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Bizarre Foods & Body Language

A remarkable discovery has emerged in astrophysics: key properties of the universe have just the right values to make life possible. Most scientists prefer to explain away this uniqueness, insisting that a number of unseen universes must therefore exist, each randomly different. Astrophysicist Bernard Haisch joined George Knapp in the first half of the show to propose the alternative—that the special properties of our universe reflect an underlying intelligent consciousness.

In the second half of the program, veteran journalist Chris Taylor talked about how the Star Wars franchise has conquered our culture with a sense of lightness and exuberance, while remaining serious enough to influence politics, and spread a spirituality that appeals to religious groups and atheists alike.

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Bizarre Foods & Body Language

Show Archive
Date: Saturday - February 13, 2010
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Andrew Zimmern, Greg Hartley

In the first half of the program, Ian Punnett welcomed Andrew Zimmern, gastronomic adventurer and star of the Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods, for a whirlwind tour of the world's strangest foods and exotic places. While the allure of his program is showcasing off-beat meals, he observed that the story behind the meals is really as fascinating as the food themselves. To that end, he stressed the importance of treating the cultures he visits with respect rather than mocking their customs. "You begin to get to know the people and hear the stories," Zimmern marveled, "and it moves you in an incredible way."

Zimmern reflected on his experiences dining on a wide variety of strange foods, found in locations far and near, and offered descriptions of their flavor as well as insight into how and why they are staples of some cultures. He was nonplussed by frog ovary soup, describing it as "benign" and "intended to be provocative." Reminiscing about a ten pound fruit bat he ate in Samoa, he noted that the creature tasted "surprisingly good." He attributed that to the fact that the animals subsist solely on bread fruit and are, thus, so pure and clean that their intestines can be eaten raw. On the contrary, he was critical of possum and raccoon, which he dined on in Mississippi, calling it "gamy" and speculated that it is because the animals often eat dead, feral animals. The origins of this meal, he explained, came from slaves who were only able to eat discarded foods and hunted prey that "froze in the lantern light."

Body Language

In the latter half of the show, body language expert Greg Hartley discussed the art of interrogation and gave tips on how to spot a liar. A former interrogator in the Middle East, he shared a number of clues which indicate how truthful a person is. One such insight was that when a suspect recognizes someone, their eyebrows quickly flash upwards for a brief moment. Similarly, raising one's eyebrows up while talking and ending a statement with a lilting voice is what Hartley called a "request for approval." In such an instance, if approval is given, the subject's eyebrows will immediately lower. Hartley also noted that he becomes "extremely suspicious" when talking to a suspect and they have a deep stare. He called these individuals "glossies," as a reference to their vacant eyes.

Detailing the interrogation process, Hartley noted that a tremendous amount of insight is gleaned prior to event speaking with the subject. Such information gathering includes in-depth analysis of their intake paperwork, tacit observation of the suspect to see how they interact with other inmates, and then speaking with the guards, who see them on a frequent basis. From there, Hartley said, the interrogation begins with a benign "control question," answered truthfully, which allows the questioner to have a "base line" to compare future responses against. He dispelled the notion that interrogations are heated affairs, as they are often portrayed in the media, instead calling them "conversations that seem friendly" that yield results based on "high psychological pressure."

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