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)

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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)

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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?

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Episode 159: Policing in Canada

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem is joined by Ashlyn, Lauren, and Laura to discuss the history of policing in Canada.

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

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police: Historical events in RCMP-Indigenous relations (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) | Canada isn’t offering a history lesson on colonialism, but the RCMP is (The Eyeopener) | History of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) | Explainer: Who were the RIC? (TheJournal.ie) | Sitting Bull (The Canadian Encyclopedia) | The RCMP was created to control Indigenous people. Can that relationship be reset? (Global News) | Don’t forget RCMP’s history (Ammsa.com) | Heritage Minutes (YouTube)

The Pass System: Don’t forget RCMP’s history (Ammsa.com) | A Condensed History of Canada’s Colonial Cops (The New Inquiry) | Pass System in Canada (The Canadian Encyclopedia) | North-West Rebellion (The Canadian Encyclopedia) | 1889: Peasant Farming policy implemented (decolonizEd) | The pass system: another dark secret in Canadian history (CBC Radio)

Police Killings in Canada: List of killings by law enforcement officers in Canada (Wikipedia) | Discover Canada: Canada’s History (Canada.ca) | Aboriginal Justice Inquiry (Wikipedia) | John Joseph Harper (Wikipedia) | Inquest begins into police shooting of Winnipeg teen (CBC News) | Police identify man shot by officer (CBC News) | ‘It’s devastating’: South Sudanese condemn fatal police shooting of man with mental health issues (CBC News) | ‘Truly sorry:’ Winnipeg officer sentenced to prison for killing pedestrian (National Post) | Canadian police struggle to maintain reputation under unprecedented scrutiny and demands for new approach (National Post) | Stop the killing: Fatal police shootings in Canada (The Indy) | A timeline of police charged with murder or manslaughter in Canada (The Globe and Mail) | Theft (Armoured Suits Criminal Defence Lawyers) | Capital punishment in Canada (Wikipedia) | Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations (Wikipedia) | Shooting of Chantel Moore (Wikipedia) | Investigation of shooting death of Chantel Moore could take months (CBC News) | Edmundston, N.B., police officer who shot Chantel Moore now back at work (Global News) | Five things to know about Quebec police watchdog probing New Brunswick shootings (Global News) | Muslim man shot dead by Canadian police during mental health crisis (Daily Sabah) | Death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet (Wikipedia) | Defund the police? Here’s a look at how much Canadian cities spend on policing (CTV News)

Alternatives to Calling the Police: Alternatives to Calling the Police (Safe Congregations Handbook, UUA.org) | 12 Things to do Instead of Calling the Cops (Sprout Distro)

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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 154: New Religious Movements

Lauren hosts and Laura edits on this topsy-turvy episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else! The gang discusses New Religious Movements: Lauren relates their experience with Discordianism, Laura is over the moon for the Moonies, Gem expresses his disgust for the Internet’s own Cult of Kek, and Ashlyn provides a primer on Pastafarianism. Then the panelists end the show with some fun ways to pass the time under COVID-19 lockdown.

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

New Religious Movements: New religious movement (Wikipedia) | Is Theosophy a Religion? (Wikipedia) | Academic study of new religious movements (Wikipedia) | Cult (Wikipedia) | Sociological classifications of religious movements (Wikipedia) | Theosophy and visual arts (Wikipedia) | List of new religious movements (Wikipedia) | Charismatic authority (Wikipedia) | Discordianism (Wikipedia) | Sect (Wikipedia) | Communitarianism (Wikipedia)

The Unification Church: Unification movement (Wikipedia) | Former member of the Unification Church describes life in a cult (Insider) | The Fall of the House of Moon (The New Republic) | The cultlike church behind a ceremony with AR-15s and bullet crowns, explained (Vox) | The Unification Church (ReligiousTolerance.org)

The Cult of Kek: Cult of Kek (Know Your Meme) | Savitri Devi: The strange story of how a Hindu Hitler worshipper became an alt-right icon (International Business Times) | Savitri Devi: The Woman Who Turned Nazism into a Religion: Part One, Part Two (Behind the Bastards) | Pepe the Frog (RationalWiki) | Pepe the Frog (Wikipedia) | Kek (mythology) (Wikipedia) | Western esotericism (Wikipedia) | Esoteric Nazism (Wikipedia) | Laughter Sounds in Korean (TalkToMeInKorean)

Pastafarianism: Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster | Pasta strainers and pirates: how the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was born (The Guardian) | Flying Spaghetti Monster Wiki | Flying Spaghetti Monster (Wikipedia)

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Episode 147: More Conspiracies!

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem get conspiratorial! Lauren gives everyone the rundown on QAnon, Laura presents three food-related conspiracies, and Ashlyn explains why the Denver Airport is full of weird (but probably not Satanic) art.

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

Additional Music: Dark Things, by Eric Matyas

Note: Unfortunately, Gem’s segment was lost to a technical catastrophe, but look for a special bonus episode next week focused on the Flat Earth conspiracy!

QAnon: QAnon (Wikipedia) | What is QAnon? Explaining the bizarre rightwing conspiracy theory (The Guardian) | QAnon (RationalWiki) | Apophenia (RationalWiki) | Crank magnetism (RationalWiki) | New gematria (RationalWiki) | QAnon map dissection (RationalWiki) | Murder of Seth Rich (Wikipedia) | Q clearance (Wikipedia)

Food Conspiracies: Chipotle conspiracy theory gains steam (Business Insider) | Outback Steakhouse at the Center of Bizarre Conspiracy Theory (Huffington Post) | #575: The Fondue Conspiracy (NPR) | Swiss Cheese Union (Wikipedia) | The Swiss Cheese Mafia (Thinkgrowth.org)

The Denver Airport Conspiracy: Denver International Airport (Wikipedia) | Denver Airport conspiracy theories (RationalWiki) | 8 Conspiracy Theories About The Denver Airport That’ll Freak You Out | Denver Airport Conspiracy: Theories, Rumors & Facts (Thrillist)

Walt Disney Licensing: The Wonderful World of Disney’s Other Firm (LA Times)

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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 137: Where’s My Jetpack?

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura discuss science fiction technologies that have become science fact, and Gem depresses the hell out of everyone.

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

Links: Power Glove (Wikipedia) | 50 Scifi Books Featuring AR and VR Technology (Upload) | How Sci-Fi Literature Predicted the Rise of Modern Virtual Reality (Upload) | Virtual Reality (Science Fiction Encyclopedia) | Virtual reality was first imagined in a sci fi story… and it may soon take over entertainment (Big Think) | Virtual reality (Wikipedia) | Virtual reality in fiction (Wikipedia) | 10 Top Sci-Fi Tech Predictions That Actually Came True (CDL) | 10 ‘Star Trek’ Technologies That Actually Came True (HowStuffWorks) | 12 Star Trek Gadgets That Now Exist (Mental Floss) | 15 Star Trek Gadgets That Exist In Real Life (ScreenRant) | Star Trek Is Right About Almost Everything (National Geographic) | How Transparent Aluminum Armor Works (HowStuffWorks) | 3D Printed Food: A Culinary Guide to 3D Printing Food (All3DP) | Replicator (Wikipedia) | Food 3D Printer Manufacturers (3D Printing Business Directory) | How Star Trek artists imagined the iPad nearly 30 years ago (Ars Technica) | Post-atomic horror (Memory Alpha) | How Star Trek inspired Amazon’s Alexa (VentureBeat) | BigDog Overview (YouTube) | Every time Boston Dynamics has abused a robot (YouTube)

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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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