Right Now in BrainStuff

Where's the Line Between Cultural Appropriation and Appreciation?

The line between appreciating and appropriating someone else's cultural products can be a blurry one. Learn how respect and research can go a long way in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Does the U.S. Presidential Motorcade Work?

The American president's motorcade includes multiple armored vehicles driving in a virtual ballet to ensure its passengers' safety. Learn what goes into creating the presidential motorcade in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Do Isotopes Work?

Isotopes are variations on the same chemical element that have different numbers of neutrons. Learn how these variants can behave differently -- and why chemists, physicists, and paleontologists are all interested in them -- in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Was André the Giant Larger than Life?

Professional wrestler and actor André the Giant had a reputation for kindness that outgrew his impressive stature. Learn about André Roussimoff's life and legacy in this episode of BrainStuff.

Why Are Camel Spiders Harmless?

Camel spiders have a fearsome reputation, but despite being large and fast, they're not a threat to humans. (Or camels. They're also technically not spiders.) Learn more about these fascinating creatures in this episode of BrainStuff.

What Happens If You Ignore a Subpoena?

Subpoenas are orders that help courts and Congress obtain information necessary to cases and investigations -- and they're legally binding. So can you really ignore one? Learn what could happen if you do in this episode of BrainStuff.

Can the Same Animal Evolve Twice?

Remote islands are excellent laboratories for observing evolution at work -- and in the case of a flightless bird called the Aldabra rail, we can observe how its evolution happened twice. Learn about iterative evolution in this episode of BrainStuff. 

What Is a Swedish Death Clean?

We humans tend to accumulate a lot of stuff -- to the point that it's a burden on our mental health. Learn about a method for lightening your life (and removing a future burden on your loved ones) in this episode of BrainStuff.

What Is an Oligarchy (and Are We One)?

An oligarchy is a society ruled by a few wealthy, powerful people – the media has applied the term to countries from Saudi Arabia to Brazil to the United States. Learn about oligarchies and whether the U.S. has become one in this episode of BrainStuff.

What Are Honey Badgers Really Like?

The honey badger is internet famous, but it’s actually a fairly mysterious creature. Learn what we know (and don’t know) about honey badgers in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Does NASA Schedule Space Launches?

To launch a spacecraft successfully, the stars (and moon, and planets) must literally align. Learn about all the factors that are taken into account to schedule a space launch in this episode of BrainStuff.

Why Should You Bring Ear Plugs to Music Festivals?

Of all the accessories you might think of bringing to a music festival, ear plugs might not be high on your list. Learn why they should be -- and how else you can prevent hearing damage -- in this episode of BrainStuff.

Could the Great Depression Happen Again?

There were many factors that led to the depth and length of the Great Depression, but some of these mistakes are being repeated today. Learn what historians and economists are saying we should watch out for in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Did Clickers Save Lives on D-Day?

Tiny, handheld boxes that make a sharp clicking noise saved countless American lives during the confusion of D-Day in WWII. Learn how they were used and what to do if you have one in this episode of BrainStuff.

Do Dogs Experience Puberty Like We Do?

Dogs do indeed go through emotional changes and gain independence during puberty -- it just happens within the first couple years of their life. Learn how you can help your 'teen' pup grow up in this episode of BrainStuff.

Could Earthly Lava Structures Help Us Colonize Space?

Tunnels made from lava flows in Hawaii and Iceland are being studied by researchers in fields from geology to astrobiology. Learn how these lava tubes could help us explore space and even find extraterrestrial life in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Bad Is Prison Food?

Serving inmates low-quality food is cheap in the short term, but it can lead all kinds of health problems that prisons (and taxpayers) pay for in the long run. Learn how cheap American prison food is and why that's a problem in this episode of BrainStuff.

Why Did Victorians Collect Hair?

In the mid-1800s, many people saved loved ones' hair -- but the collection of Peter A. Browne went much, much further than that. Learn why he thought it had scientific merit -- and why it actually does today -- in this episode of BrainStuff.

Should You Be Afraid of Wolf Spiders?

Short answer: Nope! Although wolf spiders may sound (and look) fearsome, they're excellent helpers around your house, getting rid of more bothersome pests. Learn about wolf spiders in this episode of BrainStuff.

How Did Jane Goodall Get Her Start(s)?

In July of 1960, 26-year-old Jane Goodall began setting up her field station at Gombe, which would become the site of the longest-running wildlife research project in history. Learn more about Jane Goodall's life and legacy in this episode of BrainStuff.