Smite Angle

Hampshire’s Ipley Cross is a notorious crossroads where cyclists keep getting hit and even killed by motorists, despite the mostly level terrain around the place where two roads cross each other at a seemingly innocuous angle. A navigational hazard called “constant bearing, decreasing range” means that frequently, the first time a driver and a cyclist will see each other is a second or two before the car strikes the bicycle. Jeff and Anthony take the issue head on.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Black Bird Swinging in the Spread of Light

The mating dance of the male superb bird of paradise is like nothing else on Earth, thanks to their feathers, which absorb 99.95 percent of light. That’s nearly none more black, and virtually identical to what Vantablack, the world’s darkest artificial substance, can absorb. And it’s all thanks to black feathers structured like a forest of chaos. Jeff and Anthony wonder whether or not Anish Kapoor can sue a bird.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Big Skittle Lies

Do gummy bears really come in different flavors, or do we just think they taste different because they are different colors? While closing your eyes, your accuracy in differentiating flavors majorly declines. This phenomenon is something that scientists are studying- and something big candy companies have counted on for years. Jeff and Anthony investigate to see just how deep the gummy worm hole really goes.  More Details/Download MP3 →

The Hottest Fashion

The mid-19th century vogue for flowing, diaphanous women’s garments made from open-weave fabrics, combined with gas lighting, candles, and open fires meant that it was extremely common for women to literally burst into flames: on stage, at parties, at home. It wasn’t just the fabric, but also the shape of the dresses that caused women’s clothing to erupt in flames. The popular silhouette in the 1850s was a giant bell shape, like Scarlett O’Hara in her curtain dress. Jeff and Anthony discuss how this problem was eventually (and unintentionally) solved.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Heroes of Blight and Tragic

At first glance, Miles Traer seems like any other scientist, but this Stanford University geologist has an alter ego. He beats back the forces of environmental destruction and holds the super-powerful to account. Traer and two colleagues have calculated the carbon footprint for nine superheroes — and realized that Earth might be better off if they stopped trying to save it. Jeff and Anthony discuss whether or not this was worth the effort of some of our greatest thinkers.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Quantity Time

Despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life. The majority of the time spent with your parents is front loaded in your life – most likely you only have 5 % of your life’s in person parent time. Jeff and Anthony discuss why this might be okay.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Fool Poisoning

The year was 1902. With funding and consent from Congress, Harvey Washington Wiley was about to embark on an experiment he dubbed the “hygienic table trials,” but the Washington news media called his volunteers “the Poison Squad.” Wiley’s staff would put borax in their butter, milk, or coffee. Formaldehyde would lurk in their meats, copper sulfate and saltpeter in their fruit pies. Jeff and Anthony wonder why anyone would sign up for this.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Halve A Seat

At the University of Chicago in the early 1920s, psychology grad student William Blatz built a remote-controlled trick chair that would collapse when he pressed a switch. (It was padded to avoid injury.) Then he had subjects sit in the chair while wearing electrodes to measure heart rate and other vital signs. Blatz’s goal was to “study the physiology of fear under controlled, repeatable conditions.” Jeff and Anthony take a seat and discuss Blatz and his life’s work.  More Details/Download MP3 →