Tag: news

  • 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]

  • 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]

  • 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]

  • 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]

  • 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]

  • 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]

Do NOT join our secret society. You’ll just wind up with a bunch of cool stuff. It’s gross.