Reckoned That Emotion

Many different emotions have similar bodily symptoms. When we are angry, our pulses race, we breathe faster, we feel our faces flush, and our skin becomes sweaty, but when we are happily excited we also breathe faster, feel our faces flush, and our skin becomes sweaty.  A new article by researcher Ian Robertson suggests that how you interpret the symptoms of stress can have a big effect on how stressed you actually become.  Anthony and Jeff debate whether re-calibrating your interpretations of symptoms can effect the problem itself.  More Details/Download MP3 →


Metal Near Solid

More than 80 years after it was predicted to be possible, a Harvard University team has finally managed to create metallic hydrogen. Why? For one thing, physicists predict that metallic hydrogen is an authentic superconductor. This gives metallic hydrogen a myriad of potential applications.  But did they do it?  Jeff and Anthony analyse the results to see if the world has actually seen a new man-made substance.  More Details/Download MP3 →

metal fans

Headbanger’s Calm

Extreme music – such as heavy metal – can positively influence those experiencing anger, a study by The University of Queensland has revealed.  In contrast to previous studies linking loud and chaotic music to aggression and delinquency, research by UQ’s School of Psychology showed listeners mostly became inspired and calmed.  Jeff and Anthony discuss their own calming music of choice, and remember back to a time when they each banged their heads for happiness.  More Details/Download MP3 →


Learner’s Hermit (LIVE from PAX South 2017!)

The Austrian town of Saalfelden in the state of Salzburg is looking for someone to live in a nearby hermitage which was built more than 350 years ago in steep, rocky cliffs. So they put out an ad for a hermit. Meanwhile, a hermit in Gothic, Colorado, a ghost town deserted since the 1920s, spent the last 40 years recording all sorts of data, from daily snowfalls, temperatures, snow melting, animal sightings, and became one of the best resources scientists have to better understand global warming. Jeff and Anthony discuss these 2 hermit stories and decide whether the hermit life is for them.  More Details/Download MP3 →


Pig Me (LIVE from PAX South 2017!)

Scientists have created the first successful human-animal hybrids. The project proves that human cells can be introduced into a non-human organism, survive, and even grow inside a host animal, in this case, pigs. Anthony, Jeff, and special guests Mikey Neuman and Kris Straub from Chainsawsuit discuss the pros and cons of creating human animal hybrids in the lab.

This episode was recorded LIVE at PAX South 2017 in San Antionio. Thanks to everyone who came out to the live performance!  More Details/Download MP3 →


True to Your Self

Why do we, as humans, have a sense of self?  One new theory is that a “self” actually contributes to a stronger and more robust group dynamic.  In order for a group to be more capable of surviving, it needs to be made up of specialized individuals who are drawn to disparate tasks.  Anthony and Jeff selflessly tackle this subject, and try to figure out if being one is better for the many.  More Details/Download MP3 →

DNA Activation Codes

DNA to Z

Scientists have created bacteria that thrive using an expanded “genetic alphabet”. The blueprint for all life forms on Earth is written in a code consisting of four “letters”: A, T, C and G, which pair up in the DNA double helix. But the lab organism has been modified to use an additional two, giving it a genetic code of six letters.  Jeff and Anthony try to figure out why they are doing this, and discuss what this might mean for the future.  More Details/Download MP3 →


Fully Operational

During WWII, there was a mathematician named Abraham Wald. Wald had an idea about allied bombers. Essentially, bombers were coming back after bombing runs with a lot of damage. Engineers were saying “okay, there’s a lot of damage in the wings and tail, so that’s where we should put the armor.” Right? Not so much.  Wald’s analysis of where they should really be putting armor became the fundamentals of Operational Science.  Jeff and Anthony discuss this idea and what it means today.  More Details/Download MP3 →

air nose

O2 Joy

It’s generally thought that the evolution of complex life was a rare, once-in-4.5-billion-years event. But new research suggests that conditions were right for complex cells to evolve and die off at least once – or perhaps several times – before our lineage even got started.  The reason? New evidence that there was enough oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere between 2.4 and 2 billion years ago before it dropped off again suddenly.  This suggests that the ingredients for complex life were present before the first fossil evidence of complex life.  Jeff and Anthony discuss the uses for oxygen, and propose some reasons why it may have fluctuated.  More Details/Download MP3 →