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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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Discovery Kids!

Using an unprecedented technique of matching stars to the locations of temples on Earth, a 15-year-old Canadian student says he’s discovered a forgotten Mayan city in Mexico. Anthony and Jeff talk about what it takes to be a young person with a useful hobby, and speculate on how cool it might be to contribute to science at an early age.  Be sure to stick around to the end of this episode for a surprise twist where Jeff makes his own childlike discovery.  More Details/Download MP3 →