The Reality Check
Canada's weekly podcast that explores a wide range of controversies and curiosities using science and critical thinking.

With the Festivus upon us, Darren and Adam hand the reins of the sleigh over to Pat and Cristina for the fifth annual holiday show. The duo share the inside scoop behind this year’s parodies plus other highlights including the panel’s recommendations of stuff to watch, read or listen to (see the show notes!).  Extra bonus in your stocking is an excerpt from Dr. Ken Milne’s Skeptic’s Guide to Emergency Medicine Podcast. After recently guesting on TRC where he mentions the Spinach, Popeye, Iron and Decimal Error Story (SPIDES), Ken gets an interesting email from listener Bob Edmonds who he then invites on his podcast to help set the record straight. A huge thank you to all the ‘Checkers out there for listening every week. Have a safe and happy holiday!

Direct download: TRC_381.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:45pm EST

On this week’s show we have lots of questions!  First Cristina looks into a viral video claiming that Starbucks hates Christmas.  Next Darren wonders when the common cold is contagious.  Lastly Adam examines a second viral video, claiming to be an interview with Stanley Kubrick where he admits to faking moon landings.

Direct download: TRC_380.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:54am EST

On this week’s show, tis the season for Darren to revisit charitable giving and effective donations. Pat fills us in on an email from a TRC’er who asks us to break down premium vs regular gas. Finally, Adam channels his inner Elf to enlighten us on Santa’s not-so-secret spy.

Direct download: TRC_379.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:03am EST

TRC is in the house! This week, Darren takes us for a spin to explore the ethical dilemma of self-driving cars. Adam takes a peek into the growing trend of Adult Colouring Books and their potential health benefits. (No, not that kind of adult colouring book.) Finally, Cristina mouths off about how clever marketing made bad breath sound like a medical condition.

Direct download: TRC_378.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:26am EST

Not even a power failure can stop the TRC crew!  First Cristina examines unethical experiments that ended up changing medicine.  Next, Pat runs the crew through a game of “Name That” where the goal is to “game it.”   Lastly, Adam wonders why people didn’t smile in old photographs.  

Direct download: TRC_377.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:32am EST

TRC do it live!  This week’s show was recorded in front of a live audience at Skepticamp Ottawa.  First Darren takes a look at recent headlines suggesting that a study has found religious children are less altruistic than their nonreligious counterparts.   Next Adam bites into claims that euthanized dogs and cats are showing up in commercial pet foods.  

Direct download: TRC_376.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:37pm EST

Pat kicks off this week’s show by reflecting on TRC listeners, future projects and ways to support the show.   Next, Darren brings us one of his trademark philosophical segments with an exploration of immortality.   Lastly Cristina takes a look at bloodletting.  Is that still a thing?

Direct download: TRC_375.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:45am EST

G’day TRC’ers!  On this week’s show, Pat takes a look at a recent U.S. government report to give us an update on Conversion Therapy. Cristina goes down under to investigate whether the Australian accent was influenced by their drunk forefathers. Finally, Adam applies the scientific method to see if vampires could get drunk from drinking a drunk person’s blood.

Direct download: TRC_374.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:40pm EST

BOO! This week, Darren looks closely into the reporting around the recent published study from WHO’s cancer agency (IARC) regarding links between cancer and the consumption of red and processed meat. Adam applies logic to break down the science of Gremlins. Finally, Cristina takes on another controversial post on Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle blog Goop suggesting wearing a bra causes cancer.

Direct download: TRC_373.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:11am EST

Emergency medical doctor Ken Milne and host of The Skeptic’s Guide to Emergency Medicine podcast is a totally gnarly dude! He takes time out to join the panel and talk about the knowledge translation project which he founded. Pat teaches us all a few things with a riveting game of Name That featuring Nobel Prize trivia. Finally, Darren gives us a spirited segment by looking into whether people in China are stealing corpses for ghost weddings.

Direct download: TRC_372.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:07am EST