Episode 139: The Unnecessary Christmas Show

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Laura, and Gem talk about several elements of the holiday consumer frenzy. Lauren tackles gift guides, Gem explains why corporations love gift cards, Ashlyn talks about holiday debt, and Laura ends the show with a discussion of some truly bizarre holiday products.

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

Gift Guides: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop gift guide suggests you buy a whole village (Vox) | Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2018 Goop Gift Guide (Cosmopolitan) | Totally Random, Totally Useless Holiday Gift Guide (Chefdruck) | Holiday Gift Guide 2018 (Chatelaine) | Subchronic inhalation toxicity of gold nanoparticles (NCBI) | The Hater’s Guide (Deadspin) | The 2012 Hater’s Guide to the Williams Sonoma Catalog (Deadspin)

Gift Cards: Gift Card Warning: Check Retailer’s Health (NPR) | Gift Card Review: Public Consultation Paper & Survey (Government of Manitoba) | Prepaid Purchase Card Requirements (Manitoba Consumer Protection Office) | Scam alert: Be wary of gift cards sold on a retailer’s rack! (Consumer Affairs)

Charitable Giving: LUEE Episode 115: Holiday Charity Special

Holiday Debt: Debt Snowball Versus Debt Avalanche: What The Academic Research Shows (Forbes) | 5 ways to cure your Christmas debt hangover (MoneySense) | Holiday hangover: Americans racked up more than $1,000 each in holiday debt (CNBC) | Christmas on Credit: How to Avoid the Debt (My Money Coach) | Here’s how you can avoid piling on holiday debt (Global News) | Don’t Let the Ghost of Christmas Gifts Past Hurt Your Finances (Huffpost) | Why Don’t People Manage Debt Better? (Scientific American Blogs)

Strange Holiday Gifts: As Seen on TV Clever Cutter (Canadian Tire) | 5 Condom Variety Christmas Fun Pack (Amazon) | Christmas Tinner Is the Dinner in a Can You Never Knew You Needed (BestProducts.com) | Shoppers take to Twitter to mock stores’ Christmas bleaches (Daily Mail) | Inhealer Himalayan Salt Inhaler (Showcase)

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Episode 138: Wikipedia

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Lauren, and Laura talk about the history and reliability of Wikipedia and its many controversies, then end the episode with some of our favourite Wikipedia finds. Also on this episode: Lauren and Gem disagree about punctuation, and Laura does a lot of yelling about buffalo.

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

History: History of Wikipedia (Wikipedia) | Nupedia (Wikipedia) | Bomis (Wikipedia) | h2g2: The Guide to Life | h2g2 (Wikipedia) | Wikipedia (h2g2)

Skepticism: List of common misconceptions (Wikipedia) | List of dates predicted for apocalyptic events (Wikipedia) | Perverse incentive (Wikipedia)

Reliability: Reliability of Wikipedia (Wikipedia) | Wikipedia is not a reliable source (Wikipedia) | How Accurate Is Wikipedia? (Live Science) | Is Wikipedia trustworthy when it comes to science? (The Washington Post) | How reliable is Wikipedia as a source of information, and why? (Quora) | Study shows Wikipedia Accuracy is 99.5% (ZME Science) | List of Wikipedias (Wikipedia)

Editors: WikiProject Women in Red (Wikipedia) | Women in Red (Wikipedia) | Wikipedia Editors Study Report (Wikipedia Meta) | Wikimedia Conference 2011 Editor Trends Study (Wikipedia Meta) | Wikipedia's 15 Anniversary: The Site Is in Trouble (Time) | Inside the Fight to Change Wikipedia’s Gender Problem (Inverse) | Women through the glass ceiling: gender asymmetries in Wikipedia (EPJ Data Science)

Edit Wars: Top 10 Strangest Wikipedia Edit Wars (Listverse) | CongressEdits (Wikipedia) | Judiciary Committee Members Doxxed During Kavanaugh Testimony (Huffington Post) | Edit war (Wikipedia Meta) | Edit warring (Wikipedia) | Wikipedia Wars: 10 Biggest Edit Battles (PCWorld) | Wikipedia’s lamest edit wars show why the site is amazing and infuriating (Vox) | 6 Wikipedia edits made from Capitol Hill (Columbia Journalism Review)

Controversies: List of Wikipedia controversies (Wikipedia)

Amusements: List of lists of lists (Wikipedia) | Illegal number (Wikipedia) | List of predictions (Wikipedia) | List of sexually active popes (Wikipedia) | Fictitious entry (Wikipedia) | Garden hermit (Wikipedia) | List of vampire traits in folklore and fiction (Wikipedia) | Great Molasses Flood (Wikipedia) | List of animals with fraudulent diplomas (Wikipedia) | List of unusual units of measurement (Wikipedia)

Lauren and Gem’s Punctuation Dustup: How to Use Quotation Marks Correctly (Grammar Girl)

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Episode 137: Where’s My Jetpack?

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Lauren, Gem, and Laura discuss science fiction technologies that have become science fact, and Gem depresses the hell out of everyone.

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

Links: Power Glove (Wikipedia) | 50 Scifi Books Featuring AR and VR Technology (Upload) | How Sci-Fi Literature Predicted the Rise of Modern Virtual Reality (Upload) | Virtual Reality (Science Fiction Encyclopedia) | Virtual reality was first imagined in a sci fi story… and it may soon take over entertainment (Big Think) | Virtual reality (Wikipedia) | Virtual reality in fiction (Wikipedia) | 10 Top Sci-Fi Tech Predictions That Actually Came True (CDL) | 10 ‘Star Trek’ Technologies That Actually Came True (HowStuffWorks) | 12 Star Trek Gadgets That Now Exist (Mental Floss) | 15 Star Trek Gadgets That Exist In Real Life (ScreenRant) | Star Trek Is Right About Almost Everything (National Geographic) | How Transparent Aluminum Armor Works (HowStuffWorks) | 3D Printed Food: A Culinary Guide to 3D Printing Food (All3DP) | Replicator (Wikipedia) | Food 3D Printer Manufacturers (3D Printing Business Directory) | How Star Trek artists imagined the iPad nearly 30 years ago (Ars Technica) | Post-atomic horror (Memory Alpha) | How Star Trek inspired Amazon’s Alexa (VentureBeat) | BigDog Overview (YouTube) | Every time Boston Dynamics has abused a robot (YouTube)

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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 135: Personality Testing

On this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn, Gem, Laura, and Lauren put their personalities to the test, explore the history of the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, and try to determine whether any of these personality tests are actually science-based.

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

MBTI: The Myers–Briggs Foundation | The Myers-Briggs Personality Test Is Bullshit (VICE) | Have we all been duped by the Myers-Briggs test? (Fortune) | Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (Wikipedia)

DISC: DISC assessment (Wikipedia) | William Moulton Marston (Wikipedia) | Elizabeth Holloway Marston (Wikipedia) | Olive Byrne (Wikipedia) | DISC Personality Testing

True Colors: Research Validity and Reliability (True Colors International) | Four temperaments (Wikipedia) | Personality type (Wikipedia) | Keirsey Temperament Sorter (Wikipedia) | History and Origin of Personality Temperament Theory (True Colors International)

Big Five (OCEAN): No frills analysis: “The Big Five” personality test (wbir.com) | Most Personality Quizzes Are Junk Science. I Found One That Isn’t. (FiveThirtyEight) | Big Five personality traits (Wikipedia)

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