Episode 148: Medical Myths

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem talks about Anthroposophic medicine and some of the weird myths it promotes, Lauren discusses medicalization, Laura busts some myths about food, and Ashlyn quizzes the panel about sexually transmitted infections.

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

Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education: Rudolf Steiner (Wikipedia) | Anthroposophic medicine (Wikipedia) | Waldorf education (Wikipedia) | The Heart is not a Pump: A Refutation of the Pressure Propulsion Premise of Heart Function (Rudolph Steiner Research Center) | Rudolf Steiner’s Quackery (QuackWatch) | OTA Report: Herbal Treatments (QuackWatch) | Spotlight on Anthroposophy (Sharon Lombard) | Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, by Paul Offit | The Foundations of Human Experience, by Rudolph Steiner | My Waldorf-Student Son Believes in Gnomes—and That’s Fine With Me (The Atlantic)

Medicalization: Medicalization (Wikipedia) | Medicalization and Social Control (Annual Review of Sociology) | The medicalization of life (Journal of Medical Ethics) | Revisiting Medicalization: A Critique of the Assumptions of What Counts As Medical Knowledge (Frontiers in Sociology) | Medicalization (ScienceDirect) | How Do Medicalization and Rescue Fantasy Prevent Healthy Dying? (American Medical Association Journal of Ethics) | Between hope and acceptance: the medicalisation of dying (British Medical Journal) | De-Medicalizing Death (Health Affairs) | How Halitosis Became a Medical Condition With a “Cure” (Smithsonian) | Get the Facts: Bill C-14 and Assisted Dying Law in Canada (Dying with Dignity Canada)

Food Myths: Fact or Fiction?: Chewing Gum Takes Seven Years to Digest (Scientific American) | Bezoars (Merck Manuals Professional Edition) | Bezoar (Wikipedia) | Gastrointestinal Bezoars: History and Current Treatment Paradigms (Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology) | Chewing gum (Wikipedia) | Chew on This: The History of Gum (History.com) | Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load (Diabetes Self-Management)

STI Myths: Myths and Misconceptions about HIV/AIDS (Peel HIV/AIDS Network) | 5 STI Myths That Just Won’t Die (HuffPost) | Our Whole Lives (Wikipedia) | HPV vaccine: Who needs it, how it works (Mayo Clinic)

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Episode 146: Standardized Testing

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn explains standardized testing in Canadian high schools, Lauren introduces the SAT and ACT, Gem rambles about the MCAT, and Laura asks some pointed questions about citizenship testing.

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

Standardized Testing in Canada: List of Canadian primary and secondary examinations (Wikipedia) | What is the Value of Standardized Testing? (EdCan Network) | Here’s what standardized tests look like around the world (INSIDER) | Assessment and Evaluation (Manitoba Education) | Canadian Achievement Test (CAT) | What is the Value of Standardized Testing? (EdCan Network)

SAT/ACT: SAT (Wikipedia) | College Board (Wikipedia) | ACT (test) (Wikipedia) | ACT (nonprofit organization) (Wikipedia) | The SAT (The College Board) | The Real Problem With the SAT (The Atlantic) | Lewis Terman (Wikipedia) | SAT Prep Free Resources (Why SAT Test Prep is Broken) | Stereotype threat (Wikipedia) | The ACT Test for Students (ACT) | Math–verbal achievement gap (Wikipedia) | College Readiness Exams Measure the Wrong Things (Nyack News and Views) | Beyond the Rhetoric: Improving College Readiness Through Coherent State Policy (HigherEducation.org) | Different Tests, Same Flaws: A Comparison of the SAT, SAT II and ACT (FairTest)

MCAT: Medical College Admission Test (Wikipedia) | AAMC

Citizenship Testing: Applying for Danish citizenship: the process explained (The Local) | The U.K. Has a Citizenship Test and It’s Dreadfully Hard (WSJ) | Europe’s citizenship tests are so hard not even citizens can pass (The Washington Post) | What does US citizenship exam actually test? (PRI.org) | Over 80% of Canadians would fail a citizenship test, new poll reveals (Global News)

Ian’s New Single: Fangs of Winter by Ian James and the Combo Breakers (SoundCloud)

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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 142: Rare Diseases

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Lauren, Ashlyn, and Laura discuss rare diseases and regulatory responses to them. Specific diseases discussed include diabetes insipidus, toxic shock syndrome, and the Cotard delusion.

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

How Rare is Rare?: Useful Information on Rare Diseases from an EU Perspective (EU Health & Consumer Protection Directorate General) | What is a rare disease? (RareDiseaseDay.org) | Pitfalls in Canada’s Approach to Orphan Drugs (Rare Disease Review) | Rare disease (Wikipedia)

Orphan Drugs and Neglected Diseases: Neglected Diseases (WHO) | RARE Facts (Global Genes) | Rare Diseases (Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center) | Rare disease (Wikipedia) | Neglected tropical diseases (Wikipedia)

Diabetes Insipidus: Diabetes mellitus and deafness (Wikipedia) | Diabetes insipidus (Wikipedia) | Diabetes insipidus: Symptoms and causes (Mayo Clinic) | Diabetes Insipidus (NIDDK) | Diabetes: Study proposes five types, not two (Medical News Today) | Are there actually 5 types of diabetes? (NHS)

Toxic Shock Syndrome: Everything You Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome Is Probably Wrong (Lifehacker) | The Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome You Need to Know (SELF) | Killer Tampons from Outer Space or Why We Don’t Hear About Toxic Shock Syndrome Anymore (McGill University Office for Science and Society) | A Brief History of the Tampon and Who Invented It (ThoughtCo) | Toxic-Shock Researcher’s Discovery Hailed (The Washington Post) | Vaginoplasty procedures, complications and aftercare (UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health) | Influence of the Normal Menstrual Cycle on Vaginal Tissue, Discharge, and Microflora (Clinical Infectious Diseases) | Toxic Shock Syndrome: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment (HealthLine)

The Cotard Delusion: Cotard Syndrome: “I’m Dead, So Why Do I Need to Eat?” (The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders) | What is Truth? And What is “Walking-Dead” Syndrome? (Nature’s Artful Brain Blog) | Cotard delusion (Wikipedia) | Capgras delusion (Wikipedia)

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Episode 140: Three Pseudosciences

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Lauren, Laura, and Ashlyn dive into three unscientific practices: flower remedies, feng shui, and iridology.

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

Flower Remedies: The Original Bach Flower Remedies Information and Sale (Directly from Nature) | Rescue Remedy is an effective all-natural stress, anxiety reliever, study suggests (Medical News Today) | Bach flower remedies: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials (Swiss Medical Weekly) | Bach Flower Remedies (Science-Based Medicine)

Feng Shui: Types of Feng Shui (The Feng Shui Society) | Feng shui (RationalWiki) | Feng shui (Wikipedia) | Yin and yang (Wikipedia) | Qi (Wikipedia) | Bagua (Wikipedia) | Chi, or Universal Energy in Feng Shui (The Spruce) | Understanding the Feng Shui Bagua (The Spruce) | Open Up Blocking Walls with Feng Shui (The Spruce) | Episode 124: Ancient Discoveries (LUEE)

Iridology: Iridology (Wikipedia) | Iridology Not Useful and Potentially Harmful (JAMA Ophthalmology) | An Evaluation of Iridology (JAMA) | Looking for gall bladder disease in the patient’s iris (BMJ) | An investigation of the relationship between anatomical features in the iris and systemic disease, with reference to iridology (Complementary Therapies in Medicine) | Does Iris Change Over Time? (PLoS One)

Other Pseudosciences: Flat Earth: A Measured Response (Hbomberguy) | Episode 96: The Moon Landing Conspiracy (LUEE) | Episode 100: Silly Pseudoscience Special! (LUEE) | Episode 106: Parapsychology (LUEE) | Episode 108: Cryptozoology & Mythical Creatures (LUEE)

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Episode 136: Patent Medicine

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren discuss the history and future of patent medicine, from snake oil and Piso’s Cure for Consumption through Bovinine and bitters all the way to the Burzynski Clinic.

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

Note: Additional music in this episode by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

Patent Medicine: Patent medicine (Wikipedia) | Snake oil (Wikipedia)

Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound: Advertising Motherhood with the Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Company (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study) | Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound (The Embryo Project Encyclopedia) | Lydia Pinkham (Wikipedia)

Piso’s Consumption Cure: The Great American Fraud, by Samuel Hopkins Adams (Wikisource) | Piso’s Trio: One Step Ahead of the Law (Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors)

Micajah’s Medicated Wafers: Micajah’s Medicated Wafers (Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health) | The Fundamental Antagonism: Veritism and Commerce in Medical Practice (Bennett Holman)

Bovinine: Bovinine (National Museum of American History) | Bovinine Beef Food Tonic (National Museum of American History) | The Bovinine Co. blotter (National Museum of American History) | 15 Curious Quack Remedies From the Age of Patent Medicine (Mental Floss) | Bovinine, by the Bovinine Company (Google Books) | Bovinine Bottle | New Haven Morning Journal and Courier (1895-06-19) | Hand Book of Haematherapy with Clinical Reports, 1902, by the Bovinine Company | The Medical Times and Register (Google Books) | The Popular Science News and Boston Journal of Chemistry (Google Books) | Hemotherapy (Wikipedia) | Misbranding of Bovinina. U.S. v. Bovinine Co. (National Library of Medicine)

Soda Pop & Bitters: Angostura bitters (Wikipedia) | ‘Pop’ Culture: Patent Medicines Become Soda Drinks (CSI) | A Brief History of Bitters (Smithsonian)

Right to Try and the Burzynski Clinic: Right-to-try law (Wikipedia) | “Right to try” laws and Dallas Buyers’ Club: Great movie, terrible for patients and terrible policy (Science-Based Medicine) | The cruel sham that is right-to-try raises its ugly head at the federal level again (Science-Based Medicine) | Burzynski Clinic (Wikipedia)

Ian James and the Combo Breakers: The Broken Among Us by Ian James and the Combo Breakers (SoundCloud) | The Broken Among Us by Ian James and the Combo Breakers (BandCamp)

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Episode 133: Notorious Hucksters

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Lauren explores the great hucksters of history with Laura and Ashlyn—and Gem’s back!

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

Links: Radionics (Wikipedia) | Albert Abrams (Wikipedia) | The Untold Story of Napoleon Hill (Gizmodo) | Napoleon Hill (Wikipedia) | The Napoleon Hill Foundation | 17 Napoleon Hill Quotes on Becoming Crazy Rich | New Thought (Wikipedia) | Madame Rachel (Victorian History) | Victorian con artist Madame Rachel: Fortune from fake beauty products (Express) | Beautiful Forever: The Life of Madame Rachel (Scandalous Women) | The extraordinary life & trial of Madame Rachel (Archive.org) | Beauty and the whiter-than-white blackmail (Daily Mail Online) | The Great Victorian Beauty Con (Providentia) | P. T. Barnum (Wikipedia) | The Greatest Showman (Wikipedia)

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