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)

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

Listen: Direct Link | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS Feed

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)

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

Listen: Direct Link | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS Feed

Episode 171: Dubious Diagnoses

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura is joined by Gem, Ashlyn, and Lauren to discuss Morgellons syndrome, adrenal fatigue, Wilson’s temperature syndrome, and candida overgrowth, four medical diagnoses with dubious supporting evidence.

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

Morgellons Syndrome: Delusional infestation: Epidemiology, clinical presentation, assessment and diagnosis (UpToDate) | The Morgellons Mystery (Psychology Today) | Sir Thomas Browne’s A Letter to a Friend (University of Chigago) | Morgellons (Wikipedia) | Delusional parasitosis (Wikipedia)

Adrenal Fatigue: Treating the Symptoms that are believed to be Adrenal Fatigue (Endocrine Society) | Adrenal fatigue: What causes it? (Mayo Clinic) | Adrenal fatigue (Wikipedia)

Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome: Wilson’s temperature syndrome (Wikipedia) | Wilson’s Disease: Risk Factors, Causes, & Symptoms (Healthline)

Candida Overgrowth: The Candida Overgrowth Problem: Too Much Yeast? No, Too Little Science (SELF) | The Candida Diet: Separating Fact from Fiction (Nutrition Diva) | The Candida Diet: Separating Fact from Fiction (Scientific American) | Invasive Candidiasis (CDC) | Systemic candidiasis (NIH) | The Anti-Candida Diet: 11 Simple Rules to Follow (TheCandidaDiet.com)

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

Listen: Direct Link | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS Feed

Episode 170: Fish Crime!

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, and Lauren revisit Seaspiracy and discuss transnational organized crime in the international fisheries industry with returning guest Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff, Director of Research for Oceans Asia.

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

Links: Teale Phelps Bondaroff | Oceans Asia | LUEE Episode 168: “Seaspiracy”

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

Listen: Direct Link | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS Feed

Episode 169: Legislative Prayer

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, and Lauren speak with Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff, the Research Coordinator for the BC Humanist Association, about his research into unconstitutional governmental prayer in Canada.

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

Links: The Duty of Neutrality Beyond Saguenay (BC Humanist Association) | Legislative Prayer Across Canada (BC Humanist Association) | House of Prayers Report (BC Humanist Association) | Clergy residence deduction cost $1 billion over last decade (BC Humanist Association)

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

Listen: Direct Link | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS Feed

Episode 168: “Seaspiracy”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem watch the Netflix documentary Seaspiracy, and find that they have more to say about it than they expected!

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

Additional Music: This episode includes The Mariner’s Revenge Song by The Decemberists and So Long and Thanks for All the Fish performed by the Tenebrae Choir from the soundtrack to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Links: Seaspiracy (Netflix Official Site) | Seaspiracy (Wikipedia) | Seaspiracy: Netflix documentary accused of misrepresentation by participants (Environment, The Guardian)

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

Listen: Direct Link | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS Feed

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)

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

Listen: Direct Link | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS Feed

Episode 166: The Wellness Industry

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura leads Ashlyn, Gem, and Lauren in a discussion of the wellness industry, including a brief detour into QAnon conspiracies, and together the panel tries to figure out what wellness even is, anyway.

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

Additional Music: In addition to original music by Ian James, this episode also features Cavatina performed by the Mangoré Duo.

Wellness, Defined: Frequently asked questions (World Health Organization) | Twenty-first century health promotion: the public health revolution meets the wellness revolution (Health Promotion International, Oxford Academic) | The dark side of the wellness industry (New Statesman) | What is Wellness? (Global Wellness Institute)

Apps and Plans: Why The Wellness Industry is So Utterly Broken (In Fitness and in Health) | Public Health and Online Misinformation: Challenges and Recommendations (Annual Review of Public Health) | The Truth Behind Weight Loss Ads (FTC Consumer Information) | Tons of Weight-Loss Ads Show Fake Before/After Photos: Report (Women’s Health) | The History of Dieting (Skyterra Wellness) | Is Fasting Healthy? (WebMD) | “Find Your Fit”: Wearable technology and the cultural politics of disability (Journal of New Media and Society)

QAnon and the Wellness Industry: How Instagram Aesthetics Repackage QAnon (The Atlantic) | How COVID-19 Guided Wellness Influencers to QAnon (Bitch Media) | This yoga instructor is fighting the rise of QAnon in the wellness community (CBC Radio) | New Agers and Wellness Influencers Are Falling for Far-Right COVID Conspiracies (Vice)

Police Officers and Domestic Violence: Police Domestic Violence: Data Shows 40 Percent of Cops Abuse Family (Fatherly)

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

Listen: Direct Link | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS Feed

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)

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

Listen: Direct Link | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS Feed

Episode 164: Food Aid

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura leads the panel in a discussion of food aid, both foreign and domestic, and the ways in which the global pandemic has influenced the delivery of services.

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

International Aid: Food Aid for the Hungry? (Global Policy Forum) | Understanding food assistance (Global Affairs Canada) | Aid (Wikipedia) | When Food Isn’t the Answer to Hunger (NYT Opinionator Blog) | How Can Food Aid be More Effective? (United Nations University) | In An Email, Hillary Clinton Once Wrote: ‘Plumpy’Nut?’ Plumpy What? (NPR) | Malnutrition (WHO) | Food for Peace (Wikipedia) | U.S. International Food Assistance
Report (USDA)

Food Banks: How food banks in Canada work, and why they’re necessary (Local Love) | A Snapshot of Food Banks in Canada and the COVID-19 Crisis: Key Findings (Food Banks Canada) | Food banks call for inclusion in emergency planning, pointing to spike in demand due to COVID-19 (The Globe and Mail) | ‘The worst is yet to come’, report warns as Ontario food banks see rise in first-time users (Global News) | Toronto food banks see big increase in demand amid COVID-19 pandemic (CBC News) | Food banks provide low nutritional value: study (CBC News) | Hunger Count 2019 (Food Banks Canada) | One in seven Canadians experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic: report (CTV News) | Hey Canada, Why Don’t You Have Food Stamps?

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

Listen: Direct Link | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS Feed