How Many People Have Ever Lived?

It is a simple question that requires some pretty complicated investigation. Calculating the number of people who have ever lived since the dawn of humanity is part science and part art. Jeff and Anthony dig in to the fascinating process by which scientists have come up with a pretty definitive answer. Are you able to guess it?

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  • How Many People Have Ever Lived?

    It is a simple question that requires some pretty complicated investigation. Calculating the number of people who have ever lived since the dawn of humanity is part science and part art. Jeff and Anthony dig in to the fascinating process by which scientists have come up with a pretty definitive answer. Are you able to guess it? [more]

  • Work Less, Have More Kids, and Be Kind

    Sometimes, when something seems obvious, science still needs to confirm it. This week, Anthony and Jeff take a look at a trio of stories that may seem not to require investigation, but reveal interesting subtleties upon further study. First up, a look at how working fewer hours may lead to happiness. Then, a report on how and why Americans are having fewer children. And finally, a report that shows acts of kindness are actually therapeutic. [more]

  • The Quietest Room on Earth

    Inside a building in Minneapolis, there is a room so quiet that people believe an hour inside will drive anyone mad. It is so quiet, they say, that you will hear the sound of your own internal organs. A writer from the New York Times recently decided to put that claim to the test by breaking the record for the longest stay inside. Jeff and Anthony look at the history of anechoic chambers, and decide how long they could last in the deafening silence. [more]

  • The Goldfish’s Bad Rap

    A team of researchers at the University of Oxford has found via experimentation that goldfish use markings on the floor below them to measure how far they have traveled. The study disproves the long-held belief goldfish have little or no memory. Anthony and Jeff talk about what this means for goldfish reputations, worldwide, and other animals who fight with unfair stigmas. [more]

  • Mosquito Magnets

    Scientists have known that mosquitos are drawn to people at varying rates, but they have struggled to explain what makes certain people “mosquito magnets” while others get off bite-free. In a new paper published in the journal Cell, researchers suggest that certain body odors are the deciding factor. Jeff and Anthony draw out as much wisdom as they can from this vein, sucking every last morsel of insight. [more]

  • Creative High

    The idea that cannabis enhances creativity has permeated pop culture. Although recreational cannabis use is currently only legal in a handful of countries and U.S. states, it has become increasingly common for artists, business leaders, and other celebrities to suggest that marijuana has aided in their creative pursuits. But does pot actually make you more creative? Or does it just make you think you’re being more creative? Anthony and Jeff take a look at a new study that aims to answer that question. And the results may surprise you. [more]

  • The 2022 Ig-Nobel Prize Winners

    Established in 1991, the Ig Nobels are a good-natured parody of the Nobel Prizes; they honor "achievements that first make people laugh and then make them think" - a designation that Jeff and Anthony think applies to We Have Concerns as well. So each year, the guys take a look at their favorite award winners. This year, scorpion constipation, frustrating legal jargon, ancient Mayan enemas, and more! [more]

  • Throwing Stuff into Space

    Burning tons of jet fuel to propel objects out of Earth's atmosphere and into orbit is an expensive, environmentally damage prospect. One company in California is deleoping an alternative. SpinLaunch just completed their 10th test launch, literally throwing satellites thousands of kilometers up into the air. Jeff and Anthony dig into the engineering challenges - and pure audacity - of such an endeavor... and they come away very impressed. [more]

  • The Long Trail of Mucus

    From the slime coating slugs to the saliva in our mouths, many slippery bodily fluids contain mucus. So how did this biological feature evolve? A new study sheds light on a very unexpected origin for mucins in mammals. Jeff and Anthony slide right into the topic, and are surprised how sticky the topic can be. [more]

  • Mutating Astronaut Blood, A Cautionary Tale

    Researchers at NASA have been holding on to astronaut blood for 20 years. But that's not the story. The story is that over that period, the blood has been mutating. Anthony and Jeff discuss this new wrinkle in the dangers of space travel - and space colonization - and how some very smart people are thinking about it. [more]

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