Right Now in BrainStuff

A movie clapperboard isn't just a placemarker; this device helps movie makers synchronize a movie's audio and video elements. Find out how a traditional movie clapperboard works, as well as a digital one, in this episode of BrainStuff.

BrainStuff: What Does "Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity" Mean?

Claiming the "insanity defense" in fictional courts of law is common and seems pretty straightforward; in real life, it's much more rare and complex. Discover the legal definition of "insanity" -- and how it relates to mental illness.

Since gasoline is a liquid formed of carbon and hydrogen, it's possible to trace the chemical reactions in car exhaust and understand what types of pollutants are created by a car's engine. Tune in and learn more about the science behind burning gas.

If you've ever watched a jet engine start, you've probably noticed that the blades begin to rotate slowly before spinning up to full speed -- but why? Listen in as Marshall Brain breaks down the science behind jet engines in this episode.

You've probably heard of this trick before: Connecting two cans with a piece of string in the bottom of each can will supposedly allow people to speak over a distance to one another. Tune in as Marshall Brain explains how it works in this episode.

BrainStuff: How Can I Gain Pounds During The Day And Lose Them At Night?

What causes me to gain two or three pounds during the day and then lose two or three pounds while I sleep at night? The main thing that's changing overnight is the amount of water in your system. Learn more about daily weight fluctuation.

One night, Marshall went outside with a headlight lamp on his head and discovered that his backyard was full of sparkling reflections. What were these sparkles? Discover the surprising answer in this episode.

There are lots of articles and research on happiness these days, but what about unhappiness? What makes us unhappy, and will avoiding it make us happy? In this episode, Marshall points out three behaviors that are sure to create unhappiness.

BrainStuff: Does Drinking Ice Water Burn Calories?

When you drink cold water, your body exerts an effort to warm up the liquid and, in doing so, burns calories. So does that make drinking ice water an effective weight loss strategy? Find out in this episode of BrainStuff.

BrainStuff: How Does The Common Cold Work?

We've all had a cold at one point or another; it entails an uncomfortable cocktail of symptoms like sneezing, coughing and a runny nose. But why do we get colds? How do they work? Find out in this episode of BrainStuff!

When it comes to differentiating between hardwoods and softwoods, it's not a matter of hardness or density -- it's all about plant reproduction. Marshall explains what angiosperms and gymnosperms are in this episode.

BrainStuff: Can Water Go Bad?

Many people store water for emergencies -- but is it true that water sitting for too long will go bad? Listen in as BrainStuff explains it for you.

BrainStuff: How Do Accents Work?

Have you ever wondered how accents work? Tune in to this episode of BrainStuff to find out about the ever-evolving accent.

Stabilizer bars are designed to keep your car from rolling when you make sharp turns. Learn more about how these bars work in this episode of BrainStuff.

A citizens band (CB) radio is often used by truck drivers to communicate while on the road, but how does it work? Marshall Brain gives a detailed explanation of how a CB radio's antenna works in this episode.

Skin covers our bodies, so it's very easy for this delicate organ to get irritated. In this episode, Marshall explains why our bodies respond to irritants with an itching sensation -- and why we're programmed to scratch.

A digital signature is a way to authenticate electronic documents. Find out what 'authentic' means in this context -- and how encryption is involved in the authentication process -- in this episode.

BrainStuff: How Many Daily Calories Does A Person Need?

The amount of calories a person needs to consume on a daily basis varies by individual. Discover the three factors that can help you determine your daily caloric needs in this episode of BrainStuff.

Most car engines use a wet sump oil system, but some rely on a dry sump system. Find out how a dry sump system works -- and why it's advantageous -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

Many cutting tools are made of materials like steel but have carbide tips, which stay sharper longer. Learn more about carbide tips in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.