Tag: study

  • 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 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]

  • 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]

  • 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]

  • See Holograms and Remember your Purpose

    A San Jose company has announced a brand new technology that might finally deliver on the promise of real holograms. Jeff and Anthony define the term and dig into what makes this new tech so exciting. Then, a new study by Florida State University researchers showed a link between an individual’s sense of purpose and their ability to recall vivid details. Anthony and Jeff try to figure out their own purpose and whether it might help them remember where they put their keys. [more]

  • Hot Streaks (with Josh Macuga)

    Jeff and Anthony are joined this week by host, comedian, and board game designer, Josh Macuga to talk about hot streaks! Is there some way for science to quantify how and when artists hit a prolific period? What is better, exploiting a specific style and idea, or exploring many different ones? Anthony, Jeff, and Josh dig into a new study that aims to answer these questions and more! [more]

  • Human Growth Plants and Zen and the Art of Lying

    In an effort to combat global hunger, scientists are attempting to create crops with a higher yield without enlarging their footprint. Researchers have even transferred a human protein into plants to supersize them, with results that are surprising even them. Jeff and Anthony discuss this bizarre and promising method and what it might mean for the world. Then, how do we know when someone is lying? A new study shows that our instincts for determining the honesty in other might be completely skewed. Anthony and Jeff lie to each other to find out. [more]

  • Hot Heads and Cellular Fluidics

    The hotter the temperature, the more violent humans get. So concludes a new study that compared the rates of violence in the inmate populations of prisons with climate control and those without. Anthony and Jeff take a look at the data, and what it says about human nature and humans in nature. Then, a new breakthrough allows liquids and gases to be transported through porous materials without leaking. Jeff and Anthony examine all of the amazing applications this new tech will enable. [more]

  • Mystery’s Afoot and Selfless Parrots

    When fifteen different severed feet washed up in a section of the Pacific Northwest called the Salish Sea, speculation ran wild of a serial killer, or some other nefarious culprit. But when scientists started to study the are, they discovered an explanation even more incredible. Jeff and Anthony look into the Mystery of the Floating Feet. Then, can birds be selfless? New research into two species of parrot reveals a surprising capacity for generosity. Anthony and Jeff discuss what that means for our understanding of animals. [more]

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