Tag: comedy

  • 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]

  • In the Grip of Necrobotic Spiders

    Rice University mechanical engineers are showing how to repurpose deceased spiders as mechanical grippers that can blend into natural environments while picking up objects, like other insects, that outweigh them. Anthony and Jeff discuss the merits of using spider corpses as engineering materials. [more]

  • Habit Forming and Microwave Friend

    How much of our daily lives are lived out of habit? How can habits shape our behavior in positive ways? Anthony and Jeff take a look at new research that suggests habitual action has a much larger role to play in human life than previously thought. Then, how for would you go to talk to your imaginary friend? One Youtuber decided to use some pretty slick technology to do just that, but the results are surprising. Jeff and Anthony step through the story of AI gone frighteningly wrong. [more]

  • 700 Celebration and Face Mites

    It's the 700th episode of We Have Concerns and Anthony and Jeff have pulled out absolutely zero stops! Star-studded? Nah. Pomp and circumstance? Eh. Instead, the 700th episode of this award-winning science podcast focuses on new research into the tiny creatures that live on your face. That's right! We all have little monsters living in our face pores, and now we know they have anuses! For pooping! So it looks like the 700th episode is pretty special, after all. [more]

  • Hibernation Information and Measuring a Second

    Can humans reach new planets by hibernating during the trip? A new study on hibernation reveals how the benefits of torpor don't scale with size, and Jeff and Anthony debate the science of human hibernation. Then, what does it take to accurately measure a second? Anthony and Jeff take a look at the effort to redefine the unit of measure that relates to all others. [more]

  • Artificial Intelligence or Personhood?

    Blake Lemoine, an engineer for Google’s responsible AI organization, described the LaMDA system he has been working on since last fall as sentient, with a perception of, and ability to express thoughts and feelings that was equivalent to a human child. In an extended discussion, Anthony and Jeff step through this fascinating story. Is it possible that this chatbot has achieved personhood, or is it merely an illusion? [more]

  • Extreme Sitting and Worldwide Trolley Problems

    Robert “Robby” Silk, 49, has pioneered the sport of competitive chair-sitting, an endurance activity that involves sitting in extreme environments, from sun-up to sundown without any sort of time pieces or electronic devices. Jeff and Anthony discuss whether this trailblazing behavior makes him a badass. Then, is the infamous "Trolley Problem" considered differently by different cultures around the world? A group of researchers decided to find out, and Anthony and Jeff take a look at the results. [more]

  • Swear Words and Boring People

    Words have power - and maybe swear words have the most power. Jeff and Anthony take a look at the data that suggest the best reasons and ways to curse your @$! off. Then, a group of researchers set out to find the most boring person in the world. What makes a person boring? Anthony and Jeff debate the dull. [more]

  • Moon Trees and Watching Memories Form

    One of the Apollo 14 astronauts took a bag of tree seeds to the moon. A few years after the astronauts returned home, some of the seeds were planted across the United States... and then forgotten. Anthony and Jeff discuss the effort to track down these Moon Trees, and if they really mean something. Then, researchers have directly observed what happens inside the brain of a zebra fish when it is being traumatized. Jeff and Anthony talk about what this breakthrough means, and how exactly the scientists traumatized those fish. [more]

  • The Hardest Wood and Hoarding Tendencies

    What is the hardest wood in the world? A simple question with a surprisingly complex answer. Jeff and Anthony take a look at all the factors. Then, is there a tie between ADHD diagnosis and a propensity to collect or horde objects? Anthony and Jeff review a new study that answers that very question. [more]

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