TRC #557: Mercury Retrograde + Is All Table Salt Sea Salt? + ‘Why We Sleep’

Are you having a bad month, Checkers? Mercury is said to be in retrograde but what does that really mean? Cristina takes us on a little fact-finding mission through the Cosmos to find out. Next, Adam brings the panel another great ‘I did not know that!’ segment when he breaks down the origin of salt after Neil deGrasse Tyson tweets all salt comes from the Sea. Finally, Darren helps busts some sleep myths after reading ‘Why We Sleep’ by neuroscientist Matthew Walker.

Download direct: mp3 file

Mercury Retrograde

NY Times: Mercury Retrograde Facts

Betches.com: A Strongly Worded Letter To People Who Talk About the Mercury Retrograde

LiveScience: No, Mercury Retrograde Will Not Mess Up Your Life

VOX: Mercury retrograde, explained without astrology

Mental Floss: What is Mercury in Retrograde, and Why Do We Blame Things On It?

MNN: What does Mercury in retrograde mean?

NASA blog: StarChild Question of the Month

Vox (video)

Is All Table Salt Sea Salt?

It turns out not all salt comes from the ocean – Twitter.com

Salt – Wikipedia

Where does the salt come from? – Exploring Our Ocean

Why We Sleep

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker PhD 

Guardian Review 

Walker busting sleep myths 

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2 Responses to TRC #557: Mercury Retrograde + Is All Table Salt Sea Salt? + ‘Why We Sleep’

  1. Rich W. says:

    My biggest problem with counting sheep is that I feel like I should give them all individual names. (ex. Stu, Vandaloo, Spitsy, etc.) The comic strip “Dark Side of the Horse” (in newspapers and on GoComics) often has some cute visual gags about the practice.

    One thing that’s never been clear to me about the eight-hours of sleep thing is that while getting too little sleep is known to cause health problems, does sleeping “too much” also cause problems or mostly just correlate? (Obviously being bedridden has its own known issues, but for “too much” let’s say for people who typically sleep 10-12 hours most nights, no apnea or other issues that interrupt their sleep, normal activity by day, etc.) Of course, I have already put Walker’s book on my too-long reading list for now, and I’ll try to get to it when Mercury is in prograde just to be safe. 😉

    As for table salt versus sea salt, let’s hope Neil at least knows that he can’t directly substitute one for the other in recipes, due to the density differences and maybe some other effects. If there are other important differences then hopefully Dr. Farrimond will let us know about when he gets a chance. (I hope he’s doing well and that his new book is on schedule.)

    Thanks again.

  2. Luc says:

    I am going to expose my dark side by admitting that there is nothing I love more than to “retrograde” in parking lots. I didn’t know until today what to call it but in essence it entails me, sitting in my parked car, engine running, ready to pull out and an available parking space adjacent. As the “victim” slowly pulls in I place my vehicle in gear and wait precisely for the moment where my new neighbour driver would reasonably expect their vehicle to be very nearly coming to a complete stop. At precisely that instant, I take my foot off the brake (careful not to go too fast) giving, you guessed it, a “retrograde” effect causing my neighbour to exert every last ounce of power they have onto their brake. The effect is all the more entertaining if there are passengers who will be jolted by the premature and harsh application of brakes followed by the glorious “WTF” looks.

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