About Josh Clark

Josh Clark has wanted to be a professional writer since his third-grade teacher told him a short story he wrote was kind of good. He's written ever since. At HowStuffWorks.com, he's a senior writer and co-host of the Stuff You Should Know podcast. Josh lives with his wife, Umi. The pair really, really enjoys traveling, solving mysteries, having pizza parties and visiting museums (both renowned and obscure). Josh has been to the real-life house that served as the Robin's Nest on "Magnum, P.I." and is on an indefinite hiatus from being a jerk. You can find Josh on Facebook at the official Stuff You Should Know page and on Twitter at @SYSKPodcast.

Most Recent: Josh Clark Postings

It is done. Chuck and I have read and scored all one-hundred and four valid submissions for the Stuff You Should Know Horror Fiction Contest. (A few poor souls’ entries didn’t fall into the requirements and were disqualified for things like falling under the word count or submitting late, we’re sorry to report.) We have pored over the 300,000 to 400,000 words that amounted to about 600 pages and what has emerged is the sweet sixteen, the highest-rated submissions. We now submit these to you, our beloved listeners, to choose which one will be read for our annual Halloween show. We have entered the sinister phase two of our contest.

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Chuck and I think that it’s time that you, yes you, stopped dilly-dallying about becoming the type of person who submits horror fiction in national contests. Sure, it’s summer. Sure, the terror of Halloween is a long way off. Sure, you have sooo much to do. But there’s such a thing as good planning, and it’s time now for your prospicient side to collude with your dark, creative side and sit down and compose a horror short fiction story. That’s what Chuck and I think, at least.

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It is getting to be that time of year, when the creatives roll into Austin, TX., and pretty much take over downtown for a few weeks during South by Southwest. Chuck and I are doing our part with a two-day stand, one an official SXSW event even.

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There’s a secret war that’s been ongoing for sometime among archaeologists concerning the proper way to interpret relics left behind by older cultures, the meanings and intentions of which have been lost to the gulf of time. On the one hand are those who would call a cigar a cigar, or in this case, a cave painting that looks like an owl is probably an owl. On the other side are those who are pretty sure we’ll never be able to say with certainty that the painting actually is of an owl, though it certainly looks like one.

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If you were born a baby spider, things would have turned out much differently for you. You’d have been mostly brain, for example. Researchers have long suspected that tiny spiders — the young of which are routinely born deformed yet grow into normally proportioned adults — are born with very large brains. Now they know it, thanks to what I imagine is research that amounted to dissecting deformed spider babies carried out by arachnid specialists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, down Panama way.

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If you were to be diagnosed  with the condition known as maple syrup urine disease you may think that you’ve hit the medical jackpot: All the free maple syrup you can drink at your disposal almost anytime. But you would be wrong, friend. Despite its quasi-pleasant name, MSUD — that actually is the medical term […]

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First, let me say they made me write this. They being the marketing department, the people who make others write about themselves in blog posts about contests that the writer figures into as a prize. Would it be too unsettling to write about myself in third person instead? Let me try that.

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Sometimes things come so clearly full circle that it’s elegant. An excellent case in point and the only one I can think of right now is the current trend toward buying one’s gourmet hotdogs and tacos from food trucks. It’s worth pointing out that it’s a trend in outlying cities like Atlanta, St. Louis. and San Francisco, though it’s has been pretty much permanent and largely taken for granted that at any given moment on certain streets in New York, there will be a line of trucks capable of preparing and serving hot food like gyros and sausages in exchange for cash only.

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I came across a pretty cool nascent web-based social movement the other day, thanks, I must admit, surprisingly, to the Captivate, the elevator TV network. It’s called the 3/50 Project and it encourages patronizing small businesses as a means of sustaining the communities they serve. I’m not typically a frequenter for business blogs that have taglines like, “Success only runs in one direction,” and that feature FAQs where the author writes of herself glowingly in third person. They remind me that I tend to fail at chatting in conference rooms. Despite its roots in just such a blog I am struck by the 3/50 project as a pretty good idea.

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I think there’s probably nothing more disturbing than a giant spider, one where you can see all of its mouth parts and eyes and hairs. Extremely close up photography provides some of the unsettlement, but at least you can’t hear the terrible sounds they make. Their ability to terrify me (only in gigantism) notwithstanding, spiders are also extremely interesting creatures (arachnids, to be technical).

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