Episode 149: Paranormal Challenges

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn is joined by Gem, Laura, and Lauren to discuss skeptical paranormal challenges. After Ashlyn’s overview, Lauren introduces Abraham Kovoor’s challenge, Laura talks about Joseph Dunninger, and Gem covers Sanal Edamaruku’s Great Tantra Challenge.

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

Paranormal Challenges: George Valiantine (Wikipedia) | One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge (Wikipedia) | Paranormal proof: Australian Skeptics’ $100,000 prize still unclaimed 37 years on (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Independent Investigations Group (Wikipedia) | The Independent Investigations Group | List of prizes for evidence of the paranormal (Wikipedia)

Abraham Kovoor’s Challenge: Abraham Kovoor’s challenge (Wikipedia) | Indian Rationalist Association (Wikipedia) | A. T. Kovoor (Wikipedia) | Dr Abraham T. Kovoor, the Rationalist of Indian Subcontinent (University of Giessen) | Sri Lanka Living Wage Family (Trading Economics) | Basava Premanand (Wikipedia)

Joseph Dunninger: Joseph Dunninger (Wikipedia) | The Night Joseph Dunninger Spooked a Spiritualist with a $21,000 Check (Weird Historian) | Joseph Dunninger | LIFE Magazine, 1944-03-13 (Google Books) | Dunninger Dies; Magician Was 82 (New York Times) | Joseph Dunninger (Cometa Magico)

Sanal Edamaruku and the Great Tantra Challenge: Sanal Edamaruku (Wikipedia) | The Great Tantra Challenge (Wikipedia) | India TV’s Great Tantra Challenge (NPR) | The night a guru tried to kill me on TV (The Guardian) | Blasphemy, Free Speech, and Rationalism: An Interview with Sanal Edamaruku (The Humanist) | The Indian miracle-buster stuck in Finland (BBC News)

What Have You Been Enjoying?: The Reconciliation Manifesto, by Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson | The Anthropocene Reviewed (WNYC Studios) | Ur-Fascism, by Umberto Eco | The War on Everyone, by Robert Evans | Gastropod: Food with a Side of Science & History

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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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Bonus Episode: One Hundred Proofs

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem presents Laura with a dozen or so of William Carpenter’s One Hundred Proofs That the Earth Is Not a Globe. She is… unconvinced.

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

Links: One Hundred Proofs That the Earth Is Not a Globe, by William Carpenter (Project Gutenberg) | William Carpenter (Wikipedia) | Samuel Rowbotham (Wikipedia) | Flat Earth OR Why Do People Reject Science? (Philosophy Tube) | Flat Earth: A Measured Response (Hbomberguy)

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Episode 147: More Conspiracies!

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem get conspiratorial! Lauren gives everyone the rundown on QAnon, Laura presents three food-related conspiracies, and Ashlyn explains why the Denver Airport is full of weird (but probably not Satanic) art.

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

Additional Music: Dark Things, by Eric Matyas

Note: Unfortunately, Gem’s segment was lost to a technical catastrophe, but look for a special bonus episode next week focused on the Flat Earth conspiracy!

QAnon: QAnon (Wikipedia) | What is QAnon? Explaining the bizarre rightwing conspiracy theory (The Guardian) | QAnon (RationalWiki) | Apophenia (RationalWiki) | Crank magnetism (RationalWiki) | New gematria (RationalWiki) | QAnon map dissection (RationalWiki) | Murder of Seth Rich (Wikipedia) | Q clearance (Wikipedia)

Food Conspiracies: Chipotle conspiracy theory gains steam (Business Insider) | Outback Steakhouse at the Center of Bizarre Conspiracy Theory (Huffington Post) | #575: The Fondue Conspiracy (NPR) | Swiss Cheese Union (Wikipedia) | The Swiss Cheese Mafia (Thinkgrowth.org)

The Denver Airport Conspiracy: Denver International Airport (Wikipedia) | Denver Airport conspiracy theories (RationalWiki) | 8 Conspiracy Theories About The Denver Airport That’ll Freak You Out | Denver Airport Conspiracy: Theories, Rumors & Facts (Thrillist)

Walt Disney Licensing: The Wonderful World of Disney’s Other Firm (LA Times)

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Episode 146: Standardized Testing

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn explains standardized testing in Canadian high schools, Lauren introduces the SAT and ACT, Gem rambles about the MCAT, and Laura asks some pointed questions about citizenship testing.

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

Standardized Testing in Canada: List of Canadian primary and secondary examinations (Wikipedia) | What is the Value of Standardized Testing? (EdCan Network) | Here’s what standardized tests look like around the world (INSIDER) | Assessment and Evaluation (Manitoba Education) | Canadian Achievement Test (CAT) | What is the Value of Standardized Testing? (EdCan Network)

SAT/ACT: SAT (Wikipedia) | College Board (Wikipedia) | ACT (test) (Wikipedia) | ACT (nonprofit organization) (Wikipedia) | The SAT (The College Board) | The Real Problem With the SAT (The Atlantic) | Lewis Terman (Wikipedia) | SAT Prep Free Resources (Why SAT Test Prep is Broken) | Stereotype threat (Wikipedia) | The ACT Test for Students (ACT) | Math–verbal achievement gap (Wikipedia) | College Readiness Exams Measure the Wrong Things (Nyack News and Views) | Beyond the Rhetoric: Improving College Readiness Through Coherent State Policy (HigherEducation.org) | Different Tests, Same Flaws: A Comparison of the SAT, SAT II and ACT (FairTest)

MCAT: Medical College Admission Test (Wikipedia) | AAMC

Citizenship Testing: Applying for Danish citizenship: the process explained (The Local) | The U.K. Has a Citizenship Test and It’s Dreadfully Hard (WSJ) | Europe’s citizenship tests are so hard not even citizens can pass (The Washington Post) | What does US citizenship exam actually test? (PRI.org) | Over 80% of Canadians would fail a citizenship test, new poll reveals (Global News)

Ian’s New Single: Fangs of Winter by Ian James and the Combo Breakers (SoundCloud)

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