Right Now in Part-Time Genius

What's the Science of Painkillers?

When you've got a headache, those bottles of over-the-counter medicines can feel interchangeable. But the truth is, the drugs work in different ways... and each has their own benefits and side-effects. From which drugs work best on toothaches, to which ones are best for hangovers, Will and Mango explore the strange world of painkillers. Plus: why, 5 years from now, you might be replacing your pills with a phone, a pair of goggles and some green apple air freshener.

9 Incredible Stories Imported from Remote Islands

From a dangerous island the Brazilian Navy refuses to let you visit (it's for your own good!), to a place where monkeys think they're training for the Kentucky Derby, Will and Mango are scouring the globe for water-locked lands and the incredible stories that come from them.

Why do Cats get such a Bad Rap?

Everyone knows herding cats is impossible. But is it because we never fully domesticated them? Will and Mango dig into a history of cats-- from why they were unfairly blamed for so many divorces, to how a bag of clay forever changed their prospects, to what a lion's sneeze tells us about their instincts. Plus-- the number one country you HAVE to travel to (if you want a cat to massage your back.)

Why do NASCAR fans drive trucks and Formula One fans drive yachts?

Sure, we've watched Pixar's Cars a few times. But doesn't mean we know anything about racing. Will and Mango dive into the strangely boozy origins of NASCAR, why you might need a yacht to enjoy Formula One, and how driver Dick Trickle made sure every race got off to a smoking start. (Spoiler: it involved drilling a couple holes in his helmet.)

9 Rinkrinkerfink Facts about Dr. Seuss

From the imaginary daughter Dr. Seuss made up (just so he had an excuse to brag to his friends) to the remote town in Switzerland where he stole all his ideas from (it's hard to find on a map) to the one children's author he wished he'd gotten to read as a child, Will and Mango dive headfirst into the spectacular world of Dr. Seuss.

Where do the World's Best Band Names Come From?

What band was named as a tribute to their high school gym coach? Why did The Earwigs change their name to Alice Cooper (it might have something to do with a Ouji Board)? And would Chubby Checker have been as popular if he'd taken the name Chubby Chesspiece? Setting aside the quality of the music (KISS), Will and Mango explore some of the funniest, quirkiest and greatest band names in music history.

Will we ever Cure Blindness?

Sure, one time in the '80s a blind guy was struck with lightning and it shocked his system into seeing again. But striking people with lightning bolts isn't exactly a safe and easy procedure. So what are scientists working on? From stem cells to bat helmets to why putting some algae in your eye socket could restore your vision, Will and Mango explore the most fascinating advances in vision science today.

What are the World's Weirdest Theme Restaurants?

If chugging mead at Medieval Times and downing burgers at Johnny Rockets feels tired to you, check out these wacky theme restaurants from around the world. Will and Mango explore what happens when you surprise diners with regular earthquakes, and why filling your cafe with giant David Copperfield statues might not be the smartest thing.

How did WHAM-O become America's Greatest Novelty Toy Company?

From Hula Hoops to Frisbees, Superballs to Slip-n-Slides, Wham-O has put smiles on generations of American kids. But how did the little toy company that could get its start? (Spoiler: a meat-pellet shooter for your pet falcon!) And what are some of their greatest duds? (Spoiler 2: Instant fish!) Join Will and Gabe as they romp through the history of WHAM-O.

Are we in the Middle of a Rudeness Epidemic?

After author Danny Wallace received the world's worst customer service (and possibly the world's worst hotdog) from a hotdog vendor, he decided to search for the root cause of rudeness. Danny joins Will and Mango on this week's episode to talk about snarky celebrity judges, why surgeons are in dire need of a rudeness vaccine (it's for our own safety!), and how one politician effectively fought rudeness... with mimes!

9 Leafy Facts about Houseplants

How did a potted plant named Jeff become an internet celebrity? Does Switzerland really manufacture 'Luxury Manure'? And what's your Valentine trying to tell you with that vase full of basil? Plus: why you should never, ever poach a Venus Flytrap!

Why are Humans so Obsessed with Chocolate?

Will and Mango are on a mission to uncover chocolate's darkest secrets. What's the difference between cacao and cocoa? Why have Swiss scientists been working on a pink chocolate for so long? (And what's it taste like?) Plus, why does chocolate melt so perfectly in our mouths?

What are the Most Incredible Technologies Coming Soon(-ish)?

From rockets on pogo-sticks to nuclear powered toasters, there's a whole strange world of emerging technologies that will improve and/or ruin everything in our future! Will and Mango chat with author Zach Weinersmith about the hilarious, future-looking text book he and his wife Kelly wrote, Soonish.

9 Delightful Facts about Office Supplies

Need some new material for the water-cooler? Will and Mango chat about the tragedy of cubicles, how a fit of rage led to better pen design, and why bread might just be the best eraser.

How did Putin come to power?

Between practicing judo, wrestling bears, and meddling with democracies, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has a lot on his plate. But how did the former KGB operative come to power? And how has he sustained his grip on the country for so long? Will and Mango dig into his biography to try to understand one of the most fascinating figures on the political stage.

How does Rick Steves Think You Should Travel?

9/11 changed Rick Steves and how he wanted to approach writing about the world. In this special interview, Will and Mango sit down with legendary PBS host and travel writer Rick Steves to talk about the newest edition of "Travel as a Political Act", why watching a Sufi dance can be such a transcendent moment, and whether the best French cheeses really smell like "Angel's Feet." (They don't.)

9 Outstanding Facts About Aussie Animals

Is the Walking Sausage the most romantic insect? What happens when Wallabies get high on poppies? And why do wombats have super strong wombutts? Will, Mango and Gabe explore the wonderful world of Australian animals.

What are the Greatest Things We Just Learned about Japan?

Why is Japan's adult adoption rate so high? Why don't American car dealerships succeed in the country? And why did Colonel Sanders put a curse on a beloved Japanese baseball team? Plus, Will and Mango discover the shortest escalator in the world! (Just take the stairs, guys.)

Is Flu Season Really as Dangerous as We're Told?

As sniffles and coughs abound (and Tristan tries to inoculate the whole office), Will and Mango try to figure out why some flu seasons are worse than others. Also: How do scientists know when some seasons will be particularly bad? What goes into deciding what this year’s vaccine is going to look like? And was the Spanish flu really that Spanish?

9 Thrilling Mysteries... Solved!

Why was FDR so obsessed with mysteries? What's hiding in KFC's super secret Spice Mix vault? And what was the murder rate in the town from Murder She Wrote? (Pretty darn high!) Will and Mango put on their Sherlock Holmes hats and try to solve some cases.