Look It Up

If you've ever wondered whether animals could be ambidextrous, or what happens when you put a gun in a refrigerator, or what Presidents of the United States do after their terms end, this podcast will relieve you of the effort of having to look it up yourself. Look It Up is a podcast for the indiscriminately curious. Establish contact by email at
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Look It Up




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Oct 11, 2017

Look It Up is a podcast for the curious. On this episode: can you microwave clothes to dry them? Are humans to ants as mountains are to humans? And a brief discussion on meringue safety. 


Sources:,,, Outro: 


Sep 22, 2017

Look It Up is a podcast for the curious. On today's episode: are farmers given enough incentive to leave fields fallow? How does Amtrak stay in business? And otters. 




Farming subsidies (Grist): USDA Conservation Reserve Program (AgWeb): Average expected crop yields:

History of Amtrak subsidies: Amtrak budget starting 2015: Supplementary amtrak data (Federal Railroad Administration):

Baking yeasts: Otters (Aquarium of the Bay):

Jan 6, 2017

On this week's episode: do school district boundaries follow the lines suggested by a Voronoi diagram? What are the origins of the Prairie Home Companion song about rhubarb pie? Are some types of blankets warmer than others?


0:42 - Voronoi school districts

3:09 - Rhubarb pie

7:06 - Shorts

7:40 - Blankets

9:33 - Sources

10:05 - Lev Theremin playing the theremin


Sources: supplementary images for "Voronoi school districts," School district boundaries, Prairie Home Companion, A book about Lawrence Tibbett,

Jan 6, 2017

These images accompany the "Voronoi school districts" segment in Episode 11.

Missoula - all layers

Above: Missoula, MT. Bottom layer Google Maps, middle layer Voronoi, top layer actual school districts.

Missoula - Voronoi only

Above: Missoula, MT. Bottom layer Google Maps, top layer Voronoi.

Santa Rosa - all layers

Above: Santa Rosa, CA. Bottom layer Google Maps, middle layer (colour) actual school district boundaries, top layer Voronoi.

Santa Rosa Voronoi

Above: Santa Rosa, CA. Bottom layer Google Maps, top layer Voronoi.

Sep 13, 2016

Look It Up is a podcast for the indiscriminately curious. On this week's episode: why do I get so cold in a hammock? Which type of transport is safest per mile traveled? Where did the names for the days of the week come from?


Sources: transportation statistics from the NTSB and IIHS,,, and Weekday etymologies on Wikipedia,

Aug 31, 2016

Look It Up is a podcast for the indiscriminately curious. On this episode: 

0:43 - What would gymnastics look like in low gravity? 

4:19 - What is data scaping?

5:52 - Shorts: does the third-party doctrine apply to iMessage? What happens if you drive over a road flare?

6:48 - Forfeitures, a segment about the weird stuff the US Government seizes

9:09 - Sources. NASA video about movement in space suits, Scientific American article on lunar Olympic gymnastics, SLU Law Journal article about iMessage and the third-party doctrine, US Government forfeiture website,

Today's episode featured a clip from Philippe Beer Gabel's "Cats in my mind" and "Mystical Picnic" by Nutmeg, all from the Free Music Archive,

Keep in touch on twitter (@liupodcast), or email

Aug 16, 2016

On this week's episode: what are closed cities? Is there anywhere in the US that's safe from natural disasters? What is rebar for and how is it made?



Contact the podcast at or on twitter at @liupodcast.

Jul 26, 2016

This week: what tone languages have to do with perfect pitch, how to tell if a number is divisible by 13 (or 17, 19, etc.), and the return of Forfeitures.

Jul 15, 2016

This week: why fumigation tents look like circus tents, how easy it is to break your sternum, and how to apply for a patent in the United States. 

Jun 14, 2016

This week: a history of grain silos, etymologies, and what'll happen when California runs out of license plate combinations. Also on this episode, shorts and a list of cool stuff seized by United States Customs and Border Protection officers. 


Sources: grain silos at and; license plate article at; forfeiture lists at 


Contact with any questions or comments! 

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