Episode 98: Crime & Punishment

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Laura, Brendan, and Lauren discuss the criminal justice system, focusing on profiling, deception detection, changes in crime rates over time, and the prison abolition movement.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Note: If you’re in Winnipeg for the Fringe Festival and are interested in coming out to see Of Blood and Ashes, written by Ian James and Adam Johnstone and featuring Gem Newman, we’re at Venue #3 (The Playhouse Studio) at 180 Market Avenue. Here are the showtimes:

Thursday, 16 July 2015, 9:00 pm
Saturday, 18 July 2015, 5:15 pm
Sunday, 19 July 2015, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, 21 July 2015, 12:00 pm
Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 5:15 pm
Thursday, 23 July 2015, 10:30 pm
Saturday, 25 July 2015, 3:30 pm

Links: The Sunset Tree by the Mountain Goats (iTunes) | The Sunset Tree by the Mountain Goats (Amazon) | Correctional Service of Canada CSC Research | Legalized abortion and crime effect (Wikipedia) | Tetraethyllead (Wikipedia) | Lead-crime hypothesis (RationalWiki) | High gun ownership makes countries less safe, US study finds (The Guardian) | Guns in the Home and Risk of a Violent Death in the Home: Findings from a National Study | Report Says Long Sentences Don’t Deter Crime (Business Insider) | Longer prison sentences are not the way to cut crime (The Guardian) | Highest to Lowest – Prison Population Rate (International Centre for Prison Studies) | Polygraph (Wikipedia) | Lie detection (Wikipedia) | Paul Ekman (Wikipedia) | Criminal Podcast Episode Two: Pants on Fire | Offender profiling (Wikipedia) | The Effectiveness of Profiling from a National Security Perspective | Essays: To Profile or Not to Profile? (Part 1) (Schneier on Security) | Essays: To Profile or Not to Profile? (Part 2) (Schneier on Security) | Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis (Amazon) | Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex by Eric Stanley (Amazon) | Abolition Now!: Ten Years of Strategy and Struggle Against the Prison Industrial Complex (Amazon) | The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (Amazon) | Black Prisoners and Their World by Mary Ellen Curtin (Amazon) | Worse Than Slavery by David M. Oshinsky (Amazon) | Cain Sentencing Transcript (The Marshall Project) | Justice is served, but more so after lunch: how food-breaks sway the decisions of judges (Not Exactly Rocket Science) | Extraneous factors in judicial decisions | Need a good reason to oppose the death penalty? How about 4 of them? | The Economic Costs of Seeking the Death Penalty (Seattle University) | Smiley face murder theory (Wikipedia) | FBI Statement Regarding Midwest River Deaths | Noble & Whimsical on Etsy

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Episode 69: Québec’s Charter of Values

Episode 69: Québec’s Charter of Values

In the second anniversary episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, we fulfil our CanCon requirement! Gem Newman discusses the proposed “Charter of Values” in the Canadian province of Québec with Scott Carnegie, Greg Christensen, and special guest Shayne Gryn.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: HAAM Meetup | Drinking Skeptically | Québec’s Proposed Charter of Values | Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms | Reasonable Accommodation | The “Notwithstanding Clause” | National Post: Quebec Releases Controversial ‘Values Charter’ | Montreal Gazette: The Public Favours Charter of Values | Globe and Mail: Quebec’s Secular Charter Is Clearly Unconstitutional, But Could Still Become Law | Quebec’s White, Privileged Feminists Don’t Speak For Me | Canadian Atheist: A Practical Guide for Discussion of the Charter of Quebec Values | Canadian Atheist: A Practical Guide for Avoiding Discussion of the Charter of Québec Values | Shayne Gryn: The Racialized and Gendered Impact of Quebec’s Proposed Charter of Secularism | National Post: Woman Says She Was Accosted in Mall Over Her Islamic Veil | CBC: Sikh Mounties Permitted to Wear Turbans

What Are You Listening To? The Nerdist Podcast | This American Life | Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! | Penn’s Sunday School | Quirks and Quarks | The Brain Science Podcast | Reasonable Doubts | The Reality Check | The Flop House

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Episode 64: Angry Atheists and Equality with Greta Christina

Episode 64: Angry Atheists and Equality with Greta Christina

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem Newman discusses atheist activism and the skeptical community’s problems with equality with Greta Christina. Also on this episode, a new instalment of Where’s My Jetpack? This week Old Man Newman asks, “Where’s my lab-grown meat?”

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: Greta Christina’s Blog | Greta’s Books (Why Are You Atheists So Angry?, Bending) | Julia Galef: The Straw Vulcan | Harassment, Rape, and the Difference Between Skepticism and Denialism | Sexual Harassment Accusations in the Skeptical and Secular Communities: a Timeline of Major Events

Where’s My Jetpack? Links: Environmental Impact (Worldwatch Institute, United Nations FCCC) | Cultured Meat in the News (The Telegraph, CBC, Scientific American, The Australian) | PETA’s Cultured Chicken Meat Contest | To Fight Global Warming, Eat Bugs

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Episode 63: Sexism and Gender Roles

Episode 63: Sexism and Gender Roles

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Donna Harris discusses sexism and gender roles with Richelle McCullough, Leslie Saunders, Robert Shindler, and Greg Christensen.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: Kim O’Grady Lands Job After Adding ‘Mr.’ to His Resume | Riley on Marketing | Two-year-old Boy Called ‘Faggot’ for Wearing Pink Headband | When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink? | Centre for Social Justice: Gender Inequality | House of Commons Has a ‘Locker Room’ Mentality of Casual Sexism | Chubby-chasing Sex Trolls Ran Me Offline, Says Fashion Blogger | Missing Winnipeg Woman’s Body Pulled from River, Days After Her Two Children Found Dead | Chris Benoit Double-murder and Suicide

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Episode 42: Skepticon 5, Part 2

Episode 42: Skepticon 5, Part 2

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem Newman, Mark Forkheim, Ashlyn Noble, Laura Creek Newman, Brendan Curran-Johnson, and Gary Barbon conclude their discussion of Skepticon 5, and the LUEE crew reflects on 42 episodes of Life, the Universe & Everything Else. This episode also features interviews with Matt Dillahunty of the Atheist Experience and Jen McCreight of Blag Hag.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: Apocalypse 2012: The End of the World Party (Facebook Event, Meetup Event) | Skepticon | Skepticon Videos | Center for Applied Rationality (CFAR) | Dawkins Quotation (from The God Delusion) | The Atheist Experience (website, blog) | Matt Dillahunty vs. Kristine Kruszelnicki: The Right to Abortion | Blag Hag | Boobquake | Atheism+ | Jen McCreight: Diversity in Your Group

Our Favourite LUEE Episodes: Leaving Faith Behind, Part 1 | Leaving Faith Behind, Part 2 | “Thrive” | Zombies! Part 1! | Zombies! Part 2! | To Vaccinate, or Not to Vaccinate? | Common Creationist Claims, Part 1 | Common Creationist Claims, Part 2

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Episode 41: News Update

Episode 41: News Update

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Jeffrey Olsson, Donna Harris, and Greg Christensen discuss local and international news of interest to skeptics, including blasphemy cases in Pakistan and India and reproductive health issues abroad, and Greg reviews some exoplanet-related news items from the last few years.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: Sanal Edamaruku | Pakistani Sentenced to Death for Blasphemy May Appeal | High Court Rejects Case Against Girl in Pakistan | Astronomers Spot “Super Jupiter” | Astronomers Directly Image Massive Star’s “Super-Jupiter” | Oprah Tweets Her Love For Microsoft Surface Using An iPad | Exoplanet Gliese 581g Makes the Top 5 | United Nations Declares Access to Contraception a “Universal Human Right” | What Happens to Women Who Are Denied Abortions? | The UCSF Global Turnaway Study | Record Nine-Planet Star System Discovered? | Saudi Arabian Women Tracked with System That Texts Their Husbands | Puffy Planet Poses Pretty Puzzle | World Toilet Day

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Episode 40: Skepticon 5, Part 1

Episode 40: Skepticon 5, Part 1

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem Newman, Mark Forkheim, Ashlyn Noble, Laura Creek Newman, Brendan Curran-Johnson, and Gary Barbon discuss their trip to Skepticon 5. This episode also features interviews with Skepchicks Rebecca Watson, Surly Amy, and Kammy Lyon, and with Lauren Lane, one of the founders of Skepticon.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: Skepticon | Episode 4: Skepticon 4 Recap | Skepchick | It Stands to Reason, Skeptics Can Be Sexist Too | The Humanist Community Project

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Episode 37: News Update

Episode 37: News Update

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn Noble, Donna Harris, Mark Forkheim, and Laura Creek Newman discuss local and international news of interest to skeptics, including PMS, supposed sex-selective abortions, Winnipeg’s pious new police chief, and more.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: Ussher Chronology | SkeptiCamp Winnipeg | “Religious Freedom” Sends the Wrong Message to the Wrong People | Mark Warawa’s Motion 408 Aimed At Condemning Sex-Selective Abortion | MP Defends Giving Queen’s Jubilee Medal to Jailed Woman: Anti-Abortionists Honoured by Conservative MP | Vitamin C and Lysine Proven to Keep Arteries Healthy | PMS Moodiness May be a Myth: Study | Winnipeg Police Chief Touts Prayer to Help Combat Crime | Non-Christian Prison Chaplains Chopped by Ottawa

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Episode 26: “Thrive”

Episode 26: “Thrive”

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem Newman, Gary Barbon, and Mark Forkheim discuss the online conspiracy film “Thrive” with Robert Shindler, Richelle McCullough, and Greg Christensen.

This episode was recorded over Google+, so the audio quality is occasionally inconsistent. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, Greg, Richelle, and Robert had to drop out of the show early, but Mark, Gary, and Gem soldiered on!

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

News Items: Bad Science Watch | Students at Quebec School Have Adverse Reaction to Hypnotist Act | Hypnosis (Wikipedia, The Skeptic’s Dictionary) | Obese Father Loses Custody of His Children | Do Atheists Have a Sexual Harassment Problem? | Freethought Blogs Roundtable (Harassment at Conferences, Why Talk About Social Justice?) | SkeptiCamp Winnipeg | Winnipeg Skeptics Anti-Harassment Policy | New NSA Docs Contradict 9/11 Claims (Salon, National Security Archive) | Prometheus: It Sucked

Addressing Some of Thrive’s Claims: Thrive | Entropy and Life | Graphical (Linear) Projection | The Flower of Life | Skeptoid on UFOs | SkeptiCamp Winnipeg: Perpetual Motion and Free Energy | The Hutchison “Effect” | The Death of Eugene Mallove (Suspects Arrested, Schaffer Enters Guilty Plea) | Interviewees Repudiate Thrive (Interviewees Distance Themselves from the Film, John Robbins Speaks Out Against Thrive) | Thrive Debunked (Index, Ancient Astronauts, Crop Circles, “False Flag” Attacks, Global Domination)

What Are You Reading? Hitch-22 | Against Intellectual Monopoly | Hegemony or Survival | Fundamentals of Computational Neuroscience | Going Solo | Singlism | Dying of the Light | John Dies at the End | Redshirts | I Am Legend | Why Are You Atheists So Angry? | Before Watchmen

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Episode 18: WiFi, Mobile Phones, and Electrosensitivity

Episode 18: WiFi, Mobile Phones, and Electrosensitivity

Life, the Universe & Everything ElseIn this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem Newman, Richelle McCullough, Javier Hernandez-Melgar, and Mark Forkheim discuss recent attempts to ban WiFi in several Canadian schools and the scientific merits of health claims made about WiFi, cellphones, and other sources of electromagnetic radiation.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

News: Imagine No Religion 2 Conference | Altona Parents Protest LGBTQ Pledge (Initial Coverage, Response from Rev. Dr. Lesley Fox, Follow-up) | Catholic Teachers Urge WiFi Ban (Globe & Mail, CBC/Canadian Press) | Homeless Hotspots

Links: Illustration of the EMF Spectrum | National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet: Cell Phones and Cancer Risk | WHO Warns Cellphone Use is ‘Possibly Carcinogenic’ | The Not-So-Dangerous Truth Behind Microwaves | Elizabeth May on EFM (SkepticNorth, Winnipeg Skeptics) | Evaluating The Evidence for Cell Phones and WiFi | “Dirty Electricity” | Electrosensitivity in Sweden | Skeptics’ Guide 5×5 on WiFi | Skeptoid on Electrosensitivity | Lakehead University WiFi Ban (Ban, Repeal)

Also on this episode, the first instalment of our new segment …and That’s Why You’re Wrong. This week, we discuss the Cosmological Argument, and its increasingly popular cousin, the Kalam Cosmological Argument:

The Cosmological Argument
1. Everything has a cause.
2. A causal loop cannot exist, and a causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
3. Therefore, a First Cause must exist. (We call this cause “God”.)

The Kalam Cosmological Argument
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The Universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the Universe had a cause.

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Correction: On this episode I made an offhand remark about gamma radiation turning a person into a member of the X-Men. I obviously should have said a member of the Avengers (more specifically, the Incredible Hulk). I apologise in advance to any of my fellow Marvel nerds who are offended by this gross misstatement of comic book fact.