We Have Concerns

We Have Concerns

wehaveconcerns.com
Jeff Cannata and Anthony Carboni talk about the personal philosophical concerns they find lurking inside everyday things. It’s fun?


Lake News (with Tom Merritt)
Jul 3 • 51 min
Anthony and Jeff are joined by special guest Tom Merritt from Daily Tech News Show to talk about Moose Boulder, “the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the largest lake in the world” - and…
Civilization 36 and Bubblebees
Jun 26 • 51 min
Using new calculations, scientists theorize that there are likely 36 intelligent civilizations in our galaxy today capable of communicating with others. How did they get to that precise number? Anthony and Jeff dig into the data, and what it means for…
Werewolves are Real, and We Can’t Leave the Planet
Jun 19 • 60 min
Some people really believe they are in the process of changing into a wolf. There have been 13 case reports of such people since 1850, and according to a psychiatric report released in March 2019, a South Florida man, accused of murdering a couple and…
Invisible Squid and Crab Blood
Jun 12 • 45 min
Using a protein found in a squid called the opalescent inshore squid, scientists recently found a way to change the refractive index of human kidney cells to resemble that of their environment. They’re not quite invisible, but they do become nearly…
Screw Worms. And Birds. And Junk Journals, Too.
Jun 5 • 69 min
What’s the deal with birds… is a question Anthony and Jeff often ponder, but it’s also the title of a new study released in the Scientific Journal of Research and Reviews - which sounds like a legitimate journal, but is actually a repository of mostly…
Life, The Universe, and Dom Deluise
May 29 • 71 min
Beard Science
May 22 • 67 min
Let’s say we mix human DNA into an animal- at what percentage of human DNA do we start giving it human rights? Also: WERE BEARDS MADE TO BE PUNCHED?
Blame the Bats, Man
May 15 • 61 min
An episode wherein we conquer two of society’s most nagging scientific questions: “Why do outbreaks always seem to come from bats?” and “Would you rather fight bats or ghosts?”
Taking To Be Out of the Question
May 8 • 55 min
Dovetailing Through Space
May 1 • 51 min
There are more than 2,000 active satellites orbiting Earth. At the end of their useful lives, some will continue circling as “zombie” satellites — neither alive nor quite dead.
Let’s Found a Science
Apr 24 • 63 min
Release the Icelandic Cut
Apr 17 • 50 min
The latest on what terrible, garbage creatures birds are. Oh, and apparently Iceland has been reading a fake version of Dracula for over a century?
Birth of the Xenobots
Apr 10 • 49 min
Tufts University biologists Douglas Blackiston and Michael Levin have created all programmable organisms called xenobots — golems dreamed in silicon and then written into flesh.
Magnets is Beards
Apr 3 • 87 min
Hi. We’re back.
Mar 30 • 6 min
We Have Concerns returns on April 3rd. Insert your favorite Gandalf or John Wick gif here.
So Long and Thanks for All the Fits
Jul 3, 2018 • 29 min
Thanks so much for sticking with us for 600 episodes! We take a look back at what made us laugh (and learn!). To celebrate the final episode, we introduce the greatest character in the show’s history.
One Last One Fermi
Jul 1, 2018 • 18 min
The sheer abundance of stars in the universe suggests that, somewhere, an intelligent lifeform should be warming itself on a distant planet. Even if life evolves rarely, ET should be phoning. Yet, by all appearances, humanity seems to be flying solo in…
Sum Answer Bee
Jun 29, 2018 • 19 min
Bees seem to understand the idea of zero – the first invertebrate shown to do so. When the insects were encouraged to fly towards a platform carrying fewer shapes than another one, they apparently recognised “no shapes” as a smaller value than “some…
Put Your Foot in Your Mouth
Jun 27, 2018 • 21 min
If you could taste human flesh in an ethical way, would you? A man was recently in a motorcycle crash that put him face-to-face with the macabre hypothetical. When a car hit his bike and sent him careening into a nearby forest, his foot was shattered to…
Psych Warn
Jun 25, 2018 • 19 min
The Stanford Prison Experiment, one of the most famous and compelling psychological studies of all time, told us a tantalizingly simple story about human nature. This experiment has been included in many, many introductory psychology textbooks and is…
Snow vs the Volcano
Jun 22, 2018 • 20 min
Hawaii’s big island recently got a little bit hairier. Golden filaments resembling human hair measuring up to two feet in length are draped across parts of the island—an unusual effect of the ongoing eruption from KÄ«lauea volcano. These strands may look…
Alien vs Temperature
Jun 20, 2018 • 20 min
Did climate change already kill all the aliens we’ve been searching for? According to astrophysicist Adam Frank, it’s certainly a possibility — and whether humans are doomed to the same fate may already be out of our hands. Jeff and Anthony once again…
Trip Down The Stares
Jun 18, 2018 • 20 min
In 2015, a psychologist in Italy figured out how to induce a drug-free altered state of consciousness by asking 20 volunteers to sit and stare into each other’s eyes for 10 minutes straight. Not only did the deceptively simple task bring on strange ‘out…
This Space for Rent
Jun 15, 2018 • 21 min
NASA is talking to several international companies about forming a consortium that would take over operation of the International Space Station and run it as a commercial space lab, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in an interview. The White House…
Mind The Crap
Jun 13, 2018 • 18 min
It turns out those gut feelings or pits in your stomach may actually come from your second brain. Scientists from Australia have discovered that human beings have a second brain, and it is located in the butt. Called the enteric nervous system (ENS), it…
Permanent Record
Jun 11, 2018 • 17 min
When considering musical artists, your favorite record of theirs is often the first to which you listened. It makes sense that the first album one encounters of a band will, over time, accumulate the most repeat listens. It has the chance to rack up plays…
Call Made By Your Name
Jun 8, 2018 • 23 min
What’s in a name? A lot, apparently. New research suggests that your first name shapes the way other people perceive your age, personality, and how good you are at your job – and the findings could mean some classic psychology experiments were wrong. Jeff…
Mistake Your Vitamins
Jun 6, 2018 • 18 min
A new study aimed to examine the benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements for prevention of heart disease, stroke and premature death. This found the most commonly studied ones had no effect, while some less common ones did have an effect. The review…
Loch Screen
Jun 4, 2018 • 20 min
A global team of scientists plans to scour the icy depths of Loch Ness next month using environmental DNA (eDNA) in an experiment that may discover whether Scotland’s fabled monster really does, or did, exist. Whenever a creature moves through its…
Measuring a Cute Angle (W/ Mica Burton)
Jun 1, 2018 • 22 min
PATRONS GET A BONUS EPISODE WITH MICA. LISTEN TO IT HERE: https://www.patreon.com/posts/19007770/ There are roughly (or, if you prefer, ruffly) a billion dogs on the planet. Although dogs and humans have been existing alongside one another for tens of…
Rice Guys Finish Last
May 30, 2018 • 21 min
How you behave in Starbucks may reveal something about whether your ancestors grew wheat or rice. That’s the conclusion of a new study in China, which finds that people descended from wheat farmers—who largely rely on themselves—typically drink coffee…
Been Taught Stealin’
May 28, 2018 • 20 min
The number of self-check out terminals around the world is predicted to reach 325,000 by 2019 and some stores have even become fully self service. But for some supermarket customers, the removal of store clerks has been a green light for dishonest…
Memories For Snail
May 25, 2018 • 20 min
Biologists report they have transferred a memory from one marine snail to another, creating an artificial memory, by injecting RNA from one to another. This research could lead to new ways to treat traumatic memories with RNA — perhaps a traumatic memory…
Working Like a Dog
May 23, 2018 • 20 min
If you’re a dog lover, just being with your pet feels good. So it’s no surprise that therapy dogs are healing companions for people with health conditions. Research confirms that the benefits of pet therapy are real—but what do dogs think about helping…
High Blood Treasure
May 21, 2018 • 19 min
James Harrison, an Australian man whose blood contains a rare antibody that can create a treatment that saves babies’ lives, has donated plasma one last time. Harrison, known as “the man with a golden arm,” has donated blood and plasma regularly for more…
Balloonacy
May 18, 2018 • 19 min
The words “balloonfest” and “disaster” don’t necessarily seem to go together – except in the case of the 1986 Cleveland Balloonfest, which really did end in disaster for the city. The Cleveland Balloonfest was a fundraiser that attempted to beat…
Alchemical Intelligence
May 16, 2018 • 16 min
Ali Rahimi, a researcher in artificial intelligence (AI) at Google, took a swipe at his field last December—and received a 40-second ovation for it. Speaking at an AI conference, Rahimi charged that machine learning algorithms, in which computers learn…
The Space Between
May 14, 2018 • 21 min
In the beginning, the rules of the space bar were simple. Two spaces after each period. Every time. Easy. That made sense in the age of the typewriter. Letters of uniform width looked cramped without extra space after the period. Typists learned not to do…
Piggy and the Brain
May 11, 2018 • 17 min
US-based researchers have successfully kept alive the brain cells of decapitated pigs for 36 hours, sparking concerns over the ethics involved in such frontline research. The researchers said they had succeeded in delivering oxygen to the cells via a…
The Odds in Your Flavor
May 9, 2018 • 17 min
893.35 quadrillion to one. That’s the likelihood of what’s happened to 20-year-old Dylan McWilliams. He was bitten by a shark, attacked by a bear, and bitten by a rattlesnake—all in just over three years. .He’s one of the unluckiest guys on the planet.…
Sleep Depredation
May 7, 2018 • 18 min
A study by University of Manchester researchers has shown for the first time that a bad night’s sleep is associated with suicidal thoughts the next day in people with depression. That data revealed that poor sleep quality and short sleep duration were…
Trouble Stuffed
May 4, 2018 • 24 min
Judges of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year have disqualified a winning contestant after the anteater in his prize-winning photograph was judged “highly likely” to be a taxidermy specimen. Called “The Night Raider,” the image was taken by…
Jeff just keeps having babies dot tumblr dot com
Apr 30, 2018 • 0 min
Hi! Jeff is in the midst of the Fatherhood Ritual. We’ll be back next Monday!
How the Sausage is Maid
Apr 30, 2018 • 25 min
A Canadian man finally got the chance to clear his name after 17 years in exile from a hotel in British Columbia. His ordeal began in 2001, involving a flock of seagulls (the animals, not the band) and a suitcase full of pepperoni. Jeff and Anthony…
Doggie Data Care
Apr 27, 2018 • 21 min
What can artificial intelligence learn from dogs? Quite a lot, say researchers from the University of Washington and Allen Institute for AI. They recently trained neural networks to interpret and predict the behavior of canines. Their results, they say,…
Sight off the Bat
Apr 25, 2018 • 17 min
While hunting for dinner, the big brown bat must hone in on flitting insects and keep track of its surroundings to avoid crashing into them. Now, scientists have taken a peek at what’s going on in these bats’ brains while they swoop and dive. They…
Apparent Teacher Conflicts
Apr 23, 2018 • 20 min
John Corcoran grew up in New Mexico in the US during the 1940s and 50s. He graduated from high school, went on to university, and became a teacher in the 1960s - a job he held for 17 years. But, he hid an extraordinary secret. He had never learned to…
Crash Ear
Apr 20, 2018 • 20 min
Crash safety technology has come a long way in the past decade or so, with cars that now sense an impending crash and can prepare the driver for impact or even attempt to avoid a collision entirely. Current Mercedes cars even go so far as to provide your…
Magnet Eyes
Apr 18, 2018 • 16 min
Birds can sense Earth’s magnetic field, and this uncanny ability may help them fly home from unfamiliar places or navigate migrations that span tens of thousands of kilometers. Scientists have now pinpointed a possible protein behind this “sixth sense.”…
The Little Engine That Turd (w/Ify Nwadiwe and Dani Fernandez)
Apr 16, 2018 • 22 min
https://www.patreon.com/posts/bonus-content-18207635 Right now, dozens of train cars carrying 10 million pounds of poop are stranded in a rural Alabama rail yard. Technically it’s biowaste, but to the 982 residents in the small town of Parrish, that’s…
Never Come Down (Live From Pax East 2018)
Apr 13, 2018 • 18 min
The thrilling conclusion of our week of episodes recorded live at PAX East 2018 in beautiful Boston! We respond to audience questions.
Sun Blot (Live From PAX East 2018)
Apr 11, 2018 • 20 min
Scientists in developing nations plan to step up research into dimming sunshine to curb climate change, hoping to judge if a man-made chemical sunshade would be less risky than a harmful rise in global temperatures. Twelve scholars, from countries…
Polyphasic Spree (Live From PAX East 2018)
Apr 9, 2018 • 20 min
Around a third of the population have trouble maintaining sleep throughout the night. While nighttime awakenings are distressing for most sufferers, there is some evidence from our recent past that suggests this period of wakefulness occurring between two…
Photographic Memory
Apr 6, 2018 • 20 min
Though they may appear crystal clear in our minds, our memories are not a carbon copy of the events we witnessed. Every time we recall a memory, we may accidentally alter it or diminish its accuracy. Even trivial memories are easily corrupted with mere…
Organ Web
Apr 4, 2018 • 19 min
A study claims to have discovered a new human organ that could help scientists better understand its impact on diseases such as cancer. Reports suggests this organ, called the interstitium, is a series of interconnected, fluid-filled compartments found…
Tooth Bomb
Apr 2, 2018 • 19 min
In the 19th Century, a Pennsylvania dentist called WH Atkinson came across a condition that sounds like the stuff of nightmares. Writing in The Dental Cosmos, the first major journal for American dentists, Atkinson documented an outbreak of exploding…
Hi!
Mar 30, 2018 • 0 min
A reminder of something rad coming up and a scheduling update.
Alone in the Dork
Mar 28, 2018 • 19 min
Right after the election, Erik Hagerman decided he’d take a break from reading about the hoopla of politics. He swore that he would avoid learning about anything that happened to America after Nov. 8, 2016. “I just look at the weather,” said Mr. Hagerman,…
Lethal Collection
Mar 26, 2018 • 21 min
“What if we told you we could back up your mind?” That’s the business pitch of Nectome, a preserve-your-brain-and-upload-it company. The catch? They have to kill you first. Its chemical solution can keep a body intact for hundreds of years, maybe…
Twin Galaxies
Mar 23, 2018 • 18 min
A new study from NASA has found that astronaut Scott Kelly’s genes are no longer identical to those of his identical twin after spending a year in space. Preliminary results from NASA’s Twins Study found that seven percent of Kelly’s genes no longer match…
Big Haply Family
Mar 21, 2018 • 20 min
IN THE LAST 20 years, genealogy websites have attracted more than 15 million customers by promising insights into your past. It’s deeply personal, affecting stuff. But when your family tree contains thousands, millions, even tens of millions of people,…
Deja View
Mar 19, 2018 • 18 min
Most of us know it - that weird, sudden feeling of experiencing something not for the first time. It’s called déjà vu - French for “already seen” - and it’s an uncanny feeling. But according to new research, that’s all it is. Just a feeling. The most…
Passing the Sniff Test
Mar 16, 2018 • 18 min
A dog searching for a lost child is typically given an item of clothing to smell. But what does that scent “look” like? To find out, scientists tested 48 dogs, half of which had special police or rescue training. Jeff and Anthony discuss whether or not…
Logo Mindstorms
Mar 14, 2018 • 17 min
Humans assign value to brands. Brands represent wealth, strength, and yes, sex. We are our brands. And for some rhesus macaques in a lab, one brand, Adidas, represents monkey genitalia. The researchers paired dominant male faces, subordinate male faces,…
Special Aged
Mar 12, 2018 • 19 min
It’s pretty extraordinary for people in their 80s and 90s to keep the same sharp memory as someone several decades younger, and now scientists are peeking into the brains of these “superagers” to uncover their secret. The work is the flip side of the…
Black Hole Fun
Mar 9, 2018 • 17 min
If you ever fell into a black hole, your body would most likely be ripped into shreds and become ‘spaghettified’ - At least that’s the theory put forward by most physicists today. But a new study is challenging that claim by suggesting there may be some…
Nowhere You Are
Mar 7, 2018 • 19 min
In a triumph of data collection and analysis, a team of researchers based at Oxford University has built the tools necessary to calculate how far any dot on a map is from a city — or anything else. The research allows us to pin down a question that has…
Bio Shock Intimate
Mar 5, 2018 • 21 min
When Josiah Zayner watched a biotech CEO drop his pants at a biohacking conference and inject himself with an untested herpes treatment, he realized things had gone off the rails. Zayner is no stranger to stunts in biohacking—loosely defined as…
Olympic Meddle
Mar 2, 2018 • 19 min
Elizabeth Swaney is a 33-year-old skier from Oakland, California who competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics for Hungary. She is not a good skiier. Swaney, who said her grandparents came from Hungary, earned her Olympic berth more from attending World Cup…
Supple Built Skin
Feb 28, 2018 • 20 min
Biomedicine just took another leap forward. University of Colorado Boulder scientists created so-called electronic skin—e-skin for short. The e-skin is a thin, semi-transparent material that can act like your skin through measuring temperature, pressure,…
Worms and Conditions
Feb 26, 2018 • 19 min
After about a week of eye irritation, which she thought might be caused by a stray eyelash, Beckley took a close look in the mirror and found the real culprit. What she pulled out was a wriggling, translucent worm, about a half-inch long. And it wasn’t…
Smell Wishers
Feb 23, 2018 • 18 min
What are the ingredients of a good relationship? Trust? Communication? Compromise? How about a sense of smell? When researchers in the United Kingdom surveyed almost 500 people with anosmia (the loss of sense of smell), more than 50 percent of them…
Some Snail a Prey
Feb 21, 2018 • 18 min
Conservationists have been sounding the alarm over invasive species for years, warning of the damage they can cause to habitats and native animals. But in Florida, an invasive snail might be helping an endangered bird species come back from the brink. The…
Face: Your Fears
Feb 19, 2018 • 19 min
The next time a police officer in black-tinted glasses gawks at you, they may be pulling up your personal information. Railway police in Zhengzhou, the capital of central China’s Henan province, are the first in the country to start using facial…
Why Are You Crying?
Feb 16, 2018 • 20 min
We can cry out of sadness, fear, frustration, anger, or even joy. But why do streams of liquid leave our eyes? The truth is no one really knows for sure. In a scientific sense, we’re the only organisms who tear up due to our emotions. Other creatures do…
Don’t Sweat the Ball Stuff
Feb 14, 2018 • 19 min
The average athlete loses about a liter of sweat an hour; Alberto Salazar, an American marathoner, lost 3.7 liters per hour and 12 pounds of his total body weight during the 1984 Olympic marathon in Los Angeles. For NFL players, the number is lower than…
Banana Bred
Feb 12, 2018 • 18 min
Japanese researchers made a botanical announcement on Monday that quickly circled the world. They had developed a banana with an edible peel, allowing Japanese consumers to eat an entire banana—skin and all—the way they would an apple or a peach. So far,…
Face/On
Feb 9, 2018 • 18 min
Last month, Motherboard reported on a Redditor using deep learning technology to map female celebrities’ faces onto pornographic performers, with startlingly lifelike results. By scanning a bunch of images of a celebrity’s face, the software was able to…
Can a Peacock Fly?
Feb 7, 2018 • 19 min
Any animal could feasibly provide a human with emotional support, but it doesn’t mean that they all should. According to a report by the BBC, the concept artist Ventiko offered to buy a seat for her peacock, Dexter, but was denied by United Airlines…
Retro Virus
Feb 5, 2018 • 20 min
Inside the brain, proteins don’t stick around longer than a few minutes. And yet, our memories can hang on for our entire lifetime. Recently, an international collaboration of researchers discovered something strange about a protein called Arc. This is…
Macaque of the Clones
Feb 2, 2018 • 20 min
For the first time, scientists say they created cloned primates using the same complicated cloning technique that made Dolly the sheep in 1996. Shanghai scientists created two genetically identical and adorable long-tailed macaques. Researchers used…
Satellite Rodeo
Jan 31, 2018 • 18 min
When Rocket Lab’s Electron reached orbit for the first time on Jan. 21, space-pointed radar noticed a mysterious object in space alongside the three satellites it launched. Rocket Lab has launched the world’s first global strobe light. Called the Humanity…
Talking Achoo
Jan 29, 2018 • 19 min
Holding back a sneeze by pinching your nose while keeping your mouth closed may cause physical injury. In one such documented case, an otherwise healthy 34-year-old man in the U.K. suffered a tear in the back of his throat after sneezing while stifling…
Deep Sea Thriver
Jan 26, 2018 • 18 min
It’s like having “an elephant stand on your thumb.” That’s how deep-sea physiologist and ecologist Mackenzie Gerringer describes the pressure squeezing down on the deepest known living fish, some 8 kilometers down. For animals that live in such extreme…
Smite Angle
Jan 24, 2018 • 18 min
Hampshire’s Ipley Cross is a notorious crossroads where cyclists keep getting hit and even killed by motorists, despite the mostly level terrain around the place where two roads cross each other at a seemingly innocuous angle. A navigational hazard called…
Black Bird Swinging in the Spread of Light
Jan 22, 2018 • 18 min
The mating dance of the male superb bird of paradise is like nothing else on Earth, thanks to their feathers, which absorb 99.95 percent of light. That’s nearly none more black, and virtually identical to what Vantablack, the world’s darkest artificial…
Big Skittle Lies
Jan 19, 2018 • 18 min
Do gummy bears really come in different flavors, or do we just think they taste different because they are different colors? While closing your eyes, your accuracy in differentiating flavors majorly declines. This phenomenon is something that scientists…
The Hottest Fashion
Jan 17, 2018 • 22 min
The mid-19th century vogue for flowing, diaphanous women’s garments made from open-weave fabrics, combined with gas lighting, candles, and open fires meant that it was extremely common for women to literally burst into flames: on stage, at parties, at…
Heroes of Blight and Tragic
Jan 15, 2018 • 18 min
At first glance, Miles Traer seems like any other scientist, but this Stanford University geologist has an alter ego. He beats back the forces of environmental destruction and holds the super-powerful to account. Traer and two colleagues have calculated…
Quantity Time
Jan 12, 2018 • 23 min
Despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life. The majority of the time spent with your parents is front loaded in your life - most likely you only have 5 %…
Fool Poisoning
Jan 10, 2018 • 22 min
The year was 1902. With funding and consent from Congress, Harvey Washington Wiley was about to embark on an experiment he dubbed the “hygienic table trials,” but the Washington news media called his volunteers “the Poison Squad.” Wiley’s staff would put…
Halve A Seat
Jan 8, 2018 • 18 min
Psychology grad student William Blatz built a remote-controlled trick chair that would collapse when he pressed a switch. He then had subjects sit in the chair while wearing electrodes to measure heart rate and other vital signs. Blatz’s goal was to…
Bottled Potter
Jan 5, 2018 • 24 min
A writing team at Botnik Studios used a ‘predictive keyboard’ – a text generator that tries to guess what the next word typed will most likely be - to create a truly hilarious piece of Harry Potter fanfiction. Anthony and Jeff take a look at the new…
A Fish Shout of Water
Jan 3, 2018 • 19 min
A species of Mexican fish amasses in reproductive orgies so loud they can deafen other sea animals, awed scientists have said, calling for preservation of the “spectacle” threatened by overfishing. Certainly a lot to unpack there, and Jeff and Anthony do…
When Aliens a Tax
Dec 29, 2017 • 25 min
Since 2007, the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets included $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut…
Plantesthesia
Dec 27, 2017 • 20 min
Researchers from the journal Annals of Botany report that, just like humans, plants can succumb to the effects of general anesthetic drugs. The finding is striking for a variety of reasons—there’s the pesky fact that plants lack a central nervous system,…
Batman Doesn’t Need Super Vision
Dec 22, 2017 • 22 min
Psychologists have reported in Child Development that when four- to six-year-olds pretended to be Batman while they were doing a boring but important task, it helped them to resist distraction and stay more focused. The experts don’t know exactly why this…
Sign on the Clotted Spine
Dec 20, 2017 • 20 min
It’s usually OK to be proud of your work and lend your name to it. But most people would draw the line at signing their initials into the flesh of internal organs. Not Dr. Simon Bramhall of the UK, apparently. He pleaded guilty to charges that he etched…
The Nutty Processor
Dec 18, 2017 • 19 min
Squirrels can bury up to 10,000 nuts annually, many of which they do go back and find. A recent study on cognition in the journal Royal Society Open Science examines how fox squirrels keep track of their nuts, and whether those techniques can be used by…
Have a Tat Habitat
Dec 15, 2017 • 19 min
Engineers at MIT have developed a temporary tattoo that’s 3-D printed with living ink. The tattoo is made up of bacterial cells that are genetically programmed to light up when exposed to different types of stimuli. Jeff and Anthony discuss the usefulness…
School Injection
Dec 13, 2017 • 20 min
Two neuroscientists at the University of Rochester say they have managed to introduce information directly into the premotor cortex of monkeys. Anthony and Jeff discuss the idea of injecting information directly into the brain, and what it could mean for…
Ground Control to Major Germ
Dec 11, 2017 • 25 min
According to a new study in the journal PeerJ, the interior surfaces of the 17-year-old, 250-mile-high, airtight International Space Station harbor at least 1,000 and perhaps more than 4,000 microbe species. Jeff and Anthony discuss germs in space, and…
Shake, Rattle, and Roil
Dec 8, 2017 • 17 min
In a study published in Geophysical Research Letters earlier this year, Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana predict that, because of Earth’s slowing rotation, the world will see a significant spike…
Die Hardly
Dec 6, 2017 • 21 min
Rather than go with realistic methods of death, many films contain unbelievable movie death scenes that viewers accept as possible because they have been shown so many times. These movie death myths have become tropes that are used throughout the industry…
Public Dowsing
Dec 4, 2017 • 19 min
Ten of the 12 water companies in the UK have admitted they are still using the practice of water dowsing despite the lack of scientific evidence for its effectiveness. Jeff and Anthony discuss why a public utility would use such a debunked and decidedly…
Endeavor Young
Nov 22, 2017 • 19 min
A small cluster of stem cells in the brain seems to help mice stay young, and injecting extra stem cells helps them live longer. The hypothalamus, which releases hormones that affect other organs, seems to affect how mice age. By interfering with a…
Understanding Know
Nov 20, 2017 • 25 min
According to new linguistic analysis published in the journal Public Understanding of Science, even scientists who write about public comprehension of scientific ideas overwhelmingly conflate the terms “knowledge” and “understanding.” The researchers…
Ants vs Zombies
Nov 17, 2017 • 20 min
We’ve known about zombie ants for some time. These are ants infected with the parasitic fungus, O. unilateralis, which takes over their bodies amd moved them around like a zombie. This fungus is often referred to as a “brain parasite,” but new research…
Dinky is the Brain
Nov 15, 2017 • 25 min
Scientists can grow miniature versions of human brains — called organoids — in the lab, but during the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience two teams of scientists presented previously unpublished research on how these human mini-brains can grow…
Fooly Manmoth
Nov 13, 2017 • 20 min
Swallowed by a sinkhole. Washed away by a mudflow. Drowned after falling through thin ice. These are the fates that many unlucky mammoths suffered in Siberia thousands of years ago. Their well-preserved fossils have provided paleobiologists with insight…
Daylight Salving Time
Nov 10, 2017 • 21 min
Nathaniel Hoyle of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, and his team have been investigating how the time of day affects wound healing, after they discovered that cuts and burns seem to heal twice as fast if sustained during daytime hours…
Pyramid Seam
Nov 8, 2017 • 19 min
Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza—one of the wonders of the ancient world, and a dazzling feat of architectural genius—contains a hidden void at least a hundred feet long. The void is the first large inner structure discovered within the 4,500-year-old…
Thoughtopilot
Nov 6, 2017 • 23 min
Brain scans have revealed that when your mind wanders, it switches into “autopilot” mode, enabling you to carry on doing tasks quickly, accurately and without conscious thought. Jeff and Anthony discuss this internal autopilot mode and how they can…
I’ll Have What She’s Having
Nov 3, 2017 • 16 min
Marine biologists from the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Portsmouth in the UK published a study on the feeding preferences of nudibranches, a kind of sea slug that might be targeting prey with full bellies. They coined the term…
500 Ways of Bummer
Nov 1, 2017 • 35 min
Behold! It is the 500th episode of We Have Concerns! Since that is a nice, round number, Anthony and Jeff take an episode to answer some listener questions and reflect on how the hell they got here.
Death Becomes Sure
Oct 30, 2017 • 26 min
According to researchers in New York, a person’s brain is still active after death, meaning in many cases they can be aware that they’ve passed away. Anthony is, of course fascinated with this, and forces Jeff to once again deal with his own mortality.
Do Not Pass Go
Oct 27, 2017 • 18 min
AlphaGo the AI developed to play the ancient board game, Go, crushed 18-time world champion Lee Sedol and the reigning world number one player, Ke Jie. But now, an even more superior competitor is in town. AlphaGo Zero has beaten AlphaGo 100-0 after…
Star Crash
Oct 23, 2017 • 20 min
For the first time, scientists have caught two neutron stars in the act of colliding, revealing that these strange smashups are the source of heavy elements such as gold and platinum. Anthony and Jeff discuss what this discovery means, and how excited we…
Downside Effects
Oct 20, 2017 • 19 min
When a harmless placebo becomes effective, it becomes harmful, too, causing side-effects seen in actual therapies. In a new study exploring this mysterious “nocebo effect,” researchers pinpoint regions of the brain that seem to be behind phantom injuries.…
Space Mutants
Oct 19, 2017 • 20 min
NASA is considering the possibility of actually modifying the DNA of Mars astronauts in order to make their bodies more resilient to the dangers of the trip. Jeff and Anthony discuss whether this is a good idea, and how it might trickle down to personal…
Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On
Oct 16, 2017 • 25 min
Chris Ufere, is the founder and CEO of the dream-interpretation app uDreamed, which allows people to record dreams, connect with other dreamers and consult with psychologists to find more resolution and meaning in their nightly visions. He contends at…
When Pigs Die
Oct 14, 2017 • 22 min
A team at Mississippi State University conducted an unusual ecological experiment with 3 actual tons of pig carcasses. Jeff and Anthony dig into the gory details to determine if it was worthwhile.
Occupational Vehicle
Oct 11, 2017 • 22 min
In the mid-2000s, Amazon had a problem. Every year, the company scrambled to find temporary workers during the peak months of hectic commerce leading up to Christmas. In some areas of the country, reliable on-demand labor was so hard to come by that it…
Slumber Partly
Oct 9, 2017 • 20 min
A trio of Caltech grad students noticed some laboratory jellyfish were acting differently when the lights were turned off, and set about determining if they were sleeping. If so, these are the first animals discovered who sleep and have no brain. Anthony…
Cave Story
Oct 6, 2017 • 21 min
Indiana University freshman Lukas Cavar was on a spelunking trip to Sullivan Cave about 10 miles south of Bloomington when he became separated Sunday afternoon from 12 other members of the university’s Caving Club. When he eventually reached the cave…
The Dark Night Returns
Oct 4, 2017 • 22 min
Researchers say 80 percent of North Americans live in areas where light pollution blots out the night sky. Central Idaho officials are proposing the first International Dark Sky Reserve in the United States. Anthony and Jeff discuss seeing stars, and…
Hawaii Survive-o
Oct 2, 2017 • 22 min
Six NASA-backed research subjects who have been cooped up in a Mars-like habitat on a remote Hawaii volcano since January emerged from isolation .The crew of four men and two women are part of a study designed to better understand the psychological…
Feint Praise
Sep 29, 2017 • 25 min
An international team of researchers reports that when children are praised for being smart not only are they quicker to give up in the face of obstacles they are also more likely to be dishonest and cheat. Kids as young as age 3 appear to behave…
Cephal Oppidan
Sep 27, 2017 • 18 min
Octlantis is a just-discovered underwater city engineered by octopuses. But that’s not all. Octopolis also exists! Ever vigilant to the alien threat that is cephalopods, Anthony and Jeff dig deep into this new development.
Hardly Worker
Sep 25, 2017 • 16 min
Ants are cultural signifiers of busy industriousness, but a new paper in Plos One reveals that, across species, about 40% of “worker” ants spend most of their days doing nothing. Jeff and Anthony discuss this revelation, asking whether lazy always exists…
Eat Me
Sep 22, 2017 • 20 min
There are a few animals that can survive being eaten, and the skill might help them spread and colonise new regions. Jeff and Anthony discuss a new article about these creatures and wonder why more animals don’t just evolve to be cool with it.
The Nose Have It
Sep 20, 2017 • 21 min
In a study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers found that when it comes time for a pack of wild dogs to determine whether to move, the group engages in a bout of sneezing to see how many members are ready. Anthony thinks this is…
Evolution of Man
Sep 18, 2017 • 19 min
New research claims to have found traces of evidence that humans may indeed still be evolving. A study looked at the DNA of over 200,000 people living across both the United States and Britain, to see if they could tease out any changes in genetic…
WHC Program Note
Sep 8, 2017 • 2 min
Due to a recording error at PAX West last weekend, there will be no new episode today or Monday. We Have Concerns will be back next Wednesday with new content. Thanks for understanding!
Mess Up
Sep 5, 2017 • 23 min
A new study published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes says that being disorganized can actually increase productivity, as a mess often presents quicker access to relevant information. Anthony is thrilled, but Jeff has…
Aquatic Narcotic
Sep 4, 2017 • 21 min
Scientists have tested the drug-seeking behavior of zebrafish in a tank that allows them to trigger the release of the opioid hydrocodone in the water. The new tool, described in a study published online today in Behavioral Brain Research, can be used to…
Forget It
Sep 1, 2017 • 19 min
Alongside the studies telling us how to keep our memories intact, an enormous body of research has led to another conclusion: In many cases, it’s okay (and in fact, beneficial) to forget. Human memory is not only unreliable, but often partially or wholly…
Watch Your Hands
Aug 30, 2017 • 19 min
Using a combination of depth cameras and computer-vision algorithms, a research team has tracked people around two hospital wards and automatically identified when they used gel dispensers to wash their hands. The trial was so successful that the group is…
Echo Effect
Aug 28, 2017 • 18 min
The research firm eMarketer estimates that 60.5 million people in the U.S.—a little less than a fifth of the population—will use a digital assistant at least once a month this year, and about 36 million will do so on a speaker-based device like Amazon…
Sloth Sleuth
Aug 25, 2017 • 20 min
Usually, tunnels are made either by human engineers or flowing water. But near the town of Novo Hamburgo, Brazil, there are tunnels large enough to drive a car in that were dug by neither - instead, scientists have a theory that these are the work of…
The Life Neurotic
Aug 23, 2017 • 20 min
Neurotic people may get a lot of flak, but in reality neuroticism is linked to some very good traits—intelligence and creativity among them. And a new study suggests that there may be another, unexpected bonus to neuroticism: It may be linked to a longer…
Dredge a Mite
Aug 21, 2017 • 19 min
When Australian teen Sam Kanizay felt sore after football practice, he decided to soak his legs at Dendy Street Beach in Brighton. Half an hour later, he walked out covered in blood and gore. Tiny mites were eating his feet and legs, and he couldn’t feel…
Tell a Phony
Aug 18, 2017 • 22 min
A team from the University of Warwick in England showed doctored photos to 707 people ages 14 to 82 who volunteered to test their ability to spot a fake. The results led to believe that not only are humans awful at knowing when a picture isn’t real, but…
Healing Touch
Aug 16, 2017 • 20 min
Researchers have developed a device that can switch cell function to rescue failing body functions with a single touch. The technology, known as Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT), injects genetic code into skin cells, turning those skin cells into other types…
Quiz Knows
Aug 14, 2017 • 15 min
People trying to comment on articles will now be forced to prove they understand what it’s about. That’s at least at Norwegian broadcaster NRK’s website, which will present people who want to leave comments with a quiz that asks them about what the story…
Pharma to Table
Aug 11, 2017 • 21 min
A DIY pharmaceutical revolution is coming - at least according to one scientist trying to make crafting your own prescription drug at home easier. Anthony and Jeff discuss the idea of disrupting the healthcare industry by trusting individuals to make…
The Juice Diet
Aug 9, 2017 • 24 min
A Finnish research team has taken a step towards the future of food by developing a method for producing food from electricity. If scaling it up proves to be successful, it could be a tool in the fight against world hunger and climate change. Anthony,…
Plan a Head
Aug 7, 2017 • 21 min
Scientists have figured out why the women’s restroom line is always longer than the men’s. And while the reasons may not surprise you, the solutions just might. They certainly give Anthony and Jeff some ideas. Can we solve the bathrooms problems for all?
Harder, Better, CRISPR, Stronger
Aug 4, 2017 • 20 min
The first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos in the United States has been carried out by a team of researchers in Portland, Oregon. The effort, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University, involved…
Operating in a Vacuum
Aug 2, 2017 • 21 min
A new article in Wired considers all of the dangers associated with performing surgery in space. NASA has never had to do it, but has thought about it a lot. And now Jeff and Anthony will think about it a lot, too. That may not be a good thing.
Don’t Stay in Contact
Jul 31, 2017 • 22 min
A “blueish mass” of 17 contact lenses has been discovered in the eye of a patient who was scheduled for cataract surgery. The 67-year-old patient was unaware that the contact lenses were missing, and later told surgeons that she thought her discomfort was…
All You Breed is Love
Jul 28, 2017 • 22 min
People with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic condition, can’t stop hugging people, have no fear of strangers, and love everyone equally. And it may be that this same syndrome is the reason your dog loves you, too. Jeff and Anthony discuss the condition,…
Second Strife
Jul 26, 2017 • 23 min
According to an MIT study published in The Journal of Human Resources, second-born children are more likely to grow up to become criminals. Anthony and Jeff discuss birth order and whether they believe it leads to a life of crime.
Neither Here Nor There
Jul 24, 2017 • 19 min
Researchers from China successfully teleported a photon from Earth to a satellite 500 km away. The work is an essential step towards establishing a global-scale quantum internet. Anthony and Jeff discuss how this “teleportation” works, and decide whether…
Higher, Higher, Ants of Fire
Jul 21, 2017 • 21 min
After a flood, thousands of homeless fire ants pile on top of one another to build bizarro towers with their own bodies — probably as temporary shelters. All the complex construction project needs is for each individual ant to follow a few simple rules,…
The Old Guard
Jul 19, 2017 • 18 min
A new study may shed light on why teenagers sleep late while grandparents are often up at the crack of dawn. Fifty years ago, psychologist Frederick Snyder proposed that animals who live in groups stay vigilant during sleep, by having some stay awake…
Stringing Up Baby
Jul 17, 2017 • 22 min
Built in 1937 and distributed in London to members of the Chelsea Baby Club, the baby cage was meant for big-city apartments without yards, and would allow small children to receive fresh air and sunlight. It would be suspended from the side of the…
How to Kill a Gram
Jul 14, 2017 • 19 min
Scientists are about to change what a kilogram is. The weights and measures committee will establish a global value for Planck’s constant and then will draft a resolution to redefine kilogram based on this constant. Why? Anthony and Jeff investigate, and…
Paternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (w/Vernon Shaw)
Jul 12, 2017 • 23 min
Scientists have taken another step toward being able to edit out bad memories while leaving good ones intact — something that could one day be used to treat people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety disorders linked to painful…
The Face That Feeds You
Jul 10, 2017 • 21 min
Would your dog eat you if you died? Such in the question posed by The National Geographic in a new article. Anthony, as a dog owner himself, has to face the question as he and Jeff get the facts on when and how this might happen.
Tick Talk
Jul 7, 2017 • 20 min
A rare allergy that causes people to have a terrible reaction to eating red meat is being spread in North America by ticks. Anthony and his vegan cabal are very pleased, but Jeff doesn’t quite know how to handle this info.
The Hunter Games
Jul 5, 2017 • 19 min
Some people say that the advent of farming gave people more leisure time to build up civilization, but hunter-gatherers actually have far more leisure time than farmers do, and more still than modern people in the industrialized world. Some even used…
Rank the Hurting Top
Jul 3, 2017 • 25 min
The National Health Service has compiled a list of the 20 most painful conditions known to humans. Anthony and Jeff take a gander at the list to see what hurts most, and try to figure out how to avoid it.
Left Tout
Jun 30, 2017 • 19 min
The belief that there is a link between talent and left-handedness has a long history. Since Jeff and Anthony are both left handed, they might not be purely objective on this point, but they dive into the science anyway. Is left-handed an advantage?
Post Natal
Jun 28, 2017 • 24 min
One of the most significant innovations of the early 20th century might be the Post Office’s decision to start shipping large parcels and packages through the mail. When the Post Office’s Parcel Post officially began on January 1, 1913, the new service…
Not Dimension
Jun 26, 2017 • 22 min
Neuroscientists have used a classic branch of maths in a totally new way to peer into the structure of our brains. What they’ve discovered is that the brain is full of multi-dimensional geometrical structures operating in as many as 11 dimensions. But…
Far Fall, eh?
Jun 23, 2017 • 19 min
How far can you fall and still survive? Such is the question posed by a new article in Mental Floss. Jeff and Anthony discuss the answer… which might surprise you! (Not that they discuss it… oh, you get what I mean)
Lucy in the Sky with Dolphins
Jun 21, 2017 • 21 min
Back in the 1960s, neuroscientist John C. Lilly ran a NASA-funded research unit where humans attempted to communicate with dolphins. Somewhere along the line, LSD got thrown into the mix, a researcher became sexually involved with a dolphin, and things…
Climb of the Sensory
Jun 19, 2017 • 18 min
Alex Honnold climbed the mighty El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without any safety gear in about four hours using only his hands and feet. The 31-year-old became the first person to climb the 3000-foot granite wall alone without a safety harness or…
Circuitry Good Explanation
Jun 16, 2017 • 19 min
With each passing breakthrough in artificial intelligence, we’re asking our machines to make increasingly complex and weighty decisions. Trouble is, AIs are starting to act beyond our levels of comprehension. In an effort to bridge the growing gap between…
No Fear Gear (w/ Anita Sarkeesian)
Jun 14, 2017 • 19 min
Virtual reality systems can create out-of-body experiences — and these experiences may be able to reduce the fear of death, according to a recently published study. Anthony, Jeff, and special guest Anita Sarkeesian discuss whether technology can deliver a…
Extra Hasty Crispr
Jun 12, 2017 • 22 min
For the past few years, a new scientific tool known as CRISPR-Cas9 has been hailed as the future of medicine. But a new study, published in Nature Methods , found that using CRISPR-Cas9 to edit a genome can result in hundreds of unintended mutations being…
Blood Money
Jun 9, 2017 • 25 min
A start-up called Ambrosia is charging $8,000 for blood transfusions from young people. About 100 people have signed up to receive an infusion, founder Dr. Jesse Karmazin announced at the Code Conference. Anyone over age 35 can become an Ambrosia…
Go Pharm Go Fowl
Jun 7, 2017 • 20 min
Authorities in Kuwait had been tracking a homing pigeon that was coming from Iraq. According to local newspaper Al-Rai, there were 178 ecstasy pills were found in a small bag attached to the bird’s back. Anthony and Jeff discuss bird mules, and the…
New Wrongs Make a Right
Jun 5, 2017 • 24 min
When humans work together with not-very-smart robots, they’re better at solving problems than when they work only with other people, new research says. Jeff and Anthony debate the value of getting stuff wrong.
Bubble Hobble
Jun 2, 2017 • 18 min
Scientists have healed severe bone fractures in pigs by blasting tiny bubbles with ultrasound in the animals’ bones. The technique encourages the pigs’ bodies to regenerate themselves, and could one day be used to help humans — especially the elderly —…
Bugged Bunny
May 31, 2017 • 24 min
Virtual rabbits across Second Life will fall asleep and never wake up, now that the their digital food supply has been shut down by a legal battle. The player-made and player-sold Ozimals brand of digirabbits are virtual pets that players breed and care…
Irrational Rational Rationale
May 29, 2017 • 18 min
Researchers at Tilburg University in the Netherlands surveyed both scientists and highly educated nonscientists and asked them to rate the two categories of people in terms of objectivity, rationality, integrity, open-mindedness, intelligence and…
Gut and Run
May 26, 2017 • 20 min
Fear, for the most part, is controlled by the brain’s amygdalae, but a team of researchers at University College Cork have discovered that the gut microbiome, that collection of bacteria that lives within your digestive system, appears to also have an…
Race Boast Coast to Coast
May 24, 2017 • 25 min
On October 30, 1919, Tony Pizzo arrived in New York City chained to his bicycle. He had pedaled 3,000 miles in five-and-a-half months, attached to his bike by a three-and-a-half-foot chain and handcuffs welded shut around his wrists. All because of a bet.…
Preserved and Perfect
May 22, 2017 • 22 min
The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada recently unveiled what is perhaps the best-preserved dinosaur specimen ever unearthed. That’s because, 110 million years later, the bones remain covered by the creature’s intact skin and armor.…
America Smirks
May 19, 2017 • 21 min
When residents of other countries are asked “What’s a dead giveaway that someone is American?” one trait comes up over and over again: big, toothy grins. Why do Americans smile so much? Anthony and Jeff dive into the research on the topic and decide…
Tat the Scales
May 17, 2017 • 22 min
A huge fish covered in ‘tattoos’ has been caught in the Philippines. Where you would expect plain scales, the fish has intricate blue designs of a crown and a shield, lettering and entwined plant leaves instead. But why? Only Jeff and Anthony can possibly…
Modern Stone Age Calamity
May 15, 2017 • 20 min
An exhaustive comparison of Neandertals’ injuries to those of people today finds that water tubing and mishaps involving tables, result in top-heavy fracture patterns most similar to those observed on Neandertal fossils. This analysis illustrates just how…
Info Dump
May 12, 2017 • 20 min
All mammals poop in 12 seconds and there’s an equation for the ‘duration of diarrheal defecation’. All this and more revealed in a new paper from Nobel Prize winning scientists from Georgia Tech. Jeff and Anthony dive deep into poop science, and come out…
Worry Some
May 10, 2017 • 21 min
A new paper by Kate Sweeny, psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, argues there’s an upside to worrying. Anthony, a professional-level worrier, agrees, but Jeff needs some convincing.
Mouseplant
May 8, 2017 • 17 min
Researchers have discovered that mole rats can survive for 18 minutes without oxygen. What is even more astonishing is how they manage it. The mole rats effectively become plants, altering their metabolism so that cells are powered by fructose rather than…
Worm Your Way Out
May 5, 2017 • 22 min
Scientist Federica Bertocchini of the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria in Spain discovered a worm that eats plastic bags and leaves behind antifreeze. Jeff and Anthony discuss the potential of this natural solution to the plastic…
Womb with a View
May 3, 2017 • 17 min
For a study published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from Philadelphia suspended premature lambs, a close animal model for human fetuses, in a special bag filled with lab-made amniotic fluid, allowing them to further develop for four…
On Mass
May 1, 2017 • 17 min
Researchers in the US say they’ve created a fluid with negative mass in the lab. What it means is that, unlike pretty much every other known physical object, when you push this fluid, it accelerates backwards instead of moving forwards. Jeff and Anthony…
Fighter Starter
Apr 28, 2017 • 23 min
We don’t always have a good sense of why we fight. What pushes us to the point of conflict, when we know it will make us unhappy? And why does it leave us feeling so glum afterward? Jeff and Anthony take a look at findings from the world of psychology to…
Hey R U AR?
Apr 26, 2017 • 20 min
When we think of augmented reality face filters, we tend to think of goofy novelties like Halloween masks, face swapping, or inadvertent racist caricatures. But AR could go far beyond that, putting objects in real space with sophisticated tracking tech.…
Dino MIght Chicken
Apr 24, 2017 • 21 min
A chicken embryo with a dinosaur-like snout instead of a beak has been developed by scientists. Is this a good thing or a terrifying thing? Jeff and Anthony are here to think it through.
Ceph Modifying Code
Apr 21, 2017 • 20 min
Squids, cuttlefish and octopuses do not follow the normal rules of genetic information, according to research published in the journal Cell. Their RNA is extensively rewritten, particularly the codes for proteins found in the animals’ neurons. Put simply,…
Owe de Toilette
Apr 19, 2017 • 21 min
Fed up with the theft of toilet paper from public bathrooms, tourist authorities in China’s capital have begun using facial recognition technology to limit how much paper a person can take. Jeff and Anthony discuss toilet paper usage, and determine if…
Starscraper
Apr 17, 2017 • 24 min
Architecture firm Clouds Architecture Office has proposed a building that, instead of being supported by the ground and reaching up into the sky, would instead hang suspended from an asteroid. Named Analemma, the proposed skyscraper would be the tallest…
Tyrannosaurus Sex
Apr 14, 2017 • 17 min
Tyrannosaurus Rex had a snout as sensitive to touch as human fingertips, say scientists. Experts believe that males and females rubbed their sensitive faces together in a prehistoric form of foreplay. Jeff and Anthony discuss dinosaur mating, and the need…
Owner and Operator
Apr 12, 2017 • 23 min
Leonid Rogozov was a Soviet general practitioner who took part in the sixth Soviet Antarctic Expedition in 1960–1961. He was the only doctor stationed at the Novolazarevskaya Station and, while there, developed appendicitis, which meant he had to perform…
Never, Never Land
Apr 10, 2017 • 17 min
Scientists have long suspected that the common swift remains airborne for extraordinary amounts of time during its annual migration. Now, a team of scientists in Sweden has proved that these birds can spend almost their entire 10-month nonbreeding period…
No-Show
Apr 7, 2017 • 21 min
The contestants of a British reality show that marooned them in the wilderness for a year as a social experiment have returned to civilization — only to discover the series was taken off air several months ago and no one bothered to tell them. Jeff and…
A Snack-na Phobia
Apr 5, 2017 • 20 min
Scientists Martin Nyffeler and Klaus Birkhofer published their estimate of the amount of spiders in the world, and the amount of biomass they would consume, in the journal the Science of Nature earlier this month, and the number they arrived at is frankly…
Creative Comeons
Apr 3, 2017 • 21 min
Creativity is highly prized in Western society—much touted by cultures that claim to value individualism and the entrepreneurial spirit. But scratch beneath the surface, and it turns out that a lot of schools and businesses aren’t actually all that…
Your Heart Will Grow On
Mar 31, 2017 • 21 min
Scientists have found a way to use spinach to build working human heart muscle, potentially solving a long-standing problem in efforts to repair damaged organs. This opens up an entire field of vegetable-based human hybrids, and it has Jeff and Anthony…
Take Your Peak
Mar 29, 2017 • 22 min
Aging can seem like a scary prospect, but a wealth of scientific studies have found that youth isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There are plenty of cases in which human beings peak well into middle and old age. Anthony and Jeff look at a chart about when…
You Can’t Handle the Tooth
Mar 27, 2017 • 21 min
Hardened plaque harvested from Neanderthal teeth is loaded with genetic material from plants and animals these prehistoric hominins ate, as well as remnants of microbes that reveal a surprising amount about how they lived and even what made them sick.…
Man Oar Board
Mar 24, 2017 • 18 min
South African surfer Chris Bertish just pulled off one of the most remarkable feats of human determination, perseverance and sheer grit of all time by paddleboarding for 93 days, 4,050 miles across the Atlantic Ocean - by himself. Jeff is definitely…
Monitor Moniker Modeler
Mar 22, 2017 • 23 min
Low self monitors tend to use inner beliefs and values in deciding how to behave, while high self monitors tend to monitor their surroundings and change their behavior to fit in. Anthony and Jeff take a test to see where they exist on the spectrum, and…
Snake Smile Salesman
Mar 20, 2017 • 25 min
Python breeder Justin Kobylka says he spent over eight years selectively breeding ball pythons to finally achieve a smiley face emoji pattern on the reptile’s skin. Jeff and Anthony discuss pastimes, evocations, and what it takes to dedicate 8 years to…
The Immortal Cult Hokum
Mar 17, 2017 • 23 min
In 1939 a secretive cult known as the Royal Fraternity of Master Metaphysicians made headlines when its leader, James Bernard Schafer, announced their intention to conduct an unusual experiment. They were going to raise an immortal baby. Has there ever…
Raindrops Keep Sprawlin’ All the Dread
Mar 15, 2017 • 18 min
After noticing an uptick in a rare disease called melioidosis during the rainy season in parts of Southeast Asia and northern Australia, researchers used high-speed cameras and fluorescent dye to observe raindrops delicately catapulting the microbes into…
Time Change
Mar 13, 2017 • 19 min
The longest personality study of all time, published in Psychology and Aging and recently highlighted by the British Psychological Society, suggests that over the course of a lifetime, just as your physical appearance changes and your cells are constantly…
Left Out
Mar 10, 2017 • 19 min
UPS trucks almost never take left-hand turns. By favoring right-hand turns at all times — unless a left is unavoidable — the carrier saves millions of gallons of fuel each year, and avoids emissions equivalent to over 20,000 passenger cars. Anthony and…
Stop, Chop, and Roll
Mar 8, 2017 • 23 min
A French electrician proved himself to be a bona fide MacGyver by building a makeshift motorbike out of his wrecked car after becoming stranded in the Moroccan dessert. Jeff thinks this also makes him a bona fide bad ass, but Anthony keeps poking holes in…
Magnetical Mystery Ewer
Mar 6, 2017 • 22 min
By analyzing the pottery from an archaeological dig near Jerusalem, scientists have learned that the geomagnetic field around the earth fluctuated wildly during early human civilizations —and the news isn’t good for a world that depends on electrical…
Taking Debate
Mar 3, 2017 • 21 min
When you don’t know the actual, statistical likelihood of something, the brain uses the most readily surfaceable image. This is known as the availability heuristic, and it has been used by politicians to create unrealistic concepts that stick for decades.…
Spoiler Assert
Mar 1, 2017 • 20 min
The majority of Americans have no clear idea what “sell by” labels are trying to tell them. But after 40 years of letting us guess, the grocery industry has made moves to clear up the confusion. The Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers…
All CPU Can Bee
Feb 27, 2017 • 19 min
Honeybees’ role in pollination enables the production of at least 90 commercially grown crops, including apples, blueberries, melons and broccoli, but recently a dwindling bee population has led to concerns for the stability of this eco system. Industrial…
Addiction Subtraction
Feb 24, 2017 • 18 min
Studying its effects in the brain, researchers set out to genetically engineer mice that would be more prone to cocaine addiction. Instead, they created mice that appear impervious to it. Even after the genetically engineered animals were given the drug…
Squid Pro Grow
Feb 22, 2017 • 21 min
Human activity has changed the ocean - rising temperatures and acidifying waters has caused fish populations of all kinds to dwindle. But not all creatures are adversely effected. New research shows that these changes to marine environments are leading to…
Scooter Commuter Computer
Feb 20, 2017 • 21 min
Piaggio, the same company that created the Vespa scooter, has announced it will sell a robot called Gita, which is designed to carry and deliver your stuff around town. It will follow you, or move autonomously, and has a top speed of 22 MPH. Anthony and…
Reckoned That Emotion
Feb 17, 2017 • 20 min
Many different emotions have similar bodily symptoms. When we are angry, our pulses race, we breathe faster, we feel our faces flush, and our skin becomes sweaty, but when we are happily excited we also breathe faster, feel our faces flush, and our skin…
Metal Near Solid
Feb 15, 2017 • 22 min
More than 80 years after it was predicted to be possible, a Harvard University team has finally managed to create metallic hydrogen. Why? For one thing, physicists predict that metallic hydrogen is an authentic superconductor. This gives metallic hydrogen…
Headbanger’s Calm
Feb 13, 2017 • 22 min
Extreme music – such as heavy metal – can positively influence those experiencing anger, a study by The University of Queensland has revealed. In contrast to previous studies linking loud and chaotic music to aggression and delinquency, research by UQ’s…
American Hamsternators (LIVE from PAX 2017!)
Feb 10, 2017 • 17 min
A very different kind of episode of We Have Concerns, this one was recorded live at the PAX South convention in San Antonio Texas, and consists entirely of questions from the audience. Thanks to everyone who came out to the live performance!
Learner’s Hermit (LIVE from PAX South 2017!)
Feb 8, 2017 • 19 min
The Austrian town of Saalfelden in the state of Salzburg is looking for someone to live in a nearby hermitage which was built more than 350 years ago in steep, rocky cliffs. So they put out an ad for a hermit. Meanwhile, a hermit in Gothic, Colorado, a…
Pig Me (LIVE from PAX South 2017!)
Feb 6, 2017 • 23 min
Scientists have created the first successful human-animal hybrids. The project proves that human cells can be introduced into a non-human organism, survive, and even grow inside a host animal, in this case, pigs. Anthony, Jeff, and special guests Mikey…
True to Your Self
Feb 3, 2017 • 21 min
Why do we, as humans, have a sense of self? One new theory is that a “self” actually contributes to a stronger and more robust group dynamic. In order for a group to be more capable of surviving, it needs to be made up of specialized individuals who are…
DNA to Z
Feb 1, 2017 • 20 min
Scientists have created bacteria that thrive using an expanded “genetic alphabet”. The blueprint for all life forms on Earth is written in a code consisting of four “letters”: A, T, C and G, which pair up in the DNA double helix. But the lab organism has…
Fully Operational
Jan 30, 2017 • 21 min
During WWII, there was a mathematician named Abraham Wald. Wald had an idea about allied bombers. Essentially, bombers were coming back after bombing runs with a lot of damage. Engineers were saying “okay, there’s a lot of damage in the wings and tail, so…
O2 Joy
Jan 27, 2017 • 20 min
It’s generally thought that the evolution of complex life was a rare, once-in-4.5-billion-years event. But new research suggests that conditions were right for complex cells to evolve and die off at least once - or perhaps several times - before our…
Thirst World Problems
Jan 25, 2017 • 20 min
Everything we eat is flooded with “virtual water,” or water used indirectly to produce food from cradle to grave. In fact, 70% of the world’s water consumption feeds the agriculture industry, and demand for fresh water is increasing at a rate of one…
Headset Mindset
Jan 23, 2017 • 24 min
After exploring a virtual world, some people can’t shake the sense that the actual world isn’t real, either. Does the new technology of VR bring with it a new kind of depression? Anthony and Jeff discuss a world where real life is a let down compared to…
Goos of Egypt
Jan 20, 2017 • 22 min
Plastic surgeon Stanley Jacobs was obsess with an ancient Egyptian text about surgery known as the Edwin Smith Papyrus. Particularly, a recipe at the back of the book, titled “Transforming an Old Man Into a Youth.” His investigation into what this…
Append and Cite Us
Jan 18, 2017 • 24 min
Scientists have never been certain what the appendix used to do — and if it is still, in fact, useless. On Jan. 9, a team of researchers led by scientists at Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine published a review study proposing…
Organ Donor Car’d
Jan 16, 2017 • 21 min
As self-driving cars become the norm, road deaths due to driver error will begin to diminish. It’s a transformative advancement, but one that comes with consequences in an unexpected place: organ donation. Jeff and Anthony discuss whether a smaller amount…
Flesh and Tome
Jan 13, 2017 • 17 min
A few years ago, three separate books were discovered in Harvard University’s library that had particularly strange-looking leather covers. Upon further inspection, it was discovered that the smooth binding was actually human flesh… in one case, skin…
Mech it Yourself
Jan 11, 2017 • 20 min
Some South Koreans have built a mech, and it has taken its first steps. Designed by a veteran of science fiction blockbusters, the 13 foot tall, 1.5 ton Method-2 towers over a room on the outskirts of Seoul, and will be made available to buy by the end of…
Bat Signals
Jan 9, 2017 • 18 min
Researchers recently used a machine learning algorithm to decode the squeaks Egyptian fruit bats make in their roost, revealing that they “speak” to one another as individuals. It turns out, not only do they communicate, but they also argue - a lot. Jeff…
Color Be Mine
Jan 6, 2017 • 21 min
Artist Stuart Semple, creator the world’s ‘pinkest paint’, has a new invention - the world’d ‘glitteriest glitter’. The product has been made available to everyone, as long as buyers ensured that it would not make its way “into the hands of Anish Kapoor.”…
Toyota Care-ola
Jan 4, 2017 • 23 min
The 2015 Japanese census laid out a frightening realization for the country: its population is shrinking. In just five years, between 2010 and 2015, Japan’s population shrunk by almost 1 million. But while everyone is quick to blame so-called “parasite…
Do Run Run Run
Jan 2, 2017 • 20 min
A new study suggests that high intensity aerobic activity that requires sustained, repetitive locomotor and navigational skills may stress cognitive domains in ways that lead to altered brain connectivity, which in turn has implications for understanding…
Hiding with a Chance of Meatballs
Dec 30, 2016 • 20 min
Ikea is urging teenagers to stop creeping into its stores and having illegal sleepovers. About 10 “non-sponsored sleepovers” have been logged across the world by the Swedish furniture giant this year. The craze appears to have been started by two Belgian…
What’s in Bad Movie?
Dec 28, 2016 • 25 min
Hundreds of people online have shared memories of a cheesy Nineties movie called “Shazaam”, in which the standup comic Sinbad played a genie. There is no evidence that such a film was ever made. What does this tell us about the quirks of collective…
Sham U
Dec 26, 2016 • 23 min
A man called Zhao Lianshan distributed fake university admission offers to students admission to the Shandong Institute of Light Industry, through a new pilot program for students who had not scored as well on entrance exams. They could enroll as…
Do You Hear What AI Hear?
Dec 23, 2016 • 21 min
Researchers in Toronto have used a technology called “neural karaoke” to teach a computer to write a song after looking at a photo, and the little carol it penned after viewing a festive Christmas tree is absolutely horrifying. Jeff and Anthony take a…
Hold Fusion
Dec 21, 2016 • 23 min
In a study published in the latest edition of the journal Nature Communications, researchers confirmed that Germany’s Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) fusion energy device is on track and working as planned. This “star in a jar” technology could essentially provide…
Skating on Fin Ice
Dec 19, 2016 • 24 min
An amusement park in Japan has been forced to close its skating rink after a torrent of online criticism over its centerpiece: thousands of fish frozen into the ice. Space World in the city of Kitakyushu, south-west Japan, bowed to pressure to close the…
Trajectory Plus Time
Dec 16, 2016 • 19 min
Why are humans so prone to running late? New findings published in Hippocampus suggest greater familiarity with an area leads us to overestimate its physical distance, but also has the opposite effect on our judgments of travel times through that space –…
Alien Where
Dec 14, 2016 • 23 min
According to a new study, layers of the upper atmospheres of cold brown dwarf planets sit at temperatures and pressures resembling those on Earth, and could host microbes that surf on thermal updrafts. These represent a whole new area of potential life in…
Sin Full
Dec 12, 2016 • 24 min
When a loved one died in parts of England, Scotland, or Wales in the 18th and 19th centuries, the family would grieve, place bread on the chest of the deceased, and call for a man to sit in front of the body. The family of the deceased watched on as this…
Get Retch Quick
Dec 9, 2016 • 24 min
A trio of fishermen in Oman made the catch of a lifetime when they came upon something far more valuable than their normal haul: 176 poundsof sperm-whale vomit. The substance – actually an intestinal secretion called ambergris – could fetch close to US $3…
Forest for the Sprees
Dec 7, 2016 • 20 min
Yellowstone National Park contains a narrow corridor less than two miles wide where evildoers could do literally anything, including commit murder, and the law couldn’t touch them. Jeff and Anthony discuss the Yellowstone Murder Zone, and how to best use…
Infinite Improbability Drive
Dec 5, 2016 • 18 min
After months of speculation and leaked documents, NASA’s long-awaited EM Drive paper has finally been peer-reviewed and published. And it shows that the ‘impossible’ propulsion system really does appear to work. Jeff gloats as Anthony considers what this…
Recycling Cent-er
Dec 2, 2016 • 21 min
A man in Cologne, Germany was recently tried and convicted to ten months in prison for modifying a bottle recycling machine and swindling tens of thousands of euros from the national recycling system. Jeff and Anthony discuss schemes and the human…
Great American Fake Off
Nov 30, 2016 • 20 min
Some 82% of middle-schoolers couldn’t distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and a real news story on a website, according to a Stanford University study of 7,804 students from middle school through college. The study is the biggest so far…
Never Thaw It Coming
Nov 28, 2016 • 18 min
Ancient viruses and bacteria that have been cryogenically frozen for millennia are waking up, due to global warming. Siberia’s permafrost and Greenland’s glaciers are melting and thawing, releasing spores that haven’t been seen on Earth in millions of…
Charged Into Battle
Nov 25, 2016 • 19 min
US military scientists have used electrical brain stimulators to enhance mental skills of staff, in research that aims to boost the performance of air crews, drone operators and others in the armed forces’ most demanding roles. The successful tests of the…
A Light Punishment
Nov 23, 2016 • 19 min
Police in southern China are punishing drivers who dazzle other road users with full-beam headlights by making them stare into the lights for a minute. Does the punishment fit the crime? Is it effective? Jeff and Anthony discuss.
Re-poo-able Energy
Nov 21, 2016 • 17 min
According to a report from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, researchers have converted human feces to oil using a process called hydrothermal liquefaction. Hydrothermal liquefaction “mimics the geological conditions the Earth uses to create crude…
Don’t Worry, Bee Happy
Nov 18, 2016 • 19 min
Scientists at Queen Mary University of London who study bees suggest that insects have something like emotional states, and that a sweet treat can change the way bumble bees make decisions, producing something akin — although perhaps distantly related —…
2016
Nov 16, 2016 • 32 min
Some info about this episode: 1) It was recorded right after the US Election 2) We didn’t intend it to be an entire episode, it just sort of happened. We had concerns, y’know? 3) You don’t have to listen to this one. There’s a new episode coming day after…
A Glass Half Foul
Nov 14, 2016 • 20 min
How do you handle nuclear waste that will be radioactive for millions of years, keeping it from harming people and the environment? It isn’t easy, but a researcher has discovered ways to immobilize such waste – the offshoot of decades of nuclear weapons…
Motivational Freaker
Nov 11, 2016 • 20 min
Basketball players that were grimly reminded of their own inevitable demise before playing took more shots and scored more points in a study published in an upcoming issue of Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. The researchers behind the experiments…
We Didn’t Fart the Fire
Nov 9, 2016 • 20 min
A woman in her 30s was undergoing an operation that involved applying a laser to her cervix, when she passed gas that caught fire causing serious injuries to her body. Jeff and Anthony discuss the idea that all of the technology in the word can be…
Yawn of the Dread
Nov 7, 2016 • 20 min
Contagious yawning has been linked to empathy levels in several studies. However, new research in the journal Personality and Individual Differences finds that people with psychopathic traits—especially a lack of empathy—are not as susceptible to catching…
Cult of Personal IT
Nov 4, 2016 • 19 min
The mass suicide of members of the UFO cult Heaven’s Gate is one of the most bizarre and enduringly fascinating events of the 90s. But nearly 20 years after the strange deaths, part of the cult’s legacy lives on via its perfectly preserved retro website,…
Of Mice and Skin
Nov 2, 2016 • 21 min
Scientists in Japan have transformed mouse skin cells into eggs in a dish, and used those eggs to birth fertile pups. The report marks the first creation of eggs entirely outside a mouse. If the process could be made to work for humans, researchers could…
The Shortest Distance Between Two Pints
Oct 31, 2016 • 18 min
A two-year project by an international team of mathematicians has mapped shortest possible journey to visit 25,000 pubs across the UK, and set a new record for the longest “traveling salesman problem” ever solved. Jeff and Anthony discuss pub crawls,…
Make the Snake
Oct 28, 2016 • 21 min
A team of researchers led by Axel Visel at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has replaced part of a mouse’s DNA—a small sequence known as ZRS— with the equivalent sequence from a snake. That tiny change was enough to “serpentize” the mouse, to…
Coffee Bean and Key Leaks
Oct 26, 2016 • 21 min
One of the busiest Starbucks in the country is the one located inside the CIA, with a captive caffeine-craving audience of thousands of analysts and agents working on gathering intelligence and launching covert operations around the world. The baristas go…
Jurassic Bark
Oct 24, 2016 • 21 min
Though we have spent hundreds of years imagining dinosaurs as reptilian roarers, our understanding of what dinos may have actually looked and sounded like has evolved. A new study published in Nature reveals that dinosaurs may have been far less…
Bonobo Knows
Oct 21, 2016 • 22 min
An international study found that chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans seem to have the ability to see the world from someone else’s point of view, even when they know that point of view is dead wrong — a trait that once was considered uniquely human It’s…
Home Is Where the Start Is
Oct 19, 2016 • 22 min
After he was killed by a blow to the face about 9,000 years ago, the 23-year-old hunter was laid to rest in a limestone cave in what is now southwestern England. Now, say scientists astonishingly bridging 90 centuries and 300 generations, they have found…
Flight Change
Oct 17, 2016 • 20 min
Travellers are used to lost luggage, booking errors and on-board delays - but now an American airline is being sued for mixing up two children and sending them to the wrong cities. Jeff and Anthony discuss this astonishing error, and try to compare their…
This I Swear
Oct 14, 2016 • 22 min
Every swear word in the English language has been ranked in order of offensiveness. The UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, interviewed more than 200 people across the UK on how offensive they find a vast array of rude and offensive words and insults.…
Sounds Fishy
Oct 12, 2016 • 22 min
Cornish fish moving north with climate change may struggle to understand Scouse counterparts, study says, making it harder for them to mate. Experts believe the fish, which make sounds with their swim bladders to attract mates, may have regional accents –…
Trend in the Clowns
Oct 10, 2016 • 21 min
There’s been a wave of creepy clown sightings across the United States. Going back to late August, there have been dozens of reports of threatening clowns, largely centered around schools and colleges. Anthony and Jeff weigh in on this phenomenon. Is it…
Bird Cage
Oct 7, 2016 • 18 min
An 80-year-old woman said she felt like a prisoner in her own home after she was attacked repeatedly by a flock of seagulls. Barbara Cox was targeted by the birds while putting her washing out with one gripping her leg and another gouging at it. Anthony…
Age Old Question
Oct 5, 2016 • 20 min
In the latest journal of Aging a UCLA genetics team recorded age-related changes to human DNA, calculating the biological age of blood and estimated a person’s lifespan. More often than not they found that the biological age was a better indicator of life…
FastPass
Oct 3, 2016 • 21 min
In a unique, home-spun experiment, researchers found that the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster at Disney’s Magic Kingdom could help people pass kidney stone before they become a serious health-care cost. Jeff and Anthony discuss how these…
A Clean Pill of Health
Sep 30, 2016 • 26 min
Scientists from Deakin University in Melbourne published their findings about a new drug that mimics some of the most important effects of exercise. They were able to show that overweight mice who were given the drug no longer showed signs of…
The Tortoise and the Scare
Sep 28, 2016 • 24 min
A 100-year-old tortoise named Touche, owned by the same 60-year-old woman since she was five years old, went missing from his home for 10 days before being found more than six miles away. Anthony and Jeff discuss the concept of a pet that can outlive you,…
A Cave New World
Sep 26, 2016 • 23 min
The Movile Cave in Romania, just a few miles west from the Black Sea, has been sealed up for around 5.5 million years. Although the air in it is poisonous and unbearably humid, scientists have so far identified 48 species – 33 of which are totally unique…
Bye Polar
Sep 23, 2016 • 22 min
Russian scientists have driven away polar bears that besieged their weather station on an island in the Arctic Ocean for two weeks. After five scientists based at the weather station on Troynoy island, in the Kara Sea north of Siberia, were encircled by…
Bringing Up Baby
Sep 21, 2016 • 32 min
Jeff is back! And he’s an honest-to-goodness real life Dad! Anthony takes a moment to check in on the experience of bringing a new Cannata into the world.
Scan You Keep a Secret?
Sep 14, 2016 • 20 min
Security researchers Abdul Serwadda and Richard Matovu recently tested a pair of EEG authentication systems to see if it was possible to identify personal information from anonymous brainwave scans. The pair created a machine learning system that compared…
Not-a-Dog Person
Sep 12, 2016 • 22 min
A man who spent the last two years raising two beloved pet dogs has had a bit of a shock. The pair of ‘puppies’ Wang Kaiyu bought and raised at his home in Maguan County in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, have turned out to be two Asian black bears.…
Up Sh%t Creek
Sep 9, 2016 • 23 min
Firefighters in Norway have pulled a man from the inside of a toilet after he lowered himself in to retrieve a friend’s phone and became stuck in the tank below. Oh yes, the story gets much worse from there. Anthony and Jeff discuss the concept of diving…
Host in the Shell
Sep 7, 2016 • 24 min
For Hermit crabs, suitable shells are hard to come by. So they have come up with an ingenious scheme. When a crab happens upon a shell, it scopes it out – and when it is too big, the crab sits and waits, sometimes up to eight hours. More crabs show up to…
Live and Let Diet
Sep 5, 2016 • 24 min
A new study, published in Elementa, looks at the consequences of switching the U.S. to different kinds of diet, from full vegan to various kinds of egg and cheese-supplemented vegetarian diets. And the results show that a completely vegan food chain would…
A Knife Well Tasted
Sep 2, 2016 • 20 min
Surgeons in India extracted 40 knives from inside the body of a police officer during a rare, five-hour operation. Surjeet Singh suffers from an uncontrollable urge to consume knives and had swallowed the knives over several months. Jeff and Anthony…
The Prime Sinister
Aug 31, 2016 • 18 min
For the most part, numbers are simply cold indicators, unable of expressing menace or guile, but then there’s Belphegor’s Prime, a supposedly sinister numeric palindrome that has a number of odd qualities. Or at least that’s what one mathematician would…
And the Beasts Shall Inherit the Earth
Aug 29, 2016 • 21 min
What if every animal on the planet has suddenly woken up a rational, self-aware being? Would one creature come to rule all others, much as we humans have done, or would our varied kind arrive at some sort of peaceful, enlightened coexistence? The thought…
Cash Out
Aug 26, 2016 • 21 min
Sweden is largely a cashless society, with consumers relying on mobile phone payments or plastic. While the U.S. is still far from achieving the same level of cash-free existence, increasing numbers of restaurants and retailers are now refusing to accept…
The Net Results
Aug 24, 2016 • 23 min
Luke Aikins plummeted from 25,000 feet above the desert landscape of California’s Simi Valley without a parachute, landing squarely in a 100 feet x 100 feet, two-tiered net set up to catch him. He nailed the landing at 120 mph — terminal velocity,…
Leader of the Pachyderm
Aug 22, 2016 • 19 min
Despite reported differences in appearance and behavior, DNA evidence finds that Namibian desert elephants share the same DNA as African savanna elephants. But differences in behavior show that they pass on their unique knowledge and survival skills to…
The Bore Ultimatum
Aug 19, 2016 • 22 min
A Frenchman is suing his former employer for “bore out” - boredom’s equivalent of burnout - which he says turned him into a “professional zombie”. Frederic Desnard wants 360,000 euros for being “killed professionally through boredom” by his…
Crash Man Be Cute
Aug 17, 2016 • 17 min
Melbourne-based artist Patricia Piccinini has created a life-sized sculpture of what a human being would have to look like in order to survive a car crash. The result is a grotesquely mutated human with numerous internal and external changes to his…
Not Milk?
Aug 15, 2016 • 17 min
There’s a cockroach that gives birth to live young, and it produces a “milk” that scientists want humans to drink. Jeff and Anthony talk about drinking human milk, drinking cow’s milk, and the potential of drinking cockroach milk, and try to decide which…
Finger Print
Aug 12, 2016 • 16 min
Police in Michigan have a new tool for unlocking phones: 3D printing. Law enforcement officers approached a professor at Michigan State earlier this year to reproduce a murder victim’s fingerprint from a prerecorded scan. Once created, the 3D model would…
Check Yourself in Store You Wreck Yourself
Aug 10, 2016 • 21 min
Research from the United Kingdom found self-service checkouts allowed people to normalize and excuse stealing, even among those who would never consider theft in any other setting. Anthony and Jeff discuss the role technology takes in illegal behavior,…
P is for Power
Aug 8, 2016 • 20 min
A team of researchers based at the University of the West of England in Bristol has developed a method for turning human effluent into electricity. Urine is basically chemicals in solution, so if those chemicals can be properly utilized, it can be a fuel…
The Last 10%
Aug 5, 2016 • 19 min
A 44-year-old French father of two who found out one day that he had most of his brain missing. Instead his skull is mostly full of liquid, with only 10% of his brain tissue left. He has a life-long condition known as hydrocephalus, commonly called “water…
City Hall of Mirrors
Aug 3, 2016 • 19 min
With the rise of autonomous machines and the possibility of an invading army comprised of robots, scientists are starting to think about designing spatial environments deliberately to deceive, misdirect, or otherwise baffle the sensors inside them. Could…
Those Lion Eyes
Aug 1, 2016 • 18 min
Scientists in Botswana are painting intimidating eyes onto the rumps of cattle that graze near wildlife areas to prevent them from being preyed upon by lions. The idea is that the eyes will trick the lions into thinking they’ve been spotted, causing them…
A Growing Smile
Jul 27, 2016 • 22 min
A team of scientists from the University of Nottingham and Harvard University have developed a method of regrowing damaged teeth using a filling-like material seeded from stem cells. The new approach would greatly reduce the need for uncomfortable dental…
Skin Vogue
Jul 20, 2016 • 21 min
Tina Gorjanc has sourced the late designer Alexander McQueen’s DNA to harvest into skin tissue, which she’ll then tan and turn into human leather. In turn, she’ll fashion this leather into an already-designed collection – dubbed “The Pure Human” – of…
Plate and Switch
Jul 18, 2016 • 23 min
A new book called Real Food Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do About It, by Larry Olmsted, has caught Anthony’s eye. When we buy fish and beef and olive oil, are we actually getting something completely different? Jeff…
Me Grow Horny
Jul 15, 2016 • 25 min
With Rhinos on the brink of extinction, some bioengineers are 3D printing horns to flood the market with fakes, in an attempt to stop the decline. Jeff and Anthony debate the merits of this plan, and what it might lead to.
Animal Magnetism
Jul 13, 2016 • 23 min
A researcher in US thinks he might have finally found evidence of humanity’s sixth sense - the ability to detect, in some subconscious way, Earth’s magnetic field. Jeff and Anthony consider whether this might in fact be a thing. Can you feel the magnetic…
Manifestingray
Jul 11, 2016 • 22 min
Scientists have built a robotic stingray made of heart muscle cells from a rat, a skeleton of gold, plastic fins, and light-activated algae proteins. The tiny, 16-millimeter-long robots take about a week to make and can be controlled with light. Anthony…
Fire Walk With Me
Jul 8, 2016 • 29 min
More than 30 people were treated for burns in Dallas after walking on hot coals at an event hosted by self-help guru Tony Robbins. Jeff and Anthony talk about whether they buy into the self-help subculture. Does mind over matter really work? Is doing…
Drain Dead
Jul 6, 2016 • 22 min
A Canadian funeral business is offering “green” funerals by dissolving the dead and pouring them into town sewers. Anthony and Jeff consider if this practice should cause alarm, or if they might one day prefer it to cremation or burial themselves.
Oh Pear
Jul 4, 2016 • 23 min
Physicists have confirmed the existence of a new form of atomic nuclei, and the fact that it’s not symmetrical challenges the fundamental theories of physics that explain our Universe. This pear-shaped nucleus could change everything we think we know…
Sell No We Won’t Go
Jul 1, 2016 • 25 min
Buying your first house is supposed to be a joyous occasion, but for young Tamara Holloway, from Nashville, Tennessee it was a terrible nightmare she couldn’t wake up from, because the man she bought the house from refused to move out. Jeff and Anthony…
Dead Shoe Fineries
Jun 29, 2016 • 19 min
Remains of found at an altitude of 2,803 metres in the Altai Mountains are being hailed as the first complete Turkik burial found in Central Asia. In the mummy’s grave archaeologists found - alongside the human remains - a saddle, bridle, clay vase,…
Money for Nothing and Your Pics for Fees
Jun 27, 2016 • 25 min
WeLab Ltd., a Hong Kong-based online lender that makes loans in China, looks at what apps people have downloaded, where they go using the phone’s GPS tracker, their social networks and their school records. It offers discounted interest rates for each…
A Bridge Too Far
Jun 24, 2016 • 21 min
The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is found above the Tianmenshan National Forest Park in the mountainous Hunan province of southern China, and is set to become the longest, highest, and most terrifying glass bridge in the world. Jeff and Anthony…
Booty Call
Jun 20, 2016 • 23 min
The wreckage of a 500-year-old Portuguese ship filled with gold coins has been unearthed by miners in a Namibian desert. How did a shipwreck end up in the desert? Jeff and Anthony discuss the strange story, and speculate on the nature of pirates and their…
A Fish’s Edge with Visages
Jun 17, 2016 • 19 min
Archerfish shoot high-powered water jets from their mouths to stun prey. By training them to direct those jets of spit at certain individuals, scientists have shown that the little guys seem to be able to distinguish one human face from another. Does this…
Solitary Alignment
Jun 15, 2016 • 24 min
In 2006, 20 families occupied the village of Xuenshanshe in China, but as people passed away from old age, and others moved due to the decline of natural resources, Eventually, just a single man remained, and he has lived alone in the village for nearly a…
Babel Wish
Jun 10, 2016 • 22 min
A new Indigogo campaign claims to offer an earpiece that can translate between languages. Anthony and Jeff have dreamed of a universal communication tool like those in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or Star Trek, but could this thing really be it? They…
DNA’d to Order
Jun 8, 2016 • 22 min
A group of 25 scientists has proposed an ambitious project to create a synthetic human genome, or genetic blueprint, in an endeavor raises concerns over the extent to which human life can or should be engineered. Anthony and Jeff imagine if, why, and how…
At Bats
Jun 6, 2016 • 26 min
An Australian town was reduced to breaking point by the sudden arrival of more than 100,000 giant bats who screeched incessantly and left carpets of foul-smelling droppings. Jeff and Anthony marvel at yet another example of what life can be like in…
Keeping Grandma Swarm
Jun 3, 2016 • 23 min
Carol Howarth, 65, was amazed when a swarm of over 20,000 insects flew down onto her silver Mitsubishi Outlander, covering the back end of the vehicle. It took a team of 5 beekeepers to deal with the problem, and no one is quite sure why it happened.…
Gangs of New Look
Jun 1, 2016 • 23 min
Wearing a Straw Hat after September 15th was such a fashion faux-pas in 1922 that a group of street toughs began attacking anyone with the gall to do it. The result was a series of violent outbreaks that became known at the Straw Hat Riots. Anthony and…
Meteor’s Ours
May 30, 2016 • 21 min
Japanese research company ALE is bidding to create an artificial meteor shower for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. Jeff and Anthony discuss the tradition of the Olympics, the spectacle of opening ceremonies, and the audacity of…
Am I Human or Am I Dancer?
May 27, 2016 • 23 min
Moon Ribas is a ‘cyborg artist’ who can feel every earthquake on the planet through a tiny sensor permanently grafted under her skin near the crook of her elbow. She moves to these vibrations during her artistic dance performances. Jeff and Anthony ponder…
Buy Some Bison
May 25, 2016 • 23 min
A Texas woman sold her seven-year-old housebroken pet bison named Bullet on Craigslist for $5,960. So, of course, Anthony and Jeff take this opportunity to discuss exotic pets, selling things online, and the curious intersection of each.
Another One Bites for Trust
May 23, 2016 • 22 min
In order to become a member of the Sateré-Mawé, a tribe of roughly ten thousand members that inhabits the northern region of Amazonas, boys as young as twelve will thrust their hands into gloves full of bullet ants, whose sting is said to be the most…
Discovery Kids!
May 20, 2016 • 22 min
Using an unprecedented technique of matching stars to the locations of temples on Earth, a 15-year-old Canadian student says he’s discovered a forgotten Mayan city in Mexico. Anthony and Jeff talk about what it takes to be a young person with a useful…
Batteries Caught, Extruded
May 18, 2016 • 24 min
MIT says that every year in the US there are more than 3,500 reports of swallowed batteries. If left in the stomach or esophagus these can burn the tissue. They have designed a new indigestible origami meat robot could be deployed in these scenarios to…
Nature vs Searcher
May 16, 2016 • 22 min
A small mammal has sabotaged the world’s most powerful scientific instrument. The Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile superconducting machine designed to smash protons together at close to the speed of light, went offline due to a small weasel who gnawed…
Mind Blind Defined
May 13, 2016 • 21 min
Certain people, researchers have discovered, can’t summon up mental images — it’s as if their mind’s eye is blind. This month in the journal Cortex, the condition received a name: aphantasia, based on the Greek word phantasia, which Aristotle used to…
The Eye of the Patent Holder
May 11, 2016 • 23 min
According to a new patent filing, Google has devised a method to inject a device directly into your eyeballs. Per the patent filing, the device is meant to replace your eye’s natural lens and is injected in a solution that congeals and attaches to your…
Watch Where You’re Roaming
May 9, 2016 • 18 min
A small city in southern Germany may be the first place in the world to introduce in-ground traffic lights. The move by authorities in Augsburg comes in response to distracted smartphone users increasingly putting themselves at risk by not looking up…
Building Excitement
May 6, 2016 • 19 min
A growing body of research in cognitive science illuminates the physical and mental toll bland cityscapes exact on residents. It turns out boring architecture may take an emotional toll on the people forced to live in and around it. Jeff and Anthony…
Fail the Testimony
May 2, 2016 • 20 min
The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every expert scientific witness gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.…
Tiger Mom
Apr 29, 2016 • 17 min
The Toronto Zoo is investigating a video that shows a woman climbing into part of its tiger enclosure to retrieve her hat. That’s right, she scaled a fence and got into a tiger cage to save… a hat. Anthony and Jeff discuss the type of person who might do…
Castle Hassle
Apr 27, 2016 • 19 min
Robert Fidler built a castle at Salfords in Surrey, England without planning permission and hid it behind straw bales for four years. He has now been ordered to tear it down or face 4 months on prison. Jeff and Anthony discuss the merits of having your…
A Boat By Any Other Name
Apr 25, 2016 • 19 min
Although Boaty McBoatface decisively won a public poll that Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council launched last month to whip up enthusiasm about science, it turns out that will not be the name of their $300 million new vessel. Jeff and Anthony…
Dream Goblin
Apr 22, 2016 • 17 min
The Flyboard Air, made by Franky Zapata‘s Zapata Racing is either a clever fake, or the most impressive hoverboard yet in action. Jeff and Anthony are thrilled byt the possibilities, and imagine gliding through the city skies avoiding Spider-Man. Now if…
Worry Thwart
Apr 20, 2016 • 20 min
Writer and programmer Paul Ford decided to outsource his anxiety by writing a piece of software that would email him expressions of his worst fears every morning. The idea being, that if all his worries seemed like spam, then perhaps he might disregard…
The Eight Escape
Apr 18, 2016 • 17 min
An octopus at the National Aquarium of New Zealand sliped out of its tank, crawled across floor, and escaped down pipe to ocean, leading Anthony and Jeff to worry that the cephalopod uprising has begun. What is the ramifications of intelligent octopi…
Junk Food
Apr 13, 2016 • 18 min
In Portugal, thousands of storks have chosen to forgo their typical winter migration to sub-Saharan Africa in favor of sticking around to gorge on garbage at open-air landfills. Jeff and Anthony discuss this smorgasbord of trash, what it is doing to the…
Prepare Yourself
Apr 11, 2016 • 18 min
Science host Greg Foot tries to get to the secret of what human flesh tastes like by performing a biopsy of his leg muscle to smell the aroma of his own cooked flesh. Anthony and Jeff discuss the circumstances that might make them attempt to eat humans,…
Puppy Thaws
Apr 6, 2016 • 19 min
Scientists have managed to thaw out and perform an autopsy on an ancient frozen puppy, which was mummified in the Russian permafrost some 12,400 years ago. The next? Obviously, someone wants to clone it. Jeff and Anthony have some reservations about…
You Mar What You Tweet
Apr 4, 2016 • 22 min
Microsoft introduced a chatbot that was built to learn from its interactions with Twitter users, but had to disable it after it began spouting some very troubling rhetoric. Anthony and Jeff consider what we should learn from the sad and brief life of AI…
Safety Worst
Mar 30, 2016 • 20 min
The community of Delta, B.C. is looking at updating its Annieville playground with riskier equipment, after a public health expert told the council that kids who play safe when they’re young show more signs of depression and anxiety later in life. Anthony…
Skin Beep
Mar 28, 2016 • 23 min
Scientists from Cornell University and the Italian Technology Institute in Pontedera have developed an elastic robotic skin that is able to stretch up to five times its size, change colors, and even detect pressure. Anthony is ready to replace his own…
If You’re Lion I’m Dying
Mar 25, 2016 • 20 min
A mountain lion miraculously surviving in the urban mountains in Los Angeles is believed to have breached a 9-foot fence at the Los Angeles Zoo and mauled an 18-pound koala at night. However, all the evidence is circumstantial. Jeff and Anthony take a…
Dad Yoke
Mar 23, 2016 • 20 min
A medical condition called Witzelsucht causes people to compulsively create puns and bad jokes all day long. Anthony thinks this might explain Jeff’s Dad Joke tendencies, and starts the episode ready to diagnose Jeff with the disease. But Jeff pulls out…
Keeping Bankrupt with the Joneses
Mar 21, 2016 • 18 min
A new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia found that neighbors of lottery winners are unusually likely to go bankrupt, and the larger the lottery prize, the more likely bankruptcy becomes. Jeff and Anthony talk about keeping up with the…
Hum Linger
Mar 18, 2016 • 23 min
Residents of Windsor, the industrial Canadian city that lies just across the river from Detroit, have been experiencing a monotonous type of noise pollution that is usually just referred to as ‘The Hum,’ and it’s been happening for years. No one knows…
Horse Remorse
Mar 16, 2016 • 21 min
Psychologists at Sussex University published a new study that claims a horse can not only tell whether a human might be in a bad mood by simply looking at the human’s facial expression, it can do so from a photograph. Anthony and Jeff discuss the…
Fire in the Hull!
Mar 14, 2016 • 19 min
Fire behaves very differently in zero gravity, and NASA wants to study it. The problem? It is very, very foolish to set fire to something inside a spacecraft, and there are specific rules prohibiting flammable material even being on board. But those…
Bob Lawbot
Mar 11, 2016 • 20 min
Nineteen-year old British programmer Joshua Browder has created a robotic appeal system for parking tickets. Since its inception in 2015, this robo-lawyer has successfully appealed $3 million worth of tickets. Anthony is ready to move all of his legal…
River Wok
Mar 9, 2016 • 22 min
For centuries, Peruvian locals talked about a river in the Amazon that burns so hot it can kill. Now, Peruvian geoscientist, Andrés Ruzo has actually found it. Jeff and Anthony discuss Indiana Jones-esque adventures into the jungle, boiling rivers, and,…
A Bug in Your Ear (w/ Travis McElroy)
Mar 7, 2016 • 25 min
In an extremely strange case that can’t be found anywhere in medical history, a girl from Deesa, Gujarat in India has been unlucky enough to be chosen as the host for an ant nest — right inside of her ear. Indeed, at least 10 to 15 large ants are emerging…
Data Inplants
Mar 4, 2016 • 23 min
A scientist at the University Medical Centre Maribor, Slovenia has presented a way to encode data directly into the DNA of plants, which would continue to pass along that genetic information to all subsequent generations. Jeff is enamored with the idea of…
Dr? No.
Mar 2, 2016 • 24 min
An 18-year old in Florida posed as a doctor for a year without, apparently, any qualifications whatsoever. Anthony can relate, and he and Jeff discuss what is more important, having a skills, education, and certification of the medical field, or the pure,…
Maniac Firebird
Feb 29, 2016 • 22 min
Certain birds of prey are picking up burning sticks from brush fires and dropping them in dry grass. Why? Because then all the little critters will run away from the fire and out into the open, where the birds can snatch them up. Jeff and Anthony delve…
High Fructose Corn Worship
Feb 26, 2016 • 20 min
Writer Jeff Wilser ate nothing but processed, packaged junk food for an entire month, and still managed to lose 11 pounds. His hypothesis: If you limit your caloric intake to a moderate amount, but eat garbage, can you still be healthy, feel great, and…
Sleeper Agent
Feb 24, 2016 • 21 min
New research published in the journal Nature Communications, suggests that being an early riser is in some people’s DNA — and not in others’. The study isolated 15 areas in the human genome that are associated with the tendency toward or against…
English as a Sullen Language
Feb 22, 2016 • 21 min
While investigating non-English words associated with positive emotions and concepts, a British researcher recently discovered 216 foreign words for which there is no English translation. The conclusion being that without words for so many positive…
Southern Cuddle Circle (LIVE from PAX South 2016!)
Feb 19, 2016 • 15 min
A very different kind of episode of We Have Concerns, this one was recorded live at the PAX South convention in San Antonio Texas, and consists entirely of questions from the audience. It also features not one, but two eulogies for the very much alive…
Black Death of Journalism
Feb 17, 2016 • 18 min
An article on Fox News says that scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany have reconstructed the Black Death! Oh no, we’re all doomed! Why would scientists bring back a long dormant killer disease? Well, buried…
A Prairie Vole’s Home Companion (LIVE from PAX South 2016!)
Feb 15, 2016 • 23 min
The prairie vole, unlike 97 percent of mammals, are monogamous, forming bonds that last long after mating, and scientists have been doing experiments to try to understand if the hormone they share with humans - oxytocin - may be the reason. Unfortunately,…
Spectacular Spider-Plan
Feb 12, 2016 • 21 min
Jumping spiders, members of the Salticidae family of arachnids, have a level of cognizance rarely seen in creatures of their diminutive size, which enables them to plan ahead and work out the most appropriate route to catch their prey. Scientists proved…
Whateverlasting Life (LIVE from PAX South 2016)
Feb 10, 2016 • 20 min
Australian startup company Humai claims to be working on a way to transfer a person’s consciousness into an artificial body after they’ve died. This is something Anthony and Jeff have been dying to see happen, but they have some serious reservations when…
Chubmunks
Feb 8, 2016 • 16 min
The exceptionally mild winter in many areas of the world caused by global climate change has led to squirrels across Europe and North America piling on the pounds. They prepare for frigid temperatures that never come, and end up larger than ever. Jeff and…
Planet 9 From Outer Space
Feb 5, 2016 • 22 min
Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology announced that they have found new evidence of a giant icy planet lurking in the darkness of our solar system far beyond the orbit of Pluto. They are calling it “Planet Nine.” Jeff and Anthony try to…
No Croaking Zone
Feb 3, 2016 • 20 min
In the Norwegian town of Longyearbyen, it is forbidden to die. The reason? The Arctic region is so cold year-round, that bodies simply do not decompose. Anthony and Jeff are fascinated by anywhere that asks you to kindly leave town if you’re about to die,…
Mantis! 3D
Feb 1, 2016 • 24 min
The praying mantis is the only known invertebrate with 3D perception, so, of course, scientists have created tiny 3D glasses and a tiny theater to test whether the same kinds of 3D techniques used for humans will work on them, too. Did the mantises…
Jail Bird
Jan 29, 2016 • 21 min
On the barren Moroccan island of Mogador, falcons seem to imprison small birds by trapping them in crevasses, presumably saving them to eat later. Scientists have never seen this kind of behavior in non-human vertebrates. Anthony and Jeff have some…
Cardboard of Surgery
Jan 27, 2016 • 23 min
Google Cardboard has helped save the life of a baby who was born missing a lung and half a heart. Surgeons used the inexpensive VR device to map out the experimental operation. Anthony and Jeff envision more world-changing applications of VR, but also…
Blart Bots
Jan 25, 2016 • 19 min
A Mountain View startup called Knightscope has developed a fleet of crime-fighting machinery it hopes to rent for less than minimum wage to malls. Are mall cop jobs in danger? Will punk kids cower in fear at the vaguely Dalek-shaped mall security robots?…
Tree Howls of Horror
Jan 22, 2016 • 21 min
In their continuing series on things that want to kill you, Anthony and Jeff discuss the Manchineel tree, whose poison is so potent, even standing under it during a rainstorm can result in blistered skin and excruciating pain. Join them in a trip down…
Dragon Braggin’
Jan 20, 2016 • 24 min
An essay in The American Journal of Bioethics claims dragons and other spectacular animals could be brought to life using the targeted gene-editing system known as CRISPR-CAS9. Jeff and Anthony are on board! Let’s play god and bring mythical creatures of…
Where the Antelope Syndrome
Jan 18, 2016 • 21 min
Over half the Antelope population in Kazakhstan died in 4 days, and scientists are baffled as to the cause. Jeff and Anthony have a few theories, though. Don’t worry. It’s probably not all dark magic.
Downward Phasing Dog (w/ Christian Spicer)
Jan 15, 2016 • 20 min
Are dogs getting dumber because of their association with humans? New new study comparing intelligence of wolves to domesticated canines seems to indicate that might be the case. Anthony, Jeff, and special guest Christian Spicer talk about relative dog…
Stalin for Time: The Story of the American Tumbleweed
Jan 13, 2016 • 20 min
Jeff and Anthony uncover the remarkable true story of that iconic symbol of the American west, the tumbleweed. Turns out, it was all a lie.
Occupy Octopi
Jan 11, 2016 • 20 min
A giant squid, rarely seen outside of deep waters, was filmed swimming near a pier in central Japan. Even crazier, a local dive shop owner decided to leap into the water and swim with the deadly creature. What happens next may surprise you. It certainly…
What’s Up Dog?
Jan 8, 2016 • 21 min
Melody Jackson, a computer scientist at Georgia Tech, has been outfitting service dogs with computerized vests, so that in an emergency they can find another human and pull a mechanical lever on the vest that triggers an audio message like, “My handler…
On Core
Jan 6, 2016 • 20 min
This year, efforts will resume to drill deeper into the Earth than ever before. In fact, scientists believe this new effort, drilling from a ship at sea, will finally cross the barrier between the crust and the mantle. Jeff and Anthony wonder what horrors…
Cluck Bait
Jan 4, 2016 • 23 min
To combat an epidemic of rabies spread by wild foxes, the Swiss government, from the late seventies through the early nineties, showered their countryside with vaccinated chicken heads. Jeff and Anthony are completely flabbergasted by this plan, and…
It’s (Sort of) Your Funeral
Dec 28, 2015 • 21 min
South Korean companies think they’ve figured out how to help depressed employees: throw them into coffins and give them fake funerals. One of us loves this idea, one of us is weirded out by it. CAN YOU GUESS WHO?
New Pain Regained
Dec 25, 2015 • 17 min
A woman born incapable of feeling pain has been hurt for the first time, thanks to a drug normally prescribed for opioid overdoses. Jeff and Anthony discuss what it must be like to feel pain for the first time, and whether this is a positive breakthrough,…
Ships of Lost Souls
Dec 23, 2015 • 18 min
Over the last 5 years, 283 wooden boats have washed up on the shores of Japan, full of decomposing human bodies. No one knows where they came from, who was aboard, or why they died. Of course, that doesn’t stop Jeff and Anthony from solving the case. It’s…
Urine Trouble Pal
Dec 21, 2015 • 18 min
The problem of splash-back at the urinal has been tackled by Researchers at Utah State University who have developed a new device that’s being called a “black hole for urine.” Jeff and Anthony discuss the problem of pee splash, and are mystified that this…
Designer Genes
Dec 18, 2015 • 20 min
The recent International Summit on Human Gene Editing brought scientists from around the worth together to debate the benefits and potential dangers of experimenting on the human genome. Anthony and Jeff have their own debate, and imagine a future where…
Anger Banishment
Dec 16, 2015 • 21 min
New research by an archaeologist at the University of York suggests that betrayals of trust were the missing link in understanding the rapid spread of our own species around the world. Jeff and Anthony discuss whether the dark side of human nature might…
Spoil Sports
Dec 14, 2015 • 19 min
An astrophysicist by the name of Matt Ginsberg believes he will revolutionize the way we will watch sports. He is patenting technology that will predict and display the results of a basketball shot the instant it leaves the shooter’s hand by calculating…
Keep Your Head Worm
Dec 11, 2015 • 21 min
Biologists at Tufts University have succeeded in inducing one species of flatworm to grow heads and brains characteristic of another species of flatworm without altering genomic sequence. The discovery could help improve understanding of birth defects and…
Time Flies When You’re Having Phone
Dec 9, 2015 • 21 min
Scientists from James Cook University’s Singapore campus have published a study which seems to suggest that modern technology is affecting perception of time. Individuals who use smart phones and tablets report a swifter passage of time than those in…
Space’s Mine
Dec 7, 2015 • 21 min
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, a measure that lets US companies own any non-organic resources they harvest from asteroids and other space objects. Now that space mining is…
iRosebot
Dec 4, 2015 • 20 min
Scientists have created a kind of cyborg flower: living roses with tiny electronic circuits threaded through their vascular systems. Jeff and Anthony discuss the idea of robot plants, and whether that might be a good thing or a bad thing.
Dubai Our Shirt
Dec 2, 2015 • 19 min
Previously, on We Have Concerns, Jeff and Anthony pitched the idea of a Jetpack Rescue Squad - a group of first-responders equipped with personal propulsion devices. In fact, you can buy a shirt emblazoned with the Jetpack Rescue Squad emblem, directly…
What Concerns Brock Wilbur?
Nov 30, 2015 • 33 min
This double-length episode was recorded back in August of 2015, and was originally released as a Patron-only bonus episode. In it, special guest Brock Wilbur relates his experience volunteering at Planned Parenthood. In light of the recent attack in…
Face the Truth
Nov 27, 2015 • 22 min
Researchers at the University of Oulu in Finland have developed an algorithm that can detect micro-expressions imperceptible to the human eye, which can reveal emotions that usually remain hidden. Jeff and Anthony wonder if this might be the end of…
Cesspool
Nov 25, 2015 • 20 min
Jeff and Anthony love swimming, but now they are faced with a report from the CDC, who has teamed up with the Water Quality and Health Council and the National Swimming Pool Foundation for their annual Healthy Swimming Program. They’re seeking to educate…
Toe Tally Gone
Nov 23, 2015 • 20 min
Anthony is full on freaked out after reading a story about dactylolysis spontanea, or human auto-amputation. This is a real thing that happens when the body decided to remove an appendage - most often the little toe - completely on its own. The worst part…
Space Ref
Nov 20, 2015 • 21 min
According to a job posting on their website, NASA is looking to hire a referee for their flag football league. This begs the question: NASA has a flag football league? Jeff and Anthony consider what working as a ref for the world’s largest aerospace…
A Touching Discussion
Nov 18, 2015 • 19 min
Scientists from the University of Oxford and Aalto University, Finland, have created “body maps” that show where we feel most uncomfortable getting touched by different people. Jeff and Anthony discuss where they feel most comfortable being touched, and…
I Be Dead People
Nov 16, 2015 • 21 min
Cotard’s Syndrome is a rare neurological illness that makes you believe, beyond any rational analysis, that you are dead. Jeff and Anthony discuss a recent case of this disease as well as its history in an effort to get to the bottom of what it means, and…
Running is for Neurons
Nov 13, 2015 • 23 min
In a recent TED Talk, neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret explains how our brains can grow new brain cells through neurogenesis. The more active neurogenesis is for you, the more likely you’ll have a better mood, increased memory formation, and be able to…
Otter Not
Nov 11, 2015 • 18 min
Most people think otters are cute and cuddly creatures of the sea, but a new story on Vox reveals them to be violent, aggressive animals that engage in behaviors that may put their cuteness in doubt. Jeff and Anthony leap right into the center of the…
Making the Sound Barrier
Nov 9, 2015 • 19 min
A team of engineers from the Universities of Sussex and Bristol built a sonic tractor beam that uses sound waves to remotely manipulate objects. They can create three different shapes of acoustic force fields and use sound waves to wield tiny objects in…
Chimera-can Horror Story
Nov 6, 2015 • 21 min
A man failed a paternity test only to discover that his unborn twin is the biological father of his son. The explanation? He’s actually a living chimera, the fusion of two separate people, living as one. Jeff and Anthony unpack this story and try to…
And the Weiner Is…
Nov 4, 2015 • 21 min
A company called Clear Foods, which purports to “use genomic technology to analyze the world’s foods at a molecular level, ingredient by ingredient,” released a report recently that found human DNA in 2% of hot dogs and 2/3rds of vegetarian dogs. Jeff…
Shock to the Belief System
Nov 2, 2015 • 22 min
A new study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience claims that disabling certain areas of the brain with transcranial magnetic stimulation can reduce a person’s belief in God and negativity toward immigrants. This is…
The Amazing Spider-Plan
Oct 30, 2015 • 18 min
One of the world’s deadliest spiders - the funnel-web spider is native to Australia. No surprise to Anthony and Jeff, who have been chronicling the various ways Australia is dangerous for a while now. What is surprising, is the Australia has tasked…
Bearly Lethal (w/Adam Sessler)
Oct 28, 2015 • 23 min
A team of Japanese engineers has designed an adorable robotic bear to aid in assisted suicide. Capable of 23 different methods to end a life, including hands that are powerful enough to crush human bone, the SeppuKuma is an all-in-one suicide solution.…
Star Wipes
Oct 26, 2015 • 23 min
Several amateur astronomers, gazing at data from the Kepler telescope, discovered an odd flickering from one particular star, usually caused by objects in space passing in front of it. But that usually means the star is very young, and this one is not. In…
Precogs and Gears
Oct 23, 2015 • 20 min
Bioengineers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a mathematical algorithm that can “see” your intention while performing an ordinary action like reaching for a cup or driving straight up a road — even if the action is interrupted. The…
The Bitter Angles of Our Nature
Oct 21, 2015 • 18 min
A new study find that people who like bitter foods are more likely to display psychopathic tendencies. Since Anthony loves his coffee black, this leads to some awkward moments as Jeff tries to survive another episode.
Jog Your Mind
Oct 19, 2015 • 21 min
In their ongoing debate over whether running is cool or stupid, Anthony and Jeff consider the new study which links the euphoric feeling from long distance runs not to endorphins, as previously assumed, but to the body’s own endocannabinoids. On a…
Robot Dick Rising
Oct 16, 2015 • 20 min
Roboticists have created an automaton with the appearance and behavior of legendary science fiction author, Phillip K. Dick. Quotes from actual interviews are augmented with an AI system that actually learns as it communicates. And recently, it told one…
Mist Dirt Clean w/Allie Goertz
Oct 14, 2015 • 22 min
David Whitlock is a chemist who hasn’t showered in 12 years, but reportedly does not stink. Instead of bathing, he has been spraying himself with a concoction of his own devising that he claims breaks down ammonia, which is what causes body odor. Anthony…
Cloudy with a Chance of Lampreys
Oct 12, 2015 • 18 min
One day in June, the Value Village in Fairbanks, Alaska was alerted to a 15 foot long bloodsucking fish in their parking lot.. What could possibly cause a lamprey to materialize so far from water? Even crazier, fish were discovered all over the city, as…
Conclusion Delusion
Oct 9, 2015 • 20 min
Jeff and Anthony have often discussed the brain’s annoying propensity to latch on to erroneous conclusions by relating two disparate pieces of data, and a new article in FiveThirtyEight Science breaks down the “illusion of causality” and other problematic…
Double Dog Pair
Oct 7, 2015 • 20 min
When Phillip and Paula Dupont learned their dog Melvin was going to die, they decided to spend $100,000 at a South Korean lab to have him cloned. The process and results are both questionable, and lead Jeff and Anthony to label these people as the…
Russian to Try It
Oct 5, 2015 • 20 min
A Russian scientist admits injecting himself with 3.5 million year old ‘eternal life’ bacteria, and reports working harder, with reviewed energy. Anthony and Jeff have serious reservations about this scientist’s methodology, but are excited that there are…
Choice Words
Oct 2, 2015 • 19 min
Anthony has become fascinated by British psychologist Elizabeth Stokoe’s studies into how simple, subtle phrasing changes can have a huge impact on behavior. Just by substituting a single word here or there, people show a much different response. Jeff is…
Short Ape-ttention Span Theater
Sep 30, 2015 • 18 min
A new study using eye-tracking software finds that chimps enjoy watching movies featuring humans dressed in ape costumes. Even more surprising, the primates are able to anticipate story turns based on previous viewings. Jeff and Anthony wonder if the…
Stupid Human Tricks
Sep 28, 2015 • 20 min
A Shaolin monk in China recently ran 125 meters across 200 thin planks of wood floating on the water, an incredibly difficult and unprecedented feat some have dubbed “running on water”. He trained for 10 years to accomplish this task, which, let’s be…
Bucket Up
Sep 25, 2015 • 21 min
While many people derided the ice bucket challenge that spread over social media in 2014 as “slacker activism”, the truth is that the huge surge in funds from the campaign has been credited for a major new breakthrough in fighting ALS. Anthony and Jeff…
Ominous Hominid
Sep 23, 2015 • 20 min
Amateur cave explorers in South Africa’s famous Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site recently made a remarkable discovery: exquisitely preserved remains of a previously unknown evolutionary human ancestor. This new species, dubbed Homo Naledi, has some…
Hyper Sleep Hype
Sep 21, 2015 • 22 min
Biomedical scientist Mark Roth believes that suspended animation is within reach. He is conducting experiments using Elemental Reducing Agents to slow down cells’ oxygen burning, and predicts that in 40 years this procedure will be used to shut the body…
Blue Period
Sep 18, 2015 • 21 min
There is evidence to suggest that human beings may not have seen the color blue until modern times. No word for blue shows up in ancient texts, and no one seemed to describe things as “blue” until relatively recently in history. Jeff thinks this is…
Drone the Coop
Sep 16, 2015 • 17 min
A drone recently flew over the wall at the Mansfield Correctional Institution carrying drugs, cellphones, and other illicit paraphernalia, and landed in the prison yard, starting a riot. Jeff and Anthony wonder whose diabolical plan that was, and what the…
It Came From the Audience (LIVE from PAX 2015!!)
Sep 14, 2015 • 40 min
In this special, double-length episode, Anthony and Jeff take topic suggestions directly from the crowd during their live panel at PAX 2015. Subjects include the animal stone age, snake fish, the singularity, Wrestlemania, and much more! This is a very…
Cephalopods from Outer Space (LIVE from PAX 2015!)
Sep 11, 2015 • 18 min
Anthony has an irrational fear of octopi, the eight-armed denizens of the deep. And now, scientists have sequenced the octopus genome and discovered that their DNA is so different from any other creature on Earth that they could be qualified as “aliens”.…
Monkey Sear, Monkey Chew (LIVE from PAX 2015)
Sep 9, 2015 • 21 min
When given the option between raw and cooked food, chimpanzees seem to prefer the latter, even if it means delaying their gratification. This leads researchers to believe that if given the chance, Chimps would cook their food, as humans do. Jeff thinks…
Public Address System
Sep 7, 2015 • 20 min
To prove he lived in small village, an Irishman sent his friend a letter addressing it only “Your man Henderson, that boy with the glasses doing his PHD up in Belfast”, which, against all odds, was actually delivered successfully. This leads Anthony and…
Birth Control Control
Sep 4, 2015 • 21 min
The Bill Gates Foundation has funded research on an implantable remote-controlled contraceptive microchip that can last up to 16 years. Anthony and Jeff try to wrap their minds around the ramifications of a long-lasting birth control device that can be…
As the Crow Tries
Sep 2, 2015 • 22 min
A crow recently passed a remarkably complicated, eight stage intelligence test, which required it to perform a number of actions in a specific order to unlock a morsel of food. Jeff and Anthony are impressed by the problem-solving capabilities of the…
The Time of Your Life
Aug 31, 2015 • 21 min
An Australian designer by the name of Maximilian Kiener has created an interactive representation of the way we perceive our lifespan. The younger you are, the longer time feels, and the older you get, the quicker a year seems to fly by. In fact, this…
Shoot the Moonshine (w/ Brian Brushwood, Live from Nerdtacular 2015!)
Aug 26, 2015 • 19 min
A Japanese drinks company is sending 5 samples of whiskey up to the International Space Station to study the effects of zero gravity on the fermentation process. Anthony, Jeff, and special guest Brian Brushwood from Night Attack discuss the ramifications…
Compassionate Affirmative
Aug 24, 2015 • 23 min
An article in the New York Times outlines a series of studies which seem to point to the fact that empathy is actually a choice. Is there a benefit to feel something for our fellow man, or could it possibly be an evolutionary drawback, limiting our…
Better Know a Brock
Aug 21, 2015 • 22 min
In this very special episode on We Have Concerns, we talk about the plight of an actual Brock: Brock Leads, a young man from the UK who was playing on a cliff when a disaster of cartoonish proportions struck. Are kids just naturally attracted to danger?…
Home, Phone E.T.
Aug 19, 2015 • 22 min
Stephen Hawking has teamed up with a Russian tycoon to start a new search for extraterrestrial life. The cost? $100 million… and maybe the safety of our entire civilization? Whatever, we’ll just build some moon tanks.
You Shoes, You Lose (Live from Nerdtacular 2015!)
Aug 17, 2015 • 18 min
An article on the very scientifically-titled “Healthy, Wild and Free” blog explains why wearing shoes in the house is potentially KILLING YOU. Anthony and Jeff discuss hygiene, etiquette and how bacteria gets a bad rap.
Fog of War (with Brock Wilbur)
Aug 14, 2015 • 20 min
Some newly declassified documents show that the US government knowingly sprayed all of San Francisco with a biological agent after World War II. How often does something like this happen? How many conspiracy theories are real? Are we more susceptible to…
See Weed, Taste Bacon
Aug 12, 2015 • 21 min
A research lab has apparently created a healthy seaweed superfood that tastes like bacon! … Yeah, that sounds like total marketing speak to us, too. Anthony and Jeff discuss the whole concept of twisting marketing health and wellness to people and the…
Hitches Get Stitches
Aug 10, 2015 • 18 min
We talk a lot about whether we can trust robots, but can robots trust us? HitchBOT was a robot on a goodwill tour of the world, depending on the kindness of strangers to get from one end of a country to the other. After successful tours of Canada and…
Vote Early, Vote Coffin
Aug 7, 2015 • 22 min
Presidential Candidate Zoltan Istvan is raising money to tour the country in a bus that looks like a coffin to promote the Transhumanism philosophy of immortality. Has there ever been a political stance more perfect for Anthony and Jeff? Use technology to…
An Arm and a Leg (LIVE from the NerdMelt Showroom)
Aug 5, 2015 • 21 min
In this episode, recorded in front of a live audience at the NerdMelt Showroom in Los Angeles, Anthony and Jeff wrestle with their feelings after seeing the results of an experimental Chinese medial procedure. A factory worker in the Hunan province would…
Mins Words
Aug 3, 2015 • 23 min
Sonja Lang has created the world’s smallest functional language. Her creation, Toki Pona, contains only 123 total words, and holds simplicity as its highest ideal. Jeff is enamored by language and charmed by the idea of designing one from scratch to…
Repeat Yourself
Jul 31, 2015 • 23 min
For the last ten years, a man in the UK has been waking up every day thinking it is March 14th 2005, the day he was scheduled to receive a root canal. Anthony and Jeff think this sounds like something out of a romantic comedy, but stop to consider what it…
The Bots Motel
Jul 29, 2015 • 22 min
A hotel has opened in Japan that is staffed almost entirely by robots. While this does seem like a cheap gimmick to Anthony and Jeff, they are still intrigued by the idea, and imagine what staying in such a place must be like.
Fabby Road
Jul 27, 2015 • 21 min
A company in the Netherlands is teaming up with the city of Rotterdam to introduce pre-fab roads made from recycled plastics, which will eliminate the harmful emissions that result from asphalt, and allow for simple installation and removal. Jeff and…
Group Think
Jul 24, 2015 • 23 min
Scientists have linked together the brains of monkeys to collectively control the movements of an artificial arm, proving that connected brains can cooperate to solve problems. Further, a separate study linked brains of rats together to combine isolated…
Meal Ordeal
Jul 22, 2015 • 19 min
A new paper, published in the Journal of Sensory Studies, attempts to categorize different kinds of picky eaters, in an effort to help parents better deal with their kids at mealtime. Jeff and Anthony take a look at the various categories and confess…
Butterflight Patterns
Jul 20, 2015 • 22 min
Monarch butterflies make an incredible, multi-generational migration from Canada to Mexico, but, strangely, they do not take the the most direct route. Somewhere over Lake Superior, these butterflies always change direction drastically, as if avoiding…
Phoney Science
Jul 17, 2015 • 22 min
A new study that claims smart phone users are becoming addicted to their devices has garnered alarming headlines like “iPhones Cause Separation Anxiety”. But digging a little deeper, Anthony and Jeff discover that the experiments used to gather the data…
Pro Sting Boasting
Jul 15, 2015 • 22 min
In their continuing quest to explore the most terrifying creatures on the planet, Jeff and Anthony take a look at the Tarantula Hawk - a wasp with a sting categorized as among the most painful in the known world. This is a creature that hunts tarantulas!…
Please Advise
Jul 13, 2015 • 20 min
Why is it so hard to take our own advice? A new article breaks down the phenomenon, and suggests some reasons as to why it may be the case. Anthony and Jeff relate to being able to give great advice, but unable to actually follow it, and remember times…
Hear Here
Jul 10, 2015 • 21 min
New, wireless earbuds on Kickstarter promise to personalize live audio by masking out unwanted noises and equalizing sounds in the world around you in real time. Anthony and Jeff are skeptical about how well this particular product will actually work, but…
Prints Across the Water
Jul 8, 2015 • 19 min
A company called MX3D has developed a new 3D printer that can print using molten steel. To prove the capability of their invention, they plan to print a fully functional cantilevered bridge in Amsterdam. Jeff and Anthony imagine a fully 3D printed future…
Eye Lens of the See
Jul 6, 2015 • 17 min
New bionic implant has been developed that can replace the human eye lens. If approved, the surgery would take only 8 mins and give the recipients 3x 20/20 vision, forever. Anthony and Jeff are excited about the prospects of superhuman vision in such a…
Fear Less
Jul 3, 2015 • 19 min
New research indicates that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder may be linked to a physical swelling in the brain. This leads scientists to believe that by preventing this swelling, they may be able to not only treat PTSD, but actually immunize against fear…
Robodogs Go To Heaven
Jul 1, 2015 • 21 min
Back in 1999, Sony released a robot dog called Aibo. Now, 15 years later, these toys have started to break down, and Sony has ceased repairing them or manufacturing new models. This has caused the few people who still use and care for these little robotic…
Dreams of Electric Sheep
Jun 29, 2015 • 22 min
In an effort to create a more accurate image recognition system, researchers have been training Google’s neural network to pick out objects obscured by denser and denser layers of optical noise. But by feeding the AI the other direction - giving it…
A Taste of Prison
Jun 26, 2015 • 18 min
As a way to raise funds, some US prisons are offering visitors a way to eat what inmates eat. This experience promises to be the “worst meal of your life” and yet still been successful in attracting curious diners in at least two locations. Anthony shares…
Sprout on a Limb
Jun 24, 2015 • 20 min
For the first time, scientists have managed to grow an arm in a lab. This rat forelimb seems to be functional and able to circulate blood, giving hope that one day we will be able to grow usable replacement limbs for amputees. Anthony and Jeff are excited…
Poo Done It? (with Greg Miller)
Jun 22, 2015 • 22 min
A London borough has decided to get to start DNA testing abandoned dog droppings and delivering retroactive tickets to the irresponsible owners. Anthony, Jeff, and special guest Greg Miller from Kinda Funny Vids discuss the ethics of cleaning up after…
Placenta and Minus… enta
Jun 19, 2015 • 18 min
A new review of scientific literature finds that there is no evidence that eating the afterbirth is good for the mother. It could even be harmful. Which leads Anthony and Jeff to weigh the pros and cons of ingesting placenta, and wondering how this…
Cave Man Returns
Jun 17, 2015 • 22 min
The de-extinction movement is in full swing, which leads some scientists to consider reconstructing the DNA of Neanderthals. Could that be possible? And what would a prehistoric humanoid be like in the modern world. Anthony and Jeff consider the possible…
Running Man
Jun 10, 2015 • 21 min
Dean Karnazes has a rare physiological condition that allows him to process lactic acid more efficiently than other humans and effectively run forever. His list of running accomplishments is truly super human. Jeff and Anthony differ on their opinion of…
Awesomer Gossamer
Jun 8, 2015 • 18 min
Scientists have discovered that getting spiders to ingest carbon nanotubes will cause them to weave spider silk that is even stronger than their naturally strong tensile strands. This leads Anthony and Jeff to imagine all kinds of potential uses for this…
Under Age Thinking
Jun 3, 2015 • 22 min
Scientists now believe that they have isolated the specific parts of DNA that cause aging in humans. Which leads Anthony and Jeff to think, if they’ve isolated them, perhaps they can eliminate them… And if they can eliminate them, can’t we all live…
Iron Chef
Jun 1, 2015 • 21 min
A London-based company has developed highly articulated robotic hands, and has decided to use the technology to create an in-home product: stand-alone arms that will cook gourmet meals. Jeff and Anthony marvel at the innovation, but wonder if chef hands…
Meet Me in the Uncanny Valley
May 28, 2015 • 20 min
A new virtual reality startup called Project Elysium aims to give Oculus Rift users the ability to have conversations with their deceased loved ones by recreating them digitally, using pictures, video, and data from their lives. Jeff and Anthony think…
Embry-Oh No!
May 27, 2015 • 21 min
Whelp, it’s happening. Scientists in China have begun genetically modifying human embryos. While these initial attempts to replace potentially fatal genes with new, safe, designer genes proved unsuccessful, the fact that Chinese researchers are even…
Take My Pulse
May 22, 2015 • 21 min
When his heart was replaced with a constant, flowing artificial pump in March of 2011, Craig Lewis became the first human ever to live without a pulse. Anthony is eager to disregard his biological heart for science’s improvements - he’d do it in a…
Less is Moore’s
May 20, 2015 • 19 min
Moore’s Law states that every 2 years the number of transistors on a chip will double. But some scientists predict that in just 10 years, we will hit the upper limit of Moore’s Law. Anthony and Jeff wonder what the will happen if we get to the end of the…
No Way, No Cow
May 18, 2015 • 22 min
A group of biohackers is working on a way to create cheese without ever using an animal. The idea is to take custom-fabricated snippets of DNA and insert them into yeast to fabricate truly vegan cheese. In fact, they don’t even need to use DNA from a cow.…
Lounge Lizards in Space
May 15, 2015 • 21 min
No one had ever observed geckos exhibiting behavior that could be described as “play”. That is, until the reptiles were jettisoned into space in an unmanned Russian rocket. One of their collars dislodged in zero gravity, and the geckos onboard began to…
Live Long and Proper
May 13, 2015 • 21 min
A new study pinpoints the geographic locations where the longest-living humans are most concentrated. Analysis of these “Blue Zones” reveals the kinds of activities and diet that contribute to longevity. Jeff and Anthony discuss the pros and cons of…
Zooslander
May 11, 2015 • 21 min
The Lujan Zoo outside of Buenos Aires has been dubbed the “World’s Most Dangerous Zoo” because it allows visitors to cuddle, fondle, and feed lions, tigers, and bears. But when Anthony and Jeff hear about these practices, all they see are the inhumane and…
Go Pluck Yourself
May 8, 2015 • 21 min
A new study at USC shows evidence that men who are going bald may actually be able to stimulate their dormant follicles by violently plucking out the remaining hairs that do grow. This counter-intuitive solution was reached by ripping out fur in healthy…
Your Head a Splode
May 6, 2015 • 17 min
Anthony and Jeff learn about the affliction known as Exploding Head Syndrome, which, it turns out, is a really misleading name. It leads them to discuss sleep, inner voices, and the peace attained from a quiet mind. Oh, and alien probes. Somehow they also…
Octopush
May 4, 2015 • 17 min
An octopus at the Sea Life Aquarium in New Zealand has been trained to take photos. When visitors stand in front of his tank, Rambo the octopus reaches inside the casing of the underwater camera and presses the button, capturing the image of his “guests”.…
Detour a Head
May 1, 2015 • 20 min
A 30-year-old Russian man Valery Spiridonov has volunteered to become the world’s first head transplant. His terrible, degenerative spinal disease has forced him to resort to drastic actions, but some scientists are worried that the resulting neural…
You’ll Put Your Eye Out (w/ Trisha Hershberger)
Apr 29, 2015 • 25 min
A new biotech startup aims to have synthetic, bioprinted eyeballs on the market by 2027. These could not only solve vision problems, but actually upgrade the eye to apply filters or even record video. Jeff, Anthony, and special guest Trisha Hershberger…
From a Galaxy Far a Weigh
Apr 27, 2015 • 21 min
Cosmologist Fergus Simpson published a new scientific paper in which he suggests that intelligent aliens, if they exist, are likely enormous, weighing at least 650 lbs. Jeff and Anthony are skeptical of Mr, Simpson’s mathematical model, but suspect first…
Speedy Spider Spasms
Apr 24, 2015 • 20 min
Researchers studying the movements of tarantulas in different climates have discovered that at higher temperatures spiders can actually move much faster. This is due to fluid in their joints becoming more viscous in high heat. The trade-off is that they…
Medieval Solution
Apr 22, 2015 • 21 min
Historians uncovered an Old English book of Medieval remedies and decided to recreate and test them in modern conditions. Shockingly, one of the potions, made up of garlic, onions, and the bile from a cow’s stomach was actually more effective at treating…
Paint Your Poison
Apr 20, 2015 • 20 min
Seattle cancer researchers are hoping that they will be able to use scorpion venom to fight deadly brain cancer through a new product called “Tumor Paint.” Jeff and Anthony consider the challenges of attacking cancer in the most sensitive areas of the…
Blob Water
Apr 17, 2015 • 20 min
Plastic water bottles are a massive global pollution problem, but new biotech aims to replace traditional non-biodegradable containers with a thin, algae membrane. The result is an amorphous spheroid of H2O that is inexpensive to produce and has zero…
Slug Life
Apr 15, 2015 • 18 min
Scientists recently discovered a species of sea slug takes genes from the algae it eats, allowing it to photosynthesize like a plant and survive for months at a time on sunlight. Anthony thinks that if we can replicate this process in humans, he might…
Addiction, Affliction, or Avocation
Apr 13, 2015 • 20 min
Anthony and Jeff consider the plight of mice in a cage, given the opportunity to drink clean, natural water, or water laced with illicit drugs. Is their choice dependent on the pure addictive properties of the drugs, each individual mouse’s brain…
The Opticals of Riddick
Apr 10, 2015 • 20 min
A group of biohackers in Tehachapi, California have figured out a way to give themselves night vision by squirting a kind of chlorophyll analog called Chlorin e6 directly onto their eyeballs. Anthony is thrilled by this development and cannot wait to try…
Scared to Death
Apr 8, 2015 • 18 min
This year the annual haunted house in Waukegan, Illinois provided an extra terror for visitors after an elderly man passed away inside and was mistaken for a prop for nearly 2 weeks. Jeff and Anthony wonder what kind of haunted house is so good a real…
Urban Vermin Surgeon
Apr 6, 2015 • 20 min
A dog walker in New York city has turned her apartment into a veterinarian clinic and rehabilitation center for injured squirrels, pigeons, and other overlooked creatures, while keeping it secret from her landlord and local authorities. Anthony and Jeff…
Altered Beasts
Apr 3, 2015 • 20 min
Evidence that a hallucinogenic fungus was readily available to Dinosaurs has some scientists speculating that prehistoric creatures were getting high. This leads Anthony and Jeff to discuss all the various animals that are known to intentionally alter…
Con Charter of Mars
Apr 1, 2015 • 21 min
Anthony and Jeff had such high hopes for Mars One - the non-profit offering one-way trips to the red planet to anyone willing to apply. But according to at least one high-ranking applicant, the entire endeavor looks like a scam. A flimsy selection process…
The Dogtor Will Smell You Now
Mar 30, 2015 • 19 min
A scent-trained dog was able to identify the presence or absence of thyroid cancer in human urine more accurately than lab tests, which leads Anthony and Jeff to wonder how much faith they are able to put into “natural” remedies vs scientific ones. Would…
Snow Crapped Peaks (w/ Hal Lublin)
Mar 27, 2015 • 20 min
So much frozen, un-biodegradeable human waste has been left on Mt Everest by climbers, that it is becoming a problem. In fact, Nepal is now requiring climbers to bring their feces back down the mountain with them. Jeff, Anthony, and special guest Hal…
Growing Brains
Mar 25, 2015 • 20 min
Scientists from the University of Wollongong in Australia are 3D-printing their own tiny, artificial human brains to study the physical properties of psychological conditions like schizophrenia. Anthony and Jeff ponder the ethical considerations of…
Beetleuse
Mar 23, 2015 • 20 min
Researchers have created remote-controlled crawling insects before, forcing a bug’s legs to move by electrically stimulating its muscles. But now, for the first time, the muscles that control flight in beetles have been identified, allowing the same…
Not Really Thereomones
Mar 20, 2015 • 21 min
It turns out the idea of human pheromones, tiny molecules that can attract a mate, or make you more likable, are a total fabrication invented to sell perfume. While pheromones do exist in goats and other creatures, there is no proof that human beings have…
Fly a Plane With Your Brain
Mar 18, 2015 • 21 min
A quadriplegic woman who has trained her neural impulses to control a robotic arm, has now flown a jet airplane using only her mind. Anthony is thrilled by the prospect of someday being able to control aircraft with his brain, while Jeff worries about the…
Carbo Loaded
Mar 16, 2015 • 19 min
A man in Britain has been diagnosed with “auto-brewery syndrome.” Due to an overgrowth of yeast in his stomach, every time he eats carbohydrates, his body turns them into alcohol and he gets drunk. Jeff and Anthony struggle to decide if this is the…
Get Pissed
Mar 13, 2015 • 20 min
The residents of St. Pauli, a party district in Hamburg, Germany, were fed up with drunk revelers urinating on the sides of their buildings, so they turned to science to stop the behavior. Painting the most peed-upon areas with an extremely hydro-phobic…
The Spike Lobby Makes Good Points
Mar 11, 2015 • 18 min
You’ve heard Anthony and Jeff warn you about the far-reaching influence of the dreaded Spike Lobby. Now it gets real. An article in The Guardian outlines the numerous locations in the UK installing spikes in public places to get rid of homeless loiterers.…
Blind Insight
Mar 9, 2015 • 19 min
With a headline like “Man Gets Bionic Eye, Sees Wife for the First Time in 20 Years”, you might expect a tearful moment of feel-good sentimentality. But the truth of the moment, as evidenced by the article’s embedded video, is much more honest and real…
Welcome to the Jetpack Future
Mar 6, 2015 • 20 min
The New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft Company, now listed on the Australian stock exchange, is taking orders for the “world’s first practical jetpack” and Jeff couldn’t be more excited. But at $200,000 and at its current size, Anthony wonders if practical…
Zen and the Art of Suicidal Maintenance
Mar 3, 2015 • 20 min
The mummified remains of a Buddist monk have been discovered inside a statue that dates back over 1,000 years. Even more fascinating, studies reveal that the monk may have been self-mummified! Jeff and Anthony learn the excruciating, lengthy procedure…
Gross Income (LIVE Episode 100 from the NerdMelt Showroom)
Mar 3, 2015 • 17 min
A very special 100th episode of We Have Concerns, recorded in front of a live audience at the Nerdmelt Showroom in Los Angeles! Anthony and Jeff discuss the potential to sell your feces to science for use in treating patients with C diff. Donors can earn…
Why We Can’t Have Mice Things
Mar 3, 2015 • 22 min
A new article on i09 describes animal behaviorist John Calhoun’s quest to create the perfect mouse city, complete with abundant food, recreation, and even rodent apartments. Now referred to as the “Behavioral Sink”, the utopian underground mouse habitat…
The No Deathbot Guarantee*
Feb 25, 2015 • 20 min
*not necessarily a guarantee One robotics company, Clearpath Robotics, has promised never to make autonomous killing machines, and hopes all future tech companies will get on board with the no killer robot promise. Problem solved, right? Jeff and Anthony…
Hale Hydra
Feb 23, 2015 • 20 min
The tiny organism known as the hydra is a half inch tube of jelly that inhabits fresh water all over the world, and it may well be functionally immortal. What does that mean? Anthony and Jeff try to make sense of a creature that can re-grow any part of…
Harvest Moon
Feb 20, 2015 • 20 min
Now that private companies are getting into space, the legalities of who can own celestial bodies comes into question. Specifically, a company called Bigelow Aerospace of Las Vegas wants to start selling inflatable habitats and property on the moon. Jeff…
Spousal Recall
Feb 18, 2015 • 20 min
According to researchers at Macquarie University, couples in long-term relationships develop inter-connected memory systems. Each partner can remember only a few details, but together they piece together a more accurate whole, ostensibly off-loading parts…
Super Villain Face
Feb 16, 2015 • 20 min
A Venezuelan man had his face surgically altered to look like the Red Skull - Captain America’s arch-nemesis in Marvel Comics. His nose was removed, his brow was enlarged, his skin was reddened, and even his eyeballs were tattooed black. Jeff thinks this…
Running is for Dicks
Feb 13, 2015 • 20 min
A new study shows that longer, fast-paced running sessions are just as bad for you as not running at all. How much exercise is genuinely good for you? And why do we always think more is better?
Feels Like Forever
Feb 11, 2015 • 18 min
What’s more ethical: a life sentence in prison, or a drug that slows someone’s perception of time to make them feel like they’ve spent 10 life sentences in a day? The question was asked last year by an Oxford University professor, but isn’t the real…
Content with Content
Feb 9, 2015 • 22 min
Songwriter and youtube song-a-day artist Jonathan Mann has a new video online advocating for abolishing the term “Content Creator” for people who release things on the web. His position is that the term diminishes things designed to be distributed on the…
Under the Sea
Feb 6, 2015 • 22 min
A Japanese corporation wants to build the perfect underwater city of the future. That is both a real thing that’s happening and also something that sounds like the plot of a nightmarish disaster movie.
Sit Stand Die (with Justin Robert Young)
Feb 4, 2015 • 21 min
How easily you can sit down and stand back up without using your hands can supposedly tell you how long you’ll have to live. Jeff and Anthony are joined by Justin Robert Young and to try the test for themselves.
Inception Made Easy
Feb 2, 2015 • 18 min
A new article describes just how easy it is to induce false memories in subjects. In fact, researchers were able to to convice patients that they had done horrible things, including assault with a deadly weapon, even when they had done noting fo the sort.…
The Assassin Defense
Jan 30, 2015 • 14 min
NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is attempting to skirt allegations of domestic abuse by claiming that his girlfriend is a trained assassin. Jeff and Anthony proceed to mock any man who would physically assault his partner, and this man in particular for trying…
Leaf it Alone
Jan 28, 2015 • 18 min
The Australian Gympie-Gympie plant is the one of the most painfully poisonous in the world. People who have just rubbed up against it have gone mad with pain and tried to shoot off their own appendages with guns. So, like… Would you touch it? Maybe… Maybe…
This Has All Happened Before
Jan 26, 2015 • 18 min
A 23 year-old man has been experiencing constant deja vu for seven years. What would it be like to have the feeling that everything you experienced has happened before? Powerful? Boring? Maddening? Powerful? Boring? Maddening? (see what I did there?)
Fertility Pro Grammar
Jan 23, 2015 • 20 min
A new study finds that men who interact with women during the fertile period of their menstrual cycle tend to be more creative with their grammar. Anthony is impressed that human “peacocking” extends into speech patterns, while Jeff is just amazed that…
We’re Doomed.
Jan 21, 2015 • 22 min
Anthony found an article outlining the evidence that Earth is headed for its 6th great extinction event. Animals going extinct, global food tables imbalanced, resource scarcity, all lead up to a massive, worldwide catastrophe. He proceeds to use these…
Two Birds With One Stoned
Jan 19, 2015 • 20 min
A group of researchers studying the effects of alcohol on speech decided to get some birds drunk. They divided a group of zebra finches - birds that learn and produce sounds similar to humans - into two groups. One sipped pure juice and the other a…
Do What You Scan
Jan 16, 2015 • 19 min
A review led by a brain scientist at MIT found growing evidence that brain scans can predict future behaviors. If, one day, we are able to simply scan our brains to determine what kinds of activities we are more inclined to excel at, or problems we may…
Lay Around on Your Astronaut
Jan 14, 2015 • 17 min
NASA is conducting a study about the long-term effects of weightlessness by asking applicants to stay completely horizontal for 70 days. In exchange for staying in bed and never standing up up, even to use the restroom or shower, NASA will pay test…
Trial of the Planet of the Apes
Jan 12, 2015 • 20 min
A court in Argentina just upheld an animal rights group’s request to have an orangutan appear in a court, saying it’s illegal to hold ‘non-human persons’ in cages. Whoops, apes are people now. So is this a good thing? How smart are animals? What sort of…
The Bedbug Whisperer
Jan 9, 2015 • 18 min
In order to find a way to stop bedbugs, Regine Gries allowed herself to be bitten by them 180,000 times over a period of five years. Also, did you know that there’s billionaire dinosaur porn? That’s unrelated, but it doesn’t mean we’re not going to talk…
Creeping Self Doubt
Jan 7, 2015 • 19 min
What makes you you? Is the self somewhere in the body or the brain? If you downloaded your brain into a new body, would it be you? ANSWER ME (whatever ‘me’ is)
Here There Be Dragons
Jan 5, 2015 • 19 min
A woman has a condition that makes her see dragons wherever she goes. Anthony and Jeff discuss perception and reality, and if we know what we see is real.
Laser Trains!
Jan 2, 2015 • 19 min
Every Autumn, falling leaves create hazards for the railways. Trains compress the debris by running over it, and the resulting surface becomes slick and unsafe. The solution? Lasers! One Dutch company has developed a way to blast the rails clean with…
Olfactory Produced
Dec 29, 2014 • 21 min
Adrian David Cheok, the founder and director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore, is attempting to record odors digitally, and recreate them without the use of chemicals. While a breakthrough in the area is still a long way off, the idea of digital…
Dawn of the Planet of the Mice
Dec 26, 2014 • 19 min
Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York have successfully implanted human glial cells into the brains of mice to shocking result. Not only were the cells not rejected, but the human cells completely dominated the mouse brain…
Past Word Passwords
Dec 24, 2014 • 17 min
A New Yorker article all about passwords has Jeff musing on what Anthony’s passwords mean about him. It is a secret people tell themselves every time they log on to something, so what are the most common topics that appear in passwords? What are the…
Drying Too Hard
Dec 22, 2014 • 19 min
A new study suggests that using hand dryers in public restrooms is actually less hygienic than using paper towels. This leads Jeff and Anthony to discuss bathroom etiquette, personal hygene, germophobia, assumptions about cleanliness, and the coolest way…
Nature’s Parasitic Hellscape
Dec 19, 2014 • 19 min
Anthony and Jeff delve into perhaps the most disturbing topic they have ever tackled. An article in National Geographic features the top 5 most terrifying “zombie” creatures - parasites that get inside of other creatures and force them to change their…
200 PC
Dec 17, 2014 • 20 min
New anaysis suggests that the bronze computing device known as the Antikythera, discovered at the bottom of the Aegean Sea in 1901 is even older than previously thought. In fact, this computer dates back to 200 BC and represents a incredible feat of…
Work the Planck
Dec 15, 2014 • 22 min
According to quantum physics, Planck’s Constant is the smallest unit of measure in the universe, beyond which nothing can be further divided. Scientists at the Fermilab are building a Holographic Interferometer, or Holometer, with which they intend to…
Sound Shapes
Dec 12, 2014 • 17 min
Researchers at the University of Bristol are using ultrasound to create invisible objects in the air that you can reach out and touch. Of course, Anthony and Jeff see this as the first step toward full holodeck technology, and and try to determine which…
Must Seethe TV
Dec 10, 2014 • 21 min
An NPR story about NBC’s Peter Pan Live television event points out that a significant portion of the audience of major TV hits are people who self-identify as “hate-watching” the programming. In fact, some networks are even programming to take advantage…
Cocoa Beware
Dec 8, 2014 • 21 min
We are consuming more chocolate than we produce, and at the current deficit we may soon be facing a global cocoa shortage. As a fan of chocolatey goodies, Jeff is worried about a potential joyless chocolate-free future, while Anthony welcomes a forced…
Your Sh@t Don’t Stink
Dec 5, 2014 • 20 min
By actually printing DNA, researchers are now able to create entirely new species. They started with a glow-in-the-dark plant, and now have plans to design microbes that will live in your stomach and actually change the smell of your fecal matter. Even…
The Crystal Method
Dec 3, 2014 • 19 min
Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have synthesized crystalline materials that can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations. That means that we may be able to use crystals to replace oxygen tanks or even allow divers to simply draw…
Mouse Wheel Fun Run
Dec 1, 2014 • 19 min
Anthony and Jeff’s debate about the joy to be found in running and exercise contuinues. This time, Jeff has an article from the New York Times about a study which showed that mice will spend time on a running wheel, even when they don’t have to. When…
Lego Worm Brain
Nov 28, 2014 • 17 min
An open source group has recreated the brain of a worm, neuron for neuron, and recently programmed this data into the body of a Lego Mindspring robot. Rather than dictating specific behavior into the software, the program simply fires each neural imulse…
28 Days Other
Nov 26, 2014 • 18 min
A British performance artist is raising money to live inside the Oculus Rift virtual environment nonstop for 28 days. He will be connected at all times with another human being - someone he has never met - seeing what he sees, eating what he eats,…
Let’s Clone a Mammoth
Nov 24, 2014 • 19 min
Scientists have found the most well preserved mammoth ever- so fresh they even took a bite of mammoth meat. Does its DNA contain enough complete information to clone it? If so, should we? What happens if we bring back exctinct species?
Tearable Information
Nov 21, 2014 • 21 min
Arizona schools are ripping pages about contraception out of text books and Anthony can’t believe it. Jeff tries to figure out the motivation behind such a bonehead move, but both guys can’t understand why less knowledge is ever good. It’s enough to make…
Time is a Cat Circle
Nov 19, 2014 • 21 min
Join us TODAY on our video hangout. Chat with us. Have a beer. Share your concerns. More info on how to join: http://patreon.com/wehaveconcerns Researchers have just created the world’s most precise atomic clock- but what do we get out of it? Isn’t time…
You Art What You Eat
Nov 17, 2014 • 19 min
The Foodini is an example of the new wave of 3D printers for food. Just fill it with fresh ingredients, and out pops meals like ravioli, pizza, and hamburgers, ready to cook. Anthony detests the tyranny of food, and doesn’t have time for anything that…
Dress For Succession
Nov 14, 2014 • 23 min
Scientists studying the brain’s ability to make choices note that the fewer inconsequential decisions you put in front of yourself, the better you’ll do when it is time to face a really challenging one. Armed with that knowledge, many prominent deciders…
The Prime Director
Nov 12, 2014 • 18 min
Jeff is intrigued by an interview he read about Nasa’s one and only Planetary Protection Officer. Her job? To protect OTHER planets from us and ensure the galaxy isn’t contaminated by microbes, particles, or other detritus that might ruin it. Anthony…
Grin and Bear It
Nov 10, 2014 • 19 min
Park Rangers are asking visitors to state park and forest areas to please stop taking #bearselfies. Anthony and Jeff try to figure out what would possess a person to approach a wild, deadly creature in the woods and snap a pic, decide which type of bears…
A Tough Pill to Swallow
Nov 7, 2014 • 19 min
Researchers at MIT have developed a new pill that is much more efficient at delivering medicine into the bloodstream. Instead of a simple spheroid, it is covered in a multitude of tiny spikes, which stick into the stomache lining and ensure the medicine…
I Don’t Know
Nov 5, 2014 • 18 min
It’s counter-intuative and perplexing, but the truth is, the less human beings know about a particular subject, the more they THINK they know about it. This has become known as The Dunning-Kruger Effectific. A new article in the Pacific Standard by David…
One For the Books
Nov 3, 2014 • 24 min
A new article describes the benefits of long-form reading and suggests that the tactile feedback of printed books results in better retention than e-readers. While Jeff and Anthony are definitely on board with reading, they challenge the idea that…
Tricked by Treats
Oct 31, 2014 • 17 min
On this special Halloween episode, Anthony and Jeff consider the nature of of the trick or treat tradition and the urban legend of poisoned Halloween candy. Is asking strangers for food an inherently unsafe activity, or did we manufacture a scare that…
Leave it to Beaver
Oct 29, 2014 • 18 min
A new Wired article recounts the medieval myth that beavers, when cornered by hunters, would castrate themselves by chewing off their own testicles. Jeff and Anthony unpack the myth and try to figure out why the Dark Ages were filled with so much dumb.…
Back to the Hoverboard Future
Oct 27, 2014 • 19 min
Previously on We Have Concerns… in the Welcome to the Hoverboard Future episode Anthony mocked Jeff’s enthusiasm for a mind-bending new technology that indicated that hoverboards may, in fact be possible. Now, there is a new article on Engadget that…
Tell Me How to Feel
Oct 24, 2014 • 23 min
A new article describes a study in which doctors told patients they would just be getting a shot of vitamins, but instead gave them something a thousand times more powerful. Whether these subjects thought something strange was happening or not depended…
Objects that Click
Oct 22, 2014 • 23 min
Anthony found an article that describes the community around the IBM Model M keyboard, a sublimely clicky keyboard that has spawned cult-like devotion and a second hand black market. It makes him consider our fetishization of things, and the ties to…
Who’s the Robo Boss?
Oct 20, 2014 • 21 min
Researchers have discovered that employees are actually more content taking orders from a robot than a human being in the workplace. This prompts Anthony and Jeff to wonder what it might take to promote robots into middle management, what the perfect form…
That Runner’s High
Oct 17, 2014 • 20 min
As a runner himself, Jeff was very impressed to read of James Lawrence, the endurance athlete who is attempting 50 ultra-distance triathlons, in 50 different states, in 50 straight days. Anthony, on the other hand, thinks it is unhealthy, obsessive, and…
Spider House
Oct 15, 2014 • 18 min
Anthony has found a story about a Missouri family fleeing their home because between 4500 and 6000 spiders came “bleeding out of the walls”. To which Jeff of course wonders, “What the #%$#?!” Spider senses tingle, spider stories are shared, and everybody…
Photo Synthesis
Oct 13, 2014 • 21 min
Google’s Auto Awesome will take the best areas of slightly different photographs and combine them into one new, never-quite-was best version. A new article suggests that this kind of artful interpretation of history may prove problematic when AI…
Saturday Mourning
Oct 10, 2014 • 17 min
Saturday morning cartoons are no more! And Jeff has decided that this means something really bad for today’s youth - but Anthony is certain that it’s a good thing, and that Jeff is just a cranky old man yelling at the winds of change. Does on-demand mean…
Pet Smart
Oct 8, 2014 • 22 min
Anthony has been reading about Chaser, the wonder dog who has learned over 1,000 different words, which makes him wonder how smart Jeff believes canines to be. Is obedience less intelligent than independence? Is there a bias in measuring intelligence in…
Go Go Gadget Soul!
Oct 6, 2014 • 23 min
Shipyard workers in South Korea have been using Exo Suits to assist them in loading and unloading scrap metal, and Jeff and Anthony desperately want to try it out. But why stop there? Why not replace human limbs with robot ones? How far would they go in…
The Part of ‘No’ We don’t Understand
Oct 3, 2014 • 20 min
An article by Kevin Ashton proposes that saying “no” to things is vital to the creative process. Anthony and Jeff wonder why they have such a hard time saying “no” and what that might mean about them. Like the show? Want early episodes and extra content?…
Virtual Empathy
Oct 1, 2014 • 21 min
A new article suggests that the Oculus VR headset may be the first step to allowing people to truly experience what it is like to live a different kind of life. This could allow designers to create “empathy engines” whereby users may come to feel emotion…
These Hugs Ain’t Free
Sep 29, 2014 • 23 min
A woman in Oregon has opened a cuddle service for those looking for a bit of personal contact, but definitely no sexy stuff. Anthony works through his own issues with touching, Jeff determines the fair market value of intimacy, and everybody wonders what…
Sleep Working
Sep 26, 2014 • 22 min
Researchers in Paris recently proved that the brain can continue to classify words into categories even after it has gone to sleep, causing Jeff and Anthony to wonder what scientists do to make their test subjects fall asleep during an experiment, and how…
Phantom Phone Menace
Sep 24, 2014 • 23 min
A new article about the phenomenon of “phantom” phone notifications - those strange moments when you senses a vibration from your cell phone that didn’t actually happen - has Jeff ranting on the crazy thoughts that such sensations evoke, and Anthony…
Algorithm is a Dancer
Sep 22, 2014 • 22 min
In an attempt to better understand pop music, Dr. Lior Shamir created an algorithm that can correctly identify and track the Beatles artistic output over the evolution of their career. Now, the same technology is being used to predict whether songs,…
U Mad Bro?
Sep 19, 2014 • 21 min
Across all cultures and geographies, humans scrunch up their faces in the exact same way when they are angry, and a new article examines several possible evolutionary explanations for the consistency. One theory is that older people are more intimidating,…
Positively Pessimistic
Sep 17, 2014 • 21 min
Jeff found an article in the Atlantic that posits that a certain type of negative thinking, called defensive pessimism, might actually be more conducive to productivity and well-being than thinking positively. Anthony, of course, is all over this idea,…
The Sun is Yellow and Other Lies
Sep 15, 2014 • 16 min
Anthony found an article explaining how astronomers gussy up space photography to convey the scope and beauty of the cosmos, and now he has to break it to Jeff that every image he’s ever seen of the galaxy isn’t really as rich and vibrant as depicted. Is…
Telepathy is Real! (kinda)
Sep 12, 2014 • 24 min
Researchers have now successfully transferred words from one conscious mind to another over long distances… is a sentence that is technically true, but the details of how they did it reveal that true telepathy is still a long way off. That doesn’t stop…
Cobra Soup
Sep 10, 2014 • 20 min
Cooking a Chinese delicacy, a chef in Guangdong province died when the head of a cobra he was preparing bit his hand - long after it had been severed from its body. This freak accident has Jeff and Anthony pondering the safety procedures necessary for…
Mayo on Displayo
Sep 8, 2014 • 24 min
A museum in Japan devoted entirely to mayonnaise prompts Anthony and Jeff to discuss the proper ways to consume condiments, the joys of seeing mundane “attractions”, and the usefulness of obsession. Also, Indiana Jones shows up. If you like the show,…
Follow Your Dreeeeeeam!
Sep 5, 2014 • 21 min
An article about how one Chinese gamer turned his “gaming addiction” into a profitable business prompts Anthony and Jeff to discuss dreams, responsibility, passion, and choosing the right career. Also, Sir Patrick Stewart’s hidden love of crude oil. This…
Biome Sweet Home
Sep 3, 2014 • 19 min
There is evidence to suggest that a microbe that lives inside the human stomache may be the key to ending deadly peanut allergies. Indeed, the microbiome that each of us carries around all the time may have far more to do with our physical and mental…
Robo Baby Buggy Bumpers
Aug 31, 2014 • 22 min
Several high profile colleges have teamed up to create a universal index of basic knowledge for robots. The theory is that robot brains will need to know how to process even the most elementary interactions with everyday objects, and one consolidated…
Know More Data
Aug 29, 2014 • 22 min
Plug your email address into a particular part of Google and you’ll see a map of everywhere you (and your smartphone) have been in the last month. Anthony isn’t surprised and thinks anyone who is worried must be 70 years old. Jeff envisions a world of…
Free Monkey Smiles
Aug 27, 2014 • 15 min
When a monkey grabbed his camera in Indonesia, snapped the perfect selfie, and the photo went viral, British photojournalist David Slater assumed he’d make a pretty penny from the iconic image. But the in a 1,222 page report, the US Copyright Office just…
Immortality Transfusion
Aug 25, 2014 • 22 min
Researchers in California are planning to treat Alzheimer patients by replacing their blood with blood of young people. Even crazier, there is reason to believe it may work, since old mice have become healthier and more youthful when their circulatory…
Like This
Aug 22, 2014 • 23 min
A writer for Wired clicked ‘like’ on every single article, update, or advertisement that Facebook presented to him over the course of two days, and described what it did to his feed. It turns out, the algorithm can go pretty wild if you’re willing to…
Welcome to the Hoverboard Future
Aug 20, 2014 • 22 min
The “impossible” propulsion drive, which uses microwaves and invisible matter to theoretically power space travel - and which seems to violate the laws of physics, has actually been validated by NASA. This causes Jeff to go bananas, dreaming of a fantasy…
Salmon Fodder
Aug 18, 2014 • 23 min
Humans controlling waterways by building dams has caused major problems for salmon, who must return to fresh water to breed. But a new company - Whooshh Innovations (not making that up) - has developed a better way to help salmon get upstream: a giant…
Ant-y Social
Aug 14, 2014 • 21 min
Researchers have determined that individual ant colonies have their own distinct personalities, and that these personalities are shaped by their environments. This leads Jeff and Anthony to wonder if all animals have personality, and if humans might have…
White Penguins Can’t Jump
Aug 13, 2014 • 18 min
Fossils discovered in the Antarctic reveal a penguin that reached the approximate size of Lebron James, 6’8 and 250 pounds. That’s a big penguin. Jeff and Anthony try to figure out exactly how they would defeat such a creature in an ice-fight at the top…
Married to a Troll
Aug 11, 2014 • 21 min
A woman on Reddit discovered that her husband had been leaving vile comments on web sites, so she kicked him out of the house. Anthony and Jeff celebrate this principled woman, discuss the nature of internet trolls, and examine what constitutes an online…
Your Baby’s Personal Brand
Aug 7, 2014 • 21 min
A new web service will provide baby name suggestions only for combinations that are still available as unregistered .coms, helping parents ensure their child will not have to grow up with a messy, misspelled or complex digital profile. Do Anthony and Jeff…
Attention and the BraiSQUIRREL
Aug 4, 2014 • 23 min
Anthony read an article that argues in favor to short attention spans, and tries to convince Jeff that multitasking is the next step of evolution for humans. To prove his point, he does the entire episode while watching The Croods. Hey! If you’re enjoying…