Capcea…capscies…capcase…..capsaicin… Well, however you pronounce it, this heat-induced episode explores two extremely different topics: where down feathers come from, and the Scoville Scale heat index of hot peppers. Other topics discussed: Road trips, Shia LeBouf: artiste, Mark’s wheel explodes, King Tut’s space knife, Facebook & Microsoft lay cable, Big-Ass Sandwiches closes, Target’s Crime Lab, Uni-swarms, random #trainfacts, and a truly down ending about being beheaded on a bus (blame Canada!). Enjoy!
Find out why we added lead to gasoline, how CFCs eat through the ozone layer, and the M. Night Shyamalan-esque story of how those both are related. It’s a twist! Also: why the Muppets were great, the US runs its nuclear program on floppy disks, the internet gets a small “i,” Bridgetown Comedy, swarms of bees attack woman’s car, and Todd goes off on more tangents than usual during this pre-Memorial Day (NOT VETERANS DAY) episode. Enjoy!
Is recycling a hippy scam? Does anyone even know what we’re allowed (or not allowed) to throw in the recycle bin? Find out how processing garbage and recycling works in this week’s action-packed episode. ALSO: SpaceTeam is a great game, cultural appropriation at the food carts, solar plant lights itself on fire, real life RoboCops, A.I. lawyers, in-ear instant languge translators, Google “Sticky Cars,” the terrifying future of facial recognition apps, Japan creates meteors, and Todd picks the wrong Portland street to walk down via a new historical photo website. Enjoy!
Find historical photos of your city!
With the recent spate of Tiny Earthquakes* and subduction activity in the Pacific Northwest, we take a look at some of the different ways volcanic activity still shapes and shifts the earth beneath us. Also: Google pays $6,006.13, Parsey McParseface, the UAE wants to build a mountain, Germany’s extra electricity, Eric the First British Robot, the Selfie Toaster, moron tourists and baby bison, and more Tori Amos talk than any other science podcast you’ll hear all month. It’s a show the size of Delaware! Enjoy!
*Yes, I realize now that Tori Amos’s album is called “Little Earthquakes,” not “Tiny Earthquakes.” We’ll all have to get over that.
What are “artificial” flavors, and are they different from “natural” flavors? (Short answer: not really.) Taste the rainbow as we explore the science of flavor. Also in this episode: screaming goats, Mark holds coworkers hostage, Bitcoin founder claim, Todd trusts Mark enough for him to light a bomb (“whoosh bottle”) in the kitchen, Elon Musk’s AI “gym,” virtual reality will change the world, “Disks of Tron,” and much, much more. Enjoy!
The discussion about the power grid and the realities of large-scale EMP weapons is great, but Mark’s surprise story about his experience with a professional cuddler (yes, you read that right) is the best thing you’ll hear all week. Also in this episode: celebrate May 4th with the Unipiper, “The Reason I Jump” is phenomenal, a weasel takes down the Large Hadron Collider, Todd gets inexplicably furious about Raspberry Pi and Ice Cream Sandwich, Prince’s floppy glyph, drone death rays, guy builds hoverbike, and is there a nuclear reactor in your neighborhood? The answer may surprise you. Enjoy!
Since made publicly accessible in 2000, GPS has transformed our lives in some surprising ways (and may lead to electrocuting old people who wander too far away). Find out how 33 satellites work together to make sure we’re always being followed. Also: a “TimeCop” mea culpa, “Pastor Mark” marries the Amish, National Parks are free, Waiting For Guffman, Inky the Octopus, inflatable space pods, trying to remove photos from the internet, terrible robot waiters, crowd-sourcing science problems via video games, and how does arm hair know when to stop growing? (No seriously…if you know that last one, let me know.) Enjoy!
If time isn’t constant, then what is it? And is traveling through time possible? In this episode we look at the bizarre nature of time, and the ways we currently experience time travel and manipulate time. Also: “11.22.63,” the Twilight Zone still freaks us out (“Why Helen?!”), “Primer” movie, Tesla hubris, discovering a new state of matter, Indestructible Racist AI, our ethics can’t keep up with technology, the Terminator vs. Timecop, Dolph Lundgren is Nietzsche’s superman, Grace Jones continues to be terrifying, and we almost get to talk about Max Headroom*.
*due to some unforeseen technical error, the show cut off at the 45 minute mark, but we were pretty much done. Although you’ll have to research the Timecop trailer on your own time.
How do optical storage formats like CDs and DVDs work? We shed some laser light on the matter in this week’s episode. Also: Todd is in a fog, nerds rend their clothing about “Batman vs. Superman,” the culture of pre-hating movies, 3D pictures of Pluto’s surface, Mark pre-orders his Tesla 3, ravens know what you’re thinking, the Enchanted Forest turns 60, Mark’s fond ABBA memories, chanting monks, Milli Vanilli, and more. Enjoy!
Batman’s New Chair, courtesy of RFM Seating:
The line to pre-order the Telsa 3:
What meets at the intersection of resonance, oscillation, and the piezoelectric effect? This episode explores how things from electric lighters to the atomic clock keeps ticking. Also: Todd’s over-inflation drama, Mark’s rat infestation, shame-eating and string theory, Birdie Sanders and the dispensary worker, Portland’s small-town vibe, California has the best drivers, the “affordable” Tesla goes on sale, Microsoft’s AI goes hideously and hilariously awry, how you can get “none more black” than Vantablack, and yet another reason to wear wooden shoes. Enjoy, and spread the word!
Glass is the backbone of the entire modern world, responsible for world-changing revolutions in everything from modern chemistry to yachts to farming to the internet and to the very definition of ourselves. It’s a fascinating journey. Also: irritating chipped credit cards, Mark is terrible at the NCAA bracket, Anonymous vs. Trump, Boaty McBoatface, John Denver plants trees, Todd explains wooden shoes, BarkHappy.com, “Chopped” vs. “Cooked,” and The Fascinator. There are myriad reasons to listen! Enjoy!
Introducing the tardigrade – or “water bear.” A seemingly indestructible little creature, it can’t be frozen or burned or starved or reasoned with, and it’s probably in your backyard (and in space) right now. Also on the show: If fat is essentially tasteless, why does it make everything taste so good?, attending live TV show tapings, Henrick Ibsen/Henry Gibson, Paula Deen’s Sheen and the Lipidy Binders, hair mayonnaise, “the bends” will give you the creeps, chokes, staggers, and the vapors, and what really happens to a body in space with no space suit. Enjoy the show, and watch out for water bears!
Humans rely on herd mentality all the time, but what makes a mob? Why do individuals act so differently in a crowd? And how do we avoid becoming part of madness? Let’s discuss. Also: Todd has HPV, how hot is the inside of lightening?, gallium & fulgurite, the “Forest Grove Mystery Sound” and environmental resonance, owl cafes, how to lucid dream, Cracker Barrel may be coming to Tualatin, and crows hold grudges, solve puzzles, understand analogies and are going to kill us all. Have fun!
Great video about how ideas (particularly angry ones) go viral:
What’s up with gravity? What are the gravity waves we measured pulsing through the fabric of space? Find out how much science still doesn’t understand about this fundamental force. Also: peeling the microwave, Ground Kontrol expands, BernieSingles.com, NASA needs astronauts, Apollo 10 hears mystery music, “deleting unwanted memories,” genome editing and WMDs, and more. Share and like our Facebook page, and thanks for listening!
What’s it like to realize at age 10 you’re colorblind? Or to find out at 30 that peanut butter isn’t green? We talk to actual colorblind human Cory Thomas about the daily logistics and intriguingly philosophical underpinnings of red/green colorblindness. Also: Mark’s Trump face-swap, sloth rescue, monkeys will kill us all, pistachio peanut butter, The Red Green Show, Ergs, what plants is this?, Einstein gravitational waves, OK GO, cannibal octopus, and more!
What plant is this?
OK GO’s weightless video
How will we rebuild humanity after complete global devastation? The Global Seed Vault located in Norway, of course, which holds 860,000 seeds “just in case.” Also: proof Todd drives “Well above average,” gas waterfall, Mark’s USB microscope, biggest buildings in the world, how magnetic audio tape works, Margaret Hamilton (not the Wicked Witch), NASA releases 10,000 moon photos, Mark’s get rich quick scheme, Portland’s food carts, Phở is a scam, and more!
The fluid dynamics discussion flows this week as we’re pressured into Bernoulli’s principles and squeezed into the Venturi Effect. Also on the show: Why don’t we have just one giant nostril?, caucaii, Sanders 404, why do we iodize salt?, deformed pugs, expensive cat painting, Todd visits Buck at Buck’s Stove Palace, Sony tries to trademark “Let’s Play,” marrying the Amish, more research on schizophrenia, DNA discrimination lawsuits, and boo-gan-villas. Bonus point for getting the “You named a star after me?!” reference. Enjoy! Don’t forget to like our Facebook page and subscribe on iTunes to catch every episode!
How does our brain make snap decisions, and how do external elements and personal bias infect that process? Answer: something called “priming.” Also: why Hulu is full of filthy lies, what is a slide rule(r)?, the plural of “new*,” pine apples, how viral videos are bought, 80s theme song challenge, Todd is scientifically not racist, Hair-Grooming Syncope, the Hyperloop breaks ground, and a fantastic typing game.
Statistically you are probably more racist than Todd. Find out with the Harvard Implicit Bias Test.
*the other word like “news” I was trying to think of was “movies.” I feel better now having remembered.
The answer to life, the universe, and everything: the Higgs boson particle. Find out how the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest machine man has ever built, came together to find the particle that allows us to exist. Also in this fantastic episode, how can parrots enunciate without lips?, Bitcoin in trouble, Trumplings.com, the world’s best snack, Mark knows an Amish reality TV star, self-driving car rampage, multiple universes, and dark matter. All in just a few Zeppo-seconds. *potato chips!* Enjoy!
The show is back! We dive back in to talk about the psychology of self-delusion via the Dunning-Kruger effect. Also, flirting with the meth-faced gas attendant, losing the recording of last week’s show, the New York Public Library’s 187,000 new archived photos, the golden record on the Voyager spacecraft, “Imposter Syndrome,” learning how to swim and run better, tongue twisters, David Bowie, and the lemon juice-faced buffoon of a robber that lead to the study of human ignorance. Enjoy, and let us know your thoughts!
SuperMegaHighRes “Tour-able” Image:
Cozy up to this potpourri of an episode for a literal Christmas fireside chat, where we briefly talk about rocket launching, orbiting, and accelerations per second/per second. Plus, Todd’s car gets hit, we both see Star Wars, Todd misses a holiday party but gains a Storm Trooper, the Portland “Martini House,” SpaceX’s successful launch, violating and shattering science, the Pierson Air Museum, going the dentist, and the VA hospital. Merry Christmas, and OH THE HUMANITY!
Is Bitcoin the future of currency? Or is it a scam developed by robot overlords to take over the economy? Find out! Also: The Jews VS the Japanese in the inaugural “SnackAttack!™” segment, the Oregon coast, the background of the Northwest’s famous “Jake the Alligator” man, TVs “Manhattan” and “Mr. Robot,” half-lives and dustpans, “They” becomes a singular pronoun, experiences in inclusive naming terms, and a fantastic weather-tracking website. Subscribe on iTunes so you don’t miss an episode!
How did humans figure out how to record and play back sound? How does a record groove contain an infinity of sound, and how does the speaker play it? Find out in this episode! Also: a long discussion about the hideously awful “Star Wars Holiday Special”, Mark’s backyard “Game of Thrones” viewings, why can’t we send nuclear waste into space?, Tickle deodorant, broke and forgotten inventors, tin can phones and loneliness, and how to become a “Specialist in the Sonic Acoustics of Ancient Spaces.” Thanks for listening!
The worst thing you will ever see (it gets unthinkably awful around the 2 minute mark), courtesy of the 1970s.
How does internet encryption work? How do you get the key from one party to the next without a security breach? Find out in this episode! Also, Apple TV needs a queue, “Webster” vs. “Alf,” Mark’s pirate “Planksgiving,” ToddLock™ and MarkLock™, the NSA ends phone data collections, indoor skydiving, 9/11 conspiracies, we can never be safe from air-hopping malware, and an egregious amount of Jm J. Bullock information. Enjoy! Download, stream, or subscribe via iTunes.
Guest Brian Kidd (aka the “Unipiper”) teaches us about his sciency day job — the amazing technology of “Lidar” (think radar/sonar but measured with light). Also, the Apple Watch, Todd get visited by a confused older couple looking to party, Mark’s fiber, the Bagdad Theater Star Wars bar crawl, Mark’s weird Princess Leia costume, “The Soup” gets cancelled, Sony cancels Beta tapes, and cool transparent water balls. Stream, download, or subscribe on iTunes, and thanks for listening!
What’s updog in this episode? Mark talks about what it takes to live in and operate an armed nuclear submarine in the Navy (as well as his favorite Dad Jokes to tell on sub tours). Also, Todd’s brain is rejecting new knowledge, how to manipulate a child’s memories, ear guards & earwigs, CLOWN HORN!, Portland Twitter Alerts, being recruited for a Super Top Secret Military team, zombie proms, kobayashi maru, carom boards, punch-up writing, Toastmasters Club, and Todd wants to live in Silicone Valley. Enjoy!
In this content-heavy episode, Todd experiences 4 minutes of schizophrenia via “Auditory Hallucinations” while attempting a few simple tasks.. Plus, Mark plays “When Did This Happen?” but has never heard of “Chocolate Rain,” Todd’s wasn’t invited to Mark’s Halloween party, panicking like a wounded seal, self-driving car in more accidents, Global Shark Tracker, sonic tractor beams, Small Wonder, tending to the Chinese Garden, Todd’s corpse-filled fish tank, and being an “Ameri-can.”
Try it yourself – listen to the “auditory hallucination” and try to perform a simple task.
We’re back! In this episode Todd explains the joy of dressing up and scaring people at “Fright Town,” Mark recounts (to a skeptical Todd) his experience with a ouija board both this past weekend and as a child who apparently grew up on the set of “Poltergeist.” Also, we give an overview of oil in America — how we get it, what we make from it, what countries we get it from, and why we both import *and* export it. Extra Bonus Features: ALIEN MEGASTRUCTURES, the “Portland Penny,” and Esperanto!
In space, no one can hear you 3D print. This episode takes us to Mars, where we’ve just found water (but can’t touch because of actual, literal “Space Laws”) and where scientists wants to print 3D houses made of ice. Also, what makes a “Dad Joke,” growing ears on mice, the possible effects of 3D printing in everyday life, cast-arm stink, Cannybots, a letter from a listener about the Hanford Nuclear site, and “How We Got To Now.” Enjoy! Stream, download, or subscribe!
In which we explore an explosive example of surface tension in glass, as well as explore what it’s like to be hydrophobic. Also: Todd gets a mail-in ticket, the burrito pencil holder, Portland’s Joan of Arc statue, horse statue lies, system of measurements based on mosquitos, Prince Rupert’s Drop/Dutch Tears, exploring Nev-R-Wet and hydrophobia, “Too hipster for a mustache,” seizure skydiving, bridge-building drones, and some Musk-ing up. Enjoy!!
In this very special episode, we interview Brian Kidd, aka the world-famous Unipiper! We talk about everything from the history and mechanics of bagpipes, how his amazing fire-spewing set of pipes work, being on Jimmy Kimmel and “America’s Got Talent,” the weird world of copyright infringement, his bitchin’ custom kilt, being on the set of “Portlandia” yesterday with Steve Buschemi and Fred Armisen, and much, much more. Check him out all over YouTube and Unipiper.com!
This episode we talk all about how the internets work, right down to the packets and protocols. Also, Mark visits a crazy “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” hotel at an Eastern Oregon hot springs, how bronze sculptures are made, Todd goes to the Weird Al concert, Elon Musk news, and Mark unveils his amazing new high-fashion back scratcher. Stream, Download, or Subscribe, and Like us at facebook.com/markandtoddcast. Thanks for listening, and special thanks to Charlie for sending in the question!
All of Washington is ablaze, so what better time to discuss how fire works? (After a fantastic discussion about lock picking, of course.) We discuss the 4 states of matter (DON’T FORGET PLASMA!), the “Fire Triangle,” the mechanics of stopping wildfires, what’s in the red fire retardant that planes drop, and putting out oil field fires using jet engines mounted on tanks. Plus – Tesla/Musk news, New York Seltzer, how rockets work, and why water isn’t flammable even though its component parts are. Stream, download, subscribe, and share!
How quickly can Amazon Prime Now deliver milk, Oreos, root beer, and a classic Spirograph game? Dang fast. Also – It’s OK to not be offended about everything, the return of the “I Barely Knew Her” sounder, filthy celiacs and gluten triggers, “Air-tarians” and eating the sun, Tesla/Musk news, Todd thinks the McDonald’s guy is a robot, magnetic wormholes, Portland’s ugliest bridge, and Hassan delivers our Amazon Prime Now order in under a half hour. Stream, download, or subscribe!
We got new mics and sound equipment – the audio is fantastic! In this episode: Todd is rendered unable to process thought after Mark lays out his non-ironic argument for a Donald Trump presidency. Also, Todd attempts to socialize, the Portland Film Festival and Zombie Walk, Soylent, Amazon.com brings back the heyday of Kozmo.com, the state of Late Night TV, does Bernie Sanders have an actual shot, and the baffling case of Donald Trump. Stream, download, or subscribe!
In which we discuss Todd’s cat in a tree, the USS Blueback submarine and the houseboat from “Body of Evidence”, “patent pending,” Don Cornelius & “Soul Train,” Mark’s Guinness Book of World Records, and the phrase “Stanly Milgram’s Drag Queens.” Apply directly to the forehead! Apply directly to the forehead! Apply directly to the forehead!
Are batteries interesting? (Hint: sort of, but not really.) But our discussion still is, wherein we discuss ancient Egyptian Home Shopping Networks, sextants and nanoballs, Zambonis, why there aren’t size B batteries, penny farthing bicycles, and looking forward to a time our homes are powered by a human heart kept in the refrigerator. Science!
(Note: The sound in the background you hear isn’t because we recorded the show onto a wax cylinder. It was just that windy outside. It goes away after awhile.)
In today’s discussion, we learn all about the ins and outs of electricity, the differences between voltage and current and watts and ohms, capacitors and insulators and mhos — oh my! — and how to kill a man using a 9-volt battery. There’s electrons flying everywhere in this exiting installment of the Mark and Toddcast.
From self-driving cars to sentient robots to an army of zeppelins, we discuss what the future looked like way back when, what it looks like now, and just where our Segway-driven future will really take us.