Taking Debate

When you don’t know the actual, statistical likelihood of something, the brain uses the most readily surfaceable image.  This is known as the availability heuristic, and it has been used by politicians to create unrealistic concepts that stick for decades.  In light of the current political climate, Anthony and Jeff discuss this phenomenon, and how we can protect ourselves against it.  More Details/Download MP3 →

milk date

Spoiler Assert

The majority of Americans have no clear idea what “sell by” labels are trying to tell them. But after 40 years of letting us guess, the grocery industry has made moves to clear up the confusion. The Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the two largest trade groups for the grocery industry, announced that they’ve adopted standardized, voluntary regulations to clear up what product date labels mean.   Jeff and Anthony discuss their stance on eating past-date food, and when something should be thrown away.  More Details/Download MP3 →

bee drone

All CPU Can Bee

Honeybees’ role in pollination enables the production of at least 90 commercially grown crops, including apples, blueberries, melons and broccoli, but recently a dwindling bee population has led to concerns for the stability of this eco system. Industrial design major Anna Haldewang wanted more people to understand the significance of bees to human life — so she created what’s essentially a “bee drone” to be a functional teaching tool that couples technology and design.
Plan Bee is a personal robotic bee (controlled by a smart device) designed to mimic how bees pollinate flowers and crops. Similar to how bees transfer pollen from one flower to another, the drone sucks in pollen from a plant and expels it onto other flowers to enable cross-pollination.  More Details/Download MP3 →


Addiction Subtraction

Studying its effects in the brain, researchers set out to genetically engineer mice that would be more prone to cocaine addiction.  Instead, they created mice that appear impervious to it.  Even after the genetically engineered animals were given the drug repeatedly, they did not appear to crave it the way typical mice do.  Jeff and Anthony discuss these cocaine-proof mice, and what it might mean for addiction treatment in the future.  More Details/Download MP3 →


Squid Pro Grow

Human activity has changed the ocean – rising temperatures and acidifying waters has caused fish populations of all kinds to dwindle. But not all creatures are adversely effected.  New research shows that these changes to marine environments are leading to a surge of cephalopods, the invertebrate group that includes octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish.  You know Anthony and Jeff have their eyes on cephalopods, so they have to monitor this story.  More Details/Download MP3 →


Scooter Commuter Computer

Piaggio, the same company that created the Vespa scooter, has announced it will sell a robot called Gita, which is designed to carry and deliver your stuff around town.  It will follow you, or move autonomously, and has a top speed of 22 MPH.  Anthony and Jeff are ready for the robot future, especially if it looks as cute and useful as Gita.  More Details/Download MP3 →


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 →