SGU Episode 873

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SGU Episode 873
April 2nd 2022
873 greenhouse space.jpg
SGU 872 SGU 874
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
B: Bob Novella
C: Cara Santa Maria
J: Jay Novella
E: Evan Bernstein
AJR: Andrea Jones-Rooy,
political, social, and data scientist and professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the NYU Center for Data Science
Quote of the Week
I beg of you, do not jump to the conclusion that certain things you see are necessarily "supernatural" or the work of "spirits" just because you cannot explain them.
Harry Houdini, Hungarian-American escape artist, illusionist, stunt performer
Download Podcast
Show Notes
Forum Topic

Introduction, Live from NYC[edit]

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

Special Report: Political Science of War (4:36)[edit]

News Items[edit]






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

S: All right. Let's move on to some news items. We have a few news items to get to.

Transgenic Plants and Space Travel (22:55)[edit]

S: We're going to start with one about transgenic plants in space.

Homeopathy Trials and Publication Bias (37:13)[edit]

Anti-Universe (52:34)[edit]

Psychedelic Treatments (1:04:49)[edit]

Plastic in our Blood (1:21:00)[edit]

Science or Fiction (1:30:55)[edit]

Theme: Ancillary skills of U.S. presidents

Item #1: President Nixon was an accomplished musician who could play the piano, clarinet, violin, accordian, and saxophone.[6]
Item #2: President Lincoln was a champion wrestler, being almost undefeated and holding a regional title for several years.
In 1992 he was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame.[7]
Item #3: Thomas Jefferson invented the swivel chair, inspired by the long hours spent in drafting the Declaration of Independence.[8]

Answer Item
Fiction lincoln into wrestling h.o.f.
Science nixon accomplished musician
Science jefferson's swivel chair
Host Result
Steve clever
Rogue Guess
Andrea lincoln into wrestling h.o.f.
Bob lincoln into wrestling h.o.f.
Jay nixon accomplished musician
Cara jefferson's swivel chair
Evan lincoln into wrestling h.o.f.

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

Andrea's Response[edit]

Bob's Response[edit]

Jay's Response[edit]

Cara's Response[edit]

Evan's Response[edit]

Audience's Response[edit]

Steve Explains Item #1[edit]

Steve Explains Item #2[edit]

Steve Explains Item #3[edit]

Skeptical Quote of the Week (1:41:35)[edit]

I beg of you, Sir Arthur, do not jump to the conclusion that certain things you see are necessarily "supernatural" or the work of "spirits" just because you cannot explain them.
Harry Houdini (1874-1926), in a 1922 letter to Arthur Conan Doyle after Doyle visited Houdini at his apartment in New York City to partake in a slate-writing session.


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[9]
  • Fact/Description
  • Fact/Description




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