Right Now in Stuff You Should Know

In 1970, roboticist Masahiro Mori wrote an essay that said the closer robots come to lifelike, the more they unsettle humans. His theory became the Uncanny Valley, and science has been evaluating it – and what makes something creepy - in recent years.

SYSK Selects: How Exploitation Films Work

In today's SYSK Select episode, we learn about exploitation films. During the 1930s-80s, the work of directors operating in the shadows of Hollywood led to explorations in sexuality and violence that mainstream cinema wouldn't touch. Join Chuck and Josh as they explore the seedy underbelly of grindhouse flicks.

What's the deal with accents?

Accents are truly fascinating. Put simply, they are how a person sounds when they talk. From England to America and all over the world, the way people speak in their native tongue can vary drastically. What are the influences? When do accents begin to take hold? Can you lose or gain an accent? Learn about all this and more in today's decidedly interesting episode.

How Stuttering Works

Despite as much as one percent of the adult population having the condition, science doesn't actually know how stuttering works. The best it's come up with so far: there seems to be an issue between the physical process of speaking and the thought process that underlies it.

SYSK Selects: How McCarthyism Works

In this week's SYSK Select episode, if you're accusing someone of disloyalty or subversion without decent evidence, then you may be guilty of McCarthyism. In this episode, Josh and Chuck explore the origin of the term, starting with the infamous Communist-hunting Senator Joseph McCarthy.

How Bioarchaeology Works

Thanks to advancements in fields like genetics, and molecular chemistry, archaeology is undergoing a renaissance and opening up new understanding of the past.

Do motivational speakers motivate people?

There are all kinds of motivational speakers, from people who have overcome incredible hardships to those who hold pep-rally style events in stadiums. But do these speakers actually help anyone? Science can't prove it out, but people who take part swear by it. Learn all about the strange world of motivational speakers in today's episode.

SYSK Selects: Why do men have nipples?

In this week's SYSK Select episode, they’re always right there, taunting you: why do you have me, they ask? Why do men have nipples? It turns out there’s a good answer why and nipples on men aren’t entirely useless after all.Join Chuck and Josh for this heady investigation.

Who Committed the 1912 Villisca Ax Murders?

In a small town in Iowa in 1912 eight people were murdered in the grisliest of ways while they slept. Local reputations were ruined when accusations flew, but could a drifting serial killer working across the Midwest have been behind it?

How Public Broadcasting Works

Public broadcasting works a bit differently depending on where you are in the world. American TV made the leap more toward commercial broadcasting in the early days, yet PBS and NPR still remain a vital part of our national fabric. In England and many other countries, public broadcasting is more the standard. Learn all about the interesting history of public broadcasting in today's episode.

SYSK Selects: How Disco Works

In today's SYSK Select episode, fly, robin, fly indeed. No musical genre has risen and burned out as quickly as disco, and historians are still trying to unravel the animosity aimed at it. Join Chuck and Josh as they dig into disco’s underground roots and its sashay into the mainstream.

A Dry Look at Toilet Paper

Over or under? One ply or two? How about six? TP has not been around that long, but is has been embraced in a big way by the United States. Learn all about the interesting history behind this decidedly dry product.

What is Ghost Fishing?

It sounds cool, but ghost fishing is actually a tragic byproduct of modern fishing practices, where abandoned nylon nets can trap and kill sealife for hundreds of years.

SYSK Selects: How the Sun Works

In this week's SYSK Select episode, amateur astrophysicists Josh and Chuck break out the stats and attempt to explain the complex, boiling ball of gas that we call the sun.

All We Know About Guessing

Guessing is a weird thing. For millennia, it could have meant the difference between life and death. Now it's not as vital, but we still do it every day, whether behind the wheel of a car, or judging what another person might be feeling. From wild guesses to the educated variety, learn everything we know about the brain and how it manages this odd, very human act.

Sunburn, Suntans and Sunscreen

It's pretty obvious something's gone wrong when you get a sunburn, but did you know a tan means you've damaged your DNA? Dive into the three Ss of summer and learn all about how to protect yourself from the sun.

SYSK Selects: Why can't we find Amelia Earhart?

In this week's SYSK Select episode, famed aviator Amelia Earhart's disappearance in 1937 is a mystery that endures to this day. Why don't we know what happened to her? In this episode, Josh and Chuck examine the facts and evidence behind the famous case.

How Fever Dreams Work

Fever dreams can be unsettling experiences. These ramped up nightmares are vivid, detailed and only happen when the human body experiences a fever. What is it about the combination of fevers and dreams that make these night terrors so hellish? Learn all that and more in today's episode.

Why is There a Battle Over Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality is the idea that the internet is a public good and that everyone should have equal, unfettered access to it. Though the FCC strongly supported it with new rules in 2015, today’s FCC is under new leadership and has other ideas.

SYSK Selects: How HeLa Cells Work

In this week's SYSK Select episode, after she was diagnosed with the cervical cancer that shortly killed her, a tissue sample was taken from Henrietta Lacks in 1951 without her knowledge. Those cells would go on to become the first immortal line of human cells, something of enormous benefit to science and humanity as a whole. But while the line, called HeLa cells, became a multi-billion-dollar industry, her family languished without health care insurance. Learn about this complex case of private rights and scientific advancement in this episode.