Right Now in BrainStuff

Most people are familiar with the concept of replying to a party invitation via R.S.V.P., but what exactly do those letters represent? Learn more about the origins and practices of etiquette in this episode of BrainStuff.

Gravity affects us every single day, but how does this oh-so-common force of nature work? Tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to take a look at the nuts and bolts of gravity.

Many spray can lids have a tiny hole at the top. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about spray cans, shipping and air pressure.

It's often said that "nature abhors a vacuum." If that's true, then why doesn't the vacuum of space suck away our atmosphere? Tune in as Marshall Brain explains the science behind vacuums in this HowStuffWorks podcast.

A family of four can consume more than 300 gallons of water per day. Old toilets use 5 gallons per flush, and this water use quickly adds up. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast and learn why cities across the US are replacing their old commodes.

A typical recycling symbol on plastic looks like a triangle made of arrows. There are seven different types of plastic indicated by the symbols. Check out this HowStuffWorks podcast to learn the difference between each of these plastic types.

The thin piece of plastic called a Fresnel lens solves some of the problems inherent in traditional magnifying lenses. Learn more about the benefits and weaknesses of Fresnel lenses in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

When you put prolonged pressure on your feet, arms or legs, you temporarily cut off or scramble communications between your brain and your body parts. Marshall explains exactly what happens when body parts "fall sleep" in this episode.

Nissan recently released the Leaf, a model which may be the first viable electric car to come on the market. How does it work? Why do people have high hopes for it? Tune in to this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com to find out more about the Nissan Leaf.

Current technology isn't able to actually stop the passage of time, but under certain circumstances time can appear to stop -- and all you need is an airplane. Tune in to learn more.

The brake warning lights in your car light up as part of a routine test. When they stay on, they indicate that there's something wrong with your brake system. Learn more about brake warning lights in this episode.

Your average ream of printer paper is called 20-pound bond paper, but it doesn't actually weigh 20 pounds. Tune in as Marshall explains this strange American paper naming system -- and its metric alternative -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

In personal residences, doors typically open inward; in public buildings, however, doors open outward. Why the difference? It's all about safety and security, as Marshall explains in this episode.

Christmas is the biggest holiday on the American calendar -- but how did it get this way? Travel back in time with Marshall Brain as he explores the evolution of Christmas in this special holiday episode.

The West Coast of the United States seems to produce bigger, more impressive waves than the East Coast. But why? In this episode, Marshall explains the various factors that make West Coast waves bigger and better.

A T1 line is a dedicated fiber optic or copper cable that provides businesses with far more digital data than a residential line. Discover how T1 and other kinds of fiber optic lines work in this episode of BrainStuff.

There are multiple methods of removing caffeine from naturally caffeinated plant products. Learn more about these processes -- and how much caffeine they really remove -- in this episode.

Spacecraft Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 transmit images of space and its contents from great distances, but how? Learn more about the technology that allows them to send radio messages from far, far away in this episode of BrainStuff.

Do Power Balance Wristbands really work? Find out in this BrainStuff podcast by Marshall Brain.

There's more than one way to mow a yard, but which is the most efficient? Tune in to this episode of BrainStuff to find out.