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Odd, Outstanding & Outrageous: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week


Some lawyers still uphold the practice of wearing white powdered wigs in court. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images
Some lawyers still uphold the practice of wearing white powdered wigs in court. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images

Phew — you finally made it to the weekend. That means there's a whole new spate of HowStuffWorks articles and podcasts you can catch up on. And we've got some of the highlights right here, wrapped up in a bow for your convenience. Happy reading and listening!

The Odd

Showers are best at a Goldilocks temperature — not too hot, not too cold. So, it sucks when someone unwittingly flushes the toilet while you're taking one, upping the shower temperature to scalding. Wonder why that happens? A new episode of the podcast BrainStuff explains.

Humans have had some pretty wild ideas over the years: space travel, world domination, de-extinction, blankets with sleeves. Now, a design collective has proposed building a hyperloop on the U.S./Mexico border ... and making it a new territory. Learn more about the bold plan in this article.

Sometimes it's hard to let go of old habits. Prime example: Some British barristers (aka lawyers) still wear those outdated, uber-formal powdered wigs. Have they let nostalgia get the best of them? Find out what's up with those white coifs here.

The Outstanding

There aren't many things more fascinating and mysterious than the human brain. Fittingly, hosts Robert and Joe discuss theories on consciousness lying outside of that neurological powerhouse in a new episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

There's been a lot of talk regarding the unhealthiness of our gut flora and circadian rhythms lately. Malfunctioning microbiomes are causing autoimmunity and mental problems, and poor body clocks are keeping us up at night. So, what happens when you combine the two? A new article details a recent study on the daily routines of gut microbes in mice.

The environments of far-out cosmic bodies seem so menacing and bizarre. So, it's a relief to know that the sand on Titan, Saturn's largest moon, would make some impressive, long-lasting sand castles. Well, kind of a relief — the particles are still toxic and supercharged with electrostatic force. Get the scoop on the phenomenon in this article.

The Outrageous

Human medical experiments are always riddled with ethical considerations, considering the potential impact of their outcomes. But some of these studies have been deceitful and downright dangerous. Listen to Tracy and Holly dive into the disturbing history of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study in an episode of Stuff You Missed in History Class.

FEDOR is a humanoid robot of many talents: He can use a drill, drive a car ... and shoot guns. Curious (or slightly alarmed)? Watch the pistol-wielding, Renaissance robot in action here.

Do you have the tendency to let a profanity (or two, or many) slip when something goes wrong? Are you totally OK with being a potty mouth, confused about why others are so offended? Then listen to this new episode of Stuff You Should Know to learn why certain words are so taboo. Don't worry, it's still good for family ears!



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