World War II

How Triage Works

Triage is a system that provides immediate attention and categorization for medical emergencies that hopefully will never be a big part of your life. Unless you work in an ER. Learn all about the interesting history and current methods for this life saving system today.

Operation Mincemeat: How A Corpse Fooled the Nazis

In World War II, a secret department of British 'corkscrew thinkers' hatched a plan to use the cadaver of an unclaimed homeless man to turn the tide of the war in the Allies' favor. It worked.

Pigeons: Homing, Passenger, Carrier and Otherwise

Pigeons can get a little confusing. Passengers, messengers, carriers, homing - the list goes on. But when it comes down to it, they're all variations of the same smart bird with a knack for getting home to roost. Learn about these clever creatures in today's episode.

How Bats Work

They are creepy, sure, but they are also useful, cute and in great danger of extinction. Get a new lease on life from a new view of bats in this episode.

The Time Nazis Invaded Florida

During World War II, Nazis invaded the United States with saboteurs bent on fomenting chaos. Three times.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

What's the deal with blood types?

Blood types have one of the more interesting backstories in medical history. But as much as we've figured out about them and how they work, we still don't know much about why we even have different blood types. Listen in for a truly fascinating look at your most essential bodily fluid.

How Play-Doh Works

Do you love Play-Doh? Chuck and Josh certainly love to talk about it, from its interesting history as a wall cleaner, to its more scientific chemical properties. It's everything you ever wanted to know about the pliable children's toy.

Back in 1839, a man named Charles Goodyear figured out how to vastly improve rubber beyond its natural state with a process called vulcanization. Once vulcanized, rubber -- which is naturally gooey at warmer temperatures and rigid at cool temps -- becomes capable of withstanding punishing heat and pressure. Suddenly the uses of rubber opened up considerably -- tires, hoses, shoe soles, fan belts -- and since this coincided with the Industrial Revolution, mass production of these products meant vast supplies of raw rubber were needed.

In Search of the Ghoulish Work of Japan's Unit 731

There was something about the moment in human history that encapsulated World War II where the idea of vivisecting humans seemed appealing to a lot of people around the world. Either that, or there are a lot of us who really want to dismember alive those people we interact with at any given moment and it was only under the utter attendent loss of humanity that afforded some of those people the opportunity to do it. That Herophilus, the father of anatomy, vivisected about 600 live subjects in the fouth century BC, shows that the curosity of what will happen when a knife opens a live human is an ancient one.