Podcasts

Hennig Brand and the Discovery of Phosphorus

Spoiler alert: Hennig Brand discovered phosphorous by boiling pee. And phosphorous is the first element whose discoverer we can name. But he was really trying to do something else: He thought the secret to the philosopher’s stone might be found in urine. 

SYMHC Classics: Secret Science - Alchemy!

We're revisiting an episode from Sarah and Deblina from 2011. Many think of alchemy as a fool's pursuit, but alchemy has a rich history closely tied to medicine and metallurgy. Additionally, techniques developed by alchemists strongly influenced chemistry. So why don't we call chemistry alchemy?



Smithsonian American Art Museum: An Interview With Stephanie Stebich

Holly had the privilege of sitting down with Stephanie Stebich, director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, for a chat in the museum. The discussion covers the building's history, one of the new exhibits there, and one of Stephanie's favorite items in the Smithsonian's collection.  

James G. Fair, Silver King

Fair was a contemporary of Levi Strauss, living and working in San Francisco around the same time as the denim magnate, but though Fair often appears on lists of the richest men in U.S. history, he doesn’t have the same name recognition.

SYMHC Classics: John Dee, Her Majesty's Secret Sorcerer

We're revisiting an episode from 2011 featuring previous hosts Sarah and Deblina. Born in 1527 to a Welsh family, John Dee grew to become one of Queen Elizabeth's most memorable advisors. Join Sarah and Deblina as they delve into the life and times of this scholar, statesman and sorcerer.

Bacon's Rebellion, Part 2

Last time, we talked about the many reasons Virginia colonists were frustrated by the 1670s, including the price of tobacco, taxation, and disparities between the richest colonists and everyone else. But another issue actually sparked the rebellion. 

Bacon’s Rebellion, Part 1

For a long time Bacon’s Rebellion was primarily interpreted as a precursor to the Revolutionary War, with patriotic colonists rising up against the tyranny of the British colonial government. But there are a lot more moving parts than that. This first part sets the scene and establishes the context of the rebellion. 





SYMHC Classics: Rosalind Franklin, DNA's Dark Lady

We're reaching back to 2011 for an episode from Sarah and Deblina about a woman scientist. The men who are usually credited with discerning DNA's structure won the Nobel Prize in 1962, but they used Rosalind Franklin's research. In 1952, she captured the best DNA image available at the time, and the Nobel winners used it without her knowledge.

Stop-motion Animation History With LAIKA Studios

Holly recently got to visit the set of LAIKA's new film "Missing Link," and the production team there agreed to be part of an episode about the history of stop-motion animation. This made for a supersized episode with a regular discussion of the topic, plus interviews with four members of the LAIKA team. 

Baron Franz Nopcsa

Nopcsa lived an adventurous, scholarly life, funded entirely by his family money. He identified dinosaurs, inserted himself into Albanian politics, and wrote volumes and volumes of books and papers. But his life was not entirely charmed.