We Have Concerns

We Have Concerns

Jeff Cannata and Anthony Carboni talk about the personal philosophical concerns they find lurking inside everyday things. It's fun?

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    Leader of the Pachyderm

    Despite reported differences in appearance and behavior, DNA evidence finds that Namibian desert elephants share the same DNA as African savanna elephants. But differences in behavior show that they pass on their unique knowledge and survival skills to future generations by teaching their young. Fascinating, right? Listen, then, as Anthony attempts to completely derail this very interesting story and Jeff keeps trying to talk about it.

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    The Bore Ultimatum

    A Frenchman is suing his former employer for "bore out" - boredom's equivalent of burnout - which he says turned him into a "professional zombie". Frederic Desnard wants 360,000 euros for being "killed professionally through boredom" by his 80,000-euro-a-year job as an executive in a perfume business. But is "bore out" real? Anthony and Jeff try to discuss whether boredom is even a thing... without being boring.

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    Crash Man Be Cute

    Melbourne-based artist Patricia Piccinini has created a life-sized sculpture of what a human being would have to look like in order to survive a car crash. The result is a grotesquely mutated human with numerous internal and external changes to his physiology, and is meant to highlight how ill-equipped humans are to handle even slow-speed accidents. Jeff and Anthony take a good long look at this creature and decided if the evolution might be worth it.

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    Not Milk?

    There’s a cockroach that gives birth to live young, and it produces a “milk” that scientists want humans to drink. Jeff and Anthony talk about drinking human milk, drinking cow's milk, and the potential of drinking cockroach milk, and try to decide which is the most off-putting concept.

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    Finger Print

    Police in Michigan have a new tool for unlocking phones: 3D printing. Law enforcement officers approached a professor at Michigan State earlier this year to reproduce a murder victim’s fingerprint from a prerecorded scan. Once created, the 3D model would be used to create a false fingerprint, which could be used to unlock the phone. Jeff and Anthony consider a world in which facsimiles are used to fight crime.

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    Check Yourself in Store You Wreck Yourself

    Research from the United Kingdom found self-service checkouts allowed people to normalize and excuse stealing, even among those who would never consider theft in any other setting. Anthony and Jeff discuss the role technology takes in illegal behavior, and consider whether they are more or less likely to screw over poor old Mr. Albertsons.

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    P is for Power

    A team of researchers based at the University of the West of England in Bristol has developed a method for turning human effluent into electricity. Urine is basically chemicals in solution, so if those chemicals can be properly utilized, it can be a fuel like any other. Jeff and Anthony discuss whether the infinite renewability of pee will save us all.

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    The Last 10%

    A 44-year-old French father of two who found out one day that he had most of his brain missing. Instead his skull is mostly full of liquid, with only 10% of his brain tissue left. He has a life-long condition known as hydrocephalus, commonly called “water on the brain” or “water head”. Jeff and Anthony discuss the surprising malleability of the brain, and wonder what life could be like for this man.

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    City Hall of Mirrors

    With the rise of autonomous machines and the possibility of an invading army comprised of robots, scientists are starting to think about designing spatial environments deliberately to deceive, misdirect, or otherwise baffle the sensors inside them. Could we retrofit cities specifically to confuse robotic attackers? Anthony and Jeff discuss what a machine-proof metropolitan area might look like.

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    Those Lion Eyes

    Scientists in Botswana are painting intimidating eyes onto the rumps of cattle that graze near wildlife areas to prevent them from being preyed upon by lions. The idea is that the eyes will trick the lions into thinking they’ve been spotted, causing them to abandon the hunt. Jeff and Anthony debate this ridiculously simplistic approach, and wonder why the king of the jungle is such a scared-y cat.

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