Right Now in BrainStuff

In the following video, John Brenkus submits to a choke hold (specifically a "rear naked choke") by BJ Penn in order to understand the effects of a choke hold on the human brain. It only takes 9 seconds for him to become unconscious...

When you write a check to purchase goods and services, it passes through the hands of several banks before the process is complete. Marshall explains how checks are processed through intermediary banks in this episode.

You Asked:Why can't they solve the mystery of Oak Island off the coast of Nova Scotia? --- Chad, DesMoines, IowaMarshall Brain Answers:Let's start by reviewing the mystery of Oak Island, also known as the Money Pit - a mystery that people have been t ...

Oxygen is a necessary component of the air we breathe; but in its pure form, it can be hazardous to one's health. Marshall Brain explains how breathing pure oxygen harms the human body in this episode.

You Asked:What happens to water if it's not allowed to expand when frozen? --- Tony, Cut Off, La.Marshall Brain Answers:In nature, or in your kitchen freezer, water expands when it freezes. It gets about 9% bigger. This video gives you a dramatic dem ...

You asked:How is gunpowder made? --- Nick, Swansboro, N.C.Marshall Brain Answers:People have been making gunpowder for many centuries. The basic recipe is therefore well-known and looks like this: 75% Potassium nitrate, 15% Charcoal, 10% SulfurWhat y ...

We run into all these different kinds of alcohol. Let's look at the differences.First there's the alcohol you drink, like Ethanol that you purchase as a car fuel is the same kind of alcohol found in whiskey, but it has been distilled to the point whe ...

You Asked:How do steam boilers work? --- Dominic, Sacramento, Calif.Marshall Brain Answers:You find steam boilers in power plants, factories, steam locomotives, etc. The basic idea is simple - water is turned to steam with a source of heat.Fire tube ...

Chances are that you are sitting in a chair right now, so it seems like you are stationary. But in fact you are moving through the universe at a tremendous speed at this very moment. Let's take a look at where all that motion is coming from.The first ...

An automobile's catalytic converter uses a catalyst to convert harmful exhaust fumes into harmless ones. Find out what happens when your catalytic converter stops working properly -- and how you can tell -- in this episode.

You Asked:What happens to your Social Security Number after you die? --- Billy, Kissimmee, Fla.Marshall Brain Answers:Social security numbers of dead people get loaded into a database called the Social Security Death Index. This turns out to be a pub ...

If you watch the following video, you will be able to see one of the world's leading card-throwing experts practicing his craft. With a business card and a flick of his wrist he can pop balloons, extinguish candles, hit targets, etc.:Around the 50-se ...

You Asked:How do ice breaking ships work? --- Chris, Reading, Penn.Marshall Brain Answers:An ice breaking ship has three things that help it do its job. First, it has a high-strength hull that is able to crash through ice that can grow up to 10 feet ...

You Asked:How do tattoo machines work? --- Jerry, Cave City, Ark.Marshall Brain Answers:The basic idea behind a tattoo machine is simple. You have an The needle is usually a needle bar with several needle points attached to it. You can see the needle ...

Tune in to this episode of BrainStuff to learn more about blimps, from how they work to why they're a popular medium for advertisin

You asked:Can swimming pools stay empty during the winter season? --- Jay, Las Vegas, Nev.Marshall Brain Answered:As a general rule, it is a bad idea to leave a pool empty at any time, but especially in the winter. The problem is that if the ground g ...

You Asked:How do Betta fish mate if they always fight with each other? --- Sophie, Fort Myers, Fla.Marshall Brain Answers:Male Male Betta fish build bubble nests when they are ready to mate. You can see a bubble nest in this video (the bubbles are ma ...

You Asked:What is a bulletproof vest made out of? --- Abdul, Hyderabad, IndiaMarshall Brain Answers:For civilians, by far the most popular option for a bulletproof vest (aka body armor) is layered Kevlar. This material makes a thin, light vest that p ...

If you've ever put gas in a car, you've probably noticed how the gas pump shuts off when your tank is full. But how does it know to do that? Learn more about the clever mechanism that keeps your gas tank from overflowing in this episode of BrainStuff.

So you are saving money by keeping an older car, but it is starting to look a little rough around the edges. It could be having problems with dents, rust and scratches, or it could need a new paint job. We already covered scratch repair in Small dent ...