308 episodes

Brain Junk is an off-the-wall, totally unbelievable but true podcast where Amy Barton and Trace Kerr shake up science & history in the hunt for answers to questions you never knew you wanted to know. We bring you the inside scoop on things like: Can goldfish drive? How do whales not drown while eating? Who had the first prosthetic eye?
We cannonball off the question high dive every other Tuesday -- those of you in the front seats, bring your ponchos. We're out to flood your brain.

Brain Junk Trace Kerr and Amy Barton

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 33 Ratings

Brain Junk is an off-the-wall, totally unbelievable but true podcast where Amy Barton and Trace Kerr shake up science & history in the hunt for answers to questions you never knew you wanted to know. We bring you the inside scoop on things like: Can goldfish drive? How do whales not drown while eating? Who had the first prosthetic eye?
We cannonball off the question high dive every other Tuesday -- those of you in the front seats, bring your ponchos. We're out to flood your brain.

    315: NSFW Summer Edition

    315: NSFW Summer Edition

    It's a super long length summertime episode with the sex lives of penguins, periods in space, Humpback whale sex, swearing parrots, terminal velocity poop, & penis size vs. nose size. Buckle up!







    Show Notes:



    Dr. George Murray Levick (1876–1956): unpublished notes on the sexual habits of the Adélie penguin



    The Guardian: 'Sexual depravity' of penguins that Antarctic scientist dared not reveal



    Live Science: Are penguins really monogamous?



    Penguin divorce rates



    Penguinsinternational.org: Divorcing Penguins



    Edinburgh Zoo pebbles for penguins



    Popular Science: Menstruation in Space



    NPR: TED Radio Hour



    Nautilus: Humpback Whales, getting humpy



    Happy Whale



    Lincolnshire Wildlife Park's swear parrots: FB page with videos



    Smithsonian: Parrots, What the Flock?!



    The complete sillyness of reindeer poop "science" Instagram: Toiley T Paper



    Penis size and Nose size, it's a real scientific paper, we promise: Penile length and circumference: are they related to nose size?

    • 39 min
    314: Mercenary Monkeys

    314: Mercenary Monkeys

    Smarter than the mafia, more cunning than a pickpocket in Paris, long-tailed macaques in Bali are all about snatching valuables from tourists and bargaining for tasty snacks.







    Show Notes:



    Long tailed macaques info from the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center



    Sir Attenborough and monkeys



    YouTube BBC Video of things getting stolen!!



    Scientific Reports paper: Cohort dominance rank and “robbing and bartering” among subadult male long-tailed macaques at Uluwatu, Bali



    Poor kiddo bitten by a monkey while touring

    • 13 min
    313: Bat Chat 2!

    313: Bat Chat 2!

    Amy's bringing the BATS. We've got more cool facts about bat communication and how some of them compete for food (it's sonic warfare for sure).







    Show Notes:



    Episode 214 Sky Puppies Mama fruit bats and their kiddos



    Episode 242 Bat Chat 1 A smorgasbord of bat shenanigans



    University of Bristol: Bats avoiding collisions in the air



    YouTube Lens of Time Roll to minute 5:20 for bat smacks



    Science: Bats jam each other's signals just like humans jam cell phones



    National Geographic: Bats jam each other's sonar



    The Sensory & Movement Ecology Lab @ UCCS



    Science: Tiger moths jam bat echolocation!!!



    Southwest Research Station

    • 12 min
    312: Disco Scallops

    312: Disco Scallops

    Did Trace complain about clickbait titles in this episode? Yes. Did she ALSO use a clickbait title for this very episode? Absolutely. Sea scallops like light and it turns out that works in the favor of fisheries and the environment.







    Show Notes:



    Oceanconservancy.org: Scallops



    Fishtek Marine YouTube on the tech and study. Also their website



    Science Daily: University of Exeter paper



    University of York: Scientists accidentally discover “scallop discos” as an environmentally friendly fishing method

    • 14 min
    311: "Right" Side Driving

    311: "Right" Side Driving

    While doing the show notes for this episode, Trace looked into tips and tricks for when you take a vacation and have to drive on the opposite side of the road. The advice? Don't panic and purchase travel insurance LOL. There are so many different historical reasons for how countries chose what side of the road to drive on.







    Show Notes:



    Lancaster-Philadelphia Turnpike



    Somerset Historical Center: The Conestoga Wagon



    Windwagon Smith a Disney animated picture from 1961



    Wikipedia left and right side



    The Economist" Robespierre and driving on the moral side of the road



    US Dept. of Transportation Federal Highway Administration: On the Right Side of the Road



    UK car glass and their opinion on right side/left side



    BBC: A 'thrilling' mission to get the Swedish to change overnight

    • 13 min
    310: Smell-o-flage

    310: Smell-o-flage

    Nothing like rubbing yourself down with snakeskin jerky to keep yourself from getting eaten. Today we check out the parallel evolution of the California ground squirrel and rattlesnakes. It's an olfactory camouflage arms race that on a bad day, ends with someone getting eaten.







    Show Notes:



    UC Davis: Squirrels Use Snake Scent



    Royal Society B: Donning your enemy's cloak: ground squirrels exploit rattlesnake scent to reduce predation risk



    Nature: Squirrel Masks Scent with Rattlesnake Skin (Cool video of squirrels in action)

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

Ms 537543 ,

Entertaining and educational

Anyone interested in the world around them will enjoy and learn a lot from the podcast Brain Junk. Amy and Trace are entertaining hosts who make studying history and science enjoyable. The podcast is professionally produced and has excellent audio. Brain Junk is an excellent option if you're seeking a podcast that can entertain and educate you. I heartily endorse it. I enjoy the following aspects of Brain Junk:
The hosts are engaging and well-informed.
The subjects are unique and fascinating.
The audio in the podcast is of a good caliber and was produced nicely. The episodes vary in length, but each is the perfect length to keep you interested.
They list their references if you want to learn more about the topic.

Cl0udD0wn ,

Year five and going strong!

This is Trace taking over one of her kid’s accounts to say…We love each and every one you! Thanks for listening and never be afraid to let your nerd flag fly 🧡

smans unbersnail ,

E

EA sports it’s in the sports

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