SGU Episode 856

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SGU Episode 856
December 4th 2021
SGU 855 SGU 857
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
C: Cara Santa Maria
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein

Quote of the Week
It’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person.
Bill Murray, American actor & comedian
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic


Voice-over: You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, your escape to reality.

COVID-19 Update (1:13)[edit]

  • Omicron variant

Special Segment: Today Jay Learned (9:43)[edit]

News Items[edit]






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

Sentient Cephalopods (21:33)[edit]

Self-Replicating Xenobots (32:16)[edit]

Pharmacists Recommending Homeopathy (43:24)[edit]

Who's That Noisy? (51:55)[edit]

Answer to previous Noisy:
First recording played by a PC--an Altair 8800, the first true PC, interfering with a radio signal, programed to "play" the Beatles' "The Fool on the Hill" via that interference

New Noisy (59:50)[edit]


J: If you guys have any idea what this week's Noisy is, or if you heard something cool, something that is worthy of Who's That Noisy?, email me at

Questions/Emails/Corrections/Follow-ups (1:00:27)[edit]

_consider_using_block_quotes_for_emails_read_aloud_in_this_segment_ with_reduced_spacing_for_long_chunks –

Follow-up: Spin Launch System[edit]

rocket equation

Science or Fiction (1:14:36)[edit]

Answer Item
Fiction only four to challenger deep
Fiction beaked whales below 6000m
Science 20% of ocean floor mapped
Host Result
Steve win
Rogue Guess
Evan 20% of ocean floor mapped
Jay beaked whales below 6000m
Cara 20% of ocean floor mapped

Voice-over: It's time for Science or Fiction.

Theme: The Deep Ocean

Item #1: Only four people have visited the Challenger Deep, the deepest location on Earth at 10,928 meters and about 1,100 atmospheres of pressure, including filmmaker James Cameron.[4]
Item #2: We have mapped only 20% of the ocean floor, compared to 100% of the surface of Mars.[5]
Item #3: Cuvier's beaked whales (the deepest diving whales) have been spotted in the Mariana Trench at depths of over 6,000 meters.[6]

Evan's Response[edit]

Jay's Response[edit]

Cara's Response[edit]

Steve Explains Item #1[edit]

Steve Explains Item #2[edit]

Steve Explains Item #3[edit]

Skeptical Quote of the Week (1:28:20)[edit]

It's hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it's damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person.
Bill Murray, American actor & comedian

Note about episode releases & Signoff (1:29:19)[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 Send your questions to And, if you would like to support the show and all the work that we do, go to and consider becoming a patron and becoming part of the SGU community. Our listeners and supporters are what make SGU possible.


Today I Learned[edit]

  • Fact/Description, possibly with an article reference[7]
  • Fact/Description
  • Fact/Description




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