Category Archives: Biology

Should You Care About Ingredient Pronunciation? (No)

I was listening to Gimlet Media’s newest release, Mystery Show,(1)Delightful, charming, and funny! when an ad for KIND bars came on in the middle. These are the snacks with the sleek packaging and vibrant colors that I think taste pretty good! The advertisement revolved around the host, Starlee Kine, listing off one of their all-“pronounceable” ingredients each episode going forward.

This branding disappointed me. When I go on KIND’s website, I see they’ve even trademarked the phrase, “ingredients you can see & pronounce®“. They also say this:

“We believe if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, it shouldn’t go into your body.”

That’s the same line we hear from the Food Babe, who is at least getting her necessary volume of backlash. It’s pandering to naturalism, preying on fears of “scary” substances just because they have scientific names. It supports the trend of misinformation and misunderstanding of what goes in our food and its safety.

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April’s Top 10 Podcast Episodes

A lot of my podcast listening in April was on the road or while playing games. It’s funny that I’m already associating the video game The Talos Principle with the podcast Wham Bam Pow because of how much those overlapped!

At the beginning of this month I also failed to but ultimately succeeded in installing a new stereo in my car! My old car cassette adapter system for playing podcasts through my iPod would always overheat in these coming hot spring and summer months. Now I don’t have to worry at all with a direct aux cable! Year after year of frustration about this has finally come to an end.

I’m happy to present to you my top list of podcasts for April of 2015:

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How far the Thunderf00t has fallen

Thunderf00t, or Phil Mason, is a YouTube personality and former (?) member of the atheist/skeptical community. Years ago he made great science videos and responded to creationists with hard facts and copious snark. He took a hard right turn around 2012 when feminism and progressive ideas began being incorporated into the atheist/skeptical movement. Now that snark is aimed at causes I hold dear, so I see it for what it is.

I don’t know how I drop in on one of Thunderf00t’s videos so often. I argue with people a lot, so links to his content and channel are on my periphery occasionally. Maybe he shows up in recommended videos while I watch other YouTube videos. I know I sometimes venture on to his page to remember what disappointment and anger feel like.

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Constellation Fornax, Hubble EXtreme Deep Field

The Age of the Universe: Who Cares?

Image: Constellation Fornax, Hubble EXtreme Deep Field

A coworker of mine asked me a question the other day that is simultaneously so simple, yet so difficult to answer succinctly. We’ve talked about some scientific facts, and he expressed his apathy concerning the age of the universe, among some other religiously-controversial topics. He hasn’t done the research to understand how old the universe or Earth is, and doesn’t plan to, because he doesn’t see why it’s important.

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