Stuff You Should Know



If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

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1970 episodes

The Origins of Breakfast Foods

Who doesn't love breakfast? But do you know where most of the typical breakfast foods come from? Well listen in to find out. See for privacy information.

Aug 11
Short Stuff: The Berners Street Hoax

A full 200 years on, we're still talking about one of the most sweeping hoaxes of all time.  See for privacy information.

Aug 10
What's the deal with energy drinks?

Chuck hates them, Josh has flirted with them. Energy drinks. Listen in to learn all about this canned speed.  See for privacy information.

Aug 09
Selects: How Droughts Work

Droughts can be an inevitable feature of a local climate or a catastrophic result of human meddling. In this classic episode, learn the ins and outs of droughts including the American mother of them all, the Dust Bowl. See for privacy information.

Aug 06
Thrill to the Stunning Bicameral Mind Hypothesis

Psychologist Julian Jaynes came up with a stunning hypothesis in 1976, that human consciousness only developed in the last 3000 years. And he seemed to have proof in ancient texts. Scholars have been picking it apart ever since and today we join the club. See for privacy information.

Aug 04
Short Stuff: Divorcing Your Parents

It really happens! But most people call it emancipation of a minor. Either way, there's some interesting legal stuff in here. See for privacy information.

Aug 03
Silly String: Disaster in a Can

It's been a while since we tackled a classic toy, so here we go with all you ever wanted to know about Silly String. See for privacy information.

Aug 02
Selects: Some Movies That Changed Filmmaking

An estimated 50,000 films were made worldwide in 2009 alone. Many are surely clunkers, but in this episode Chuck and Josh talk about the ones that emerged throughout cinema history to change the course of all movies that followed. Get your popcorn and lean back while you enjoy this classic episode. See for privacy information.

Jul 30
How Menstruation Works

Two dudes talking about menstruation? You bet! And there’s no way you could be any more nervous to listen than we were to record it. But give it a listen, we think you’ll find it enlightening – whether you menstruate or not. See for privacy information.

Jul 28
Short Stuff: The Mars Rock with Signs of Life?

In 1996, real-deal NASA scientists announced they had discovered signs of ancient microbial life in a rock that had broken off Mars and landed on Antarctica. The news set off a controversy still going today. Do we already have proof of alien life? See for privacy information.

Jul 27
Where Did Human Intelligence Come From?

We humans are smart, to be sure, but if we’re so smart then how come we can’t figure how we got so smart in the first place? Think about that! We sure did and we go over some theories in this super interesting episode. See for privacy information.

Jul 26
Selects: What's the misery index?

Economists love their data because somewhere in the numbers lies the answer to the ills of the country. They also love to frame data in a way people can relate to. Such is the case with the famous "misery index." Learn all about it in this classic episode. See for privacy information.

Jul 23
Googie: The Architecture of the Space Age

You may not have heard of it, but you’ve definitely seen it before – 50s buildings with bright, loud colors, roofs at crazy angles, and space-age shapes like starbursts. It turns out that Googie architecture is as fun to look at as it is to say. See for privacy information.

Jul 21
Short Stuff: Death from Astral Projection

In 1975, yoga enthusiast Robert Antoszczyk retired to his room in a group house in Ann Arbor, MI to try a meditation technique that would allow him to astrally project his spirit. He died, never coming out of his meditative state. What happened? See for privacy information.

Jul 20
Supernovae: Best Around, Case Closed

Face it, supernovae are the most interesting phenomena in the universe. Black holes are cool, but did you know they sprout from a supernova? What could be cooler than a star exploding so powerfully, the flash it creates shines for months after? See for privacy information.

Jul 19
Selects: What Happens When the Government Thinks You're Dead?

It’s bad enough when the government knows you’re alive – there are taxes to pay, laws to be followed, all sorts of boring and unpleasant things. But each year, thousands of Americans find out life is far, far worse when the government thinks you are dead. Learn all about it in this classic episode. See for privacy information.

Jul 16
Why Bowling is Awesome

Bowling is awesome. It just is. And if you don't think so, maybe take a listen to today's episode.  See for privacy information.

Jul 14
Short Stuff: Catatumbo Lightning

Catatumbo lightning is one of nature's most amazing displays of showiness, with strikes occurring 28 times per minute for nine hours a day, 300 days a year. So take cover and take a listen. See for privacy information.

Jul 13
Mangroves: Nature's Best Tree?

Mangroves are incredible survivors and adapters. They're also amazing at lessening the impact of tropical storms and climate change. And heck, they're cool looking. So jump into the brackish waters and have a listen. See for privacy information.

Jul 12
Selects: How Ayahuasca Works

One day in the Amazon Basin, a shaman put together a plant containing DMT with a vine that allows the body to absorb DMT. The combination, a foul-tasting, wildly hallucinogenic brew called ayahuasca, has changed cultures throughout the Americas. Learn all about it in this classic episode. See for privacy information.

Jul 09
The Maya Civilization

After inspiration from Chuck's recent trip to the Yucatan, the fellas dive into the Maya Civilization.  See for privacy information.

Jul 07
Short Stuff: Alligator Gar

The alligator gar is one scary looking fish. Learn all about these monsters in today's episode. See for privacy information.

Jul 06
How Ultraprocessed Foods Work

Ultraprocessed is a new term for junk food, but it means much more than that – it’s also a cautionary tale for the way we’re supposed to cook and eat, using real food and sitting down with friends and family. But who has the time and money to do that? See for privacy information.

Jul 05
Selects: How Freak Shows Worked

Not too long ago, people would pay money to gawk and stare at a performer with a physical disformity. They were called freak shows and they began in large part thanks to P.T. Barnum, whose circus we still enjoy today. Sounds awful, but some of these performers became rich folks as a result. Exploitive? You decide, after taking in this classic episode. See for privacy information.

Jul 02
A Dispassionate Review of Roe v Wade

Given the landmark undoing of Roe v Wade, Chuck and Josh lay out all the relevant facts of the 1973 case. See for privacy information.

Jun 30
Short Stuff: What did we use before infant formula?

There's an infant formula shortage. But infant formula is relatively new. So what did we do before it was perfected? Listen in and learn already! See for privacy information.

Jun 29
How Alien Contact Might Work

If we ever found evidence of intelligent alien life (or they found us) what would we say? Who would say it for us? These seemingly silly questions are vitally important depending on your view. See for privacy information.

Jun 28
Selects: Chiggers: The Phantom Menace

Chiggers are tiny little mites capable of making your life miserable. Worse than mosquitoes? Maybe. But they aren't insects - mites are actually part of the arachnid family and behave a little like ticks. Learn all about these nearly invisible pests in this classic episode. See for privacy information.

Jun 25
What's up with bariatric surgery?

A few short years after the hiking trails from Maine to Georgia were connected into the world’s longest hiking-only footpath, a WWII vet walked the whole thing in one go. He kicked off a challenge that’s still taken on by thousands of people each year. See for privacy information.

Jun 23
Short Stuff: Do Fish Get Thirsty?

One of the greatest questions we’ve ever heard, answered (in a roundabout way). See for privacy information.

Jun 22