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10 minutes | Feb 7, 2023
Found for the first time in Upper Michigan by rock hound, Erik Rintamaki in 2017, this accidental finding is SO COOL. Under UV light they look like fiery dragon eggs. We mentioned the yooperlite store in our episode too. There aren't any free Google pictures (sad face) So here's a LINK to pictures of the glowing rocks!!! Also we talked about strange waves called seiches. Check them out HERE Episode 238: Uranium Glass if you need more glowing stuff!
11 minutes | Jan 31, 2023
248: Paul Bunyan
Paul Bunyan: hero of North American oral tradition, origins of our stories about a burly logger and his big blue ox came from multiple versions. Paul Bunyan might've been based on a man, but whatever his beginning, his stories came from the imaginations of bored loggers. Show Notes: Wikipedia on Paul Bunyan Want to road trip to all the statues? Check out this road map
13 minutes | Jan 24, 2023
247: Headstone Recipes
Most headstones have a person's name, some significant dates and maybe a quote. But imagine if your family made it possible for you to share your very best recipe with delighted strangers. Our research adventure into headstone recipes began with stumbling onto a post by Rosie Grant, aka @ghostly.archive on Instagram. Check out her posts for great pictures! Show Notes! Washington Post recipes in obituaries https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2021/12/14/obituary-casseroles-funerals/?tag=tastingtablecom-20 Rosa Parks Banana Pancakes on an envelope 4,000 year old recipe for Babylonian Lamb Stew also there's a YouTube version! Recipes in Obituaries
11 minutes | Jan 17, 2023
246: Australian Drift
We know continents shift around like furniture in a room. But can you believe that Australia is on the planet's fastest moving tectonic plate and it's moving on the scale of inches per year? Far enough and fast enough that GPS tracking had to be updated. Nation Geographic article with more deets: Nat Geo
12 minutes | Jan 10, 2023
245: Corsets For Everyone!
Often when we talk about historical corset wearing, the first thing we think of is the patriarchy. Because corsets are objects of waist cinching oppression known for mutilating a woman’s internal organs. Right? Turns out, not always. Many women wore them for comfort, designed them to keep their breasts supported, and oh yeah, that patriarchy bit? Well sometimes, men wore them too. image collated from https://corset-story.com/ Rosie Harte Youtube historian talking about men in corsets--there are some great historical pictures!
13 minutes | Jan 3, 2023
244: Stinky Critters
Happy 2023!!! We're starting the year with an episode to satisfy your inner 12 year old! Pop some popcorn and join us in exploring the weirdly unexpected scents of Bear Cats (aka Binturong), lemon ants, copperhead snakes, and so many more smelly animals. The facts and data behind the smell of the Binturong https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/cen-09417-scicon004
11 minutes | Dec 27, 2022
243: Frog Dads
Just like sea horse dads, some poison dart frog dads take a hand in helping to raise their children. We talk about a Stanford University study designed to figure out how and if these little tropical frogs have a mental map of their environment. image from: Andrius Pašukonis Stanford University (Dad frog wearing his kids and a radio tracker speedo) Evolutionarily Ecology article: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10682-019-09994-z And just in case you were wondering like we were, it is possible to handle some poison dart frog species bare handed BUT it can damage the very delicate skin of the frog and if you have cuts on your hands they could make you sick. Brain Junk does not condone the holding of poisonous frogs without gloves on. Stay safe out there kids. #71 Ants with Stilts episode if you're curious about how cringe science can be. Amy's University bee research: https://www.gonzaga.edu/news-events/stories/2017/5/1/gonzaga-becomes-a-certified-bee-campus-usa
9 minutes | Dec 20, 2022
242: Bat Chat!
It sounds like impossibly futuristic sci-fi but, a machine learning algorithm and videos of bat behavior were used to partially decode the language of Egyptian Fruit Bats. I KNOW! You have to give this a listen. image by David Mark on Pixabay For adorable pictures of the Egyptian fruit bats https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/researchers-translate-bat-talk-and-they-argue-lot-180961564/ Get into the scholarly research nitty-gritty: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2016.21215 Want to learn more about Wild dog communication? Listen to this oldie but a goodie, http://brainjunkpodcast.com/podcast/bf-12-sneeze-voting/
10 minutes | Dec 13, 2022
241: Humboldt Squid
Also known as devil squid because of the bright red color they sometimes display: Humboldt squid have on occasion attacked divers. But mostly they hunt in packs for fish. Mostly. (What's up Aliens reference?! 😉 ) If you want a more detailed account of Scott Cassell's squid attack-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Fkl312lldQ Monterey Bay Aquarium footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2aa6aHEyUI
12 minutes | Dec 6, 2022
240: Extreme Lookalikes
Let's talk about people who look remarkably similar. For example: Bryan Cranston and Mr. Kerr (Don't tell Chas we're matching him up with Breaking Bad's Walter White again. 😂) Turns out people who look similar look the same for a variety of reasons. François Brunelle and his Lookalike Project If you really feel like getting into the weeds of a genetics research paper: Look-alike humans identified by facial recognition algorithms show genetic similarities We talked a bit about the fox domestication experiment. Want to know more? Got to Foxes!!!
9 minutes | Nov 29, 2022
239: Vampire Finches
In 1964 researchers discovered the sharp beaked ground finch aka the vampire finch. FOR REAL!!! These finches have adapted to long hot dry seasons by drinking blood. Take a look at these blood thirsty birbs on Galapagosislands.com National Geographic vid of the Vampires in action! Not for the faint of heart! In case you wanted to give it a listen: Ologies Vampire episode with Dr. Jeff Holdeman
8 minutes | Nov 22, 2022
238: Uranium Glass
Trace here: I've got one arm trapped under a grumpy old-man-cat named Jack. Jack does not care about science or glowing glass or the fact that my back is starting to cramp. Enjoy this trip down the fancy serving ware aisle and drop us a picture on Facebook if you own any of this really cool glass! image from pixabay. More resources to check out! https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/students/for-educators/08.pdf https://www.orau.org/health-physics-museum/collection/consumer/glass/vaseline-uranium-glass.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_glass https://www.iflscience.com/uranium-glass-the-radioactive-glassware-that-could-be-hiding-in-plain-sight-64052 If you're still here, this is Jack perched on his support person, Beckett.
10 minutes | Nov 15, 2022
237: Octopuses? Octopi? Octopedes?
Look grammar police, it's octopuses and we don't have to like it, BUT you are going to love learning that just like humans, octopuses do seem to have a preferred hand. Arm? Tentacle? OMG here we go again. Just listen to the episode, it's a hoot. The actual paper! Hold your phone in whatever hand you prefer while reading https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(22)01402-6 Just incase you need MORE of on octopus fix...Amy's husband Chris says it's amazing! Additional research: University of Minnesota Research Brief Check out the California two-spot octopus on
9 minutes | Nov 8, 2022
Grab a snack and listen to how sneaky research was done on hungry people. It's devious and a great example of how being hungry influences mood. Also Amy mentions Larks and Owls do a fun quiz on yourself to find out what kind of a person you are: Chronobiology Quiz Some extra research⬇⬇⬇ https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0269629 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325694374_Feeling_Hangry_When_Hunger_Is_Conceptualized_as_Emotion
9 minutes | Nov 1, 2022
235: A Whole School of Fish Facts!
Itchy fish scratching wherever they can! Even on the nubby sides of SHARKS!! Need to know more about those other episodes we mentioned? Episode 93: Farting Herring & 206:The Smartest Fish? Measuring Cough Rates in Fish : from the EPA PBS Fish have Feelings Too
38 minutes | Oct 25, 2022
234: Brain Junk NSFW
That's right! We're back with a little more NSFW (Not Safe For Work)! We had so much fun doing Episode #222 After Dark that we just had to do a part two. It's longer and weirder and we definitely need you to tell us if you crave more. Here's a little breakdown of the mayhem we cover in this super extra long episode. Historical Euphemisms for sexy time fetishes & feet https://www.audacy.com/kluv/latest/biologist-explains-why-some-people-have-foot-fetishes https://www.livescience.com/33525-foot-fetishes-toe-suck-fairy.html https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.1057.2762&rep=rep1&type=pdf Achaemenian Empire and Scaphism Butterflies drinking blood Shrike People pig snacks Human blood sword Female Hyena "junk" Check out some more research: https://www.holekamplab.org/ Wounds (ew, ick, gross) and foreskin
8 minutes | Oct 18, 2022
We're digging deep into right brain / left brain communication! But metaphorically, not like...with a spoon. Want to get really into the weeds on this Brain Storm? Check out the PubMed.gov abstract: Running speed and REM sleep control two distinct modes of rapid interhemispheric communication
18 minutes | Oct 11, 2022
232: Tailgate Candy Corn
Brach's has done it again with the flavors you'd savor at a tailgate party. There's hot dog and hamburger candy corn that is...well, if not good, at least fun to talk about. The fruit punch was a particular favorite of Trace's and Amy double dipped on the popcorn. There's some fun Brach's history facts tossed into the pick-a-mix too!
7 minutes | Oct 4, 2022
231: Soccer Ball Hail
If you follow XKCD you know the author, Randall Monroe, applies science to absurd questions. One of those questions had to do with the possibility of soccer ball size hail. Cover up with your steel umbrella and listen to find out if it's actually possible! XKCD you should take a look! images from Pixabay
9 minutes | Sep 27, 2022
230: Flying Salamanders
Okay, they're really falling with style. But it's still cool that the Wandering salamander in the redwood forests of north western California can glide. Check out the Current Biology paper if you want to read more! And OF COURSE there's video!
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