SGU Episode 278

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SGU Episode 278
November 10th 2010
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SGU 277 SGU 279
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein


Quote of the Week
'In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.'
Carl Sagan
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Show Notes
Forum Topic


Introduction[edit]

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

News Items ()[edit]

Carl Sagan Day ()[edit]

Mystery Missile ()[edit]

LHC Big Bang ()[edit]

The Twinkie Diet ()[edit]

Hamburger Experiment Redux ()[edit]

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week: Orson Welles

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question #1 - Spinning Spaceship ()[edit]

My friend and I are Arguing! OK I listen to your show weekly and think that you and your Rogues are the only ones i know (i say that figuratively) who can put to rest this quarrel between my friend and I. So say you're in space and you're in a perfectly spherical spaceship that is spinning. If you start off hovering in the middle of the craft, as the ship spins you stay still and the ship spins around you. If you start off strapped in a chair attached to the side of the craft and it starts spinning you are traveling at the same speed as the craft. (so unless there are windows you don't realize you're spinning, right?) Here's where we disagree on what happens next. if you are in the chair and the ship is spinning and you unbuckle your belt and you jump across the ship, I said that you would end up floating across as if you weren't spinning at all.Since there is no gravity acting against you, you would float across to the spot directly above where you were while you were sitting. He says, that since it is spinning and it is spherical, that the distance in diameter is smaller then the distance of the circumference, therefor you would (using a clock as an example) jump from 6 to about 9.5 instead of 6 to 12. I thought without gravity slowing you down it would be like your not spinning at all. Please help us figure this one out. Is this a centripetal force type effect or does that not exist in space, or is it something totally different. I hope I was able to illustrate this question adequately enough for you too understand the gist of quarrel:) Thanks for your time and keep up the good work! Andy Cowan Southern Oregon (Ashland Area)

Question #2 - Ear Light ()[edit]

I'd thought I would give you a heads up on an upcoming craze to combat seasonal affective disorder. It's light therapy but the light is administered to your ears. The device is simple: earbuds that have LEDs in them and a control unit to power the device. They claim that because the skull is at its thinnest in the ear canal it is also the most effective way to deliver light therapy. Their web site refers to an ongoing study and to a preliminary study that was 'promising'. As we wait for the results of a properly done and placebo controlled study, what are your thoughts about this therapy given the limited information? Antti Harala Tampere, Finland

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: New research concludes that as the earth warms overall wind speeds will decrease, leaving less energy for wind power. Item #2: A psychology researcher finds that men become more aggressive after viewing images of meat. Item #3: A new study finds that while older Americans are sicker than their English counterparts, they live as long or longer.

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.' Carl Sagan

Announcements ()[edit]

S: The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by the New England Skeptical Society in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation and skepchick.org. For more information on this and other episodes, please visit our website at www.theskepticsguide.org. For questions, suggestions and other feedback, please use the 'contact us' form on the website, or send an email to 'info @ theSkepticsGuide.org'. 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.

References[edit]


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