SGU Episode 801

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SGU Episode 801
November 14th 2020
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SGU 800 SGU 802
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein
C: Cara Santa Maria


Quote of the Week

There's a certain comfort that comes from knowing a fact. The sun is up in the sky; there's nothing you can say that's going to change that. You can't say, "The sun's not up there, there's no sky." There is reality, and there's nothing wrong with accepting reality. It's when you try to distort reality, to maneuver it into accommodating your particular point of view, your particular bigotry, your particular whatever — that's when you run into problems.

Alex Trebek, Canadian-American game show host

Links
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic

Introduction[edit]

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

COVID-19 Update ()[edit]

News Items[edit]

S:

B:

J:

E:

C:


(laughs) (laughter) (applause) [inaudible]

3D Printing with Bacteria ()[edit]

"Pre-bunking" ()[edit]

Real Cause of Light Pollution ()[edit]

Physics Paradox Solved ()[edit]

New Nuclear Thermal Engines ()[edit]

Who's That Noisy? ()[edit]

New Noisy ()[edit]

[Whirring and crackling, then whirring and squeaking]

Questions/Emails/Corrections/Follow-ups ()[edit]

_consider_using_block_quotes_for_emails_read_aloud_in_this_segment_ with_reduced_spacing_for_long_chunks –

Follow-up #1: "Throwaway journals" ()[edit]

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Answer Item
Fiction abandoned properties
Science mean thermal energy
Science once-mistaken pterosaurs
Host Result
' win
Rogue Guess
Jay mean thermal energy
Cara abandoned properties
Bob abandoned properties
Evan abandoned properties
'

Voiceover: It's time for Science or Fiction.

Item #1: Astronomers find that the mean thermal energy density of gases in the universe has been increasing, and is now 2 million Kelvin, 10 times hotter than 10 billion years ago.[6]
Item #2: A new study finds that programs which demolish abandoned properties reduces nearby crime rates.[7]
Item #3: A paleontology student has discovered that a fossil collection of ancient sharks in two UK museums are actually pterosaurs, including a previously unknown species.[8]

Jay's Response[edit]

Cara's Response[edit]

Bob's Response[edit]

Evan's Response[edit]

Steve Explains Item #3[edit]

Steve Explains Item #2[edit]

Steve Explains Item #1[edit]

Skeptical Quote of the Week ()[edit]

There's a certain comfort that comes from knowing a fact. The sun is up in the sky; there's nothing you can say that's going to change that. You can't say, "The sun's not up there, there's no sky." There is reality, and there's nothing wrong with accepting reality. It's when you try to distort reality, to maneuver it into accommodating your particular point of view, your particular bigotry, your particular whatever — that's when you run into problems.
Alex Trebek (1940-2020), Canadian-American game show host

Signoff/Announcements ()[edit]

S: —and until next week, this is your Skeptics' Guide to the Universe.

S: Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by SGU Productions, dedicated to promoting science and critical thinking. For more information, visit us at theskepticsguide.org. Send your questions to info@theskepticsguide.org. And, if you would like to support the show and all the work that we do, go to patreon.com/SkepticsGuide and consider becoming a patron and becoming part of the SGU community. Our listeners and supporters are what make SGU possible.

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Today I Learned[edit]

  • Fact/Description, possibly with an article reference[9]
  • Fact/Description
  • Fact/Description

Notes[edit]

  1. From the notes from the Carbon Ladder YouTube video:

    These sounds were produced by living fungi: Shitake mushrooms still attached to their mycelial bodies. A mushroom is actually the fruiting body of a fungus, the "body" of which consists of the mycelium, a network of root-like structures that run through substrate (the log, compost, sawdust, etc.). A mushroom still connected to a growing mycelium produces a varied and interesting rhythm, while a mushroom that has been picked produced only a static tone.

    All living organisms produce a faint electrical current, which constantly fluctuates according to the state of the organism. This current can be amplified and used as a control signal for an oscillator, producing a sound which directly reflects the state of the organism.

    For my installation "Ha, Ha! Your Mushrooms Have Gone?", fungi actively growing on their original substrate were housed in glass tanks, to preserve optimal humidity. Visitors to the installation were able to hear the sounds of different living fungal cultures, which changed as new specimens were brought in during the course of the work. The bioelectrical sounds from the fungi are switched on and off by infra-red sensors, in response to the movements of people in the room, allowing visitors to interact with the work. Perhaps the fungi also respond to the sonic vibrations in the room.

    – Michael Prime

References[edit]

Vocabulary[edit]


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