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The Reality Check

English, Sciences, 1 season, 426 episodes, 3 days, 1 hour
About
Canada's weekly podcast that explores a wide range of controversies and curiosities using science and critical thinking.
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TRC #691: Why Can’t AI Do Laundry and Dishes?

Can we say that AI is going in the wrong direction, as it does our art and writing while we suffer doing laundry and dishes? It’s just Adam on the show this week as he overanalyzes a viral tweet by looking at how much the time and way we do chores has changed for the better over the centuries, while looking at what AI could do to improve the situation.
6/16/202419 minutes, 20 seconds
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TRC #690: Early Mammals + Would You Rather Encounter a Man or a Bear in the Woods?

What were the first mammals like? Darren examines what characterizes a mammal and explores the world of early mammals, who coexisted with the dinosaurs. Adam investigates the discourse around a viral question which asks “Would you rather be stuck in a forest with a man or a bear?”, using some simple statistics to inform the issue.
6/3/202432 minutes, 25 seconds
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TRC #689: The Science of Dune's Sandworms + AI Personal Assistants

Could the huge Sandworms in Frank Herbert's Dune really exist?  Adam looks at how scientifically plausible these odd creatures might be.  In light of recent news about Open AI's GPT-4o and Google's Project Astra, Darren look at the latest advances in AI personal assistants, speculates where this could be leading and shares a passage from his book Uncontrollable on the topic.
5/20/202437 minutes, 5 seconds
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TRC #688: Interview with Spencer Greenberg

Spencer Greenberg is the founder Clearer Thinking, a web site which provides tools for critical thinking, as well as Transparent Replications, which does rapid replications of papers in psychology and behavioural studies. In this interview he discusses the replication crisis in scientific studies, what’s causing it and what can be done to reduce these problems.
5/5/202432 minutes, 50 seconds
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TRC #687: Remembering Daniel Dennett

This past Friday, April 19th, philosopher Daniel Dennett passed away at the age of 82.  Throughout his life he has impacted many people through his work.  On this week's show Darren shares some of his thoughts on this great man and gives an overview of a few of his books.  Thank you Daniel Dennett.
4/22/202414 minutes, 37 seconds
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TRC #686: The Stanford Prison Experiment + Is AI Taking Over Creative Jobs?

Adam looks at evidence that the popular Stanford Prison Experiment was not as well run as we've heard which raises concerns about the conclusions we make from it.  Darren considers some recent events in the world of AI and wonders whether or not AI could soon be taking over some creative jobs.
4/14/202433 minutes, 8 seconds
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TRC #685: AI More Creative Than Humans? + Safe Solar Eclipse Viewing

Artificial Intelligence or Artificial Creativity?  Can an AI be more creative than a human?  Darren looks at a study which attempts to answer this question.  With the upcoming solar eclipse occurring in North America on April 8th, Adam examines the risk of staring at the sun and gives some tips on how to view an eclipse safely.
3/31/202434 minutes, 57 seconds
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TRC #684: Aliens in Mexican Congress? + Book Review: Outlive by Peter Attia

I’m not saying they’re aliens but … they’re aliens. Adam uses hard hitting science to evaluate the validity of these allegedly non human mummified remains which were presented to the Mexican Congress in the fall. A shocking discovery which puts into question everything we know about our world or a hoax? Darren gives us a review of Peter Attia’s book Outlive, an exploration of the science behind living a longer and better life.
3/17/202433 minutes, 11 seconds
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TRC #683: AI News: Sora, Gemini 1.5 and Implications + Jailbreaks by Hiding Files in Cakes

Darren gives us a news roundup of some recent things happening in the world of AI including OpenAI's text to video tool Sora, Google Deepmind's Gemini 1.5, as well as what implications this and other upcoming technologies could have on our lives.  Adam tries to find out if there was ever anyone who really baked a file into a cake to break out of jail as many children's cartoons have lead us to believe.
3/2/202435 minutes
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TRC #682: Oppenheimer Movie Discussion

We try something a little different on the latest episode of The Reality Check. Having recently seen the movie Oppenheimer Darren and Adam have a discussion about this great film. If you haven’t seen the movie already it might be a good idea to check it out before listening to the show!
2/18/202427 minutes, 57 seconds
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TRC #681: Are Poinsettias Poisonous? + Mickey Mouse and the Public Domain

Put down that poinsettia salad, checkers.  Darren looks into a popular myth that poinsettia plants are poisonous to animals, including people.  Then Adam looks into what's been going on with Mickey Mouse and Steamboat Willie as he explores trademark, copyright and what it means to enter the public domain.
2/4/202426 minutes, 3 seconds
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TRC #680: Annual Predictions: 2024 Edition + Down Syndrome Strength + A Special Message From Pat and Cristina

This year we retire our annual prediction segment with a final look back at how accurate, or rather how innacurate, we were in our predictions of what would happen in 2023. Darren examines the validity of a popular claim that people with Down syndrome are stronger. Finally we end the show with a special announcement from Pat and Cristina.
1/25/202437 minutes, 56 seconds
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TRC #679: A Chat With Author Darren McKee: Uncontrollable

The crew gets to interview TRC’s very own Darren McKee, author of the critically acclaimed book, ‘Uncontrollable: The Threat of Artificial Superintelligence and the Race to Save the World’. We chat about the challenges of writing a first book, some of the key takeaways, and have a few laughs along the way.
12/23/202330 minutes, 33 seconds
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TRC #678: Darren's AI Book is Out!

Wondering what the heck is going on with AI?  Why are some people so concerned? Darren's new beginner-friendly book Uncontrollable: The Threat of Artificial Superintelligence and the Race to Save the World addresses exactly those questions. In an engaging and easy-to-read style, it explores the promise and peril of advanced AI, why it might be a threat, and what we can do about it. No technical or science background required!  Available on: Amazon US  Amazon Canada and many other Amazon marketplaces as well.  
11/26/20236 minutes, 25 seconds
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TRC #677: Interview with Yoshua Bengio

World-renowned AI expert Yoshua Bengio talks with Darren McKee and Adam Gardner about his long career, why advanced AI could be harmful, and whether open-source of powerful AI models is a risk.
11/21/202359 minutes, 1 second
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TRC #676: Phenylephrine Ineffective? + Bees Are Doing Fine

Cristina delves into the latest FDA advisory announcement shedding light on the ineffectiveness of phenylephrine, a widely used ingredient in several nasal decongestants. Adam revisits the myriad of news stories and worries surrounding bees and the issue of colony collapse disorder.
10/23/202324 minutes, 57 seconds
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TRC #675: Mashup: The Centrifuge Brain Project + Avril Double + V-Steaming

It’s another mashup where we give you three segments from previous shows.  First we revisit Pat’s deep dive on a viral video of an amusement park ride.  Next Adam takes on an Avril Lavigne conspiracy that she died and was replaced by a double.  Finally, Cristina does what Cristina does… taking on Gwyneth Paltrow.
10/3/202330 minutes, 30 seconds
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TRC #674: How Does AI Image Generation Work? + Why Is A Bug Called A Bug?

Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, Dall-e. Darren digs into an explanation of how artificial intelligence generates images and whether or not it is just copying.  Cristina looks at the fascinating history of why a computer glitch is called a bug.   
8/29/202330 minutes, 25 seconds
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TRC #673: UFO Whistleblower? + Will We Make Great Pets For An Artificial Super Intelligence?

Adam digs into recent headlines about UFOs and whistleblower David Grusch.  Does this give any promising evidence that aliens may be among us?  Next Darren ponders how our future AI overlords might treat us. Assuming they don’t eliminate us, will we make great pets?  It’s a new TRC!  
8/9/202330 minutes, 52 seconds
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TRC #672: Are Fingerprints Really Unique? + What’s A Buttload? + Why AI Researchers Don’t Quit

Cristina kicks off the show with a deep dive into the history of forensic fingerprinting and challenges a commonly accepted notion that no two fingerprints are alike. Adam brings us a buttload of a segment when he probes into the origin and meaning of the term. Darren rounds out the show with an always fascinating look into the world of AI, specifically why given extinction concerns, AI researchers don’t quit.
7/15/202336 minutes, 16 seconds
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TRC #671: Uncertainty And AI Risk + Spot The Fake

Darren shares some thoughts and leads an interesting discussion about what might be reasonable approaches to the difficult and complicated topic of artificial intelligence. Pat brings us another smashing game of “Name That: Spot The Fake.” Can you do better than the TRC crew?  
6/25/202335 minutes, 36 seconds
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TRC #670: Mashup: Fire and Smoke

The TRC crew brings you a mashup about fire and smoke.  Adam looks into headlines about the Amazon rainforest. The facts may surprise you.  Pat addresses a listener’s question about whether the rainforest is the Earth’s lungs responsible for 20% of the oxygen we breathe. Darren investigates whether wood fires pose a danger to your health.
6/10/202337 minutes, 2 seconds
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TRC #669: Coronal Mass Ejection + The Technology Trap

In March of this year, auroras were seen in many places on earth.  Though the auroras are usually seen far up north on the globe they can occur further south.  But what are the risks associated with this kind of event?  “The Technology Trap” by Carl Benedikt Frey looks at how the history of technology can help us better understand economic and political polarization in the age of automation.  Darren gives us a review. 
5/29/202327 minutes, 20 seconds
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TRC #668: Dark Chocolate Has Heavy Metals? + What Happened To The Dinosaurs?

A recent study done by Consumer Reports shows that dark chocolate bars contain lead and cadmium.  Should you be concerned? Cristina digs into it.  Next, after watching the movie “65”, Adam looks at the debate about how dinosaurs went extinct and when.
5/15/202330 minutes, 27 seconds
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TRC #667: Special Intro + A Chat With Karl Mamer

Pat puppeteers a delicious intro. Finally, what took us so long? We had a chat with Canadian podcast pioneer and author Karl Mamer. Karl has a new book out called “The Skeptics Book of Lists”. He’s a fascinating character with many stories to tell. We hope you enjoy!
4/24/202336 minutes, 33 seconds
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TRC #666: The Number Of The Beast Origins + Name That: Spot The Fake

Welcome to episode 6-6-6! Darren does a deep dive on the digits steeped in the Book of Revelation and why some historically associate it with the ‘number of the beast’. Pat challenges the crew to a fresh and always fun installment of Name That: Spot The Fake. Can you do better than the TRC crew?
4/11/202330 minutes, 5 seconds
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TRC #665: Is It Safe To Stand In Front of Microwave Ovens? Interview with Dr. Roman Yampolskiy About The Simulation Hypothesis

Cristina investigates a pervasive belief that standing in front of a microwave oven poses health risks. Darren and Adam have another fascinating discussion with Dr. Roman Yampolskiy. This time it’s about his recent work regarding the Simulation Hypothesis, which proposes that all of our existence is a simulated reality. Dr. Yampolskiy is a computer scientist at the University of Louisville where he is the Director of the Cyber Security Laboratory in the Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science. He is an author of over 100 publications including numerous books.
3/26/202330 minutes, 45 seconds
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TRC #664: Thundersnow + Customer Always Right? + A Look At “The Metaverse”

Cristina digs into the rare weather occurrence called thundersnow after witnessing lightning and thunder during a recent snowstorm. Adam checks the origins of ‘the customer is always right in matters of taste’, and asks, are they? Darren rounds out the show with a look at Matthew Ball’s best-selling book “The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything”.  
3/5/202324 minutes, 5 seconds
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TRC #663: Interview with Dr. Roman Yampolskiy About The Threat Of Advanced AI

Dr. Roman Yampolskiy is a computer scientist at the University of Louisville where he is the director of the Cyber Security Laboratory in the department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science. He is an author of over 100 publications including numerous books. 
2/18/202357 minutes, 58 seconds
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TRC #662: Annual Prediction Show - 2023 Edition

In what has become a yearly ritual to highlight the futility of ‘predictions’, Adam, Producer Pat, and Cristina guess at what might happen in 2023 and revisit the panel’s 2022 predictions to see how they did.
2/4/202335 minutes, 20 seconds
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TRC #661: Isaac Asimov's Laws Of Robotics + The Apple Logo = The Fall Of Man?

Happy New Year, Checkers! Darren lays out the Three Laws of Robotics, as devised by science fiction author Isaac Asimov, and why they are seemingly reasonable yet flawed. Adam bites into a segment about the Apple logo and ponders whether it’s based on the biblical apple that signifies the Fall of Man. 
1/15/202326 minutes, 11 seconds
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TRC #660: Did Coca-Cola Conceive Modern Santa? + Eight Billion People?

‘Twas the night before Christmas so Cristina asks the proverbial question…did Coca-Cola really invent the now ubiquitous image of Santa Claus? Adam rounds out the show checking claims that the world’s population hit 8 billion people on November 15, 2022. Have a safe and happy holiday, Checkers and thank you for listening!
12/24/202225 minutes, 18 seconds
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TRC #659: Chatting ChatGPT + LED Masks Worth The Hype? + Play Along With Spot The Fake

Le Gang is back! The freethinking foursome kick off the show with Darren taking us down an entertaining rabbithole that is the AI text bot, ChatGPT. Cristina investigates if at-home cosmetic LED masks are worth the hype and introduces us to evidence-based YouTubers Doctorly in the process. Finally, Pat orchestrates a delightful - as Darren would say - game of Name That: Spot The Fake.
12/11/202239 minutes, 49 seconds
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TRC #658: Iran Protest Misinfo + Medieval Peasants Worked Less + What Is A Slug?

Darren clears up some misinformation about a viral post that Iran was planning to execute 15,000 protesters.  Adam looks into a claim that medieval peasants work far fewer hours than we do in modern times.  Lastly we check in with our fifth Beatle, Dr. Stuart Robbins, about the slug in response to a listener email.
11/27/202222 minutes, 40 seconds
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TRC #657: Greenwashing + Is Social Media Bad For Us?

Greenwashing is making unsubstantiated claims to deceive consumers into believing that a company's products are environmentally friendly.  Cristina takes us through it. Darren asks: Is social media bad for us?  The answer must be yes, right? As usual, it's complicated.
11/15/202225 minutes, 55 seconds
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TRC #656: Origins Of Halloween + Halloween Myths + Less Kids Trick Or Treating?

It’s an all hallows eve mashup!  Darren takes us through the interesting history of Halloween.  Cristina debunks some long held Halloween myths and, lastly,  Adam wonders if less kids are trick or treating. 
10/31/202228 minutes, 38 seconds
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TRC #655: Is Nuclear Power Racist? Sexist? Ageist? + Lenses With Stuart Robbins

Adam ran into a recent article which posed questions about whether nuclear power presents issues of racism, sexism and ageism.  He takes a deep dive and explores if and how this could be true.  Next up, our favourite astronomer and 5th Beatle joins us to talk all about lenses, following up on a segment about daredevil “Mad Mike” Hughes who died in a homemade rocket attempting to “prove” the Earth is flat.
10/17/202229 minutes, 2 seconds
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TRC #654: What Is Inflation? + John von Neumann: The Man From The Future

Darren is joined by our resident economics expert, Lars, for an interesting conversation about inflation, deflation and related economic issues. Darren and Lars discuss the biography “The Man from the Future: The Visionary Life of John von Neumann”, who is a revered mathematician, physicist, computer scientist, engineer and polymath.
9/11/202230 minutes, 46 seconds
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TRC #653: Ethics In Scientific Research with Dr. Robbins and Dr. Robbins

On Saturday the world lost a world renowned cardiovascular researcher in a tragic accident.  It was the day of his 50th wedding anniversary. Over the course of his 50-year career, he published more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific articles and his work has earned some of the most prestigious research awards. His name was Dr. Jeffrey Robbins, father of our good friend and TRC’s 5th Beatle, Dr. Stuart Robbins. In honour of Stuart’s father and his scientific legacy, we are running an interview Stuart did with him in 2014 for his Exposing PseudoAstronomy podcast about ethics in scientific research. Our hearts go out to Stuart and his family. 
8/25/202255 minutes, 56 seconds
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TRC #652: JWST With Dr. Stu Robbins + Rogers Outage

It’s been a while since we had our favourite planetary scientist Astro Stu on the show! Stuart gives us a breakdown on the James Webb Space Telescope, what we’re seeing in released images, and what’s next for the mission. Adam rounds out the show with a look into the recent “massive” Rogers Communications outage that disrupted telecommunication services for over a quarter of Canada’s population.
8/4/202230 minutes, 12 seconds
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TRC #651: LaMDA Sentient? + Is Chlorine Smell From Pee? + ‘Reality+’ Overview

Le Gang is back together at last! We kick off with an interesting discussion about a claim that the Google LaMDA Chatbot has become sentient. Adam investigates whether the smell most people associate with chlorine is due to its reaction with pee. Darren rounds out the show with a look at David Chalmers’ book ‘Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy’, an analysis of our technological future.  
7/13/202232 minutes, 42 seconds
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TRC #650: Dishwasher Vs Hand Washing + Dog Breed & Behavior + ‘The Road To Unfreedom’

In an effort to settle a hot household debate, Cristina looks into whether it’s more eco and pocket friendly to hand wash dishes versus using your dishwasher. Adam checks out a new study that suggests dog personalities have little to do with their breed. Lastly, Darren gives us an overview of the bestselling book, “The Road to Unfreedom” by Timothy Snyder, which chronicles the rise of authoritarianism.
6/6/202227 minutes, 5 seconds
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TRC #649: Is Russia Committing Genocide In Ukraine? + No Ugly Old Buildings?

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and since that time have committed all manner of atrocities. But is it genocide?  Darren tackles this difficult topic.  Next, Adam looks into the idea that there are no ugly old buildings and survivorship bias.
4/24/202224 minutes, 4 seconds
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TRC #648: Slapgate Conspiracy + The Science Of Moonfall

As Will Smith’s slap during the Academy Awards trends online, a picture of the moment has gone viral suggesting Chris Rock wore a prosthetic cheek pad. Cristina digs into it. Next, Adam takes a look at the science, or more precisely lack thereof, in the latest sci-fi flick, “Moonfall”.  
4/18/202230 minutes, 9 seconds
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TRC #647: Coalitions Are Democratic?

On Tuesday, March 22, the Liberals and New Democratic Party announced a confidence and supply agreement to further each of their interests.  Darren takes a look at whether this is undemocratic, whether it is what Canadians voted for and if it’s a “backroom deal”.
4/8/20229 minutes, 36 seconds
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TRC #646: Donating During Disasters + Domestication Syndrome + ‘Intellectuals and Society’ By Thomas Sowell

Cristina looks at the dark side of charitable donation and shares valuable advice and insight from Humanitarian Logistics expert Dale Herzog. Adam dives into new research around domesticated silver foxes and revisits Animal Domestication Syndrome. Darren reviews Thomas Sowell’s ‘Intellectuals and Society’ - a discussion on the relevance of intellectuals - and he has some feelings about it.
3/27/202226 minutes, 2 seconds
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TRC #645: The Panther of Kharkiv

Short show for you this week. The internet was recently abuzz about a cat named Mikael.  Supposedly, Ukrainian army cats were trained to spot and direct the location of Russian sniper lasers. The story discussed was of Mikael, "The Panther of Kharkiv", who followed laser spots to identify four snipers, leading to their deaths.  This is indeed Adam’s wheelhouse and he digs in to find the truth.
3/17/20229 minutes, 9 seconds
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TRC #644: Ottawa Convoy Confusion

The trucks, the honking, the bouncy castles, the hot tubs. It’s all Darren today. As a resident in downtown Ottawa, he gives us his thoughts on the “freedom convoy” which has been occupying the city centre for over three weeks. Are the international stories correct? What do the protestors want, and have they really been peaceful?
2/19/202234 minutes, 26 seconds
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TRC #643: Catalytic Converters + Masked People More Attractive? + New Year’s Resolutions

Cristina looks into why thefts of catalytic converters in cars has soared lately. Adam takes a skeptical lens to recent headlines suggesting that wearing face masks make people seem more attractive. Finally, Darren brings us a fascinating exploration of New Year’s resolutions and considers why humans make them.
2/13/202231 minutes, 32 seconds
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TRC #642: Annual Prediction Show: 2022 Edition

In what has become a yearly ritual to highlight the futility of ‘predictions’, Adam, Producer Pat, and Cristina guess at what might happen in the new year and look back on our guesses from last year.
1/20/202247 minutes, 58 seconds
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TRC #641: Dangers Of High Density Crowds + Memes: Conspiracies Or Clickbait? + ‘Rationality’ By Steven Pinker

Cristina delves into the fascinating yet terrifying science of high density crowds in light of the recent Astroworld music festival tragedy. Adam takes a closer look behind popular memes. Are they data mining, pushing elaborate conspiracy theories, or just plain old clickbait? Darren gives us a great overview of Steven Pinker’s latest book “Rationality”, which explores the concept of collective rationality in society.
12/23/202134 minutes, 23 seconds
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TRC #640: Effective Donating 2021 + Longest Lunar Eclipse?

Darren brings us an important overview of the recent updates from the charity evaluation website GiveWell to help inform your charity donation decisions this holiday season. Adam rounds out the show by scrutinizing claims that the recent lunar eclipse was the longest eclipse of this century and next.
12/1/202126 minutes, 22 seconds
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TRC #639: Mae Jemison + House Prices + Superman vs Phone Booth

Cristina shines a spotlight on the incredible career of the first African-American female in space, Dr. Mae Jemison, and shares some fun Star Trek trivia. Adam takes a look behind the factors contributing to higher house prices to determine if they’re going up as much as we think. Darren goes meta with a deep dive into how often Superman really changes in a phone booth.
11/22/202138 minutes, 58 seconds
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TRC #638: Human Augmentation

Darren delivers a compelling synopsis of a report released by the UK Department of Defence earlier this year regarding the field of Human Augmentation. Could integrating the abilities of both people and machines be critical to winning future wars?
11/1/202133 minutes, 51 seconds
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TRC #637: COVID App Privacy Vulnerability? + ‘Spot The Fake’ + ‘The Next 500 Years’

Adam discovers a vulnerability in the new COVID Verify Ontario app that allows an easy way for anyone to see personal information contained in someone’s Quebec QR code. Pat challenges the crew with an always-entertaining game of ‘Spot The Fake’. Lastly, Darren gives us a quick take on the book, “The Next 500 Years: Engineering Life to Reach New Worlds.”
10/18/202126 minutes, 5 seconds
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TRC #636: Generational Labels + China Video Game Ban + Can You Burp & Fart Simultaneously?

Adam seems to experience deja vu when covering China’s latest attempts to restrict online gaming for minors. In a total cheugy move, Darren looks at the problems with generational labels like Gen Z and why a recent letter sent to Pew Research Center is urging to stop using them. Lastly, Cristina has been sitting on this gassy topic until the crew reunited. Is it physically possible to burp and fart at the same time?
10/8/202134 minutes, 35 seconds
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TRC #635: Ear Seeding + The Oldest Profession?

Cristina gives us an earful about a wellness trend that suggests placing a small seed or bead on the cartilage of your outer ear provides multiple health benefits. Adam looks back in history to corroborate whether sex work really is the so-called ‘oldest profession’.
9/20/202125 minutes, 34 seconds
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TRC #634: QR Codes Dangerous? + Ads In Your Dreams?

After a vaccine passport system is launched in his home province of Quebec, Adam investigates whether people’s fear that QR code technology is dangerous and could compromise our privacy is justified. Darren looks into the validity behind claims that consumer brands can target ads at your dreams using Targeted Dream Incubation.
9/7/202124 minutes, 54 seconds
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TRC #633: Country Most Prepared For COVID-19? + What Is A Neutral Zone? + Embr Wave

Darren does a deep dive into the Global Health Security Index which aims to assess a country’s capability to prevent and mitigate epidemics and pandemics. Adam unleashes his inner Trekkie by venturing into the Neutral Zone to discover its meaning and historical origins. After hearing ads for the Embr Wave on other podcasts, Cristina looks behind the wearable device’s claims to cool you down or warm you up.
8/17/202127 minutes, 58 seconds
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TRC #632: Anti-Sex Beds + Hollow Earth? + Youngest Mother

Cristina fact checks rumours circulating on social media that anti-sex beds were installed in Tokyo’s Olympic Village to deter athletes from hooking up. Adam digs into the plausibility of the Hollow Earth theory after seeing Godzilla vs. Kong. Darren looks into the shocking story behind the youngest person to ever give birth.
7/27/202128 minutes
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TRC #631: The Top 40 + Subway Tuna Real Tuna? + ‘Drug Use For Grown-Ups’ By Carl Hart

Cristina explores the interesting origin and meaning of the oft-used music industry term Top 40. Adam digs into recent headlines suggesting that Subway restaurant tuna is not what it seems. Darren looks at Dr. Carl L. Hart’s book, ‘Drug Use For Grown-Ups’ which challenges our conventional understanding of drugs and their effects.
7/17/202127 minutes, 15 seconds
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TRC #630: Does In-Office Work Increase Innovation? + UAP Task Force Report + Does Bone China Contain Real Bone?

Darren takes a skeptical look at the argument that in-office work increases collaboration and innovation. Adam’s ‘not saying it’s aliens’, as he takes a closer look at the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force Report. Cristina makes a bone-chilling discovery about china.
7/4/202131 minutes, 32 seconds
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TRC #629: COVID-19 Sniffing Canines + Thought-To-Image Generation + Skin Asphyxiation

Cristina digs into headlines claiming dogs can sniff out coronavirus with impressive accuracy. Darren looks into whether we currently have the technology to generate images just by using our thoughts. After recently watching the classic James Bond flick ‘Goldfinger’, Adam investigates whether a person can actually die from skin suffocation. 
6/13/202130 minutes, 9 seconds
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TRC #628: Canine DNA Tests? + Good News 2020: Peace, Safety & Human Rights + Snow White Controversy

Cristina digs into doggie DNA tests to find out if they live up to the claims and the hype made by direct-to-consumer canine DNA-test companies. Darren highlights some of the positive stuff to come out of 2020 with another instalment of his ‘good news’ series. This week his focus is peace, safety and human rights. Adam rounds out the show by looking into the recent controversy over Disney’s Snow White and Prince Charming’s unsolicited kiss.
5/24/202131 minutes, 55 seconds
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TRC #627: Produce Bags + Science Of Soulmates + Are Turtles Slow?

Adam is perplexed by his recent woes trying to open produce bags and goes looking for answers. Cristina examines the notion of soulmates and whether we can use science to determine how likely we are to meet that ‘one’ human on Earth we’re meant to be with. Finally, Darren challenges the narrative we’re taught since childhood that turtles are slow after seeing a video of one ninja-moving turtle.
5/8/202127 minutes, 52 seconds
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TRC #626: A Deep Dive Into ‘Just Deserts’ By Daniel Dennett & Gregg Caruso

On this week’s show, Darren takes a deep dive into a well of ideas discussed in “Just Deserts” by Daniel Dennett and Gregg Caruso. The book features a debate between the two famed philosophers regarding their views on a range of topics like free will, moral responsibility and legal punishment. Darren recorded the segment with Adam and their ensuing conversation was quite interesting, so we decided to release it as a full show.
5/2/202127 minutes, 24 seconds
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TRC #625: Good News 2020: Global Health + Dogs Communicating With Buttons?

The year 2020 was a dumpster fire, right?  Darren gives us another instalment of his good news stories from the year, this time discussing global health. Adam does a deep dive into viral videos claiming to show dogs communicating using soundboards.
4/24/202132 minutes, 8 seconds
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TRC #624: COVID Vaccine Risk & Critical Thinking + Mary Kay Pink Cadillac + What Does The Fox Say?

Darren kicks off the show with an important segment that examines the benefit of getting the COVID vaccine versus any potential risks, using critical thinking. Cristina takes a ride down the MLM highway and explores Truth In Advertising’s recent scrutiny of Mary Kay’s deceptive pinky promises. Finally, Adam really does a deep dive to find out, what does the fox say?
4/18/202136 minutes, 31 seconds
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TRC #623: The Neuroscience Of Addiction with Dr. Kim Hellemans

This week we bring you a fascinating interview with Dr. Kim Hellemans about the neuroscience of addiction which originally aired in 2019. Kim is an award-winning neuroscientist and the chair of the department of neuroscience at Carleton University. She is also a co-host of Minding The Brain podcast. Enjoy!
4/10/202139 minutes, 1 second
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TRC #622: Suez Canal Conspiracies + Are Maps Racist? + 2020 Book Picks

Cristina kicks off the show by diving hip deep into the conspiracy theories swirling around why the massive container ship Ever Given is blocking the Suez Canal. Adam ponders whether maps are racist after seeing an angry online commenter suggest as much when replying to a post featuring a world map. Darren really did read or listen to more than 100 books last year and he’s here to tell you which titles he thinks are worth your while.
3/28/202132 minutes, 17 seconds
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TRC #621: Subtitles and Reading Skills + Biased Algorithms?

After seeing a viral video featuring Stephen Fry, Cristina examines the practice of turning on same-language subtitling and its surprising effect on reading skills, particularly in children. Adam looks at examples of recent cases where Google and Twitter algorithms are being accused of bias.
3/13/202128 minutes, 25 seconds
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TRC #620: Does COVID-19 Kill More Men? + Potatoes and Gender?

Darren looks into whether COVID-19 kills more men than women after a friend shares an article suggesting women are more adversely affected by the pandemic. When toy maker Hasbro announced they are rebranding Mr. Potato Head with a gender-neutral name, Adam ponders, how do potatoes actually reproduce?
3/6/202127 minutes, 51 seconds
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TRC #619: Hands at 10 and 2? + Anti-Asian Hate Crime Stats + Planetary Nomenclature

The mantra when Pat was learning to drive was ‘hands at 10 and 2 o’clock’ when gripping the steering wheel. Turns out, all of us Gen X’ers may need a driver refresher course. Adam does a deep dive into recent headlines citing a huge increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in North America. Our favourite planetary scientist, Dr. Stuart Robbins, tells us about the fascinating rules around naming stuff in space.
2/27/202128 minutes, 38 seconds
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TRC #618: McDonald’s Eggs Frozen? + Good News in 2020: Conservation + Doublet Craters w/Dr. Stuart Robbins

Cristina’s back this week asking the important questions...are McDonald’s eggs frozen? If you’re still reeling from the gut punch that was 2020, Darren brings us a delightful segment on “Good News in 2020’ you probably missed, Conservation edition. Our pal, planetary scientist Dr. Stu, fills us in on the work he is doing related to doublet craters formed by binary asteroids and why it’s important.
2/21/202125 minutes, 30 seconds
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TRC #617: Vaccines and the Post Hoc Fallacy + Monoliths

Adam and Darren are reunited and happily hijack this week’s show. Darren breaks down the post hoc fallacy, aka ‘after this, therefore because of this’, and examines it in the context of COVID vaccines. Adam goes deep on the mysterious so-called monoliths making headlines over the last year, giving new meaning to the saying, ‘What’s up, Cuboids?’
2/13/202125 minutes, 13 seconds
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TRC #616: The Annual Prediction Show

In what has become a yearly ritual to highlight the futility of ‘predictions’, Adam, Producer Pat, and Cristina guess at what might happen in 2021 and revisit the panel’s 2020 predictions to see how we did. Spoiler: no one had ‘pandemic’ on their list.
2/6/202128 minutes, 44 seconds
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TRC #615: Live Your Best Life with Dr. Stuart Farrimond

Aaand...we’re back! This week we dedicate an entire show to chat with our good mate and frequent guest, Dr. Stuart Farrimond, medical doctor turned science communicator and food scientist. Stu joins Pat and Cristina to chat about his latest, and top-selling book, “Live Your Best Life: 219 science-based reasons to rethink your daily routine,” (or “The Science Of Living” if you live outside of North America).
1/24/202157 minutes, 13 seconds
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TRC #614: Why 2 High Tides? + Dangers Of Double Male End Plugs + Life On Venus Update

Planetary scientist and Hall of Famer guest Dr. Stuart Robbins joins Pat and Cristina to respond to a listener who asks why the Earth experiences two high tides instead of just one. Adam brings us a PSA on the dangers of double male end adapters, known as ‘suicide cords’. Dr. Stu rounds out the show with a follow-up to Adam’s ‘Life On Venus?’ segment from September by addressing the accuracy of a recent study published by astronomers claiming phosphine - a potential marker of life - was discovered in Venus’ atmosphere.
12/20/202030 minutes, 17 seconds
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TRC #613: Brussel Sprouts + 12 Days Of Christmas Christian Code? + Books, Books, Books!

Adam wonders if brussel sprouts deserve their bad rap for tasting horrible and makes an interesting discovery in the process. Cristina looks into whether the song ‘12 Days Of Christmas’ is coded so persecuted Christians could pass down the tenets of their faith under the radar. Lastly, Darren brings us a roundup of recent additions to his book shelf: “The Ethics of Influence”, “The Science of Evil”, “The Quest for Cosmic Justice”, “What Algorithms Want” and “Is This Anything?” 
12/12/202024 minutes, 39 seconds
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TRC #612: ‘The Village Effect’ + Is There A Loneliness Epidemic?

Adam discusses themes from ‘The Village Effect’ by author and psychologist Susan Pinker who posits that face-to-face contact is crucial for learning, happiness, resilience and longevity. In a related segment, Darren looks at data to determine if there is evidence to support reports that we’re currently experiencing a loneliness epidemic.
12/5/202036 minutes, 6 seconds
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TRC #611: Why Are Albums So Long Now? + Antarctica Pyramids? + Donating Effectively

Cristina kicks off the show with a look into why so many music albums run much longer than back in the day. Adam explores whether enormous pyramids were discovered in Antarctica. Lastly, we rerun a segment from Darren with tips on donating to charities effectively, ahead of Giving Tuesday on December 1st.
11/29/202035 minutes, 36 seconds
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TRC #610: Who ‘Caused’ Biden to Win? + Rules Around Naming Babies Worldwide

Darren kicks off the show by exploring how to talk and think about causality for something as complicated as 2020’s U.S. election. Next, Cristina takes a fascinating look into the rules around naming babies worldwide and what can happen if parents don’t give their baby a name.
11/21/202026 minutes, 31 seconds
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TRC #609: COVID-19 Testing in Canada + 2000 Year Old Cat Carving in Peru? + Coke in Coke?

Cristina kicks off the show with an overview of how the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory tests for COVID-19. After archeologists discover a 2000 year old feline geoglyph carved into the hillside in Nazca Lines, Peru, Adam asks, “Is it really a cat?” Darren rounds out the show with a look at Coca-Cola and whether long-time reports of the beverage containing cocaine hold up.
11/8/202026 minutes, 56 seconds
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TRC #608: Is ‘Sexual Preference’ Offensive? + Book Reviews: Woodward; Cohen; Alinsky; Chomsky

After negative reaction and backlash to Amy Coney Barrett using the term, Adam digs into whether ‘sexual preference’ is offensive. Next, Darren brings us another book review roundup including some titles that recently spawned several headlines: ‘Rage’ by Bob Woodward, ‘Disloyal’ by Michael Cohen, ‘Rules for Radicals’ by Saul Alinsky and ‘What We Say Goes’ by Noam Chomsky.
10/31/202031 minutes, 46 seconds
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TRC #607: Trust U.S. Election Polls? + What Is The Red Pill + Skill Testing Questions

With the U.S. election on the horizon, can we really trust the election polls? Darren does a deep dive to find out. Next, Adam wonders what it means to ‘take the red pill’ after seeing a tweet by Elon Musk. Lastly, after Producer Pat wins a Raptors jersey in a scratch-and-win contest, Cristina ponders why he has to answer a skill-testing question before claiming the prize. 
10/26/202033 minutes, 37 seconds
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TRC #606: James Randi

Yesterday we lost a giant in the critical thinking community. James Randi died at the age of 92. This is an interview with him from August 2010. Randi began his career as a magician and later devoted his life to investigating paranormal, occult and supernatural claims. He will be missed.
10/22/202019 minutes, 8 seconds
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TRC #605: Calculating The Mass Of Earth + Subway Bread Isn’t Bread?

This week we bring you two fascinating segments. First our resident planetary geophysics expert, Dr. Stuart Robbins, is back to help us with a listener email about how we calculate the mass of the earth. We also dig into the difference between weight and mass. Adam rounds out the show with a deep dive into whether an Irish court has ruled that Subway bread is not bread asking, ‘what is a sandwich anyways’?
10/9/202026 minutes, 16 seconds
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TRC #604: The ‘Benadryl Challenge’ + The Moon’s Luminosity

This week, we bring in the experts to bring YOU two great interviews! First, Cristina looks at the controversial ‘Benadryl challenge’ on TikTok and has a discussion with Dr. David Stukus about the potential danger of this over-the-counter medication. Dr. Stukus is a Paediatric allergy & asthma specialist and the Social Media Medical Editor for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Next, our resident research scientist who studies planetary geophysics, Dr. Stuart Robbins, tells us some surprising information about the luminosity of the moon.
10/3/202028 minutes, 32 seconds
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TRC #603: Call To Cancel Netflix Over ‘Cuties’ + Is Jeff Bezos Too Rich?

After the huge backlash around the recent release of coming-of-age drama ‘Cuties’ on Netflix, Pat examines what this film is about. Darren rounds out the show with a deep dive on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ staggering wealth and wonders: is he too rich?
9/25/202027 minutes, 3 seconds
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TRC #602: Life On Venus? + David Bowie Art Hoax? + Book Reviews: Evolution, Oculus, and Google

Adam looks behind the latest headlines that suggest we may have discovered life on the planet Venus. Cristina takes us down a fun rabbit hole when she explores how David Bowie pulled off one of the biggest art hoaxes in history. Finally, Darren crushes three book reviews spanning wildly different, equally fascinating topics: ‘From Darwin to Derrida’, ‘The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality’, and ‘Life After Google’.
9/19/202033 minutes, 24 seconds
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TRC #601: Essential Oils Safe For Kids? + Colour In Hubble Photos + Can Former Presidents Drive?

Cristina looks into the safety of so-called ‘essential’ oils when it comes to use around children. Friend of the show, Dr. Stuart Robbins, answers a question about why those picturesque astronomy photos of galaxies far, far away are so colourful. Finally, Darren asks if former United States Presidents are actually allowed to drive.
9/12/202028 minutes, 52 seconds
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TRC #600: Does Cancel Culture Exist? + Name That: Memory + Seeds From China

Guess who’s back? The crew is back together again for TRC’s 600th episode! Darren asks if ‘cancel culture’ really exists. Producer Pat tests the gang’s memories with a game of ‘Name That: Previous Game’ edition. Adam looks into mystery packets of seeds that people worldwide are randomly receiving in the mail.
9/5/202035 minutes, 51 seconds
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TRC #599: Trust Online Reviews? + USPS Conspiracy? + Checkout Donations

Cristina looks into online shopping and asks how useful are online reviews really? Adam takes an objective look at the recent alarming USPS news, and whether there is evidence that Donald Trump is sabotaging the US Postal Service to steal the election. Finally, Darren gives us some food for thought when looking behind those donations we get asked for at the checkout register. 
8/22/202028 minutes, 25 seconds
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TRC #598: Does Anonymous Hiring Work? + What Happens To Plastic Bottles?

Darren looks into anonymous hiring and whether it helps reduce discrimination after a recent article argued that auditions for violinists should no longer be anonymized. Cristina takes a deep dive into what happens to plastic drink bottles that you toss in your recycling bin.
8/16/202026 minutes, 50 seconds
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TRC #597: Cans and Coins During The Pandemic + Talking Craters With Dr. Stuart Robbins

Adam kicks off the show by looking into whether people’s changing habits during COVID-19 is causing shortages of aluminum cans and coins. We round out the show with our good friend Dr. Stuart Robbins, who is a research scientist that studies planetary geophysics. He chats about the importance of studying impact craters. 
8/7/202025 minutes, 39 seconds
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TRC #596.5: Voluntourism

With the recent spotlight on the WE Charity, we revisit a segment Darren originally covered in 2015 which explores the very disturbing downside of well-intentioned Voluntourism.
8/1/202016 minutes, 8 seconds
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TRC #596: Bricks For Protesters? + Pre COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories + Closest Galaxy

Darren looks into headlines suggesting that bricks were being left for protesters to incite violence. Cristina gives us a history lesson on conspiracy theories related to plagues and pandemics. Adam addresses some feedback he received on a recent segment and takes us on a tour to find the closest galaxy.
7/29/202023 minutes, 59 seconds
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TRC #595: Can The Oura Ring Detect COVID-19? + LSA vs Steven Pinker

Cristina dunks into a segment about the NBA and how it’s hoping to protect its players with wearable technology as the league resumes the season in a Disneyworld-based bubble. Does the Oura smart ring really live up to the hype it can predict COVID-19 symptoms early? Darren provides important background and context after an open letter from the Linguistic Society of America calls for the removal of Dr. Steven Pinker.
7/18/202026 minutes, 29 seconds
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TRC #594: Mashup Mania: Best Of ‘Name That, Spot The Fake Fact’

Producer Pat brings us a marathon of everyone’s favourite mostly guessing game: ‘Name That, Spot The Fake.’ Laughs abound when Darren, Adam, Cristina, and special guest Dr. Stuart Farrimond are presented with four interesting, yet outrageous-sounding facts and asked to spot the fake. Play along to see if you can do better than the Reality Check crew!
7/11/202037 minutes, 11 seconds
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TRC #593: 36 Alien Civilizations In Our Galaxy? + Modern Slavery

Adam goes behind the viral headlines to find out if there really are 36 alien civilizations in our galaxy and gives us a refresher on the Drake Equation in the process. Then, Darren talks to us about what modern slavery is, how many are enslaved, where slavery occurs, and what you can do about it.
7/4/202026 minutes, 31 seconds
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TRC #592: Trump COVID-19 Coins? + Flushable Wipes + SpongeBob Gay? + Life In North Korea

Pat asks whether the White House gift shop is really selling COVID-19 commemorative coins. Cristina investigates whether flushable wipes are truly flushable as claimed. Adam dives into Bikini Bottom to see if he can answer a lingering fan question...is SpongeBob SquarePants gay? Darren rounds out the show with an overview of ‘North Korea Confidential’ and a look at life in North Korea.
6/28/202027 minutes, 3 seconds
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TRC #591: COVID-19 Temperature Checks? + Evidence & Context + Mayans Doomsday Prediction 2020 Edition

As pandemic restrictions begin to ease around the world, Cristina investigates whether taking temperature checks at retail stores or workplaces gives us a false sense of security or if monitoring temperatures actually helps curb the spread of COVID-19. Darren builds on his segment from last week’s show on how to talk about talking about difficult topics, with a look at complications with concepts of evidence and context. Adam revisits Mayan doomsday prophecies after a few articles circulating the internet suggest the ‘math was wrong’ and the end of the world is really today, June 21, 2020.
6/21/202032 minutes, 36 seconds
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TRC #590: Talking About Race, Police, Anything? + Yellowstone Eruption Overdue? + Is Luke Skywalker Human?

Darren explores how we might communicate about different and difficult subjects including race and policing, and things to keep in mind when doing so. Pat looks into suggestions that the supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park is overdue for an eruption any day. Adam asks whether Luke Skywalker and Han Solo are actually human. 
6/9/202030 minutes, 39 seconds
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TRC #589: Copper Face Masks Better? + Is Bill Gates Evil? + Do Anime Characters Look White?

Cristina looks into whether the new trend of copper face masks live up to their antiviral hype. Darren gives us a comprehensive breakdown of the many claims and conspiracy theories swirling around Bill Gates. Finally, Anime fan Adam finds a great way to sneak in his love of Sailor Moon when looking to answer a popular question he’s heard over the years, ‘why do anime characters look white?’
5/30/202033 minutes, 27 seconds
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TRC #588: Evidence Of A Parallel Universe? + Cruise Industry Booming?

This week we bring you two great segments about recent news stories. First we are joined by our 5th Beatle, Dr. Stuart Robbins, who helps us to look into recent reports that NASA has discovered a parallel universe where time runs backwards. Next, Adam examines headlines suggesting that, despite coronavirus fears, cruise ship bookings are way up.
5/24/202031 minutes, 40 seconds
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TRC #587: Is Beta Male Body Language A Thing? + The Perfect Weapon + McMindfulness

Adam looks into body language after a twitter user’s viral claim that The Mountain from Game of Thrones is revealing “Beta Male” behaviour in a photo. Darren dives into the world of Cyber War with a great overview of The Perfect Weapon by David Sanger, and how the rise of cyberweapons transformed geopolitics. He also looks at Ronald Purser’s McMindfulness, a razor-sharp critique of the mindfulness movement. Stay safe!
5/17/202030 minutes, 40 seconds
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TRC #586: Effective Giving During COVID-19 + Does Your Stomach Shrink? + Cats And COVID-19

Darren takes on listeners’ requests to do a segment on giving during a pandemic like COVID-19. Cristina looks behind an age old notion to find out whether our stomachs really ‘shrink’ when we diet. Adam rounds out the show by dissecting reports of cats catching the Coronavirus.
5/4/202023 minutes, 23 seconds
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TRC #585: Talking Food and Space with Drs. Robbins and Farrimond

What would happen if the moon was made of cheese? Could you pop popcorn in space? We mastered the time zones and finally got our favourite two Stus together for a fun and informative show! Dr. Stuart Robbins is a research scientist who studies planetary geophysics and Dr. Stuart Farrimond is a medical doctor turned science communicator and expert on food science. We talk about food, we talk about space, and we talk about food in space.
4/24/202054 minutes, 42 seconds
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TRC #584: Why Didn’t We Quarantine Pre-COVID-19? + How Is Your Phone Tracked? + Overview Of The Precipice By Toby Ord

Cristina examines why we didn’t need to quarantine during previous outbreaks like SARS or the Swine Flu like we do with COVID-19. Adam answers a question on many people’s minds right now...how is your phone being tracked? Does Sarah Connor’s idea of putting a phone in a bag of chips to protect her from being tracked in The Terminator work? Finally, Darren tells us why we should all read Toby Ord’s, “The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity” right now.
4/19/202024 minutes, 57 seconds
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TRC #583: Planning A Mission To Pluto With Dr. Stuart Robbins

Let’s take a break from COVID-19 and talk about space! This week we bring you a great interview with friend-of-the-show and our 5th Beatle, Dr. Stuart Robbins. Stuart is a research scientist who studies planetary geophysics and is part of a team looking into the feasibility and cost of a future Pluto orbiter mission.  
4/10/202024 minutes, 20 seconds
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TRC #582: COVID-19 Risk Of Death + Tom Nook Greedy Capitalist?

Just can’t get enough coronavirus and Animal Crossing talk? We’ve got you covered! This week Darren checks in on you and asks: what are the actual chances of dying from COVID-19? As usual, it’s complicated. Next Adam looks into whether Tom Nook from the game Animal Crossing is a greedy capitalist villain, keeping players buried under ever-increasing debt.
4/4/202024 minutes, 42 seconds
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TRC #581: Should You Try DIY Sanitizer? + Science x Sonic The Hedgehog + Naming COVID-19

Cristina looks into the proliferation of homemade hand sanitizer tutorials and whether it’s safe to even be promoting the practice. Adam brings us a segment he planned to do during TRC’s live show at Toronto Comicon this year...from a safe distance; how does the science in the latest Sonic The Hedgehog movie stack up? Finally, Darren answers a question from a cuboid who asks, ‘is there an influenza virus separate from the influenza disease? Is calling COVID-19 a virus not accurate?
3/30/202024 minutes, 36 seconds
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TRC #580: COVID-19 Vs Flu + WHO COVID-19 Mythbusting + Toilet Paper Shortage?

How is everyone holding up out there? This week the whole crew is back...sort of. Darren tapes solo from his post-travel quarantine to bring us an in-depth look at COVID-19 versus the seasonal flu. Cristina shares some recent COVID-19 mythbusting from the WHO so we...ahem...won’t get fooled again. Adam rounds out the show by looking at the recent stockpiling of toilet paper and asking, ‘is there really a toilet paper shortage?’
3/21/202032 minutes, 32 seconds
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TRC #579: Mad Mike’s Rocket Crash + Mercury Precession x General Relativity + Revealed Preferences

With half the crew in isolation, we take a reprieve from coronavirus news. First, Adam digs into headlines about daredevil "Mad Mike" Hughes who died in a homemade rocket accident intended to “prove” the Earth is flat. One of our two favourite Stuarts, Dr. Stu Robbins, brings us a relatively compelling look into the precession of Mercury. Finally, Darren brings us an interesting overview of revealed preferences, a major theory of consumption behaviour. 
3/14/202025 minutes, 6 seconds
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TRC #578: Does 9-1-1 need 9-1-1? + Why Is Bagged Milk A Canadian Thing? + Keeping Up With Coronavirus

Producer Pat schools us on 9-1-1 and emergency numbers worldwide after a personal experience dealing with a medical emergency opens his eyes. Cristina finds a way to tie the Toronto Raptors into her segment, when she looks into why bagged milk is a Canuck thing. Finally, while the COVID-19 situation is changing by the minute, Adam gives us a general overview of coronavirus disease and debunks some of the more ubiquitous myths.
2/29/202042 minutes, 7 seconds
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TRC #577: Talking Close Relationships with Dr. Cheryl Harasymchuk

Just in time for Valentine’s Day! Dr. Cheryl Harasymchuk is an Associate Professor at Carleton University in the Department of Psychology. She runs the “Positive Activities in Intimate Relationships Lab.” Adam and Darren sit down for a fascinating chat with Cheryl about relationships, love, and how to make those relationships better through play and leisure.
2/12/202038 minutes, 58 seconds
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TRC #576: 10,000 Steps? + Transgender Violence A U.S. Epidemic? + The Master Algorithm

Cristina flexes her critical thinking muscles and investigates the legitimacy of why 10,000 steps a day is promoted as the magical number to stay healthy and fit. Adam looks at statistics to check claims that fatal anti-transgender violence is a national epidemic in the U.S. Lastly, Darren gives an overview of Pedro Domingos’ book, “The Master Algorithm”, a thought-provoking look at machine learning.
1/31/202029 minutes, 22 seconds
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TRC #575: Impeachment + Future Of Work + Placenta-eating?

Producer Pat kicks off the show by clearing up some misconceptions about impeachment and looking at what it means to be impeached. Darren looks into the future of work and the key game changers covered in a report by foresight organization Policy Horizons Canada. Lastly, Adam tries to find any scientific evidence to support the purported benefits of eating one’s placenta after giving birth.
1/19/202030 minutes, 11 seconds
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TRC #574: Year End Wrap Up

Happy New Year, Checkers! The crew rings in the first show of 2020 with a laughter-filled look back at last year. First, a little navel gazing while we chat about our favourite segments. Next, Producer Pat challenges the panel to a sneaky 2019 themed game of ‘Name That’. Lastly, Adam fact checks how well we did with our 2019 predictions, before we take out the proverbial crystal ball and do it all again for 2020.
1/11/202041 minutes, 48 seconds
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TRC #573: Arizona Vortex + Home Alone Booby Traps + ‘The Devastating Consequences Of Urban Violence’ Overview

Darren sucks us into a segment about vortexes after a recent trip to Arizona leaves him scratching his head over their mystical ‘enhanced energy’ claims. Cristina looks behind the movie magic in “Home Alone” using science to assess the real life consequences of the booby traps 8 year old Kevin sets up for the Wet Bandits. Adam rounds out the show with a detailed look at Thomas Abt’s book “Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence”, which uses an evidence based approach to look at issues surrounding urban violence.
12/22/201934 minutes, 22 seconds
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TRC #572: Blue Light Lens Mania + Donating Effectively + Marie Kondo’s Store

Cristina set her focus on some dubious sales pitches being made about blue light filtering lenses. Next, with Giving Tuesday right around the corner, Darren talks to us about giving to charities effectively.  Adam closes out the show with a look at organizing consultant and author Marie Kondo and her new online store.
12/1/201937 minutes, 4 seconds
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TRC #571: Did China Ban Video Games After 10PM? + Did Portugal Solve Its Drug Crisis? + Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking To Strangers

Adam looks into some curious headlines suggesting that China has banned video games after 10PM. Cristina looks closely at how Portugal is doing 18 years after decriminalizing drugs. Darren explores the assumptions and mistakes humans make when dealing with people via Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking To Strangers.
11/16/201937 minutes, 48 seconds
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TRC #570: Lead In Canada’s Water + Flu Shot + Windshield Egg-Throwing Thugs?

Adam takes a deep dive into a recently published, Canada-wide investigation highlighting dangerous levels of lead in drinking water in the Great White North. ‘Tis the season to get the flu shot. Darren breaks down what a flu vaccine is made of and why. Finally, Cristina takes on a widely-shared social media post warning people about criminals throwing eggs at car windshields.
11/10/201933 minutes, 35 seconds
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TRC #569: Did Eagles Rack Up Roaming Charges? + Kids These Days + Peter Singer’s Practical Ethics

This week, we kick off the show with Adam addressing listener email about his Hilary Clinton vs NASA segment. Cristina looks into a curious headline about migrating Russian eagles running up huge data roaming charges. Adam asks, are kids these days really worse than kids of days gone by? Finally, Darren revisits an oldie but a goodie, Peter Singer’s Practical Ethics.
11/2/201932 minutes, 58 seconds
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TRC #568.5: Halloween Debate On Ron Corbett Unscripted

Boo! A little extra candy in your podcast feed this week. TRC’s Darren McKee appeared on CFRA News Talk Radio back in 2013 for a special Halloween episode of ‘Ron Corbett Unscripted’. He participated in a debate about ghosts, spirits and the paranormal. 
10/30/201938 minutes, 33 seconds
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TRC #568: Halloween THC Candy + Blob With 720 Sexes + Hillary Clinton NASA Denial Letter

Cristina looks into the latest Halloween fear mongering to assess whether THC-laced candy is an especially big concern this year. Darren digs deep behind the headlines that a Paris zoo showcased a blob with 720 sexes. Adam explores whether Hillary Clinton’s account  of writing to NASA as a kid and receiving a reply stating that women can’t be astronauts has a moon nugget of truth to it. 
10/26/201927 minutes, 43 seconds
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TRC #567: Longest Word + Shag Harbour UFO Coin + OK Hate Symbol Pt. 2

This week, Darren’s perspicacity shines through when he drops some knowledge on the panel about the longest words in the English language. Next, Cristina learns that the Canadian Mint is issuing a coin commemorating ‘Canada’s Roswell’...wait, Canada has a ‘Roswell’? Lastly, Adam reexamines the recent OK sign controversies to establish whether it’s O-KKK after a listener writes in with a new theory.
10/19/201935 minutes, 8 seconds
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TRC #566: Are Federal Election Votes Counted Equally? + Name That: Spot The Fake + Active Shooter Drills Effective?

This week, Darren kicks off the show by exploring whether votes cast in a Canadian federal election are counted equally. Pat brings another entertaining round of ‘Spot The Fake’ where the panel has to pick the fake out of of four equally ridiculous, yet true facts. Lastly, Adam sets a serious tone when exploring whether active shooter drills in U.S. schools are remotely effective or just tragically misguided. 
10/12/201930 minutes, 30 seconds
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TRC #565: Plant-based Burgers Healthier? + Bruce Lee Death Conspiracies + OK Sign A Hate Symbol?

This week, Cristina fact checks whether claims about plant-based burgers being healthier than real meat hold up. Darren probes the conspiracy theories around Bruce Lee’s death after reading ‘Bruce Lee: A Life’. Finally, Adam looks into recent reports that the OK hand gesture is being used as a white nationalist hate symbol.
10/5/201933 minutes, 46 seconds
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TRC #564: Catching Up With Dr. Stuart Farrimond

Last time we spoke with Dr. Stuart Farrimond it was two days before he was scheduled to undergo brain surgery to remove a cancerous tumour. This week we catch up with Stu. We discuss his ongoing treatment, he gives us some tidbits from his upcoming book and we even get in a couple of food science questions. Stuart is a medical doctor turned science communicator, author and food science expert.
9/27/201941 minutes, 53 seconds
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TRC #563: Citations And Science Reporting + Swearing Makes You Stronger + Evolution Of Skin Colour

Darren looks into an article, and terrible graph, that suggests the rate at which scientists in Italy cite themselves and their colleagues is on the rise. Cristina checks out research into whether uttering profanities can make you stronger. Adam wonders about the evolutionary cause of various skin pigments in different human populations.
9/21/201930 minutes, 18 seconds
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TRC #562: The Earth’s Lungs + The Gay Gene + Canadian Election

Pat looks into a listener’s question about whether the Amazon rainforest is the Earth’s lungs responsible for 20% of the oxygen we breathe. Next, Adam raises concerns about headlines claiming there is no such thing as a “gay gene” according to a new study. Lastly, with the election season upon us, Darren gives us a handy primer on Canada’s election process.
9/14/201934 minutes, 17 seconds
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TRC #561: How IKEA Names Stuff + Absolute Zero + Amazon Fires

Cristina looks into the naming convention for IKEA products. Is KOLBJÖRN just Swedish for where’s the allen key? Darren does a deep dive on absolute zero.  Adam looks into recent headlines about fires in the Amazon rainforest. The facts may surprise you. 
9/8/201930 minutes, 58 seconds
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TRC #560: Mail Bag + Dr. Stuart Robbins And Retrograde + Name That: Apollo 11 Edition

TRC’s ‘Fifth Beatle’ Dr. Stuart Robbins, aka AstroStu, joins us this week for a fun and fact-packed show! Adam kicks things off highlighting recent listener’s feedback. Stuart fact-checks Cristina and brings us a more in-depth look at retrograde in Astronomy. Finally, Pat gets cheeky with a game of ‘Name That’ about the moon landing.
8/25/201932 minutes, 9 seconds
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TRC #559: NY Times Best Seller List + Epstein Suicide? + The Secret Of Our Success

Cristina kicks off the show by taking a closer look at the NY Times Best Seller list and what being a “bestselling author” really means. Adam puts Occam’s razor to good use while exploring whether it’s plausible that Jeffrey Epstein may have committed suicide in jail. Finally, Darren digs into anthropologist Joseph Henrich’s book, “The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter.”
8/17/201937 minutes, 35 seconds
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TRC #558: Can Hippos Swim? + Neil deGrasse Tweetstorm + Mona Lisa True Colours

After we posted a funny meme on TRC’s Facebook page, a couple of Checkers question whether hippos can really swim so Pat goes on a mission to find out. Simple yes or no answer, right? Not on this show! Darren breaks down Neil deGrasse Tyson’s tweet and apology around recent U.S. shootings that made some people more than a little upset. Finally, Adam gives us a cool art history lesson after visiting an exhibit on Leonardo da Vinci and realizing the Mona Lisa may not be who she seems.
8/9/201934 minutes, 1 second
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TRC #557: Mercury Retrograde + Is All Table Salt Sea Salt? + ‘Why We Sleep’

Are you having a bad month, Checkers? Mercury is said to be in retrograde but what does that really mean? Cristina takes us on a little fact-finding mission through the Cosmos to find out. Next, Adam brings the panel another great ‘I did not know that!’ segment when he breaks down the origin of salt after Neil deGrasse Tyson tweets all salt comes from the Sea. Finally, Darren helps busts some sleep myths after reading ‘Why We Sleep’ by neuroscientist Matthew Walker.
8/4/201931 minutes, 17 seconds
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TRC #556: Talking Irish Famine Myths With Professor Buzzkill

This week we bring you a special episode after an Irish listener writes in and asks us to fact-check myths surrounding the Irish Famine. Luckily friend of the show, historian and author Joe Coohill, literally wrote the book on Ireland. Better known as Professor Buzzkill from the awesome podcast of the same name, Joe helps us set the record straight debunking historical myths on the tragedy.
7/27/201930 minutes, 39 seconds
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TRC #555: Quantum Uncertainty + Lost NASA Tapes? + Storming Area 51

Your fave fact-checking crew is back with a new show! First, Darren kicks things off by most certainly looking at quantum uncertainty...or not...or both. Next, Cristina celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic moon landing by probing whether a former NASA intern is really auctioning off “lost” footage of the first moonwalk. Finally, Adam questions the validity of the Facebook event "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us".
7/20/201935 minutes, 6 seconds
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TRC #554: Talking Flat Earth With Stuart Robbins And Ed Robertson

Not your typical episode of The Reality Check. We bring you a conversation with friends of the show Dr. Stuart Robbins and Ed Robertson. We discussed conspiracy theories and Ed’s recent run in with a flat earther. Stuart is a professional astro/geophysicist. Ed is the frontman of Barenaked Ladies and wrote the theme song for The Big Bang Theory.
7/5/201920 minutes, 48 seconds
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TRC #553: Talking Germs with Jason Tetro

This week we bring you an interview with Jason “The Germ Guy” Tetro, recorded earlier this month. Jason is a researcher in microbiology and immunology. He is a best selling author of “The Germ Code” and “The Germ Files.”  Jason is also the host of the Super Awesome Science Show podcast.
6/29/201939 minutes, 51 seconds
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TRC #552: Surprising Loch Ness Proof? + Drake Curse + Where Does Space Begin?

Adam dives deep into recent headlines suggesting that the Loch Ness monster could possibly be real based on some murky DNA research. Cristina throws her hands in the air and tries to set the record straight on the alleged Drake, aka Drizzy, curse rocking the sports world.  Lastly, Ed Robertson, of the band Barenaked Ladies, asks Dr. Stuart Robbins “where does the Earth’s atmosphere end and space begin?
6/21/201920 minutes, 31 seconds
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TRC #551: Talking Brain Tumours With Dr. Stuart Farrimond

Stuart has been on the show many times discussing food science and food myths but this interview is different. Some Checkers may not know that the Doctor before his name is because he is a medical doctor. Two days before Stuart was scheduled to undergo surgery, he talked with Pat and Cristina about brain tumours, cancer, cancer treatment and his story.
6/14/201933 minutes, 12 seconds
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TRC #550: Did NBA’er Manute Bol Coin ‘My Bad’? + Unmarried People Happier? + Fortnite Vs The Doppler Effect

Cristina kicks off the show with a basketball related myth in honour of her beloved Toronto Raptors; did NBA legend Manute Bol really coin the phrase ‘My Bad’? As the only TRC co-host who is not married, Darren scrutinizes an article citing research that suggests unmarried people are happier, probably just to rub it in. Finally, Adam vents his Fornite pet peeve that the game just doesn’t get the Doppler Effect.
6/8/201930 minutes, 8 seconds
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TRC #549: Forever Fries & Onion Tears With Dr. Stuart Farrimond + Name That: British Food Edition

Our favourite Food Scientist is back to tackle some of your most pressing food-related questions. Ever find a 3 week old fry under a car seat? Stuart breaks down why fast food seems to last forever without going bad. Next, he tells us about why onions make us cry and what we can do about it. Bonus question: why do we “rest” beef and chicken but not fish? Pat rounds out the show with a 3 vs 1 edition of everyone’s favourite mostly guessing game “name that” where the crew teams up against Stuart.
6/2/201940 minutes, 11 seconds
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TRC #548: Presidential War On Press? + Science Proves Hip Hop Is Most Influential Genre? + Energy Costs Vs Waste

Darren kicks off the show dropping a bombshell on the panel when he looks into reporting around the U.S. government seizing records for phone lines assigned to the Associated Press  and its journalists. Cristina finds out if we can prove rap is the most important music since 1960 using Science. Finally, Adam revisits his segment on plastic vs cloth bags after a listener points out he may have failed to consider the consequences of plastic on our environment.
5/25/201932 minutes, 54 seconds
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TRC #547: What Is A SIN? + Global Population Growth + Sonic Doll Made Of Human Skeleton?

This week Pat looks at the Social Insurance Number, what it is and who can ask for it. Darren ponders how many humans there are now, how many there were and how many there will be. Adam checks out rumours that someone made a life sized doll of a Sonic the Hedgehog character, Sally Acorn, built around a human skeleton.
5/18/201930 minutes, 30 seconds
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TRC #546: Aura Readings + Stand-up Comedy NDAs + Who’s Tracking Your Browsing History?

This week, Cristina is fired up about an article she saw in a recent fitness magazine glorifying aura readings and aura photography. Darren asks, “What’s the deal with stand-up comedy NDAs?” after a comedy club posts a notice ahead of Louis CK’s set. Finally, Adam scrutinizes how well websites track your browsing history.
5/11/201941 minutes, 55 seconds
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TRC #545: What Gaslighting Is & Isn’t + So-Called Facts + Loch Ness Monster Effect

With the term ‘gaslighting’ popping up everywhere (again), Adam looks into the origins of the term, what is and isn’t considered gaslighting, and whether the cries that Trump is ‘gaslighting America’ fit the context. Cristina brings some needed levity after discovering an AskReddit thread listing people’s most highly believable facts that turned out to be B.S. Finally, Darren explores how the idea of the Loch Ness Monster may have manifested in our collective consciousness.
5/4/201927 minutes, 6 seconds
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TRC #544: Notre Dame & Ubisoft + Planetary Pictures with Stuart Robbins + Nature Doc Suffering

Adam is off this week but ‘5th Beatle’ Dr. Stuart Robbins joins the rest of the crew LIVE at TRC studios! First, Pat looks into headlines that a video game called Assassin’s Creed Unity could be used to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral. Stuart schools us on a topic that has been consuming his life for the last 18 months: planetary cartography. Lastly, Darren discusses controversial scenes depicting animal suffering in the new nature documentary ‘Our Planet’.
4/26/201934 minutes
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TRC #543: The Dr. Katie Bouman Narrative + Another Segment About Cats + Measles Parties

Happy Pagan Spring Weekend! Darren kicks off the show by looking at recent media coverage around Dr. Katie Bouman and how she ‘accidentally’ became the face of the Black Hole project. Adam brings us another fur-midable look at cats and asks how many lives do cats really have? Finally, Cristina has to remind us why ‘measles parties’ are a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea.
4/19/201932 minutes, 47 seconds
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TRC #542: Social Influencers Vs The FDA + Critical Thinking In Practice + Closest Planet To Earth?

My very excellent mother says it’s a new TRC! Cristina kicks off the show with a look at the dicey world of social influencers and sponsored medical content. Next, Darren tells us more about his trip to Egypt and considers how to use critical thinking when faced with the social pressure to buy things while travelling. Lastly, Adam gets all math-y on us when he asks: on average, what is the closest planet to Earth?  
4/14/201936 minutes, 2 seconds
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TRC #541.5: First Image Of A Black Hole With Dr. Stuart Robbins

A little extra content for all you checkers this week! Given the recent headlines about the first image of a black hole, Pat and Cristina give our favourite astronomer a call to help us understand what it means. Dr. Stuart Robbins is a research scientist in the field of planetary geophysics.
4/11/201910 minutes, 10 seconds
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TRC #541: Shen Yun & Falon Gong + Is Disney On Ice? + Bad Astronomy

This week Adam looks at Shen Yun Performing Arts and investigates its ties to the Falon Gong, the Chinese Government, Communism and organ harvesting. Next, Cristina examines a longstanding notion that Walt Disney arranged to have his corpse frozen in a cryonic chamber to be revived at a later date. Lastly, Darren gives an overview of Phil Plait’s book ‘Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing Hoax'.
4/6/201933 minutes, 28 seconds
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TRC #540: What We Learned This Week Ft Greg & Mitch of AsapSCIENCE & Sidenote + Name That: Spot The Fake

This week, Greg Brown and Mitch Moffit, the dynamic duo behind the hugely successful AsapSCIENCE YouTube channel and Sidenote podcast, grace TRC’s studio for a fun and fact-filled show! Mitch kicks things off with their popular Sidenote segment, “What Did We Learn This Week”, by examining the influence of trees on the urban heat island effect. Greg brings us a fascinating look at how farming culture influenced pronunciation. Finally, Producer Pat helms a hilarious round of ‘Spot The Fake’ featuring Greg, Mitch, Cristina, Darren and Adam.
3/29/201931 minutes, 47 seconds
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TRC #539: The Centrifuge Brain Project + Damaged Egyptian Sculpture + Police and DNA Databases

Happy Spring, Checkers! Pat kicks off the show with one of his fun deep dives and looks into a suspicious online video of an amusement park ride that has gone viral to the tune of over 100 million views. Next up, Darren follows up on his segment from last week to answer ‘why do so many Egyptian statues have broken noses?’ Finally, Adam examines whether or not the police could track you down using a DNA database and ponders the implications.
3/22/201931 minutes, 9 seconds
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TRC #538: Ancient Egypt + J.D. Power Awards + Hocus Pocus

The whole crew is back on the cast this week! Fresh from his trip to Egypt and Jordan, Darren digs into some fascinating ancient Egyptian myths. After seeing car commercials lauding J.D. Power & Associates awards for the umpteenth time, Cristina asks ‘wtf are the J.D. Power Awards?’ Finally, Adam tries to determine the true origin of the term “hocus pocus”.
3/16/201930 minutes, 24 seconds
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TRC #537: Food Allergies with Dr. David Stukus

We are thrilled to have Dr David Stukus back on TRC!  He tells us what the science has to say about introducing allergenic foods into an infant’s diet plus he answers some checker’s questions.  Dave is a pediatric allergy and asthma specialist at Nationwide Children’s hospital. He’s the social media medical editor for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and a member of the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters.  He is an author, podcaster, and a strong advocate of science based-medicine on Twitter.
3/8/201927 minutes, 15 seconds
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TRC #536: Food Science with Dr. Stuart Farrimond

Dr. Stuart Farrimond is back and we are chuffed! Specializing in food science, Stuart is a former medical doctor turned science and medical writer, presenter, and educator who makes regular appearances on British TV, radio and international publications including the Independent, the Daily Mail, and New Scientist. Why do we toot when we eat magical fruit? Do we really need to store eggs in the fridge? Answers to these fun q’s and more on this week’s show.
3/2/201950 minutes, 24 seconds
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TRC #535: Border Walls In History with Professor Buzzkill

With Darren and Adam away, Pat and Cristina have a chat with historian and author Joe Coohill. Better known as Professor Buzzkill from the podcast of the same name, Joe recently put out an interesting episode about border walls in history; why they were built and whether on not they worked. We then turn the show over to Joe for his episode on the topic.
2/22/201925 minutes, 43 seconds
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TRC #534: Measles vs Anti-Vax Parents + Canada’s Forests & Carbon Emissions + Quebec Politician Falls Flat?

Cristina brings the stats and facts behind recent measles outbreaks and highlights the importance of teaching young people how to think critically. Darren explores whether Canada's forests actually emit more carbon than they absorb. Lastly, Adam investigates whether comments about flat earth and ‘Islamophobia’ by a Quebec-based city councillor were taken out of context.
2/16/201931 minutes, 47 seconds
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TRC #533: Wipers: Up Or Down? + ‘Bell Let’s Talk Day’ + Who is Cecilia Payne?

Pat exhausts several resources to help answer the burning question on our minds this Winter. Should you leave windshield wipers up, or down? Adam unpacks the ‘Bell Let’s Talk Day’ campaign which takes a chain-letter approach to raise awareness around mental health. Lastly, Cristina dips into TRC’s mailbag and takes on a listener’s request to highlight astrophysicist Cecilia Payne.
2/9/201934 minutes, 34 seconds
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TRC #532: Super Bowl Myths + Canada’s Food Guide + Are Noise Meters Fake?

Cristina kicks off the show by separating the facts from the fumbles around Super Bowl myths. Darren digs into Canada’s latest Food Guide and asks whether its current revamp is line with the best evidence and data available. Finally, Adam ponders whether noise meters at sports events are all fake.
2/2/201930 minutes, 9 seconds
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TRC #531: Lincoln Memorial Incident + Puffery + Bohemian Rhapsody & Brian May

It’s a brand new TRC! First, Darren looks at the backlash over a recent confrontation between protesters and school kids at the Lincoln Memorial. Cristina examines ‘puffery’ and its implications in the world of advertising. Pat rounds out the show by fact checking the movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and goes straight to the man himself, Brian May, to corroborate a longtime story that he uses a sixpence as a guitar pick.
1/25/201933 minutes, 19 seconds
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TRC #530: Favourite Segments 2018 + Name That: Year In Review + Predictions

The TRC crew is back to usher in the New Year with a fun-filled show! First, we look back at our favourite segments from 2018. Next, Pat challenges the panel with a year in review game of ‘Name That’. Lastly, Adam revisits the gang’s ‘predictions’ from last year and we set aside logic yet again to guess at what might happen in 2019.
1/21/201945 minutes, 41 seconds
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TRC #529: The Neuroscience Of Addiction with Dr. Kim Hellemans

Happy 2019, Checkers! The crew will be back with regular shows soon. In the meantime, we bring you a fascinating interview with Dr. Kim Hellemans about the neuroscience of addiction.  Kim is an award-winning neuroscientist and the chair of the department of neuroscience at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She is also a co-host of Minding The Brain podcast. Enjoy!
1/5/201938 minutes, 55 seconds
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TRC #528: The Science Of Reindeer

Happy holidays, Checkers.  The RC crew is off but Adam couldn’t stay away from the mic.  He belongs in the air! We bring you a holiday segment all about reindeer.  Is the Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer TV special problematic? Just how shiny would that nose have to be to guide a sleigh?  Are Santa’s reindeer female?
12/22/201814 minutes, 6 seconds
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TRC #527: Baby It’s Cold Outside

The RC crew is off for the festive season but controversy around the 1940’s song ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ is swirling. We revisit a segment from Darren breaking down the song’s lyrical content with Dr. Stuart Robbins as a guest panelist. We also bring you parodies Pat and Cristina did on previous Xmas shows including a second song making the news due to an inappropriate lyric. Enjoy!
12/8/201813 minutes, 17 seconds
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TRC #526: Effective Donating + Dr. Stuart Robbins Vmail + How Does Citizenship Work If You’re Born In The Air Or At Sea?

What’s up, Checkers? This week’s show was recorded on “Giving Tuesday” so Darren brings us an update on effective giving and how to make informed decisions about the charities you support. Dr. Stuart Robbins ‘phones-in’ with a follow-up on flat earther arguments and the late heavy bombardment. Adam rounds out the show with a follow-up to his recent segment on U.S. citizenship, after a listener asks, what happens if you’re born in the air or at sea?
12/2/201828 minutes, 59 seconds
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TRC #525: Turkey Cooking Temps + Skepticism & The Tourism Industry With András Pinter + Name That: Europe Edition

This week, Cristina revisits a topic covered on last week’s show by guest Dr. Stuart Farrimond after a couple of food inspectors, who also happen to be Checkers, write in about food safety guidelines. András Pinter, host of the European Skeptics Podcast, joins the panel for an interesting discussion about the tourism industry and how a tour guide can strike the right balance between skepticism and entertainment. Finally, Producer Pat challenges our European knowledge with everyone’s favourite mostly guessing game, Name That.
11/24/201834 minutes, 44 seconds
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TRC #524: Science Behind The Perfect Roast Turkey Ft. Dr. Stuart Farrimond + Cigar-shaped ‘Oumuamuau’ An Alien Spacecraft?

Another fun and fact-filled episode comin’ at you! Our favourite resident food scientist and author Dr. Stuart Farrimond is back with a new book about the science of Spice. He schools us on how to make the perfect roast turkey just in time for your festive holiday dinners. Next, Adam looks into all the brouhaha over a cigar-shaped interstellar object that zoomed through our solar system and that some suggest may be an alien spacecraft.
11/17/201843 minutes, 4 seconds
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TRC #523: Anti-Vax Article Update + Beauty Product Claims + Brief History Of Early Life + Trump’s Offspring US Citizens?

Hey Checkers! First, a heartfelt thank you on this Remembrance Day to those who serve or have served to protect our freedoms. Adam kicks off this week’s show with an update on the anti-vax article that was published then quickly removed by the Toronto Sun newspaper. Cristina’s girlfriends inspire an update on beauty product claims where she explains industry laws and teaches us which claims to be leery of. Next, Darren continues his “Brief History…” series with a look at early life on Earth. Finally, Adam asks, “Would Donald Trump’s many children, born to immigrant mothers, be US citizens if it weren’t for birthright citizenship?”
11/11/201829 minutes, 13 seconds
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TRC #522: Recent Anti-Vax Article + Errors In Textbooks with Barry Panas + Passwords

Welcome to your weekly dose of TRC! Adam kicks things off by addressing a syndicated column filled with anti-vaccine misinformation and pseudoscience that was recently published in the Toronto Sun newspaper. “Physics Commando” Barry Panas schools us about errors in school textbooks after hearing a recent episode where Darren cites the Earth’s mass. Finally, Pat drops a bombshell on the panel with a segment everyone should hear regarding passwords and how to find out if you’ve been compromised without even knowing it.
11/3/201840 minutes, 4 seconds
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TRC #521: Brief History Of Early Earth + Hoax Academic Papers + Does Exposing Kids To Alcohol Mitigate Dependence?

This week, Darren goes back billions of years to give us a fascinating look at early Earth. Adam takes a deep dive into how recent academic journals in the field of “grievance studies” were successfully published despite being a hoax. After NBA star Lebron James raised some eyebrows when stating his 11 and 14 year olds drink wine, Cristina looks into whether there is any tangible evidence to support a well-held notion that exposing kids to alcohol helps mitigate alcohol-related harms and dependence as teens and adults.
10/27/201836 minutes, 7 seconds
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TRC #520: Did We Get Banksied? & UN Climate Change Report + Did Taylor Swift Increase Voter Registration?

Your weekly dose of fun and facts is here! We definitely had a lot of laughs taping the show this week. First, Producer Pat points his skeptical lens at the recent Banksy incident rocking the Art World to find out if Sotheby’s really got pranked, or did we all just get Banksied? Darren brings the panel’s mood way down with an overview of the bleak reality reported in the recent UN Climate Change Report. The panel shakes it off long enough for Adam to give us an objective analysis of whether the uptick in voter registration in the U.S. can be attributed to pop star Taylor Swift.
10/20/201833 minutes, 27 seconds
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TRC #519: Is Justin Trudeau Fidel Castro’s Son? + O Cannabis + Book Review: The Big Picture

This week, Adam looks into rumours that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is really the son of former Cuban Communist leader Fidel Castro. Cristina blazes through some myths and misconceptions around The Cannabis Act which legalizes the recreational use of cannabis in Canada as of October 17. Finally, Darren wraps up the show with a closer look at Sean Carroll’s book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.
10/14/201832 minutes, 38 seconds
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TRC #518: Abortion Law In Canada + I Before E, Except After C? + Does Twitter Shadowban Users?

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, Checkers! We bring you another fun and fact-filled show to digest alongside that slice of pumpkin pie. First, Darren looks at the history of abortion laws in Canada after a listener points out that our collective perception on a previous show was false. Cristina ponders how useless the long-standing spelling rule, “I Before E, Except After C” actually is. Finally, Adam investigates whether Twitter is shadowbanning some users, as they have recently been publicly accused of doing.  
10/8/201829 minutes, 1 second
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TRC #517: Science of Cooking With Dr. Stuart Farrimond + Name That: Spot The Fake + Flu Shot Timing

This week, the RC crew are stoked to have Dr. Stuart Farrimond on the show. A former medical doctor turned science and medical writer, educator, and author, Stuart uses one of our favourite comfort foods, ‘Mac and Cheese’, as a vehicle to debunk cooking myths. Pat trolls us with another game of ‘Name That: Spot The Fake’ edition resulting in some entertaining banter. Finally, Darren looks into flu shot timing, and asks whether you can get a flu shot too early?
9/29/201841 minutes, 48 seconds
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TRC #516: Fundamental Value Differences + Apple Ends Music Downloads? + Did Sony Release Fake MJ Songs?

Happy Fall, Checkers! Darren is finally back where he belongs with The RC crew and kicks off the show asking whether fundamental value differences are as fundamental as they seem. Cristina tries to get to the bottom of rumours that suggest Apple will be ending MP3 music downloads on its iTunes platform in 2019. Finally, Adam looks into recent claims that Sony Music released “fake” Michael Jackson songs.
9/22/201832 minutes, 36 seconds
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TRC #515: GOOP Lawsuit + Hot Dog Vs Bun Ratio Conspiracy? + Sex Ed + Sitcom Surprise

With Darren still away in Europe, the crew get sucked into a vortex of shenanigans when former beloved TRC co-host Elan Dubrofsky and guest Dina Xirlin stop by. Cristina kicks off the festivities with an update on a recent lawsuit against Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP and its unfounded product claims. Adam investigates whether hot dog companies are colluding with bun companies to sell more of both products. Dina schools us on the Ontario Sex Ed Curriculum amidst the current controversy stirred by Ontario’s new premier. Finally, Elan makes an earth-shattering discovery about 2 of his favourite old sitcoms.
9/15/201828 minutes, 39 seconds
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TRC #514: Flat Earth with Dr. Stuart Robbins

Darren is still in Europe and Adam is still trying to cobble together internet access in his new rural home.  Fear not, 5th Beatle and our favourite astronomer fills in. This week’s show is dedicated to a single question from Checker, Mitchell, who asks: “are flat earthers for real?” Dr. Stuart Robbins tells us about the ‘evidence’ offered for a flat earth and the science that refutes it.
9/9/201831 minutes, 8 seconds
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TRC #513: Mashup: Boil Hot Or Cold Water? + Maple Water + Does Bottled Water Expire?

With Darren away in Europe and Adam moving, Cristina takes the helm for a water themed mashup.  First, Darren asks: is it better to boil hot water or cold water? Next, Adam taps into health claims lauding the benefits of Maple Water.  Finally, Pat flushes out the truth behind why bottled water has an expiration date.
9/2/201827 minutes, 26 seconds
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TRC #512: Does Cough Medicine Work? + Mosquito Prevalence + Amelia Earhart Distress Signals

This week, Cristina takes a hard look at the evidence behind cough medicine and whether it lives up to our ‘hacking’ expectations. Darren looks at what causes mosquito populations to flourish or shrink. Finally, Adam brings us another Amelia Earhart segment because this one just won’t ‘fly away’. (Too soon?) Welcome to another episode of TRC!
8/25/201831 minutes, 47 seconds
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TRC #511: Checker Mail Bag + Name That: Water Edition

On this week’s show, we dip into TRC’s mail bag and highlight some of your fun feedback and questions. Producer Pat rounds out the show with a slippery edition of everyone’s favourite guessing game, ‘Name That.’ This week’s theme is water.
8/18/201827 minutes, 15 seconds
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TRC #510: Alex Jones & Free Speech + Winnie The Pooh China Ban? + Kombucha Health Claims

This week, Darren asks if there’s really a conspiracy to keep a conspiracy theorist from his right to free speech in light of the recent Alex Jones ban. Next up, Adam investigates whether China blacklisted the new “Christopher Robin” film in retaliation over internet memes comparing Chinese President Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh. Cristina rounds out the show by raining on your Kombucha parade.
8/12/201827 minutes, 54 seconds
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TRC #509: Mashup: Food Labelling + Trisodium Phosphate In Cereal? + What Is Organic?

This week Producer Pat plays DJ bringing you a mashup show all about food labels.  First Cristina bites into a segment about misleading product claims and food labeling. Next, Pat explores a viral video about trisodium phosphate in kid’s cereal. Lastly, Darren checks into what the organic label really means.
8/5/201831 minutes, 7 seconds
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TRC #508: Politicians Use Songs Without Permission? + Plastic Straws and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch + Wear Sunscreen

Cristina looks into whether politicians can use a song without first obtaining the artist’s permission.  The answer may surprise you. Next, Adam looks into the great Pacific garbage patch and whether banning plastic straws is the answer. Lastly, Darren brings you his important triennial PSA on why you should always wear sunscreen.
7/29/201832 minutes, 38 seconds
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TRC #507: Review: Stumbling On Happiness + 5MWaA: Lagrangian Points + Ingesting Collagen Has Skin Benefits?

Darren gives us his review of Daniel Gilbert’s book ‘Stumbling On Happiness’.  Next, we offer up another episode of a new crossover podcast with Stuart Robbins called “5 minutes with an astronomer.” In this episode Stuart tackles Lagrangian points.  Last, Cristina looks into the evidence for claims that ingesting collagen has benefits for your skin.
7/22/201823 minutes, 46 seconds
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TRC #506: Open Plane Door Mid Flight? + 5MWaA: Parallax + The U.S Is 10th Most Dangerous Country For Women?

First Pat looks into recent news about Michael Rapaport’s mile high heroics and asks “could someone really open an airplane door mid flight?” Next the crew introduces a new crossover podcast with Stuart Robbins called “5 minutes with an astronomer” with an episode about parallax. Subscribe and leave a review!  Last, Adam looks into headlines that the United States is the 10th most dangerous country to be a woman.
7/14/201828 minutes, 31 seconds
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TRC #505: Memory Palaces + Donating Used Clothing

While Pat and Cristina enjoy some vacation time, Darren and Adam take the helm and welcome back special guest, Professor Jim Davies. Jim joins the dynamic duo to talk about the ‘Memory Palace’, an imaginary location in your mind where one can store mnemonic images. Next up, Darren digs into used clothing donation stats and ponders the best strategy when it’s time to part with those MC Hammer pants you’ve been keeping buried in your closet.
7/7/201829 minutes, 16 seconds
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TRC #504: IV Therapy + Baby Foreskin Beauty Cream? + Adult & Youth Correctional Stats

Adam kicks off this week’s show by looking into the trend of IV Therapy when used outside of legit medical procedures. Cristina goes head first down a rabbit hole after hearing that a beauty cream Oprah endorses may contain baby foreskin in its formulation. Finally, Darren digs into the stats behind a recent headline claiming that nearly half of Canada's incarcerated youth are Indigenous. Wishing our Canadian and U.S. Checkers a safe and happy Canada Day & July 4th holiday!
6/30/201826 minutes, 50 seconds
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TRC #503: Implicit Bias Training + Mexican World Cup Fans Cause Earthquake? + Saudi Arabia Drone Fashion Show?

Happy Summer Solstice, Checkers! This week, Darren explores whether implicit bias training really works in the wake of Starbucks recently closing their stores to provide racial-bias training to its employees. Cristina takes time out of watching the World Cup to check a claim that Mexican fans triggered an earthquake when celebrating Mexico’s victory over defending champion Germany. Finally, Adam looks into the validity of a story suggesting a Saudi Arabian fashion show used drones to model clothes on the catwalk because women are forbidden to model.
6/25/201824 minutes, 26 seconds
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TRC #502: Mashup: Dunning-Kruger Effect + Matilda Effect + McGurk Effect

A mashup episode all about ‘effects’.  Darren discusses the sometimes misunderstood cognitive bias called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Inspired by the movie Hidden Figures, Cristina digs into the Matilda Effect and highlights some groundbreaking women scientists who were famously and shamelessly snubbed for their achievements. Pat explains an illusion known as the McGurk Effect which demonstrates the interaction between hearing and vision in speech perception.
6/16/201827 minutes, 2 seconds
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TRC #501: Mail Bag + Einstein Rejection Letter + Grapefruit and Drugs Don’t Mix? + U.S. Lost 1500 Migrant Children?

With all the hoopla of episode 500 done, the TRC crew gets back to business.  First we reach into our mailbag for a couple of listener’s letters. Next Darren looks into the authenticity of a rejection letter Albert Einstein supposedly received from the University of Bern. Cristina asks can grapefruit juice be lethal when mixed with drugs? Lastly Adam checks out recent headlines that the U.S Government lost 1,500 immigrant children.
6/9/201832 minutes, 17 seconds
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TRC #500: Segments That Were True + Name That: Spot The Fake

The Reality Check celebrates its 500th episode in style! First the crew looks back on segment topics that sounded fishy but actually turned out to be true.  Next, Pat tests the gang’s ability to ‘spot the fake’ in another addition of everybody’s favourite mostly guessing game. Lastly, we reflect on 500 episodes. We couldn’t have done it without you, dear listeners. Well, we could have but it probably would have been a little weird and certainly not as much fun.
5/25/201838 minutes, 46 seconds
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TRC #499: Yanny vs Laurel + Video Compression ft Dr. Stuart Robbins + Do You Have Genghis Khan DNA?

This week, the crew (minus Adam) come at you live from TRC Studio in Toronto! Cristina takes a poll of Checkers ahead of taping the show to see who is on Team Yanny or Laurel then breaks down what experts are saying about the “audio illusion” currently dividing the internet. Dr. Stuart Robbins takes a fascinating deep dive into HD, video and image compression and how it relates to conspiracies. Finally, Darren looks into a long-standing claim that 5% of the world is related to Genghis Khan.
5/19/201836 minutes, 35 seconds
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TRC #498: Bulverism Fallacy + Dr. Oz + Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Another fact-filled show is here! First, Darren digs into his skeptical toolbox to bring us an interesting overview of Bulverism Fallacy. But that’s probably because he wants you to think better to act better. Adam looks closely at everyone’s favourite peddler of pseudoscience Dr. Oz and asks, how often is he pretty much full of it? Finally, Cristina explores the research into delayed onset muscle soreness and tries to answer why we feel sore 2 days after exercise.
5/12/201830 minutes, 31 seconds
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TRC #497: Mosquitoes Choosy Biters? + Humboldt: Value Of Life + Streisand’s Cloned Dogs

Spring is finally here, Checkers! Does it seem like you get bitten by mosquitoes way more than others around you? Cristina explores whether the pesky bloodsuckers are choosy about who they bite. Next, Darren ponders the sensitive topic of life and death and offers suggestions of questions to ask ourselves when tragedy strikes. Lastly, Adam looks into Barbra Streisand’s supposedly cloned dogs and asks what’s involved in cloning pets.  
5/6/201831 minutes, 11 seconds
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TRC #496: Snake Bites + Are Nature Documentaries Fake? + Vasectomies

A fact-astic new episode of TRC is here! First, Darren doles out some surprising stats about snake bite deaths. Next, Cristina digs into how nature documentaries are filmed to determine what’s real and what’s fake. Lastly, Adam talks about his recent experience getting a vasectomy and what the medical procedure is, and isn’t.
4/28/201831 minutes, 34 seconds
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TRC #495: Treason Tags + The Atacama Mummified Skeleton + Godwin’s Law

Hey, Checkers, the TRC crew is back with a mixed bag of facts! First, Pat brings us an entertaining segment after investigating an image macro dubbed ‘treason tags’ making the rounds on social media. Next, Adam takes a second look at the claim that the Atacama Mummified Skeleton found in Chile was not of this world. Lastly, Darren goes down a rabbit hole to school us on Godwin’s Law.  
4/22/201824 minutes, 37 seconds
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TRC #494: Talking Clean Meat With Paul Shapiro

This week’s show is dedicated to an interview with author and animal protection advocate Paul Shapiro. Adam and Darren talk with Paul about cellular agriculture and his Washington Post bestseller book ‘Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World.’
4/15/201830 minutes, 46 seconds
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TRC #493: Cadbury’s War On Easter? + Jordan Peterson + Lebron Gained 7lbs During A Game?

This week, Adam looks into a viral post suggesting that confectionery company Cadbury is waging war on Easter. Next Darren takes a deep dive into Jordan Peterson and his book ‘12 Rules For Life’. Lastly Cristina checks into headlines suggesting that Lebron James gained 7 pounds during a single basketball game. Enjoy!
4/8/201839 minutes, 44 seconds
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TRC #492: Gun Violence In Canada Increasing? + Name That: ‘Easter’ + Fake Passport Website

Happy Spring Equinox, Checkers! This week, Adam questions whether gun violence in Canada is really increasing by targeting the facts. Pat challenges the crew to an Easter-ish version of everybody’s favourite mostly guessing game. Lastly, Darren warns us about an online passport service taking advantage of unsuspecting Canadians.
4/1/201832 minutes, 49 seconds
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TRC #491: Hawaiian Islands + Euthanasia Drugs In Dog Food + Amelia Earhart’s Bones

Aloha Checkers! The whole crew is here for a brand new show. Back from a trip to Hawaii, Darren discusses how the islands that make up the State came to be. Cristina, once again, looks into the question: are euthanasia drugs showing up in dog food? Lastly, Adam looks into some recent headlines claiming that Amelia Earhart’s bones have been found.
3/25/201828 minutes, 27 seconds
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TRC #490: Mashup: Brian Tomasik on Wild Animal Suffering

Brian Tomasik from Reducing-Suffering.org discusses ethics, animal welfare and far-future scenarios from a suffering-focused perspective. Here is his interview from 2015 presented in its entirety for the first time. This was one of the more controversial interviews on TRC and generated quite a bit of conversation.  As always, we’re interested to hear what you think. The crew will be back next week with a freshly minted show. Enjoy!
3/17/201846 minutes, 41 seconds
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TRC #489: Busting History Myths With Professor Buzzkill

Did Mussolini make the trains run on time? Was Rosa Parks just ‘too tired’ to give up her seat? The crew is off this week so Cristina and Pat seize the opportunity to chat with fellow podcaster, author and historian extraordinaire Professor Buzzkill, aka Joseph Coohill. Joe schools us on history myths, ‘good’ evidence, and some interesting topics he’s covered on Professor Buzzkill: History 101.
3/3/201820 minutes, 46 seconds
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TRC #488: Urine-Based Test For Sex Of Fetus + How Many Neurons?

The crew has the week off but still brings you a new fact-filled TRC! Cristina and Pat chat with Ryan Armstrong from Post-Truth Health and Bad Science Watch. He tells us whether urine-based tests coming to Canada can determine the sex of a fetus during pregnancy. Next Darren delivers a promised follow-up to his segment about neurons asking how many neurons does the human brain have?
2/24/201822 minutes, 33 seconds
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TRC #487: Solar Eclipse Fallout + The Bicameral Mind + eHarmony Backed By Science?

This week, Darren looks into the potential downside of watching a solar eclipse and asks, ‘Is it worth it?’ Adam gets all ‘Darren’ on us with an interesting segment about consciousness and the bicameral mind. Lastly, Cristina investigates whether an online dating site has the evidence to back up their claims that they use science to match people.
2/17/201830 minutes, 59 seconds
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TRC #486: Valentine’s Day Myths + Name That: V-Day Edition + The Heart

Another theme-filled show coming at you! First, Cristina combs through widely-held Valentine’s Day myths to find out what’s fact and what’s fiction. Pat challenges the panel with another game of Name That: V-Day Edition. Finally, Darren rounds out the show with a ‘heartfelt’ segment about the amazing organ behind Valentine’s Day.
2/11/201826 minutes, 25 seconds
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TRC #485: Neurons + YouTube Copyright Claims + Why Does February Only Have 28 Days?

Another week, another great episode of TRC! On this week’s show, Darren follows his impulses and takes a deep dive on neurons. Adam looks into YouTube’s content ID system to find out why a video of white noise could possibly set off a copyright claim. Finally, Cristina explains the real reason that February is the shortest month of the year.
2/3/201833 minutes, 19 seconds
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TRC #484: Contact Lenses + Vegetarianism Rates + Plastic vs Reusable Bags

After a recent run-in with a rogue contact lens Cristina asks, what would happen if you never took your contacts out? Darren looks at the rates of vegetarianism and what the statistics really mean. Finally, Adam breaks downs how many times you need to use reusable bags to offset the use of plastic ones.
1/28/201837 minutes, 5 seconds
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TRC #483: Mailbag + Raw Water + Do Bears Hibernate?

The Fab Four is back this week! Adam kicks off the show with some interesting listener email. Cristina dives into the latest raw water fad to bring you the raw facts. Finally, Darren ponders whether bears really hibernate.
1/20/201826 minutes, 50 seconds
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TRC #482: Coffee Enemas + The Physics Of Curling + Did The CDC Ban 7 Words?

With Darren away this week, the crew is joined by our favourite “physics commando” Barry Panas. First, Cristina looks into the latest ‘wellness’ gadget that Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP is peddling. Spoiler alert: it involves an orifice. Next, Barry takes on a question from Producer Pat about how much sweeping really affects the game of curling. Finally, Adam looks into whether the Trump administration really did ban the CDC from using 7 words.
1/13/201831 minutes, 15 seconds
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TRC #481: Fave Segments of 2017 + Name That: Year In Review + Annual Predictions

The TRC crew is back to usher in the New Year with a fun-filled show! First, we look back at our favourite and most surprising segments from 2017. Next, Pat challenges the panel with a year in review game of ‘Name That’. Lastly, Adam revisits the gang’s ‘predictions’ from last year and we set aside logic yet again to guess what might happen in 2018.
1/6/201846 minutes, 12 seconds
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TRC #480: Aluminum Christmas Trees + Habitable Zones + Baby, It’s Cold Outside

With Cristina out sick this week, our favourite astronomer Stuart Robbins joins the panel. First Adam looks into aluminum Christmas trees and whether or not ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ is to blame for their demise. Next, Stuart gives us a long promised overview of habitable zones. Lastly, Darren takes a look into a couple of interpretations of the lyrics for ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’.
12/28/201739 minutes, 52 seconds
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TRC #479: Dowsing + Violence Decreasing? + #1 Restaurant Fake?

On this week’s TRC, Cristina looks into whether the City of Ottawa is really using dowsing to locate water. Next, Adam checks into a study that seems to contradict Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined”. Lastly, Darren asks: did a fake restaurant in London reach #1 rated on Trip Advisor?
12/17/201730 minutes, 23 seconds
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TRC #478: Mashup: Skeptical Newlywed Game + Ghost Weddings

While the crew takes the week off in honour of Adam’s nuptials, Producer Pat brings you a wedding-themed mashup episode! First, Adam plays game show host during a skeptical (and highly entertaining) version of the newlywed game featuring special guests Elan and Dina.  Next, Darren gives us a spirited segment looking into whether people in China are stealing corpses for ghost weddings.
12/9/201727 minutes, 26 seconds
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TRC #477: Wedding Night Sex? + Game Farm Photography + Effective Giving

On this week’s show, freshly married Adam looks into how many people actually have sex on their wedding night. Cristina explores the world of wildlife photography and finds out it isn’t what it seems. Finally, ‘tis the season for Darren to revisit charitable giving and arm us with effective donating tips.
12/2/201729 minutes, 35 seconds
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TRC #476: MAGA Transformers Toy? + Name That: Spot The Fake + Tilapia and Omega-6

On this week’s show, Adam looks into whether a recently released Transformers toy contains a Pro-Trump message. The gang has a ton of fun playing Producer Pat’s game of Name That: Spot the Fake Fact. Darren checks into headlines suggesting that eating tilapia may be no better for you than bacon, hamburgers or doughnuts.
11/25/201729 minutes, 26 seconds
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TRC #475: Age Of Consent + Elections Signs + ‘Allah’ Found At Viking Burial Site?

Given the troubling sexual harassment and assault allegations in the news involving minors, Darren takes a look at age of consent laws worldwide. Cristina fields a Checker’s question regarding whether election campaign signs have any measurable impact on voter share. Finally, Adam digs into claims that Arabic characters spelling “Allah” are woven into ancient Viking funeral costumes.
11/19/201730 minutes, 44 seconds
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TRC #474: Buffett Challenge: Hedge Vs Index Funds + Allergy Doc Dave Stukus Pt. 2

Darren digs into Warren Buffett’s challenge where he bet $1 million that a portfolio of hedge funds couldn’t beat the S&P 500 Index fund over a ten year period. So...did it? Cristina and Pat bring you part 2 of a great chat with Pediatric Allergy and Asthma Specialist Dr. Dave Stukus who schools us on the flu shot and answers more of your questions.
11/11/201725 minutes, 7 seconds
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TRC #473: Does Sugar Cause Diabetes? + Allergy Doc Dave Stukus Pt. 1 + SGEM Hang With Dr. Jen Gunter

Come for the Science, stay for the FUN! On this week’s show, Adam looks at the leading causes of diabetes after a listener calls Darren out on his joke linking sugar to the disease. Cristina and Pat bring you part 1 of a great chat with Pediatric Allergy and Asthma Specialist Dr. Dave Stukus who answers listener’s burning questions. Finally, Cristina and Pat hang with Dr. Ken Milne, host of Skeptic’s Guide to Emergency Medicine, and OB-GYN and master GOOP Debunker, Dr. Jen Gunter of Wielding The Lasso Of Truth.
11/4/201730 minutes, 12 seconds
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TRC #472: Blue Moonlight In Movies? + Halloween Myths + Fake Melania Trump?

On this week’s show, Darren wonders: why do filmmakers colour grade moonlight to be blue? Next, Cristina explores Halloween folklore vs Halloween facts.  Lastly, Adam asks: is there a Melania Trump double or doppelganger out there pretending to be her at press events?
10/27/201726 minutes, 43 seconds
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TRC #471: McGurk Effect + Britt Wray & Rise Of The Necrofauna 2 + Sharks Vs Vending Machines

On this week’s show, Pat explains an illusion known as the McGurk Effect which demonstrates the interaction between hearing and vision in speech perception. We bring you part two of Darren and Adam’s discussion with author Britt Wray about her book ‘Rise Of The Necrofauna.’ Cristina checks into the clickbait headline ‘you’re more likely to be killed by a vending machine than a shark.’
10/20/201734 minutes, 15 seconds
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TRC #470: Vegas Shooting Conspiracies + Britt Wray & Rise Of The Necrofauna + Enchroma Glasses

On this week’s show, Pat checks into some of the more prevalent conspiracy theories related to the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas. Next up, the first of a 2 part interview featuring a fascinating conversation with Britt Wray, author of Rise Of The Necrofauna, about bringing extinct species back to life. Lastly, Adam takes a look into the validity of viral videos featuring Enchroma glasses for colour blindness
10/15/201734 minutes, 12 seconds
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TRC #469: Can A Computer Program Tell If Someone Is Gay? + Name That: World’s Largest + Nuclear Myths

On this week’s show, Adam looks into an article suggesting that deep neural networks are more accurate than humans at detecting sexual orientation from facial images. Pat gives us another episode of everyone’s favourite mostly guessing game, name that: the world’s largest. Lastly, Darren addresses some commonly believed myths about nuclear weapons.
10/7/201730 minutes, 19 seconds
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TRC #468: Human Swallowed By Whale? + Breast Thermography + The Voynich Manuscript

Aaaaand we’re back! On this week’s show, Pat dives into whether a human could survive being swallowed by a whale. Cristina takes a serious look at dangerous claims made by clinics popping up promoting thermography for breast cancer screening. Finally, Adam schools us on whether a history researcher has cracked the code of The Voynich Manuscript.
9/27/201734 minutes, 51 seconds
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TRC #467: Truth In Advertising Vs Goop + Boil Hot Or Cold Water? + Cuba And Classic Cars

This week Cristina tells us about a nonprofit called Truth in Advertising who have conducted an investigation into Gwyneth Paltrow’s site, Goop. Darren asks: is it better to boil hot water or cold water? Adam wonders why Cuba has so many classic cars.
9/16/201725 minutes, 53 seconds
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TRC #466: Science Of Summer + Biased Algorithms + Lord Of The Flies Plausibility?

This week, Darren looks into the science of late summer and why we get that sudden feeling that summer is gone. Honorary TRC’er and resident machine learning expert Dallas Card joins the Toronto crew in-studio to dissect whether algorithms can be biased. Finally, after hearing a female adaptation of Lord of the Flies is in the works, Adam asks whether the movie’s concept is even plausible. PS. If you ‘get’ this week’s photo, you win the internet.
9/9/201726 minutes, 48 seconds
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TRC #465: Hurricanes, Typhoons & Cyclones + Climate Change vs Hurricanes + Hurricane Evacuation

With Hurricane Harvey shaping up to be one of the most damaging natural disasters in U.S history, the panel dedicate this week’s show to learning more about hurricanes. First, Darren gives us a quick overview of what a hurricane is and the differences between it, typhoons, and cyclones. Adam looks at the impact of climate change on hurricanes. Lastly, Cristina digs into why and when evacuation orders are implemented during natural disasters after the recent criticism around Harris County.
9/2/201726 minutes, 57 seconds
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TRC #464: Glyphosate In Food? + Average Female & Male Interests Differ? + Is Laughter The Best Medicine?

Pat digs into a listener request about a report that found ‘ALARMING’ amounts of the herbicide glyphosate in food. Next, Darren takes a closer look at the data on whether female and male interests differ, on average. Lastly, Cristina checks the science behind the saying that laughter is the best medicine.
8/26/201727 minutes, 15 seconds
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TRC #463: Google Memo + Eclipse Myths + Do Twins Run In the Family Or Skip A Generation?

Darren is back and he has some thoughts about the ongoing reporting and discussions related to the Google memo. In preparation for the solar eclipse on August 21, Cristina checks into some commonly held beliefs about eclipses. Lastly, Adam looks into the ideas that twins run in the family and skip a generation.
8/19/201721 minutes, 48 seconds
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TRC #462: Sophomore Slump + Name That: Darren Edition + Do Millennials Cheat Less?

Our old friend and OG TRC co-host Elan “Origami” Dubrofsky fills in this week for vacationing Darren with a ‘skepticool’ look at whether the phenomenon known as the “Sophomore Slump” has any truth to it. Pat has some fun trolling the panel with a game of Name That: Darren Edition. Finally, Adam picks apart the data behind recent headlines claiming millennials commit less and  ‘housewives’ commit more adultery.
8/12/201735 minutes, 12 seconds
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TRC #461: Online Harassment Research + Arcade Fire vs Fake News + How Far Away Is Lightning?

Happy August, Checkers! This week Adam digs into a recent Pew Research Center study about online harassment to find out if women are more likely to be harassed online than men. Cristina gives us a lesson in Internet Trolling 101 featuring Canadian band Arcade Fire. Finally, Darren determines whether counting between lightning and thunder can really tell you the distance of a storm.
8/5/201737 minutes, 6 seconds
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TRC #460: Sam Harris vs Scott Adams On Trump + Highway Signs + Consequences Of Animal Activism

This week Darren gives us an impassioned critical overview of a recent interview on Waking Up with Sam Harris featuring Dilbert creator Scott Adams who makes a case for Trump. Cristina looks into how businesses get their logos on those big blue highway signs and at what cost. Finally, Adam looks at a recent and tragic news story about a Mink farm and reminds us sometimes there are consequences even with the best of intentions.
7/29/201740 minutes, 14 seconds
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TRC #459: Mashup: High Fidelity Music Players + Puff The Magic Dragon Vs Pot + Perfect Pitch

Pat and Cristina bring you a music themed mashup! First Pat sets the tone with a segment on high fidelity audio players and whether Neil Young’s Pono device is as ‘righteous’ as its name claims. Darren clears the smoke on whether Puff The Magic Dragon is about marijuana. Cristina rings in with a segment about Perfect Pitch.
7/21/201736 minutes, 32 seconds
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TRC #458: Wine Tasting Bias? + Activated Charcoal Food Trend + Did Amelia Earhart Survive Crash?

Darren kicks off this week’s show looking into whether seeing the colour of your wine influences your perception of its taste. Cristina digs into the purported health benefits of the latest activated charcoal food trend. Finally, Adam investigates the claim made in a recent History Channel documentary that new photo evidence of Amelia Earhart shows she survived a crash-landing.
7/14/201733 minutes, 3 seconds
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TRC #457: Perception Of Force + Name That: Food Edition + Does It Always Rain On Canada Day?

This week the crew is joined once again by ‘Physics Commando’ Barry Panas who challenges us to think about the labels we use to describe what we feel when it comes to force and motion. Pat gives us a food themed game of ‘Name That’. Adam checks the numbers on whether it always rains on Canada Day.
7/8/201737 minutes, 53 seconds
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TRC #456: Anonymous vs NASA + The Matilda Effect + Wonder Woman Pay Gap?

Happy Canada Day Checkers! This week, Adam looks into a claim by Anonymous making headlines that NASA is about to announce the discovery of aliens. Inspired by the movie Hidden Figures, Cristina digs into the Matilda Effect and highlights some groundbreaking women scientists who were famously and shamelessly snubbed for their achievements. Finally, after Darren comes down from seeing the new Wonder Woman blockbuster, he explores whether Gal Gadot’s paycheque is as unfair as some make it sound.
7/1/201729 minutes, 49 seconds
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TRC #455: Mashup: Talking To Dogs + Dogs and Peanut Butter + Do Dogs Hate Hugs?

Producer Pat is joined in the studio by his dog Holden while the rest of the crew has the week off.  So, of course, all the topic are about dogs in this mashup episode. Darren digs into headlines that suggest science has confirmed dogs understand us. Cristina paws at rumours that peanut butter may be deadly to dogs. Adam bites into some research suggesting dogs hate hugs. Woof!
6/23/201731 minutes, 32 seconds
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TRC #454: Gas Pump Icon + Himalayan Salt Lamps + Why Do We Cook At 350 Degrees?

On this week’s show, Darren takes a closer look at the fuel icon on your car’s dashboard. Adam channels his skepticism into fact-checking the various purported claims of Himalayan Salt Lamps. Finally, Cristina cooks up a segment about why 350 degrees is a universal sweet spot.
6/17/201723 minutes, 54 seconds
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TRC #453: Sugar In The Gas Tank? + Conceptual Penis Hoax + Sailor Moon The Voice Of Wonder Woman?

The weekend is here and so is TRC! First, Pat does an engine check on what would happen if someone put sugar in your gas tank. Darren looks into some big news in the skeptical community regarding the publication of a fake paper in a social science journal. Last, Adam battles rumours that the voice of Sailor Moon is the Japanese voice of Wonder Woman.
6/10/201725 minutes, 35 seconds
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TRC #452: Mount Everest The Tallest Mountain? + Does Music Calm Your Canine? + Avril Lavigne Death Conspiracy

What a better way to kick off the month than a new dose of The Reality Check! First, Pat schools us on which mountain is really the tallest and why. Cristina digs into various studies to see if there is any evidence to support she should leave the radio on to soothe her dog while she’s gone. Finally, Adam takes on a persistent conspiracy theory that Avril Lavigne is not who she seems.
6/3/201732 minutes, 30 seconds
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TRC #451: Does Paper Burn at 451 Degrees Fahrenheit? + Did Humans Migrate To The Americas 130K Years Ago? + Does Wearing Red Make You More Attractive?

Happy weekend, Checkers! Darren burns through a segment about whether book paper ignites at 451 degrees fahrenheit as depicted in the Ray Bradbury novel. Next, Adam digs into recent headlines suggesting that humans migrated to the Americas 130 thousand years ago. Lastly, Cristina tempts you with an examination into whether wearing red makes you more attractive.
5/27/201724 minutes, 39 seconds
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TRC #450: Save Knocked Out Teeth With Milk? + Physics Of Zelda Ft Barry Panas + Car Colour vs Insurance Rates

A brand new episode of TRC is here just in time for the weekend! Cristina looks into whether you can really save knocked out teeth by storing them in milk. The crew is joined by guest panelist and ‘Physics Commando’ Barry Panas who revisits theory vs theory and puts his physics spin on The Legend of Zelda. Lastly, Darren rounds out the show by examining whether car colour affects insurance rates.
5/19/201729 minutes, 5 seconds
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TRC #449: Why Use Stop In Telegrams + Ask An Astronomer ft Dr. Stuart Robbins + Do Babies Look Like Dad To Avoid Abandonment?

Your weekly dose of fun and facts is back with a brand new episode! Cristina takes on a twitter question about the use of the word ‘stop’ in telegrams and busts some old myths in the process. Our favo(u)rite resident astronomer Dr. Stuart Robbins returns with an update on New Horizons and to impart more wisdom about vacuums, and virtual particles. Finally, new dad, Adam investigates whether babies resemble their Fathers more than their Mothers. And speaking of Moms, Happy Mother’s Day!
5/13/201733 minutes, 41 seconds
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TRC #448: Justin Trudeau & Cupping + Ask An Astronomer ft Dr. Stuart Robbins + Duct Tape

What’s up, Checkers! This week, Adam takes a closer look at cupping therapy after Prime Minister Trudeau is spotted doing an interview with cup-shaped bruises on his arms. Our favo(u)rite resident astronomer Dr. Stuart Robbins joins the crew to explain zero gravity and how our bodies would respond if we stopped accelerating in space. Finally, Darren looks into the sticky truth about duct tape.
5/6/201728 minutes, 39 seconds
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TRC #447: March For Science + Is Witchcraft a Crime in Canada? + Does a Unicorn Frappuccino Contain Coffee?

Welcome to another episode of your fave fact-checkin’ show! Darren kicks things off with a recap and discussion of April 22’s March For Science. Cristina looks into whether witchcraft is an actual crime under Canada’s Criminal Code. Finally, Adam asks the burning question on all of our minds lately...does the new Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino contain any coffee?
4/28/201731 minutes, 31 seconds
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TRC #446: Is 'Fearless Girl' Bull? + Name That: Baby Edition + Survival Of The Fittest

The TRC crew brings another fun and fact-filled show! First up, Darren looks behind the controversy swelling around the recent art installation in New York titled “Fearless Girl”. Producer Pat challenges the panel with an eye-opening game of Name That. Finally, Adam rounds out the show by digging into news claiming neanderthal remains may disprove the biological concept “Survival Of The Fittest”. This week’s show is brought to you by HelloFresh and by Endy Sleep. Canadian Checkers can use the promo code ‘Reality50’ to receive 50% off your first HelloFresh order. Use promo code ‘REALITY’ to get $50 off any Endy Sleep Mattress.
4/21/201733 minutes, 13 seconds
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TRC #445: Social Priming + Feral Girl Living With Monkeys? + Origin Of The Dollar Sign

While Cristina is away, the rest of the crew still brings it! Darren once again tackles possible issues in the field of psychology by looking into social priming. Pat digs into a recent news story making the rounds regarding an alleged feral girl found living with monkeys in India. Finally, Adam delves into the interesting origin of the dollar sign. This week’s show is brought to you by HelloFresh and by Endy Sleep. Canadian Checkers can use the promo code ‘Reality50’ to receive 50% off your first HelloFresh order. Use promo code ‘REALITY’ to get $50 off any Endy Sleep Mattress.
4/14/201723 minutes, 48 seconds
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TRC #444: Mashup: Breast Feeding And Lactivism + Are Parents Less Happy?

It’s all about parents and babies this week for a good reason. First Cristina explores the science of mother’s milk and asks whether some breastfeeding advocates take things too far. Bonus: a very tired Adam gives us an update. Next, Darren examines whether parents are more or less happy than people without children.
4/8/201740 minutes, 6 seconds
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TRC #443: Theory Vs Scientific Theory + Pesticides In Canadian Water? + Cheerios: Bring Back The Bees

Tired of hearing people say ‘it’s just a theory’? Pat tackles a listener’s email and schools us on the true definition of the often misunderstood word ‘theory’ in science. Adam dives into a recent article claiming a pesticide banned in Europe is turning up in Canadian water supplies. Finally, Cristina looks into the recent bad buzz around Cheerios cereal’s #bringbackthebees campaign. Bonus: name that drum loop!  
3/31/201730 minutes, 54 seconds
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TRC #442: Implicit Association Test + Eiffel Tower Night Photos Illegal? + Irish Slaves A Myth?

Darren takes a deep dive into the Implicit Association Test to see if it really does measure our unconscious levels of prejudice and assess implicit bias. Cristina explores whether there’s a chance she may get arrested if she takes photos of the night-lit Eiffel Tower on an upcoming trip to Paris. Finally, Adam explores a common news story that comes up around St. Patrick’s Day regarding Irish slavery in America.
3/24/201729 minutes, 1 second
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TRC #441: Nintendo Switch And Flavour Tripping + Gossip + School Buses And Seat Belts

The TRC crew is back with an entertaining show! First, Pat gives us a fascinating look into why people are licking Nintendo Switch cartridges and what the heck flavour tripping is. Next, Adam ponders the purpose of gossip. Lastly, Cristina tackles a Checker’s email asking whether seat belts would make school buses safer.
3/17/201732 minutes, 38 seconds
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TRC #440: Emotions You Don’t Feel?

With the crew on holiday we bring you a discussion with Professor Jim Davies about what it means to have an emotion and how it could be possible to have emotions we don’t feel. Jim is a cognitive scientist and author of Riveted: The Science of Why Jokes Make Us Laugh, Movies Make Us Cry, and Religion Makes Us Feel One With the Universe.
3/10/201711 minutes, 48 seconds
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TRC #439: Would Aliens Be Hostile? + Lunar Effect + Name That: Powers Of 10

This week we bring you the second half of our crossover show with Dr. Stuart Robbins of the Exposing PseudoAstronomy podcast. Adam looks into whether aliens visiting earth are likely to be hostile. Cristina examines the lunar effect. Lastly, Stuart tries his hand at hosting a game of Name That: Powers of 10 edition.
3/3/201729 minutes, 20 seconds
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TRC #438: Fossil Fuel Vs Dinosaurs + How Animals Survive Winter + Dry Cleaning Dry?

This week Pat kicks off the show with a look into the idea that fossil fuels are the remains of dead dinosaurs. Next, Darren checks into many of the ways that animals stay warm during cold winter months. Lastly Adam wonders: how dry is dry cleaning? Enjoy! This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
2/24/201723 minutes, 2 seconds
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TRC #437: Tariffs Vs The Border Wall + Movie Myths + Statue Of Liberty: Muslim?

The U.S. president is threatening to impose stiff tariffs on Mexican imports, but how do tariffs really work? Darren gives us the low-down. Next, Cristina looks into myths many of us believe thanks to movies and TV shows. Finally, Adam examines claims floating around social media that the Statue of Liberty was originally based on a Muslim woman. This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
2/18/201729 minutes, 19 seconds
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TRC #436: Applied Kinesiology + Japanese Tourists & Northern Lights? + Coconut Oil

On this week’s show, Adam gives us the rub on whether applied kinesiology is a legitimate practice. Cristina takes a closer look at a persistent myth that Japanese tourists flock to the Yukon to have sex under the Aurora Borealis. Finally, Darren examines various claims purporting the health benefits of coconut oil. This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
2/11/201724 minutes, 18 seconds
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TRC #435: Do We Live In A Black Hole + The Drake Equation + Solar Flares Vs Earth’s Magnetic Field With Dr. Stuart Robbins

The Reality Check crew joins forces with Exposing PseudoAstronomy for a special crossover show this week! First up, Darren explores the notion that we may be living in a black hole. Pat breaks down the Drake Equation. Finally, Dr. Stuart Robbins explores whether a solar flare radiation burst really cracked the Earth’s magnetic field causing radio blackouts. This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
2/3/201726 minutes, 2 seconds
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TRC #434: Menstrual Synchrony + Name That: Internet 2016 + Have Your Cake And Eat It Too?

Cristina starts this week’s show off checking into the widely held belief that women who who live or work closely together have periods that start to sync up. Next, Pat brings us another edition of everyone’s favourite guessing game, ‘Name That,’ about the internet in 2016. Lastly, Adam looks into the phrase ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too.’ This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
1/27/201725 minutes, 6 seconds
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TRC #433: Fingerprint Theft From Selfies? + Revisiting Celebrity Death Stats + The Birthday Paradox

Pat kicks off this week’s show with a touchy news item making the rounds claiming hackers can steal our fingerprints from selfies. Darren digs into some new analyses on whether celebrity deaths were more rampant in 2016 after all. Finally, Adam explores the probability of two people in a room sharing the same birthday. This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
1/21/201727 minutes, 31 seconds
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TRC #432: Winter Insects + Miracle Cream & Free Trials + Star Wars’ Old Republic Women’s Healthcare

This week, Darren assures us that those tiny dark objects moving across the snow are not our imagination. A recent ad popping up on socials for “miracle cream” has Cristina asking if free skincare trials are really as advertised. Finally, Adam uses the force to see if inadequate women’s healthcare destroyed Star Wars’ Old Republic. This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
1/13/201724 minutes, 57 seconds
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TRC #431: Annual Prediction Game + Fave Segments of 2016 + Was 2016 Really The Worst Year?

The TRC crew reunite to kick 2016 to the curb and usher in the New Year with a fun-filled show! Adam checks the panel’s “clairvoyance” score by revisiting last year’s “predictions”. The panel set aside logic yet again to make their predictions for 2017. Favourite and most surprising segments from 2016 are highlighted.  Finally, Darren rounds out the show by asking was 2016 really the worst year ever? This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
1/6/201728 minutes, 25 seconds
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TRC #430: The 6th Annual Holiday Parody Spectacular

Pat and Cristina hijack the last show of the year and feature holiday-themed parodies from years past. The crew offers up their year-end lists highlighting the favourite things they’ve read, watched and listened to in 2016. Finally, we revisit some of listener and panel top voted parodies. This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
12/30/201627 minutes, 20 seconds
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TRC #429.5: Programming Good Ethics Into A.I.

Some extra content this week for all you checkers! Darren and Adam have a discussion with friend of the show Jim Davies about programming good ethics into artificial intelligence. Jim is an associate professor in the Institute of Cognitive Science at Carleton University. 
12/27/201612 minutes, 10 seconds
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TRC #429: Is Barter The Origin Of Money? + More Trees Than Stars? + Snowflakes

Special guest, Lars, gets things started by examining whether barter is the origin of money. Next, Pat looks into whether there are more trees on Earth than stars in the Milky Way. Lastly, Darren gives us a primer on snowflakes.  This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
12/23/201625 minutes, 25 seconds
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TRC #428: Truffle Oil + The Science Of Idiocracy + Paid Sick Leave

Pat starts things off by digging for the truth about truffle oil. Next, Adam looks into the science behind the movie ‘Idiocracy’ and asks: is natural selection making us dumb? Lastly, Cristina coughs up some facts around the real cost of not providing paid sick leave. This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
12/16/201627 minutes, 39 seconds
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TRC #427: Possession Is 9-10ths Of The Law? + Genes Predict Athletic Performance? + What Is Organic?

Adam kicks things off by decoding the common phrase ‘possession is 9/10ths of the law’. Next Cristina looks into whether direct-to-consumer genetic tests can really help predict a child’s athletic predisposition. Lastly, Darren checks into what the organic label really means. This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
12/9/201629 minutes, 26 seconds
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TRC #426.5: Effective Donating 2016

‘Tis the season for giving so TRC brings you an extra show this week. Darren and Adam revisit a segment on effective donating during the holidays with some updates for 2016. This show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
12/6/201619 minutes, 55 seconds
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TRC #426: Measuring Pregnancy: Weeks Vs Months? + Name That: Canadian Citizenship + The 5 Second Rule

Adam kicks off the show looking at whether it is better to measure pregnancy in weeks or months. Next, Pat tests the panel’s “Canadianness” with a game of ‘Name That’ featuring questions from Canadian citizenship practice exams. Darren closes out the show with a look at the five second rule.  This week’s show is brought to you by hellofresh. You can use the promo code ‘REALITY50’ to get 50% off your first order.
12/2/201626 minutes, 27 seconds
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TRC #425: Fake News, Facebook & The Election + FTC Vs Homeopathy + Ultrasound Determining Fetal Sex

Darren kick off the show looking at headlines about fake news, Facebook and the U.S. election.  Cristina looks at new FTC rules regarding homeopathy.  Lastly, Adam brings us a segment about determining fetal sex via ultrasound.  
11/25/201629 minutes, 53 seconds
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TRC #424: Harambe For President? + Moving To Canada + Trump Predictions

Pat kicks off The Reality Check’s first post-US election show looking into claims that voters may have thrown off the election results by voting Harambe 2016. Adam gives any disgruntled American friends the 411 on how to move to Canada. Finally, Cristina scrutinizes the validity of alleged uncanny Trump predictions floating around social media.
11/19/201630 minutes, 52 seconds
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TRC #423: Daylight Saving Time + Stopped Male Birth Control Study

Cristina reality checks some common misconceptions about Daylight Saving Time.  Darren looks at recent headlines about a male birth control study which was stopped due to adverse effects.
11/11/201627 minutes, 26 seconds
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TRC #422: Theraband FlexBar Effective? + Star Wars Filming Near You? + Name That: Remembrance Day

Cristina checks into a listener’s questions about the effectiveness of a product called ‘Theraband Flexbar’ for tennis elbow. Adam looks at some headlines about a new Star Wars flick being filmed near you which are making the rounds on social media. Pat tests the panel’s knowledge with a Remembrance Day themed episode of everyone’s favourite mostly guessing game, ‘name that.’
11/4/201629 minutes, 1 second
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TRC #421.5: Darren On Ron Corbett Unscripted

BOO!  We bring you a rebroadcast of Darren's appearance on CFRA News Talk Radio on Halloween, 2013.  He participated in a debate about ghosts, spirits and the paranormal for a special episode of Ron Corbett Unscripted.
10/31/201638 minutes, 33 seconds
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TRC #421: US Election Polls + Fake Academic Papers + Plain Cigarette Packaging

Darren kicks off the show by taking a look at election polls and their real-world margin of error. Next, Pat digs into predatory publishers and fake academic articles. Lastly, Adam fans the flames on the debate around the effectiveness of plain cigarette packaging after a listener asks TRC to look at “both sides of the argument”.  
10/28/201629 minutes, 10 seconds
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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.  
10/21/201625 minutes, 39 seconds
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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.
10/15/201628 minutes, 28 seconds
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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”.
10/10/201630 minutes, 3 seconds
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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.
9/30/201630 minutes, 3 seconds
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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.
9/24/201630 minutes, 14 seconds
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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.  
9/17/201624 minutes, 29 seconds
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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.
9/10/201628 minutes, 7 seconds
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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. Cheers!
9/2/201628 minutes, 15 seconds
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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.
8/26/201627 minutes, 20 seconds
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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.
8/20/201627 minutes, 26 seconds
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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.
8/8/201628 minutes, 16 seconds
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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.
8/1/201639 minutes, 3 seconds
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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.
7/25/201620 minutes, 59 seconds
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TRC #407: Panelists Disagreeing Mashup - Geeks and glasses + 0.9999 = 1? + Bike Helmet Safety

7/4/201647 minutes, 22 seconds
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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.  
6/27/201637 minutes, 19 seconds
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TRC: Special Announcement

The TRC crew is taking a well earned week off however we did want to share some exciting news with you.
6/17/20161 minute, 45 seconds
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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.
6/11/201627 minutes, 35 seconds
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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.
6/3/201627 minutes, 11 seconds
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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.  
5/27/201626 minutes, 25 seconds
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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.
5/20/201627 minutes, 8 seconds
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TRC #401: Did Apple Steal Your Music? + Disaster Relief + Catterbox

On this week’s show, Pat looks into a recent story making the rounds on the internet about Apple stealing your music. Next, Darren revisits the best way to give during a disaster on the heels of the Fort McMurray wildfires. Finally, Adam talks about...what else? Cats! Is there really a new cat collar that will translate your cat’s meows? Collar me skeptical.
5/13/201628 minutes, 21 seconds
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TRC #400: Panel Questions + Do Dogs Hate Hugs? + Alberta Toddler Meningitis Case

In celebration of our 400th episode, we take on a couple of listener questions. Then Adam looks into whether your dog really hates it when you give them a hug. Lastly Cristina leads the panel in a discussion about the recent conviction of two Alberta parents who were found guilty in their 19-month-old son’s death from meningitis.
5/7/201630 minutes, 8 seconds
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TRC #399: Free Throw Distraction + Differentiating Science From Pseudoscience + Do Politicians Keep Promises

The whole crew is back together.  First Pat examines whether fans can affect the outcome of  basketball games by distracting players who are taking free throws. Next Darren looks into the demarcation problem in the philosophy of science. Lastly Cristina checks up on how well politicians do with keeping their campaign promises.   
4/29/201629 minutes, 37 seconds
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TRC #398: The Physics of Superheroes + Name That: High School Edition + Green Moon

While Adam is galavanting in Europe, “Physics Commando” Barry Panas joins the crew to school us on the physics of superheroes. Pat discovers who showed up in class with a game of Name That: High School Quiz Edition. Finally, Darren investigates whether there’s any truth to a claim making the rounds on the internet about a rare green moon.
4/22/201632 minutes, 1 second
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TRC #397: Star Wars Droids with Jim Davies + Misleading Terms In Psych Fields + Star Wars Myths

Friend of the show Jim Davies joins us this week to explore our psychology, and often conflicted feelings, about droids in the Stars Wars universe. Cristina schools us in terms often misused when reporting psychological science. Finally, Adam rounds out this week’s Geek factor by debunking some popular Star Wars myths.
4/16/201634 minutes, 53 seconds
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TRC #396: French’s Ketchup Better For Ontario? + Misleading Headlines + China Bans April Fools’?

Adam squeezes the truth out of rumours that French’s Ketchup, rather than Heinz, is supporting Ontario industries.  Next Cristina looks into whether readers are influenced by misleading headlines, even if they read the full article.  Lastly Darren checks into reports that China has banned April Fools’ day.  
4/8/201631 minutes, 22 seconds
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TRC #395: Tribeca vs Vaxxed + Double-Dipping + Tay: Microsoft’s AI “Racist” Chatbot + Energy-Infused Beauty Products

Darren kicks off the show with a quick panel discussion about Tribeca Film Festival’s decision to pull a controversial documentary linking vaccines with autism from their line-up. Next, Pat dives right into a listener email about double-dipping. Adam looks into how the internet corrupted Microsoft’s innocent new AI chatbot Tay in less than 24 hours. Finally, Cristina gets goopy with a segment about energy-infused beauty products.
4/2/201632 minutes, 23 seconds
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TRC #394: Money & Happiness + An Evening With Neil deGrasse Tyson + How Is Easter Sunday Determined?

Happy March Equinox, Checkers! This week, Darren delves into the age-old question, does more money really make us happier? Pat and Cristina give a recap of An Evening With Neil deGrasse Tyson in Toronto. Finally, Adam hops right into a segment about how Easter is determined.
3/25/201630 minutes, 45 seconds
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TRC #393: Talking Mirrors with Barry Panas + Clinton Onion Conspiracy + Splenda vs Cancer

Very special guest Barry “Physics Commando” Panas reflects on whether mirrors reverse left and right. Next, Adam peels back the layers on a conspiracy about The Onion and Hillary Clinton. Lastly, Cristina sweetens things up by looking at a recent study claiming Splenda causes cancer.
3/18/201634 minutes, 25 seconds
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TRC #392: Is 4K TV Worth It? + Is Trump Really A Good Businessman?

This week, Adam takes an in-depth look into 4K resolution TVs and whether taking the plunge is worth it. Next, Darren examines whether Donald Trump is as successful at business as he claims to be.  
3/12/201627 minutes, 9 seconds
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TRC #391: Apple Retro 1970 Bug + Hitler’s Micropenis? + Leap Year Revisited + Video Gaming’s First Transgender Character

Go Skeptic, it’s your podcast! This week, Pat squashes the recent iPhone retro 1970 Bug making the rounds. Darren points a skeptical lens at current news stories suggesting Hitler suffered from a condition that affected the size of his penis. Cristina jumps in to school us on the origins of Leap Year. Finally, Adam respawns an old theory regarding who gaming's first transgender character is, and reminds us how good he looks in red.
3/5/201630 minutes, 49 seconds
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TRC #390: Is The Solar System A Vortex? + Peanut Butter vs Alzheimer’s + Sitting Too Close To The TV

Darren examines a video, that recently resurfaced, revolving around the premise that the solar system is a vortex. Cristina sniffs out the facts on recent reports that peanut butter could be used for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, Adam takes a look at whether watching television close-up can harm your eyesight.
2/26/201627 minutes, 1 second
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TRC #389: Left-Right Confusion + Cats Meow Only At Humans? + Superforecasting Review

On this week’s show, Pat hands us an interesting segment about why some people have trouble telling their left from their right.  Adam “mewses” whether adult cats only meow at humans and not each other. Finally, Darren predicts you may find the recent book Superforecasting:The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner well worth a read.
2/20/201642 minutes, 46 seconds
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TRC #388: Science vs “Resting Bitch Face” + Death By Super Bowl? + Gravity Of Melting Ice

Just admit it, Checkers. That first segment title caught your eye and you knew Adam was back!  Adam raises a skeptical eyebrow at recent headlines claiming real science behind “Resting Bitch Face”. Cristina runs with a new study regarding the fate of fans in cities whose teams play in the Super Bowl. Finally, Darren unearths whether Greenland’s ice melt could actually change our gravity field. Really? Listen to find out!
2/13/201634 minutes, 22 seconds
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TRC #387: Zika Virus + Wisdom Teeth Removal A Racket? + Battery Charging Myths

With Adam and his antics enjoying the warmth of St. Lucia, the show must still go on! Darren breaks down the Zika virus and fills us in on what we should know. Cristina investigates whether we really need to get our wisdom teeth removed. Finally, Pat replies to a listener’s email by looking into common battery charging myths and whether they still apply today.
2/6/201634 minutes, 5 seconds
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TRC #386: Planet 9 with Dr. Stuart Robbins + Lettuce Worse Than Bacon? + Cats vs Cucumbers

Ahoy, Checkers! With all the hype about a potential new planet discovery named “Planet 9”, we thought it would be good to get a reality check from our favourite resident astronomer Dr. Stuart Robbins, host of one of our fave podcasts, Exposing PseudoAstromony. Next, Cristina got excited when she heard a rumour about lettuce being somehow worse than bacon, then realized it’s always best to investigate claims that sound too good to be true. Finally, Adam takes on a segment suggested by former TRC host and all-around good guy Jon Abrams, who asks, “are cats really scared of cucumbers?”
1/30/201646 minutes, 45 seconds
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TRC #385: Health & Fitness Myths + Name That: Game That + Why Can’t We See Apollo Mission Remnants With A Telescope?

Darren kicks off the show by revisiting and debunking some pervasive nutrition and fitness myths. Pat brings us another fun-filled edition of Name That: Game That. Finally, Adam finds a way to weave Sailor Moon into a segment addressing why can’t we see remnants of the Apollo Mission on the moon through a telescope?
1/23/201640 minutes, 54 seconds
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TRC #384: Did Nikola Tesla Contact Aliens? + FTC vs Lumosity + Ugly Baby Lawsuit?

Welcome, Checkers to your 384th episode of TRC! First Adam, addresses a listener’s email from last year asking whether Nikola Tesla contacted extraterrestrial life. Next, Cristina brings us up to speed with a recent FTC court settlement against Lumosity and their neuroplasticity claims.  Finally, Darren looks into a viral story about a man who allegedly sues his wife for birthing an ugly baby.
1/16/201636 minutes, 13 seconds
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TRC #383: Lardass Autocorrect Kardashian? + Name That: Internet 2015 Edition + Last Year’s Fave Segments + 2016 Predictions

We like big facts and we cannot lie. The TRC crew reunite to kick off the New Year with a fun-filled show! Cristina butts in first with a story that was all over the internet recently: does typing ‘lardass’ into an iPhone autocorrect to ‘Kardashian’? Then the gang share their favourite, funniest, and most surprising segments from 2015. Pat hosts an Internet 2015 edition of Name That. Finally, Adam takes over to revisit last year’s “predictions” and asks the panel to set aside logic yet again to make predictions for 2016.
1/9/201657 minutes, 4 seconds
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TRC #382: Dunning-Kruger Effect + Deep Learning + Do The British Have Bad Teeth?

Merry New Year, Checkers!  This week, Adam takes the night off while Darren and honorary TRC’er Dallas Card join the Toronto crew in the flesh for another fun and informative show. Darren kicks off the festivities by revisiting the sometimes misunderstood cognitive bias called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Dallas delves into deep artificial neural networks and debunks some myths around machine learning. Finally, Cristina examines whether the British really deserve the rep of having bad teeth.
1/2/201638 minutes, 48 seconds
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TRC #381: The 5th Annual Holiday Parody Spectacular + Dr. Ken Milne’s SGEM vs SPIDES

With the Festivus upon us, Darren and Adam hand the reins of the sleigh over to Pat and Cristina for the fifth annual holiday show. The duo share the inside scoop behind this year’s parodies plus other highlights including the panel’s recommendations of stuff to watch, read or listen to (see the show notes!).  Extra bonus in your stocking is an excerpt from Dr. Ken Milne’s Skeptic’s Guide to Emergency Medicine Podcast. After recently guesting on TRC where he mentions the Spinach, Popeye, Iron and Decimal Error Story (SPIDES), Ken gets an interesting email from listener Bob Edmonds who he then invites on his podcast to help set the record straight. A huge thank you to all the ‘Checkers out there for listening every week. Have a safe and happy holiday!
12/26/201551 minutes, 11 seconds
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TRC #380: Starbucks Hates X-mas? + When Is A Cold Contagious? + Kubrick Admits To Faking Moon Landings?

On this week’s show we have lots of questions!  First Cristina looks into a viral video claiming that Starbucks hates Christmas.  Next Darren wonders when the common cold is contagious.  Lastly Adam examines a second viral video, claiming to be an interview with Stanley Kubrick where he admits to faking moon landings.
12/19/201538 minutes, 15 seconds
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TRC #379: Charitable Giving + Premium vs Regular Gas + Elf On The Shelf

On this week’s show, tis the season for Darren to revisit charitable giving and effective donations. Pat fills us in on an email from a TRC’er who asks us to break down premium vs regular gas. Finally, Adam channels his inner Elf to enlighten us on Santa’s not-so-secret spy.
12/12/201540 minutes, 59 seconds
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TRC #378: Ethical Automated Cars? + Adult Colouring Books + The Halitosis Influence

TRC is in the house! This week, Darren takes us for a spin to explore the ethical dilemma of self-driving cars. Adam takes a peek into the growing trend of Adult Colouring Books and their potential health benefits. (No, not that kind of adult colouring book.) Finally, Cristina mouths off about how clever marketing made bad breath sound like a medical condition.
12/5/201540 minutes, 26 seconds
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TRC #377: Unethical Experiments Proven Useful + Game That + Photographs and Smiling

Not even a power failure can stop the TRC crew!  First Cristina examines unethical experiments that ended up changing medicine.  Next, Pat runs the crew through a game of “Name That” where the goal is to “game it.”   Lastly, Adam wonders why people didn’t smile in old photographs.  
11/28/201544 minutes, 10 seconds
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TRC #376: Are Religious Children Less Altruistic + Are There Pets in Pet Food?

TRC do it live!  This week’s show was recorded in front of a live audience at Skepticamp Ottawa.  First Darren takes a look at recent headlines suggesting that a study has found religious children are less altruistic than their nonreligious counterparts.   Next Adam bites into claims that euthanized dogs and cats are showing up in commercial pet foods.  
11/20/201537 minutes, 17 seconds
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TRC #375: Supporting TRC + Immortality + Bloodletting

Pat kicks off this week’s show by reflecting on TRC listeners, future projects and ways to support the show.   Next, Darren brings us one of his trademark philosophical segments with an exploration of immortality.   Lastly Cristina takes a look at bloodletting.  Is that still a thing?
11/14/201538 minutes, 31 seconds
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TRC #374: Conversion Therapy + Did Booze Influence The Australian Accent? + Vampires Drunk On Blood?

G’day TRC’ers!  On this week’s show, Pat takes a look at a recent U.S. government report to give us an update on Conversion Therapy. Cristina goes down under to investigate whether the Australian accent was influenced by their drunk forefathers. Finally, Adam applies the scientific method to see if vampires could get drunk from drinking a drunk person’s blood.
11/7/201538 minutes, 16 seconds
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TRC #373: WHO Processed Meat Cancer Study + The Science of Gremlins + Do Bras Cause Cancer?

BOO! This week, Darren looks closely into the reporting around the recent published study from WHO’s cancer agency (IARC) regarding links between cancer and the consumption of red and processed meat. Adam applies logic to break down the science of Gremlins. Finally, Cristina takes on another controversial post on Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle blog Goop suggesting wearing a bra causes cancer.
10/31/201543 minutes, 14 seconds
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TRC #372: Knowledge Translation with Dr. Ken Milne + Name That: Nobel Edition + Ghost Weddings

Emergency medical doctor Ken Milne and host of The Skeptic’s Guide to Emergency Medicine podcast is a totally gnarly dude! He takes time out to join the panel and talk about the knowledge translation project which he founded. Pat teaches us all a few things with a riveting game of Name That featuring Nobel Prize trivia. Finally, Darren gives us a spirited segment by looking into whether people in China are stealing corpses for ghost weddings.
10/24/201553 minutes, 31 seconds
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TRC #371: Riveted With Jim Davies + Is Polling Effective? + Extraneous Factors & Judicial Decisions

Cognitive scientist and author Jim Davies joins the crew this week for a riveting discussion about his book ‘Riveted.”   Next Adam surveys the evidence about whether political polling is effective.  Lastly, Cristina chews on the question of whether extraneous factors affect judicial decisions. Enjoy!
10/16/201552 minutes, 19 seconds
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TRC #370: Antibacterial Soap + Maple Water + Anti-Vaxxers Funding Fail + Top CO2 Emitters

TRC drops four segments this week for your listening pleasure. First, Pat scours the research after a listener writes in questioning whether antibacterial soap is more effective at killing germs.  Adam taps into the recent health claims lauding the benefits of Maple Water. Cristina looks into why anti-vaxxers are up in arms over a recently published funded study. Finally, Darren takes an exhaustive look at which countries are the highest CO2 emitters.
10/10/201537 minutes, 49 seconds
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TRC #369: Follow Your Career Passion? + Farmer’s Almanac + Subway Becoming Halal?

Not even the flu can keep Producer Pat from finally bringing you this week’s episode of TRC! First, Darren explores whether or not encouraging people to follow their passion when choosing a career is sage advice. Next, Cristina takes on a listener’s suggestion and points a skeptical lense at the weather forecasts made by the Farmer’s Alamanacs. Finally, Adam checks into whether or not the claim that Subway has Halal-only restaurants is fact or fiction.
10/4/201547 minutes, 55 seconds
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TRC #368: Barcodes and 666 + Ahmed Mohamed’s Clock + Do Tax Cuts Cause Job Growth

TRC brings you a hella diverse show this week!  First, Pat sidles up to the bar code to determine whether the 666 conspiracy theory holds any weight. Next, Adam takes a facts-based look at the recent controversy around 14 year old Ahmed Mohamed’s homemade clock. Finally, Darren points his skeptical lense at the political argument that small business tax cuts stimulate job growth.
9/26/201547 minutes, 56 seconds
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TRC #367: Susan Gerbic of GSoW + Industry Funded Studies + Deaths From Heat and Cold

An action packed show this week!  Susan Gerbic joins the crew to discuss Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia.   Next, Cristina tells us about an industry funded study on butter with surprising results. Lastly, Darren looks into facts and stats about deaths from heat and cold.  
9/19/201544 minutes, 55 seconds
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TRC #366: Accent Bias + Electroshock Therapy + Did A Cat Take A Bullet For A Kid?

Three interesting segments this week.  First, Cristina addresses a listener email ‘aboot’ cultural stereotypes and subjective judgments based on people’s accents. Next, the gang is once again joined by Dina Tsirlin who looks into some shocking facts about electroconvulsive therapy.  Lastly, Adam takes aim at recent headlines suggesting that a cat ‘took’ a bullet for a kid.  
9/12/201544 minutes, 58 seconds
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TRC #365: Reproducibility of Psychological Science + Are Octopuses Aliens? + Happy Birthday TRC!

  The Reality Check celebrates its 7th birthday! This week we’re bringin’ the science and the sci-fi with two fact-filled segments. First, Darren kicks things off with an analysis of the Reproducibility Project which looks at experimental and correlational studies published in the field of Psychological Science. Adam dives head first into recent DNA studies on octopuses and the resulting headlines suggesting they come from an alien world.
9/5/201542 minutes, 22 seconds
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TRC #364: Can You Catch Up On Sleep? + Trickle-down Economics + Is An Asteroid Coming?

  On this week’s show, Cristina rouses the panel with some research that addresses whether we can ever really catch up on lost sleep. Guest Lars Péloquin explains the concept of Trickle-down Economics. Finally, Pat looks into why NASA recently had to address rumours which suggested an impending Asteroid catastrophe.
8/29/201534 minutes, 56 seconds
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TRC #363: Talking New Horizons with Dr. Stuart Robbins + The Great Berenstain Bear Debate

Guest panelist and honorary TRC’er Dr. Stuart Robbins from the “Exposing PseudoAstronomy” podcast joins us once again to answer questions about New Horizons and help us navigate the various claims made by the media coverage of Pluto.  Adam rounds out the show by looking into the various conspiracy theories surrounding The Berenstain Bear children series.
8/22/201555 minutes, 14 seconds
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TRC #362: Simpson’s Paradox + Name That: GMO Edition + Traveller’s Diarrhea Myths

  Hey TRC’ers!  While Adam is away this week, friend of the show Dallas Card joins us once again in studio to explain Simpson’s Paradox. Pat challenges the panel to another game of Name That: GMO Edition. Finally, Cristina flushes out a listener’s email regarding traveller’s diarrhea myths.
8/14/201533 minutes, 7 seconds
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TRC #361: Bullying + Shroud of Turin + Kanye vs Wheelchair Basketball Team

  Imma let you finish...but this episode of TRC is off the hizzy! First, Adam kicks the show off with an in depth look at ‘provocative’ new research that suggests bullying is genetic. TRC alumni Elan joins the crew this week to unveil the real facts behind the Shroud of Turin. Finally, Darren raps about a recent ‘news piece’ gone viral featuring Kanye vs a wheelchair basketball team of middle school kids.
8/8/201538 minutes, 51 seconds
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TRC #360: Hydration + Donating Your Body To Science + Two-Way Mirrors

TRC keeps bringin’ da facts! Darren starts us off by dipping into a segment about popular hydration myths. Cristina digs into what happens when you donate your body to Science. Finally, Adam reflects on whether or not it’s easy to detect a two-way mirror.
8/1/201536 minutes, 7 seconds
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TRC #359: High Fidelity Audio Players + Sunscreen Revisited + Catapult GPS

Pat sets the tone with a segment on high fidelity audio players and whether Neil Young’s new Pono device is as ‘righteous’ as its name claims. Darren reflects on popular misconceptions around sunscreen. Finally, Cristina tips-off with a segment about how some cutting edge technology called the Catapult GPS is being used in elite sports training.
7/25/201535 minutes, 44 seconds
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TRC #358: Guerrilla Skepticism + Foul-mouthed Minions + The Munchies

Wassup TRC'ers! Darren kicks things off with a detailed segment about Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia, aka GSoW. Adam serves us a lighthearted look at whether McDonald’s Happy Meal Minions are swearing at us.  Finally, Cristina asks the burning question, what’s the science behind “The Munchies”?
7/18/201546 minutes, 17 seconds
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TRC #357: Mobile Medical Apps + Sesame Street vs Preschool + Viral Nonsense: Confederate Flag Edition

Welcome, bienvenida, bienvenue TRC’ers! Pat kicks off this week’s show addressing a listener’s email regarding whether there’s any real science behind health applications for mobile phones. Cristina takes a walk down Sesame Street to explore whether exposure to the show leads to improved early educational outcomes in preschoolers. Finally, Adam raises an eyebrow at the Confederate flag.
7/11/201545 minutes, 23 seconds
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TRC #356: Rachel Dolezal and Transraciality + Alternative Cancer Therapies for Pets + Did Stockbrokers Really Jump Out of Windows?

Despite some technical issues this week, the crew plowed through to bring you another great episode of TRC! On today’s show, Darren takes an in-depth look into the controversial story behind Rachel Dolezal and leads the panel in an interesting discussion about the definition of Race. Adam relays his experience looking at cancer treatment options for his sick cat Cheese and the woo he encountered in the process. Finally, Cristina dives into a myth about whether or not stockbrokers really jumped out of windows during a financial crisis.  
7/3/201547 minutes, 40 seconds
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TRC #355: Mashup Episode: Breast Cancer Screening + Sexism in Science + Jackie Mitchell

  Cristina takes over TRC Studios to DJ another magnificent Mashup episode. This week the running theme is “Women”. Enjoy!
6/26/201545 minutes, 51 seconds
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TRC #354: Caitlyn Jenner vs Noah Galloway + Bayesian Statistics 101 with Alex Demarsh + Biodynamic Farming

Welcome TRC Family to another jam-packed episode! Adam kicks off the show this week by looking into the brouhaha over whether Caitlyn Jenner really beat out Noah Galloway to win an ESPN Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Our guest panelist statistician Alex Demarsh introduces us to Bayesian Statistics demonstrating that some of us would have enjoyed stats way more in high school if he was at the chalkboard. Finally, Cristina unearths the dung in Biodynamic Farming. Special shout out to TRC’er David for sending in such a great parody suggestion + lyrics for “How Deep Is Your Woo” that even Baritone Pat couldn’t resist!
6/20/201544 minutes, 12 seconds
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TRC #353: Perfect Pitch + Name That: Weather & Climate Edition + Is July 4 Really Independence Day?

The whole gang is back to deliver another fun-filled show! Cristina rings in with a segment about Perfect Pitch and a recent study that looks at whether the ability can be learned by adults. Pat challenges the panel’s knowledge of Weather & Climate with an informative game of Name That.  Last but not least, Darren breaks down the timeline surrounding the American Revolution and Declaration of Independence.
6/13/201541 minutes, 9 seconds
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TRC #352: doTerra Essential Oils + Tiananmen Square + Do Sunflowers Track The Sun?

With Pat & Cristina away, guest host Dr. Michael Thompson steps in to join the crew! Adam gives us a whiff of aromatherapy, specifically multi-level marketing company doTerra Essential Oils. Michael offers some historical context around the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Finally, Darren touches upon phototropism and whether sunflowers follow the sun.
6/6/201543 minutes, 29 seconds
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TRC #351: DNR Revisited + Penile Duplication + Vulcan Salute & Death Grip

  Pat kicks off this week’s show revisiting an older segment on DNR with some new information about the mortality rate in DNR patients. Darren looks into the phenomenon of men having more than one penis. Finally, Adam hands us a segment about the interesting origin of the Vulcan Salute and the Death Grip myth.
5/29/201533 minutes, 28 seconds
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TRC #350: Ontario’s Sex-Ed Curriculum + Magic School Bus Meme + Medical Procedures You May Not Need

  Hello TRC’ers! This week’s show is a veritable potpourri of topics! Darren studies Ontario’s new Sex-Ed Curriculum and addresses its critics. Adam tackles the meme keeping us all up at night...did the kids from Magic School Bus grow up to be Captain Planet’s Planeteers? Lastly, Cristina dissects some commonly prescribed medical procedures that we may not actually need.
5/23/201538 minutes, 6 seconds
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TRC #349: Dubious Health Bloggers + Crop Circles + Tax-Free Savings Account

TRC is bringin’ it! Cristina bites into a segment about dubious Health, or self-professed “wellness” bloggers and the potential hazards of their claims, and in some cases lies. Adam touches down with a detailed look into the origins of crop circles and the various explanations behind them. Finally, Darren dips into Tax-Free Savings Accounts to break down a political statement.
5/16/201546 minutes, 14 seconds
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TRC #348: Earth-Sized Exoplanets + Name That: Which Came First + Israeli Stamps In Passports

Dr. Stuart Robbins from Exposing PseudoAstronomy is back to discuss the search for Earth-sized exoplanets.  Pat then leads the crew in another game of Name That and lastly Darren looks into whether an Israeli stamp in passports can affect travel to Arab and Muslim countries.  
5/9/201543 minutes, 45 seconds
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TRC #347: Nepal Disaster Relief + Fecal Transplants + Diamonds + Star Trek Red Shirts

Darren touches on recent events in Nepal and offers suggestions on how to help during disaster relief efforts. Guest host Dina drops a segment we can all get behind regarding promising research around fecal transplants, aka transpoosions. Next up, Adam goes where no TRC segment has gone before...does wearing a red shirt on Star Trek equal impending doom? Finally, Cristina shines a light on why diamonds are really nobody’s friend.  
5/2/201539 minutes, 1 second
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TRC #346: The Grape Ice Cream Debate + QRay Wellness Bracelets + Things Women Couldn’t Do Before The 70’s + Eye Floaters

What a jam-packed show! After kicking things off with a beloved TV show theme parody, Pat dips into a long standing myth about grape ice cream, while Adam breaks down QRay Wellness Bracelet claims. Cristina highlights how far women have come since the 70’s and Darren dissects eye floaters. Can you guess the TV theme parody this week? Email us!
4/25/201542 minutes, 16 seconds
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TRC #345: Trigger Warnings + Food Labelling + Poland's Enigma Code Breakers

On this week’s show, Darren explores trigger warnings, how they’re used, and whether they should be. Cristina bites into a segment about misleading product claims and food labelling. Finally, Pat takes on a listener’s suggestion to tap into Poland's Enigma Code Breakers.
4/18/201539 minutes, 25 seconds
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TRC #344: Animal Memory + Name That: Random Technology Quiz + The Humidex

Just in time for the weekend!  First Adam attempts to recall whether or not animals have memory, next Pat tests your knowledge of random technology with another game of 'name that' and lastly Cristina gets the crew to work up a sweat about the humidex.  
4/10/201541 minutes, 37 seconds
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TRC #343: Voluntourism + Higher Thread Counts + Sleepwalking 101

  Happy Spring Equinox! Darren kicks off the show by exposing the disturbing downside of well-intentioned Voluntourism. Cristina lays out the truth behind whether higher thread counts are really indicative of bed sheet quality. Finally, Adam stirs the panel with an in-depth segment about Sleepwalking.
4/4/201536 minutes, 45 seconds
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TRC #342: Talking Pluto with Dr. Stuart Robbins + Name That: Grade 9 Edition + Arsenic Levels in California Wines

  Guest panelist Dr. Stuart Robbins from “Exposing PseudoAstronomy” launches this week’s show by tackling a listener’s email regarding Pluto and the IAU’s definition of a planet. Pat grades our knowledge of high school Science with a game of Name That: Grade 9 Edition. Finally, Darren dips into a recent news story claiming dangerously high levels of arsenic in California wine.
3/27/201545 minutes, 32 seconds
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TRC #341: Health Canada & Natural Remedies + Food Stereotypes + Why Paper Cuts Hurt So Much

  Darren is back on home turf and kicks off this week’s show by putting Health Canada’s licensing of natural remedies under the microscope. Adam digs into race and gender-based food stereotypes. Finally, Cristina slices through a segment on why paper cuts hurt so much.
3/20/201545 minutes, 39 seconds
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TRC #340: Interview With Thomas Clark From The Center For Naturalism

A few months ago Darren and Adam had the opportunity to interview Thomas Clark from The Center for Naturalism.    We hope you enjoy this interview while the regular crew takes a well deserved week off!
3/13/201535 minutes, 15 seconds
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TRC #339: Was Everyone In The Middle Ages Drunk? + Lie Detection + Dressgate

Former TRC host Jon Abrams returns to examine whether everyone in the Middle Ages drank liquor because water was so dirty and polluted.   Next Adam tells us the truth about lie detection.  Or does he?   Lastly Cristina pits the blue-blacks against the white-golds with a look at the viral picture which set off 'dressgate.'
3/6/201542 minutes, 1 second
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TRC #338: Stradivarius Debate + SFoSF Inventions + How To Predict The Future On The Internet

Dubrofsky’s back! Elan drops by TRC Studios this week to play co-host and examine whether a Stradivarius violin lives up to its reputation. Pat tests our knowledge of inventions with a game of “Science Fact or Science Fiction”. Finally, Adam explains how anyone can flawlessly make predictions on the internet.
2/28/201536 minutes, 37 seconds
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TRC #337: Women In Science + Brian Tomasik on Wild Animal Suffering Part 2 + Blue Blood

With Adam at the helm this week, we kick off with a segment from Cristina highlighting the challenges women face forging a path in Science-related fields, we feature part 2 of our interview with guest Brian Tomasik about Wild Animal Suffering and finally, Adam sheds some light on why our veins look blue.
2/20/201550 minutes, 17 seconds
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TRC #336: American Sniper + Brian Tomasik on Wild Animal Suffering + Rent-To-Own

  With Cristina filling in as host, Adam slings a segment about the real story behind American Sniper, while guest Brian Tomasik opens our eyes to Wild Animal Suffering in part 1 of 2 interview segments. Finally (last yet again…) Pat crunches the real math of Rent-To-Own business models, shocking Adam and Cristina in the process.
2/13/201554 minutes, 36 seconds
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TRC #335: Meditation + Name That: Anatomy Edition + V-Steam & Gwyneth Paltrow

When Darren’s away, the panel will play! On this week’s show, guest host Dina reflects on claims surrounding Meditation, Pat tests our knowledge of Anatomy with another edition of Name That, and Cristina blows off steam regarding the recent controversial blog post on Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle blog Goop. But first...a parody in Ms. Paltrow’s honour.  Enjoy!
2/6/201541 minutes, 40 seconds
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TRC #334: Blasphemy in Canada + Why Allergy Myths Persist + Does Cake Mix Really Need an Egg?

  On this week’s fun and fact-filled show, Darren kicks things off swearing Blasphemy is alive and well in Canada. Cristina breaks out in a segment about why debunked allergy myths continue to persist. Lastly, Adam mixes it up by asking if adding an egg to boxed cake mixes is a marketing ploy.  
1/31/201535 minutes, 27 seconds
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TRC #333: Cali Causes Cancer? + Talking Transgender + The Most Bombed Country is…

  Adam is back from his vacation/reconnaissance mission in California where he investigates why everything in the State purports to cause cancer or birth defects. Pat addresses gender identity in an interview with friend of the show Sebastien LeBel. Lastly, Darren drops the question, “Which is the most bombed country on Earth?”  The answer may surprise you...
1/23/201543 minutes, 23 seconds
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TRC #332: Wind Chill + Bad Pharma Overview + Does Bottled Water Expire?

Even with Adam away, TRC delivers!  Cristina blows in with an interesting breakdown of the Wind Chill Index, while Darren probes the book “Bad Pharma” by British physician and academic Ben Goldacre.  Finally, Pat flushes out the truth behind why bottled water has an expiration date.  
1/16/201541 minutes, 39 seconds
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TRC #331: Bad Luck & Cancer + Annual Predictions + Sushi & Wasabi

Happy New Year from TRC!  On this week’s episode, Darren doubles down on whether cancer is mostly the result of bad luck, while Adam looks into his crystal ball for our Annual Predictions. Pat rounds out the show with the raw facts on sushi and wasabi and rings in 2015’s inaugural episode with some ‘Rap Bravado’. Check it…
1/10/201554 minutes, 22 seconds
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TRC #330: The Fourth Annual Holiday Parody Spectacular

  With half of the regular TRC crew off for the holidays, Pat and Cristina hijack the show for a fourth year running and revisit some of the best parodies and highlights of the year.  
1/2/201543 minutes, 16 seconds
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TRC #329: Murder Down Under + Cake or Death + The Sitting Dead + #HomicideTheNorth

  The Reality Check panel delivers a morbidly merry episode this holiday season! Pat goes down under to see if Adelaide is worthy of its ‘murder capital’ rep, while Cristina presents the odds of dying on your birthday. Next, Adam relaxes into a segment about the dangers of sitting, and Darren investigates recent homicide rates in Canada.
12/26/201445 minutes, 54 seconds
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TRC #328: Superintelligence Overview + Guinness Two-Pour + Is Grumpy Cat a ‘100-millionaire’?

TRC drops another informative show with some hilarious outtakes! Darren takes over the world show with an in-depth overview of Nick Bostrom’s book Superintelligence, Cristina gives us a sobering look at whether the Guinness Two-Pour is a must or a myth, and Adam brings us a purr-fectly delivered segment about Grumpy Cat that had us all in stitches.
12/20/20141 hour, 2 seconds
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TRC 327: Racial Disparity + Perception Quiz + The Cheerleader Effect

  This week’s show is #1!  Dina stirs the melting pot and gives us a taste of racial disparity as it relates to education, employment, and the penal system, Darren tests our knowledge of key social issues in our own backyard, and Cristina kicks in with a segment about The Cheerleader Effect. Goooooooo TRC!
12/12/201436 minutes, 25 seconds
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TRC #326: Bates Method + Outlet Malls + Does Roomba Map a Room + Hope & Resurrection

  This week’s awesome episode kicks off with Pat focusing on The Bates Method. Cristina shops for facts about outlet malls, while Adam cleans up with a segment about Roombas. Lastly, Darren raises our awareness with a recent troubling news story.
12/6/201442 minutes, 45 seconds
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TRC #325: Cells On A Plane + Effective Donating Revisited + Sad Music

  On this week’s show, Adam rings in about whether we really have to turn off cell phones on a plane, Darren contributes by revisiting effective donating, and Cristina conducts a minor segment about why we listen to sad music when we’re sad.
11/30/201450 minutes, 35 seconds
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TRC #324: Serial Killer Myths + Name That: Weights and Measures + Is Chocolate Poison To Dogs?

Another great episode!   First Cristina slays a few misconceptions about serial killers, next Pat sizes up the panel's knowledge about weights and measures with another game of 'name that.'   Lastly, Adam sniffs out the truth about dogs and chocolate.  
11/22/201436 minutes, 59 seconds
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TRC #323: Mashup Episode: SkyMall + Mattress Doubles In Weight + Almond Joy's Got Nuts

Elan is your DJ for this "humour" themed mash-up episode.   Unfortunately it is also his last appearance as a regular panelist on the podcast.   
11/14/201443 minutes, 40 seconds
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TRC #322: Fewer Kids Trick or Treating? + SFoSF: Coffee + BDSM Illegal? + Losing Elan

The TRC boys deliver another great show with Adam kicking things off by slaughtering myths around trick or treating.  Elan challenges the guys to a java-fuelled science fact or science fiction while Darren dominates a segment about the legalities around BDSM.
11/8/201451 minutes, 40 seconds
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TRC #321: Ebola + Google Traffic + Sexy Ebola Nurse Costume

On this week's show, Darren explores whether it's time to hit the panic button on Ebola, Adam navigates us through how Google Traffic really works, and Pat examines whether the Sexy Ebola Nurse Costume is a trick.
11/1/201445 minutes, 23 seconds
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TRC #320: Bradford Hill Criteria + Cold Reading + Does The Earth Orbit The Sun?

What a show!  First Elan loads our skeptical rifles with the Bradford Hill Criteria.   Next, special guest Julian Janes gives us an excellent overview of the dark art of cold reading.   Lastly, Darren asks does the earth really orbit the sun?
10/25/201454 minutes, 32 seconds
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TRC #319: Mothers' Milk Vs Mothers' Guilt + Red Wine Health Benefits + Green Eggs And Ham Banned?

Cristina joins the panel to explore mothers' milk and asks whether some breastfeeding advocates take things too far.    Next Adam examines recent news reports of the claim: red wine is better than going to the gym.   Lastly, Pat looks at whether or not the book 'Green Eggs and Ham' was banned.
10/17/201445 minutes, 23 seconds
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TRC #318: Do Glasses Weaken Eyes? + Smoking in Movies = R-rating + Pluto A Planet Again?

Even when short-staffed, the guys deliver the skepticism.   First Pat takes an arm's length look at whether wearing glasses weakens eyes.   Next, Darren tries to get a grip on smoking in movies and its effect on ratings.   But both those segments may be dwarfed by Adam's look into whether or not Pluto is again a planet.
10/11/201434 minutes, 2 seconds
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TRC #317: Programmer Productivity + Parody Websites + iPhone Bending

Episode 317 of The Reality Check is really fantastic. Elan leads things off by looking into the claim that excellent programmers can be more than 10 times more productive than average ones. Next, Adam looks into some "parody" websites. Darren closes out the show by answering if it's true that the iPhone 6 bends.
10/3/201451 minutes, 26 seconds
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TRC #316: Three-Breasted Woman + Name That: Cryptozoology Edition + Cow Tipping

Episode 316 is awesome.   First Darren covers a salacious and titillating news story about a three breasted woman.   Next Pat mystifies the panel with a new edition of "name that," all about cryptozoology.   Lastly, Elan examines the underbelly of claims about cow tipping.  
9/27/201436 minutes, 19 seconds
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TRC #315: Grounding Mats + Sweetener vs. Cocaine + Tooth Colour

The core group of 4 is back together again to bring you another dose of premium skeptical content in episode 315 of The Reality Check. Elan leads things off by exploring the health claims of grounding mats. Next Adam analyzes yet another study comparing  cocaine to sweetener. Darren closes out the show by answering what colour our teeth should be.
9/20/201444 minutes, 58 seconds
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TRC #314: Parasites & Multiple Sclerosis + How Big Is The Universe + Tim Hortons Cup Sizes

Episode 314 has not one guest, but TWO!   First Dina tells us all about parasites, multiple sclerosis and clinical trials.   Next Dana takes a look at the size of the universe.  Lastly, Adam investigates a viral video about Tim Hortons cup sizes.  
9/13/201445 minutes, 36 seconds
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TRC #313: Mashup Episode: Canned Food Drives + Blowing In Nintendo Cartridges + Van Halen M&Ms

Most of the crew gets a much deserved week off while Pat provides a mash-up of segments based on the theme of "firsts."   We would love to get your feedback on whether you liked the format!  Let us know at:  [email protected]
9/5/201434 minutes
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TRC #312: Gamer Stats - Adult Women Vs Teenage Boys + Deer + Puff The Magic Dragon Is About Pot?

Episode 312 is all that and more!  First Adam frags some headlines claiming that adult women gamers outnumber teenage boy gamers.   Next Pat hunts for the facts to answer a listener's questions about deer.  Lastly Darren clears the smoke on whether Puff The Magic Dragon is about marijuana. 
8/30/201436 minutes, 7 seconds
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TRC #311: Suicide + Small vs. Big Meals + Sharks Smelling Blood

Episode 311 of The Reality Check is really amazing. Darren leads it off with a discussion about some misconceptions people have about suicide. Next, Elan looks into whether you should eat 3 regular meals a day or multiple small meals. Adam closes things out by answer whether it's true that sharks can smell blood from a long distance away.
8/23/201445 minutes, 50 seconds
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TRC #310: Vanity Awards + Afghan 9/11 Awareness + Jackie Mitchell

This episode of The Reality Check is the best piece of content on the internet. Pat leads things off by going in depth into his investigation of a vanity award scam. Next Darren discusses if people in Afghanistan know about the events of 9/11. Finally Elan answers whether it's true that a 17 year old woman named Jackie Mitchell struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig consecutively.
8/15/201446 minutes, 8 seconds
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TRC #309: WWI Myths + Great Outdoors Game + Toasting to Avoid Poisoning

With Darren away at a conference, former TRC host Jon Abrams steps in to take over the hosting duties for episode 309 of The Reality Check, and leads things off with a segment where he discusses a number of World War 1 myths. Next, Elan leads a game of Science Fact or Science Fiction: Great Outdoors Edition. Adam closes things out by looking into the origin of toasting glasses comes from people trying to avoid getting poisoned.
8/9/201443 minutes, 17 seconds
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TRC #308: Crossfit + SETI + Dogs And Ice Water

Episode 308 is here.   First Darren tries to work out whether Crossfit is suing scientists.   Next Adam searches for answers in reply to a listener's email about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).   Lastly, Pat pours over evidence on whether or not it is safe for dogs to drink ice water.  
8/2/201450 minutes, 57 seconds
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TRC #307: Bananas and Fishing + Deer Whistles + Air Bud + Alcohol in Ontario

The core four are back together for the best 307th episode of any podcast ever! Pat leads things off with a superstition he learned about on his vacation regarding fishing and bananas. Next, Elan answers a listener email about deer whistles and whether they actually work. This is followed by an in-depth fact-checking of the movie Air Bud by Adam. Darren closes things out by informing the world how alcohol sales work in Ontario.
7/26/201441 minutes, 35 seconds
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TRC #306: Facebook Mood Manipulation Study + Steven Spielberg Dinosaur Hunter + Wage Gap Between Sexes

With Pat away for the second week in a row, the gang calls in the big guns in the form of public health and stats professional Dina Tsirlin to sub in. Darren leads off the show by answering if Facebook deliberately made people sad and what, if anything, was learned. Next Adam discusses the odd reactions some people had to a photo of Steven Spielberg beside a triceratops. Dina closes things out by answering a listener email about whether there is a wage gap between men and women.
7/19/201455 minutes, 41 seconds
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TRC #305: Null Hypothesis Significance Testing + Racist Dogs + UFO Sighting Distribution

Pat's away but the guys still pull off one of the greatest episodes of all time with #305. Elan starts off the show with an overview of Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST). P-values galore! Next, Adam looks into whether some dogs are racist and why that may be. Darren closes out the show by discussing a recent article that measured the most common times and places that supposed UFO sightings occur.
7/13/201440 minutes, 17 seconds
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TRC #304: Productivity Hacks + Name That Topical Edition + Sheng Long

Episode 304 of The Reality Check will likely break every podcast record ever set. Darren leads things off by analyzing some productivity hacks he read on the internet. Pat then leads a game of Name That, with a totally topical theme. Adam ends the show by answering if Sheng Long was a real Street Fighter character.
7/5/201444 minutes, 50 seconds
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TRC #303: Earlobe Creases + Is Venus The Cat A Chimera? + Why Do Our Fingers Prune?

Episode 303 of TRC is here.   First, Pat takes a 'frank' look into whether earlobe creases are a sign of heart disease.   Next, Adam purrrrrsues an answer to whether the beloved internet cat, Venus, is truly a chimera.   Lastly, Elan dives hand first into the question of why our fingers prune in water.
6/28/201440 minutes, 12 seconds
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TRC #302: Female vs. Male Hurricanes + Airplane Food + Surgical Masks

The gang is fully recovered from the episode 300 celebration (301 was the hangover episode) and explodes which their best episode yet with number 302. Darren leads the way with a segment about some recent research on whether female-named hurricanes kill more people than their male-named counterparts. Next, Pat discusses if airline food tastes worse than food on the ground. Elan closes things out by looking into why people are wearing surgical masks out in public.
6/21/201443 minutes, 4 seconds
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TRC #301: Finish Your Plate + Fertility Game + Turing Test News

Episode 301 of The Reality Check is the pinnacle of audio media. The show begins with Adam looking into whether parents should tell their kids to "finish their plates". Next, Elan hosts an exciting rendition of the classic TRC game, Science Fact or Science Fiction, with a theme of fertility. Darren closes things out by discussing whether or not the Turing Test was recently passed.
6/14/201455 minutes, 19 seconds
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TRC #300: Vanessa's Law + Mistakes Were Made + Bad Student Writing + Best and Worst Segments

All four panelists are back together to celebrate 300 episodes of The Reality Check!  Pat starts us off with a look a Vanessa's Law.   Adam then takes us through some mistakes that were made in the last 100 episodes.   Darren gives us a light-hearted segment about bad student writing and the show closes with a look at the panelists' favourite and least favourite segments..   
6/7/201457 minutes, 5 seconds
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TRC #299: Godzilla + Book Reviews + Snuff Films

Episode 299 has arrived!   With Elan away, the rest of the crew still delivers.   First Adam looks into whether on not Godzilla could exist.  Darren then gives us not one, not two, not three but FOUR book reviews.  Lastly Pat looks into whether there has ever been a true snuff film. 
5/31/201454 minutes, 14 seconds
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TRC #298: China Study + Conscious After Decapitation + Asteroids vs Comets vs Meteoroids

With both Darren and Adam away, former host Jon Abrams steps up in style!    First Elan takes a look at the book 'The China Study.'   Next Jon asks whether someone decapitated by a guillotine might see their own body.  Lastly Pat looks at the difference between asteroids, comets, meteoroids, meteors and meteorites.  
5/24/201440 minutes, 44 seconds
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TRC 297: Most Relaxing Song + "Dangerous" Beers + Paternal Mitochondria

TRC episode 297 would win the podcast equivalent of a Pulitzer if that kind of thing existed. Pat leads off the show with some investigative journalism into whether or not scientists really did discover the most relaxing song of all time, as was reported widely in the media. Next, Elan looks into a article that has been trending about beers that should be avoided at all costs because they have dangerous ingredients. Darren closes out the show by exploring if mitochondria is only inherited through the maternal line.
5/17/201437 minutes, 39 seconds
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TRC #296: Did Life On Earth Begin On Another Planet? + Foreign Aid Myths + Drinking Beer With A Straw?

The whole gang is back together and what a show!  First Adam explores whether life on earth began on another planet.   Next, Darren shares his talk from skepticamp about foreign aid myths with us.   Lastly Pat intoxicates us with a look into whether drinking beer through a straw will get you drunk faster.
5/10/201436 minutes, 17 seconds
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TRC #295: Fraud And Facebook Likes + Fresh Vs. Frozen + Kansas Banning Cosmos?

With Adam away and Pat sick, the rest of the crew is joined by special guest Alex Commons.   First Alex tells us about fraud and fake facebook likes.   Next Elan fills us up with the details on fresh vs frozen fruits and vegetables.  Lastly, Darren looks into whether the state of Kansas is trying to block the television series Cosmos.  
5/2/201435 minutes, 52 seconds
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TRC #294: Loch Ness Monster + Astronomy Name That Game + Can Elephants Jump

In probably the greatest podcast you'll ever hear, the guys bring the skepticism in a big way for episode 294 of The Reality Check. Adam starts things off by exploring whether or not there really is a sea monster in Loch Ness. Next, Pat hosts a game of Name That with questions about astronomy. Darren closes out the show by answering whether or not elephants can jump. Enjoy!
4/25/201428 minutes, 59 seconds
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TRC #293: Jenny McCarthy Isn't Anti Vax? + Blast Processing + Darren's Charity Update + Are Bats Blind?

Episode 293 of The Reality Check is action packed!   First Pat looks at whether Jenny McCarthy's claims that she isn't an anti vaxxer hold up.   Next special guest Sean Corse (aka Sean Orange) of the Famicom Dojo podcast joins the crew to answer a listener request about 'Blast Processing.'   Darren then provides an update on the charitable campaign he started last year.   Lastly Elan looks into whether bats are actually blind.