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 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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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 155: COVID Quacks

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura discuss the charlatans and snake oil salesmen trying to profit off of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Links: Researchers are tracking another pandemic, too—of coronavirus misinformation (Science, AAAS)

Alex Jones: Alex Jones: 5 most disturbing and ridiculous conspiracy theories (CNBC) | The Pandemic’s Shameless Profiteers (The New Republic) | Alex Jones’s Bogus Coronavirus Cures (The New Yorker) | Alex Jones ordered to stop selling fake coronavirus cures (Quartz) | “Aurum Potable”: the “Drinkable Gold of the Alchemists” (The BMJ) | Medical uses of silver (Wikipedia) | Argyria (Wikipedia)

Vitamin C and Garlic: In Vitro and In Vivo Immunomodulator Activities of Allium sativum L. (Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine) | Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects (Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine) | Vitamin C and Immune Function (Nutrients) | Immunomodulation and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Garlic Compounds (Journal of Immunology Research) | Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold (Cochrane Library) | Garlic for the common cold (Cochrane) | Antimicrobial properties of hydrophobic compounds in garlic: Allicin, vinyldithiin, ajoene and diallyl polysulfides (Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine)

Herbal Cures: Medical experts warn against claims by Winnipeg acupuncturist advertising ‘coronavirus prevention tea’ (CBC News) | Coronavirus: Scams, hoaxes, fake sites, and myths (Radio Canada International) | Superfoods for COVID-19 Prevention (Cooking with Yoshiko) | Richmond Chinese medicine stores advertising ‘coronavirus prevention tea’ (Richmond News) | Misrepresenting traditional knowledge during COVID-19 is dangerous (High Country News) | COVID-19 Herbal Resource Hub (Red Moon Herbs) | Coronavirus: Herbal remedies in India and other claims fact-checked (BBC News) | Coronavirus ‘cures’ and prevention techniques are popping up all over the world. So we asked the experts what actually works (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Hydroxychloroquine: Some Patients Need the Drug That Trump Keeps Pushing (The Atlantic) | Doctors worry unproven Covid-19 drug will do more harm than good (STAT) | Hydroxychloroquine For COVID-19: Cure-All Or Flim-Flam? (Forbes) | FDA approves hydroxychloroquine new drug application to address COVID-19 related shortage (Healio Rheumatology) | Potential of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 causes fears of shortages among people with systemic lupus erythematosus (Nature Medicine) | Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Can Have Serious Side Effects (National Capital Poison Center) | Trump’s support of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 could slow cure (USA Today) | Fearing coronavirus, Arizona man dies after taking a form of chloroquine used in aquariums (CNN) | Does Trump Benefit Financially by Promoting Hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 Treatment? (Snopes)

Ashlyn’s Patreon: Noble & Whimsical is creating art from glass, vinyl and creativity (Patreon)

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Episode 136: Patent Medicine

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren discuss the history and future of patent medicine, from snake oil and Piso’s Cure for Consumption through Bovinine and bitters all the way to the Burzynski Clinic.

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

Note: Additional music in this episode by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

Patent Medicine: Patent medicine (Wikipedia) | Snake oil (Wikipedia)

Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound: Advertising Motherhood with the Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Company (Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study) | Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound (The Embryo Project Encyclopedia) | Lydia Pinkham (Wikipedia)

Piso’s Consumption Cure: The Great American Fraud, by Samuel Hopkins Adams (Wikisource) | Piso’s Trio: One Step Ahead of the Law (Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors)

Micajah’s Medicated Wafers: Micajah’s Medicated Wafers (Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health) | The Fundamental Antagonism: Veritism and Commerce in Medical Practice (Bennett Holman)

Bovinine: Bovinine (National Museum of American History) | Bovinine Beef Food Tonic (National Museum of American History) | The Bovinine Co. blotter (National Museum of American History) | 15 Curious Quack Remedies From the Age of Patent Medicine (Mental Floss) | Bovinine, by the Bovinine Company (Google Books) | Bovinine Bottle | New Haven Morning Journal and Courier (1895-06-19) | Hand Book of Haematherapy with Clinical Reports, 1902, by the Bovinine Company | The Medical Times and Register (Google Books) | The Popular Science News and Boston Journal of Chemistry (Google Books) | Hemotherapy (Wikipedia) | Misbranding of Bovinina. U.S. v. Bovinine Co. (National Library of Medicine)

Soda Pop & Bitters: Angostura bitters (Wikipedia) | ‘Pop’ Culture: Patent Medicines Become Soda Drinks (CSI) | A Brief History of Bitters (Smithsonian)

Right to Try and the Burzynski Clinic: Right-to-try law (Wikipedia) | “Right to try” laws and Dallas Buyers’ Club: Great movie, terrible for patients and terrible policy (Science-Based Medicine) | The cruel sham that is right-to-try raises its ugly head at the federal level again (Science-Based Medicine) | Burzynski Clinic (Wikipedia)

Ian James and the Combo Breakers: The Broken Among Us by Ian James and the Combo Breakers (SoundCloud) | The Broken Among Us by Ian James and the Combo Breakers (BandCamp)

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Episode 126: Trans Fats, the Pay Gap, Passwords, Physiospect

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Lauren, Laura, and Ashlyn take listener requests! The panel discusses trans fats, the gender pay gap, password security, and an exciting form of health pseudoscience called the physiospect.

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

SkeptiCamp Talks: SkeptiCamp Winnipeg 2017

Pysiospect: Skeptophilia: Quantum frequency box | Physiospect diagnostics & therapy bioresonance unit

Trans Fats: Minister Petitpas Taylor announces Government of Canada ban on partially hydrogenated oils (Government of Canada) | Prohibiting the Use of Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) in Foods (Dietitians of Canada) | Prohibiting the Use of Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) in Foods (Government of Canada Notice of Modification) | Trans fat (Wikipedia) | Fat and Why it Matters (Indiana University) | Ruminant trans fatty acids and coronary heart disease—cause for concern? (International Journal of Epidemiology)

Password Security: Changes in Password Best Practices (Schneier on Security) | Digital Identity Guidelines: Authentication and Lifecycle Management (NIST) | Best practices for passwords updated after original author regrets his advice (The Verge)

Gender Pay Gap: Earnings (Bureau of Labor Statistics) | Gender wage gap data (OECD) | The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (AAUW) | Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students (PNAS) | The Actual Science of James Damore’s Google Memo (Wired) | Why Men Don’t Believe the Data on Gender Bias in Science (Wired)

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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 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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SkeptiCamp Winnipeg: Self-Proclaimed Diet Gurus and the Shams They Peddle

Image of Dr. Oz via CNN.
Image of Dr. Oz via CNN.
Embedded below is Laura Creek Newman’s talk from SkeptiCamp Winnipeg 2014. Laura is a Registered Dietitian and lover of all things edible. Her skeptical focus is on empowering patients and society to make healthy, informed choices and rid the world of dubious nutritional advice.

SkeptiCamp Winnipeg is a conference for the sharing of ideas. It is free and open to the public: anyone can attend and participate! Presentations and discussions focus on science and free inquiry, and the audience is encouraged to challenge presenters to defend their ideas. You can visit our SkeptiCamp page for information about upcoming events and links to past SkeptiCamp talks.