The Disappearing Spoon is Distillations’ sister podcast, hosted by best-selling author Sam Kean. The show examines overlooked stories from our past, such as the dental superiority of hunter-gatherers, the sex lives of dinosaurs, and many more moments that never made the history books. When the footnote becomes the real story, small moments become surprisingly powerful.
It was the most powerful emotional moment of Albert Einstein’s life—the instant he knew he was a genius.
What can a railroad construction foreman’s devastating skull injury teach us about the brain’s ability to heal?
People love to retro-diagnose historical figures, even when it’s nearly impossible.
A scientific mystery straight out of an Agatha Christie novel.
In medicine, going rogue is never a good idea.
How paranoia doomed a nuclear patent lawyer.
Can you really collapse and wake up speaking a totally new language?
French authorities thought uranium had been stolen for rogue atomic bombs. The truth was much more incredible.
The downside of using genetic genealogy to fight crime.
Sam Kean examines the dark, restless side of the father of the atomic bomb.
Revisit the reputation of the renowned Renaissance man with host Sam Kean.
Explore scientist John Calhoun’s mouse utopia and what it can tell us about the ways we impose lessons for society onto lab experiments.
How an antarctic scientific expedition turned deadly thanks to an unlikely source: dog liver.
We all know how much the automobile changed the world for people. This episode explores how drastically it changed—and harmed—wildlife.
The story of Thomas Schall, a U.S. Congressman dedicated to reforming our messy, lopsided, archaic, and maddingly inconsistent monthly calendar.
Explore the contradictions of Korea’s biggest natural wildlife refuge: the war-ravaged border between the North and South known as the DMZ.
Naked mole-rats are blind, yet they can still recognize—and kill—outsiders. How? And what does it have to do with the Old Testament?
Sam Kean explores how the legendary gardener’s reputation as the patron saint of the American wilderness ignores his boozy origins.