SGU Episode 485

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SGU Episode 485
October 25th 2014
Giant human skeletons.jpg
SGU 484 SGU 486
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein


Quote of the Week
Having a minister of health that believes in homeopathy is like having a minister of transportation who believes in broomsticks
From 'The now show' a british comedy podcast.
Links
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic


Introduction[edit]

The Walking Dead

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

This Day in Skepticism (3:00)[edit]

  • October 25, 1960: The Accutron 214, the world's first electronic wristwatch by Bulova, was placed on sale in New York City.

News Items[edit]

A TCM Challenge (8:51)[edit]

  • October 25, In 1960, the Accutron 214, the world's first electronic wristwatch by Bulova, was placed on sale in New York City.

Stem Cells for Spinal Cord Injury (18:52)[edit]

Giants of Arkansas (29:54)[edit]

Who's That Noisy (34:22)[edit]

  • Answer to last week: Steven Spielberg

Questions and Emails[edit]

Question #1: BICEP 2 (36:13)[edit]

Hi guys. Thanks for doing this show, and good luck with the continuing legal saga. I know you talked about the BICEP 2 result regarding cosmic inflation and gravity waves some time ago, which was touted as an extremely important result for our understanding of cosmology, but so far as I'm aware, you haven't discussed the follow-up to that story that came with some new Planck satellite data regarding dust in the Milky Way. Basically, dust in the Milky Way (which creates a screen in front of any extragalactic observations you might want to do, including those of the CMB) aligns with the Galaxy's magnetic fields, and hence light scattering off of that dust is polarized. This can mimic the B-mode signal the BICEP 2 team was looking for. And while the BICEP 2 team was obviously aware of this potential problem, Planck's results indicate that there may be a lot more contamination from dust than the BICEP 2 team was thinking, to the point that it could account for the entire signal BICEP 2 found. The jury is still out, of course–Planck didn't measure the exact same wavelength as BICEP 2, for example, and dust is notorious for not being easy to model in how it emits and scatters light of different wavelengths–so the Planck folks and the BICEP 2 folks are taking a closer look to see if they can determine just how big a problem this actually is. Here's a good article about this on Physics World: http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2014/sep/22/bicep2-gravitational-wave-result-bites-the-dust-thanks-to-new-planck-data or if you want the actual paper, go here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.5738 (though fair warning: it's a hard read) Anyway, just thought I'd send this to you guys in case you hadn't heard about it. I know at least Bob would be very interested. Thanks again! ~Aaron W. Cleveland, OH

Question #2: Jack the Ripper Follow Up (39:54)[edit]

You've probably got this a few dozen times already, but in case you hadn't I thought I'd pass it along! http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/jack-the-ripper-id-hinges-on-a-decimal-point-as-scientists-flag-up-dna-error-in-book-that-claims-to-identify-the-whitechapel-killer-9804325.html

Announcement (43:53)[edit]

Interview with David Gorski (47:41)[edit]

Science or Fiction (1:05:22)[edit]

Item #1: In a study of 2,000 consecutive whole-exome sequencing tests, in 25% of subjects the testing resulted in a molecular diagnosis. Item #2: Astronomers announce that they may have detected dark matter particles from the sun. Item #3: A recent study of American middle school students found that they have, on average, a higher degree of digital technology savvy than their middle school teachers.

Skeptical Quote of the Week (1:23:55)[edit]

'Having a minister of health that believes in homeopathy is like having a minister of transportation who believes in broomsticks' From 'The now show' a British comedy podcast.

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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