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Moment of Um

English, Chat, 1 season, 516 episodes, 1 day, 19 hours, 15 minutes
About
Moment of Um is your daily answer to those questions that pop up out of nowhere and make you go… ummmmmmm. Brought to you by your friends at Brains On at APM Studios.
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Do microbes sleep?

Our world is FULL of microorganisms, or microbes for short! They’re tiny microscopic living things like bacteria– and they do so much for us! They help us digest our food. They help make some medicines– like antibiotics. They even help make some of our favorite foods like bread and cheese. Microbes sure are busy, but do they ever sleep? We asked microbiologist Daniel Bond to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s keeping you up at night? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we won’t sleep on it!
6/12/20244 minutes, 19 seconds
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What's inside a black hole?

A black hole is an area of outer space where gravity is so strong that nothing can get out … not even light! But what’s actually inside a black hole? Are there asteroids? Whole planets? A 1988 Buick LeSabre? We asked astrophysicist Amanda Farah to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s just your cup of gravi-TEA? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find the hole truth! 
6/10/20245 minutes, 13 seconds
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Why do we have bones?

Bones! We’ve got lots of them. Leg bones, arm bones, face bones, even ear bones! But…not all animals even have bones inside their bodies. So what are our skeletons for? Why do we have them?  We asked pediatrician Dr. Emma Gerzenstang to help us find the answer.Got a topic you’d like to bone up on? Send us a question at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll paTELLa you the answer. 
6/7/20244 minutes, 53 seconds
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Why are diamonds so rare and valuable?

Lots of people love sparkly, pretty things – especially precious stones, like diamonds. But who decides which stones are precious? And what makes diamonds so special? We asked geologist Marc M. Hirschmann to help us find the answer.Got a priceless question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find a jewel of an answer!
6/5/20246 minutes, 16 seconds
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How did people make cave paintings?

In places all over the world, there are ancient paintings in caves and on cliff walls that were made thousands of years ago by the people living there. But this was way before modern paints, and those people couldn’t mosey down to the craft store to buy their brushes…so how did they make their paintings? We asked anthropologist David Ian Howe to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s close to your heART? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll draw on all our knowledge to find the answer. 
6/3/20245 minutes, 48 seconds
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How do bubbles pop?

Bubbles are everywhere! Soap bubbles, fizzy seltzer bubbles, underwater bubbles – even bubblegum bubbles!  But how do bubbles pop? We asked mechanical engineer Jacy Bird to help us find the answer.Got a question that you’re bursting to share? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll POP by with the answer.
5/31/20246 minutes, 34 seconds
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Why were animals bigger in the past?

All different kinds of giant prehistoric creatures used to walk the Earth, from 20-foot-tall sloths to sharks longer than a school bus.. They all seem huge in our imaginations, but were animals in the past actually bigger than animals on Earth now? We asked paleontologist Kristi Curry Rogers to help us find the answer.Got a BIG question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help size up the answer!
5/29/20246 minutes, 13 seconds
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How does your skin make a rash?

When our skin gets irritated, it reacts! And sometimes a rash appears. Rashes can be red, itchy, painful and bumpy… But how does our skin make them? We asked pediatrician Dr. Anjuli Gansto help us find the answer.Got a question under your skin? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll rash to find the answer!
5/27/20245 minutes, 8 seconds
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What’s the difference between AM and FM radio waves?

Radios are like magical devices. You just flip a switch and BAM, you can listen to everything from punk rock to world news. But how exactly does a radio work? And what’s the difference between AM and FM radio? We asked physics expert Angie Huerta to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s AM-azing? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll dial in the answer. 
5/24/20244 minutes, 58 seconds
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Why are spicy foods spicy?

Lots of people love spicy food for that tongue-tingling feeling. But where does it come from? What’s happening in our mouths when we bite down on a jalapeño or chili flake? We asked taste and smell researcher Arthur Zimmerman to help us find the answer.Got a tasteful question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll spice up your life with the answer!
5/22/20245 minutes, 7 seconds
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Do birds build a new nest every year?

There are so many different kinds of bird nests out there: big ones, small ones, some as big as your head! Birds build their nests out of everything from twigs and grass to spider silk! But do they make a new nest every year? We asked bird expert Paul Bartell to help us find the answer.Got a question that you’ve been thinking about owl night? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact – you won’t egret it!
5/20/20246 minutes, 20 seconds
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When were tattoos first invented?

Tattoos are a type of art that’s added permanently to a person’s skin using special inks and needles. It’s a way of decorating the body that has been around for a long time. But how long? When were the earliest tattoos?  We asked sociologist David Lane to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s really needling you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll poke around until we find the answer!
5/17/20245 minutes, 21 seconds
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How did the days of the week get their names?

It’s super helpful that each day of the week has its own name!  Without these names, it’d be really hard to keep track of our calendars – and there’d be no such thing as #MotivationMonday or #TacoTuesday! But why do the days of the week have the names that they do?  We asked language expert Amelia Tseng to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s making you #WonderWednesday? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help #FindoutFriday!
5/16/20246 minutes, 1 second
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When were movies first made?

Movies are everywhere. They’re on our tablets, phones, and projected onto giant screens. But it hasn’t always been that way! So… when were movies first made? We asked cinema and media historian Laura Isabel Serna about it – and she helped us find the answer!Got a question flickering in your mind’s eye? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll produce an animated answer!
5/15/20247 minutes, 15 seconds
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When were sewing machines first invented?

We may not think much about sewing machines, but there are so many things we wouldn’t have without them! Think about how many things are sewn together in our everyday lives. Your shirts, pants, hats, pillows, backpack, even parts of your car seats! There’s no doubt that sewing machines were a revolutionary invention. But when exactly were the first ones made? We asked Articles of Interest host Avery Trufelman to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s got you in stitches? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help thread the needle!
5/14/20246 minutes, 36 seconds
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When did people start having pets?

People have all different kinds of animals as pets: dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, pigs, you name it. The famous artist Salvador Dalí even had a pet lobster that he took for walks on a leash! But when did humans first start craving animal companionship? We asked anthropologist David Ian Howe to help us find the answer.Got a question that you want to ask right meow? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll unleash the answer.
5/13/20245 minutes, 20 seconds
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How do drums work?

Drums are the backbone of rock’n’roll…and most other kinds of music, too! Where would we be without a big bass drum leading a parade, or a jazzy ba-dum-CH after a well-told joke? But how do drums actually make their sounds? We asked drum maker Liz Aponte to help us find the answer. Are you ensnared by a question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we won’t miss a beat in finding the answer!
5/10/20246 minutes, 33 seconds
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Why is bird poop white?

Have you ever looked at a bird turd? Like, really looked at it? If so, you might’ve noticed there’s a lot of white in there. But what is that white stuff?  We asked bird expert Amanda Bender to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s poo-sitively great? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer that doesn’t stink!
5/6/20245 minutes, 17 seconds
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How do you become a NASA astronaut?

Astronauts have such cool jobs!  They get to blast off in rockets, experience micro-gravity, and see Earth from a whole new perspective.  But how does someone become a NASA astronaut?  We asked spacesuit designer Pablo de Leon to help us find the answer!Got a question that’s out of this world? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll launch an investigation.
5/3/20245 minutes, 34 seconds
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Do snakes barf?

Throwing up isn’t fun, but it happens to everyone. Sometimes we vomit if we’re sick with a virus or an infection – and other times, it happens because we’re feeling dizzy or carsick. But do other animals barf too? Like snakes? We asked wildlife biologist Laura Kojima to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s retch-edly hard to figure out? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll spew out an answer!
5/1/20245 minutes, 8 seconds
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What makes a good paper airplane?

If you fold a sheet of paper just right, you can create a paper airplane that zooms through the air! But how do you make sure that your plane zooms across a room instead of nose-diving into the couch cushions? What makes a good paper airplane? We asked physics grad student Angie Huerta to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s just plane fun? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll launch an answer your way!
4/29/20245 minutes, 17 seconds
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How do birds make their eggs?

Bird eggs come in all shapes and sizes, from speckled hummingbird eggs smaller than a jellybean to mango-sized emu eggs. But how do birds make them? We asked bird expert Paul Bartell to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s ova-whelming? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help crack the case!
4/26/20246 minutes, 59 seconds
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What would happen if it rained oobleck?

Oobleck is a mix of cornstarch and water that can act like a solid or a liquid. On its own, it’s gloopy and squishy, but if you squeeze it, it turns into a solid ball in your hand! So what would happen if oobleck fell from the sky like rain?  We asked meteorologist Ginger Zee to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s clouding your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll bRAINstorm an answer!
4/24/20245 minutes, 44 seconds
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How is wood made into paper?

Paper is made out of trees! But… how? Those tall, leafy, shade-giving beauties in your backyard don’t look anything like the piece of white paper coming out of your computer printer. We asked forest expert and educator Sanford Smith to help us find the answer. Got a question printed on the inside of your brain? Send it to us at Brainson.org/contact, and we’ll help you uncrumple the answer!
4/22/20246 minutes, 8 seconds
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How far has any astronaut traveled?

About 60 miles above Earth is a line where our atmosphere ends and space begins.  That boundary is called the Karman line.  Of course, rockets that astronauts take go much farther than that.  But just how far from earth have astronauts gone?  And what do they need to bring for the trip?!  We asked spacesuit designer Pablo de Leon to help us find the answer!Got a question that’s far out? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll shoot for the moon to find the answer.
4/19/20245 minutes, 57 seconds
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Are birds related to bats?

At first glance, you might think bats and birds are close relatives. After all, they both flap their wings and fly! But are they actually close cousins or just coincidental copycats? We asked bird expert Amanda Bender to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s got you in a flap? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer–we promise we won’t just wing it! 
4/17/20245 minutes, 58 seconds
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Where does cinnamon come from?

Cinnamon is used all over the world. It makes cookies, cakes, tea, and coffee taste and smell amazing, and it’s also used in lots of savory foods!But where does cinnamon come from…before it gets to the grocery store? We asked spice expert Pooja Bag to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s flavoring your thoughts? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll bark up every tree until we find the answer!
4/15/20244 minutes, 50 seconds
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What happens when big trucks roll over bacteria on roads?

Bacteria are everywhere. At the top of Mount Everest. At the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. There are millions on your hands and TRILLIONS in your gut! So what happens when a truck rolls over bacteria on the road? Do they get squished? We asked microbiology professor Daniel Bond to help us find the answer.Got a crushing question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll keep on truckin’ til we find an answer!
4/12/20245 minutes
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Why do bees buzz?

Have you ever watched a bee flitting from flower to flower? It zips through the air like a tiny plane, making a buzz-buzz-buzz sound. But why do bees buzz, anyway? We asked bee scientist Alina Niño to help us find the answer.Got a bee-YOO-tiful question for us? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we promise we won’t just wing it!
4/10/20245 minutes, 58 seconds
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How do cameras take photos and videos?

Say cheese! Cameras can take amazing photos and videos of just about anything. But have you ever wondered how they work? We asked mechanical engineer and science educator Tiffani Teachey to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s picture-perfect? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll snap to it!
4/8/20244 minutes, 54 seconds
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How and when did jokes start, and why?

Knock knock! Everybody loves a good joke, but how did they start? And why do we think they’re so funny? We asked Brains On producer and resident funny expert Anna Goldfield to give us the lowdown on jokes! Got a question that’s tickling your curiosity? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll get to the punchline.
4/5/20246 minutes, 21 seconds
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Why does bread change color and texture in the toaster?

Bread is the best. But you know what makes bread even better? Toasting it. That brown crunchy exterior with the springy chewy center can’t be beat. But how does a toaster transform bread into toast? We asked food scientist David Dominguez to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s bready to be answered? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’d loaf to find you an answer!
4/3/20244 minutes, 44 seconds
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Which is older, the sun or the moon?

Human beings have told stories and made art about the sun and the moon for as long as we’ve existed!  Both of them were in the sky long before humans evolved.  But just how old are they?  And is the sun or the moon older?  We asked astrophysicist Amanda Farah to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s sunsationally difficult? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll comMOONicate the answer to you
4/1/20244 minutes, 50 seconds
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How can parrots mimic other sounds?

Parrots are one of the few animals in the world that can mimic human speech and other sounds. But how exactly do they do it? We asked bird expert Amanda Bender to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s a real squawk in the park? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer that’s macaw-some!
3/22/20245 minutes, 3 seconds
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If ants like sweet things, why don't they attack beehives?

Ants, they’re just like us. They like picnics, hills, and sweet things! But if ants like sweets so much, do you think they ever attack beehives? We asked bee researcher Dr. Alina Nino to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s buzzing around your head? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help ant-swer it. 
3/20/20244 minutes, 51 seconds
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How do vacuum cleaners work?

Vacuums are like magic. You press a button and POOF – they can suck up all kinds of stuff: crumbs, cat fur, even coconut shrimp. But how do these handy dandy machines work? We asked mechanical engineer Tiffani Teachey to help us find the answer.Got a question, but you’re not sure Hoover answer it? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an answer that sweeps you off your feet!
3/18/20244 minutes, 45 seconds
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Would a flashlight turn on at lightspeed?

What do a cheetah, a rocket ship, and champion sprinter Usain Bolt have in common?  If you guessed they’re all way slower than your average beam of light, you’re correct!  Nothing in our universe moves faster than light. But recently, we got an interesting puzzle from a listener: if you were able to travel at lightspeed, and you turned on a flashlight, would it turn on?  We asked astrophysicist Amanda Farah to help us investigate.Got a question that has you feeling in the dark? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you see the light.
3/15/20244 minutes, 38 seconds
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How do microphones work?

Imagine this: you’re at a karaoke competition. You grab the microphone, belt out your favorite song, and the crowd goes wild! Everyone can hear your voice, thanks to your handy dandy microphone. But how exactly do these snazzy little machines work? We asked mechanical engineer and science educator Tiffani Teachey to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s pitch perfect? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an answer that really ampsyou up!
3/13/20244 minutes, 30 seconds
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Do eyeballs grow?

Eyeballs! They’re squishy orbs in our skulls, made of lots of different parts that work together to send visual information to our brain. But do they get bigger as we grow from babies to adults? We asked eye doctor Stacey Pineles to help us find the answer.Are you a pupil with a burning question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help en-vision the answer!
3/11/20244 minutes, 11 seconds
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How do mushrooms grow if they don’t have seeds?

Have you ever gone outside after a rainy day and seen mushrooms growing in the grass or on tree trunks? How do they get there? We asked urban agriculture specialist Yolanda Gonzalez to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s really growing on you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll mold an answer for you. 
3/8/20246 minutes, 13 seconds
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How do skunks spray their stink?

Skunks are part of a family of animals called mustelids, along with weasels, badgers, and otters. All of these animals produce a unique, musky smell, but where stink is concerned, the skunk reigns supreme. They can spray a super-smelly liquid from their butts at anything that scares them. But how does that spray work? We asked biologist Caitlin Amspacher to help us find the answer.Got a question stinkin’ up your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll see what the answer en-TAILS!
3/6/20244 minutes, 54 seconds
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How do prescription glasses work?

Lots of people wear prescription glasses to help them see. An eye doctor helps to find the right prescription so that our eyeballs focus better on things that would otherwise look like a blurry mess. But how do glasses actually work? We asked eye doctor Stacey Pineles to help us find the answer.Got a question in your sights? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll focus on finding the answer!
3/4/20244 minutes, 34 seconds
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What does earwax do for your ear?

Have you ever noticed the thin layer of sticky, oily stuff inside your ears? It’s called earwax! It’s definitely not the kind of wax you use to make candles or crayons, so what do our ears need it for? We asked pediatrician Dr. Anjuli Gans to help us find the answer.Got a question that you want us to hear? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll wax poetic about the answer. 
3/1/20244 minutes, 51 seconds
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What do germs and bacteria eat?

There are billions of bacteria on Earth, and they’re everywhere. Bacteria are on every surface on the planet, and even live in the soil underground. Most bacteria are actually quite harmless to humans. They spend all of their time eating, resting, and making copies of themselves. But when bacteria decide it’s time for lunch, what do they eat? We asked microbiologist Daniel Bond to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s colonizing your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll send an answer right BAC-ter-ya. 
2/28/20245 minutes, 5 seconds
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Why do we need toes?

Toes! They’re short and chunky, sometimes smell funky… but without them, we’d be toe-tally out of luck! We asked evolutionary anthropologist Darcy Shapiro to walk us through why we have toes, and what they help us do!Got a question tickling the tips of your toes? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help nail down an answer!
2/26/20246 minutes, 17 seconds
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Where do carrot seeds come from?

Carrots are a delicious, crunchy snack. But unlike other vegetables, carrots don’t have seeds inside. So how do farmers grow them?  We asked plant scientist Jeff Mitchell to help us get to the root of the matter.  Got a question that you want us to chew over?  Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll dig up some answers.
2/23/20245 minutes, 36 seconds
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Do cockroaches have hearts?

Our hearts are strong muscles that pump blood all through our bodies. But do hearts look the same in different animals? What about a tiger, or a lizard, or…a cockroach? Do cockroaches even have hearts? ? We asked urban bug expert Dr. Jody Green to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s been bugging you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll fly the answer your way.
2/21/20244 minutes, 36 seconds
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Why are some people lactose intolerant?

Say cheese! But if you’re lactose intolerant maybe don’t eat it? Cuz any kind of milk based food will probably give you a tummy-ache! But why? We asked pediatrician Dr. Anjuli Gans why some people are lactose intolerant… and she helped us understand what it is and why it happens. Got an udderly awesome question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll milk it for some answers!
2/19/20245 minutes, 33 seconds
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How many germs could we see without a microscope?

There are so many bacteria in the world that we still haven’t discovered them all! But because bacteria are so tiny, they’re really only visible with the help of a microscope. But what if lots and lots of those teeny tiny bacteria got together in a clump? How many would have to pile together before we could see that pile with just our eyes? We asked microbiologist Daniel Bond to help us find the answer.Got a question GERM-inating in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help micro-SCOPE out an answer!
2/16/20244 minutes, 45 seconds
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What would happen if you took a party balloon to space?

Have you ever accidentally let go of a helium balloon and watched it float up … up … and away? It drifts way up in the sky until it’s just a tiny speck! But what would happen if a balloon made it all the way to outer space? We asked astrophysicist Amanda Farah to help us find the answer.Got a question that popped into your head? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll float you an answer! 
2/14/20244 minutes, 37 seconds
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What happens if you put too much yeast in bread?

Most bread dough needs yeast to make it rise, so the bread can be light and fluffy when it bakes. But can you put TOO much yeast in bread? What happens if you do? Do you get a bread balloon? We asked food scientist Dave Domingues to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s rising to the top of your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’d LOAF to help you find the answer!
2/12/20245 minutes, 52 seconds
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Why do we use toothpaste?

Toothpaste is something that lots of people use to keep their teeth clean. It makes our mouths smell nice and fresh, but that’s not the only thing it does! So, why do we use toothpaste? We asked dentist Dr. Jean Star to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s stuck in your head, like spinach between molars? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help floss out an answer.
2/9/20246 minutes, 25 seconds
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What's inside teeth?

Our teeth are incredible chomping machines. Their strong outer layer helps us crunch carrots, nibble potato chips and chew bubblegum! But what’s inside of them? We asked dentist Dr. Jean Star to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s eating you up inside? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll chew it over!
2/7/20245 minutes, 30 seconds
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Why do different countries have different flags?

There are 195 different countries in the world, and they all have different flags. Why is that? And where did flags come from? We asked flag expert Michael Green to unfurl the answers. Do you have a vexing question of your own? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help you flag down the answer.
2/5/20246 minutes, 54 seconds
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Why do we need punctuation marks?

If you open a book, you’ll see lots of letters that come together to make different words. Sandwiched in between the words are little dots, lines and squiggles called punctuation marks. But why do we need those, when they don’t make any sounds at all? We asked writing teacher Kristin Bauck to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s right on the mark? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact – we can’t punc-tu-WAIT to help you answer it!
2/2/20245 minutes, 18 seconds
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How does concrete harden?

Concrete is all around us. It makes up the buildings we live in, the sidewalks we walk on, the ramps we do our sick skateboard tricks on … but how is it made? How does it go from a thick, sludgy paste into a hard, smooth surface? We asked engineering professor Matthew Adams to help us find the answer.Got a question that seems to keep getting harder? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll use all our ce-MENTAL ability to find the answer!
1/31/20245 minutes, 45 seconds
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When were coupons invented?

Have you ever looked through newspaper or magazine advertisements and seen coupons? They’re those little paper rectangles that let you pay less for certain foods, items, or services. But when was the first coupon printed? Who had the idea to advertise with sweet sweet deals? We asked historian Bart Elmore to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s limited time only? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll bargain for an answer for you!
1/29/20245 minutes
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How does a touch screen work?

Cell phones and tablets are like portals into other worlds. You can play games, take photos, read books – all with just the tap of a finger! But how do touch screens work? We asked mechanical engineer and science educator Tiffani Teachey to help us find the answer.Got a question that you’ve been monitoring? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll tap out an answer!
1/26/20245 minutes, 23 seconds
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How do we get milk from almonds?

Almond milk is more popular than ever these days, but have you ever wondered how they actually get milk from almonds? We asked Gemma Aguayo-Murphy , recipe developer and creator of the cooking blog Everyday Latina, how it’s done.Got a question that’s a real tough nut to crack? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an answer that quenches your thirst!
1/24/20245 minutes, 9 seconds
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Do insects have ears?

There are all different kinds of ears in the world: big floppy elephant ears, fuzzy rabbit ears – even teeny squirrel ears smaller than a dime! But what about insects? Do they have ears? We asked insect expert Meredith Cenzer to help us find the answer.Got a question that sounds like a winner? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer that’s music to your ears!
1/22/20245 minutes, 41 seconds
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Why does bamboo make a chattering sound?

Bamboo is a type of grass that grows into big clusters of long, straight stalks. Those stalks are super strong, and are useful for making lots of things, from instruments to gardening tools, to building materials. And when a breeze blows through a bunch of bamboo, it makes a really cool chattering, rattling sound. How does it do that? And why? We asked biologist Lynn Clark to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s BAMBOOzling you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll shoot you an answer!
1/19/20247 minutes, 7 seconds
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Why does steam travel up instead of down?

It seems like water always falls down. Rain and snow fall down from the sky. Watering cans pour water down on plants. Waterfalls – well, the water falls down! But when water is steam, it rises up. Why is that? We asked aerospace engineer Nicole Sharp to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s weighing you down? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find what’s up.  
1/17/20245 minutes, 33 seconds
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Do butterflies sleep?

Sleep helps our brains and bodies rest. Lots of animals need sleep to survive, like birds, mice and even humpback whales! But what about insects, like butterflies? Do they doze off, too?  We asked insect expert Meredith Cenzer to help us find the answer.Got a question fluttering around in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we won’t sleep on it!
1/15/20244 minutes, 59 seconds
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Why do I get so sleepy riding in a car?

If you’ve ever been on a long car trip, you may have noticed that you start to feel sleepy as the car moves. Is it because the seats are so comfy? Is the radio hypnotizing you? Are the floor mats sprinkled with secret sleepy dust? We asked neuroscientist Aurore Perrault to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s driving you nuts? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help dream up an answer.
1/12/20245 minutes
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Where do the insects go when Venus flytraps eat them?

Have you ever seen a Venus flytrap in action? An unsuspecting insect lands inside and BAM! The plant’s toothy leaves snap shut in a fraction of a second! But what happens to the insects that get stuck inside a Venus flytrap? We asked insect expert Meredith Cenzer to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s trapped in your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help break down the answer!
1/10/20246 minutes, 39 seconds
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Why do our personalities change when we’re teenagers?

Some teens’ personalities seem to change more frequently than the weather in April! Why is that? What’s going on in the brains and bodies of growing humans that changes how they interact with friends and family? We asked child development expert Dr. Ed Greene to tell us about the mighty forces that shape a young person’s personality. Got a question that will boost your mood? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help you feel out an answer!
1/8/20245 minutes, 33 seconds
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Why do fish jump out of the water?

Picture this: you’re enjoying a perfect day by your favorite lake. The sun is shining, the water is calm, and everything is peaceful … until SPLASH! A fish flies out of the water like a silver torpedo and flops back down into the lake. Why do fish do that, anyway? We asked aquatic biologist Keegan Lutek to help us find the answer.Got a question that you’re POND-ering? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer that really makes a splash!
1/5/20246 minutes, 11 seconds
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Why do things seem lighter in a pool?

Swimming in the pool can be a blast, whether you’re floating peacefully, splishing and splashing, or doing the doggy paddle. But have you ever wondered why you feel lighter in the water than out of it? We asked physicist Xie Chen to help us find the answer.Got a question swimming around in your noggin? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll pool our resources to find the answer!
1/3/20244 minutes, 44 seconds
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Why does the Earth look flat from the ground, if it's a sphere?

Our planet is shaped like a big blue marble. But when we’re standing on the Earth’s surface, the ground looks pretty flat. So why doesn’t the Earth look round to us? We asked astrophysicist Ian Hall to help us find the answer.Got a question that you can’t wrap your head a-round? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll answer it in no time flat!
1/1/20244 minutes, 54 seconds
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How long does it take a Christmas tree to grow to full size?

If your family celebrates Christmas, you’re probably familiar with the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree. Some trees are reusable and can be stored in the closet or basement, and others are real. Just how long does it take real trees to grow to their full size? We asked science communicator and plant expert Brandi Cannon-Force to help us find the answer.Pining for the answer to a tree-mendous question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll fir sure sleigh the answer.
12/22/20235 minutes, 30 seconds
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Do galaxies orbit anything?

Our galaxy is amazing, but it’s not the only one. Astronomers think there could be two trillion others out there. So, what’s up with those other galaxies? Are they just standing still, or do they orbit something? We asked astrophysicist Ian Hall to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s circling around in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find a universally appealing answer!
12/21/20235 minutes, 35 seconds
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Does temperature exist in a black hole?

Black holes are created when a giant star explodes into a supernova. The gravity of a black hole is so incredibly strong that it pulls in anything that gets close – even light! But what’s it like inside a black hole? Is it hot or cold? We asked astrophysicist Ian Hall to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s a hole lot of fun? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer that really draws you in!
12/20/20235 minutes, 14 seconds
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How much DNA do we share with tardigrades?

Did you know there is a microscopic animal that can live up to 30 years without food? And that can survive in the vacuum of space? They are called tardigrades, also known as water bears or moss piglets, and they are hardy creatures. How much DNA do these adaptable and almost indestructible organisms share with humans? We asked biologist Kalia Gabriel to help us find the answer.Got a question you can’t bear anymore? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you find a tardi-great answer!
12/19/20236 minutes, 10 seconds
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Could there be exoplanets that have life?

Our universe is enormous and filled with lots of planets. We call planets outside our solar system exoplanets. Could one of these distant places have aliens living on it? We asked astrophysicist Ian Hall to help us find the answer.Got an enterprising question making a trek through your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll boldly go looking for the answer.
12/18/20235 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why does tea taste stronger the longer you let it sit?

There are tons of cake recipes out there, from angel food to red velvet. These recipes make different types of cake, but mostly share the same ingredients, like flour, sugar and eggs. When you mix them up and pop them in the oven, it seems like magic happens! How does that pile of ingredients turn into a cake? We asked science writer Stuart Farrimond to help us find the answer.Got a question that takes the cake? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer – no ifs, ands, or bundts.  
12/15/20235 minutes, 58 seconds
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How do different ingredients become a cake?

There are tons of cake recipes out there, from angel food to red velvet. These recipes make different types of cake, but mostly share the same ingredients, like flour, sugar and eggs. When you mix them up and pop them in the oven, it seems like magic happens! How does that pile of ingredients turn into a cake? We asked science writer Stuart Farrimond to help us find the answer.Got a question that takes the cake? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer – no ifs, ands, or bundts.  
12/14/20235 minutes, 31 seconds
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Can the smell of your farts be determined by genetics?

OH FARTS! Passing gas can be one of the amusing or embarrassing parts of your day. How you feel about tooting can be influenced by lots of factors including where you are, who you are with, how loud it is, and- most importantly- the smell. Speaking of which, what causes the smell of farts? Is it genetics? We asked Masters of Science candidate Kaila Gabriel to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s tying your stomach in knots? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help sniff out an answer.  
12/13/20234 minutes, 46 seconds
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Are there earthquakes on other planets?

Earthquakes happen when the rocky plates that make up the surface of our planet move against each other. But what about quakes in other parts of our galaxy? Do the stars shake? Do planets get their crusts crumbled? We asked astrophysicist Ian Hall to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s quaking your world? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll serve you an answer on a tectonic plate.
12/12/20234 minutes, 58 seconds
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How do evergreens stay green all winter?

Lots of trees shed their leaves to prepare for chilly winter temperatures – but not all of them. Evergreen trees, like pines and spruces, keep their needles throughout the winter. So how do they do it? We asked science communicator and plant expert Brandi Cannon-Force to help us find the answer.Have a question that’s really needling you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find a tree-mendous answer!
12/11/20234 minutes, 51 seconds
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What is DNA made of?

DNA is a tiny molecule found inside almost every living thing on Earth. It’s      an instruction manual that tells your body how to grow and what it should look like! But what is it made of? We asked Kaila Gabriel to help us find the answer.Got a question that has you spiraling out of control? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help pair it up with the right expert!
12/8/20235 minutes, 4 seconds
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Why are some flowers called weeds?

Dandelions are the best! Their sunny, bright yellow blooms make amazing flower crowns. Their leaves are loaded with vitamins and nutrients. And eventually, they turn into adorable puffballs. So why do some people consider them weeds? We asked flower farmer Bo Dennis to help us find the answer.Got a question that is rooted in your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you weed out the answer! 
12/7/20236 minutes, 15 seconds
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Why do swear words exist?

Words are wonderful! Pickle, bubble, and hullabaloo are all super fun to say.  But some words can be hurtful, like  swear words. So if we aren’t supposed to say them, why do swear words exist? We asked linguist Carolin Debray to help us find the answer.Got a question that seems unan-swear-able? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll dis-cuss the answer. 
12/6/20234 minutes, 51 seconds
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Do flowers fall in love?

Flowers help us express our love. A beautiful bouquet can say to the people in our lives, “I’m thinking of you” or even “I love you!” But what about the flowers themselves? Do they ever get to have love stories of their own? We asked plant scientist Laura Steel to help us find the answer.Got a question sprouting in your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help the answer bloom. 
12/5/20234 minutes, 20 seconds
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How do plant roots suck up water?

Plants do so many different things: they grow fruits and veggies, make beautiful flowers and even pump out oxygen for us to breathe. But how do they suck up water from the dirt? We asked science communicator and plant expert Brandi Cannon-Force to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s unbe-LEAF-ably hard to answer? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll root around for the answer!
12/4/20234 minutes, 23 seconds
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Why is salmon meat pink?

Salmon meat can make a delicious meal and, since it has plenty of vitamins and minerals, can be a great part of a nutritious diet. What really makes salmon stand out  though is its pinkish-orange color. What's up with that? We asked aquatic biologist Dr. Keegan Lutek to help us find the answer.Got a question about something that seems fishy? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help get you an answer so you don’t have to keep flounder-ing about.
12/1/20236 minutes, 30 seconds
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Why is milk white?

Milk! It’s a cookie’s best friend. It’s a key part of a creamy cup of hot chocolate. And it’s delicious, whether it comes from a cow, a goat, an oat, or a coconut. But no matter where your milk comes from, one thing is probably the same – the whitish color. What’s up with that? We asked science writer Stuart Farrimond to help us find the answer.Got a question MOO-ving through your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll milk the answer for all it’s worth!
11/30/20235 minutes, 1 second
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Are there clouds in space?

Quick, look up at the sky! Do you see any fluffy puffy cotton candy clouds? Or maybe long, wispy ones? What about dark storm clouds? There are so many different types of clouds on Earth. But what about space? Are there clouds up there, too? We asked astrophysicist Ian Hall to help us find the answer.Got a question that you want someone to take cirrus-ly? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll aim for the stars!
11/29/20235 minutes, 18 seconds
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Are the galaxies in Star Wars based on real science?

Star Wars famously starts with “A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…” And boy are there some amazing galaxies in Star Wars. But a planet with two suns is just the stuff of science fiction, right? Maybe not! We asked astronomer Mark Popinchalk to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s forcing you to go ummm? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll Boba Fett-ch you an answer.
11/28/20235 minutes, 55 seconds
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Why are the primary colors different from the colors of light?

You may have learned that the colors red, yellow, and blue are called primary colors. It’s sometimes said you can use those three to make all the other colors. But can red, yellow, and blue really mix to make any color, or is there more to the story?  We asked color scientist Stephen Westland to help us find the answer.Got a question that came up out of the blue? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find a CYAN-tific answer!
11/27/20235 minutes, 19 seconds
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Is the sun the hottest thing in the universe?

What do curling irons, campfires, and cups of hot cocoa have in common?  They’re all hot!  But nothing is as hot as the sun – at least not in our solar system!  But what about the rest of the universe?  Is the sun the hottest thing? We asked astronomer Mark Popinchalk to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s too hot to handle?   Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an explanation that shines!
11/17/20234 minutes, 40 seconds
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Why are so many planets named after Roman gods?

All of the planets in our solar system, and plenty of the moons, are named after gods or other figures from ancient Roman mythology. Have you ever wondered who picked those names? And why is the theme Roman gods, and not famous kings, favorite cartoon characters, or notable cats? We asked astronomer Mark Popinchalk to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s outta this world? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and you can nepTUNE in to hear the answer!
11/16/20235 minutes, 7 seconds
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Why do grown-ups give more attention to babies than kids?

When you’re an only child, it might feel nice to have all the attention for a few years until – DUN DUN DUN! – a little sibling comes along. Sometimes it feels like babies get all the attention. Why is that? To help us find the answer, we asked Dr. Ed Greene, early childhood psychologist and consultant for our sister podcast Charm Words.Got a question that’s grabbed your attention? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer. We’re not kid-ding around!
11/15/20235 minutes, 1 second
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What are planets made of?

We spend a lot of time on top of our planet, but we don’t spend much time inside it. So it makes sense you might wonder what our planet is made of, deep deep down. Is it more rocks? Is it lava? Is it a gooey caramel center? And what about the other planets, like Mars and Jupiter? We asked astronomer Mark Popinchalk to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s tearing you up on the inside? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help dig up the facts.
11/14/20236 minutes, 7 seconds
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How do snails make their shells?

Have you ever seen a snail sliming along, eyestalks a-waving, carrying its whole house on its back? What are snail shells made of, anyway? And how do they make them? We asked biologist Teresa Rose Osborne to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s been creeping around your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll escar-GO find you the answer!
11/13/20234 minutes, 47 seconds
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What is inside a cactus?

Many cactuses are covered in spikes - making them terrible to hug. But what about inside a cactus? Is it also spiky? Or is it soft and cuddly? And is it true you can find water hidden in these desert-dwellers?  We asked science communicator and plant expert Brandi Cannon-Force to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s stuck in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help pin down the answer.
11/10/20236 minutes, 11 seconds
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How are red, yellow, and blue made for paint?

What does painting the most splendid sunset and the most radiant rainbow have in common? They both require lots of beautiful paint colors! We can blend colors to make orange, green, and purple, but how do we make primary colors like red, yellow, and blue? We asked color science professor Stephen Westland to help us find the answer.Got a question that you’re dye-ing to get answered? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help illuminate the answer!
11/9/20235 minutes, 39 seconds
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Why do we like shiny things?

Ever find yourself staring at a shiny jewel? Or wowed by the glistening paint on a freshly washed car? Or inexplicably drawn to a magazine with a glossy cover? You are not alone. Humans love shiny things. But why is that? We asked Bauer College professor and marketing expert, Vanessa Patrick, to help shine some light on this topic. Is there a question that’s caught your eye? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll reflect on the answer!
11/8/20236 minutes, 20 seconds
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How many planets are in space?

When you look up at the night sky, what do you see?  A few stars, or a satellite, maybe even one of the seven other planets in our solar system?  But how many planets are there in all of outer space? We asked astronomer Mark Popinchalk to help us find the answer!Got a question taking up space in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll launch an investigation for the answer!
11/7/20234 minutes, 52 seconds
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How do animals become endangered?

There are hundreds of different plants and animals on Earth that are endangered. That means they’re at risk of going extinct if they’re not protected. Lots of people and organizations all over the world are trying to protect endangered species and keep them from disappearing forever. But how does a species become endangered in the first place? We asked wildlife biologist Sergio Avila to help us find the answer.Got a question that you’ve been saving for us?  Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we promise it won’t vanish from our to do list!
11/6/20236 minutes, 36 seconds
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Do snails pee, poop, or fart?

Snails are some of the world’s coolest creatures.  They’ve been around since the dinosaurs walked the Earth – and they carry their houses on their backs! But do our super slimy friends ever need to … use the bathroom? We asked biologist Teresa Rose Osborne to help us track down the answer.Got a question that’s turd-ally awesome? Don’t pee afraid to send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact!  We might even find an answer that’s a real gas!
11/3/20236 minutes, 28 seconds
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What would happen to Earth if the moon disappeared?

To us Earthlings, the moon is the ultimate cosmic chameleon. It’s always changing! Some nights it’s waxing, some nights waning, one day it’s full, and just two weeks later, it looks like there’s no moon at all. This is called a new moon, when the face of the moon is entirely in shadow. During a new moon, the moon doesn’t really go away. It’s just too dark to see. But… what would actually happen if we looked up at the night sky, and the moon was gone? We asked astronomer Chris Impey to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s making you moonstruck? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you land on the answer!
11/2/20235 minutes, 19 seconds
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Why do we like screen time so much?

Do you ever have trouble putting away your tablet or turning off the TV? Us, too! Lots of people end hours every day using screens – but why do we like them so much? And why is it so hard to turn them off? We asked University of Minnesota professor Jodi Dworkin to help us find the answer.Got a question that you just can’t put down? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll screen some experts to find the answer!
11/1/20234 minutes, 48 seconds
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How many colors can we see?

It’s a colorful world out there! When light from the sun hits surfaces on Earth, those surfaces reflect different wavelengths of light. Our eyes collect those waves and send them to our brains, which interpret the waves as colors! It’s an incredible process, and it happens in…well, the blink of an eye. But how many different colors can our eyes and brains identify? We asked University of Leeds color science professor Stephen Westland to help us find the answer.Got a HUE-mungous question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll identif-EYE the answer.
10/31/20235 minutes, 4 seconds
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Why are apples different colors?

Fall is finally here!  For much of the world, that means falling leaves, cozy sweaters, and lots and lots of apples!  There are over 7,000 species of apples grown worldwide, and they’re all unique!  But how are they able to come in so many different colors? We asked Lee Kalcitsto help us find the answer.Have a question that’s got you stumped? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help pick out the answer!
10/30/20236 minutes, 32 seconds
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What would happen if the Earth were flat?

Throughout history, people all over the world have pictured our planet in different ways, including as a flat disc. It can be hard to see the Earth’s curve when you’re standing on the ground, but mathematical calculations and information from space voyages have confirmed that the Earth is a sphere. But…what would it actually be like if the planet was shaped like a big pancake instead? We asked astronomer Chris Impey to help us find the answer.Got a question orbiting your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer in no time flat.
10/27/20235 minutes, 50 seconds
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How do fish handle pressure at the bottom of the ocean?

The ocean has multiple layers, like a big, watery, salty cake. The deeper underwater you go, the more water above you – and the weight of all that water creates super strong pressure. So how do the fish that live in the deepest levels of the ocean survive without being squished? We asked marine biologist Keegan Lutek to help us find the answer.Got a question that you want to shellebrate? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an in-depth answer.
10/26/20234 minutes, 37 seconds
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Do you control your emotions or do your emotions control you?

When was the last time you laughed so hard your stomach hurt? Or cried so hard you couldn’t breathe? Sometimes it’s hard to tell if our emotions are in control or we are! To help find the answer, we asked Dr. Ed Greene, early childhood psychologist and consultant for our sister podcast Charm Words.Have a question that’s got you all emotional? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help feel it out.
10/25/20235 minutes, 3 seconds
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Could a bird or fish live on the International Space Station?

The International Space Station is the largest structure that humans have ever launched into space. Hundreds of people have visited the space station over the past 25 years, but what about animals? Could birds or fish live there? We asked astronomy professor Chris Impey to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s launched you into a tizzy? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll sparrow no time finding the answer!
10/24/20234 minutes, 43 seconds
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Why do apples turn brown after we cut them?

Have you ever put a bag of delicious crunchy apple slices in your backpack, only to discover they’ve turned brown by lunchtime? What’s up with that? We asked fruit tree expert and Washington State University associate professor Lee Kalcsits to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s apple-solutely awesome? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help color in the answer!
10/23/20235 minutes, 47 seconds
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What is the universe made of?

The universe can be a very mysterious place. It’s so big! And so full of incredible things! But what’s it made of? We asked astronomy professor Chris Impey to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s really out of this world? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help the stars align to find an answer!
10/20/20236 minutes, 9 seconds
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What causes growing pains?

Have you ever felt a little twinge or ache in your body, but you’re not sure where it came from? It might have been a growing pain! Just like a plant stretches toward the sun, your body might stretch too as you grow bigger. We asked medical researcher Kira Bacal about the science behind these pains.Got a question that’s growing in your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact – it won’t be a pain to help find the answer!
10/19/20234 minutes, 57 seconds
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What determines the type of vitamins in each food?

We eat food to power our bodies and keep us healthy. After all, food is full of the vitamins we need to survive. If you need vitamin C, try an orange. Vitamin B? Eggs or meat. But why do some foods have certain vitamins and other foods don’t? What determines which foods have which vitamins? We asked nutritionist Ana Veloso to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s chewing at you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you digest the answer.
10/18/20235 minutes, 3 seconds
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Why do we get cranky when we get tired?

It’s pretty easy to tell when someone didn’t get enough sleep and you may have even felt the warning signs yourself. Simple things might feel annoying, or more difficult and you might not feel like dealing with anything or anyone. Have you ever asked yourself why we feel so irritable when our bodies and minds are weary? We asked medical researcher Kira Bacal to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s wearing you down? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll crank out the answer.
10/17/20236 minutes, 55 seconds
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Do flies get itchy?

Lots of animals feel itchy sometimes! Bears rub their backs on rough tree trunks, dogs love a good belly scratch and birds itch themselves with their feet. But what about flies? Do they get itchy, too? We asked Johns Hopkins graduate student Abel Corver to help us find the answer.Got a question that you’re itching to know the answer to? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll come up with the answer from scratch!
10/16/20235 minutes
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Can we visit the farthest parts of our solar system?

Our solar system is full of incredible things, from rocky asteroids to Saturn’s spectacular rings. But most of these things are millions or even billions of miles away. Is it even possible to reach the furthest corners of our solar system? We asked NASA aerospace engineer Erik Axdahl to help us find the answer.Got a question that you keep gravitating towards? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll launch the answer your way!
10/13/20235 minutes, 45 seconds
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What type of fuel powers rockets?

Rocket engines have to push REALLY hard against Earth’s gravity to get up off the ground. The rockets that NASA sends into space weigh over a million pounds! That is a LOT to try to lift into the air! So what kind of fuel do those powerful rocket engines use? We asked NASA scientist Erik Axdahl to help us find the answer.Got a question orbiting your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll launch an answer your way.
10/12/20234 minutes, 31 seconds
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How do rockets fly?

3…2…1… Blast off! Rockets launch things into space, which is no easy task. They have to push off from the Earth and zoom at great speeds to break free from gravity. But how do they do it? What makes them different from airplanes? We asked NASA aerospace engineer Erik Axdahl to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s launched you into a tizzy? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll jet off to find an answer!
10/11/20235 minutes, 30 seconds
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Is hyperdrive possible?

In movies and TV shows spaceships can often travel faster than the speed of light. It’s an idea often called a hyperdrive or warp speed, and it would let you explore the whole universe! So is hyperdrive possible in real life? We asked NASA aerospace engineer Erik Axdahl to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s out of this world? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll bring the answer down to Earth.
10/10/20236 minutes, 28 seconds
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How do planes fly?

Have you ever watched a plane take off? It rolls down the runway, picks up speed and then suddenly – it’s in the air! But how exactly do planes fly? We asked NASA aerospace engineer Erik Axdahl to help us find the answer.Got a question that has your curiosity taking flight? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an answer that’s just plane fascinating!
10/9/20235 minutes, 19 seconds
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Why do cupcakes have wrapping on the bottom?

Cupcakes are delicious! From their light and spongy texture to their creamy frosting to their funky clothes, also known as wrappers, they are one of the most fun treats out there. Why do cupcakes have a wrapper anyway? We asked English professor and cookbook historian Elizabeth Fleitz to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s pretty sweet? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll wrap our brains around it.
9/29/20235 minutes, 41 seconds
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Why do we burp?

Most people burp regularly. There are small burps and big burps, loud burps and stinky burps. But have you ever stopped and wondered why we burp? We asked medical researcher Kira Bacal to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s just burstin’ out of you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you feel relieved.
9/28/20234 minutes, 41 seconds
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Is a train engine stronger than a plane engine?

Airplanes and trains use powerful engines to get around – but is one stronger than the other? Which would win in an epic engine showdown? We asked NASA aerospace engineer Erik Axdahl to help us find the answer.Got a question that has your curiosity taking flight? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an answer that’s right on track!
9/27/20235 minutes, 8 seconds
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How does an engine work?

An engine is the power source for many types of vehicles and machines, and there are many cool-looking pieces that make it work. But how do they all work together? We asked NASA aerospace engineer Erik Axdahl to help us find the answer.Got a question that really fuels your curiosity? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll work to find the answer! 
9/26/20235 minutes, 41 seconds
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Do flies get eaten by anything besides frogs?

Frogs love snacking on flies. The frog’s sticky tongue shoots out – quick as a flash! – grabs the fly and pulls it into its mouth. But what about other animals? Do they like eating flies too? We asked Johns Hopkins graduate student Abel Corver to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s buzzing around in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll find an answer that satis-flies your curiosity!
9/25/20234 minutes, 51 seconds
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Why do we sneeze when it's sunny?

A-choo! Does being outside on a sunny day ever make you sneeze? You’re not alone! But what causes these sunshine sneeze attacks? We asked scientist Dr. Kira Bacal to help us find the answer. Got a question that you’re a-chooing on? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an answer that’ll blow your mind.
9/22/20235 minutes, 19 seconds
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Why are there so many shapes of pasta?

Quick, how many pasta shapes can you name?! Spaghetti, rigatoni, tortellini, macaroni, penne, bucatini…whew! There are a plethora of pastas to choose from. But have you ever thought about why this simple food comes in so many shapes? We asked pasta shape inventor Dan Pashman to give us the dish. Got a question that’s pastatively confounding? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll serve up the answer.
9/21/20235 minutes, 36 seconds
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Why are willow trees leaves so long and floppy?

Have you ever seen a willow tree? They sometimes have long branches that hang down to the ground and make them look like green, leafy waterfalls.  But why do they have this unusual shape?  We asked botanist Brandi Cannon-Force  to help us find the answer.Got a question that you just can’t find the answer to?  Don’t weep! Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll root around for the answer.
9/20/20234 minutes, 1 second
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How do jumbo jets fly when they’re so heavy?

Have you ever taken a trip in an airplane? When you’re in the air, it feels like you’re sitting still, but you’re actually flying super fast! Some airplanes, called jumbo jets, can weigh about one million pounds at takeoff. So how do they manage to get up into the air when they’re so heavy? We asked NASA aerospace engineer Erik Axdahl to help us find the answer. Got a question you just can’t that’s really weighing on you?  Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll be sure to land on an answer!
9/19/20234 minutes, 49 seconds
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Do bugs poop?

Everyone poops! It’s how a body gets rid of the waste left over after it digests food.  Animals poop on the ground. Fish poop in water. Birds can poop while flying. But what about bugs? Do they poop? We asked Johns Hopkins graduate student Abel Carver to help us find the answer.Doo you have a question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find a turd-aly awesome answer!
9/18/20233 minutes, 53 seconds
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Do sharks have tongues?

Tongues do all different kinds of things for us. They help us taste our food and swallow it – plus they’re really important for talking and singing! Lots of other animals have tongues, like woodpeckers, cheetahs and chameleons. But do sharks have them? We asked shark scientist Melissa Cristina Marquez to help us find the answer.Got a question that’d you’d like to sink your teeth into? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find the answer lickety split!
9/15/20234 minutes, 55 seconds
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Do flies blink?

Blinking our eyes helps keep them from drying out and clears away tiny pieces of gunk that can irritate them, like dust and dirt. But what about flies? Do they blink their eyes, too? We asked graduate student Abel Corver to help us find the answer.Got a question buzzing around in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll answer it in the blink of an eye!
9/14/20234 minutes, 20 seconds
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Are musicians smarter than others?

People are smart in so many different ways. Some are book smart, while others are  good with people, great at solving puzzles, or skilled at drawing. But what about musicians? It takes a lot of brainpower to be able to play music. Are they smarter than others? We asked voice teacher Kristy Bissell to help us find the answer.Got a really smart question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll re-chord a great answer for you.
9/13/20236 minutes, 25 seconds
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How did colors get their names?

Colors have so many different names! Even just one color, like pink, might have a few dozen names. There’s coral pink, fuschia, salmon, rose, mauve, blush or even Barbie pink! But where do these names come from, and who gets to decide which ones we use? We asked color science professor Stephen Westland to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s a pigment of your imagination? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you brush up on the answer.
9/12/20235 minutes, 2 seconds
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Why are people scared of sharks?

Sharks are usually shown in movies and TV shows as huge, scary monster fish. But it’s actually really rare for a human to get bitten by a shark. And they are incredible creatures that deserve to be LOVED! So why are lots of people so scared of them? We asked shark scientist Melissa Marquez to help us find the answer.Got a GILLion-dollar question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find a FINtastic answer.
9/11/20235 minutes, 59 seconds
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Join us at the Big Dig!

Wow, wow wow have we got some big news! Brains On!, Smash Boom Best and Forever Ago are coming together for the Big Dig - an archeological, paleontological extravaganza that you can participate in through YouTube.The show has it all: Megaladons vs Giant Sloths, dinosaurs covered in cake AND lemonade being slurped through a straw!Go to brainson.org/fieldtrips to secure your space and check out the other events we have planned this fall. Plus, Smarty Pass members can take 20% off!
9/8/20233 minutes, 10 seconds
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Is stuff that is microscopic to us also microscopic to bees?

Happy Bee Week! Each episode this week gives you the buzz on our powerful, pollinating friends. What does the world look like to bees? When they land on a flower, is it like a big colorful trampoline? Bees are very small, so would grains of pollen look like tennis balls? Would a butterfly look like an airplane? Can bees see tiny things that our eyes can’t? We asked Johns Hopkins graduate student Abel Corver to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s giving you hives? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll make it our BUZZness to find the answer! 
9/8/20235 minutes, 17 seconds
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Why do bees sting?

Happy Bee Week! Each episode this week gives you the buzz on our powerful, pollinating friends. Bees spend their lives flitting from blossom to blossom, drinking each flower’s sweet nectar. And some have a special way of defending themselves: a sharp, tiny stinger in their butts. But why do bees sting? We asked Johns Hopkins graduate student Abel Corver to help us find the answer.Got some questions buzzing around your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll honeycomb through them. 
9/7/20235 minutes, 5 seconds
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If there is a queen bee, why isn’t there a king bee?

Happy Bee Week! Each episode this week gives you the buzz on our powerful, pollinating friends. You’ve probably heard of queen bees, right? Her highness of the hive, the one who holds all the flower power. But how come there’s no such thing as a king bee? We asked Johns Hopkins graduate student Abel Corver to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s bee-n buzzing around in your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll make a beeline for the answer!
9/6/20234 minutes, 41 seconds
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Do bees have noses?

Happy Bee Week! Each episode this week gives you the buzz on our powerful, pollinating friends. Bees have two sets of beautiful wings, cute little antennae and six legs. But do they have noses? We asked Johns Hopkins graduate student Abel Corver to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s the bee’s knees? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help sniff out an answer!
9/5/20234 minutes, 29 seconds
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What is a bee's favorite flower?

Happy Bee Week! Each episode this week gives you the buzz on our powerful, pollinating friends. Bees spread pollen from one flower to another, which helps the flowers make seeds and grow new plants. But do they have a favorite flower? We asked Johns Hopkins graduate student Abel Corver to help us find the answer.Got a question that you may bee wondering about? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find the answer, honey!
9/4/20235 minutes, 2 seconds
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Why does my voice sound different on a recording?

Have you ever noticed that your voice on a video or audio recording sounds totally different from when you’re just speaking? Maybe you’ve recorded yourself talking or singing, and when you play it back…it sounds like a different person! Why is that? We asked voice teacher Kristy Bissell to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s really speaking to you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find a pitch perfect answer. 
8/18/20234 minutes, 58 seconds
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What’s the difference between mice and rats?

Mice and rats are some of the most common critters around. You may see them out in your yard, on the street, or even sometimes in your house! It can be hard to tell them apart because they look similar, with twitchy little noses and hairless tails. So what’s the difference between a mouse and a rat? We asked Philadelphia Zoo animal curator Michael Stern to help us find the answer.Got an a-MOUSE-zing question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll answer it on squeakerphone.
8/17/20234 minutes, 58 seconds
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If a bug fell, would it hurt them?

Insects are incredible climbers. Flies, ants, grasshoppers and many others can climb straight up walls using teeny tiny claws on their feet. But what happens if one loses its balance and takes a tumble? Would it get hurt? We asked Johns Hopkins University neuroscience graduate student Abel Corver to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s really buggin’ you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll take the plunge to find an answer!
8/16/20235 minutes, 13 seconds
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How do fireflies glow?

Fireflies are nature’s fireworks! Depending on where you live, you might see their blue-green lights twinkling in forests, parks, or even your backyard! But how do they make light? We asked Johns Hopkins graduate student Abel Corver to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s lighting up your imagination? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll answer it faster than you can say, “Ready, set, glow!”
8/15/20234 minutes, 44 seconds
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How do our voices get louder?

Not only can people make all kinds of sounds with our voices, we can make those sounds loud or soft depending on what we’re doing. When we’re out on the playground, we can YELL TO A FRIEND, but in the library, we whisper quietly. How do we change our vocal volume? We asked voice teacher Kristy Bissell to help us find the answer.Got a question you want to holler about? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll yelp you find the answer.  
8/14/20237 minutes, 21 seconds
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How do sharks smell blood?

Sharks are truly amazing creatures. They can find prey using electricity. Their skin is made up of tiny teeth that act like scales. And they don’t have any bones! But can sharks smell a tiny drop of blood in the water from miles away? We asked shark scientist Melissa Cristina Márquez to help us find the answer.Got a JAWSome question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help fish out an answer!
8/11/20234 minutes, 52 seconds
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Why don't ducks have teeth?

Lots of animals have teeth: walruses, baboons, and of course – humans! Teeth help cut and grind up food into smaller pieces so it’s safe to swallow. But why don’t ducks and other birds have teeth? We asked animal researcher Courtney Daigle to help us find the answer.Got a question you’ve been chewing over? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll quack the case!
8/10/20235 minutes, 23 seconds
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Where does food go after you swallow it?

Munch, crunch, sluuuurp! Eating is one of the great joys of life! We all know that food goes in one way and eventually out the other, right? But what journey does it take after you swallow it?? We asked dietitian Eva Haldis to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s eating you up? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll chew on it ‘til we find the answer!
8/9/20234 minutes, 46 seconds
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Why do stars twinkle?

There are lots of stellar songs about the night sky, but one of the most popular is this one: Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. Have you ever wondered why stars twinkle, though? We asked astronomer Mark Popinchalk to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s taking up space in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find a five-star answer!
8/8/20234 minutes, 20 seconds
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Do all animals sleep?

Humans need sleep! It helps recharge our brains and keeps our bodies running. But what about other animals – do they all sleep?? Do narwhals nap? Do spiders snooze? Do donkeys doze? We asked Philadelphia Zoo animal curator Michael Stern to help us find the answer.Got a question that you can’t ig-SNORE? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find the answer of your dreams.
8/7/20235 minutes, 27 seconds
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When you plug your nose, can you still smell?

It’s Breathe Week – a whole week of episodes about one of the most important things our bodies do to keep us alive and healthy! Do you ever plug your nose when you notice a bad smell? Does it help? Can you still smell at all? We asked pediatrician Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s stinkin’ good? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find someone that nose the answer.  
8/4/20235 minutes, 42 seconds
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How do people breathe in the desert?

It’s Breathe Week - a whole week of episodes about one of the most important things our bodies do to keep us alive and healthy. If we need oxygen to breathe, and oxygen comes from trees, and there aren’t that many trees in the desert, how do people breathe in the desert? We asked pediatrician Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir to help us find the answer.Got a question that you just can’t under-sand? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help quench your thirst for the answer. 
8/3/20235 minutes, 16 seconds
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‍Why can’t we breathe underwater?

It’s Breathe Week - a whole week of episodes about one of the most important things our bodies do to keep us alive and healthy. Humans love to swim and play in the water - but we can’t breathe underwater without lotws of heavy scuba gear. Why is that?? We asked pediatrician Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir to help us find the answer.Got a question that you swimply must know the answer to? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll sea-k out an answer! 
8/2/20234 minutes, 35 seconds
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How do we breathe out carbon dioxide?

It’s Breathe Week - a whole week of episodes about one of the most important things our bodies do to keep us alive and healthy. Every time you take a breath, you’re inhaling oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. But how does that work?  We asked pediatrician Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s a real gas? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help get it answered – we’re not blowing hot air! 
8/1/20235 minutes, 28 seconds
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Why do we need oxygen to breathe?

It’s Breathe Week – a whole week of episodes about one of the most important things our bodies do to keep us alive and healthy. When you take a big breath, your lungs fill up with oxygen. But why is oxygen so important? We asked pediatrician Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s a real breath of fresh air? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, because we periodically choose questions to answer!
7/31/20235 minutes, 15 seconds
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How do birds know when it’s time to migrate?

Every year, billions of birds around the world migrate, moving from one place to another for the season! Some, like geese, travel in groups. Others, like hummingbirds, make their journeys alone. But how do these feathered friends know when it’s time to go? We asked science communicator Lucy Lapwing to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s flying around your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help soar-t out the answer!
7/28/20235 minutes, 53 seconds
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Why are red, yellow and blue primary colors?

Red, yellow and blue are primary colors. But they’re not the only primary colors. Exactly what makes colors primary, and what other primary colors exist? Stephen Westland, a professor of color science and technology at the University of Leeds, helped us find the answer.Got a colorful question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help paint a pretty answer.
7/27/20236 minutes, 52 seconds
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How did animals get domesticated?

Some animals, like whales and wallabies, are wild. Others, like cats and chickens, are domesticated – which means they’ve been bred over many years to be tame. But how did animals get domesticated? We asked Brains On producer and archaeologist Anna Goldfield to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s driving you wild? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find a pawsome answer! 
7/26/20237 minutes, 30 seconds
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Why does food expire?

Have you ever started to pour milk into your cereal, only to realize it smells sour?! Or forgotten to eat that banana in the bottom of your backpack before it got brown and spotty? Lots of the foods we eat will eventually go bad. But why does this happen at all, and why does it happen super fast for some foods and really slowly for others? We asked dietitian Eva Haldis to help us find the answer.Got a very appealing question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact. We won’t spoil your fun!
7/25/20236 minutes, 55 seconds
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Why do cats like chasing lights?

If you’ve ever played with a cat, you might already know how much they love chasing after lights. Point a flashlight or laser pointer at the ground and your furry friend will probably chase it or even pounce on it! But why are cats so interested in lights? We asked veterinarian Lena Provost to help us find the answer.Got a question that you need an answer for right meow? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help chase down the answer – we’re not kitten around.
7/24/20236 minutes, 33 seconds
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Do birds get tired of flapping their wings?

Most birds spend a lot of time up in the air. Some travel long distances or fly super fast. Others, like hummingbirds, can even fly backwards! But do their wings ever get tired while they’re flapping through the air? We asked science communicator Lucy Lapwing to help us find the answer.Got a question perched on your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help answer it, BEAK-cause we love to learn! 
7/14/20235 minutes, 33 seconds
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What happens when we get sunburned?

Our big, bright beautiful sun is a wonderful thing…but too much of a good thing can hurt! If you spend too long basking in that warm glow without proper protection, you could end up with a painful sunburn. But what actually happens to our bodies when we get a sunburn? We asked medical researcher Kira Bacal to help us find the answer.Got a burning question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and just like sunscreen, we’ve got you covered!
7/13/20235 minutes, 25 seconds
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How do hot air balloons fly?

Have you ever seen a hot air balloon flying above you? They look like something out of a storybook, but they’re real! People have been flying in them since the 1700s! But how do they work? We asked hot air balloon pilot Sema Mathebula to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s floating around in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help you land the answer!
7/12/20235 minutes, 48 seconds
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Why do raccoons like trash?

Masked bandits. City-dwelling pests. Trash pandas. All of these phrases are commonly associated with the resilient, ring-tailed cuties we call RACCOONS! They’ve gotten a pretty bad rap, but they’re brilliant little animals! And they’re obsessed with eating our trash. Why is that? Why can’t we keep them out of our garbage bins? We asked animal expert Courtney Daigle to help us find the answer.Got a pesky question rummaging through your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact. We’ll help catch an answer, and release it into the wild! 
7/11/20233 minutes, 51 seconds
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Why don't we like bitter foods?

Our tongues are covered in thousands of taste buds that tell us all about the flavors of different foods. Some of those flavors are more popular than others. Sweet, sugary candy? Lots of people love it. Salty snacks? Yes, please. But what about bitter foods? Why doesn’t this flavor make us drool like others do? We asked food scientist Brittany Towers Lewis to help us find the answer. Got a FLAVOR-ite question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find a tasteful answer.
7/10/20235 minutes, 25 seconds
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Can you have two caterpillars in one chrysalis?

Happy butterfly week! It’s a whole week dedicated to beautiful insects with colorful wings that fly around in gardens and meadows. Butterflies start out as caterpillars. When the caterpillar is ready to change into a butterfly, it builds a shell called a chrysalis around itself and then goes through big changes. But can two caterpillars be in there together? We asked biologist Andrew Gordus of Johns Hopkins University to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s DOUBLE the fun? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help wiggle out an answer. 
7/7/20236 minutes, 3 seconds
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What are butterfly wings made of?

Happy butterfly week! It’s a whole week dedicated to these beautiful insects that fly around in gardens and meadows, showing off their colorful wings.  But exactly what’s inside these majestic creature’s wings? We asked biologist Andrew Gordus of Johns Hopkins University to help us find the answer.Got a question fluttering around your noggin? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll let the truth fly!
7/6/20236 minutes, 11 seconds
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What do butterflies do when it rains?

Happy butterfly week! It’s a whole week dedicated to these beautiful insects that fly around in gardens and meadows, showing off their colorful wings.  But what happens when it rains? What do butterflies do to pass the time? We asked biologist Andrew Gordus of Johns Hopkins University to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s giving you butterflies? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll send your thoughts soaring.
7/5/20234 minutes, 31 seconds
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How do butterflies and bees flap their wings?

Happy butterfly week! It’s a whole week dedicated to these beautiful insects that fly around in gardens and meadows, showing off their colorful wings. And today’s episode will help us understand not only how butterflies flap their wings – but bees too! We asked biologist Andrew Gordus of Johns Hopkins University to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s fluttering around in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll get the buzz on your topic.  
7/3/20235 minutes, 6 seconds
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Why does warm milk make you feel relaxed?

People relax in all kinds of ways: spending time with friends, reading a good book or even petting a super soft cat. But have you ever tried sipping a mug of warm milk? For some people, drinking warm milk can be very relaxing – but why? We asked food scientist Brittany Towers Lewis to help us find the answer. Got a legen-dairy question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll find an answer that puts you in a good moooood!
6/30/20234 minutes, 42 seconds
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How high can birds fly?

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, wait, it is actually a bird. Flying is pretty amazing, and birds of all kinds swoop through the air with the greatest of ease. How high can those feathery fliers go? We asked science communicator Lucy Lapwing to help us find the answer. Got a question flapping around in your noggin? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll tweet you to some answers.
6/29/20235 minutes, 16 seconds
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When do humans appear on the cosmic calendar?

If you think about the whole history of our planet, the part that includes humans is just a teeny tiny blip. The Earth was around for more than four BILLION years before there was any life on the planet at all. Thinking about such a huge amount of time can really boggle your brain!  How do we understand what happened when?  We asked astronomer Mark Popinchalk to help us find the answer. Got a question that totally rocks? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help reach a geo-LOGICAL conclusion.
6/28/20236 minutes, 35 seconds
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Why are dogs’ noses wet?

Dogs have some pretty great body parts: soft ears, happy tails, adorable paws…but have you ever wondered why they have such wet little noses? Is it so they can leave nose prints on every window? Is it for a fun, chilly surprise when they sniff each other’s butts? We asked animal researcher Courtney Daigle to help us find the answer. Got a question that you’d love to nose more about? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll sniff out an answer!
6/27/20233 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why do we like some foods, but not others?

Do you have a favorite food that your friend doesn’t like at all? That’s pretty common! People like – and dislike – different foods. But why is that? We asked dietitian Eva Haldis to help us find the answer. Got a question that tickles your tongue or baffles your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you get a taste for the truth.
6/26/20235 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why are there four teats on a cow’s udder?

Cows make something incredible and edible: milk! They have a unique digestive system that helps them turn grass and other plants into milk. But why do they have four teats on each udder? We asked animal expert Courtney Daigle to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s udderly fascinating? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll steer you in the right direction.
6/23/20234 minutes, 56 seconds
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Can different types of birds understand each other?

Birds have a beautiful and vibrant language that we may not be able to understand, but can certainly enjoy. But what about different species of birds – can they understand each other? We asked naturalist and science communicator Lucy Lapwing to help us find the answer. Got a question that you’d like to communicate to us? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact - we promise it won’t be a bird-en!
6/22/20234 minutes, 7 seconds
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Why is my hen crowing like a rooster?

If you’re new to the barnyard, one easy way to tell male roosters from female hens is by the noises they make. Hens like to cluck, so when you hear a chicken go “Bawk bawk BAAAWK,” it’s usually a hen! And a rooster’s crow is unmistakable – who else starts the day with a big “errr-errr-ERRROOO?!” But what happens when hens start to crow? We asked animal expert Courtney Daigle to help us find the answer. Got a question you’ve been brooding over? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll give you something to crow about!
6/21/20234 minutes, 47 seconds
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Why do roosters crow?

A rooster’s crow is one of the most iconic noises in the animal world. They puff up their chests, stretch out their necks, and belt out a big, beautiful errr-errr-ERRROOO! But why do roosters make this special noise? We asked animal expert Courtney Daigle to help us find the answer. Got a really egg-cellent question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we promise we won’t chicken out!
6/20/20234 minutes, 23 seconds
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Why do cherries have a pit?

It’s cherry season! These tart, juicy flavor bombs are one of the best parts of summer.  But why do cherries have pits? We asked dietitian Ana Veloso to help us find the answer. Got a question you just cherry-ish? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we won’t pit until we find the answer.
6/19/20235 minutes, 7 seconds
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Why does asparagus make our pee smell funny?

Asparagus is a delicious and nutritious food. The green, spear-shaped vegetable tickles our taste buds, is full of vitamins and other good stuff, and has one hilarious side effect – it makes our pee smell funny! We asked food scientist Brittany Towers Lewis to help explain the reason behind this stinky phenomenon.  Missing the answer to a question and you feel like that just stinks? If you send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, urine for a real treat!
6/16/20236 minutes, 46 seconds
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Why do birds chirp and sing?

One of the best parts of spending time outside is listening to all the different beautiful bird calls. It’s like nature’s symphony! But why do birds sing and chirp so much? We asked naturalist and science communicator Lucy Lapwing to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s truly im-peck-able? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we promise we won’t just wing it!
6/15/20235 minutes, 8 seconds
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What does sugar do to our bodies?

Sugar is everywhere: in our favorite fruits, desserts, even savory things like bread or sauces. But what exactly does sugar do to our bodies? We asked dietitian Ana Veloso to help us find the answer. Got a sweet question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll treat you to an answer!
6/14/20236 minutes
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Why are cat tongues so rough?

Cats can be cute and cuddly, but their tongues are rough and bumpy! Why do our favorite felines have such super scratchy tongues? We asked animal expert Courtney Daigle to help us find the answer.    Got a purrrfect question? Send it to us right meow at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help answer it - we’re not kitten around!
6/13/20234 minutes, 13 seconds
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How do frogs keep their tongues sticky?

Have you ever seen a frog catch a bug with its tongue? The frog spots its prey and – quick as a flash – its tongue shoots out to catch it! But how do frogs make sure their tongues stay sticky, so they can snare delicious snacks? We asked naturalist and science communicator Lucy Lapwing to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s really stuck in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll hop to it!
6/12/20235 minutes, 5 seconds
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Is it possible to bring back the dinosaurs?

It’s our last episode of Dinosaur Week! Every episode this week has explored these ancient marvels that walked the Earth millions of years ago. And that’s kind of the sad part about them, right? Dinosaurs are gone, baby, gone. But could they ever come back? Maybe even just a teeny bit? Like maybe just the nice, little ones? We asked paleontologist and science journalist Shaena Montanari to help us find the answer. Got a question that seems impossible? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help answer the question – it’s in our DNA. 
6/9/20236 minutes, 41 seconds
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What was roaming the Earth before dinosaurs?

Happy Dinosaur Week! Every episode this week explores the ancient marvels that walked the Earth millions of years ago. And today we’re taking a special dive into what was going on even BEFORE these prehistoric giants existed. Can you even imagine a time so long ago? We asked paleontologist and science journalist Shaena Montanari to help paint us a picture of what was roaming the Earth before dinosaurs. Got a question that’s roaming around your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you out because we’re as smart as a thesaurus!
6/8/20234 minutes, 29 seconds
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How do we know a dinosaur's real color?

Happy Dinosaur Week! Every episode this week explores the ancient marvels that walked the Earth millions of years ago. Now, close your eyes and picture a dinosaur. What color is it? Is it green? Blue? Sparkly purple? It’s interesting how we can know what color a dinosaur was when we were never around to see it. We asked paleontologist and science journalist Shaena Montanari to help us dig into this issue. Got a colorful question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help paint a picture for you. 
6/7/20235 minutes, 1 second
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How many species of dinosaur were alive?

Happy Dinosaur Week! Every episode this week explores the ancient marvels that walked the Earth millions of years ago. So how many species of dinosaurs were actually alive back then? We asked paleontologist and science journalist Shaena Montanari to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s e-species-ly good? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help type out the answer. 
6/6/20235 minutes, 4 seconds
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How do we know what dinosaurs sounded like?

Happy Dinosaur Week! Every episode this week explores the ancient marvels that walked the Earth millions of years ago. Fossilized bones and footprints help scientists figure out what these prehistoric creatures looked like – but how do we know what they sounded like? We asked paleontologist and science journalist Shaena Montanari to help us find the answer. Got a question that makes you want to roar in frustration? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll find a dino-mite answer.   
6/5/20235 minutes, 4 seconds
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Why do beavers have tails?

Quick! Imagine a beaver. Did you picture a furry, water-loving creature with long teeth and a pancake-flat tail? Us, too! A beaver’s thick, wide tail is one of its most iconic features, but why does it have one? We asked naturalist and science communicator Lucy Lapwing to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s really gnawing at you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact – we wood love to help you answer it!
6/2/20236 minutes, 40 seconds
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Why is “junk food” so yummy and what’s up with that term?

“Junk food” is a term you might have heard before that refers to foods that have a lot of calories but not much nutritional value - like cookies, candy and chips. But why does food that is often referred to as “junk” taste anything like junk, and what’s up with that term anyway? We asked registered dietitian Eva Haldis to help us find the answer. Got a question that makes you snicker? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and – donut worry – we’ll help you out. 
6/1/20236 minutes, 2 seconds
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How do baby frogs jump so high?

Human babies are born not knowing how to do a whole lot, besides eating, crying and pooping. But frog babies are born with a special power - they can jump really high! So how do they do it? We asked naturalist Lucy Lapwing to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s toad-ally confusing? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll hop to it!
5/31/20234 minutes, 38 seconds
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Why do cats purr?

Have you ever wondered why cats make that delightful, soft rumbling sound? Is it because they’re happy? Relaxed? Trying desperately to tell us it’s dinnertime? We asked animal expert Courtney Daigle to help us find the answer.    Got a question that’s just purr-fect for Moment of Um? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, because we’re feline pretty paw-sitive that we can help. 
5/30/20233 minutes, 38 seconds
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How do people predict the weather?

Weather forecasts can be super helpful. They can tell you how to dress for the day, whether to bring an umbrella to the park or if you’ll need extra sunscreen for your beach day! But how on Earth do the people who predict the weather know how to work their magic? We asked meteorologist Alan Sealls to help us find the answer. Got a question blowing around in your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help forecast an answer!
5/29/20234 minutes, 54 seconds
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How do cows make milk ?

Got milk? Cows sure do! Baby cows drink 10% of their body weight in milk everyday! That means some babies are guzzling more than a gallon of milk per day. But how do mama cows make it? We asked animal expert Courney Daigle to help us find the answer.    Got a question that’s udderly confusing? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll steer you in the right direction.
5/26/20234 minutes, 48 seconds
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How is wind created?

Whooooosh! Wind can rush in quickly and blow things all out of whack! But where does it come from, and how is it created? We asked meteorologist Alan Sealls to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s wind-ing you up? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find the answer with gust-o. 
5/25/20235 minutes
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Why do we crave certain foods?

Do you ever get a hankering for something sweet? Or maybe you crave a super salty snack, like crunchy dill pickles! Lots of people crave different kinds of foods when they’re hungry – but why? We asked dietitian Ana Veloso to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s eating you up inside? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find a satisfying answer!
5/24/20235 minutes, 22 seconds
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How do worms take care of the Earth?

Worms are the superheroes of the underground world! But what do these tiny titans do that makes them so special? We asked naturalist Lucy Lapwing all about the ways our incredible, slimy friends make the planet a better place to live! Got a question that’s wriggling around in your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll dig up the answer!
5/23/20235 minutes, 38 seconds
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How does rain stop?

Do you like rainy days? Or would you prefer to have fun in the sun? Either way, no rainstorm lasts forever. But what makes it stop? We asked meteorologist Alan Sealls to help us find the answer. Got a question you’ve been pouring over? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help clear it up!
5/22/20234 minutes, 9 seconds
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When do lions lose their spots?

Baby lions are adorable! They’re small and fluffy, and they have spots. But adult lions don’t have any spots. So what happens? Do the spots fall off? Do birds steal them? We asked animal researcher Courtney Daigle to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s just lion around? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you spot the answer!  
5/19/20234 minutes, 35 seconds
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Do animals get goosebumps?

The bumps on our arms and legs that show up when we’re cold or scared are called  goosebumps in honor of the bumpy skin underneath a goose’s feathers. But do animals besides humans get goosebumps? We asked animal expert Courtney Daigle to help us find the answer. Exgoose us, but do you have a question bumping around your brain? Just give us a honk at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find the answer!
5/18/20234 minutes, 2 seconds
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How do ice skates work?

Ice skates are amazing! Think about it: you put them on, lace them up and suddenly you’re walking on water! Well, frozen water. But how do these magic things work? We asked Olympic speed skater Erin Jackson to help us find the answer.  Got a question twirling around your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll figure it out.
5/17/20234 minutes, 33 seconds
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Why can some people sing better than others?

Are you a karaoke king who loves to sing for anyone and everyone? Or a shy songstress who saves your talents for your family? Or a sneaky, private pop star who only serenades the clothes in your closet? Most of us are able to sing, but why are some of us better than others? Voice teacher Kristy Bissell helps us understand why some people can sing sweeter than a songbird. Got a question that’s got you singing the blues? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help provide an answer that’s music to your ears!
5/16/20235 minutes, 48 seconds
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Do animals go through puberty?

Puberty is a time of big changes for humans. Our bodies change, our voices change, even our moods change! But do animals go through puberty, too? We asked veterinarian Lena Provost to help us find the answer. Got a question you think is too hairy to answer? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help change your mind!  
5/15/20234 minutes, 44 seconds
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Are elephants really afraid of mice?

Happy Elephant Week! Every episode this week answers a different question about our magnificent and ginormous elephant friends. It’s a cartoon tale as old as time. Giant elephant sees a tiny mouse. Eeek! Elephant is frightened, jumps up onto comically small chair. CLASSIC. But what actually happens when an elephant comes across a mouse in the wild? We asked psychology professor and elephant expert Joshua Plotnick to help us find the answer. Got a jumbo-sized question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll unpack our trunk full of answers.
5/12/20235 minutes, 35 seconds
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Do elephants get boogers?

Happy Elephant Week! Every episode this week answers a different question about our magnificent and ginormous elephant friends. Elephants use their long, flexible noses to sniff out food, take baths and even hug other elephants. But do they ever get boogers in their trunks? We asked psychology professor and elephant expert Joshua Plotnik to help us find the answer! Got a question that’s snot easy to answer? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help pick out the answer.
5/11/20235 minutes, 12 seconds
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Why do elephants suck up water and spit it out with their nose?

Happy Elephant Week! Every episode this week answers a different question about our magnificent and ginormous elephant friends. Have you ever accidentally gotten water up your nose? Imagine if you could slurp up a whole bunch of water with your snoot! You’d probably want to spray it around, right? That’s something that elephants do all the time – but why? We asked psychology professor and elephant expert Joshua Plotnick to help us find the answer. Got a pachyderm puzzler?  Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an elephantastic answer! 
5/10/20234 minutes, 43 seconds
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Why are elephants so big?

Happy Elephant Week! Every episode this week answers a different question about our magnificent and ginormous elephant friends. You may have seen elephants at zoos and marveled at their size. Maybe you’ve seen nature programs about these ponderous pachyderms. It’s no secret: Elephants are big. But why do they grow so large? We asked psychology professor and elephant expert Joshua Plotnick to help us find the answer. Got a HUGE question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find the answer. No biggie!
5/9/20234 minutes, 26 seconds
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What do elephants eat?

Welcome to Elephant Week! Every episode this week answers a different question about our magnificent and ginormous elephant friends. Have you ever wondered what elephants eat? Because we have! We asked psychology professor and elephant expert Joshua Plotnik to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s eating away at you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer that satisfies your hunger for knowledge!
5/8/20235 minutes, 27 seconds
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Why don’t some people like to eat veggies?

Everybody has different preferences when it comes to food. Some people don’t like squishy textures or spicy flavors. And others avoid entire food groups, like vegetables! Have you ever turned up your nose at a turnip? Refused a radish? Pooh-poohed a pepper? Ever wondered why? We asked nutritionist Ana Veloso to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s bean puzzling you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and lettuce help you find the answer. 
5/5/20235 minutes, 50 seconds
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Why are giraffes so tall?

With their graceful necks and long legs, giraffes are the tallest mammals in the world! These spotty, plant-eating giants roam the African savannah, towering over their fellow creatures. But why are they so tall? We asked psychology professor Joshua Plotnik to help us find the answer. Got a gigantic question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an answer that measures up!
5/4/20234 minutes, 47 seconds
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Are chickens related to the T. rex?

If you’ve ever looked at a chicken – like, really looked at one – you might have noticed that our feathered backyard friends look like mini dinosaurs. Think about it: their scaly toes look just like tiny T. rex feet! But are chickens actually related to the mighty T. rex? We asked paleontologist Shaena Montanari to help us find the answer. Got a dino-mite question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we promise we won’t chicken out!
5/3/20235 minutes, 31 seconds
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How do musical instruments make sound?

Strings, woodwinds, percussion, brass…every instrument has its own unique voice. But have you ever wondered how each instrument actually makes sound? What makes a harp go plink plunk, a clarinet go bwaaahhh or a tuba go oompah? We asked musician Jennifer Christen to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s instrumental to your happiness? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help compose an answer.
5/2/20235 minutes, 26 seconds
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Do dogs remember someone they haven't seen in a long time?

Humans remember the people we meet by recognizing faces, voices, or with the help of a handy-dandy name tag. But do our canine companions do the same? Can a dog recognize someone they haven’t seen in a long time? We asked Barnard College dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s keeping you pup at night? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll search doggedly for the answer!
5/1/20234 minutes, 42 seconds
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Can cats or dogs be left “handed” or right “handed”?

Humans tend to prefer using one hand over the other. How you write, throw a ball or play an instrument might depend on whether you’re right or left-handed. But what about critters who don’t have hands? Do dogs and cats have preferred paws? We asked veterinarian Lena Provost to help us find the answer. Got a left-over question that’s right up our alley? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll hand you an answer!
4/28/20235 minutes, 6 seconds
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Why are beards sharp?

A beard is nature’s face-sweater. And just like a regular sweater, it can be scratchy and itchy and just plain uncomfortable. So what makes some people’s facial hair so sharp? We asked beard expert Greg Berzinsky to help us find the answer. Got a question whose answer you haven’t been able to stubble upon? You mustacheBrainsOn.org/contact. After all, we’re pretty sharp! 
4/27/20235 minutes, 45 seconds
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Can dogs from different countries communicate with each other?

Dogs communicate in a bunch of ways, from tail wags to barks. But can dogs from different parts of the world understand each other? We asked dog behavioral scientist Alexandra Horowitz to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s really hounding you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, because we woof love to help you!
4/26/20235 minutes, 46 seconds
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Why do snails have shells, but slugs don’t?

Have you ever followed a slimy, iridescent trail in the garden or park and found a snail, munching on a tasty plant? Or maybe a slug was helping itself to your snap peas! Snails and slugs look pretty similar, so why does only one have a shell? We asked biologist Teresa Rose Osborne to help us track down the answer. Got a question that has you retreating into your shell? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll try not to answer it at a snail’s pace!
4/25/20235 minutes, 9 seconds
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How does a steel drum make sound?

A steel drum is a musical instrument that’s traditionally made out of an oil barrel or other metal objects. So how does it make its iconic sound? We asked steel drum expert and band leader Jeremy Kunkel to help us find the answer. Steeling yourself for a great question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help drum up an answer.
4/24/20235 minutes, 27 seconds
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What happens if a tornado goes through a hurricane?

Hurricanes are huge, destructive storms that suck up heat from tropical ocean waters, while tornadoes are smaller, funnel-shaped columns of air that form over land. But what would happen if these two weather titans happened at the same time? We asked meteorologist Rosimar Rios-Berrios to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s left your head spinning? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll shed some lightning on it for you!
4/14/20235 minutes, 32 seconds
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How is the speed of tornadoes measured?

Buckle up, because today’s “Storm Week” episode is going to be a whirlwind! A tornado is a super fast tunnel of wind that touches the ground. Its twisting, turning winds can reach 300 miles per hour – faster than an airplane when it’s taking off! But how do we know that? We asked meteorologist Alan Sealls to help us find out how a tornado’s speed is measured.  Got a question that’s got you all twisted? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact. It’ll be a breeze!
4/13/20234 minutes, 36 seconds
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Why is lightning zig zaggy?

Happy Storm Week! Today’s episode is all about lightning – that big spark of electricity that illuminates the sky during a storm. If you’ve ever drawn lightning on a piece of paper, you probably sketched it as a zig zag. So how does lightning get its iconic shape? We asked meteorologist Alan Sealls to help us find the answer.Got a question that’s zig zagging around in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you discover a bolt of knowledge! 
4/12/20234 minutes
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Why are storm clouds dark?

Happy Storm Week! Let’s talk about clouds today. There are lots of different types of clouds: fluffy ones, wispy ones, even little puffballs that look like a rabbit’s tail! But when a storm rolls in, the clouds often get darker – sometimes even turning deep gray. So what’s going on? We asked meteorologist Rosimar Rios-Berrios to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s clouding your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll rain down answers on you!
4/11/20234 minutes, 37 seconds
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How do hurricanes form?

Happy Storm Week! Storms can be scary, but they can also be beautiful and awe-inspiring. Every episode this week explores the power and majesty of nature's most dynamic weather patterns. Today's question comes from a listener who was wondering “How do hurricanes form?” We asked atmospheric scientist Rosimar Rios-Berrios to help us find the answer. Got a question spinning around in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an answer that will blow you away. 
4/10/20235 minutes, 35 seconds
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Where is the end of a rainbow?

Rainbows are created when sunlight hits tiny water droplets in the air. They may not lead to an enchanted treasure or a newborn baby unicorn, but they’re still pretty magical! So where do they start and end? We asked atmospheric scientist Rosimar Rios-Berrios to help us find the answer. Got a question that you’re reflecting on? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help color in the details.
4/7/20234 minutes, 58 seconds
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How do snails give birth?

Snails are fascinating creatures. They’re tiny, they’re slimy and they make their own beautiful shell houses! But how are they born? We asked biologist and snail expert Teresa Rose Osborne to help us find the answer. Got a question that has a lot of poten-shell? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll hatch a plan to find the answer!
4/6/20235 minutes, 13 seconds
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How do ants climb on the ceiling?

Ants are the acrobats of the insect world. Lots of them spend their days climbing on just about everything – even the ceiling! So how do they do it?  We asked biologist Teresa Rose Osborne to help us find the answer. Thanks to the National Science Foundation for helping fund her research! Got a question that’s really bugging you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find the ant-swer!
4/5/20235 minutes, 2 seconds
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What is an elephant's fart like?

Farting! Humans do it. Lots of animals do it. But what does it sound like when elephants do it? What’s it like to eat grass and pass gas? Would elephants care if a fart stunk in their trunk? We asked Joshua Plotnik from Hunter College to help us find the answer. Got a question that really toots your horn? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll look far(t) and wide for an answer!
4/4/20234 minutes, 46 seconds
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How old is the oldest story?

Stories can do so much for our world. They inspire and motivate us, pass down knowledge and entertain us. Stories can even help us connect with each other and make sense of the world. So how far back does the tradition of storytelling go? And what is the earliest story we know about? We asked Brains On producer and archaeologist Anna Goldfield to help us find the answer.  Got a question that has you by the tale? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find the moral of the story.
4/3/20235 minutes, 20 seconds
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A message from Molly!

Hi friends! For the next two weeks we’re taking a little break. We’re headed to Moment of Um camp, where we organize your questions, interview experts and get ready for more amazing episodes for you. We’ll be back on April 3 with a super fun episode about the oldest story ever told. See you then!
3/20/202328 seconds
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What is the part of an earthworm that looks like a Band-Aid?

Happy Worm Week! Every episode this week will dig deep into the wonderful world of worms. Have you ever looked at an earthworm and wondered why some of them have a segment that looks like a tiny Band-Aid? Us, too! Luckily, biologist Andrew Gordus of Johns Hopkins University is here to help us find the answer. Got a question that you’re wound-ering about? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help put a Band-Aid on your curiosity! 
3/17/20236 minutes, 37 seconds
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How do silkworms produce silk?

Happy Worm Week! Every episode this week will dig deep into the wonderful world of worms. Today's question comes from a listener who was wondering, “How do silkworms produce silk?” We asked biologist Andrew Gordus of Johns Hopkins University to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s cocooned around your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help spin out the answer.
3/16/20234 minutes, 54 seconds
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Do worms make sounds?

Happy Worm Week! Every episode this week will dig deep into the wonderful world of worms. Today's question comes from a listener who was wondering “Do worms make sounds?” We asked biologist Andrew Gordus of Johns Hopkins University to help us find the answer. Got a question that you can’t keep quiet about? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll check the Worm Wide Web for the answer. 
3/15/20235 minutes, 6 seconds
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What do worms do in the winter?

Happy Worm Week! Every episode this week will dig deep into the wonderful world of worms. Today's question comes from a listener who was wondering “What do worms do in the winter? Do they hibernate?” We asked biologist Andrew Gordus of Johns Hopkins University to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s making you freeze up? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help wriggle out an answer. 
3/14/20233 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why do worms come out only at night?

Happy Worm Week! Every episode this week will dig deep into the wonderful world of worms. Worms are everywhere – slithering in your compost pile, wriggling in the forest, even tunneling through farm fields!  But have you noticed there are more of them at night? What’s up with that? We asked biologist Andrew Gordus of Johns Hopkins University to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s worming around in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we won’t try to wriggle our way out of answering it!
3/13/20236 minutes, 29 seconds
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Why does your breath smell worse in the morning?

Good morning! Rise and shine! Time to stretch and yawn and…blech! What is that taste? What is that smell?? Morning breath can be especially stinky, even if you brush your teeth the night before. What’s up with that? We asked Dr. Michael Eggert, who teaches in the dental school at the University of Alberta to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s really stinkin’ good? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll sniff out an answer. 
3/10/20235 minutes, 28 seconds
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Why do we sweat when we're nervous?

When we’re nervous our bodies react in a bunch of different ways. Our hearts might beat faster, our breathing speeds up and sometimes we get all sweaty! But why do we perspire when we’re perturbed? Or get clammy when we’re concerned? We asked Yana Kamberov, a geneticist who studies skin at the University of Pennsylvania, to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s gotten under your skin? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help find the answer, so you don’t have to sweat it anymore!
3/9/20234 minutes, 46 seconds
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Why does the clear part of the egg turn white when it's cooked?

Have you ever seen an egg cooking on a griddle? When you first crack it, it’s clear and gloopy with a yellow yolk in the middle. But as it cooks, the clear part of the egg turns white! So, what gives? We asked Paul Adams, science research editor at Cook’s Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen, to help us crack this eggy mystery.  Got an egg-ceptional question?  Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll scramble to find the answer!
3/8/20235 minutes
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Why does money have value?

Most things cost money, whether it’s a box of cereal, new underwear or sunglasses for your dog.  But how do people decide  what the value of money is? Does it ever change? We asked Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood to help us find the answer. Got a question that you really value? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help change your perspective! 
3/7/20236 minutes, 12 seconds
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Can jumping make you taller?

Did you know that basketball hoops in the NBA are 10 feet off the ground? That means if you want to dunk, you have to jump really high! Of course, it’s easier to reach if you’re taller, but can working on your jump help you gain more height? Or can tall people just already jump higher? We asked sports doctor Ed Laskowski to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s just out of reach? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll jump on it for you!
3/6/20234 minutes, 28 seconds
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Why do volcanoes erupt only occasionally?

Volcano eruptions are a spectacular sight and a reminder of how powerful nature is. Rivers of molten lava can destroy forests, but they can also create new islands and mountain ranges! So why aren’t volcanoes erupting all the time? We asked volcano expert Lissie Connors to help us find the answer. Got a burning question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and find someone who would lava to answer it!
3/3/20235 minutes, 31 seconds
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Why does chickenpox have that weird name?

Have you ever had chickenpox? It can be itchy and annoying, but it usually clears up after a week or so. Kids get chickenpox from other kids (definitely not from chickens), so why does it have that weird name? We asked dermatologist Julie Schultz to help us find the answer! Got a question that you’re itching to know more about? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll scratch out the answer.
3/2/20234 minutes, 54 seconds
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Why do we have birthmarks?

A birthmark is a special spot on your skin that you’re born with. Birthmarks can be different colors and shapes, and can be found anywhere on your body. But how did they get there in the first place? We asked dermatologist Dr. Julie Schultz to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s made a mark on your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help get the skinny on that topic.
3/1/20235 minutes, 13 seconds
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How do whales filter seawater from their food?

Want to hear something wild about whales? Even though they’re some of the biggest creatures in the ocean, they eat some of the smallest sea life out there! Certain types of whales get their food by sucking in big gulps of water along with tiny shrimp – millions of them per day! But how do they filter out the seawater from the food? We asked marine biologist Leanna Matthews to help us find the answer. Got a whale of a question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll sea about an answer.
2/28/20235 minutes, 12 seconds
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Why are clouds white?

Looking for pictures in the clouds is so fun. After all, they come in an infinite number of shapes and sizes! But, most of the time, they all look white to us. Why is that? We reached out to atmospheric scientist Deanna Hence to help us find the answer.  Got a question that’s clouding your thoughts? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll clear up the answer. 
2/27/20233 minutes, 45 seconds
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Do elephants kiss?

Elephants use their trunks for everything: sipping water, plucking leaves from trees, even hugging other elephants! But do they kiss each other? We asked elephant scientist Joshua Plotnik to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s a real mouthful? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we promise we won’t tell you to zip your lip!
2/24/20234 minutes, 47 seconds
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Why do bananas make other fruit ripen faster?

Have you ever noticed that a bowl of fruit will ripen faster if it has a banana as part of the bunch? Why is that? We asked nutritionist Sara Farhat Jarrar to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s appealing to you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll go bananas all over that answer. 
2/23/20235 minutes, 14 seconds
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How do sunshowers happen?

A sunshower is a rare and beautiful thing. Imagine a day when the sun is shining brightly in the sky, but at the same time, light rain is falling from the clouds. Think of it as a surprise rain party in the middle of a sunny day! So how can we get two types of weather at the same time? We asked weather scientist Rosimar Rios-Berrios to help us find the answer. Is your brain lighting up with a great question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll shower you with answers. 
2/22/20235 minutes, 54 seconds
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Why do people think bugs and spiders are so creepy?

If you think bugs and spiders are a bit on the creepy side, you’re not alone. But where did these feelings come from? We asked wildlife ecologist Thaddeus McRae to share a bit of insight into this question. Got a question that’s creeping you out? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact. We promise, it won’t bug us!
2/21/20235 minutes, 46 seconds
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Do squirrels get poison oak rash?

If you’ve ever gotten a rash from poison oak, you know it’s no walk in the park. Your skin might get itchy, red or even swollen – no fun! But can squirrels get a poison oak rash? Wildlife ecologist Thaddeus McRae helps us dig into this issue in today’s episode. Got a question that’s driving you nuts? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll squirrel away an answer for you! 
2/20/20235 minutes, 19 seconds
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Why did snakes lose their legs?

Happy Snake Week! Every episode this week explores a different question about our slithery friends. Here’s a mind blower for you: did you know the ancestors of snakes used to have legs?   Somewhere along the zigzag path of evolution, they traded in their lizardy legs for a more streamlined look. But why did snakes go legless? We asked biologist and snake researcher Emily Taylor to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s snaking around your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find a fangtastic answer!  
2/17/20234 minutes, 13 seconds
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How do snakes make venom?

Happy Snake Week! Every episode this week explores a different question about our slithery friends. Did you know that, out of the roughly 3,000 total species of snakes, only about 10-15% are venomous? But how do those snakes make venom in their bodies? We asked snake scientist Emily Taylor to help us find the answer.  Got a question that’s biting at you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll search for the answer-dote!
2/16/20234 minutes, 8 seconds
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Why are snakes shaped like a stick?

Happy Snake Week! Every episode this week explores a different question about our slithery friends. Snakes come in all sizes and colors, but they have one thing in common: no arms or legs! In fact, one might argue they kind of look like sticks. We asked snake expert Emily Taylor why our reptilian neighbors are twig-shaped.  Got a question that’s slithering around your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll promise we won’t throw a hisssss-y fit!
2/15/20234 minutes, 47 seconds
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What do zoos feed big snakes, such as pythons?

Happy Snake Week! Every episode this week explores a different question about our slithery friends. Zoos have to have all kinds of foods available to feed the different species that they care for. Animals like elephants, zebras and buffalo eat plants. Predators like lions, foxes and bears have a much meatier diet. But what’s on the menu at the snake house? Snake cake? Snake steak? Snake grapes? We asked biologist Emily Taylor to help us find the answer. Got a question snaking throughyour brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help squeeze out an answer.
2/14/20234 minutes, 5 seconds
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What do snakes do when they hibernate?

Happy Snake Week! Every episode this week explores a different question about our slithery friends. Did you know snakes hibernate in the winter just like bears, chipmunks and geckos? But what do they do while they’re hibernating? Do they have dreams? Do they wake up for mid-hibernation snacks? We asked snake scientist Emily Taylor to help us find the answer!  Got a question you just can’t ssssssleep on? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and maybe we’ll bite!
2/13/20234 minutes, 56 seconds
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Why are some people scared of snakes?

Exciting news! Next week on Moment of Um is Snake Week, where every episode will explore a different question about our slithery friends. Not very excited about that? Feeling maybe…a bit apprehensive? We understand. To help us get to the bottom of this fear of snakes (and maybe even overcome it?) we reached out to wildlife ecologist Thaddeus McRae. Got a question that you’re afraid is very difficult? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help scare up an answer. 
2/10/20236 minutes, 14 seconds
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Do flies have siblings?

Lots of different animals have siblings: humans, cheetahs, frogs – even spiders! But what about flies? Do they have brothers and sisters?  Thanks to science journalist Cara Giaimo, Annette Parks and Kevin Cook at the Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center at Indiana University for helping us find the answer. Got a question that you came up with on the fly? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find a relative-lysatisfying answer!
2/9/20235 minutes, 16 seconds
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Why is snow white?

Who doesn’t love a good snow day? Snowball fights! Sledding! Making snow-people! The powdery white stuff is like nature’s amusement park. But why is it white? Why not pink or blue or tangerine? We asked atmospheric scientist Deanna Hence to help us find the answer.  Got a question that’s snow tricky? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll shovel out the answer. 
2/8/20234 minutes, 19 seconds
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Why can’t birds taste spicy things, but squirrels can?

It’s not just humans who eat spicy foods – other animals do, too! But can all animals taste spicy things the way we do? We asked wildlife ecologist Thaddeus McRae to help us find the answer.Got a question on the tip of your tongue? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find a spicy answer for you.
2/7/20235 minutes, 33 seconds
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How does fruit ripen?

Peaches and strawberries and mangoes, oh my! There’s nothing like biting into a juicy, perfectly ripe piece of fruit. But how does fruit know when to ripen? And how do farmers know when to pick it so that it’s ready and delicious by the time it finally gets to us? We talked to Philadelphia farmer Angel Papineau to get the answer.   Got a question that you’re berry curious about? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll FIG-ure it out!
2/6/20235 minutes, 52 seconds
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Why aren't spiders counted as insects?

Spiders come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They can be smaller than a grain of sand or larger than a dinner plate. Some have fuzzy, rainbow-colored bodies, while others are black and shiny. But even though they sometimes look like insects, spiders are in their own special group! We asked wildlife ecologist Thaddeus McRae how spiders and insects are different. Got a question that has your spidey senses tingling? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we promise we won’t tell you to bug off!
2/3/20235 minutes, 32 seconds
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How do the holes form in the top of volcanoes?

If there’s one thing most people know about volcanoes, it’s that stuff explodes out of the top. But where did that hole come from? We asked volcanologist Lissie Connors to help us find the answer. Got an explosive question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find someone who will volca-KNOW the answer!
2/2/20235 minutes, 15 seconds
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Do butterflies ever bump into each other when they're flying?

The flight of a butterfly is beautiful, if not erratic. How the heck do those graceful creatures know to avoid each other mid-flight? Science journalist Cara Giaimo and her pal Jeff Dawson at Carleton University in Ontario helped us dig into this question. Got a question that’s fluttering around your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll wing it! 
2/1/20235 minutes, 54 seconds
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How many nuts can a squirrel store in its mouth?

If you’ve ever seen a squirrel munching on nuts or seeds it looks ADORABLE! But it also looks efficient, as they seem to pile the food in their mouths and move it from place to place. Just how much can they store in there? We asked wildlife ecologist Thaddeus McRae to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s making you nuts? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and don’t worry - we won't squirrel away the answer.
1/31/20235 minutes, 5 seconds
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Why do flies like poop so much?

Have you ever seen a fresh pile of poo in the grass and wondered why there were so many flies around it? If so, we have just the episode for you! We asked science journalist Cara Giaimo why flies are the dung devotees of the animal kingdom.  Doo you have a question that’s left you a little scat-terbrained? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help find the answer, even if we’re feeling pooped.
1/30/20235 minutes, 22 seconds
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How do animals keep their teeth clean?

Humans do a lot to keep our teeth clean! We brush them twice a day, we (hopefully!) remember to floss, and we visit the dentist regularly. But what about animals? Do they have to clean their teeth, too? And if they do…how do they do it? We talked to Barbara Toddes from the Philadelphia Zoo to find the answer.  Got a question that’s on the tip of your tongue? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll brush up on the answer.
1/27/20234 minutes, 36 seconds
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Where in the ocean do dolphins and whales sleep?

Every animal needs to rest, but they do it in lots of different ways. Some sleep in beds, some on the ground, some in trees, and some … in the ocean! But how do animals like dolphins and whales catch their zzz’s at sea? We asked marine biologist Roxanne Beltran to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s making waves in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll fish out the answer!   
1/26/20234 minutes, 31 seconds
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Why do ginkgo trees smell bad?

Ginkgo trees are seriously impressive. They’re the oldest plant on earth – even older than dinosaurs! They can grow up to 100 feet tall, and in the fall their leaves turn a brilliant golden color. There’s just one drawback – sometimes, they really stink! But why are these majestic trees so smelly? We reached out to tree researcher Natalie Love to get the answer.  Got a question you’ve been stink-ing hard about? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll sniff out the answer!
1/25/20234 minutes, 51 seconds
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Why do we blush?

Do you ever blush? Most of us do! Maybe it happens when you’re excited, or angry or embarrassed. But what causes our cheeks to turn pink, and why do we do it? We talked to pediatrician Kathryn Less to get the answer! Got a question that you’re ready to face? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll blush up on the answer.
1/24/20235 minutes, 58 seconds
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What happens when stars explode?

A star is a big, glowing ball of hot gas that is held together by its own gravity. But what happens if that big ball of hot gas explodes? We asked space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock to help us find the answer. Got a super hot question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help explode your mind with the answer! 
1/23/20236 minutes, 27 seconds
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How do planets form?

Happy Planet Week! There are so many incredible planets out there, from giant Jupiter with its swirling storms to Saturn and its mesmerizing rings. Plus, there are countless other planets that humans have yet to discover! But how exactly do these cosmic wonders come to be? We asked geologist Yesenia Arroyo to help us find the answer. Got a question forming in your mind? Launch it over to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and it’ll be the center of our universe!
1/20/20236 minutes, 35 seconds
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Is there a north, south, east and west on other planets?

On Earth, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. But what about other planets? Do they have cardinal directions like north, south, east and west, too? We asked geologist Yesenia Arroyo to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s left you feeling lost? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help point you in the right direction!
1/19/20234 minutes, 47 seconds
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If you dropped a lit match onto Jupiter, what would happen?

Happy Planet Week! Jupiter has a lot going for it. It’s the biggest planet in the solar system and NASA even has a spacecraft named Juno orbiting it to learn more about the hugest of the gas giants. But there’s still a lot we don’t know about it. Which made us wonder, what would happen if we lit a match on Jupiter? We asked geologist Yesenia Arroyo to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s orbiting your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help propel it to the nearest answer. 
1/18/20233 minutes, 56 seconds
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Is Earth the only planet with tectonic plates?

Happy Planet Week! Did you know the Earth’s outer layer has big rocky sheets called tectonic plates that move back and forth up to six inches every year? As they move, these wiggly jiggly plates can create mountain ranges, cause volcanoes to erupt, and sometimes trigger earthquakes! But do other planets have tectonic plates, too? We asked geologist Yesenia Arroyo to help us find the answer. Got a question shifting around in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll plate up the answer!
1/17/20235 minutes, 55 seconds
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Why does Saturn have rings?

Happy Planet Week! Everybody knows Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, Venus is the hottest and Saturn is the best accessorized! It boasts seven gorgeous, gassy rings. But do they serve a purpose other than scoring style points? We asked geologist Yesenia Arroyo to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s ringing in your head? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help b-RING you the answer.
1/16/20235 minutes, 2 seconds
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How does hypnosis work?

Have you ever been to a hypnotist show where someone “puts people to sleep” and then their behavior is changed in some way? Is that real, and if so, how does it work? We asked counselor Enakshi Choudhuri to help us find the answer. Hypnotized by a great question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll blow your mind with the answer!
1/13/20235 minutes, 27 seconds
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Why are paper cuts painful if they're so tiny?

You wouldn’t think a simple piece of paper would be anything to worry about. It’s flimsy and harmless, right? Not if it cuts you! OUCH! Even though paper cuts are so tiny, they hurt like the dickens! Why is that? We asked pediatrician Kathryn Less to help us find the answer. Have you putyour finger on a great question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help cut it to the core! 
1/12/20234 minutes, 40 seconds
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How intense does light have to be to make a laser?

Lasers are very powerful beams of light. You can't just turn on a flashlight or lamp to make a laser. So how intense does the light have to be? We asked mechanical engineering professor Sayan Biswas to help us find the answer. Got a question that you’re laser-focused on? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll beam with joy at the thought of helping you! 
1/11/20236 minutes, 23 seconds
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How many types of spiders are there?

Big ones, small ones, cute ones, leggy ones. Is that the extent of your spider knowledge? Then this is the episode for you! We asked biologist Andrew Gordus of Johns Hopkins University to help us figure out how many types of spiders there are.  Got a question that’s just your type? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll search the web for someone to answer it!
1/10/20235 minutes, 38 seconds
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Why do seals arf?

Seals and sea lions are closely-related, ocean-dwelling mammals that have a lot to say! They make all kinds of noises, from barks to roars to grunts and squeaks. But what does all that mean? Are they communicating with other species? Are they telling secrets about crabs? We asked marine biologist and animal behavioral scientist Roxanne Beltran to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s swimming through your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help seal the deal with an answer. 
1/9/20236 minutes, 43 seconds
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Why are robin eggs blue?

Bird eggs come in lots of different colors: white, brown, green, lavender, pink, and more. Splotches and speckles abound, too. If you’re in North America, maybe you’ve seen tiny bright blue robin’s eggs in a springtime nest. But did you ever wonder what makes that blue color? And why are robin’s eggs blue in the first place? We talked to biologist Bob Montgomerie about the reason for the hue.  If you’ve got a Moment of Um question that’s cracking you up, send it to the egg-heads at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll scramble to find the answer.
1/6/20234 minutes, 33 seconds
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Why do things glow in the dark?

From glow-in-the-dark stickers to bioluminescent bacteria, twinkling fireflies to radiant jellyfish, the world is full of things that have the power to shine a light in the darkness. But how do glow-in-the-dark things actually work? We asked chemistry professor Aleeta M. Powe to illuminate this question for us.  If you’ve got a question that we could shine some light on, send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll do our best to brighten your day.
1/5/20233 minutes, 48 seconds
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How does pencil lead stick to paper?

We take pencils for granted. They’re kicked around, thrown in the garbage and chewed on like yesterday's fast food. But think about how integral they are to our lives. They help us create art and write letters. They are vital tools of communication. With the help of Joya Cooley, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Cal State Fullerton, we pay respect to the humble pencil. Not only does she reveal how it sticks to paper, but she also tells us the secrets of erasing too. We’d love to hear your Moment of Um question too! Just go to BrainsOn.org/contact to submit it, and you could hear the answer in a future episode.
1/4/20234 minutes, 40 seconds
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Why are T. rex arms so tiny?

The T. rex is the embodiment of ferocious: razor sharp teeth, claws and a taste for blood. If you were running away from one of these beasts, you might not even notice its tiny arms. But there they are, in every recreation, almost comically small arms. So what gives? Paleontologist Bhart-Anjan Bhullar sets us straight on this not-so-tiny question. Do you have a head-scratcher you want us to answer? Unlike T. rex, you can scratch your head, and when you’re done, submit your Moment of Um question at BrainsOn.org/contact.
1/3/20234 minutes, 23 seconds
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Why are giraffe tongues blue?

Giraffes are known for a few key features: their long necks, beautiful camouflage and the dark tongue they use to strip leaves off branches. Steve Gerkin, interpretive programs manager at the North Carolina Zoo, visits the show to tell us why we think their tongues are that shade. Hint: humans share this trait with giraffes! Do you have a head-scratcher you want us to answer? Submit your own Moment of Um questions atBrainsOn.org/contact.
1/2/20233 minutes, 50 seconds
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Why do house numbers start high?

Have you ever been out for a stroll in your neighborhood and noticed that the house numbers are in the hundreds, like 526, 528, 530 instead of 1, 2, 3? Why is that? We asked urban planner Brittany Simmons to help us find the answer. Do you have a question that’s number 1 on your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help address the answer. 
12/30/20225 minutes, 40 seconds
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Could you make a real-life lightsaber?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away… we wondered, could you ever build a real lightsaber like the ones in Star Wars? A lightsaber is a glowing sword that can cut through metal – and pretty much anything else you can think of. It’s the favorite tool of heroes like Luke Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, as well as villains like Darth Vader. That’s just in the movies, but could we make them real? We asked mechanical engineering professor Sayan Biswas to help us find the answer. Got more questions than Luke when he was training with Yoda? Send them to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help use the force to find an answer!
12/29/20220
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Do penguins sit down?

Did you know there are 18 species of penguin in the world? Each species has its own differences and quirks, but one thing all penguins have in common is that it can be tricky to tell if they’re standing up or sitting down. One curious listener wondered if they even sit down at all. We asked Dr. Michelle LaRue from the University of Canterbury to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s knocked you off your feet? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll stand up and find the answer. 
12/28/20224 minutes, 27 seconds
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Why are video games addictive?

Aliens! Zombies! Tiny guys with big mustaches who can jump super high! Video games let you immerse yourself in new and fantastic worlds. But why is it so hard to stop playing, once you’ve started? We asked science journalist Christina Couch to help us find the answer. Got a question that won’t stop replaying in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an answer that’s a real game changer. 
12/27/20224 minutes, 39 seconds
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What happens when you crack your knuckles?

Do you crack your knuckles? You know, you pull back on your fingers until you feel a pop or a snap? Some people will tell you that cracking your knuckles is actually bad for your hands, but one of our listeners wondered if that’s really true. We asked Dr. Rowland Chang, who studies joints like knuckles, what’s happening inside your body when you crack your knuckles, and if it’s causing any harm.   If you’ve got a great Moment of Um question at your fingertips, send it our way at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll do our best to handle it.
12/26/20224 minutes, 14 seconds
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Do bears poop and pee in hibernation?

Every winter, sleepy bears across the world crawl into their dens and take a very long nap, called hibernation. But what happens when nature calls? Do bears wake up to pee and poop?  We asked science journalist Christina Couch to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s a wee bit difficult? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll dig our claws into this subject for you!
12/23/20225 minutes, 25 seconds
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How do we get hiccups?

They can strike out of nowhere, forcing you to make funny noises when you least expect it. We’re talking about hiccups and boy can they be annoying. Why do we have them and can we do anything to get rid of them? We asked pediatrician Kathryn Less to help us find the answer. Got a nagging question that just won’t go away? Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer, send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact!
12/22/20224 minutes
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Can you 3D print a 3D printer?

The world of 3D printers seems limitless. People can create anything, from dollhouses to entire cars. But how are these 3D printers made? Do they 3D print themselves? We asked software engineer and 3D printing enthusiast Joseph Bozarth to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s jamming up your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll ink out an answer. 
12/21/20225 minutes, 21 seconds
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What is a supervolcano?

A volcano is a break in the crust of Earth that allows hot lava, ash and gas to escape. But what’s a supervolcano? Is it a really, really big volcano? Is it a volcano with super powers? We asked volcanologist Lissie Connors to help us find the answer. Got a question that you’d lava to know the answer to? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll try super hard to find the answer.
12/20/20223 minutes, 59 seconds
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Why do we have fingerprints?

If you look at the tips of your fingers really closely, you can see a unique pattern that belongs just to you! So what are those patterns for, besides looking cool? We asked biologist Roland Ennos from the University of Hull in the U.K. to help us find the answer.  Got a question whose answer you can’t quite put your finger on? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll knuckle down to find the answer!
12/19/20225 minutes, 2 seconds
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Do sharks fart?

Humans fart. Orangutans fart. Even zebras fart. But what about sharks? We asked science journalist Christina Couch to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s a real gas? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find an answer that isn’t full of hot air.
12/16/20225 minutes, 58 seconds
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Why do gorillas pound their chest?

Across the animal kingdom, you’ll find all sorts of communication methods! Screeching, stomping, dancing, singing and, if you encounter a gorilla, maybe some chest pounding. But what’s a gorilla trying to say when it thumps its chest? We asked Michael Stern, curator of primates at the Philadelphia Zoo, to help us find the answer.  Got a question that ape-peals do you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help pound out the answer.
12/15/20223 minutes, 2 seconds
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How do trees get so tall?

Trees come in all shapes and sizes. Some are tiny, like the dwarf willow that’s less than an inch tall – half the size of a paperclip!  Others are massive, like the redwoods in California, which can grow hundreds of feet tall. But what factors go into making a tall tree so tall? We asked tree researcher Natalie Love to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s a tall order? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we won’t leaf you hanging! 
12/14/20225 minutes, 4 seconds
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Do fish get thirsty?

You know what’s perfect on a super sweaty, scorching hot, melt-your-pants-off summer day? A tall glass of ice water! Water helps cool you down and quench your thirst – and that’s true for everyone from your mom to your mail carrier to your dog. But what about your goldfish? Do fish drink water if they live in water? Do fish even get thirsty? Curious for an answer, we asked science writer Cara Giaimo to help us out. Is there something that you’re gill-ty of not knowing? Send us a question and we’ll get you off the hook! Just find us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll track down the  answer no matter how fishy the question is.
12/13/20225 minutes, 16 seconds
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Why do people have fears?

Everybody’s afraid of something: scorpions, thunderstorms, making a joke and – gulp! – nobody laughs. But why do certain things make us feel scared? We asked science journalist Christina Couch to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s terrifyingly difficult? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we promise we won’t ghost you!
12/12/20226 minutes
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Why do we have friends?

Friends rule! The best ones are those that are always there to help you out, embark on a strange adventure,  make you laugh so hard you cry and appreciate all the weird and wonderful things that make you… you! We love our friends! But do we humans need them as a species? We talked to psychologist/biologist Lauren Brent to find the answer.   Do you and your BFF have a question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll be a friend and help find the answer!
12/9/20225 minutes, 30 seconds
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How do seashells form and why are they so beautiful?

Seashells are like the artwork of the ocean! With their whirly twirly spirals and flashy patterns, each one is beautiful in its own unique way. But how exactly are they made? We asked marine biologist Sophie Wolvin to give us the lowdown on seashells.  Got a question that has a lot of poten-shell? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll sea if we can answer it! 
12/8/20225 minutes, 46 seconds
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How are spider webs made?

If you’ve ever seen a spider web up close, you’ve probably noticed how beautiful and intricate it is. How can a creature so tiny make something so elaborate? We asked biologist Andrew Gordus of Johns Hopkins University to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s been crawling around your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll search the web for the best person to answer it!
12/7/20225 minutes, 27 seconds
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Do cats know their names?

Cats are notoriously independent and sometimes it can be tough to get them to respond when you call out their name. But is your cat purposely ignoring you, or does it not even know its name? We asked science writer Cara Giaimo to help us find the answer. Got a question you want answered right meow? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you pounce on the answer.
12/6/20225 minutes, 2 seconds
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What are bones made of?

Ever wondered what bones are made of? We have, too! We asked biological anthropologist Habiba Chirchir to help us answer this humerus question. Got a question that’s tickling your funny bone? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you dig up the answer!
12/5/20225 minutes, 34 seconds
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How do trumpets make that bbbbrrrrrrr sound?

Did you know that trumpets are the oldest brass instruments? Orchestras rely on them to play the highest notes in the brass section! But how do they make that bbbbrrrrrrr sound? We asked trumpet player and teacher Jim Boyle to help us find the answer. Got a question you’ve been wanting to brass-k? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an answer that’s music to your ears.
12/2/20227 minutes, 10 seconds
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How do people make movie trailers?

Remember the last time you were really, really, really excited to see a movie? That might have been because you saw a trailer that showed you amazing scenes from the movie, gave you a little preview of what it was going to be about, and got you pumped to see the full thing. But who puts this mini version of the movie together, and how? We asked Travis Abels, who makes movie trailers, to help answer this question. Got a question that’s Singin’ in your Brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll give you lights, cameras, ANSWERS!
12/1/20226 minutes, 24 seconds
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Do trees poop or pee?

Humans poop and pee. So do many animals – even fish! (In fact, the ocean is full of fish poop!) But what about trees? Do they create and release waste in the same way we do? We asked tree researcher Natalie Love to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s leaf-ing you confused? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help poop out the answer.
11/30/20225 minutes, 50 seconds
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Can you hear when you're asleep?

Your body does a lot of things while you’re asleep. Your brain recharges, your muscles rest, you drool charmingly onto your pillow…but do you hear things? We asked sleep scientist Ketema Paul to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s too good to sleep on? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find the answer of your dreams.
11/29/20225 minutes, 4 seconds
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Can you get sunburned in outer space?

Most of us have been there: you’re having a roasty toasty day in the sun, making sand castles on the beach or playing at your favorite playground. But then you realize, oops – you forgot the sunscreen! And all that sunshine gives you a not-so-fun sunburn. But could this happen in outer space too? We asked space scientist and communicator Maggie Aderin-Pocock to help us find the answer. Got a burning question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you get the skin-ny on that topic.
11/28/20224 minutes, 49 seconds
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How do people freeze-dry food?

Happy Food Week! We’re excited to bring you a whole week of delicious Moment of Yums leading up to Thanksgiving. Freeze-dried food seems like something that was invented for space travel, but this technique for preserving food is actually more than a hundred years old! Nowadays you might see freeze-dried mangos or strawberries in many grocery stores. You know, the ones that are dry and crispy and light as a feather? But how exactly do you make them? We asked food scientist Dave Dominguez to help us find the answer. Got an appetite for knowledge? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we promise we won’t give you the cold shoulder!
11/25/20226 minutes, 8 seconds
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What's the sourest thing in the world?

Most of us are familiar with the taste of something sour – that tart feeling that makes your eyes close and your facial features squint. Lemons, lime juice, kimchi are all sour - but what is the sourest thing in the world? We asked Janelle Clepper who has a Masters of Public Health in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota to help us figure it out. And if YOU have a question, we can help with that! Submit your Moment of Um question at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help find the answer.
11/24/20223 minutes, 29 seconds
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Why does cotton candy dissolve in your mouth?

Happy Food Week! We’re excited to bring you a whole week of delicious Moment of Yums leading up to Thanksgiving. Today’s question was sent in by a curious listener who wondered why fluffy, sugary-sweet cotton candy dissolves on your tongue. We asked food scientist Craig Sherwin to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s cotton you all confused? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find a sweet answer for you.
11/23/20225 minutes, 37 seconds
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How does popcorn pop?

Happy Food Week! We’re excited to bring you a whole week of delicious Moment of Yums leading up to Thanksgiving. If you’re a movie lover, a snack lover, or just a lover of things that go “POP!”, you might be wondering what makes a kernel of corn pop. We asked food scientist Dave Dominguez for the deets on this tasty treat. Got a question that’s popped up in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you feel butter about the answer.
11/22/20225 minutes, 27 seconds
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How does cheese get its color?

Happy Food Week! We’re excited to bring you a whole week of delicious Moment of Yums leading up to Thanksgiving. First up: cheese! Cheese is delicious! It can be stringy, stretchy, stinky, salty, or sweet. It can be eaten fresh or aged for more than a decade.  But it only comes in a few different colors. We asked food scientist Craig Sherwin to help us find out why. Got a question on your rind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help cut through to the answer.
11/21/20225 minutes, 56 seconds
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If you took enough vitamins everyday, could you live without food?

Many people take vitamins along with the normal food they eat in a day. But what if you ate ONLY vitamins? Could you survive? We asked Craig Sherwin from the biotechnology company Novozymes to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s vita-l to your life? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help feed you the answer.
11/18/20225 minutes, 53 seconds
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What are calories?

Food gives us energy, so we can bounce! Run. Wiggle! Jiggle!! But all that energy… does it have a name? We talked with food scientist Dave Dominguez about it and he served up a very satisfying answer! Got a question that’s eating you up? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll whip up an answer that’s easy to digest!
11/17/20225 minutes, 3 seconds
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How do contortionists train?

Have you ever been to the circus and seen the super-bendy performers that can move their bodies in all sorts of amazing ways? You might be wondering, how did they get so flexible? We were wondering that too, so we asked Cami Biggar, a contortionist at Circus Juventas, to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s a real brain bender? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you wrap your head around it.
11/16/20223 minutes, 44 seconds
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How much sleep does a person need?

Ah, sweet sleep. From the quick catnap to the full drool-and-snore session, we humans cherish our sleepy time. But how much sleep is enough? Does everybody need the same amount? Does a person’s amount change as they age? Is it nap time yet? We asked sleep scientist Ketema Paul to help us find the answers. Got a question that’s keeping you up at night? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help put it to bed.
11/15/20224 minutes, 52 seconds
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What are the seeds in cabbages?

Growing fruits and vegetables looks pretty easy, right? Poke a hole in the dirt, drop in a seed, add a little sunshine and water — and violà! But how do farmers grow veggies that don’t seem to have seeds, like cabbages and broccoli? We asked Annie Klodd, fruit and vegetable expert from University of Minnesota Extension, to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s eating away at you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help produce the answer!
11/14/20224 minutes, 30 seconds
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How do volcanoes blow?

Volcanoes can lie dormant for thousands of years without erupting – almost like they’re sleeping. But how do they decide when it’s time to blow? We asked volcanologist Lissie Connors to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s erupting from your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help blow your mind with the answer.
11/11/20226 minutes, 31 seconds
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How do starfish regrow an arm?

Sometimes bad things happen – to starfish arms. A hungry bird takes a nibble and suddenly, that starfish is missing an arm! But in many cases, these resilient creatures can regrow a brand new one. We asked marine biologist Sophie Wolvin how that works. Got a question that’s left you in limb-o? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and if the stars align, we’ll find an expert to answer it! 
11/10/20225 minutes, 27 seconds
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Is there a purpose for hair?

How do you like to wear your hair? Do you cut it short? Get it braided? Dye it every color of the rainbow? Hair can be an amazing tool for self-expression, but does it also serve another purpose? We asked biological anthropologist Habiba Chirchir to help us find the answer! Have a hairy question you’ve been thinking about? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll comb around for the answer.
11/9/20224 minutes, 10 seconds
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How did the solar system and all the planets get their names?

The Milky Way! Neptune! Uranus! Halley’s Comet! There are so many cool features in our solar system – but how did they get their names? We asked space scientist and communicator Maggie Aderin-Pocock to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s out of this world? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll make space for an answer.
11/8/20224 minutes, 56 seconds
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Can you control your dreams?

Have you ever had a scary or weird dream and wished you could switch your brain-television to another channel? Great news! You can learn to use “lucid dreaming,” a technique that helps you realize when you’re in a dream. Once you know you’re dreaming, you can teach yourself to shape your own storyline. So how does that work? We asked Dr. Ketema Paul, Professor, Integrative Biology And Physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s keeping you up at night? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help put it to bed.
11/7/20225 minutes, 24 seconds
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How do mood rings work?

Have you ever heard of a mood ring? It’s a little piece of jewelry that supposedly tells you what kind of a mood you’re in. But how the heck can it know? We asked scientist Edwin Thomas to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s getting you in the mood to learn? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help w-ring out an answer.
11/4/20226 minutes, 43 seconds
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Are brains really pink?

Quick, picture a brain! Did you imagine a rosy-colored little meatball? Us too! But are brains actually pink when they’re inside our skulls? We asked brain expert Gwenaëlle Thomas to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s giving you a real headache? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll wrap our brains around it!
11/3/20225 minutes, 1 second
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Does space affect an astronaut’s digestion?

We chew our food, swallow it, and our stomach goes to work on digesting! Our bodies absorb the nutrients they need and then we poop out the rest. Here on Earth, the whole process takes somewhere between one to three days. But what about in space? Do astronauts digest food as quickly as they do on Earth? We reached out to space scientist and science communicator Maggie Aderin-Pocock to get the answer! Got a question you’re chewing  on? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we'll spit out the answer
11/2/20224 minutes, 8 seconds
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How does the earth support heavy buildings?

Did you know the tallest building in the world is a skyscraper in Dubai called the Burj Khalifa? It has 163 floors and weighs as much as 100,000 elephants! But how can the Earth even support such a huge building?! Why doesn’t the ground just collapse underneath it? We asked geologist Rónadh Cox to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s weighing heavily on your mind? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help build you up with a great answer!
11/1/20223 minutes, 50 seconds
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Why are there prank calls?

Decades ago, making a fake phone call to someone used to be a hilarious prank to play, such as, “Is your refrigerator running? Well, you better go catch it!”. But where did this trend come from and why did people think it was so funny? And what about caller ID? We asked science writer Cara Giaimo to help us find the history behind it all. Got a question that’s calling to you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find the answer - no joke!
10/31/20225 minutes, 42 seconds
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Introducing Smarty Pass: Your ticket to the Brains On! Universe

Become a Smarty Pass subscriber today to access bonus episodes and ad-free episodes of Brains On!, Smash Boom Best, Moment of Um, and Forever Ago -- all right here in your favorite podcast player. Visit smartypass.org/momentofum to get your Smarty Pass! It's $4/month or $36/year (a three-month discount!) Don't worry: This feed will stay free and we’ll be posting new episodes just like we always have. Whether you choose to subscribe, or keep listening in our free feeds, we so appreciate you listening to our shows and being a part of the Brains On universe. Thank you so much for your support!
10/28/20224 minutes, 20 seconds
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What kind of blood do insects have?

If you’ve ever smacked a mosquito on your arm, you might have seen a little smear  of red blood on your skin afterward. But just whose blood was it? Do we have the same blood as insects? We asked biologist Claire Rusch from the University of Washington to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s buzzing around in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, because we’re the type to help you find an answer!
10/28/20225 minutes, 12 seconds
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Why can you see the moon sometimes during the day?

Quick: close your eyes and picture the moon! I bet you imagined it at night, didn’t you? That’s because we’re used to associating the moon with nighttime. But why is it that sometimes we can see the moon during the day? We asked astronomer and planetarium educator Sarah Komperud from the Bell Museum in St. Paul, Minnesota to help us find the answer. Got a question that you’re over the moon for? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help shed some light on the topic.
10/27/20223 minutes, 34 seconds
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Why don't spiders get caught in their webs?

If you’ve ever seen a spider’s web up close, you probably noticed its intricate pattern and level of detail. It’s like a work of art! Spiders use their webs to ensnare flies and other insects, but why don’t they  get caught in their own sticky traps? We asked biologist Andrew Gordus of Johns Hopkins University to help us find the answer. Stuck on a question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll search the web for the best expert to answer it.
10/26/20225 minutes, 20 seconds
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Why do we have nightmares?

Ahhh! There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night after a nightmare.  Your heart is pounding, you’re all sweaty and suddenly your room seems so dark. Sometimes, you’re almost too scared to close your eyes and try to fall back asleep.  What’s the point of these scary dreams anyway? Is there a reason we have them at all?  We reached out to sleep scientist Ketema Paul to get the answer.   Got a question keeping you up at night?  Send it to us at brains on dot org slash contact and we’ll wake you up with the answer.
10/25/20224 minutes, 34 seconds
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Why are bugs so attracted to light?

Mwa ha ha ha! Welcome to Eeek Week – a whole week of spooky, creepy, crawly episodes to get you in the mood for Halloween! Listener Emery wanted to know why bugs are attracted to light, and Pam Welisevich from the Dodge Nature Center in St. Paul, Minnesota helped us find the answer. Got a question that’s really bugging you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help shed light on the truth. 
10/24/20223 minutes, 54 seconds
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How did pirates communicate from different ships?

Avast, ye seafaring scallywags! Have you ever wondered how pirates communicated with each other?  Walkie-talkies hadn’t been invented yet, and even the world’s biggest megaphone wouldn’t have been very helpful. So how did they do it? We asked Mary K. Bercaw Edwards from the Mystic Seaport Museum to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s shivering your timbers? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll follow our treasure map to the answer. 
10/21/20225 minutes, 40 seconds
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Why are flamingoes pink?

Flamingos are bird fashion icons. Those long legs! That distinctive beak! The glorious pink hue! But why do they have pink feathers? It’s not to blend into their environment, since they don’t live among clouds of cotton candy. What gives? We asked Flora Lichtman, science journalist and host of Every Little Thing from Gimlet Media, to help us find the answer. Got a question that you can’t stop pinking about?? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you find the answer that’s pig-meant to be.
10/20/20224 minutes, 46 seconds
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Can jellyfish sting each other?

If you’ve ever seen a jellyfish, you’ve probably noticed its long, trailing tentacles. Or maybe you’ve accidentally touched one – ouch! In the ocean, jellyfish often swim together in big groups and touch each other’s stinging tentacles. So can they sting each other? We asked marine biologist Sophie Wolvin to help us find the answer. Got a question, but you just can’t sea the answer? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an intere-sting answer for you.
10/19/20225 minutes, 58 seconds
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Why do shadows bend?

As long as there’s a light source, your shadow is with you wherever you go. If you jump, your shadow jumps. If you do the funky chicken, your shadow will flap its wings, kick its feet and bob its head right along with you. But there’s something your shadow can do that you can’t – depending on where you are, your shadow might bend and stretch from one surface onto another. How does it do that?! We asked science writer Rebecca Boyle to help us find the answer.   Got a question following you around? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll shed some light on the answer.
10/18/20224 minutes, 13 seconds
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Why do our bodies look like this?

Human bodies are all so different. But how did our skeletons evolve to be the way they are? We asked biological anthropologist Habiba Chirchir to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s hard to handle? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find someone whose body of work reflects that topic.
10/17/20227 minutes, 13 seconds
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If pumpkins are heavy, why do they float?

The largest pumpkin ever grown was over 2,700 pounds – the same weight as four adult grizzly bears! Even though lots of pumpkins are heavy, they can still float! How is that possible? We asked Annie Klodd, fruit and vegetable expert from University of Minnesota Extension to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s weighing heavily on you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help you out, pumpkin!
10/14/20225 minutes, 24 seconds
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Can a Black Hole get you to another universe?

Black Holes seem like the stuff of science fiction. Their gravity is so strong that once anything, even light, is sucked in, it can’t get back out. But what would happen if a person went through? Would you end up in a different place, a different time, or even a different universe? We asked space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock to help us find the answer. Got a question taking up space in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll explore the answer!
10/13/20225 minutes, 20 seconds
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How are deserts so sandy?

We know deserts have sand, but why oh why is there so much of it? And how oh how did all that sand get there? We asked Georgia State University scientist Katy Sparrow to help us solve the mystery. Got a question that’s making you thirst for knowledge? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you under-sand.
10/12/20225 minutes, 9 seconds
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Why are pretzels shaped like that?

Pretzels are yummy, fun to eat, and even more fun to look at! What other object in the world is shaped like that? And how did the shape come to be? We asked historian Dr. Ashley Rose Young from the Smithsonian to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s twisting your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we won’t be salty about it.
10/11/20226 minutes
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Why are you cold if your insides are 98 degrees?

We’ve all been there: you’re poking your head into the freezer at the grocery store, trying to pick out the perfect popsicle flavor, and suddenly — brrrrr! Your body is covered in goosebumps! But why do we feel cold if our bodies are always 98 degrees inside? We asked Dr. Jonathan Dickman to help us find the answer. Got a question but you don’t have a degree in that subject yet? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll find a pretty cool answer for you.
10/10/20225 minutes, 21 seconds
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Why does my skin itch in a hot bath?

Happy Derm Week! It’s an epidermis extravaganza! Every episode this week helps you learn about the skin you’re in. Today’s question is “Why does my skin itch in a hot bath?”. We asked dermatologist Elizabeth Farhat to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s landed you in hot water? Send it to us atBrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll scrub out the answer.
10/7/20225 minutes, 1 second
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Why do older people get wrinkles?

Happy Derm Week! It’s an epidermis extravaganza! Every episode this week helps you learn about the skin you’re in. Today’s question is “Why do older people get wrinkles?”. We asked dermatologist Elizabeth Farhat to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s wrinkling your brow? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you line up an answer.
10/6/20224 minutes, 36 seconds
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Why does it sting when salt gets in a cut?

Happy Derm Week! It’s an epidermis extravaganza! Every episode this week helps you learn about the skin you’re in. Today’s question is “Why does it sting when salt gets in a cut?” We asked Dr. Jonathan Dickman to help us find the answer. Got a question that DERMands our attention? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll get the skinny on the answer.
10/5/20224 minutes, 4 seconds
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Is our skin waterproof?

Happy Derm Week! It’s an epidermis extravaganza! Every episode this week helps you learn about the skin you’re in. Now, if we go swimming, or take a shower, or get caught in the rain, we definitely get wet. But we don’t seem to absorb that water inside of our body unless we drink it! So does that mean our skin is waterproof? One listener had this question, so we reached out to dermatologist Elizabeth Farhat to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s got you dripping with curiosity? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help wring out the answer!
10/4/20224 minutes, 6 seconds
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Why does our skin wrinkle in the tub?

Happy Derm Week! It’s an epidermis extravaganza! Every episode this week helps you learn about the skin you’re in. Today’s question is “Why does our skin wrinkle in the tub?”. We asked dermatologist Elizabeth Farhat to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s wrinkling your brow? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help point a finger at the answer!
10/3/20224 minutes, 13 seconds
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Why do you get motion sickness in a car or boat?

Ever gone on a road trip or hopped on a boat, only to feel queasy? Yuckaroo. Us too! It’s called motion sickness and it’s really common. But how does it happen – and why do so many people get it? We asked Dr. Jonathan Dickman to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s making your head spin? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact. We’ll ear you out!
9/30/20225 minutes, 21 seconds
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How do squirrels find their buried nuts?

Ever watched a squirrel scrabbling around in the dirt, burying nuts? We have too. ‘Cuz squirrels are nuts for nuts! But how do our furry little neighbors remember where these nuts are hidden? We asked Berkeley psychology professor Lucia Jacobs to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s driving you nuts? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you dig up the answer!
9/29/20224 minutes, 15 seconds
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Why are we allergic to things?

Lots of people have allergies! Some people can’t be around specific foods, like peanuts, or certain fabrics or metals. Others might notice that they start sneezing or coughing in the springtime, because of all the pollen in the air. But what are allergies, anyway? And what causes them? We spoke to allergy expert Dr. Purvi Parikh to find out! Got a question that you’re itching to get answered? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find someone who nose the answer! 
9/28/20224 minutes, 57 seconds
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Why are dogs so protective of their owners?

As dog owners, it’s our job to take care of and protect our little buddies. But sometimes doesn’t it feel like they’re the ones taking care of us? We asked Dr. Lena Provost to help us discover why dogs can be  so protective of their owners. Got a question that’s pawing at your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help dig up an answer.
9/27/20223 minutes, 44 seconds
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Do whales drink and if so, how?

We know that whales swim in the water. They eat  underwater. But do they…drink water? We got this fantastic question from a listener, so we reached out to  whale expert Joy Reidenberg from the  Icahn  School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s leaving you parched? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help quench your thirst for knowledge.
9/26/20224 minutes, 32 seconds
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How long has the storm on Jupiter existed?

For over 200 years now, astronomers have seen a Great Red Spot hanging out in the atmosphere above Jupiter.  We now know this “spot” is really a giant storm. But how long has it been there? We reached out to planetary scientist Shawn Brueshaber to get the answer! Have a question storming your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll search the planet for the answer!
9/23/20224 minutes, 2 seconds
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What happens if you hold your pee for too long?

We’ve all been there: on a long car trip with no rest stop in sight, but you really have to pee! Listener Aya wanted to know what happens if you hold it for too long, and we asked Dr. Jonathan Dickman to help us find the answer. Have a question that you just can’t hold in? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll flush out the answer! 
9/22/20223 minutes, 55 seconds
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How does a zipper work?

Zippers are everywhere – holding your backpack closed, keeping you snug in your sleeping bag and of course, on your pants! But how exactly does a zipper work? We asked Bryon Robinson of YKK (the world’s largest zipper manufacturer!) to help us find the answer.  Got a question that you’d like to sink your teeth into? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help find a fasten-ating answer.
9/21/20225 minutes, 1 second
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Why do we lose our baby teeth?

Everyone eventually loses their baby teeth – but how does your mouth know when it’s time for a new tooth to come in? Is there a little toothy calendar in there that’s setting the pace? We asked Dr. Jonathan Dickman to give us the lowdown on baby teeth. Have a question that you want to sink your teeth into?  Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help you bite into this topic.
9/20/20224 minutes, 16 seconds
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Why do dogs and cats mostly hate each other?

Maybe you’re one of those lucky pet parents who has a dog and a cat that magically get along. It does exist out there! But some cats and dogs truly don’t seem to like each other. Is this true? We asked veterinarian Dr. Carlo Siracusa to help us find the answer. Got a question that you hate not knowing the answer to? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we won’t be kitten around with the answer!
9/19/20225 minutes, 15 seconds
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How do you move your eyes?

Happy Eye Week! We heard from a listener who asked “How do you move your eyes?” and we asked optometrist Dr. Kelsea Brown to shed some light on this answer.Got a question that really moves you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and eye will try to help!
9/16/20225 minutes, 24 seconds
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How do screens damage our eyes?

Happy Eye Week! Sometimes it feels like screen time, all the time! From the phone, to the TV, to the computer… It makes a person wonder: is all that blue light damaging my eyes? We reached out to optometrist Dr. Kelsea Brown to help us find the answer. Got a question unlike any we’ve ever screen? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll do our best to shed light on the answer!
9/15/20223 minutes, 38 seconds
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How do our eyes get color?

Happy Eye Week! Jeepers creepers, let’s learn about peepers! Everyone has their own unique eye color, from blue to brown to green and everywhere in between! Sometimes, people can even have two different-colored eyes. So where does that color come from? We asked Dr. Kelsea Brown to help us find the answer. Got a question that you’ve been eyeballing? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll find an answer in the blink of an eye.
9/14/20223 minutes, 55 seconds
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Do your eyes close all the way every time you blink?

Happy Eye Week! We got a wonderful question from a listener - “Do your eyes close all the way every time you blink?” and we asked optometrist Dr. Kelsea Brown to help us find the answer. Curious about something that makes you feel like a smart pupil? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help you in the blink of an eye!
9/13/20223 minutes, 17 seconds
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How do glasses lenses work?

Happy Eye Week! We are excited to bring you a whole week of episodes all about the spectacular ocular eye. For today’s episode, we know that glasses help people see, but exactly how do those little lenses work? We reached out to optometrist Dr. Kelsea Brown to help us find the answer. Got a question whose answer you just can’t see? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact and we’ll help lens a hand!
9/12/20225 minutes, 57 seconds
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What is lipstick made of?

Pucker up, pals, let’s learn about lipstick! Applying tinted goop to make your face fancy and your mouth mesmerizing has been in style for thousands of years. But what’s in that stuff? Crayons? Strawberries? Petunias? We asked cosmetic chemist Amanda Lam to help us find the answer. Got a question and can’t makeup your mind whether to ask for help? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help lip-stick the landing.
9/9/20224 minutes, 47 seconds
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Why do turtles move so slowly?

Turtles often look like they’re walking in slow motion, using their stubby little legs to scoot across the ground. But why do they move so slowly? We asked scientist Nicole Mazouchova to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s slowing you down? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll shell out the answer.
9/8/20224 minutes, 21 seconds
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Are mangos really related to poison ivy?

Picture a delicious, juicy mango. Mmmm. Now, picture the shiny, itchy-rash-causing leaves of poison ivy. Ack! Couldn’t be more different, right? Well, get ready for a fact that’s going to boggle your bean! Mangoes and poison ivy are actually plant cousins! How does that work?  We asked botanist Dr. Eve Emshwiller to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s making your mind itch? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll scratch up an answer.
9/7/20224 minutes, 38 seconds
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What is the farthest a human can see?

We get so many fantastic questions sent in to Moment of Um, but today’s is a real sight for sore eyes! One listener wrote in asking what is the farthest distance a human can see, and we asked Sue Keirstead from the University of Minnesota to help us search for the answer. Got a question whose answer is hard to envision? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and eye personally will help you find the answer!
9/6/20223 minutes, 33 seconds
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Why does hot sauce make your nose run?

If you’re an adventurous eater you might have tried spicy cuisine, or maybe added hot sauce to your meals. Did your eyes water? Did your nose run? If so, that’s a totally normal response, and  Otolaryngologist Erich P. Voigt is here to help us understand why that is. Got a burning Moment of Um question for us? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you find the answer.
9/5/20224 minutes, 59 seconds
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Do dogs always lift the same leg to pee?

Woof woof woof! It’s Woof Week here on Moment of Um, where we’re ready to learn about all things related to dogs! In today’s episode, Dr. Carlo Siracusa answers the question “Do dogs always lift the same leg to pee?” Got a topic that urine-to? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help get you a leg up on the answer!
9/2/20226 minutes, 44 seconds
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How do dogs sense emotions like fear or tenderness?

Woof woof woof! It’s Woof Week here on Moment of Um, where we’re ready to learn about all things related to dogs! In today’s episode, Dr. Carlo Siracusa answers the question “How do dogs sense emotions like fear or tenderness?” Got a question you’ve been chewing on? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help dig up the answer.
9/1/20225 minutes
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Why do dogs sniff each other’s butts?

Woof woof woof! It’s Woof Week here on Moment of Um, where we’re learning  about all things related to dogs! In today’s episode, Dr. Carlo Siracusa answers the question “Why do dogs sniff each other’s butts?” Got a question that’s hounding you?  Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you answer it–it’s the leash we can do.
8/31/20226 minutes, 4 seconds
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Why can dogs learn tricks but cats can’t?

Woof woof woof! It’s Woof Week here on Moment of Um, where we’re ready to learn about all things related to dogs! In today’s episode, Dr. Lena Provost answers the question “Why can dogs learn tricks but cats can’t?” Got a tricky question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you fetch the answer.
8/30/20225 minutes, 1 second
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Why are dogs so energetic?

Woof woof woof! It’s Woof Week here on Moment of Um, where we’re ready to learn about all things related to dogs! In today’s episode, Dr. Lena Provost answers the question “Why are dogs so energetic?” Got a question that you’re excited about? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you embark on the journey to the answer!
8/29/20224 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why do we snore?

We hope you’ve enjoyed the episodes this week because for the next two weeks we’re taking a short break. We’re headed to Moment of Um camp, where we organize all of your questions, interview a whole bunch of experts, and get ready for a fall and winter FULL of amazing episodes for you. We’ll be back on August 29! Now, on with the show. Snoring isn’t boring – usually it’s kinda funny and harmless! But it can also be disruptive and a sign of breathing troubles. We wanted to find out WHY it happens, so we asked sleep medicine physician Dr. Andrew Stiehm to explain snoring mechanics. Got a question keeping you awake at night? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact. We’ll get you an answer you can’t ig-snore!
8/12/20225 minutes, 7 seconds
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Do trees get sick?

We’re all familiar with that icky feeling of a sickness creeping in. It could be a tummy ache or a headache, maybe a tickle in the throat, or a drippy nose. But what about our tree friends? Can they get sick too? One listener wanted to know, so we asked Anna Yang from the University of Minnesota to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s tree-mendously hard to answer? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help a-leaf-iate your curiosity.
8/11/20225 minutes, 13 seconds
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Why do dogs chase their tails?

Dogs love to chase things! Squirrels, balls, other dogs in the park. But why do they sometimes get stuck in a loop chasing their own tail? We asked Dr. Carlo Siracusa to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s taking furever to answer? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help chase down the answer.
8/10/20224 minutes, 52 seconds
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Why is trash stinky?

P-U! Today on Moment of Um, we’re talking trash! More specifically, a listener wanted to know why trash gets so darn smelly in the bin! We asked Tim Bennet, the owner of a compost company, to help us find the answer. Got a question that isn’t a waste of time? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help dig around for the answer.
8/9/20224 minutes, 5 seconds
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Why do you scream when you get scared?

Boo! Ahhhh! When we’re scared, we often can’t help letting out a scream.  But how and why did humans develop this instinct? We got the scoop from neuroscientist Luc Arnal. Got a question that’s keeping you up at night? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help scare up an answer for you!
8/8/20223 minutes, 50 seconds
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How do people develop accents?

Hey, hi, howdy y’all!  Depending on where you go, the words people use and the ways they pronounce them varies widely.  But where did these different accents originate and how do we get them?  We talked it over with linguist Nicole Holliday! Got a question on the tip of your tongue? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you find the answ
8/5/20225 minutes, 19 seconds
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Why are there so many colors in a sunset?

One of the most beautiful things on Earth is a sunset, wouldn’t you agree? But what exactly is creating this rainbow of different colors? We asked physics and astronomy teacher Darik Velez to help us find the answer.  Got a question that’s lighting up your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you breathe a sky of relief.
8/4/20223 minutes, 34 seconds
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Why do we bleed?

Most of us have gotten little cuts here and there and noticed that blood comes out. Sometimes we need a Band-Aid to stop it. But why does bleeding need to happen? It must serve a purpose, right? We asked Dr. Emily Downing to help us find the answer.  Are you vesseling with a big question? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll circulate it around!wer.
8/3/20224 minutes, 48 seconds
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Can dogs be allergic to cats?

Lots of people are allergic to cats and dogs. All their fur and dust can make our eyes itch, our noses tingle, and our throats scratchy. But can pets be allergic to each other? What happens when a dog sniffs a cat and gets a snootful of kitty fuzz? We asked Dr. Christine Cain, a veterinary dermatologist, to help us find the answer. Questions got you chasing your tail? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help fetch you an answer.
8/2/20224 minutes, 58 seconds
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Why does our hair turn white?

Humans have so many different hair colors – black, brown, red, blonde – and almost every shade in between. As we get older, our hair usually starts to lose its color. But why is that? We asked Dr. Emily Downing to help us find the answer.  Got a question that’s pretty hairy? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll answer it in style.
8/1/20225 minutes, 19 seconds
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Why are blood types important?

All humans have blood, but not all blood is the same! We each have our own blood type, which depends on DNA passed down from  our parents. But what does it actually mean to be Type O-positive or Type AB-negative? Why is it sometimes really important to know your blood type?  We asked Dr. Emily Downing to help us find the answer.  Got a question that’s so hard it makes your blood boil? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we are positive we’ll find an answer.
7/29/20224 minutes, 48 seconds
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Why does sugar taste sweet?

Cookies, cakes, candy, soda pop. It can be very fun to snack on sweet treats - in moderation. But just what makes these sweets so sweet? It’s the sugar, right? We asked scientist Ann-Marie Torregrossa to help us figure out why sugar tastes so sweet. Got a question that you’re pretty sweet on? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll treat you to the answer.
7/28/20224 minutes, 57 seconds
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Why do old people lose their memory?

Have you ever spent time with your grandparents and noticed that sometimes they’re a little on the forgetful side? Is this a typical part of life? We weren’t sure, so we asked Dr. Emily Downing to help us learn more about memory loss.  Got a question that you simply forgot the answer to? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you remember!
7/27/20225 minutes, 39 seconds
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Why do wet dogs stink?

You’re taking your beloved doggie on a walk in the park – lucky girl! But then the skies open up and it starts to rain. You both forgot your rain jackets, but it’s not a huge deal because your dog is loving the time outside with you! Then you get home, and wow it’s a whole different story. That dog STINKS. We asked Dr. Christine Cain, a veterinary dermatologist, to help us figure out why wet dogs stink so much! Got a question that’s pawing at you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help stink of a really good way to answer it!
7/26/20225 minutes, 52 seconds
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How does soil get made?

We know that soil helps many things grow -- but how is it made? It must come from somewhere, right? We talked to farmer Angel Papineu to find the answer.  Got a question growing in your brain? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll dig for the truth! 
7/25/20224 minutes, 49 seconds
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Did dinosaurs have baby teeth?

Teething, losing teeth, growing new teeth. It’s a part of life that every human goes through! But what about dinosaurs? Did they experience the same thing? We asked paleontologist Shaena Montanari to help us find the answer. Got a dinomite question for us? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you out because we’re as smart as a thesaurus!
7/22/20223 minutes, 52 seconds
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How do boomerangs return?

A boomerang is a specially curved wooden throwing stick that was originally used as a hunting tool by Indigenous Australians. Nowadays, you can find toy versions along with the real thing, and if you throw them just right, they’ll curve around in the air and head right back to you. At least…it works for some people. So how exactly does a boomerang fly? We asked boomerang champion Logan Broadbent to help us find the answer. Got a question that keeps coming back to you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll booma-wrangle some answers for you.
7/21/20225 minutes, 37 seconds
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What is plastic made of?

Plastic is a part of so many of the things we use every day. But just what IS it? We asked University of Minnesota professor Frank Bates to help us find the answer. Got a question you’ve been bottling up? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll pla-stic to the topic.
7/20/20226 minutes, 36 seconds
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Do zookeepers work at night?

If you go to the zoo during the day - you can see that things are hopping! Animals are being cared for, people are milling about, and there’s a lot of action to observe. But what happens at night? Who takes care of the animals then? Or is everyone just sleeping? We asked Nancy Hawkes, Director of Animal Care at Woodland Park Zoo to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s zookeeping you up at night? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you find the truth – we won’t be lion!
7/19/20226 minutes, 58 seconds
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Where does pepper come from?

Black pepper is in just about everyone’s kitchen. It’s salt’s best buddy. It comes in shakers, grinders, and little paper packets. But where does black pepper come from?  We asked historian Jenna Schultz from the University of St. Thomas to help us find the answer. Want to pepper us with questions? Drop us a line at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll serve you some freshly-ground facts.
7/18/20224 minutes, 9 seconds
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Why do we get bruises?

Whether you know exactly where it came from, or it suddenly appears on your skin and you don’t remember it happening, it’s just a fact of life…we all get bruises! But why are they there, and what’s inside of them? We asked Dr. Frank Rhame to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s really getting under your skin? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and – don’t be blue – we’ll help solve the mystery!
7/15/20224 minutes, 30 seconds
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How are cheetahs so fast?

Have you ever raced a cheetah? Hopefully not, that sounds dangerous. But if you have, that cheetah probably left you in her dust. We asked Rick Schwartz from the San Diego Zoo to help us figure out why cheetahs are so fast. Got a question that’s testing you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help you find an answer so you don’t have to be a cheetah!
7/14/20224 minutes, 13 seconds
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How do flat rocks skip across water?

Throwing a flat rock juuust right so that it skips across the surface of a pond or river is super satisfying. How many hops can you get? Two? Seven? Sixty-five? But how does the right kind of throw cause a rock to NOT sink as soon as it touches the water? We asked Jon Lambert of Splash Lab to help us find the answer.  Got questions skipping through your brain? Send your questions to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll throw you some answers.
7/13/20224 minutes, 20 seconds
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Why do people stop growing taller?

Kids grow super fast and get taller and taller and taller and then – all of the sudden they stop! How do our bodies know when it’s time to stop? Why don’t we just keep growing until we reach the sky? We asked Dr. Frank Rhame to help us find the answer. Got a question that you think is a tall order? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll answer it shortly.
7/12/20224 minutes, 47 seconds
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Why is chocolate poisonous for dogs?

Whether you have a dog, want a dog, don’t like dogs, or are a dog…one thing's for sure. Dogs can’t eat chocolate! Why is it so bad for them? We asked Cassie Panning, a certified veterinary technician from the University of Minnesota, to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s pawing at you? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help pup-date you on the topic!
7/11/20224 minutes, 3 seconds
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Why do we feel dizzy when we twirl around?

Spinning around in circles is really fun right? And then a weird thing happens. When you stop, it’s like the world is turned upside down and you don’t know which way you’re facing and you feel dizzy and sometimes even fall down! We asked infectious disease physician Dr. Frank Rhame to help understand why that is. Got a question that’s spinning you around in circles? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll help set you straight!
7/8/20224 minutes, 37 seconds
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How do ballerinas stand on their toes?

Ballet dancers inspire us with their grace, twirls, and leaps. But how do they stand on their tip-toes? We asked contemporary ballet dancer and choreographer Penelope Freeh to help us find the answer. Got a question that’s keeping you on your toes? Send it to us at BrainsOn.org/contact, and we’ll pointe you to some answers!
7/7/20224 minutes, 44 seconds
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Does water have a taste?

Have you ever been really thirsty on a hot day? Nothing beats that thirst better than a cold glass of good old H2O. We can’t live without it! Water quenches our thirst, but does it tickle our taste buds? Does water from different places taste different? We asked Martin Riese to help us find the answer. Are