Let's Learn Everything!

By Tom Lum, Caroline Roper, Ella Hubber

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Science communicators Ella Hubber, Tom Lum, and Caroline Roper share anything and everything interesting! Each episode they teach each other about a science topic, answer a question, and learn about a miscellaneous topic. Whether it's bugs on drugs, temporal illusions, or reality tv, there's so much out there, so let's learn everything! Join our Discord, email us, and follow us everywhere at https://www.LetsLearnEverythingPod.com

Episode Date
24: Self Experimentation, Amputation Archaeology, and Learning to Love PowerPoint

What are the pros and perils of self experimentation? What archaeological clues do we have to the first human amputation?  And why should we actually learn to love PowerPoint?

See Tom Perform PowerPoint Comedy on October 4th at Caveat NYC! (or stream it!)

Go to Ella's Women in Science Photography Exhibition in London October 25th!

Support us on Maximum Fun!

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We also learn about: Santorio Santorio, sitting in a chair for 30 years, two pieces of toast, 1500s diet culture, insensible perspiration, basal metabolism, the origin of sleep studies, cave dwellers and time perception, he likes caves a little too much, sleep cycle, stomach ulcers, rats in straight jackets taking ice baths like david blaine, drinking bacteria broth and winning a nobel prize, scientists will literally drink rotten milk to get a paragraph in a paper, reaching 631mph in a rocket chair, shout out to David Hunter, setting research back several decades, venereal disease, tropical hookworm, giving yourself worms for science, do not try this at home, Caroline always starts with Egypt, ancient prosthetics, Egyptian healthcare, what is a human, 1.8 million year old tooth, Georgia is a state not a country, tackling misinformation, human remain hotspot, the earliest surgery, trepanation, ancient community care, “7 days ago, that was the end of my script”, modern humans, medical knowledge is older than we realise, we’re still figuring anthropology out, Ella loves powerpoint, sweating bullets, God named powerpoint, overhead transparencies, Caroline doesn’t know what an overhead projector is, Tom and Ella are getting old, Edward Tufty is evil, Tom Lumperson is coming for Edward Tufty, everyone is a presenter, accessibility, an unfeasible culture of productivity, David Burn, Tufty vs Burn, Powerpoint Art, Powerpoint theatre, Powerpoint comedy, Tiktok is actually Powerpoint, Powerpoint as a programming language, beautiful things in the wildest places.


Santorio Santorio
Insensible persirpiation
Weighing chair replica
Mammoth Cave Study
Michel Siffre Cave Experimenter
Michel Siffre Cabinet Interview
H. Pylori Stomach Ulcer Timeline
Barry Marshall Discover Magazine Interview
Infective dose of Campylobacter jejuni in milk
John Paul Stapp
Stewart Adams
Pritchard and Hookworms
Jasper Lawrence
Jimmy Bernot Twitter
Whipworm Clinical trials
Hookworms for multiple sclerosis


Limb Amputation in Ancient Egyptians (2010 Paper)
The Guardian - Archeologists unearth 1.8 million Year Old Human Tooth
A Short History of Surgery by K. M. Begelman
The Oldest Amputation on a Human Skeleton in France (2007 Paper)
Upper Palaeolithic Hand Images with Missing Phalanges (2018 Paper)
Surgical amputation of a limb 31,000 years ago in Borneo (2022 Paper)


Robert Gaskins on Naming PowerPoint
NYTimes Reporting on Microsoft Buying PowerPoint
Tufte's Article "PowerPoint is Evil"
NYTimes Teacher Interview on PowerPoint
David Byrne's Learning to Love PowerPoint
David Byrne's UC Berkley Presentation
David Byrne's Blog about the Presentation
Vulture's "Why is PowerPoint Having a Comedy Moment?"
Neil Cicierega's SlideShare Gems
The Lorde and Jack Antonoff PowerPoint
Tom Wildenhain's Paper "On the Turing Completeness of MS PowerPoint"
Tom Wildenhain's Presentation "On the Turing Completeness of MS PowerPoint"

Sep 22, 2022
23: Plastic's Past, Imperfect Pitch, and the Dumb History of Generation Naming

What is the history of plastic, and what could the future hold?  Why is perfect pitch, not so perfect, and do any animals have it?  And how on Earth did we end up with these meaningless names for generations?

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Catch Sidney Gish on Tour!

We also learn about: what is plastic? plastics are an invasive species, natural plastics, explosions are at the root of a lot of science, guncotton, oops we made it explosive, should have bought those 666 horses, patent drama, ella slumdog millionaires celloid tennis balls, flammable films, pronouncing bakelite, carrier bags vs plastic bags, the great pacific garbage patch, plastic quiz, all plastics made still exist, the future of plastics, testing our perfect pitch, Tom interviews Sidney Gish, being able to tell home depot paint swatches doesn’t make you a master architect, my brain is wet wet mud, the 1 in 10,000 number is bogus, guessing sine waves vs pianos, the Levitan Effect, more people have pitch memory than perfect pitch, perfect pitch in animals, dolphin octave mirroring, mosquitos matching pitch to mate, let’s bone doooooown, playing happy birthday for rats, describing happy birthday like an alien, perfect pitch RAMPANT among birds, birds understand spectal vocoder music, what is a generation? the origins of generation names, Strauss-Howe generational theory, retrofitting a logical system from a random idea, backfilling generations to arthurian times, THEY WERE PLAYWRIGHTS, there should never just be One center for research, a london doctor once said…, generational character archetypes, social theory shouldn’t sound like a D&D campaign, millennial and their avocado toast, why don’t millennials like Blue’s Clues anymore? people have always been complaining about “lewd wicked children”, scientists vs the pew research center.


The Science Museum: The Age of Plastic

Essentials of Polymer Science and Engineering

UN: From Birth to Ban: A History of the Plastic Shopping Bag

Nat Geo: Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Ocean Clean Up: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Plastic Bag Statistics

Earth Day: Fact Sheet- Single Use Plastics

Climate Foresight: The Future of Plastics is Uncertain

University of Birmingham: The Fate and Sustainable Future of Plastic


Carden & Cline's Excellent Review of the Myth's of Perfect Pitch

Marisa Hoeschele's Amazing Review of Animal Pitch Perception

Guessing Sine Waves vs Piano Notes Experiment

Pitch Memory TV Theme Experiment

The Levitin Effect

Mating Mosquitos Hamonize

Singing Happy Birthday to Rats

Songbird Hearing Anatomy

Starling Spectral Shape Experiment


Pew Research: The Whys and Hows of Generations Research

Millennial Means Nothing

Open Letter to the Pew Research Center on Generation Labels

The Avocado Toast Article

BBC History on Complaining about the Youths

Sep 08, 2022
A Big Announcement...!

A very special announcement!

Episodes we recommend for new listeners:

1: Time Illusions, Electric Bees, and Fakespeares

5: The History of Pregnancy Tests, The Middlest Size, and FanFiction

19: The Science of Gay, How Many Songs Fit in DNA, and Niche Sports

Support us on Maximum Fun!

Sep 06, 2022
22: Magnetic Mysteries, The Real Trolley Problem, and Hitchbot

How do animals sense magnetic fields? Why was the first Trolley Problem written? And who was Hitchbot?

Images we talk about:

- Hitchbot with Santa

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We also learn about: the first compasses, captain McDonalds, “epistemologically unacceptable”, magnetic bacteria, magnetic dip, pooping north, the table of good boys, let’s do a study, it’s more intersting that dogs Sometimes poop north, alignment during excretion, I’d rather study dogs than leopards, we don’t know how animals sense magnetism, the beaks of birds the brains of seaturtles the tummies of honeybes and the nasal passages of rainbowtrouts, four years from landing on the moon and we haven’t put a magnet on a bird yet, quantumn eyeballs, the European Robin is famously racist, Phillipa Foot, putting hypotheticals to the test, mice actors, hypotheticals don’t predict real behavior, Foot’s paper was about abortion, you know the hippocratic oath is pretty cool actually, do no harm is not in the oath, the self driving trolley problem, dogs vs cats, ethics boards on hypotheticals, the real car trolley problem is more nuanced, a robot with a thumb, Ella beats Tom to the joke, can robots trust humans, hitchbot meets santa, hitchbot loves Ten Bundy, have you seen this robot? how do we feel when a robot dies, so thoughtful of review corner to be at the end, and… some exciting news???


Myths in Magnetosensation

Magnetic Bacteria

Aviation Skybrary on Magnetic Dip

Dogs Poop North

Leopards Poop North

The Arctic Tern's Migration

Magnetoreception remains a Mystery

Finding the Magnetoreception Organ

Quantumn Eyeballs


The First Trolley Problem

Britannica on the Trolley Problem

Of Mice, Men, and Trolleys: Hypothetical Judgment Versus Real-Life Behavior in Trolley-Style Moral Dilemmas

Medical Ethics and the Trolley Problem

Self-driving Car Trolley Problem

MIT's Moral Machine Experiment


Web Archive of hitchBOT's Website

The Vessel on hitchBOT

Servo Mag on hitchBOT

Innovation Heroes Podcast: The Hitchhiking Robot’s Guide to the Universe

DW The hitchhiking robot's guide to Germany

McMaster University hitchBOT in the Netherlands

International Journal of Social Robotics

Smith and Zeller the death and lives of hitchBOT

Fraser et al How do we feel when a robot dies?hitchBOT’s destruction

Aug 25, 2022
21: Paleontologist Evelyn Vollmer, Figuring out the Age of the Earth, and What Defines a Dinosaur

How old did Aristotle think the Earth was? What makes a dinosaur a dinosaur? And how did our guest get into paleontology?           

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We also learn about: getting started in paleontology, shooting lasers at fossils, artistotle thought the earth was infinitely old, getting the 6,000 number from bible family tree math, it’s infinitely old because because, melting rocks is science, Lord Kevlin’s real name was William Thompson??? every big name in science wanted to answer this question, Darwin was embaressed and deleted his tweet about the age of the Earth, “there’s so much we don’t know, it’s hilarious”, the rock cycle, Patteron fought for lead safety, thousands millions and billions, it took 4 billion years for a species to know the age of the Earth, what is a dinosaur? “cladistics is confusing as hell”, we were naming dinosaursas as we were discovering them, rebranding dinosaurs, aquatic and flying reptiles aren’t dinosaurs, Taphonomy, who hasn’t fused their vertebra during a mating ritual, coprolite, this poop is going to inspire the shit out of someone, being okay with not using absolutes on tiktok, the new jurassic parks are trash.            



Aristotle's Age of the Earth

Kevlin's Age of the Earth

Clair Patterson And The Age Of The Earth

How to Calculate the Age of the Earth


Evelyn's TikTok Recommendations


Myria Perez

Holly Simon

Aug 11, 2022
Test Ep 2: Bugs on Drugs, How Much Pi do we Need, and the Blackest Black

What happens when you gives bugs drugs? How many digits of pi do we actually need? And what is the drama behind the blackest black?

Images we talk about:

- Spider Webs on Various Drugs

- Graph of Pi Approximations Across History

- The Redemption of Vanity, MIT's Blackest Black

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We also learn about: how do you give a bee cocaine? cocaine is a natural insecticide, the waggle dance, actually im not going to dance it’s embaressing, “I want to be a bee so badly”, bees get withdrawl, some caterpillars are insensitive to cocaine, weaponizing caterpillars, giving spiders drugs because you’re lazy, charlotte’s web blood spider drug tests, caffeine isn’t really that bad for us, “morals will not stop humans from doing stupid things”, maybe giving elephants 3,000x LSD is bad science, cheap date flies, some animals want to get high, my favorite drug is math, what is pi? ancient pi estimates, 62.8 trillion digits of pi, how many digits of pi do nasa use? we could work at nasa as a package deal, by the 1400s we had enough pi to get us to space, and by the 1600s enough for the universe, selfish of pi to have so many numbers, why do we keep counting, tom gets an existential crisis, we all get an existential crisis, the bean, vantablack, how can you have a color?, the pinkest pink, paying someone to flip them off, the new blackest black, 99.995% light absorption, the power of productive spite, um thaaanks.            



Bees on Cocaine

Caterpillar Cocaine

Weaponizing Caterpillars

The Spider Web Drug Study

Giving an Elephant Too Much LSD


How Much PI Nasa Uses

Approximations of Pi over Time

How Much PI Nasa Uses

Record Number of Pi Digits

NPR on Record Pi Count


Vantablack's Copyright Controversy

The Pinkest Pink

Anish Kapoor's Middle Finger

The NEW Blackest Black from MIT

Jul 28, 2022
20: The Math of Conspiracy Theories, Why is Pluto not a Planet, and Animal Art

If all these conspiracy theories were real, what are the statistical odds they'd be kept secret? Why did Pluto get demoted from planethood? And can animals make art?

Images we talk about:

- Pierre’s Brassau’s Art

- Erased Dekooning Drawing

- Sean Thomas’ “Case Study”

- Monkey Selfie

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We also learn about: planes fly over Ella’s house? coincidence??, the conspiracy leak formula, gish gallop, the Tom & Caroline Show conspiracy, moon landing photos, the real conspiracy of climate change is with Exxon and Shell, pluto didn’t change - the definition of a planet changed, pluto is half the width of the US, what is a planet???, planets need a cleared orbit, the IAU assembly, it’s neptune’s fault! Ella quietly having an existential crisis, Mike Brown - the man who killed Pluto, why aren’t we talking about Eris?, what if we had 12 planets?, Ceres was also demoted like Pluto 200 years ago, the 8 planets are what aliens would want to visit, the kuiper belt isn’t packed with objects like you might imagine, Mike Brown’s humbleness of giving up Eris’ planethood, dwarf planet pokerap, what is animal art? what is art? Ella and Caroline write this topic apparently, Pierre Brassau, Erased DeKooning Drawing, enrichment, Naruto vs. Slater vs. Wikipedia, Lynda Barry and Howard Ikemoto on children’s art, everything is art!            



On the Viability of conspiratorial beliefs

Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures

The PRISM Conspiracy

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study

The FBI Foresnic Scandal

Study on Disbelief of Moon Landing Photos

Climate Change

Shell and Exxon Climate Change Conspiracy

HBomberGuy's Vaccine Video


Library of Congress: Why is Pluto No Longer a Planet?

BBC: Why is Pluto No Longer a Planet?

Washington Post: Ever wondered why Pluto is no longer a planet?-

NASA: Pluto Overview

IAU 2006 General Assembly

Mike Brown, Pluto Killer

Metzger’s Thoughts on Pluto and what makes a Planet


Pierre Brassau's Art

Jackson Pollock

Erased de Kooning Drawing

Animal Enrichment

Do Elephants Enjoy Painting?

Ars Technica on the Monkey Selfie

NYT On Monkey Selfie

US Copyright Office Compendium of Practices

Lynda Barry's Making Comics

Jul 14, 2022
19: The Science of Gay, How Many Songs Fit in DNA, and Niche Sports

What is the nuanced science behind homosexuality in animals and humans? Is there a single gay gene? No. No absolutely not. But how many songs could you fit into a gram of DNA, and why would you want to? And what are some of the most niche sports and why are they still so great?           

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We also learn about: Tom is an ally, 1500 observed gay animals from shrimps to apes, the adelie penguin story hidden for 100 years, dynamic region translation, dolphins are messed up, it’d be weird NOT to talk about gay animals, how is gay behavior evolutionarily beneficial? nuanced questions and bad actors, the myth of the gay gene, genes are complicated and so is being gay, the rage inducing paper that inspired this topic, Caroline’s brain is loading big numbers, what would you put write into dna?, making 70 billion copies of your own book, what’s a floppy drive?, the first iPod, the cost of DNA storage, the double but, different types of memory, storing data for longer than ipods will be remembered, we’re not allowed to take the piss out of these sports, roller derby, is throwing a goat any weirder than a sheep’s bladder or pig skin?, reaching your peak in your 40s, the sport popes have played, tickles that jiggly knowledge thing in my skull.            



Homosexual Behaviour in Animals: An Evolutionary Perspective

An Alternative Hypothesis For the Evolution of Same-Sex Sexual Behaviour in Animals

A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation

The Gay Gene?

The Proof Against the Gay Gene

Genetics of Sexual Behavior

The Bad Article that Inspired this Topic

Pink News Analysis of The Bad Article that Inspired this Topic               


DNA Data Review

The First DNA Data, Microvenus

The First Book in DNA

Additional Review of DNA Data

200MB of DNA Storage with OK GO

The OK GO Music Video Stored in DNA

NYTimes on the First iPod

Testing the Stability of DNA Data

DNA Data Storage for 2 Million Years

The Time it Takes to Write DNA Data

Computerphile Explaining Reed-Solomon Compression


Home Game on Netflix

Roller Derby

Roller Derby Rules


More Buzkashi

Calcio Fiorentino/Storico

Calcio Fiorentino Nat Geo Interview

Jun 30, 2022
18: Radiocarbon Revolution, Space Babies, and Nail Polish

You've probably heard of Carbon Dating, but how are Astronomy, Biology, and Nuclear Physics involved? What are the problems with having babies in space, and how many animals have had babies in space? (surprisingly more than you'd think!) And what is the history of nail polish, and more importantly, our relationship with painting nails?

Videos we talk about:

- Mice in Space

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We also learn about: counting the rings in a carbon atom, Dendrochronology, Space & Life & Radioactivity, unstable tennis balls, a surprise callback to last episode, shoutout to baltimore! oh shit we can carbon date anything!! Ella is good at guessing, a rewrite of history??? OES, the real carbon dating was friendship, definitely points, what do you name a space baby? the ISS is not a safe form of contraception, sea urchin space sex, freeze dried mouse sperm resembling instant coffee, space sushi, space babies look cuter, jellyfish that don’t know the right way up, but snails do! how humans might evolve in space, Disney’s Moon Mouse Colony, what the moon teaches about Earth, Polish vs Varnish, our favorite color, fashion always goes in cycles, mummified pharaohs with nail polish, Van Gogh wasn’t color blind, he just had cheap paints, Mary Cobb was a girl boss if you will, car paint gave us nail polish, wear nail polish if you want to!            



History of Radiocarbon Dating

Radiocarbon Revolution

Janet Ambers on Chronological Methods


Fritz Schweingruber on Dendrochronology

Cosmic Rays and Carbon Dating

Libby's Nobel Address

Libby Carbon Dates Everything

Carbon Dating going 75,00 years Back

Overly Dramatic Carbon Dating Error Article

OES (Ostritrch Egg Shell)

Carbon Dating gets Updated

IntCal20 Calibration Curve

Emilie Jager on Geochronology


Fertilization in Microgravity

Sea Urchin Space Sperm

Freeze Dried Mouse Sperm

Sperm Count in Space Rats

Mouse Space Baby Development

Jellyfish in Space

Snails in Space

Dizzy Space Rats

Space and Bone Density

Space Adaptations

Russian Space Cockroach

Mice Adapting to Microgravity               


The History of Nail Polish

Cleopatra and Nailpolish

Nail Polish History

How Stuff Works Nail Polish

Hagley History of Nailpolish

History of Cosmetics

Nail Polish Trends

Jun 16, 2022
17: Cosmic Rays, Eye Colors, and the Most Disliked Instrument

What exactly are cosmic rays and how do they affect us? Why do humans have so many different eye colors? And why does everyone hate the triangle so much?

Images we talk about:

- The Sistrum           

- The Angel Battle of the Bands           

- The Triangle in the Painting           

Support us on Patreon!           

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We also learn about: pions and tiny particles with delightful names, see the rave of space, OMG particle or the What What What particle, galactic cosmic rays, anomalous cosmic rays, shower of particles, lighting a lightbulb in space, highschool physics, auroral lights, lightning scientists, speedrunning glitches, DOTA_Teabag's single event upset, airplane failure, voter fraud, red eyes, albinism, squirrels with big ol’ baby blues, America vs the rest of the world, purple eyes, epithelium, collagen, melanin, the tingle effect, ella’s piercing blue eyes, Tom’s calming brown eyes, turn your eyes blue by drinking ocean water, climate, eye colour is a new adaptation, get that paternity test guys, everyone hates the triangle, triangle historian debate, angel music battle, Garden of Earthly Delights Where’s Waldo? the triangle belongs in hell, mmm this triangle sure sounds good, the sneaky triangle concerto, you can fill violin with 1,000 baked beans! Braham’s triangle drop, creole and brazilian folk triangle music I’m not like other girls I like the triangle, find the triangles in the world.            



Cern on Cosmic Rays

Make your own Cosmic Ray Detector

The OMG Particle

Clive Saunders' Cosmic Ray Lightning Theory

DOTA_Teabag's Super Mario Speed Run

Flight Report for Cosmic Ray Incident

Cosmic Ray Election Error               


American Association of Opthamology on Eye Colors

Percentages of Eye Colors

Why Blue eyes are Blue

Evolution of Eye Color


TV Tropes "Triangles are the Worst Instrument"

James Blades' Encyclopedia Entry on the Triangle

Mark Berry's "From Angels to Orchestra" pt 1

Mark Berry's "From Angels to Orchestra" pt 2

The Percussion Encyclopedia with 5 Paragraphs on the Triangle

Liza Young's Bosch Instrument Analysis

Liszt's "Triangle Concerto"

Brahm's Symphony No.4 in E minor

Bois Sec Ardoin accompanied by Triangle

Avioes' song with a triangle

Jun 02, 2022
Test Ep 1: Machine Learning, Caterpillar Memories, and Love Island

This week we're releasing our very first test episode of the podcast! What are neural networks? Do butterflies remember being caterpillars? And what is Love Island?

Content Warning: Mentions of suicide in the Misc Topic

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We also learn about: what is a dog? stem cell hotel, the giant squid axon, neural networks will be walking and talking soon, why is it called deep learning? Deep blue and Watson, love island AI, Amazon’s biased hiring AI, black hole imaging, completely meat circle, Janelle Shane, Getting flagged on the street to answer if butterflies remember, caterpillar soup, classically trained caterpillars, the y tube, tickling chrysalises, the rules of love island, casa amor, beauty airplane.            


NYTimes AI Hype

Amazon’s Hiring AI

Black Hole Machine Learning Algorithm

Janell Shane’s AI Weirdness


Caterpillar Memory Experiment

Chrysalis Memories Experiment

May 19, 2022
16: The Trouble with Honeybees, Why Repeated Words Lose Meaning, and Speed Running

Follow Ella's new job's tiktok!

When we say save the bees, which bees are we talking about? What happens when you repeat a word and it loses meaning? And how could you design an experiment to figure that out?  And what is speed running and why do we all love it?

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We also learn about: solitary bees dance in their spare time, 25000 species of bees, send your enemies bees in the post, Bombus terrestris, human centric beekeeping, the billion pound honey market, honey bees are important, but also bad sometimes, local bee jobs stolen by foreign invaders, bee to bee pathogens, save ALL the bees, hanging out in the park and repeating words words words, good experimental design, the meaning test tube, tuning out meaning, Zeus, pitfalls of psychology, introspection, “familiar feels”, neutral words, clever Hans, the observer expectancy effect, dream of good experiments goodnight, don’t use flash when taking a picture of your screen, Dragster, Atari, Doom, pacifist runs, Quake done quick, games done quick, lowest percent, link stares at a rupee for 17 hours, bullet time bounce


Caroline's Paper on the Western Honeybee


Sheila Black's Semantic Satiation Review

Titchener's Early Description of Meaning Loss

Semantic Satiation for Poetic Effect

Jakobovits Naming Semantic Satiation

Bassett and Warne Introspective Study

Lambert and Jakobovits Semantic Polarity Experiment

Clever Hans

Schultz Constructively Criticizing Semantic Satiation

Smith Category Verification Experiment

Neural Analysis of Semantic Satiation


A Brief History of Speedrunning

A Quick History of Speedrunning

Activisions Magazine Volume 1

Marimoto Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun

 Zikubi! Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun

 The Speedrun Where Link Stares at Rupees for 17 Hours

 What is the hardest trick in Speedrunning?

 Psychonauts Devs React to Speedrunner

 Tom’s Favorite TAS Speedrun

May 05, 2022
15: What the Turing Test Became, Ella's Bodily Quirks, and Pub Quizes

What is the Turing Test, what has it become, and what can we learn from it? How many of Ella's weird bodily quirks do you have? And how did the pub quiz come about?           

For the next month only, use code "Everything" to save 60% off your first month of MEL Science!


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We also learn about: the imitation game, performative gender, the alignment problem, It’s not blade runner, artifical stupidity, have you heard about eugene goostman?! the alignment problem, CAPTTTTCAHA, archival OCR, thank Turing for Duo Lingo TikToks, Timnit Gebru, Robert Miles, the sociological and economic alignment problem, Ella Syndrome, learn to roll your tongue or else! Artistotle can’t roll his tongue, ACHOO, acronyms were a mistake, spare tendons, what is your earwax texture? the one person who liked Han dynasty tests, unlucky 13, TV quizes, what if we did that? Jay's virtual pub quiz. Jay's virtual pub quiz.


Stanford Philosophy Turing Test Page

Computing Machinery and Intelligence

Turing Test 50 Year Retrospective

Robert Miles

Eugene Goostman


reCAPTCHA Interview

CAPTCHA Difficulty

Google's reCAPTCHA Policy

Github Copilot's Alignment Problem Paper


Photic Sneezing

Tongue Rolling

Palarmis Longus

Armpit Smell

Cilanto Taste

23 and Me Cilantro


A History of Quizzing

History of the Quiz

BBC Quizzing

Pub Quiz History

Quizzism Book

International Spelling Bee

Jay's Virtual Pub Quiz

Apr 21, 2022
14: Domesticating Foxes, The Oldest Potted Plant, and Crosswords

Could you domesticate a fox, and what even IS domestication? What is the oldest potted plant, and, wait, what does Caroline mean by that question? And how did Tom go from hating crosswords to loving them?           

The photo we mention of Mecta the Fox Pup           

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We also learn about: the first domesticated animals, one of Darwin’s sequels, floppy ears, domestication syndrome, the fox bachelor, the neural crest cell hypothesis, our version of Behind the Bastards, cited comment critiques, we all just want to learn, I’ve never seen a plant in the middle ages, we completely misinterpret the question, ella’s old man wisdom, a plant older than america, the anxious keepers of the oldest potted plant, crosswords were a fad, we were always insufferable, relearnig ocular immunity, crossword fuckery, “thirsty” well shortz, what is and isn’t general knowledge? and bad jokes with friends.            


A New Origin Story for Dogs

Dog Domestication and the Dual Dispersal of People and Dogs into the Americas

Genomic and archaeological evidence suggest a dual origin of domestic dogs

The Silver Fox Domestication Experiment

Early Canid Domestication: interplay between behavioral genetics and development

Red Fox Genomic Regions Associated with Tame Behaviours

The “Domestication Syndrome” in Mammals: Neural Crest Cell Behavior and Genetics

The History of Farm Foxes Undermines the Animal Domestication Syndrome


The History Of Houseplants


Kew Gardens

South African Encephalartos Species

Cycad Palm, Ursula Bucham


New York Times History of the Crossword

Margaret Farrar

Yes, You Can Write More Than One Letter in a Square

NYTimes Scumbag Controversy

The Hidden Bigotry of Crosswords

How Will Shortz Edits a New York Times Crossword Puzzle (Lorelai)


Apr 07, 2022
13: The Golden Toad Mystery, All the Things we Left on the Moon, and the Oldest Bar Joke

What happened to the golden toad? How many things did we leave on the moon, and what are they? And what is the oldest recorded bar joke?

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We also learn about: The World Wildlife Fund/World Wresting Federation, Agatha Christie’s Mystery of the Golden Toad, publication smackdowns, the amphibian apocalypse, outside my jurisdiction, double callback, the african clawed frog (from ep 5!), on this podcast we stan… Michael Collins, moon poop, moon scalpels, 4 undetonated grenades, moonquakes, no on vomitted on the moon, rating moon items, sneaking things on the moon, dogs in sumerian bars only want to open one thing and it’s disgusting, how many likes did that tablet have? reading sumerian proverbs, the dog understands take it, but it does not understand put it down.            


The Golden Toad

Thirty Years After the Last Golden Toad Sighting, What Have We Learned?

El Niño–Southern Oscillation

Crump, Apparent decline of the golden toad: underground or extinct?

Pounds and Fogden, Conservation of the golden toad: a brief history

Global Warming Didn't Kill the Golden Toad

First Mammal Killed by Global Warming

The Chytrid Fungus

Stopping the Next Amphibian Apocalypse

Hope for the Golden Toad


List of Lunar Missions

WSJ Article of Things we've left on the Moon

Nasa Catalogue of Manmade Material on the Moon

Lunar Retroreflectors


Grenades on the Moon

Correction on Moon Vomit

Biomedical Results of Apollo

Studying Moon Poop

Family Photo on the Moon

The Moon Museum

PBS Moon Museum Investigation

Audio Recording of Almost Forgetting to Drop Symbolic Items


Images of the Tablets

Sumerian Animal Proverbs and Fables: Collection Five

AskHistorians Thread

Proverbs from  Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature

Mar 24, 2022
12: Thermal Biology, Why we have Periods, and Stickers

What do heat and temperature have to do with biology? (It turns out, a lot!) We know what periods are, but why do humans have them? And stickers are delightful but how did they come about?

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We also learn about: what is heat? endotherms ectotherms homeotherms heterotherms and poikilotherms, being warm blooded evolved twice, heat generating plants, naked mole rats are weird, the podcast's stable of strange animals grows, kleptothermy, everyone huddles, which animals have periods? mansplaining periods, elphant shrews, convergent evolution of periods, spontaneous decidualization, "pregnancy is parasitic", women's reproductive research is underfunded, georgian beauty standards, stamp based tangents, bumper stickers, and our favorite stickers.            


Richard Feynman's "Six Easy Pieces" Book

Endotherms and Ectotherms


Oryx Heterothermy

Quelea High Body Temperature

McKechnie's Blog Post on the paper

The evolution of Endothermy

Beehive Temperature Regulation

Desert Ant Thermotolerance

Thermogenesis in Plants

Color Changing Thermal Biology

Sloth Poikilothermy

More Sloth Poikilothermy

Poikilothermy and Huddling in Naked Mole Rats


Forbes: Why Did Women Evolve Periods?


The Evolution of Menstruation: A New Model for Genetic Assimilation

The Significance and Evolution of Menstruation

Grackhouse's History of Stickers

The History of Sticker Printing

The History of Postage Stamps

Avery Dennison History

Smithers: The Value of the Sticker Market

Mar 10, 2022
11: Guest Steve Rathje, Insect Consciousness, and Theatre Science

Special guest Steve Rathje (@StevePsychology) asks us, do insects have consciousness? What, empirically, makes things go viral on social media? And what are the scientific effects of live theatre?

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We also learn about: Outgroup effects on social media, subjective experience and qualia, except for mosquitos, we share genes with bananas are they conscious? the emotional dog and the rational tail, over-anti-anthropomorphism, tiktok survey of insect consciousness, would aliens think we are conscious? Steve’s at the party talking about qualia again! Sondheim, Sarah Ruhl’s magical realism absurdist plays, Steve’s study on the effect of live theater on empathy, solving Sondheim vs Weber scientifically, antiperfectionism, the weirdness of going viral, different types of online engagement, buy our supplements!            


Steve's Social Media Paper: Out-Group Animosity Drives Engagement on Social Media

What Insects can tell us about the Origins of Consciousness

Steve's Theatre Paper: Attending Live Theatre Improves Empathy, Changes Attitudes, and Leads to Pro-Social Behavior

Feb 24, 2022
10: Video Game Epidemiology, Sneeze Smells, and Game Jams

What can a video game teach us about pandemics? What are the different things a sneeze can smell like? And what makes game jams so magical?

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We also learn about: Hakkar the Soulflayer, npc asymptomatic carriers, just reset the world and change the code!, a disease model with real people, death isn’t temporary, show us the patch notes, self protection fatigue, pandemics are complicated, “look for the helpers, you will always find people who are helping”, only humans can simulate humans, “I sneeze so much”, what scents can sneezes have? smells are weird, phantosmia, Ella channeling Tom’s bad jokes, “all the tubes are connected”, piss breath, “how are we functioning?”, Tom made indie games, the first game jam email, 100,000 Guys, the Ludum Dare, “There’s too many days” “Counter Clockwise”, Hungry Knight!, Tom’s first dream game, thesis jam, Pierrec’s french review of Tom’s game.            


Lancet Corrupted Blood Paper

Epidemiology Corrupted Blood Paper

Wired Corrupted Blood Article

PCGamer Corrupted Blood Article

Chen 2013 Epidemic Game

Charlotte Eye, Ear, Note and Throat Associates on Smelly Sneezes

Why does my sneeze smell bad?

Acetone Breath

Bacterid Producing Sweet Smells

Losing Your Smell


Ammonia Breath

Correlation of Ammonia Breath during Hemodialysis

History of Game Jams

The First Game Jam Email

Pierrec's Revied of Tom's First Game

Feb 10, 2022
9: Beaver Reintroductions, Solving Mazes, and ASMR

What are the benefits of reintroducing a species after 400 years? Why do we make rats solve mazes, and can slime molds solve mazes? What is ASMR, and how did it become such a thing?           

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We also learn about: Beavery introductions, vanilla flavor usually isn’t castorium, beavers support everyone in the wetlands, Tom’s gonna make a joke, The Scottish Beaver Trial, impatient beavers, international legal beaver issues, failed reintroductions are beautiful, auto sound mmm rad, autonomus sensory meridian response, her royal majesty’s asmr, and Ella’s favorite ASMR videos. 


Beavers and Castoreum               

RSPB on Beaver Reintroductions               

Scottish Wildlife Trust Report on Beavers in Knapdale               

Scottish Wild Land Group on the Tay Beavers               

Legal Battle over Beavers               

Oranguta Reintroductions               

Short-haired Bumblebee Reintroductions               

Berger-Tal on Openness about Failed Reintroductions               

Conservation Translocations: a Review of Common Difficulties and Promising Directions               

Willard Small's First Rat Maze Study               

Slime Mold Maze Study               

Maze Solving Using Fatty Acid Chemistry               

Tolman's Better Mazes               

Dashiell Maze Criticism               

Morris Water Maze               

Advanced Morris Water Maze Study               

Wire Interview with Mycologist Anne Pringle               

Crinkle Crinkle Little Shirt               

History of ASMR               

The First Dedicated Whispering Channel               

BBC Interview with Whispers Red               

Cardi B ASMR               

ASMR to Help you Sleep Beating you Until your Unconscious               

1300s AD ASMR - Nun Takes Care of You in Bed (You Have the Plague)

Jan 27, 2022
8: Recorded Sound, Prosopagnosic Pareidolia, and Meeting David Attenborough

To start the new year we learn about the science and history of recording sound, consider whether people with Prosopagnosia experience Pareidolia, and relive what it was like for Caroline to meet the one and only Sir David Attenborough.

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We also learn about: The Phonoautograph, unplayable recordings, “drop the auto, just, Phonograph”, did you write that joke down tom, debunking Edison’s first recording, someone pretending to be a pigeon, Before or After Recorded Audio? Why did it take us so long to record audio? analog vs digital, Janet’s episode, turning pictures into audio, can you believe Janet’s new pennyfarthing? Do people with Farragolia experience glossolalia, cars do have faces, “you just turned into somebdy else”, the answer is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, aphantasia, throwaway sentences in studies, get high and get deep, and the Caroline Roper Studio for TikToks of Science.            


The Phonoautograph

Debunking Edison's Fist Recording

The Recoording That Never Wanted to be Heard

Early Sound Recordings

Alexander Graham Bell's Ear Phonoautograph

The Dawn of Digital Recording

The Earliest Recording


Fusiforum Face Area

The Case of Ron Blackwell

The Neurons That Mistook a Hat for a Face

Prosopagnosia and Functional Fusiform Face Area

Fusiform Face Area And Pareidolia Linked

Pareidolia Question on r/Prosopagnosia

How Mental Imagery and Pareidolia are Linked

Jan 13, 2022
7: End of Year Q&A

Today we learn about the most interesting topic of all: each other! How did we get into our science fields, and how did we meet? What's our favorite science fact to tell at parties? What advice do we have for aspiring creators?           

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We also learn about: our science origin stories, Tom used to be a theatre kid, Tom’s first podcast, our first TikToks, we’re on a first name basis with Hank, how we met, that time we all freaky friday’d, Ella DESPISED Tom, really long fly sperm, clinical fun fact trials, the immortal jellyfish, hermissenda, moths, Interstellar, The Martian, Demon Slayer, Edge of Tomorrow, advice on getting started on TikTok, Bill Nye could never, The Mower, MMM Honey! and nightmares.

Videos we Mention:                

Caroline’s First Science TikTok               

Tom's First TikTok               

Ella's First Big TikTok               

Caroline's Bloodwood Tree Video               

Ella's Science Speedrun Video               

Tom's RGB Video               

Hank & John's Video about Having Each Other

Dec 30, 2021
6: Genetic Chimeras, Judas Goats, and Toys

On a surprisingly deep holiday episode, we ask, what is a genetic chimera, could it save lives, and is it moral? What are Judas Goats, and what are the challenges faced in conservation? And most importantly, what were the first toys in history and what were our favorite toys?

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We also learn about: Why are mythological chimeras all ladies? a Tom/Joe chimera, “It was very dissapointing”, “I expect better evidence”, a Judas Kiss, goats are weird, helicopter tattoos, ring-necked parakeets, relocating hedgehogs, would you download a goat? Helping other human beings, what a concept! Tom’s yo-yo tricks, children existed! the earliest toys, Ella’s duel disk, tamagotchis, and the future of toys.


Chimeras in Mythology

Human Chimeras That Already Exist

Interspecies Organogenesis Generates Autologous Functional Islet

Interspecies Chimerism with Mammalian Pluripotent Stem Cells

Human–animal chimeras: ethical issues about farming chimeric animals bearing human organs

Feral Goat Eradications on Galapagos

Galapagos Goat Eradication

Galapagos Project Isabella

Galapagos Judas Goats

Vegetation and Animal Recovery on Galapagos

Galapagos Invasive Species

Is it Ritual? or is it Children?

Split Twig Observations and Carbon Dating

Ancient Hedgehog Cart (via @trashbandikoot on tiktok)

Business Insider Toy List

Dec 16, 2021
5: The History of Pregnancy Tests, The Middlest Size, and FanFiction

When was the first pregnancy test? If we know the biggest and smallest sizes in the universe, what is the middlest size? What's the deal with fanfiction?

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We also learn about: Comedy!, piss prophets, we should know better that science is weird, “Looks like the frog’s ovulating!”, we are in the middle of history, what even is an object, the centi-sand, don't fudge significant figures, Dante’s Self Insert RPF, we get carried away playing the fanfiction pairing game.


Pee is for pregnant: The history and science of urine-based pregnancy tests

Ancient Egyptian Pregnancy Tests

Effects of Hormones on Barley Leaves

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)

The Long Gestation of the Modern Home Pregnancy Test

Kevin Kelly NYTimes Review

Solar System Ratio Calculation

Middlest Size Calculation



Dec 02, 2021
4: Randomness, What Happens Without Sleep, and Stardew Valley

What are the uses of randomness, and how do we even get it? What happens to your body when you don't sleep? And is Stardew Valley secretly... a horror game?

 Links we Discuss: 

Infinite Monkey Theorem Results

The Hollow Mask Illusion

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We also learn about: Ella making random noises, chiptune drums, dice fanfiction, the infinite monkey grant, gggggggggggggg, everyone guesses 7 and picks Rock, a very funny joke for our particle physicist listeners, a million random digits, minecraft seeds, the Russian sleep experiment creepypasta, sleep themed band names, the optimal nap, do the dip kids! Maureen the rocking chair champion, um actually it’s called Apophenia, tetris fanfiction, and ludo narrative disonance.


Humans Cannot Consciously Generate Random Number Sequences               

The Predominance Of Seven And The Apparent Spontaneity Of Numerical Choices               

Hannah Fry on Rock Paper Scissors               

Winning at Rock Paper Scissors               

Rock Paper Scissors Strategy               

Hot Hand Fallacy and Gambler's Fallacy               

How the Mind Works               

Galton Discussing Dice for Statistical Experiments               

LHC Tippet and the Random Number Table               

A Million Random Digits               

Radiation is Random               

Modern Nuclear Chemistry               

Sleep Deprivation               

Sleep Stages               

Sleep Debt               

Obesity and Sleep Deprivation               

Part 2               

Cardiovascular Health and Sleep Deprivation               



Rat Sleep Deprivation Study               

Fatal Familial Insomnia               

Fatal Familial Insomnia Stories

Nov 18, 2021
3: Mind Controlling Parasites, Are Elephants Right Handed, and Naruto AMVs

How do mind controlling (or rather, behavior controlling) parasites work? Are elephants right or left handed? And what is so great about Naruto Bohemian Rhapsody AMVs?           

Read Tom's essay on Tor.com!           

Get tickets to Ella's science comedy show!           

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We also learn about: being cancelled by ants, Ella tries to pronounce latin names, bugs losing their butts, the parasite of the day, thanks for the parasites Charlie! Phylogenetic Inirtia, I DON’T OWN QUEEN OR NARUTO I DONT OWN ANYTHING, and Torchwood X Florence & The Machine fanvids!


Mind Control: How Parasites Manipulate Cognitive Functions in Their Insect Hosts               

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis               

How a parasitic fungus turns ants into zombies               

A specialized fungal parasite

This Parasite Drugs Its Hosts With the Psychedelic Chemical in Shrooms

Parasites brainwash grasshoppers into death dive

How does rabies cause aggression?

Rabies virus modifies host behaviour through a snake-toxin

Parasite makes mice lose fear of cats permanently

Brain parasite may strip away rodents' fear of predators, not just of cats

Parasites - Toxoplasmosis

Right or Left: Elephant calves pick their trunk handedness early on in life

Nov 04, 2021
2: Spooky Frogs, The Most Bones, and Witch Hunts

On this SpoOoOoky Halloween episode we learn about a slew of truly spooky frogs, investigate which animal has the most bones, and see how capitalism may have led to the rise of witch hunts!       

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We also learn about: fluorescence, dinosaur eating frogs (technically), CAN A SPIDER EAT A DINOSAUR??? (NOT CLICKBAIT), frog shazam, Ella learns to love the Freddy Krueger Frog, wishing you a happy bones day, evo-devo, deregionalization, how would antlers wear pants?, the origin of gossip, down with capitalism!


Horror frog breaks own bones to produce claws               

Frogs with Claws, Frogs with Hair               

Vampire Flying Frog               

New pumpkin toadlet species found               

How the Newly Discovered, Mud-Loving ‘Zombie’ Frog Got Its Name               

The Freddy Krueger Frog               

Freddy Krueger Frog Audio               

Freddy Krueger Frog Video

Devil Frog               

Vampire Squid               

Skeletal Structure, University of Idaho

Skeleton, Postcranial, Rommel & Reynolds

New Bedford Whaling Museum

Axial patterning in snakes and caecilians, Woltering et al.

Florida Museum

From Lizard to Snake; Behind the Evolution of an Extreme Body Plan, Woltering

Witches, Witch-Hunting and Women, Sylvia Federici

Oct 21, 2021
1: Time Illusions, Electric Bees, and Fakespeares

What does a time illusion look like? Why are bees electrically charged? Who is the real Shakespeare?           

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We also learn about: Yanney and Laurel, bad science magic tricks, Carly Rae Jepsen's seminal hit Call Me Maybe, Temporal Odor Mixtures, how many bees are in a bolt of lightning, The Flower Dome, fake flowers and fake bees, the flat moon theory, and the Voldemort Codex.

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Dixon, N. F., & Spitz, L. (1980). The detection of auditory visual desynchrony. Perception, 9(6), 719–721. https://doi.org/10.1068/p090719           

Stratton, G. M. (1896). Some preliminary experiments on vision without inversion of the retinal image. Psychological Review, 3(6), 611–617. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0072918           

Stratton, G. M. (1896). Some preliminary experiments on vision without inversion of the retinal image. Psychological Review, 3(6), 611–617. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0072918           

Cunningham, D., Billock, V., & Tsou, B. (2001). Sensorimotor Adaptation to Violations of Temporal Contiguity. Psychological Science, 12, 532 - 535. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9280.d01-17

Alais, D., Carlile, S., (2005). Synchronizing to real events: Subjective audiovisual alignment scales with perceived auditory depth and speed of sound. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102(6), 2244-2247. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0407034102

Stetson, C., Cui, X., Montague P.R., Eagleman, D.M., (2006). Motor-Sensory Recalibration Leads to an Illusory Reversal of Action and Sensation. Neuron, 51(5), 651-659. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2006.08.006.

Perl O, Nahum N, Belelovsky K, Haddad R. The contribution of temporal coding to odor coding and odor perception in humans. Elife. 2020;9:e49734. Published 2020 Feb 7. https://doi.org/10.7554%2FeLife.49734

Montgomery, C., Vuts, J., Woodcock, C.M. et al. Bumblebee electric charge stimulates floral volatile emissions in Petunia integrifolia but not in Antirrhinum majus. Sci Nat 108, 44 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-021-01740-2

Oct 07, 2021
Trailer: Let's Learn Everything!

Science communicators Ella Hubber, Tom Lum, and Caroline Roper share anything and everything interesting! Each episode they teach each other about a science topic, answer a question, and learn about a miscellaneous topic. Whether it's bugs on drugs, temporal illusions, or reality tv, there's so much out there, so let's learn everything!

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Oct 04, 2021