Episode 131: “Mermaids: The Body Found”

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn subjects Lauren, Laura, and Dave to “Mermaids: The Body Found”, a fake documentary that aired on Animal Plant and Discovery Channel in 2012, which combines discredited pseudoscience with stuff that the producers just made up.

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

Links: Mermaids: The Body Found (Wikipedia) | Mermaids: The Body Found (Snopes) | Aquatic ape hypothesis (Wikipedia) | Bloop (Wikipedia) | Cave of Swimmers (Wikipedia)

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Episode 130: Nutritional Devices

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren discuss three unusual nutritional devices: the Nima gluten sensor, the Vitastiq electroacupuncture vitamin sensor, and the SCiO pocket molecular scanner.

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

Links: Gluten Levels in Food: The 20 ppm Debate (Nima) | One Decision: A Limit of Gluten Detection (Nima) | Detecting Gluten in Food: The differences between Lateral Flow and ELISA tests (Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom) | Nima Chemistry vs. R-Biopharm (Nima) | The Nima Sensor: A Portable Gluten Testing Device (BeyondCeliac.org) | SCiO Pocket Molecular Scanner (Amazon Customer Reviews) | SCiO (Facebook) | Consumer Physics, Maker of Controversial SCiO Food Sensor, Pursues A ‘SCiO-Inside’ Strategy (The Spoon) | SCiO (Consumer Physics) | SCiO Spectrometer Review (Google Scholar) | Electroacupuncture (Wikipedia) | Vitastiq (Your Daily Vitamin Tracker) | Vitastiq 2 (Indiegogo) | Electroacupuncture: The bait and switch of alternative medicine (Respectful Insolence) | Quantified Health: Can Vitastiq measure body vitamin levels using a skin sensor? | Vitamin & Mineral Status Device (Amazon Customer Reviews)

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Episode 125: Revenge of the Quiz Show Show!

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, recorded live at SkeptiCamp, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem test their knowledge (and that of the audience) in a variety of scientific and pseudoscientific domains.

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

Colour Quiz (Ashlyn): Impossible color (Wikipedia) | Rayleigh scattering (Wikipedia) | Indigo dye (Wikipedia) | Verdigris (Wikipedia) | Orpiment (Wikipedia) | Red hair (Wikipedia)

Discarded Scientific Theories (Gem): Superseded scientific theories (Wikipedia)

The Magic of Crystals (Lauren): Crystal Healing: Stone-Cold Facts About Gemstone Treatments | Crystal Guide (Crystal Vaults) | A to Z Crystal Meanings (CrystalsandJewelry.com) | The 8 Essential Crystals (Goop)

Historical Food Guides (Laura): Government Health Posters: A History of Nutrition Guidelines (PlenteousVeg) | Food and Nutrition through the 20th Century (LibGuides) | Canada’s Food Guides from 1942 to 1992 (Canada.ca) | How WWI Food Propaganda Forever Changed the Way America Eats (The A.V. Club) | Food for Young Children (Digital Library) | Dietary Recommendations and How They Have Changed Over Time (USDA) | The History of USDA Nutrition Guides (FoodManufacturing.com) | How to Select Foods, by Caroline L. Hunt and Helen W. Atwater (Archive.org)

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Episode 124: Ancient Discoveries

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Laura, and Lauren discuss several important scientific, technological, and mathematical discoveries made in the ancient world.

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

Note: We experienced some technical difficulties near the top of Ashlyn’s segment, so listeners may notice a brief drop in audio quality. Sorry!

Links: History of the compass (Wikipedia) | The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China (Joseph Needham and Colin A. Ronan) | Geomagnetic reversal (Wikipedia) | Formation of the Chinese Civilization (china.org.cn) | Contribution of Al-Khwarizmi to Mathematics and Geography (Muslim Heritage) | Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (Wikipedia) | Al-Khwarizmi biography (History
of Mathematics Archive)
| Al-Khwarizmi (The Story of Mathematics) | Who Invented Zero? (Live Science) | 0 (Wikipedia) | The Origin of Zero (Scientific American) | What is the origin of zero? How did we indicate nothingness before zero? (Scientific American) | Who invented the zero? (History.com) | Zero (History of Mathematics Archive) | The Origin of the Number Zero (Smithsonian) | Who invented zero and how? (Quora) | Babylonian numerals (Wikipedia) | Jabir ibn Hayyan (Wikipedia) | History of Science and Technology in Islam | Chemistry (Islamic Spain) | From Alchemy to Chemistry (Muslim Heritage) | Aqua regia (Wikipedia) | History of glass (Wikipedia)

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Episode 123: Heretics

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn talks heresy with Laura, Gem, and Lauren. Heretics discussed include Hypatia of Alexandria, Roger Bacon, Baruch Spinoza, Charles Darwin, and Giordano Bruno. Also on this episode, Gem drones on about ancient writing materials and the sizes of various libraries for some reason.

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

Note: In preparation for the discussion of the Library of Alexandria, Gem reached out to Winnipeg’s Millennium Library to ask about the size of their collection. After we recorded the episode, he received a response informing us that the collection contains roughly 338,000 items, which is on the same order of magnitude as the Great Library of Alexandria—but at least some of the items in circulation are going to be non-canon Star Wars novels, so they don’t really count.

SkeptiCamp: If you’d like to present at SkeptiCamp, send an email to skepticamp@winnipegskeptics.com or skepticamp2017@gmail.com. Visit winnipegskeptics.com/skepticamp for more information!

Links: Heresy (Wikipedia) | Library of Alexandria (Wikipedia) | Hypatia (Wikipedia) | General Fact Sheet (New York Public Library) | The Encyclopaedia Britannica hits rock bottom (Quodlibeta) | Neoplatonism (Wikipedia) | Roger Bacon (Wikipedia) | Roger Bacon (Encyclopaedia Britannica) | Roger Bacon (Catholic Encyclopedia) | Bacon biography (History of Mathematics Archive) | Roger Bacon (British Heritage) | The Persecution of Philosophers (Bad News About Christianity) | Darwin’s Heretic | Charles Darwin: A heretic and a hero (The Globe and Mail) | Religious views of Charles Darwin (Wikipedia) | Are great scientists always heretics? (BBC Science) | Darwin on a Godless Creation: “It’s like confessing to a murder” (Scientific American) | Evolution and the Catholic Church (Wikipedia) | Reactions to On the Origin of Species (Wikipedia) | Giordano Bruno (Wikipedia) | Archimedes (Wikipedia) | Our Unknown Martyrs (The Scientist Magazine) | 7 Scientists Who Died Violently (FamousScientists.org) | Baruch Spinoza (Wikipedia) | Science and Religion (MarkHumphrys.com) | Michael Servetus (Wikipedia)

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Episode 118: The Senses

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, and Lauren are joined by Mark Forkheim to talk about the sensory system and do some science along the way! Ashlyn, Lauren, and Gem try sensory isolation, and the episode features live experiments with sensory interference and a miracle fruit taste test.

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

Note: Because this episode features live taste testing, it also features some unavoidable mouth sounds. These are bothersome to some people (like Ashlyn), so if you need to skip those segments they’re generally confined to 1:00:15 through 1:25:40. (I tried to cut out as many as I could, but there’s only so much I can do when we’re tasting things on air.)

Links: Sense (Wikipedia) | Sensory nervous system (Wikipedia) | TRPV1 (Wikipedia) | Synesthesia (Wikipedia) | Tongue map (Wikipedia) | The Wine-Dark Sea: Color and Perception in the Ancient World (Clarkesworld Magazine) | This Picture Has No Red Pixels—So Why Do the Strawberries Still Look Red? (Motherboard) | The Genetics of Taste (Smithsonian) | Phenylthiocarbamide (Wikipedia) | Taste Perception and Eating Behavior:” They’re in the Genes (Today’s Dietitian) | Are you a Supertaster? (Precision Laboratories) | How does our sense of taste work? (PubMed Health) | The Legendary Study That Embarrassed Wine Experts Across the Globe (RealClearScience) | Human sweet taste receptor mediates acid-induced sweetness of miraculin (PNAS) | Isolation tank (Wikipedia)

Ashlyn’s #TryPod Picks: Oh No Ross and Carrie

Gem’s #TryPod Picks: 99% Invisible | On the Media | The Greatest Generation | Radio vs. the Martians! | Waypoint Radio

Lauren’s #TryPod Picks: Undisclosed | Someone Knows Something | My Favorite Murder | NPR Politics | Welcome to Night Vale | Alice Isn’t Dead

Friends of the Show: The Reality Check | Left at the Valley | Brainstorm | PolitiCoast

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Episode 116: Risk

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Laura, Gem, and Lauren talk about how bad we are at assessing risk. Also on this episode: Do we get more risk averse as we get older? Is margarine going to kill you, or will a hippopotamus get you first? Will the world end not with a bang but a Boolean?

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

Note: Music featured in this episode include samples from “Death from the Skies” by George Hrab (featuring Phil Plait), “Paranoid Android” by Radiohead, and “Binnorie” by Mediæval Bæbes.

Links: Relative risk (Wikipedia) | Spreading disease or spreading deliciousness: the butter vs. margarine debate rages on (dietitian at home) | Global catastrophic risk (Wikipedia) | Death from the Skies! (Wikipedia) | Holocene extinction (Wikipedia) | Existential risk from artificial general intelligence (Wikipedia) | AI Risk Analysts are the Biggest Risk (Singularity Weblog) | There is a blind spot in AI research (Nature News) | Program good ethics into artificial intelligence (Nature News & Comment ) | TRC #429.5: Programming Ethics Into AI (The Reality Check) | Potential Risks from Advanced Artificial Intelligence: The Philanthropic Opportunity (Open Philanthropy Project ) | If Aliens Exist, They May Come to Get Us, Stephen Hawking Says (Space.com) | Risk Preferences and Aging: The “Certainty Effect” in Older Adults’ Decision Making (Journal of Psychology and Aging) | Differences in risk aversion between young and older adults (NAN) | Differences in Risk Aversion between Young and Older Adults (Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics) | Aging and loss decision making: increased risk aversion and decreased use of maximizing information, with correlated rationality and value maximization | It is surprisingly rare for an alligator to kill a person (BBC Earth) | Chart: The animals that are most likely to kill you this summer (The Washington Post) | The Odds of Dying | 25 shocking things more likely to kill you than a shark (WNYY) | Choking Prevention and Rescue Tips | 10 Things More Likely to Kill You than Islamic Terror | List of selfie-related injuries and deaths (Wikipedia) | Animal bites (WHO)

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