June 17, 2018
Are you 100% sure you exist? Good news: we’re sure. But here’s a few TERRIFYING headlines saying otherwise: “The universe shouldn’t exist, according to science.” (New York Post) “The universe shouldn’t exist, scientists say after finding bizarre behaviour of anti-matter” (The Independent) “Universe shouldn’t exist, CERN physicists conclude.” (Cosmos Magazine) You might see those statements and think they sound increasingly convincing. First it was scientists saying stuff, then they brought anti-matter into it, and then holy cow here comes CERN. What a big official-looking acronym!
All those stories spring from one study, which Physics Today and Gizmodo covered in a professional way. The study explained a huge leap forward in how we measure antiproton magnetic movement. One press release about it contained a borderline joke about the universe. And from there, all hell broke loose. Specifically, the same hell that keeps happening with discovery after discovery.
On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by Matt Kirshen (The Jim Jefferies Show) and Andy Wood (Bridgetown Comedy Festival) of “Probably Science” to plumb the depths of Internet science reporting. They’ll explore the food chain of scientists, universities, PR people, clickbait farms, and straight-up liars who turn good science into confusing Facebook junk. They’ll rolodex tales of alien octopuses, brown pandas, new Earths, and other actually-awesome things you’ve been lied to about. And they’ll send you out into the world with science literacy tools that will make your brain happier and your life a whole lot easier.
January 26, 2020
Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.
January 19, 2020
How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!
January 12, 2020
Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.