Disney Magic and Personality Tests

Are we killing Disney's magic? And why do we take personality tests? [18:02]

This week, Aaron and Joey talk about Avengers End Game (no spoilers), The Pixar Theory, retro-futurism, MBTI, the Chinese Zodiac, and enneagrams. They don't talk about the beautiful world of grit size.


Nutrition and Multi-Level Marketing

Why are we so dumb when it comes to nutrition? And why are MLMs a thing? [20:22]

This week, a very hoarse Jess, special guest Steven, and Joey talk about whole milk, Big Sugar, Whole30Steaks, Rodan and Fields, hustle, and small business success rates. We don't talk about which is superior between plastic or glass food storage containers (but if you need a recommendation, we'd trust the research).


"Men" by Hollywood and Deep Work

About what men isn't Hollywood writing? And how do we design a more focused work environment? [23:50]

This week, Aaron and Joey talk about somebody they made up named "Noah Centino" who's perpetually in a hot tub, "YA (Young Adult) Cinema", "the Man Box," "the Slack-ening," "Slow Thinking," and "WFH because productivity." They don't talk (much) about how Alex Contell makes his show debut as Corrections Department Officer.

Speaking of, please send all Corrections Department corrections and/or Critical Nonsense love sonnets to criticalnonsense@sylvainlabs.com! We want to hear from you.


Professional Oversharing and Selling-Out

How much "I" is TMI at work? And what does it mean to sell-out in 2019?

This week, special guest Ilana and Joey talk about being tired, vulnerable leadership, embarrassing yourself, "sponcon," The Chopra-Jonas Wedding, and FitTea. They don't talk about how the best kind of Doritos is actually Roulette.


Rewriting Words and Taking Offense

Why do we rewrite perfectly good words? And what is the power of offense? [18:50]

This week, "Captain of Efficiency" Aaron and Joey talk about idioms, Shakespeare, Backpfeifengesicht, monoculture, sh*t, and emotional vigilance. They don't talk about some of the rewritten words in this episode: sportsball, netherspaces, megaword, gajillion, and battlestargalactokaybai.


Froebel Gifts, or Fröbelgaben.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

Thanks 30 Rock for bringing us "mind grapes"

Irshad Manji: "It's Time to Teach Young People How to Stop Being So Offended"

Funny Women at Work and Eyebrows

Why can't women be funny at work? And what drives our latest beauty obsessions? [15:57]

This week, Joey, Jess, and special guest Katie talk about work playfulness, foraging, knee-slappers, Korean eyebrow masks, the beauty obsession pendulum, and Malala Yousafzai's perfect unibrow. They don't talk about the technical terms for 18th century "butt shelf" pads: "bums," "bumrolls," "rumps," or "culs."


HBR: "Making jokes during a presentation helps men but hurts women"

The VIA Signature Strengths Test

Yes, 'Rogaine for Eyelashes' brand Latisse in rare cases *has* turned eyelashes .

Vogue: "100 years of brows."

Tweezerman's lifetime guarantee of free sharpening.

Safe Travel and Our Hero Obsession

How do you travel when you only feel safe at home? And what is the appeal of a hero? [18:12]

This week, Aaron and Joey talk about feelings that conflict with safety facts, getting struck by lightning, Aaron's tips for venturing into uncharted territory, Zion Williamson, the hero's burden, and Han Solo (sort of). They don't talk about the great foremother of the "Cone of Possibility": the rather technical "Cone of Uncertainty".


Max Roser from Oxford on data vis around the world.

NYTimes on women traveling alone.

The delightful background on Jim Dolan and the Knicks Jess was talking about is from Reply All #137 Fool's Trade.

Emotional Contagion and Meeting Online

What is our responsibility with our emotion? And how are we dealing with the reality that nowadays, everyone meets online?[19:00]

This week, Jess, Joey, and special guest Steven talk about feelings as a virus, male emotion, choosing joy, serendipity engines, Joey's Meet Cute, and how the algorithm knows your type. They don't talk about the power ranking of modern dating apps.


NPR on the contagion of anger.

The Stretching Relationship Timeline and one of the associated Stanford source studies.

Plugs this week: The Link newsletter and that dating app, Ship.

Rulebreakers and Video Game Movies

What do the rules we break say about us? And why are video-game movie adaptations so bad? [21:00]

This week, Joey and Aaron talk about Montessori school, spam calls, rebellious doctors, The Witcher, Harry Potter, and maybe too much Milla Jovovich. They don't talk about the cringe-worthy nonsense that are this—and most of our other—post-credits cookies.


The Atlantic (not Quartz) on the teens and Google docs.

That video about moral injury.

Dying Influence and The Value of College

What will influence look like in 2020? And what’s so valuable about the institution of college? [20:28]

This week, Joey and special guest host Hawa talk about American Meme, status, "piercing the veil," the recent admissions scandal, German craft schools, and meritocracy. They don't talk about their SAT scores.


NYTimes: the college admissions cheating scandal.

Hasan Minhaj on college admissions.

"Trigger Warning with Killer Mike"

Neighbors and Becoming Old

How does one be a neighbor? And when are we old? [18:56]

This week, Joey and Aaron talk about segways, friendship, moving in, being old longer, feeling old younger, and Boston Dynamics' Spot. They don't talk about the sheer quantity of fence types we missed: electric, wrought iron, pool, chickenwire, garden, vinyl panel, the list goes on.


Vox on Housing and Adult Friendship.

See the headless dog robot for yourself.

NYTimes: being "The Elder" and the retreat for dealing with becoming old.

Cancelling Artists and Social Media

When should we "cancel" an artist? And how long should we put up with the negatives of social media? [18:57]

This week, Aaron and Joey talk about Michael Jackson, redirecting royalties, Picasso, Facebook moderators, flat-earthers, and internet librarians. They don't talk about how "cancelling" by this use has not yet made it into Merriam Webster.


Clips from Leaving Neverland (and presumably, much more to come on the internet).

What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men? Claire Dederer on the Paris Review.

The Verge on Facebook content moderators.

r/eyebleach for your eyebleaching needs.

Generational Softness and Sensing Luxury

What makes a generation "soft"? And what makes something luxurious? [18:36]

This week: Joey and Jess and special guest commentator Camille talk about adversity, erring on the side of caution against abuse, NBA contracts, fine leather goods, stopping time, and instagram-worthy icecream. They don't talk about the technical cut-off year for being "Millennials."


That original HuffPost article on Amy Klobuchar.

Another plug for Jonathan Haidt and his book The Coddling of the American Mind.

Internet Attribution and Smart Homes

What are the new rules of attribution in the age of the internet? And when will smart homes be smart enough?[17:47]

This week, Joey and Aaron talk about the creative commons, remix culture, /r/ Showerthoughts, Janet, Hue lights, and the Guster meow mix. They don't talk about how /r/ Showerthoughts might just as well be another name for our show.


The Grey Album, by DJ Danger Mouse, for your listening pleasure.


Ask your Janet to play the Guster Meow Mix.

Baking and Legal Sports Betting

What makes baking special? And what could happen now that sports betting is (mostly) legal? [22:22]

This week, Aaron and Joey talk about anxiety, chemistry, grandmas, predictive markets, Sir Francis Galton, and Mary Berry. They don't talk about which of Mary, Merry, and Marry sound the same.


The Atlantic on anxiety-baking.

More on prediction markets.

Predict it.

Wiki's bio on Sir Francis Galton.

Wild Prognostications: A Special!

What's to come in 2019?

This week, a special top of the year episode! Aaron, Joey, and Jess talk about their wild prognostications, involving Trump-era art, provenance in retail, the next fad diet, the next Facebook, brand values, and unicorns. They don't talk about what kind of animal Gritty is.

The Fiji water PR stunt that began with the Golden Globes.
Pew on Americans and Facebook as of 2018.
The Gillette ad: "The Best Men Can Be."
Vice on Japan's mascot game.
Chairs and Facebook.

Financial Independence and Bests Of

Why hasn’t the FIRE movement taken off?
Special Guest, Kelly

And what's the point of Best Of Lists?

The Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) subreddit.
We only scratched the surface of understanding the FIRE movement: the 1998 Trinity Study that kindled the craze, the 1994 Bengen article that inspired Trinity, and an essential primer on the 4% spending rule from VTSAX's own parent, Vanguard.
Aaron's go-to budgeting tool, YNAB.
A few best-of lists we like: the best innovationsthe best photos, and the best of everything.

Nostalgia and the NFL

What do we lose when we lose nostalgia?

What is going to replace the NFL?

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.
Minnie Riperton's Lovin' You in full.
The study around how different cultures understand time.
Jonathan Haidt's Big Think video.
Get your copy of SLIMED: an oral history of Nickelodeon's Golden Age.
The TMZ Sports video that did in Kareem Hunt.
Evidence that of the top 50 rated shows on television, 37 were NFL games.