Show cover of You'll Die Smarter

You'll Die Smarter

If you ever wanted to know why you should drink before telling a lie, why Disney characters wear white gloves, or what is the ideal vacation length, then look no further. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Titres

Why did Hitler have his iconic moustache?
The "Hitler moustache": this is the familiar term used to refer to the mustache that prior to the end of the Second World War, was actually known as the "toothbrush moustache". Inevitably associated with the figure of the Führer, it has unsurprisingly been unfashionable since the mid-1940s. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
01:41 01/04/2021
Why is yawning contagious?
As you have no doubt noticed, yawning is a very contagious reflex. This mimicry, specific to humans and certain other primates, is explained by the activation of specific neurons called "mirror neurons". These neurons are activated when we see a person doing certain actions. If we see a person yawning, the mirror neurons lead us to imitate them. But this reproduction only applies to certain behaviors, such as yawning. In many other cases, the brain prevents this propensity to copy our fellow human beings.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:00 30/03/2021
Why do laurels symbolize victory?
The leaves of laurel, a species of evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean basin, are often braided into a crown as a reward or as a symbolism of victory. To understand why, we have to go back to ancient Greece, and more specifically to a particular myth. According to ancient Greek mythology, Eros, the god of Love, decided to punish Apollo, the god of the Sun, for mocking him during an archery session. Both Eros and Apollo were renowned for their archery skills.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:16 29/03/2021
How does the Veblen effect make you buy expensive products?
The Veblen effect, more commonly known as the snobbery effect, can easily be summed up as the fact that we, as humans, like or want to buy objects, not because we need them or because we especially like them, but simply because of their price. Yep, because they’re expensive. This effect was highlighted by the economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen in his 1899 book The Theory of the Leisure Class. Veblen observes that if we look at the field of luxury goods, or at least those that allow people to identify themselves as belonging to a certain social class, the price decrease of these products results in decreasing interest of their potential buyers.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:13 28/03/2021
Which room has the most bacteria?
While not all bacteria that lurk in our homes are dangerous, some can transmit viral diseases and various infections, and some of which can be quite serious. These bacteria hide in every room of your home, but they are most prevalent in the kitchen. Yep, you heard it right. Contrary to popular belief, it is the kitchen and not the bathroom that is the most contaminated room in the house. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:09 25/03/2021
Are we less productive in our pajamas?
In these times of health crisis and containment, teleworking is on the rise. At home, some people tend to neglect their dress code. So the question is, does working in pajamas have consequences on the quality of our work? For many people, working at home does not imply the same dress codes. Many of us consider feel is no need to be dressed up to sit at the computer, especially if there are no video-conferences involved. So why not even stay in pajamas? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:11 24/03/2021
Why was the Great Wall of China built?
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Great Wall of China is the largest construction undertaken by man. Built, for the most part, between the 3rd century BC and the 17th century AD, it was intended to protect a unified China from invasions from the north. According to the latest official estimates, the Chinese Wall extends over 20,000 kilometers. The Great Wall is composed of walls averaging a height of six to seven meters, and also features ditches and natural barriers such as rivers or mountains. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
01:48 23/03/2021
Does wine protect against Covid-19?
Published in a specialized newspaper, a recent article echoes a Taiwanese study, which claims the consumption of wine would protect against Covid-19. Unfortunately for all our wine drinkers out there, this claim is anything but true. The study insists on the role of two natural components of wine, tannins, a biochemical found in grape skin or seeds, and polyphenols, an organic compound found in many plants. In addition to their antioxidant virtues, polyphenols are believed to disrupt the spread of the virus responsible for Covid-19. As for its part, the tannin would make it more difficult for the virus to penetrate our cells. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:17 22/03/2021
What is a zero stroke?
The strange phrase "zero stroke" refers to a mental disorder that seems quite astonishing, earning it’s position in today’s You’ll Die Smarter episode, and not on a health podcast. So what is it all about? Zero stroke is a suspected mental disorder, diagnosed by doctors in Germany during the hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic (between 1921 and 1924). And this disorder was mainly characterized by the urge of patients to write endless rows of zeros. Yes, the number 0. How can this urge be explained? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:44 21/03/2021
Why does the "Peace and love" sign look like that?
The global symbol for "Peace and love" was invented in 1958. It was created at that time by the British graphic designer Gerald Holtom as part of protests against a nuclear weapons factory. This graphic designer, a graduate of the Royal College of Arts in London, was very involved in the movement. Holtom proposed that the protesters carry flags and posters with his logo during a peaceful march. This march had around 5000 people and took the protesters on a walk from Trafalgar Square in London to the town of Aldermaston, home to the famous atomic weapons research plant. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
01:42 18/03/2021
Who is Tank Man?
The protests in Tiananmen Square were immortalized by a photo that has become iconic. You may have seen this famous photo depicting a man with plastic grocery bags in his hands and standing in front of a line of tanks.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:16 17/03/2021
Do couples really end up looking like each other?
You may have heard that, over time, couples end up looking alike. It has been said that by living together and sharing common activities, the faces of couples begin to resemble one another. This resemblance of couples who have been living together for a long time is a common statement, and sometimes supported by psychologists. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:11 16/03/2021
Why don’t pilots grow beards?
Have you ever noticed that most male pilots are clean-shaven? Or if they have facial hair it is often a simple moustache? In fact, it is extremely rare to see a male airline pilot with a full beard, and there is a very special reason for this. And it has nothing to do with fashion. Let me explain. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:03 15/03/2021
Why do big hotels often have revolving doors?
I’m sure you’re familiar with revolving doors. These types of doors that work like a turnstile are often found at the entrance of department stores and large hotels. Consisting of several wings, usually glazed, the user pushes a wing, causing the entire door to turn. By walking with the turning wings, the user then exits the dial on the other side. Interestingly, the direction of rotation doors is usually counter-clockwise.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:42 14/03/2021
Did the red phone really exist?
Yes it did, but also no, it didn’t. Before we get into specifics, what was the red phone? The red phone was said to be a direct line of communication between the Pentagon and the Kremlin in Russia, set up in August 1963 after the Cuban missile crisis of the previous year. This episode was, as you may know, a kind of paroxysm of the Cold War. The Americans and Russians were never as close to war as they were when Moscow pointed missiles from Cuba at the United States.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:11 11/03/2021
Why is it difficult to speak while looking into someone’s eyes?
You may have noticed that maintaining eye contact while speaking can be difficult, even though verbal processing seems like it should be independent. Still, many people frequently look away from their conversers while chatting. So is there an interference between the two processes? Well actually, yes. There is scientific evidence supporting that it is more difficult for us to look someone directly in the eye when having a conversation.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:13 10/03/2021
What is the Bad Line Syndrome?
You may have experienced this feeling: you are stuck in a traffic jam or at the bank, in a line that doesn't move forward. You find yourself thinking that you made the wrong choice, and if you had chosen a different line or lane, it would be moving faster. Two medical researchers in Canada have looked at this phenomenon to see if there is any validity to this feeling. Is there a psychological basis for it, or is it the result of real observation? The result: this thought comes from an illusion of bad luck.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:15 09/03/2021
Why is tea bagged?
Tea bags are by no means new inventions, but their origins may come as a surprise to you. Contrary to what you might expect, we don't owe the invention to the famous tea-loving British Isles, but actually to an American. Tea bags date back to 1908. Technically speaking, it was a little earlier, 5 years prior, that a patent was filed for the first silk tea bag. But these tea bags were initially used for tasting. They were used to present small samples and to preserve the flavor of the tea leaves. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:19 08/03/2021
Why is it there's a “Wicked Bible”?
The “Wicked Bible,” also known as the “Sinner’s Bible” is the reprint of the King James' Bible published in 1631, in London, by the royal printers Barker and Lucas. This English translation of the Bible was made at the request of James I of England, and this Bible replaced the previous authorized version at the time, becoming the standard Bible for the Church of England.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:24 07/03/2021
Why do we drink champagne from flutes?
Champagne is a sparkling wine produced from 3 grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It benefits from an appellation of controlled origin, which means that it can only be produced in a specific geographical area and according to specific regulations. And to drink it, there are also rules. Not binding, of course, but there are specific ways of drinking it in order to fully appreciate this drink. Among them, and perhaps the most well know, relates to the glass, as champagne is intended to be drunk in flutes, not in classic wine glasses.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:11 04/03/2021
Why are the bottoms of bottles hollow?
This characteristic is very old and actually dates back all the way from the 4th century. During this time is when we first see this distinctive hollowed style on the punt, i.e., the bottom of a bottle. The primary purpose of this hollowed punt is to ensure the stability of the bottle when it is placed upright. Why not just make it flat? Fifteen centuries ago, craftsmen were unable to make bottles with a perfectly flat punt, which caused some difficulty in standing them upright. Craftsmen decided to solve the problem by stabilizing them with a heavier concave base.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:00 03/03/2021
Is it more effective to wear two masks?
Today the mask is highly recommended in many public places and often required. It is currently considered the best personal protective wear against the Covid-19 pandemic. However, you may have seen some people wearing two masks. Is this more effective? Actually, yes, it may be. This is what a scientific study shows in any case. According to this study, the superimposition of two masks could offer protection equivalent to that of FFP2 masks, which are to date the most effective device.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:11 02/03/2021
What is the safest place on a plane?
Before picking up their tickets, many passengers have probably wondered where the safest seat on the plane was. While there are no unbiased, official statistics about the safest seats on an airplane, there are small selection of studies show that some seats may be safer than others. For example, studies have been conducted for specialized publications that have looked into the question.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:04 01/03/2021
How can plants hear?
As far-fetched as it may sound, some plants can actually hear. In fact, it has been scientifically proven by researchers that plants are perfectly capable of setting up defense mechanisms responding to sound. They discovered that when the sound of a specific predators is played near the plant, their defense mechanism to fight against insects are triggered. Let’s look a little closer. These researchers first observed, how plants of the Arabidopsis genus, plants related to mustard and cabbage, reacted when a caterpillar nibbled at their leaves.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:28 28/02/2021
Why do we sometimes take pleasure in the misfortune of others?
This strange feeling, this "sick joy" that we may feel when seeing the misfortune of others, has a name: Schadenfreude. This German word literally means "joy of harm". Having been adopted into the English language, it means "to rejoice in the misfortune of others". At first glance, this feeling may appear dangerously close to sadism. Thankfully, we are not all secret psychopaths, as Schadenfreude has a key difference: it’s purely passive.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
03:02 25/02/2021
Why should you eat using large forks?
Perhaps should is a strong word. Of course, you can do whatever you want when it comes to eating. Chopsticks, small forks, your hands, whatever. But, if you want to lose weight, the size of your fork just might matter. At least, that's the conclusion reached by researchers at the University of Utah. Not unlike many of the questions we answer on You’ll Die Smarter, human psychology is behind this phenomenon.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:24 24/02/2021
Why isn't the British police armed?
To begin, the title of our podcast is a generalization many of us are familiar with. Some British police officers actually do carry weapons beyond the traditional police baton. So exactly what is the situation? Let’s start with some numbers. In the UK, less than 5% of the police are armed. And these weapons are rarely used. For example, in 2017, out of 15,000 armed police operations, shots were fired only 7 times. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:46 23/02/2021
Why are there upper and lower case letters?
To put it briefly, it saved money. But I think that answer is a little short for us. Let’s look a little deeper into the nitty gritty of why that is. To begin with, you should know that writing dates back to approximately 3300 years BC. This is the period from which the first traces of writing have been found in the temples of the cities of Uruk, now in present-day Iraq. At that time, the Sumerians wrote on clay tablets. But this writing was composed of pictograms or symbols representing a word or concept, not like the alphabetic writing we use today.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:10 22/02/2021
Why are cats afraid of cucumbers?
If you have a cat you may have seen this strange but hilarious reaction. House cats seem to have an irrational fear of the ever-threatening cucumber. When this common vegetable is placed next to a cat or they discover it by happenstance, they’ll often leap in the air in startlement.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
02:16 21/02/2021
Why was the movie Titanic banned?
The RMS Titanic, known as the unsinkable ship, struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912 and sank, causing the deaths of over 1,500 passengers. You are probably familiar with James Cameron’s famous 1997 film depicting this event. But this was not at all the first film devoted to this tragedy! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
03:02 18/02/2021

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