Right Now in BrainStuff

Internet service providers often tangle with customers who claim they're being ripped off -- but how much does a gigabyte of access actually cost? Join Marshall Brain as he breaks down the real cost of a gigabyte's worth of internet access.

Which 4G services are available in the U.S. today?

If you have a smart phone, you may be interested in 4G service for the data you receive. But which services are available, and which one will suit your needs? Listen in as Marshall Brain breaks down the differences between 4G services.

Why is a cell phone called a cell phone?

Cellular phone systems divide areas of coverage into "cells," hence the name. But how do they actually work? Listen in as Marshall Brain breaks down the nuts and bolts of cell phone systems in this episode.

How does the oxygen sensor in a car work?

All new cars sport oxygen sensors that are designed to cut down emissions and keep the engine running smoothly. Find out exactly how these sensors work in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Why can I play some DVDs, but not others?

Film studios use regional code protection in DVD technology to protect content and to control worldwide release dates. Tune as Marshall Brain breaks down the concept of region codes in this podcast.

How do CD-R discs work?

Unlike a regular CD, a CD-R has a special dye layer that allows you to imprint data on it. Discover the mechanics of CD-R discs in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Is chocolate poisonous to dogs?

Under the right conditions, chocolate can indeed be deadly for dogs. Tune in to learn more about the compound in chocolate that makes it dangerous for dogs (and how much is too much) in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

How can there be seedless grapes?

Seedless grapes are the most common kind on the market, but have you ever wondered how a grape can be seedless? How does it grow? Discover how seedless grapes accidentally came about -- and how they grow -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

How do self-driving cars work?

Self-driving cars seem like the stuff of science fiction, but they're closer to becoming reality than you might think. In this episode, Marshall breaks down the technology behind experimental self-driving cars.

How do British royal titles work?

In this episode of BrainStuff, Marshall Brain gives a detailed explanation of how British royal titles work.

Why do they include jokers in a deck of playing cards?

The joker is an obscure and (according to some) useless addition to a deck of modern playing cards -- but it was originally a powerful card. Discover the history of the joker card and the modern card deck in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

What is dynamite? How does it work?

Dynamite is a type of chemical explosive. Discover how explosives from gasoline to dynamite work in this episode of BrainStuff.

Why is dry ice dangerous?

Dry ice is different from regular ice in several ways. Find out what makes dry ice so unique -- and why it's so good for transporting perishables over long distances -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

How can a car get 100 MPG?

Created in the 1980s, the Avion is a car that can get more than 100 miles per gallon. In this episode, Marshall Brain talks about the factors that make the Avion so efficient -- and how the same techniques could be applied to production vehicles.

How Jelly, Jam  and Preserves Work

Jam, jelly, and preserves are all made from fruit mixed with sugar and pectin. Jell-O, on the other hand, is completely different. Take a look at our HowStuffWorks article to learn more.

What happens when you press Alt and F4?

The alt-f4 key combination is a faster way to close a window on your computer. Learn more about this and several other keyboard shortcuts in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Where's the best place to sit in a movie theater?

When it comes to where you should sit in a movie theater to get the best experience, it's mostly a matter of preference. Except when it comes to sound. Find out why -- and where you should sit -- in this episode.

Why is bamboo suddenly appearing in so many products?

Nowadays bamboo is used to make all sorts of products, from flooring and furniture to bicycle frames. In this episode, Marshall explains why bamboo is becoming so popular -- and the advantages of using it to create consumer goods.

How Internet Cookies Work

Internet cookies are information stored as text strings on a machine by a web server. Most commonly, cookies are used to store user IDs.

How does making bread work?

Bread is a technology for turning hard kernels into a soft foodstuff. Learn more about bread and yeast in this HowStuffWorks podcast.