We Have Concerns

We Have Concerns

United States

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


The Old Guard  

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 while others rest. However, no one had tested this sentinel hypothesis in humans until now. Jeff and Anthony discuss the findings and test the theory in their own lives.

Stringing Up Baby  

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 building, several stories up, and would still have sufficient room to play with toys. Jeff and Anthony discuss this insane invention, and wonder why it didn't catch on.

How to Kill a Gram  

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 the answer might surprise you.

Paternal Sunshine of the Sunless Mind (w/Vernon Shaw)  

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 memories. Anthony, Jeff, and special guest Vernon Shaw discuss what they would use this technology for, and whether it would be a good thing or not.

The Face That Feeds You  

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  

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  

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 their leisure time to gamble. Jeff and Anthony discuss time management of ancient peoples, and how that applies to us.

Rank the Hurting Top  

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  

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  

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 suddenly allowed millions of Americans great access to all kinds of goods and services. But almost immediately, it had some unintended consequences as some parents tried to send their children through the mail. Jeff and Anthony discuss putting babies in the mail and what it meant for post man.

Not Dimension  

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 this might not mean what you think it means. Anthony and Jeff delve into this discovery and decipher its true meaning.

Far Fall, eh?  

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  

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 generally got a bit weird. Anthony and Jeff discuss how the hell this happened and what it did to dolphin science.

Climb of the Sensory  

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 ropes to catch him if he fell. Is he crazy or stupid? Or both? Neuroscientists recently studied Honnold’s brain. They hadn’t seen anything like it. His amygdala, the part of the brain that reacts to fear, lay dormant. Anthony and Jeff discuss this Brock, and what his case might mean for the rest of us.

Circuitry Good Explanation  

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 man and machine, the Pentagon is launching a new program to create machines that can explain their actions in a way we puny humans can understand. Jeff and Anthony discuss whether this is a good idea.

No Fear Gear (w/ Anita Sarkeesian)  

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 zen-like calm in the face of death. Thanks to Anita for joining us! Find her show at https://feministfrequency.com/ We recorded a special, double-length, patron-only episode with Antia! You can listen to it here: https://www.patreon.com/wehaveconcerns

Extra Hasty Crispr  

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 introduced. Is this tool still the future, or should we slow down and pump the brakes on gene editing? Jeff and Anthony discuss.

Blood Money  

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 customer, said Karmazin, but most of the early adopters tend to be of retirement age. Anthony and Jeff discuss the ethics of this startup and idea of techno-vampyrism.

Go Pharm Go Fowl  

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 escalation of sick bird prankz into something serious.

New Wrongs Make a Right  

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.

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