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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Episode 129: The Olympics

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Laura discuss some of the myths and scandals surrounding the Olympic Games.

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

Links: North Korea at the Olympics (Wikipedia) | Olympics and their economic impact: Updated research roundup (Journalist's Resource) | Costs and benefits of hosting the Olympics (Economics Help) | The Economics of Hosting the Olympic Games (Council on Foreign Relations) | Cultural Impacts of Hosting the Olympics (Aperian Global) | List of bids for the Summer Olympics (Wikipedia) | The Life and Murder of Stella Walsh, Intersex Olympic Champion (Longreads.com) | A Brief History of Sexism in TV Coverage of the Olympics (The Atlantic) | Caster Semenya (Wikipedia) | Pierre de Coubertin (Wikipedia) | First modern Olympics is held – Apr 06, 1896 (HISTORY.com) | Larry Nassar sentenced to 175 years in prison (Daily Mail Online) | Former U.S. gymnastics doctor sentenced 40 to 175 years in sex assault case (CBC) | Russian Olympic official says doping whistleblower should be executed (The Guardian) | Russia Is Barred From Winter Olympics. Russia Is Sending 169 Athletes to Winter Olympics. (The New York Times) | Ross Rebagliati (Wikipedia) | List of stripped Olympic medals (Wikipedia) | Doping in Russia (Wikipedia) | Russia ban decision was ‘a balance,’ says IOC chief Bach (Reuters) | Russia banned from Winter Olympics over state-sponsored doping (The Guardian) | How Bryan Fogel Documented Russia’s Olympic Doping Scandal (Vulture) | Gymnastics scandal: 8 times Larry Nassar could have been stopped (NBC News) | What Is The 2016 Olympic Beach Volleyball Dress Code? Here’s How The Rules Have Changed (Bustle) | 2002 Winter Olympics figure skating scandal (Wikipedia) | The day scandal sliced Olympic ice (TheSpec.com) | U.S. Figure Skating denies French report of collusion between U.S. and Russian judges (Yahoo!) | Figure Skating Dances Around Questionable Judging (The Washington Post) | Olympic Judging: Fair or Biased? (Minitab ) | How ski jumping gets Olympic judging right (The Washington Post) | Finding Flaws in Figure Skating (Seed Magazine) | Skating insiders question Sochi judging (USA Today) | Russian Charged with Olympic Figure Skating Fix (CBC) | Controversial decisions lead to suspension of boxing judges (LA Times) | Judging scandal still haunts Korean Yang (Reuters)

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Episode 128: Real Conspiracies

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Laura, and Lauren talk about real conspiracies and cover-ups perpetrated by corporations and the government.

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

Links: Lack of fluoride in Calgary drinking water leads to rise in tooth decay (CBC) | Unfiltered Fervor: The Rush to Get Off the Water Grid (The New York Times) | Google and Apple Settle Class-Action Lawsuit Alleging Wage Fixing (Time) | AllTrials | Tuskegee syphilis experiment (Wikipedia)

Iran–Contra: The Iran-Contra Affair (PBS) | Understanding the Iran-Contra Affairs | Iran–Contra affair (Wikipedia)

MKUltra: Project MKUltra (Wikipedia) | When the CIA ran a LSD sex-house in San Francisco (San Francisco Chronicle) | One of the Most Shocking CIA Programs of All Time: Project MKUltra | Sidney Gottlieb (Wikipedia) | CIA’s MK-Ultra LSD mind control experiment has lingering legacy (Washington Times)

COINTELPRO: What the JFK files say about Martin Luther King Jr. (The Washington Post) | What an Uncensored Letter to M.L.K. Reveals (The New York Times) | Martin Luther King Jr. (Wikipedia) | FBI–King suicide letter (Wikipedia) | The Uncompromising Anti-Capitalism of Martin Luther King Jr. (The Huffington Post)

The Smoking–Cancer Connection: Lung Cancer and Smoking: What We Really Know (The Atlantic) | The history of the discovery of the cigarette–lung cancer link (BMJ) | The Cigarette Controversy (Cancer Epidemiology)

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