July 13, 2020
Ever notice that the more money you have in your wallet, the more likely you are to spend it? Well, it is actually more complicated than that. This episode begins with some interesting psychology that will help you spend less so you keep more of your money. Ever hire someone to design a logo or brochure or website and have them present it to you and ask, “What do you think”? It has happened to me and my problem is, I don’t know what to think. I don’t know what makes a well-designed brochure or website. I don’t know what people will think when they see it or what motivates people to respond. If you have ever found yourself in the same boat you will want to listen to my guest Susan Weinschenk. Susan has a Ph.D. in Psychology, she is the Chief Behavioral Scientist and CEO at The Team W, Inc. ( as well as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin. She is also author of the book 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People ( Listen as she explains how people react to design elements and how to better design anything. When your doctor takes your blood pressure – does he check both arms or just one? There is a really good reason to check both. Listen as I explain why there is likely a difference between the blood pressure in your arms and what it could potentially mean. Think about how many times a day do you engage in conversation. It is the primary way we communicate with others. Yet, you likely don’t know much about the science of conversation. Interestingly, conversation can beautiful and brilliant or it can be awkward and difficult. Understanding how it works can make you a better conversationalist. Here to explain the science of conversation is David Crystal. David is a writer and editor and his latest book is called Let's Talk: How English Conversation Works ( Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
July 11, 2020
Sure, it’s great to want more money but if you don’t have the time to enjoy it – what’s the point? We begin this episode with a look at why spending more of your money on things that actually create more free time for you can make your life much more enjoyable. While the phrase “timing is everything” is tossed around a lot, it turns out there is a lot of wisdom in it. In short, it is not just WHAT you do in your life that is important it – it is also WHEN you decide to do it. Daniel Pink, author of the book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing ( reveals why timing is so important and how to time events in your life to be more successful. There is a fascinating limitation of the human brain you must know about. It seems you cannot keep track of more than 3 things at once unless condition is met. What is it? Listen and find out. Since you were a child you’ve heard that honesty is the best policy. However, dig as little deeper and you’ll find that most of us think a little dishonesty is probably okay. The fact is we do think dishonesty is acceptable as long as it is not too much and as long as it is not too overt. Dan Ariely, author of the book, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves ( explains the little ways we are all a bit dishonest and why we think it is perfectly fine – so maybe it is. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
July 9, 2020
Have you ever wanted to get someone to disclose more about themselves? This episode begins with a very simple strategy that will loosen someone up and get them to tell you a lot more about the details of their life. How do things spread? By that I mean not just viruses like the flu or corona virus but also rumors and viral videos or fake news stories – why do some of these things gather steam and spread like wildfire? And then, why do they stop? Every year people catch the flu and then in the summer, it just stops. What stops it? Listen to my guest Adam Kucharski, he is an epidemiologist and author of the book The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread and Why They Stop (  What’s the connection between arguments and hunger? Well if you want to get along better with the people or person you live with – you need to hear me explain this interesting science. You know that feeling of being a slave to your phone or to email? That feeling of always being available is taking a toll on you whether you know it or not. Journalist Ian Douglas has studied this extensively and has written a book called Is Technology Making Us Sick? (  Ian joins me to explain how you are being manipulated into always staying available and what it is doing to your health. He also has some excellent strategies to deal with the problem without having to turn all your electronics off.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
July 6, 2020
Don’t you hate it when you put on a mask to go out in public and your glasses get all fogged up? This episode begins with a few tips to keep your glasses clear as a bell while you are wearing a face mask. You hear a lot about DNA today – there are test kits that can trace your DNA and locate your ancestors and on TV it seems DNA can solve a lot of crimes. So what is DNA exactly, how does it work, where does it come from and is it really as good at solving crime as it appears on TV? Here to explain all about is Alan McHughen who is a scientist, educator, DNA expert and author of the book DNA Demystified ( Teenagers can easily sleep until noon – but it’s a lot harder when you get older. Why? That’s one of the things I discuss about sleep and just how important it is to get enough sleep and how it can wreak havoc with your health if you don’t. There is a really fascinating food culture today. Young people especially spend a great deal of their time and money eating certain foods, watching cooking shows on TV, going to trendy restaurants and identifying themselves by the food they eat – or don’t eat (I’m a vegan!) . The question is -why? Why are people getting so wrapped up in this food culture and spending so much money on it? Eve Turow-Paul has been living in and researching all about food culture around the world and she joins me with some really interesting insight. Eve is author of the book Hungry: Avocado Toast, Instagram Influencers, and Our Search for Connection and Meaning ( Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
July 4, 2020
Do you often find yourself in the slowest line at the supermarket? Me too. Is it bad luck or just your perception? I’ll explore what’s behind this universal annoyance and suggest a better way to handle this. It seems everyone hates the sound of their voice when they hear it played back. But what if you LOVED the sound of your voice? Vocal coach Roger Love explains how anyone can have a beautiful voice – you are not stuck with the one you have now. Listen to this episode and you will instantly have the tools to improve the sound of your voice. Here is the link to Roger’s website:  Have you heard that it is a good idea to let your cellphone battery run all the way down to zero? Supposedly that is to help it last longer and keep a better charge. Is it true? We’ll find out. All of us have asked some basic financial questions at some point such as: Is it better to own or rent a home; buy or lease a car; pay off debt of save money? Jack Otter, editor at and author of the book, Worth…Not Worth It? (, has examined these questions, done the math and come up with the answers. Listen as Jack may surprise you with what he has to say about what you should do with your money. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
July 2, 2020
Some people really love spicy food. Why? This episode begins with an explanation of that and what to do if you put something in your mouth that is way too spicy. If you have a passion, does that mean that is what you are meant to do? And what if you don’t really have a passion or you have one that doesn’t lend itself to a career? Before you blindly try to “Follow your passion,” listen to Bruce Stulberg author of the book The Passion Paradox ( Bruce explains some interesting facts and science about what passion really is and what you should – and should not do with your passion.  If you have outdoor allergies, there are some things you may be doing to make your symptoms worse than they need to be. Listen as I explain what to do and not do to clear the air and breathe better with fewer allergy symptoms. The assumption is that a harmonious relationship is the best kind of relationship. Well, it turns out a little trouble, messiness and chaos is also good for a relationship. Listen as I am joined by Ed Tronick PhD. Ed is a developmental neuroscientist and clinical psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of the book The Power of Discord ( He explains why striving for a perfectly happy relationship is a prescription for trouble.  This Week's Sponsors -Better Help. Get 10% off your first month by going to and use the promo code: sysk -Stroke of Genius. Listen to Stroke of Genius wherever you listen to podcasts. Or here: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
June 29, 2020
People tend to like reruns. We like to watch old TV shows and movies over and over again, we often order the same meal at a restaurant that we have had before, we listen to the same songs over and over again. Why? This episode begins with an explanation. How often have you tried to make an important change in your life only to have your efforts fail? Why is change so hard – and is there a way to make it easier? Listen to my conversation with Ross Ellenhorn. He is a sociologist, psychotherapist and social worker and he is author of the book How We Change (and 10 Reasons We Don’t) ( He has some important advice on how to approach change so it is more likely to stick.  If you have a problem, chances are there is some expert or some piece of technology that will tell you how to fix it. While advice is good, it is also important to think for ourselves. Some people say we are losing our ability to think critically and make our own decisions. Instead we let experts decide for us. Vikram Mansharamani is a lecturer at Harvard and author of the book Think For Yourself: Restoring Common Sense in an Age of Experts and Artificial Intelligence ( Listen as he makes the case for more critical thinking when it comes to the big decisions in life.  Did you know spring fever is a real thing – with real symptoms? Listen as I explain what they are and what they are trying to tell you, if you have them.
June 27, 2020
Do you keep stuff? You know, things from your past that you have a hard time giving up even though you don’t use them anymore? This episode begins with some interesting advice on what to keep and what to toss or give away – and why it’s a good idea to get rid of things you will never ever need again. You probably know that your genes influence things your eye color or hair color. But did you know that your genes also influence your behavior? Jay Phelan, an evolutionary biologist at UCLA and author of the book, Mean Genes: From Sex to Money to Food, Taming Our Primal Instincts (, explains how your genes make you want to do things that are often not good for you (like overeat or drink too much). Did you know you have more than five senses? For example, when you move your foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal when you drive, you are using another sense that allows you to find those pedals without looking or using any other of your five senses. I’ll explain what it is and what it is called. There is real power in calming down. That’s according to Gyatri Devi, M.D., author of the book, A Calm Brain: How to Relax Into a Stress-Free, High-Powered Life ( Because our brains are always active – checking texts and emails and rushing around, we don’t have the down time” we need that allows the brain to perform at its best. Dr Devi has some ways to do that and she reveals the amazing benefits of a calm brain.
June 25, 2020
When you are in the drive-through or waiting for a train to pass, is it better to turn off your car’s engine or let it idle? This episode begins with an explanation and advice on when it becomes more efficient to turn off your car. You are thinking thoughts all day long. That’s what humans do – we think. Sometimes though, your thoughts get in the way. They can become toxic and ruin your day, they can mess up your perception of the world and interfere with relationships. Here to discuss how to take control of your thoughts and see them for what they really are is Andrea Bonior, PhD. Andrea is a journalist, who writes the popular "Baggage Check" advice column for the Washington Post. She serves on the faculty of Georgetown University and she is author of the book, Detox Your Thoughts: Quit Negative Self-Talk for Good and Discover the Life You've Always Wanted ( If you share a bed, how far apart do the two of you sleep? Listen as I discuss why the distance apart and the direction you face while in bed may say a lot about the state of your relationship.  Do you take good care of your skin? What are the most important things to do – or not do - to keep your skin healthy and looking good? Monty Lymon, M.D., is a doctor in at Oxford University and author of the book The Remarkable Life of the Skin ( He joins me to explain the latest research and best practices to take care of your skin and keep it looking young.
June 22, 2020
Do dolphins really have their own language? Why is it warmer in the summer? Does lightning ever strike the same place twice? This episode begins with a short and fun science quiz. Let’s see how well you score. We all use diplomacy when we deal with people. There are certain rules we all follow to make interactions pleasant and productive – that’s diplomacy. Joining me to discuss how diplomacy works and to share some great stories of diplomacy from the White House is Capricia Penavic Marshall who was social secretary to Bill and Hilary Clinton and the Chief of Protocol for President Obama. Capricia is also author of the book Protocol: The Power of Diplomacy and How to Make It Work for You ( Want to be a better cook? If so, listen as I explain some great ideas to help you become a master of the kitchen from what kind of chicken to buy, where to keep your lemons to why you need a new ice tray for the freezer.  Some people just seem to be lucky. But is it just chance or is it that those people just know how to capitalize on lucky moments that come along in everyone’s life? Here to discuss that is Christian Busch, PhD, Director of the Global Economy Program at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and author of the book, The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck (
June 20, 2020
You probably think you are a good driver. But what do other people think about your driving? Listen to take this simple driving test to see whether or not you do things that really annoy other drivers. Did you know that pessimistic and unhappy people are more likely to look down at the ground when they walk? And that happy people tend to look up? This is one of the really interesting and unusual finding about happy people I discuss with David Niven, researcher and author of the book 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People ( Listen as David offers some really interesting ways to be happier and explains what it means to be a happy person. First impressions are important and they happen faster than you think. Listen as I explain how important first impressions are and how to make a good one. You will love math a little bit more when you listen to my conversation with Arthur Benjamin. Arthur finds and explains the magic in math and explains why math is so important to learn and understand. Arthur is a professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California and he is author of the book The Magic of Math (
June 18, 2020
If you have ever gotten a paper cut (and who hasn’t), you may have wondered why a tiny little cut from a piece of paper can hurt so much. This episode begins with the explanation and the best way to treat that paper cut. You probably think your personality is pretty much set in stone. In fact, it is changing all the time whether you like it or not. Organizational psychologist Benjamin Hardy joins me with a fascinating discussion on how your personality changes over time and how you can manipulate those changes to become the person you want to be. Benjamin is a contributor to Inc., and Psychology Today and he is author of the book Personality Isn’t Permanent ( Why can’t you find your keys or wallet? What is it that makes them so easy to lose? Listen as I explain why you likely misplaced them and the best way to figure where you left them.  The pace of life sure seems a lot faster than it used to. While a lot of people don’t like it, it isn’t going to slow down any time soon. So perhaps the better approach is to learn to mange the speed of life and make it work for you. That’s the recommendation and advice of Vincent Poscente, former Olympic speed-skier and author of best selling book, The Age of Speed (
June 15, 2020
Everyone has had that "pins and needles" feeling when your foot or arm falls asleep. Why does it happen? A lot of people believe it is because you cut off circulation. But that’s not it. Listen as this episode of the podcast begins with an explanation of why your limbs fall asleep and what that tingly sensation actually is. The buildings and the rooms you spend time in have a powerful impact on all aspects of your life. And you probably never realized it. Your health, your mood, your work, your ability to think – even your relationships are influenced by your indoor environment. To discuss how this happens is Emily Anthes , a science journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Wired, Slate, Businessweek and elsewhere. She is also author of the book The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health, and Happiness ( Human language is amazing. It is one of the main things that distinguishes us from other animals. Without it, communication would be very difficult. The complexities of languages and how it changes are really fascinating and important. Joining me to discuss this is David Adger. He is Professor of Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London and author of the book Language Unlimited: The Science Behind Our Most Creative Power ( What brand of dishwashing liquid is sitting on your kitchen sink? Everyone has their favorite but does one really do a better job than the others? Listen as I explain what Consumer Reports says after testing a bunch of them.
June 13, 2020
You can manipulate your brain to change your mood. How? Biofeedback. For example, when you are happy you smile. But it also works in reverse – if you smile, that makes you happy. And there are other ways I’ll discuss that you can improve your mood by doing very simple things. It’s fascinating. Then, have you ever wanted to create a new habit or break an old one? Charles Duhigg author of the book, The Power of Habit ( joins me to discuss the science of habits. He offers some great techniques to start new habits and explains why you should never really try to “break” a habit. There is something else you should do instead. If you want to improve any relationship, there are 2 little things that can make all the difference. Listen to this advice from John Gottman, one of the best-known experts in the field of relationship psychology, and it could transform your relationship forever. Plus, do you ever wish you were more courageous? Are there things you haven’t done because you lacked the courage to do them? Speaker and consultant Bill Treasurer author of the book Courage Goes to Work, ( will help you realize you probably have more courage than you think and how to become more courageous in spite of the fear you face.
June 11, 2020
What should you do when you get a fever? Some people say you should take medicine to knock it down – some say to leave it alone. Who’s right? This episode begins with an answer to that question. We tend to think of hunger as one thing. However, there is solid research to show that we have several different hungers – 5 actually. Stephen Simpson has studied this and explains how understanding different hungers can help you eat less and control your weight. Stephen is Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre and Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney in Australia and author of the book Eat Like the Animals ( When was the last time you really cleaned your car’s steering wheel or dashboard or gear shift? After you hear this, you will probably want to attend to that right away. All romantic relationships start out with high hopes. Still, many don’t last. So what can you do to make sure you find the right person and then keep the relationship happy and healthy? Here with some great advice is Joanne DaVila. She has been studying and speaking about romantic relationships as a professor at Stony Brook University. She is author of the book The Thinking Girl's Guide to the Right Guy ( and she has a great TED Talk on the skills for healthy romantic relationships. ( This Week's Sponsors -Kong Box. Got to to make a $1 donation to help less fortunate dogs and your first Kong Box is free! -Pindrop. Listen to the new podcast Pindrop
June 8, 2020
People often say they are attracted to people who have a good sense of humor. But it is actually more complicated than that. The truth is that humor can bring people together but it can also pull them apart. Listen as this episode begins with an explanation about humor and couples. When someone asks you for advice, it is quite normal to offer it up. After all, they asked. However, you may be much better off by keeping quiet and withholding your advice, at least for a while. That’s the suggestion of Michael Bungay Stanier. Last year Michael was named #1 Thought Leader in Coaching and he is considered to be one of the top coaches in the world. He is also author of a book called The Advice Trap: Be Humble, Stay Curious & Change the Way You Lead Forever ( Michael joins me to explain why you might want to be a little less free with your advice.  We all somehow justify our mistakes and poor decisions to ourselves. When we do something wrong it doesn’t line up with our beliefs about ourselves as good as honest people so we make excuses or we decide there were extenuating circumstances because we know we are not bad people – we are good people who made a mistake. This whole process is called cognitive dissidence. Everyone does it and it can get us into trouble according to social psychologist Carol Tavris author of the book Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts ( She joins me to discuss this fascinating topic and explain why we do this.   How do you cut your lawn – side to side? Front to back? Listen and I’ll tell you what the experts say which is the best way to mow. This Week's Sponsors -Kong Box. Got to to make a $1 donation to help less fortunate dogs and your first Kong Box is free! -Pindrop. Listen to the new podcast Pindrop Summary
June 6, 2020
When you talk to your partner, there is something you do – or don’t do, that can predict with amazing accuracy whether or not your relationship will survive and thrive or crash and burn. I start this episode with an explanation of what that is exactly. Time may be constant but we all experience time differently in different situations. Marnie Makridakis author of the book, Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life ( reveals how to improve the way you experience the passing of time. She also explains how you can make time – or at least the way you perceive it – either speed up or slow down. You know you should drink a lot of water but you may not know all the reasons why. When you hear them, you may just want to go get yourself some water. No one ever said parenting was easy. Psychologist Wes Crenshaw author of the book, Dear Dr. Wes: Real Life Advice for Parents of Teens ( offers some straight forward, down-to-earth advice for parents to be more effective parents and to make the process of parenting simpler. This Week's Sponsors -Kong Box. Got to to make a $1 donation to help less fortunate dogs and your first Kong Box is free! -Pindrop. Listen to the new podcast Pindrop
June 4, 2020
Do you like getting robocalls on your phone? Of course you don’t. So this episode begins with a simple way to stop robocalls for free – and it really works. Source: Interview with Aaron Foss founder of You are breathing now – and that’s a good thing. However, you are likely not breathing correctly. When you DO breathe correctly, amazing things can happen according to journalist James Nestor, author of the book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art ( While you might think you don’t need to learn about your breathing – listening to this segment will change your mind. And you will breathe better. You likely have a box with old VHS video tapes that you said you were going to have transferred one day. Listen as I explain how time is running out. In fact the time may have come and gone. and /facts_about_old_video_tape_deterioration_why_you_should_transfer_and_convert_now What makes a good decision? And how do you make more of them? That’s the topic tackled by Ralph Keeney. Ralph has been studying decision making for some time now. He is Professor Emeritus at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and Professor Emeritus of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Southern California He is also author of the book Give Yourself a Nudge: Helping Smart People Make Smarter Personal and Business Decisions ( Listen and become a better decision maker for those important decisions in your life.  This Week’s Sponsors -Kong Box. Got to to make a $1 donation to help less fortunate dogs and your first Kong Box is free! -Stroke of Genius. Listen to Stroke of Genius podcast. --Pindrop. Listen to the new podcast Pindrop
June 1, 2020
Could driving while dehydrated be as dangerous as driving while drunk? This episode begins with some fascinating research that shows a link between dehydration and driver error – and the results are surprising. How do you get a lot of things done without feeling overwhelmed? That’s what I discuss with time management expert Sam Bennett author of the book Start Right Where You Are: How Little Changes Can Make a Big Difference for Overwhelmed Procrastinators, Frustrated Overachievers, and Recovering Perfectionists ( She discusses how to take control of your day and accomplish the important tasks – and how NOT to be one of those people who is always complaining about how much they have to do and how busy they are. When you interact with other people you make judgments about them. You also make judgements about how they are judging you and what they are thinking. The interesting thing is that you are probably wrong according to human behavior expert Mark Bowden author of the book Truth & Lies: What People Are Really Thinking ( Listen as Mark explains how to size up situations and the people you deal with in a way that gets you closer to understanding what other people are REALLY thinking. Loneliness can feel very painful. And that turns out to be a good thing. Listen as we discuss how to use the pain of loneliness to not feel lonely anymore. Source: Dr. Pat Love author of Never Be Lonely Again ( This Week's Sponsors: -Kong Box. Get your first box free when you donate $1 to help dogs in need. Go to to start your subscription. -Pindrop. Listen to the new podcast Pindrop
May 30, 2020
Just like food, medications have expiration dates. But just how accurate are those dates? Is it better to take an expired medication or no medication at all? We’ll explore that as we begin this episode of the podcast. When you cook on the grill, there are a lot of theories on how you should or shouldn’t do it. But a lot of those theories are wrong. To help you understand how to best use the outdoor grill to create the best flavor possible and cook food correctly is Chef Todd Mohr. Todd is a certified culinary educator and founder of Listen and hear some great tips and techniques just in time for summer outdoor cooking season.  Are you good at asking questions? Former CNN reporter Frank Sesno, author of Ask More ( explains the power and rewards of being able to ask the right questions – and how to really listen to the answers. Do you ever get up and pace when you are thinking or trying to solve a problem? Many of us do it unconsciously. But does it actually help or is it just a way to burn off nervous energy? Discover what the science says about pacing and problem solving.
May 28, 2020
Some days it is just hard to get up and get going. So this episode begins with some interesting ways to get motivated and accomplish your goals on those days. All these strategies I discuss have been scientifically researched. If you would like to be more persuasive, you really need to hear what James Crimmins has to say. James has spent his career in advertising and the world of persuasion. He has a unique definition of what persuasion is and discusses the science that anyone can use to help get people to do what you want. James is the author of the book 7 Secrets of Persuasion ( If you own land, how far down do your rights extend – and how far up in the sky. Listen as I explain how much of the earth and sky is yours. Would you consider yourself “globally literate”? To be globally literate is to understand how the world works, who the key players are, where the trouble is and who the troublemakers are. Someone who can help you be a lot more globally literate is Richard Haas. He has advised 4 U.S. presidents and is currently the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as the senior Middle East adviser to President George H. W. Bush, as director of the Policy Planning Staff under Secretary of State Colin Powell, and as the U.S. envoy to both the Cyprus and Northern Ireland peace talks. A recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal, the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award – and he is author of several books – his latest is big best seller called The World: A Brief Introduction. ( Listen as he explains – how the world works.
May 25, 2020
Does a full moon really bring out craziness in people? Does it cause more car accidents and hospital admissions? This episode begins with a look at whether or not the moon really affects human behavior – or at least why so many people believe it does. Being happy is a big goal for almost everyone. And finding it is often a struggle. Joining me with some insight and science regarding how we can all be happier is Tim Bono, a lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis where he teaches courses on the Science of Happiness and author of the book Happiness 101: Simple Secrets to Smart Living & Well-Being ( Every child is told a million times to “stop fidgeting!” However, in some cases fidgeting may be the perfect thing to do. Listen as I discuss how fidgeting can help learn better and improve cognitive performance, despite what your grandmother told you. I never thought I would be discussing mushrooms on this podcast. However it turns out that mushrooms and all fungi are absolutely fascinating. If we didn’t have fungus – life would be very different. Biologist Merlin Sheldrake has studied the world of fungus in great detail and you are about to discover things about the mushrooms you eat and all other fungi that will amaze you. Merlin is the author of the book Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures ( This Week's Sponsors -Better Help. Get 10% off your first month by going to and use the promo code: sysk
May 23, 2020
While it is hard NOT to get angry sometimes, anger can take a toll on your health and lifespan. I’ll discuss some research that explains what is and isn’t worth getting angry about. What does it take to have a happy relationship? You are going to hear some of the simplest, smartest and easiest advice to follow that can instantly start to transform your relationship. And it comes from Arielle Ford, author of The Soulmate Secret ( Her website is Why are unhappy people so unhappy? It turns out that unhappy people often get stuck being unhappy because of certain behaviors that keep them stuck. Listen to discover what those behaviors are and what to do to break out of them. Also, are you using your mind correctly? The demands of the world require your mind to adapt but it doesn’t always adapt very well. For example, we think we multi-tasking is a good way to get more done – when in fact, it is not. It’s just not what the brain is wired for. Thomas Sterner, author of the book, The Practicing Mind ( explores better way to use your mind that will allow you to be more productive and happier.
May 21, 2020
Smells can have a really interesting effect on you. They can make you happy, improve concentration and boost your energy. This episode begins with an explanation of which scents do what. If the thought of having to negotiate with someone turns you off – you will love this. Alexandra Carter is an expert at negotiating and her approach is fascinating and simple to understand and execute. It’s all about asking the right questions. Alexandra is a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Mediation Clinic at Columbia Law School and author of the book Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything ( If your computer has a camera, it is important to remember that hackers could be watching you. Listen as I explain how to protect yourself from hackers hijacking your camera and watching you when you are unaware. Walking may seem simple and unexciting but there is a whole science to it. Walking has a profound effect on your personal well-being and the well-being of the society we live in. How? That’s what Shane O’Mara is here to explain. Shane is a professor of experimental brain research at Trinity College in Dublin and author of the book In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration ( This Week’s Sponsors -Better Help. Get 10% off your first month by going to and use the promo code: sysk
May 18, 2020
Some foods get a bad rap – and undeservedly so. This episode begins with a list of foods you probably think are unhealthy but really aren’t all that bad according to science. When you have too little confidence, that can be a real obstacle to success at anything. Then again, having too much confidence can mess things up as well. So how do you have the right amount of confidence and use it to your advantage? Here to discuss that is Don Moore, professor of management at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and author of the book Perfectly Confident ( Do cats really care about humans or do they just tolerate us because we feed them and give them a place to live? Listen and hear some fascinating research. We have all heard the advice that when you are online you need to be careful and use common sense to protect your privacy and personal information. So what does that really mean? Aren’t most of us doing that? What more should we be doing – if anything? Listen to my guest Martin Keith. He is a professor of Information Security at Royal Holloway, University of London where he has worked in cryptographic research for thirty years. He is also author of the book, Cryptography: The Key to Digital Security, How It Works, and Why It Matters. ( This Week's Sponsors -Better Help. Get 10% off your first month by going to and use the promo code: sysk
May 16, 2020
Have you ever put your car in “Drive” while it is still rolling backwards a little bit? People do it all the time – yet it is terrible for your car. I’ll explore this and several other things drivers do that can ruin their car and hurt the value. Believe it or not, your own perceptions often deceive you. For example, would you notice something unusual if it popped out in front of you? You would think so. But it turns out you are not as observant as you think you are. Daniel Simons author of the book, The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us ( explains why you completely miss much of what you think you see and how those distorted perceptions can cause you trouble. Why do people get goose bumps? Does it serve some sort of evolutionary purpose? Listen and discover the surprising answer. It isn’t just the elderly or dumb or greedy people who fall victim to fraud. A lot of smart people get taken too. Financial crime expert Jeffrey Robinson, author of the book, There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute ( explains how big a problem fraud is, how enticing fraudsters make it all seem and how to make sure you do NOT become a victim. This Week's Sponsors -GrubHub
May 14, 2020
It is a bicyclist's nightmare – dooring! It is when someone in a car along the side of the road opens the door just as you drive by and – WHAM! It happens a lot more than you might think – and it probably ALMOST happens a lot more. There is an interesting way to prevent it that comes from the Netherlands. Listen and find out what it is. Have you ever wondered who discovered fire or who invented the wheel? You might think it was too long ago to ever figure out but Cody Cassidy has done the research and was actually able to trace it all back to discover the answers to these and other questions like who invented clothes and who drank the first beer. Cody is the author of the book Who Ate the First Oyster?: The Extraordinary People Behind the Greatest Firsts in History ( and he joins me to reveal some of these fascinating firsts.  If you need a job, it may be tempting to respond to online job posts but that turns out to be an inefficient and often ineffective strategy. What works better? Listen to my guest Steve Dalton, founder and CEO of and author of the book The 2 Hour Job Search ( He has developed a proven way to speed up a job search and get a job that is well suited to you. If you want to know how sincere someone is, look at their hands. Listen as I explain what to look for.
May 11, 2020
Every year a lot of pedestrians crossing the street get hit by cars. So if you are out walking around, there is one technique that will drastically reduce your risk of getting hit. This episode begins with that explanation of that technique that will help you stay safe. Plastic is a relatively new invention. The vast majority of plastic in the world has been made only since the 1950s. Researchers are concerned about all this plastic because of its potential effects on the planet as well as on humans and other creatures. In fact, it seems we are unknowingly eating plastic – a lot of it. The cover story for the June 2020 issue of Consumer Reports magazine is titled How to Eat Less Plastic ( which looks at the problem of plastic in our world. The article’s author is science journalist Kevin Loria and he joins me to explain what he found and tells us all how to eat less plastic!  Have you heard of cognitive biases? All humans have them. It is when we judge people based on how they look or how they speak – positive or negative. For example, people who speak with foreign accents are often not considered as trustworthy as people who do not have an accent. Good looking people are often perceived to be smarter – just because they are attractive. Gleb Tsipursky is a cognitive neuroscientist and behavioral economist and he is author of the book The Blindspots Between Us: How to Overcome Unconscious Cognitive Bias and Build Better Relationships. ( Listen as he explains the problem with cognitive bias and what we can all do to be more aware of how we are judging people and how to stop.  A lot of people buy ginger ale on the airplane than you might think. Often people who never drink it at home. Why? I will explain the reason and tell you if it is something you should try the next time you fly. This Week’s Sponsors  -Best Fiends. Download this fun mobile game for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
May 9, 2020
If you use a wire brush to clean your outdoor grill – you should stop because someone could get hurt. I’ll start this episode by explaining why. We don’t hesitate to treat physical wounds – but emotional wounds are things we tend to shrug off and assume time will heal – except sometimes it doesn’t. Psychologist Guy Winch author of the book Emotional First-Aid ( explores these wounds caused by failure, guilt and rejection and how to treat them. Your personal and professional success depends a lot on how well people can trust you. Consultant and speaker David Horsager, author of the book The Trust Edge ( explains how important trust is and how to be more trustworthy. Look around and you will see a lot of fashion mistakes committed by men. We’ll discuss the big ones – according to Esquire magazine.
May 7, 2020
Why are names so hard to remember? This episode begins with an explanation and an experiment that explains why so many of us forget people’s names and what we can do to remember names better. Do you ever get defensive? Actually we all do. We also have to deal with others who get defensive with us. What is going on here? Why do people get defensive? It turns out to be all about fear according to Jim Tamm. For 20 years, Jim worked as a judge helping defensive people resolve their disputes. Today he is a consultant with his own firm called Radical Collaborations ( and he is author of the book Radical Collaborations: Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships ( . As an expert on defensiveness, Jim explains where it comes from and how to deal with it both within ourselves and others.  The relationship between a mother and son is interesting to say the least – yet it isn’t talked about a lot. Pediatrician Dr. Meg Meeker believes that there is so much going on in every mother-son relationship and it is time to bring it out into the open. Dr Meeker is the author of the book Strong Mothers, Strong Sons ( and she joins me to help explain the mother-son relationship and offers advice on how to make it better. Do you ever suffer from “ring anxiety?” It is the belief or the sensation that your cell phone is ringing when it isn’t. It happens to a lot of people. Why? Listen as I explain. This Week's Sponsors -Better Help. Get 10% off your first month by going to and use the promo code: sysk The Zebra. Compare and save money on car insurance. Go to
May 4, 2020
Birds are building nests and laying eggs all over the place this time of year. And you have probably heard that if a baby bird falls out of the nest you shouldn’t put it back because the mother will abandon the baby. Is that true? Listen to hear the surprising answer. Almost everyone dreams of being a successful entrepreneur. So, what separates the good entrepreneurs from the truly great ones? That is what Christopher Lochhead set out to discover. Christopher is a CEO marketing coach, speaker and author of the book Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets ( Listen as he explains how really successful business owners position their ideas and products to dominate the competition. Speaking in front of people is scary for almost everyone. Yet it is also absolutely necessary for pretty much all of us whether at school or in a meeting or giving a formal speech. Since we will all be called on to speak, why not arm yourself with some skills that will make you less nervous and perform better? Here with some help to do that is Matt Abrahams . He is a lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business – he is the host of the podcast Think Fast, Talk Smart ( and author of the book Speaking Up Without Freaking Out ( His company, Bold Echo can be found at  How many times have you heard that staring at a computer screen for too long is bad for your eyes? So, what does that mean - “bad for bad for our eyes”? Listen as I explain what research has shown about computer use and your eyesight. This Week's Sponsors -The Zebra. Compare and save money on car insurance. Go to
May 2, 2020
Have you ever heard of misaphonia? It’s a real thing. If you have it, that means that certain sounds – like someone chewing their food with their mouth open or slurping their soup – drive you crazy. But people who have misaphonia also have something else going for them that is actually pretty good. I’ll explain what that is. Have you ever wanted to learn something new like a foreign language or a musical instrument? Maybe you didn’t bother because it would just take too long to get proficient at it. Well, maybe according to Josh Kaufman, author of the book The First 20 Hours ( According to Josh, what you do in those early hours of learning can really accelerate you learning curve. If you ever stay at hotels you need to be aware of a scam that is amazingly easy to fall for if you don’t know what it is. So, I’ll fill you in. Are people inherently good – or not? That is a question that has been debated by philosophers for centuries. And it is something explored in the book, The Fear Factor ( Researcher Abigail March is the author and she is also an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Georgetown University. She explores what makes some of us altruistic and others callous and uncaring. It’s a fascinating discussion with a silver lining. This Week’s Sponsors  -Best Fiends. Download this fun mobile game for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
April 30, 2020
Have you ever had a headache that seemingly came on for no apparent reason? This episode begins with an interesting and unusual list of reasons why headaches happen and you likely haven’t heard of many of them before. Are humans meant to work long hours? Could it be that working less could actually make us more productive and happier? That’s the case made journalist Celeste Headlee author of the book, Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving ( Celeste reveals the benefits of working less including more profit for business and better health for workers and offers examples of famous, productive people who worked a pretty short day. Ever wonder why people look back so fondly on the past, yet we often fear and worry about the future? There is something called “hindsight bias” and I’ll explain what it is and why we often long for the good old days. (Source: Dan Gardner, author of the book Risk ( 90% of all spread sheets in the world likely contain at least 1 error. And that is just one of the many ways math screws things up in our world according to Matt Parker. Matt is a math teacher, YouTuber and author of the book Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World ( Matt joins me to explain some fascinating truths about math, why it is so important in our lives today and how it often goes wrong. You can find him here on YouTube: This Week's Sponsors -AirMedCare Network.Go to and get up to a $50 gift card when you use the promo code: something
April 27, 2020
You probably never think about it until you get a rental car – but why do some cars have the gas tank door on the left side and others have it on the right? This episode begins with the unusual and very practical reason why. Everyone complains. Some people complain A LOT more than others. Yet, when you stop and think about it, complaining does little good and it tends to turn other people off. Will Bowen has spent a long time exploring the world of complainers. He speaks on the subject; he distributes bracelets that remind people not to complain (over 11 million so far) and he is author of the book A Complaint Free World ( He joins me to explain why people complain and explains the spectacular benefits to not complaining – and a great strategy to stop it. To order a bracelet go to: Every cook has wondered if adding a bay leaf to a recipe really makes a difference. Well, it’s been tested. Listen to hear the results. There is no shortage of worry and there is no shortage of things to worry about today. However, if you are not careful, you can worry so much that worry becomes the problem. Joining me to help get a handle on worry and actually make it work for you during these troubling times is Kathryn Tristan. assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine and author of the book Why Worry ( This Week's Sponsors -AirMedCare Network.Go to and get up to a $50 gift card when you use the promo code: something
April 25, 2020
Do you swear? Sometimes – at least for some of us – it is hard NOT to. And it just may be appropriate when you are in pain. Some fascinating research offers some real benefits of profanity – when used sparingly. There is an interesting phenomenon in sports – and that is, how some teams dominate a sport for several years. They become a dynasty. So what is it that causes that? Is it superstar players or excellent coaching? No. Those things are important but not the differentiating factor according to Sam Walker. Sam has been an editor and sports columnist at the Wall Street Journal for 20 years and author of the book, The Captain’s Class: The Hidden force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams ( Sam discovered one special element of winning teams that you will never guess. And it turns out it is applicable to teams in business and organizations as well as sports. Does it matter whether you read a book on a Kindle or some other e-reader? Does reading a real book with paper pages improve your understanding and comprehension? The answer may surprise you.  Is it really a good idea to have – or strive to have – the perfect home? While it might be nice to follow Martha Stewart’s example, perhaps it is impossible for most people. Weighing in on this is Lisa Quinn is a former self-described Martha Stewart impersonator who has her own TV show on The Live Well Network called "Home with Lisa Quinn". She is also author of the book called Life is Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets ( She offers some relief and practical suggestions for those who would like the perfect home but find that is daunting if not impossible to maintain it.
April 23, 2020
You probably aren’t spending as much time outside as you used to and that can be a big problem. This episode begins with the important reasons why you should be spending more time outside – even if you have to wear a mask or be all by yourself. Having friends is vital. You may be realizing that now more than ever since you aren’t able to be with friends like before. Friendship seems to be a human need according to Lydia Denworth, a science journalist, contributing editor at Scientific American and author of the book Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond ( Lydia joins me to explain the fascinating science of friendship and how people become friends. If you are having trouble sleeping, there is one simple thing you can do to improve your sleep and more importantly, improve your DEEP sleep. Listen and discover what that is. Coding is hot. Kids are being encouraged to learn coding – it is job and career that appears to be growing rapidly. So what is it really? What do coders do? What does code look like? And why is it important to understand? For the answers to those questions we turn to Clive Thompson . Clive is a tech writer and author of the book Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World ( He joins me to explain what coding is all about. This Week’s Sponsor -Better Help. Get 10% off your first month by going to and use the promo code: sysk
April 20, 2020
Since you only have one chance to make a good first impression, this episode begins with some scientifically tested techniques that will instantly make you look better and smarter to the people you meet. We all know it is important to be a good listener – but beyond listening is “validation.” When you can validate the person you are talking to, amazing things happen according to Michael Sorenson who is a podcaster, coach and author of the book I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships ( He joins me to explain how to validate someone and why it is so powerful.  Also, here is the link to his podcast: We hear a lot about the importance of washing your hands to wash away germs and bacteria but washing your hands may also help you wash away bad luck and bad experiences. Listen as I explain this unusual phenomenon. Mental toughness is not something reserved for elite athletes or elite soldiers. You, I and anyone else can develop mental toughness according Jason Selk, former director of mental training for the 2011 World Series Champions, the St. Louis Cardinals and author of the book Organize Tomorrow Today ( Jason explains a simple strategy that can help you perform at your very best no matter what.  This Week’s Sponsors  -AirMedCare Network.Go to and get up to a $50 gift card when you use the promo code: something -Grubhub. For $10 off any order of $15 or more (for new diners only), download the Grubhub app and use promo code SYSK
April 18, 2020
Noise is more than just annoying. Noise can affect your health, your work and your mood. This episode begins with a look at just how much trouble noise can cause in your life. Your personality is what makes you – you. But where did it come from? Can you improve your personality? Professor Brian Little, author of the book, Who Are You, Really? The Surprising Puzzle of Personality ( examines why you are who you are and how much of your personality is changeable and how much is set in stone. If you think someone is lying to you, there are a few words and phrases to look out for. Liars tend to use certain language that can help you determine if they are being truthful or not and I’ll tell you what to listen for to spot a liar. Source: You Can’t Lie To Me ( by Janine Driver Also, have you ever just clicked with someone? You know that feeling of instant connection? It can happen in a romantic way but also happens platonically and with people at work. Ori Brafman, author of the book Click ( has studied this phenomenon and believes strongly that these relationships are special. Ori says we shouldn’t just brush it off as “love at first sight.” Listen and understand why these relationships are worth exploring. This Week's Sponsors -Best Fiends. Download this fun mobile game for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
April 16, 2020
You know you shouldn’t go food shopping when you are hungry because you will end up buying more junk food. It turns out that when you are hungry, you shouldn’t go shopping for ANYTHING – not just food. Listen as I explain why. You know the phrase, “It’s not rocket science.”? The implication of that is that rocket science is really hard and rock scientists must be really smart. And they probably are. So how can you think like one? Former rocket scientist Ozan Varol joins me to explain. Ozan is now retired from rocket science. Today he is a law professor and podcaster (his podcast is called Famous Failures) and he is author of the book, Think Like A Rocket Scientist (  We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is good for your health and your looks. Listen as I discuss how eating produce can also make you more attractive. It’s weird to think that such a huge portion of the world’s population drinks coffee every day. Why is that – is it really because it tastes so good or is it just that we are hooked on the caffeine? And how did drinking coffee become so popular? Augustine Sedgewick spent a long time investigating the origins of our love affair with coffee and he joins me to share this remarkable story. Augustine is a teacher at City University in New York , got his PhD from Harvard – and he is author of the book Coffeeland: One Man’s Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug (  This Week's Sponsor -AirMedCare Network.Go to and get up to a $50 gift card when you use the promo code: something
April 13, 2020
Want to be more attractive? There has actually been some interesting research on what makes people appealing to others and this episode begins by exploring ways you can instantly make other people notice you – and like what they see. It is conventional medical wisdom to take a pill to lower your fever or to put ice on a sprain or to be sure to take all your antibiotic pills even if you feel all better. Yet all those common practices and others, are bad medicine according to Dr. Paul Offit, a professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and author of the book Overkill: When Modern Medicine Goes Too Far ( Listen and Dr. Offit offers an eye opening explanation of why we persist in doing these types of things and what we should be doing instead.   It is easy to let exercise slip, especially with gyms and parks being closed and all of us cooped up inside. Yet exercise is exactly what we need to help get us through. Listen as I explain some of the amazing benefits of exercise that you may not have heard before. Are you prepared to die? What I mean by that is, do you have everything in order, or do you at least have a will? More than half the U.S. population does not yet every single one of those people will die someday. Chanel Reynolds’ husband didn’t have a will and when he was suddenly killed in a car crash, she had to navigate and figure out what to do since he left no instructions. She has since become an advocate to get people to plan for the inevitable. She wrote a book called What Matters Most and she joins me to explain the importance of having a will and other legal documents ready as well as the nightmare it creates when you don’t.  Her website is  This Week's Sponsors -The Zebra. Compare and save money on car insurance. Go to
April 11, 2020
Many grocery stores now boast that they sell “locally grown” produce. Perhaps you’ve wondered just how local it is – where does that locally grown produce actually come from? We begin this episode with an explanation of just how far away produce can originate and still be called – locally grown. Also, let’s take a look at how you think. In particular, a look at the flaws in how you think. Matthew May is an innovation strategist, speaker and author of, Winning the Brain Game: Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking ( He joins me to explain how we so often go wrong when we solve problems, make decisions or come up with ideas. He has tested thousands of people and found that almost all of us make some pretty common mistakes that prevent us from coming up with the right solution. Listen as he offers simple strategies to get your thinking back on track. Perhaps you’ve heard that many people now cover up their webcam with a piece of tape to prevent hackers from spying on them. Is that really necessary? I’ll explain what the experts say you should do. Plus, we explore the importance of failure. Sure, failing at something really sucks but sometimes it is necessary – and it isn’t the end of the world. Megan McArdle, author of The Upside of Down: Why Failing Well is the Key to Success ( explains why it is important to embrace failure as a process toward success. It isn’t just the old clichés of “learn from your mistakes”, failure serves a real purpose if you don’t let knock you down.
April 9, 2020
The best way to solve your problems may be to pretend they are someone else’s. This episode begins with an interesting way to look at your problems that can help you come up with much better solutions. The coronavirus shutdown has many of us worried about money. Joining me to discuss ways you can make money quickly as well as into the future is Chris Guillebeau. Chris is the host of the podcast Side Hustle School ( and author of several books including his latest, The Money Tree: The Story About Finding a Fortune in Your Own Back Yard ( Chris has been a guest before and he is really good at helping people find news ways to make company. Do CDs and mp3s make music sound worse? Some people think so. Could you tell the difference between a CD and a high-resolution recording? Listen as I discuss what your ears may or may not be missing out on.!msg/ Why are Americans so much heavier today than ever? What happened? More importantly, what can be done about it? Andy Boyle is a journalist who investigated why we have grown fatter. Andy reveals the causes and the solution that can help anyone lose weight. In fact Andy followed these simple practices and lost 100 pounds! He joins me to discuss his investigation and his journey to a slimmer self. Andy is the author of the book Big Problems: A Former Fat Guy’s Look at Why We’re Getting Fatter and What You Can Do to Fix It (  This Weeks' Sponsors -Better Help. Get 10% off your first month by going to and use the promo code: sysk
April 6, 2020
Need something to pass the time? This episode begins with an activity you and the family can do that will kill some time and also put money in the bank. Unless you are careful, it is easy to accumulate a lot of stuff. It is not a stretch to say that Americans have too much stuff. So how did we get it and what should we do with it? To the rescue is Peter Walsh. Peter has been helping people organize and declutter - as a coach, a TV host, a writer and on YouTube. His latest book is called Let It Go ( Listen as he offers some incredible insight into why we accumulate so much stuff and has some great techniques that can help you evaluate whether you should keep it, toss it or give it away.  How many times have we all heard about the importance of good communication? So how does a good communicator – communicate? Leadership and communications consultant Alain Hunkins, author of the book Cracking The Leadership Code ( joins me to explain what it means to be a good communicator and offers excellent suggestions that will help you communicate better. His website is  Chopping onions is one of the most unpleasant jobs in the kitchen because onions make you cry. But they don’t have to. Listen as I explain some simple ways to chop onions without the tears. This Week's Sponsors -AirMedCare Network.Go to and get up to a $50 gift card when you use the promo code: something
April 4, 2020
I suspect we all mispronounce words from time to time. Either we learned them wrong or we get lazy. I know I usually pronounce affidavit as if it has a D on the end instead of a t because it is just easier. It’s wrong but it is easier. We start today’s episode by looking at some commonly mispronounced words because some people will judge you harshly when you don't say words correctly. What happens when you die? Of course we don’t know for sure – or do we? Dr. Mary Neal is a medical doctor who drowned in a kayaking accident in Chile several years ago. She was dead for 30 minutes. But she came back. Wait until you hear the story she tells of her experience of dying and returning to tell the tale. Dr. Neal is the author of the best-selling book To Heaven and Back. ( If you are a wine drinker, you have no doubt gone to take a sip only to see a fruit fly swimming in your glass. Should you toss out the fly and drink the wine or start all over? There is a little science you need to hear. Why are procrastinators made to feel bad that they always wait until the last minute to accomplish a task? What does it matter as long as it gets done? According to clinical psychologist Dr. Mary Lamia, author of the book, What Motivates Getting Things Done: Procrastination, Emotions, and Success (, procrastinators should stop feeling bad and stop trying to change. First of all it is almost impossible to change and secondly, there is no reason to. She explains all of that in today’s episode.
April 2, 2020
Would you like to hear some really good and solid advice that will make your life simpler and easier? This episode begins with some excellent bits of wisdom I am sure you will use in your life. If you ever have or ever will buy, sell or drive a car, you must listen to my conversation with Jack Gillis. Each year for 40 years, Jack has written a new edition of The Car Book ( which details virtually every new car that model year in terms of safety, maintenance, customer complaints etc. He joins me to discuss what every driver needs to know about cars and offers some great advice on how to buy one.  Are you holding a grudge against someone? If so – or if you ever have in the past, I have some wonderful insight into how a grudge does you absolutely no good and why you need to let it go. (Source: Interview with Fred Luskin Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project) Do you ever find yourself ruminating and overthinking things over and over again? If so you may have noticed it is not very productive and in fact in can be harmful. Anne Bogel is a blogger, podcaster and author of the book Don't Overthink It ( She joins me to discuss why we overthink, the damage it can do and how to stop it. This Week's Sponsors -Grubhub. For $10 off any order of $15 or more (for new diners only), download the Grubhub app and use promo code SYSK
March 30, 2020
Don’t you just hate it when you burn your tongue from drinking or eating something too hot? This episode begins with some first-aid for the next time you inadvertently put something in your mouth that is way too hot. Wouldn’t it be great if you could solve problems BEFORE they happen? You can – in fact you do. You change the oil in your car to prevent problems before they happen. With a slightly different way of thinking, we can solve a lot of problems that way according to Dan Heath author of the book Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen ( Listen as he explains this fascination method of problem solving. Is it better to exercise first thing in the morning or in the afternoon? Listen as I explain the pros and cons to both. Many people are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic who don’t normally work from home. If you are one of them, you have likely discovered that it is more difficult and challenging than you probably thought. Productivity expert Maura Nevel Thomas author of the book Attention Management  ( joins me to discuss how people working from home can overcome the distractions and stay focused.
March 28, 2020
You know when you head up the entrance ramp on a freeway, you have to really “floor it” to get your car up to speed. Is that good for your engine to put the pedal to the metal like that? This episode begins by explaining what revving your engine actually does. Would you like to be more persuasive? Jay Heinrichs is a real expert at this, having written several books on the topic. One of those books is Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion ( Jay joins me for a lively discussion on what works –and doesn’t work in persuading other people to understand your point of view. When you have to shut down your Wi-Fi or other device, the advice is often to leave it off for 30 seconds or so before restarting. What’s the reason? And do you really have to? And, we take a look at the practice of networking. We have all been told how important it is to get out there and meet people because, well, it can lead to something. But often it only seems to lead to a big pile of business cards and not much else. Larry Mohl, former Chief Learning Officer for Motorola Cellular and American Express and is author of the book Networking is Dead, ( explains how traditional networking doesn’t usually work – and he offers some more efficient and effective ways to connect with people who can help you.  This Week’s Sponsors The Zebra. Compare and save money on car insurance. Go to
March 26, 2020
While it’s natural to brag a little about your kids or your job or anything else you are proud of., you really have to be careful. A little bragging goes a long way and too much can be a turn off. This episode begins with a discussion on how much is too much. Ever wonder why some things are really easy for you to learn and other things are hard? And what is the best way to learn something that doesn’t come naturally to you? Daniel Willingham is a cognitive scientist who studies learning and memory and he is author of the book Why Don’t Students Like School ( Listen and you will hear some surprising insights into how humans learn – or don’t learn and you will hear some wonderful strategies to help you learn anything better.  There has likely been a time in your life when you or someone you were with forgot their toothbrush. Consequently, you probably wondered if it was okay to share a toothbrush - just once. Find out in this episode. Life has changed dramatically due to the coronavirus. As a result, there is a sense of sadness or even hopelessness in the air. To inject some hope and optimism into the situation is Dr. Shane Lopez who was one of the leading experts on hope. I interviewed him a few years ago and sadly, he died shortly after that interview. Dr. Lopez authored a great book on the subject called Making Hope Happen ( and after you listen I think you will feel much more hopeful about your life and the future of mankind. This Week’s Sponsors -AirMedCare Network.Go to and get up to a $50 gift card when you use the promo code: something
March 23, 2020
Staying at home with nowhere to go can certainly put you in a bad mood. So this episode begins with some scientifically proven ways to improve your mood right away. Some people seem to just have that ability to just be likable. How do they do it? You are about to find out when you listen to my guest Nicholas Boothman, an expert on personal communication and author of the book How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less ( Hand sanitizer is hard to come by. But you can make your own without too much trouble. In this episode you will hear a simple recipe from a former CDC official to make effective, homemade hand sanitizer. And you can find that recipe here: Complaining is a problem – whether you are a complainer or you live with one. In fact, complaining makes you stupid and ruins your chances for success. Trevor Blake author of the book, Three Simple Steps ( explains some of the science behind complaining and why being around a complainer can suck the life right out of you. This Week’s Sponsors -Better Help. Get 10% off your first month by going to and use the promo code: sysk -Upstart. See how low your interest rate is at
March 21, 2020
Everyone knows that coffee can help you think and focus and can even improve your mood – especially that first cup in the morning. Years ago, coffee advertising contained the tagline… “Coffee, the THINK drink.”  But it just may be that all the research showing how good coffee and caffeine are for mental function is flawed. If you are a coffee drinker, you are going to want to hear this. Then, we look at all the math you use in everyday life. Mathematician, Jordan Ellenberg, author of the book How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking ( reveals just how important math is and how it is constantly changing. He also discusses how not to be tricked by statistics and numbers that are designed to mislead you. People do better work when they get a reward. It applies to people at work or kids at home – and it comes as no surprise. What’s interesting is that it actually depends on the type of reward. It doesn’t have to be a big reward, it just has to be the right reward to get people to do their best work. I’ll explain. Source: Dr. John Hoover, author of the book “The Art Of Constructive Confrontation” ( Why don’t diets work? Diet books and programs are as popular as ever but we continue to get heavier. Yoni Freedhoff, M.D., author of the book The Diet Fix ( explains the reasons why your next diet is likely doomed to fail and what works better to get the weight off and keep it off.
March 19, 2020
You have probably been eating peanut butter since you were a kid. And that turns out to be a really good thing. This episode begins with a look at the amazing and little known health benefits of eating peanut butter – as long as it is the right kind of peanut butter. Changing someone’s mind is difficult if not impossible - or so it seems. However, minds do change so clearly it can be done. Jonah Berger joins me to explain how. Jonah is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his latest book is called The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind ( . Listen as he explains the fascinating research on how to get people to agree with you.  The experts are saying that one of the ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to NOT touch your face. Good luck with that! Listen as I explain why trying to not touch your face is almost certainly going to make you touch it even more. Could machines really get so smart they could take over the world – or is that just in the movies? Some scientists have expressed real concern that we could create machines that actually become self-aware and could in fact become smarter than we are. Joining me to discuss whether that is a real possibility or just science fiction is John Markoff, a science writer for the New York Times and author of the book Machines of Loving Grace. (
March 16, 2020
If you have an iPhone, you have likely struggled moving the cursor around in a text message or email. However, there is a very simple way to easily maneuver the cursor to exactly where you want it to go - that many iPhone users don't know. This episode begins with an explanation of exactly how to do that. You are deceiving yourself about yourself. Everyone does it. We rationalize and excuse our behavior and tell ourselves things to make us feel good. Clinical psychologist Dr. Cortney Warren is an expert on self-deception and she offers some valuable insight on how we deceive ourselves, why we do it and the harm it causes. She also has some strategies to help you to stop doing it that I know you will find helpful. Cortney did a TED Talk on the topic which you can see here: Her website is You may think that while you sleep not much is going on – but in fact there is a lot going on. Yes your body is resting but it is doing so much more. Listen and find out all the things that happen to you while you sleep. So much of what you do is determined by the weather. And there are a lot of fascinating things about weather that you probably don’t know – but you are about to. Listen as I talk about the weather with meteorologist Simon King, a very popular weather presenter for the BBC in England and he is author of the book What Does Rain Smell Like ( This Week's Sponsors Post your job today at and get a free sponsored job upgrade on your first posting.  -Theragun. Try it risk free for 30 days and get a free charging stand (a $79 value) when you go to
March 14, 2020
If you were to stand in downtown Detroit and start walking south for as long as it took, what is the first foreign country you would encounter? This is one of the fascinating questions/facts that I know you will find interesting – and might even win you a drink in a bar bet. Then, it is so weird what things influence your opinion and enjoyment of the food you eat. You might like to think you are too smart to be fooled by things like the color of the plate, or the music being played or the weight of the silver ware. But you are. Researcher Charles Spence, author of the new book, Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating ( will amaze you with what he has discovered. You often see celebrities who claim that drinking gallons of water is what keeps them looking so youthful. But is that really true? Listen and find out. Listen as film director and writer Steve Stockman, author of How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck ( offers some brilliant and simple techniques that will help you take better, more interesting video that people will actually enjoy watching. This Week's Sponsors -Grubhub. For $10 off any order of $15 or more (for new diners only), download the Grubhub app and use promo code SYSK
March 12, 2020
What makes a good dancer? Some of it is subjective but there is one particular body part that seems to make all the difference. This episode begins with an explanation of the magic of good dancing. How do you get to be the best at something? You might think those elite performers are just naturally gifted in some way. However, science says no. Anders Ericsson has been studying what it takes to get to the top of your game for several years and he joins me to discuss the surprising results. Anders is the author of the book Peak: Secrets of the New Science of Expertise. ( People disagree over whether vitamin C can do anything for a cold – but there is no disagreement over the benefits vitamin C offers when you are under stress. Listen as I explain what it does and how much you need to take to get the benefits. You’ve heard your whole life - “If you need help, all you have to do is ask!” Well that turns out to be more true than you probably ever imagined. Wayne Baker has spent a long time researching this. He is a professor of Business Administration & Faculty Director of the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He is also author of the book All You Have to Do is Ask ( and he joins me to explain the amazing power of asking for what you need.  This Week's Sponsors -Indochino To get an extra $30 off any purchase of $399 or more go to and enter the code SYSK at checkout.
March 9, 2020
A lot of items you buy at the grocery store are actually a lot cheaper at the drug store. This episode begins with a look at where the bargains are in your neighborhood pharmacy. Wouldn’t it be nice to get some clear and unbiased advice on nutrition? You are about to. David Katz, M.D. is founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center who studies the latest science about nutrition. Recently he teamed up with food writer Mark Bittman to write a new book called How To Eat: All Your Food and Diet Questions Answered ( Dr. Katz joins me to discuss what the latest science says what you eat. Do you use emojis when you write? While some people think they are a little silly they can serve a very important function when you write texts and emails. Listen as I explain and you might find yourself popping an emoji into your next email. Source: Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence ( Ever been in a rut? Most people have and it’s interesting because as boring as it is to be stuck in a rut, it can also be very hard to motivate yourself to get out of it. Michael Platt joins me to talk about why we get into ruts and how to get out of one more easily. Michael is a professor of marketing and neuroscience at Wharton School of Business and his website is This Week's Sponsors -Upstart. To discover how LOW your interest rate is, go to
March 7, 2020
When was the last time you cleaned your credit or debit cards? Or the remote for the TV? There are a lot of things around the house you never think to clean – but you will after you hear this. How spiritual are you? Psychiatrist Dr. Anna Yusim, author of the book Fulfilled: How the Science of Spirituality Can Help You Live a Happier, More Meaningful Life (, discusses what it means to be spiritual and what recent scientific research says about the benefits of spirituality both for your health and happiness. Don’t you hate it when you grab a pen to write something and no ink comes out? I’ll tell you what the experts say to get the ink flowing again quickly. There’s a problem with your survival instinct. Dr. Marc Schoen, Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine and author of the book, Your Survival Instinct is Killing You ( explains how our survival instinct was meant to keep us safe from imminent danger – like a lion who wants to eat you. But today, we don’t need it for that. Consequently, that instinct can cause problems if we don’t learn to regulate it. It can cause us to act inappropriately and can take a toll on our health. So he explains how to manage that instinct and turn down the intensity.
March 5, 2020
Yawning is contagious. We have all experienced that. What’s interesting though is when you notice how soon someone yawns after you do. This episode begins with an explanation of why some people might yawn right away while others might not yawn for a few minutes after your yawn – and what that means. The world is full of irrational people and they can drive you crazy. Since we all have to deal with these people it would be helpful to get some effective strategies. Here with some really good one is Dr. Mark Goulston. Mark is a psychiatrist and author of several books including Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational & Impossible People in Your Life (  Mark is also the host of the podcast My Wake Up Call and his website is You can access the podcast from his website. The next time you are in a bad mood, you might want to head to the kitchen. Not to eat but to do something else that has been shown to really lift people up when they are feeling down. Listen as I explain what it is and why it works. You have probably heard and most likely experienced that colors can affect your mood as well as your behavior. Why? Is it conditioning or is it biological and how does it work exactly? Joining me to explain is Brit Garner a PhD student who has a YouTube channel all about science called Nature League I think you’ll find what she has to say about color quite fascinating.
March 2, 2020
When you have a big decision to make, all kinds of things can influence that decision. But one thing I bet you never thought of was the lighting in the room. Yet, it turns out that lighting can have a significant impact on a decision you make. I’ll explain how and what is optimal lighting to make important decisions. I’m very excited to have Brian Greene as my guest on this episode. Brian is a theoretical physicist, string theorist (and occasional guest star on “The Big Bang Theory”). He is also author of several books including, The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos ( which will really get you thinking about reality and the universe we live in. In fact, as Brian explains, there may be several parallel universes and alternate realities. I know, it sounds space-y but Brian explains it so well, I think you’ll be fascinated. Why do people blush? Ever since grammar school, I’ve been a blusher when I have been embarrassed or made a mistake. But what does science say about WHY people blush? What good does it do? What is the difference between a tough boss and a bully? Workplace bullying is a real problem and it usually (but not always) comes from the boss. Tracey Jones, author of, A Message to Millennials ( reveals the seriousness of the problem and what individuals can and must do to stop the bullying.
February 29, 2020
Everyone knows that as you age, your mental function declines. But when does that begin? Age 40? 50? I’ll tell you what the science says. Then, we look at the history of your home. Every room in your home has a story to tell. The bedroom is particularly fascinating and wait until you hear about your bathroom! Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace State Apartments and other royal palaces in London, is author of the book, If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home ( takes you on a fascinating tour of your own home – that you never knew. Also, if you love tomato juice – good for you! If you hate it, give it another try. If you still hate it, try it again on airplane. Listen and I'll explain why. And if you hate confrontation – you will LOVE this. Barbara Pachter, author of the book The Power of Positive Confrontation ( explains how confrontation works, why it gets out of control and how to use confrontation to get what you want every time – if you do it properly.
February 27, 2020
Why should you take a photo of your passport and keep it on your phone? That’s just one of several important travel tips I discuss that you probably haven’t heard before. You constantly receive criticism and feedback from people – some of it is welcome some not. Some of it is warranted and some of it not. So how can you learn to evaluate the feedback coming at you so you can determine what is true and what is false – and not get defensive? And then how do you use that feedback to your advantage? Sheila Heen author of the book, Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well ( has studied this and you will find what she has to say extremely helpful. Why do so many marriages and relationships go bad? Dr Harville Hendrix has been studying relationships and has worked with couples for over 30 years. He has authored several books on the topic including Making Marriage Simple ( . He shares some incredible insight into how any relationship can be made better – instantly if at least one person is willing to make some simple changes. And who doesn’t love bacon? Just the smell of bacon cooking is enough to make you crave it. So what is it about bacon that makes it so desirable? I’ll explain the science of bacon in this episode. This Week's Sponsors -AirMedCare Network.Go get up to a $50 gift card when you use the promo code: something -Theragun. Try it risk free for 30 days and get a free charging stand (a $79 value) when you go to
February 24, 2020
We all make mistakes. However, wouldn’t it be nice if you could make fewer of them? This episode begins by revealing two simple strategies that have been proven to help people make fewer mistakes when they attempt to accomplish a task. (Source: Joseph Hallinan author of Why We Make Mistakes When you have a problem, you need to find a solution. Maybe though, the better course of action should be to change or reframe the problem. That’s the advice of Thomas Wedell Wedellsborg, who is author of the book What’s Your Problem? To Solve Your Toughest Problems, Change the Problems You Solve ( . Listen as he explains the fascinating process of changing the problem to find a better solution.   When you have a cold or the flu, doctors recommend bed rest. Why? What’s so special about bed rest? Listen as we discuss what bed rest does to help you get better – and the benefits are real. While you like to think that you look at the world through objective eyes, it just isn’t true. Humans have very distinct biases that color your view of things, events and people. While these biases are often helpful, they can also get in the way. Listen as I discuss this with Dr. Daniel Krawcyk, a professor of behavioral and brain science at the University of Texas in Dallas. He is also the co-host of the Mental Models podcast ( and co-author of the book Understanding Behavioral Bias ( You’ll get some great insight into to how biases influence your thoughts and decision making.  This Week's Sponsors -AirMedCare Network. Go to and get up to a $50 gift card when you use the promo code: something -Better Help. Get 10% off your first month by going to and use the promo code: sysk
February 22, 2020
Do you lose most of your body heat through your head? What’s the best way to stop the hiccups? We begin this episode with a look at these and other interesting medical myths and facts. What exactly is the Internet – and where is it located? We think of the Internet as being virtual but there is a physical Internet – there has to be. Those network connections all have to connect somewhere. Journalist Andrew Blum author of the book, Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet (, takes us all on a journey of the physical Internet – where it is, how it works and what it smells like. Do you know what to do when lightning strikes? Much of what we hear isn’t true. I’ll tell you what the experts say about staying safe in a lightning storm. When I say “self-discipline” you probably think of it as sacrifice and painful and not much fun. However, when it comes to achieving success in anything, a little self-discipline can be a very powerful tool. Rory Vaden, author of the N.Y. Times bestseller, Take The Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving Success ( explains how self-discipline really works, how powerful it is and why there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about it. This Week's Sponsors -Automation Finance. Go to to review the investment memorandum and sign up for an account.
February 20, 2020
What happens if you try to make a photocopy of a $20 bill? This episode begins by revealing why it is so hard to do and why a picture of money won’t open in PhotoShop either. Financial guru Suze Orman has been preaching the importance of financial responsibility for a long time. Listen as she offers some effective strategies to help you keep more of your money and help it grow while still enjoying life to the fullest. For information about the document package she talks about go to: Temptation often wins over willpower. But the next time you need a little burst of willpower to overcome that urge you will later regret, there is a strategy that really seems to work. All the talk about artificial intelligence and robot technology can sound scary. What will be left for humans to do? Futurist Steve Brown, author of The Innovation Ultimatum: Six Strategic Technologies That Will Reshape Every Business in the 2020s ( joins me with some good news about all of this. He also offers a glimpse into some amazing technology that will be able to detect cancer just by listening to your voice.
February 17, 2020
What is the best way to sign-off an email? Well, it depends on what you want the outcome to be but if you re hoping for a reply, there is one sign-off that is more likely to get someone to respond. This episode begins with me revealing those magic words. Why is your brain in your head? Why do your eyes face forward but a fish’s eyes are on the side of it’s head? These are just a few of the interesting questions about your body that I discuss with Mark Changizi. Mark is a cognitive scientist, he has a YouTube series about science ( and he has authored some science books – one being The Vision Revolution: How the Latest Research Overturns Everything We Thought We Knew About Human Vision ( Wrinkles are inevitable. However, there are things we can all do to minimize how many you get and how prominent they are. Listen as I discuss some expert advice from Good Housekeeping magazine and I’ll also reveal the best way to tell how many wrinkles you will likely get. When you make buying decisions, a lot of factors go into it – some you aren’t even aware of. And then there are customer reviews. Are they a could way to determine if you should buy or not buy a product? That’s what I discuss with Bart de Langhe, a behavioral scientist and a marketing professor at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain and an expert on buying behavior. He has a TED talk on the subject you can watch here: This Week's Sponsors -Blinkist. Go to to start your free 7 day trial and get 25% off your subscription
February 15, 2020
Some people love rollercoasters and scary movies – but why? What is the appeal of being scared half to death? Today, you’ll find out why. We’ve all been in the situation where we HAVE to perform well and because of that we lose our confidence, get nervous and catastrophize all the horrible things that could happen if we fail. Why on earth do we do that when it does nothing but makes us perform even worse? The trick is to “psych yourself up.” Daniel McGinn, senior editor at Harvard Business Review and author of the book, Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed ( offers some suggestions, based on research, that can help you perform better when there is a lot on the line.  How many times did you hear a teacher say to never to end a sentence with a preposition? Is it really such a sin? A grammar expert explains the truth about where that rule came from and whether or not it is important to follow it.  Why does it seem that when families get together, it always leads to trouble? Family therapist Eric Maisel, author of the book Overcoming Your Difficult Family ( explains why when families gather they have trouble getting along and what you can do to rise above it all and save your sanity.
February 13, 2020
Is all gasoline the same? Actually, there is a difference. This episode begins with an explanation of the difference between regular gas and “Top Tier” gas and why you might want to check out the website In life, there are finite games and infinite games. Your career or marriage are examples of infinite games. There is no ultimate winner in those games. It turns out a lot of life is an infinite game even though we sometimes don’t treat it that way. Simon Sinek author of the book The Infinite Game ( joins me to explain how we are all players in both finite and infinite games – and how you play those games determines your success in life and career. You touch a lot of things during the day and the cash in your wallet is one of the grossest. Listen as I explain just how gross it is and what disgusting organisms are clinging to your money. The role parents play in their children’s lives has changed. Parents are far more involved than they used to be. That’s not a good thing according to psychologist Madeline Levine, author of the book Ready or Not: Preparing our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly Changing World ( Madeline joins me with a look at the problems created by this new modern parenting and offers some ways to make it better.
February 10, 2020
They tell you on airplane that in the event of an emergency an oxygen mask will drop from the ceiling and when you breathe into it the mask may not inflate. Why don’t they know if it will inflate or not? This episode begins with the answer to that and other things about the plane’s oxygen system you should know. People spend money for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes those reasons are irrational. Other times we are not really aware of how much money we are actually spending on things. Michael Norton is a professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and author of the book Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending ( He joins me to discuss why we spend money on some things and why we regret NOT spending money on other things. He also offers some great advice on how to get a good handle on your spending so that you spend money on things that are important without wasting money on things that are not.  What makes for a good and safe password? Most people think random characters are best. Listen and discover why there is something else that is really important and it has nothing to do with randomness. Indulging in pleasurable activities can make you feel guilty. But it shouldn’t. Treating yourself to pleasure is one of the best things you can do for yourself. That’s according to Dr. Nan Wise, a psychotherapist and author of the book Why Good Sex Matters ( Listen as she explains why some hedonism (not just sex – any pleasure) is somethings humans need.
February 8, 2020
The number of parents of who spank their kids as a means of discipline has dropped significantly over the past several decades – but some parents still do it. And in other countries, spanking is much more commonplace. But for those parents who still spank, there is a new reason to stop – and it has nothing to do with the kid – and all to do with the parent’s well being. Source: “30 Lessons for Living” by Karl Pillimer ( Just how does modern technology affect you? It’s a fascinating discussion you’ll hear when I speak with Clive Thompson, a longtime contributor to the New York Times magazine, a columnist for Wired and author of a book called, Smarter Than You Think : How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better ( Clive makes the case that despite some negative effects of technology – it is mostly a positive influence on us. But it’s complicated. Plus, in this episode, I have some fascinating ways to save money you probably haven’t heard before. Here’s one: Even non-members can use the pharmacy at Sam’s Club and Costco and save a lot of money. And there are several more… And what you don’t know about your health can really hurt you. Dr. Richard Besser, former chief health and medical editor for ABC News and author of the book, Tell Me the Truth Doctor ( explodes some myths and offers some important health facts you need to know to stay healthy and live a long time.
February 6, 2020
A lot of us tend to over-apologize. This episode begins with an explanation of why we do it and why we should stop doing it. Then when you do have to apologize, I’ll tell you how. (Source: Harriet Lerner author of the book “Why Won’t You Apologize” ( Sleep is important. It’s probably more important than most people realize in terms of health, performance and longevity. Joining me to explain 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 ( Wash, condition, rinse. That’s how you wash your hair. But you might want to change up the order. I’ll explain how and the reasons why. Arguments and disagreements can be interesting but often not very productive. The reason may be that we are going at it all wrong. Julia Dhar is a partner at Boston Consulting Group and author of the book The Decision Maker’s Playbook ( She joins me to discuss some fascinating research on disagreements and she offers some excellent strategies to use when you disagree so that the conversation is actually productive – or at least not destructive.
February 3, 2020
I know you’ve watched a sleeping dog twitch and move it's feet like it is running. So, is it just that the dog is dreaming or is there more to it than that? And should you be concerned if your dog does it? Listen and I’ll reveal what exactly is going on.  People claim to want to find love. Then once they find it, it is hard to keep it alive. Why is that? Social anthropologist Helen Fisher author of the book Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray ( returns to discuss the inner workings of love between 2 people, what often goes wrong and how to keep the romance alive. Helen was a guest on episode 147 talking about how to find love. You can hear it here: How many times have you heard someone complain about the bad weather and claim it causes their aches and pains to feel worse? Listen as I explore the science regarding the connection to weather and pain. When you create a goal for yourself, there is a tendency to focus on how hard or even painful it is going to be to achieve. There is some really interesting research that indicates that’s about the worst thing you can do. If you change the way you look at the goal, it becomes easier to achieve. One of the people conducting the research is Emily Balcetis a social psychologist and associate professor of psychology at New York University. She is author of the book Clearer, Closer, Better: How Successful People See the World ( and she joins me to offer you advice on achieving your goals with less struggle.
February 1, 2020
New clothes are not necessarily CLEAN clothes. In fact, there is a good chance other people have worn your new clothes before you. We start this episode discussing why and how to wash new clothes before you wear them. Also, how self-aware are you? Do you really understand who you really are and do you understand how other people really see you? Surprisingly, few of us know – even though we like to think we do. Organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich author of the book Insight: Why We’re Not as Self-Aware as We Think ( explains how to become more self-aware and why it is important to your success at work and in life. Your 5 senses can affect your attitude and behavior –and it is going to sound strange. For example, feeling something soft can “soften” your personality. Feeling something warm can create warm feelings for another person. I know it sounds nuts but Dr. Thalma Lobel author of the book Sensation: The New Science of Physical Intelligence ( explains the science behind this. More importantly, she reveals how to use this knowledge to your advantage.  Have you ever been stuck in a traffic jam that appears to have no cause? Listen as I reveal why that happens and other fascinating things about the way traffic does – and does not move.
January 30, 2020
It’s fun to play the lottery. If you do, you probably spend more on it than you think. This episode begins with a look at how much people really spend on lottery tickets and what the real odds are of winning the Powerball jackpot. eBay has made it a lot easier for people to sell stuff they don’t want anymore to someone who does want it. So, do you have stuff that other people want – and how much do you think it is worth? Aaron Lapedis author of The Garage Sale Millionaire ( is an expert on buying and selling stuff at garage sales, eBay, Craigslist and elsewhere. Listen as he tells you what just might be luring in old boxes in the attic that could be worth a lot of money. And what to do with it to get it sold. Sometimes you need to charge your phone fast. Listen as I explain some tips that can really speed up the process and getting your battery back up to 100%. Source: David Pogue author of "Pogue's Basics: Essential Tips & Shortcuts" ( We have rules for sleep. For example, mom and dad sleep together in one room. Kids sleep in their room. We go to bed when we are supposed to – but says who? Where did these rules come? According to Benjamin Reiss, professor at Emory University and author of the book, Wild Nights ( claims that our rules for sleeping today are very different than they have been for most of human history. Hear what he has to say and you be liberated from a sleep routine that doesn’t really work for you.
January 27, 2020
Don’t you hate it when people ignore your emails? Well, there may be something you are doing in your subject line that increases the odds you will be ignored. This episode starts by revealing what that is – and the simple fix. It appears to be human nature that bad things feel bad more than good things feel better. As an example, it feels worse to lose $20 than it feels good to win $20. It’s called the negativity effect. Consequently, we will do more to avoid bad things happening than we will do to make good things happen. This has amazing implications to your life you have likely never thought about.. John Tierney is a writer has researched and written a book about this called The Power of Bad: How The Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It ( He joins me to explain how the negativity effect plays a role in many parts of your life. Some people can swallow a pill without drinking water with it. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Listen as I explain the dangers of dry-swallowing medication. Why do some people have so much trouble maintaining a reasonable body weight while it is no problem for others? While there is no simple answer a lot of it has to do with environment, genetics and how you respond to your sense of hunger. Joining me to discuss this and what science says can really work to lose weight and keep it off is Dr. Giles Yeo. He is a geneticist with over 20 years’ experience dedicated to researching the genetics of obesity and author of the book Gene Eating: The Science of Obesity and the Truth About Dieting (
January 25, 2020
Every credit card bill comes with a due date. And if you pay the balance every month by the due date – you don’t pay any interest. But if you carry a balance month-to-month, the rules are different. You pay interest every day on the unpaid balance. So, the question is, if you make your payment earlier than the due date, do you save money? We start this episode by doing that math. Starting your own business is a romantic idea. But is it practical? Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup ( shares the results of his fascinating research on people who started a successful business with very little money – and explains how anyone can do it. There is one particular app that is sucking your smartphone dry. And by that I mean it is sucking a lot of battery power and storage space. Which app is it? I’ll reveal which one and explain how you can easily live without it. If you are one of those people (or you know one of those people) who works all the time and never takes a vacation or takes weekends off, you need to hear award-winning journalist Katrina Onstad, author of The Weekend Effect ( She explores the harm this “all work – no fun” approach to life does to a person’s mental and physical health as well as to the quality of work they do.
January 23, 2020
If you breathe through your mouth you are doing it all wrong. This episode begins with a discussion on how to breathe properly and why breathing through your nose is so much better. Physical intelligence is that thing that allows you to never forget how to ride a bike or allows you to play a musical instrument or a sport. Scott Grafton teaches neuroscience at the University of California Santa Barbara and he is author of the book Physical Intelligence: The Science of How the Body and the Mind Guide Each Other Through Life ( Scott joins me to explain how our physical intelligence helps us navigate the physical world and how our world is actually getting too easy for us to navigate.  No matter what your age is, your posture today is probably not as good as it used to be. Still, good posture is important and I discuss some things you can do (and not do) to improve your posture. You’ve probably heard the advice that too make a change you need to break it down into smaller steps. But maybe it would be better to break it down into even smaller – tiny steps. That’s what BJ Fogg says works better for humans. BJ Fogg is a social science research associate at Stanford and founder of the Stanford Behavior Design Lab. He is also author of the book Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything ( Listen as he explains how the tiniest of changes can lead to big and lasting changes in your life. This Week's Sponsors -Best Fiends. Download this fun mobile game for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
January 20, 2020
Have you heard of “Imposter Syndrome?” It’s that feeling that you don’t really deserve the success you have achieved. A lot of people suffer from it so we begin this episode with an explanation of where it comes from and how to stop feeling like such a fake so you can truly enjoy your success. Would you take relationship advice from a divorce lawyer? Think about it – who knows better why relationships fall apart than a seasoned divorce attorney? And perhaps with that knowledge you could reverse engineer a relationship, so it stays together. That’s what my guest James Sexton is going to discuss. James is a divorce lawyer and author of the book How to Stay in Love: Practical Wisdom from an Unexpected Source ( From his unique perspective he has some suggestions that I think will resonate with you and that you will find very practical if you want to keep your relationship or marriage going smoothly - or at least understand why it isn’t. One reason people eat yogurt is because it has bacteria in it that is supposed to be good for you. Well, it turns out it might not be as good for you as you think. Listen as I discuss what yogurt really does – or doesn’t do to promote “gut health.” Your sense of taste is rather amazing. It turns out it is so much more than the flavor you experience on your tongue. And it also changes. Foods you hated as a kid you may enjoy as an adult. And why do you like some foods that other people hate? Camilla Arndal Anderson is a food scientist in Denmark who studies people’s sense of taste and she joins me to explain the fascinating, complicated and very subjective sense of taste. Camilla also has a TED talk on the subject which you can watch here:
January 18, 2020
People who overeat tend to do so at the same time on the same days. This episode begins with me telling you exactly when those times are so you can defend yourself against temptation. Solving problems and developing new ideas doesn’t come from focus and concentration as much as it does from “unfocusing” and letting your mind wander. Psychiatrist Dr. Srini Pillay author of Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try: Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind ( explains the science behind how the creative brain works better when it is distracted rather than when it is trying to be creative.  There is something called “double standard parenting.” In other words, when you accidentally break a lamp – well it’s just an accident. But what happens when your kid accidentally breaks a lamp? Does he or she get punished and shamed for doing it? We’ll explore some sage advice on why you shouldn’t hold your kids to higher standard than you hold yourself. Source: The Awakened Family by Dr. Shefali Tsabary ( The world of video games isn’t all about war, aliens, shooting people and blowing things up. Andrew Ervin, author of Bit by Bit: How Video Games Transformed Our World ( reveals an entirely different world of video games and also discusses the importance of video games as a true art form.
January 16, 2020
Listening to music is more than just a pleasant experience. It is also good for you in several ways. This episode begins with a discussion of how valuable music is to your mental and physical well-being. Could your genes or microbes or even a parasite actually dictate parts of your personality? Likely so, according to Bill Sullivan, a professor at Indiana School of Medicine and author of the book Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are ( Listen as he explains how these forces can actually determine and even alter what makes you – you.  You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t store tomatoes in the fridge or that you shouldn’t fry food in olive oil. These are just a couple of common kitchen practices that may not stand up to scientific scrutiny. Listen as I explain why. It can sometimes be hard to explain something to someone so they really and truly get it. Listen as scientist, Dr. Dominic Walliman offers the four key ingredients that will help you explain anything to anyone. Link to Dominic’s YouTube Channel: Link to Dominic’s books: Link to his TED talk:
January 13, 2020
When a woman cries it can have a dramatic effect on a man. Not only because she is sad but also because of how hears smell – seriously. This episode begins with an explanation of the connection between a woman’s tears and a man’s testosterone. Many New Year’s resolutions are about exercise because for some, staying active is hard to do. Well, for some amazing motivation, listen to Kelly McGonigal, research psychologist and lecturer at Stanford and author of the book, The Joy of Movement ( Kelly explains not only the long-term benefits of movement but the instant and satisfying benefits of moving your body even just a little.  Why are there revolving doors? They are heavy and hard to push and some people hate them. So where did they come from and what was the original purpose. Listen to hear a very surprising story. Talking to strangers can be tedious. After all, what’s the point of having a 15 second conversation with someone in line at the supermarket who you will never se again? Perhaps that is not the way to look at it. Kio Stark has been seeking out strangers to talk to for a long time. She loves it. Kio is author of the book When Strangers Meet ( Listen to hear her explain why and what benefits you can get for investing in those brief conversations rather than avoiding them. You can see her TED talk here:
January 11, 2020
Want to keep your fresh cut flowers, fresher? My grandmother always said put aspirin in the water and I’ve also heard you should put a penny in the water or some sugar. Well someone actually tested all these things out – and you’ll hear the results and discover what works best. You constantly receive criticism and feedback from people – some of it is welcome some not. Some of it is warranted and some of it not. So how can you learn to evaluate the feedback coming at you so you can determine what is true and what is false – and not get defensive? And then how do you use that feedback to your advantage? Sheila Heen author of the book, Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well ( has studied this and you will find what she has to say extremely helpful. Why do so many marriages and relationships go bad? Dr Harville Hendrix has been studying relationships and has worked with couples for over 30 years. He has authored several books on the topic including Making Marriage Simple ( He shares some incredible insight into how any relationship can be made better – instantly if at least one person is willing to make some simple changes. Who doesn’t love bacon? Just the smell of bacon cooking is enough to make you crave it. So what is it about bacon that makes it so desirable? I’ll explain the science of bacon in this episode.
January 9, 2020
Did you set any New Year’s resolutions? The chances of them sticking for a long time are pretty slim. However, there is something you can do to improve your odds. This episode begins with a strategy to help make life changes really stick. Do you know what your circadian rhythm is? It’s your internal 24-hour clock that controls you in ways you probably never knew. Dr. Emily Manoogian is a post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute ( and is an expert in chronobiology which is the study of our internal clocks and how they affect us. Emily joins me to explain how these clocks work and how they control your life. Watch her TED talk here: Getting ice off your windshield in the morning can be a slow process. However there is a fast, safe and effective way to do it. Listen as I explain what it is. Some people like meetings but I suspect more people don’t. Why? Because meetings are often a waste of time. David Grady is a writer and communications expert who created an interesting TED talk on how to save the world from bad meetings ( and he joins me to discuss how to get out of meetings you shouldn’t be in – and how to make better the ones you do have to attend.
January 6, 2020
As you just found out over the holidays, finding the right gift to someone can be difficult. However, there is some science to it that can make gift giving a little easier. This episode begins with some interesting insight on finding the right gifts for everyone the next time you need to. Have you ever wondered why you are the person you are? Where did your personality come from? Does it change – and can you change it if you want to? Christopher Soto is an associate professor of psychology at Colby College in Maine ( and has studied personality for a long time. Listen as he explains why you are you and why you might be a better you, later on. Procrastination is generally considered to be a bad trait. Still, we all do it. So maybe it isn’t all bad – maybe it serves a purpose. Dominic Vogue is Senior Associate Director of The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning at Princeton University ( and is an expert on the subject of procrastination. I think you’ll find what he has to say quite fascinating and may make you feel less guilty the next time you decide to put something off.  Police give out speeding tickets for several reasons: they punish fast drivers, they deter other drivers from speeding and they are a source of revenue for government. But there is also a problem. The practice of handing out speeding tickets can be dangerous. Listen as I explain why.
January 4, 2020
What’s your favorite sleep position? It turns out that one sleep position is better than the others for eliminating “brain waste” and preventing Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s and other brain problems. In this episode, you’ll discover the best way to sleep. How do you spot a liar? It’s not just one or two things – you have to understand the process of determining whether someone is being deceptive. Listen as Maryann Karinch, co-author of the book How to Spot a Liar (, helps you become a better truth detector. With all the texts, and memos and emails and reports you write – you probably strive to make your writing effective - right? Laura Brown, author of How to Write Anything: A Complete Guide ( – and an expert writer herself – offers some simple ways to punch up and improve your writing so that people understand you and your message is crystal clear. What’s in your garage? Some of the things you probably have in there are better off somewhere else, according to Home & Garden magazine. We’ll explore what things you should either get rid of or bring into the house.
January 2, 2020
Flattery works – if you know how to do it right. So this episode begins with a discussion on how to use flattery and why it is such a powerful tool in getting people to like you. Interestingly though, flattery doesn’t work on everyone and I’ll tell you who. Math is an important part of almost every aspect of your life. You probably just don’t think about it. In fact there are ways to use math that can help you save time and money and make better decisions. Kit Yates joins me to explain the importance of math in our everyday lives and how it works. Kit is a senior lecturer in mathematical biology at the University of Bath in the UK and author of the book The Math of Life and Death ( Now that it is a new year and a new decade, it is probably a good time to let go of that grudge you’ve been holding on to. Listen as I explain the amazing benefits of NOT holding a grudge compared to the real downside of holding on to those thoughts of anger, resentment and revenge. What is consciousness? In short it is the essence of who you are at any moment. But where does it come from? Where does it go when you die? These are questions I tackle in this episode with Philip Goff. Who teaches at Durham University in the UK and is the author of the book Galileo's Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness (
December 30, 2019
Some people can’t imagine exercise without having their cellphone. You can listen to music, text and chat and it helps the time fly by. Well, there is also a problem with exercising with your cellphone and we will discuss what this is in this episode of the podcast. Have you heard of oxytocin? It’s sometimes called the “moral molecule.” Oxytocin is the brain chemical that helps us trust each other and feel good about each other. What’s interesting is that we know how to cause oxytocin to be released and when you understand how it works, it has implications for all our relationships with people who love, people know and even strangers. Neuroscientist Paul Zak, author of The Moral Molecule ( joins me for this fascinating discussion. People talk about healthcare a lot – but things only seem to be getting worse. And generally, I think people feel helpless to do anything. Perhaps you will feel more empowered when you hear Elisabeth Rosenthal, author of the bestselling book, An American Sickness ( Elisabeth was trained as a physician and spent years as a writer for the New York Times and is now editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News. Everyone knows that arguing isn’t good. But actually it may just be the thing to keep your relationships alive. We’ll explore why in this episode of the podcast.
December 28, 2019
There’s nothing more embarrassing than those awkward moments in life – when your fly is down or there is spinach in your teeth or you embarrass yourself accidentally. But how you handle those moments is what really matters and that is topic number one on today’s podcast. How you think about money – and how money plays tricks on is a fascinating topic everyone needs to understand. Claudia Hammond, a broadcaster for the BBC in London is author of the book Mind Over Money ( and has some amazing insight on how you handle money and make financial decisions – and how others use little mind games to get you to part with more of your money. Being aware of these things can really help you not fall victim. There is great power in expressing appreciation – yet most people think they don’t get enough of it. The result of that lack appreciation creates all kinds of havoc in relationships and organizations. Listen as we explore the power of appreciation and how to make it work for you.
December 26, 2019
There is something about flying that makes you feel – lousy. Since a lot of people are flying this time of year, this episode begins with a discussion on why flying in an airplane makes you feel so uncomfortable, what you can do about it and how everyone else feels exactly the same way. I bet you have heard the advice “Follow your passion…” or “Do what you love and the money will follow…” While that sounds great, it may be some of the worst advice you will ever hear when it comes to making a career choice. Cal Newport author of the book So Good They Can’t Ignore You ( has investigated this advice – where it came from and why it is such a bad idea. Perhaps you have heard of Big Data. Well there is also something called “Small Data.” And small data is a big deal according to Martin Lindstrom who is considered to be one of the world’s top brand-building experts. He is author of the book Small Data ( and he explains how small data works, how you collect and interpret this data and how it has helped many organizations focus their marketing better. In fact, small data brought LEGO from the brink of bankruptcy to becoming the number one brand in the entire world. When I say, “Chinese food take-out container,” you know exactly what I mean. It is that small cardboard box with the metal handle that all Chinese food is packed in. It is actually an engineering marvel. It is one piece of cardboard folded in such a way as to be leak-proof. And yet there is nothing Chinese about it and it is not used in China at all. It is a fascinating story worth hearing.
December 23, 2019
You can look dramatically younger by doing almost nothing. This episode begins with 3 simple ways that change how people perceive you. Do these things and you will instantly and dramatically appear younger than your actual age. Humans are born to be hopeful. Interact with any 2-year old and you will see and hear nothing but hope in what they say and do. Yet sometimes, as adults, we lose hope. Then what? This holiday season, I want to share with you an interview I did a while back with Dr. Shane Lopez, author of the book Making Hope Happen ( Dr. Lopez was a leading researcher and authority on hope. Sadly, he died not long ago at the age of 46 but he left a message about hope that is so powerful. Life would be easier if we all had more courage. How to you get more? Debbie Ford is going to tell you how. Debbie Ford was the author of the book Courage: Overcoming Fear and Igniting Self-Confidence ( and she had a ton of courage. Debbie passed away a few years ago. Shortly before her death I had a chance to talk with her and I think you will find the conversation inspiring as we all prepare for the new year, 2020. When your gas gauge says empty – are you really out of gas? Listen and discover how long you can drive before you must find a gas station.
December 21, 2019
Do you really have a year to send a wedding gift? That turns out to be one of several etiquette myths we’ll explore as I begin today’s episode. We’ve all heard the stories of terrible, deadly disease outbreaks in other countries that take a devastating toll on the people who live there. Unfortunately, with modern air travel, those diseases could be in the jungles of some Third World country one day and on the streets of New York the next. You really need to hear Michael Osterholm. He is founding director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and author of the book, Deadliest Enemy ( What he says about infectious diseases is both encouraging and scary – and is definitely something worth knowing. Then, you’ll meet Isaac Lidsky. He was a regular on the TV series “Saved By the Bell.” But he also became a very successful attorney – and along the way lost his sight to a rare disease. He is author of the book Eyes Wide Open ( and he shares his unique philosophy on life – and explains why losing his sight was a turning point in his life. You know it is not safe to talk on the phone while driving – but something interesting happens when you drive while. OTHER people in the car are talking on the phone. It is more dangerous than you could have imagined. This Week’s Sponsors -Les Mills On Demand. Try the fitness app FREE for 21 days by going to
December 19, 2019
How many times have you heard that it is important to drink a lot of fluids when you have a cold or the flu? But why? Does it help flush the illness from your system? That what a lot of people think. But that’s not it. This episode begins with the real reason why it is a good idea to keep drinking when you are sick – but not too much. When you have a tough day or a difficult encounter, it can sometimes be hard to shake it off. The problem is it can negatively affect your performance the rest of the day. However, there is a technique that can really help. Dr. Adam Fraser author of the book The Third Space ( explains how elite athletes, salespeople and peak performers everywhere don’t let a bad experience keep them down.  If you are going away for the holidays or any other time really, there are some important things to remember to keep burglars out of your house while you are gone. I’ll reveal what is on that very important checklist. How do you spot a trend? Where do they come from? Rohit Bhargava has been trying to predict trends for a decade and has published a book about it every year for the last several years. He does this by engaging in what he calls “Non-Obvious Thinking” which he says we should all do to help us spot new opportunities. Listen as he explains how you do it and what the latest trends are. His latest book, which will be the last one in the series is called Non Obvious Megatrends: How to See What Others Miss and Predict the Future ( This Weeks Sponsors -Finance Pal. Start you free trial today by going to
December 16, 2019
It is the most wonderful tine of the year! Many people will tell you that Christmas is their favorite holiday. Did you know that there was a time in this country when it was illegal to celebrate Christmas? The episode begins with an explanation of when and why. The sound of your voice and how you speak is a very important part of the image you project. Interestingly a lot of people don’t like their voice and wish it was better. Joining me to help you optimize your voice is Dr. Jackie Gartner-Schmidt a voice-specialized speech language pathologist and professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She is also a presentation consultant. You can contact her at You can see her TED talk here: If you are sending packages to people this holiday season you are going to want to hear some simple suggestions from people who actually deliver packages. Their advice will help your packages get their safely, on time and undamaged. You have probably heard that there are health benefits to owning a pet. But our connection with animals goes well beyond that according to Richard Louv author of the book Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives―and Save Theirs ( Listen as he explains why, if you have ever had an encounter with a wild animal, you remember it vividly and what all encounters with animals do for us and the animals.  This Weeks Sponsors -SimpliSafe. Go to to take advantage of special savings and free shipping. -LinkedIn. Get $50 off your first job post by going to
December 14, 2019
Next time you do something really embarrassing in front of other people – you will remember what I am going to tell you in this episode – and it will make you feel a lot better about whatever embarrassing thing you did. Then, we are going to look at the problems created by parents today who give too much and do too much for their kids. Richard Watts, author of Entitlemania: How Not to Spoil Your Kids & What to Do If You Have ( reveals the consequences of parents over indulging their kids in the name of love. Also, everyone knows that you should stretch before you exercise to become flexible and prevent injury. Yet, according to science it is actually a bad idea. It’s one of the many exercise myths I explore with New York Times writer Gretchen Reynolds, author of The First 20 Minutes ( You’ll hear the science that explains how many things people believe about exercise, health and weight loss are just plain wrong. There is this thing called the paradox of choice. It basically means that the more choices you give someone the more likely they are to pick none. It’s important to understand and I’ll explain why.
December 12, 2019
When your hands and feet are cold, you feel you cold. Why is that? And what can you do to warm them up quickly? This episode begins with some interesting help that will keep you warm this winter. You may not realize it but communicating with a computer with just your voice is a really big deal. It is a game changer according to Bradley Metrock, CEO of Score Publishing who produces events that revolve around voice computing. Bradley is the host of the podcast This Week in Voice and author of the book More than Just Weather and Music: 200 Ways to Use Alexa ( Listen as he explains how smart speakers work, how some are different than others and what it all means to you. If you are going on a job interview, what is the worst color to wear? I’ll explain what hiring managers say about the worst and best clothes to wear if you want to make a good impression. You have probably never thought much about the topic of liquids but liquids are vital to our survival and the survival of every species on earth. British scientist Mark Miodownik, author of the book Liquid Rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances that Flow Through Our Lives ( joins me to discuss the fascinating world of liquids. For one thing, liquids are hard to define yet one liquid (water) covers 70% of the earth's surface. Interestingly, liquids are so important to our survival yet there is very little liquid in the universe. Listen to hear this fascinating discussion. This Week’s Sponsors -Beauty Counter. Check out great holiday specials before they are gone. Go to
December 9, 2019
Something strange happens when most people read emails and texts and it could cause a health problem. Listen to discover what it is so you can see if you do it – so you can stop doing it. Nutrition advice can be confusing. Is there an actual diet that will help you lose weight? Are salt and sugar really that bad for your health? Why is so much of the nutrition advice contradictory? Here to discuss the science of nutrition and offer some advice on how to navigate through all the information is Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society and author of the book A Grain of Salt :The Science and Pseudoscience of What We Eat ( Sometimes you need an alarm to make sure you wake up on time but it may not be the best way to wake up. There is a better and often easier way that isn’t quite so jarring. Listen to find out what it is. Human beings like to explore. We have explored most of our earth and now we are exploring space. Why are we so curious? Why is exploration so important? And what will we explore next? Andrew Radner is an aerospace engineer who works as a mission manager at Space X. He has written a fascinating book about human exploration called Beyond the Known: How Exploration Created the Modern World and Will Take Us to the Stars ( and he joins me to tell some exciting tales of exploration – past and present. This Week’s Sponsors -Fetch Rewards. Download the Fetch Rewards app and use promo code SYSK to receive 4000 points when you scan your first receipt. -Finance Pal. Start you free trial today by going to
December 7, 2019
What’s the best way to deal with a jerk? Well, according to psychiatrist Dr. Mark Goulston, there is one word that will shut them up – and it is kind of fun to watch. That’s first up today on this episode of the podcast. Plus, what does your dog really think about? Probably not what you think. Camilla Gray-Nelson, author of Lipstick & the Leash: Dog Training a Woman’s Way ( offers some amazing insight into what’s really going on inside that little doggie brain. Then, knowing what your dog is thinking, you can then train and relate to them in a way that works for everyone. Then, do you believe in magical thinking? Maybe you knock on wood or use a lucky charm or wear you lucky shirt. And deep down inside you know there is nothing to it really – but you do it anyway. So what’s this all about? Matthew Hutson, author of The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking ( explores why virtually everyone (even skeptics) across all cultures engages in magical thinking. And he reveals how magical thinking can actually work – like magic! Finally, when you go on a trip, why does it seem that the trip back home is shorter than the trip there? There is actually an interesting psychological phenomenon at work. I’ll explain what it is in today’s episode.
December 5, 2019
This is the time of year when people give to people less fortunate – and that is great. However, if you are going to give, there are things that most homeless shelters and other organizations need more than others. This episode begins by explaining what most donation centers would really like you to geth them for Christmas. If you think the way to win an argument is to give people a lot of evidence to prove you are right, you must listen to this because it will fundamentally change the way you argue EVERYTHING. Professor Niro Sivanathan of the London Business School is an expert on something called the “dilution effect” that says that more evidence is not better. In fact more evidence oftens weakens your argument. Listen as he explains how to strengthen any argument and more importantly how to NOT dilute your arguments by putting “everything on the table.” You can see his TED talk on this here:  Do you pay much attention to the age recommendations on toy boxes when you buy Christmas gifts? Listen as I explain why you should, what they mean and how to use them wisely.  Are you a good writer? Would you like to be a better one? It’s not that hard to do according to Mary-Kate Mackey, author of the book Write Better Now: The Reluctant Writer’s Guide to Confident Communication and Self-Assured Style ( Listen as she offers some simple ways to improve the quality of your writing so people really understand what you are trying to say when you write letters, reviews, blog posts, texts, emails or anything else. This Week’s Sponsors -Flo Technologies. For 20% off your Flo device go to and use the promo code: SYSK20 -Finance Pal. Go to to start your free trial today -Fetch Rewards. Download the Fetch Rewards app and use promo code SYSK to receive 4000 points when you scan your first receipt.
December 2, 2019
People seem to get sadder in winter. Is it the weather? Is it just because it’s colder? Or is it the sunlight? This episode begins with the explanation of why more people get into bad moods this time of year. Computers and other electronic devices used to come with huge instruction manuals. Not anymore. We live in an age of “user-friendly” machines that don't need instructions. What’s so interesting is that the whole concept of the “user experience” is really traceable back to a specific point in time and it wasn’t all that 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 explains the evolution that has gone from teaching people how to use complicated machines to making complicated machines easy for people to use. Everyone loves a log fire on a cold winter’s night. But does it really keep you warm? And what about the pollution it causes? Listen and discover some interesting facts about log fires. We spend a lot of time either trying to change people’s minds or listening to other people trying to change ours. Often it isn’t very successful despite the rational and reasonable arguments we all use. So you have to wonder if there is a better way. And you also have to wonder if it is worth trying to change someone's mind in the first place. 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 the fascinating results of her research on why changing your mind and my mind is so amazingly difficult.  This Week’ Sponsors -Simplisafe. For huge holiday savings and a free HD security camera to -Article Furniture. For $50 off your first purchase of $100 or more go to -Capterra. To find the best software for your business for free go to
November 30, 2019
Can your pet really get sick eating poinsettia leaves or drinking Christmas tree water? We begin this episode looking at some of the real holiday pet hazards and some you don’t really need to worry about. Not long ago you most likely would choose a TV or a computer or even grocery items because of the name brand. That has a changed a lot of the last several years thanks to things like online ratings and reviews. Here to discuss this evolution is Itamar Simonson, professor of marketing at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and author of the book Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information ( Why is it that you can freeze your leftovers once – but only once? What’s so bad about freezing them again? I will explain the science of once is enough when it comes to freezing food. What are the odds you will be struck by lightning? What are the odds that your online dating partner lied about his or her age, height, weight or even marital status? What are the odds you’ll be injured by duct tape? The odds of things happening to you are very different than you might imagine. Joining me to discuss some of these interesting facts, stories and statistics is Amram Shapiro, author of The Book of Odds: From Lightning Strikes to Love at First Sight, the Odds of Everyday Life (
November 28, 2019
Timing is everything. And when you have a big decision to make, the time of day you choose to make it is more important than you might realize. This episode begins with explanation of why it matters and what is the best time of day to decide anything. Have you ever stopped to think what things make you most angry? When you do get angry, how do you react? What do you do with your anger? Listen as I explore these questions and more with Ryan Martin. He is a professor of psychology and associate dean at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and has studied anger extensively. He even has a TED talk about it called The Upside of Anger ( After you hear this, you’ll get a better understanding of why you get angry and how to handle it. You can’t cure the common cold or flu but there is a technique that can help you not catch them in the first place. In fact, according to research, you can reduce your chances by 40% by doing it. Listen to hear what this simple technique is that was reported in the New York Times. When you are in a relationship and both of you have your own careers, there are bound to be conflicts and problems. Professor Jennifer Petriglieri has studied and examined these problems and has some great advice to help couples find ways to pursue their professional goals and dreams while being in a rewarding and satisfying relationship. Jennifer is author of a book on the topic called Couples That Work ( This Week’s Sponsors -The Undercovers podcast.
November 25, 2019
Lots of people listen to music when they are working because they believe it helps them concentrate and be more productive? Does it? This episode begins by exploring which, if any kind of music really helps your concentration and productivity. How suggestible are you? Could you be hypnotized into believing something that isn’t true? What about placebos? If I tell you a sugar pill will cure your headache, will your headache go away? It’s fascinating to think that the human brain can be fooled into thinking and doing things. Science writer Erik Vance is a science writer who has explored why it seems your brain is so suggestible - even if you think it isn't. He is the author of the National Geographic book, Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal ( and he joins me to shed light on this interesting quirk of the human brain and what it means.  You know when you go to drug store and right next to the name brand lotion or shampoo or pain reliever is the store brand in a bottle that looks kind of like the name brand but a lot cheaper? So is it the same as the name brand? Listen to discover the answer. (Shopsmart magazine Dec 2014 issue) When you are sick and go to the doctor, you expect the doctor will treat you. And the doctor knows you expect him or her to do something – and so you walk out with a prescription. But there is often a flaw in that process that is leading to a lot of patient overtreatment. Norway neurosurgeon Christer Mjåset has explored this problem and has come up with 4 questions you should ask your doctor went he prescribes a medication or medical test. Hear what they are and discover why this is such an important subject. Dr. Mjåset did a TED talk on this which you can see here: This Week’s Sponsors -Fetch Rewards. Download the Fetch Rewards app and use promo code SYSK to receive 4000 points when you scan your first receipt.
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