Episode 149: Paranormal Challenges

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn is joined by Gem, Laura, and Lauren to discuss skeptical paranormal challenges. After Ashlyn’s overview, Lauren introduces Abraham Kovoor’s challenge, Laura talks about Joseph Dunninger, and Gem covers Sanal Edamaruku’s Great Tantra Challenge.

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

Paranormal Challenges: George Valiantine (Wikipedia) | One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge (Wikipedia) | Paranormal proof: Australian Skeptics’ $100,000 prize still unclaimed 37 years on (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Independent Investigations Group (Wikipedia) | The Independent Investigations Group | List of prizes for evidence of the paranormal (Wikipedia)

Abraham Kovoor’s Challenge: Abraham Kovoor’s challenge (Wikipedia) | Indian Rationalist Association (Wikipedia) | A. T. Kovoor (Wikipedia) | Dr Abraham T. Kovoor, the Rationalist of Indian Subcontinent (University of Giessen) | Sri Lanka Living Wage Family (Trading Economics) | Basava Premanand (Wikipedia)

Joseph Dunninger: Joseph Dunninger (Wikipedia) | The Night Joseph Dunninger Spooked a Spiritualist with a $21,000 Check (Weird Historian) | Joseph Dunninger | LIFE Magazine, 1944-03-13 (Google Books) | Dunninger Dies; Magician Was 82 (New York Times) | Joseph Dunninger (Cometa Magico)

Sanal Edamaruku and the Great Tantra Challenge: Sanal Edamaruku (Wikipedia) | The Great Tantra Challenge (Wikipedia) | India TV’s Great Tantra Challenge (NPR) | The night a guru tried to kill me on TV (The Guardian) | Blasphemy, Free Speech, and Rationalism: An Interview with Sanal Edamaruku (The Humanist) | The Indian miracle-buster stuck in Finland (BBC News)

What Have You Been Enjoying?: The Reconciliation Manifesto, by Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson | The Anthropocene Reviewed (WNYC Studios) | Ur-Fascism, by Umberto Eco | The War on Everyone, by Robert Evans | Gastropod: Food with a Side of Science & History

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Episode 145: “Behind the Curve”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura watch the Netflix documentary “Behind the Curve”, which follows a group of “flerfers” out to prove that the Earth is flat.

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

Why Aren’t Plants Black?: Why aren’t plants black? (PBS Digital Studios)

Behind the Curve: Behind the Curve (Wikipedia) | Behind the Curve (IMDb)

Flat Earth: Flat Earth: A Measured Response (Hbomberguy) | Flat Earth OR Why Do People Reject Science? (Philosophy Tube) | Ross and Carrie Traverse Flat Earth, Part 1 (Oh No Ross and Carrie) | The Flat Earth Wiki

What Have You Been Enjoying Lately?: Alice Isn’t Dead (Night Vale Presents) | Outer Wilds | Ask a Manager | Captain Awkward | The Nightrunner Series (Wikipedia) | Nancy (WNYC) | Begonia | Gastropod (Food with a Side of Science & History) | Sigma Nutrition | The Double Shift

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Episode 144: Twenty Questions

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem talks about Google’s search autocomplete feature, then Lauren, Ashlyn, Laura, and Gem answer twenty of the most popular questions suggested by Google.

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

Correction: When answering the question, “Where is your liver?” Ashlyn misspoke: the liver is of course located below the diaphragm, not above it. Whoops!

Google and Autocomplete: How Google autocomplete works in Search (Google Blog) | Censorship by Google (Wikipedia) | Leaked Google research shows company grappling with censorship and free speech (The Verge) | Google to End Pentagon AI Contract, Will Remain a Defense Contractor (Tom’s Hardware)

How: Avoirdupois system (Wikipedia) | Troy weight (Wikipedia) | How to Make Slime: Our 4 Most Popular Slime Recipes (Home Science Tools) | How to Tie a Windsor Knot (Ties.com) | How to write a cover letter (Youth Central) | Hard Boiled Eggs Recipe (Food Network)

Where: Stages of transcription: initiation, elongation & termination (Khan Academy) | Archibald (Wikipedia) | Where is Xur? | History of pizza (Wikipedia)

Can: Can You Start a Sentence with "Because"? (Writer’s Digest) | Can I give my pet…? (Park Road Veterinary Clinic) | Ibuprofen Poisoning in Dogs (VCA Animal Hospital) | What Shall You Not Wear to an Indian Wedding Reception as a Guest? (Discover India) | Is it Legal to Marry Yourself? (Parry & Pfau)

Why: Rayleigh scattering (Wikipedia) | Diffuse sky radiation (Wikipedia) | Photosynthesis (Wikipedia) | Polar bear (Wikipedia) | Effects of Earlier Sea Ice Breakup on Survival and Population Size of Polar Bears in Western Hudson Bay (Journal of Wildlife Management) | Why Asparagus Makes Your Urine Smell (Smithsonian) | Benjamin Franklin’s Letter to the Royal Academy of Brussels (Early Americas Digital Archive) | Moore’s law (Wikipedia) | Why is Caillou bald? (Chouette Publishing)

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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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