56. The Science Behind Old Wives Tales

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.  What can i say, sometimes its just easier to follow advice when it’s delivered in a rhyme scheme.

On today’s show, K+K & guest host Emily Gilliland explore some of the more modern Old Wives Tales, and discuss the science behind why they are or aren’t true.

55. Telepathy & Other Fun Party Tricks You Can Do With A Computer In Your Brain!

Have you ever moved things with your mind? How about communicated a thought telepathically, from your brain, directly to someone else’s brain?

If you’ve used Brain-Computer Interface technology, (or if you’re a Jedi) the answer is probably… yes! But if there were wires and a computer involved, does that count as true telepathic or telekenetic abilities? And will they let you into Jedi Academy with something like this on your head?

Keera Lindenberg & Joel Murphy, and the hat that sucks up brainwaves.

Thank you so much to Joel Murphy from OpenBCI for explaining the ins and outs of Brain Computer Interface, and for reading Keera’s brainwaves! To find out more about his work, or find the open source codes for building some of your own super rad BCI tech (see: exhibit A, Keera’s nifty robot-hat) visit openbci.com!

54. Artisanal Bug Soup – the Life of Carnivorous Plants

Science Fact or Science Fiction (the quiz game™) is back! On today’s episode, K+K test Keiren Bond on her carnivorous plant knowledge, with questions like:

  • Can a Venus Fly Trap count?
  • Would any plant eat bugs if you mushed them into an artisanal organic soup?
  • Would a pitcher plant prefer to eat a Montane Tree Shrew, or its poop?
“Today’s my day, I can just feel it!”

53. Black Holes Part 2 – Slow Motion Somersaults in Space

In part 2 of their exploration of these space oddities, K+K talk to guest host Emily Gilliland about what would happen if our sun spontaneously imploded, how anyone falling into a black hole would turn into spaghetti, and what it means to exist in time, but not in space. They even attempt to explain how, to an observer moving faster, time (literally!) moves slower, by making Emily do (proverbial) back-flips in space.

If you can’t tell which way is up, are you ALWAYS mid-somersault?

52. Black Holes 1 – Infinite Gumballs in the Frosting of Spacetime

Have you ever been falling into a black hole and thought, “how did this infinite curve in spacetime even get here, anyway?” Well, the next time you’re hurdling towards the infinitely dense Singularity, which exists only in time but not in space and is possibly a hole in the 4-dimensional universe, you can listen to this episode!

Objects in spacetime, or gumballs in frosting? YOU decide!

In Part 1 of their journey through outer space, K+K explore how Black Holes are formed, discuss the recent detection of their gravitational waves, and interview Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein about light, gravity, and the fluffy pink frosting of spacetime.


51. The First Life on Earth

It’s 4.5 billion years ago. The Earth is a hot, bubbling sphere of lava  & hostile gases. And then suddenly… THERE IS LIFE!

But how did this first Earthly organism show up on our planet? And who was (s)he? A Giant Virus? An archaea cell?

Meet your Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandmother, Luca. 

If our earliest ancestor was indeed, as research suggests, a simple strand of chemicals that randomly happened to smush together in the perfect shape for fabricating its own decedents (also strands of chemicals) floating in a swamp of primordial ooze that was randomly struck by lightning… how did it evolve into the extremely complex multi-cellular plants and animals that exist today?

50. Hibernation: sleep ’til the pizza trees bloom

We’ve all been there: winter gets dark and cold, and the urge to curl up in bed and sleep through the harshest of seasons grows strong.  Unfortunately, if that’s how you tried to cope, you’d go from cold as a stone, to stone cold dead. Human biology just isn’t cut out for the task. Bears on the other hand, are masters of hibernation.

With the help of guest host David Zimelis, K + K show you why hibernation is more than just a snooze, and explore the incredible things bears do that allow them to curl up for months on end without food, water, or bathroom breaks (yikes!).

All songs heard on this episode were used with permission from composer Ed Curtiss. You can purchase the album “Underwrought Works” at shut-ins.bandcamp.com.

49. Una-peel-ing Produce, Lettuce Help You

Are you afraid to admit to your friends that you don’t REALLY like kale? Do you only eat tomatoes once they’re boiled into a sauce? We’ve all come across tough, bitter vegetables and flavorless, mealy fruits. No matter how dedicated you are to getting all your vitamins, you just don’t want to eat unappetizing produce!

But fear not, science is on your side! There are pretty easy ways to alter the physical and chemical properties of these plants to make them far more aPEELing… and we’re gonna tell you what they are!

48. DMT & Dying -with Dr. Rick Strassman

Many years ago, Keera almost died. We’re glad she didn’t, but we have always been curious about the biological basis of what she experienced. Was her “journey outside of this reality,” really real? Or was it a vivid hallucination caused by DMT, the psychoactive molecule theorized to flood your brain at the time of death?

To find the answer, K+K talked to Dr. Rick Strassman, author of the book DMT: The Spirit Molecule, and one of the leading experts on how the molecule affects our moods, thoughts, and perceptions. Together, they explore how DMT works, the probable function it has in our lives and in our deaths, and what DMT has to do with near-death experiences.

Find more about Dr. Strassman’s work, or delve deeper into the science of DMT and the mystical experience with his incredibly fascinating books, at Rickstrassman.com

Weirdly, we couldn’t find any actual photos of the afterlife.

47. Death: La Frontera Final (Part I )

Yes ladies, he is single!

Today is a day about Death. It’s Día de los Muertos, the Latin American holiday that honors the souls of loved ones that have passed away, and celebrates death as an essential and natural part of life. For a science show, death is a tricky subject to tackle, because no one has really been able to define what it is. But that won’t stop K+K from trying! In this episode, they explore

  • Creatures whose existence blurs the line between living and nonliving
  • How we know our bodies are meant to die, and why we can’t stop it from happening
  • Why death is essential for the continuation of life on Earth