shades of grey. Learn all about what colorblindness means in today's episode. 

SYSK Selects: Was Malthus right about carrying capacity?

Thomas Malthus concluded that humanity is bound to outgrow Earth's carrying capacity. The prediction was based on humanity's exponential growth and the linear growth of the food supply -- but was he correct? Tune in to this classic episode to find out.

How Ranked Choice Voting Works

In the US, winner-take-all voting has created A LOT of political polarization. But what if rather than voting for one candidate, you could rank all of them so if your first choice doesn’t win, your vote goes to your second choice? So long, polarization!

Roundabouts: The Problem Is You

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.