Serious Inquiries Only
About Serious Inquiries Only
Join Thomas for some critical thinking on questions of science, philosophy, skepticism and politics. These serious topics are discussed with some serious guests, but in an entertaining and engaging way! This is not your typical interview podcast; it’s a friendly dialogue, conducted thoughtfully and with plenty of humor. It's Serious Inquiries Only; but like, not boring or anything.
Matt's back! Ok so Trump was not arrested or indicted last week. What happened? No idea. But, Matt's here with some more in depth coverage of the cases we discussed last week. There's some fascinating stuff here and still reason for optimism. Does a letter by Michael Cohen ruin the whole Stormy case, as some pundits think? No. But is there a different, less... completely stupid reason the case might be problematic. Also, more from Georgia, and some SPEED law happened. Follow Matt Cameron on twitter!
Today's expert is none other than Stormy Decisis himself, Dr. Alan Smerbeck! Alan heard a recent episode of Dear Old Dads in which I talked about my efforts to get an ADHD diagnosis and it raised all kinds of interesting questions. Here's the volunteer link Alan told us about! Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please please pretty please support the show on patreon! You get ad free episodes, early episodes, and other bonus content!
Dr. Bryan Gillis breaks down some bad astrophysics in The Last Jedi, and we have some fun trying to reconstruct it to make sense! Are you an expert in something and want to be on the show? Apply here! Please consider supporting SIO on Patreon! You get an ad free show, and goodies! Right now patrons are 1 episode ahead!
Ok I know how this sounds but like, it might actually happen. And it all links back to, no shit, Stormy Daniels. Having been a little preoccupied lately, I'm very lucky to have expert Matt Cameron on to catch me up and explain which of the eleventy billion crimes Trump has committed might actually come with consequences. Matt is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, serves on the board of the Student Immigrant Movement (“SIM”), and is an adjunct lecturer at Northeastern University. Hey go to patreon.com/seriouspod for the Star Wars episode and more to come asap!
Hey folks, I'm excited to get the show going again! In this update, I talk about my plans with it, and I put out a call for people to be on the show. Also, let's get the Facebook group active again! Thank you so much for your support, it means the world to me and my family in these times. You're the absolute best. Heart emojis and heart eyes emojis.
Andrew Torrez, Thomas's 50/50 partner in Opening Arguments Media, LLC has been accused of sexual misconduct and unwanted/uncomfortable behavior by many women and 1 Thomas. Thomas's allegations are here, major content warning. Here's Since then Andrew has gone off the deep end and completely stolen control of the show and company assets. Here's a drive link with tons of info. I talk about all that, how you can support me if you choose, and give a heartbreaking update: Lindsey Osterman has left SIO. So much heartbreak these past weeks. Please, pretty please, support this feed at patreon.com/seriouspod. Thank you so much, truly.
Science person and apparent druggy drug person Lindsey Osterman took us through what the science says on microdosing! Links: Cavanna et al (2022) Microdosing with Psilocybin Mushrooms, Lea et al (2020) Microdosing Psychedelics: Motivations, Subjective Effects and Harm Reduction, Goldberg et al (2021) Post-Acute Psychological Effects of Classical Serotonergic Psychedelics, Yu et al (2021) Psilocybin for End-of-Life Anxiety Symptoms Mason et al (2021) Spontaneous and Deliberate Creative Cognition During and After Psilocybin Exposure Amoroso & Workman (2016) Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy
This is perhaps the final part in our series on the Turnaway Studies. The last part focuses on what happens when women are made to undergo an unneccesary ultrasound as a condition to get an abortion. And also, another perhaps under-covered way that abortion care is even more unaffordable for many people. These are all things that are perpetrated on uterus havers by Republicans. So... I guess what I'm saying is VOTE THEM OUT Links: Kimport et al (2014) Beyond Political Claims: Women's Interest In and Emotional Response to Viewing Their Ultrasound Image in Abortion Care, Roberts et al (2014) Out-of-Pocket Costs and Insurance Coverage for Abortion in the United States , Guttmacher Institute: State Policies Regulating Abortion Coverage
It's a 3rd edition of turnaway studies! Links: Gould et al. (2012) Patient Education and Emotional Support Practices in Abortion Care Facilities in the United States, Gould et al. (2013) Predictors of Abortion Counseling Receipt and Helpfulness in the United States, Foster et al (2013) Effect of Abortion Protesters on Women’s Emotional Response to Abortion, National Abortion Federation Releases 2020 Violence & Disruption Statistics
Another very fascinating science thingy, in the realm of politics. This one is about how the right and the left perceive political consensus among their ranks and among the other side. It always feels harder to organize on the left... but should it? Links: Stern et al. (2014) Ditto Heads: Do Conservatives Perceive Greater Consensus Within Their Ranks Than Liberals?, Ondish & Stern (2018) Liberals Possess More National Consensus on Political Attitudes in the US: An Examination Across 40 Years
Science denialism kills. Anti-vax conspiracy theory kills. This was obvious. But what are the numbers? How many more Republicans died of COVID than might have anyway? A new study has done a rigorous job answering that question, and the answer is grim. Very grim. Links: Wallace et al. (2022) Excess Death Rates for Republicans and Democrats During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Pink et al. (2021) Vaccine endorsement from Republican leaders increases vaccine intentions in Republicans, Allcott et al (2020) Partisan differences in social distancing and transmission rates, KFF poll on partisan gap in COVID-19 vaccination status, Estimates of unnecessary deaths due to unvaccinated adults (Brown School of Public Health)
So many of us in this day and age are stuck at our desks, or at our homes, or both, and not getting enough movement. It doesn't take a certified science thingy person to know that's probably not great. But how bad is it? And what levels of exercise or movement make a difference? Find out! Links: Farrahi et al. (2022) Joint Profiles of Sedentary Time and Physical Activity in Adults and their Associations with Cardiometabolic Health, Matthews et al. (2021) Sedentary Behavior in US Adults: Fall 2019, Matthews et al. (2008) Amount of Time Spent in Sedentary Behaviors in the US, 2003-2004, Evenson et al. (2015) Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Patterns Using Accelerometry from a National Sample of US Adults, Pomeroy (Feb. 2022) Does Sex Count As Exercise? , METs for Common Recreational Activities, METs for 800+ Activities
It's a science thingy, but more fun! A recently published study claims that belief in Astrology correlates with some negative personality traits, like narcissism. But, is it a Good Science Thingy(tm)? Or did Mars being in retrograde cause the researchers to overstate their conclusions? It's definitely one or the other! Links: Andersson et al (2022) Even the stars think that I am superior: Personality, intelligence, and belief in astrology, Pew Report (2018) "New Age' Beliefs Common Among Both Religious and Nonreligious Americans, YouGovAmerica Poll Report (2022) One in four Americans say they believe in Astrology, Mosher (1966) - Paper about sex guilt and belief in psychic abilities , Longest & Smith (2011) Finding about astrology belief prevalence in a cohort of millennials
It's an often cited statistic that a high percentage of late term abortions are to protect the health of the mother, or due to some complication. As it turns out... this is one example of a left wing talking point that just... isn't substantiated. But importantly, it does not matter. In part 2 of our series on The Turnaway Studies, Lindsey takes us through the data on later term abortions. If you plan on trying to change the minds of pro-lifers, this is a great episode to prepare you. Learn what the data say, and why even though the traditional pro-choice talking point may be incorrect, it doesn't actually affect the argument. Links: Foster & Kimport (2013) Who Seeks Abortions at or After 20 Weeks?, Jones & Kooistra (2011) Abortion Incidence and Access to Services In The US, 2008, Foster et al. (2012) Attitudes and Decision Making Among Women Seeking Abortions at One US Clinic, Questions and Answers on Born-Alive Abortion Survivors (Pro-life article about later abortion), Foster & Biggs (2021) Timing of Pregnancy Discovery Among Women Seeking Abortion, Upadhyay et al. (2014) Denial of Abortion Because of Provider Gestational Age Limits in the US
What happens to people who seek abortions but cannot get them? I imagine listeners to this show know the outcomes aren't good. But the Turnaway Studies put real, tangible data into the picture. Your arguments for abortion access will be made much sharper by listening to Lindsey break down the science. Links: The Turnaway Study overview, Annotated bibliography of The Turnaway Study publications, The Turnaway Study Book info, Biggs, Gould, & Foster (2013) Understanding why women seek abortions in the US
Recently a study made the rounds that sought to cast doubt on the efficacy of antidepressants. At the core of this misleading study was a real truth – that depression isn't merely a question of "not enough serotonin." But what exactly does that mean? Is this a new discovery? And why doesn't that mean that medication focused on serotonin doesn't work? Explaining this brilliantly and with singular charm is Dr. Dean Burnett!
But SIO has gained one! That's right, Lindsey has left her job as a professor and has entered our hearts as (hopefully) a full time science communicator person! We discuss the change and the reasons for Lindsey's departure. Pretty please help the show afford to pay Lindsey! patreon.com/seriouspod!
It's part 2! This time we talk about melatonin, and then go on through the many negative outcomes associated with being a night person in this horrible morning person world. It's a lot. But there's like one good thing so that's cool. Links: Li et al (2019) - Melatonin to treat secondary sleep disorders, Brzezinski et al (2005) - Melatonin and sleep, Schrire (2021) - Safety of high dose melatonin in adults, Wei et al (2020) - Safety and efficacy of melatonin for children, Grigg-Damberger & Ianakieva (2017) Poor quality control of OTC melatonin, Yam et al (2014) Morning employees are perceived as better employees, Hepburn, Ortiz, & Locksley (1984) Stereotypes of evening types, Zielinska et al (2021) Political orientation and chronotype, Norbury (2021) Depression and chronotype, Antypa et al (2015) Anxiety and chronotype, Cox & Olatunji (2019) Anxiety and chronotype, Durmus et al (2017) ADHD and sleep, McGowan et al (2016) ADHD and sleep in adults, Preckel et al (2011) Cognitive ability, and academic achievement, Gorgol et al (2018) IQ, conscientiousness, and chronotype, Bhar et al (2022) Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance, Lotti et al (2022) Cardiometabolic Risk, Cancer, and Depression, Hasler et al (2013) Chronotype and reward response, Ahrens & Ahmed (2019) Sleep deprivation, reward circuitry, and addiction, Kivela et al (2018) Chronotype and psychiatric disorders, Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, Kantermann et al (2007) Transition to DST, Allebrandt et al (2014) Chronotype and seasonal sleep duration
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