The revolution will be all over social media

Podcast 5G: Welcome to the Revolution?

By: Science Vs



5G involves much shorter wavelength EMW than 4G. These waves have less penetrating power and cannot travel as far, so there will be far more “towers” all over the place.

5G will be a massive increase to potential bandwidth

There’s thought that 5G can harm the migration of birds since they use the EMS from the Earth to navigate. A study in germany found that EMW can disrupt bird’s internal systems, but the waves are much longer wavelength, from AM radio, not from any cell phone. This study is usually cited by anti 5G folks but they’re not reading it correctly.

5G waves cannot penetrate human skin and thus don’t pose cancer risks to humans.

A study found that people “sensitive” to EMW found that people couldn’t tell when they were being targeted by EMW or not. The symptoms are real but they’re in people’s minds. In fact there are machines that are sold on the market that claim that millimeter EMW can cure all kinds of ailments (also false). Multiple studies have reached a similar conclusion.

Editorial: I’ve also read articles claiming that Russian accounts are deliberately spreading misinformation about 5G to try to cause a political outcry about its supposed dangers and put the US behind Russia and China in the race to develop and roll out 5G

Not Udder Bull

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

By: Science Vs.



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



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



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.

Here’s looking at you

Video: Life on an Eyeball Planet? It’s Possible

By: SciShow Space



Eyeball planets are a nickname for planets that are tidally locked to their parent star., meaning the same side always faces the star. This name comes from the way the side facing the star would be a baked desert, the side facing away from the star would be a frozen wasteland, and there could be concentric circles of in between zones.

An example of a tidally locked celestial body is our own Moon.

This concept is pretty inhospitable to life, however it’s possible that a Eyeball planet orbiting a Red Dwarf, with a strong magnetic field, in the habitable zone, and with water and an atmosphere, could support life with temperatures between 50 and -50 celcius.

For these planets, life could exist in the area between the two sides. However, it would need to be able to deal with very little light, and very strong winds. Also, there would be no day/night cycle, something on which almost all life on Earth has some kind of reliance.

Reach out to an old friend.

Video: Loneliness

By: Kurzgesagt




46% of all Americans report feeling lonely

Loneliness can be thought of as analogous to hunger for social interaction. It’s an evolutionary product where humans who were part of social groups were much more likely to survive than those living alone.

The enlightenment and industrial revolution stressed the importance of the individual and deemphasized the importance of social groups.

In the modern world we move away from the social groups of our childhood and have more troubles forming strong bonds as adults.

Chronic loneliness is extremely unhealthy, more so than obesity or smoking.

Lord of the Rings

Video: Has Saturn Had More than One Ring System?

By: SciShow Space



Data from Cassini shows that Saturn may be losing it’s rings at a rate of 5k to 25k kilograms per second. This phenomenon is called ring rain and at that rate the rings will be gone within a 100 million years.

It’s also theorized that perhaps the rings are less than 100 million years old. This is troublesome because many theories about how they formed require them to be much older.

It’s possible that we’re seeing a cyclical behavior where the larger planets destroy and recreate ring systems.

Even after the rings have disappeared, Saturn will still have some rings that are the result of other processes.

Pancakes and Walnuts

Video: MU69 is Flat, and No One Knows Why

By: SciShow Space



MU69 is made of two bodies that are pancake and walnut shaped instead of spheres. This was unexpected as it doesn’t confirm with the current theory that planets were created by matter collecting in the protoplanetary disk and creating larger and larger spheres.

Data from Gaia shows that the Andromeda galaxy is set to collide with the Milky Way in about 4.5 billion years, which is 600 million years longer than the previous estimate.

It’s unlikely the two galaxies will have a direct head on collision as previously thought. They’ll go a bit past each other before circling back to form a single galaxy.

Stories of mental excesses, losses, and transforms.

Book: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Author: Oliver Sacks


Dr P lost his ability to visually tell the difference between objects unless they had rather remarkable characteristics even though nothing was wrong with his eyes. However, his skill and talent with music was unaffected and possibly grew stronger as his condition worsened

Jimmie was a 49 year old who lost all memories prior to roughly his 20th birthday.  His short term memory was also totally lost and unless his brain was challenged to stay on a single thread of thought he would lose it within minutes.

Christina lost the ability to feel or sense her own body. Walking became impossible and her hands would often touch or grab things without her knowing it. She only could control her body if looking at it.

A man stopped recognizing his leg as his own and found it repulsive – as one would if waking up next to a dead disembodied leg.

Madeleine, an elderly blind woman had been misdiagnosed early in life as being unable to use her hands and had gone through her entire life having everything done for her and never using her hands. As such she had no concept of them or how to use them. Through rehabilitation she was able to learn how to use them and even became a sculptor.

After a stroke, Mrs S lost the meaning of the concept of left. She couldn’t turn left, observe things on the left side of her body.

Aphasiacs are people who have lost the ability to understand words but can still understand expressions and tone. There also exist people at the opposite pole who can only understand the words and their exact meaning.

Natasha, a 90 year old woman was diagnosed with a form of neurosyphilis that made her more energetic and impulsive.

Mr Thompson, a Korsakov patient, developed memories and created stories in real time to replace the memories he lost and was unaware of doing so.

Mrs. O’C, an elderly woman, woke up one morning hearing Irish songs from her childhood that would never stop. It was difficult to hear conversation with others through the songs.

An elderly woman suffering from Parkinson’s was given L-Dopa and began having extremely detailed memories surface from 40 years earlier that she hadn’t remembered or recalled during the intervening period. After her treatment was stopped, the memories ceased.

An Indian girl of 19 with a malignant brain tumor began entering peaceful dreamlike states where she had visions of her home in India growing up.  The worse the tumor became the longer the states would last until right before she died it was practically impossible to remove her from them.

Stephen D, a 20 something PCP user woke up one morning to having extremely heightened senses, especially his sense of smell. This lasted for several weeks.

Donald murdered his girl while under the influence of PCP and had absolutely no memory of the event until years later he suffered significant brain trauma during a bicycle crash and then all memories of the event came back to him.

Rebecca was clumsy, withdrawn, and stressed when in structured settings but had remarkable skill in acting and theater and was able to find success when focusing on that aspect of her personality.

Martin was able to memorize thousands of operas and had refined musical talent. He was happy when singing or helping orchestras.

A pair of twins were able to name the day of any date in history or list prime numbers despite not being able to calculate in typical methods.

Jose suffered from frequent seizures and was unable to talk but was able to express himself through his drawings in remarkable ways.


I never would have picked up this book myself, it was a gift from my father in law because he enjoyed it so much. And it was supremely fascinating and a very quick read.

We really don’t understand the workings of the brain very well yet, especially when things go wrong. It’s an amazing organ and it seems like it’s capable of way more than people living with a fully functioning brain are able to take advantage of.

We don’t have adequate care of those who don’t have normally functioning brains.

Hungry Hungry Hormones.

Video: The Real Reason It’s So Hard to Lose Weight

By: SciShow



There are mechanisms in the body that push back against weight loss.

When you lose weight, your fat cells produce less leptin. Having less leptin causes your hypothalamus to interpret this as starvation and it increases your desire to eat more and have your body run more efficiently.

Ghrelin levels (signaling hunger) rise and Amylin levels (signaling fullness) go down. The result is the brain increases your appetite.

The brain responds to these changes by making the act of eating feel more pleasurable and rewarding.

Restricting calories causes muscles to rely more on glucose from the food you’re consuming for energy than from the stored fat. They also become more efficient.

Many of these hormones don’t return to normal levels when you stop calorie restricting. They can stay altered for years. Even regaining the weight don’t shift the body out of this mode. Dieting can permanently decrease your resting metabolic rate even if you gain the weight again.

How much energy you use at any point in your life actually varies depending on if you’ve ever been heavier or skinnier.

Thoughts: From an evolutionary standpoint, this is all amazing. The fact that our body can detect a caloric reduction and respond by making everything run more efficiently is an amazing adaptation. And for many people in the modern world this is still a lifesaving mechanism. But for the people in the world with easy access to Coca-Cola and McDonald’s its making it harder to stay at a healthy weight. Technological progress is outpacing evolution.