Episodes
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...
Published 05/25/21
“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.
Published 05/18/21
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.
Published 05/13/21
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...
Published 05/11/21
The relationship between humans and non-human animals is a fascinating one. In particular, the pet-owner relationship begs many questions. The preconception is that it is totally normal that we cohabitate with other animals in our homes. People love their pets, and for the most part, we assume that our pets love us. But how normal really is the concept of having pets? And even pets do add much value to humans' lives, is it really moral to keep pets, especially in the ways that we do? ...
Published 05/04/21
The Oscars is considered the most prestigious awards ceremony in the entertainment industry. There is a certain magic about the Academy Awards, where some of the greatest films and performances of all time have been recognized. Ben Zauzmer is the author of Oscarmetrics, a book that shares an in depth look at the predictive analytics of The Oscars over its 93 year history. What makes a movie most likely to win Best Picture? Which actors and actresses are most likely to walk away winners? ...
Published 04/30/21
Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) includes physician-assisted death and euthanasia. On a previous episode of Preconceived, link below, we reviewed what exactly MAID entails and how it applies to a variety of diseases. On this episode, we shift the focus to medical conditions that have traditionally been excluded from MAID, including psychiatric illnesses and dementia. Psychiatrist Derryck Smith joins the podcast to examine this controversial topic.
Published 04/27/21
Gangs have a negative connotation associated with them. And given their association with violence and drugs, this is understandable and on many levels warranted. But is the primary problem really gangs? Or are gangs, violence and drugs just a symptom of the larger issues at play, such as poverty, underfunded and neglected communities and racial discrimination? Vidal Guzman is a former gang member in New York who was incarcerated for seven years. Now a community organizer, he joins the...
Published 04/20/21
For this 100th episode of Preconceived, Zale is joined by his first ever guest from episode one, his mother Robin. On the first episode of this series, Robin discussed the idea of jumping into the unknown and embracing the twists and turns that life has to offer. In this episode, she shares one of her biggest "jump in" experiences, when she founded the charitable organization Pencils for Kids. Pencils for Kids provides education, training, and income-generating opportunities for children...
Published 04/13/21
When one used to think about psychedelics, the image that most likely came to mind was of someone tripping out during the height of 1960s counterculture. Yet what is less known is that prior to psychedelics’ association with counterculture, there was significant medical research being done regarding the clinical applications of many psychedelic substances. Most of this research, however, was discontinued when psychedelics became so associated with the rebelliousness of the 1960s. But as...
Published 04/06/21
One of humans' most basic instincts is sexual desire. It is natural for humans to have sex, and most people do engage in sexual activity of some kind. Yet as commonplace as sex is, we often don’t talk about it openly. Even more, we tend to not talk about sex and how it often changes during the course of a relationship. It’s not uncommon for sex to be a primary focus of a romantic relationship in the early days of a couple, only to go by the wayside as time goes on. How does this happen? ...
Published 03/30/21
On the last episode of Preconceived, we explored the history of the British Monarchy, the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II and analyzed how the Royal Family has adapted in modern times. On this sequel episode, royal commentator Ed Wang joins once more to weight in on the recent interview with Prince Harry and Princess Meghan.
Published 03/25/21
There is something about royalty and the idea of “the crown” that captures the public’s attention and imagination. Yet while historically, monarchies used to run many countries and empires around the world, only several remain today, the most public of which, is the British royal monarchy. Yet while for some it ignites reverie and imagination, it is reasonable to ask what purpose the monarchy actually serves. Why is the British monarch so important, if it really is at all? Is the idea of...
Published 03/23/21
Eric Silverberg and Eli Gladstone, founders of Speaker Labs, shed light on why it is ingrained into our DNA to fear public speaking and how we can look at public speaking "failures" in a more favourable light. Why is public speaking so important, and how do we decipher an authentic public speaker from a charismatic phoney?
Published 03/19/21
Humans are conditioned to be attracted to beautiful things and to beautiful people. We use phrases such as “don’t judge a book by its cover” and “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. But are these adages really true? How real and significant is the effect of beauty on our perceptions of other people? Is beauty as subjective and malleable as we like to believe? How do our perceptions then influence our actual behaviours? Are beautiful people happier in general? And do beautiful people...
Published 03/16/21
When you meet someone, you probably take stock of their name, gender, age and occupation. These are some of the basic "get-to-know" questions. But how does knowledge of these demographics perhaps impact our perceptions of the people we meet? What types of stereotypes and assumptions do we subconsciously make about people before we have really even gotten to know them? Zale explores the "get-to-know-you" questions on this episode of A Preconceived Moment
Published 03/11/21
When our history books speak of North American history, it can almost read as if Canada and the United States did not exist until the Europeans settled the lands, while in reality, these lands were populated by indigenous peoples for centuries prior. With the arrival of the Europeans, there were tragic economic implications, massive losses of land and rapid spread of disease that had devastating effects on the indigenous peoples. Perhaps most tragic was the Indian residential schools policy...
Published 03/09/21
One of the society’s most basic fabrics has been the traditional family unit – that is, a mother, a father, and their biological children. But as society becomes more progressive and accepting of alternative family types, we have begun to see the emergence of a new type of family, the “modern family”. So as we embrace the range of newer and less traditional family units, it’s important for us to understand the impact they have on our lives, and the lives of the children who are being...
Published 03/02/21
The first fraternity in the United States was established in the 1700s. And while much has changed since then in regards to what a fraternity is and how it operates, tradition and reverence for past customs is also an important cornerstone of frat culture. But as our culture, social norms and perspectives regarding inclusivity continue to change rapidly, how have fraternities adjusted? What is the purpose of a fraternity? Why does someone decide to become a part of a fraternity? Are...
Published 02/23/21
What is it like to live with an intellectual disability? Jeffery Masci was deprived of oxygen during his birth, which led to lifelong challenges with intellectual disability. This manifested as slower information processing, as well as language and speech difficulties. While his condition has led to significant social and professional challenges, Jeffery has persevered to accomplish much during his life. He joins the podcast to discuss preconceptions regarding his disability and to...
Published 02/19/21
The decision to die by suicide is perhaps one of the most tragic possible outcomes of a person’s life. And while society at large has expanded its understanding and open mindedness regarding mental illness, stigma is certainly still quite high. Many still refer dismissively to suicide attempts as mere cries for help, and when someone does kill themselves, they are then often labelled as selfish and weak. Josh Rivedal has spoken about mental health and suicide across the U.S., Canada, the...
Published 02/16/21
"Diamonds are Forever" was a slogan used by De Beers to help turn the diamond into a symbol of everlasting love. It is now estimated that up to 80% of diamond rings have a diamond in them. In the first part of this episode, Zale tries to break down the very expensive custom of the "diamond ring proposal" and evaluate the logic behind it. In the second part of he episode, Professor Roy Maconachie joins the podcast to shed light on the ethics of the diamond industry itself and the injustices...
Published 02/09/21
Walking through the meat aisle of a grocery store, do you ever wonder whether it is normal to eat animals? Even if you do think it is normal to eat animals, what about well-documented abuse of animals in the food industry? The veganism movement is associated with many preconceptions, both regarding the types of people who become vegans and the ideology itself. Dr. Corey Wrenn is a sociologist, social justice activist and a leading voice in the veganism movement, who joins the podcast.
Published 02/02/21
Fictional characters from books, movies and television shows have some of the most resonating impacts on our lives. Yet is it not ironic that many of the characters we love so much, would likely be scorned by us if they existed in real life? This episode of A Preconceived Moment attempts to untangle some of that irony.
Published 01/25/21
Ferkat Jawdat has been one of the world's most vocal advocates against the genocide of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, China. His advocacy stems from the harrowing story of his own family being torn apart by the conflict. His mother has been trapped in China, unable to emigrate and join her family in the United States. She has been detained in concentration camps and prison alongside other persecuted Uighurs. Ferkat joins the podcast to share his story and the realities of the cultural...
Published 01/19/21