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Puzzling, Peculiar and Phenomenal: Our Best Stories You Might Have Missed This Week


A new episode of CarStuff explores the world of amphibious vehicles. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
A new episode of CarStuff explores the world of amphibious vehicles. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

It's the end of another week, which means this roundup of HowStuffWorks' latest and greatest podcasts and articles is right on time! Keep reading for the scoop on mandatory gluten-filled wafers at the Vatican and Amazonian frogs with see-through skin.

The Puzzling

In a dramatic show of trend-bucking (OK — it's really just religious adherence), the Vatican sent a statement to Catholic bishops banning communion wafers made of any flour other than wheat flour. That means folks who are gluten-sensitive must find an alternative, which fortunately does exist. Find out why wafers made of rice flour are banned at the Vatican, and how celiacs can still take the communion wafer in this new article.

If you shoot a gun in the air, gravity's going to affect that stray bullet just like any other object on Earth. But how high can it go? And how lethal is it? BrainStuff host Christian Sager answers these questions and offers other, less potentially deadly ways to celebrate in a new episode of the podcast.

As the terrible headaches and profuse sweat that accompany fevers weren't already bad enough, fever dreams add insult to injury. Hosts Josh and Chuck get to the bottom of these nightmares in a recent episode of Stuff You Should Know.

The Peculiar

When somebody tells you they can "see right through you," they're probably speaking metaphorically. But a new species of glass frog, the teeny-tiny Hyalinobatrachium yaku, is truly transparent — you can even see its beating heart. Read about the Amazonian amphibian here.

Speaking of amphibians, CarStuff hosts Scott and Ben discuss vehicles that are just as capable on land as they are in water in a new episode of the podcast. Listen to it here.

Astronauts face many health challenges because of microgravity — bone loss, reduction of strength and disorientation, to mention a few. So, simulating gravity on spacecraft would have obvious benefits, as many science fiction stories evidence. Listen in as Stuff to Blow Your Mind hosts Robert and Joe explore the concept of artificial gravity in a recent episode of the podcast.

The Phenomenal

Hugh Dryden was NASA's first deputy administrator. But even before NASA was created, his engineering and leadership played a major role in the U.S. aeronautics development. Stuff You Missed in History Class hosts Holly and Tracy discuss Dryden's work and life with NASA's chief historian, Bill Barry, in a new episode of the podcast.

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. So it makes sense that when the Framingham Heart Study, a longitudinal study that's taught scientists much of what they know about cardiovascular disease, has been going strong for more than 40 years. Learn more about the research in this article.

Crappy battery life is huge turnoff in smartphone specs — we need our phones to be on to show off their impressive array of powerful features. And all batteries eventually die, anyway. But there's hope: A team of engineers has overcome the dud battery problem by creating a phone that doesn't even need a battery. Find out how the phone gets its juice in this new article.