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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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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Episode 140: Three Pseudosciences

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Lauren, Laura, and Ashlyn dive into three unscientific practices: flower remedies, feng shui, and iridology.

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

Flower Remedies: The Original Bach Flower Remedies Information and Sale (Directly from Nature) | Rescue Remedy is an effective all-natural stress, anxiety reliever, study suggests (Medical News Today) | Bach flower remedies: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials (Swiss Medical Weekly) | Bach Flower Remedies (Science-Based Medicine)

Feng Shui: Types of Feng Shui (The Feng Shui Society) | Feng shui (RationalWiki) | Feng shui (Wikipedia) | Yin and yang (Wikipedia) | Qi (Wikipedia) | Bagua (Wikipedia) | Chi, or Universal Energy in Feng Shui (The Spruce) | Understanding the Feng Shui Bagua (The Spruce) | Open Up Blocking Walls with Feng Shui (The Spruce) | Episode 124: Ancient Discoveries (LUEE)

Iridology: Iridology (Wikipedia) | Iridology Not Useful and Potentially Harmful (JAMA Ophthalmology) | An Evaluation of Iridology (JAMA) | Looking for gall bladder disease in the patient’s iris (BMJ) | An investigation of the relationship between anatomical features in the iris and systemic disease, with reference to iridology (Complementary Therapies in Medicine) | Does Iris Change Over Time? (PLoS One)

Other Pseudosciences: Flat Earth: A Measured Response (Hbomberguy) | Episode 96: The Moon Landing Conspiracy (LUEE) | Episode 100: Silly Pseudoscience Special! (LUEE) | Episode 106: Parapsychology (LUEE) | Episode 108: Cryptozoology & Mythical Creatures (LUEE)

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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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