Adam Ruins Everything

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 47: Rachel Weil on Femicom and the Value of Preserving Classic 'Girl' Video Games

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Do you remember all of those video games that were made for girls back in the 90s? Well they're not being archived the same way that stereotypical boy games are being preserved. They don't have value in the gaming community and many of these games are being forgotten even though they were just as creative and innovative for the industry. Our guest Rachel Weil is trying to change that by preserving these 'girl' games by going around the world and collecting these games and talking to the people who made them. She is a software developer for Microsoft and the founder of the Femicom Museum, a hybrid physical/digital museum and archive dedicated to the preservation and reimagination of femininity, girlhood, and the aesthetics of cute within twentieth-century video games, computing, and electronic toys. Rachel did not appear on the Adam Ruins Everything TV show but her work reminded us of the themes we explored in our Adam Ruins Summer Fun episode. And since we're in the off-season of the TV show, we'll be inviting more guests onto the podcast whose work relates to themes we explored on the TV show or who are doing fascinating work or research that's worth discussing anyway. On the podcast Adam and Rachel had a lively discussion about gender expectations, the negative effects of marketing towards girls and boys, their favorite classic games and even their favorite savory breakfasts.

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.

Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 46: Dr. Azra Raza on Mouse Model Misconceptions & Other Ways We Can Improve Cancer Research

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When we think of conducting science experiments on subjects, we immediately think of mice models. But today's guest, Dr. Azra Raza, who appeared on Adam Ruins Science, says there's a more effective way. On the TV show Dr. Raza discussed how the mouse model scientists use for their research is actually ineffective; even though a medicine might work well on a rodent, the results don't translate as well as we thought to humans - especially when it comes to cancer research which is what Dr. Raza studies. Even though humans and mice share over 90 percent of their DNA with one another, our bodies still differ in numerous ways; we metabolize food and medicine differently and humans are significantly bigger than mice in size. This wastes money from the limited amount of funding that already exists and encourages clinical trials that ultimately go nowhere. On the podcast, Dr. Raza proposes a different research method that she has used herself, to much success.

Dr. Raza is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the MDS Center at Columbia University in New York. Previously she conducted her research at Rush University, Chicago, Illinois in 1992, where she was the Charles Arthur Weaver Professor in Oncology and Director, Division of Myeloid Diseases.

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.

Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org.

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 44: Dr. Daniel Jolley on Why Conspiracy Theories Are Harmful

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What once seemed like a fringe movement, conspiracy theories appear more pervasive than ever. Our guest Dr. Daniel Jolley points out, conspiracy theories have been around for centuries; social media, however, has given them a wider platform and megaphone. Believing in such theories can seem like harmless speculation. But if enough people accept ideas like the faking of the moon landing or 9/11 being a government inside job, they'll feel they have no agency. This can lead to very dangerous effects like lower voter turnout and less civic engagement at large. Daniel, who appeared on Adam Ruins Conspiracy Theories, explains why people believe in conspiracy theories in the first place, how people can believe in two contradictory conspiracy theories, and how we can combat these theories to create a healthier democracy. He studies conspiracy theories at Staffordshire University in the United Kingdom.

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.

Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org.

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 43: Professor Teresa Ghilarducci on the Future of 401(k)s

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As humans, our inclination is to live in the present - not save 40 years down the line - which makes saving money for retirement hard. In the 90s many companies began offering 401(k) programs, a retirement savings plan sponsored by an employer which lets workers save and invest a piece of their paycheck before taxes. It seemed like the perfect solution to our retirement woes. But 401(k)s aren't the full proof saving plan we once thought. Even judiciously setting aside money in a 401(k) might not be enough to maintain one's lifestyle into retirement. There are also so many outside factors that can still diminish one's savings, including unexpected healthcare costs, recessions, or lost jobs. So how do we set ourselves up for a secure financial future?

Our guest Professor Teresa Ghilarducci, who appeared on Adam Ruins the Future, is going to tell us how we entered into this financial mess and how we can get out of it. She suggests we do the best we can to save through 401(k)s, live within our means, start planning our financial future as young as we can, delay collecting social security as much as we can, and vote for representatives who can help reform this system. Teresa is a labor economist and nationally-recognized expert in retirement security. She’s also a professor of economics at The New School for Social Research.

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.

Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org.

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 42: Professor Ellen Dunham-Jones on Retrofitting Suburbia

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While they may sport perfectly manicured lawns and beautiful white picket fences, suburbs are not the idyllic neighborhoods we think they are. They make us more sedentary, sometimes less safe, and they can even perpetuate segregation. But instead of leaving the suburbs we can actually address these issues and improve our suburbs through redevelopment and retrofitting neighborhoods to make them greener, healthier, safer and more affordable. Our guest Ellen Dunham-Jones, who appeared on Adam Ruins the Suburbs, tells us all about it. She has spent her career studying how suburbs can adapt to these 21st century challenges. Ellen is a leading authority on suburban redevelopment and is the Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Georgia Tech.

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.

Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org.

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 41: Heather Jarvis on the Unsustainability of Student Loans

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Student loans are an absolute necessity for many students in today's economy, but they're also among the worst forms of debt you can have, burdening students and sometimes permanently crippling their financial lives. Our guest Heather Jarvis, who appeared on Adam Ruins College, is going to tell us how we got here and give us practical tips on navigating the world of student loans. Heather is an attorney and student loan expert. She has practiced public interest law for more than a dozen years and has contributed to student debt relief policy for the House Education Committee and others in Congress.

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.

Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org.

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 40: Dr. Arjun Srinivasan on Antibiotic Resistance

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Is the antibiotic resistance apocalypse approaching? This week's guest, Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, who appeared on Adam Ruins the Hospital, says yes. On the podcast, Adam and Arjun discuss how doctors are overprescribing antibiotics, an incredibly dangerous practice. Overprescription actually makes our bacteria more resistant to antibiotics; if we become immune to these antibiotics, they can't help us fight against mild infections -- let alone extreme ones. Arjun says doctors should be intentional in how often they prescribe antibiotics and patients shouldn't think of them as a cure-all. Additionally, governments should be investing in funding for methods of battling antibiotic resistance, including new drugs and research. 
 
Arjun is the Associate Director for Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Programs at the CDC.

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.
Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org.

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 39: Jessica Huseman on Why Filing Taxes Is Unnecessarily Difficult

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We all know how filing taxes is a pain. Every April Americans dig through receipts, meet with accountants, claim their expenses, and pray they're not audited. It takes a significant amount of time and energy, and frankly, it doesn’t make that much sense that we have to calculate what we owe the government.
 
But our guest, Jessica Huseman, who appeared on Adam Ruins the Economy, tells us taxes doesn't have to be so hard. In many other countries around the world, citizens file their taxes through a system called return-free filing. That means instead of citizens calculating what they owe the government, the government will calculate their taxes and essentially send them the bill. Unfortunately, the tax companies like H&R Block and TurboTax prefer the status quo because that means more business for them; they've actually very successfully lobbied the government to keep this system in place.
 
Jessica is a reporter with ProPublica and helped break this story for the organization earlier this year.
 

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.
Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org.

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 38: Professor Brian Nosek On Science's Reproducibility Crisis and Opportunity

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We've seen it time and time again. A journal publishes a seemingly significant scientific study which gains traction in the press only to be subsequently deemed irreproducible. This pattern is known as the reproducibility crisis, and our guest, University of Virginia Professor Brian Nosek, is trying to awaken the scientific community and the public at large to these challenges. Brian says the reproducibility crisis is not a new problem. Because scientists' career advancement is contingent on publication, the community is incentivized to create studies that tell a positive, novel and tidy story, known as publication bias, and leave findings out of publications that don't advance their conclusions.
 
In response, Brian, who appeared on Adam Ruins Science, founded the Reproducibility Project, which tried to replicate the results of 100 psychological experiments published in respected journals in 2008. In 2015, their results were published in Science and found that only 36 out of the 100 replications showed statistically significant results, compared with 97 of the 100 original experiments.
 
Some of this sounds discouraging and might make us doubt science. But the reality is that research is difficult and lab results are often messy and many times don't fit into neat categories. Brian argues that's actually the beauty of science and we should look at this issue as less of a crisis and more as an opportunity. When we realize we're wrong about our ideas about the world, it forces us to realign our worldview and think about our surroundings from a different perspective. Being wrong only gets us closer to being right!
 

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.
Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org.

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 37: Professor Stephan Lewandowsky on the Backfire Effect

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On Adam Ruins Everything, we're all about using persuasive, rational arguments to bring awareness to a topic and hopefully change some minds along the way. But as our expert Professor Stephan Lewandowsky points out, that can lead to the opposite result, known as the backfire effect. The backfire effect says that the more you try to change someone's mind, the less likely you are to actually change it. What is more effective is to restate facts, provide alternative narratives, and ask questions that poke holes in that person's argument.
 
Stephan appeared on Emily Ruins Adam Ruins Everything and is the Chair in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Bristol in the UK.
 

Adam is on Twitter @AdamConover and you can find past episodes and bonus content from the TruTV show at AdamRuinsEverything.com.
Produced by Shara Morris for MaximumFun.org.

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