In This Week’s Show, episode 278, we queue the patrons I’s, before FIFO-ing our Coronas, after trimming some wonderful ladies beards.
Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Shea’s beard hasn’t struck us down yet, it might be what ruined Jenn’s lungs!
Shea’s Life Lesson
This week I learned that Ariana Grande is actually not a font or a size at Starbucks.
Jenn’s Actual Lesson
[cough] [weeze] [cough] KHAAAAAAAAAN!
Jenn’s condition continues to change. Pneumonia, pleurisy, and weight lifting neck. It’s not great but she’s got a new doctor and we hope is on the path to feeling better.
We’ll talk more about Jenn’s situation next week but for now we’ll just say that if you want to send well-wishes, I’m positive she’d greatly appreciate the distraction!
But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!
This Week’s Beer
Happy Friendsgiving – Citybuilt Brewing Company
From Steve E.
- UT Link: https://untappd.com/b/city-built-brewing-company-happyfriendsgiving/2927901
- UT Rating: 3.85
- Style: Sour – Berliner Weisse
- ABV: 3.8%
- Aaron: 7
- Shea: 9
- Steve: 7
This Week’s Show
Email from Dustin of Atheist Nomads regarding out talking about closed roads in Wyoming being commonplace.
“I almost dropped out if the SDA seminary after my first semester. However, I would have had to drive across Wyoming in December to get back to Oregon from Michigan. I considered driving down to Texas, across I-10 and then up I-5 but that would have have been a really long trip, so I decided to power through another semester to avoid the Wyoming winter.”
Listener Jon pointed out that we misused poisonous vs venomous… Damnit :(
We know the difference, we promise, but in the heat of the moment you just never know what we’re likely to spout.
If you bite it and die it’s poisonous. If it bites you and you die it’s venomous. If you bite it and it likes it, it’s kinky.
As we continue to fight the plague that has taken over Wrathful studios I’ve again had to dive directly into the development of a dose of QI duplication.
For today’s show, we’ve done the maths and the numbers don’t quite add up,
He’s shown his work but Yeti division is surprisingly short, Shea!
He’s statistically significant even if his “p” value doesn’t rise to the occasion, Steve!
Starting our lengthy list at the least, it’s 0!
Patient 0, that is. And no, I don’t mean Jenn.
Panel, where did the term patient 0 originate?
“Patient 0” actually never was. During the 1980’s AIDS epidemic the term patient 0 was commonly understood to mean Gaetan Dugas, a man diagnosed with AIDS early in the epidemic. He would soon thereafter be propagandized by the San Francisco Chronicler as the main vector for the disease and it’s rapid spread.
Unfortunately, that was all a typo.
The term “Patient 0” hadn’t really been invented yet. Medical forms at the time often added details about patients in shorthand. In Dugas’s case, he was marked as “Patient O” or a “patient outside of California.” Tragically for him, at some point, the “O” was mistaken for a “0” and the label stuck. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_case
Incrementing away from AIDS to something that’s just about as fun, taxes! Panel, what’s a rule of taxation our listeners probably haven’t heard the first thing about?
It turns out that 1’s are far more important to your taxes than 0’s. While we all might want more 0’s involved… depending on the directionality of the cashflow I suppose… the 1’s are far more likely to get you audited thanks to some dick named Benford. Benford’s Law is a mathematical law that is also sometimes known as the First Digit Law, Digit Phenomenon, or the Leading Digit Phenomenon because mathematicians aren’t wordsers. The Law stipulates that while one might expect 1 to have an even distribution in a data set, for example, you might expect to see the number 1 11.1% of the time because… well… there are 9 digits. However, because of it’s frequent use as a leading digit, 10’s, 100’s, 1000’s, etc, the number 1 usually appears as a leading digit about 30% of the time. As opposed to 9’s less than 5% for example. So, in 1972 Hal Varian suggested that it could be used to detect fraud in lists of socio-economic data. A system based upon Benford’s Law was devised by a Dr. Mark Nigrini in order to help crack fraud cases in Brooklyn, New York. The idea underlying Nigrini’s system said that if the numbers in a tax return more or less match the frequencies and ratios set down by Benford’s Law, then they are probably real. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benford%27s_law#Accounting_fraud_detection
So there you go, singles aren’t just important for strippers. I dunno. Pun.
Speaking of strippers, I’m sure we’ve all heard the joke about the lady who won 1st and 3rd place in the wet t-shirt contest… what other way might a person be recognized for two, seemingly antithetical, Guinness records?
This is the very unusual story of Adam Rainer. Born in Graz Austria in 1899 he tried to enlist during WWI but at 4’6.3″ he was too short. At nearly 2″ below the 4’10” cut off, he was considered a dwarf. While too short to serve it was noted that the guy had enormous, massive, hands and feet…
And to answer the questions, no, he doesn’t have that record. Three years later Rainer’s shoe size had doubled from a men’s 10 to a men’s 20. But it didn’t stop there. Over the course of the next decade, he grew to a towering 7’1″. Bug how, you might ask. Well, turns out he had acromegaly. Basically, a tumor in his pituitary gland led to an overproduction of growth hormones. At the time of his death at 51, the dwarf stood an impressive-by-any-Hobbit’s-standard 7 foot 8. Making him the only man to have had two seemingly antithetical syndromes, both dwarfism, and gigantism. https://www.businessinsider.com/adam-rainer-was-both-a-dwarf-and-a-giant-2015-1?r=UK
From two disparate diseases to three numerologists numing, what’s the world’s most “odd” natural disaster. (Odd being the number here)
As if it were trying to terrify the troubled team of tinfoil touting numerologists, a powerful undersea earthquake rocked the Japanese island of Honshu at 2:32 am on the 3rd day of the 3rd month of 1933. Shortly thereafter a 30m tsunami came ashore killing 3,000 people and leveling a third the nearby city which contained a third of the prefecture’s population. The quake measured 8.9 in magnitude and was the largest recorded at the time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_1933#March_3,1933(Friday)
From disastrous thirds to sweet fourths, panel, what is the fourth kind of chocolate?
Ruby chocolate, pink rabbits need not apply. Following it’s three more known kin, dark, milk, and white chocolate (despite white chocolate being neither white nor chocolate) the fourth kind of chocolate, Ruby was introduced to the world in 2017 by Barry Callebaut, a Belgian-Swiss cocoa company. It’s been under development since 2004 and is made from Ruby cocoa beans. The beans, like any other cocoa, can be fermented into chocolate but these have the unique properties of being heavily colored in a reddish-pink hue. The Chocolate is described as “sweet yet sour” and can, apparently, be imitated in exactly the way you hoped, by combining white chocolate, raspberries, and milk … or … you know … getting some red Nesquick mix and doing that shit upright! While not yet widely available you can get pink kit-kats in Korea and soon Haagen Dazs will shit Ruby Cocoa ice cream bars. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_chocolate
And so a new kind of chocolate was developed by the skilled science-chocolatiers in the EU proving that education is key to critical, societal, development. What country takes their standardized test academic honesty to alarming extremes?
It’s Uzbekistan of course.
So preoccupied with academic integrity is Uzbekistan that the Uzbek government stopped all internet and SMS traffic in the country for 5 hours during the national college entrance exams. Billed as an “urgent maintenance work on telecommunications networks” the hours of nation-wide outage matched those of the national college entrance exam perfectly and has since become a tradition. Each year some 400 to 450k students vie for a mere 50 to 60k seats in the countries universities. Apparently the system was so contentious that it had become common to cheat or bribe one’s way into a school. Now all tests are administered after a pat-down, in a locked room, and all digital connectivity is simply switched off nationwide. Most places would consider that an extreme measure, but then the Uzbek people are fairly accustomed to their dictatorial government dialing shit up to 11.
I’d like to assume most of our listeners know how to help stop the spread of germs and how to take precautions around sick people. But before I start this story I want to make sure… According to the National Institute of Health and WHO the easiest ways to protect yourself are, to wash your hands, cover your mouth, stay away from sick people, and avoid germy children, they are everywhere… Super simple stuff, but just in case you are infected, here are some useful cures that won’t work.
From the Iranian city of Qom (k-oh-m), Ayatollah Tabrizian, a prominent clergyman & a self-proclaimed expert in “Islamic medicine”, has posted a list on Twitter on how to cure yourself of Corona. “Comb your hair thoroughly. Eat lots of apples & onions. Dip a cotton ball in oil & insert it in your anus…”
Ayatollah Tabrizian has publicly denounced Western medicine in the past as “un-Islamic”. In his post to over 120,000 followers, he gives all sorts of health tips, recommending consuming copious amounts of brown sugar, burning wild rue, as well as inhaling snuff. His strangest tip yet is “Before bedtime, drench some cotton in violet oil and apply onto your anus”
Tabrizian loves his essential oil so much that he could be confused with a middle-aged white woman pedaling her young living samples kit. He claims oils have miraculous, life-enhancing properties, such as the power to increase brain mass and reverse cognitive diseases such as Down’s Syndrome. He cites a tradition attributed to a 12th-century Persian scholar, who described the remedy as an effective treatment for rhinitis, or throat mucus if it was “the will of God”.
If oily butt doesn’t work then let’s try an ancient Chinese secret… If they did manufacture the drug and release it, it stands to reason that they would have the best cure. Chinese state news outlet Xinhua told citizens the infected could drink a liquid called Shuanghuanglian (Shuang-huang-lian) to relieve symptoms and “inhibit” the virus-literally “double yellow connect”. The liquid is a more modern concoction devised in the 60s to treat a variety of infections. So far so good, relatively modern, used to treat infections, doesn’t go up your butt…
It is comprised of the alcohol-water extracts of three herbs: lonicera, scute, and forsythia. The joining of forsythia and lonicera in a formulation represents a long tradition of Chinese herb prescribing for the treatment of infections. Oh wait… there is the ancient Chinese secret… leaves… After Xinhua announced the “cure” lines formed around the nation and people scrambled to get some. The government was quickly forced to walk back their claims of the unproven herbal medicine in the wake of increasing public skepticism, with the People’s Daily warning early Saturday that “inhibiting does not equal preventing and treating.”
Despite the popularity of Shuanghuanglian, there is very little evidence that ancient Chinese secrets can be used to cure coronavirus or anything else for that matter.
Maybe you are a bigger fan of Indian medicine, I don’t know why you would be but who am I to judge? The Indian government told us exactly what to do while we wait for a vaccine: on an empty stomach, take one dose of the homeopathic solution, Arsenicum album30, each day for three days… If that doesn’t work, try again… no seriously, they say try again. Arsenicum BTW is not only potentially deadly, as it is homeopathy Arsenic, but also has absolutely no evidence to suggest it does anything. I’m not a big fan of ingesting poison so maybe we try another Indian cure from Hindu Mahasabha President Swami Chakrapani Maharaj. Swami suggests cow urine and cow dung can be used for treating novel coronavirus disease. He also said that a special yagna will be performed to “kill the novel coronavirus and end its effects on the world.”
“Consuming cow urine and cow dung will stop the effect of infectious coronavirus. A person who chants Om Namah Shivay and applies cow dung on the body, will be saved. A special yagna ritual will soon be performed to kill coronavirus,” said Chakrapani.
With Swami Chakrapani Maharaj’s cure coming soon we should be healthy soon I hope. Also check in next week because for the sake of science I will be testing out these cures on an unsuspecting, fever delirious Jenn.
Driving me batshit!-Steve
Well, as a surprise to exactly no one who regularly listens to our show, I have a story about yet another recent study and it’s “no fucking duh” results. It seems that I have loved finding stories that support that which I was already pretty sure about. I think that makes me unique, right?
Let’s talk a bit about driving and some drivers in particular, asshole drivers. Who among us has had that wonderful experience of being tailgated on the interstate by a goddamn BMW, or getting cut off by the prick in a Mercedes? Seems to me that tailgating, speeding, inconsiderate drivers are primarily driving BMWs, but I’ve often felt that it was really just that drivers of expensive cars seem to be entitled bags of shit.
Well, my anecdotal experience is now backed up by science (all: SCIENCE).
Researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas published a study in the Journal of Transport and Health which was supported by a Finnish study published last month which found that men who own flashy cars are more likely to be douchbags (my terminology, not the researchers.)
Researcher Jan-Erik Lönnqvist of the University of Helsinki’s Swedish School of Social Science said, “I had noticed that the ones most likely to run a red light, not give way to pedestrians and generally drive recklessly and too fast were often the ones driving fast German cars,” So he set out to support his observation, unlike me who just automatically tends to hate anyone in a BMW just because… fuck ‘em. They found in a survey of 1892 drivers that those deemed to have more disagreeable character traits were “drawn to high-status cars.”
The press release states it very plainly, “The answers were unambiguous: self-centered men who are argumentative, stubborn, disagreeable and unempathetic are much more likely to own a high-status car such as an Audi, BMW or Mercedes,” Also, “These personality traits explain the desire to own high-status products, and the same traits also explain why such people break traffic regulations more frequently than others,” Lönnqvist added.
Back to Nevada and the more recent study, the UNLV researchers asked volunteers to cross sidewalk hundreds of times while filming and analyzing the responses of the nearby drivers. The study used one white and one black man, and one white and one black woman. The vehicles stopped 31% of the time for both women and white participants, and only 24% of the time for men and 25% for black volunteers.
The best predictor of whether a car would stop was the cost of the car. The researchers theorized that “Disengagement and a lower ability to interpret thoughts and feelings of others along with feelings of entitlement and narcissism may lead to a lack of empathy for pedestrians” among costly car owners.
So, I gave you all of that to say that if you choose to drive a BMW you’re likely a self-entitled prick who feels like the world owes you something. Remember the scene in Breaking Bad when Walt set an asshole’s BMW on fire? I have so wanted to do that!
The Bearded Lady Project
usually thinking of bearded ladies brings one to images of carnivals or sideshows. A large, often-Russian for some reason, the lady would come out from behind a curtain sporting a finely manicured neck-mane the likes of which would make most bikers jelly.
And that might still be the case. I dunno. When was the last time you went to a carnival unironically?
Today’s story, however, is about modern women making a statement. It’s also semi-local, which is cool.
Recently the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. unveiled a gallery projected called “The Bearded Lady Project.” The project is a light-hearted traveling exhibit featuring black and white portraits of women in science with beards.
Now, before you get all excited, no, academic success doesn’t replace estrogen with facial hair. I mean, that would be a hilarious curiosity indeed, but these beards are all of the stick-on variety. Take a look at your phone for a pic.
The 38 large-format pictures all feature women in academics sporting fake facial hair in the hopes their male colleagues will suddenly take them seriously.
The project began with the realization that most often when picturing academics, particularly in fields like archaeology, one pictures the Indiana Jones-esque professor with patches on his elbows, or some Greek-philosopher-esque grey beard shitting on freshmen. I mean, don’t picture that last part, but it is kind of what they do in a forgivingly figurative sense.
Bonnie Jacobs, pictured, is, a paleobotanist at SMU, said joining the project was a leap of faith. Apparently, at first viewing some of her male colleagues were confused. perhaps only capable of referencing other, older, grey-beards work they wondered if it were some kind of Freudian dick-envy thing. Of one such colleague she said “he said, ‘What is this, a bunch of women who want to be men?’ He just didn’t get it at all.”
Fortunately for all, once the galleries were open to the public, the reactions were mostly smiles, laughs, and the desired discussion of diversity in the academic workplace.
“In most field sciences, there’s this stereotype of the big, bearded man who goes out in the field and makes discoveries away from civilization in a tent without the ability to shave,”
says Ellen Currano, a plant paleontologist and associate professor at our very own University of Wyoming in Laramie, who created the project with film director Lexi Jamieson Marsh and photographer Kelsey Vance, both of Cincinnati.
She continues “by stealing that and putting it on women, it’s saying, A. ‘This is something we can have, too’ and B. ‘OK, this is completely ridiculous. Do you take me more seriously as a field scientist if I have a beard?’”
The project was born in 2014 when Currano, still a grad student at the time, and Marsh were having dinner and, I imagine, taking the piss out of some old fuddy-duddy who had told Marsh not to pursue directing as he found it “cute” when women wanted to direct. Consequently, in our own pod-peer reviewed survey, that guy has been confirmed as being a massive asshole.
Corrado, of course, has similar stories of sexist bullshit in her career track. Even now she’s one of very few women faculty in UW’s archeology dept.. It is very much a boys club too, I can count on one hand the number of women the dept. whose computers I fixed vs. so many Indi-wanna-be dude-bros I’ve lost count.
“I started to feel like maybe science was too hard, maybe it was time to pursue something where there were people who liked me, and where my ideas would be listened to and recognized,”
she told Dallas News in a telephone interview.
While many women study in the field at some level, only 25.5% of faculty in two and four-year geoscience departments are women according to the American Geoscience Institute’s 2020 Directory of Geoscience Departments.
“You know, if I could just slap a beard on my face and show up and do my job, it would be great,”
Currano told Marsh.
The idea stuck.
The project’s portraits are black and white for a reason, says Marsh. The goal is to give women the same kind of “classic portraits that are in all the textbooks,” which we see for men. All the beards are proper props made of actual hair. Some of the women tweaked them some, one even opted to go for The Dude look from The Big Lebowski.
One woman, Carole Hickman, an emeritus professor at UC Berkeley, brought her own mustache. She’d worn it in the 1970s while doing research in the Australian Outback as a means of not standing out as much.
If you want to see more pics or learn more about the 100+ women who participated in the project follow the link in the show notes. A book will come from Columbia University Press soon titled The Bearded Lady Project: Challenging the Face of Science which will showcase many of the portraits.
Anna Kuchment, author of the article most of this comes from, closed things out perfectly, quoting Currano’s take on generational sexism:
“before, you really had to pick your battles, you had to hold your head high as much as possible and keep going forward. Now, it’s possible to hold your head high and speak out.”
Next Week’s Beer
Day Trippin’ Session IPA by Swamp Head Brewery
- BA Link: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/21154/127950/
- BA Rating: 87 – 3.87
- Style: American IPA
- ABV: 4.5%
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