TLTP 010 – Mind Your Head

Relax, breathe, be present, and accept the thoughts which enter your mind… while listening to this month’s episode of The Last Tuesday Project.

Our Guest Tuesday this month is Simon, a rationalist, skeptic, curry fan, and all-round-nice-guy. Also, like Shaun, Hayley, and Alex, has some experience with the theme of this month’s episode.

As Mental Health Awareness Week is coming up in May, we decided that this month’s theme would be mental health. Shaun takes the Dimbleby role whether there is any evidence for mindfulness meditation as a treatment for depression. We talk about the potential harms of mindfulness meditation, our experiences with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Plus, rockstar Hayley sings us into the episode.

 

Don’t forget that we’ll be releasing our Extra TWOsday companion episode on Tuesday 9th May 2017, on the theme of mental health, plus the usual levels of irreverent conversation.

 

Not listened to the most recent TWOsday companion episode? Listen to our thoughts on various conspiracy theories (Lost Cosmonauts, dead Paul McCartney and dead Avril Lavigne) and Neil Young’s Pono, all on Episode 009a.

 

Want to get in touch? We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Or, you can email us at podcast@lasttuesdayproject.com.

 

This month’s icon uses a drawing of Indian saint and yogi Mahavatar Babaji from Wikimedia Commons.

With huge thanks, as usual, to Strong4Life for the use of his music.
Check out this episode!

TLTP 009a – The Vinyl Solution

Welcome to The Last Tuesday Project‘s first companion episode!

This episode is directly link to March 2017’s Episode 9 – The Vinyl Countdown. It includes sections not in the original episode, some of which are related to the subject of vinyl. Other sections… not so much.

Subjects covered include:

Plus, Tom Eastwood makes an appearance like some sort of hip hop Beetlejuice to give his unique opinion on all things audio.

With huge thanks, as always, to Strong4Life for the use of his music.
Check out this episode!

TLTP 009 – The Vinyl Countdown

Welcome to the new, gripping, thrilling, exciting episode of The Last Tuesday Project. And, vinylly, we can reveal our next topic.

But first, we’re happy to welcome our first Guest Tuesday! Kirioth runs a YouTube channel dedicated to the delights of video gaming. He was an absolute delight, and we’re certain you’ll enjoy the episode even more with his added presence.

This episode Hayley asks Alex and Kiri whether vinyl really is better than CD. We attempt to put aside our own personal biases, and discuss technicalities of sound, mastering, ritual, hipsters, and pure retro-love.

This month’s icon is based on an image from Wikimedia Commons, and was vectorised by Alex Brown.

With huge thanks, as usual, to Strong4Life for the use of his music.
Check out this episode!

TLTP 008 – Humdinger

Welcome to Episode 8 of The Last Tuesday Project, a subtle blend of irreverence and inanity, masquerading as some sort of podcast.

Alex takes on the mantle of Dimbleby this month, managing to convince Hayley and Shaun to research the Windsor Hum. We talk about industrial noise, blast furnaces, government cover-ups, the ghost of Marvin Gaye, and fish sexytimes.

Yes, really.

This month’s icon is from page 276 of ‘Metallurgy. The art of extracting metals from their ores, and adapting them to various purposes of manufacture, etc’, from the British Library collection on Flickr.

 

With huge thanks, as usual, to Strong4Life for the use of his music.
Check out this episode!

TLTP 007 – Thanks For The Mammaries

Welcome to Episode 7 of The Last Tuesday Project, where we can clearly see that 2017 has neatly picked up from where 2016 left off.

Shaun is our Dimbleby this month. When Alex, David, and Hayley veto the first question on cultural appropriation, we’re left with a very interesting question about breast cancer screening. We discuss whether screening actually prevents deaths, clarify the difference between screening and diagnosis, and consider Nu Truth.

This month’s icon is the X-Ray Room at the Kitchener Hospital, from the British Library’s photo archive on Flickr.

With huge thanks to Strong4Life for the use of his music.
Check out this episode!

TLTP 006 – None The Wiser

Welcome to Episode 6 of The Last Tuesday Project, where we celebrate Christmas the only way we know how – to “intellectually” dissect it.

This month Hayley takes the Dimbleby role, asking Alex, David, and Hannah, about the three gifts brought by the three wise men to that wee bairn, the Baby Jesus. Will gold help you feel indestructible? And what the hell are frankincense and myrrh anyway?!

Plus, David gives us some corrections for last month’s episode on US politics.

With huge thanks to Strong4Life for the use of his music.
Check out this episode!

TLTP 005 – Trump Means Trump

Welcome to Episode 5 of The Last Tuesday Project, where a group of Brits show up their countryfolk and prove how clueless they actually are. And this episode is no exception.

This month David takes the role of Dimbleby and gets Hayley, Alex, and Shaun discussing the American Electoral College. What is its purpose? How democratic is the system? Is it possible to game the system? And where does this whole thing leave President Elect Donald Trump and former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton? Plus, are Americans allowed to do what they like with the limbs of bears?

With huge thanks to Strong4Life for the use of his music.
Check out this episode!

Tuesday Recommendation: The Cochrane Collaboration

Tuesday Recommendation: The Cochrane Collaboration

Our Tuesday Recommendations series of blog posts aims to tell you about which sources we think are reliable, and how best to use them.

 

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What is the Cochrane Collaboration?

Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health.

They are not-for-profit, multi-national, and are widely regarded as one of the most reliable sources of healthcare information

Why do we like them?

Not all medical evidence is alike; some is worth more salt than others. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses, when done well, are the best of the bunch when it comes to evidence. The idea is that by gathering, assessing, and merging all available evidence, you see the fullest picture possible, and smooth out any erroneous results.

The Cochrane Collaboration do this sort of evidence, and they do it well. They’re independent, very thorough, and open with their methods. You can tell that you can trust a Cochrane Review because they publish exactly what they have done right there in every review.

Cochrane Reviews are a health researcher’s dream- so much so that I even once wrote a prayer about them. Finding one which answers your question exactly pretty much feels like finding the holy grail.

 

Furthermore, they seem committed to seeking out new and innovative ways to provide their advice in simple, understandable ways. Their Evidently Cochrane blog is a stunning example of how complicated, dull trial data can be transformed into something easy-to-understand and engaging, without being patronising. From using Lego to illustrate their data to their nifty social media summaries, they really are doing all that they can to make their evidence friendlier.

They also have an overwhelming library of podcasts.

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An example of Cochrane being creative- using Lego to describe how well a screening test for dementia works

 

What are the downsides?

The main downside to Cochrane Reviews is that they can be very long and intimidating. For example, their full review of ‘gabapentin for chronic neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia in adults’ is 124 pages long.

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Don’t let that put you off though. Only a very, very small minority of people need or want that level of detail, and Cochrane have provided a few ways to get around that.

Firstly, they provide their reviews in three different formats: a summary, a standard version, and then the big, lumbering full version. And Secondly, they provide a plain language summary for every one of their reviews, and they’re marvellous. These will boil down all of those 100-odd pages into the top-line, need-to-know information

Another sort-of problem is that, because they are multinational, you may find information on medicines or treatments that aren’t available in your country. That can also be a huge strength, of course.

 

What sort of questions can they answer?

Cochrane covers a huge variety of healthcare topics. Some examples include:

  • How well does a medicine work for a disease?
  • How well does a medicine compare to other medicines commonly used for a disease?
  • Does screening for illnesses work?
  • What public health measures work to reduce risks of a illness?
  • What type of surgery is the best for a condition?

 

They also cover medical devices, alternative and complementary medicine, and absolutely loads of other stuff (at time of writing, their most popular review is ‘Does chewing gum after a caesarean section lead to quicker recovery of bowel function’!)

TLTP 004 – Acting Directly

Welcome to the fourth episode of The Last Tuesday Project. Each month, this gaggle of rag-tag ruffians meet up to discuss one topic. Only one of us knows what that topic will be, and we get just one hour to research it. The outcome is a podcast full of laughs, stories, facts and tips on how to dig deeper.

This month, Alex, Hayley, Hannah, Shaun, and David veto a question on psychology and take a look at direct action activism. We talk about striking, Greenpeace, and the definition of “effective.”
Check out this episode!

Continue?

The format of the Last Tuesday Project takes some inspiration from a Youtube gaming channel called “Continue?”

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The premise of the channel is simple: three chaps play a retro video game for a short period of time, usually 15- 20 mins or so. Their goal isn’t to provide their viewers with a full review of the game, or to definitively decide whether it’s a good or bad game. Instead, they make a decision as to whether or not they would want to continue playing the game. 

 

That’s a really important, yet often forgotten concept. None of us have the time or energy to research every topic to the point where we have a full and detailed knowledge of the subject, but it’s sometimes important to take a few minutes out to consider whether or not you want to know more.

 

“I’m not sure, but I’d really like to find out” is a legitimate answer, arguably  just as valuable as “Yes, this is definitely true” or “no, that’s utter bollocks” – perhaps more valuable (and more mature), as it acknowledges depth and nuance.

 

With just an hour of research time, it’s really easy to feel pretty overwhelmed. We worry a little that we won’t take in the information properly, that we’re looking for the wrong thing, that we’re not finding the best sources in the limited time available. But the important thing is really to plant the seed. To give us, and you, the enthusiasm to want to keep looking, and to show you that, even in such a limited time frame, that seed can be planted.

 

We recorded our fourth episode last night. Most of us were really, really tired after a long weekend at the QED conference. We had planned to record while we were there, but we couldn’t find the time. We’d had pretty stressful journeys home, and we all seemed to just be having one of those days. There were lost wedding rings, missed trains, traffic jams, floods and of course obligatory technical problems.

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However, we finished up the recording enthusiastic and with a longing to know more about a subject we probably wouldn’t have really considered otherwise. We discovered a real treasure trove of fascinating stories, dressed up as something quite mundane.

 

And that is something really awesome.

 

Hayley