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?


Jurassic Bark  

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 aggressive, vocally speaking, eschewing gigantic roars for a much more subtle coo or a duck’s quack. Jeff and Anthony discuss all of the misinformation about dinosaurs, and how quacking would change their cultural appeal.

Bonobo Knows  

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 called theory of mind, or the ability to know that others have different beliefs and perspectives. Jeff and Anthony talk about animal intelligence, and the concept of "false thoughts".

Home Is Where the Start Is  

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 a direct descendant of the Stone Age man. He lives half a mile from the burial site and teaches history. Anthony and Jeff marvel at this story of time and space, and contemplate the merits of staying close to where your family has always been.

Flight Change  

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 own travel woes.

This I Swear  

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. Jeff and Anthony take a journey through the list to discuss why some words are worse than others.

Sounds Fishy  

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 – and if males cannot “chat up” females who speak a different dialect it could threaten their ability to breed. Jeff and Anthony discuss the idea of animal dialects, and what it might mean for nature.

Trend in the Clowns  

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 cause for worry, or just a media circus?

Bird Cage  

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 and Jeff know a thing or two about #bridprankz, so they tackle this case, to get to the bottom of this classic avian practical joke.

Age Old Question  

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 expectancy than the person’s actual age. Anthony and Jeff discuss whether our DNA will determine our lifespan, and, if so, what we should do about it.


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 scientists came to their conclusion, and using theme parks to treat maladies of all kinds.

A Clean Pill of Health  

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 cardiovascular disease. Jeff and Anthony debate the merits of a pill that can make unhealthy lifestyles safe, and wonder what the future might look like if it really works.

The Tortoise and the Scare  

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, and other surprising turtle tales.

A Cave New World  

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 to this one cave. Jeff and Anthony discuss the lost world of this cave, what it means, and whether they would delve into such a deep, harsh place.

Bye Polar  

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 10 adult bears and some cubs, a nearby ship was able to reach the island and supply the scientists with dogs and flares to scare off the bears. Anthony and Jeff discuss the predicament and wonder what they might do faced with the same challenge.

Bringing Up Baby  

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?  

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 the new brainwaves scans to EEG scans from a group of known alcoholics -- and the machine successfully identified 25-percent of persons who identified themselves as alcoholics in the new sample. Anthony and guest host Kris Straub wonder if this means anything at all, or is a lot of click-baity scare tactics.

Not-a-Dog Person  

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. Anthony and special guest Kris Straub fill in for Jeff as he becomes a new Dad, and discuss the level of delusion required to mistake bears for puppies.

Up Sh%t Creek  

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 into a toilet after a phone, and the depths of friendships. Not an episode for the squeamish.

Host in the Shell  

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 check out the potential new digs, and for those whom the shell is too big, they line up and wait. And get this, they line up in size order. Up to 20 crabs, lined up biggest to smallest, waiting for just-the-right–size crab to appear. Jeff is blown away by this incredible organization, but Anthony see a problem...

Live and Let Diet  

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 actually feed fewer people. Anthony and Jeff discuss the responsibility we all have as eaters, and how much that should play into our decisions.

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