Episode 158: Public Health History

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Gem, Laura, and Lauren discuss the history of several public health initiatives: handwashing, toothbrushing, and nutrient fortification of food.

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

Updated: During his segment, Gem mistakenly said “postpartum examination” when he meant to say “postmortem examination”. This has been corrected.

Handwashing: Hand washing (Wikipedia) | When and How to Wash Your Hands (CDC) | Ignaz Semmelweis (Wikipedia) | Daily Deaths, 2018 (Statistics Canada) | Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (Maternal and Infant Health, CDC)

Oral Hygiene: Monkeys may have better dental hygiene than you (Science, AAAS) | Miswak (Wikipedia) | Efficiency of traditional chewing stick (miswak) as an oral hygiene aid among Muslim school children in Lucknow: A cross-sectional study (NIH) | The evolution of the toothbrush | Who invented the toothbrush? (HISTORY)

Nutrient Fortification: Overview of Food Fortification in the United States and Canada (NCBI Bookshelf) | A brief history of food fortification (Baking Business) | History of U.S. Iodine Fortification and Supplementation (NIH) | Iodine (Wikipedia) | Fortification and Health: Challenges and Opportunities (Advances in Nutrition, Oxford Academic) | Rationale and Plan for Vitamin D Food Fortification: A Review and Guidance Paper (NIH)

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Episode 155: COVID Quacks

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura discuss the charlatans and snake oil salesmen trying to profit off of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Links: Researchers are tracking another pandemic, too—of coronavirus misinformation (Science, AAAS)

Alex Jones: Alex Jones: 5 most disturbing and ridiculous conspiracy theories (CNBC) | The Pandemic’s Shameless Profiteers (The New Republic) | Alex Jones’s Bogus Coronavirus Cures (The New Yorker) | Alex Jones ordered to stop selling fake coronavirus cures (Quartz) | “Aurum Potable”: the “Drinkable Gold of the Alchemists” (The BMJ) | Medical uses of silver (Wikipedia) | Argyria (Wikipedia)

Vitamin C and Garlic: In Vitro and In Vivo Immunomodulator Activities of Allium sativum L. (Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine) | Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects (Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine) | Vitamin C and Immune Function (Nutrients) | Immunomodulation and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Garlic Compounds (Journal of Immunology Research) | Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold (Cochrane Library) | Garlic for the common cold (Cochrane) | Antimicrobial properties of hydrophobic compounds in garlic: Allicin, vinyldithiin, ajoene and diallyl polysulfides (Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine)

Herbal Cures: Medical experts warn against claims by Winnipeg acupuncturist advertising ‘coronavirus prevention tea’ (CBC News) | Coronavirus: Scams, hoaxes, fake sites, and myths (Radio Canada International) | Superfoods for COVID-19 Prevention (Cooking with Yoshiko) | Richmond Chinese medicine stores advertising ‘coronavirus prevention tea’ (Richmond News) | Misrepresenting traditional knowledge during COVID-19 is dangerous (High Country News) | COVID-19 Herbal Resource Hub (Red Moon Herbs) | Coronavirus: Herbal remedies in India and other claims fact-checked (BBC News) | Coronavirus ‘cures’ and prevention techniques are popping up all over the world. So we asked the experts what actually works (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Hydroxychloroquine: Some Patients Need the Drug That Trump Keeps Pushing (The Atlantic) | Doctors worry unproven Covid-19 drug will do more harm than good (STAT) | Hydroxychloroquine For COVID-19: Cure-All Or Flim-Flam? (Forbes) | FDA approves hydroxychloroquine new drug application to address COVID-19 related shortage (Healio Rheumatology) | Potential of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 causes fears of shortages among people with systemic lupus erythematosus (Nature Medicine) | Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Can Have Serious Side Effects (National Capital Poison Center) | Trump’s support of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 could slow cure (USA Today) | Fearing coronavirus, Arizona man dies after taking a form of chloroquine used in aquariums (CNN) | Does Trump Benefit Financially by Promoting Hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 Treatment? (Snopes)

Ashlyn’s Patreon: Noble & Whimsical is creating art from glass, vinyl and creativity (Patreon)

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Episode 153: “The Game Changers”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren are joined by Dave Bonwick to discuss The Game Changers, a Netflix documentary that advocates for the healthfulness of a vegan diet.

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

Links: The Game Changers (Netflix)

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Episode 152: SandwichCast!

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura leads Ashlyn, Lauren, and Gem in a discussion of the history and science of sandwiches, then everyone attempts (and fails!) to define what, exactly, makes something a sandwich.

On this episode: Ashlyn maintains that open-faced sandwiches do not exist, Gem argues that soup in a bread bowl is in fact a sandwich, Ashlyn and Laura dispute whether pie qualifies as a casserole or a dumpling, and Lauren opines that once a sandwich is put in the Snackmaster sandwich maker, it ceases to be a sandwich entirely.

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

John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich: Warfare on the Mediterranean in the Age of Sail: A History, 1571–1866, by David S.T. Blackmore (Google Books) | A Tour to London, Or, New Observations on England and Its Inhabitants, by Pierre Jean Grosley (Google Books) | Earl of Sandwich (Wikipedia) | John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (Wikipedia) | The Story of the Sandwich (History) | History of the Sandwich (PBS Food) | Trencher (Wikipedia) | Meze (Wikipedia) | Poker Night in Napa (Food & Wine)

Biphasic Sleep: Biphasic and polyphasic sleep (Wikipedia)

Processed Meat and Cancer: International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC (MSDS HyperGlossary) | This is the only known thing that is not a carcinogen (Business Insider) | List of IARC Group 1 Agents (Wikipedia) | Bacon, salami and sausages: how does processed meat cause cancer and how much matters? (Cancer Research UK) | Processed meat and cancer – what you need to know (Cancer Research UK) | Red meat, processed meat and cancer (Cancer Council NSW) | Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat (WHO)

The History and Science of Bread: Wheat (Wikipedia) | Bread (Wikipedia) | History of bread (Wikipedia) | Bread in culture (Wikipedia) | Bread (History Magazine) | Science of Bread: Bread Science 101 (Exploratorium) | Science of bread making (Baking Industry Research Trust) | Bread Baking Clinic: Under-Kneading & Over-Kneading (The Kitchn)

Cultural History of Sandwiches: Important Sandwiches That Changed America Forever (Thrillist) | The History of Five Uniquely American Sandwiches |(Smithsonian Magazine) | To Evade Pre-Prohibition Drinking Laws, New Yorkers Created the World’s Worst Sandwich (Gastro Obscura) | Raines Law (St. Louis Public Library) | Who Invented the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich? (National Peanut Board) | The Curious History of Vietnam’s Bánh Mì Sandwich

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Episode 151: July at Christmas

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem escape winter briefly to talk about summery things: sunscreen, butterflies, the summer solstice, and whether drinking hot tea can really cool you down.

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

Note: Additional music this episode by Tim Minchin and Rajaton.

Christmas in July: Christmas in July (Wikipedia)

Sunscreen: Ask the Expert: Does a High SPF Protect My Skin Better? (The Skin Cancer Foundation) | Vitamin D Fact Sheet (MS Society) | UV Radiation (The Skin Cancer Foundation) | The science of sunscreen (Harvard Health) | Safety of Oxybenzone: Putting Numbers Into Perspective (JAMA Dermatology) | Five Common Sunscreen Myths You Need To Stop Believing (Forbes)

Butterflies: Butterfly (Wikipedia) | Mud-puddling (Wikipedia) | Butterflies remember a mountain that hasn’t existed for millennia (Gizmodo) | What happens in a chrysalis? (WSU Ask Dr. Universe)

Summer Soltice Festivals: Indigenous Day Live | National Indigenous Peoples Day (Wikipedia) | Dragon Boat Festival (Wikipedia) | Willkakuti (Wikipedia) | Willkakuti Winter Solstice (Aymara New Year) | Tirgan (Wikipedia) | Day of Private Reflection (Wikipedia)

Thermoregulation: Thermoregulation in humans (Wikipedia) | Waste heat (Wikipedia) | Thermoregulation (Healthline)

Pseudoscientific Articles on Temperature and Food: 7 Food And Drinks Scientifically Proven To Warm You Up (Tastemade) | Foods That Produce Heat In The Body (NDTV) | 8 Foods That Help Cool You Down (HuffPost)

Scientific Articles on Temperature and Food: A Hot Drink on a Hot Day Can Cool You Down (Smithsonian) | What are the effects of alcohol on the brain? (Scientific American) | Ayurveda (Wikipedia) | Ginger (WebMD) | Going nuts for coconut oil (Dietitian at Home)

Dwarf Mistletoe: Thermogenesis-triggered seed dispersal in dwarf mistletoe (Nature Communications)

What Are You Enjoying?: All-Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely | Amazon Warehouse Reports Show Worker Injuries (The Atlantic) | The Bell Curve (Shaun) | Overcooked (Nintendo Switch)

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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 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 130: Nutritional Devices

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren discuss three unusual nutritional devices: the Nima gluten sensor, the Vitastiq electroacupuncture vitamin sensor, and the SCiO pocket molecular scanner.

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

Links: Gluten Levels in Food: The 20 ppm Debate (Nima) | One Decision: A Limit of Gluten Detection (Nima) | Detecting Gluten in Food: The differences between Lateral Flow and ELISA tests (Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom) | Nima Chemistry vs. R-Biopharm (Nima) | The Nima Sensor: A Portable Gluten Testing Device (BeyondCeliac.org) | SCiO Pocket Molecular Scanner (Amazon Customer Reviews) | SCiO (Facebook) | Consumer Physics, Maker of Controversial SCiO Food Sensor, Pursues A ‘SCiO-Inside’ Strategy (The Spoon) | SCiO (Consumer Physics) | SCiO Spectrometer Review (Google Scholar) | Electroacupuncture (Wikipedia) | Vitastiq (Your Daily Vitamin Tracker) | Vitastiq 2 (Indiegogo) | Electroacupuncture: The bait and switch of alternative medicine (Respectful Insolence) | Quantified Health: Can Vitastiq measure body vitamin levels using a skin sensor? | Vitamin & Mineral Status Device (Amazon Customer Reviews)

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Episode 125: Revenge of the Quiz Show Show!

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, recorded live at SkeptiCamp, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem test their knowledge (and that of the audience) in a variety of scientific and pseudoscientific domains.

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

Colour Quiz (Ashlyn): Impossible color (Wikipedia) | Rayleigh scattering (Wikipedia) | Indigo dye (Wikipedia) | Verdigris (Wikipedia) | Orpiment (Wikipedia) | Red hair (Wikipedia)

Discarded Scientific Theories (Gem): Superseded scientific theories (Wikipedia)

The Magic of Crystals (Lauren): Crystal Healing: Stone-Cold Facts About Gemstone Treatments | Crystal Guide (Crystal Vaults) | A to Z Crystal Meanings (CrystalsandJewelry.com) | The 8 Essential Crystals (Goop)

Historical Food Guides (Laura): Government Health Posters: A History of Nutrition Guidelines (PlenteousVeg) | Food and Nutrition through the 20th Century (LibGuides) | Canada’s Food Guides from 1942 to 1992 (Canada.ca) | How WWI Food Propaganda Forever Changed the Way America Eats (The A.V. Club) | Food for Young Children (Digital Library) | Dietary Recommendations and How They Have Changed Over Time (USDA) | The History of USDA Nutrition Guides (FoodManufacturing.com) | How to Select Foods, by Caroline L. Hunt and Helen W. Atwater (Archive.org)

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Episode 120: Fad Diets

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Gem discuss fad diets with host Laura Creek Newman, our resident Registered Dietitian. Topics covered in detail include the Paleo Diet, the Sweet Potato Diet, the Blood Type Diet, and The China Study.

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

News: The Public Schools Act | Healthy hearts: Gluten-free diets don’t help people without celiac disease, study finds (CBC News) | Effect of Alternate-Day Fasting on Weight Loss, Weight Maintenance, and Cardioprotection Among Metabolically Healthy Obese Adults (JAMA Internal Medicine)

The Paleo Diet: The Paleo Diet Premise | What is the Paleo Diet? (Primal Palate) | What Paleo diet experts think – and why they’re wrong (The Guardian) | Study: Paleo Dieters Should Be Eating More Carbs (Outside Online) | Paleo Diet Review, Foods List, and More (WebMD) | It’s a part of my paleo fantasy, it’s a part of my paleo dream (Science-Based Medicine) | How to Really Eat Like a Hunter-Gatherer: Why the Paleo Diet Is Half-Baked (Scientific American) | The Paleo Diet: Everything You Need to Know (Health.com)

The China Study: Episode 82: What Have You Changed Your Mind About? (LUEE) | China–Cornell–Oxford Project (Wikipedia) | The China Study (Wikipedia) | The China Study (Science-Based Medicine) | The China Study Revisited: New Analysis of Raw Data Doesn’t Support Vegetarian Ideology (Science-Based Medicine) | China Study author Colin Campbell slaps down critic (VegSource.com) | While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Cheese Sales (NYT) | Consumption of red meat and processed meat (IARC) | Vegetarian Diets Linked to Lower Mortality (NIH) | Vegetarian, vegan diets and multiple health outcomes: a systematic review with meta-analysis of observational studies (NCBI) | Recommended Supplements for Vegans (The Vegan RD) | Vegan & Vegetarian Nutrition (Toronto Vegetarian Association) | Vegetarian Diets (Dietitians of Canada)

The Sweet Potato Diet: The Sweet Potato Diet | All About Carb Cycling (Precision Nutrition) | Calories in Chocolate Primal Body Morellifit Whey Protein Isolate (MyFitnessPal.com) | 4 Ways To Lose Five Pounds In ONE WEEK! (YouTube) | Is Carb Cycling Really the Best Fat Loss Diet? (Nutrition WOD)

The Blood Type Diet: Blood type diet (Wikipedia) | Lectin (Wikipedia) | Blood Types Chart (American Red Cross) | Rh blood group system (Wikipedia) | Blood Type Diet: Eating for Types O, A, B, (AB) | The Blood Type Diet | 3 Reasons to Avoid the Blood Type Diet | Blood type diets lack supporting evidence: a systematic review (AJCN) | The Blood Type Diet: An Evidence-Based Review (Authority Nutrition)

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