Breaking Bad Science Podcast
Breaking Bad Science Podcast
Episode 72 – Burnout and Overtraining
Burnout is the term used to describe the phenomenon in which one works until they reach the point where they just crash. Overtraining, while sharing similarities is associated specifically with working out. Is this type of condition real and how do you know if it’s happening to you? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss burnout and overtraining, what they are, their causes, and how to know if it’s happening.
Episode 71 – Hangover Cures
Is veisalgia an unfortunate punishment for a good time or something Arnold's Kindergarten Cop might tell you to just, "Stop Whining" about? Maybe more importantly, what is veisalgia? Well, normally we refer to it as a hangover. So what is it truly and can we cure it with some sort of weird eye of newt and tail of rat type concoction? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss why we get hungover, what we do about it, and if it can really be cured.
Episode 70 – Viruses not just COVID
For the last year plus we've been living in a world in which COVID seems like something we discuss every day. We've even done several episodes on it. I guess I've just sort of adjusted to the idea that everyone truly understands what a virus is, what they're made of, how they differ from one another, and why we deal with some much more regularly than others. That is not a real reasonable thought. Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we take a step back and discuss viruses themselves and highlight a few others relevant here in the US and the rest of the world.
Episode 69 – Social Reform
Though often misquoted, and attributed to Edmund Burke, it was George Santayana who once said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." It was Winston Churchill who modified the statement claiming, "Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Though this isn't a history podcast, there are certainly lessons we can learn from the past lives of humans, and just a couple of weeks ago Cassie requested we tackle one in particular. That is how and why social reform happens. Why it works or doesn't. We may not be historians, but we have at least a basal understanding of psychology and it turns out there's more to that than we would have thought. Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss what social reform is and the human psychology around why it doesn’t always work and why that maybe isn’t such a bad thing.
Episode 68 – Time Crystals
Matthew McConaughey once said, “Time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do we’re gonna do over and over again forever.” Because when you’re Mr. McConaughey, no one recognizes that you’re simply paraphrasing Nietzsche. Is time a flat circle though, or is it a crystal? Can it be a crystal? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as they discuss the science behind what a Time Crystal even is and try to get to the bottom of this incredible but maybe not what you think it is discovery.
Episode 67 – Ivermectin and COVID-19
Is it a horse dewormer? Is it a treatment for lice? Is it a magic cure for COVID? Maybe it’s just a poison. Or maybe, a thing can be more than one thing. What even is Ivermectin? Why has this drug caused such a controversy? What do we know about it and why does everyone think those on the other side of the conversation are completely uneducated? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss this controversial treatment and what science really has to say about it.
Episode 66 – The Listener Experience (Dime Store Hank Green)
Our community of listeners, at least those we've interacted with, have been the most incredible group of people. We thought we'd take this opportunity to talk with what may very well be our very first listener and fan about the listener experience and how one becomes the dime store Hank Green. Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss the ins and outs, what it is that people do and don't like, and try to answer any burning questions that a listener might have.
Episode 65 – Lightning, Hurricanes, and More Climate Change
When Thor’s hammer strikes the ground, there’s no doubt the impact will be loud, but why do we know that? He’s no larger than a regular human. So where does the sound come from? How does any of this weather stuff happen? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss how heat becomes weather, weather becomes lightning, and lightning becomes sound and how these revelations add to the global warming and climate change conversation.
Episode 64 – Psychedelics
What do Ted Kaczynski, Bono's character in the movie Across the Universe, and the inventor of one of the most important technological advancements of our time have in common? In a word, Psychedelics. In most of these cases it’s specifically lysergic acid diethylamide, colloquially known as LSD. Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss, what psychedelics are, how the UN fits into the conversation, and if there is more than we were taught in the D.A.R.E program in the 90's?
Episode 63 – Meditation
Turns out looking into information that centers around the brain is a complete nightmare. Even for a biology focused person like me. When considering meditation it’s unsurprising that this is the path we were led down. So what did we find? What is the truth about meditation and the brain and how deep does the research go? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we explore meditation and how it affects the brain.
Episode 62 – Artificial Intelligence
What happens when you say “Hey Google or “Alexa” or when you press the summon button on the Tesla app? How has our society gotten to the point where, as Anna Kendrick said, “If I touch my phone in the right places, a pizza shows up at my door.” How much of this is artificial intelligence, and how far are we from Isaac Asimov’s Sonny, or at least robot butlers? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we have a cursory discussion on what even is A.I., how is it being used, and what’s in the future.
Episode 61 – Concussion and CTE
Before this research, we were convinced significant blows to the head were totally fine. Even the idea of brain injury seemed like media sensationalism. Ok, maybe we didn’t go that far, but it was certainly surprising to find out some of the reality about preventing concussions, especially in sports. So what are concussions? How are they different from standard brain injury and what can we do to prevent them? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we dig into concussion, brain injury, CTE, and how headgear fits into all of it.
Episode 60 – Genetic Mutation
It's widely understood that flushing your pet turtle results in them being found by a rat in a robe, learning to walk on two legs, and getting borderline addicted to the consumption of pizza. But aside from the adolescent genetically altered martial artist tortoises, are there more natural ways for mutation to come about? Is Xavier's prediction that mutant humans are already among us true? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we explore what mutation is and how it’s linked to things like radioactivity and the sun.
Episode 59 – The Water Crisis
Our world might not be the 1995 hit Kevin Costner movie, Waterworld, but it is 71% water. Even the human body is around 60% water. It’s even literally in the air around us. Particularly so for those in places like Singapore. So why do we have a “Water Crisis?” What does that term even mean, and does anyone have a plan to fix it? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss what defines the water crisis and how we can be so limited in a resource that seems to be everywhere we look.
Episode 58 – History of the Flat Earth Debate
In 1983, Terry Prachett brought the fantastical planet to life that he referred to as discworld. The series would prove to be wildly popular and inspire all sorts of fantasy writers today. It was, however, a fantasy series. The idea of a disc shaped world has long since been dismissed, at least outside this genre of novels for perhaps quite a bit longer than most of us realize. So why can so many of us name at least one person who is certain the Earth is flat or is a part of the Flat Earth Society; especially considering a man walked 800 km measuring every step to prove it's not. I know Kyrie Irving is an athlete, but something tells me he hasn't repeated this test. Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss the history of the shape of the Earth and how religions, cults, and the internet have molded our perspective.
Episode 57 – Penile Enhancement and ED
In today’s world of body positivity and cosmetic surgery it seems like something has been left out on both fronts. Male enhancement. How has the penis become a central focus of society but also taboo to talk about? Everyone has things we would like to change about ourselves but what works and what's effectively just snake oil when it comes to male enhancement. Join Shanti and a bit of a surprise host as we talk about the uncomfortable but important topic of penile augmentation.
Episode 56 – Dragon Man
Combing through the internet for new scientific discoveries can, as we've seen, sometimes lead to the most ridiculous headlines. After all, if that wasn't the case this podcast wouldn't even exist. In a few rare and beautiful moments, though, Google says hey man you might enjoy this. I have to hand it to you my eerily always listening AI friend, you nailed this one. Ok so the headline may read Dragon Man, which despite our hopes was not a reference to Trogdor, the burninator, but what it truly is, is more fascinating than we assumed. Before the phrase blows up all over social media and we start hearing conspiracies of some dragon-human Shrek style hybrid, join hosts Shanti and Danny as we talk about the science and see if we can't generate a, you heard it here first, moment for many of you.
Episode 55 – The Anti-Vax Movement and Andrew Wakefield
What if I told you that when you hear the word anti-vaxxer and you feel yourself relating to the term, it can almost exclusively be tied to one of three events? Even if it's because of something you've heard that just never really sat right with you. Nearly the entire history of the anti vaccination movement can be tied to a process called variolation, a horrible manufacturing oversight, and a modern day monster known as Andrew Wakefield. Since the beginning of this podcast we've alluded to the importance of this episode and the crazy misinformation surrounding the concept. Now, as we surpass a year of weekly episodes it's finally time to talk about vaccines, vaccination, and Mr. yes MR. not Dr. Andrew Wakefield.
Episode 54: The Impacts of Social Media
Orson Scott Card could not have had any idea when he wrote Ender's game that he was predicting instant messaging, VR, and yes even social media. In his view of the concept the technology was used for some interesting things. The question is, how right was he? Can two people with a voice on a forum impact the entire world like Locke and Demosthenes? We've railed against social media before on this podcast, and it begs the question: is it just something that rots your brain like our parents once claimed the TV did? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss the impacts of social media as well as its importance in our future.
Episode 53: Alzheimer’s Drug… Was it Approved or Not? …I Can’t Remember
There are few things more terrifying than considering the possibility of developing Alzheimer's towards the end of one's life. With modern medicine the way it is there could be little doubt we've made great advances in the treatment of this disease. So it might surprise you to hear that the recent Biogen news means that the FDA has approved the first drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s in twenty years. Turns out, though, that's not actually what makes it such big news. Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we talk about what’s going on with aducanumab, Biogen, and some strange moves by the FDA.
Episode 52: Genetic Heritage 23, Me, and the Mailman
What happens when the family you've always known or the story about them turns out to be, I dunno a lie or maybe a confused misconception repeated through generations? If you listened to the intro, you know that I'm a firm believer in the fact that people as a whole, sometimes lie. The beauty and the danger with this is that science can be misconstrued or misinterpreted, but the science itself doesn't lie. So why then, are there so many questions about our DNA ancestry? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we welcome back Dr. Sonya Iverson and discuss genetic heritage, DNA ancestry, and the mailman.
Episode 51: Biological and Chemical Warfare
Ghengis Khan had some pretty brutal war tactics, but did he once use biology as a weapon? How is Ted Kaczyinski tied to chemical warfare experimentation? Has a biological weapon ever been used intentionally? Are either of these even scientifically practical? When was the last time chemical weapons were employed? Is the fear of biological and chemical weapons just a great premise for video games and TV or are these as terrifying as they seem? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss the legitimacy of biological and chemical warfare and why the practice is virtually teeming with conspiracy theories and rumors.
Episode 50: Symbiotic Relationships
As a scientist, obviously Danny knows plenty about the creatures from Klyntar and their partnerships with other species. Well, did we say scientist? I guess we meant nerd. Venom and Marvel's other symbiotes do certainly portray a practice that has been fascinating scientists for centuries, though. Symbiosis and more importantly mutualism is the pinnacle of interspecies relationships, but what is it, what do we know about it and what other interspecies relationships exist. Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss how some species can be so intricately tied together that separation could mean certain extinction for both.
Episode 49: Mosquito Twitter
What happens when toxic males go out into the wild, propagate more toxic males, and kill every female progeny they produce? Well...Florida is working on finding out. That is, at least, with their mosquito population. Genetically Engineered mosquitoes, can they accomplish what the aliens in Lilo and Stitch worked so hard to prevent? Both kudos and my apologies for those of you who get that reference. What does it mean to have these creatures in the wild? Is it a concern and is it even the first time something like this has been done? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss the recent news that Florida has released genetically engineered mosquitoes into the wild.
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