Welcome to Interesting If True, the podcast that shines so bright, you gotta wear shades!
I'm your host this week, Aaron, and with me is
I'm Shea, and this week I learned that the soup of the day implies another, possibly seductive, soup of the night.
Starts with an apology for a late episode. We had some technical trouble and got it sorted out but I’m afraid it didn’t leave enough time for editing, so… late episode. Hopefully, it’s worth it.
A quick plug for some of the shows in our orbit, Scathing Atheist and Cognitive Dissonance has started Vulgarity for Charity 2021! You know the drill, donate $50 or more to Modest Needs — a fantastic charity that operates the same way WyoAIDS does — and email your receipt to [email protected]
with a request for a hilarious and outrageous roast. The donor can request anyone or anything to be roasted and the podcast crew will select 200 roasts of all of the roasts! It’s a good charity and the roasts are hilarious!
Friday Night Lights
Get it, cause this comes out on Fridays and it’s about light!
Whatever, I’m funny.
So I was getting my beard trimmed and my barber asked if blue light filters were really a thing — presumably interested in anything that might dim the incandescent-cacasity of my visage.
We chatted briefly about low-light modes, red and blue filters, night-shift apps. The usual. Until she mentioned something I’ve never come across — the belief that blue light, indeed any blue light — is harmful to humans.
Now, I’ve heard of some woo. Jump back in the archive past Spooktober and you’ll find things like “soaking and breathing in Radon will prevent or cure any illness”, or “wearing pigeons as shoes will prevent or cure any illness”, or a personal favorite, “attempting to prevent or cure illness is pointless because it’s demons all the way down.” Not sure who to attribute that quote to, let’s just say anyone who’s woo is somewhere between “germ theory is wrong” and “lower fourth-dimensional alien lizards.”
So, intrigued I did the usual. I opened Chrome logged into the show’s Google account — the one I use to Google, subscribe, and interact with crazy — to see what the Google Bubble would generate. And I was not disappointed.
Before I get to the fun stuff, let’s get a new things out of the way. Blue light is just light in the 380 to 500 nm range. It’s also known as high-energy visible, or HEV, light. And if you know anything about energy, words like “high” are just hippy-science-jerk speak for “will probably give your soul cancer-aids.” Can’t trick me Big Visible Light Spectrum!
Aside from being a portion of the visible spectrum of light, we’re all exposed to, use, and kind of depend on all day, “blue light” is the boogieman of the electronics industry and, by proximity, the cause of innumerable, made-up, woo-woo illnesses like Electromagnetic Spectrum Disorder. You may be familiar with ESD from Better Call Saul, which the titular character believes himself to suffer from, much to the chagrin of the rest of the cast. To be clear, ESD is not a thing and has been thoroughly debunked. I’ll probably do a show on it when I need some low-hanging research fruit. Until then and for our purposes today, we simply need to know that some blue light woo’s use ESD-esque arguments to explain refusing to use some kinds of light bulbs, apply overly aggressive blue-light filters to their tech, or simply refuse to go outside during the day.
What we do know is that the cold-blue light of m...