spikeball

A Tough Pill to Swallow

Researchers at MIT have developed a new pill that is much more efficient at delivering medicine into the bloodstream. Instead of a simple spheroid, it is covered in a multitude of tiny spikes, which stick into the stomache lining and ensure the medicine is absorbed rather than passed through the body undigested. Jeff is fascinated by the evolution of the swallow-able tablet, from its roots thousands of years ago to the more common “friable” form introduced in the 19th century – but Anthony wants no part of swallowing spike-balls. Beware the Spike Lobby.  More Details/Download MP3 →

shoot juggler

I Don’t Know

It’s counter-intuative and perplexing, but the truth is, the less human beings know about a particular subject, the more they THINK they know about it.  This has become known as The Dunning-Kruger Effectific. A new article in the Pacific Standard by David Dunning himself attempts to explain this phenomenon of confident idiots.  Jeff and Anthony can relate, and try to come to terms with their own aversion to not knowing.  More Details/Download MP3 →

ebook

One for the Books

A new article describes the benefits of long-form reading and suggests that the tactile feedback of printed books results in better retention than e-readers.  While Jeff and Anthony are definitely on board with reading, they challenge the idea that enjoying books on digital screens is any less effective.  More Details/Download MP3 →

best-cities-trick-or-treating-ftr

Tricked by Treats

On this special Halloween episode, Anthony and Jeff consider the nature of of the trick or treat tradition and the urban legend of poisoned Halloween candy.  Is asking strangers for food an inherently unsafe activity, or did we manufacture a scare that isn’t real?  More Details/Download MP3 →

beaver

Leave it to Beaver

A new Wired article recounts the medieval myth that beavers, when cornered by hunters, would castrate themselves by chewing off their own testicles.  Jeff and Anthony unpack the myth and try to figure out why the Dark Ages were filled with so much dumb.  More Details/Download MP3 →

mattel_hoverboard

Back to the Hoverboard Future

Previously on We Have Concerns… in the Welcome to the Hoverboard Future episode Anthony mocked Jeff’s enthusiasm for a mind-bending new technology that indicated that hoverboards may, in fact, be possible.  Now, there is a new article on Engadget that describes a working prototype soon making its way onto Kickstarter.  Does Jeff get the last laugh, hovering his way back into the future he’s always wanted, or is Anthony still able to poke penny-sized holes in the dream?  More Details/Download MP3 →

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 →