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We Have Concerns

Anthony Carboni/Jeff Cannata

News, Comedy, Society & Culture, Science, Culture, Games, Gadgets, Pop, Internet

4.92.1K Ratings


Jeff Cannata and Anthony Carboni talk about the personal philosophical concerns they find lurking inside everyday things. It's fun?

757 Episodes

Lead for Lunch

Consumer Reports released a new report on Lunchables in which it found lead and cadmium, and also observed the presence of phthalates, which can impact reproductive health and the human hormonal system. Anthony and Jeff discuss the findings, and how to face the challenge of eating food that isn't actively trying to kill you.

Transcribed - Published: 15 April 2024

Animals on the Moon

If humanity is to successfully colonize the lunar surface, we will have to bring other animals with us. Which species are essential to create a thriving ecosystem? Which should arrive first? Anthony and Jeff discuss the factors involved in deciding which kinds of creatures will join us on the moon.

Transcribed - Published: 8 April 2024

Dinosaur Anniversary

It is the 200th anniversary of the first dinosaur discovery, so Jeff and Anthony dig into the story of finding fossils and naming them. It leads them to the wild story of William Buckland, the man who coined the term Megalosaurus, in 1824. If you think you know dinosaurs, you may be shocked by how they entered popular culture.

Transcribed - Published: 1 April 2024

Handwriting Your Memories

A pair of recent studies suggest that the act of putting pen or pencil to paper increases brain activity and retention when compared to typing words into a computer. Anthony and Jeff discuss living a papered life, and whether taking physical notes is worth the increase in learning.

Transcribed - Published: 27 March 2024

Here's When You're Going To Die

Statistics are amazing things. This week, Anthony and Jeff dig into the data around death to determine the most likely month and day that people all around the world will meet their end.

Transcribed - Published: 18 March 2024

Citizen Saboteur

In 1944, the US Office of Strategic Services—now the CIA—published the "Simple Sabotage Field Manual," a top secret guide teaching the average citizen how to cause problems to any organization. Jeff and Anthony step through the instructions and marvel at how a by-gone era's tactics for creating chaos sound all-too similar to the everyday experience of daily life today.

Transcribed - Published: 4 March 2024

Healing with Your Mind

In a new study by Harvard scientists, researchers have found that healing happens faster when the person involved thinks that time is progressing more quickly than it actually is. Jeff and Anthony discuss Mind/Body Unity, and what to do with all of the evidence that suggests we can control our physiology if we just believe.

Transcribed - Published: 19 February 2024

The Catpocalypse

Your average indoor/outdoor domestic cat is responsible for the destruction of other animal species on a scale that boggles the mind. Anthony and Jeff take a look at the data, and discuss why one cute, cudly pet might just be more than the planet can handle.

Transcribed - Published: 12 February 2024

What Your Humor Says About You

A new study breaks down comedy into specific types, and correlates those types of humor with mood and personality. Anthony and Jeff take a look at what their jokes might be saying about them.

Transcribed - Published: 22 January 2024

RSVP Anxiety

New research has found that while people are often concerned that turning down an invitation will upset the inviter, and lead to fewer invitations in the future, their fears tend to be exaggerated. Jeff and Anthony dig into the five=part hard-hitting study of party invites!

Transcribed - Published: 15 January 2024

Put a Shirt On

When did ancient humans start wearing clothes? It is a trickier question than you might think, and one that researchers have used some very interesting ways to try to answer. Jeff and Anthony discuss clothing, it's origins and evolution.

Transcribed - Published: 9 January 2024

Processing the Process of Processed Food Study

We've heard processed foods are bad for us. But what does that mean exactly? And are they actually more desirable than whole foods? Anthony and Jeff take a look at a new study that claims to answer that question, but raises questions of its own.

Transcribed - Published: 11 December 2023

I Need a Hero

Ancient legends, comic book sagas and blockbuster movies alike share a storytelling blueprint called “the hero’s journey.” This timeless narrative structure was first described by mythologist Joseph Campbell in 1949, but could it help you, today? Jeff and Anthony discuss new research that suggests simply "restorying" your own life into a hero's journey could have profound effects.

Transcribed - Published: 4 December 2023

Peak Fear

The Recreational Fear Lab at Aarhus University, Denmark studies the effects - good and bad - of fear on the human psyche. In a recent experiment, two volunteers in Sweden shared their worst fears to the scientists, who then recreated them in an amusement park in Sweden. Anthony and Jeff discuss The Peak Fear Experiment, and whether this type of research is worthwhile or just good branding.

Transcribed - Published: 27 November 2023

Pave the Moon

Lunar colonization faces many potential problems, not the least of which is the fact that landing and moving around on the moon kicks up lots of dust and dirt that can wreak havoc on equipment. One solution is to pave roads and landing pads on the surface before settling begins, and the European Space Agency has a plan to do just that. Jeff and Anthony discuss the ingenious method devised to make the process efficient and effective.

Transcribed - Published: 13 November 2023

Man the Hunter Debunked

A common trope in evolutionary anthropology is the notion of the male as hunter and the female as gatherer. But was this binary division of labor actually in place among developing cultures? New research challenges this all too accepted belief, and forces Anthony and Jeff to reexamine one of science's most common misconceptions.

Transcribed - Published: 6 November 2023

Rat Ticklers

Newly published research represents “a fantastic step forward” for understanding the neural basis of play and laughter in mammals. That research involves tickling rats and playing games with them, and may reveal where in the brain play is localized. Jeff and Anthony are tickled to see it, and discuss their own thoughts on rodent play.

Transcribed - Published: 27 October 2023

Do Opposites Attract (feat. DJ Skat Cat)

Researchers at CU Boulder analyzed more than 130 traits, including millions of couples over more than a century, to determine whether opposite kinds of people are actually attracted to one another. Anthony and Jeff delve into the data and compare it to their own experience as an odd couple themselves.

Transcribed - Published: 16 October 2023


Exactly how our taste buds sense saltiness is a mystery, and researchers haven’t deciphered all of the details yet. In fact, the more they look at salt sensation, the weirder it gets. Jeff and Anthony get their licks in, working through everything that is known - and unknown - about tasting salt.

Transcribed - Published: 29 September 2023

Don't Get Hangry

With calorie limiting diet fads like intermittent fasting spreading in popularity on the Internet, researchers have started looking into the effects that not eating has, not just on the body, but on the mood. Anthony and Jeff take a look at the data to determine whether skipping meals is really worth it.

Transcribed - Published: 22 September 2023

Leaf of Three, Let it Be

Climate change is having all sorts of unexpected side-effects. One of which has been recorded over the last 14 years by Pesky Pete of Pesky Pete's Poison Ivy Removal. It turns out, poison Ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac love warmer climates and higher carbon dioxide, and have been growing bigger, faster and itchier than ever before. Jeff and Anthony pull out the calamine lotion to discuss this disturbing phenomenon.

Transcribed - Published: 12 September 2023

Howdy Neighbor!

Gallup Polls, famous for its political odds-making every election cycle, has released a new poll that attempts to draw correlation between general happiness and certain everyday activities - like saying hello to your neighbors. As Anthony and Jeff dig into the data, however, it reveals the way polling can seemingly justify misleading conclusions.

Transcribed - Published: 1 September 2023

Intelligence and Personality

An enormous new publicly available dataset containing over 1,300 studies of millions of people from across the world, establishes reliable relationships between personality traits and cognitive abilities. Jeff and Anthony dig into this vast amount of information to see if our assumptions about the relationship between intelligence and personality are true.

Transcribed - Published: 25 August 2023

Kitesurfing Cargo

A French company has developed a new way to pull cargo ships using a kite, which it says could help reduce their fuel consumption and cut their carbon emissions by an average of 20%. Jeff and Anthony examine the details of this wild approach to determine if this could really change the greenhouse impact of global shipping.

Transcribed - Published: 18 August 2023

Beaver Drop

In 1948, environmentalists actually used parachutes to relocate beavers into their natural habitat in Idaho, hoping to encourage their numbers to increase. Anthony and Jeff discuss the novel method of moving species in and out of different environment, and whether its wise to be altering nature in this was at all.

Transcribed - Published: 11 August 2023

Zombie Worms from the Permafrost

Scientists in Russia have thawed worms trapped in the Siberian Permafrost 46,000 years ago and found that the creatures returned to normal activity. Could their ability to survive in a state of suspended animation offer clues for humans to survive extreme, inhospitable conditions? Anthony and Jeff talk about what the permafrost gives and what it could take away from the future of humanity.

Transcribed - Published: 5 August 2023

Is Dunning-Kruger Wrong?

The Dunning-Kruger effect is the idea that the least skilled people overestimate their abilities more than anyone else. But a new study suggests that the mathematical approach used to show this effect may be incorrect. Jeff and Anthony discuss one of the most often cited psychological papers of all time and why it might not say what we all think it says.

Transcribed - Published: 21 July 2023

Take a Nap

According to a new study, napping appears to be associated with a larger brain volume in adults, raising the possibility that it could offer some protection against neurodegeneration. Anthony and Jeff are big fans of naps, and discuss all the ways we need to rethink our society to make them more acceptable.

Transcribed - Published: 14 July 2023

Your DNA is Everywhere

According to a new study, it's now possible to sift scraps of human DNA out of the air, water, or soil and decipher personal details about the individuals who dropped them. Jeff and Anthony take a look at the technology that makes this possible, and sort through the ramifications.

Transcribed - Published: 7 July 2023

Mind Spine Control

When a cycling accident left Gert-Jan Oskam paralyzed after his spinal cord was damaged in his neck, few believed he would ever walk again. But a new device has created a digital bridge between his brain and the nerves below his injury, allowing him to control his legs again. Anthony and Jeff discuss the breakthroughs that make this possible and what it could mean for the future.

Transcribed - Published: 30 June 2023

Electricity Out of Thin Air

A team of engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has shown that nearly any material can be turned into a device that continuously harvests electricity from humidity in the air. Jeff and Anthony think this could be a paradigm-shifting breakthrough, and discuss how it is being done and why it might change everything.

Transcribed - Published: 21 June 2023

Little Brown Pill

US health officials have approved the first pill made from healthy bacteria found in human waste to fight dangerous gut infections – an easier way of performing fecal transplants. Anthony and Jeff talk about how the poop pill might change the world, and the mega corporation that could make it palatable.

Transcribed - Published: 9 June 2023

The Chimps are Talking

A study was published in Nature examining communication among chimpanzees. It found that chimps use "words," and can combine the words into "syntactic-like structures," the beginnings of phrases and sentences. Jeff and Anthony dig into how the researchers came to this conclusion, and discuss how this might alter their perception of primates.

Transcribed - Published: 29 May 2023

AI Mind Reader

By combining fMRI brain imaging with an AI predictive text system, researchers have demonstrated a process that is akin to mind reading. Anthony and Jeff discuss the methodology and ramifications of such a system, and decide whether they'd sign up for a COU mind-meld.

Transcribed - Published: 19 May 2023

500 Days in a Cave

A Spanish extreme athlete has emerged from a cave after spending 500 days with no human contact, in what could be a world record. Jeff and Anthony discuss what went into the feat, and whether it qualifies for Chronicles of a Badass!

Transcribed - Published: 23 April 2023

Mammoth Meatball

An Australian company revealed a meatball made of lab-grown cultured meat using the genetic sequence from the long-extinct mammoth. Anthony and Jeff decide whether they'd eat such a thing, and dig into the real purpose behind this headline grabbing stunt - to fire up public debate about sustainability

Transcribed - Published: 14 April 2023

Future Oriented People

A new study suggests that Future Oriented People - those you act in ways that affect their future states, rather than their current well-being - are happier, more at peace, and better able to sleep at night. Anthony and Jeff analyze this notion and compare it to their own experiences as... well, as people who don't generally live like that.

Transcribed - Published: 7 April 2023

Mister Potato Home

Scientists from the University of Manchester have created a new building material dubbed ‘StarCrete’ that could be the key to settling Mars and the Moon. Jeff and Anthony discuss the amazing breakthrough, and the dark road to its discovery.

Transcribed - Published: 31 March 2023

Floating the Idea of Solar

An international team of researchers has done a global analysis on the potential of floating solar panels, and the results are striking. Jeff and Anthony discuss the feasibility of using reservoirs to harness solar energy, and why more countries aren't doing it.

Transcribed - Published: 28 March 2023

Another Brick in the Mall

Back in 2003, an artists collective calling themselves the Tummerkind moved into a gap between stores in a shopping mall in Providence, Rhode Island. Over the next few years, they lived rent free in that very public space, unbeknownst to the shoppers and retailer alike. Anthony is fascinated with this story and presents it to Jeff as a Chronicle of a Badass. Do you agree?

Transcribed - Published: 17 March 2023

The Weight of it All

How much do all the wild mammals that roam the Earth weigh? Which wild mammal accounts for the most cumulative weight? Does any of this matter? Jeff and Anthony look at a remarkable project attempting to quantify the weight of biomass on Earth to see how measuring something seemingly unmeasurable can actually make the human impact on the planet clearer.

Transcribed - Published: 10 March 2023

Another One Fermi

The Fermi Paradox is the story that started We Have Concerns, and Anthony and Jeff return to the topic this week. There is new research that might explain why we haven't seen evidence of alien life in the universe, and it's shockingly simple.

Transcribed - Published: 3 March 2023

Let the Bugs Eat Your Plastic

Enzymes that rapidly break down plastic bags have been discovered in the saliva of wax worms, which are moth larvae that infest beehives. Could this be the natural remedy that saves humanity from itself? Anthony and Jeff take a look at the ramifications - and challenges - of this discovery. THIS EPISODE WAS RECORDED IN OCTOBER. ANTHONY DID NOT GET HIT BY ANOTHER TRUCK

Transcribed - Published: 18 February 2023

18 Again

With unlimited funds and intense commitment, is it possible for a 45 year old to have the body of an 18 year old? That is what tech billionaire Bryan Johnson is finding out with his Project Blueprint, an extreme organ-by-organ regimen he and his team of 30 doctors have created. Jeff and Anthony step through the process to determine is Johnson is a pioneer or a Dracula.

Transcribed - Published: 10 February 2023

Crisis at Earth's Core!

Mainstream news has picked up on a report that the molten core of the Earth has stopped spinning, and, in fact, might reverse direction. This has led to wild speculation and dire predictions. Anthony and Jeff dig a bit deeper themselves, and get to the core of the matter - the poor job of reporting the actual science of this discovery.

Transcribed - Published: 3 February 2023

How Many People Have Ever Lived?

It is a simple question that requires some pretty complicated investigation. Calculating the number of people who have ever lived since the dawn of humanity is part science and part art. Jeff and Anthony dig in to the fascinating process by which scientists have come up with a pretty definitive answer. Are you able to guess it?

Transcribed - Published: 27 January 2023

Work Less, Have More Kids, and Be Kind

Sometimes, when something seems obvious, science still needs to confirm it. This week, Anthony and Jeff take a look at a trio of stories that may seem not to require investigation, but reveal interesting subtleties upon further study. First up, a look at how working fewer hours may lead to happiness. Then, a report on how and why Americans are having fewer children. And finally, a report that shows acts of kindness are actually therapeutic.

Transcribed - Published: 20 January 2023

The Quietest Room on Earth

Inside a building in Minneapolis, there is a room so quiet that people believe an hour inside will drive anyone mad. It is so quiet, they say, that you will hear the sound of your own internal organs. A writer from the New York Times recently decided to put that claim to the test by breaking the record for the longest stay inside. Jeff and Anthony look at the history of anechoic chambers, and decide how long they could last in the deafening silence.

Transcribed - Published: 12 January 2023

The Goldfish's Bad Rap

A team of researchers at the University of Oxford has found via experimentation that goldfish use markings on the floor below them to measure how far they have traveled. The study disproves the long-held belief goldfish have little or no memory. Anthony and Jeff talk about what this means for goldfish reputations, worldwide, and other animals who fight with unfair stigmas.

Transcribed - Published: 30 December 2022

Mosquito Magnets

Scientists have known that mosquitos are drawn to people at varying rates, but they have struggled to explain what makes certain people “mosquito magnets” while others get off bite-free. In a new paper published in the journal Cell, researchers suggest that certain body odors are the deciding factor. Jeff and Anthony draw out as much wisdom as they can from this vein, sucking every last morsel of insight.

Transcribed - Published: 19 December 2022

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