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

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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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