Planetary scientist and Hall of Famer guest Dr. Stuart Robbins joins Pat and Cristina to respond to a listener who asks why the Earth experiences two high tides instead of just one. Adam brings us a PSA on the dangers of double male end adapters, known as ‘suicide cords’. Dr. Stu rounds out the show with a follow-up to Adam’s ‘Life On Venus?’ segment from September by addressing the accuracy of a recent study published by astronomers claiming phosphine – a potential marker of life – was discovered in Venus’ atmosphere.
Adam wonders if brussel sprouts deserve their bad rap for tasting horrible and makes an interesting discovery in the process. Cristina looks into whether the song ‘12 Days Of Christmas’ is coded so persecuted Christians could pass down the tenets of their faith under the radar. Lastly, Darren brings us a roundup of recent additions to his book shelf: “The Ethics of Influence”, “The Science of Evil”, “The Quest for Cosmic Justice”, “What Algorithms Want” and “Is This Anything?”
Adam discusses themes from ‘The Village Effect’ by author and psychologist Susan Pinker who posits that face-to-face contact is crucial for learning, happiness, resilience and longevity. In a related segment, Darren looks at data to determine if there is evidence to support reports that we’re currently experiencing a loneliness epidemic.
Cristina kicks off the show with a look into why so many music albums run much longer than back in the day. Adam explores whether enormous pyramids were discovered in Antarctica. Lastly, we rerun a segment from Darren with tips on donating to charities effectively, ahead of Giving Tuesday on December 1st.
Darren kicks off the show by exploring how to talk and think about causality for something as complicated as 2020’s U.S. election. Next, Cristina takes a fascinating look into the rules around naming babies worldwide and what can happen if parents don’t give their baby a name.
Cristina kicks off the show with an overview of how the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory tests for COVID-19. After archeologists discover a 2000 year old feline geoglyph carved into the hillside in Nazca Lines, Peru, Adam asks, “Is it really a cat?” Darren rounds out the show with a look at Coca-Cola and whether long-time reports of the beverage containing cocaine hold up.
After negative reaction and backlash to Amy Coney Barrett using the term, Adam digs into whether ‘sexual preference’ is offensive. Next, Darren brings us another book review roundup including some titles that recently spawned several headlines: ‘Rage’ by Bob Woodward, ‘Disloyal’ by Michael Cohen, ‘Rules for Radicals’ by Saul Alinsky and ‘What We Say Goes’ by Noam Chomsky.
With the U.S. election on the horizon, can we really trust the election polls? Darren does a deep dive to find out. Next, Adam wonders what it means to ‘take the red pill’ after seeing a tweet by Elon Musk. Lastly, after Producer Pat wins a Raptors jersey in a scratch-and-win contest, Cristina ponders why he has to answer a skill-testing question before claiming the prize.
Yesterday we lost a giant in the critical thinking community. James Randi died at the age of 92. This is an interview with him from August 2010. Randi began his career as a magician and later devoted his life to investigating paranormal, occult and supernatural claims. He will be missed.
This week we bring you two fascinating segments. First our resident planetary geophysics expert, Dr. Stuart Robbins, is back to help us with a listener email about how we calculate the mass of the earth. We also dig into the difference between weight and mass. Adam rounds out the show with a deep dive into whether an Irish court has ruled that Subway bread is not bread asking, ‘what is a sandwich anyways’?