MatrixBluePillRedPill

Tell Me How to Feel

A new article describes a study in which doctors told patients they would just be getting a shot of vitamins, but instead gave them something a thousand times more powerful.  Whether these subjects thought something strange was happening or not depended entirely upon what the doctors told them they should expect.  This leads Jeff and Anthony to wonder just how much impact our conscious mind can have on our reality, and whether or not we can use this to our advantage.  More Details/Download MP3 →

ibm-keyboard

Objects that Click

Anthony found an article that describes the community around the IBM Model M keyboard, a sublimely clicky keyboard that has spawned cult-like devotion and a second hand black market.  It makes him consider our fetishization of things, and the ties to productivity they create.  Jeff just thinks all those objects are yelling at him.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Robot boss

Who’s the Robo Boss?

Researchers have discovered that employees are actually more content taking orders from a robot than a human being in the workplace.  This prompts Anthony and Jeff to wonder what it might take to promote robots into middle management, what the perfect form factor for a boss-bot might be, and how companies might implement their new robo-supervisors.  More Details/Download MP3 →

tired-runner

That Runner’s High

As a runner himself, Jeff was very impressed to read of James Lawrence, the endurance athlete who is attempting 50 ultra-distance triathlons, in 50 different states, in 50 straight days.  Anthony, on the other hand, thinks it is unhealthy, obsessive, and downright stupid to push your body to that extreme.  Is this just the Brock Life pushing human abilities to new heights, or a crazy person receiving misplaced admiration for a self-destructive act?  More Details/Download MP3 →

spidermouth

Spider House

Anthony has found a story about a Missouri family fleeing their home because between 4500 and 6000 spiders came “bleeding out of the walls”.  To which Jeff of course wonders, “What the #%$#?!”  Spider senses tingle, spider stories are shared, and everybody asks how this could possibly happen.  More Details/Download MP3 →

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Photo Synthesis

Google’s Auto Awesome will take the best areas of slightly different photographs and combine them into one new, never-quite-was best version.  A new article suggests that this kind of artful interpretation of history may prove problematic when AI determines what parts of photos are important.  Anthony argues that no photograph is a true depiction, while Jeff wonders if we will ever remember something accurately again.  More Details/Download MP3 →

superfriends

Saturday Mourning

Saturday morning cartoons are no more! And Jeff has decided that this means something really bad for today’s youth – but Anthony is certain that it’s a good thing, and that Jeff is just a cranky old man yelling at the winds of change.  Does on-demand mean no more shared cultural experience? And where does this leave Capt Crunch in his battle against the soggies?  More Details/Download MP3 →

DOG-READING-BOOK

Pet Smart

Anthony has been reading about Chaser, the wonder dog who has learned over 1,000 different words, which makes him wonder how smart Jeff believes canines to be.  Is obedience less intelligent than independence? Is there a bias in measuring intelligence in non-human creatures?  More Details/Download MP3 →

Go Go Gadget Soul

Shipyard workers in South Korea have been using Exo Suits to assist them in loading and unloading scrap metal, and Jeff and Anthony desperately want to try it out. But why stop there? Why not replace human limbs with robot ones? How far would they go in selling off their humanity to be able to punch down a wall? The answer may surprise you.  More Details/Download MP3 →