Podcasts

Can memories be erased?

It sounds like a quandary straight out of science fiction -- given the opportunity, would you erase your own painful or traumatic memories? Join Ben and Matt as they separate science fiction from science fact (along with the fuzzy border in between), delving into the murky mechanics of memory, the treacherous way our brains handle recollections, and the profound implications posed by living in a world where memories can be artificially created, monetized, or erased.

The Rise of the Chimera

From ancient stories of shapeshifters to works of fiction like "The Island of Dr. Moreau", humanity has always been fascinating with the line between people and non-human animals -- but modern technology may finally allow us to create real-life chimeras. In fact, it already has. The only question here is how far scientists have actually gone in this regard (and whether that's something they don't want us to know).

Church Burning, Metal, and Scandinavian ‘Satanists’

In the 1990s international media was captivated by a bizarre epidemic of church arsons in Norway, often attributing these crimes to so-called Satanic groups and individuals in Norway's black metal scene. This was wrapped up in the larger phenomenon of "Satanic Panic", a widespread fear that shadowy, devil-worshipping cabals secretly control human civilization. So is there any truth to the story? Tune in as the guys explore the true story of the infamous Scandinavian church burnings.

What's Happening In Hong Kong?

Since the late 1990s the former British colony of Hong Kong has existed in a tense, liminal state with mainland China. The region is governed by the "one country, two systems" policy, yet a recently-proposed extradition bill has triggered massive, ongoing protests as the citizens of the region fear their rights will increasingly erode under the thumb of the PRC. Both pro-autonomy and pro-Beijing forces are convinced a conspiracy is afoot -- so which, if any, of their conspiracy theories are true?

Religious Syncretism: The Ultimate Conspiracy?

Religions are as old as humanity, and predate the written word. They've also been home to a great many secrets -- in fact, some religions have been predicated on secrecy, and others are amalgamations of two preexisting belief systems. Join the guys as they explore the strange rise of religions, the ways in which they have melded over time and, ultimately, ask whether there are any real secret religions active in the world today.

What are the Phoenix lights?

On March 13th, 1997, thousands of people in Nevada, Arizona and Mexico reported seeing bizarre lights in the evening sky -- today, more than two decades later, the Phoenix Lights are still considered to be one of the most significant UFO sightings in recent history. But what exactly were they? What really happened that night in March? Tune in to learn more.

Contras, Cocaine and the CIA: The True Story of Barry Seal

Across the course of his strange and checkered career, pilot and smuggler Barry Seal was called many things: An informant, a criminal, an asset for America's alphabet soup of intelligence agencies and more. He met an ignoble end in February of 1986, when he was fatally shot outside the Salvation Army facility where he'd been ordered to work in court-mandated public service. However, it turns out the official explanation of his death hasn't convinced everyone -- to this day, journalists, theorists and more continue to ask: Who really killed Barry Seal?

Pop Music, Black Magic and Murder: The Mona Fandey Case

Born Nur Maznah Binti Ismail in Kangar, Perlis, the musician Mona Fandey achieved national success with her song Ku Nyanyikan Lagu Ini in 1987 -- yet her career seemed destined to slowly fade away, with Mona and her husband living out their lives in comfortable obscurity. Until, that is, in 1993, when Mona Fandey became the prime suspect in a gruesome murder that led many people to believe she'd secretly been an evil bomoh, practicing the art of dark sorcery for decades before finally being brought to justice. So what's the truth? Was Fandey mentally ill? Was she framed? Or was there something more sinister and sorcerous afoot?

The Death of Jeffrey Epstein

Earlier this year the guys traced the rise of the enigmatic financier and child abuser Jeffrey Epstein, discovering a quagmire of crime, corruption and cover-ups implicating some of the world’s most powerful individuals. It seemed Epstein’s connections effectively placed him above the law - at least, that is, until renewed public scrutiny and criminal investigations found Epstein arrested once again and, this time, placed in a real prison. Many speculated Epstein would never go to trial. On August 10th, he was found dead in what the media described as an “apparent suicide”. So what happened? 

Should Facebook have its own currency?

Love it or hate it, Facebook is one of the world's most popular social media platforms. Over a relatively short span of time, the company has exploded into numerous areas of human interaction (and created no small amount of controversy along the way). In May of 2009, Facebook experimented with a virtual currency concept called Facebook Credits. It didn't last long, but there may be a new scheme on the horizon. Join the guys as they explore the fact, fiction and conspiracy surrounding the Facebook Libra, the proposed virtual currency that -- according to critics -- could allow this social media platform to function like a central bank.