Recent Posts

  • Deadlines and the Do Nothing Rent-a-Man

    A new experiment tests the non-monotonic effect of deadline length on task completion. What does that mean? Anthony and Jeff will procrastinate to the absolute last minute, but is that the norm? How do deadlines impact getting things done? Then, as a "Do Nothing Rent-a-Man" 38-year old Shoji Morimoto might have the world's best job. Then again, maybe not! Jeff and Anthony dig into this very unique profession. [more]

  • Alien Dust-os and Pong Brains

    New observations of the star known as KIC 8462852, or Tabby's Star, do not close the door on the idea of an advanced alien civilization. Jeff and Anthony step through the new data and imagine the possibilities. Then, a group of brain cells in a jar has been taught to play the video game Pong - and it does it better than artificial AI. Anthony and Jeff work through their feelings about a bio-computer. [more]

  • Vaccinate Aging and Humanity’s Black Box

    Vaccinating senescent cells was recently reported to improve changes associated with aging in mice. Anthony and Jeff discuss the ramifications for a wide range of disease - oh, and the notion of living forever? The, if climate change is really leading to the end of human civilization, maybe someone should record the process as a warning for subsequent forms of life. But how? Jeff and Anthony discuss the project taking shape to create Earth's black box. [more]

  • Suicide Pods and Eating Plastic

    A 3D-printed capsule destined for use in assisted suicide hopes to de-medicalize the process in Switzerland. Jeff and Anthony discuss the idea of choosing when - and how - to die. Then, each American might ingest up to a credit card’s worth of plastic through food and water every week. Anthony and Jeff talk about how this happens and what it might be doing to us. [more]

  • Xenobots and Space Crime

    The US scientists who created the first living robots say the life forms, known as xenobots, can now reproduce in a way not seen in plants and animals. Anthony and Jeff step through this discovery and what it could mean for humanity. Then, it appears NASA is investigating first allegation of crime in space. Jeff and Anthony speculate on how this might play out, and what the future of intergalactic criminality could look like. [more]

  • Dog Callers and Octopus Rights

    A new invention, believed to be the first of its kind, allows dogs to video call their owners. The system, dubbed DogPhone, is the brainchild of University of Glasgow’s Dr Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas and her 10-year-old labrador, Zack. Jeff and Anthony discuss the device, and it's potential to change human-canine relations forever. Then, Octopuses, crabs and lobsters will receive greater welfare protection in the UK as the Animal Welfare Bill is extended to all decapod crustaceans and cephalopod molluscs. Anthony and Jeff assess the benefits and potential dangers of defining these creatures as sentient. [more]

  • Everyone’s Thinking About You and Flies are Climbing

    Do you feel that you worry what other people think of you way more than they worry about what you think of them? Well, a new study indicates that it isn't actually true. People really are obsessing about you just as much as you are obsessing about them. What does this mean? Anthony and Jeff dive in to the psychological implications of the attention gap. Then, scientists has isolated a fungus that causes some very disturbing behavior among common houseflies. Ever heard of Summit Disease? Oh, you're gonna wanna hear this one. Jeff and Anthony work through the terror and form it into a very serviceable movie pitch. [more]

  • Google Brain and Wisdom Teeth

    A new study asserts that access to search engines makes people think they are smarter. Anthony and Jeff break down what this means, and why it is very discouraging. Then, why do we get our wisdom teeth so late? New research may actually reveal that factors that contribute to having new teeth at age 18. Jeff and Anthony assess the info and talk about their own molar horror stories. [more]

  • Awake at 3am and Armageddon was Right

    A new paper by a psychology researcher delves into why so many of us wake up at 3am full of anxiety. It isn't simply stress, but a complex interplay of internal and external processes. Anthony and Jeff talk about that unique time of night, and the KLF. Then, the idea of sending a nuke to an incoming asteroid to save humanity is the stuff of bad popcorn flicks, but what if it actually worked? Jeff and Anthony discuss new research that could make Michael Bay's vision a reality. [more]

  • Corpse Medicine and Tetris Effects

    The idea of ingesting human skulls from the freshly killed seems repulsive today, but it was shockingly common among British and other European aristocrats from the 16th century all the way up into the so-called Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. Jeff and Anthony discuss what it would take to try the recipe, and why it was so pervasive. Then, a new study reports that playing just 20 minutes of Tetris following an automobile accident can help prevent the formation of the painful, intrusive memories that can follow trauma. Anthony and Jeff investigate why this might be, and tip their hat to the greatest video game of all time. [more]

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