Episode 139: The Unnecessary Christmas Show

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem talk about several elements of the holiday consumer frenzy. Lauren tackles gift guides, Gem explains why corporations love gift cards, Ashlyn talks about holiday debt, and Laura ends the show with a discussion of some truly bizarre holiday products.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

Gift Guides: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop gift guide suggests you buy a whole village (Vox) | Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2018 Goop Gift Guide (Cosmopolitan) | Totally Random, Totally Useless Holiday Gift Guide (Chefdruck) | Holiday Gift Guide 2018 (Chatelaine) | Subchronic inhalation toxicity of gold nanoparticles (NCBI) | The Hater’s Guide (Deadspin) | The 2012 Hater’s Guide to the Williams Sonoma Catalog (Deadspin)

Gift Cards: Gift Card Warning: Check Retailer’s Health (NPR) | Gift Card Review: Public Consultation Paper & Survey (Government of Manitoba) | Prepaid Purchase Card Requirements (Manitoba Consumer Protection Office) | Scam alert: Be wary of gift cards sold on a retailer’s rack! (Consumer Affairs)

Charitable Giving: LUEE Episode 115: Holiday Charity Special

Holiday Debt: Debt Snowball Versus Debt Avalanche: What The Academic Research Shows (Forbes) | 5 ways to cure your Christmas debt hangover (MoneySense) | Holiday hangover: Americans racked up more than $1,000 each in holiday debt (CNBC) | Christmas on Credit: How to Avoid the Debt (My Money Coach) | Here’s how you can avoid piling on holiday debt (Global News) | Don’t Let the Ghost of Christmas Gifts Past Hurt Your Finances (Huffpost) | Why Don’t People Manage Debt Better? (Scientific American Blogs)

Strange Holiday Gifts: As Seen on TV Clever Cutter (Canadian Tire) | 5 Condom Variety Christmas Fun Pack (Amazon) | Christmas Tinner Is the Dinner in a Can You Never Knew You Needed (BestProducts.com) | Shoppers take to Twitter to mock stores’ Christmas bleaches (Daily Mail) | Inhealer Himalayan Salt Inhaler (Showcase)

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Episode 138: Wikipedia

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Laura talk about the history and reliability of Wikipedia and its many controversies, then end the episode with some of our favourite Wikipedia finds. Also on this episode: Lauren and Gem disagree about punctuation, and Laura does a lot of yelling about buffalo.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

History: History of Wikipedia (Wikipedia) | Nupedia (Wikipedia) | Bomis (Wikipedia) | h2g2: The Guide to Life | h2g2 (Wikipedia) | Wikipedia (h2g2)

Skepticism: List of common misconceptions (Wikipedia) | List of dates predicted for apocalyptic events (Wikipedia) | Perverse incentive (Wikipedia)

Reliability: Reliability of Wikipedia (Wikipedia) | Wikipedia is not a reliable source (Wikipedia) | How Accurate Is Wikipedia? (Live Science) | Is Wikipedia trustworthy when it comes to science? (The Washington Post) | How reliable is Wikipedia as a source of information, and why? (Quora) | Study shows Wikipedia Accuracy is 99.5% (ZME Science) | List of Wikipedias (Wikipedia)

Editors: WikiProject Women in Red (Wikipedia) | Women in Red (Wikipedia) | Wikipedia Editors Study Report (Wikipedia Meta) | Wikimedia Conference 2011 Editor Trends Study (Wikipedia Meta) | Wikipedia's 15 Anniversary: The Site Is in Trouble (Time) | Inside the Fight to Change Wikipedia’s Gender Problem (Inverse) | Women through the glass ceiling: gender asymmetries in Wikipedia (EPJ Data Science)

Edit Wars: Top 10 Strangest Wikipedia Edit Wars (Listverse) | CongressEdits (Wikipedia) | Judiciary Committee Members Doxxed During Kavanaugh Testimony (Huffington Post) | Edit war (Wikipedia Meta) | Edit warring (Wikipedia) | Wikipedia Wars: 10 Biggest Edit Battles (PCWorld) | Wikipedia’s lamest edit wars show why the site is amazing and infuriating (Vox) | 6 Wikipedia edits made from Capitol Hill (Columbia Journalism Review)

Controversies: List of Wikipedia controversies (Wikipedia)

Amusements: List of lists of lists (Wikipedia) | Illegal number (Wikipedia) | List of predictions (Wikipedia) | List of sexually active popes (Wikipedia) | Fictitious entry (Wikipedia) | Garden hermit (Wikipedia) | List of vampire traits in folklore and fiction (Wikipedia) | Great Molasses Flood (Wikipedia) | List of animals with fraudulent diplomas (Wikipedia) | List of unusual units of measurement (Wikipedia)

Lauren and Gem’s Punctuation Dustup: How to Use Quotation Marks Correctly (Grammar Girl)

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Episode 132: Life Hacks

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Laura, and Lauren discuss and evaluate dubious “life hacks” they found online.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

Links: 9 Crazy Body Hacks That Give You Superhuman Powers (Popular Science) | Jendrassik maneuver (Wikipedia) | A Solar Panel Implanted Inside Your Body? (WSJ) | Jendrassik maneuver (r/askscience) | 20 Awesome Life Hacks That Will Simplify Your Life (Bright Side) | 50 Life Hacks to Simplify your World (TwistedSifter) | 50 Incredibly Useful Life Hacks Updated for 2018 (CYA) | The 101 Best Genius Life Hacks That Make Life Easier (Medium)

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Episode 121: “Dreams from My Real Father”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura talk about yet another conspiracy film, and Gem closes out the episode with an Alex Jones–themed quiz.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a podcast that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.

Links: No more religious exemptions: Montreal is taxing churches (CTV Montreal News ) | Montreal churches fear stricter taxation after visits from inspectors (Montreal Gazette) | Dreams from My Real Father (Wikipedia) | Barack Obama (Wikipedia) | Frank Marshall Davis (Wikipedia) | Alex Jones (radio host) (Wikipedia)

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Episode 117: Trump

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Laura, Lauren, and Brendan discuss a few of the many myths and conspiracy theories endorsed by Donald Trump, and Brendan points out that a simple fact check isn’t enough.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Note: For further context on Trump, fact-checking, border control, and claims of journalistic objectivity, Gem recommends these excellent episodes of On the Media: The Game Has Changed (On the Media) | The Ties That Bind (On the Media) | What We Know About the Border (On the Media)

Links: Episode 110: Science & Race (LUEE) | Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks in America (Global Research) | New Research Shows That More Immigration Means Higher Wages for All Workers in Cities (CityLab) | 3 Ways to Immigrate to USA (uscitizenship) | Immigration and the Economic Status of African-American Men (SSRN) | Unskilled Workers Lose Out to Immigrants (NYTimes.com) | An Aging U.S. is Revitalized by Immigrants (NYTimes.com) | Immigrants Are Replacing, Not Displacing, Workers (NYTimes.com) | Immigration Doesn’t Hurt Native Jobs or Wages in the U.S., Report Finds (Time) | Immigrant Employment by State and Industry (Pew) | Does Illegal Immigration Disadvantage American Workers? (ProCon.org) | Immigrants Aren’t Stealing American Jobs (The Atlantic) | Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories (Wikipedia) | Central Park jogger case (Wikipedia) | COINTELPRO (Wikipedia) | What an Uncensored Letter to M.L.K. Reveals (The New York Times) | Episode 101: “Trace Amounts” (LUEE) | 10 facts on immunization (WHO) | About Vaccines (Manitoba Health) | The GOP’s dangerous “debate” on vaccines and autism (The Washington Post) | Trump team denies skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was asked to head vaccine commission (CNNPolitics.com) | Gregg Phillips: Trump’s Favorite Voter-Fraud Activist (The Atlantic) | 25% of Voters Believe President Trump’s Unfounded Voter Fraud Claim (Time) | President Trump’s Voter-Fraud Expert Was Registered to Vote in Three States (Time) | President Trump Vowed to Investigate Voter Fraud. Then Lawmakers Voted to Eliminate an Election Commission (Time) | Arguments from Global Warming Skeptics and what the science really says (Skeptical Science) | Fact Check: Trump’s Cabinet Picks on Human-Caused Global Warming | Ice-albedo feedback (Wikipedia) | Yes, Donald Trump did call climate change a Chinese hoax (PolitiFact) | 2012 Benghazi attack (Wikipedia) | A Comprehensive Guide To Benghazi Myths And Facts | Hillary Clinton emails – what’s it all about? (BBC News) | Essays: To Profile or Not to Profile? (Schneier on Security) | Protestors call on mayor to make Winnipeg a sanctuary city (Winnipeg Free Press)

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Episode 114: Ray Comfort’s “Atheist Delusion”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura review Ray Comfort’s new “documentary” with special guests Ash Burkowski and David Bonwick, and the panel bids farewell to evangelical cartoonist Jack Chick with a game of Jack or Fiction.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Links: Bad Science Watch | NHP Monograph Consultations (Bad Science Watch) | TRC #420: Origin of 420 + Gem Newman of Bad Science Watch + History Of Halloween (The Reality Check) | The Atheist Delusion (YouTube) | Checkmate, Atheists! (YouTube) | Jack Chick (RationalWiki) | Leonard Nimoy Gallery (NSFW)

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Episode 113: “Unsealed: Conspiracy Files”

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, we’re trying something completely different! Are rich people harvesting organs from clones? Did Hitler fake his own death (six times)? Are CIA remote viewers peering inside your mind? Join Ashlyn and Lauren as they watch “Unsealed: Conspiracy Files” to find out!

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Correction: While it has been widely reported that the Mars Curiosity Rover sings itself “Happy Birthday” every year, and this did indeed occur in 2013, it seems to have been a one-time event (but this has been frustratingly difficult to verify).

Links: Unsealed: Conspiracy Files (IMDb)

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