Episode 113: “Unsealed: Conspiracy Files”

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, we’re trying something completely different! Are rich people harvesting organs from clones? Did Hitler fake his own death (six times)? Are CIA remote viewers peering inside your mind? Join Ashlyn and Lauren as they watch “Unsealed: Conspiracy Files” to find out!

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

Correction: While it has been widely reported that the Mars Curiosity Rover sings itself “Happy Birthday” every year, and this did indeed occur in 2013, it seems to have been a one-time event (but this has been frustratingly difficult to verify).

Links: Unsealed: Conspiracy Files (IMDb)

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Episode 110: Science & Race

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Lauren, Ashlyn, and Laura discuss science’s rocky history with issues of race and talk about some racist pseudosciences that continue to masquerade as science today.

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

Note: If you notice an improvement in our audio quality, that’s thanks to Pat Roach from The Reality Check who introduced us to a great auto-levelling tool. Thanks, Pat!

Links: Scientific racism (Wikipedia) | New Analysis Challenges Study Suggesting Racial Bias at NIH (Science) | The Amazing Atheist’s Racism (Martin Hughes) | If you speak out against hate, the atheist community has your back (Martin Hughes) | Race (Wikipedia) | Shovel-shaped incisors (Wikipedia) | Forensics 101: Race Determination Based on the Skull (Skeleton Keys) | The Social Construction of Race (Jacobin) | Phrenology (Wikipedia) | History of Phrenology on the Web | History of eugenics (Wikipedia) | Immigration Act of 1924 (Wikipedia) | Introduction to Eugenics (Genetics Generation) | Human Testing, the Eugenics Movement, and IRBs (Learn Science at Scitable) | Feeble-minded (Wikipedia) | The Kallikak Family (Wikipedia) | Alberta Eugenics Board (Wikipedia) | Eugenics (Wikipedia) | Sexual Sterilization Act of Alberta (Wikipedia) | Canada's Human Rights History: Eugenics | The Scared White People Who Love Donald Trump (VICE Canada) | The anthropologists really are buzzing (Pharyngula) | ‘A Troublesome Inheritance’ and ‘Inheritance’ (The New York Times) | Letters: “A Troublesome Inheritance” (Stanford Center for Computational, Evolutionary, and Human Genomics) | The hbd delusion (Pharyngula) | Race and intelligence (Wikipedia) | Satoshi Kanazawa (Wikipedia) | Academic racism has a K=N problem (Noahpinion) | The Creepy Internet Movement You'd Better Take Seriously (Vocativ) | Curtis Yarvin (Wikipedia)

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Episode 109: The Quiz Show Show!

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Laura, Gem, and Lauren each prepare a quiz to test their fellow panelists’ knowledge in a variety of scientific and pseudoscientific domains.

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

Pregnancy Quiz (Laura): 6 Bizarre Childbirth Myths From Ancient History | 15 Ancient Childbirth Myths | In Search of Human Placentophagy: A Cross-Cultural Survey of Human Placenta Consumption, Disposal Practices, and Cultural Beliefs | Against all odds | Miracle child | Vanishing Twin Syndrome | The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery

Cat Genetics Quiz (Ashlyn): Genetic Anomalies of Cats | Sphynx Cat | Tortoiseshell cat | Manx cat | Basic Feline Genetics | Basic Genetics as Revealed by Cats | Cat coat genetics | Cat body-type mutation | Strange but True: Cats Cannot Taste Sweets | Inherited deafness in white cats

You Have a Degree in Baloney! (Gem): Institute for Integrative Nutrition: Curriculum Guide | Canadian School for Natural Nutrition: Natural Nutrition Courses | Canadian School for Natural Nutrition: Advanced Holistic Nutritionist Workshops | Toronto School of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Courses | Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine Post-Graduate Program Outline | Pacific Rim College Community Herbalist Certificate

Peril! (Lauren): Can We Trust Crime Forensics? | Pseudoscience in the Witness Box | The Criminal Profiling Deception | CSI effect | How to Interrogate Suspects | Turkic mythology | List of flood myths | List of Māori deities | Leviathan | Viracocha | Curiosity Sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to Itself On Mars: Video | Planets & Their Moons | Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is Shrinking | Islets of Langerhands | J! Archive

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Episode 108: Cryptozoology & Mythical Creatures

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem hunts cryptids with Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren. Also on this episode: dubious advice, bad jokes, worse segues, and one very annoying pronunciation of the word “cryptozoology”!

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

Links: Cryptozoology (Wikipedia) | List of cryptids (Wikipedia) | Modern Folklore, by Robert B. Durham (Google Books) | Thylacine (Wikipedia) | Maltese tiger (Wikipedia) | Mutant Big Cats | Loch Ness Monster (Wikipedia) | The Surgeon’s Photo | Second Loch Ness monster video swimming in the Thames (Daily Mail Online) | Patterson–Gimlin film (Wikipedia) | Mange (Wikipedia) | Tom Biscardi (Wikipedia) | “Finding Bigfoot” a Howler (Center for Inquiry) | Kting voar (Wikipedia) | Cambodia’s Mystery, the Horns That Never Were (NYTimes.com) | Pseudonovibos spiralis (Artiodactyla: Bovidae): new information on this enigmatic South-east Asian ox (Wiley Online Library) | Debate on the authenticity of Pseudonovibos spiralis as a new species of wild bovid from Vietnam and Cambodia (Wiley Online Library) | Rod (optics) (Wikipedia) | Man-eating tree (Wikipedia) | Manchineel (Wikipedia) | Raskovnik (Wikipedia) | Silphium (Wikipedia) | Vegetable Lamb of Tartary (Wikipedia) | Barnacle goose (Wikipedia) | Jackalope (Wikipedia) | Wolpertinger (Wikipedia) | Skvader (Wikipedia) | The world’s scariest rabbit lurks within the Smithsonian’s collection (Smithsonian Insider) | Shope papilloma virus (Wikipedia) | Tourist dies on search for Pope Lick monster

Correction: In this episode Gem mentioned that some crytpozoology enthusiasts claim that Lake Manitoba is home to the Winnipogo Monster. While it’s true that some believe that a monster swims the depths of Lake Manitoba, cryptozoologists actually claim that there are (at least) two separate lake monsters in Manitoba (although some sources treat them interchangeably). Lake Manitoba’s monster is of course the Manipogo, with the Winnipogo Monster apparently confined to Lake Winnipegosis.

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Episode 106: Parapsychology

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Lauren, Ashlyn, and Laura discuss the Ganzfeld Experiments, the Global Consciousness Project, Rupert Sheldrake, Daryl Bem, and a psychic dog, and then we finally find out exactly how psychic the panel is with a game of Psychic Fact or Psychic Fiction!

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

Links: Parapsychology (Wikipedia) | Ganzfeld experiment (Wikipedia) | Global Consciousness Project (Wikipedia) | Global Consciousness (The Skeptic’s Dictionary) | Rupert Sheldrake (Wikipedia) | Scientific Heretic Rupert Sheldrake on Morphic Fields, Psychic Dogs and Other Mysteries (Scientific American Blog Network) | Why science needs to publish negative results (Elsevier) | Daryl Bem (Wikipedia) | Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect (Daryl Bem) | Back from the Future: Parapsychology and the Bem Affair (CSI) | How much is that doggy in the window? (Richard Wiseman) | Methods of divination (Wikipedia)

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Episode 105: Mental Health & Stigma

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Lauren discusses mental health with Ashlyn, Gem, and Laura, with a focus on treatments and associated stigmas, current and historical.

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

Links: History of mental disorders (Wikipedia) | Trepanning (Wikipedia) | Psychiatry in Ancient Egypt (BJPsych Bulletin) | Humorism (Wikipedia) | Dosha (Wikipedia) | Bedlam revisited: A history of Bethlem hospital 1634-1770. | Electroconvulsive therapy (Wikipedia) | TRC #366: Accent Bias + Electroshock Therapy + Did A Cat Take A Bullet For A Kid? (The Reality Check) | Lobotomy (Wikipedia) | The History of Mental Illness: From “Skull Drills” to “Happy Pills” (Student Pulse) | Fighting Stigma: A Closer Look at Mental Illness Throughout History (YouTube) | The hidden medical logic of mental health stigma (Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry) | Initiatives: Opening Minds (Mental Health Commission of Canada) | The Stigma Associated with Mental Illness (Canadian Mental Health Association) | Exposing Canada’s ugly mental-health secret (The Globe and Mail) | Your Mental Health (Canadian Mental Health Association) | What to do about the antidepressants, antibiotics and other drugs in our water (Ensia) | Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (Wikipedia) | Addressing Mental Health Treatment Barriers (Psychology Today) | Let’s Talk About How My Job at Bell Gave Me Mental Health Issues and No Benefits (CANADALAND) | Ten Days in a Mad-House (Nellie Bly) | Reasonable Vegan | Episode 82: What Have You Changed Your Mind About? (LUEE)

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Episode 101: “Trace Amounts”

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn subjects Gem, Laura, Ian, and Dave to a viewing of “Trace Amounts”, a prominent anti-vaccine “documentary”. It is… not good.

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

Note: After we recorded this episode, news broke that prominent anti-vaccine group “SafeMinds” funded a $250,000 study in an attempt to demonstrate that thimerosal causes autism. The study was published at the end of September, and actually found no evidence that the thimerosal in vaccines has any link to autism or autism-like changes in the brain. And they killed 79 macaques to do it. Links discussing the study are provided below.

Links: Review of Trace Amounts (Skeptical Raptor) | Do vaccines contain toxic ingredients? (Public Health Agency of Canada) | The Alleged Autism Epidemic (Science-Based Medicine) | Chelation therapy (Wikipedia) | The CDC Whistleblower William Thompson Appears to Have Gone Full Antivaccine (Respectful Insolence) | Antivaxxers Still Flogging Thimerosal (NeuroLogica) | Has the Government Conceded Vaccines Cause Autism? (NeuroLogica) | Autism Court Ruling: Vaccines Didn’t Cause Autism (NeuroLogica) | Legal Courts and Science (NeuroLogica) | Spurious Correlations | Anti-Vaxxer Group Pays $250,000 for Study Showing That Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism (Raw Story) | Killing Monkeys to Prove Vaccines STILL Don’t Cause Autism (Rebecca Watson) | TRC #370: Antibacterial Soap + Maple Water + Anti-Vaxxers Funding Fail + Top CO2 Emitters (The Reality Check) | PilesOfEvidence.com

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