Episode 187: Last Year’s News

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Lauren, Ashlyn, and Laura discuss the most important news of the twelve months. Who died? What were tech companies up to? And most importantly: Who brought snacks?

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Update: Shortly after this episode was recorded, vote tallying was completed and QA workers at ZeniMax announced that their union drive was a success. Microsoft has officially recognized the union. ZeniMax Workers United, organized under the Communication Workers of America, which is now the largest union in the American video game industry.

2022 in Tech: A timeline of Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter (NBC News) | Acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk (Wikipedia) | Twitter under Elon Musk (Wikipedia) | Sony Paid Billions for Bungie and ‘Destiny,’ But What Are They Buying? (Vice) | The Consequences of Microsoft Buying Activision Blizzard Are Dizzying (Vice) | WarnerMedia (Wikipedia) | Netflix loses almost a million subscribers (BBC News) | Tech’s Biggest Companies Are Sending Worrying Signals About the Economy (The New York Times) | Top tech stories of 2022: Musk buys Twitter, Facebook’s struggles, TikTok’s rise (Rappler) | This Startup Is Selling Tech to Make Call Center Workers Sound Like White Americans (Vice) | VC firms are getting stingier. Tribe Capital’s struggles show why (Fortune) | Amazon Labor Union | Amazon Labor Union (Wikipedia) | Tech’s Biggest Companies Are Sending Worrying Signals About the Economy (The New York Times) | Activision Blizzard Is Acting Like a Company That’s Scared of a Union (Vice) | Activision Blizzard CEO Says Company Will Recognize Raven Software Union And Begin Negotiations (Game Informer) | Edmonton video game workers vote to unionize, an industry first for Canada (CBC News) | Video Game Workers at Microsoft and Activision Take Steps to Unionize (The New York Times) | Fallout and Doom QA Testers Just Formed the Biggest Union in the US Games Industry (Vice) | Tech Won’t Save Us

2022 in Snacks: Top 10 TikTok food trends 2022: Pink sauce, butter boards and more (CNBC) | What Is the TikTok Pink Sauce Controversy? (The Spruce Eats) | The Most Popular Snack Recipes of 2022 (Bon Appétit) | 7 Viral TikTok Food Trends That Defined 2022 (Eat This) | Cosmo Snack Awards 2022: Best Portable Snacks of the Year (Cosmo)

2022 in Death: World Population Data Sheet 2022 Highlights Excess Deaths Due to COVID-19 (SDG Knowledge Hub) | List of the oldest living people (Wikipedia) | 2022 (Wikipedia) | How many people die and how many are born each year? (Our World in Data) | Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccinations (Our World in Data)

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Episode 186: LUEE Gets Cancelled

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, it’s cancel or be cancelled! Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, Gem, and special guest Kyle Joseph discuss a few people who really deserve a good cancelling.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Wednesday Night Wallop Podcast: Wednesday Night Wallop

Mother Theresa, Missionary of Misery: Criticism of Mother Teresa (Wikipedia) | Aroup Chatterjee (Wikipedia) | Mother Teresa (Wikipedia) | Canonization (Wikipedia) | The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice (Wikipedia)

Bill Gates, Dubious Philanthropist: Bill Gates (Forbes) | Every Time Bill Gates Engaged in Inappropriate Conduct (Business Insider) | Bill Gates’ Nerdy Do-Gooder Image Destroyed by Divorce Revelations (Business Insider) | Who Flew on Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’ Plane? Full List of People Named (Newsweek) | Um, who are Melinda and Bill Gates trying to kid? (The Washington Post) | Bill and Melinda Gates have spent billions to shape education policy. Now, they say, they’re ‘skeptical’ of ‘billionaires’ trying to do just that. (The Washington Post) | The media loves the Gates Foundation. These experts are more skeptical. (Vox) | Bill Gates, Vaccine Monster (The New Republic) | They Pledged to Donate Rights to Their COVID Vaccine, Then Sold Them to Pharma (Kaiser Health News)

Man Doctor Diet Book Authors: Vintage Diet Books are My Favorite Thing to Collect and I’m a Fat Activist (SELF) | The problem with diet books written by doctors (Vox) | About Dr. William Davis | About Dr. Gundry | About Carnivore MD | About Paul Saladino MD (Psychology Today Canada)

J.K. Rowling, TERF: J.K. Rowling (GLAAD) | Is J.K. Rowling Transphobic? (Them) | Robert Galbraith Heath (Wikipedia) | A Complete Breakdown of the J.K. Rowling Transgender-Comments Controversy (Glamour) | J.K. Rowling’s transphobic tweets failed Harry Potter fans (Vox) | The metamorphosis of J.K. Rowling (Politico) | J.K. Rowling’s new book is about a character accused of transphobia (NPR)

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Episode 185: They forgot to reveal the sinister truth!

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem subjects Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Dave to a documentary of questionable quality.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Links: Sasquatch Unearthed: The Ridge – The Sinister Truth Revealed (YouTube)

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Episode 184: Revenge of the Quiz Show!

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Marissa test each other’s knowledge of creation myths, fall foods, historical clocks, anthropology, and medicine.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Creation Myths: Enuma Elish: The Oldest Written Creation Myth | Accounts of creation (BBC Bitesize) | Chaos (cosmogony) (Wikipedia) | Creation myth (Wikipedia) | Emergence (Wikipedia) | Zuni mythology (Wikipedia) | List of mythological pairs (Wikipedia) | Kintu (Wikipedia) | Völuspá (Wikipedia)

Timekeeping: A Chronicle Of Timekeeping (Scientific American) | The Very Long and Fascinating History of Clocks | A Brief History of Time-Keeping (The Washington Post) | Decimal time: the revolution that never was (Watches and Culture) | Decimal time (Wikipedia) | The Evolution of Timekeeping: Water Clocks in China and Mechanical Clocks in Europe (Encyclopedia.com) | Wrist Watches: From Battlefield to Fashion Accessory (The New York Times) | A Brief History of the Wristwatch (The Atlantic) | History of timekeeping devices (Wikipedia) | Water clock (Wikipedia)

Diagnosis: UpToDate | Centor Score for Strep Pharyngitis (MDCalc) | Classification criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus (UpToDate) | Overview of the management and prognosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (UpToDate) | Polymorphic light eruption (NHS) | Osteosarcoma: epidemiology, pathology, clinical presentation, and diagnosis (UpToDate) | Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state in adults (UpToDate) | Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: clinical manifestations and diagnosis (UpToDate) | Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: treatment and prognosis (UpToDate)


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Episode 183: Hope (to replace every tree with a chest freezer)

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Laura discuss scientific advances that give them hope for the future, and Gem issues a correction.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

The HIV Vaccine: NIH launches clinical trial of three mRNA HIV vaccines (National Institutes of Health (NIH)) | HIV Vaccines (HIV.gov) | Zidovudine (Wikipedia) | HIV vaccine development (Wikipedia) | HIV/AIDS (Wikipedia) | Retrovirus (Wikipedia) | Why Is It So Difficult to Find an HIV Cure? (American Gene Technologies) | Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)

The Four Day Work Week: The 4-day workweek: How realistic is it really? (NPR) | The Workweek Revolution: a Solution to the Health Care Exodus (Clinical Advisor) | More Employers Are Trying a 4-Day Workweek and Finding Benefits (Business Insider) | Why the four-day working week is ‘doomed to fail’ (HRD Canada) | Can the four day work week save us? A look at the statistics (Fingerprint for Success)

The Moxie Experiment: NASA’s Moxie instrument successfully makes oxygen on Mars (The Guardian) | Small Device Currently on Mars Is Generating as Much Oxygen as a Tree, Scientists Reveal (Vice) | MOXIE experiment: NASA made enough oxygen on Mars to last an astronaut for 100 minutes (New Scientist) | MIT’s MOXIE experiment reliably produces oxygen on Mars (MIT News) | Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (Wikipedia) | Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE) – Preparing for human Mars exploration (Science Advances) | Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment: MOXIE (NASA)

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Episode 182: He’s not a scientist, okay?

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Laura give a primer on some astronomical pseudosciences, including astrology, the expanding Earth theory, the hollow Earth hypothesis, and the effects of the full moon on human health.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Astrology: Is Astrology Real? Here’s What Science Says (Scientific American) | Astrology and Horoscopes Uncloaked (Relatively Interesting) | Astrology is bullsh*t. NASA’s scathing takedown perfectly explains why. (Mic) | Horoscope (Wikipedia) | List of astrological traditions, types, and systems (Wikipedia) | Astrology (Wikipedia) | Zodiac (Wikipedia) | Free Astrology Reports: Natal Chart, Compatibility, Future (Cafe Astrology) | Understanding the Free Natal Chart Report (Cafe Astrology)

Lunacy: Full Moon Effects: What Research Has Discovered (Healthline) | Lunacy and the Full Moon (Scientific American) | Lunar effect (Wikipedia)

Expanding Earth: Alfred Wegener’s Hypothesis on Continental Drift and Its Discussion in Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research) | Limits to the expansion of Earth, Moon, Mars and Mercury and to changes in the gravitational constant (Nature) | What’s Hitting Earth? (NASA Science Mission Directorate) | It’s a small world, after all: Earth is not expanding, NASA research confirms (ScienceDaily) | Debate with Hollow-Earth Proponent Neal Adams (NeuroLogica Blog) | Expanding Earth (Wikipedia) | Continental drift (Wikipedia) | Plate tectonics (Wikipedia) | J. Marvin Herndon (Wikipedia) | Neal Adams (Wikipedia) | Finally: The Utter Insanity of ‘Batman: Odyssey,’ Part 6 (Comics Alliance)

Hollow Earth: Hollow Earth (Wikipedia) | John Cleves Symmes Jr. (Wikipedia) | John Cleves Symmes: Believer in hollow Earth theory sent this open letter (Slate) | Our Rich History: The Earth’s not flat, it’s… hollow? (Northern Kentucky Tribune) | Canadian Geography (Statistics Canada)

Face Mite Update: Human Follicular Mites: Ectoparasites Becoming Symbionts (Molecular Biology and Evolution) | Face mites are losing genes (Popular Science)

Correction: Meteoroids are not “converted to energy” as they combust. Ram pressure results in atmospheric ablation, vaporizing some of the meteoroid material and reducing a good deal of it to meteoric dust. This dust can remain in the atmosphere for months, and some of this vaporized material may persist in the atmosphere indefinitely, but it does add mass to the Earth system—just not enough to cause any meaningful growth in the diameter of the Earth.

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Episode 181: The Extraordinary Science of Everyday Things

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn is joined by Lauren, Gem, and Laura to discuss the amazing hidden science behind common objects and phenomena, including coloured glass, toilets, foam, and placebos.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Coloured Glass: Chemistry of Colored Glass (Science Notes) | The Chemistry of Coloured Glass (Compound Interest) | Bottle Colors (Society for Historical Archaeology) | What Causes Color in Stained and Colored Glass (Geology.com) | Glass (New World Encyclopedia) | Glass: Composition, types and uses (Jagran Josh)

The Placebo Effect: Semantics of the placebo (Psychiatric Quarterly) | A systematic review and meta-analysis of placebo versus no treatment for insomnia symptoms (ScienceDirect) | Is the Placebo Powerless? — An Analysis of Clinical Trials Comparing Placebo with No Treatment (NEJM) | The Powerful Placebo and the Wizard of Oz (NEJM) | The Powerful Placebo (JAMA) | The Powerful Placebo Effect: Fact or Fiction? (ScienceDirect) | Placebo interventions for all clinical conditions (Cochrane Library) | Are Treatments More Effective than Placebos? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PMC) | Correction: Are Treatments More Effective than Placebos? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PMC) | Statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (Cochrane Library) | Greater Response to Placebo in Children Than in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis in Drug-Resistant Partial Epilepsy (PMC)

Toilets: Gravity and Your Toilet: A Beautiful Science Relationship (Homeschool.com) | How toilets work (Explain That Stuff) | Learn Who Invented the Toilet (Brubaker) | A Brief History of The Flush Toilet (The British Association of Urological Surgeons) | Who Invented the Flush Toilet? (HISTORY) | 8 Inventions By African Americans That Helped Shape Civilization (Black Then) | Gravity Fed Toilets (Toiletology) | 2.972 How A Toilet Works (MIT) | Bernoulli’s principle (Wikipedia) | Indus Valley civilisation (Wikipedia) | The Physics of Toilets (University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Foam: Nitrogen in Guinness Beer (Inertion) | Wildfire Retardants (Government of the Northwest Territories) | Researchers discover the physics of foams (ScienceDaily) | Practical Foam Science (Cosmetics & Toiletries) | The science behind the foam in your cappuccino (The Splendid Table) | Two new papers explore the complicated physics behind bubbles and foams (Ars Technica) | The Basics of Engineering with Foam (MachineDesign) | Foam (Wikipedia) | The Strange Physics of Foam (NASA Science Mission Directorate) | Science of Sloshing: Why Foam is Important (Science Connected Magazine) | Unraveling the science of coffee foam (Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition) | The science of foaming (ScienceDirect) | Shuffling bubbles reveal how liquid foams evolve (EurekAlert!) | Spray Polyurethane Foam Basics (American Chemistry Council)

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Episode 180: “Icebergs”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Marissa McCool leads Lauren, Ashlyn, Laura, and Gem on an exploration of ideas as “icebergs”, with layers of hidden secrets just below the surface. Topics of discussion include US cities, the sinking of the Titanic, artificial sweeteners, and the curse of the pharaohs.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Correction: This year marks Queen Elizabeth II’s 70th year on the throne, not her 75th.

Marissa’s Podcasts on Spreaker: Marissa McCool (Host/Producer)

The Sinking of the Titanic: Sinking of the Titanic (Wikipedia) | Titanic Coincidence? (Commonplace Fun Facts) | 5 Titanic Coincidences That Prove Reality is Stranger than Fiction (Travel Thru History) | Titanic Conspiracy Theories: When Did the Titanic Sink? (Popular Mechanics) | Fire and Ice: The Titanic’s Top 10 Weirdest Conspiracy Theories (Spyscape) | Titanic conspiracy theories (Wikipedia) | Fact Check-J.P. Morgan did not sink the Titanic to push forward plans for the U.S. Federal Reserve (Reuters) | Saved from the Titanic (Wikipedia) | Fact-checking QAnon conspiracy theories: Did J.P. Morgan sink the Titanic? (The Washington Post) | Haunted mirror ‘possessed by the ghost of the Titanic captain’ up for auction (Mirror Online)

Artificial Sweeteners: G.D. Searle, LLC (Wikipedia) | Aspartame (Wikipedia) | Artificial sweeteners get more than their fair share of grief (AGDAILY) | Is Aspartame Responsible for ‘An Epidemic of Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus’? (Snopes.com) | Hayes Planning To Resign as Head of FDA (The Washington Post) | Why Did the FDA Ever Approve Fake Sugar? (Vice) | Donald Rumsfeld and the Strange History of Aspartame (HuffPost) | ‘Aspartame Causes Cancer’ Was a Classic Internet Hoax (Smithsonian Magazine) | Aspartame controversy (Wikipedia)

The Pharaoh’s Curse: British Museum is world’s largest receiver of stolen goods, says QC (The Guardian) | Curse of the pharaohs (Wikipedia) | Discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun (Wikipedia) | Did a Cursed Mummy Sink with the Titanic? (Snopes.com) | Did a mummy’s curse sink the Titanic? Probably not, but the Washington Post once suggested that it did. (Slate) | The most famous myths about the Titanic (SFGate) | Brendan Fraser got ‘fully choked-out’ shooting ‘The Mummy’ (EW.com) | Here’s How Brendan Fraser Almost Died on the Set of ‘The Mummy’ (TheThings)

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Episode 179: Cursed Knowledge

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura share things that they wish they had never learned. Warning: this episode contains parasites!

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

The Curse of Knowledge: Curse of knowledge (Wikipedia) | The Curse of Knowledge (Digital Learning) | The Curse of Knowledge | The Curse of Knowledge and How to Avoid It (All About Learning) | The Curse of Knowledge: How It Impacts You, and What to Do About It (User Testing)

Snail-borne Parasites: Schistosomiasis (CDC) | Rat Lungworm Disease and How to Prevent It (Corry’s) | Snail-borne parasitic diseases: an update on global epidemiological distribution, transmission interruption and control methods (PMC) | Eating Slugs Can Cause Paralysis—Here’s Why (National Geographic)

Fatal Familial Insomnia: Fatal Familial Insomnia (National Organization for Rare Disorders)

Face Mites: ‘Face Mites’ Live in Your Pores, Eat Your Grease and Mate on Your Face While You Sleep (Live Science) | Face Mites: They Really Grow On You (NPR) | Demodex (Wikipedia)

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Episode 178: The Worst Tooth Fairy

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem introduces the panel to Dr. Henry Cotton, a pioneer in the field of “psychiatric surgical bacteriology”, Lauren provides a biographical sketch of Magnus Hirschfeld and his Institute of Sex Research, Laura discusses the supposed health consequences of eating “fried foods”, and Ashlyn does a deep dive on a common way the medical system makes people’s lives just a little bit more miserable.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that explores the intersection of science and society.

Henry Cotton: Henry Cotton (Wikipedia) | Trenton Psychiatric Hospital (American Journal of Psychiatry) | Book Review: “Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine” (Psychiatry, Psychology and Law)

Magnus Hirschfeld and the Institute of Sex Research: World League for Sexual Reform (Wikipedia) | Scientific-Humanitarian Committee (Wikipedia) | Magnus Hirschfeld (Wikipedia) | Arthur Kronfeld (Wikipedia) | Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Wikipedia) | LGBTQ Legislation Tracker (Freedom for All Americans) | Canada’s gender identity rights Bill C-16 explained (CBC Docs POV) | C-4 (44-1) An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Parliament of Canada) | Weimar Republic (Wikipedia) | Sexual intermediacy and temporality in late nineteenth- and early twentieth- century literature and culture (ResearchGate) | Magnus Hirschfeld (Britannica)

Fried Foods: Formation of trans fatty acids in edible oils during the frying and heating process (ScienceDirect) | Characterization of the Distribution of Oil Uptake in French Fries (Microscopy Today) | Fried-food consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis of observational studies (BMJ Heart) | Consumption of Fried Foods and Risk of Heart Failure in the Physicians’ Health Study (Journal of the American Heart Association) | Consumption of fried foods and risk of coronary heart disease: Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (BMJ) | Association of fried food consumption with all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: prospective cohort study (BMJ) | Analysis of Trans Fat in Edible Oils with Cooking Process (Toxicological Research) | Fried Food Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Current Evidence (Nutrients)

Anaesthesia and Fasting: Ending the misery of ‘nil by mouth’ (NHS) | Guidelines to the Practice of Anesthesia (Canadian Journal of Anesthesia) | You don’t need to do a prolonged fast before surgery (Slate) | A Trio of Commentaries on
Preoperative Fasting Guidelines (California Society of Anesthesiologists)
| Practice Guidelines for Obstetric Anesthesia (American Society of Anesthesiologists)

Unconstitutional Prayer in Manitoba: In Open Defiance (BC Humanist Association)

Gem’s Stories: “Passepartout” (first prize in the 2021 Bedford Writing Competition) | “Persistence of Vision” (published in Surge: A Dragon Soul Press Anthology)

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