Episode 121: “Dreams from My Real Father”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura talk about yet another conspiracy film, and Gem closes out the episode with an Alex Jones–themed quiz.

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

Links: No more religious exemptions: Montreal is taxing churches (CTV Montreal News ) | Montreal churches fear stricter taxation after visits from inspectors (Montreal Gazette ) | Dreams from My Real Father (Wikipedia) | Barack Obama (Wikipedia) | Frank Marshall Davis (Wikipedia) | Alex Jones (radio host) (Wikipedia)

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Episode 120: Fad Diets

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Gem discuss fad diets with host Laura Creek Newman, our resident Registered Dietitian. Topics covered in detail include the Paleo Diet, the Sweet Potato Diet, the Blood Type Diet, and The China Study.

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

News: The Public Schools Act | Healthy hearts: Gluten-free diets don’t help people without celiac disease, study finds (CBC News) | Effect of Alternate-Day Fasting on Weight Loss, Weight Maintenance, and Cardioprotection Among Metabolically Healthy Obese Adults (JAMA Internal Medicine)

The Paleo Diet: The Paleo Diet Premise | What is the Paleo Diet? (Primal Palate) | What Paleo diet experts think – and why they’re wrong (The Guardian) | Study: Paleo Dieters Should Be Eating More Carbs (Outside Online) | Paleo Diet Review, Foods List, and More (WebMD) | It’s a part of my paleo fantasy, it’s a part of my paleo dream (Science-Based Medicine) | How to Really Eat Like a Hunter-Gatherer: Why the Paleo Diet Is Half-Baked (Scientific American) | The Paleo Diet: Everything You Need to Know (Health.com)

The China Study: Episode 82: What Have You Changed Your Mind About? (LUEE) | China–Cornell–Oxford Project (Wikipedia) | The China Study (Wikipedia) | The China Study (Science-Based Medicine) | The China Study Revisited: New Analysis of Raw Data Doesn’t Support Vegetarian Ideology (Science-Based Medicine) | China Study author Colin Campbell slaps down critic (VegSource.com) | While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Cheese Sales (NYT) | Consumption of red meat and processed meat (IARC) | Vegetarian Diets Linked to Lower Mortality (NIH) | Vegetarian, vegan diets and multiple health outcomes: a systematic review with meta-analysis of observational studies (NCBI) | Recommended Supplements for Vegans (The Vegan RD) | Vegan & Vegetarian Nutrition (Toronto Vegetarian Association) | Vegetarian Diets (Dietitians of Canada)

The Sweet Potato Diet: The Sweet Potato Diet | All About Carb Cycling (Precision Nutrition) | Calories in Chocolate Primal Body Morellifit Whey Protein Isolate (MyFitnessPal.com) | 4 Ways To Lose Five Pounds In ONE WEEK! (YouTube) | Is Carb Cycling Really the Best Fat Loss Diet? (Nutrition WOD)

The Blood Type Diet: Blood type diet (Wikipedia) | Lectin (Wikipedia) | Blood Types Chart (American Red Cross) | Rh blood group system (Wikipedia) | Blood Type Diet: Eating for Types O, A, B, (AB) | The Blood Type Diet | 3 Reasons to Avoid the Blood Type Diet | Blood type diets lack supporting evidence: a systematic review (AJCN) | The Blood Type Diet: An Evidence-Based Review (Authority Nutrition)

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Episode 119: Chiropractic

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Laura, Gem, and Lauren talk about the history and practice of chiropractic medicine, then Ashlyn hosts a game of -ology A–Z!

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

Links: Chiropractic (Wikipedia) | Vertebral subluxation (Wikipedia) | Daniel David Palmer (Wikipedia) | History of chiropractic (Wikipedia) | Chiropractic controversy and criticism (Wikipedia) | Osteopathy (Wikipedia) | Chiropractic (RationalWiki) | Chiropractic (The Skeptic’s Dictionary) | Chiropractic care for reducing body weight (Edzard Ernst) | Advertising by some Manitoba chiropractors undermines public health (CBC Manitoba) | Patient Care (Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College) | Efficacy of spinal manipulation and mobilization for low back pain and neck pain (The Spine Journal) | Chiropractic Controversies (Pain Science) | Spinal manipulative therapy for acute low-back pain (Wiley Online Library) | Twenty Things Most Chiropractors Won’t Tell You (Edzard Ernst) | Chiropractic Care: Attempting a Risk–Benefit Analysis (American Journal of Public Health) | Chiropractic Manipulation and Stroke (American Health Association) | Craniocervical arterial dissections as sequelae of chiropractic manipulation: patterns of injury and management (Journal of Neurosurgery) | Chiropractic treatment of the neck can be a risk factor for stroke (UC San Francisco) | When a chiropractor teaches us about homeopathy, we are in for comedy gold (Edzard Ernst) | List of unproven and disproven cancer treatments (Wikipedia)

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Episode 118: The Senses

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, and Lauren are joined by Mark Forkheim to talk about the sensory system and do some science along the way! Ashlyn, Lauren, and Gem try sensory isolation, and the episode features live experiments with sensory interference and a miracle fruit taste test.

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

Note: Because this episode features live taste testing, it also features some unavoidable mouth sounds. These are bothersome to some people (like Ashlyn), so if you need to skip those segments they’re generally confined to 1:00:15 through 1:25:40. (I tried to cut out as many as I could, but there’s only so much I can do when we’re tasting things on air.)

Links: Sense (Wikipedia) | Sensory nervous system (Wikipedia) | TRPV1 (Wikipedia) | Synesthesia (Wikipedia) | Tongue map (Wikipedia) | The Wine-Dark Sea: Color and Perception in the Ancient World (Clarkesworld Magazine) | This Picture Has No Red Pixels—So Why Do the Strawberries Still Look Red? (Motherboard) | The Genetics of Taste (Smithsonian) | Phenylthiocarbamide (Wikipedia) | Taste Perception and Eating Behavior:” They’re in the Genes (Today’s Dietitian) | Are you a Supertaster? (Precision Laboratories) | How does our sense of taste work? (PubMed Health) | The Legendary Study That Embarrassed Wine Experts Across the Globe (RealClearScience) | Human sweet taste receptor mediates acid-induced sweetness of miraculin (PNAS) | Isolation tank (Wikipedia)

Ashlyn’s #TryPod Picks: Oh No Ross and Carrie

Gem’s #TryPod Picks: 99% Invisible | On the Media | The Greatest Generation | Radio vs. the Martians! | Waypoint Radio

Lauren’s #TryPod Picks: Undisclosed | Someone Knows Something | My Favorite Murder | NPR Politics | Welcome to Night Vale | Alice Isn’t Dead

Friends of the Show: The Reality Check | Left at the Valley | Brainstorm | PolitiCoast

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Episode 117: Trump

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Laura, Lauren, and Brendan discuss a few of the many myths and conspiracy theories endorsed by Donald Trump, and Brendan points out that a simple fact check isn’t enough.

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

Note: For further context on Trump, fact-checking, border control, and claims of journalistic objectivity, Gem recommends these excellent episodes of On the Media: The Game Has Changed (On the Media) | The Ties That Bind (On the Media) | What We Know About the Border (On the Media)

Links: Episode 110: Science & Race (LUEE) | Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks in America (Global Research) | New Research Shows That More Immigration Means Higher Wages for All Workers in Cities (CityLab) | 3 Ways to Immigrate to USA (uscitizenship) | Immigration and the Economic Status of African-American Men (SSRN) | Unskilled Workers Lose Out to Immigrants (NYTimes.com) | An Aging U.S. is Revitalized by Immigrants (NYTimes.com) | Immigrants Are Replacing, Not Displacing, Workers (NYTimes.com) | Immigration Doesn’t Hurt Native Jobs or Wages in the U.S., Report Finds (Time) | Immigrant Employment by State and Industry (Pew) | Does Illegal Immigration Disadvantage American Workers? (ProCon.org) | Immigrants Aren’t Stealing American Jobs (The Atlantic) | Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories (Wikipedia) | Central Park jogger case (Wikipedia) | COINTELPRO (Wikipedia) | What an Uncensored Letter to M.L.K. Reveals (The New York Times) | Episode 101: “Trace Amounts” (LUEE) | 10 facts on immunization (WHO) | About Vaccines (Manitoba Health) | The GOP’s dangerous “debate” on vaccines and autism (The Washington Post) | Trump team denies skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was asked to head vaccine commission (CNNPolitics.com) | Gregg Phillips: Trump’s Favorite Voter-Fraud Activist (The Atlantic) | 25% of Voters Believe President Trump’s Unfounded Voter Fraud Claim (Time) | President Trump’s Voter-Fraud Expert Was Registered to Vote in Three States (Time) | President Trump Vowed to Investigate Voter Fraud. Then Lawmakers Voted to Eliminate an Election Commission (Time) | Arguments from Global Warming Skeptics and what the science really says (Skeptical Science) | Fact Check: Trump’s Cabinet Picks on Human-Caused Global Warming | Ice-albedo feedback (Wikipedia) | Yes, Donald Trump did call climate change a Chinese hoax (PolitiFact) | 2012 Benghazi attack (Wikipedia) | A Comprehensive Guide To Benghazi Myths And Facts | Hillary Clinton emails – what’s it all about? (BBC News) | Essays: To Profile or Not to Profile? (Schneier on Security) | Protestors call on mayor to make Winnipeg a sanctuary city (Winnipeg Free Press)

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Episode 116: Risk

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Laura, Gem, and Lauren talk about how bad we are at assessing risk. Also on this episode: Do we get more risk averse as we get older? Is margarine going to kill you, or will a hippopotamus get you first? Will the world end not with a bang but a Boolean?

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

Note: Music featured in this episode include samples from “Death from the Skies” by George Hrab (featuring Phil Plait), “Paranoid Android” by Radiohead, and “Binnorie” by Mediæval Bæbes.

Links: Relative risk (Wikipedia) | Spreading disease or spreading deliciousness: the butter vs. margarine debate rages on (dietitian at home) | Global catastrophic risk (Wikipedia) | Death from the Skies! (Wikipedia) | Holocene extinction (Wikipedia) | Existential risk from artificial general intelligence (Wikipedia) | AI Risk Analysts are the Biggest Risk (Singularity Weblog) | There is a blind spot in AI research (Nature News) | Program good ethics into artificial intelligence (Nature News & Comment ) | TRC #429.5: Programming Ethics Into AI (The Reality Check) | Potential Risks from Advanced Artificial Intelligence: The Philanthropic Opportunity (Open Philanthropy Project ) | If Aliens Exist, They May Come to Get Us, Stephen Hawking Says (Space.com) | Risk Preferences and Aging: The “Certainty Effect” in Older Adults’ Decision Making (Journal of Psychology and Aging) | Differences in risk aversion between young and older adults (NAN) | Differences in Risk Aversion between Young and Older Adults (Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics) | Aging and loss decision making: increased risk aversion and decreased use of maximizing information, with correlated rationality and value maximization | It is surprisingly rare for an alligator to kill a person (BBC Earth) | Chart: The animals that are most likely to kill you this summer (The Washington Post) | The Odds of Dying | 25 shocking things more likely to kill you than a shark (WNYY) | Choking Prevention and Rescue Tips | 10 Things More Likely to Kill You than Islamic Terror | List of selfie-related injuries and deaths (Wikipedia) | Animal bites (WHO)

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Episode 115: Holiday Charity Special

On the Life, the Universe & Everything Else Holiday Special, Brendan Curran-Johnson joins Gem, Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren to talk about charitable giving, including how an organization qualifies as a charity, how to maximize the good your contributions can do, and some of the questionable practices of the most popular charities. The episode concludes with a rebroadcast of a segment from 2013’s holiday episode contrasting the various nativity accounts.

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

Definition of Charity: What is charitable? (Canada Revenue Agency)

Image vs. Effect: Dems help reopen a NC Repub office by David Weinberger (GoFundMe) | MEDIA ADVISORY: NCGOP Sees Encouraging Early Voting, Obama/Clinton Coalition Tired, Fail to Resonate in North Carolina | Courts are finally pointing out the racism behind voter ID laws (The Washington Post) | Today I did a lot of screaming about the anti-LGBT bill North Carolina passed (mcclure111) | Susan G. Komen Partners With Fracking Firm, Despite Possible Cancer Links (Huffington Post) | Pinkwashing (Wikipedia) | Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Promises to Spend $3 Billion to Research and Cure All Diseases (Forbes) | Mark Zuckerberg can’t believe India is debating net neutrality rather than being grateful for Facebook’s free internet (Quartz)

Effective Altruism: Effective altruism (Wikipedia) | GiveWell (Charity Reviews and Research) | Giving What We Can | 80,000 Hours | TRC #270: Effective Altruism + Drinking While Eating + Square on Toothpaste Tube (The Reality Check) | TRC #325: Cells On A Plane + Effective Donating Revisited + Sad Music (The Reality Check) | TRC #379: Charitable Giving + Premium vs Regular Gas + Elf On The Shelf (The Reality Check) | The Way to Produce a Person (The New York Times)

Donations in Kind: Understanding the Impact of Donated Clothes (WhyDev) | Why second-hand clothing donations are creating a dilemma for Kenya (The Guardian) | Stop donating canned goods to food drives: Your corned mutton castoffs are only making things worse (National Post) | Charities Need Your Money, Not Your Random Old Food (Slate) | The Problem With Little White Girls, Boys And Voluntourism (Huffington Post)

Winnipeg Harvest: Winnipeg Harvest | Winnipeg Harvest (Charity Intelligence)

Salvation Army: The Salvation Army in Canada Non-Discrimination | UK Salvation Army chief defends ban on gay members (PinkNews) | Here’s The Internal Document The Salvation Army Doesn’t Want You To See (Queerty)

World Vision: FAQs (World Vision International) | World Vision Canada statement on sexual orientation and hiring practices | A World Vision Donor Sponsored a Boy. The Outcome Was a Mystery to Both. (The New York Times)

Other Charities That Need Your Help: Top Charities (GiveWell) | American Civil Liberties Union | Canadian Civil Liberties Association | Planned Parenthood | Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights | Trans Lifeline (877-565-8860) | National Center for Transgender Equality | Trans Equality Rights in Canada | Advocating for LGBTQ Equality (Human Rights Campaign)

The “Charity Slump”: The Holiday Giving Season: A Make or Break Time for Small Charities (CanadaHelps) | Charitable Giving in America: Some Facts and Figures | Why Charities Receive Less During The Summer (CanadaHelps)

Other Links: Episode 72: The War on Christmas: A Brief History (LUEE) | Episode 107: Solving Homelessness (LUEE) | Power In A Union on Vimeo | C.R.E.A.M. (Wu-Tang Clan) | The best God joke ever (Emo Phillips) | Are We the Baddies? (That Mitchell and Webb Look)

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