how stuff works podcasts

How Acne Works

Over the course of our lives, 80 percent of us will experience acne. Ultimately, acne comes down...

Add to ... 

How the Moon Works

Did you know that science still doesn’t know the exact origin of the moon? Do you know how the...

Add to ... 

How Casinos Work

Gambling predates the written word; dice made of bones have been discovered at prehistoric sites....

Add to ... 

How the World Trade Center Memorial Works

The World Trade Center was once a global symbol of progress. Since the attacks of Sept. 11, the...

Add to ... 

How Lie Detectors Work

Instead of actually detecting lies, polygraph machines sense physiological variations, ostensibly...

Add to ... 

The Cheesiest SYSK Episode Ever

Cheese is often overlooked as a one of humanity's great achievements. Making cheese is...

Add to ... 

How to Land on a Government Watch List

The U.S. Government's Consolidated Terrorist Watch List keeps track of people who are known or...

Add to ... 

How Murphy’s Law Works, the Redux

Years back, Josh recorded this show without Chuck, and the old version's omitted facts bugged...

Add to ... 

What's so funny about that?

The response to humor starts with electrical activity, potentially translating to physical...

Add to ... 

What's the future of the internet?

It's tough to predict the future. Instead, the future looks a lot like it does now: Faster data...

Add to ... 

Ethnobotany: How to Get Drugs from Plants

In 1820, most of the drugs listed in the American Pharmacopoeia were plant-based; by 1960, it was...

Add to ... 

Can you sweat colors?

A condition known as chromhidrosis can be jarring: The sufferer excretes colored sweat from the...

Add to ... 

How Karma Works

While it’s kind of perverted in the West, the concept of karma is a central tenet of several...

Add to ... 

Human Cannonballs

There's no question that human cannonballs are daredevils. They pack themselves into the confines...

Add to ... 

Who was America's first murderer?

John Billington didn't just sign the Mayflower Compact -- he was also the colony's first...

Add to ... 

How Shrunken Heads Work

Although U.S. museum collections are rife with counterfeits, shrunken heads are far from fiction....

Add to ... 

How Suicide Bombers Work

It 1981 the first modern suicide bomber blew himself up. But this was by no means the first...

Add to ... 

Was Malthus right about carrying capacity?

Thomas Malthus concluded that humanity is bound to outgrow Earth's carrying capacity. The...

Add to ... 

How the Underground Railroad Worked

As early as 1786, groups assembled to help slaves escape lives of bondage. And, as the 19th...

Add to ... 

How Nicotine Works

Sure, nicotine doesn’t cause cancer, but it does rearrange the brain's reward system. Humans have...

Add to ...