Search Episodes Pick a random episode998 matches

      Sat 14 Oct 2017

      SYSK Selects: Is there such a thing as a truth serum? 40m play

      In this week's SYSK Select episode, ever since people have had secrets, other people have been looking for ways to get it out of them. Law enforcement and chemistry alike have searched for a drug that... 19 more words

      Thu 12 Oct 2017

      How Buildering Works 50m play

      Up until recently we had no idea buildering was a word. Or that people scaling buildings has been a thing since the turn of the 20th Century. Learn along with us, and don't try it at home.

      Tue 10 Oct 2017

      How the Rolling Jubilee Works 49m play

      Everyone thought it was the pits that banks were bailed out by taxpayers in 2008 while those same people weren't given any relief by the banks. So some Occupy Wall Street members did something about i... 1 more words

      Sat 07 Oct 2017

      SYSK Selects: Did a cow start the Great Chicago Fire? 32m play

      In this week's SYSK Select episode, Josh and Chuck find who's probably to blame for the Great Chicago Fire. The newspapers of the day reported that a cow (or perhaps its owner) was responsible for a f... 18 more words

      Thu 05 Oct 2017

      How Giraffes Work 57m play

      Even though giraffes are one of the most recognizable animals on the planet, it wasn't until the 21st century that biology really set about studying them. They've found giraffes are even more amazing ... 3 more words

      Tue 03 Oct 2017

      How Police Body Cameras Work 48m play

      Cops wearing cameras is a new thing. So new that we aren't entirely sure of all the ramifications that go along with them just yet. In theory they should protect both police and citizens, but as we le... 26 more words

      Sat 30 Sep 2017

      SYSK Selects: What was the most peaceful time in history? 32m play

      In this week's SYSK Select episode, there's a lot of debate about whether pre-agricultural humans existed in a more harmonious state than we do today. Did we slip out of Eden when we began building la... 17 more words

      Thu 28 Sep 2017

      How Nude Beaches Work 48m play

      Probably all beaches were nude early on, but as society developed and body shame became all the rage, people started wearing bathing suits. Some, though, liked the way it was before.

      Tue 26 Sep 2017

      How FOIA Works 54m play

      In the 60s, Congress worried the White House was operating too much in secret and passed the Freedom Of Information Act, opening the government to public questioning. It has been an ongoing struggle t... 7 more words

      Sat 23 Sep 2017

      SYSK Selects: Fecal Transplants: You Gonna Drink That Poop? 37m play

      In this week's SYSK Select episode, medical ecology is concerned with understanding how microbes living inside us keep us healthy. The field’s first breakthrough is the fecal transplant, moving poop f... 19 more words

      Thu 21 Sep 2017

      A Nostalgic Look at Crayons 55m play

      Mixing wax with pigment is something artists have been doing since DaVinci. These little implements would later go on to be called crayons and gained popularity among the elementary school set. Learn ... 6 more words

      Tue 19 Sep 2017

      How Frogs Work 54m play

      They survived the extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs, but unfortunately frogs seem to be no match for humans and are losing species in droves. This is not good for anyone.

      Sat 16 Sep 2017

      SYSK Selects: How Handwriting Analysis Works 44m play

      In this week's SYSK Select episode, one of the fields of forensic investigation, handwriting analysis is based on the principle of uniqueness - that each person writes in their own peculiar way. Learn... 18 more words

      Thu 14 Sep 2017

      How the Secret Service Works 57m play

      The U.S. Secret Service began after a mandate from President Lincoln called for a service to combat counterfeiters. Since then, they have become more well known as the agency that guards and protects ... 29 more words

      Tue 12 Sep 2017

      How Psychopaths Work 51m play

      There are people who walk among us who seem normal, maybe even more charming or intelligent than average, yet they hide disturbing and at times dangerous personalities behind what one researcher calle... 5 more words

      Sat 09 Sep 2017

      SYSK Selects: How Hip-hop Works 55m play

      In this week's SYSK Select, what you hear is not a test, instead it's Chuck and Josh discussing the cultural history of the Hip-Hop movement. Born out of the South Bronx, by way of Jamaica, Hip-Hop cu... 31 more words

      Thu 07 Sep 2017

      Are crickets the future of food? 47m play

      Crickets are part of a larger insect-based diet enjoyed in most parts of the world. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and protein, and green to boot, crickets could help solve some of the world's food pr... 16 more words

      Tue 05 Sep 2017

      The Baffling Case of the Body On Somerton Beach 1h 7m play

      Since his corpse was found in 1948, wearing a nice suit in summer on an Australian beach, an unidentified man has refused to fade into obscurity, gripping the imagination of sleuths around the world.

      Sat 02 Sep 2017

      SYSK Selects: How Shrunken Heads Work 58m play

      In this week's SYSK Select episode, although U.S. museum collections are rife with counterfeits, shrunken heads are far from fiction. The Shuar tribe of Ecuador has shrunken heads for centuries. Learn... 14 more words

      Thu 31 Aug 2017

      How Satanism Works 55m play

      Satanism may be the most misunderstood 'religion' in the world. Part of that is because there are, and have been, many offshoots of Satanism, from The Church of Satan to The Satanic Temple. One thing ... 28 more words

      Tue 29 Aug 2017

      A Lip-Smacking Look at Barbecue 54m play

      Barbecue, or for the lazy, BBQ, is a Southern cooking tradition, but also much more than that. It's a cultural touchstone of the South where people of all classes and races can sit and break bread wit... 26 more words

      Sat 26 Aug 2017

      SYSK Selects: Is Stockholm Syndrome real? 37m play

      In this week's SYSK Select episode, since a hostage standoff in Sweden took place in 1972 a peculiar and mysterious psychological phenomenon has had a name. But is Stockholm Syndrome real? And what co... 16 more words

      Thu 24 Aug 2017

      How Personality Tests Work 1h play

      For millennia, we have tried to put human personalities into neat types, an effort psychology took up early in its history in an effort to legitimize itself. But is the idea of types – which all perso... 10 more words

      Tue 22 Aug 2017

      Is the Uncanny Valley Real? 1h 11m play

      In 1970, roboticist Masahiro Mori wrote an essay that said the closer robots come to lifelike, the more they unsettle humans. His theory became the Uncanny Valley, and science has been evaluating it –... 9 more words

      Sat 19 Aug 2017

      SYSK Selects: How Exploitation Films Work 51m play

      In today's SYSK Select episode, we learn about exploitation films. During the 1930s-80s, the work of directors operating in the shadows of Hollywood led to explorations in sexuality and violence that ... 17 more words

      Thu 17 Aug 2017

      What's the deal with accents? 59m play

      Accents are truly fascinating. Put simply, they are how a person sounds when they talk. From England to America and all over the world, the way people speak in their native tongue can vary drastically... 30 more words

      Tue 15 Aug 2017

      How Stuttering Works 54m play

      Despite as much as one percent of the adult population having the condition, science doesn't actually know how stuttering works. The best it's come up with so far: there seems to be an issue between t... 12 more words

      Sat 12 Aug 2017

      SYSK Selects: How McCarthyism Works 45m play

      In this week's SYSK Select episode, if you're accusing someone of disloyalty or subversion without decent evidence, then you may be guilty of McCarthyism. In this episode, Josh and Chuck explore the o... 12 more words

      Thu 10 Aug 2017

      How Bioarchaeology Works 58m play

      Thanks to advancements in fields like genetics, and molecular chemistry, archaeology is undergoing a renaissance and opening up new understanding of the past.

      Tue 08 Aug 2017

      Do motivational speakers motivate people? 53m play

      There are all kinds of motivational speakers, from people who have overcome incredible hardships to those who hold pep-rally style events in stadiums. But do these speakers actually help anyone? Scien... 25 more words

      Sat 05 Aug 2017

      SYSK Selects: Why do men have nipples? 28m play

      In this week's SYSK Select episode, they’re always right there, taunting you: why do you have me, they ask? Why do men have nipples? It turns out there’s a good answer why and nipples on men aren’t en... 11 more words

      Thu 03 Aug 2017

      Who Committed the 1912 Villisca Ax Murders? 49m play

      In a small town in Iowa in 1912 eight people were murdered in the grisliest of ways while they slept. Local reputations were ruined when accusations flew, but could a drifting serial killer working ac... 7 more words

      Tue 01 Aug 2017

      How Public Broadcasting Works 1h play

      Public broadcasting works a bit differently depending on where you are in the world. American TV made the leap more toward commercial broadcasting in the early days, yet PBS and NPR still remain a vit... 30 more words

      Sat 29 Jul 2017

      SYSK Selects: How Disco Works 53m play

      In today's SYSK Select episode, fly, robin, fly indeed. No musical genre has risen and burned out as quickly as disco, and historians are still trying to unravel the animosity aimed at it. Join Chuck ... 15 more words

      Thu 27 Jul 2017

      A Dry Look at Toilet Paper 55m play

      Over or under? One ply or two? How about six? TP has not been around that long, but is has been embraced in a big way by the United States. Learn all about the interesting history behind this decidedl... 3 more words

      Tue 25 Jul 2017

      What is Ghost Fishing? 48m play

      It sounds cool, but ghost fishing is actually a tragic byproduct of modern fishing practices, where abandoned nylon nets can trap and kill sealife for hundreds of years.