SGU Episode 280

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SGU Episode 280
November 24th 2010
SGU 279 SGU 281
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week
'Truth is a shining goddess, always veiled, always distant, never wholly approachable, but worthy of all the devotion of which the human spirit is capable. '
Bertrand Russell
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic


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

News Items ()[edit]

Richard Saunders vs Eken Power Bands ()[edit]

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Question #1 - Frozen Stiff ()[edit]

While perusing the articles on I came across this article. It sounds like a complete load of bull to me. What do you make of it? or the New York Times Thanks, and keep up the excellent work. Michael Fincher Ontario Canada

Question #2 - Cockroach Brains ()[edit]

I'm sure this bit of news will interest you guys - not because it offers any immediate and practical benefits (those are probably years away at best) but because of how it shows we can never ever predict where new and fundamental insights will come from: Cockroach brains may aid in fighting MRSA Jurij Dreo Slovenia

Question #3 - Deal or No Deal ()[edit]

Subject: Monty Hall. . . again Message: Hey guys, I love the show. You've discussed the Monty Hall problem in depth on the show before, now I would like to hear your thoughts on the show Deal or No Deal. What's the best strategy for this game, and how does the show possibly try to trick you with its statistics? James Wayne Orlando, FL

Name That Logical Fallacy ()[edit]

  • Logical Fallacy - The Argument from Silence?
When commenting on a pseudoscientific claim, I will often hear skeptics say that if there were evidence for such a thing (for some reason, the existence of the soul comes to mind), we'd have heard about it and it would be on the front page of every newspaper. While this rings true to me, it seems like a logical fallacy. Isn't it possible, however unlikely, that there is good scientific evidence for a phenomenon that has been overlooked by all of the major publications? Is this a logical fallacy? Brandon Putz Edwardsville, IL (With guest rogue, Brian Trent )

Special Segment ()[edit]

  • With guest rogue, George Hrab

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: Although Mainstream professional television was launched in Australia in 1956, it was not until 1975 that Australian TV networks switched from broadcasting in B/W to colour. Item #3: The Sydney Funnel-web Spider has been responsible for more deaths in Australia in the past 100 years than deaths from Hammerhead sharks attacks world wide in the same time. Item #3: When European explorers first saw strange hopping animals they asked an aborigine what they were called. He replied 'kang-ooroo' meaning 'I don't understand' your question. The explorers thought this was the animal's name and hence we now call them kangaroo. Item #4: Cricket is the great summer sport of Australia. What is interesting is that (officially) the fasted cricket ball ever bowled is within 1mph of the fastest baseball ever pitched even though the fast bower in cricket runs at full speed to deliver the ball.

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'Truth is a shining goddess, always veiled, always distant, never wholly approachable, but worthy of all the devotion of which the human spirit is capable. ' -Bertrand Russell

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.


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