Julie Douglas


Julie Douglas is a former podcaster, writer and editor at HowStuffWorks. She co-hosted the podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind for several years and co-produced the podcast The Stuff of Life. Julie lives in Atlanta with her most excellent spouse and their whirling-dervish daughter.

Recent Contributions

Thought Experiment: What If We Stopped Walking Upright?

Humans have only been bipedal for a sliver of history. What if we returned our spines to their original position and quit walking upright? What would that world be like?

Life the Game

In this episode we look at the idea that life is just a game.

The First Songs

Nature gave us the first songs -- the patterns and melodies that we replicate in instruments, and our own voices. We take a visit to the exhibit, "Wild Music," to look at our deep connection to nature and music.

Under the Weather

The Earth is wrapped in an atmosphere that weighs 5.5 quadrillion tons. And inside this atmosphere the weather creates a crazy quilt of conditions. To say that the weather is unpredictable is to sum up our entire existence. And to personify weather is deeply human.

Map of Self

Finding our way in the world is one of the most fundamental things we humans do, and maps map it possible. But on some level, these maps are a thing of fiction.

Mourner for Hire

In this episode we’ll look at how, as the bereaved, we find solace in ritual – everything from providing comfort food to hiring professional mourners.

Life at the Death Café

In this episode we put out a pot of tea, a plate of cucumber sandwiches, and we take a seat with death. What is a “good death,” how do we achieve it and how might our dreams help?

An Object Lesson

In some ways our stuff is ourselves – it tells a story about who we are. But why do some of us develop pathological attachments to objects?

Building Eternity

In one way or another we’re all trying to transcend death, whether it’s through an “I was here” graffiti scrawl or an e-epic-length autobiography. In this episode we look at our attempts to achieve immortality – through objects that we store in time capsules, and through the information we store in the avatars we build of ourselves.

Glossophobia: The Fear of Public Speaking

One of the top American fears, alongside walking alone at night and personal injury, is public speaking. Find out why it can be so terrifying to step into the spotlight.

Facebook Takes Aim at Unlicensed Firearm Sales

You can do all sorts of things on Facebook, right? Find a high-school buddy. Post pictures of your cat. Buy a gun. Except that last one may have just gotten tougher.

The Power of Fear

Cat’s out the bag: We’re not making it out alive. So how do we deal with the ultimate fear – that death is right around the corner? And when the survival chips are down, how can we increase our chances? Join Julie Douglas and colleagues from HowStuffWorks for the pilot episode of The Stuff of Life.

The Stuff of Life: Episode Zero

Eavesdrop on experts and researchers as they ponder what makes our world so maddening, so strange and so achingly beautiful. Not to mention ridiculous. Join Julie Douglas for The Stuff of Life, a new immersive podcast by

Grunt Away. We'll Understand.

Sometimes, as it turns out, a sound is worth a thousand words. Huh? Huh?

The Stuff of Life: Trailer

The Stuff of Life podcast teases apart the tales we tell — because when we crack open a story and look inside, we see the seeds of what make our world so maddening, so strange and so achingly beautiful.

Gary's a Trustworthy Name. Is Yours?

Goodbye, Gary. Your name is going extinct. Which is a shame, because it's just the name to inspire trust.

An Historic Sneeze, a Disgusting Sneeze Cloud

We dig into the science and history of those delightful respiratory explosions we call sneezes, including one that's copyrighted.

The Gene Editing Debate Is on, Compliments of CRISPR

Whenever scientists decide to get together and argue their side, it often means that the technology in question is a game-changer. That technology is gene editing.

Anatomy of a Laugh

A good guffaw involves way more than just sputtering a few hearty hee-hees.