Podcasts

How Barcodes Work

Barcodes are everywhere. Those little lines and numbers that make up one of the most recognizable barcodes, the UPC, was designed to make going to the grocery a lot less miserable. It ended up becoming the central symbol of the global economy. 

SYSK Selects: How TV Ratings Work

Ever wonder why some great shows go off the air after a season or less? Blame it on the Nielsen company, which has for more than 60 years been the almost exclusive decider of what goes and what stays on TV.

The Tylenol Murders, Part II

The panic that began in Chicago spreads and begins to change the world. The investigation into the murders turns up leads and suspects, but still no one has ever been charged with the murders. It remains unsolved to this day. 

Short Stuff: Look-Alike Old Couples

You know how some older married couples (sorry, senior adult married couples) start to look alike over time? That’s a really weird phenomenon if you think about it. So science has looked into it and they think they kind of have it figured out.

The Tylenol Murders, Part I

On one terrible day in Chicago in 1982, seven people died suddenly and mysteriously. In just a matter of hours, it becomes clear, someone has poisoned bottles of Extra-Strength Tylenol, one of the most trusted and widely-used products in America.

SYSK Selects: How Acne Works

Over the course of our lives, 80 percent of us will experience acne. Ultimately, acne comes down to one thing, a blockage in the sebaceous gland. Learn what makes a blackhead black, and everything else about zits, in this pus-filled episode of SYSK.

What was Tin Pan Alley?

Tin Pan Alley was an area of New York around the beginning of the 20th Century that served as ground zero for the earliest iterations of the music publishing industry. Learn all about this unique place and time right now. 

Short Stuff: James Polk, Disinterred

Did you know that former president James Polk had his final resting place moved twice? It's true! And almost a third time even. Let's go listen to some short stuff. 

How Crystals Work

In a new age shop or on display at the Smithsonian, there are varying interpretations of what crystals can be used for. But at their base, they are a thumb in the eye to entropy, a perfectly ordered piece of matter. 

Introducing Ephemeral

Lost materials, dropped threads, forgotten stories. Ephemera in the way that it’s intertwined in our lives. All those things, tangible and intangible, that you wish you could take just one more look at before they vanish into the past. Listen wherever podcasts are found and learn more at www.ephemeral.show