Wed, Sep

Your Illusion of Knowledge & Has Restaurant Nutrition Really Improved?

SYSK - Timing is important, especially when it comes to the big life decisions you make. In fact, the time of day you make a big decision matters a lot. This episode begins with an explanation of how timing can impact decisions you make and what is the best time of day to decide anything.

Human beings tend to think they are smarter than they actually are. We also have a tendency to believe things that are simply not true. This is according to Philip Fernbach associate professor at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado in Boulder and author of a book called The Knowledge Illusion. Listen as he explains why we think this way and what the ramifications are for all of us.

You might think that with so much emphasis on healthy eating that restaurants would be serving up some healthier and more nutritious food today. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Dariush Mozaffarian, MD is a professor of Medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief, Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter. He conducted some fascinating research into how nutritious restaurant meals are and the findings will likely surprise you. If you are concerned about your health, you will want to hear what he has to say.

Pretty much every car on the road has parking lights. But why? What purpose do they serve? Listen as I explain why your car is equipped with parking lights in the first place, why they are likely amber colored (at least in the U.S.) and when you should never use them. 


How The “User Experience” Became A Thing & How To Change Someone’s Mind

SYSK - “Don’t spoil the ending!” It seems no one wants to know how a story or movie ends until they see it end in real time. But maybe knowing the ending first could make the experience better. Is that possible? Listen and find out. alerts.  

Remember when computers and other electronic devices came with huge instruction manuals? Not anymore. Today we expect things to be user-friendly, so we don’t need instructions. The whole concept of the “user-friendly” and the demand for a good “user experience” actually traces back to a point in time not so long ago. Cliff Kuang is a user experience designer and author of the book User Friendly: How the hidden rules of design are changing the way we live, work, and play. Listen as he discusses the evolution that has gone from teaching people how to use complicated machines to making complicated machines easy for people to use.

Trying to change someone’s mind is often a waste of time. Clearly, arguing doesn’t work nor does rational explanation. Perhaps there is a better way. Or maybe it just isn’t worth the effort. Maybe people should believe whatever they wish. Eleanor Gordon Smith has researched this and written a book about it called Stop Being Reasonable: How We Really Change Our Minds. She joins me explain her fascinating research on why changing someone’s mind is amazingly difficult.

In almost every workplace people complain that it is either too hot or too cold. So how do you make sure you are comfortable no matter where the thermostat says? Listen for a quick and simple secret to feeling just right no matter what the temperature is. 


Why Parking Your Car Is Such a Pain & How Invisible Microbes Shape Your World

SYSK - Drinking coffee in the morning is a pleasant habit for many of us. However, this episode begins by explaining why you might want to smell your coffee as well as drink it to help you think better and be more productive.  

In many metropolitan areas, parking is the number one land use. The U.S. has 4 parking spaces for every car on the road! So why is it so hard to find a spot when you need one? That is what Henry Grabar is here to explain and discuss. Henry is a staff writer at Slate, and author of the book Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World. Listen and you will understand why parking is a much bigger deal than you ever realized.

Microbes are those little tiny organisms that you can’t see without a microscope -things like germs, bacteria, fungi. We have a tendency to think of them as dangerous or things that cause illness and disease. Yet, actually most of them don’t cause any harm and some are even good for you. And by the way, you have trillions of microbes on you and inside of you. Here to take us on a tour into the invisible world of microbes is Jake Robinson Jake is a microbial ecologist and author of the book Invisible Friends: How Microbes Shape our Lives and the World Around Us.

While some people do have food allergies, there aren’t as many as you might think. A lot of people who claim to be allergic to certain foods actually have an intolerance to the food. But that is not an actual allergy. Listen as I explain the difference


Improving Your Digital Body Language & How Food Affected Human Evolution


SYSK - Doctors are supposed to know medical truth from myth. Yet a lot of doctors are misinformed – at least on some things. This episode begins with some information about a survey that showed how many pediatricians believe in some common parenting advice that has been proven to be untrue. Source: Andrew Adesman, M.D. author of Baby Facts.

We all use digital means of communication because it makes it easy to keep in touch with people. Still there are some drawbacks. Often, emails, texts, chats and other electronic messages can be misinterpreted. Erica Dhawan is a speaker and trainer who is author of a book called Digital Body Language. Listen as she explores how to best use digital communication and avoid the missteps that so often happen that can lead to misunderstanding.

The food we eat today is very different than what humans ate when we were hunter gatherers. Today, much of our food is farmed. In fact, farming changed everything as did the development of cooking. Even herbs and spices changed the way we prepare and eat our food. Jonathan Silvertown professor of evolutionary ecology at the University of Edinburgh and author of the book Dinner with Darwin: Food, Drink, and Evolution joins me for an interesting discussion about how our food has changed over our history and what it has done to help humans evolve.

Do you know how often you are supposed to replace things like toothbrushes, pillows or kitchen sponges? Listen to hear some expert advice on when to throw the old one out and bring a new one in. And some of the recommendations may surprise you. 


The Proven Benefits of Having More Fun & How We Tamed Electricity


Wouldn’t it be great if you had a way to turbocharge your will power when you are faced with temptation? Well, you do have such a way. This episode begins with a simple technique that will help you resist whatever is tempting you in the moment and keep you on the straight and narrow. 

Everyone wants to be happy but being happy isn’t something you do, it’s the result of doing something you enjoy. You must first have fun, then happiness follows. This is according to organizational psychologist Mike Rucker author of a book on this called The Fun Habit. Listen as Mike explains why fun is the key to happiness and why so many of us struggle with the idea of just playing and having fun. He reveals how the benefits of incorporating even just a little more fun in your life can be tremendous. Mike also offers some easy strategies to carve out time for fun. And he explains why everyone can and should do that as soon as possible.

The fact that we all have reliable electricity at the flip of a switch is really quite amazing when you think about it. It has only been in the last 120 years or so that having electricity in your home has been the norm. So how did scientists tame this force of nature so that it now powers so much of our lives? Here to tell the story is Kathy Joseph. She holds multiple advanced degrees in physics ad engineering and has a YouTube Channel called Kathy Loves Physics and History. . She is also author of the book The Lightning Tamers: True Stories of the Dreamers and Schemers Who Harnessed Electricity and Transformed Our World.

Whenever you feel down or depressed, it is typically because you are regretting something in your past or you worry about something in your future – or both. Listen as I explain what you can do the next time that happens that should make you feel better in the moment. Source: Dr. Jeffrey Rossman author of The Mind-Body Solution



Our Fascination with Butts & What Makes a Good Apology


The pitch of your voice sends a message. Often when you are nervous or stressed, the pitch goes up and people can tell. This episode begins with some advice on how to tame your voice in stressful situations, so you sound great and are not betrayed by your own voice. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/communications-matter/202101/why-you-need-pitch-your-voice-lower 

Even though we all have one, there does seem to be a cultural mystery and fascination with the human butt. And by the way, only humans have actual butts. So what is it about butts and why do so many people hate the one they have? What makes an attractive butt? Here to shed some light on all this is Heather Radke author of a book that Amazon awarded one of the best books of 2022 – called Butts: A Backstory (https://amzn.to/3IDCndo) 

There will always be times when we need to apologize. And how you deliver that apology can help make things better – or worse. So what is the anatomy of the perfect apology? And what makes a terrible one? To find out, listen to my guest Marjorie Ingall, co-author of the book Sorry, Sorry, Sorry: The Case for Good Apologies (https://amzn.to/3vTllk9).

When you leave a tip at a restaurant, you are sending a message. How much should you leave? What if the service was bad? Listen as I explain some things to consider when deciding how much to leave and why. Source: Steve Dublanica author of Keep The Change (https://amzn.to/3GSS9Qw)



Why Half of Life is a Total Mystery & How The News Affects Us


You have likely noticed that men – and teenage boys – will sometimes act foolishly in front of a pretty women. It is also true that men take more risks if they know a woman is watching. Why do they do that? This episode begins with an evolutionary explanation.  

You probably think the world is fairly predictable and there is probably a good explanation for why things happen. However, that’s not exactly true. For instance, why does one smoker die young while another lives to 100? Why do certain medications work for some people but not others? The answer is – no one knows. Journalist and broadcaster Michael Blastland believes that we need to face the fact that much of how the world works is a total mystery. Michael is the author of a book called The Hidden Half. Listen as he makes the case that there are unforeseen forces that influence much of what happens – and no one can explain it.

News has always been treated as important. If there is a story in the news, it must be a big deal – or it wouldn’t be in the news. When you watch or read the news you get the impression that whatever is being discussed must really matter. But does it? Do people really care about what is in the news? You may be surprised to hear the answer from Rob Brotherton, a psychology and science writer who teaches at Barnard College in New York and is author of the book Bad News: Why We Fall for Fake News. If you watch the news, you will find what he says to be fascinating.

Did you know chocolate is partly responsible for the discovery of the microwave oven? Do you know how much caffeine is in chocolate? And what’s the link between chocolate and acne? Listen as I explain some fascinating facts about chocolate you may not know. 



Easy Ways to Rid Toxins From Your Home & Secrets to Having a Happy Pet

You have likely had the experience of walking into a room for something – and then forgetting why. You probably feel foolish, yet it happens to everyone. What’s the reason? This episode begins with an explanation. 

Should you be concerned about toxins in your home? And if so, how do you get rid of them and where do you even begin? That is what toxicologist Daniella Chace is here to discuss. Daniella works with clients to rid their homes of potential toxic hazards and she has written a book called HomeDetox: Make Your Home a Healthier Place for Everyone Who Lives There. Listen as she offers a systematic approach to start to make your home less toxic.

If you have a pet dog or cat, you have questions – we all do. Here to answer some of the most important and often asked questions about keeping pets happy and healthy is veterinarian Dr. Carol Osborne author of the books, Naturally Healthy Cats and Naturally Healthy Dogs. Every pet owner needs to hear her advice.

Anyone who has felt lonely – REALLY lonely, knows it feels horrible. Almost painful. And that is for a very good reason. Listen as I explain how the pain of loneliness is actually a good thing.  



Harnessing the Voice Inside Your Head & How to Shape a Perfect Meeting

When you see a construction site where there is sandblasting going on, you probably shouldn’t hang around. This episode begins with an explanation of the problem sandblasting poses to anyone nearby. Source: Dr. Paul Blanc author of “How Everyday Products Make People Sick” 

You have a voice inside your head. It talks to you all the time and tells you good things and bad things. It can be a positive coach or a negative critic. Where does that voice come from? How can you use that voice to your advantage? Find out by listening to my guest Ethan Kross. He is an award-winning psychologist, professor at the University of Michigan and author of the book Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It 

While meetings can be good and are often necessary, it does seem that a lot of meetings are a big waste of time. Wouldn’t it be great if you could make meetings better? You absolutely can according to my guest Mamie Kanfer Stewart. She is founder of a company called Meeteor (www.meeteor.com) which helps businesses improve the quality of meetings. Marnie is coauthor of the book Momentum: Creating Effective, Engaging and Enjoyable Meetings. Listen as she offers some easy ways to make your meeting more productive and engaging.

When was the last time you checked your tires – REALLY checked them? You may not realize it, but your tires can lose half of the air in them before they even start to look flat. Having underinflated tires can cause all kinds of problems and cost a lot of money. Listen as I explain those problems and how to prevent them. Source: https://bit.ly/3oYpjmj 



Critical Steps to Quality Sleep & The Secret to Productive Disagreements

Some people tend to over-apologize. They even apologize for things that are not their fault. I start this episode by explaining why we do it and why we need to stop. And when you do have to apologize, I will tell you how. (Source: Harriet Lerner author of the book Why Won’t You Apologize 

Getting enough sleep is far more important than many people realize. It affects your health, mood, performance and longevity. Here to reveal just how important it is and how to make sure you are getting enough sleep is Dr. Jennifer Ashton, chief medical correspondent for ABC-TV and author of the book, The Self-Care Solution.

Arguments and disagreements can be interesting, even fiery but often they are just an exercise in futility. That may be because we are approaching the process of arguing all wrong. Julia Dhar is a partner at Boston Consulting Group and author of the book The Decision Maker’s Playbook. Listen as she offers some fascinating research on disagreements and some excellent strategies to use when you get into an argument so that the conversation is actually productive – or at the very least not destructive.

Wash, condition, rinse. That’s the order of how you probably wash your hair. So what if you changed up the order a bit? Listen as I explain why that may be a good thing for your hair.



Inventions That Changed Your World & How to Make Better Love and Money Decisions

Why are they called marshmallows? Where did the name Spam come from? Is there alligator in Gatorade? This episode begins with the interesting origins of some iconic foods.

Certain inventions throughout history have had a dramatic effect on how we all view the world. The mirror, photography, television, and the smartphone (amongst others) have all significantly altered how we see ourselves and our place on the planet. Listen to this intriguing tale as told by my guest Susan Denham Wade author of the book A History of Seeing in Eleven Inventions

Decisions about love and money are often the most difficult ones to make and ones we often get wrong. How can we improve our chances of making better love and money decisions? That is what Myra Strober is here to reveal. Myra is a labor economist, Professor Emerita at Stanford University and author of the book Money and Love: An Intelligent Roadmap for Life’s Biggest Decisions

From the time you were a child you have likely been told to stand up straight and suck in your gut. Part of that advice is good but the other part isn’t. Listen as I explain why.