"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes"
Tax might not sound interesting or exciting to most people, but it affects all of us.
In this episode, we explore what paying taxes actually means, and how it affects our relationship with the government and society.
And we'll do all of this through the story of two pen-pals, Arlette from Paris, France, and John from Austin, Texas.
From a small, wet island, English has come to be the world's dominant language.
How did this actually happen, where does English actually come from, and how has the language changed over the years?
Laughing is something that we all do.
But what makes us laugh? Why is something funny?
Discover the theories about why we laugh, what this does to us, and learn about the British sense of humour.
Why do we sometimes believe one thing and act in a way that is in complete contradiction to our beliefs?
Cognitive Dissonance is the theory about why we do this, how we manage different beliefs, and the effect this has on us.
It's the world's favourite sweet snack, and the chocolate industry is worth over $100 billion.
Discover the fantastic history of where it comes from, how it became so popular, and learn about some of the economics of chocolate production.
It's the most famous cryptocurrency in the world, and went up in value by 269% in 2020.
In this episode, we take a look at what it actually is, how it works, why some people think it is the future of money and others think it is a giant bubble.
Vaccination is one of the most important medical inventions in history, and vaccines save hundreds of millions of lives every year.
Discover the fantastic history of vaccines, where they came from, how they have developed, and the problems that governments have in encouraging citizens to actually take them.
The personality industry is worth billions, and promises to help us better understand ourselves.
But how did it start? How does it actually work?
And most importantly, does it actually work?
Humans will spend from a quarter to a third of our lives sleeping.
But what actually happens when we sleep? Why do we need to sleep? How does it work?
In 70 countries around the world we change the time twice a year, giving us longer evenings in summer.
Why did we start doing this? Why do some people love it, others hate it, and will we ever stop doing it altogether?
It's the way that criminals take dirty money and clean it, turning it into beautiful, clean money that appears to have been earned completely legally.
Discover how this is done, how much of a problem this really is, and how this process supports the criminal underworld.
It's the 193km long canal that links the Mediterranean and the Red Seas.
The Ancient Egyptians dreamed of it, the Venetians did too, the French engineered it, the British bought it, the Egyptians nationalised it, it caused a Cold War crisis, and now it's a hugely important stretch of water for global trade.
It's time to tell the story of The Suez Canal.
Whales are some of the most amazing animals that have ever existed.
From where they come from to how they live their lives, through to the threats that they have faced and how they bring new life in death, it's time to learn more about the amazing life these animals lead.
These 17 chemical elements are vital for lots of modern technologies, from smartphones to laptops, wind turbines to electric cars.
But our dependence on them comes at a large cost, a cost that very few people are aware of.
Anyone can send a letter, anywhere in the world, and it will be hand-delivered to any country in the world, for less than the price of a cup of coffee.
How did we arrive at this system, and how does it all work?
It's now the most popular soft drink in the United States.
Yet 50 years ago barely anyone drunk it.
Today, we tell the story of how the world became addicted to bottled water.
It's the most populous bird in the world, outnumbering humans 3:1.
Today we are asking ourselves how an obscure bird from South East Asia went from jungle floor to being eaten at a rate of two every millisecond.