Ep 12 – Grab Bag 1

Why you shouldn’t take advertising labels at face value, why you might not really know how good you are at things, and why you don’t save money extreme couponing. Looking at the false implication fallacy, the Dunning-Kruger effect, and the hidden costs behind extreme couponing.

Find a common thread between the topics and you get your choice of either $10 off your next purchase of pants or a “Marvel-style no prize,” whatever that is.

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Further reading:

http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12354500/Data/ORAC/ORAC07.pdf – Antioxidant comparison of a whole lot of different foods

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

http://www.skepdic.com/refuge/ctlessons/lesson12.html – Primer on false implication

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Ep 11 – Conspiracy Theories

Why you don’t need conspiracy theories to make things interesting, and how to tell crazy ideas from real ones. Bonus content exclusive to subscribers: A REAL LIFE JFK CONSPIRACY! ORDER NOW!

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Further reading:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,976814,00.html

http://skeptoid.com/episode_guide.php?cat=2 – Conspiracy specific episodes, although the rest of them are good too

http://www.skepdic.com/illuminati.html – General information on conspiracy theorists as well

http://www.skepdic.com/apollo.html

Ep 9 – Sin-Eating

Why situations aren’t always as black or white as they seem: why you’re not saving the planet driving a hybrid, why wars aren’t always good vs bad, and why you’re a bit more of a jerk buying eco-friendly products.

When we first were kicking this around as an idea for an episode, we had no clue where it would end up. As it turns out, what we thought was the fairly nebulous concept of modern day sin-eating rears its ugly head all over the place.

Sin-eating was originally a process where a deceased person’s sins were symbolically placed in a piece of food or drink that was consumed by another, absolving the deceased of their wrongdoings and letting them rest in peace. This has nothing to do with most of the things we’re interested in, but the idea behind it, the artificial creation of a black and white situation (like, bread=sin and therefore body=absolved) to replace a much more nuanced one (such as the fact that bread doesn’t do a whole lot to atone for what you did before you died) IS something we’re interested in.

It comes up frequently with environment-based topics, where the very complicated issue of balancing our standard of living against potential harm to the planet is boiled down, quite misleadingly, to bullet points of good and bad. So take a listen and find out why you’re wrong about the good and bad of carbon dioxide emissions, hybrid cars, or eco-friendly products.

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Further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin-eater

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/24/ethicalliving.recycling

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/03/08/environmental-hypocrisy.html

http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/facbios/file/Green%20Products%20Psych%20Sci.pdf

http://www.qualityplanning.com/news/2009-articles/hybrids-is-a-little-of-the-green-rubbing-off-.aspx

https://www.qualityplanning.com/media/1101/20080807%20effect%20of%20rising%20gas%20prices.pdf

Ep 8 – Alcohol

The cause of–and solution to–all of life’s problems. Why alcohol really isn’t as bad as some people think.

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Further reading:

http://www.misconceptionjunction.com/index.php/2010/10/alcohol-does-not-kill-brain-cells/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short-term_effects_of_alcohol

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/nc/nc2a.htm

http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/content/42/5/400.full – thanks to Dave Tang for pointing this one out

Ep 7 – Post Hoc / Murphy’s Law / Catch 22

Three almost related topics this week. It’s sort of like a combo meal where an explanation of Post Hoc fallacies is the main item and why you’re wrong about Murphy’s Law and Catch 22s are the drink and side or something. It’s a tenuous analogy at best. Complete with fuzzy-heading sickness-based brain farts by yours truly, Tim has no excuse.

Download Ep 7 – Post Hoc / Murphy’s Law / Catch 22

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Further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch-22_%28logic%29

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/post-hoc.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy’s_law

Alms for the poor

I was kidding about the donating thing, just in case someone was frantically looking for a Paypal button. This thing hardly costs anything to put together and we like doing it, so any time we seriously go out looking for money it will be for a good reason. If you do want to help out, get someone else to subscribe and listen, or leave us a review on iTunes.

LCBO gift certificates, on the other hand…

-Jesse

Ep 6 – What Numbers Mean

Get a tall glass of water, gas up the car on premium, and set your brain thinking to its full potential in preparation to listen to this episode. Looking at numbers like needing 8 glasses of water a day, octane ratings on gasoline, and why we can manage to get anything done as a species using only 10% of our brain.

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Further reading:

– if you’re thirsty, drink
– if you’re hungry, eat
– if you’re tired, sleep

http://dms.dartmouth.edu/news/2002_h2/08aug2002_water.shtml

http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/8glasses.asp

http://calorielab.com/news/2006/05/28/8-glasses-of-water-a-diet-urban-legend/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating

Ep 5 – What Words Mean

The patented new episode designed to 100% target your listening zone or your money back! Looking at what words in marketing and advertising actually mean, and why that organic, customized, all-natural doodad that balances your energies and improves your life might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

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Further reading:

– pretty much any infomercial

Ep 4 – Statistics

96% of polled listeners guarantee that this episode is more exciting than the title makes it seem. Not car chase and explosion exciting, but close. Why you shouldn’t be afraid of sharks and why cell phones won’t crash your car, among whatever other information we crammed in there.

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Further reading:

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/attacks/relarisklifetime.html

http://www.nsc.org/news_resources/injury_and_death_statistics/Documents/Odds%20of%20Dying.pdf (PDF)