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 162: Nutrition Myths

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura leads the panel on a discussion of several nutrition myths that just won’t die. Topics include expiry dates, nightshades, and pink salt.

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

Expiry Dates: Expiration Dates Don’t Mean What You Think (Adam Ruins Everything) | This man ate ‘expired’ food for a year. Here’s why expiration dates are practically meaningless. (The Washington Post) | Is Your Food Expired? Don’t Be So Quick to Toss It (TIME) | Date labelling on pre-packaged foods (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Nightshades: Are Nightshades Bad for You? Not If You’re Healthy (Vice) | What are dietary lectins and should you avoid eating them? (Mayo Clinic) | Solanaceae (Wikipedia)

Pink Salt: Stabilization of iodine in salt and other feed materials (Wisconsin) | An Analysis of the Mineral Composition of Pink Salt Available in Australia (Nutrition Research Australia) | Chemical Composition of Table Salt (ThoughtCo) | Sodium: Dietary Reference Intakes for Adequacy (NCBI Bookshelf)

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

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

Episode 161: Prophecy

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Laura, and Lauren lead Gem on a whirlwind tour of various prophecies and prophets, including the caged prophet of St. Lambert’s Church, the Prophecy of the Popes, and blind soothsayer who supposedly predicted that Trump would get COVID-19.

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

Correction: The Superior General of the Jesuits is called the “Black Pope”, not the “Dark Pope”. Oh well.

St. Lambert’s Church: Why 3 Man-Sized Cages Hang From a Medieval German Church Steeple (Mental Floss) | Anabaptist (Britannica) | Reformation Apocalypticism: Münster’s Monster (Christian History Magazine)

The Prophecy of the Popes: Prophecy of the Popes (Wikipedia) | Saint Malachy (Wikipedia) | Vatican Apostolic Archive (Wikipedia) | Arnold Wyon (Wikipedia) | Pope Francis will be last Pontiff Irish saint predicted (IrishCentral.com) | Top 10 Prophecies You Don’t Know (Listverse) | Martin Luther (Wikipedia) | Avignon Papacy (Wikipedia) | The Western Schism (Western Civilization) | Western Schism (Wikipedia) | Girolamo Simoncelli (Wikipedia)

Baba Vanga: Baba Vanga (Wikipedia) | Fair warning: Bulgarian prophet predicted Obama would be last U.S. president (The Washington Post) | Blind mystic Baba Vanga’s poignant message to world days before she died (Mirror Online) | Blind mystic Baba Vanga predicted Donald Trump’s coronavirus plight, claim fans (Mirror Online) | Blind mystic Baba Vanga ‘predicted Donald Trump’s coronavirus battle’ after saying ‘president will get sick in 2020’ (The Sun)

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

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

Episode 160: Hauntings

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren discuss the plausibility of hauntings, then do a deep dive on the true (and not-so-true) stories behind the Amityville Horror and the Coventry University Ghost. Then Ashlyn brings the show home with her thoughts on why COVID quarantine seems to have resulted in an uptick in hauntings.

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

The Amityville Horror: ‘Amityville Horror’ Was Based on a True Story? (Snopes) | 6 Horror Movies Inspired by Real Stories and Hoaxes (HISTORY) | The Amityville Horror (Wikipedia) | Ronald DeFeo Jr. (Wikipedia)

Ed & Lorraine Warren: No, the Annabelle doll didn’t actually escape from the Warrens’ museum (AltPress) | Ed and Lorraine Warren (Wikipedia) | Annabelle (Wikipedia)

The Coventry University Ghost: The Ghost in the Machine (Journal of the Society for Psychical Research) | Our history (Coventry Cathedral) | Some “Ghosts” May Be Sound Waves Just Below Human Hearing (Gizmodo) | Ghost buster (The Guardian) | Famous ghost stories that turned out to be fakes (Insider)

Quarantine Hauntings: Haunted House? These People Are in Isolation with Ghosts (The New York Times) | Haunted house reports on the rise during pandemic, says paranormal researcher (CBC Radio) | Haunted home residents see rise in ‘spooky’ happenings amid quarantine (New York Post)

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

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

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)

Contact Us: Email | Twitter | Facebook

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

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)

Contact Us: Facebook | Twitter | Email

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

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)

Contact Us: Facebook | Twitter | Email

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

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)

Contact Us: Facebook | Twitter | Email

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

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

Contact Us: Facebook | Twitter | Email

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

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

Contact Us: Facebook | Twitter | Email

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