The Reality Check

The Reality Check


Canada's weekly podcast that explores a wide range of controversies and curiosities using science and critical thinking.


TRC #420: Origin of 420 + Gem Newman of Bad Science Watch + History Of Halloween  

This week Cristina looks into the origin of 420 and its connection to pot. Pat brings us an interview with Gem Newman of Bad Science Watch about proposed new regulation for natural health products and how Canadian Checkers can get involved. Lastly, Darren looks into the interesting history of Halloween.  

TRC #419: Are Bees Endangered? + Peanut Butter Deadly To Dogs? + Transcendental Meditation  

This week, Darren delves into all the buzz around headlines citing bees are endangered. Cristina digs into why peanut butter containing xylitol may be deadly to dogs. Finally, Adam enlightens us with a look at transcendental meditation.

TRC #418: Should You Rake Your Leaves? + Name That: World Producers Edition + The Great Pitbull Debate  

On this week’s show, Darren arms you with advice on whether it’s really necessary to rake your yard leaves and kick them to the curb. Adam bravely gets in the middle of the great pitbull debate.

Lastly, Pat tests the panel’s knowledge of top producing countries with another enlightening game of “Name That”.

TRC #417: Advertorial + Balance Eggs On Equinox + Is Psychology In Crisis? + Did NASA Change Your Zodiac Sign?  

Pat starts the show with a bit of sleuthing about a recent advertorial. A flu stricken Cristina looks into the idea that you can balance an egg on its end during the Equinox. Darren examines whether the field of psychology is in crisis. Adam checks into headlines claiming that NASA has changed the zodiac signs.

TRC #416: Trisodium Phosphate in Kid’s Cereal? + Vicks VapoRub + Bottle Flip Physics  

On this week’s show, we take on 2 Checker requests. First, Pat explores the claims in a viral video about trisodium phosphate in kid’s cereal. Next, Cristina looks at the effectiveness of vapour rubs. Finally, Adam checks the physics of the viral water bottle flip trick making the rounds.

TRC #415: 22 Push-up Challenge + Name That: Hoax Edition + Are Parents Naming Their Kids After Pokémon?  

Darren explores whether the recent 22 Push-up Challenge making the rounds actually helps veterans. Pat tests the panel’s knowledge on hoaxes with another edition of Name That. Finally, Adam looks into whether parents are really naming their babies after Pokémon.


TRC #414: Talking To Dogs + How Saintly Was Mother Teresa? + Kids’ Dream Jobs Study  

It’s TRC’s 8th birthday! This week, Darren digs into recent headlines that suggest science has confirmed our canine friends understand us. Cristina examines the controversy swirling around the canonization of Mother Teresa. Finally, Adam looks at how a study came up with the 10 most common childhood dream jobs.

TRC #413: Helium Infused Beer? + Stuart Robbins On Proxima B, SETI Signal, New Horizons + Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin  

Is helium infused beer really a thing? Pat looks into the science behind a video making the social media rounds. Our favo(u)rite astronomer stops by to answer our questions about the recent exoplanet discovery, mysterious SETI signal, and the latest on New Horizons. Finally, Adam dives in to determine whether Scrooge McDuck could swim in his money bin.


TRC #412: Do People Read Past A Headline? + Should You Floss? + Is Cancer A Modern Disease?  

Cristina looks into some research asking whether people share articles that they haven’t actually read.  Next Darren check into recent headlines suggesting that maybe you shouldn’t bother flossing your teeth.  Lastly, Adam examines whether cancer is a modern disease.

TRC #411: Olympic Medal Counts + Name That: Olympics + Is Air Conditioning Sexist?  

Darren looks into who is really winning the Olympics and whether the way we count medals is fair. Pat tests the panels knowledge of the Olympics with a game of name that. Adam checks out the idea that air conditioning is sexist.

TRC #410: Iraq Bans Bomb Detectors + Redheads and Pain + More Celebrity Medical Advice  

Pat takes a look into the history of the ADE-651 bomb detectors used in Iraq. Next, Darren explores whether people with read hair feel more pain. Lastly, those wacky celebrities are at it again! Cristina fact checks Khloe Kardashian’s advice that you should put vitamin E on your V.

TRC #409: Melania Trump vs Science + Pokemon Go + Our Mathematical Universe  

Cristina takes us back to high school to explore the probability that Melania Trump plagiarized part of Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic convention speech. Adam travels across the land searching far and wide to debunk recent news stories about Pokémon Go. Finally, Darren takes an in depth look at the non-fiction book Our Mathematical Universe by Swedish-American cosmologist Max Tegmark.

TRC #408 - 8 Glasses Of Water A Day + 2016 Celebrity Deaths + Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer?  

Darren explores the idea that you should drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and healthy, Cristina looks at whether 2016 has been atypically bad for celebrity deaths and Adam checks into whether cell phones cause cancer.

TRC #406: Solar System Mashup - Pluto A Planet? + Planet 9 Discovered  

With the full crew on vacation, we bring you a special mashup episode featuring honorary TRC panelist Dr. Stuart Robbins of the Exposing PsuedoAstronomy blog and podcast.   First Stu takes the panel through the history of what we call planets and also addresses a listener email about the decision to reclassify Pluto.   Next he breaks down news headlines that claim astronomers have found a 9th planet in our solar system.  

TRC: Special Announcement  

The TRC crew is taking a well earned week off however we did want to share some exciting news with you.

TRC #405: Spoon Bending 101 + Hillary vs. Bernie + Changing O Canada  

This week, Cristina gives us the scoop on a spoon bending workshop at the University of Alberta using nothing but the power of her mind. Darren looks behind the Hillary vs. Bernie democratic race to parse out the facts. Finally, Adam shows his patriotism by looking at the history of our anthem O Canada and the movement to make the lyrics gender-neutral.

TRC #404: Lunar Effect + Name That: Apollo Missions + Are The Stars We See Dead?  

This week’s show is all about space! Cristina looks into a listener email questioning whether the lunar cycle somehow influences human behaviour. Next, Pat delivers another game of Name That, testing the panel’s knowledge of the Apollo missions. Lastly, Adam checks out yet another listener email about whether the stars we see at night are so old that many of them are dead.

TRC #403: Lamb Of God Vs Joel Osteen + ElbowGate + Dogs Detect Low Blood Sugar?  

On this week’s show, Pat looks into social media posts suggesting that heavy metal band, Lamb of God, received an award from televangelist Joel Osteen.  Next Darren digs into ElbowGate, where the Canadian Prime Minister is accused of manhandling Gordon Brown and elbowing Ruth-Ellen Brosseau.   Lastly, Adam examines claims that dogs can detect low blood sugar in people with diabetes.  

TRC #402: Helping Or Hurting Wildlife?  + Is Uber A Scam?  + Did A Teen Find A Lost Mayan City?  

On this week’s show, Darren examines recent stories about people who put a baby bison in their car in Yellowstone National Park.  Next, Cristina does the math on how much Uber drivers really make.   Last, Adam fact checks headlines claiming that a Quebec teenager found a lost Mayan city.

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