Stuff You Should Know

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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.

iHeartRadio & HowStuffWorks

  • Discover Pods Awards
    2017 Best Kids & Family Podcast

  • Discover Pods Awards
    2017 Best Technology & Science Podcast


  • Sep 30, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
  • weekdays NEW EPISODES
  • 42m AVG DURATION
  • 2,187 EPISODES

4.5 from 61,495 ratings Listeners of Stuff You Should Know that love the show mention: josh and chuck, jeri, chuck bryant, love sysk, ibm, chuck and josh, yawning, mundane topics, chronic lyme, much stuff, movie crush, chuckers, chuck talk, flamingos, multiple times a day, love josh, love listening to josh, chemistry between josh, maggots, love stuff you should know.



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Latest episodes from Stuff You Should Know

Selects: How Air Traffic Control Works

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 30, 2023 40:32 Transcription Available


You know how when you fly in an airline you usually don't die? You can thank the battalion of air traffic control professionals who studiously track every moment of your flight to ensure its safety. Learn all about this unsung field with Chuck and Josh in this classic episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Revenge: Bitter, Not Sweet

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2023 45:48 Transcription Available


Someone cuts you off in traffic or makes fun of your friend and all you can think of is how to get back at them and then some. But wait! Research has found that taking revenge actually makes you feel worse in the long run. Learn about what to do instead.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: The Dakota

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2023 12:29 Transcription Available


The Dakota is one of New York City's great buildings. And its backstory is pretty great to boot. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

new york city short stuff
The Amazing Life of Christine Granville

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2023 49:47 Transcription Available


Christine Granville was about as James Bond as it gets. Stories of her life as a spy during World War II are legendary. Today we'll tell her story. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Selects: Cockney Rhyming Slang: Beautiful Gibberish

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 23, 2023 42:45 Transcription Available


What is Cockney Rhyming Slang? It's complicated and its origins are unclear. Learn everything we know about it today in this classic episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

gibberish cockney rhyming slang
Kombucha: Fizzy Goodness

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2023 47:04 Transcription Available


Kombucha is pretty popular right now. But what is it exactly and where did it come from? The answers await you!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: Origin of Math Signs

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2023 11:57 Transcription Available


Have you ever stopped mid-pencil mark and realized to your astonishment where the plus sign came from? Then this one's for you.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

signs math origin short stuff
10ish Worst Business Decisions Ever

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2023 51:46 Transcription Available


It's easy (and kind of fun) to laugh at the misfortune of CEOs and other high up business types when they bring it on themselves – so let's do that now. Herein lies some of the worst business decisions ever made, hindsight being 20/20, of course.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Selects: How Floods Work

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2023 33:49 Transcription Available


Floods happen when more water is introduced to an area than can be quickly removed. That's about it, but there's more to floods, what causes them and the havoc they can wreak. Join Josh and Chuck in this super-saturated classic episode of Stuff You Should Know.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Hyatt Regency Skywalk Disaster

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2023 40:37 Transcription Available


In 1981 America suffered the worst accidental structural collapse in its history. Listen in today to the tragic story of the fast-tracked building disaster that stills haunts Kansas City. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: Why Spilling Salt is Unlucky

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2023 11:18 Transcription Available


Face it, when you spill salt your life goes totally off the rails, maybe even forever. Fortunately, we humans stumbled upon the one reliable way to counteract that bad luck by tossing some over our left shoulder.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Axolotls: The Smiling Salamander from Mexico

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2023 48:45 Transcription Available


It's a listener request! Axolotls are one of the more amazing animals roaming the planet right now – they can regenerate parts of their brains, can fight off tumors, are found in the wild only in one single lake? And did we mention they smile all the time?See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Selects: How Space Stations Work

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 9, 2023 48:12 Transcription Available


It seems like we largely take it for granted these days, but the fact that we have humans living in space is the realization of a scientific dream a century old. Visit the space stations orbiting Earth past, present and future in this classic episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Native American Reservations

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2023 52:21 Transcription Available


Today we dive into the history and current state of Native American reservations. This serves as a nice follow-up to the Trail of Tears double-ep from 2017. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: History of OK

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2023 14:48 Transcription Available


Is OK the best word? It's certainly one of the most versatile. Check the interesting history of this weird contraction.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

history short stuff
The Made-up Disease of Syndrome K

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2023 41:13 Transcription Available


In WWII, Italy went through its own Jewish Holocaust, terrible at first then horrific as the Nazis took over the country. In Rome, a group of doctors hid Jewish refugees in plain sight in their hospital by giving them a highly contagious, highly fictitious disease.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Selects: Body Odor: You Stink

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2023 46:58 Transcription Available


Chuck and Josh end up making reduxes of past episodes on things like sweating and deodorant in this all-new episode on the science beneath what makes people smell. Learn all about your odor in this classic episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Laurens Hammond: The Non-Musical Genius Who Changed Popular Music

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2023 50:09 Transcription Available


Laurens Hammond invented the Hammond organ and in the process changed music history. But he was much more than that. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: Evil Eye

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2023 11:11 Transcription Available


You've seen the evil eye. Many Middle Eastern cultures have a long history with it. Learn how to thwart this curse today. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

evil eye short stuff
Fordlandia: Brazil Isn't Michigan

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 29, 2023 46:55 Transcription Available


Henry Ford tried to build a Midwestern American town in the Amazon rainforest in the 1920s. It's true. And yes, Chuck will say this should be a movie. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Selects: How Toy Testing Works

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2023 47:05 Transcription Available


It's every kid's dream - a job playing with toys that pays in toys. It's a real thing and has been around for a long time. Then there's the other side of the testing process, companies who ensure that toys are safe. It takes both of these testing techniques to successfully bring a toy to market these days. Dive into the ball pit with us today and learn all about toy testing in this classic episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Plant Migration

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2023 45:19 Transcription Available


Climate change is having sweeping effects on our climate and this is changing the world, not just for humans and other animals, but plants too. Will the Earth's flora manage to find safe refuge in time?    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: Saturn's Rings

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2023 11:44 Transcription Available


Friends, treasure Saturn's rings while they are young. They won't be around forever.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Farmer's Almanac: Literature to Poop To

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2023 48:03 Transcription Available


The Farmer's Almanac has a long rich history that is more than just moon phases and long-term weather patterns. Tune in to learn all about it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Selects: How Music Sampling Works

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2023 44:24 Transcription Available


Today music sampling is a common practice, especially in electronic or hip-hop music. But how does it work? After all, other artists made the original music, and most of them would presumably like to be paid. Tune in to this classic episode to learn more about music sampling.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Mysterious Disappearance of the Franklin Expedition

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2023 50:24 Transcription Available


One of the great Arctic mysteries was the disappearance of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition in search of a northwest passage between the Atlantic and Pacific. Not one man survived the trip, and they left precious little behind in the way of clues.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: Edward Mordake

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2023 12:57 Transcription Available


In the 19th century news spread of an unfortunate man who was born with an evil second face on the back of his head that spoke to him. The real story is that people keep falling for it.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

short stuff
How We're Learning to Talk to Animals

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 15, 2023 53:58 Transcription Available


If we could talk with the animals, grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals, what would we say? We'd better start thinking of something good because researchers are learning to speak sperm whale, prairie dog, and a bunch of other species' languages.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Selects: How Magnets Work

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2023 36:15 Transcription Available


You can stick them to the fridge or use them to transpose sound to tape, whatever they are used for magnets are surprisingly interesting. And knowing just exactly how and why magnets work will make you more interesting, which is why you should listen to this classic episode of SYSK.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Xenobiotics

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2023 45:28 Transcription Available


Science is just realizing the extent of the tiny pollutants that have entered ecosystems across Earth and inside all humans. We call them xenobiotics – substances foreign to our bodies – and what effects they have on us we're only starting to learn.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: History of English

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2023 12:06 Transcription Available


Who spoke English first and what was it like? Nothing like it is today. Listen in to learn all about it. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

history english short stuff
Dear Diary...

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2023 47:45 Transcription Available


Diaries have been around for a long time. There are many famous ones, and tens of millions that will never see the light of day. Learn about the history and benefits of journaling today.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Selects: Rainbows: Delighting humanity since forever

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2023 30:00 Transcription Available


Rainbows seem to defy nature, but they're really pretty simple when it comes down to it. Turns out it's just light reacting to water droplets in the air. But they sure do look cool. Learn all about how rainbows are formed in this classic episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Last Meal Ritual

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2023 49:46 Transcription Available


The last meal of the executed is a longstanding tradition. Listen in today to learn about the dark history and modern practice of this culinary curiosity. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: NATO Alphabet

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2023 13:08 Transcription Available


Alpha, Bravo, Charlie. This is the NATO alphabet. But where did it come from?See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

BPD: The Worst Disorder or Not a Disorder at All?

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2023 50:54 Transcription Available


Borderline Personality Disorder has been described as emotional “third degree burns over ninety percent of your body.” It's as close to a curse as a personality disorder can be: deep fear of being abandoned creates behaviors that end up driving people off.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Selects: What's the deal with Stradivarius violins?

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2023 40:30 Transcription Available


The Strad violin is noted for its tonal qualities and superior craftsmanship. And for its price tag. There are many theories why the Strad sounds so great, from the wood to the lacquer, to the simple fact that Antonio Stradivari was really good at what he did. Rosin up your bow and take a listen to this classic episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

MAD Magazine: A Tribute

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2023 60:12 Transcription Available


Chuck and Josh grew up on MAD Magazine and we hope you did too. What started out as a comic book that spoofed comic books grew into the foundation of American satire and cultivated a healthy skepticism in generations of kids. Hail to the clods at MAD!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: Blue Highway Signs

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2023 14:16 Transcription Available


In the US those ubiquitous blue highway signs that tell you which direction you'll find a Burger King have an interesting backstory. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

signs highways burger king blue highway short stuff
Learning a Foreign Language

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2023 47:12 Transcription Available


Today, Chuck and Josh dive into the ins and outs of language learning. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Selects: Nirvana: Not The Band

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 22, 2023 32:57 Transcription Available


Hinduism and Buddhism are closely related in a number of ways, including their vision of what comes after we exit this mortal coil. Learn about the religions' interesting interpretation of the state of existence outside space-time, in this classic episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Magic Eye Illusions

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2023 47:17 Transcription Available


What became the Magic Eye illusion fad of the 1990s was born by way of the stereogram of the 1950s (and even before that). It's a winding story that you'll love!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: Pie-In-The-Face Gag

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2023 12:38 Transcription Available


Throwing a pie in someone's face was groundbreaking comedy once upon a time.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

throwing short stuff
Insomnia: Why you can't sleep

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2023 50:03 Transcription Available


Insomnia is rough stuff. Listen in and learn all about why you can't fall asleep and what you can do about that.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Selects: How Police Lineups Work

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2023 52:42 Transcription Available


Police lineups are something most people have never had any firsthand experience with. What you see on TV and in movies isn't so far off though. Learn about how these tropes work for real in this classic episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

How PCP Works

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2023 49:42 Transcription Available


There is probably no drug more mythologized than PCP. It drives users insane and has the unfortunate side effect of bestowing superhuman strength thus sending them on a rampage. But does it though?See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: Père-Lachaise Cemetery

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2023 12:04


The most famous cemetery in Paris has some of the most famous people in the world buried there. And it's quite lovely.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

short stuff lachaise cemetery
Birth Order: So nice, we did it twice

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 11, 2023 55:04


This is a very special episode, the first one we've ever fully recorded a second time and decided to release. Why? Because it's good and a little different and we thought you'd enjoy this unheard of double dose. So enjoy!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Selects: How Bats Work

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 8, 2023 45:26


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 classic episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

James Beard: Food Legend

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2023 55:20


James Beard is well-known now for the annual awards named in his honor. But he used to be the most famous chef in America, and set the standard for what makes a celebrity chef.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Short Stuff: Hollywood Sign

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2023 13:48


The Hollywood sign is an iconic landmark that started out as a real estate billboard. Can you believe it?See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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