SGU Episode 127

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SGU Episode 127
26th December 2007

Transcript Verified Transcript Verified

SGU 126 SGU 128
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein
M: Mike Lacelle
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Show Notes
Forum Topic


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

S: Hello and welcome to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe. This is your host, Steven Novella, President of the New England Skeptical Society and this is our special year in review for 2007. Joining me this evening are Bob Novella...

B: Hey everybody.

S: Rebecca Watson...

R: Happy holidays everyone.

S: Jay Novella...

J: Hey guys.

S: Evan Bernstein...

E: Another year come and gone.

S: And our number one fan from Mike Lacelle.

M: Hey everyone.

E: Oh, hey Mike.

J: Hey Mike.

S: Thanks for joining us, again, Mike. And thanks for all your on our fan site and on our blog over the year. Over the past year.

M: No problem.

In Memoriam (0:56)[edit]

S: So we did this same thing last year. We spent our last episode of the calendar year reviewing the past year. Just reminiscing about the good and the bad the funniest and best things that happened on our podcast over the previous year. And we also asked for some feedback from our listeners, which we did again this year. So we're going to do some follow up on some of the stories that we covered during the year. We're going to give you some of the stats about how we're doing and then we're going to at the very end we'll look forward to what to expect and what our plans are for the upcoming year. So this past year, 2007, was a big year for the Skeptics' Guide. A lot of good things happened and unfortunately some very bad things happened as well. Of course, we can't think about 2007 without thinking about that this was the year that we lost our very dear friend and fellow rogue, Perry DeAngelis, who passed away about half way through the year. We did our memorial episode where we just spent an episode talking about Perry and what he meant to us on the show. So we're not going to go over that again but it's definitely, that was a very sad occurrence for all of us. But the good news, the bright side is that the Skeptics' Guide pressed on, moved forward as we know without a doubt that's exactly what Perry would have wanted for his project for not only the skeptical society but the podcast that he helped found to press on and survive and we did. We actually did it without even missing a single week. Something that I'm proud of and I'm sure Perry would have been proud of as well.

E: Definitely, Steve.

R: Yeah.

S: I hate to actually start on a down note but we did lose a few other prominent skeptics in 2007 and in a way this episode is a little mini memorial to all of those in our small community who did pass away this year. In addition to Perry, Barry Beyerstein passed away. Shortly after our interview with him actually. We interviewed him earlier in the year.[link needed]

E: We might have been the last interview he–that was–that he had.

S: Yeah. I think so. And Jerry Andrus also passed away this year.

E: Yep. Around the same time as Perry.

J: People die in threes, ya know.

E: Ooo. Numerology.

R: That's scientifically proven.

S: Yep, so we're safe until next year, right?

J: Yeah.

E: It's a whole year away.

J: Now, what can we say about Perry? We've already said it. Everybody knows how we feel. It's one of those wounds that heals very very slowly and he was instrumental in the show and he was one of our best friends. We're doing what Perry would want and that's as good as it's ever gonna get.

S: Yeah. Still think about him every day.

J: Absolutely.

E: Oh yeah. Without a doubt. Without a doubt.

S: He was a tremendous presence both psychologically and intellectually.

E: And physically.

S: Whenever–yeah, and physically. Whenever any interesting story comes up you just have to think, "What would Perry say about this? What would he think about this?"

R: Yeah. I mean, he's still a tremendous presence.

E: And he was so funny.

J: If you want to talk about how funny Perry was we can play a couple Perry quotes. This is probably one of his funnier ones.

Uh, yeah, monkeys clearly perfume themselves. It's one of their higher order functions that they do. Unlike birds, by the way, who always smell like bird shit.


R: Ah, yeah. Monkey versus birds. I always thought that it would get old, but it never did.

S: It's true.

B: It's a little uncomfortable listening to him, though. 'Cause I really haven't listened to him, really, in months. It's just bizarre hearing his voice.

Evolution accelerating? Absolutely. In fact two weeks ago I was a goldfish.

J: That's a great quote.

S: He had great one liners.

E: Excellent one liners. You know, Bob, that is interesting I have gone back and listened to some of the older episodes with Perry and it's interesting. In a sense what the podcast has captured of Perry is really, obviously his essence but in a way now he's immortalized and it's a great thing that we have this episodes in order to help keep the memory of Perry, certainly, alive. It's more than a memory, it's really there. You can go back and listen. It's something really special and I like, with a smile I go back and listen to those old episodes.

S: Yeah.

B: Yeah.

I believe that China will control the weather. Doesn't cooperate they'll have it shot.


J: Perry was so funny.

R: That's one of my favorites.

J: Oh wait now here's–this is Perry right here.

How can two mathematicians come to a different conclusion? Well, one of them's a dick.


J: We were laughing back then over his quote.

S: He just slices through it.

J: Yeah.

Guests of 2007 (6:04)[edit]

S: Well, despite our losses we did have a great year otherwise. We had an incredible lineup of interviewees. I'm just going to read through them really quick starting with our first one in January. And here they are:

J: Who was that, Steve? Who was that interview?

E: President Jimmy Carter.

J: Interesting, very interesting.


And last week we just had Richard Wiseman on, again.

J: So who was everybody's favorite interview of the year?

E: Well, the Jimmy Carter interview was pretty special.

B: Yeah.

S: That was certainly our most prestigious interview of the year, by far.

R: I have to say that my favorite was Chris Hitchens going on about dirty limericks and Diane Sawyer.

B: And chain smoking while he's doing it.

R: Chain smoking, drinking. Hitchens at his finest.

J: He's amazing.

S: That interview was incredible with Hitchens. I mean that was a hoot.

E: It was.

M: I liked me, here and now.


M: I also liked Mark Crislip. I like Mark Crislip.

S: Yeah, he's a funny guy.

J: I was going to say Mark. Mark from QuackCast. He's a really funny guy and–I was thinking just recently again how his podcast is probably one of my favorites. Very informative but he's just funny in almost everything that he says.

S: Yeah.

J: And he's a good guy.

S: He's got a very dry sense of humor which I always appreciate. Our fans on the message boards: the most commonly cited favourite interviewee was actually Bill Nye the Science Guy. A lot of people liked having him on.

J: He was great. He's one of those people that we could just interview for 4 hours and never run out of a second of material.

E: Yeah. He was upbeat and very willing and it was great that we were able to finally track him down. We worked on a while getting him to come on but that was really a nice interview.

J: He's in my top 3 skeptics. I think out of all the skeptics out there he's definitely one of the biggest and greatest out there, now.

S: Yeah. Bill Nye is a great guy. He certainly is getting it done. Get er done, wasn't that one of his things?

J: Get er done.

R: No. I'm pretty sure that's a second rate comedian.

J: My favorite quote from any guest that we had on the whole year was Bill Nye saying, "I'm going to change the world."

S: Yeah. You've picked that a couple of times.

J: I love that.

E: Gee. I wonder why.

J: I love that. It's so frickin right on.

Bits of 2007 (9:12)[edit]

S: We had a lot of good bits this year. I think that in 2006 the biggest topic that we liked to talk about and come back to was the bird monkey bit which we did come back to a little bit in 2007 but we've developed, we've broken some new ground. We talked about the whole, the fanny pack versus the utility belt discussion.

J: We have audio on that.

E: The skeptical utility belt.

S: Let's hear it Jay.

E: Keep your phone on your belt near your groin. You'll be all set.

S: Yeah.
R: Wait. Can I just say as a girl, don't, guys, don't do that. It looks so dorky. OK, go on.
S: What? The cell phone on the hip?
R: The cell phone on the–yeah. The phaser.
J: The Star Trek Next Gen phaser.
R: Just don't do it.
S: Where else are you going to wear your cell phone if not on your hip?
J: Yeah?
S: Let me ask you a question.
R: You can carry it in your pocket, in your man purse...
S: Why won't women wear cell phones on their hip? I don't get it.
E: Yeah.
R: Because it looks ridiculous.
S: But you know what? My wife throws her cell phone in the purse and then she can't hear it ring.
R: Yeah, but she doesn't look ridiculous does she?
S: Yeah but she doesn't answer her cell phone.
R: No, she looks cute 'cause she has a purse.
E: She's being impractical.
R: Yeah. And she's not getting getting brain cancer 'cause she's not answering her phone all the time cause she can't find it. There, problem solved.
E: Or groin cancer.
S: I'm not going to advocate that people wear like fanny packs or anything, but I think this is one case...
R: Oh, god.
S: ...where function trumps fashion.
R: No no no. It is practically, you are right next to fanny pack.
S: No, no no. This is totally different.
R: I know that you've been walking down the street thinking, "You know, this phone clipped to my belt is cool and all but wouldn't it be better if I could stick a little bit of money next to to the phone. Or maybe put my keys there. Hey, you know, I should get like a larger sack to carry the phone in."
S: No you're missing... Rebecca you're missing the whole thing here. First of all, wearing an electronic device on your hip is way cool. Okay? That's number one.
E: Oh, yeah.
R: Oh, you are so confused.
S: Number two...
E: Babe magnet.
S: you're going in the wrong direction by going towards a fanny pack. You should be going in the utility belt direction.
E: Ooo... I agree.
S: Yes. Absolutely.
J: You're a genius.
R: Yeah. Yeah. Batman. That's a great idea. Have you considered a cowl while you're at it? A cowl?
S: A cowl?
R: A cowl pulled over your face. Yes. Maybe with little ears.
S: Those are only for evil–those are only for villains. Not heroes.
R: Uh, Batman has a cowl. Hello.
S: He's the dark knight, okay? He's right on the edge.
R: Just don't do it, okay? It's bad.
J: You could have like a little change thing on there.
S: Yeah.
J: If you can get a...
R: The only way an electrical device attached to your hip is going to get you laid is if it's a vibrator, okay?

S: We pretty much covered that.

R: You're basically completely delusional.

J: Yeah. That was good.

R: Yeah.

E: Has anyone's opinion changed since then? I'm curious. Any of you guys?

S: Oh, no. I'm still working on the whole utility belt thing. We got to bring that to fruition. The skeptical utility belt.

R: You're true believers in the utility belt. Cell phone on the hip.

S: You're a denier. Rebecca, you are a utility belt denialist.

M: Admit it, you're wearing a fanny pack, now.

J: I'm wearing fanny padding because I have no ass, but that's not quite a fanny pack.

R: He's wearing three fanny packs actually.

S: Some other funny moments that are our fans voted as their favorites for the year–definitely far and away the one that got the most votes was the Science or Fiction episode[link needed] where we were giggling like school girls.

B: Which one?

R: Was that the nanotubes?

S: Alright, let's take them in order Jay since she wants to take them in order.

J: Let's do that. Let's do it.
S: Alright. Number 1, study shows that carbon nanotubes can be used...
B: What? Do it!
S: Give me a second.


J: (laughs) God, Steve.

E: Hah ha!

B: Steve you didn't edit this?

B: How come he's laughing so much, what does it mean?
S: Your response Bob is just funny.
B: Ok.
S: Study shows that carbon nanotubes can...
E: Can't get by "carbon nanotubes"!
R: Can I just say there's no other podcast on the planet where carbon nanotubes can cause so much giggling. So much school girl giggling.
J: Oh, shit.
E: We love you, Bob.
J: Rebecca knows he's actually getting angry.
S: Alright. Can be used to heal bone fractures...
S: several days faster than natural healing and results in 60% increase in bone strength. You guys all think that one is science and that one is in fact, fiction.


S: The interesting thing is that is when I'm doing the post production I'm thinking to myself should I leave this whole episode in or–I actually almost cut it out because it's just a huge segue.

R: Well, normally you do. 'Cause there have been other times when we've all cracked up and...

J: There have been a whole bunch of funny things.

S: I don't know. It just struck me as so funny. I just was laughing so hard while I was doing the post production I decided to leave it in. And then it turns out to be the most popular segment of the whole year.

B: It got the most votes?

J: Yep.

S: Yeah.

J: Yeah. It really was funny. I mean I can't listen to it now without cracking up every time.

E: Well done, Bob. You played the straight guy perfectly in that whole exchange.

S: Right.

R: Yeah. Actually the roles were completely reversed. Normally it's Steve.

E: Exactly.

B: I wasn't in that clip.

J: I remember after we did that episode and it went live Mike calls me up and he was like completely blown away by that bit. He just went on for like 10 minutes about how funny it was. I didn't even remember it being that funny when we did it. Like, yeah, we laughed or whatever. I went back and listened to it. It knocked me over it was so funny.

S: It was just the laughter was so contagious, was the thing.

E: It was. It was real–It was a very real moment. We do have other moments like that in which we do kind of lose ourselves a little in the moment. And it was also, I think, if you recall, it was I think–right–a week or two after, I think, we lost Perry.

S: Yeah. Yeah.

E: Shortly after that time.

S: We needed a lighthearted segment.

E: Yes. Yes. It was a release of sorts. That was just correct for the time–for the time and the moment.

B: What episode was that?

J: 113.

S: Some other bits, without playing them just to mention some of the other bits that got votes for favorite bits for the year. The time where we made up words[link needed] and...

B: Oh yeah. Cromulation or whatever. Cromulant.

S: Rebecca was getting frustrated with our making up of words. Constriculated, yeah. Evan was responsible for most of those shenanigans.

E: Well, I have a lot of practice. I make up a lot of things in day to day life. So...

S: Yeah.

E: just spew it out there whenever.

S: The discussion about having the TV in the bathroom.

B: Oh, that was classic.

E: Oh, yeah, and that turned into I think into toilet at the computer, somehow.

S: Yeah. Right.

J: Yep.

E: Right.

J: Alright. Here's one I have to play. I have to play this one.

E: Nice.

R: (laughter)
S: Alright, Bob?
J: Here we go.
B: Crap. These are...
J: Everybody. Hold on. Wait Wait. Alright. (inaudible) Everybody revel in it. Ready? Alright. Here we go.
S: Everyone ready? Everyone settled in, comfortable? Okay, Bob. Go.
R: Settled.
R: Wait. I need to go get a coffee. K?
S: Bob will still be going.
E: Go around the corner, Rebecca.
S: Yeah, go to Starbucks.
R: It's a Starbucks. It's across the street. (laughter)
E: Poor Bob.
R: Bob, you go on.
B: Are you assholes done?
B: Alright.

J: That of course–that dovetails nicely into:

S: Bob, go first.
B: Bastard.
B: Um. Let me digest these. Hang on a second.
(musical interlude)


J: Here's the good part.

B: I should have burped when I came back.

J: Bob, this is your theme music, Bob.

S: Do you know how long it took me to find a usable audio clip of that music?


S: But once I had it in my mind,–that music playing while Bob was thinking about his answer...

B: Three, um...

S: ...I could not rest until I found that audio clip to put into that episode.

E: Brilliant.

J: Bob, if it's possible, if there's an entrance at TAM6 and you walk in and I'm playing that–I've got to make it happen.


E: That's your walking around music, Bob.

S: It's Bob's theme music now.

B: That's my theme music, yeah.

S: Right.

J: What else we got, Steve?

S: Oh, boy.

B: Whatever.

S: There's another–another segment that was frequently mentioned by our fans–they like, which is also one of my favorites from this year was the whole discussion about my interaction with Michael Horn[link needed] who is the apologist–with–for Billy Meyer the Swiss UFO guy and just the depths of ridiculousness that this guy got to. Where the story just kept getting more and more and more ridiculous. That was a really funny bit.

R: With the two hot chicks who get photographed, right?

S: Yeah the photograph of the two dancers from the 70's. Those were his aliens.

R: Yeah.

J: That is beyond insanity and it's priceless material.

E: He took pictures of the television screen. Unbelievable.

S: And other times he showed as evidence pictures of–of like taken from magazines.

R: Yeah. Cook.

E: Wow. Talk about not being there.

B: Slick.

S: And then he threatened that if we did not interview him on our show then he would send out a press release saying how we acquiesced to all his claims and everything. It was ridiculous.

R: Oh no! Not a press release.

S: He did. I actually looked. I looked on his website. I searched on it in preparation for this today. I could not find any follow up or that he had any reaction to it. We did tell him, "No. Screw off. We're not interviewing you and we're not acquiescing to any of your claims cause you're an idiot," and no follow up from him so it was all bluster.

Stories Revisited (19:20)[edit]

S: Speaking of which I did try to find a follow up to some of the stories that we covered this year. The one that I really wanted to follow up was the free energy device claims of Stern that Irish company.

R: Yeah.

S: That–over the summer they were going to...

B: Yeah.

S: ...demonstrate their device and then the demonstration didn't go so well. The lighting or something was interfering with this free energy device that's created by magnets.

R: Yeah. Physics.

J: Well light is actually very heavy and that was what was screwing it up.

S: So I wanted to find out–it's been like 6 months they promised that they were going to do a follow up demonstration so what's happened with these guys? Well they haven't done anything in the last 6 months. No demonstrations. Nothing. There have been some interviews since then and they're not really talking about the demonstration or what's coming up. They said, very vaguely, maybe it will be–they think maybe this next demonstration will be in Dublin, Ireland but they're not giving any timeline or anything. So, they're really acting like the company is just looking for investors and I think at this point they've got to know they don't really have something legitimate. But they still exist. They're still sticking by their claims. But I wouldn't hold your breath for any demonstrations of their free energy device.

M: Maybe we just need to invest some more money into it.

S: Right.

M: Send them a check or something.

R: Billions of dollars.

E: Bob, how much should we invest?

B: In that? Billions of nano-pennies.


E: Wow. Those are small pennies.

J: What else? Any other follow up, Steve?

B: I did a–I tried to do a follow up on–remember in mid-April–our mid-April episode we did a little talk on a company, D-Wave. It's a start up company in British Columbia. They supposedly demonstrated the first–the world's first commercial quantum computer.

S: Yeah, right.

B: In–I think it was February of this year. It was like a 16 qbit computer. And, I think the bottom line in our discussion was that they provided no evidence to back up any of its claims. The details that they released were very, very sketchy about the inner workings of the Orion, which is what they called it. And that it was almost–it's pretty much indistinguishable from a slow analog computer. You really couldn't tell. Is this really a quantum computer or just an analog computer? And they–you really couldn't tell. So, that was many months ago and I was able to find a few things about them. I found one really good quote. This is from Scott Aaronson, theoretical computer scientist at the Institute of Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo in Canada. He said, "Over the last year rather than answering scientist's questions about what, if anything they've actually done that's novel, they seem to have descended even further into the lowest kind of hucksterism." Which I thought was a really fun quote. They did apparently make an appearance at the super-computing conference in Reno in which they were going to demonstrate their 28–now 28 qbit computer. And I tried to find out what happened at this convention and I wasn't able to find anything. One guy actually wrote a review of the convention and he just gave the briefest mention about this quantum booth that somebody set up. He didn't go into any detail which kind of makes me think that really not much happened.

E: Wasn't much of anything. Yeah.

B: Right. So if anybody can get any more details about what happened at the super-computing conference in Reno last month I would appreciate it. But it does not look promising at all.

S: Yeah. That seems to be a pattern. That companies send out a press release. They make a little splash. They're making claims about some incredible breakthrough or device. They get a lot of media attention and then they just sort of fade away. But meanwhile, it seems like in a lot of cases, they're doing it either just for some free promotion. They're just using the press, the gullible press, to get them some free promotion or it's part of some bigger scam where they're trying to get investors or whatnot. I remember–remember the Raelians a couple years ago?

E: Oh sure.

S: Who announced that they claimed the first person–the first human being.

E: Right.

S: And the press just ate it up. And then it turns out it was all fake. They just lied. They made it up and their defense was, "Well, look at all the free publicity we got." That was–I mean they actually said that. Then we got the free energy guys making their announcements and Bob, the quantum computer. There was also that fraudulent company that–they're selling this–that device that finds people. With magic. You put some sample of them in there and then they can find them anywhere in the world. It's like this elaborate dousing device. It's the same thing. I guess the con artists have found this new method.

E: Fresh targets or something. Gee.

B: What's different though is that these are technologies a lot of people–like quantum computers, that, I think, and a lot of people think, eventually will arrive. They will be here and make very significant contributions to science. So it's not like this is just pure pseudoscience.

S: Well, yeah. Well, historically, Bob, that's a very common pattern, too.

B: Right, the cutting edge.

S: People are pretending or claiming to have a breakthrough that's anticipated. For example, around the turn of the century everyone pretty much figured that manned flight–that building a heavier than air plane, if you will, was coming. They knew for like the 20 years prior to that that was something that people–multiple teams were working on, it was right around the corner and a lot of people were making claims that they had developed it or they were looking for investors for it and there was lots of sightings of people thinking that they saw flying machines. So that was just anticipating that technological breakthrough. And it's the same thing now. We're seeing stem cell clinics opening up before the stem cell treatments have actually been developed. People claiming to have cold fusion. Who knows if that will ever pan out, but these kinds of developments that are anticipated and the quantum computer is the same thing. So, it's a very semi-plausible scam. Everyone knows it's right around the corner. Well, "Hey, look. We have it. We've cloned a human." You know, whatever. The other category, of course, is the–there's the perennial ones. The one's that have just been around for ever. Like free energy machines.

J: I did a follow up on Tom Cruise and Scientology. And...

S: Yeah.

J: Basically, unfortunately, Tom Cruise is still bat shit crazy and Scientology still sucks.

R: (laughter)

J: That's my follow up.

S: Really? That hasn't changed at all?

J: That has not changed at all.

R: Thank you for that in depth report.

M: I have a few.

S: Alright, let's hear it.

M: This is actually a quote from you, Steve, from one of the episodes that you did some updates on. And they all still stand. Kent Hovind is still in jail. Neil Adams still doesn't have a clue. And Ed Wern is still dead.

J: Yeah.

S: Those things are all still true.

J: Yep.

B: Still.

R: They are true.

E: Well done, Steve.


B: That third one's a surprise, but not the first two.

S: Right.

E: Yeah, right? No kidding.

SGU Business (27:00)[edit]

S: So Mike. You're here to help give us the fans' perspective on 2007 and the show so did anything else stand out for you as a fan for the Skeptics' Guide?

M: Well, you had the basically the opening of the blogs. You announced that, I believe you announced Neurologica in January. I think it was in January. And the Rogues Gallery opened in September. It was mostly, I guess, off show stuff that made an impact on me.

S: Yeah. You've been helping us a lot behind the scenes.

M: Yeah.

S: Mike has actually been helpful helping us in the web programming of the blog. So we did–at the very beginning of the year I did begin the Neurologica blog and that has worked out extremely well. I have really enjoyed doing science blogging over the past year and I think that has been a very good complement to the Skeptics' Guide. I think some things are just better expressed in writing. Other things are better as a conversation and they do complement each other extremely well. I've also found it very helpful that–it's almost every week where I get e-mails from multiple people saying, "Hey, have you guys dealt with this story?" and I can just e-mail them back the link to my blog entry where I wrote about it at depth. So it almost serves as a Frequently Asked Question–as a FAQ. About midway through the year, a little bit after that, we started the Rogues Gallery which is the official blog to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe and Mike writes for that as well as John Blumenfeld so we've been able to pull in some more talent, as well as the rogues and that has been going extremely well, also. Again, a nice complement to the show. In fact the blogging has worked out so well that the New England Skeptical Society is going to be producing a third blog which we plan to begin in January of 2008, so just in a couple of weeks. It's pretty much up and running. We should be getting the first posts going up in the beginning of January. This one is called Science Based Medicine and it is all about healthcare and medical issues. I'm only going to be one of the contributing authors. We're also going to have Wallace Sampson, Kimball Atwood, Harriet Hall, and David Gorski. All physicians who are talented writers who understand and promote–work to promote science as a basis for healthcare and medicine and they're also experienced analyzing and being critical of pseudoscience or bad science in medicine. So really looking forward to this blog. I think this could be a very respected, high profile, science blog because we're pulling in quite a bit of talent. I'm also actually going to be inviting others to help participate in this blog to really pull in the best science medical writers and to address, just day to day, all of the issues that come up in the media with–whether it's the latest acupuncture study or whatever. So we're really looking forward to that.

J: Who do you have, so far, lined up, Steve?

S: Jay, I just mentioned the four other people I have lined up.

R: All the people he just said.

E: (laughs) Well done Jay. Comedic timing is genius.

S: Wallace Sampson, Harriet Hall, Kimball Atwood, and David Gorski.

M: Steve, you should tell everyone about that new blog you're going to do. Science Based Medicine?


S: Yeah. Got to remember to talk about that.

R: Who's going to be on that?

S: That's going to be a big project for 2008. The other plans that we have for 2008, we're going to be updating the website including a new logo. Jay, you're spearheading that effort, as our webmaster.

J: I have–I've had some people help us with logos. Definitely wanted to thank the people that did help us and spend time with us working out some logo concepts. And that's going to dovetail into the new website. I have the site pretty much conceptualized at this point. I'm going to try to make it easier to navigate and everything. Another initiative that is going to definitely happen in '08 is we're going to start the Skeptics' Guide membership. What it will be is we'll have everyone register. We will be sending out–we will be collecting e-mail addresses. I don't know if we're going to be sending out a lot of mail with that but what we will be doing is sending out notices when we upload new content, like premium content. We'll have some type of subscription based thing attached to that to help with donations for us and there'll be more free content along the way and publicity items and whatnot. So we'll make announcements on that.

R: Now, Jay, will that come with a badge of some sort when people become members?

E: Decoder rings.

R: Are they like skeptic, SGU scouts?

J: You can joke around all you want, Rebecca. There are a lot of guys out there that responded to the utility belt concept. We might have to come up with something like that.

S: Well, I think we could make it look like a communicator that you wear on your left breast area.

M: Nice.


R: Left breast area. Uh huh.

S: Skeptical badge that looks like a Star Trek communicator.

M: Yes.

S: You know, Next Gen style.

R: Cause that would–yeah, that would improve our audience's chances of getting laid considerably.

M: Oh yeah.

S: Absolutely.

R: I think that's great.

S: Some other–the other ambitious project we have for 2008–so we're going to be adding a new blog, we're going to be reworking all of our websites. We're also starting a new podcast that we're going to be doing in 2008.

R: Yep. It's just like this one only kick off Jay. It's great.

S: We're still hammering out some of the technical aspects of doing this. This is going to be a five minute brief news item or topic of discussion that will probably be coming out on say Monday or Tuesday. Again, we're still working out the logistics and we'll announce with all the full details. The working title of this podcast is 5x5. So it's going to be 5 minutes with 5 skeptics and it's–we wanted to add a short podcast. Give you something else to hang on to during the week and also–because I think some people do prefer the short format and it wouldn't actually be that much more work to add in an extra 5 minutes to what we produce during the week. So we're constantly trying to innovate and experiment with new ways of generating content and promoting skepticism and promoting the Skeptics' Guide. We do appreciate the feedback that we get from our listeners and also send us ideas. I think the best part about web 2.0 is that we get to innovate. We get to think of new stuff to do and experiment and nobody has the answers as to what really works and what doesn't work. We're just all figuring this out as we go along. Not everything we try may work. We me try things that we decide ultimately aren't worth it or just didn't work but I think we've been very successful so far so we're definitely willing to invest more time and effort into everything.

J: We also want to retire. Mike, I'm getting the impression that '07 is probably my last year on the show.

M: Is it? What would give you that impression, Jay?

J: But we're going to introduce some new segments. Maybe retire some older segments to keep the content fresh and also Evan and I are working on a very, very secret project that we will not speak of but there's going to be some cool stuff coming your way in '08 that we're going to make that is–has not been done by us in any way before.

E: You'll know it when it's out there. You'll all be the first to know, we assure you.

S: We have lots of big plans. Sometimes I think that maybe we bite off more than we can chew. We have sort of bigger ideas than we have time for, but that's okay. We'll–

R: And by the way, we're still not getting paid for any of this.

S: Yeah, we're still not getting paid a dime for any of this.

E: Nothing.

R: Good times.


S: And it is true, you bring that up–the more resources we have the more we can do. We have no shortage of ideas and stuff that needs to get done in order to promote science, promote skepticism, it's just we're all doing this in our spare time.

E: Yep. Time and money. Those are the only limiting factors.

S: Yeah. It's a lot of work. So we do need–donations help tremendously but also volunteering time and following through. That's always the tough part with volunteers. So for example, if you have web programming chops send an e-mail to Jay and Jay can farm out some of the busy work of tooling the website; that would help us tremendously.

J: I just got an e-mail from someone today that actually offered to help. But absolutely, I can use a lot of help any web programmers out there. Especially classic ASP or .Net programmers that want to do some page creation and help me flesh out some ideas and everything that would be fantastic. And I think I would be able to manage that a lot better.

S: But if you have other things, too. I mean, if you have marketing skills or ideas for developing products with our logo on it to promote or to sell or getting grants to do educational projects.

B: Media contacts.

R: Mental health therapists.

M: Just any way to replace Jay for this year.

R: Right. M: Jay who I call the under appreciated rogue.

S: That's right.

J: Thanks Mike.

M: And here's why:

J: That happens to me while I'm having sex. I just kind of tune her out sometimes.


R: Yeah, so does she.
S: I recently traveled to Tanzania, that's in Africa Jay.
S: Evan, do you have a puzzle for this week?

E: Yes, I do.
J: Why, Steve, why do you always ask him that? You know he's got one.
S: It's rhetorical, Jay.
R: He's being skeptical.

S: Do you need me to define rhetorical for you?
R: I met Cheryl at the wedding for the first time and I found that I actually like her better than Jay.

J: Hah hah hah.

S: Well we all do, we all do.
J: I think my mom was still picking my shirts out for me. I was not thinking about issues that today's 13 year olds are thinking about.

R: Jay, when you were 30 your mom was still picking shirts out.

J: I wonder how it feels to bask in my stupidity.

S: It's basically one long apology for the nonsense of creationism.

P: I've always liked your stupidity, Jay.
S: March 29th, 2006 was a very important day for the Skeptics' Guide. Do you guys remember what happened that day.
R: Oh yeah, Jay lost his virginity.
S: This study was done with the–

R: What?
S: –the western scrub jay. A very intelligent bird.
P: The scrub jay.
S: The scrub jay.
P: Sounds like a real winner.

R: Just like our Jay.
S: Where–like if you bang your elbow, what do you do?

J: Rub it.
S: You rub it.
R: Cry.
S: The rubbing, if you're not a girl, if you're a guy you rub it.

R: (laughter) Not a girl, or Jay?
S: People walking around with a very, very human like body but with small more ape-like brain. It was the exact opposite of what they expected with Piltdown Man.
P: Like Jay.
Bug Girl?: Most insects genitalia is internal until it's needed and then there's a change in blood pressure and it pops out.
B: Kinda like Jay's.


J: Thanks, Bob. Guys, I have one... (laughs)

E: Is that it? There's no more? No?

S: I think you missed a lot.

R: Ah, it's brilliant. I think he did, actually.

E: A small sample.


J: At the end of every derogatory comment Rebecca is like, "Like Jay? Like Jay. That's just like Jay."


J: What am I the shoe shine boy on this show? Like what the hell is going on?

R: It's my go to joke.

S: Jay, because we know that you are such a good sport.

J: Mmhmm.

S: ...and you're the only one on this show mature enough to take all the friendly ribbing. That's why.

J: Oh, I see. Yeah.

E: Yeah. The only one.

J: I'm the only one with–


R: Jay, I love you.

J: I love you, too. Just in small doses and it's probably not going to last much longer.

R: See, I didn't put conditions on my love.

J: Naw, I know–

S: It was unconditional.

J: Guys, listen, you can't offend me. You can't upset me. I love the joking. It's the reason why I'm on the show. It's what I bring to the show. I try to joke around as much as possible. And open myself up to it, and that's fine. I don't have a problem with that at all.

S: And we appreciate you for it, Jay.

J: I appreciate you too, Steve.

E: Nothing like self deprecating humor.

S: Bob gets some ribbing, too. Not as much as you Jay, but we've ribbed Bob as well.

J: Weird things happen to Bob.

E: All of us get some ribbing. All of us do.

J: We get weird e-mails where someone will be like, "I really love the show and you guys are really intelligent. Even Bob."


B: That was just one e-mail.

J: And I think maybe they think–

S: All right, guys. Did any of you pick out your favorite or your least favorite e-mail from a listener for the year.

J: Yeah. I have my least favorite e-mail. I think I blogged about it at one point. There was this guy that wrote in and just went off on Rebecca about how he was totally mad at her because her comment was that she just quickly joked about us whipping it out. Right? And he turned that into, I still don't get it, he turned it into Rebecca on a campaign to put down men because her goal is to equalize the male and female sexes. So Rebecca is consciously putting us down and putting men down in general to achieve this goal. And if you re-listen to the bit[link needed], and it was very quick, and it was a throw away line. There was no intention and Rebecca doesn't do that and I just don't understand where this guy came off with that and it actually pissed me off. I was actually very frustrated with that e-mail.

R: You were. I think, I've been there so I was just like, "Oh, whatever." I mean we get silly things like that all the time. People think–people sometimes are very, very sensitive. They're like otherwise probably very rational, normal people and then they come out with this uber sensitivity that I will just never understand. And I can't really apologize for it because I don't feel bad about making a joke about you guys whipping it out cause I just–I don't understand. I don't get it. I'm not sorry for those things.

S: The funny one that I remember from the year–we got an e-mail from an Australian listener and this was being critical of–again, it's like these off hand comments that we make for humor. They're not meant to be serious. And we were talking about–again it was the Michael Horn one[link needed] where you know the aliens were 30 years in the past and I jokingly said, "Yeah, like kinda like Australia." And everyone laughed and I said, "Of course I'm only kidding," and Rebecca even pointed out, "Hey, we have Australian listeners," and, of course, it was completely tongue and cheek. And it's like months later we get an e-mail from a listener from Australia who seriously took offense at that comment and is no longer going to be listening to the show. You just can't anticipate stuff like that. But the–my favorite part about this story was Rebecca wrote a response to this e-mail. This was Rebecca's response,

Greetings from the future. [stop] So glad you received transmission. [stop] Give our best to the kangaroos and convicts populating your island. [stop]


J: Did he write back? I forget.

S: No no no. And of course we CC'd it to Richard Saunders who's–

R: Yeah. Richard appreciated it.

S: He thought it was hilarious.

R: And actually–I eventually did get a response and the listener–I haven't figured out if it's a man or a woman so I don't know whether to say he or she–but apparently he or she is still listening and thanked me for the response and said that I was his or her favorite.

S: Okay.

J: Oh, good.

R: I'm like, "Uhh, okay." For some reason my incredibly snarky response actually had a positive result.

S: We don't usually send snarky responses back to our listeners.

J: Sometimes we just have to because it gets too, you know.

S: That one–that was so priceless we just had–and it was obviously so tongue and cheek we had to do that.

J: We do send a lot of e-mails to each other about e-mails that we get.

S: We do.

J: And they're–

B: Oh yeah.

S: Oh, by the way, if there's any question, before I get another e-mail, we all adore and love all of our Australian listeners.

E: Absolutely.

J: We don't have a problem with anyone from anywhere.

S: No.

E: You guys don't butcher the English language as badly other people.

S: And–almost–whenever we say something negative about any other country or people or whatever we get some feedback about that. And all I can say is that we're totally equal opportunity–our snarky comments are equal opportunity. Yeah. I mean we're probably the most critical of America, of our own country.

J: And of each other. I mean we cut on each other quite a bit.

S: And each other.

E: Oh, absolutely. I have an e-mail I'd like to read. We received this one just recently. I'll read you the whole message. Here it is.

If you are the pea-brain who cut down Noni juice, a natural healing miracle which has been very effectively used for over 5,000 years by others and over 10 years by me you are not a skeptic. You are a closed minded fool, and child, you sure as hell are not more informed, more knowledgeable, or smarter than Dr. Neil Solomon.

R: Is that true?

S: Dr. Neil Solomon. Yeah, I remember I–it took me about 2 minutes on Google to find a link that that guy's a total con artist.


B: But he's an intelligent con artist.

E: Total pea brain.

S: His–He had to retire in disgrace because he was using his position as a physician to sexually abuse his female patients. Oh yeah, that guy's a real winner.

J: Yeah.

E: You're not smarter than him, though.

B: I'm still not sure that that e-mail wasn't a joke.

S: Well, sometimes we have that conversation. We get e-mails like that and Jay's like, "This has got to be a joke," but my–and it could be, who know.

E: No, I don't think so.

S: But the thing is, there's no reason to think that that e-mail is a joke. That's exactly the kind of e-mails that we get about specific topics. That's just a true believer, we touched upon his sacred cow, and that's exactly the kind of response that we get. I think it's completely sincere.

E: And Steve, you've been getting e-mails like that...

S: For years!

E: ...for years. Because of the Noni juice, especially about the Noni juice. You say that some of your most–

S: Yeah. And just in case there's a listener out there that doesn't know what Noni juice is, it's a–made from the fruit of a tropical–I think it's Tahitian–tree and it's really bitter and nasty-tasting apparently, and it's just another snake oil. All of these health claims are made for it without any evidence and it's just being marketed again as a supplement to make money off of gullible people, that's what it is, it's just another snake oil.

J: It has the cure list. They have a list that they pass around, literally. It cures cancer. Quit smoking. Fix arthritis. Muscle aches.

J: Yeah. Everything. Just the cure all.

S: It also has the added bonus of being marketed through multi-level marketing.

J: And it's expensive. It's actually expensive.

S: So you're going to spend a lot of money to drink juice that tastes like crap that doesn't do anything and you have to work your butt off just to support your own habit.

E: And it's being sold by the likes of Dr. Neil Solomon who's in jail for whatever crimes.

S: Right. For abusing his patients.

E: Hey! You've got it! (laughs)

B: I have a quote from one of our youngest listeners if you'd like to hear it.

S: Sure.

Kid: Bug Lady, can ladybugs be boys?

S: (laughs) Who was that little cherub?

E: Oh, who was that?

J: That's Rachel.

E: That's my sweetheart. My little daughter Rachel asking Bug Lady a question.

S: That was cute.

E: Or Bug Girl a question.

S: But we do get a an incredible number of very positive e-mails and we do, as we've said multiple times, we read every e-mail. We greatly appreciate all the feedback that we get and it still does amaze me some of the incredibly positive reviews and e-mails that we get. It does mean a great deal to us.

J: Yeah, I'd like to thank, before I forget I want to thank Joe Shmoe for helping us with a lot of marketing concepts and work that we were doing this fall and definitely going to be working more with Joe early next year to get our marketing plan above boards and get it really rolling again. So Joe, thank you very much we appreciate your time.

R: Go Joe!

S: And Mike, thank you for your help with the website. With the and contributing to our SGU blog every week.

M: It's my pleasure.

R: Mike you are officially a gem.

J: Yeah. Mike is way past–he's way past the biggest fan now. Mike is–he does real stuff behind the scenes for us all the time. All the time. I mean Mike and I talk almost every day about stuff for the show. So... Mike started off–Yeah, he does. He does everything, actually.

E: And he travel's internationally to see us.

S: That's right. We appreciate all the good reviews we've been getting on iTunes. Some of them are almost embarrassing they're so effusive but they are–I do love read through these.

R: Go on. Embarrass us more.

S: Okay. Here's one. Here's one.

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is exactly what we need as a race to cure the diseases of mysticism, superstition, pseudoscience, and false logic. We are at a critical time as a race with environmental, societal, and superstitious concerns plaguing our day to day lives. Everyone should listen to this podcast because without keeping an open mind and skeptical mind we are doomed to dire fate indeed.

S: That's right. We're saving the world.

R: We are.

J: Change the world!

E: Well, doing what we can. (laughs) Magnetic man.

J: I'd like to play a few of Rebecca's brilliant quotes that she had this year. This is definitely a good one.

B: Yeah, but I got a 50 inch, high definition TV downstairs. I don't like watching on a 20 inch–

S: Bob, you have to do what I do. You hook up a computer to your TV.

R: There you go. Don't make us take away your nerd badge.

R: Nerd badges, though, honestly.

J: This is another awesome Rebecca quote.

R: We need a Ctrl-Z for this podcast.

J: (laughs) That's damn good.

B: Yeah, that's a good one.

J: And I think, now in '07 I think Rebecca's best quote was in '07 wasn't the–?

M: Yep.

R: The best quote ever?

M: Well, one of the two, I'd say.

J: Oh, here it is. Here it is. This is from episode 85[link needed].

R: Perry, show me on the doll where science touched you.

R: Okay. I'll give myself credit.

S: Yeah, that was a good one.

E: He liked that. He talked about that afterwards.

S: That was a comment when we were joking about Loraine Warren saying, "What happened to you boys? Was it the science thing?"


J: Alright. Here's another Rebecca one.

R: Hey Jay, if you want the tits bigger just blow more air in.


E: Oh boy.

J: There's just so much love.


Listeners (50:20)[edit]

S: Well as we're bringing our wrap up episode to a close I wanted to review some of our stats for 2007. At the end of 2006 we had just hit the 10,000 listener mark and at the time we discussed what should our goal be for 2007? And we agreed that a conservative but still somewhat optimistic goal would be to double that to 20,000 and we hit the 20,000 mark by about the mid-year so we revised our goal; we wanted to get to 30,000 by the end of 2007.

E: That's listeners per week.

S: That's per week. That's our audience. That's how many listeners we're getting per week. That's right. And as of today our most downloaded episode is at 29,164.

J: Wow. Well, we got damn close, guys.

B: Wow.

E: Oh wow.

S: We got damn close. I mean, the 30,000 is an arbitrary goal, but that's far exceeding our goal of 20,000 that we estimated for last year. And some other stats: we're getting over 5,000 downloads a day. Over 50,000 downloads a week. Also, about mid-year we broke the 1,000,000 download–total downloads–mark and right now–so, that was at mid-way through the year we were at 1,000,000 and now only 6 months later we are 2.7 million total downloads.

J: Wow. That's incredible.

S: So we are still growing by leaps and bounds. Last year we got a big bump after the holidays which we attributed to everyone getting iPods for Christmas and then downloading podcasts.

E: Well, we should see if that holds up again.

S: Yeah. I think so. There's the–so everyone buy the iPods or the iTouch or whatever mp3 device you prefer for your loved ones and pre-load up all the Skeptics' Guide onto it. So what should our goal be for 2008?

J: What? With these numbers or just in general.

S: Well, with the numbers specifically and anything else–any other goals for 2008.

J: If we broke–is it possible do you think–could we break 50,000 listeners in '08?

S: 50,000 I think would be a very ambitious goal for 2008 but I think that's what we should set the bar. 50,000.

B: Wow.

E: 50,000? Alright.

S: The thing is we don't know where the ceiling is. We don't know where we're going to start to level off. But we do have a lot of plans try to to really market ourselves in 2008 which we really haven't done up until now and of course we always appreciate our listeners spreading the good word and getting people to listen. So let's say 50,000 for the end of 2008 will be our goal.

J: Yeah.

E: Good goal. I like it.

J: I won't be upset if we don't get there. I think it's incredible. Funny, you listen to some 2006 shows and we're like we have 1,000 listeners. Woo hoo!

S: Yeah. I know. It's all relative. Hey, I'm extremely ecstatic to be right at the brink of 30,000.

J: It is. It's incredible. I'd never thought we'd get this far.

S: It's very successful for a podcast.

J: I never though–I mean it's still us talking like we always do. I mean, when we got together with Rebecca recently and did the psychic fair we had so much fun. Yeah. It was an incredible time. I mean, hanging out with Rebecca doing some work and just bouncing off of each other is so much fun. And is that–

E: Talking about it afterwards was really great. Just downloading and–

J: Absolutely, yeah.

S: Yeah. Now looking forward to 2008 also, in addition to the new podcast and the new blog that we're going to do and re-working the website, we are going to try to do more live shows. The live shows have all been great. We're definitely going to do the annual live show like a Perry DeAngelis memorial live show in August but we may do others throughout the year. We're also going to all be at TAM6 and we're going to do lots of live interviews at TAM6 and maybe also do a live show with an audience there[link needed]. We're still working out the details as to what we're going to do. So we're really looking forward to that as a big event for 2008.

J: We're also talking about maybe going to DragonCon if we can all swing it.

S: Yep. We're talking about–Derrick from Skepticality invited us to go to DragonCon which he and Swoopy run the skeptical podcasting component of that. So, it's not something that we've done in the past but we're thinking about doing that in 2008. TAM5.5 is coming up in January that Rebecca will be lecturing at, as well as others. Well, lot of good stuff in 2008. We're also planning on doing more investigations next year. We're going to obviously be doing the ones with Alex Tsakiris from Skeptico but again we really enjoyed the psychic fair and we're going to definitely plan on doing more of that. More in the field kind of stuff that always is fun and works out really well.

M: I have a few stats here, too.

S: Alright, let's hear it.

E: Go for it.

Science or Fiction (55:19)[edit]

M: Science or fiction stats.

J: Oh, Christ.

M: So for the year overall, that includes every single episode for 2007, Rebecca's on top.

R: Ha Ha. I like to know I'm–

M: With 69.8%.

J: Nice. Good work, Rebecca.

R: Thank you.

J: What was it?

M: Bob's right under Rebecca. At 67.4%.

E: There you go.

M: Followed by Jay at 63%. And Evan rounds it off at 58.3%.

E: 58.3? Wow. That's not bad for the lowest figure.

M: Also, in 2007, I guess we should mention that there was a 9-game winning streak for, of all people, Jay. That was the longest winning streak for Science or Fiction.

J: That was when I was reading science news like crazy.

E: Hey, Jay, Jay, look at it this way. Steve got 0, okay?

S: That's true. I got 0 correct in 2007.

M: Actually, Steve stumped everyone 3 times and there were 16 episodes where everybody won.

S: Yeah. I gotta ratchet it up next year. I was too easy on you guys this year.

M: And for overall stats it's Rebecca 64.1, Bob 58.8, and then Evan's 48.4 and then Jay 47.4.

J: Oh, my god.

S: So you guys did better this year than in previous years.

J: Yeah.

E: Well we're certainly better than guessing average, ya know?

S: Yeah. At least you're better than guessing. That's good.

E: For a little while there some of us were below the guessing.

S: Below random.

J: I wish we could gauge our listeners' responses. I wish there was a way to do it.

S: Yeah. Cause you don't want to make it too difficult for the listener. Cause you guys are getting really good at it. So–

J: I think you do a great job, Steve. I know it's a pain in the ass to do it. It's difficult. I know that you have to do–

S: It's a lot of work. It's actually a deceptively difficult segment to come up with.

Skeptical Puzzels (57:18)[edit]

M: And there's the skeptical puzzles. Cosmic Vagabond started the year off on top and then I passed him around a third of the year through and then he tied me but then recently Ole Eivind–

S: Ole!

M: won a bunch so now he's sitting at 7 wins against mine and Cosmic's 5.

J: Wow.

M: But I did answer a puzzle within 2 minutes of it being posted, I'm very proud of that.

S: So you get the fastest response but Ole is on top with the greatest number of correct–of wins.

R: I don't think we can allow Mike to ever win the–

M: No I can't. I can't win anymore, actually. I've retired from skeptical puzzle answering.

E: Ole paid the fastest so I guess that's why won the most.

S: Right.

E: Just kidding. Ha Ha Ha.

M: Also, I just wanted to mention, that on Digg we're #1, by a lot.

S: Number 1 on Digg! of science podcasts.

J: For science podcasts.

M: For science podcasts. And we're #33 overall.

S: 33 of all podcasts in the universe.

M: Yes.

R: In the universe.

J: Well, on Digg.

R: I heard there was in Alpha Centauri that was catching up to us.

E: Ugh. Those bastards.

J: Steve, can I play one more quote, one more segment from shows this year?

S: Yeah, one last one.

J: Okay.

P: Where does that leave print journals, though, Steve? What's the guy who's–

S: They're struggling to figure out what their place is in all of this. Seriously. Although, luckily people still like to read on the can.
S: Having something tangible in your hand, there's still a place for that.
R: That was really eloquent, Steve. Beautifully put.
S: I couldn't think of any other way to say it. That's what it comes down to.
J: –right? You'll pull out a tube of toothpaste and you'll read that. Anything other than not reading.
B: Oh my god. It wasn't just me? Holy crap.
R: What is with you guys? I have never read a single thing on the toilet.
B: You are not human.
R: No. I'm not a boy.
R: This has got to be a guy thing. Okay, let's throw this out to the audience. Please, I have actually wondered about this. I'm pretty sure that this is just a guy thing. Girls–first of all girls don't poop, but second of all, besides that–aside from that fact girls just don't spend that much time on the toilet. I think we get in, we get it done and then we get out. We spend all of our time in front of the mirror.
E: Then why do you go to the toilet in groups?
R: Because we have to talk. It's different. We talk. We talk while we're doing our makeup.
P: It's so you can cheer each other on. Go for that piss, baby. You're like a racehorse.
R: Wait. Just so we're clear you just quoted Andrew Dice Clay.
P: He happens to be a brilliant man. But, I wanted to say–
R: Wow. I think–I hope you just lost a lot of fans there Perry.
P: I'm on the cutting edge. I have a television in my bathroom, thank you very much.
R: No you don't.
P: So when I sit on the can I can get absorbed into a program. I can sit there for an hour.
R: You do not have a television in your bathroom.
B: If you can't hear I'm clapping. A TV in your bathroom. Holy crap.
J: Perry, as proud of you as I am, as incredible as that is, it's not good for the O ring to sit on the can for–
R: Perry, you really are my exact opposite. In every way.
P: What are you talking about? Sometimes I lounge in the tub for hours, ya know? With a movie on.
R: With the meat eating and the tel–I don't even own a television. You have a television in your bathroom?
P: I've got 5 TVs in this house. Televisions everywhere. You've got to monitor what's going on, ya know?
S: Perry and Rebecca are like matter and antimatter is that what you guys are saying?
R: We are. We can never be in the same room or the universe will collapse.
P: You'll never get a marriage proposal from me.
R: That's true.
P: There you go.
B: The universe won't really collapse.
R: I'm not complaining.
B: It will just burst into a bunch of gamma rays, but still nasty.
P: I urge everyone to get a TV for their can. Thank you.
E: Or a toilet for your computer.
R: Yeah. Why not just install a toilet in your arm chair, Perry?
S: Don't give him any ideas. Don't give him any ideas.
J: Every day I take breath I realize that you are more and more like Cartman.
R: Yeah. I think you're right.
P: I don't know if he's got a TV in his bathroom, does he?
R: No. But if he grew up, and were real, he would.

S: That was a good one.

R: Aww.

M: Yeah.

Conclusion (1:02:02)[edit]

J: Steve, I don't remember if I said last year but–I don't think I'm speaking for everyone but I hope I am–Steve, thank you for the year. You did an amazing amount of work. You put in more time and energy into this. The show really is you. You do all the heavy lifting, post production work. I said this to Steve in a phone conversation not too long ago. Steve's my brother, I love him, I have total comfort, he's one of my best friends in my reality but Steve also is one of my heroes.

S: Thank you, Jay.

J: I look up to my brother. It's weird. I look up to him. You're an inspiration for me and you're one of the reasons why I really enjoy my life and I want to thank you for letting me be on the SGU.

S: Thank you, Jay, I appreciate that. And, hey, I've said it before, if this were just me blathering along this show would not be much, would not be where it is and I want to thank all of you guys for a wonderful year. For being with me on the show week to week. Makes it extremely enjoyable for me and that translates quite obviously to our listeners, to everyone out there. So, thank all you guys.

E: Thank you.

B: Danke schoen.

E: I don't know what more to add to that but thank you.

S: It's just a big love fest.

E: Aw.

S: We'd better shut this down before we all go into a diabetic coma.


J: It was a great year guys. Here's to '08. Here's to bigger and better things.

E: Absolutely.

S: Onward and upward.

E: Here here.

R: Cheers.

S: And thanks for joining us, Mike, for helping us wrap up a wonderful year.

M: Thank you, Steve.

J: Thanks, Mike.

S: And thanks again to all of our listeners out there and we'll be with you again in '08. And until next week, and next year, this is your Skeptics' Guide to the Universe.

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 'info @'. If you enjoyed this episode, then please help us to 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.

Today I Learned[edit]


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