How Bonsai Works

For thousands of years people have been taking normal trees and forcing them into miniature. Learn all about the history and art of this strangely engrossing pastime.

The Great Wall of China Episode

The Great Wall of China is one of the most visited tourist desinations in the world. How'd it get built? How old is it? What's the current condition? Learn this and more in today's episode.

How the Terracotta Army Works

In 1974, Chinese farmers discovered the first of what would number 7,000 terracotta soldiers meant to protect China's first emperor in the afterlife.

How Internet Censorship Works

Some of it seems innocuous enough: protecting kids from unseemly sites or intellectual property from piracy. But the tools to protect these things are the same that governments can also use to censor ideas and quell dissent.

How Clowns Work

Jesters of some sort have been around since ancient Egypt and China. Our modern clown was invented around 1800 and ever since they have been getting steadily creepier.

How Feng Shui Works

Feng Shui is an Asian concept that strives to unlock your chi by how your home or office is arranged. Or at least that's the simplified "Western" version. It's a little more complicated than that in reality. We'll unlock your chi by explaining how feng shui works in today's episode.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Every week Josh and Chuck read tons of articles and some of them are pretty great. Here are the best of the bunch.

What is a Numbers Station?

If you think secretly coded messages sent via short wave radio is Cold War relic, think again. Chuck and Josh are here to dispel that myth, along with many others relating to numbers stations, including why they might still be operational.

If you've ever wanted to step out on the balcony of your ¥3300-a-month high-rise apartment in downtown Shanghai and inhale deeply the smell of bird poop right next to your face and maybe get a wasp caught in your hair, then, mister, are you going to be happy with this post. As a web log posting on Design Addict tells it, the people at Swedish firm Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture have designed a green high rise that tackles the issue of balancing urban density and nature in the same spot.

In Search of the World's Oldest Beer (Again)

Being a renowned professional taster would have its perks, especially anytime a shipwreck with old beer is discovered. Four such lucky ducks recently had the chance to try what is thought to be the world's oldest drinkable beer after an early-19th century shipwreck in the Baltic Sea was found to contain a number of intact bottles of booze. Among the cargo of the ship that had set sail from Copenhagen on route to St. Petersburg were bottles of champagnes, and until one bottle exploded on the deck of the salvage ship, it was thought that all 145 bottles were vintage champagne from between 1800 and 1825.