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Brains On book giveaway!

You still have chance to enter to win a copy of “The Girl Who Drank the Moon,” by Kelly Barnhill. Click here for entry form and rules. Giveaway ends June 13th, so hurry on over.

The science of slime: What is it and why are we so obsessed?

Slime! (Sanden Totten | Brains On!)

Homemade slime is sticky, gooey and all the rage, but what is it? When you combine ingredients like glue and laundry detergent you get a strange, flubbery substance. We’ll explain what’s happening on a molecular level to make this stuff.

What was the first life on Earth?

Paleontologist Neil Shubin holds part of a fossil from Tiktaalik roseae. (Dan Dry | University of Chicago)

What was the very first lifeform like? What was the first fish or mammal? Is it even possible to know?

How do pianos work?

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

In this episode, we take a field trip to a piano shop, peek behind the walls at a world-famous piano factory and have an EPIC FIGHTING BATTLE to discover how sound travels.

How do elevators work?

A woman uses an elevator in Mexico City on March 26, 2015. (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Elevators are like magic. You walk in, the door shuts and when it opens again, you are suddenly someplace new! Ta da! But it’s not magic that does this trick, it’s science and engineering.

Why is the ocean salty?

North Yellow Banks Beach at Olympic National Park. (Courtesy of National Park Service)

If you’ve ever been the ocean, you’ve tasted that salt. But where does it come from? And why aren’t lakes and rivers salty too? A sea shanty is probably the best way to explain, right?

Ants: Who’s in charge here?

Ants use their antennae sense scents and find their way. (ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

We have a lot to learn from ants. This episode digs into the hierarchy of ant colonies (spoiler alert: there is none) and why they walk in a straight line (spoiler alert: they don’t).

Do we all see the same colors?

(KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

What if the color that you call blue and the color I call blue don’t look the same at all? When our brains see color, we’re really just seeing waves of light. Sure, we may be seeing the same waves when we look at the color blue, but do we know if our brains are interpreting those waves in the same way?