Rank #1: Could it rain lemonade?
If you filled a lake with lemonade, would it rain lemonade? This delicious head-scratcher does not have a straightforward answer. It’s one-part water cycle, one-part delicious drink and if we’re lucky, one-part lemonade rain.
Oct 11 2016
Rank #2: Dreams: The science of a sleeping brain
You dream every night, even if you don't remember them. But why? We'll hop on a wild ride to go inside the brain and see which parts help create these often fantastical images and storylines. We'll also learn how to take control of our dreams and how they make us more creative. Plus: a new mystery sound and a Moment of Um answers the question "How do octopuses make ink?" This episode is sponsored by Thoughtfully (thoughtfully.com/brains), Pre (eatpre.com offer code BRAINSON), and Little Passports (littlepassports.com/brains).
Dec 11 2018
Rank #3: Flush! Where does our poo and pee go?
Every time you flush, your poo and pee start an epic journey. From the toilet, to the sewers, to a treatment plant, our waste travels quite a distance only to end up cleaner by the end. We'll hear from a "PooTube" star about her experience with "the flush." We'll also hear about ancient sewers, a "fatberg" under London and a toilet that cleans waste on site. Plus, our Moment of Um answers why you can feel your heart beating in your neck of all places.
Sponsors for this episode include:
The new Kevin Henkes book, "Sweeping Up The Heart”
Panama City Beach (visitpanamacitybeach.com)
Calm (Calm.com/brainson) for 25% off premium subscription
Quip (getquip.com/brainson) to get your first refill pack free.
And you can support the show at brainson.org/donate !
Mar 20 2019
Rank #4: Dolphins vs. Octopuses: Showdown in the sea!
Two of our planet’s most amazing animals go head to head in our latest debate.
We’re asking you to decide which animal reigns supreme. Is it the eight-armed, three hearted, shape-shifting octopus? Or the speed-swimming, echolocating, super-jumping dolphin?
Listen along as Marc argues for #TeamOctopus and Sanden fights for #TeamDolphin. We’ll learn amazing facts about both sides along the way.
Plus an aquatic Mystery Sound, some deep-sea stand up comedy and a Moment of Um answering why flamingos are pink featuring Flora Lichtman from Gimlet Media’s Every Little Thing.
You can also share your opinions and your drawings of dolphins and octopuses in the workplace by emailing them to hello at brainson dot org.
Can’t wait to see your drawings and hear your thoughts!
Jan 30 2018
Rank #5: Music!
The questions asked and answered in this episode include: What is harmony exactly? What does it take to be a great rapper? How does sound travel?
Aug 01 2013
Rank #6: Animal farts: A mighty wind
Most animals fart. And some animals put those farts to work.
Aug 29 2017
Rank #7: Deep Sea vs. Outer Space
It’s time for the next Brains On debate! This intense matchup brings us to the depths of darkness, under the water and beyond our earth’s atmosphere. Who will prevail?
Jul 18 2017
Rank #8: Sleeping!
We have some questions about sleep: It’s ok to stay up late, right? Is it possible to control your dreams? Do all animals sleep? Why do we need to sleep anyway?
Aug 01 2013
Rank #9: Bigfoot, Unicorns and Dragons: Making Sense of Myths, pt. 1
Where do stories of unicorns, mermaids and Bigfoot come from? And do they have any truth to them? In this four-part series, we're tackling listeners' biggest questions about modern myths and legends.
Today's episode is about mythical creatures that live on land. We'll hear the story of El Chupacabras, learn about the search for Bigfoot, and hear from some animals once mistaken for unicorns. Marc and Sanden have a new project to share, and Gungador has an urgent announcement. Plus, a Moment of Um about how sloths snooze upside down.
If you want to learn more about the history, facts and lore behind dragons and unicorns, check out this fascinating episode of Smash Boom Best: UNICORNS VS DRAGONS!
This episode is sponsored by Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, iD Tech (idtech.com/brains), and KiwiCo (kiwico.com/brains). You can support Brains On at brainson.org/donate. All supporters of the show will get a bonus mystery sound extravaganza episode this January!
Dec 10 2019
Rank #10: What makes gross things gross?
Fair warning: Today we’re gonna get gross! We’re talking sounds, smells, and tastes that some people might find repulsive. But we're asking: why? What's the purpose of disgust? Is it something we're born knowing or do we learn to dislike things? When will entomophagy (the eating of insects) catch on everywhere? Plus: A brand new Moment of Um answers the question "Why do worms come out when it rains?"
Aug 21 2018
Rank #11: Cats: Glowing eyes, puffy tails and secret purrs
Why do cat eyes look the way they do? Can cats really see in the dark? And what are they trying to tell us with that purr (you know the one)?
Jan 31 2017
Rank #12: Dinosaur bones: How do we know their age?
Fossil dating is a lot like eating a delicious ice cream cake. Well, sort of. We find out how scientists look at the rock and elements AROUND a fossil to figure out its age. Plus: We talk to a scientist who studied one of the coolest fossils discovered recently: a dinosaur tail trapped in amber, complete with feathers!
Jan 17 2017
Rank #13: Thinkin stinkin: Why we smell
You may have noticed some strong smells coming from your feet, your friend's breath, or your brother's armpit. Where do these body odors come from? We'll meet the microscopic organisms responsible and visit the kingdom of Footsteros. We'll also find out why we might find these naturally occurring smells so disgusting. Plus: A brand new Moment of Um answers the question: Why do stink bugs stink? This episode is sponsored by Cloud Control Cat Litter by Arm & Hammer, Bona Premium Spray Mop (bona.com/brainson), and Quip (getquip.com/brainson). You can support the show at brainson.org/donate
Apr 30 2019
Rank #14: Fart Smarts: Understanding the gas we pass
Is farting good for us? Where do farts come from? Why do only some make sounds? And what’s up with the smell? We tackle your questions about the gas we all pass in this episode.
Jul 04 2017
Rank #15: Salty snack science: Popcorn, nachos and the origins of salt
We're having a snack attack in this episode and we're using it as an excuse to delve into the facts and history of some of our favorite snacks. How does popcorn pop? Who invented nachos? And where does salt come from? Plus, our Moment of Um tells us all about salt's buddy: pepper! If you want to hear more from our pals at Every Little Thing, you can check them out wherever you listen to podcasts or at https://www.gimletmedia.com/every-little-thing And you can find more Ear Snacks on your favorite podcast device or right here: https://www.earsnacks.org/
Jul 24 2018
Rank #16: Narwhals: Unicorns of the sea?
Narwhals are whales, and super cool ones at that. But that cool thing coming out of their heads is a tusk, not a horn. Which means it’s a tooth! And it’s the only known spiral tooth to boot!
In this episode, we learn all about narwhals (what that tusk is for and how they’re connected to the myth of the unicorn) and the evolution of teeth (from scale-like nubbins to the versatile chompers we have today).
Plus our Moment of Um explores whether or not water has a taste.
Brains On is a non-profit public radio podcast. You can support Brains On at brainson.org/fans.
Mar 17 2020
Rank #17: Brains On! + The Story Pirates: What makes fun things fun?
We're teaming up with our pals The Story Pirates to learn about the science of having fun! Our experts tell us what makes something fun and why we're so geared toward seeking a good time. Plus, the Story Pirates share their song "Pizza Revenge." We've also got a fun-tastic Mystery Sound and a Moment Of Um all about pirates. How fun is that?
Still want more fun? Head over to the Story Pirates to hear more (plus the punchline to a Brains On joke) - apple.co/2wwlgDE
Aug 28 2018
Rank #18: Is there life on other planets?
Is there anybody out there? Like, WAAAAY out there? In this episode we hear from astronomer Laura Danly about the search for life on other planets. We’ll also learn what that search has in common with a fairy tale.
Apr 07 2016
Rank #19: Bridges vs. Tunnels
We’ve gotten a lot of questions about bridges and tunnels: How do bridges stay up? How are tunnels built? How do they build bridges over water? How do they put tunnels underwater? To answer these questions we’re staging a little friendly competition: bridges vs. tunnels!
Aug 26 2015
Rank #20: Boogers and sun sneezes: Know your nose
In this encore mash-up episode, we revisit some fascinating facts that will help you get to know your nose. Why does the sun make some people sneeze? And where do boogers come from anyway? Plus: A brand new moment of um answers the question: "Why do sloths move so slow?"
May 29 2018