SGU Episode 83

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SGU Episode 83
February 21st 2007
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SGU 82 SGU 84
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein


Quote of the Week
'Aquarius is a miscellaneous set of stars all at different distances from us, which have no connection with each other except that they constitute a (meaningless) pattern when seen from a certain (not particularly special) place in the galaxy (here).'Richard Dawkins
[[wikipedia:'Aquarius is a miscellaneous set of stars all at different distances from us, which have no connection with each other except that they constitute a (meaningless) pattern when seen from a certain (not particularly special) place in the galaxy (here).'Richard Dawkins|'Aquarius is a miscellaneous set of stars all at different distances from us, which have no connection with each other except that they constitute a (meaningless) pattern when seen from a certain (not particularly special) place in the galaxy (here).'Richard Dawkins]]
Links
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic


Introduction[edit]

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

News Items ()[edit]

Angels Caught on Tape ()[edit]

  • wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54271

New footage of JFK in Dallas released ()[edit]

  • news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070219/pl_nm/kennedy_footage_dc

Bigfoot Foot Debunked ()[edit]

  • www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/20/AR2007022001343.html

Questions and E-mails ()[edit]

Psychics on Oprah ()[edit]

Dear Skeptics,
Thanks for reading my email. I'm a long time listener, first time writer. I was at the computer today, and I overheard a commercial on tv for Psychics on Oprah. Being a sane person, I normally wouldn't watch it, but I've grown to love the Talkshow Psychic bashing on your show. So, I was watching the show, and John Edward came on and started discussing his 'conversations' with spirits/energies from the 'other side'. So Oprah chimed in with 'I need to be skeptical for the audience, where is this other side?' So he replies with well you have to think about it this way, 'where is the internet?' and Oprah just goes along with 'Oh now I get it'. Needless to say I immediately wanted to rip my hair out. First of all Oprah is about as skeptical as Jell-O is meat, secondly the internet clearly exists, I can prove with a pen and paper, not to mention it physically exists as a joint effort between a few million computers or as some politicians think is a 'series of tubes'. I'm utterly disgusted that this stuff is nationally televised. I wasn't sure if anyone on the show got a chance to watch it, and I would like to hear what anyone has to say in response to the show. Thanks for your time. Take care.

Sincerely,
Justin Troupe
Lancaster, PA


Oprah survey on the paranormal
www2.oprah.com/tows/intheworks/tows_works_belief.jhtml

Zodiac Insurance ()[edit]

Guys, you are such a breath of fresh air. I've been enjoying your current and past podcasts ever since the day I stumbled upon them in iTunes.

Now for my question: I happen to think (as I know you all do) that the zodiac signs are a pile of crap. How then can you explain the article which I link to below? Apparently Allstate did a study which searched for correlations between frequency of collisions and the birthdate of the driver. As it turns out, Aries is the best sign to be, and Virgo is the worst, and the others all fall somewhere in between.

money.aol.com/insurance/auto/canvas3/_a/stars-and-cars-the-best-and-worst/20061108133409990002

Aside from dismissing the study completely, how would you explain such a correlation? It makes no sense to me whatsoever! Is it perhaps a case of self-fulfilling prophecy?

Thanks for a great podcast, and keep up the great work.

John Di Bartolo
New York City, USA

Article on Astrology Data Mining
abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=2890150&page=1

TAM V Interviews Part V ()[edit]

TAM V Interviews Part VThe Amazing Meeting Interviews Part V
with Julia Sweeney
Richard Wiseman
and Scott Dickers - Editor in Chief of The Onion

Science or Fiction ()[edit]

Question #1: New study finds that older adults make better eyewitnesses in that they have a more accurate assessment of the accuracy of their own memories. Question #2: New research shows how bacteria can be used to protect buildings from earthquakes. Question #3: New study demonstrates for the first time that some birds are able to anticipate future needs and plan accordingly.

Skeptical Puzzle ()[edit]

Last Week's Puzzle

Identify the number sequence:

0.0
2.6
23.4
25.2
3.1
26.7
97.8
28.3

Answer: Axial Tilt of the planets of the solar system
Winner: Mike from the boards


This Week's Puzzle

Because I do not hope to know
This mystery at this late hour
Because I do not think

Because I shall not know
Once thought to fuel this power
Was alcohol, which I cannot drink

Because I can not know
Why it doesnt happen to tree or flower
Perhaps this bad habit is the link

Because I refuse to know
My impulsive human reaction seem dour
And whatever bits remain, boy, it sure does stink


What am I describing?

Quote of the Week ()[edit]

'Aquarius is a miscellaneous set of stars all at different distances from us, which have no connection with each other except that they constitute a (meaningless) pattern when seen from a certain (not particularly special) place in the galaxy (here).'Richard Dawkins

S: The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is produced by the New England Skeptical Society in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation. For more information on this and other episodes, please visit our website at www.theskepticsguide.org. Please send us your questions, suggestions, and other feedback; you can use the 'contact us' page on our website, or you can send us an email to 'info @ theskepticsguide.org'. 'Theorem' is produced by Kineto and is used with permission.

References[edit]


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