World-renowned author and historian Susan Wise Bauer rejoins the podcast to shed some "light" on the "dark ages", more commonly known as the Middle Ages. Why is this 1,000 year period of human history considered with generally negative regard? Is the Middle Ages even a real thing, or just something created by later historians?
Our younger years are dominated by education. The foundation of our daily routine is attending school, and the overarching purpose of our lives, so to speak, is to become educated before entering the “real world”. But for all the hours, days and years spent sitting in classrooms, is our conventional education system actually as good as it could be? World-renowned author and historian Susan Wise Bauer joins the podcast to share her unique approach to education.
The choices available to humans have perhaps never been as widespread as they are in the 21st century. This can apply to the simple things like our choice in restaurants, tv shows, and books, and to the more serious life decisions, like which career to pursue, which partner to choose, and trying to find meaning via a myriad of different ways. But while choice can be an amazing thing that opens up all sorts of opportunities, it can also be overwhelming. Psychologist and Decision Researcher...
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can be devastating diseases for both the patients and families affected. What is it like in the early stages of dementia, when one is aware of the further cognitive decline that is to come? When the disease becomes more advanced, is there any benefit in reorienting the patient to the present , or is it wiser to allow them to roam where their thoughts take them? Occupational therapist Nira Rittenberg joins the podcast.
In this sequel episode, former American infantryman Alan Leggitt shares his experience of serving in the military as bisexual during the era of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Under this policy, which was only lifted in 2011, members of the American military were not allowed to ask questions regarding or revealing one's sexual orientation.
Being part of the military is widely viewed as something honorable, dutiful and patriotic. But as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have endured for so long over the past two decades, many questions have arisen. Are the sacrifices that American citizens have been asked to make for their country always worth it? How do soldiers respect authority and take orders from superiors, when perhaps they don’t agree with the missions they are fighting? Former American infantryman Alan Leggitt joins...
Gene Steinberg was born and raised in a Jewish Hasidic community in New York. At age 28, he made the difficult decision to leave orthodox-Judaism to live a life more aligned with his personal values. Gene explains what it is like to live in an isolationist Hasidic community, how he came to leave this way of life and the challenges that he and many others face when they do so.
There are few sports as intense as boxing, where you are in a ring, on your own, fighting one-on-one against a fierce competitor. So what is it like to be a boxer? What motivates someone to engage in such an extreme sport, ridden with such physical risk and potentially even psychological harm? And as a sport and industry in general, is boxing still appropriate in the times we live in today? Retired Canadian heavyweight champion Mark Simmons joins the podcast.
Napoleon Bonaparte is considered one of the greatest military leaders of all time. He is often mentioned alongside names such as Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, but whereas they existed thousands of years ago, he died only 200 years ago. And as such, his legacy is perhaps still being shaped more so than other comparatively more ancient figures. So what is the legacy of Napoleon? What are some of the preconceptions that have permeated into modern thought? Beyond his military...
In this episode, Zale opens up about his own experience with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. What is an obsession, and what is a compulsion? How does OCD extend far beyond the preconception of a pure focus on cleanliness? Zale gives a window into what it is like living with anxiety and sheds some light on psychiatric illness in general.
What are we to do with the books, movies, songs and performances created by some of society's most iconic artists who have later been exposed for certain wrongdoings? Is it enough to denounce them? Or must we reject their art as well? How do we separate the art from the artist? Or perhaps more importantly, should we separate the art from the artist? Vox.com critic Constance Grady joins the podcast.
As vaccine rollout is well on its way in many countries around the world, we can begin to consider a return to “normal life” in perhaps the not too distant future. But what does “normal” actually look like? After over a year of this pandemic, our lives have drastically changed. As we begin to look to post-pandemic life, is it realistic to think that things will simply go back to the way they were? Or has covid changed the way we look at the world and the way we wish to live within it? ...
There has been debate in the sports world over the last month, as Laurel Hubbard was recently selected as the first transgender weightlifter to ever compete in the Olympics Games. On the hand, this is a huge moment of progress for the LGBTQ+ community and reflects a society that is embracing more liberal views of gender. On the other hand, many question the fairness of Laurel Hubbard’s inclusion, citing concerns of inherent biological advantages that a trans female would have over a cis...
With more worldwide attention being brought to issues of global warming, poverty, and human rights violations over the last few decades, more light has been shed on the role that corporations play in our societies. And as large corporations have been called out for some of their questionable actions, it often seems as if they have risen to the challenge of becoming more socially responsible. The way many corporations now present themselves to the world can make it seem as if we have...
For much of human history, being left-handed has had a certain taboo associated with it. The word for left in Italian, for example, is “sinistra”, which shares roots with the word “sinister”, meaning “evil” in English. Such terminology reflects a long-held view in many societies that left-hand dominance is inferior to right-hand dominance. When you dig beneath the surface on this topic, however, there is much more to dissect than you initially might consider. Why are people still...
A year into the pandemic, almost everyone knows someone who has tested positive for covid-19. While the emphasis has rightly focused on the mortality rate, there is another side of covid that is perhaps less talked about – recovery. While many do recover quickly, there is also a large proportion of people who are suffering from longer-term symptoms and require ongoing rehabilitation weeks to months after diagnosis. In fact, the morbidity of this virus will unfortunately affect the physical...
This is the second of a two episode mini-series regarding the situation in Israel and Palestine. We continue to examine the historical roots of the conflict, picking up the story from the aftermath of the 1967 war up until the present day conflict. What attempts at peace have been sought over the past fifty years? What were the circumstances that led to this most recent outbreak of war? Tour guide and educator Yoav Biller joins the podcast.
With the conflict in Israel and Palestine reaching new heights over the past month, we explore the roots of the conflict in this two-part series. In this first episode, we examine the complicated history of the territories in question, from ancient times up until 1967. Tour guide and educator Yoav Biller shares perspectives from both the Israeli and Palestinian narratives.
In the wake of the Me Too Movement, much more needed attention in society has been focused on the issue of sexual violence. It goes without saying that sexual violence is a bad thing that society needs to address. But it is also a complicated topic. Sexual violence can take shape in many forms, some perhaps less obvious than others. People might have different versions of what constitutes sexual consent. People’s memories and interpretations regarding a sexual encounter may not always...
The universe is so vast that it is quite literally impossible to comprehend. Yet with so much unknown, there is also so much room for hypothesizing and pontificating. What is the likelihood that other earth-like planets exist? What are the chances of extraterrestrial life? What is the practical purpose of studying the universe? Dr. John Johnson, a Harvard Professor of Astrophysics, has discovered over one hundred planets. He joins the podcast to share what we do know, what we don't...
Many fairly tales capture people’s imagination from the time they are kids and then resonate in their hearts even into their adult years. When we think about fairy tales, most of us probably think of the Disney films that tell their stories. But many of these stories existed long before Walt Disney transformed them into films. Fairy Tales are not new. They have been told, albeit in various forms, for many centuries. So how has the fairy tale evolved over the years, both in terms of...
From a young age, many kids become infatuated with dinosaurs. Perhaps it is the magnitude of their size. Maybe it is the fact that they existed so long ago that they can seem almost like mythical creatures. Dinosaurs existed over 100 million years ago, yet humans have only been around for about 200,000 years. That is simply just staggering to contemplate. So what do you really know about dinosaurs? What were dinosaurs actually like? How did they come to rise, and how did they...
“Money can’t buy you happiness” … so the adage goes. But deep down, most people would probably still prefer to have more money in their pockets if given the opportunity. And despite the notion that money perhaps does not equal happiness, many people do spend their lives with a primary goal of making more money. So what is the actual impact of money on happiness? Clay Cockrell, a psychotherapist who works with ultra-high-networth individuals, joins the podcast.
Mike Katchen, co-founder and CEO of Wealthsimple, explains how his company challenges the traditional paradigm of investing. When should we start investing? How much should we be investing? Mike also shares his perspectives on buying a home and explains how people tend to overestimate their risk tolerance.
Cheating. Unfaithfulness. Affairs. Understandably, these words are likely to conjure up negative feelings and associations. Cheating in a relationship is a massive breach of trust against a person to whom you pledged to be loyal. But has cheating perhaps been overly stigmatized, to the point where couples who might have been able to work through the aftermath of an affair have been preconditioned to believe that it just isn't possible? What are some common misconceptions about love that...