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 146: Standardized Testing

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn explains standardized testing in Canadian high schools, Lauren introduces the SAT and ACT, Gem rambles about the MCAT, and Laura asks some pointed questions about citizenship testing.

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

Standardized Testing in Canada: List of Canadian primary and secondary examinations (Wikipedia) | What is the Value of Standardized Testing? (EdCan Network) | Here’s what standardized tests look like around the world (INSIDER) | Assessment and Evaluation (Manitoba Education) | Canadian Achievement Test (CAT) | What is the Value of Standardized Testing? (EdCan Network)

SAT/ACT: SAT (Wikipedia) | College Board (Wikipedia) | ACT (test) (Wikipedia) | ACT (nonprofit organization) (Wikipedia) | The SAT (The College Board) | The Real Problem With the SAT (The Atlantic) | Lewis Terman (Wikipedia) | SAT Prep Free Resources (Why SAT Test Prep is Broken) | Stereotype threat (Wikipedia) | The ACT Test for Students (ACT) | Math–verbal achievement gap (Wikipedia) | College Readiness Exams Measure the Wrong Things (Nyack News and Views) | Beyond the Rhetoric: Improving College Readiness Through Coherent State Policy (HigherEducation.org) | Different Tests, Same Flaws: A Comparison of the SAT, SAT II and ACT (FairTest)

MCAT: Medical College Admission Test (Wikipedia) | AAMC

Citizenship Testing: Applying for Danish citizenship: the process explained (The Local) | The U.K. Has a Citizenship Test and It’s Dreadfully Hard (WSJ) | Europe’s citizenship tests are so hard not even citizens can pass (The Washington Post) | What does US citizenship exam actually test? (PRI.org) | Over 80% of Canadians would fail a citizenship test, new poll reveals (Global News)

Ian’s New Single: Fangs of Winter by Ian James and the Combo Breakers (SoundCloud)

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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 144: Twenty Questions

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem talks about Google’s search autocomplete feature, then Lauren, Ashlyn, Laura, and Gem answer twenty of the most popular questions suggested by Google.

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

Correction: When answering the question, “Where is your liver?” Ashlyn misspoke: the liver is of course located below the diaphragm, not above it. Whoops!

Google and Autocomplete: How Google autocomplete works in Search (Google Blog) | Censorship by Google (Wikipedia) | Leaked Google research shows company grappling with censorship and free speech (The Verge) | Google to End Pentagon AI Contract, Will Remain a Defense Contractor (Tom’s Hardware)

How: Avoirdupois system (Wikipedia) | Troy weight (Wikipedia) | How to Make Slime: Our 4 Most Popular Slime Recipes (Home Science Tools) | How to Tie a Windsor Knot (Ties.com) | How to write a cover letter (Youth Central) | Hard Boiled Eggs Recipe (Food Network)

Where: Stages of transcription: initiation, elongation & termination (Khan Academy) | Archibald (Wikipedia) | Where is Xur? | History of pizza (Wikipedia)

Can: Can You Start a Sentence with "Because"? (Writer’s Digest) | Can I give my pet…? (Park Road Veterinary Clinic) | Ibuprofen Poisoning in Dogs (VCA Animal Hospital) | What Shall You Not Wear to an Indian Wedding Reception as a Guest? (Discover India) | Is it Legal to Marry Yourself? (Parry & Pfau)

Why: Rayleigh scattering (Wikipedia) | Diffuse sky radiation (Wikipedia) | Photosynthesis (Wikipedia) | Polar bear (Wikipedia) | Effects of Earlier Sea Ice Breakup on Survival and Population Size of Polar Bears in Western Hudson Bay (Journal of Wildlife Management) | Why Asparagus Makes Your Urine Smell (Smithsonian) | Benjamin Franklin’s Letter to the Royal Academy of Brussels (Early Americas Digital Archive) | Moore’s law (Wikipedia) | Why is Caillou bald? (Chouette Publishing)

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Episode 143: Animal Culture

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn leads a discussion of culture in nonhuman animals. Laura discusses tool use, Lauren talks about crows, and Gem talks about the destructive effect humans have on chimpanzee culture. And everyone has bad opinions about sandwiches.

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

Animal Intelligence: Episode 104: Animal Intelligence (LUEE)

Animal Culture: Culture (Wikipedia) | Animal culture (Wikipedia) | Do Animals Have Culture? (NPR) | Strongest Evidence of Animal Culture Seen in Monkeys and Whales (AAAS) | Cumulative culture in nonhumans: overlooked findings from Japanese monkeys? (Primates: Journal of Primatology)

Tool Use: Animal Tool Use (Current Biology) | Tool use by animals (Wikipedia)

Chimpanzees: Chimpanzee (Wikipedia) | Do Chimpanzees Have Culture (Jane Goodall Institute) | What do chimp ‘temples’ tell us about the evolution of religion? (New Scientist) | Wild chimps make their own “dolls” (New Scientist) | The genetical evolution of chimp culture (New Scientist) | Unique chimpanzee cultures are disappearing thanks to humans (New Scientist)

Corvids: The Cleverness of Crows (Advocacy for Animals) | An Impressive Encounter Of Cultural Learning In Corvids (Corvid Blog) | Corvidae (Wikipedia) | Crow (Wikipedia) | The Unexpected Genius of Corvids (Motherboard) | 16 Unnerving Facts About Corvids Most People Don’t Know (Ranker.com) | FAQs about crows (CorvidResearch.blog) | Crows Cope With Family Values, City Living, and West Nile Virus (All About Birds) | Marc Bekoff

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Episode 142: Rare Diseases

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Lauren, Ashlyn, and Laura discuss rare diseases and regulatory responses to them. Specific diseases discussed include diabetes insipidus, toxic shock syndrome, and the Cotard delusion.

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

How Rare is Rare?: Useful Information on Rare Diseases from an EU Perspective (EU Health & Consumer Protection Directorate General) | What is a rare disease? (RareDiseaseDay.org) | Pitfalls in Canada’s Approach to Orphan Drugs (Rare Disease Review) | Rare disease (Wikipedia)

Orphan Drugs and Neglected Diseases: Neglected Diseases (WHO) | RARE Facts (Global Genes) | Rare Diseases (Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center) | Rare disease (Wikipedia) | Neglected tropical diseases (Wikipedia)

Diabetes Insipidus: Diabetes mellitus and deafness (Wikipedia) | Diabetes insipidus (Wikipedia) | Diabetes insipidus: Symptoms and causes (Mayo Clinic) | Diabetes Insipidus (NIDDK) | Diabetes: Study proposes five types, not two (Medical News Today) | Are there actually 5 types of diabetes? (NHS)

Toxic Shock Syndrome: Everything You Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome Is Probably Wrong (Lifehacker) | The Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome You Need to Know (SELF) | Killer Tampons from Outer Space or Why We Don’t Hear About Toxic Shock Syndrome Anymore (McGill University Office for Science and Society) | A Brief History of the Tampon and Who Invented It (ThoughtCo) | Toxic-Shock Researcher’s Discovery Hailed (The Washington Post) | Vaginoplasty procedures, complications and aftercare (UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health) | Influence of the Normal Menstrual Cycle on Vaginal Tissue, Discharge, and Microflora (Clinical Infectious Diseases) | Toxic Shock Syndrome: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment (HealthLine)

The Cotard Delusion: Cotard Syndrome: “I’m Dead, So Why Do I Need to Eat?” (The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders) | What is Truth? And What is “Walking-Dead” Syndrome? (Nature’s Artful Brain Blog) | Cotard delusion (Wikipedia) | Capgras delusion (Wikipedia)

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Episode 141: Return of the Quiz Show Show!

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, Laura, and special guest Dave compete to see who knows most about myths, riddles, hippos, and this very podcast!

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

Beginnings and Endings: Creation myth (Wikipedia) | Genesis 1 (Bible Gateway) | Debate between sheep and grain (Wikipedia) | Rangi and Papa (Wikipedia) | Benben (Wikipedia) | Mbombo (Wikipedia) | List of dates predicted for apocalyptic events (Wikipedia) | Eschatological verification (Wikipedia) | Revelation 6 (Bible Gateway) | Frashokereti (Wikipedia) | Our Generation Ships Will Sink (Boing Boing)

Riddles: Hard Riddles (Riddles.fyi)

Hippos: Hippopotamus (Wikipedia) | Hippopotamus: Diet & Facts (Britannica.com) | Hippo (San Diego Zoo) | Hippopotamus (African Wildlife Foundation) | Animal Groups (The Almighty Guru) | Pygmy Hippopotamus (San Diego Zoo) | Hippopotamus (Saint Louis Zoo) | Pygmy hippopotamus (Wikipedia)

Ashlyn’s Segments: Life, the Universe & Everything Else

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