Cake Walk: The strange origin of an unwittingly prejudiced term

Surely you’ve heard the term cake walk, used to describe some sort of challenge or task that is reckoned to be pitifully easy. Surely you have, please, please don’t lie. That figurative definition has been around since the early 19th

The Genetic Basis of Type A and Type B Personalities

I’m a bit jaded by science. Yes, there’s substantial evidence that life can travel from one planet to another, or at least from Mars to Earth, which strongly suggests that life on Earth came from Mars. What’s more, there may

Little Albert, the Baby Who Knew Fear, Pretty Much Found in 2009

On the How Fear Works episode SYSK released, we talked about fear conditioning, the capability for humans top learn and develop new fears, rather than just have to be afraid of the same old boring things throughout our entire lives.

Using Science to Root Out Latent Homosexuality Among Homophobes

It is fairly rare when physiology is used to test the claims of psychoanalysis. This is just one of the many, many reasons a study carried out at my almost alma mater, the University of Georgia — while I was

Regulating Speculation; or, Economics is a Soft Science at Best

It frightens and confuses me that the field of economics, a discipline that we as a nation put such thorough and abiding stock into to make large, sweeping decisions that affect everyone, like how to allocate health care among Americans

On How the Exclamation Point is Ruining the World

I am trying very hard to remove the exclamation point from use in my writing in every form. I am finding this difficult. There, right there just a few words back, instead of that period I was very tempted to

Why Comparing Japan to New Orleans is Disingenuous

Much has been made of the zero reports of looting following the Japanese earthquake, the ensuing tsunami that may have ultimately claimed upwards of 100,000 lives, and the still growing nuclear crisis. This point has often been made with an

The Jonestown Cult Drank the Flavor-Aid

It is not all that often that women from Indiana I’ve never met change my mind about things, so I thought this warranted writing down. Such was the case with Patricia Barbera-Brown, a South Bend woman I at first took

Terror Management Theory: Yes, Virginia, you’re going to die

It’s not difficult to see that we humans have our hang ups. We have a long history of murdering one another when a religious or political difference arises. Key parties are just gross. Your local sports team is inferior to

Decapitating Rats to Determine if Decapitating Rats is Humane

I once said that if you’re wearing a lab coat you can pretty much do anything you want to a rat. This sentiment was shouted down via email by a number of lab researchers who listen to the podcast. Since

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