SGU Episode 167

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SGU Episode 167
October 1st 2008
(brief caption for the episode icon)

SGU 166                      SGU 168

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

R: Rebecca Watson

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

'The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

Charles Darwin

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Show Notes
Forum Discussion


You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, your escape to reality.

News Items ()[edit]

Dust and Snow on Mars ()[edit]

PETA Nonsense ()[edit]

Calorie Restriction for Life Extension ()[edit]

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question #1 Corrections and Extensions ()[edit]

Hi guys,
Bob seemed very upset that the LHC won't be back up until spring because they need to do the winter maintenance. I thought it might make him feel better to know that, according to the Scientific American podcast, the LHC has their yearly maintenance during the winter because the LHC draws so much power; apparently, the power grid it runs off can either heat/run Geneva or cool/run the LHC. So, if we really want the LHC up for winter, we just have to convince Geneva to invest heavily in extra sweaters.
Your adoring fan,
Amanda Mason
Lansing MI

Dear Skeptical Rogues,
I must first say that I am devoted listener and fan of the show. I have shared it with several friends, one of whom can barely go a single conversation without mention of something skepticentric.
I am writing because I thought y'all's discussion of the gamer profile study missed an important point. While gamers may very well be healthier or otherwise better off than the general population, it is also important to consider how they compare to their demographic peers, especially those who are non-gamers.
The study showed that gamers tended to have higher educational and socioeconomic attainment than the general population. There is strong evidence that these same factors are correlated with better health. ( Granted this article is somewhat old, but I know of nothing that has since contradicted its general finding.)
Given this, the question we must really ask is: How does the health of gamers compare to that of their non-gaming counterparts with similar demographic parameters (income, education, race). I'm sure you guys considered this sort of potential common cause issue, but thought it bore an explicit mention on the show.
Thanks a bunch for the weekly escape to reality. Take care and keep up the great work!
Eric Panzer
Berkeley, CA

Interview with Matthew Chapman ()[edit]

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: Scientists discover the world’s oldest fossilized organisms, which date to about 4 billion years old. Item #2: A new study shows that the HIV epidemic actually began around 1900, much earlier than previously thought. Item #3: Scientists demonstrate that the limit of how far away you can read text is determined by the spacing between letters, not the size of the letters.

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” - Charles Darwin

S: The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by the New England Skeptical Society in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation and For more information on this and other episodes, please visit our website at For questions, suggestions, and other feedback, please use the "Contact Us" form on the website, or send an email to If you enjoyed this episode, then please help us spread the word by voting for us on Digg, or leaving us a review on iTunes. You can find links to these sites and others through our homepage. 'Theorem' is produced by Kineto, and is used with permission.


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