Australia

Who Gets to Name Continents?

America is named after Amerigo Vespucci, right? Maybe not. And who named Australia? Find out the unusually uncertain origins of the continents and other interesting stuff in this episode.

Boomerangs: Magic Sticks of Physics

The physics behind returning boomerangs literally may be the most difficult concept to understand in the entire body of science. Join Josh and Chuck as they try their absolute best to describe how boomerangs work - and maybe even pull it off!

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Each week Josh and Chuck read tons of articles, plenty of the good. Here are the best of the bunch for your reading enjoyment.

Remember the MRSA scare of a couple years ago? Remember, it was before the swine flu scare but after the SARS and avian flu scares. For those who can't recollect, MRSA is a potentially fatal, antibiotic-resistant staph infection, essentially a superbacterium that a lot of researchers believe is the result of the overuse of things like antibacterial soap and the misuse of antibiotic medications. One of the things that made it so frightening was that otherwise healthy people were catching it in hospitals.

It was the Quakers who came up with the concept of solitary confinement. As Brooke Shelby Biggs, the author of a fine Mother Jones article on the subject tells it, when the Quakers built their Walnut Street jail in Philadelphia in 1791, it was revolutionary, the first prison designed to not only house inmates as they awaited execution, but possibly to rehabilitate them as well so that they could return to society once more.