SGU Episode 608

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SGU Episode 608
March 4th 2017
(brief caption for the episode icon)

SGU 607                      SGU 609

Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella

B: Bob Novella

C: Cara Santa Maria

J: Jay Novella

E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week

I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

From the adventures of Sherlock Holmes

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Show Notes
Forum Discussion


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

What's the Word ()[edit]

  • Homologous

News Items[edit]

Nightmare Robot ()[edit]

Returning to the Moon ()[edit]

Digital Age Brain Disorders ()[edit]

The ADHD Controversy ()[edit]

Who's That Noisy ()[edit]

  • Answer to last week: Compressed air motor

Questions and Emails[edit]

Question #1: Tinnitus Follow Up ()[edit]

Listening to your latest episode right now; great job, as always! When Steve mentioned that fleeting tinnitus was the result of hair cells dying, though, I thought 'isn't that a myth?' A year or two ago, a friend described his occasional experience with fleeting tinnitus, and I shared my experience too. One of us mentioned that it had to do with hair cells dying. We found we both had this idea floating around in our heads, and traced it back to Alfonso Cuarón's film Children of Men, where Julianne Moore tells Clive Owen that the ringing he was hearing was the last time he'd ever hear that specific frequency, because the relevant hair cell was dying. We were both interested to find out if this was true (we're both linguists), and concluded it wasn't. Rather, we surmised that this ringing came about from a kind of feedback loop that gets triggered in the hair cells, and drowns out other noise (see what-causes-spontaneous-ringing-in-our-ears/). Any idea if we were on the right track? Is it just a myth? Is there some truth to it? Thanks.

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Item #1: Paleontologists have found the world’s oldest fossils, at least 3.7 billion years old, in Quebec, Canada. Item #2: The 94 year old inventor of the lithium-ion battery announced a new battery breakthrough, that has 3 times the energy density, more recharge cycles, greater stability, faster recharge, out of cheaper and environmentally friendly materials. Item #3: A new study finds that American homeowners actually lost over $1 billion last year by refinancing incorrectly.

Skeptical Quote of the Week ()[edit]

"I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - From the adventures of Sherlock Holmes

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, 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 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.


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