SGU Episode 133

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SGU Episode 133
February 6th 2008
(brief caption for the episode icon)

SGU 132                      SGU 134

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

R: Rebecca Watson

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

'Why are things as they are and not otherwise?'

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) German astronomer.

Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Discussion


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

News Items ()[edit]

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Dies ()[edit]


Regenerative Acceleration ()[edit]

Voting with Invisible Ink ()[edit]


Canadian Snake Oil ()[edit]


Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Organic Milk ()[edit]

Hello guys,

Love the show. I just wanted to help clarify one point about organic milk, which Steve said cost twice as much for no real reason. Milk that's labeled 'organic' from most brands you'll find in a grocery store may be organic, but the real reason it tastes better and has a much, much longer shelf life is because it's been through a process called UHT, or Ultra High Temperature processing. high_temperature_processing

This is my favorite brand of super milk. Just search the page for UHT. and cream/milk/

Apparently people get freaked out if they're told they don't have to refrigerate their milk until they open it, so the companies have hit on using the fashionable 'organic' label to obscure the fact that the UHT nature of the product is what actually makes it special.

Scott Hamilton
St. Petersburg

Apocalypse 2012 ()[edit]

Hey all,
I was in a bookstore the other day and was bewildered to see an entire display devoted to books about the coming apocalypse in the year 2012. I'd heard before that that Mayan calendar ends in 2012 and for some reason this is supposed to signal the end of the world. But just from skimming over the titles of these books, I can't make out what exactly
is supposed to happen then, one book says that the Mayan god Quetzlcoatl will return, another says that the magnetic poles will suddenly shift.

Then, earlier today, I came across a message board post on in which a woman stated that she watched a 2012 apocalypse show on The Discovery Channel and was terrified for the well being of her children. She has apparently lost a lot of sleep over it.

Of course, this whole thing is nonsense, but I have some superstitious friends who I know will buy into the doomsday predictions, and a simple 'It's all hooey' from me won't stop them from losing sleep like the poor message board poster. Do you guys know any more about the origins/history of this latest apocalypse craze?

Thanks for the great show,
Pete Lobczowski

Interview with Richard Hayes ()[edit]


    Rich Hayes
    Deputy Director
    Union of Concerned Scientists

    Lead Author for A Scientist Guide to Talking with the Media

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Question #1: Researchers have restored sight to blind mice by transplanting stem cells into their eyes. Question #2: New study shows that daily flossing is associated with lower scores on standard IQ tests. Question #3: Georgia Tech researchers have developed a fuel combustion engine that produces almost zero emissions.

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'Why are things as they are and not otherwise?'- Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) German astronomer.

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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