Where Grey Matter meets Dark Matter

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Episode 22 - 17 December 2009

Every snot-nosed kid (which is all of them) wants presents, and who better to bring them than Santa Claus? Some of the classic christmas presents are trampolines, Barbie dolls, Cabbage Patch Kids and DVDs.

What's the optimal bouncing strategy to 'get' your sister when you're both on the trampoline? How long does a Cabbage Patch Kid need to be left in the sun before its face melts? What does the method of torture employed by a girl (or boy) on her (or his) barbie dolls say about her (his) future career path? All these questions, and more, are raised during this show. Answers? Find your own damn answers. What are we, some kind of source of information?


  • Here's some info about the evil that died: ZoomTV
  • The Barbie study (a study on Barbie dolls, not barbeques): http://www.public.asu.edu/~kleong/adolescents%20barbie.pdf
  • The paper Chris mentioned on Barbie's role in self-image: Dittmar, Helga; Halliwell, Emma; Ive, Suzanne, "Does Barbie make girls want to be thin? The effect of experimental exposure to images of dolls on the body image of 5- to 8-year-old girls", Developmental Psychology, Vol 42(2), Mar 2006, 283-292.


Last year, we overlooked a classic Christmas film: Santa Claus Defeats the Aliens. This year, we make no such error. Prepare yourselves. And most importantly, find a copy of this film.

Hooray for Santy Claus!


  • There's only one thing you need for this section, or indeed, for anything else in your life: Santa Claus Defeats the Aliens (also called Santa Claus Conquers the Martians), Jalor Productions, 1964.
  • Track Santa next Christmas! http://www.noradsanta.org/
  • Here's a reference with some facts used for the quiz.


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