Episode 180: “Icebergs”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Marissa McCool leads Lauren, Ashlyn, Laura, and Gem on an exploration of ideas as “icebergs”, with layers of hidden secrets just below the surface. Topics of discussion include US cities, the sinking of the Titanic, artificial sweeteners, and the curse of the pharaohs.

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

Correction: This year marks Queen Elizabeth II’s 70th year on the throne, not her 75th.

Marissa’s Podcasts on Spreaker: Marissa McCool (Host/Producer)

The Sinking of the Titanic: Sinking of the Titanic (Wikipedia) | Titanic Coincidence? (Commonplace Fun Facts) | 5 Titanic Coincidences That Prove Reality is Stranger than Fiction (Travel Thru History) | Titanic Conspiracy Theories: When Did the Titanic Sink? (Popular Mechanics) | Fire and Ice: The Titanic’s Top 10 Weirdest Conspiracy Theories (Spyscape) | Titanic conspiracy theories (Wikipedia) | Fact Check-J.P. Morgan did not sink the Titanic to push forward plans for the U.S. Federal Reserve (Reuters) | Saved from the Titanic (Wikipedia) | Fact-checking QAnon conspiracy theories: Did J.P. Morgan sink the Titanic? (The Washington Post) | Haunted mirror ‘possessed by the ghost of the Titanic captain’ up for auction (Mirror Online)

Artificial Sweeteners: G.D. Searle, LLC (Wikipedia) | Aspartame (Wikipedia) | Artificial sweeteners get more than their fair share of grief (AGDAILY) | Is Aspartame Responsible for ‘An Epidemic of Multiple Sclerosis and Lupus’? (Snopes.com) | Hayes Planning To Resign as Head of FDA (The Washington Post) | Why Did the FDA Ever Approve Fake Sugar? (Vice) | Donald Rumsfeld and the Strange History of Aspartame (HuffPost) | ‘Aspartame Causes Cancer’ Was a Classic Internet Hoax (Smithsonian Magazine) | Aspartame controversy (Wikipedia)

The Pharaoh’s Curse: British Museum is world’s largest receiver of stolen goods, says QC (The Guardian) | Curse of the pharaohs (Wikipedia) | Discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun (Wikipedia) | Did a Cursed Mummy Sink with the Titanic? (Snopes.com) | Did a mummy’s curse sink the Titanic? Probably not, but the Washington Post once suggested that it did. (Slate) | The most famous myths about the Titanic (SFGate) | Brendan Fraser got ‘fully choked-out’ shooting ‘The Mummy’ (EW.com) | Here’s How Brendan Fraser Almost Died on the Set of ‘The Mummy’ (TheThings)

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Episode 179: Cursed Knowledge

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura share things that they wish they had never learned. Warning: this episode contains parasites!

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

The Curse of Knowledge: Curse of knowledge (Wikipedia) | The Curse of Knowledge (Digital Learning) | The Curse of Knowledge | The Curse of Knowledge and How to Avoid It (All About Learning) | The Curse of Knowledge: How It Impacts You, and What to Do About It (User Testing)

Snail-borne Parasites: Schistosomiasis (CDC) | Rat Lungworm Disease and How to Prevent It (Corry’s) | Snail-borne parasitic diseases: an update on global epidemiological distribution, transmission interruption and control methods (PMC) | Eating Slugs Can Cause Paralysis—Here’s Why (National Geographic)

Fatal Familial Insomnia: Fatal Familial Insomnia (National Organization for Rare Disorders)

Face Mites: ‘Face Mites’ Live in Your Pores, Eat Your Grease and Mate on Your Face While You Sleep (Live Science) | Face Mites: They Really Grow On You (NPR) | Demodex (Wikipedia)

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Episode 178: The Worst Tooth Fairy

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem introduces the panel to Dr. Henry Cotton, a pioneer in the field of “psychiatric surgical bacteriology”, Lauren provides a biographical sketch of Magnus Hirschfeld and his Institute of Sex Research, Laura discusses the supposed health consequences of eating “fried foods”, and Ashlyn does a deep dive on a common way the medical system makes people’s lives just a little bit more miserable.

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

Henry Cotton: Henry Cotton (Wikipedia) | Trenton Psychiatric Hospital (American Journal of Psychiatry) | Book Review: “Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine” (Psychiatry, Psychology and Law)

Magnus Hirschfeld and the Institute of Sex Research: World League for Sexual Reform (Wikipedia) | Scientific-Humanitarian Committee (Wikipedia) | Magnus Hirschfeld (Wikipedia) | Arthur Kronfeld (Wikipedia) | Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Wikipedia) | LGBTQ Legislation Tracker (Freedom for All Americans) | Canada’s gender identity rights Bill C-16 explained (CBC Docs POV) | C-4 (44-1) An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Parliament of Canada) | Weimar Republic (Wikipedia) | Sexual intermediacy and temporality in late nineteenth- and early twentieth- century literature and culture (ResearchGate) | Magnus Hirschfeld (Britannica)

Fried Foods: Formation of trans fatty acids in edible oils during the frying and heating process (ScienceDirect) | Characterization of the Distribution of Oil Uptake in French Fries (Microscopy Today) | Fried-food consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis of observational studies (BMJ Heart) | Consumption of Fried Foods and Risk of Heart Failure in the Physicians’ Health Study (Journal of the American Heart Association) | Consumption of fried foods and risk of coronary heart disease: Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (BMJ) | Association of fried food consumption with all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: prospective cohort study (BMJ) | Analysis of Trans Fat in Edible Oils with Cooking Process (Toxicological Research) | Fried Food Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Current Evidence (Nutrients)

Anaesthesia and Fasting: Ending the misery of ‘nil by mouth’ (NHS) | Guidelines to the Practice of Anesthesia (Canadian Journal of Anesthesia) | You don’t need to do a prolonged fast before surgery (Slate) | A Trio of Commentaries on
Preoperative Fasting Guidelines (California Society of Anesthesiologists)
| Practice Guidelines for Obstetric Anesthesia (American Society of Anesthesiologists)

Unconstitutional Prayer in Manitoba: In Open Defiance (BC Humanist Association)

Gem’s Stories: “Passepartout” (first prize in the 2021 Bedford Writing Competition) | “Persistence of Vision” (published in Surge: A Dragon Soul Press Anthology)

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Episode 177: Contraception Should Be Free

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn and Gem are joined by Kennadie Chaudhary and Teale Phelps Bondaroff to discuss the AccessBC’s campaign for free contraception and some of the arguments made by critics of the campaign.

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

Links: AccessBC: Campaign for Free Prescription Contraception in BC | AccessBC (Twitter) | Birth Control Access for Manitoba (Twitter) | CoverContraceptiON (Twitter) | Canadian women opting for less effective birth control (PMC) | Household income and contraceptive methods among female youth: a cross-sectional study using the Canadian Community Health Survey (CMAJ Open) | BC Budget 2022 fails to take bold action on gender-based violence (West Coast LEAF)

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Episode 176: 🎵 Dontcha put it in your mouth! 🎶

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Lauren, Ashlyn, Laura, and Gem discuss medical scams, including Miracle Mineral Solution, urine therapy (i.e., drinking your own pee), Trina Health’s dubious treatment for diabetes, and Dr. Zamboni’s Liberation Therapy for multiple sclerosis.

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

Miracle Mineral Solution: Danger: Don’t Drink Miracle Mineral Solution or Similar Products (FDA) | Miracle Mineral Solution is a Nightmare (McGill University) | Health Canada reminds Canadians of dangers of Miracle Mineral Solution after investigation leads to guilty plea and two-year sentence (Canada.ca) | Miracle Mineral Solution: Do Not Drink This, FDA Warns (Forbes) | Sellers of Miracle Mineral Solution Criminally Charged with Making Coronavirus Claims (ConsumerLab.com)

Urine Therapy: Urine (Wikipedia) | ‘I Would Have to Be Restrained’: Internet Eviscerates Parent for Adding Urine to Popsicles (Newsweek) | What Are the Risks and Benefits of Drinking Urine? (Healthline)

Trina Health’s Diabetes Treatment: About the Trina Health investigation (inewsource) | San Diego woman says controversial diabetes treatment endangered her health (inewsource) | Montana couple sinks life savings into “miracle” diabetes treatment (inewsource) | Trina Health Frequently Asked Questions (Web Archive) | Hustling Hope: San Diego doctor runs controversial diabetes clinic (inewsource) | Effects of Pulsatile Intravenous Insulin Therapy on the Progression of Diabetic Nephropathy (Dailey et al.) | Doctors debunk diabetes treatment as fraud charges hit clinic executive (inewsource) | MAT® Treatment (Aoki Diabetes Research Institute) | Intermittent Intravenous Insulin Therapy (Aetna Clinical Policy Bulletins)

Liberation Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis: ‘Scientific quackery’: UBC study says it’s debunked controversial MS procedure (CBC News) | Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for treatment of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) in people with multiple sclerosis (Cochrane Library) | Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in multiple sclerosis: the final curtain (The Lancet) | Prevalence of extracranial venous narrowing on catheter venography in people with multiple sclerosis, their siblings, and unrelated healthy controls: a blinded, case-control study (The Lancet) | About patients, “inventors”, journalists, scientists, IRBs (to say nothing of the institutions): CCSVI and MS (PubMed) | Multiple sclerosis (Wikipedia) | Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency controversy (Wikipedia) | Epstein-Barr virus leading cause multiple sclerosis (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

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January Update

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is taking the month of January off, but here’s a little Something Nice to tide you over!

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

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Episode 175: Grifters, Scamps, and Thieves

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Lauren, Ashlyn, and Laura talk scams and con artists: Gem reads from a novel that somehow topped the New York Times bestseller list without anyone ever buying it, Laura covers a gang of thieves trying to make an end-run around Canada’s maple syrup monopsony, Ashlyn explains why a semi-famous skeptic went to jail for fraud, and Lauren talks about an ex-Mormon forger who dabbled in bomb-making. Then Gem just rants semi-coherently about NFTs for a while.

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

Lani Sarem and the New York Times Bestseller scam: Did This Book Buy Its Way Onto The New York Times Bestseller List? (Pajiba) | 8 Notable Attempts to Hack the New York Times Bestseller List (Literary Hub) | Book Review: Handbook for Mortals by Lani Sarem (Bree Howland) | The New York Times Best Seller list (Wikipedia) | Lani Sarem (IMDb)

The Great Maple Syrup Heist: Sweet revenge for Quebec maple syrup producers: Thief gets five years for role in $18.7 million heist (National Post) | A Sticky Situation: SCC Grants Leave to Appeal for Maple Syrup Heist Case in R v Vallières (TheCourt.ca) | Reputed ringleader in $18.7M maple syrup heist found guilty (CBC News) | Police seize hundreds of barrels of syrup possibly linked to Quebec maple heist (The Globe and Mail) | Maple and Economic Development (PPAQ) | Inside Quebec’s Great, Multi-Million-Dollar Maple-Syrup Heist (Vanity Fair) | Alleged ringleader in $18.7M maple syrup theft testifies he faced death threats (CBC News)

Dunning’s Cookie Stuffing Scam: Brian Dunning, eBay and Affiliate Marketing Fraud (Business Insider) | Fraudster skeptic Brian Dunning’s shell game (Lousy Canuck) | A Critical Analysis of Brian Dunning’s Explanation (Skepchick) | The sophistry and revisionist history in Skeptoid Brian Dunning’s statement (Lousy Canuck) | How This Man Cheated eBay Out of $5 Million and Now Faces 20 Years in Federal Prison

The Salamander Letter: The Salamander Letter From Murder Among the Mormons Attempted to Rewrite the Church’s History (Esquire) | The True Story of The Salamander Letter from ‘Murder Among the Mormons’ (Cosmopolitan) | The Real History and Meaning of the Salamander Letter (Refinery29) | Salamander letter (Wikipedia) | Mark Hofmann (Wikipedia) | Anthon Transcript (Wikipedia) | Mormonism Unvailed (Wikipedia)

NFTs: ConstitutionDAO’s bold crypto bid for US Constitution falls short (TechCrunch) | Proof of work (Wikipedia)

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Episode 174: The Assassination of Bigfoot by the Coward Rick Dyer

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn introduces everyone to the most famous monster from West Virginia not named “Joe Manchin”, Lauren talks about colonialist brontosaurus-hunters, Gem reminds everyone of that time a used car salesman murdered Bigfoot, and Laura gives a low key defence of cryptozoology.

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

Crytpozoology on LUEE: Episode 108: Cryptozoology & Mythical Creatures (LUEE)

The Flatwoods Monster: In 1952, the Flatwoods Monster Terrified 6 Kids, a Mom, a Dog—and the Nation (History) | The Flatwoods Monster (Visit Braxton, WV) | The W.Va. Monster That Crept Into International Pop Culture (WVPB) | Flatwoods monster (Wikipedia)

Mokele-Mbembe: Hunting Dinosaurs in Central Africa (Contingent Magazine) | Congo Basin (Wikipedia) | Mokele-mbembe (Wikipedia) | Great Zimbabwe (Wikipedia) | Rhodesia (Wikipedia) | Lake Bangweulu (Wikipedia) | Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (Wikipedia) | Reptilian conspiracy theory (Wikipedia) | Willy Ley (Wikipedia) | Ishtar Gate (Wikipedia) | Brontosaurus (Wikipedia)

Rick Dyer, Big Foot Hunter: On Tour with Rick Dyer and his Bigfoot through Texas (Texas Monthly) | Bigfoot Claim Exposed As Hoax (CBS News) | Bigfoot Experts Skeptical of Body in Freezer (Fox News) | Las Vegas man claims he killed the first Bigfoot (WDAM7 News) | Bigfoot tracker admits body is a hoax (Houston Chronicle) | Why is the Latest Guy Who’s Pretending He Caught Bigfoot Cavalierly Giving Him Such a Tiny Penis? (Esquire) | Rick Dyer (Wikipedia)

A Defence of Cryptozoology: How the search for mythical monsters can help conservation in the real world (The Conversation) | The strange case of the spiral-horned ox (Nature) | Seven species that used to be cryptids (ScIU) | The platypus is so weird that scientists thought the first specimen was a hoax (The Washington Post) | Okapi (Wikipedia) | Okapi (Cryptid Wiki) | Bondegezou (Cryptid Wiki) | Platypus (Cryptid Wiki) | Dingiso (Wikipedia) | Dingiso Tree-kangaroo (PapuaWeb)

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Episode 173: Social Contagion and Psychogenic Illness

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem is joined by Ashlyn, Laura, and Lauren to talk about social contagion and unpack the sociological, psychological, and sometimes pseudoscientific history of “hysteria”. Topics include the Tanganyika laughter epidemic, the Dancing Plague of 1518, and the Seattle windshield pitting epidemic.

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

Social Contagion: Contagion: a theoretical and empirical review and reconceptualization (ResearchGate) | Social contagion (Wikipedia) | Mass psychogenic illness (Wikipedia) | Irish Fright (Wikipedia)

The Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic: The laughter of the 1962 Tanganyika ‘laughter epidemic’ (ResearchGate) | An epidemic of laughing in the Bukoba district of Tanganyika (Central African Journal of Medicine) | Why laughter makes no sense: The surprising science behind what tickles our funny bones (Salon.com) | The 1962 Laughter Epidemic of Tanganyika Was No Joke (Atlas Obscura)

The Dancing Plague of 1518: A forgotten plague: making sense of dancing mania (The Lancet) | Dancing plague of 1518 (Encyclopaedia Britannica) | Dancing plague of 1518 (Wikipedia) | Ergotism (Wikipedia) | Sydenham Chorea Information Page (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

The Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic: Windshield pitting incidents in Washington reach fever pitch on April 15, 1954 (HistoryLink.org) | The Windshield-pitting mystery of 1954 (NPR) | How the Seattle windshield pitting epidemic is connected to data interpretation (Quantilia Financial Data and Calculation Factory)

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Episode 171: Dubious Diagnoses

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura is joined by Gem, Ashlyn, and Lauren to discuss Morgellons syndrome, adrenal fatigue, Wilson’s temperature syndrome, and candida overgrowth, four medical diagnoses with dubious supporting evidence.

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

Morgellons Syndrome: Delusional infestation: Epidemiology, clinical presentation, assessment and diagnosis (UpToDate) | The Morgellons Mystery (Psychology Today) | Sir Thomas Browne’s A Letter to a Friend (University of Chigago) | Morgellons (Wikipedia) | Delusional parasitosis (Wikipedia)

Adrenal Fatigue: Treating the Symptoms that are believed to be Adrenal Fatigue (Endocrine Society) | Adrenal fatigue: What causes it? (Mayo Clinic) | Adrenal fatigue (Wikipedia)

Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome: Wilson’s temperature syndrome (Wikipedia) | Wilson’s Disease: Risk Factors, Causes, & Symptoms (Healthline)

Candida Overgrowth: The Candida Overgrowth Problem: Too Much Yeast? No, Too Little Science (SELF) | The Candida Diet: Separating Fact from Fiction (Nutrition Diva) | The Candida Diet: Separating Fact from Fiction (Scientific American) | Invasive Candidiasis (CDC) | Systemic candidiasis (NIH) | The Anti-Candida Diet: 11 Simple Rules to Follow (TheCandidaDiet.com)

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