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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Episode 168: “Seaspiracy”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem watch the Netflix documentary Seaspiracy, and find that they have more to say about it than they expected!

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

Additional Music: This episode includes The Mariner’s Revenge Song by The Decemberists and So Long and Thanks for All the Fish performed by the Tenebrae Choir from the soundtrack to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Links: Seaspiracy (Netflix Official Site) | Seaspiracy (Wikipedia) | Seaspiracy: Netflix documentary accused of misrepresentation by participants (Environment, The Guardian)

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Episode 166: The Wellness Industry

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura leads Ashlyn, Gem, and Lauren in a discussion of the wellness industry, including a brief detour into QAnon conspiracies, and together the panel tries to figure out what wellness even is, anyway.

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

Additional Music: In addition to original music by Ian James, this episode also features Cavatina performed by the Mangoré Duo.

Wellness, Defined: Frequently asked questions (World Health Organization) | Twenty-first century health promotion: the public health revolution meets the wellness revolution (Health Promotion International, Oxford Academic) | The dark side of the wellness industry (New Statesman) | What is Wellness? (Global Wellness Institute)

Apps and Plans: Why The Wellness Industry is So Utterly Broken (In Fitness and in Health) | Public Health and Online Misinformation: Challenges and Recommendations (Annual Review of Public Health) | The Truth Behind Weight Loss Ads (FTC Consumer Information) | Tons of Weight-Loss Ads Show Fake Before/After Photos: Report (Women’s Health) | The History of Dieting (Skyterra Wellness) | Is Fasting Healthy? (WebMD) | “Find Your Fit”: Wearable technology and the cultural politics of disability (Journal of New Media and Society)

QAnon and the Wellness Industry: How Instagram Aesthetics Repackage QAnon (The Atlantic) | How COVID-19 Guided Wellness Influencers to QAnon (Bitch Media) | This yoga instructor is fighting the rise of QAnon in the wellness community (CBC Radio) | New Agers and Wellness Influencers Are Falling for Far-Right COVID Conspiracies (Vice)

Police Officers and Domestic Violence: Police Domestic Violence: Data Shows 40 Percent of Cops Abuse Family (Fatherly)

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Episode 164: Food Aid

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura leads the panel in a discussion of food aid, both foreign and domestic, and the ways in which the global pandemic has influenced the delivery of services.

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

International Aid: Food Aid for the Hungry? (Global Policy Forum) | Understanding food assistance (Global Affairs Canada) | Aid (Wikipedia) | When Food Isn’t the Answer to Hunger (NYT Opinionator Blog) | How Can Food Aid be More Effective? (United Nations University) | In An Email, Hillary Clinton Once Wrote: ‘Plumpy’Nut?’ Plumpy What? (NPR) | Malnutrition (WHO) | Food for Peace (Wikipedia) | U.S. International Food Assistance
Report (USDA)

Food Banks: How food banks in Canada work, and why they’re necessary (Local Love) | A Snapshot of Food Banks in Canada and the COVID-19 Crisis: Key Findings (Food Banks Canada) | Food banks call for inclusion in emergency planning, pointing to spike in demand due to COVID-19 (The Globe and Mail) | ‘The worst is yet to come’, report warns as Ontario food banks see rise in first-time users (Global News) | Toronto food banks see big increase in demand amid COVID-19 pandemic (CBC News) | Food banks provide low nutritional value: study (CBC News) | Hunger Count 2019 (Food Banks Canada) | One in seven Canadians experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic: report (CTV News) | Hey Canada, Why Don’t You Have Food Stamps?

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Episode 162: Nutrition Myths

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura leads the panel on a discussion of several nutrition myths that just won’t die. Topics include expiry dates, nightshades, and pink salt.

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

Expiry Dates: Expiration Dates Don’t Mean What You Think (Adam Ruins Everything) | This man ate ‘expired’ food for a year. Here’s why expiration dates are practically meaningless. (The Washington Post) | Is Your Food Expired? Don’t Be So Quick to Toss It (TIME) | Date labelling on pre-packaged foods (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Nightshades: Are Nightshades Bad for You? Not If You’re Healthy (Vice) | What are dietary lectins and should you avoid eating them? (Mayo Clinic) | Solanaceae (Wikipedia)

Pink Salt: Stabilization of iodine in salt and other feed materials (Wisconsin) | An Analysis of the Mineral Composition of Pink Salt Available in Australia (Nutrition Research Australia) | Chemical Composition of Table Salt (ThoughtCo) | Sodium: Dietary Reference Intakes for Adequacy (NCBI Bookshelf)

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Episode 158: Public Health History

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Gem, Laura, and Lauren discuss the history of several public health initiatives: handwashing, toothbrushing, and nutrient fortification of food.

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

Updated: During his segment, Gem mistakenly said “postpartum examination” when he meant to say “postmortem examination”. This has been corrected.

Handwashing: Hand washing (Wikipedia) | When and How to Wash Your Hands (CDC) | Ignaz Semmelweis (Wikipedia) | Daily Deaths, 2018 (Statistics Canada) | Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (Maternal and Infant Health, CDC)

Oral Hygiene: Monkeys may have better dental hygiene than you (Science, AAAS) | Miswak (Wikipedia) | Efficiency of traditional chewing stick (miswak) as an oral hygiene aid among Muslim school children in Lucknow: A cross-sectional study (NIH) | The evolution of the toothbrush | Who invented the toothbrush? (HISTORY)

Nutrient Fortification: Overview of Food Fortification in the United States and Canada (NCBI Bookshelf) | A brief history of food fortification (Baking Business) | History of U.S. Iodine Fortification and Supplementation (NIH) | Iodine (Wikipedia) | Fortification and Health: Challenges and Opportunities (Advances in Nutrition, Oxford Academic) | Rationale and Plan for Vitamin D Food Fortification: A Review and Guidance Paper (NIH)

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Episode 153: “The Game Changers”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren are joined by Dave Bonwick to discuss The Game Changers, a Netflix documentary that advocates for the healthfulness of a vegan diet.

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

Links: The Game Changers (Netflix)

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Episode 152: SandwichCast!

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura leads Ashlyn, Lauren, and Gem in a discussion of the history and science of sandwiches, then everyone attempts (and fails!) to define what, exactly, makes something a sandwich.

On this episode: Ashlyn maintains that open-faced sandwiches do not exist, Gem argues that soup in a bread bowl is in fact a sandwich, Ashlyn and Laura dispute whether pie qualifies as a casserole or a dumpling, and Lauren opines that once a sandwich is put in the Snackmaster sandwich maker, it ceases to be a sandwich entirely.

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

John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich: Warfare on the Mediterranean in the Age of Sail: A History, 1571–1866, by David S.T. Blackmore (Google Books) | A Tour to London, Or, New Observations on England and Its Inhabitants, by Pierre Jean Grosley (Google Books) | Earl of Sandwich (Wikipedia) | John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (Wikipedia) | The Story of the Sandwich (History) | History of the Sandwich (PBS Food) | Trencher (Wikipedia) | Meze (Wikipedia) | Poker Night in Napa (Food & Wine)

Biphasic Sleep: Biphasic and polyphasic sleep (Wikipedia)

Processed Meat and Cancer: International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC (MSDS HyperGlossary) | This is the only known thing that is not a carcinogen (Business Insider) | List of IARC Group 1 Agents (Wikipedia) | Bacon, salami and sausages: how does processed meat cause cancer and how much matters? (Cancer Research UK) | Processed meat and cancer – what you need to know (Cancer Research UK) | Red meat, processed meat and cancer (Cancer Council NSW) | Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat (WHO)

The History and Science of Bread: Wheat (Wikipedia) | Bread (Wikipedia) | History of bread (Wikipedia) | Bread in culture (Wikipedia) | Bread (History Magazine) | Science of Bread: Bread Science 101 (Exploratorium) | Science of bread making (Baking Industry Research Trust) | Bread Baking Clinic: Under-Kneading & Over-Kneading (The Kitchn)

Cultural History of Sandwiches: Important Sandwiches That Changed America Forever (Thrillist) | The History of Five Uniquely American Sandwiches |(Smithsonian Magazine) | To Evade Pre-Prohibition Drinking Laws, New Yorkers Created the World’s Worst Sandwich (Gastro Obscura) | Raines Law (St. Louis Public Library) | Who Invented the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich? (National Peanut Board) | The Curious History of Vietnam’s Bánh Mì Sandwich

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Episode 151: July at Christmas

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem escape winter briefly to talk about summery things: sunscreen, butterflies, the summer solstice, and whether drinking hot tea can really cool you down.

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

Note: Additional music this episode by Tim Minchin and Rajaton.

Christmas in July: Christmas in July (Wikipedia)

Sunscreen: Ask the Expert: Does a High SPF Protect My Skin Better? (The Skin Cancer Foundation) | Vitamin D Fact Sheet (MS Society) | UV Radiation (The Skin Cancer Foundation) | The science of sunscreen (Harvard Health) | Safety of Oxybenzone: Putting Numbers Into Perspective (JAMA Dermatology) | Five Common Sunscreen Myths You Need To Stop Believing (Forbes)

Butterflies: Butterfly (Wikipedia) | Mud-puddling (Wikipedia) | Butterflies remember a mountain that hasn’t existed for millennia (Gizmodo) | What happens in a chrysalis? (WSU Ask Dr. Universe)

Summer Soltice Festivals: Indigenous Day Live | National Indigenous Peoples Day (Wikipedia) | Dragon Boat Festival (Wikipedia) | Willkakuti (Wikipedia) | Willkakuti Winter Solstice (Aymara New Year) | Tirgan (Wikipedia) | Day of Private Reflection (Wikipedia)

Thermoregulation: Thermoregulation in humans (Wikipedia) | Waste heat (Wikipedia) | Thermoregulation (Healthline)

Pseudoscientific Articles on Temperature and Food: 7 Food And Drinks Scientifically Proven To Warm You Up (Tastemade) | Foods That Produce Heat In The Body (NDTV) | 8 Foods That Help Cool You Down (HuffPost)

Scientific Articles on Temperature and Food: A Hot Drink on a Hot Day Can Cool You Down (Smithsonian) | What are the effects of alcohol on the brain? (Scientific American) | Ayurveda (Wikipedia) | Ginger (WebMD) | Going nuts for coconut oil (Dietitian at Home)

Dwarf Mistletoe: Thermogenesis-triggered seed dispersal in dwarf mistletoe (Nature Communications)

What Are You Enjoying?: All-Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely | Amazon Warehouse Reports Show Worker Injuries (The Atlantic) | The Bell Curve (Shaun) | Overcooked (Nintendo Switch)

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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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