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This week Ben and Michelle discuss the changing shape of the work week over the past ten thousand years, and they find some interesting statistics about ancient rest periods that put our current models to shame.
Episode 32: The Father of American Policing
In this episode, Ben interviews Dr. Willard Oliver, who recently wrote a book on early twentieth-century lawman August Vollmer. In his career and life, Vollmer held contrary views on most issues of his time, but his ability to combine logic and compassion to every situation made him a legendary figure in the world of law enforcement and criminal justice. I.
EPISODE 31: TROLLVOLUTION
Internet trolls did not invent the act of anonymous harassment. So who did? In this episode we track the progress of troublemakers hiding in the shadows.
EPISODE 30: KAKISTOCRACY,
AND WHY CHILDREN SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE
This week we discuss some strange words and explore the possibility of voting rights for all children.
THE BENEFITS OF SCAVENGING
In this episode we discuss the roots of our scavenging past, and we talk about our current role in the food chain.
ARE WE HUNTERS AT HEART?
In this episode we discuss the conflicting evidence regarding our primitive hunting behavior. Did we evolve because we were hunters, or was it something else?
THE FUTURE OF WRITING
How can images replace text in our writing? We look to the past, and to China, for the answer to this question. And many schools in the U.S. and around the world are no longer teaching cursive or even writing print. What does this mean for our brains?
The Evolution of writing
Learning to read and write rewired our brains in fascinating ways. But where and when did writing and language originate?
An airplane for everyone
Airplanes in department stores? There was a time in U.S. History when people experienced this reality. But are we any closer today to realizing the dream of the personal airplane?
Football. Soon to be history?
In this episode we break down the factors that will influence the fate of football in the United States. Is football doomed or is it immune to the physical consequences of the game?
Weddings. then, now, and beyond
Weddings today do not mean what they used to, and for this very reason, people do their best to resurrect that lost meaning. In this episode, we trace the evolution of the modern wedding and discuss how and why the focus has shifted from quality to quantity, from inward to outward.
Pleasures and Pitfalls of Synthetic love
In this episode we discuss the benefits and consequences of relationships and sex with synthetic beings.
Sex machines in our history
Steam-powered vibrators the size of kitchen tables, the importance of dildos in Ancient Greece, and the future of sex machines in the second installment of our series on synthetic relationships.
robots in our beds
In this episode, we talk with a man who's married to a doll, and we begin the debate over the issue of synthetic relationships.
living ourselves to death
Concepts like extreme choice and mobility are some of the modern realities leading us toward depression and suicide. In this episode, we look at four ways that our hunter-gatherer ancestors may have been better off
learning from the uncivilized
We tend to view our hunter-gatherer ancestors with pity for their primitive ways. But what if they employ strategies for leading a depression-free life? In this episode we compare our modern culture to four hunter-gatherer behaviors we might want to emulate.
From bridges to guns to coal gas ovens, we explore the link between accessibility and suicide. Can a simple obstacle on a a bad day save someone's life?
Suicide: it's in our bloOD
With a simple blood test, scientists can now determine our likelihood of suicidal behavior. But what are the implications of this discovery?
What's Wrong With Suicide
Will suicide be more or less acceptable in the future? We try to answer this question by speaking with expert thinkers about the logic or lack of logic behind our perceptions of suicide.
Football - Reforming the brain
A new study connects football in younger players to possible behavioral changes. And one high school cancels the rest of the football season because of the threat of injury.
Football vs gladiatorial combat reboot
More little-known connections between gladiators and NFL athletes.
Most people don't question the act of having a child, but what seems like the natural thing to do might be more of a trend than a law of nature. In this episode, we speak to various scholars and scientists to get to the bottom of our true motivations for wanting or not wanting children.
Designing a Crime-Free World
Solitary confinement used to be a good thing. How was Charles Dickens one hundred years ahead of his time in understanding the power of solitary confinement? And what does the size of a community have to do with crime prevention?
Creating a Criminal
Americans are spending billions of dollars on programs that increase crime rates. We have proven programs to decrease crime rates, yet we don't follow them. We spend so much on the criminal justice system, yet we're only making things worse. And a man named August Vollmer, who lived a hundred years ago, knew how to fix most of our current crime-related problems.
Natural Burial: Robbing The funeral industry
The U.S. is one of only 6 countries that embraces embalming. Why? And why do we spend thousands on funerals when we can achieve the same goals for almost zero dollars? What does the Civil War have to do with buying a casket at Costco, and how can talking about death save us money in the long run?
Pornography and high heels
Since the advent of photography, high heels have been integrally linked with pornography. In this episode we'll trace the ebb and flow of heels over the last 150 years. We'll look at why people wear heels and why high heels might be on the way out in America. By following the trends of shoes in pornography, we may be able to predict the future of high heels.
Your high heels came from MEN
High heels came to the west via the Persian Army in the 17th century. Also, women originally adopted high heels from men because women wanted to appear more masculine. This and more in Part 3 of our series on the past, present, and future culture of high heels.
high heels, footbinding, and sexual stimulation
In Part 2, we talk to neurologist Dr. Paul McGeoch about the possible connection between foot binding and increased sexual stimulation, which could also mean increased sexual stimulation for hardcore high heel wearers. We also look at how the thousand-year-old tradition of foot binding disappeared in a generation.
cinderella and footbinding
In this episode, Ben and Red talk to experts and dig through the archives to uncover the deeper meaning behind high heels. In this four-part series they connect the enduring footwear to foot binding, Cinderella, the Persian army, sexual stimulation and more.
Rob ford's PREDECESSORS
People are making a lot out of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's behavior, but his actions are nothing new in the history of politics. In the first segment of In The News, we take a look at a few figures from history who've done some crazy things but were still loved by the people. Why? And when it comes down to it, what traits are truly valuable for a politician?
The decline of football: data and reality
How does football relate to being in 1000 car crashes in six months, and what are the ethical and moral arguments against watching football considering the newly documented health risks? This and more in part 3 of our series on the decline of football in America.
the decline of football and boxing
In Part 2 of our episode on the decline of football, we're exploring the rise and fall of boxing. Why did boxing, which competed with baseball as the number one sport at one time, die out of high schools and colleges, and what can boxing tell us about the future of football in America?
THE DECLINE OF FOOTBALL AND Gladiators
In Part 1 of our episode on the decline of football, we discuss the importance of football to the American culture and economy, and we explain how the rise and fall of gladiatorial combat may shed light on the direction of football in the United States.