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Do Run Run Run

A new study suggests that high intensity aerobic activity that requires sustained, repetitive locomotor and navigational skills may stress cognitive domains in ways that lead to altered brain connectivity, which in turn has implications for understanding the beneficial role of exercise for brain and cognitive function over the lifespan.  In other words, running is for smarts!  Anthony and Jeff continue their debate about the value of running with this new info.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Hiding with a Chance of Meatballs

Ikea is urging teenagers to stop creeping into its stores and having illegal sleepovers. About 10 “non-sponsored sleepovers” have been logged across the world by the Swedish furniture giant this year. The craze appears to have been started by two Belgian YouTubers who chronicled their adventure online. Jeff and Anthony discuss hiding out in stores and more generally… where to sleep.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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What’s in Bad Movie?

Hundreds of people online have shared memories of a cheesy Nineties movie called “Shazaam”, in which the standup comic Sinbad played a genie.  There is no evidence that such a film was ever made. What does this tell us about the quirks of collective memory? Jeff and Anthony discuss the concept of “viral memories” and the potential that this can all be explained by multiple timelines.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Sham U

A man called Zhao Lianshan distributed fake university admission offers to students admission to the Shandong Institute of Light Industry, through a new pilot program for students who had not scored as well on entrance exams. They could enroll as full-time students for four years, and pay about RMB 8,000 per year in tuition. Sixty-eight students agreed to enroll, and it was not until June 3, 2012, four years later, that they realized they had never been enrolled in the Shandong Institute of Light Industry. The whole college career had been a sham, and Zhao Lianshan, the man who devised it, has disappeared.    More Details/Download MP3 →

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Do You Hear What AI Hear?

Researchers in Toronto have used a technology called “neural karaoke” to teach a computer to write a song after looking at a photo, and the little carol it penned after viewing a festive Christmas tree is absolutely horrifying.  Jeff and Anthony take a listen and give their thoughts.  Happy holidays everyone!  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Hold Fusion

In a study published in the latest edition of the journal Nature Communications, researchers confirmed that Germany’s Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) fusion energy device is on track and working as planned.  This “star in a jar” technology could essentially provide Earth with limitless clean energy, forever. Jeff and Anthony have a few questions about this breakthrough, and might be worried about how close this is to the last level of a video game.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Skating on Fin Ice

An amusement park in Japan has been forced to close its skating rink after a torrent of online criticism over its centerpiece: thousands of fish frozen into the ice.  Space World in the city of Kitakyushu, south-west Japan, bowed to pressure to close the facility after an online campaign denouncing the piscine graveyard as “cruel”, “immoral” and “weird”.  Jeff and Anthony weigh in on the controversy and decide whether this is artistic or offensive.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Young businessman with a briefcase and glasses running in a city street on a background of red brick wall. concept of rapid career

Trajectory Plus Time

Why are humans so prone to running late? New findings published in Hippocampus suggest greater familiarity with an area leads us to overestimate its physical distance, but also has the opposite effect on our judgments of travel times through that space – that is, we underestimate how long it will take us to travel through highly familiar routes.  Anthony and Jeff discuss this quirk of the human mind, and how to combat its effects.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Alien Where

According to a new study, layers of the upper atmospheres of cold brown dwarf planets sit at temperatures and pressures resembling those on Earth, and could host microbes that surf on thermal updrafts. These represent a whole new area of potential life in the galaxy.  Jeff and Anthony discuss finding life on a planet with no actual surface, and what that might mean.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Sin Full

When a loved one died in parts of England, Scotland, or Wales in the 18th and 19th centuries, the family would grieve, place bread on the chest of the deceased, and call for a man to sit in front of the body. The family of the deceased watched on as this man, the local professional sin eater, absorbed the sins of the departed’s soul.  Jeff and Anthony discuss the job of sin-eater, and whether they think it’s an honest day’s work.  More Details/Download MP3 →