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 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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Episode 175: Grifters, Scamps, and Thieves

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Lauren, Ashlyn, and Laura talk scams and con artists: Gem reads from a novel that somehow topped the New York Times bestseller list without anyone ever buying it, Laura covers a gang of thieves trying to make an end-run around Canada’s maple syrup monopsony, Ashlyn explains why a semi-famous skeptic went to jail for fraud, and Lauren talks about an ex-Mormon forger who dabbled in bomb-making. Then Gem just rants semi-coherently about NFTs for a while.

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

Lani Sarem and the New York Times Bestseller scam: Did This Book Buy Its Way Onto The New York Times Bestseller List? (Pajiba) | 8 Notable Attempts to Hack the New York Times Bestseller List (Literary Hub) | Book Review: Handbook for Mortals by Lani Sarem (Bree Howland) | The New York Times Best Seller list (Wikipedia) | Lani Sarem (IMDb)

The Great Maple Syrup Heist: Sweet revenge for Quebec maple syrup producers: Thief gets five years for role in $18.7 million heist (National Post) | A Sticky Situation: SCC Grants Leave to Appeal for Maple Syrup Heist Case in R v Vallières (TheCourt.ca) | Reputed ringleader in $18.7M maple syrup heist found guilty (CBC News) | Police seize hundreds of barrels of syrup possibly linked to Quebec maple heist (The Globe and Mail) | Maple and Economic Development (PPAQ) | Inside Quebec’s Great, Multi-Million-Dollar Maple-Syrup Heist (Vanity Fair) | Alleged ringleader in $18.7M maple syrup theft testifies he faced death threats (CBC News)

Dunning’s Cookie Stuffing Scam: Brian Dunning, eBay and Affiliate Marketing Fraud (Business Insider) | Fraudster skeptic Brian Dunning’s shell game (Lousy Canuck) | A Critical Analysis of Brian Dunning’s Explanation (Skepchick) | The sophistry and revisionist history in Skeptoid Brian Dunning’s statement (Lousy Canuck) | How This Man Cheated eBay Out of $5 Million and Now Faces 20 Years in Federal Prison

The Salamander Letter: The Salamander Letter From Murder Among the Mormons Attempted to Rewrite the Church’s History (Esquire) | The True Story of The Salamander Letter from ‘Murder Among the Mormons’ (Cosmopolitan) | The Real History and Meaning of the Salamander Letter (Refinery29) | Salamander letter (Wikipedia) | Mark Hofmann (Wikipedia) | Anthon Transcript (Wikipedia) | Mormonism Unvailed (Wikipedia)

NFTs: ConstitutionDAO’s bold crypto bid for US Constitution falls short (TechCrunch) | Proof of work (Wikipedia)

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Episode 174: The Assassination of Bigfoot by the Coward Rick Dyer

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn introduces everyone to the most famous monster from West Virginia not named “Joe Manchin”, Lauren talks about colonialist brontosaurus-hunters, Gem reminds everyone of that time a used car salesman murdered Bigfoot, and Laura gives a low key defence of cryptozoology.

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

Crytpozoology on LUEE: Episode 108: Cryptozoology & Mythical Creatures (LUEE)

The Flatwoods Monster: In 1952, the Flatwoods Monster Terrified 6 Kids, a Mom, a Dog—and the Nation (History) | The Flatwoods Monster (Visit Braxton, WV) | The W.Va. Monster That Crept Into International Pop Culture (WVPB) | Flatwoods monster (Wikipedia)

Mokele-Mbembe: Hunting Dinosaurs in Central Africa (Contingent Magazine) | Congo Basin (Wikipedia) | Mokele-mbembe (Wikipedia) | Great Zimbabwe (Wikipedia) | Rhodesia (Wikipedia) | Lake Bangweulu (Wikipedia) | Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (Wikipedia) | Reptilian conspiracy theory (Wikipedia) | Willy Ley (Wikipedia) | Ishtar Gate (Wikipedia) | Brontosaurus (Wikipedia)

Rick Dyer, Big Foot Hunter: On Tour with Rick Dyer and his Bigfoot through Texas (Texas Monthly) | Bigfoot Claim Exposed As Hoax (CBS News) | Bigfoot Experts Skeptical of Body in Freezer (Fox News) | Las Vegas man claims he killed the first Bigfoot (WDAM7 News) | Bigfoot tracker admits body is a hoax (Houston Chronicle) | Why is the Latest Guy Who’s Pretending He Caught Bigfoot Cavalierly Giving Him Such a Tiny Penis? (Esquire) | Rick Dyer (Wikipedia)

A Defence of Cryptozoology: How the search for mythical monsters can help conservation in the real world (The Conversation) | The strange case of the spiral-horned ox (Nature) | Seven species that used to be cryptids (ScIU) | The platypus is so weird that scientists thought the first specimen was a hoax (The Washington Post) | Okapi (Wikipedia) | Okapi (Cryptid Wiki) | Bondegezou (Cryptid Wiki) | Platypus (Cryptid Wiki) | Dingiso (Wikipedia) | Dingiso Tree-kangaroo (PapuaWeb)

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Episode 173: Social Contagion and Psychogenic Illness

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem is joined by Ashlyn, Laura, and Lauren to talk about social contagion and unpack the sociological, psychological, and sometimes pseudoscientific history of “hysteria”. Topics include the Tanganyika laughter epidemic, the Dancing Plague of 1518, and the Seattle windshield pitting epidemic.

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

Social Contagion: Contagion: a theoretical and empirical review and reconceptualization (ResearchGate) | Social contagion (Wikipedia) | Mass psychogenic illness (Wikipedia) | Irish Fright (Wikipedia)

The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic: The laughter of the 1962 Tanganyika ‘laughter epidemic’ (ResearchGate) | An epidemic of laughing in the Bukoba district of Tanganyika (Central African Journal of Medicine) | Why laughter makes no sense: The surprising science behind what tickles our funny bones (Salon.com) | The 1962 Laughter Epidemic of Tanganyika Was No Joke (Atlas Obscura)

The Dancing Plague of 1518: A forgotten plague: making sense of dancing mania (The Lancet) | Dancing plague of 1518 (Encyclopaedia Britannica) | Dancing plague of 1518 (Wikipedia) | Ergotism (Wikipedia) | Sydenham Chorea Information Page (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

The Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic: Windshield pitting incidents in Washington reach fever pitch on April 15, 1954 (HistoryLink.org) | The Windshield-pitting mystery of 1954 (NPR) | How the Seattle windshield pitting epidemic is connected to data interpretation (Quantilia Financial Data and Calculation Factory)

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Episode 172: Quiz Show XP

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Gem, Lauren, and Laura engage in a battle of wits over today’s most important scientific topics: eels, climate change, and… Jim Henson movies?

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

Eels: Surprised Eel Historian, PhD (Twitter) | European eel (Wikipedia) | Interesting facts about eels (Just Fun Facts) | Trust Us, These 9 Slithery Facts About Eels Are The Real D-EEL (AwesomeOcean.com) | 20 Interesting Facts About Eels (Nature Tingz)

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Sixth Assessment Report (IPCC) | Summary for Policymakers (IPCC)

Jim Henson Films: Jim Henson (Wikipedia) | The Muppet Movie (Wikipedia) | Academy Awards (Muppet Wiki) | The Dark Crystal (Wikipedia) | Labyrinth (Wikipedia) | The Witches (Wikipedia)

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Episode 167: Medical History

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Laura swap tales from medical history, including the story of Ben Carson’s separation of the Binder twins, the legacy of Henrietta Lacks, and the “tainted blood scandal” that led to the formation of Canadian Blood Services.

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

Ben Carson: The story of the surgery that made Ben Carson famous and its complicated aftermath (The Washington Post) | Separation of craniopagus Siamese twins using cardiopulmonary bypass and hypothermic circulatory arrest (The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery) | Patrick and Benjamin Binder (Wikipedia) | From Vaccines to Creationism, Ben Carson’s Views Perplex Some (The New York Times) | Ben Carson on Creationism, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (Evolution News) | Ben Carson’s Scientific Ignorance (The New Yorker)

Henrietta Lacks: Henrietta Lacks (Wikipedia) | Significant Research Advances Enabled by HeLa Cells (Office of Science Policy) | Cell Lines – an overview (ScienceDirect Topics) | The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Goodreads)

The Tainted Blood Scandal: Canadian Red Cross apologises for distributing HIV infected blood (BMJ) | ABCs of eligibility to donating blood (Canadian Blood Services) | Collaboration, Competition, and Coercion: Canadian Federalism and Blood System Governance (Adam David McDonald) | Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada: Krever Report (Publications du ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec) | The Krever Commission Recommendations: What They May Mean for Hospital (Longwoods) | The Krever Commission – 10 years later (CMAJ) | Commemoration of the Tainted Blood Tragedy (Canadian Hemophilia Society) | Canada’s Tainted Blood Disaster (CBC Archives) | Unspeakable: the truth about HIV-tainted blood in Canada (The Lancet Infectious Diseases) | Today’s blood system no longer unsafe or “Unspeakable” (Canadian Blood Services) | Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada (Wikipedia) | Research shows promising development in hunt for HIV vaccine (ABC News)

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Episode 165: SoupCast!

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Laura, Gem, and Lauren discuss soup’s history as a religious conversion tool, the science of bone broth, and the discredited claim that bat soup was responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, then everyone attempts (and fails!) to define what, exactly, makes something a soup.

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

Souperism: Souperism (Wikipedia) | Origins of the Irish Famine term “take the soup” (Irish Central) | Edward Nangle and the Achill Island Mission (History Ireland) | Irish Potato Famine (History Channel)

Bone Broth: Dietary Collagen: Should Consumers Believe the Hype? (Today’s Dietitian Magazine) | Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix (NCBI Bookshelf) | What’s the scoop on bone soup? (Harvard Health) | Bone Broth vs. Stock: What’s the Difference? (Epicurious) | Bone Broth Analysis: Reader Research (alive) | Ask the Expert: What’s the Deal With Bone Broth? (Today’s Dietitian Magazine)

COVID-19 Wasn’t Caused by Bat Soup: Where did COVID come from? WHO investigation begins but faces challenges (Nature) | Covid-19: Infectious coronaviruses ‘circulating in bats for decades’ (BBC News) | How the myths surrounding bat soup came to represent our collective fear and confusion over COVID-19 (National Post) | Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Transmission (CDC)

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Episode 161: Prophecy

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Laura, and Lauren lead Gem on a whirlwind tour of various prophecies and prophets, including the caged prophet of St. Lambert’s Church, the Prophecy of the Popes, and blind soothsayer who supposedly predicted that Trump would get COVID-19.

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

Correction: The Superior General of the Jesuits is called the “Black Pope”, not the “Dark Pope”. Oh well.

St. Lambert’s Church: Why 3 Man-Sized Cages Hang From a Medieval German Church Steeple (Mental Floss) | Anabaptist (Britannica) | Reformation Apocalypticism: Münster’s Monster (Christian History Magazine)

The Prophecy of the Popes: Prophecy of the Popes (Wikipedia) | Saint Malachy (Wikipedia) | Vatican Apostolic Archive (Wikipedia) | Arnold Wyon (Wikipedia) | Pope Francis will be last Pontiff Irish saint predicted (IrishCentral.com) | Top 10 Prophecies You Don’t Know (Listverse) | Martin Luther (Wikipedia) | Avignon Papacy (Wikipedia) | The Western Schism (Western Civilization) | Western Schism (Wikipedia) | Girolamo Simoncelli (Wikipedia)

Baba Vanga: Baba Vanga (Wikipedia) | Fair warning: Bulgarian prophet predicted Obama would be last U.S. president (The Washington Post) | Blind mystic Baba Vanga’s poignant message to world days before she died (Mirror Online) | Blind mystic Baba Vanga predicted Donald Trump’s coronavirus plight, claim fans (Mirror Online) | Blind mystic Baba Vanga ‘predicted Donald Trump’s coronavirus battle’ after saying ‘president will get sick in 2020’ (The Sun)

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Episode 160: Hauntings

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren discuss the plausibility of hauntings, then do a deep dive on the true (and not-so-true) stories behind the Amityville Horror and the Coventry University Ghost. Then Ashlyn brings the show home with her thoughts on why COVID quarantine seems to have resulted in an uptick in hauntings.

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

The Amityville Horror: ‘Amityville Horror’ Was Based on a True Story? (Snopes) | 6 Horror Movies Inspired by Real Stories and Hoaxes (HISTORY) | The Amityville Horror (Wikipedia) | Ronald DeFeo Jr. (Wikipedia)

Ed & Lorraine Warren: No, the Annabelle doll didn’t actually escape from the Warrens’ museum (AltPress) | Ed and Lorraine Warren (Wikipedia) | Annabelle (Wikipedia)

The Coventry University Ghost: The Ghost in the Machine (Journal of the Society for Psychical Research) | Our history (Coventry Cathedral) | Some “Ghosts” May Be Sound Waves Just Below Human Hearing (Gizmodo) | Ghost buster (The Guardian) | Famous ghost stories that turned out to be fakes (Insider)

Quarantine Hauntings: Haunted House? These People Are in Isolation with Ghosts (The New York Times) | Haunted house reports on the rise during pandemic, says paranormal researcher (CBC Radio) | Haunted home residents see rise in ‘spooky’ happenings amid quarantine (New York Post)

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