Episode 157: UFPhonies

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem is joined by Ashlyn, Laura, Lauren, and special guest Ian James to discuss several famous UFO sightings that turned out (in large part) to be hoaxes.

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

Past UFO Episodes: Episode 112: Did Aliens Build the Pyramids? | Episode 122: UFOs

The Maury Island Incident: The Maury Island UFO Incident (HowStuffWorks) | Maury Island incident (Wikipedia) | Men in black (Wikipedia)

George Adamski and Orthon the Venusian: A Critical Appraisal of George Adamski: The Man Who Spoke to the Space Brothers (Marc Hallet) | George Adamski and the Space Brothers (HowStuffWorks) | George Adamski Got Famous Sharing His UFO Photos and Alien ‘Encounters’ (HISTORY) | George Adamski (Wikipedia)

Betty and Barney Hill: The Betty and Barney Hill Abduction (Gaia) | Barney and Betty Hill (Wikipedia) | How Betty and Barney Hill’s Alien Abduction Story Defined the Genre (HISTORY) | Betty and Barney Hill Papers, 1961-2006 (Library) | Once upon a time, Betty and Barney Hill told a story that was out of this world (Concord Monitor) | The Hill Abduction (HowStuffWorks) | The Zeta Reticuli (or Ridiculi) Incident (Astronomy Magazine) | The Truth about Betty Hill’s UFO Star Map (Astronotes) | The Debate Over Repressed and Recovered Memories (Verywell Mind) | Repressed Memories: 5 FAQs (HealthLine) | Amniocentesis Prior to 1980 (The Embryo Project Encyclopedia) | Boston Evening Traveller (Wikipedia) | John G. Fuller (Wikipedia) | Strange Arrivals Podcast

The Gulf Breeze Incident: Gulf Breeze, Florida UFO (HISTORY) | Gulf Breeze UFO incident (Wikipedia)

Alien Autopsy: Alien autopsy (Wikipedia)

US Department of Defense Videos: Pentagon’s release of UFO videos a big deal for believers in extraterrestrial life: former U.K. investigator (CBC Radio) | UFO caught on video? Skeptics weigh in on weird footage (CNET) | The Skeptic’s Guide to the Pentagon’s UFO Videos (VICE) | Statement by the Department of Defense on the Release of Historical Navy Videos (U.S. Department of Defense) | Navy admits UFO videos are real, but would like to stop using ‘UFO’ (The Washington Post) | NYT: GIMBAL Video of U.S. Navy Jet Encounter with Unknown Object (Metabunk) | Parallax (Wikipedia)

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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 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 149: Paranormal Challenges

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn is joined by Gem, Laura, and Lauren to discuss skeptical paranormal challenges. After Ashlyn’s overview, Lauren introduces Abraham Kovoor’s challenge, Laura talks about Joseph Dunninger, and Gem covers Sanal Edamaruku’s Great Tantra Challenge.

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

Paranormal Challenges: George Valiantine (Wikipedia) | One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge (Wikipedia) | Paranormal proof: Australian Skeptics’ $100,000 prize still unclaimed 37 years on (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Independent Investigations Group (Wikipedia) | The Independent Investigations Group | List of prizes for evidence of the paranormal (Wikipedia)

Abraham Kovoor’s Challenge: Abraham Kovoor’s challenge (Wikipedia) | Indian Rationalist Association (Wikipedia) | A. T. Kovoor (Wikipedia) | Dr Abraham T. Kovoor, the Rationalist of Indian Subcontinent (University of Giessen) | Sri Lanka Living Wage Family (Trading Economics) | Basava Premanand (Wikipedia)

Joseph Dunninger: Joseph Dunninger (Wikipedia) | The Night Joseph Dunninger Spooked a Spiritualist with a $21,000 Check (Weird Historian) | Joseph Dunninger | LIFE Magazine, 1944-03-13 (Google Books) | Dunninger Dies; Magician Was 82 (New York Times) | Joseph Dunninger (Cometa Magico)

Sanal Edamaruku and the Great Tantra Challenge: Sanal Edamaruku (Wikipedia) | The Great Tantra Challenge (Wikipedia) | India TV’s Great Tantra Challenge (NPR) | The night a guru tried to kill me on TV (The Guardian) | Blasphemy, Free Speech, and Rationalism: An Interview with Sanal Edamaruku (The Humanist) | The Indian miracle-buster stuck in Finland (BBC News)

What Have You Been Enjoying?: The Reconciliation Manifesto, by Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson | The Anthropocene Reviewed (WNYC Studios) | Ur-Fascism, by Umberto Eco | The War on Everyone, by Robert Evans | Gastropod: Food with a Side of Science & History

Support LUEE: Support LUEE

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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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Bonus Episode: One Hundred Proofs

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem presents Laura with a dozen or so of William Carpenter’s One Hundred Proofs That the Earth Is Not a Globe. She is… unconvinced.

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

Links: One Hundred Proofs That the Earth Is Not a Globe, by William Carpenter (Project Gutenberg) | William Carpenter (Wikipedia) | Samuel Rowbotham (Wikipedia) | Flat Earth OR Why Do People Reject Science? (Philosophy Tube) | Flat Earth: A Measured Response (Hbomberguy)

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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 145: “Behind the Curve”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura watch the Netflix documentary “Behind the Curve”, which follows a group of “flerfers” out to prove that the Earth is flat.

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

Why Aren’t Plants Black?: Why aren’t plants black? (PBS Digital Studios)

Behind the Curve: Behind the Curve (Wikipedia) | Behind the Curve (IMDb)

Flat Earth: Flat Earth: A Measured Response (Hbomberguy) | Flat Earth OR Why Do People Reject Science? (Philosophy Tube) | Ross and Carrie Traverse Flat Earth, Part 1 (Oh No Ross and Carrie) | The Flat Earth Wiki

What Have You Been Enjoying Lately?: Alice Isn’t Dead (Night Vale Presents) | Outer Wilds | Ask a Manager | Captain Awkward | The Nightrunner Series (Wikipedia) | Nancy (WNYC) | Begonia | Gastropod (Food with a Side of Science & History) | Sigma Nutrition | The Double Shift

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