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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Episode 111: Insect Repellents

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem discuss insect repellents, natural and artificial, historical and modern, and ask the question: “Do any of these natural bug sprays actually work?” The answer might surprise you! (Yes. The answer is “yes”.)

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

Links: Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development and testing (NIH) | The Efficacy of Some Commercially Available Insect Repellents for Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Journal of Insect Science) | The Mosquito Patch | Thiamin Health Professional Fact Sheet (NIH) | Repellent efficacy of DEET, MyggA, neem oil and chinaberry oil against Anopheles arabiensis (Malaria Journal) | Neem oil (Wikipedia) | Neem Oil Fact Sheet (National Pesticide Information Center) | Vitamin B1 as a Mosquito Repellent (Livestrong) | The Effect of Exercise and Heat on Vitamin Requirements (NCBI Bookshelf) | The Excretion of Ascorbic Acid, Thiamine, Riboflavin, and Pantothenic Acid in Sweat (Journal of Biological Chemistry) | Citronella oil (Wikipedia) | Toxicological evaluation of neem oil: acute and subacute toxicity (PubMed) | Stink Bugs and Cedar Spray (Orkin) | Homemade Bug Repellent with Essential Oils | Mozi-Q Fools the Dragons (Science-Based Pharmacy) | Homeopathic Insect Repellent: Is there anything the Natural Health Products Directorate won’t approve? (Skeptic North) | Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil as Bug Spray Review (Consumer Reports) | Apple Cider Vinegar: 13+ Health Benefits (Reader’s Digest) | How to Make a Natural Flea and Tick Remedy with Apple Cider Vinegar (WikiHow) | Mosquito repellent effectiveness: A placebo controlled trial comparing 95% DEET, Avon Skin So Soft, and a “special mixture” (BC Medical Journal) | Lethal dose (Wikipedia) | Nicotine (PIM) | Is glyphosate, used with some GM crops, dangerously toxic to humans? (Genetic Literacy Project) | The Four Best Bug Repellents: DEET, IR3535, Picaridin, Oil Of Lemon Eucalyptus Most Effective, Says EWG (MedicalDaily) | DEET (Wikipedia) | Deet (Extension Toxicology Network) | IR3535 (Wikipedia) | Ethyl Bytulacetylaminopropionate IR3535 (WHO) | Icaridin (Wikipedia) | Icaridin (WHO) | 2-Undecanone (Wikipedia) | Mosquitoes Repelled by Tomato-Based Substance; Safer, More Effective Than DEET (ScienceDaily) | 2-Undecanone Safety Data Sheet (Fisher Science) | Mosquito coil (Wikipedia) | Pyrethrins (Extension Toxicology Network) | Mosquito Coil Emissions and Health Implications (NIH) | DIY Mosquito Trap: How Mosquito Magnets Work (HowStuffWorks) | Mosquito Magnet Test Studies

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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 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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