Alien vs Temperature

Did climate change already kill all the aliens we’ve been searching for? According to astrophysicist Adam Frank, it’s certainly a possibility — and whether humans are doomed to the same fate may already be out of our hands. Jeff and Anthony once again consider the repercussions of running the air conditioner during a recording session.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Trip Down The Stares

In 2015, a psychologist in Italy figured out how to induce a drug-free altered state of consciousness by asking 20 volunteers to sit and stare into each other’s eyes for 10 minutes straight. Not only did the deceptively simple task bring on strange ‘out of body’ experiences for the volunteers, it also caused them to see hallucinations of monsters, their relatives, and themselves in their partner’s face. Jeff and Anthony have been recording this podcast for years, facing each other. We finally have an explanation for some of the more unhinged episodes.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Permanent Record

When considering musical artists, your favorite record of theirs is often the first to which you listened. It makes sense that the first album one encounters of a band will, over time, accumulate the most repeat listens. It has the chance to rack up plays before the listener explores the rest of the catalog. However, there might be more to this. Jeff and Anthony liked this study better after a few reads through.  More Details/Download MP3 →

High Blood Treasure

James Harrison, an Australian man whose blood contains a rare antibody that can create a treatment that saves babies’ lives, has donated plasma one last time. Harrison, known as “the man with a golden arm,” has donated blood and plasma regularly for more than six decades, from age 18 to age 81. The service estimates that over the course of his life, he has helped save some 2.4 million babies. Jeff and Anthony want to try some of that sweet, sweet blood.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Sleep Depredation

A study by University of Manchester researchers has shown for the first time that a bad night’s sleep is associated with suicidal thoughts the next day in people with depression. That data revealed that poor sleep quality and short sleep duration were both associated with higher feelings of suicidal thoughts the next day. In hopefully unrelated news, Jeff just had his second child.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Trouble Stuffed

Judges of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year have disqualified a winning contestant after the anteater in his prize-winning photograph was judged “highly likely” to be a taxidermy specimen. Called “The Night Raider,” the image was taken by photographer Marcio Cabral and depicts an anteater underneath starry skies next to a termite mound dotted with glowing bioluminescence. Jeff and Anthony knew it was Photoshopped as they could see the pixels.  More Details/Download MP3 →

How the Sausage is Maid

A Canadian man finally got the chance to clear his name after 17 years in exile from a hotel in British Columbia. His ordeal began in 2001, involving a flock of seagulls (the animals, not the band) and a suitcase full of pepperoni. Jeff and Anthony discuss the value of a good apology.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Nowhere You Are

In a triumph of data collection and analysis, a team of researchers based at Oxford University has built the tools necessary to calculate how far any dot on a map is from a city — or anything else. The research allows us to pin down a question that has long evaded serious answers: Where is the middle of nowhere?  More Details/Download MP3 →

Smell Wishers

What are the ingredients of a good relationship? Trust? Communication? Compromise? How about a sense of smell? When researchers in the United Kingdom surveyed almost 500 people with anosmia (the loss of sense of smell), more than 50 percent of them reported feeling isolated, and blamed their relationship troubles on their affliction. Smell is important in social bonding, says psychologist Pamela Dalton, at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia. When a mom smells her newborn baby, the scent activates brain regions associated with nurturing behavior. Smells might also trigger brain activity linked with affection, compassion, or romantic love. Jeff and Anthony give this story the sniff test.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Face/On

Last month, Motherboard reported on a Redditor using deep learning technology to map female celebrities’ faces onto pornographic performers, with startlingly lifelike results. By scanning a bunch of images of a celebrity’s face, the software was able to imagine what they’d look like grafted into a given video—a powerful technology being used in one of the worst possible ways. The technology also opens up the door to a very near future in which we won’t be able to trust video evidence—long the gold standard, at least in the court of public opinion. Someone decided to use this technology for it’s absolute worst use: superimposing Nicholas Cage into every film ever made.  More Details/Download MP3 →