myth of antioxidants; Channing Tatum; Crocs

10 Aug

Whole Shebang 08/10/2014

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Jen is the host for this edition.

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1. The Whole Shebangers are becoming curators of all debunked health science. My favorite example being that sunscreen gives you skin cancer. In this installment we talk about the myth of antioxidants as our saviors. We read an article Fruits and Vegetables Are Trying to Kill You by Moises Velasquez-Manoff that tells us that vitamins are worthless because they don’t contain the noxious substances that put stress on our bodies, which your body has to ramp up to fight against.

A sort of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger type argument. So keep your eye out for the term hormesis —that something that is toxic can in small amounts be beneficial—in your next diet book.

2. It is time to decide – is Channing Tatum a worthwhile person to watch in movies? Is he hunky, dumb, boring, a good dancer?

Here are our It is Time to Decide results:

Cait thinks Channing is worthwhile.
Mom does not think Channing is worthwhile, unless he is dancing.
Jen does not think Channing is worthwhile, unless he is dancing.

 
And make sure you rush out to watch Step Up All In like it was the Titantic, so the powers that be are convinced they should make yet another Step Up. I can’t get enough.

3. It is time to decide – are Crocs the most amazing footwear ever created or a terrible crime against fashion?

Here are our It is Time to Decide results:

Cait thinks non-clog Crocs are work appropriate.
Mom thinks Crocs are amazing footwear.
Jen thinks Crocs are amazing footwear.

If you are now convinced, get yourself some Crocs and gibbets and join the revolution!

Enrichments or Enragements:

Cait is enriched by the comedy special of her friend Jimmy Povolo.
Mom is enriched her movie theater’s rewards program which is easy and actually rewarding to use.
Jen is enriched by the fourth season of The Killing now streaming on Netflix. Worth it!

 

Fantasy Weddings–NIMBY; the Salieri Conundrum; Tech and Fitness

3 Aug

Whole Shebang 3/8/2014

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Shelley is the host for this edition.

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1. Fantasy Weddings–NIMBY.  We have discussed weddings in the past  but things take a whole different turn when such an event happens in Shelley’s backyard, or, at least two doors down.  Two weeks it took to build the venue and decorate it in a woodland glade.  But as Uncle Tom says, ” No matter how much you spend to spruce it up, it is still a port-a-potty.”  We discuss the pros and cons of the economics of such events, weddings as competition, and perhaps the necessity of changing the focus of marriages from romantic love to a shift in the fabric of the community. You have to hear Cait’s benchmark for a good marriage.

And, the winner is…

 

 

2. The Salieri Conundrum.  Should we all behave like Antonio Salieri, a composer contemporary of Amadeus Mozart, who deplored that such extraordinary musical gifts should be  housed within a deplorable character?  Why do we expect our celebrities to be perfect?  Extraordinary talent comes in all sorts of packages. The ladies produce a surprising answer.

Should this man be a role model for your children? Trick question.

 

3. Tech and Fitness.  Do all those gadgets that track your fitness improve health? Jen is unconvinced, but loves the fun of her MyTracks app that allows her to see in all its glory her adventures on her dirt bike. Cait is determined to win her company’s fitness challenge even if others are less than honest in their reporting of their actual fitness activity.  Shelley likes her pedometer but feels that Doug Adams in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy had it right.

Enrichments or Enragements:

Cait is enraged by cheaters cheating. Boy, is she ticked!
Shelley is enraged by the game players. You know who you are.
Jen is enriched by her ability lately to sleep like a champ. Such news gladdens a mother’s heart.

 

 

 

 

Solving Poverty; The Mandela Effect; All About That Bass

27 Jul

Whole Shebang 07/27/2014

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Cait is the host for this edition.

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Remember www.audibletrial.com/wholeshebang

1. Following up last week’s discussion of the US Postal Service serving as a bank for the under-banked (is that a word?  We’ll go with yes) the Shebangers discuss an article by Tianna Gaines-Turner detailing “Three Steps We Can Take To Solve Poverty, From Someone Who Knows Firsthand.”  We determined last week that perhaps the problems of the under-banked (there it is again) arise not from a lack of banking options, but in fact a lack of funds to put into a bank.  Has Mrs. Gaines-Turner the answer?  Listen in.  Here is the book Jen discusses:

2. The Mandela Effect:  Do alternate memories indicate an alternate history in a parallel universe?  Fiona Broome thinks so.  The Mandela Effect refers to shared false memories such as people who all distinctly remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison when, in fact (or in this universe), he did not.

(Nelson Mandela's Autobiography) Or did you remember this as a James Bond film/book?

Nelson Mandela’s Autobiography (Or did you remember it as a James Bond book/film?)

 

Also, here is the video of Japanese school girls doing parkour that I sent to the Shebangers in lieu of links to information about the Mandela Effect.

Me this week.

Me this week.

 

3. All About That Bass:    Pastel pastries, unflattering outfits, gloriously shaking booties, and one poor, abused, skinny woman.  We discuss the music video for the joyous ear worm by Meghan Trainor who does not want to hear one word about that treble.  Remember listeners:  You are perfect from your head down to your toe, unless you are slender.  All About That Bass

The fabulous male dancer’s Vine compilation.

Enrichments or Enragements:

Cait is enraged by her failed attempt to get her laundry done.  How do these contraptions not except credit cards, by now?
Mom is enriched by the temperate weather.  Ahh, how refreshing!
Jen is enriched by Dr. Oz eating his words about Agave being better than sugar.  As she says, “Where is your God now?”

 

 

 

postal banking; free range kids; Weird Al

20 Jul

Whole Shebang 07/20/2014

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Jen is the host for this edition.

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1. The US Postal Service has a new plan to make money. They want to provide banking services from which they believe they can earn $8.9 billion. Given that I come from a rural town, I hold a fond place in my heart for the daily trip to the post office and all the gossip it can bring. Which means I am not that sure I want to corrupt it with banking services. Read the full 33 page proposal or just listen to us.

2. What is the line between providing your kids with opportunities to become responsible, competent, and full of earned self-worth and being a foolish parent? Lenore Skenazy blogs at Free Range Kids to try to help us chill out on the parenting front. I am sensing a swinging pendulum where soon being a helicopter parent will be considered abusive.

Free Range Baby

Free Range Baby

3. Weird Al is back with Mandatory Fun a new album and, of course, silly new videos. We do the run-down. Check them out and hold your breath for the last video big reveal tomorrow on his website.

Enrichments or Enragements:

Cait is enriched by her first-ever full naked massage.
Mom is enriched by Cait and I pitching in to get our childhood house sold – fast and for millions and millions of dollars.
Jen is enriched by two good books available below. You can also check out the corresponding Slate Audio Book Club for Dept. of Speculation. I provided a link also to We Were Liars, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.


 

Rebroadcast: damned if you do; won’t you let me take you on a sea cruise; cuteness

13 Jul

We are all crazy stressed this week so we are re-broadcasting an episode from last July 28th.

Whole Shebang 07/13/2014

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Jen is the host for this edition.

1. The popular press makes it look like, in terms of healthful living, we are damned if you do. Lately we have learned that antioxidants erase exercise, your multivitamin is worthless, sunscreen gives you skin cancer, and overweight people live longer than those in the “normal” BMI category. We discuss the possibilities that 1.) these news reports inaccurately describe health studies, 2.) the studies themselves are so narrowly defined as to be inapplicable to the wider population, and 3.) the things that may be healthful for one person are unhealthy for another. Here is the video I was referring to where Russell Brand makes fun of Mika and her Morning Joe crew:

2. Won’t you let me take you on a sea cruise? The answer to that is a re-sounding “no”! We recap cruise ship disasters: icebergs, Somali pirates, rogue waves, food poisoning, sloshing sewage, downed ship stabilizers. Are cruise ship disasters like airplane crashes, rare, but salient and well-covered in the news or is there really something going horribly awry in this industry? Well let’s just say you won’t find any of us cruising anytime soon.

3. Cute is everywhere. We make miniature dogs and other animals, you can follow cute emergency on twitter, and a study shows that looking at cute pictures of animals increases your productivity. I swear that’s why I google image search puppies at work. Is this an office worker phenomenon?

 

 

 

Enrichments or Enragements:

Mom is enraged by swimmer’s itch.
Cait is enraged by rude cell phone usage.
Jen is enriched by RSA animate’s rendition of Dan Ariely’s The Truth About Dishonesty

Rebroadcast: beat the heat; managed retreat; Here Come the Mummies

6 Jul

We are all on vacation together this week so we are re-broadcasting an episode from last July.

Whole Shebang rebroadcast from 7/21/2013

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Shelley is the host for this edition.

1. Beat the heat. Monstrous heat waves engulfed the U.S. this past week except for Alaska (of course) and New Mexico(??!). We discuss the validity of Eric Klineberg’s July 17 article in Time in which he suggests our dependence on air conditioning is excessive and environmentally irresponsible. Jen suggests that building homes appropriate to the climate of each area is not only environmentally sound policy, but a safety issue also; if people die in hot temperatures and the source of cooling is not reliable, then it is not a good solution. Cait makes the case by admitting she has to use air conditioning in her attic apartment. Check out The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy by Katz and Bradley as we discuss the value of local governmental and private sector leaders envisioning and creating livable cities without waiting for the federal government.

 

2. Managed retreat. Our attention was caught by the Vanity Fair article describing the catastrophic beach erosion at two summer enclaves of multimillionaires–Malibu and Nantucket. Jen and Cait respond to the tragedy of people losing their homes, even if many are second homes, that have been in the family for decades, while Shelley suggests that even the financial might being brought to bear can not beat Mother Nature’s inexorable will and strength. Could the determination and wherewithal of the homeowners spark research into real solutions?

Check out the photos.

Left: Beautiful. Right: Yikes!

3. Here Come the Mummies. In 2002, a new Funk Rhythm and Blues band showed up on the Nashville scene swathed always and completely in mummy garb. These guys are smoking hot with great brass sound and lyrics that are not for the under 18 crowd. We discuss the scuttlebutt that the disguises are to hide the identities of famous musicians protecting their contracts. Cait expresses her concern that jobs end up owning the individual; Shelley expresses her delight that Johnie had heard of this band; and Jen deplores the system that would keep creative people from doing their thing.

Enrichments or Enragements:

Cait is enriched by her positive experience meditating and swimming for the first time at Chicago’s Lake Shore Trail beach.
Shelley is enriched by the 44th anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon.
Jen is enriched by the Hurricane of ’38 documentary on PBS’s American Experience.

In Cahoots, Academia and the Private Prison System?; the Certainty Principle; the Fantasy of Phoenix Towers

22 Jun

Whole Shebang 6/22/2014

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Shelley is the host for this edition. And, because neither Jen nor Cait noticed otherwise, perhaps she finally nailed her opening!

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1. In Cahoots, Academia and the Private Prison System? Rolling Stone disappointed the ladies with the Hannah Gold article depicting five links between institutions of higher education and the private prison system.  Except for the creepy private security firms providing “safety” at colleges(reminds Jen of the UC Davis incident where police pepper spray students), the ladies were not impressed with Hannah’s four rather specious  links.  However, this article and the notion that the private prison system is a growing and very powerful industry sparked further research.  You have to listen to this one–there is a big story here that Hannah missed.

And, that’s the last time they agree…

 

2. The Uncertainty Principle.  Although the author suspects it was a semantics thing, the ladies were far from simpatico on this one. Shelley delved into her personal cache of favorite quotes and gathered a few by Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, and social activist, concerning the subject of certainty. Jen and Cait were not buying what Bertrand was selling.

3. The Fantasy Phoenix Towers.  Wuhan, China is building twin towers that look like they are out of a sci-fi fantasy novel and yet are supposedly environmentally friendly for a mere 1.2 billion pounds and to be finished by 2018.  Jen and Cait were derisively unimpressed with the plans for the world’s tallest kaleidoscope (whatever that means), the living wall, the restaurants suspended in giant globes, and the recycling biomass boilers.  Shelley dreams on.

 

Errata:  Shelley apologizes to Carl Sagan; he was willing to believe in the possibility of extraterrestrial life. She is not sure where she got the idea but it has been stuck in her craw for quite sometime.  There’s that whole uncertainty thing in action.

Enrichments or Enragements:

Mom is enriched by her initial ride on the Harley Water Hog, or jet ski, even though the plugs were not in.
Cait is enraged by her inability to refrain from adding to her Netflix list shows she knows she will never watch. Jen was singularly unimpressed.
Jen is enriched by the non-stop cleverness of The Lego Movie. She also enjoyed Frozen. Check out the marines singing “Let it Go”.

 

Stranger Danger; A Promise is a Promise; and Lady in the Water

15 Jun

Whole Shebang 06/15/2014

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Cait is the host for this edition.

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1. Stranger Danger:  My (second) favorite thing about living in Chicago is my daily interactions with strangers.  We are constantly telling out children “stranger danger: don’t talk to strangers” and using Ted Bundy was a cautionary tale against lending a helping hand to a stranger as an adult, but perhaps these small interactions are enriching to our lives.  We also discuss getting stuck next to a “chatter” on an airplane or bus.  For tips check our this blog/podcast: The Art of Manliness: How to Make Small Talk.

Not dangerous, but icky.

Not dangerous, but icky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZZ6wPdcYG4&feature=kp

2. A Promise is a Promise, correct?  Once you have taken your vows to marry someone you need not renew those vows later.  Or do promises peter out after a time and require being undertaken again?  I present a revolutionary idea about how to handle the legality of marriage.  Jen and Mom react (with disagreement.)  Judge for yourself.

I promise to love you forever.  Or until I change my mind or whatever.  What's that over there?

I promise to love you forever. Or until I change my mind or whatever. What’s that over there?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Lady in the Water:  In 1965, Dr. John C Lilly ran an experiment in which a human woman, Margaret Howe, lived in a flooded house on the island of St. Thomas with a dolphin, whom they called Peter, for 10 weeks.  Lilly believed that the linguistic skills of dolphins would be critical in our communicating with extraterrestrials.  While Howe worked to get “Peter” to say words in English with limited success, the most notable outcome of the experiment was the personal attachment “Peter” formed with Howe in this Stockholm-Syndrome-inducing scenario.

Enrichments or Enragements:

Mom is enriched by Nestle Drumsticks: Breakfast of Champions.
Cait is enriched by her dad.  Happy Father’s Day–thanks for talking me off of cliffs again and again!
Jen is enraged that she cannot register her putt putt dirt bike as a street bike.  She may not be fast, but she is furious.

 

Father’s Day gift guide; don’t stop photoshop

9 Jun

Whole Shebang 06/08/2014

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Jen is the host for this edition.

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1. For our Father’s Day Gift Guide we ask a father, namely my dad John, to review some top gifts. The result is that anything with bluetooth or german engineering is a go.

GIFT DAD’S REVIEW
gadgetry Most dads probably like gadgetry, but finding something that is cool but easy to use is the key.
family togetherness events Best idea ever!
Jawbone UP24
It would be great to know how many steps I take and how well I am actually sleeping.
homemade ashtray Dads love gifts made with love.
Bespoke Post It is nice to get recurring gifts, but this one doesn’t sound that exciting.
Harry’s Close shaves are really nice, so german engineered razors would be a great gift.
nose and ear hair trimmer
Kind of like getting your wife a vacuum cleaner.
iGrill bluetooth thermometer
Very handy, especially if it means I get to grill more.
Hulu Plus Since most of the shows we watch are through Roku, it would be nice to have Hulu Plus.

Tweet us with your Father’s Day gift suggestions @wholeshebangers.

2. I’m a big fan of photoshopping in beauty magazines because, let’s face it, people just aren’t that appealing up close. Instead of a real beauty campaign, I want a Don’t Stop Photoshop! campaign. Am I corrupting fragile egos? Or does it prevent us from Martha Stewart’s gross food photos?

Pro Photoshop:
Buzzfeed

Con Photoshop:
Huffington Post

Enrichments or Enragements:

Mom is enriched by the storage capacity of and ease of loading a mini-van. We are shocked.
Cait is enraged by the weepy power-plays of Olivia Pope on Scandal.
Jen is enraged by whiny chicks.

 

The tyranny of the credit score; the Casual Sex Project; Manhattanhenge

1 Jun

Whole Shebang 1/06/2014

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Shelley is the host for this edition.

 

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1. The tyranny of the credit score.  An ad  for Credit Karma extolling the necessity in today’s world of a great credit score was the inspiration for this topic. Jen, the group’s financial guru, with great calm and aplomb lays to rest some of the bug-a-boo rumors making the circuit amongst the less-informed yahoos like Shelley and Cait.  The discussion zings from the history of the credit report–thank you Fair and Issac–to the APM Money podcast that explains it all to Cait’s fear and distrust of the whole system to Jen letting loose in the end with what she really thinks.

Say, fellas, what can we do with these new-fangled computers to mess up everyone’s life in 2014?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Casual Sex Project.  Zhana Vrangalova, a sex researcher and NYU instructor, has created a website for anyone to describe their casual sexual encounters. Several news outlets are chatting about this very juicy topic. Cait takes the helm on this topic, while Shelley thinks it sounds like the internet version of Penthouse Forum stories. Jen weighs in suggesting the people who participate in this website are older and their encounters quite different than the college version of recreational sex.  Whatever you think of the website, Zhana’s newest project involves a book and documentary in which she interviews people, other than sex workers, who have had more than 1,000 partners.  That book should hit the NYT Best Seller List!

3. Manhattanhenge.  “Where nature meets the grid” rhapsodizes an article in The Atlantic about the event that occurs at sunrise and sunset two times a year in Manhattan in which the sun does its thing right down the canyon of the streets of New York City.  The term was coined in 2002 by our favorite Neil deGrasse Tyson(when will Shelley ever be able to say his name right?!) to suggest the phenomenon’s connection to Stonehenge. Cait is unimpressed; Jen waxes lyrical about the beauty; and Shelley wants to know if New Yorkers had noticed before Tyson said anything.

Enrichments or Enragements:

Cait is enraged by the inefficiency of traffic being funneled into one lane from several without help.
Mom is enraged by the blithe denial of builders of man-made edifices that there could be something wrong like the cracking of the glass floor of the Skydeck of the Willis Tower in Chicago.
Jen is enriched by her extravaganza of shopping online at Old Navy. Can’t wait to see the new duds!