Rank #1: Animal farts: A mighty wind
Most animals fart. And some animals put those farts to work.
Rank #2: 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. Which side are you on? Vote here! 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!
Rank #3: How is glass made?
The process that turns sand into glass is very cool – or rather, we should say very hot. Very, very, very hot as it turns out. Humans have been turning minerals from the earth’s crust into glass for 3,500 years. Find out how it’s done and how it’s evolved – from blowing glass by hand to a factory that makes hundreds of glass bottles every minute. Plus: The mystery sound!
Rank #4: Narwhals: Unicorns of the sea?
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).
Rank #5: 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.
Rank #6: What's behind the waves and tides?
How does the moon control the tides? Where do waves come from? And what’s it like to live in a tide pool?
Rank #7: 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)?
Rank #8: Fire vs. Lasers!
Fire and lasers are both super cool — but which is COOLER? Producer Marc Sanchez has tricks up his sleeve for team fire and Sanden Totten gives his all for team laser.
Rank #9: 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?
Rank #10: Carnivorous plants: How they lure, trap and digest
Most plants get the energy and nutrients they need from water, sunlight, air and soil. But carnivorous plants get key nutrients from a different source: bugs. We’ll find out how they do it and talk about the mystery of how venus fly traps snap shut.
Rank #11: What makes cute things cute?
Think of the cutest puppy, kitten or baby you’ve ever seen. Now what sound did you just make? Was it an “Awwwww?” Or did you want to pinch, bite or squeeze it? In this episode, we’ll find out why this is a natural reaction to cute and why we’re so easily distracted by cute things.
Rank #12: Making the sands sing at Great Sand Dunes National Park
When an avalanche happens at the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, it sounds like the sand is singing. Huh? How? Why? We learn about the special sand and the specific conditions that make this acoustic phenomenon possible.
Rank #13: How do volcanoes erupt?
There are all kinds of volcanoes all over the world, but how are they formed? And how do they erupt? To find out, we’ll travel to the center of the Earth, and we’ll meet a NASA robot that’s going on a very special volcano mission.
Rank #14: The science of slime: What is it and why are we so obsessed
Homemade slime is sticky, gooey and all the rage, but what is it? When you combine ingredients like glue and laundry detergent you get a strange, flubbery substance. We’ll explain what’s happening on a molecular level to make this stuff.
Rank #15: How do animals breathe underwater?
Our lungs are great at getting oxygen out of the air, but if we needed to do that underwater, we'd be sunk. So how do fish, shrimp, jellyfish and other marine animals breathe underwater? And what happens when there is no oxygen in the water for them to breathe? We answer those questions plus a brand new Moment of Um tackles this sticky one: "Why do we have earwax?" And a new group of listeners gets inducted into the Brains Honor Roll! Give a listen!Today Brains On is sponsored by:• Acer Swift 5 (acer.com -- enter BRAINSON at checkout for 10% discount)• Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (mrclean.com/brainson)Music in this episode by Good Old Neon.
Rank #16: Super-size-asaurus: How did dinosaurs get so big?
Ancient dinosaurs were some of the biggest creatures to ever stomp the Earth. But how and why did they get so giant? Was there more food to help them grow? Was the planet itself somehow different, allowing them to reach epic proportions? In this episode we talk to dino-experts Femke Holwerda and Brian Switek…
Rank #17: Where did language come from?
Where did language come from? Is it possible to know without traveling back in time? And how do babies learn to speak? Plus: We’ll hear how the word “silly” has evolved over the last several hundred years.
Rank #18: What is Down syndrome?
You may have heard of Down syndrome, but what is it exactly? In this episode, we'll break down the science of chromosomes and how having an extra one leads to this fairly common condition. Plus, we'll learn some tips for making friends with someone who might seem different than you. We'll also swing by a farm staffed by ranchers with Down syndrome. And in our Moment of Um we'll find out why eggs go from clear to white when cooked.
Rank #19: Smash: When continents collide!
How are mountains made? What causes an earthquake? How does hot lava come bubbling up? The answer in each case is…tectonic plates!
Rank #20: Do we all see the same colors?
What if the color that you call blue and the color I call blue don’t look the same at all? When our brains see color, we’re really just seeing waves of light. Sure, we may be seeing the same waves when we look at the color blue, but do we know if our brains are interpreting those waves in the same way?