SGU Episode 484

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SGU Episode 484
October 18th 2014
Crocodile.jpg
SGU 483 SGU 485
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein


Quote of the Week
A democratic society, an open society, places an extraordinary intellectual responsibility on ordinary men and women because we are governed by what we think, we are governed by our opinions, so the content of our opinions and the quality of our opinions and the quality of the formation of our opinions basically determines the character of our society. That means in a democracy, in an open society, a thoughtless citizen of a democracy is a delinquent citizen of a democracy
Leon Wieseltier
Links
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Show Notes
Forum Topic


Introduction[edit]

  • Rebecca's first show from the West Coast

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

This Day in Skepticism (4:12)[edit]

  • October 18, 1967: The Soviet probe Venera 4 reaches Venus and becomes the first spacecraft to measure the atmosphere of another planet.

News Items[edit]

AWARE NDE Study (7:02)[edit]

Living on Mars (15:27)[edit]

E-Cat Cold Fusion (25:25)[edit]

(Commercial at 36:04)

Crocodilians (37:19)[edit]

Sciencey (44:25)[edit]

  • Comparing effects of sciency terms in ads

Sally Morgan Follow Up (50:31)[edit]

S: One last quick follow up news item, actually. We talked last week with Andy Wilson about the rather amusing encounter between the husband and son-in-law of UK, alleged psychic Sally Morgan. We played the audio. The husband and son-in-law were making some pretty aggressive, as well as homophobic and threatening sort of statements towards them.

And after the show, they posted the video, which always has more impact. You see somebody saying it, you know, it's just more emotionally impactful than hearing it. You know, it's had, it stung. It's had a pretty significant effect. In fact, and tell me what you guys think about this: Sally Morgan has fired her husband and son-in-law over this scandal.

R: And she didn't see it coming. Go ahead and make your jokes.

S: Yeah

R: Make your jokes. Fill your joke in here.

S: Right

J: Well, PR perspective, it was the only thing that she could do. I mean, it does fix a little bit of the problem, if you think about it. From most of the public's perception on that, I think, will be, "Oh yeah, you know, those guys screwed up, and she handled them." But I don't know if it really makes a difference.

S: It does, 'cause it's plausible deniability for the believers. People who want to believe in her, absolutely.

B: Yeah, unfortunately, it was kind of savvy.

S: But, I do think that, you know, for people on the fence, or who aren't dedicated, true believers, they're gonna realize that this, it seems to me, certainly, that this is a completely calculating PR damage control move. And it seems unlikely that she was completely unaware of the activity of two of her family members who also work for her.

J: Yeah

B: Yeah

E: And at one point, she expressed that she didn't know what was going to happen to her marriage in the future because of all of this.

S: Oh, that seems totally, yeah, totally put on.

E: And a little ironic that the psychic has no idea what's happening to her marriage

S: Yeah

E: in the future. But, you know, it doesn't get more personal than that, really.

S: But when her husband was saying things like, "We know all about you," I wonder who the "we" was, that he was referring to, if she was included in that "we."

B: Yeah, yeah, true!

E: Maybe it was the royal "we."

S: The royal "we?"

Who's That Noisy (52:49)[edit]

  • Answer to last week: Moth Caterpillar

Questions and Emails[edit]

Question #1: Corrections (55:00)[edit]

Lewis and Clark Nobel in Medicine 2014

Question #2: Ebola Hysteria (56:50)[edit]

If this is something that you've already covered and I've simply forgotten then please forgive me. I've heard that the ebola virus–while dangerous–is not spread by casual contact and is not nearly as easy to spread as the flu. This being the case, it seems to me that the media's hype about the threat of ebola in the United States is disproportionate to its actual threat (at least in terms of its ability to spread.) Thanks for any information you can offer, Dave Satterlee Lindenwold, NJ

Science or Fiction (1:07:18)[edit]

Item #1: A new study finds that 93% of parents make at least one critical mistake when placing their newborn in a car seat to take them home from the hospital. Item #2: Researchers find that a combination of strawberry and baking soda is as effective at whitening teeth as the most popular commercial whiteners. Item #3: A new measurement of star velocities finds that the mass of dark matter in the Milky Way galaxy is half of what was previously thought.

Skeptical Quote of the Week (1:22:17)[edit]

'A democratic society, an open society, places an extraordinary intellectual responsibility on ordinary men and women because we are governed by what we think, we are governed by our opinions, so the content of our opinions and the quality of our opinions and the quality of the formation of our opinions basically determines the character of our society. That means in a democracy, in an open society, a thoughtless citizen of a democracy is a delinquent citizen of a democracy' - Leon Wieseltier

Announcements (1:23:15)[edit]

S: The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by SGU Productions, dedicated to promoting science and critical thinking. For more information on this and other episodes, please visit our website at theskepticsguide.org, where you will find the show notes as well as links to our blogs, videos, online forum, and other content. You can send us feedback or questions to info@theskepticsguide.org. Also, please consider supporting the SGU by visiting the store page on our website, where you will find merchandise, premium content, and subscription information. Our listeners are what make SGU possible.


References[edit]


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