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Adam Ruins Everything

First, on the Adam Ruins Everything TV show, Adam Conover broke down widespread misconceptions about everything we take for granted. Now, join Adam as he sits down with the experts and stars from the show to go into even more detail.
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Adam Ruins Everything
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Sep 20, 2017
When it comes to gambling, there's a perception people get addicted because there's always that glimmer of hope they can hit the big jackpot. But according to our podcast guest, Natasha Dow Schüll, many gamblers, and more specifically many slot machine gamblers, get addicted because they're in the "zone" - the feeling players describe when they're completely absorbed in a game. They don't really care about winning; rather they want to escape the world and become subsumed in their game.
 
Natasha, who appeared on Adam Ruins Vacations, says casinos also facilitate this addiction by designing the most optimal gambling experience which keeps gamblers playing...and playing...and playing. This ranges from the perambulant layout of the casinos themselves to the ergonomic design of the slot machine chairs, to the games' false wins that create an illusion of winning. Casinos are now even taking advantage of big data systems which track users' gambling preferences to incentivize players to stay in their chairs as long as possible. Like most other serious addictions, gambling addiction has dangerous ramifications; it can lead to divorce, bankruptcy, jail time and even suicide, so it's important that these casinos are monitored in some fashion.
 

Natasha is a cultural anthropologist and associate professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. She is also the author of Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas.

 

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.

Sep 13, 2017

We'll be back next week with a brand new Adam Ruins Everything podcast episode. Thanks for tuning in!

Aug 30, 2017
For decades women have been told that they should start getting yearly mammograms at age 35. We think of it as a no-brainer, and mammograms do save lives. But their effects are much more complicated than we originally anticipated. Dr. Joann Elmore, who appeared on Adam Ruins Hospitals, explains how doctors can do a better job communicating the facts with their patients about mammograms. One in ten women who receive their annual screenings are routinely called back for additional testing. This is part of the screening process in the United States, and a failure to communicate that with patients can cause unnecessary anxiety. Furthermore, many women are also overdiagnosed, meaning they might have cancer but it may not be the aggressive kind and we should discuss appropriate treatment accordingly. Joann recommends that women begin talking to their doctors about breast cancer and mammograms slightly in their 40s and begin routine mammograms, meaning at least every two years, between ages 50-74.
 
Dr. Joann Elmore is a professor of medicine and adjunct professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington, as well as an affiliate investigator with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Group Health Research Institute. She is joined by her colleague Dr. Janie Lee, who is an Associate Professor of Radiology and the Section Chief of Breast Imaging at the University of Washington.
 

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.

Aug 16, 2017
We've all done it. Corrected someone for saying 'literally' when they weren't being literal or for saying 'good' instead of 'well'. Professor Anne Curzan, who is this week's podcast guest, says it's normal to notice dialectical differences between different communities but we shouldn't shame people for talking as they do.


Anne, who appeared on Adam Ruins What We Learned in School, explains how grammar rules are not fixed in the English language. Language is constantly evolving and we’re the ones who get to shape it -- not dictionaries! So we can all stop correcting each other and just appreciate our different ways of speaking. On the podcast, Anne and Adam discuss how we should think of the dictionary as a field guide rather than the authority on language, how young people think about language and texting, and how Anne helped choose 2000's word of the millennium! Anne is an English Professor at the University of Michigan where she researches the history of English and lexicography. She is also a member of both the American Heritage Dictionary’s Usage Panel and the American Dialectical Society.

 


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.

Aug 2, 2017
It's rare to hear about a researcher from the National Institute of Health collaborating with a reality TV show. But that's exactly what Dr. Kevin Hall, a clinical researcher at the NIH, did after watching episodes of The Biggest Loser. Kevin's lab investigates how metabolism and the brain adapt in response to a variety of interventions to diet and physical activity. After watching the cast lose dramatic amounts of weight over the show's season, he wondered how that affected their long-term health.
 
Kevin actually visited the set of The Biggest Loser to monitor the contestants' health and six years later, he brought the former contestants to the NIH to research how their body adjusted since the competition. He found they surprisingly maintained a very low metabolic rate even though they regained most of their lost weight. So even if you have the incredible willpower to shed those pounds, it's ultimately really difficult to maintain that weight loss. What we can do is be more forgiving of ourselves and relieve some of the pressure to diet.

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.

Jul 19, 2017
One of the most controversial topics is whether mothers breastfeed their babies versus formula feed. In a society that is so obsessed with being natural and organic, formula feeding is seen as unhealthy and irresponsible. In fact, the benefits of breastfeeding as compared to formula feeding are pretty marginal.
 
Courtney Jung, who appeared on Adam Ruins Having a Baby, discussed the myths behind breastfeeding and formula feeding on the TV show. Now she's on the podcast to get rid of formula feeding guilt once and for all! Courtney is a Political Science professor at the University of Toronto and the author of Lactivism: How Feminists and Fundamentalists, Hippies and Yuppies and Politicians Made Breastfeeding Big Business and Bad Policy.
 

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.

 

 

Jul 5, 2017
Jackie Stevens, a Political Theory Professor at Northwestern University, has seen first-hand how detention centers and immigration courts violate every assumption we have about how a fair justice system is supposed to work. Contrary to many people's assumptions, immigration courts are part of the executive branch, instead of the judicial branch like our other courts. That means they're not subject to the same due process, like having a jury and requiring public defenders. On the podcast Jackie describes how the system can even fail U.S. citizens; she tells the long and winding case of U.S. citizen Mark Lyttle who got trapped in the system and was erroneously deported to Mexico. Whatever your political stance may be, it's pretty clear this system fails not only the most vulnerable living in our country but even our very own citizens.
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.

Jun 21, 2017
On Adam Ruins Hollywood, Pete Hammond explained how behind every award show is a whole lot of campaigning. TV networks can spend between two to four million dollars on 'For Your Consideration' shipping costs alone. Pete now joins us on the podcast today to tell us how far TV networks go to campaign for their shows and how on-demand networks like Netflix and Amazon are flushing the Academies with cash and changing the entertainment industry.
 
Pete is the Awards Columnist for Deadline Hollywood, where he covers the Oscar and Emmy Seasons. Before joining Deadline, he was a regular contributing awards columnist for the online and print editions of The Los Angeles Times.
 
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.

 
Jun 7, 2017
Professor Jean Twenge appears on the upcoming season two premiere of the Adam Ruins Everything TV show called Adam Ruins Having a Baby. But the reason Jean's on this week's podcast is to talk about something very different: generations.
 
Last year Adam gave a talk called 'Millenials Don't Exist', which sought to prove generational narratives can be inaccurate and reductive. The presentation actually referred to Jean's career-long work on the subject matter and may have made some jokes at her expense. 
 
A year later, when Adam and his team were researching on Adam Ruins Having a Baby, they came across Jean's work in a very different context - she's conducted extensive research on fertility patterns for women in their later 30s. So they invited her to be an expert on the TV show! While she and Adam were on set, they discussed their differences on generations and decided to continue the conversation on the podcast.
 
Jean is a psychology professor at San Diego State University and is the author of Generation Me and the upcoming iGen.
 

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.

 

 

May 24, 2017
On season one of the Adam Ruins Everything TV show, Hayley Marie Norman played Adam's foil and budding love interest until she faced her untimely TV death in the season finale. But on this week's podcast, Hayley is back! And she's just as charming in person as she is on the show.
 
On the episode, the two talk about Hayley's successful career, from getting discovered by Cindy Crawford to her stint on Deal or No Deal, and how Hayley's TV death made her consider her mortality.
 
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.

 
May 10, 2017
Dr. Josh Sharfstein has been working for decades to keep Americans safe - he's the guy who took Four Loko off the market and ensured transparency at the FDA. He also appeared on Adam Ruins Shopping Malls and told us all about the shadiness of herbal supplements. Josh is the Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Previously, Josh served as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Principal Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City, and as health policy advisor for Congressman Henry A. Waxman.
 
On the TV show, Josh discussed how herbal supplements are completely unregulated by the FDA and can sometimes be dangerous! But because Josh is such a leading figure in the public health world, Adam dove into other topics with him - like his work to bring down drug prices in Louisiana and transform the hospital payment system in Maryland.
 
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.
 
Apr 26, 2017
Death is one of the hardest things to talk about, but our guest today encourages us to get real about the end. Bud Hammes joins us on today's episode to discuss his work with advanced care planning - the idea that as we get older, we should have discussions with our doctors and our loved ones on how we want to end our lives. Having such systems in place not only gives us control over our deaths but it also clarifies our final wishes for our family and friends. 
 
Bud is one of the foremost thought leaders on advanced care planning. In his hometown of La Crosse, Wisconsin alone, some 96 percent of people who die there have some sort of advance directive. On the episode, Adam and Bud discuss what constitutes a 'good death', the potential misuses of these planning processes, and its success in La Crosse and cities across the country.
 
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
Apr 12, 2017
As our country is mired in a nation-wide housing crisis right now, we decided to dive into one of the many causes of this crisis: short-term rental companies like Airbnb. On this week's podcast, Roy Samaan of LAANE, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, tells us how shady landlords can use Airbnb to buy up multiple housing units in neighborhoods and lease them at much higher prices on the website, which drives up the prices of entire neighborhoods. And because these rentals are so much more expensive than the original rental prices, these renters can also let these units sit vacant for months without filling them, preventing new tenants from having access to affordable housing and moving into these neighborhoods.
 
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.
Mar 29, 2017
Today's Adam Ruins Everything podcast guest is the go-to person when it comes to internet infrastructure: Susan Crawford. Susan is a professor at Harvard Law School and the author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age and the co-author of The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance.
 
On the podcast Susan tells us why the internet in the U.S. isn't as good as it should be; it's much slower than many other countries around the world because our cable conglomerates can control markets around the country. And unfortunately, these are leaving many of our communities in the technology dark ages. Susan tells Adam what we can do to promote internet infrastructure and how she's already seen that activism first-hand around the country.
 
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.
Mar 15, 2017
If you wear clothes, you're going to love this Adam Ruins Everything podcast. Our guest, Professor Laura McAndrews, appeared on Adam Ruins Shopping Malls where she discussed the deceptions surrounding outlets malls. But on the podcast, Laura really goes into depth about the inner-workings of fast fashion. And she would know - she lived it!
 
Laura worked in retail for years, primarily for Gap and Urban Outfitters. She traveled to factories all over the world to oversee fashion production. The clothes might have been cute, but the rest wasn't pretty. Laura recalls many of these experiences on the podcast - from noticing the poor construction of these clothes to the awful working conditions for the factory workers. Eventually, Laura left fashion for academia. She now teaches textiles, merchandising and interiors at the University of Georgia, and she encourages her students to speak up about working conditions once they enter the workforce.
 
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.
Mar 1, 2017
So much of what we've seen on TV and film about the Wild West depicts the rugged cowboy who is always ready for a showdown. But the Wild West was much more nuanced than that. In fact, many of the towns in the Wild West thrived because of the women who ran the towns - specifically women in the prostitution industry. While prostitution was at times extremely dangerous, it also gave women economic agency which was rare for the period. It allowed them to build brothels, schools, and stores and even yield political influence in the region.
 
Jan MacKell Collins, who appeared on Adam Ruins The Wild Westjoins us on this week's episode to unpack this 'not so polite' (although just as crucial) section of our history books. Jan is the author of six books and is the contributor to Backwoodsman Magazine, Colorado Central Magazine, Frontier Gazette and True West Magazine.
 
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.
Feb 15, 2017

From the push to build a border wall to the recent executive order temporarily banning immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, there are so many emotions associated with the current immigration policy proposals. But what are the real facts regarding immigration history in this country? And what are immigrants'  actual impacts on our society? Today we try to answer those questions with our guest Professor Doug Massey.

Doug is a Princeton Sociology Professor who appeared on Adam Ruins Immigration. His research focuses on international migration, race and housing, discrimination, education, urban poverty, and Latin America, especially Mexico. On the episode, Doug and Adam discuss the negative net migration flow of immigrants coming into United States from Mexico, the United States' reliance on migrant labor, and what reasonable immigration policy looks like.

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.

 
Feb 15, 2017

From the push to build a border wall to the recent executive order temporarily banning immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, there are so many emotions associated with the current immigration policy proposals. But what are the real facts regarding immigration history in this country? And what are immigrants'  actual impacts on our society? Today we try to answer those questions with our guest Professor Doug Massey.

Doug is a Princeton Sociology Professor who appeared on Adam Ruins Immigration. His research focuses on international migration, race and housing, discrimination, education, urban poverty, and Latin America, especially Mexico. On the episode, Doug and Adam discuss the negative net migration flow of immigrants coming into United States from Mexico, the United States' reliance on migrant labor, and what reasonable immigration policy looks like.

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.

 
Feb 1, 2017
On Adam Ruins Hollywood, Adam shattered the facade of awards shows, red carpets, and reality TV. So now that we're steeped in the awards show season, we brought Rachel Bloom onto the podcast, who appeared on the TV show, and is a red carpet expert! She is the Star and Co-Creator of the fantastic CW show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which actually won her a Golden Globe last year. Rachel tells us what really goes on at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards - how red carpets are really a marketing strategy for fashion designers and how campaigning for awards is integral to the awards show process.

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.

Jan 18, 2017
On the Adam Ruins Everything podcast, Adam typically brings experts who appeared on the TV show to further expand on the arguments they make on the show. But during the off-season of the TV show, we thought we'd try something new. We are going to start bringing guests onto the show who may or may not have appeared on the show, but who are just as thoughtful and groundbreaking in their work.
 
Today's guest is Jonathan Blow, the indie game developer who is best known as the creator of Braid and The Witness. In The Witness, which was released last year to rave reviews, a player walks around a picturesque island solving complex puzzles. The puzzles themselves are not only incredibly challenging and quite philosophical, but they're almost a glimpse into the highly intelligent mind of Jonathan himself. Jonathan attended the University of California at Berkeley, and worked several jobs including Game Developer Magazine, before releasing Braid in 2008.On the podcast, Jonathan and Adam discuss The Witness at length... including, SPOILER ALERT, the solutions to puzzles and the game's ending! (Don't worry, spoilers will be clearly marked, so you have time to pause.) Within the game, they discuss architecture's role in gaming, how the game raises questions about religion and the self, and much more. If you're planning on playing the game, we encourage you to pause the episode before it gets spoilery and play the game yourself before finishing the episode.
Jan 4, 2017
On the season finale of Adam Ruins Everything, Adam ruins 'going green', the idea that individual choices such as recycling, driving hybrid cars, or reusing plastic bags are not enough to combat climate change. Today's podcast guest, Dale Jamieson, who appeared on Adam Ruins Going Green, says those choices on their own will not stop global warming and instead we need to make larger, systemic changes and work together with other countries to curb our carbon emissions.
 
Dale is a Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy and Chair of the Environmental Studies Department at New York University. On the podcast, he and Adam discuss why individual choices of going green are ineffective, the actual science of the global temperature increases and its implications, and what the incoming administration means for the United States' role in fighting climate change.
 

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.

Dec 21, 2016
Just say no...to the War on Drugs! On this week's Adam Ruins Everything, we talk to Sheriff John Urquhart who appeared on the Drugs episode of the TV show. John is the sheriff for all of King County, Washington, which includes Seattle. He has seen the War on Drugs' failures firsthand as an undercover narcotics investigator and has since developed views on the drug crisis that are refreshing for a law enforcement officer. On this week's episode, Adam and Sheriff Urquhart discuss the implications of the heroin epidemic in the country, the racialization of the War on Drugs, the controversial idea of safe injection sites, and much more.
 
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.
 
Dec 7, 2016
While you're using the internet to stream this podcast, Adam and this week's guest Ethan Zuckerman are talking about how we're actually ruining the internet. Things are getting meta here. Ethan, who appeared on Adam Ruins the Internet, is a fascinating person who has studied the internet and its affects for years. He's currently the director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, and associate professor of the practice in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab. His research focuses on the distribution of attention in mainstream and new media, the use of technology for international development, and the use of new media technologies by activists.
 
On the podcast, Adam and Ethan discuss how people are the products of free services like Facebook and Google, not the consumers. They also go into Ethan's early days working at Tripod where he invented the pop-up ad, and why we need more weirdness like the hamster dance on the internet.
 
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.
Nov 23, 2016
On this week's podcast Adam talks to Daryl Atkinson, who appeared on not one but two episodes of Adam Ruins Everything the TV show - Adam Ruins Voting and Adam Ruins Prison! Daryl is a Staff Attorney for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, but he's currently on leave with them to work with the Department of Justice to work with the Obama administration on criminal justice reform. 
 
Daryl has a fascinating personal story. He was convicted of a non-violent drug offense, spent forty months in prison, and went on to get his bachelor and law degrees. Now he is eligible to practice law in two states, travels all around the country on behalf of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, but he still can't even vote in his home state of Alabama. On the podcast, Daryl and Adam discuss felony disenfranchisement and other rights that are stripped away from the formerly incarcerated, the ban the box policy, and how privilege and specifically white privilege play into the war on drugs.
 

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.
 

Nov 11, 2016

On this week's podcast, Adam and guest Rosie Cooney discuss how trophy hunting can actually preserve wild species. It sounds insane and paradoxical, but countries that actually manage trophy hunting well can save species like rhinos from extinction. Rosie, who appeared on Adam Ruins Animals, is chair of the IUCN's Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP)/Species Survival Commission (SSC) Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group. On the podcast, she and Adam discuss how trophy hunting can benefit conservation efforts, where it works and where it has failed, and whether there's hope for wild species.

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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