Not Udder Bull

Podcast: Soy, Almond, Oat Milks: Are They Udder Bull?

By: Science Vs.

Link: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/science-vs/5whmzx/soy-almond-oat-milks-are-they-udder-bull

Notes:

In terms of environmental impact, dairy milk is the worst compared to all other types.

Globally, dairy cows graze an area the size of Brazil.

On average, it takes 9 times more land to produce dairy milk compare to the others.

Almond milk requires a lot of water, and most of Americans almonds are produced in California where there’s already a lot of water pressure. It can take 4 times as much water as the other non-dairy types.

Rice milk production emits the most greenhouse gasses in the form of methane. Flooded rice paddies are filled with methane-creating bacteria. Also fertilizer runoff can be a big problem with rice.

Soy and oat milk both require more land than the other non-dairy types. Also a lot of Soy milk is grown near or in the Amazon.

There is no clear winner among the four non-dairy types. But they’re all very low impact compared to dairy.

If everyone in the world switched from dairy to soy, it would save half a billion hectares of land, a billion tons of greenhouse gases, and the same amount of water as if everyone in the world stopped having showers or baths for a year.

 

Not so fast

Podcast: Fasting Diets: What’s the Skinny?

By: Science Vs

Link: https://www.gimletmedia.com/science-vs/fasting-diets-whats-the-skinny#episode-player

Notes:

After not eating for a period of time your body runs out of sugars to burn and starts burning more fat for energy. An example in the episode was someone who was burning around 50% fat in normal circumstances went up to 70% after fasting.

To study how much fat is being burned they use a machine that analyzes your breath and the ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide that you exhale. Fat that’s been burned exits the body through exhaling.

People on fasting diets tend to lose weight. A 5 week study that controlled for calories eaten seems to indicate this isn’t a result of fasting, but that people on these diets tend to eat less calories.

Studies of worms and mice indicate that fasting increases the rate at which cells consume and recycle themselves (called autophagy) and can increase longevity. Studies in humans are mixed and much less conclusive.

Studies in mice indicate that fasting can starve cancer cells (many types of cancer aggressively consume sugar for energy) and make them more susceptible to normal cancer treatments. Studies in humans for this are ongoing.

 

Just in the Sputnik of time

Podcast: The Space Race | Starting Gun

By: American History Tellers

Link: https://art19.com/shows/american-history-tellers/episodes/52ad3aea-8c1b-4774-bd6d-17c5799f9441

Notes: 

Werner Von Braun was a key part of the Nazi V-2 Rocket Program. Near the end of WW2 he and his team were deliberately captured by the Americans and settled in Huntsville Alabama to prevent their knowledge from going to the Soviets.

The thought was that rockets combined with atomic weapons would give the host nation an insurmountable lead in the years to come.

Von Braun’s potential degree of involvement with pretty horrific war crimes under Nazi rule was ignored and deliberately glossed over. Supposedly he just wanted to build rockets to get to space.

Because of his German background he wasn’t fully trusted by American politicians and military figures.

This led to his projects not being allowed to put a satellite into orbit, and allowed the Soviets to take the lead with Sputnik. This created a huge fear in America about ceding space to the Soviets.

The 411 on 901

Podcast: The incredible shrinking city

By: Vox

Link: https://art19.com/shows/the-impact/episodes/99ffb9d5-58d6-4405-84e8-ee33a18db854

Notes:

For decades, Memphis annexed wealthy suburbs around the city as a way to increase their tax revenue.

After studying the effects of this, they found that these suburbs required more public money than they were generating, essentially being subsidized by the poorer neighborhoods in the center of the city.

Memphis is now undergoing an effort to de-annex some of these suburbs.

End of the Age of Jackson

Podcast: The Age of Jackson – Manifest Destiny

By: American History Tellers

Link: https://art19.com/shows/american-history-tellers/episodes/55d6faea-7fb9-4b64-beb8-726f437d21fe

Notes:

After the Mexican War of Independence in 1821, the United States considered the territories of Texas and California up for grabs even though they were considered by the Mexican government as part of Mexico.

American settlers began settling both territories.

The Wilmot Proviso was an attempt to ban slavery in the newly acquired lands from the war with Mexico, although it’s intent wasn’t for moral reasons, but to ensure that poor whites wouldn’t compete with slavery for jobs and opportunities.

Part of the Compromise of 1850 was the Fugitive Slave Act which required Northerners to report and assist with the tracking down of escaped slaves, which further solidified anti slavery sentiment.

During the European revolutions of 1848 there were groups that supported the existing governments rather than side with the liberal revolutions.

The presidential election of 1848 is considered the first modern election where all states electors voted on the same day. It also saw three main political parties, including the Free Soil party which was founded on the eradication of slavery but also split the Democratic party vote.

Thoughts: 

There seem to be quite a bit of parallels between the arguments made for the wars and subsequent annexation of Texas/California by the United States and the arguments made for the wars and annexation of Crimea/Ukraine by the Russian Federation in 2014. Both seem to be making the statement of “Citizens of our country who live in the territory claimed by a different country want to be a part of our country, and we’re just honoring their wishes and protecting them from threats from the other country”

Don’t Eat the Failure Cake

Podcast: Denmark’s paternity leave problem

By: Vox

Link: https://art19.com/shows/the-impact/episodes/4e66a255-f04a-40ab-a661-d145682bce84

Notes:

Denmark has a child leave policy where the family is given one year of paid leave to split any way they want between the mother and father. While many companies there will offer fairly generous policies of several months, after that the government will subsidize pay at a percentage of normal pay.

They’re finding that the mothers take a majority of this time. There seem to be two main reasons for this: cultural and economic.

Culturally it’s viewed as a woman’s job to raise a child and care for the house – men don’t want to ask their bosses for leave or have to deal with their coworkers ridicule. The act of getting their partner pregnant causes them to have to bake a failure cake for their coworkers as a indication they have made a mistake.

Economically men make more income than women, so it makes sense for the women to use the leave policy.

However, this perpetuates the cycle that women are going to be taking a lot of leave for child care and men aren’t, which significantly contributes to the gender pay gap. Employers are less likely to want to hire women in their 20s and 30s assuming they’re going to take at least two years off on leave.

Iceland has addressed this problem by making a policy of obligatory 4 months of leave for each parent. The hope is that this reduces the hiring/pay discrimination against potential mothers by treating both genders equally with the obligation of child care and leave.

 

The First President to Die in Office

Podcast: The Age of Jackson | The Little Magician

By: American History Tellers

Link: https://art19.com/shows/american-history-tellers/episodes/c13efc9f-7992-4d57-9d8a-17f29fdfb771

Notes:

The economic growth of the 1830’s wasn’t equally distributed and led many to think they were being left behind – the gap between rich and poor was increasing.

The combination of new federal lands opened up by the forced relocation of the Indian tribes, the veto of the Second National Bank (which gave less regulated State Banks the ability to significantly relax their lending standards) caused a huge increase in loans for land speculation.

The Specie Circular was an executive order from Jackson that mandated federal lands could only be purchased by gold and silver. The price of both jumped and shortages developed.

The economy went into a depression that lasted for four years.

Martin Van Buren was elected essentially as Jackson’s third term and followed his policies closely. Despite his initial popularity, the economic problems soon led to his nickname being Martin Van Ruin

Because of this, Van Buren was easily defeated by William Henry Harrison in the election of 1840

Harrison only lived for 31 days after being elected and was succeeded by his vice president, John Tyler.

Tyler made the annexation of Texas a primary issue, and had to use some significant executive power overreach to sign a treaty with the independent state. The plan to admit Texas into the union as a slave state was highly conscientious, and lead to Tyler being in a situation where he was unable to run again, instead agreeing to drop out and support James K Polk in the election of 1840 if the Democrats supported the Texas annexation.